Campus Briefs

DIGITAL DORMS.

At Colorado State University, students have moved into a brand-new dorm that boasts everything digital—from plasma TVs in the lounges and wireless everywhere (including the laundry room), to a computerized pass-key system that logs movement for security. Sporting a price tag of $17 million, campus officials estimate that the finished structure comes in around 10 percent over more traditional dormitory structures, but it serves a new generation of students whose taste buds are primed for technology.

Students expect plasma in the lounge and wireless in the laundry room.
ALL EYES ON IPODS.

Upperclassmen may be rolling their eyes at the half-million-dollar experiment that furnished every incoming fall freshman at Duke University (NC) with an iPod, but the new students are certainly not complaining. Duke junior Stu Tribbs, speaking in The Chronicle Online, a local independent daily, griped, “The use of $500,000 to buy freshmen iPods is a gross misappropriation of university funds. Why didn’t they just work on keeping the network more consistent?” But Tracy Futhey, CIO and VP for Information Technology, defended the program to Chronicle reporters: “This is a good use of funds, since it lets us push the envelope a little bit and try new things,” The university plans to use the little gadgets in educational programs that will be developed under the original funding, and faculty have been encouraged to add audio elements to their courses. The cost of the experiment was covered by special funding for the university’s strategic plan for technology initiatives.

INTERNET2 DAYS.

Bringing the value of high-end networking to the campus is about more than hooking wires together, and education is key. Internet2 schools (now numbering over 200) typically organize demonstrations called “Internet2 Days,” to promote understanding of the 10-gigabits-per-second Abilene backbone network. The University of Arizona will host its first Internet2 Day on November 4, featuring its uses of I2 across academic disciplines. Selected sessions will be multicast to the public. For more information, including how to join the multicast, head to computing.arizona.edu/internet2/internet2day.html.

KUALI PROJECT MOVES FORWARD.

Can a community source strategy do for ERP what Sakai is doing for CMS? Indiana University, the University of Hawaii, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (www.nacubo.org), and the open source solution provider r-smart group (www.rsmart.com) want to find out. They are pooling resources (including staff and services estimated at more than $2.5 million over a two-year timeline) to develop a comprehensive suite of tools to serve colleges and universities, Kuali Project software (kualiproject.org), a new community source financial information system. It will be offered under a no-fee, open-open license agreement. To join the development effort, contact Barry Walsh (walsh@indiana.edu) at IU.

ICAMPUS OFFERS ITS TOOLS.

An MIT-Microsoft collaboration to develop sustainable technology-enabled teaching models, tools, and Web services called iCampus (mit.edu/icampus) is entering its dissemination phase. The five-year, $25 million project supports work on tools like Robot World (project-based engineering design); Magic Paper (natural sketching and pen-based interaction); TEAL (simulations and hands-on desktop experiments); XTutor (delivery of online lectures and automated tutoring); and more. The projects are not just for demonstration; MIT plans to disseminate the tools widely as each becomes production-ready.

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