Colin Simpson’s ed tech reads of the week

Academic Writing Analytics (AWA) Project from UTS Connected Intelligence Centre

As student cohorts and lecturer workloads get larger, automating feedback on student writing has become increasingly desirable in education technology. Tools to support the basics of writing in terms of grammar and structure are relatively commonplace now but identifying and commenting on critical/analytical thinking and reflection is understandably more complex. The UTS AcaWriter application, developed by their Connected Intelligence Centre in conjunction with the Institute for Interactive Media & Learning and the Higher Education Language Presentation Support unit seems promising in this space. While this is only available to UTS staff and students, there is an open demo site and this open-source software is also on GitHub.


99 Tips for Faculty Development in End Times from Karen Costa (Medium)

Academic Development units (or Faculty Development as they prefer in the US) are generally centrally based teams that provide pedagogical advice and workshops. Karen Costa is a Fac dev from the US with many interesting ideas about this area of work, particularly in a time of great change fatigue. She shares three key ideas for shaking up the way these units operate that are well worth the time.


The rise and fall of Ed Tech Startups from @EduCelebrity (Twitter)

This highly tongue in cheek and somewhat jaded take on the education technology life cycle from Twitterer @EduCelebrity nonetheless makes some insightful observations about technology, edupreneurs and well-meaning investors moving into the education space.


VideoSticker – video note taking system from International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2022

The richness of video as a medium for sharing concepts and information is unquestionable but it does present challenges for learners when it comes to transferring these to their own class notes. This paper from Cao et al, due to be presented at the upcoming Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces conference in Helsinki proposes a tool that allows students to easily create and manipulate “stickers” – essentially screenshots of components and text in the video – and incorporate them into their notes. There is also a handy video explainer on YouTube.


Heygo – virtual tourism

Sticking with video, while international borders are opening, it will still be a while before we return to any kind of “normalcy” with travel. Heygo lets you join enthusiastic locals around the world as they live-stream guided tours in their regions. It’s a fascinating way to find very niche spots that you might never have otherwise stumbled upon.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. He is also one of the leaders of the TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner