the xplanation



Two LMS Roads Diverged in a Wood
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, the xplanationthe xplanation, 2011/07/19

Rob Reynolds gives us a nice account of the tension points in today's LMS market. To quote:
- Closed or Open
- Centripetal or Centrifugal Learning Models
- Instructor/Student or Institution
- Portal or Mobile
He writes, "The move toward mobile applications, social networking, and open architectures has certainly challenged the traditional LMS paradigm, and seems to favor upstart platforms like Instructure that have been designed from the ground up with these changes in mind." Today: Total:49 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Digital Textbooks Reaching the Tipping Point in the U.S. Higher Education - A Revised Five-Year Projection
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, The Xplanationthe xplanation, 2011/03/16

Good report from Rob Reynolds projecting dramatically increasing sales of digital textbooks. Though digital textbooks currently represent only 3 percent of the market (up from 1.5 percent the year before), "over the next 5 years, digital textbook sales in the United States will surpass 25% of combined new textbook sales for the Higher Education and Career Education markets. Moreover, we expect digital to be the dominant form factor in Higher Education textbooks inside of 7 years." Also worth noting at the end of the report is the observation that "Once e-textbook sales reach 13%, however, the financial model breaks down significantly as digital textbooks are no longer incremental and, instead, actually begin to cannibalize print sales deeply." This is the basis for a prediction that publisher revenues will begin to be increasingly derived from services. Today: Total:57 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Students Use of Facebook and YouTube: BOTW Jan 24-28
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, The Xplanationthe xplanation, 2011/01/28

Good short video from the Xplanation: "This week, students told us how they used various social media, in particular Facebook, to better themselves in the classroom. They also discussed the benefits of consulting YouTube for any questions they have." Today: Total:40 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Tablets Are the New Black for Digital Textbooks
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, the xplanationthe xplanation, 2011/01/05

Tablet computers are now running in the $300 - $1000 range and there's no reason to suppose they won't go lower in price. At a certain point, therefore, it makes sense just to sell students the tablet with the required texts and software preloaded. Make sure they update through the university WiFi system, and you can get away with giving one tablet per student for a full degree program. "Tablets will be treated by people as lifestyle devices, more like MP3 players and iPhones than computers." Great coverage and in-depth work by Rob Reynolds, who has been closely covering the e-textbook beat for months now. Today: Total:57 [Comment] [Direct Link]

News Consumption, RSS Readers, and New Business Models
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, the xplanationthe xplanation, 2010/09/15

You look at charts like these and you begin to think that if it weren't for the internet, people wouldn't read at all. That's maybe an exaggeration (though Harry Potter notwithstanding, one wonders how much of one). But it's certainly fair to say that, in the US at least, people would not be reading any news offline. The unfortunate part is that the number of people who actually read news is in a distinct minority, which means at that at the very least their news is punctuated with misleading political advertisements, and more probably, is itself a political advertisement.

Rob Reynolds writes, "I think George Siemens is correct when he says that "The cohesion or sociality that hold an online group together are far less explicit than I recall even a decade ago (Yahoo groups, or prior to that, online bulletin boards, the Well (I never joined)). The enabling structure of engagement is no longer the group or network. Instead, it's a tweet, or a single picture." It is precisely these social forces or influencers that have led to the stagnation or decline of many RSS reader services. Rather than sort through the news on their own, most are relying on tips from others via Twitter or Facebook." Of course, you know where these influencers are getting their tips, right? That's it - RSS readers. Today: Total:70 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Nine Important Trends in the Evolution of Digital Textbooks and E-learning Content
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, the xplanationthe xplanation, 2010/09/14

Nice summation from relentless resource gathering of important trends in e-textbooks and content. For one thing, textbooks are breaking apart. "The movement toward disaggregated content has been seriously afoot ever since iTunes appeared and we started talking about songs instead of albums." Additionally, we are moving gradually from plain content to applications. "Apps are big and going to become even more important. What we think of as a textbook today could very well become an app that serves as a simple framework for receiving mashed up or subscribed content." Today: Total:50 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Mobile Trends, E-books, and the Web
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, the xPlanationthe xplanation, 2010/08/20

Good brief analysis, with figures, on mobile learning. "The bottom line is that the mobile market continues to grow explosively, and along with it come the growth of certain activities. One old-school activity that remains popular is texting. The cost of a cell phone and SMS plan compared to that of a computer and a broadband connection has made texting extremely popular in developing countries, and unlimited messaging plans have made it the communication medium of choice for teens everywhere (beating face-to-face conversation and e-mail in popularity)." Today: Total:55 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Microsoft Office, Google Editions, and Educational Technology
Rob ReyboldsRob Reybolds, the xplanationthe xplanation,

We hear that if Facebook were a nation, it would be the third most populous on Earth. What we don't hear is that it would be less democratic, and more aggressively capitalist, than almost any nation on Earth. The default social surveillance setting would be used not only to generate revenue for its leaders, it would also be used to ferret out opposition and to stifle dissent (just like in the neighbouring dictatorship of Apple). I'm just saying... (anyhow, you don't want to miss this diagram of Facebook's privacy settings.) Today: Total:68 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Schooled: Relevancy is Key (Video)
Oliver SheltonOliver Shelton, the xplanationthe xplanation,

OK, just for the record, there is no such word as "relevancy" - the word is "relevance". That is all. Today: Total:70 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Weekly Research Index | April 23, 2010
Rob ReynoldsRob Reynolds, the xplanationthe xplanation,

If you're getting tired of OLDaily and want weekly research without the attitude, I recommend Xplana. Seriously, I have enjoyed Rob Reynolds's reports for a long time. He's also got a Daily. I tend to lean more toward commentary, while Reynolds tends to quote more at length from the articles. Today: Total:68 [Comment] [Direct Link]


(Still working on this)