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African Virtual University

-- resource from Tony Bates



International Networking for Educational Transformation (iNet) an international network of schools, organisations and individuals who are committed to transforming learning through innovation.


Related item:
Gatlin Launches Continuing-Education Site for Adult Learners -- original resource and quote below from Helge Scherlund
ELearning provider Gatlin International has launched a worldwide site offering continuing education for adults and certificate courses in a variety of subjects and languages. A pioneer in online education since 1993, Stephen Gatlin founded Gatlin International, which provides eLearning solutions through partnerships with top universities, corporations, and governments around the world.

Gatlin International


Excerpt from Online learning opens doors wider for students in tough economy:

Florida's state college system, including Broward, is uniquely poised to embrace a key component of the American Graduation Initiative — the "online skills laboratory."  Through the state's Orange Grove Digital Repository, Florida's colleges and universities already share flash animations, lessons, videos, open access textbooks, books, games, maps, pictures, graphs, lesson plans, professional development materials, courses, institutional research, and planning documents. Broward College has contributed to the Orange Grove since its inception.


SURF [In the Netherlands] the collaborative organisation for higher education institutions and research institutes aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT. SURF provides the foundation for the excellence of higher education and research in the Netherlands. Stichting SURF was founded in 1987 by the joint universities. At present SURF represents over sixty institutions (academic universities, universities of applied sciences, research centres and centres for documentary information services). SURF is also active in many international collaborative platforms such as JISC, TERENA and GLIF. SURF's Strategic Plan is the guide for its activities. The Strategic Plan covers several years and is formulated by the participating institutions. SURF consists of three organisations that each have their own field of activity: SURFfoundation, SURFnet and SURFdiensten.



...originally formed in 1982 as a group of telecommunications directors who gathered regularly for information sharing. In 1988, a special meeting of the approximately 15 members was held to discuss aggregating demand for telecommunication services. This gathering led to MiCTA's first RFP and endorsement in 1989. AT&T was endorsed as the long distance carrier, and through the agreement with MiCTA, AT&T was able to offer pricing which saved members, in some cases, up to 85% on their long distance charges!

Since that point, MiCTA has grown to be a national entity comprised of members from Higher Education, Healthcare, Libraries, K-12, Government bodies and other non-profit groups. MiCTA has continued to focus on quality service and products at outstanding prices for its membership in the areas of voice, data and video. The continuing growth of MiCTA offers greater volume to the membership as a whole, and vendors are responding with increasingly better offers every year!


Another example of pooling resources / establishing partnerships:

National LambaRail


Michigan Community College Association's Virtual Learning Collaborative

Shaping the Promise of Cloud Computing for Higher Education -- from Educause by Brad Wheeler and Shelton Waggener
Could the broad adoption of cloud computing be a critical multi-institution step toward Vest's meta-university? Vest noted: "The meta-university will enable, not replace, residential campuses, especially in wealthier regions. It will bring cost-efficiencies to institutions through the shared development of educational materials. It will be adaptive, not prescriptive."

Consortium Sourcing
The Consortium Sourcing model is a not-for-profit means of aggregating demand for above-campus IT services and then matching that demand with supply. A Consortium Sourcing model can then operate IT services itself through its own staff and systems or can choose to contract with an institution or a commercial provider. This model provides resiliency for sustaining aggregated demand and participant collaboration while varying the sourcing of operations as situations change over time.

For example, HathiTrust ( was created by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) as a shared digital repository for the institutional copy that resulted from the Google Book Project. By the time of the launch, the CIC was joined by the ten libraries of the University of California system, the California Digital Library, and the University of Virginia Library as co-founders. Each of the founding members was pursuing solutions independently when the consortium opportunity became clear; each institution had a very similar challenge, and developing a wholly unique solution would not offer any substantial benefit. HathiTrust was created with a series of lightweight contracts to the CIC to aggregate demand among its members, and then an operational agreement for HathiTrust was granted to the University of Michigan and Indiana University as the initial repository operators.

Similarly, ETUDES ( operates as a not-for-profit membership consortium among twenty-three California community colleges. Its provision of course management services is a closed or private SaaS offering for its members, and it contracts with commercial IaaS providers for servers. Internet2 provides another example of a consortium that has thrived for over a dozen years as a member-created entity that owns and operates millions of dollars of assets for higher education. It provides a form of IaaS cost efficiencies over independent efforts and also performs a function that could not have been accomplished without the consortium model to aggregate demand and then operate services for members.

Consortium Sourcing models can also evolve with the wishes of their members. For example, ETUDES was incubated at Foothill College with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the California Community College System. It now operates as an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit legal entity with board oversight selected from participating members. The Coeus Consortium has set its roadmap to operate as part of the Kuali Foundation (, as the MIT-based version of Coeus became the baseline design for a new open-source research administration system called Kuali Coeus (KC). Yale University created the Central Authentication Service (CAS) for single sign-on and ultimately migrated its community-development activities to the Jasig consortium (

To be fair, we should note that even the best-aligned and well-intended consortia have a rather checkered history in higher education. Some consortia have flourished, providing services over a sustained number of years, but other grand efforts have failed to achieve the original goals or have been turbulent at best. In recent years, however, higher education is demonstrating a growing capability to execute and provision services through relatively lightweight consortia governance. The availability of additional lightweight services via cloud offerings may lead to the creation of more Consortium Sourcing models.

