The Educause Centre for Applied Research (ECAR) has recently published their “ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013” report.
The report summary has the following key points and recommendations:
- Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
- Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
- Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
- Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.
Wow, something must be going on … two posts on QR Codes in a week?
Yes, I am finally getting round to writing my semi-promised eBook on QR Codes and education / classroom technology … more on that score later, but if you’re interested in being involved or reviewing it, please let me know by email or message on Twitter.
Whilst browsing and writing up and expanding my previous thoughts, links, and resources I came across this (new?) QR Code generator, Visualead - http://www.visualead.com/. As you can see from below you can position the QR Code over all or only a part of the image you choose.
Naturally if you want to make the most of the full statistical analysis and support/reporting you’ll need to upgrade and pay then something, but the free version is a good start before you go further.
Will this make a difference in the use and popularity of QR Codes? I think not, but this kind of aesthetic approach to tidying up QR Codes might bring a few more advertisers and marketing agencies back to using them, which could have a positive impact on how educators (or more specifically students) view them.
Day two of the Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference started with this extremely useful insight into the roadmap Blackboard is taking with the ‘Learn’ product, as well as Blackboard’s own opinion on the conference theme: “Make Do or Spend?”.
Greg Ritter (@gritter), Director of Product Management with Blackboard Learn, showed Blackboards perspective on ‘the challenges ahead’ and on the conference theme, ‘Make Do or Spend?’. Greg showed us, and discussed:
- Blackboard Analytics [product]: extract student data, from both Blackboard and Institution student-records systems, for use in reporting to different stakeholders.
- Focus on fundamentals, 2010 to 2012:
Note: In this series I’ll delve into some of the better plugins available for WordPress that I am already using, or about to start using. I’m aiming to highlight 30 of my favourites.
You have a blog, and you use various different ways of publicising it (try WordTwit and WordBooker) automatically when you publish a new post. But what about getting your audience to share your content when they find it?
There are many plugins available that can help with this, I’ve used some in the past but the one I’m currently ‘liking’ is ShareThis:
“Increase your audience engagement with our innovative sharing tools … the plugin allows users to share your content through email and 50+ social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Pinterest. You can broadcast your message more easily and widely than ever before.”
Available from the WordPress plugin area through your blogs admin panel it’s easy to install and configure. You have the option on which of the major networks to have sharing to (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest) and, if you sign up for a free account on the ShareThis website you can store your ‘publisher key’ for analytics which you can browse and interrogate (I haven’t been able to get mine working properly, it doesn’t seem to like self-hosted WordPress blogs).
It’s important to note that this doesn’t capture the sharing of the post on the networks unless the click/link was generated on the blog itself. So, for example, a re-tweet on Twitter of your tweet from ShareThis does not increase the number shown on your blog.