Our readers’ top 40 ed-tech services for 2013-14

Ed-tech has made significant strides in 2013.

Which ed-tech products and services do our readers like best? Here are their top 40 choices for the 2013-14 school year.

This past spring, we asked readers to give us their top picks for school hardware, software, websites, and services. Nearly 700 readers responded via one of our three websites: eSchoolNews.com, eCampusNews.com, and eClassroomNews.com.

In nominating their favorite products, we asked readers to tell us how they’re using these products to improve teaching, learning, or school administration—and to what effect. We then chose the 40 best responses, which appear alphabetically by product name.

The result is a list of ed-tech products and services that have proven to be effective. We hope you’ll find this information useful as you consider how technology can help transform education on your own campus.

Here’s a quick table of contents to help you navigate:

 Higher-education winners

Page 2
Canvas (Instructure)
Enterasys Network Access Control (Enterasys)
Google+ Hangouts (Google)
Hobsons Retain (Hobsons)
Interactive Campus Map (NuCloud)
Office 365 for Education (Microsoft)

Page 3
Remote Proctor (Software Secure)
Student Lingo (Innovative Educators)
Zinch (Chegg)

K-12 winners

Page 4
Alert Solutions
Camtasia Studio (TechSmith)
Centricity2 (Schoolwires)
Collaborate (Blackboard)

Page 5
CrashPlan PROe (Code 42 Software)
Digital Passport (Common Sense Media)
Discovery Education Techbook (Discovery Education)
eTrition (Harris School Solutions)

Page 6
Futaba (INKids)
Gizmos (ExploreLearning)
GoClaim (Go Solutions Group)
Google Chromebooks

Page 7
In2Books (ePals)
Insight 360 (eInstruction)
Lexia Reading (Lexia Learning)
Luna Interactive Projection Camera (Learning Resources)

Page 8
My Big Campus (Lightspeed Systems)

Page 9
SAFARI Montage
SAM Animation (iCreate to Educate)
SCORE21 (TE21)
SNAP Health Center (Professional Software for Nurses Inc.)
TalentEd (Netchemia)

Page 10
TreeRing Yearbooks (TreeRing)
WalkKits (The Walking Classroom)

Honorable Mentions


2U partners with universities for online for-credit courses, master’s degree program

Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and Temple University have joined 2U’s Semester Online initiative.

Three top-tier universities in May dropped out of a partnership with the company 2U that would have allowed the schools to pool together their resources to offer for-credit online courses to students. It was a high profile snag in much-publicized deal that had included 10 universities in total.

Three other universities have filled those vacancies, 2U announced on July 30.

Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, and Temple University joined Semester Online as “Charter Affiliate Partners,” according to the announcement.

The news came on the heels of 2U partnering with University of California at Berkeley to offer a fully online master of information and data science degree program.

“Semester Online’s teaching institutions provide distinctive course offerings for undergraduates in an online learning experience that matches the rigor and richness of on-campus classrooms,” Ed Macias, chair of the Semester Online Consortium, said in the announcement. “Through the Affiliate program, more students will now be able to continue their coursework while pursuing opportunities or commitments away from campus.”

The eleven courses will be taught by faculty from other members of the consortium including Boston College, Brandeis University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, and Washington University in St. Louis.

See Page 2 for details on 2U’s partnership with Berkeley.


Social video offers new avenue for students, colleges to connect

Prospective college students can spend hours on a road trip or combing different websites to learn about schools, but a newer, faster option has emerged, U.S. News and World Report reports. Colleges and prospective students are hopping on the social video bandwagon to catch each other’s attention. Students can get a glimpse of an Oregon State University fashion show, a business school reunion at Stanford University or statues at Xavier University through Vine. Since Vine launched in January, at least 36 colleges have started using it, according to a June article from EdTech Magazine. “We thought it’s something we should jump on,” says Colin Huber, a writer and social media coordinator for Oregon State University. The school posted its first Vine video in February.

Read more


LRMI to Host Free Education Metadata Workshop in September


Dave Gladney Lauren Burke
LRMI KEH Communications
dgladney@publishers.org lauren@kehcomm.com
267-351-4329 410-975-9638

LRMI to Host Free Education Metadata Workshop in September

Denver workshop to coincide with EdNET Conference, cover best practices and hands-on tagging experience

PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 31, 2013 –The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) will host a free Education Metadata Workshop prior to the start of EdNET 2013, an annual educational networking conference held this year in Denver, CO. The workshop will take place on Sunday, September 22, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and attendees will enjoy a continental breakfast that begins at 8:00 a.m. Participants will get first-hand experience on the tagging process, as well as hear from publishers that have extensive experience tagging their content with LRMI metadata.

