Sonic Foundry Announces Winners of 10th Annual Enterprise Video Awards

MADISON, Wis. — April 29, 2014 — Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted leader for video creation and management solutions, today announced the winners of the 10th annual Enterprise Video Awards, formerly the Rich Media Impact Awards.

The awards honor excellence in Mediasite integration into business, education, health and government. This year’s finalists achieved measurable improvements in information accessibility, cost-savings, efficiency and productivity through Mediasite.

Winners were honored at Unleash, the global Mediasite User Conference in Madison, Wis., and the awards ceremony can be viewed on-demand at

“Congratulations to this year’s Enterprise Video Award winners, who join the ranks of over 160 organizations around the world recognized for their dynamic video initiatives,” said Rob Lipps, executive VP, Sonic Foundry. “Our customers are creating rich media in their classrooms and board rooms, but it’s so much more than that — everything is managed, tagged, searched and secured with Mediasite. We continue to be amazed by the innovative ways our customers are using video to revolutionize how they work, connect and play.”

Global Reach Award: Michigan Virtual University
“Mediasite allows us to quickly and efficiently transform face-to-face lectures into online degree programs at Obafemi Awolowo University where none were present.” — Kirby Milton, VP of Operations, Michigan Virtual University

Innovation Award: ICTISE University of the Free State, South Africa
“Before Mediasite it was not possible to provide cost-effective daily support to teachers and learners across the Free State. Now, we are recognized in South Africa as the state with the highest pass rate.” — Sarietjie Musgrave, head of ICTISE

Outcomes Award: Zorgportaal Rijnmond
“The future of healthcare depends on solutions like this. We have enormous challenges in healthcare, but with Zorgportaal Rijnmond we can easily save money and time and increase the quality of patient consultations.” — Florian Visser, project leader, Zorgportaal Rijnmond

Prolific Use Award: Bloomsburg University and University of Florida (tie)
“When we upgraded to Mediasite version 6.1 at the beginning of 2013 and opened the My Mediasite portal to all faculty and students, user-generated content took off.” — Asa Kelley, media technician, Bloomsburg University

“In 2013 we shot the moon. We saw increased viewership of 215 percent with over 1.3 million views in the calendar year. And we do not anticipate our growth to slow down at all. With last year’s rollout of My Mediasite we look forward to opening the door to more users creating more content than ever before.” — Brian Smith, IT specialist, University of Florida

Rapid Adoption Award: Massey University
“After seven years of persistence, and a bucket load of patience, Massey University is not only adopting Mediasite, but hitting it hard with a multimillion dollar, multi-campus scale-up that we like to call the rich media learning project, or RML for short.” — Matt Alexander, multimedia developer, Massey University

Video in Education Scholarship: Duke University School of Medicine and Florida State University’s Geoset Studios
“Approximately five years ago, before Mediasite came to Duke Medicine, we had at least five different capture technologies. Employees were not able to create content either on a large or small scale. People didn’t know where to go to find their educational content or even how to view it. We now maximize the curriculum by delivering the content from anywhere at any time with Mediasite.” — Sharon Kaiser, educational technologist, Duke University School of Medicine

“Before Mediasite we used handheld cameras to record FSU research and put it on YouTube or the FSU website. And now we have high-quality, beautiful videos that are easy to make, easy to encourage students to do, and easy to help them share their research, share their passions.” — Phillip, a student and Geoset Studios worker

Video Maverick Award: Lawrence Grafton, Dell
“When the program started it was just me with a camera, recording everything to give people the idea of how the system works. Over time, with My Mediasite, people were able to use the system individually. As time grew, through a real grassroots effort, we’ve been able to achieve hockey stick growth.” — Lawrence Grafton, creator, DellTV

Trusted by more than 2,800 customers worldwide, Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of live and on-demand streaming videos and rich media presentations.

About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.
Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is the trusted leader for video capture, management and webcasting solutions in education, business and government. The patented Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform transforms communications, training, education and events for 2,800 customers in 58 countries. The company empowers organizations to reach everyone through the power of video; accelerating knowledge-sharing, preserving valuable content, building stronger teams and getting results.


A keen-sighted CIO’s inter-view on Glass

Open-eyed and thoughtful views on Glass’ realistic usability in higher education

google-glass-interview“OK Glass,” take a picture. It’s most likely the first thing a Google Glass Explorer will try, as I did.

Now, entering my third month, in the beta Google Glass Explorer program, I saw a need to refocus my exploring, no pun intended, on requesting an open and frank “Glass” interview with the CIO-Chief Information Officer, Paige Francis, at Fairfield University.

By accepting the invitation, Paige has already broken through many proverbial “glass ceilings,” as the first woman, Jesuit University CIO, Google Glass interviewee, represented in a Google Plus Glass community. Paige is now visible on the Google Plus Community, actively engaging in technology dialogue, via Google Glass.

Her interview responses focus on infusing Glass and potentially more wearable technology devices, into higher education environments. These recordings have caught the eye of Glass Explorer, and Professional Associate at University of Canberra of Australia, Alexander Hayes, who includes Paige in his prestigious community of exemplary Glass interviewees of high status, in the global world community i.e. Glass Engineers, educators, and explorers.

(Next page: The Google Glass higher ed experience and video interview)


The best college or university by state

New data reveals which college or university has the highest graduation rate in its state

state-graduation-rateAs many of the problems facing higher education come into national focus—student loan debt, low retention rates, inability to help students land a skilled degree—more online data resources are springing up to help students make the best return-on-investment (ROI) choices when choosing their institution…and there’s no better current indicator than graduation rate.

Already, some social savvy students may be using TIME’s new ranking, which measures how “influential” an institution is by alumni Wikipedia pages; or they’re trolling Facebook and Twitter to see how socially active an institution really is.

For those career-minded students focused on ROI when it comes to choosing a degree, ‘old-school’ considerations like average student SAT score, or new considerations like Wikipedia prestige, may not mean as much as what colleges have the highest graduation rate.

A graduation rate, once placed in high priority usually by concerned parents, is now becoming a necessity for students eager to obtain a degree that can translate into immediate job placement to help pay off student loans.

One resource website, eCollegeFinder, is taking data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and looking specifically at the ‘Overall Graduation Rate’ metric by state.

The NCES defines this as “the overall graduation rate…known as the ‘Student Right to Know’ or IPEDS graduation rate. It tracks the progress of students who began their studies as full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students to see if they complete a degree or other award, such as a certificate, within 150 percent of ‘normal time’ for completing the program in which they are enrolled.”

“As the end of the school year approaches and graduation gowns are fitted, we look at which schools boast the highest likelihood of getting you across the stage with a diploma,” explains eCollegeFinder’s website. “For the sake of argument, we decided to only look at schools offering 4-year degrees with housing. Our goal was to look at those schools offering a more traditional college experience. We are dedicated to inspiring and informing students with comprehensive online tools and college information, leading us to make this informative graphic.”

What do you think of this 4-year institution graduation list? Will it better help students with their ROI? Is the list too simplistic? Why or why not? Leave your comments in the section provided below, email me at, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.

(Next page: State-by-state graphic and partial list)


Hobsons Puts College Students Front and Center: Unveils Radius, the First Student Lifecycle Management Solution

Radius to help post-secondary institutions address rising challenges with enrollment, retention, and graduation rates

Cincinnati, OH – April 28 – At first glance, the present higher education landscape denotes an institution-focused model challenged by declining enrollment, increased competition, reduced funding, and bleak completion rates; Complete College America reports that only thirty-six percent of all students graduate within four years from flagship colleges and universities. Meanwhile, students and their families struggle financially to determine just how they can afford college and, if so, whether pursuing a degree will produce a future return that will make the investment a wise one. There is a disconnect within higher education when students are not central to an institution’s strategy and mission, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Hobsons today announced the launch of Radius, the first Student Lifecycle Management (SLM) solution to proactively engage students during recruitment, enrollment, and through to graduation, thus allowing institutions to place students at the center of their business.

“Successful Student Lifecycle Management is simple,” said Hobsons CEO Craig Heldman. “When schools are able to provide value to students at each stage of the lifecycle, they increase quality, efficiency, growth, and intelligence at their institution. We are excited to offer Radius as the first, single solution to maximize student success and institutional effectiveness seamlessly across multiple student pathways and multiple aspects of the institution.”

With Student Lifecycle Management, institutions can provide value to students by establishing, building, tracking, and managing relationships throughout the entire student lifecycle. The first SLM solution of its kind, Radius, offers institutions the flexibility to define and personalize a student’s lifecycle path from inquiry to enrollment:

• Pre-prospect – manage day-to-day contact with constituents and create dynamic behavioral marketing campaigns.
• Applicant – build multi-page application forms, increase efficiency, and reduce application abandonment with online self-service tools.

