SHOWING OFF SAKAI. The Sakai Foundation has announced the establishment of the Teaching With Sakai Innovation (TWSI) Award, to recognize transformative education applications of the Sakai collaboration and learning environment. The TWSI Award is sponsored by IBM, a Sakai Commercial Affiliate, and organized by the recently formed Sakai OpenEd Practices group. Nominations will also seed a knowledgebase and community of practice.
FROM VIRTUAL TO REAL-LIFE. Santa Clara University (CA) has opened its new 194,000-square-foot Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library. The $95 million facility, which began construction in mid-2006, houses traditional texts, rare books, and archives alongside the latest hightech tools and resources. Prior to the early spring opening, the university community could preview the new campus addition in Second Life. Read more here.
IP COMMUNICATIONS PILOT. At the University of New Mexico, top administrators and department heads are piloting the school's planned campuswide IP-based communications network, powered by the Univerge suite of applications from NEC Unified Solutions. "With the assistance and expertise of NEC, this deployment is helping us understand how unified communications can improve business communications, work efficiency, and information availability among executive users at our university," explains Mark Reynolds, associate director for ITS communications network services.
SUNY-SUFFOLK ADOPTS DESIRE2LEARN. Suffolk County Community College (NY), the largest community college in The State University of New York system with 22,000 students across three campuses, has selected Desire2Learn for course management. Randolph Manning, associate dean of instructional technology, remarks about the choice, "The sense of a strong institutional culture of support for clients is extremely important to us."
BALL STATE U is building a digital cinematography course in Second Life.
ART AND TECHNOLOGY MEET IN SL. Ball State University's (IN) Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA) is leveraging years of innovation in 3D animation and virtual applications to support the university's entry into Second Life. One of IDIAA's first academic projects in SL, "The Aesthetic Camera," is drawing on experts in art and technology to develop a course in cinematography. Student avatars will interact with photographic and lighting equipment that has been virtualized and scripted in Second Life, and will practice concepts such as three-point lighting techniques, on a virtual studio set. Read more here.
FILTERING WEB 2.0. Moravian College (PA) is currently using the Webgate security gateway from Mi5 Networks to protect its network from web malware and to filter malicious URLs, spyware, viruses, and inbound/outbound botnet communications. But in light of the emergence and proliferation of Web 2.0 applications on campus, the college plans to evaluate a new, updated version of Webgate announced this past March. Version 4.0 adds control for more than 100 web applications and protocols, including instant messaging, peer-to-peer, voice over IP, and streaming media.
SUSTAINABLE DIGITAL ACCESS. The Johns Hopkins University (MD) Associate Dean of University Libraries Sayeed Choudhury has been named to the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access. The 15-member panel, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, includes librarians and experts in digital technologies from the US and the UK who will discuss and offer recommendations for the future of digital archiving. Editor's note: Choudhury will present a session on academic cyberinfrastructure at the Campus Technology 2008 annual summer conference, held in Boston July 28- 31.