Podcasting Instructor Content
On the heels of Apple’s video-enabled iPod release, achievement system provider Tegrity has announced the release of Tegrity Podcasting. The software will enable automatic podcasting of instructor content, allowing students to expand classroom and study time with audio replays of the class lectures on any iPod or other MP3 player. It also permits students to capture classroom content (audio or screen visuals), automatically broken into chunks, and access the content in an index, making it easier to flip through to view the slides. Tegrity Podcasting will be available in the Spring 2006 semester, in limited release, and is available via an annual software license agreement, based on the number of FTE students at the institution or department. www.tegrity.com.
Keeping Connected to the Audience
Hitachi Software has announced its new StarBoard T-17SXL interactive LCD display, most recently installed at Ph'enix College (AZ). From the 17-inch LCD display on the classroom lectern, instructors can control presentations and annotate directly on the screen without having to turn away from the students. “We wanted to make classroom presentation technologies as intuitive as possible for professors and students alike,” says Mike Poplin, director of Media and Media Services at Ph'enix College. Instructors will find that the handwriting recognition feature is a convenient addition. Price: $1,995 to $2,195. www.hitachi.com.
A Virtual Classroom
Many colleges and universities are faced with growing pressures to extend classroom learning and collaboration to students and faculty off campus, as well as offer new and unique learning opportunities beyond what has traditionally been available, according to Cisco Systems reps. Based on Cisco MeetingPlace, Cisco Virtual Classroom is a distance learning solution enabling institutions to reach students anywhere, anytime by blending fully interactive and recordableaudio, video, Web collaboration, white-boarding, and instant messaging capabilities into a single, comprehensive solution. Virtual Classroom also incorporates video conferencing, Web conferencing, security, and administration features. www.cisco.com.
Synching to Mobile Devices
Mirapoint’s PDA SynQ allows synchronization to mobile devices and handhelds such as Palm and others.
PDA SynQ is designed to support educational institutions that deliver e-mail to a broad base of users who demand service anytime, anywhere. It integrates e-mail routing, storage, access, and management with Mirapoint’s multilayered Full-Spectrum e-mail security technology. Best of all, Full-Spectrum protects against hackers, spam, and virus threats. SynQ is priced at $10 to $15 per user, based on a group calendar license (discounts based on volume purchase). www.mirapoint.com.
Enterprise Computing Management
Deep Freeze Enterprise from Faronics offers workstation protection, centralized deployment, and flexible management control for large computing environments. The Enterprise Console allows administrators to install, control, and manage Deep Freeze workstations from a single remote location, and hundreds or thousands of workstations can be protected across a distributed LAN, WLAN, or over the Internet. Administrators can perform Windows updates as part of the maintenance schedule, and run custom batch files during the maintenance period as well. In adddition, administrators can remotely install, manage, and monitor Deep Freeze security across the entire enterprise via LAN, WLAN, or the Internet. Price: $24.95. www.faronics.com.
Mobile Learning Hits New Heights
eLearning software provider Blackboard and mobile learning solutions provider Agilix have teamed up to create Blackboard Backpack. Backpack synchronizes with the Blackboard Academic Suite, which allows students and faculty to download local course content in the Suite for offline access to the materials. The contents can be downloaded (with use of the Blackboard Content System) onto a desktop, laptop, or Tablet PC for each course that the student is enrolled in, and can be annotated and organized. Additions and changes to the content made by faculty are automatically captured and downloaded when students re-synchronize with the Blackboard server. Price: $49 for individual student purchase. www.blackboard.com and www.agilix.com.
Wireless: Thin Is In!
Bluesocket’s BlueSecure Access Point 1500 is a thin access point (AP) that works in conjunction with BlueSecure Controllers for enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments. 1500 features dual radios supporting 802.11a/b/g, and provides industry-standard radio and security functions for reliable connections for users, wherever they roam. There is an automatic clear channel selection that finds the least-loaded channel for interference-free communication. Also, 1500’s automatic network connection keeps users connected through a wide variety of conditions by changing to the optimum connection speed as the mobile user moves through the network. Price: $450. www.bluesocket.com.
Manage the Threat of Mobile Viruses
Mobile device management specialist SmartTrust and mobile content security solutions provider F-Secure have teamed up to provide SmartManage Protect, a mobile security management platform that allows mobile users on campus to manage antivirus clients on subscriber handsets over-the-air (OTA). Users will be able to automatically detect vulnerable handsets on their network and deliver F-Secure Mobile Anti-Virus software for remote installation. Price varies. www.f-secure.com.
Blocking IM Security Threats
Students are constantly communicating and connecting to instant messengers and e-mail at home, school, and elsewhere. CipherTrust’s IronIM—a gateway security appliance for both e-mail and instant message communications— integrates policy to secure, log, monitor, and encrypt enterprise IM communications. The solution provides school administrators with increased control from a single management platform, to block IM-borne threats, both inbound and outbound. Price: $5,995. www.ciphertrust.com.