On July 1, Turning Technologies, the maker of BU’s audience-response system (clicker) software, will make a major change to its approach. The company will update us to TurningPoint Cloud, which is designed to make audience-response technology work better with mobile-phone apps (to make it less necessary to purchase standalone clickers). The TurningPoint software will not change; there will need to be an update, but it will run the same. The main change is that as of July 1, students and instructors will need to get Turning accounts (akin to Apple accounts), via the TurningPoint site. The site requires a “school code”, which will be assigned to us before July 1.
Please read TurningPoint’s official PDF announcement for more details.
The full commercial (stable, non-beta) release of NVivo is now available for the Mac. It includes features not found in the beta, such as word-frequency queries. Members of the BU community may download it and get a licence to activate it from the NVivo TechWeb page.
The Windows version contains the ability to convert files from Windows to Mac. If you had the Windows version and no longer intend to use it, please deactivate your Windows licence so that we have an accurate count of licences in use.
The Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) was recognized by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with a Platinum Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming. The USDLA, a nonprofit association and national leader in distance learning, presented its 2014 International Distance Learning Awards on May 5, 2014, in conjunction with its 2014 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. More
At its annual conference in June, ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, is holding a series of fast-paced “Ignite” sessions for educators to present a series of innovative ideas in rapid-fire succession. They welcome proposals; the initial application form is due April 25.
Digication has just announced major improvements to its ePortfolio download feature. The download feature has gone through a major update and is now more stable and reliable. The download ePortfolio features gives end users the ability to download their ePortfolio at anytime. The downloaded ePortfolio will include all the standard html pages of the ePortfolio as well as any files and media that were uploaded to the ePortfolio (including large format videos).
View the full announcement.
Exciting news for Mac users working with NVivo: the beta of NVivo for Mac has been released! You can download the beta version from the QSR company’s website. Because it is a beta, you do not need to enter a licence key; the beta is free for everyone and will operate until June, when the full release version is released. You will need to download a licence key from BU to operate the full release version; we will make that available when the version comes out.
Please bear in mind two important cautions about this current Mac version. First, it is a beta test version; that means you can expect some bugs. Make sure to back up all sensitive data regularly; if reliable operation is crucial to work, you should probably wait until the full version is available, and use the Windows version in the meantime. Second, because it is being built from scratch, even the release version will not have the full functionality of the Windows version to start with, though the intent is to add this in. More
Next week, Turnitin will host a free webcast to share strategies for enhancing student understanding of academic citation and integrity for multimedia presentations. It will be held at 1pm on March 5. Register to attend.
Registration for BU’s first four MOOCs (massive open online courses) opened on edx.org on 2/25. The four BU courses — Sabermetrics 101 (Andy Andres), War for the Greater Middle East (Andrew Bacevich), The Art of Poetry (Robert Pinsky) & Alien Worlds — join the ranks of those offered by a select group of universities on the Harvard & MIT-founded platform, and hope to appeal to tens of thousands learners around the globe by offering a taste of some of BU’s best.
Supported by BU’s Digital Learning Initiative, MOOCs are a part of a larger campus-wide effort to encourage and support innovative faculty-driven projects in digital learning. As the DLI team wrote in a recent article in InsideHigherEd, now is the time to ask bold questions about the value of residential and online learning, about regional and interdisciplinary pedagogical cooperation, and meaningful metrics about students’ opportunities, agency and resilience in the higher ed ecosystem. It is our hope that MOOCs can be both an active part of and catalyst for engaging with these queries and their complex answers.
The abstracts and agenda are now available for BU’s sixth annual Instructional Innovation Conference, to be held March 7 by the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching. Please register if you’re interested in attending.