Toward the Meta-University
The aspirations of Vest's meta-university can best be achieved over the longer term through the Consortium Sourcing model. This model aligns well with the collaborative, open values of higher education, it can selectively draw on the strengths of the Commercial Sourcing and Institutional Sourcing models when necessary, and it can provide an adaptive resiliency as the needs of members and the world evolve. There can be no single consortium for the myriad needs in higher education. Rather, the Consortium Sourcing model will provide a generalized template for like-minded interests to opt-in to efficiently aggregate demand and coordinate resources to serve the missions of research and education. This is already happening with faculty and students through many formal and informal affiliations. It is already happening with many forms of educational software and content and library resources. Above-campus models for IT services will enable institutions to further align with these trends.

The Commercial Sourcing model will rapidly evolve with refined IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS offers that are suited to many different industries. Individual institutions and aggregated demand via consortia should make skillful use of these large-scale, efficient commercial offers. Likewise, the Institutional Sourcing model will develop in time, as some institutions choose to expand expertise in a specific area and offer related services to partner schools.


Eight-state cyber consortium gets $2.7 million grant (page 9 of 31) -- from eCampusNews
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2.7 million grant to an eight state consortium of technology centers and community colleges that is working to block cyber attacks and stop the loss of high-tech jobs in the U.S.

Leading Education Organizations Announce Consortium for Transforming Low-Performing Schools from Within -- from B2E
Renaissance Learning and JBHM Education Group introduce program that builds school and district capacity to accelerate learning, provides alternative to charters and closures
JACKSON, Miss. – Nov. 4, 2009 – Amid growing pressure on public school districts to improve performance of chronically struggling schools, two nationally recognized education organizations have formed a consortium to offer a research-based approach for transforming  these schools into successful learning environments without requiring mass dismissals of staff, school closures or turnover to charters or outside management organizations. The new initiative, called SetPoint, pairs classroom technology with intensive coaching to build capacity for sustained change within the local district.
Renaissance Learning, the world’s leading provider of computer-based assessment technology for pre-K–12 schools, and JBHM Education Group, a team of noted specialists in changing low- performing schools, formed this new initiative based on decades of experience in thousands of schools around the country, and a belief that turning around chronically low-performing schools requires systemic change that touches all systems and personnel involved in the process, from classroom teachers to board members.

JBHM Education Group



Columbia and Cornell Libraries Announce 'Radical' Partnership -- from The Chronicle by Jennifer Howard


Consortium Pursues Online Learning for the Visually Impaired -- from The Journal by Scott Aronowitz
As pervasive as the Internet has become, there is one group of people that is still unable to realize many of its benefits. However, thanks to the work of CANnect, a consortium of schools and philanthropists dedicated to overcoming this obstacle, the visually impaired may soon acquire unprecedented access to the Web and much of its affiliated technology.

Working with a $50,000 grant awarded in November 2008 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, CANnect is pursuing three projects aimed at giving the visually impaired new opportunities for full access to Internet technology:




Technology and the Rise of the For-profit University -- from
Take for example the courses we are developing. They are problem-based, high-touch, interactive courses, Students are asked to solve problems from day one, long before they have the requisite knowledge. Why? As motivation. As goal-directed reading. As tools for understanding. Are these low-quality training courses? No, they are high quality courses, developed with our consortium universities: Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, CMU, London School of Economics [emphasis DSC].


Etudes a non-profit 501(c)(3), public charity organization that offers centralized hosting, support, site and account management, training and professional development opportunities to institutions and organizations that need a turn-key, fully-managed course management solution. As an Application Services Provider, Etudes supports over 125,000 student enrollments across 25 client institutions with its platform.


Enhancing learning through technology: A guide to resources provided by the Academy and JISC Collaboration Network -- JISC
This publication celebrates the work of the Higher Education Academy and JISC Collaboration Initiative from 2007–2009 and presents a summary of some of the resources for enhancing learning and teaching through technology that are provided by the organisations and agencies that make up the Collaboration Network.

The Collaboration Initiative has been a great success from JISC’s perspective. It has brought clarity to the sector that the two organisations are indeed working together to deliver technology advances to enhance to work of academics and students. Not least of its achievements is the comprehensive wealth of valuable resources in a number of important areas, gathered from a range of services and centres, that are described in this publication. Of equal significance, though, is the way that the Initiative has brought the two organisations themselves together in a confident partnership that will sustain into the future, to continue to deliver more value to the sector through such programmes as Open Educational Resources.


California District Rolls Out eLearning Platform District-wide -- from The Journal
Bakersfield City School District, Bakersfield, CA, announced that it has rolled out an eLearning platform, one that shares lesson plans and instructional strategies between 33 elementary schools, eight junior high schools, and one alternative school.

Related item:
Libraries of the Future -- from
NEW YORK CITY — The university library of the future will be sparsely staffed, highly decentralized, and have a physical plant consisting of little more than special collections and study areas.

That's what Daniel Greenstein, vice provost for academic planning and programs at the University of California System, told a room full of university librarians Wednesday at Baruch College of City University of New York, where the higher education technology group Ithaka held a meeting to discuss "sustainable scholarship."

“We're already starting to see a move on the part of university libraries... to outsource virtually all the services it has developed and maintained over the years,” Greenstein said. Now, with universities everywhere still ailing from last year's economic meltdown, administrators are more likely than ever to explore the dramatic restructuring of library operations.

Within the decade, he said, groups of universities will have shared print and digital repositories where they store books they no longer care to manage. “There are national discussions about how and to what extent we can begin to collaborate institutionally to share the cost of storing and managing books,” he said. “That trend should keeping continuing as capital funding is scarce, as space constraints are severe, especially on urban campuses — and, frankly, as funding needs to flow into other aspects of the academic program.”

Under such a system, individual university libraries would no longer have to curate their own archives in order to ensure the long-term viability of old texts, Greenstein said. “What is the proportion of a library budget that is just consumed by the care and cleaning of books?” he said. “It's not a small number.”


Related item -- way back from 1997 by Burck Smith at Harvard University, current founder of StraighterLine
A Management Plan to Integrate Site Based Distance Learning into the Institutions Comprising the Massachusetts Distance Education Consortium


Consortiums, Collaboration, Centralization ... Conflict? -- from
BOSTON -- There is strength in numbers, especially when the economy nosedives and the revenue you need to accomplish everything you want declines. So it's not surprising that a pair of sessions on cost-saving and other collaborations among colleges at this week's annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers attracted scores of interested chief financial officers and controllers.

It's also not surprising, given the way such meetings are constructed, that those leading the sessions painted a generally upbeat picture of what they'd accomplished through the consortiums, joint ventures and other collaborations among their institutions. Officials from two Massachusetts coalitions (the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and Five Colleges, Inc.) described a broad array of steps their member institutions had taken (sometimes all together, but frequently among smaller subgroups) to attack problems or pursue opportunities big and small, and administrators from two State University of New York colleges discussed several major joint initiatives that had saved money or improved efficiency for participating members of the massive 64-campus system.

But presenters at the two sessions did not pretend that multi-institutional collaboration always worked, or that it was necessarily easy...


Tenure in a Digital Era -- from
Among the "horror stories" Rosemary Feal has heard: Assistant professors who work in digital media and whose tenure review panels insist on evaluating them by printing out selected pages of their work. "It's like evaluating an Academy Award entry based on 20 film stills," said Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association. Such horror stories abound. Even as the use of electronic media has become common across fields for research and teaching, what is taken for granted among young scholars is still foreign to many of those who sit on tenure and promotion committees. In an effort to confront this problem, the MLA and a consortium called the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory have decided to find new ways to help departments evaluate the kinds of digital scholarship being produced today. The MLA ran a program for department chairs at last year's annual meeting in which chairs were given digital scholarship to evaluate, and that will take place again this year.

The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory



News Analysis: Online Education Grows, but Painfully -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Marc Parry
Evolve or dissolve. That advice, from a recent report on virtual universities, played out in two news stories this past week. The University of Texas’ online division is staring down a deep budget hole as it loses a longtime subsidy. And in Utah, budget cuts have killed a 10-campus online consortium.


The Funding of Academic Collaborations -- from WCET and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) August 2008
To leverage expertise and efficiencies in implementing educational technologies, higher education leaders often create centralized service organizations or interinstitutional partnerships. Defined as “academic collaborations,” these organizations foster interinstitutional partnerships that share resources to increase institutional capacity for, sharing of, and access to technology-mediated courses and programs. This paper surveyed academic collaborations to gain insight on effective models used to finance their activities.
Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy economic ride.
Academic collaboration appropriations in 2005-07 trailed growth in higher education spending. If they did not grow in good times, what will happen in bad times? Academic collaborations are successful when they: a) leverage efficiency and quality gains achieved through cooperation; b) adapt to an ever-changing environment; and c) are creative in harvesting available funding sources [emphasis DSC].

Colorado Community Colleges Online (CCCOnline) a consortium of 13 member institutions in the Colorado Community College System, plus Dawson Community College of Montana, Northwest Missouri State University, and Pickens Tech of Denver. Students can earn associate’s degrees in several disciplines, including agriculture business, business, building code enforcement, computer information systems, criminal justice, emergency management and planning, library technician, and occupational safety and heath. A variety of certificates are offered as well.

Unlike other academic collaborations, CCCOnline uses a centralized model. While most collaborations administer intermediary services and rely on institutions to provide the courses, CCCOnline provides all courses and content, acting as both the teaching institution and the academic collaboration’s central administrative unit.


Future of Talent Institute -- a consortium

The Future of Talent Institute is a consortium of organizations and
individuals who explore emerging issues in talent management, staffing,
recruiting, employee development, retention and leadership development.


IMS Global Learning Consortium

IMS Global Learning Consortium

The IMS Global Learning Consortium creates standards for the development and adoption of technologies that enable high-quality, accessible, and affordable learning experiences. IMS GLC is now enabling the next generation of Digital Learning Services, combining new forms of digital content, assessment, applications, and administrative services.

The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) is a global, nonprofit, member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in the education and corporate learning sectors worldwide. IMS GLC members provide leadership in shaping and growing the learning industry through community development of interoperability and adoption practice standards and recognition of the return on investment from learning and educational technology.

IMS Global is supported by over 135 organizations – the world’s leaders in educational and learning technology, including leading learning technology product suppliers and publishers, leading institutions of learning and training, and leading government and professional consortia. The breakdown of members is 58% leading corporations, 24% leading institutions of learning or school districts, and 18% consortia and/or government organizations. Currently, 47% of member organizations are headquartered outside the United States.

European Schoolnet


Related item: -- per their website:
Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET)’s EduTools provides independent reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and consulting services to assist decision-making in the e-learning community.

