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Key Trends in University IT: From Learning Management Systems to Zoom and Beyond

Monday, April 3, 2023, 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

This workshop will explore current trends in the University IT landscape, focusing on two important and relevant topics: (1) the evolution of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Library Databases as mission-critical applications in higher education, and (2) the impact of Zoom and other video-conferencing solutions on the University IT systems during the Covid era, and their implications for the future. 

The workshop is suitable for all university staff (academic and administrative, without IT backgrounds) interested in how technology impacts and transforms our work. 
Session 1 and 2 : Monday, April 3rd 2023,  

From 14.30 Vienna time (GMT+1) 

From Marginal to Mainstream: The Rise and Fall of Open Source LMS and the Growing Role of Open-Access/Creative Commons Materials in Libraries 
In this session, we will discuss why LMS and Library Databases are now considered mission-critical applications in higher education, and how the market for LMS evolved from a marginal segment with high development costs to mainstream services used by millions of students and instructors worldwide. We will explore the role of open source solutions such as Moodle and Sakai in this process, and why the age of open source dominance in LMS is coming to an end, despite the fact that these systems are still widely used. At the same time, we will examine how the trend towards open-access/Creative Commons materials is transforming Library Databases, and discuss the reasons for this shift and its forecast for the future. 

From 15.30 

Zoom and Beyond: The Impact of Video-Conferencing on University   
In this session, we will focus on the recent changes in University IT systems triggered by the Covid pandemic, and the role that video-conferencing solutions such as Zoom played in this process. We will analyze the qualities that made Zoom so successful and discuss how it served as a catalyst for industrial change in the University IT landscape. We will also explore how industry leaders such as Microsoft and Google responded to this challenge, and examine the importance of newly established standards for general-purpose communication and management platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace. Finally, we will consider whether the distinction between general-purpose platforms and specialized higher education solutions like LMS will persist, or if we should expect further radical changes in the near future. 

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This workshop is Part 1 of an event series. It will be followed next day (Tuesday, April 4th from 14.30 Vienna time) by Part 2: A panel discussion on the impact of Chat GPT on academic and university management matters .