LRMI aims to make the educational resource search experience richer for educators and learners and improve the discoverability of resources for content creators. Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) have co-led the project since its founding in 2011. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and AEP recently merged to form the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group. AEP’s programs have been transferred to AAP pursuant to the merger. However, AEP continues to manage LRMI because of AEP’s 501(c)(3) status.

Michael Jay, president of Educational Systemics and a 30-year veteran in the field of education metadata, will provide workshop participants with keen insight into the LRMI movement and its benefits to educational publishers, both large and small. Attendees will learn what properties to use and what values to assign, what constitutes an individual resource, and how best to determine the proper group from their organization to do the tagging.

“EdNET is a great business-to-business conference for the education marketplace and the perfect stage to help us build LRMI awareness and inform the educational resource community of its impact and value,” said Dave Gladney, LRMI project manager. “Those in attendance will not only receive a project overview and plans for the future, but they will also discover best practices for incorporating LRMI into their metadata strategy moving forward.”

Register for the LRMI Workshop today by sending an RSVP to John Micklos at jmicklos@publishers.org. The workshop will be held in the Governor’s Square 12 room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The workshop is free and open to both EdNET conference attendees and the general public.

To learn more about the LRMI, visit www.lrmi.net. Receive project updates directly by signing up for the monthly LRMI newsletter, LRMI Update here.


Unicon Deploys Web Single Sign-On and Federated Identity Applications for the Juilliard School

Gilbert, AZ – July 31, 2013— Unicon, Inc., a leading IT consulting services and support provider specializing in open source for the education technology market, today announced that it has completed Web single sign-on and federated identity services for the Juilliard School. The institution maintains Microsoft Active Directory and wanted to extend it to a standards-based federated system for single sign-on utilizing Central Authentication Service (CAS), Shibboleth, and Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to support multiple Web applications.

“With our ongoing expansion of self-service Web tools along with a rollout of Office365 to students, staff, faculty and alumni, we at the Juilliard School decided it was time to extend our identity management capabilities,” said Tunde Giwa, Chief Technology Officer, the Juilliard School. “Not having the requisite skillset in-house to accomplish all of this, we turned to Unicon to assist our efforts. Their highly-knowledgeable engineers helped us architect an appropriate solution and provided implementation support as well as knowledge transfer to our staff.”

Unicon provided services for the CAS and Shibboleth federated identity provider. Unicon configured, installed, and branded CAS with single sign-on integrations that encompassed Ellucian’s Web Advisor, Drupal, and Atomic Learning. Juilliard also enlisted Unicon to integrate CAS, Shibboleth, and Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) with Microsoft Office 365. Unicon used best practices for updates and configuration.

About the Juilliard School
The Juilliard School was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. It is a private conservatory offering programs through the Divisions of Dance, Drama, and Music from its campus at Lincoln Center in New York City. The School enrolls 853 students from 40 countries, with an undergraduate enrollment of 507 (2012-13). Juilliard alumni have collectively won more than 105 Grammy Awards, 62 Tony Awards, 47 Emmy Awards, 26 Bessie Awards, 24 Academy Awards, 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and 12 National Medals for the Arts. To learn more, visit http://www.juilliard.edu/.

About Unicon
Unicon, Inc. is a leading provider of IT consulting services for education technology and works with institutions and organizations to find solutions to meet business challenges. Unicon specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management, student success and retention, mobile computing, learning management systems, portals, online video, calendaring, email, and collaboration. Unicon is a Commercial Affiliate of the Apereo Foundation; an InCommon Affiliate and Participant; an Industry Member of Internet2; a VMware Partner and authorized Solution Provider; a Solution Partner of Kaltura; and a Services Partner and reseller of Liferay and Zimbra. For more information, visit: www.unicon.net.
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Unicon is a Registered Trademark of Unicon, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.


California State University’s ‘radical’ plan for online courses

California’s online program could be a model for other states.

This fall, for the first time, California State University students will be able to take courses offered online on any of the system’s campuses — regardless of where they attend.

The plan announced today, includes about 30 courses approved for systemwide consumption, from Elementary Astronomy to the History of Rock and Roll.

In other words, a student from San Francisco State can sign up for a microeconomics course taught at CSU Northridge, while students from that Southern California campus can learn all about American politics from a professor who teaches in San Francisco.