CMSCourse Management System – Compare reviews of the CMS products most commonly used in higher education and also used by many K-12 virtual schools
OCEPOnline Course Evaluation Project – Compare reviews of online college, Advanced Placement®, & high school courses as conducted by the Monterey Institute of Technology and Education • WCALO Reviews of AP® Courses
PROJECTSView the results of research projects • Learning object repository softwareStudent services productse-Learning PoliciesePortfolios

From DSC:
This site offers a nice filtering feature, whereby you can enter which features you want in a Course Management System and it gives you back a listing of those CMS's that meet those criteria. Example:

Related items:
The Digital Dakota Network (DDN) & the Iowa Communications Network

The Digital Dakota Network


The ICN the country’s premier fiber-optic network, committed to continued enhancement of distance learning and providing Iowans with convenient, equal access to education and government. The Network makes it possible for Iowans, physically separated by location, to interact in an efficient, creative, and cost-effective manner. Through partnerships with education, medicine, the judicial system, government agencies, and the National Guard, the Network brings live, full-motion video to 744 classrooms around Iowa, located in schools, National Guard armories, libraries, hospitals, and federal and state government offices. ICN services include video over IP, voice and high-speed data.




Art Education Australia
Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia
Australian Association for Environmental Education
Australian Association for the Teaching of English
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers
Australian Association of Special Education
Australian College of Educators
Australian Council for Computers in Education
Australian Council for Educational Leaders
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Australian Council of Deans of Education
Australian Council of TESOL Associations
Australian Curriculum Studies Association
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations
Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society& Envir.
Australian Geography Teachers Association
Australian Joint Council of Professional Teaching Associations
Australian Library and Information Association
Australian Literacy Educators’ AssociationAustralian Primary Principals Association
Australian School Library Association
Australian Science Teachers Association
Australian Secondary Principals’ Association
Australian Society for Music Education
Australian Special Education Principals’ Association
Australian Teacher Education Association
Business Educators Australasia
Catholic Secondary Principals Australia
Early Childhood Australia
History Teachers’ Association of Australia
Home Economics Institute of Australia
Middle Years of Schooling Association
Social Educators Association of Australia
VETnetwork Australia


The 2nd Global Higher Education Forum -- December 2009

The rapid development of regionalism has expanded not only beyond the issues of economic development and security of the region but has also progressed into regional integration of higher education. Regional blocs such as the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have devoted meaningful efforts to promote and sustain integration of higher education among member countries within the region. These integration efforts include standardising the qualifications, promoting higher education with regional identity...more >>

Association of African Universities (AAU)

Consortium for North American Higher Education Collabaration (CONAHEC)

National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN), Malaysia


A Global Liberal Arts Alliance -- from
WASHINGTON – The Global Liberal Arts Alliance formally launched last week, in effect meshing a regional consortium of liberal arts institutions with a new transnational one. Institutions represented in the alliance include the Great Lakes consortium members, located in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania and including the College of Wooster; Albion, Allegheny, Earlham, Hope, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Oberlin and Wabash Colleges; and Denison, DePauw, and Ohio Wesleyan Universities.

In addition to promoting faculty and staff exchange more broadly, the alliance will function in part as “a matching service,” said Dale Knobel, president of Denison. If an institution seeks assistance in starting a residence life program, for instance, it would tell the Great Lakes Colleges Association (as the administrator), which would match that institution with an appropriate collaborator.


Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK)

United States Distance Learning Association



Related posting:

What School Partnerships Look Like -- from Practical Theory by Chris Lehmann


Revolt Against Outsourced Courses -- from
Here's the pitch: "Can you really GO TO COLLEGE for LESS THAN the cost of your monthly CELL PHONE BILL? We can't say that this is true in ALL cases -- hey, you might have a GREAT cell phone plan. But maybe it's your cable bill, electric bill, or your GAS bill. ... The point we're trying to make is that taking general education, required college courses just became A LOT more affordable [emphasis DSC]."


How affordable? $99 for a course. And if you take the courses offered by StraighterLine -- in composition, economics, algebra, pre-calculus, and accounting -- you don't need to worry that the company isn't itself a college. StraighterLine has partnerships with five colleges that will award credit for the courses [emphasis DSC]. Three are for-profit institutions and one is a nontraditional state university for adult students. But one college among the five is more typical of the kinds of colleges most students attend. It is Fort Hays State University, an institution of 10,000 students in Kansas.

Also see my The Forthcoming Walmart of Education -- from Dec '08 page.

"I’m talking about the launch of StraighterLine, StraighterLine, an alliance between the largest online tutoring company (Smarthinking), one of the largest media/publishing companies (McGraw Hill), the largest learning management company (Blackboard), and a number of partner educational institutions." -- from CWerry


The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN)
TCPN is a national governmental purchasing cooperative able to leverage one of the largest pools of purchasing potential. We competitively bid and award contracts to national vendors, in accordance with purchasing procedures mandated by state procurement laws and regulations This means equal pricing for the smallest entity and the largest buyer. TCPN contracts are available for use by public and private schools, colleges and universities, cities, counties, non-profits and other governmental entities.


Teaching with games: a call for historical simulation colleagues -- from NITLE
A request for colleagues to work on a gaming and teaching project in the liberal arts:

Christian Spielvogel, an Associate Professor of Communication at Hope College, is applying for a FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education) dissemination grant to develop and implement up to ten Web-based, collaborative role-playing simulations and games for introductory and general education courses in higher education.

Christian is looking for a few authors who might be interested in joining the grant team to develop simulation content for subjects in which learning is well-suited to role-playing narratives rooted in complex systems, processes, or contexts, and can serve as an effective complement or alternative to traditional “top-down” resources and lectures.

