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Episode 98: Former Berkeley Researcher Champions ‘Educational Badges’


Erin Knight now leads the Open Badges Project that lets anyone issue an online stamp certifying that a student has mastered a skill or concept. She tells the Tech Therapy team about how she went from leading a center for next generation teaching at the University of California at Berkeley to joining an upstart effort to transform assessment through the idea of online badges.

Links discussed in this episode:  Open Badges Project Web site

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Encore Episode: A Pioneer of Free Online Courses Explains Their Promise

George Siemens

George Siemens, who leads Athabasca University’s Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute, makes the case for why colleges should experiment with inviting tens of thousands of students to participate in their courses free online. Since the Tech Therapy team conducted the interview last year, the model has caught on with many well-known universities.

Links discussed in this episode: Stanford U. Offers Free Online Course in Artificial Intelligence | After Leadership Crisis Fueled by Dist…

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Episode 97: Campus Leaders Drink Big Gulps of Technology

Jack Suess and Freeman Hrabowski

College leaders just keep demanding more out of their technology. And that’s created challenges not just for presidents, but for CIO’s: How do you ward off information overload? What about those rising tech bills?

The Tech Therapy team talks to the president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Freeman Hrabowski III (right), and the CIO there, Jack J. Suess (left), to find out how they’re coping.

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Each mo…

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Episode 96: Why the Man With the Open-Source Tattoo Now Works for Blackboard

Chuck Severance

Charles Severance helped start Sakai, an open-source alternative to Blackboard’s course-management software. In a surprising move, Blackboard hired Mr. Severance this Spring to lead its bid to support the open-source software. The Tech Therapy team talks to this open-source pioneer about how it happened and the future of open source in higher education.

Links discussed in this episode:  Blackboard Buys 2 Leading Supporters of Open-Source Competitor Moodle

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Episode 95: ‘Learning Analytics’ Could Lead to ‘Wal-Martification’ of College

Gardner Campbell

A number of experiments are using new kinds of data – such as how many times a student has clicked on an e-textbook or logged in to a class Web page – to measure and guide learning in new ways. That could improve the student experience, but it could also end up dumbing down college, argues Gardner Campbell, director of professional development and innovative initiatives at Virginia Tech.

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Each month, The Chronicle’s

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Episode 94: Creating Custom ‘Apps’ for Teaching

Kyle Bowen

Purdue University is working with professors to build quick-hit software programs to help meet particular needs of, say, a forensics professor or an instructor teaching sign language. The Tech Therapy team talked with Kyle D. Bowen, Purdue’s director of informatics, who argues that colleges should build their own educational software rather than relying on companies to produce it.

Download this recording as an MP3 file, or subscribe to Tech Therapy on iTunes.

Each month, The Chronicle’s Tech Th…

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Episode 93: The Battle Against Bad PowerPoint

Jose A. Bowen

Everyone’s heard horror stories about professors who lecture by reading straight from prepared slides. Jose A. Bowen, a dean at Southern Methodist University, hopes to put an end to such disasters. He talks to the Tech Therapy team about his new book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning.

Links discussed in this episode: The Chronicle’s ‘Lecture Fail?’ Project

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Episode 92: Sex and Technology on Campus—The Risks and Rewards

The social norms around courtship and sex are changing rapidly at colleges, and administrators shouldn’t “bury their heads in the sand” when it comes to student behavior, argues Brian Mustanski, an associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University. The Tech Therapy team explores the challenges posed by student sexting and other behaviors, as well as the educational opportunities of sharing sexual-health information online.

Links discussed in this episode: Kinsey Confiden…

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Episode 91: Students Want Colleges to Go Mobile Now, Even if Services Aren’t Perfect

The biggest challenge colleges face when designing new mobile services is a tendency to overplan, argues Cindy Bixler, chief information officer of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The Tech Therapy team explores the challenges colleges face as the number of students and professors carrying smartphones and tablets grows.

Download this recording as an MP3 file, or subscribe to Tech Therapy on iTunes.

Each month, The Chronicle’s Tech Therapy podcast offers analysis of and advice on what the l…

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Episode 90: Growing Pains for ‘Clickers’

Classroom response systems, or “clickers,” have been around for years, but only a small percentage of classes use them. Competing and incompatible brands, faculty reluctance to try new technologies, and confusion about which campus group should provide support for the devices all contribute to a slow adoption, says Derek Bruff, director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching and author of Teaching With Classroom Response Systems. The Tech Therapy team looks at how those gadgets can be s…