Registrars and other academic administrators can keep students on the path to graduation with Radius’ advanced reporting features and definitive lifecycle paths that are customizable per academic program. By emphasizing the importance of delivering an enriched student experience and improving student retention, Radius allows institutions to monitor and track student performance, intervene when students need additional support, and analyze student outcomes from a single, cloud-based interface:

• Current student – track student performance via course and alert management features and advisor capabilities.
• Graduate – gain business intelligence around student outcomes with flexible data integration and customizable dashboards.

Prior to Radius, Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina used an assortment of systems to manage its recruitment efforts that, although powerful, carried a learning curve that limited staff adeptness. Since implementing Radius earlier this year, SMC has revolutionized the way in which it interacts with students from the point of inquiry to enrollment. Now, counselors and enrollment managers can quickly segment applicant pools, personalize student communications, process applications online, and prepare students for registration without extensive staff training. Online processing has helped SMC increase productivity. After six weeks of implementation, they are more than one month ahead of student deposits over 2013.

“Radius’ emphasis on Student Lifecycle Management mirrors SMC’s history of personal relationships with students during the recruitment process,” said Mike Queen, SMC director of Admissions. “Radius has allowed us to deepen those relationships and provide truly unique experiences for our prospective students. The intuitiveness of the program has allowed us to launch with minimal staff training and produced immediate results.”
Based on Hobsons’ Intelliworks architecture, Radius is available to undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional programs.

What does successful Student Lifecycle Management look like? Download Hobsons’ free Student Lifecycle Management white paper.

Learn how Radius can help your institution put students first by registering for Hobsons’ exclusive Google Hangout on April 30 at 1:30 p.m. E.S.T. with Tiffin University’s Director of Enrollment Operations, Justin Schlenker.

Radius Video Link:

About Hobsons
Hobsons helps educators, administrators, students, and families maximize success through every stage of the learning lifecycle. Hobsons’ personalized learning, academic planning, post-secondary enrollment, and student support solutions serve millions of students across more than 7,500 schools, colleges, and universities worldwide.


Robots do tai chi, more at STEM event

Thousands of educators, professionals and business leaders gathered in Washington D.C. for the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference last week.

Here are some highlights from our social media coverage of the event. See a robot doing tai chi below, and check out the next page for a Storify of STEM Solutions tweets, including quotes from some of the many panels featuring Judy Woodruff, Kyle Bowen, and Jeff Goldstein.


Vernier Names Winners of Its 2014 Engineering Contest

Vernier Names Winners of Its 2014 Engineering Contest

STEM educators awarded cash and technology prizes valued at $5,500 each for their creative use of sensors to teach engineering concepts

BEAVERTON, Oregon, April 29, 2014 – Vernier Software & Technology named Deborah Munro of the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon; Gary Garber of Boston University Academy in Boston, Massachusetts; and, Julianne King of the Regina Caeli Academy in Spring, Texas as the winners of the 2014 Vernier Engineering Contest. Each of these college, high school and middle school instructors, respectively, creatively used Vernier sensors to introduce engineering concepts or practices in the classroom.

Selected by a panel of Vernier educational experts, each winner received $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier technology, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend the 2014 National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA) STEM conference or the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference. Applications were judged on innovation, engineering objectives, and the ease by which others can replicate the project. Middle-school and high-school applicants were additionally asked to specifically explain how the project addresses the engineering practices called for in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“The use of sensors in engineering provides students with engaging, hands-on ways to work through the engineering design process and become familiar with important engineering and science concepts,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “This year’s Engineering Contest winners demonstrate truly innovative ways that technology can be used as part of the teaching and learning process. Not only are their projects helping to cultivate students’ ongoing interest in engineering education, because of their ease of implementation they are helping other educators teach engineering in their classrooms.”

The Winning Projects
In “Developing a Biomechanics Course,” Munro created a course that features a six-station lab designed to give students hands-on experience with how different laboratory equipment can be used for biomedical research. In addition, this course provides exposure to testing with human subjects, as well as an introduction to anatomy, physiology, and the terminology used in the medical industry. The students use Vernier sensors to gather data to answer posed questions and create their own open-ended research questions. The data are analyzed using Logger Pro software, which is also used to perform video analysis on the subjects.

