Academic Technology Links for June 7, 2013


The links this week include a reference for open source licenses, a new online course platform, MOOC student retention and the notion of “open” courses, and the (sometimes) rocky relationships between IT and higher ed. Enjoy!

  • tl;drLegal is a handy reference to open source licenses (like Creative Commons or GNU or Apache) in plain English. (tl;dr = “too long; didn’t read”)
  • Almost as quickly Stanford announced the release of its open-source online course platform Class2Go last fall, it announced its collaboration with MOOC provider edX to merge Class2Go with edX’s platform this past spring. Class2Go is in “maintenance mode,” but the new, merged platform is now available: edX Code.
  • Why Be Surprised About MOOC Retention? — As it turns out, only about 10% of students finish the MOOCs that they start. MOOC providers are apparently surprised at this, but the author of this post explains some of the novel ways that students in these courses use them, other than for certification purposes.  “MOOCs are ‘Open,'” the author suggests, “in ways their providers didn’t anticipate.” A fascinating read about the notion of openness in these “open” online courses.
  • Geeks and Non-Geeks: From Contraxioms to Collaboration in Higher Education — this post is about the often disjointed relationship between colleges and universities and their IT departments.  Authors Paul Glen and Maria McManus say, “No one knows exactly what the colleges and universities of the future will look like. But we only need to consider other industries—like publishing, music, and retail shopping—to be reminded that we all—faculty, researchers, administrators, and technologists—urgently need to pull together to formulate a successful response to this changing landscape. Still, if this is so important, and everyone knows it, why aren’t IT departments, the home base in higher education for those who specialize in the application of technology, more central to the conversation?”
About Kim Mann

Kim Mann is the editor and a writer for the Academic Technology Blog. She earned her BA in English from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and her MA in American Studies from William & Mary in 2009, and her PhD in American Studies at the College in 2014. Her research is on technology, the interface, and the body in mid-twentieth century science fiction.