Each simulation will be supported by the Serious Sims open-source software platform that Spielvogel and collaborators at Hope College created with financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.


Related item:

Ice Conference 2009

Related item:

Nextspace’s goal is to build a $1 billion visual communications industry in New Zealand which makes complex 3D data accessible, easy-to-use and interactive in a range of applications. Nextspace brings together companies, universities, research organisations, educators and government agencies; with Right Hemisphere’s unique visualisation and collaboration technology; and its own expertise to create an internationally competitive cluster. Based in Auckland, Nextspace also provides consulting, contract research, mentoring, software development services and an Innovation Centre with high-tech training and development facilities. It is the New Zealand reseller of Right Hemisphere software, and is owned by a not-for-profit trust.


The Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training (SAGSET)


Michigan Library Consortium

My thanks to Mr. David Burleigh for this link/information.


American Council on Education


Universities Pilot 'Tools as a Service' in Cloud Computing Initiative -- from, by David Nagel
Research institutions that are part of the Ontario Centres of Excellence have launched a "Tools as a Service" (TaaS) cloud computing pilot program with IBM in an effort to provide researchers, students, and faculty with access to business software and software development tools.



The Strategic Case for Online Learning: Access, Engagement and Success




Gems Education Network

GEMS Education manages a growing network of over 100 high quality international schools around the world.

GEMS believes that every child is unique and precious and that is why GEMS looks at learning from all facets and angles to help each child realise his or her potential. GEMS is committed to providing an education of the highest standard, an education that provides the skills, ethics and confidence that children need to grow into exceptional adults.

GEMS network of schools provides a unique brand of holistic education to over 85,000 students from 124 countries, employing over 6,500 education professionals, specialists and staff from over 50 nationalities. Supported by a network of eminent, international advisors in the field of education, GEMS global network of multi-skilled specialists and in-house experts provide invaluable support and guidance in all areas related to schools, delivering world class standards of education.



A new consortium, the European Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS), which “aims to become the leading source of expertise and experience in the realization of planning, implementation, and evaluation of programmes which adhere to the values of liberal learning.” Quote found here.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

The Association of American Universities (AAU)

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)

The National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC)


Related item:
At USA Together, our mission is to use the power of the Internet to help the men and women of the US military who have suffered life-altering injuries in service to their country. By publishing specific needs for goods, financial assistance and services, we hope to connect injured service members and their families with those who are willing and able to assist them.

USA Together -- let us help our veterans who gave a lot...let's give something back!

The Latest Online Match: Companies Can Hook Up With Universities on Tech Transfer -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Goldie Blumenstyk
Online sites where universities list their available technologies are nearly as old as the Internet, but a site unveiled here Thursday is expected to be about more than e-commerce. It's an attempt by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to foster collaboration among institutions, companies, and professors. The site, iBridge Network, introduced during the annual meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers, lets institutions share information about inventions and research tools developed by their faculty members. It also includes features that allow scientists or companies to sign up for alerts about new developments in certain fields. In some cases, they will be able to license rights to technologies listed on the site with the click of a button.

From DSC:
This is yet another example of how important it is to be connected -- to have your global network of colleagues, peers, and sources of information. It is also another example of the power of online exchanges and collaboration spaces.

iBridge -- linking ideas and innovation

Online Learning
-- from Around the Corner by Migual Guhlin
Online learning is critical to our future, both for adults and children in K-12. I'd like to see a series of courses that go beyond how to design online learning--although that is certainly essential--to how to best manage resources to facilitate and enable online learning. As an administrator growing his own program, what planning do I need to put in place to ensure success for learners in K-12 environment?

We also need a coordinated plan for sharing developed content, policies and procedures, and resources with each other to ensure that we're not reinventing the wheel a few thousand times in our respective school districts and learning environments.

Ran across this post the ASCD blog on Why All Teachers Need to Learn to Teach Online.

Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association of K-12 Online Learning, talks about technology innovations in the classroom and why it is important for every teacher to learn how to teach online. Hear Patrick discuss her upcoming ASCD Annual Conference presentation on "Why All Teachers Must Learn How to Teach Online." Session details are after the jump.


Global Associations and Consortia of Universities
From GlobalHigherEd blog


Columbia Interactive

My thanks to William Overbeek, in the T&L Digital Studio for this link

Cost Cutting Measures: What Can We Do?
-- from Michael Nanfito at NITLE; notes from a December 12, 2008 videoconference | organized by Carleton College

Campus leaders at Carleton College recently organized a videoconference event focused on cost-cutting. Institutional representatives of schools associated with the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC), the Oberlin Group, and NITLE were invited. Using the MIV rooms of several NITLE participating institutions, participants engaged in break-out discussions around seven topics:

* Exercises for Soliciting Cost-Cutting Ideas at Our Institutions
* Travel, Meetings, and Professional Development
* Software Licenses
* Deferred Maintenance (e.g., Hardware Replacement Cycles)
* Library Acquisitions
* Printing and Paper Consumption
* Energy Consumption

From the report: "Given the challenging economy, colleges and universities are working to contain costs. Since information technology organizations, libraries, and other curricular support units represent significant cost centers for colleges and universities, these groups have the potential to play important roles in cost-cutting efforts. On December 12, 2008, approximately 50 individuals from 29 institutions took part in a videoconference call designed to facilitate exchanges comparing cost-cutting measures currently employed and under consideration. The event focused on the larger question: 'What can we do to help our institutions cut costs in the near term?' The idea behind this call was to provide an occasion where colleagues could share and brainstorm specific cost-cutting strategies and recommendations."

Contact the organizers:

* Andrea Nixon, Director for Curricular and Research Support,
* Joel Cooper, Director of Information Technology Services,
* Sam Demas, College Librarian,

How did Carleton do it?
The organizers used NITLE e-mail lists to get word out about the videoconference. They also took advantage of NITLE's multipoint, interactive videoconferencing (MIV) service, which is available to all institutions and organizations in the NITLE Network. Their use of these tools demonstrates how, in certain cases, campuses can engage in necessary inter-institutional exchange and collaboration without incurring costs associated with travel.

* Subscribe to and use NITLE e-mail lists and web-based exchanges: ask questions, share ideas and information, and debate topics with colleagues across the NITLE Network. Or, announce events and issue invitations. NITLE's peer communities are also excellent places to brainstorm with colleagues. How-to modules and discussion forums that will help your institution make the most of MIV can be found in the MIV Community. See:

* Use your institution's MIV room. Carleton asked other institutions in the NITLE Network to contribute their rooms to the effort, enabling simultaneous break-out style discussions. Each institution's MIV room accommodates up to 10 users. Each user accesses the room via his/her desktop or laptop computer, using a webcam and headset. In the web-based room, participants can communicate and interact in multiple ways: audio, video, a shared whiteboard, group and private chat, and application-sharing.

Please also feel free to contact me ( if you have questions and ideas about using NITLE.


Free Video Resource with Lesson Plans and Standards Alignment for New York Educators -- from The Innovative Educator
VITAL NEW YORK is a new resource from Thirteen/WNET that innovative New York educators may be interested in learning more about. It is a FREE online library of digital multimedia resources for the K-12 classroom that features dynamic public television video and interactive content.



The Virtual School does not have a building or location.  It is an alliance of public distributed learning (DL) schools.  Forty-seven school districts with DL schools have agreed to be part of this alliance.  Each DL school is managed and run by the school district in which it is located. 



I suggest that an international consortium of universities should set up panels to
audit the worth of websites, endorsing those that are reliable.

-- Universities should flag up which websites to trust



NGA, NCSL, CCSSO and NASBE Release Accelerating the Agenda: Actions To Improve America’s High Schools -- link originally from The Heller Reports

The report represents the four organizations’ shared vision for the changes needed in today’s high schools and offers fresh ideas and new practices that show state leaders how to:

  • Restore Value to the High School Diploma by elevating academic standards and high school graduation requirements to a college- and career-ready level;
  • Redesign High Schools through alternative delivery mechanisms;
  • Ensure Excellent Teachers and Principals by connecting teacher preparation, hiring and evaluation to student outcomes and other factors;
  • Improve Accountability by aligning postsecondary expectations to high school expectations; and
  • Enhance Education Governance by bridging K-12 and postsecondary expectation gaps through P-16 councils.

Additionally, the report highlights emerging trends, such as greater appreciation for international benchmarking and an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education that have the capacity to improve student success in the global economy.

Targeted Programming for Campuses -- from NITLE
In the current economic climate, colleges and universities are pushing themselves to do more with less and to use their resources more strategically than ever to advance their missions. By focusing on specific institutional goals, your campus can leverage its participation with NITLE to make gains in efficiency, promote the effective use of digital technology on campus, and create opportunities for networking, collaboration, and cost-sharing. To take advantage of these targeted programming packages, please send an e-mail message with the name of the package to

  • Leverage the NITLE Network: Connect your campus with others in the Network for collaboration and shared problem-solving (9 program units/10 program-unit value)
  • Advance Your Institution (Instructional Technology Solutions): Build the expertise, effectiveness, and capacity of your instructional technology unit (13 program units/15 program-unit value)
  • Advance Your Institution (Information Services Solutions): Keep pace with evolving user needs and expectations while containing costs (13 program units/15 program-unit value)
  • Develop Your Mission Sustainably: Support campus innovators or promote specific initiatives with less impact on your institution's budget and the environment (two options at 13 or 25 program units/15 or 28 program-unit value)
  • Promote Digital Teaching across Campus: Invest in pedagogical innovation that uses digital technology to engage current and prospective students and helps them learn (two options at 54 or 58 program units/61 or 65 program-unit value)

Find out more at


Other innovative examples of pooling resources / online exchanges

TechShop is a 15,000 square-foot membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a creative and supportive community of like-minded people so you can build the things you have always wanted to make. You can think of TechShop as a health club but with tools and equipment instead of exercise equipment. It is sort of like a Kinko's for makers, or a Xerox PARC for the rest of us. TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of their skill level. TechShop is perfect for inventors, "makers", hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don't have the tools, space or skills.



Fab Lab

The Fab Lab program is part of the MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) which broadly explores how the content of information relates to its physical representation.

Fab Central



This is why I say consortiums must occur in the future -- if we want high-quality, engaging, multimedia-based content that is created by TEAMs of people:

From Sustaining supply of content for the digital education revolution (pdf, 328kB)
Two options are outlined for July 2009 -30 June 2012:

  • Option 1 - Pooled funding for a core national structure with a quota of high quality, digital multi-media curriculum content to be contributed by each jurisdiction.

    • Option 1.1 requires jurisdictions to contribute a total of $4.94 million per annum to cover the national structure, managed by The Le@rning Federation. They also contribute a quota of digital multi-media curriculum content copyright-cleared for the whole of Australia and New Zealand, or cash-in-lieu. The national structure supported by this option is minimal, covering standards, quality assurance, maintenance but not development of repository and tools, and no support for Contact Liaison Officers, travel or teacher networks. This option is valued at $13 600 000 per annum and produces 4000 items of content over three years.

    • In Option 1.2 jurisdictions contribute a total of $7.79 million per annum to cover the national structure, managed by The Le@rning Federation. They also contribute the same quota as they do in Option 1.1 of digital multi-media curriculum content copyright-cleared for the whole of Australia and New Zealand, or cash-in-lieu. The national structure supported under this option includes, over and above that provided by Option 1.1, further development of Scootle, Contact Liaison Officer salaries, some jurisdiction travel and teacher networks. This option is valued at $16 465 000 per annum and produces 4000 items of digital content over three years.

    • Options 1.1 and 1.2 dismantle varying amounts of the existing national structure. They rely on jurisdictions for much digital multi-media content The success of Option 1 depends on all jurisdictions committing to reallocating some internal funds to digital multi-media content development and sharing the resulting digital content nationally.

  • Option 2 - Shared National Digital Curriculum Content Supply

    • Option 2 continues the current arrangement of digital content development and procurement as a national collaboration for a further triennium, using the current model of collaborative development, procurement and distribution. It delivers everything delivered by Option 1.2 plus an additional 1000 items of content. This option costs $16 465 000 per annum and delivers 5000 items of digital content over 3 years.

    • Option 2 continues full national collaboration through pooled funds and procurement, copyright-licensing and curriculum-fit managed on Ministers’ behalf by the curriculum company they own. It maintains and develops the existing asset. It requires, however, continuity of commitment to the national in the face of local pressures, cultural, financial and political, to retain funds within states and territories.

    • Commitment by Ministers, whether to pool funds for specific digital content procurement/development or to reach internal targets for digital content which they then share, is necessary to achieve sustained revolutionary change, just as the original commitment to the vision of The Le@rning Federation necessitated unprecedented levels of specific national investment and collaboration.

  • Unless digital curriculum content becomes a mainstream component of curriculum content provision we do not have provision for digital education. Either we shift current local print resource budgets to digital content with formal sharing commitment (Option 1), or we continue a budget for national digital content procurement. (Option 2)

  • The Ministers’ investment in The Le@rning Federation is now poised to bear fruit in light of the Australian Government’s, A Digital Education Revolution policy. The digital content ‘roadway’ and first fleet of vehicles has been built. The key to sustainability of this national asset is the guarantee of an ongoing supply of content to travel on it - digital content that responds to the emerging needs of teachers and students in the implementation of new national curriculum requirements, learning challenges, and technological possibilities over the next decade and beyond.

  • The cost of any one of Option 1.1, Option 1.2 or Option 2 is a modest per annum investment but the benefits to generations of Australian students are of immense national and future importance.


Expensive! But worth it!


"Maintaining a supply of high quality, multi-media curriculum digital content requires public investment. This is the case in all countries. Although teachers, students and parents can find useful digital content from general Internet searches, there is not a ready supply of digital content designed with specific pedagogical purpose to meet specific curriculum outcomes so that learning is accelerated and maximised. An increasing and reasonable amount of curriculum-effective digital content can be brokered by Curriculum Corporation from cultural organisations, non-for-profits, other countries and public-obligation programs of commercial organisations. Expensive, development-intensive multi-media digital content, however, requires targetted supply-side public investment. The question is where that investment is best made – at a national level (as it has been for some time in Australia through The Le@rning Federation, literacy, boys’ education, civics and many other programs), at state levels (where investment in content has also traditionally been made) or, as in the USA, in substantial state and district funding for textbooks and other resources, or, as in the UK, to schools for purchase of nationally-subsidised digital content."

-- From Sustaining supply of content for the digital education revolution (pdf, 328kB)


La Salle University, Barcelona
La Salle was founded some 300 years ago and is an internationally recognized institution with over 60 universities in Europe, the United States, South America and Asia. La Salle Barcelona has a reputation for quality education in which the overall development of the individual combines with a disciplined academic programs.


Preparing Future Faculty Program -- another example of pooled resources

Taiwan Higher Ed Consortium Launches Free Online Course Initiative -- from, by Dian Schaffhauser
A consortium of colleges and universities in Taiwan has launched the "Open Course Ware Consortium," with the goal of sharing its resources with the public. The program is modeled after the OpenCourseWare Consortium originally developed by an MIT faculty committee wishing to share their course materials openly on the Web and now involving 200 institutions and organizations.

From DSC:
This article includes two very possible ways things could go in the next 5-15 years: the development of consortiums in order to pool the necessary resources to create high-quality educational content as well as the trend towards creating open source content.

How do we react to this? Should we, as a Christian College, participate and give content to this type of thing? What will this open content movement mean for colleges and universities? Consider Sears and the Extreme Home Makeover -- it has been a great thing for that company. (Not that Calvin is a Sears, but one gets the point.)

Open Courseware Consortium



The Redesign Alliance Third Annual Conference
The Rosen Centre | Orlando , Florida | March 22 - 24, 2009
Do you know that it is possible to reduce instructional costs while improving student learning? In partnership with more than 150 colleges and universities, the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) has shown how this is possible through large-scale course redesign. There is a way to deal with the budget constraints facing all of us without sacrificing the quality of our academic programs. The Redesign Alliance Third Annual Conference to be held March 22 - 24, 2009, in Orlando, FL, can show you how to do it. Participation in this conference is open to the higher education community. The final conference agenda is now available:

  • Presentations from more than 30 institutions that have fully implemented large-scale course redesigns, all of which improved student learning outcomes while generating cost savings.
  • Roundtable discussions with NCAT Redesign Scholars and 30 additional institutions that are in the midst of implementing course redesigns in disciplines as diverse as history, economics, developmental math, technical writing and physics about getting started and meeting implementation challenges.
  • A keynote address by Philip J. Parsons, director, Sasaki Strategies, on cost-effective learning space design.
  • Opportunities to interact with higher education's major publishers and technology companies whose products and services support course redesign.
  • Networking with 400 colleagues all of whom are finding ways to increase academic quality in difficult financial times.



Partnership of US Distance Learning Assocation with Nova Southeastern University/Fischler School of Education and Human Services

The American Distance Education Consortium
ADEC is a non-profit distance education consortium composed of approximately 65 state universities and land-grant colleges. The consortium was conceived and developed to promote the creation and provision of high quality, economical distance education programs and services to diverse audiences, by the land grant community of colleges and universities, through the most appropriate information technologies available.


Region 10 NovaNET© Consortium
The Region 10 Education Service Center NovaNET Consortium pricing allows Region 10 and Region 8 schools to purchase Internet-based NovaNET at a significantly discounted cost. See also The Forthcoming Walmart of Education.


The Higher Education Academy (UK)
Our vision is for students in UK higher education to enjoy the highest quality learning experience in the world. Our mission is to support the sector in providing the best possible learning experience for all students.

Our strategic aims are to:

1. Identify, develop and disseminate evidence-informed approaches
2. Broker and encourage the sharing of effective practice
3. Support universities and colleges in bringing about strategic change
4. Inform, influence and interpret policy
5. Raise the status of teaching

Also see their resources page and The Future of Higher Education Teaching and the Student Experience


Items from Clark Aldrich

From DSC:
Creating engaging, interactive, multimedia-based learning materials can be quite expensive -- but can be offered again, and again, and again. I post this item here because pooling resources is one way to achieve excellent results.


Study: More colleges turn to large IT vendors -- from
Well-known IT companies have catered to smaller colleges in recent years, numbers show


Librarians Want to Out-Google Google With a Better Search Engine -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Have you ever wished for a personal reference librarian, an information guru to point you to the most reliable sites whenever you search the Web? A new search-engine project aims to simulate something like that. The trick? Weighting search results so that librarians’ picks rise to the top.

Called Reference Extract, the project is being developed by the Online Computer Library Center and the information schools of Syracuse University and the University of Washington. OCLC is an international cooperative that shares resources among more than 69,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories [emphasis DSC]. A $100,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is covering planning costs.


The Knowledge Network Explorer -- link from Donna Murray
The original AT&T Education First Initiative helped connect California schools, libraries and community colleges via ISDN lines (integrated services digital network). These high speed networks are capable of carrying large amounts of text, voice, and video data over existing telephone lines. Today, numerous educational facilities are using or contemplating using videoconferencing over a variety of networks including the most common, ISDN or IP (Internet Protocol) networks.

This guide is designed to help teachers, librarians, and students use videoconferencing technology effectively. If you're new to videoconferencing, this site will provide the background you need to get started. Experienced videoconferencers will find ideas, strategies, resources, and checklists to help improve the quality of their videoconferencing. Please try searching our Videoconferencing Directory to determine who else has videoconferencing. Join our Collaboration Collage (aka ed1vidconf) listserv to see what they are doing with it!


From 3 Ways Web-Based Computing Will Change Colleges -- from the Chronicle of Higher Education, by Jeffrey Young

Reshaping IT Departments

Cloud computing is also leading colleges to band together to offer services (emphasis DSC). After all, because servers that run Web-based software can be anywhere, why not get together with a few other colleges to build a joint data center?

That is already happening in Virginia, where a consortium of more than a dozen colleges is building the Virginia Virtual Computing Lab (emphasis DSC). The system will let students or professors at the different institutions use their own computers to access specialized software, such as 3-D modeling programs. The idea is to bring the kind of programs usually found in college computer labs right to students wherever they are, and one day it might make old-fashioned computer labs obsolete.

The Virginia project is modeled on a system already up and running at North Carolina State University, and that virtual lab is being shared with two community colleges and the University of North Carolina system.

"Students can't really tell where it is since they're going over the Internet," says Henry E. Schaffer, coordinator of special IT projects and faculty collaboration at North Carolina State. "With a normal broadband connection, it just works."

Meanwhile, colleges will outsource some services that it makes more sense for a big consumer company to handle, like e-mail, saving the colleges money to go build the services that they can do better.


Also, there are human obstacles to collaborations like Virginia's virtual computer lab, so just because such projects make good sense doesn't mean that colleges will be able to pull them off if partners have conflicting ideas of how they should operate.

A new book by Educause that is scheduled to be released next week at the group's annual conference captures the mix of promise and confusion that cloud computing poses today. Called The Tower and the Cloud: Higher Education in the Age of Cloud Computing, it offers more than a dozen essays with predictions about the next stage of computing on campus. The book€™s introduction argues that a cloud is an apt metaphor for the shift ahead: Clouds get harder to see your way through as you walk into them.