Have you heard of Educause before? Did you know it has deep roots into Common Core? Would it surprise you to know they are fast and furiously working on a project targeting higher education? Well, my friends..sit back and get a brief overview of all of the above.
Educause, proud to be CC aligned:
The Gates Foundation has consistently given grants to Educause since 2010 to create, market and sell CC related projects all geared for the digital world. Visit the Gates link to see just how MUCH Educause has received, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=educause (I’ve given you a small screen shot so you have a visual idea.
ForThe Higher Ed Project:
This project has quite a name, “Higher Education TechQual+ Project”, according to the main website for the project it’s headed by a Dr. at the University of Georgia. However, the Texas A and M at Qatar has quite a hand in this too. Let’s see what the site shares. First up, the ‘history’ (see: https://www.techqual.org/docs/about.aspx#) Wait up, did you catch WHERE the TAM campus is located??? Not in America, but Qatar! It appears that the entire project is all about the data and storage. Well, we know those 2 components are huge in CC. Yes, by looking at the Project there is some assessing is involved. No smoking gun for CCSS, however. So, let’s see what the Educause website tells us.
Searching for TechQual on Educause:
Flipping the search over to Educause, maybe we can find out a bit more about the TechQual’s real purpose. So far, we know data, storage, and assessments, but is there more??
Back in 2010, a Project meeting did take place for an update of the process. From the description for the meeting, note this excerpt, “Assessment and measurement are key competencies for those who manage information technology resources. The Higher Education TechQual+ Project was commissioned in 2007 to create a set of easy-to-use tools to assist with this challenging work. This meeting will provide a project overview and updates on the TechQual+ instrument and website tools for 2009.” What’s interesting, is if you look at the meeting description from just one year prior to 2010, that being 2009, you’d find the details state the Project was commissioned in 2005. I guess the beginning date shouldn’t be the focus as much as what is being done with the data, but I do find it interesting that such conflicting details (small though it is) are present.
Looking at what else Educause Supports That Involves So Much Data:
Well, listen to this gentlemen’s description of data/storage/assessments:
Did you catch the Universal Standards? Did you hear the ‘consistency’ buzzword in relation to academics? Let’s dig some more! He mentioned Canvas Educational Software, so let’s see what that’s about, shall we?
Canvas, It Isn’t for Painting!:
To find Canvas’ website, visit: http://www.instructure.com/, once there, you’ll find more education buzzwords you’ve heard and a few new ones! For example ‘lossless learning’. The familiar student-centered education rhetoric abounds. “LL” is the use of streamlined academics combined with embedded assessments AND face to face time. Watch the snappy video. Listen for the ‘outcome’ buzzword, too! (you’ll need to school down the page to access it), http://www.instructure.com/higher-education/features?lossless
Some of that streamlined academic stuff? Just take a look at the screen shot below:
From Canvas’ News, “Blended Learning” at a Florida post secondary school! You might want to look at all their FREE courses via digital delivery. Some are blatant in the hidden agenda of all things College/Career Ready. See: https://www.canvas.net/ Before we leave Instructure, read what they think their spin on education is doing, “Canvas isn’t just a product. IT’S A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. IT’S AN EDUCATIONAL REVOLUTION. IT’S A POWERFUL NEW WAY TO–PARDON OUR OPTIMISM–CHANGE THE WORLD. IT’S A RAPIDLY GROWING COMPANY WITH AN INDUSTRY-PUSHING PLATFORM, 400+ TALENTED EMPLOYEES, AND MILLIONS OF PASSIONATE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS. AND, SURE, THERE’S ALSO A PRETTY INCREDIBLE PRODUCT IN THERE, TOO.”
Back to the Drawing Board, Educause:
The organization has a 3 prong IT focus, all of which, oddly enough, can be found in the CCMachine! There’s “Teaching and Learning”, “Policy and Security”, and “Infrastructure and Enterprise”. So, where is the anti CC warrior to hone in on, with an organization of Educause’s size? E-rate legislation from the federal government will most assuredly be in the mix. Why? Because CC is embedded in the new legislation. That’s why proCC groups are encouraging legislators to jump on board! How do I know? Research, baby, lots of it. (See my article on Prevent Common Core’s website “A Cup of Coffee Can Now Data Mine”
http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223) Next, a concerned area you can fight for is contained in the “Infrastructure”, via e-clouds, technology, and those sorts of things. In the ‘Teaching/Learning’ arena, it’s all about the content. See the screen shot below:
What to watch for:
First, anything with “Next Generation” especially coupled with “learning challenges”. Why? Some of the main ones funding CCSS, fund this too. It involves Community Colleges, Community Pathway Programs, Harbormaster regions for K-12 education, and SO much more!! (see: http://www.educause.edu/focus-areas-and-initiatives/teaching-and-learning/next-generation-learning-challenges)
Which organizations are ‘buddies’:
Once you see this list, know that somehow, some way..agenda for an aligned education is at hand!
- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
- American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
- American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
- American Council on Education (ACE)
- American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)
- American Library Association (ALA)
- APPA – Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers
- Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA)
- Association of American Universities (AAU)
- The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
- Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
- The Campus Computing Project
- The Center for Internet Security
- Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
- Common Solutions Group
- Council of Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA)
- Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)
- Council of the Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT)
- Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
- Digital Freedom Campaign
- European University Information Systems (EUNIS)
- Forum for the Future of Higher Education
- Higher Education Alliance for Information Technology (HEITAlliance)
- Higher Education Comliance Alliance
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
- League for Innovation in the Community College
- National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
- National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
- National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
- National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
- The New Media Consortium
- North East Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP)
- The ResNet Symposium
Educause is a non-profit group. Colorado is one home office, while D.C. is another. So, keeping an eye on education policy isn’t far off the radar. They believe in the the 3 Cs of the one world, one education mindset we’ve seen surface in Common Core, “for the common good”, “collaboration”, and the 21st Century “community”. The Board of Directors can be found on: http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance-and-leadership/educause-board-directors The special advisors on education:
http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance/working-groups (there are quite a few)
Roots of Educause can be traced to the Kellogg Foundation (a well known CC supporter). Don’t be surprised when you see the National Science Foundation had a part in this too. (see: http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/history/educom-history) A more complete history, as well as the Cause part of the organization:
For the international ties, especially where ‘benchmarking’ is concerned:
Well, no matter if it’s higher learning or not, it appears as long as Gates bankrolls, Educause will keep churning away. Please, continue to fight the E-rate legislation, the Common Core battle in your state, the data mining network, the college/career readiness!