Wednesday at Educause: Leadership, Watson, and social CIOs
While the vendor announcements coming out of Educause 2014 slowed down on Wednesday, there was still plenty to see at higher ed IT's largest gathering. Among them: The "Design the Digital Future" wall, which featured visualizations of attendees ideas for what the future of higher ed will look like. The organization has uploaded several photos of the wall to Flickr.
Doris Kearns Goodwin offers presidential leadership advice
In a Wednesday keynote, Pulitzer prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin offered leadership takeaways from America's greatest presidents. Though Education Dive missed the session, attendees were overheard praising the speech throughout the day.
Per the University of Sheffield's director of corporate information and computing services, Dr. Christine Sexton, key traits covered included taking criticism with grace, surrounding yourself with trustworthy people who will question you, admitting to and learning from mistakes, utilizing language and stories everyone can understand (certainly a must in the jargon-filled world of IT), and knowing when and how to relax.
Results of the 2014 Campus Computing Survey unveiled
- Campus Computing Project founder Kenneth C. Green detailed the results of the organization's 2014 National Survey of Computing and Information Technology in U.S. Higher Education in a Wednesday session.
- This year's edition of the survey found campuses continuing to face obstacles in providing support services and IT training to students and faculty, as well as accessible digital resources for disabled students. Additionally, concerns about cloud security persist, and the percentage of IT officers who see MOOCs as a viable online instruction model is on the wane.
- The Campus Computing study was launched in 1990 and is the largest of its kind in U.S. higher education.
IBM's Watson and the future of adaptive learning
In an afternoon panel, executives from IBM, along with DeakingDigital CEO Allyn Radford, discussed what cognitive computing technologies mean for higher ed and how that tech might shape everything from analytics and data visualization to natural language processing. If you're not familiar with cognitive computing tech, it's essentially what powers IBM's "Watson," the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer that is being utilized in healthcare.
Vital Source and Metrodigi join forces on interactive content solution for publishers
- Ingram Content Group's digital textbook solution, Vital Source Technologies Inc., on Wednesday announced a partnership with cloud-based content creation software firm Metrodigi.
- The two companies will build a digital products toolkit for publishers that will help make developing interactive, visual course materials more affordable.
- Materials produced via the solution will be distributed via the VitalSource Bookshelf eReader.
Difference Engine presentation promotes personalization
- A release issued Wednesday by Difference Engine highlighted its presentation, The Elements of Personalization: A Periodic Table of Competency-Based Learning.
- Among its promoted features: Curriculum mapping, courseware authoring, adaptive learning and assessment, competency credentials and portfolios, social collaboration, and analytics.
- Additionally, the company highlighted the platform's modular, mobile-first design, which also keeps integration with other platforms in mind, as well as its cloud-based implementation.
The pros and cons of the social CIO
In a panel conversation that closed the day, CIOs A. Michael Berman, Raechelle Clemmons, Melody Childs, and John Suess discussed the risks and rewards for CIOs who are active on social media. It should be noted that the panel was split, with two extremely active tweeters (Berman and Clemmons) and two who don't maintain a visible Twitter presence at all. Attendees in Orlando and viewing remotely via live stream were encouraged to participate in several real-time surveys powered by Poll Everywhere, as well as on Twitter using the hashtag #edu14socialcio.
Keep an eye on Education Dive for all of the details, including tips shared on how to best leverage Twitter, as we round out our Educause coverage over the next few days.
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