It’s Official: Unizin Is Real


A giant deity from the confines of space and time, Unizin has orbited the Earth like a comet, appearing once every twelve years of Christmas Eve. One man by the name of Dr. Kori wanted to study Unizin after seeing the monster himself when he was a boy. Even though he was called a con artist trying to capture Unizin he never gave up his search. On Christmas Eve day, he was working on his self made radar that would find Unizin when Elly came and was shocked by the device. After Dr. Kori repaired her the two made a trap to capture Unizin. That night, the dimensional kaiju made himself known as both DASH and Dr. Kori captures it in a mystical trap, but time around him began to disappear. Kaito turned into Ultraman Max and made a barrier to slow down the process. Not wanting the graceful giant to be hurt Dr. Kori let it go, restoring everything to normal. Unizin gave the doctor the branch of a tree he had not seen in some time, whether it was intended to be given to him or a reward for releasing him was unknown, but he was grateful nonetheless.

The Ultraman Wiki

No, not that Unizin. This Unizin. The secret university consortium is no longer secret. Phil and I wrote a few posts about the consortium before the group went public:

So far, four of the ten universities we reported were considering joining have officially and publicly joined: Indiana University, University of Michigan, Colorado State University, and University of Florida.

Here’s a roundup of the news coverage:

Probably most important to read, in addition to IHE’s coverage and ours, is the “Why Unizin?” blog post on the Unizin website.

There was a press call this afternoon, so I expect we will be seeing more articles over the next few days. Of course, Phil and I will be providing some additional analysis as well. Stay tuned.

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About Michael Feldstein

Michael Feldstein is co-Publisher of e-Literate, co-Producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner in MindWires Consulting. For more information, see his profile page.
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5 Responses to It’s Official: Unizin Is Real

  1. Pingback: Unizin membership fee is separate from Canvas license fee |e-Literate

  2. John Kline says:

    After reading the first blog post on the Unizin site and hearing a lot about “owning” and “developing” “essential infrastructure” – I a wondering if they are using Instructure hosted Canvas (the commercial product)? Or are they using Canvas Open Source?

  3. It is Instructure-hosted.

  4. tom abeles says:

    Your coverage has raised some interesting issue. The key one is that this has gotten serious attention by the academic side, the provosts for very good reasons:

    a) The loss of control of academic publishing to the private sector seems to have been eating at the Unizin founders like the eagles eating Prometheus’ liver. Yet the first serious step of the organization was to act as a broker for members for a commercial LMS system.

    b) The second part of Unizin is a learning objects storage system. The question is at what cost when Google, Apple and, particularly Amazon have very flexible and powerful systems with global reach and even analytics and search capabilities that even the NSA uses. Is Unizin a very expensive broker and academic “mall” manager or will it develop its own? Analytics follows a similar path?

    While Unizin is supposedly inward facing to the institutions, like an operating system or the high speed network, much promoted, it is very important for provosts and academics, in general to have input:

    a) With competency-based degrees and the US government thinking seriously about certifying for loans offerings not necessarily residing in an institution, can a learning object depository maintain impermeable walls between institutional object, especially with the idea already on the table of course sharing and similar arrangements. One needs to think about the European Higher Education Area being created here by default or needed forethought.

    b) It is becoming increasingly clear that most US universities will have to increase their international reach. Unizin starts the conversation as institutions understand that duplication of learning objects is expensive- as industry has found. The recent comments by an administrator in UW-Madison’s B-school makes it clear that on the internet one does not have to, or maybe can not afford to offer “n” sociology 101 courses (maybe the same course with multiple labels or paths to credit?” Please remember that basic academic course materials or knowledge is public knowledge which is asymptotically approaching zero in cost. It’s the “package and brand” that costs and for which some are willing to pay.

    c) While this column has suggested Unizin might drive edX out of the market, the 3 major platforms, Coursera, Edx and Udacity fit easily into the Unizen system. In fact, the services proposed for members, object storage and analytics, might benefit since the center, the Canvas LMS, is an a la carte purchase which can complement a MOOC system in a flipped or blended academic model. It is suggested in the Unizin materials that MOOC’s can be accommodated.

    d) As mentioned above, the loss of control by academics of their own publications is a singular issue. Until academics drop the destructive addiction to promotion and tenure via pub/perish, they will not regain control. More importantly, universities are starting to weigh teaching and devalue the publishing aspect of academics as these shifting models will demand. Similarly some international funding agencies are also ignoring the journal impact factors. Unizin is an educational platform

    It is critical for the provosts to restore balance and, perhaps tilt the balance back to academics.

  5. Pingback: Need-to-Know-News: Move over edX — Make Room for Unizin, University of the Future, & Tech Lessons from Teens | online learning insights

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