Beginning this month, SmartBlog on Education in collaboration with eCampus News will bring you monthly point/counterpoint-style blog posts about top issues in higher education. We kick off the content series with two experts’ thoughts on open access and scholarly publishing.

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digital literacySmartBlog on Education is shining a light on education technology innovations during May, exploring the latest products and tools and the hottest trends in ed-tech. In this blog post, we learn how education leader Fred Ende uses Voxer.

I’m sorry. I just can’t stop talking about how much I love Voxer.

Seriously, have I mentioned Voxer and how much I love using it?

I was first introduced to Voxer last spring, and at first, I thought of it as a handy Walkie-Talkie tool. It was easy to use, and it fit a need I had with my current phone (plus it was free), so I figured, why not?

But, it wasn’t until late summer, when a number of my colleagues and I found ourselves in a large Voxer group that the tool’s incredible worth became clear to me.

For those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience Voxer : Check it out. (read more…)

Pedagogical innovation and support has been a much discussed topic in academia, especially at this juncture, where an increasing number of universities are discussing what the university of the future should look like. The urgency of the world’s post-secondary education needs is moving faster than universities can keep up, and hence, new models of diverse scholarship not only have to be piloted, but also modeled for mainline pedagogy and scholarship.

Academic culture that endorses and supports an open and free exchange of information, ideas, and output has the potential to not just increase research, but transform the scholarship that is an outcome of that research. Open access, which provides unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed research, has been touted as a model that will reform the scholarly publications of the world, or at least of our country, since 2002[1].

Yet, despite this grassroots movement to promote open access by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) to build unprecedented opportunities to create an open access environment, promotion and tenure committees have been slow to adopt (if at all) the output of scholarship in open access models over the traditional monograph publishing. (read more…)

The assessment of scholarly writing has traditionally been outsourced by institutions of higher education to revenue-driven publishers.

The central idea was that if a publisher judged a work to be good enough to help meet their financial goals, it was publishable and creditable. The prestige of the publisher determined just how creditable its assessment was. Thus, scarcity was assured and scholarly publishing sustained itself for a great many years.

Publishers took on the substantial capital investments involved in publishing on paper: editorial and marketing staff, paper, ink, printing operations, warehousing and transportation. However, those publishers also received content and peer-review services at little or no cost owing to institutions crediting those activities toward faculty promotion and tenure. In return, higher education was provided with very sophisticated assessments of faculty scholarship at next to no cost.

Faculty were provided with the opportunity to have their scholarly work validated in ways that would enhance their prospects for promotion and tenure. (read more…)

digital literacySmartBlog on Education will shine a light on education technology innovations during the month of May, exploring the latest products and tools and the hottest trends in ed-tech. ASCD Emerging Leader Natalie McCutchen kicks off our coverage this month with a look at mobile tech in the middle-school math classroom.

Teaching provides the opportunity to take students on a daily adventure, exposing them to new learning in a variety of ways. Teaching with technology kicks this learning into overdrive where students can take more ownership of their learning and where they can discover new and different ways of learning.

Technology adds a great value to the educational experience, putting the world at the fingertips of students allowing to explore content in a whole new way. Some of the benefits of technology include students are more focused, students have more fun learning, students are more connected with learning, students are more engaged, students can learn at their own pace, and students learn essential 21st century skills. (read more…)