How Office Mix is a powerful tool for blended or flipped learning

15 features that make the free Office Mix software a resource for any teacher involved in flipped or blended learning

office-mix-learningOffice Mix is a free addition for PowerPoint 2013 that lets you turn PowerPoint documents into interactive online lessons or presentations. It takes any existing or new PowerPoint presentation to a whole new level, making it easy to create resources for flipped or blended learning. Here are 15 reasons Office Mix should be part of your “teaching toolbox.”

1. You can leverage existing resources.

Many teachers have existing PowerPoint presentations on a variety of topics. These presentations can be revisited and reused by quickly converting them to a Mix. With little time and effort, an existing teaching resource that is only moderately effective in a flipped or blended learning environment can become a much more effective learning resource. The difference between these two types of resources is outlined in the article “It’s called blended learning (not blended teaching) for a reason.”…Read More

Community helps makes smarter software decisions

SoftwarePhD is a new community for higher-ed professionals that seeks to change the lack of objective user reviews

community-user-reviewLooking for reviews of the latest smartphone? CNET has your back. Wondering how well that new stapler for the office will hold up? Look no further than Amazon.

However, if you are considering a new Student Information System (SIS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Learning Management System (LMS) for your campus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find much of anything in the way of objective user experiences or reviews.

SoftwarePhD is a new community for higher education professionals that is seeking to change this deficiency.…Read More

Rutgers unveils new crime fighting software

A new crime mapping software introduced by Rutgers University will help keep students safe by predicting future crime hotspots.

rutgers-university-crime

Rutgers University researchers Leslie Kennedy, director of the Rutgers Center on Public Security, and Joel Caplan, associate director of the Rutgers Center on Public Security, have created the next generation of crime prevention with their new crime mapping software, which uses environmental factors to predict future crime hotspots.

The new software called Risk Terrain Modeling Diagnostics Utility, which is sponsored by the university, uses environmental factors, such as the locations of ATMs or parks, to determine places that may be susceptible to certain types of crime.…Read More

New software aims to improve course evaluation process

EvaluationKIT recently partnered with Instructure to create integrated course evaluation software.

Course evaluations are one of many standard practices in higher education today. Administrators often find it time-consuming to manage multiple student responses—but new software aims to alleviate this problem.

EvaluationKIT, an enterprise online course evaluation and survey software specifically designed for higher education, has teamed with Instructure to offer a more seamless solution for managing the course evaluation process right from a learning management system. The integrated course evaluation software, dubbed the EvaluationKIT integration for Canvas, is available through Instructure’s Canvas platform.

[field name= iframe2]…Read More

MIT innovation could humanize online education programs

A new crowd-sourcing system allows students to receive more timely feedback in online education programs.

Critics of online education programs commonly refer to the perceived disconnect these create between students and instructors, but a new crowd-sourcing system that offers students personal feedback could help alleviate skeptics’ concerns.

The system is called Caesar, and it was developed by MIT Professor Rob Miller and two of his graduate students, Mason Tang and Elena Tatarchenko, through the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).

Caesar is able to split students’ submitted assignments in a programming course into prioritized chunks through a process called the “code selector.” Caesar then enacts the “task selector,” which sends those chunks that require review out to various MIT teaching assistants, course alumni, and computer science students.…Read More

Analytics software to be free for college students

Students need more access to analytics tools, professors say.

Knowledge of business analytics is a start, educators say, but hands-on experience with compiling and sorting through loads of data makes a recent graduate a popular commodity among private sector recruiters scouring college campuses.

That’s why business schools will provide free analytics software, SAS OnDemand for Academics (SODA), for college students to access outside the classroom. The software has been available to students in the classroom and lecture hall since last fall.

Even before the program becomes free to educators and their students to use off campus, SODA has impacted higher education.…Read More

Will SAP verdict impact higher ed?

IT officials won't abandon SAP software, experts say.

While enterprise software maker SAP decides whether to appeal a $1.3 billion jury verdict for stealing a rival’s intellectual property, market analysts say the legal loss likely won’t drive customers away — including those in higher education — since changing software providers is an arduous and expensive task.

Either route is going to cost the German company dearly, and will have implications for how other technology companies approach copyrights.

A jury in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday found that SAP’s behavior in plundering software and documents from archenemy Oracle Corp.’s secured websites was so egregious that it awarded Oracle nearly all of the damages it was seeking.…Read More

Universities save much-needed cash with the help of technology

UC officials said IBM analytics will help manage the university system.
UC officials said IBM analytics have helped save money for the university system, which has 228,000 students and 180,000 faculty.

An analytics system designed to manage risks and improve security has saved the University of California’s 10 campuses and five medical centers more than $160 million since 2006, officials announced March 25—helping the university system cut costs during an economic crisis that has crippled campus budgets.

The universities in the UC system have used IBM’s analytics software since 2006 to better aggregate massive amounts of data from the 228,000-student system and help administrators target wasteful spending and isolate dangerous areas on campus that result in injury or operation failure.

Using IBM’s Enterprise Risk Management System program, UC officials said decision makers at every campus and medical center have been able to mine the system’s database and spot trends, such as pushing and pulling injuries at medical centers.…Read More

‘Kindle killer’ might not be iPad, but Blio

Blio's makers say it will allow students to interact with textbooks in full color.
Blio's makers say it will allow students to interact with textbooks in full color.

Despite all the buzz about Apple’s iPad tablet and how it could be useful for reading electronic textbooks, a new software program on the way might hold even more promise for education.

Blio, a free eReader program that is expected to be available in February, reportedly will allow users to read more than a million electronic books on nearly any computer or portable device, with the ability to highlight and annotate text, hear the text read aloud, and more.

Blio was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and is the brainchild of education technology pioneer Ray Kurzweil, creator of Kurzweil Educational Systems and a range of assistive technology products.…Read More