“It’s radical for our system,” said Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for CSU.

The cross-campus course option — called “concurrent enrollment” — was funded from $17 million in additional state funding originally earmarked for online education initiatives. Students will be limited to one course per term that is offered by another CSU campus, in addition to any online offerings taught by their college’s own professors.

The University of California is developing a similar program with state funding, and the California community colleges are using the money to develop their online programs.

Notably missing from the colleges’ fall enrollment planning is a controversial online education bill introduced this spring that drew fierce faculty opposition.


MOOCs: the iTunes of academe

Apple’s iTunes didn’t change the way music was made; it leveraged iPod technology and revolutionised how people consumed music, The Australian reports. MP3 files are lower quality than high-fidelity stereo, but they are so much more convenient. And live music continues to thrive. Just ask the Rolling Stones. Similarly, we do not expect MOOCs to make the campus experience any less desirable. In fact, MOOCs may even encourage students to experience campus life and to pay more for the privilege. Coursera and edX make content produced by academics ubiquitously available. Taking a Harvard class online isn’t like being in Harvard Yard, but it is much cheaper and more accessible.

Read more


MOOC — a question of credit

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have captured the attention of higher education and the political community in a way seldom seen, Excelsior College President John Ebersole writes for WCET. To many, the idea of access to instruction from world class institutions for free is the answer to a prayer. They offer the promise of a new form of instructional delivery that could take some of the heat off of higher education, and its ever rising tuition, as well as for the politicians whose cuts to state support have made necessary those increases. Hopefully, with MOOCs, state governors, legislators, and college administrators can find ways to promote universal access to higher education without having to worry about cost. On the other hand, many within higher education are critical of MOOCs as vehicles for the creation of learning. They see any rush to recommend credit that can be used to satisfy degree requirements as premature. Partly as a result of this growing concern, only five MOOCs have been deemed credit-worthy by the American Council on Education, so far.

Read more


Graduate School USA Selects Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to Support Unique Needs of Students and Automate Administrative Processes

Oracle and Ciber Team Up to Deploy Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and Campus Self Service Software to Standardize Academic and Training Processes

Graduate School USA builds on its 90 years as a responsive, cutting-edge institution by implementing an equally cutting-edge and enhanced student service information system with Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions suite. The integrated software will provide students with easy access to information, support self-service transactions and automate previous manual processes, supporting future growth and the school’s reputation as a leader in meeting public sector education, development and training needs.

Redwood Shores, Calif. – July 30, 2013

News Facts
• Graduate School USA, the government’s continuing education provider of choice, has selected Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to manage the student lifecycle for both training courses and academic degrees at its seven campuses across the nation.
• Graduate School USA’s previous student administrative system could not support its training program or integrate information from different departments. Additionally, as the school has expanded, it needed software that would support the unique needs of students – who are often continuing-education participants as opposed to long-term degree-seeking students. With Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and Campus Self Service, the university will be able to provide enhanced services that support student registration and administration activities.
• Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions modules, including Campus Community, Recruiting and Admissions, Student Records, Student Financials and Financial Aid, will allow the university to move away from a manual paper system to a fully integrated and automated system. With complete integration, student information will seamlessly flow to students, the records and admissions departments and other administrative offices.
• After Graduate School USA acquired Southeastern University in Washington, D.C., in 2009, the school began the process of applying for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. PeopleSoft Campus Solutions enabled the school to fulfill the accreditation requirement for a viable student information system. Graduate School USA is now a candidate for accreditation.
• Graduate School USA will work with Oracle and Oracle Platinum Partner Ciber to implement Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0, adding to the university’s Oracle footprint, which includes Oracle Database and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Financial Management. The 18-month implementation began in February 2013.

Supporting Quotes
• “To continue our growth and achieve Middle States Accreditation, it was critical to integrate and automate our administrative and academic systems,” said James Huske, chief of staff, Graduate School USA. “With Oracle, Graduate School USA is able to deliver a fully integrated, dynamic and automated system for students and administrators that improves the student experience and improves productivity for our staff.”
• “With Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, Graduate School USA removes a significant barrier to efficient growth and superior student service: manual, paper-based processes,” said Cole Clark, global vice president, education and research industries, Oracle. “The fully integrated, automated capabilities enabled by PeopleSoft Campus Solutions will streamline administrative processes and make information immediately available to students, faculty and staff.”

