Tag Archives: guest blog

Technology Adoption – Tips and Ideas to Make it Happen #FutureEdTech

Guest Blog with Blackboard

Institutions recognise how new technology can enhance the learning and teaching experience for staff and students. Increasingly they are looking to technology to support them in achieving their strategic goals such as:

  • Improving the quality of the student experience and positively impacting student performance, satisfaction and retention
  • Responding to the rising expectations and the increasingly diverse support needs of the student population
  • Extending institutional reach and developing new markets through flexible delivery
  • Reducing administration burden on academic staff by improving efficiency and effectiveness of academic administrative processes
  • Enhancing student employability and digital literacy skills through exposure to discipline- specific software, resources and online practice

However, at Blackboard we know that there are obstacles to the adoption of technology that institutions must overcome. Change of any kind is daunting, particularly when dealing with long-established methods and systems.

That’s why we have prepared a small book that shows how to make it happen, suggesting practical tips, ideas, resources and real-life examples. We’ve built the story around six key characteristics required of a successful adoption project:

  1. Leadership from the top
  2. Institutional commitment and investment
  3. Robust and reliable infrastructure
  4. Effective and available support for academic staff
  5. Ability to demonstrate the benefits to the student and staff experience
  6. Evidence-based decision-making and a continuous cycle of improvement

Come visit us at Future Edtech 2015 to sign up for your free copy!

Or visit www.blackboard.com for more information.

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Want to find out more about our views on the future of Edtech? Blackboard International’s Senior Director of Industry Management, Dr Demetra Katsifli will be taking part in the Industry Leaders Panel Discussion: Supporting Student Experience and Success in the 21st Centurylive at Future Edtech at 10am on 2nd June.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE PASS HERE.

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The true cost of corporate IT

Guest post by Ian Whiting, Director of Interactive Services at Saggezza

Saggezza-IanWhiting (1)When it comes to making customer-facing systems faster, easier to use and more attractive, there’s always budget available. That’s because a bad customer experience means lost sales and lost revenues – anathema for the senior management team.

But while the user experience for customer-facing apps is constantly under scrutiny, many businesses still overlook the high costs of corporate systems that fail to provide a good user experience.

There’s the cost, for example, of answering a customer query too slowly and losing their business to a competitor. The cost of making a critical decision based on outdated or incomplete information. Or, with information held in multiple systems, the cost of tracking an order or pulling together a report , which – time after time – is needlessly high.

To maximize productivity and lower operating costs, your people need to be able to access the information they need easily, and complete common tasks much more quickly. The question is how.

It’s often assumed that improving the user experience of corporate systems is not an option – neither in budget terms, nor in the sheer practicality of tweaking those complex interfaces and processes to make a user’s life easier.

At Saggezza, we disagree. We believe that it’s not only possible to transform the experience of working with corporate systems, but commercially imperative.

Consider this: a retailer was spending hours tracking and resolving logistics issues. Users had to wrestle with multiple systems to pinpoint problems such as short deliveries. It took even longer to rectify them. The result: frustrated customers, frustrated users.

We worked with the retailer to transform the experience, bringing together information in disparate systems into a single intuitive interface. The result: time savings for users, greater insight into deliveries, and far happier customers. You can read about this case study in our free guide to experience-centric IT, “Logistics Rewritten by Saggezza.”

It’s no small task. It requires a combination of the interactive design techniques of the new media world, with a deep understanding business processes and enterprise applications. But when they come together, it’s a potent combination.

Find out more at www.saggezza.com
Twitter: @Saggezza_inc
LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/company/saggezza

Ian Whiting

Ian Whiting is the Director of Interactive Services at Saggezza. He brings over 10 years of experience working in the interactive design and development space. He leads a team of interactive designers, business analysts and developers who focus on user experience optimization, interactive design, and lean user-driven development. He oversees the building of custom web applications and mobility solutions, yielding business and process transformation for Saggezza enterprise clients.

Ian graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Graphics Technology from Purdue University.”

European Parliament report maps Smart Cities in the European Union

Guest blog post from Vitor Pereira. Original post on the Smart Welcome Lab website here. All six of the smartest cities listed will be represented at Ovum’s Smart to Future Cities in London on April 29-30 2014, along with cities from all over the world.

atelier-transportationThe European Parliament has just published a report mapping Smart Cities in the European Union. This is an attempt to identify the number of ‘smart cities’ and their activities across Europe. As usual, this report is confusing, weighty and difficult to summarize or remove excerpts. But defines a smart city as “a city looking to solve public problems through technologies developed and implemented on the basis of multi-stakeholder partnerships”.

This is one aspect that is intended to be a more concrete definition describing in detail the types of actions and areas of intervention, which are now more recognizable:

  • Smart Economy
  • Smart Mobility
  • Smart Environment
  • Smart People
  • Smart Living
  • Smart Governance

Interestingly, smart city is defined in this study as any city that has developed activities in these areas. It is a broad definition and it is not surprising that in 468 cities of about 100,000 inhabitants 240 ‘smart cities’ (about half) are identified. Larger cities tend to be capable of being smarter than smaller ones.

But there are some issues related to the methodology used by investigators to identify these cities and their activities. They used published information, the cities own Web pages as well as information, if any, of EU-funded projects, specifically for the Smart Cities theme. They themselves recognize that there is information that might have been ignored, referring to cities, for example, that are not adept at advertising and communicating or even sharing their work.

The researchers analyzed different types of actions and concluded that the actions related to ‘environment’ and ‘mobility’ are the most common with 33% and 21% of smart initiatives, respectively.

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