In “Rocket Testing,” Garber has his engineering students work together to design and build a system that allows them to calculate the height to which a rocket should fly. Using a Vernier Dual-Range Force Sensor, students measure the impulse of the engine. In addition, students apply STEM concepts to build a triangulation station, create algorithms for measuring the height, investigate electronic tracking and video methods, and design computer programs to estimate the height.

In “Aquabot,” King integrated science and engineering to have her students build a working prototype of a floating robot equipped with a LEGO NXT, two Vernier NXT Sensor Adaptors, and two Vernier Current Probes. Students programmed their robot to move and search for submerged electric fields in order to warn people of potential hidden danger in the water. The idea for this project originated from the students participation in the First Lego League, where this year’s theme was “Nature’s Fury: Prepare, Stay Safe, Rebuild.” The students took on the challenge of creating an innovative solution to a phenomenon called “Electric Shock Drowning,” which was something they learned about after speaking with survivors of massive flooding in Ningbo, China.

Jennifer Love of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts was additionally recognized for her notable entry, “Designing Alternative Energy Vehicles.”

To learn more about the 2014 Engineering Contest winners, and to watch videos of the projects in action, visit To learn more about the 2015 Engineering Contest, visit

About Vernier Software & Technology
Vernier Software & Technology has been a leading innovator of scientific data-collection technology for 33 years. Focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Vernier is dedicated to developing creative ways to teach and learn using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With world-wide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier products are used by educators and students from elementary school to college. Vernier’s technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students’ critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Vernier’s business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit

# # #


5 must-watch higher education TED talks

The future of higher ed and the role of technology are highlights of these insightful TED talks

TED-talks-education By now, most internet junkies know about the incredible talks given through TED (Technology, Education, and Design), but outside of education talks given by Bill Gates and the ever-viral talk by Liz Coleman, what are some of the best, and potentially overlooked, discussions on higher education and technology?

Recording and posting various talks on different topics, given by experts in different fields, TED began in 1984, but has lately risen to new popularity with a worldwide following.

However, the popularity of TED talks has grown to the point where many cities, and even colleges and universities, host their own TED education talks, often revealing deeper, more specific discussions on relevant topics in higher education, and especially online learning.

In this article, you’ll find five of the best TED talks, given within the last couple of years, on topics that range from whether or not MOOCs are still relevant to the capabilities of assistive technologies, and from self-organizing curriculum to designing the university of the future.

Know of any great TED talks on higher education and/or technology? Be sure to leave your comments in the section provided below, email me at, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.

(Next page: 5 of the best TED talks)


Are new regulations lurking around the corner?

Committee to meet for final time to discuss state authorization

regulationsresizedThe U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee is nearing the end of its reworking of the federal online education regulations known as state authorization.

The language for the new guidelines is not expected to be finalized until later this week, but Russ Poulin, interim co-executive director of WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology, detailed some of the changes in recent blog posts.

A major part of the regulations, Poulin said, concern reciprocity agreements, voluntary arrangements between various states and regions that ease some of the regulatory burdens for students taking online courses in different states.

Some of the newly proposed language would change how states handle student complaints.

“There is still strong support for reciprocity in the language even though some negotiators would like to see (what I think are) very strict requirements on reciprocal agreements,” Poulin said.

The guidelines would also change the way that states handle exempting institutions from following state authorization. The Department of Education originally proposed that states could no longer exempt institutions based on accreditation or years of service, a change that had many worried, Poulin said, as 45 states currently use exemptions.

(Next page: What compliance could cost universities)


Colleges: Meet your new skills gap

Colleges should ensure that graduates have big data skills to meet the demands of today’s labor market

big-data-collegesBig data has arrived.

In almost every industry, businesses are generating and capturing exponentially more information than they were just a couple of years ago.

Unfortunately, the higher education system seems to have struggled to keep up in terms of preparing students for this new digital universe.

Data Overload

It’s tough for many of us to grasp the sheer magnitude of big data.

“Big data has brought attention to the fact that there’s a lot more data out there than most people imagined,” says Michaline Todd, CMO for MarkLogic, an enterprise database provider. “Even with all the media hype, it’s hard for most business people to really think outside of their silo of data.”

Every day there are more than 400 million tweets. YouTube uploads more than 100 hours of user generated video each minute.

The International Data Corporation is forecasting that we’ll see a 44X increase in data volume from 2009 to 2020.

Just look at the trend of search queries on Google for “big data.”

(Next page: Why big data scientists are so marketable)