Supporting Resources
• Oracle in Higher Education
• Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions
• PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Community
• PeopleSoft Enterprise Recruiting and Admissions
• PeopleSoft Enterprise Student Records
• PeopleSoft Enterprise Student Financials
• PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Aid
• Oracle Higher Education on Facebook
• Oracle Higher Education on Diigo

About Oracle
Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

About Oracle in Industries
Oracle industry solutions leverage the company’s best-in-class portfolio of products to address complex business processes relevant to the education and research industry, helping speed time to market, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Katie Barron Gail Repsher Emery
Oracle O’Keeffe & Company
+1.202.904.1138 +1.301.789.5340
katie.barron@oracle.com gemery@okco.com


Edvance360 LMS-SN partners with Holy Apostles College & Seminary and the Catholic Distance Learning Network to provide third round of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) provided in partnership with Edvance360 LMS-SN, Holy Apostles College & Seminary, and the Catholic Distance Learning Network. Three certification programs opening their material at no cost for Fall 2013.

(Virginia Beach, VA) Edvance360, a leading provider of eLearning services and software solutions and a CODiE 2011 winner, announced a continuation of the partnership with Holy Apostles College & Seminary and the Catholic Distance Learning Network to provide Massive Online Open Courses in three certification programs, opening their material at no cost from September 1st through October 31st.

“We are excited to continue these free, online open courses, which will be available to more than 60 Catholic seminaries and 180 Protestant mainline and evangelical theological schools. These massive courses will be provided at no cost to students,” said Sebastian Mahfood, Director of Distance Learning at Holy Apostles College & Seminary. “We chose to partner with Edvance360 because we found their tools to be robust, yet easy to use. Students taking these open courses will not require special training to use the Edvance360 tools. In our last MOOC with Edvance360, we received excellent feedback from the students and achieved an above-average completion rate, which is a result from how easy Edvance360 is to use.”

“Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continue to challenge traditional models of education and we at Edvance360 support that challenge and the goal of providing education to all people all over the world,” said Cathy Garland, Vice-President of Marketing & Sales at Edvance360. “We are happy to partner with CDLN to continue to offer these MOOCs and other MOOCs as companies and schools get on board. Our partners have demonstrated a high completion rate several times above those offered through other LMS vendors – even as high as 100% completion rates. We feel the collaborative nature of our LMS makes the necessary interaction and collaboration possible, which in turn helps the student feel connected and confident in completing the educational course they have chosen.”

We invite you to consider joining Edvance360. We offer:
• Unparalleled Personal Support – Edvance360 is a demonstrated leader in its commitment to personalized support for its clients.
• Affordable Pricing – Edvance360’s pricing is significantly lower than any of the other commercial vendors. Pricing is regularly 30%-50% below competitor prices.
• Forward-Thinking Commitment – Edvance360 was the first LMS to combine social networking and other Web 2.0 tools (Wikis, Blogs, RSS feeds, etc.) with the academic features in a Learner Management System.
• Open Standards and Specifications – Edvance360 supports SCORM and Common Cartridge
• Learning Outcome Management (LOM) – Use our intuitive LOM tools to assess and manage learning outcomes on student, course, and institutional levels (no additional cost).
• ePortfolios – Enables students at colleges to manage a professional portfolio containing skills developed, documents published, experience gained, and recommendations garnered from teachers (no additional cost).

About Edvance360
Edvance360 is an Internet-based Learner Management System (LMS) and secure social network that enables institutions to implement a successful online academic program. Edvance360 equips schools, corporations, and organizations to host online courses, implement modular courses, and revitalize residential courses. Edvance360 was designed by educators for educators, with insight provided by many of the leading educational design experts.

Our clients enjoy a high return on their investment, personalized support, and customizable solutions. We do not believe a one-size-fits-all approach is beneficial to our clients, so we are committed to adapting Edvance360 to fit the needs of the rapidly changing world of education.
Edvance360 is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, with operations in Valdosta, Georgia. For more information, please visit www.Edvance360.com or call 866-458-0360.

Edvance360 and the Edvance360 logo are trademarks of Edvance360 Corporation. All other company and product names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Holy Apostles College & Seminary
Holy Apostles College & Seminary hosts two completely online Master of Arts programs in Philosophy and Theology and has online undergraduate courses available. Holy Apostles is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Their website can be accessed at http://www.holyapostles.edu.

About the Catholic Distance Learning Network
The Catholic Distance Learning Network of the Seminary Department of the National Catholic Educational Association provides resources for the training of teachers in online teaching and learning and in teaching research design.

Their website can be accessed at http://www.catholicdistance.org

Press Contact:
Cathy Garland, VP of Marketing & Sales