Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Online Learning Rises in Response to COVID-19
As the world responds to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, closed schools in some affected areas are turning to eLearning and web conferencing to maintain continuity in course delivery and/or studying. Vendors reported to be used for this purpose include the following:
- Google Hangouts, Google Classroom, and Zoom Video Communications are being used in Hong Kong at the primary level. Dingtalk, a communication and collaboration app by Alibaba Group, has been widely adopted in China to stream instruction and facilitate assessment (CNN, The Jakarta Post, Bloomberg).
- Zoom and VoiceThread (a cloud collaboration application) have been provided to NYU Shanghai faculty as they develop online versions of their courses (Inside Higher Ed).
- Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China, is using Zoom, the Sakai learning management system, and the Coursera instructional platform to shift all in-person learning to online (Duke Today).
If the outbreak continues to spread and necessitates a longer-term adoption of online learning, some questions to consider include:
- What best-practice transition and training plans can schools put in place to manage the transition to online classes?
- What barriers to internet access undermine the shift to online learning?
- As Carlos Perrotta of Monash University asks, will the current increase in the adoption of eLearning delivery products result in a continued uptake of online education after the current public health concern resolves?
The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York has reached a settlement with Zoom Video Communications. The agreement promises enhanced data security and user controls.
Verizon has acquired BlueJeans for between $400-500 million. The move will see BlueJeans integrated into Verizon’s 5G plans, utilizing BlueJeans' advanced and encrypted video-conferencing solutions for telehealth, eLearning, and field service work.
Adoption is one of the biggest challenges that organizations deal with when implementing commercial project management tools. Amid a global pandemic, this challenge has only been exasperated with many working from home.
With an update that makes it easier for new and existing users to jump into a meeting, Cisco’s Webex is looking to address one of the few areas where it’s not rated at the very top of the pack.
If you’ve been working remotely during the pandemic, chances are you’re doing a lot of videoconferences with a poor-quality laptop webcam. If you own a Canon camera and use Windows 10, a new free utility can help you upgrade that A/V setup.
Zoom is living up to its namesake in its responsiveness in addressing security and privacy issues that users have identified. While the upcoming 5.0 update addresses many initial concerns, the product still does not offer end-to-end encryption.
The impact of COVID-19, as it became a global pandemic in Q1 of 2020, has affected user sentiment toward software during a growing period of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. To analyze the impact, SoftwareReviews compared Satisfaction (willingness to recommend to a peer), ability to deliver Business Value (fair cost to value), and Likeliness to Renew prior to March 10 and post March 10.
GitHub has announced that, effective April 14, 2020, all of its core features will be free for everyone. This will include private development within organizations that have previously paid for some subscription plans.
Some major LMS conference cancellations or online alternatives have been announced in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, though not all have canceled.