THE SIMPLE LIFE
IBM is making campus life easier with a portfolio of speech-enabled
Web applications for mobile phones. Currently being tested at Wake Forest University (NC) in a program called MobileU,
the applications utilize IBM’s WebSphere technologies to facilitate everyday tasks. Students can speak into their mobile
phone to ask when the next shuttle bus will arrive, whether there are washing machines free in their dorm laundry room,
what their e-mail inbox contains—and through a combination of GPS data, multimodal Web applications, and voice recognition
software, the answers are provided, helping to streamline students’ busy academic and social lives.
Nova Southeastern University (FL) is working with communications giant Siemens to implement multifunctional, campus smart card solutions as part of NSU’s “Academical Village” vision to use leadingedge
technology to enhance the campus community. The new smart cards will provide NSU students, faculty, and staff with
identification cards, access privileges, and the ability to pay for meal plans, printing services, and vending machine items—
with more functionalities on the horizon—reducing the number of cards in use from five, to one consolidated, multi-application
TEACHING JAVA IN ITALY
Sun Microsystems, creator of Java, recently finalized an
agreement with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Java Italian Association to offer online access to Java training courses in Italian schools. The project, called “Java a Scuola” (Java at
School), provides free access to CD-ROMs, online training programs, and free tutoring programs for IT teachers for 12
months, to equip the next generation of IT professionals with Java skill sets.
:: M&A, ETC.
Digital entertainment network Ruckus has joined network application consortium Internet2 to develop new content distribution and authentication technologies. The pairing will provide Internet2 member
universities with fast and legal intra- and inter-campus sharing of educational multimedia materials. In addition, Ruckus
will leverage Internet2’s high-performance national backbone network to facilitate research and development
of improved peer-to-peer networking, content delivery optimization, and the creation of personal
BUILDING ONLINE LEARNING
A new partnership between Sonic Foundry, a provider of high-performance rich media technology, and Blackboard, the course-management system provider, will help higher ed institutions put
their lectures online. Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Building Block integrates with Blackboard so that
any Mediasite-recorded lecture, presentation, or meeting can easily be published to the Blackboard
Learning System. That gives students access to rich media presentations from Blackboard-managed
courses, including synchronized audio, video, and presentation materials—all though a Web browser
with no special downloads or plug-ins needed.
Margaret Andrews has joined Eduventures, the consulting
and information services firm, as VP of Strategy and Marketing. Previously executive director of the
MIT Sloan School of Management, Andrews will focus on advancing Eduventures’ role in the education
market. “Andrews will be a significant contributor to our growth strategy and her experience will
be an invaluable resource to our clients,” says Thomas Dretler, president and CEO of Eduventures.