Tuesday at Educause 2014: Disruptive innovation, awards, and more

Outgoing Educause CEO and President Dr. Diane Oblinger officially kicked off the 2014 installment of higher ed IT's premier gathering at Tuesday morning's general session. This year's conference will be Oblinger's last at the head of the organization, as she announced her March 2015 retirement in April. Her decade-plus service to the organization was recognized by 2014 Program Committee Chair and University of Nebraska - Lincoln CIO Mark Askren.

Also honored during the session were the following award recipients:

Leadership Award: Arizona State University CIO Gordon D. Wishon

Community Leadership Award: Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering CIO Joanne M. Kossuth and Oakland University CIO Theresa M. Rowe

Rising Star Award: Harvard School of Public Health Director of Digital Learning Katie L. Vale

Higher ed and disruptive innovation

The general session was rounded out with a Vocareum-sponsored keynote from Clayton Christensen, best-selling author and the Harvard Business School's Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration. In his speech, Christensen detailed the opportunity created by disruption prior to it becoming a threat to the status quo, how the pursuit of profit allows disruption to occur, and more. For a closer look at what Christensen had to say and the parallels drawn to higher ed. check out our feature on the keynote.

Education Dive/Roger Riddell

Blackboard heads to the cloud

  • A cloud version of Blackboard's flagship LMS, Learn, was announced, furthering the company's efforts to provide a solutions-based approach.
  • The company says the launch makes it the only company to offer local on-site, managed hosting, and Software-as-a-Service/cloud hosting.
  • Through the cloud, new features and automatic updates can be issued with no service interruptions and with less change management on the part of the client institution.
  • Blackboard also continued to tout its recent Requestec acquisition and ensuing WebRTC integration, as well as a new user experience.

Lynda.com strikes a major partnership

  • Speaking of Blackboard Learn, the LMS will now integrate courses from Lynda.com thanks to a new partnership.
  • Lynda.com's library of over 3,000 business, software, and creative skills courses will now be searchable on Learn, and student progress will be displayed in the Grade Center.
Education Dive/Roger Riddell

Instructure will continue Canvas Grants program

  • The $100,000 Canvas Grants program, announced at last year's Educause, is set to return for a second year.
  • This year's grants will focus on lossless learning, or "the pursuit of perfect feedback loops between learners and educators," and will be available to both higher ed and K-12.
  • Also on display: Canvas Commons, the new resource repository integrated into the Canvas LMS.

Atomic Learning showcases Learning Tools Interoperability feature for LMSes

  • ​Solutions provider Atomic Learning had its Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) feature, on display in the exhibit hall.
  • The tool allows faculty at colleges and universities to search the company's training library and embed videos into courses in their LMS.

D2L's Brightspace helps University System of Georgia nab NASCIO award

  • The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia won a National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) IT Recognition Award for its success with D2L's Brightspace learning platform, according to a Tuesday announcement.
  • USG's D2L-based GeorgiaVIEW LMS was recognized with the award as having improved the system's learning experience while raising its graduation rate by 5.1%.
  • The LMS reportedly sees 250,000 logins and over 50 million visits on a daily basis, and it supports flipped classrooms, blended learning, MOOCs, gamification, and predictive analytics.
Education Dive/Roger Riddell

SAP and universities to partner on cloud-based student information system

  • SAP, the University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University, and other institutions are joining forces to create a simpler, easier-to-use student information system (SIS). 
  • The proposed system would make it easier for students to track classes and degree requirements in a mobile-friendly environment utilizing a social environment via SAP's HANA Cloud Platform, and will be the latest product of the SAP University Alliances program.

Oracle collaborates with universities for Student Cloud, joins Internet2

  • Oracle unveiled its Customer Strategic Design Program, which will see it partner with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Texas System, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison as it develops its Student Cloud SIS.
  • The company is also now part of the not-for-profit Internet2, an organization that aims to innovate by encouraging collaboration between research and education organizations and tech leaders to cooperate on their development.
Education Dive/Roger Riddell

EdCast furthers 'multiversity' concept with OEC partnership

  • Stanford StartX company EdCast, which recently raised $6 million in a series A round of funding, revealed its partnership with the Open Education Consortium.
  • The 300 new partners put the company and its learning platform that much closer to realizing the idea of the "multiversity," which CEO Karl Mehta told Education Dive could be the answer to disruption from forces like MOOCs.

CIOs detail what makes their job great

In an afternoon panel session, CIOs Michael Berman (Cal State Channel Islands), Raechelle Clemmons (St. Norbert College), Kyle Johnson (Chaminade University of Honolulu), Keith W. McIntosh (Ithaca College), and Melissa Woo (University of Oregon) made the case for why their job is the best on campus. Check out our recap for more details!

Education Dive/Roger Riddell

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Top image credit: Education Dive/Roger Riddell