Colin Simpson’s Ed TECH reads of the week

This week’s must-reads in education technology

How Dx Powers the Post-Pandemic Institution from Educause

We started with UX (User Experience), moved on to LX (Learner Experience), and now the ed tech world is talking about Dx, which appears to stand for Digital Transformation. (Don’t ask me why). Meaningful change to learning and teaching involving technology requires an approach encompassing technology, pedagogy and institutional culture. In the absence of a large body of academic research or models relating to how these kinds of educational change projects work at scale, a lot of these kinds of projects lean on generic IT project management strategies. This post from Educause, and the rich resources that it links to, presents discussion and frameworks for undertaking Dx specifically in educational institutions.

Why captions are everywhere on TikTok: ‘Glasses for your ears’ from Los Angeles Times

With some reports indicating that people now spend more time watching videos on TikTok than YouTube, it’s worth keeping an eye on the ways that the format of video content on this platform is evolving. This article from the LA Times dives into the widespread use of text captions – both automatically and manually generated – to augment video content on TikTok for all users, for a variety of reasons. While educational institutions still largely use captioning for accessibility, and research findings about the impact of them on learning is mixed, the fact that it is becoming commonplace for people to turn captions on for Netflix as we multitask while viewing shows suggests that more thought needs to be given to text in videos in education.

Why are hyperlinks blue? From dist://ed Mozilla blog

While they aren’t always blue and underlined, the default setting for a link to another page in HTML is resolutely underlined blue. In our years on-line, we have doubtless seen tens or hundreds of thousands of these links and seldom given this a thought – it is simply a convention of the web. This deep dive from the people at Mozilla (creators of the Firefox browser) travels back to the origins of hyperlinks in the 1960s and traces the design decisions that led us to this convention.

An OPM Debate: 11 Colleagues in 32 Tweets from Inside Higher Ed

On-line Programme Management (OPM) is a rapidly expanding sector in Higher Education that is not widely discussed. In a nutshell, they are businesses outsourced by institutions to provide services including learning design, course building and student recruitment, support and administration, among others, in the on-line course space. In Australia, this includes Kaplan, Keypath and OES. I recently came across this post from 2019 that summarises a Twitter discussion about OPMs between executives and academics in the US that still has some relevance. It crosses a range of issues including HE values, where innovation comes from, who pays for risk and how academia and industry see each other.

Stem Mixer from Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is a big-name Melbourne indie-music darling with a new record coming out. She’s done something interesting to promote this, putting up a virtual mixing desk allowing fans to play with a new song (or an old one) by isolating different instruments, looping sections, and raising and lowering levels. Tools like this are great for teaching people how audio production works and creating opportunities to play while doing so.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner