IT services

  • #h817open,  bavaness,  ds106,  higher ed,  IT services,  open courses,  twitter,  VLE,  Web/Tech

    Twitter is your IT support

    <Image> This post isn’t intended as a criticism of anyone, rather an observation on a trend I’ve noticed from several others also.  I’m running my block of the Masters course H817 as a MOOC. It’ll start this March, and one of the things I wanted is a DS106 style blog aggregator. That is, I want the contributors to register their blog, and for posts they tag appropriately to repost automatically in the course blog. Now, the sensible way to do this seems to be to install WordPress and use the FeedWordPress plug-in. For reasons I won’t go in to, I haven’t been able to get this done at the Open…

  • e-learning,  IT services,  OU,  VLE,  Web/Tech

    To the ghosts who write history blogs

    Okay, maybe it's not an Obama moment in history, but, as you may have heard, the OU has adopted Google Apps for education for its students, and I think this may be a significant move in educational technology. Niall announced it and Tony has given his reaction. We're by no means the first to do it, but I think the OU's adoption is significant for a number of reasons: It ain't Microsoft – there will have been strong lobbying to adopt an MS solution, so the move to Google marks a shift in the power base or at least the default assumption that it's MS who do enterprise solutions.  It's…

  • IT services,  PLE,  VLE

    The centralisation dilemma in educational IT

    I wrote an article for a new journal, the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE). My piece was entitled ‘The centralisation dilemma in educational IT’. I argued that we have a centralisation – decentralisation cycle in educational IT, so we had distributed versions of VLE, which moved to a central VLE, and we are now seeing a shift back to decentralised cloud services. The arguments for a centralised VLE are: Uniformity of student experience Centralised support Quality assurance Efficiency Robustness Integration of different tools Staff development Platform for expanding elearning offerings Whereas the arguments for a decentralised model can be summarised as: Quality: The individual components of…

  • higher ed,  IT services,  web 2.0

    Web 2.0 – even if we’re wrong, we’re right

    Brian Kelly has a good slidecast talking about exploiting the social aspects of web 2.0.  He gave a similar talk with the title ‘Web 2.0 – what if we’re wrong?’ and in Twitter I tried to argue that even if we’re wrong, we’re right, but struggled with the 140 character limit, so I’ll put my argument here. Brian makes a good case about avoiding the Gartner Hype Curve where you have rising expectations, which are not met, and then a trough of despair (I can’t embed the actual slide direct, but it’s slide 19). He is right about this, and the possible risks. Many web 2.0 companies don’t have a…

  • IT services

    Offsetting some of the dangers of outsourcing

    Niall Sclater raises some issues around potential dangers of outsourcing your IT services, picking up on my recent decision to go all things Google. Niall is referring to a talk by Alan Bell and the two particular potential problems he raises are: 1. You tell your students to use a system hosted externally, maybe one which downloads client software to the learners’ machine. A student’s system gets corrupted and they claim that your institution is liable. 2. You use a free externally hosted collaboration system for audio conferencing for a tutorial and a student tells you during the session that they can’t complete an assignment due to a bereavement. You…