More Reading (June 20 selection)

Happy Monday. Here are some more readings on EdTech, PSE and general tech with a possible impact on education. Enjoy!


EdTech Stories

Counseling in 140 Characters: Engagement with diverse students requires that faculty and staff members develop new social-media strategies to reach students
by Alfreda James. June 13, 2016

Why EdTech Is A Good, But Not Great, Business
by Joshua Kim  April 24, 2016

Teaching and Learning Technologies: “Blending personal with digital: the quest for the perfect teaching and learning environment”
CUCCIO News Summary (no date)

How Academics and Researchers Can Get More Out of Social Media
by Lina Duque, June 08, 2016


PSE Stories

Copyright-free material edging out Canadian educational texts: Plunging educational book sales like ‘falling off a cliff’
by Nigel Hunt, June 19, 2016

YouTube Space Toronto opens at George Brown
(Press release: April 26, 2016)

Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management
Government of Canada. June 15, 2016

This chart tells a fascinating story about higher education
by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel June 8, 2016

Nunavut not yet ready for its own university: Quassa Study suggests partnering with established university
NUNATSIAQ NEWS – June 9, 2016

George Brown finalizes $2.73M payout for students misled by course summary: International students paid $11K in tuition expecting to earn professional designations
by Laura Fraser, June 18, 2016

Are universities preparing students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
by Selina Chignall April 27, 2016

Canada 150: U of T prepares to mark a big birthday
UofT News. June 3, 2016


General Tech (with possible impact on ed) stories

Why Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion, in one word: Cortana – Know everything about your business contact before you even walk into the room.
by Mark Hachman. June 13, 2016

Creepy startup will help landlords, employers and online dates strip-mine intimate data from your Facebook page
by Caitlin Dewey, June 9, 2016


Posted in Reading, Readings

This week’s readings

A few more items you may find interesting:

Online Education: A Catalyst for Higher Education Reforms (April, 2016)
Karen E. Willcox, Sanjay Sarma, Philip H. Lippel, MIT

Ignore Edtech at Your Peril
(June 6, 2016)
Jonathan Rees, Colorado State University – Pueblo

How Ten Key Developments Are Shaping The Future of Technology-Enable Learning

Kivuto and CICan Launch Partnership to Help Colleges and Institutes Go Digital
Posted in Reading, Readings

Work Study

The University’s annual Work Study Program is now accepting applications from faculty and staff to create jobs for students for the coming 2016-2017 academic year:

We often hear about interesting course or curriculum projects that just need a little bit of extra help – so why not consider hiring a UofT student to help out – it’s good for you, and good for them 🙂

ACT does not run the program (although we’ve definitely benefited from hiring students in the past) – if you have questions that can’t be answered from their website, you can also write to directly.

Please feel free to let others know.

Posted in Funding, News, Resources, Strategies


As many of you know, the University of Toronto has been going through an extensive process we’ve been calling our ‘Academic Toolbox Renewal.’ As part of that process, we recently posted an RFP for a ‘Learning Management Engine’ – which is our attempt to actualize the theoretical model defined in Brown, Dehoney and Millichap’s seminal ’The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment’ report.

Many people have asked us for our RFP documents, as they are going through similar processes at their schools.

Now that the RFP submission phase is complete (we still have lots of work to do, but), we are happy to make the document available:

We hope you find it interesting, and maybe useful.

No matter what, we are happy to receive feedback.

Posted in Feedback, Renewal, Teaching Toolkit, The Future

Interesting Reading

More interesting reads that have crossed my desk:

Mobile Strategy at SFU

Canadian Universities and our Digital Future: A workshop by Universities Canada. Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2015, Vancouver

A New Architecture for Learning by Rob Abel, Malcolm Brown and John J. Suess. Monday, October 7, 2013.

Technology in Higher Education: Guiding Aspiring Leaders

Posted in Reading, Readings

O365 Clutter changes

From: Luke Sutherland
Academic & Collaborative Technology – Operations Group

It has come to our attention that a feature of the O365 mailbox (Clutter:  has been flagging some internal messages sent by the University as ‘clutter’. This means the message bypasses the inbox and is deposited in the “Clutter” folder. The tool is adaptive based on user activity and therefore customized to each user. Details of the algorithm are not known.

To prevent this we are putting some changes into production on the morning of June 2, 2016 (Thursday). Consultations with peer institutions suggest no appreciable impact on mail delivery performance from these changes.

If you have technical questions about this change specifically please contact

Posted in Technical Issues

UofT News RSS Feed Change

If you’re using an RSS feed of U of T News top stories on your website please note the link has changed with the launch of the new site. The new RSS link to top stories is:

– From S. Green, Director, Online Communications,
Digital Creative Services, University of Toronto Communications

Posted in News, Web-CMS

Interesting Reading

Here are some more interesting reads that have crossed my desk. I certainly don’t agree with all the opinions, but it’s good to understand different perspectives:


Why Audrey Watters Thinks Tech Is a Trojan Horse Set to ‘Dismantle’ the Academy By Jeffrey R. Young May 18, 2016

Innovation in Learning Spaces: How We Are Reinventing the Classroom
May 16, 2016 – by Mark Robbins

6 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Faculty and IT – Finding your own “unicorn” and other ways to create healthier relationships between academia and the IT department. By Michael Hart 03/10/16

What’s Really to Blame for the Failures of Our Learning-Management Systems
By Michael Feldstein March 08, 2016

Advancing Technology and Online Learning – An Ideal Match for the Future
TeachOnline Blog

Gamification, personalization and continued education are trending in edtech
Posted Apr 8, 2016 by Sean O’Connor

Technology and the Imminent Disruption of Higher Education: Is Fear the Path to the Dark Side? by David Wheeler

Tyler Cowen Says Online Professors Should Think Like Bloggers
By Jeffrey R. Young April 12, 2016

Scholars wary of technology ‘over-promising and under-delivering’-
McGraw-Hill Education chief executive says companies must work to allay ‘legitimate concerns’ of higher education staff April 14, 2016  By Chris Havergal

Only 1 in 5 Students Obtain All Learning Materials Legally  – A new study on student piracy makes a convincing case for open educational resources in higher education. By Sri Ravipati 04/13/16

Posted in Reading, Readings

“Integrate” service launches

For the past few years, UofT has been working towards a new model of deploying educational technologies, and the ‘new idea’ recommendation service called Integrate allows instructors, students and staff to suggest ideas, and then allows other members of the community to show their support for those ideas by casting a ‘like vote.’

Read more about it here:

and visit the Integrate site here:

Posted in News, Portal, Projects, Renewal, Standards, Teaching Toolkit, The Future

Prof. Melody Neumann wins IMS Global App Challenge

A big congratulations to Melody Neumann, Associate Professor at University of Toronto, who has won the IMS Global 3rd Annual App Challenge in the Institutional App category for the online tool Team Up!.

Team Up! started as a tool for synchronous online group work that enables groups of students to work on problem sets remotely in real time. The tool can be used in any discipline and was designed to facilitate good group dynamics during synchronous online group work, as well as provide a mechanism for peer teaching, immediate feedback, and part marks for approximate answers.

Read more about Melody’s award here:

Posted in Uncategorized