Software on the Edge
From streamlining campus operations to facilitating online learning, the latest generation of software applications get the job done.
Wimba has unveiled the Wimba Collaboration Suite 6.0, featuring enhancements to Wimba Classroom, Wimba Pronto, and Wimba Voice. Wimba Classroom now supports MP4 files, allowing instructors to distribute digital audio and video streams of lectures and discussions to course management systems, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, or other content management systems. Students can access the content online or offline, not only from their computers but also from their iPod, iPhone, or other MP4 players. Wimba Pronto now features whiteboard functionality, and with Wimba Voice, instructors can now grade voice discussion boards and automatically add the evaluations to the course management system gradebook. Contact vendor for pricing.
Affordable Video Management
CompleteView One, the latest release from Salient Systems, is a full-featured video management system capable of supporting up to 25 IP or analog cameras, at a budget-conscious price point. The edition has the same viewing, investigation, and configuration capabilities available in the company’s CompleteViewPro and Enterprise versions, including the live video client, alarm client, web client, and mapping. The new version also offers incident investigation capabilities such as SmartSearch, filtering by recording type, video queuing, motion detection, multi- and single-camera playback, and snapshot with digital PTZ and smoothing. CompleteView One is upgradable to CompleteView Pro and Enterprise editions without complex software installations or extensive training. MSRP: $125 per-video-channel license cost.
Online Content Creation Tool
The latest version of SoftChalk’s flagship eLearning software, SoftChalk V5, is a content authoring solution for educators to easily create engaging online lessons. New features include the ability to perform keyword searches across multiple media repositories at a time, including media from open sources (such as YouTube or Flickr), fee-based premium sources, or library repositories available through the university itself. The new version also offers the ability to embed blogs, polls, surveys, widgets, wikis, and videos in course materials. The included eCourseBuilder tool combines multiple lessons into larger eCourse modules, with automatic calculation and tracking of score information between and within lessons. Education pricing: $550 per license, with discounts available for purchases of more than 10 licenses.
Theft Recovery for Netbooks
Absolute Software has launched Computrace for Netbooks, delivering IT asset management and theft recovery for ultra-mobile computers. The firmware-based Computrace software agent regularly provides the Absolute Monitoring Center with location and IT asset management information, enabling users to monitor, track, and manage a university’s computers from a single web interface, regardless of whether the devices are on or off the network. The solution helps generate accurate inventories to assist in budgeting and refresh plans; provides visibility into the productivity and usage of campus netbooks; helps deter computer theft and recover stolen devices; and assists police in identifying computer thieves and gathering evidence for prosecution. MSRP: $24.9 for a one-year license.
Kaseya 6, the newest version of Kaseya’s IT automation solution, enables IT professionals to remotely monitor and manage distributed infrastructure and automate daily IT tasks. The company has re-architected the platform’s base framework, facilitating integration, expanding automation capabilities, and giving organizations more flexibility in selecting which features they need. Feature enhancements include a new user interface, advanced workflow, expanded scheduling, and centralized reporting and messaging capabilities. Contact vendor for pricing.
Blackboard on the Go
Blackboard has released Blackboard Learn for Apple iPhone, a free application that allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to access course information on the go. Students can receive updates and alerts on grades, assignments, tests, and other information from courses, as well as information from groups and organizations. In order to protect sensitive information, each student receives information from only the courses in which he or she is registered. Available for download through the Apple iTunes App Store.
Classroom Computer Management
Faronics Insight, a classroom technology management solution from Faronics, allows instructors to educate, assist, monitor, and communicate with students from a central computer. Educators can monitor student computers, blank student screens, remote into student workstations, mute sound, limit access to the internet and desktop applications, share their screen with students, and allow students to share screens with each other. The software also provides the ability to send and collect files, ask questions, and broadcast messages. With Faronics Insight v7.21, it is now possible to use an instructor console to manage both Windows (2000, XP, or Vista) and Max OS X (10.3 and higher) based student computers at the same time. Contact vendor for pricing.
MatchWare’s MindView 3 is a mind mapping application enabling users to develop their ideas visually, beginning with a central concept and adding “branches” extending from the main idea. Features of the new version include an intuitive Microsoft Office 7 interface; improved map and timeline layouts; an automatic numbering scheme for clarifying the order of a map’s branches; and new template and layout options. Cost for a single user license: $279.
Tripp Lite’s PowerAlert is a network-based power management system that enables a network manager to monitor and control up to 250 Tripp Lite UPS systems or PDUs and the computers and equipment they support from a single interface. The software now includes an Economy Mode function, helping institutions save on electricity expenditures. The software allows IT personnel to remotely manage the energy-saving settings of Tripp Lite SmartOnline UPS systems in real time or through defined schedules. Free downloads available here.
Unified Campus Alerts
Omnilert has announced the release of e2Campus version3.0, which unifies disparate emergency alert systems another campus assets into one management console for improved crisis communications. e2Campus now complies with the OASIS Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) version1.1, the industry standard for exchanging emergency information between other CAP-compliant devices and services. Version 3.0 integrates with desktop pop-up alert systems, PA systems, mass text messaging and e-mail systems, auto phone dialers, loudspeakers, fire alarms, digital signage, alert beacons, social media sites, and other existing communications infrastructure. New features include the ability to send text- and voice-based alerts to all endpoints from one screen; network services for advanced configuration of individual communication devices and services; pre-written and pre-recorded messages; and delivery reports for tracking message delivery and receipt. Prices vary according to number of users.
Jenzabar has announced a comprehensive new release(version 3.0) of the Jenzabar EX enterprise resource planning system, featuring updates and improvements within the Purchasing, Registration, Common, Development, and Admissions modules, as well as the Financial Aid Manager. The Purchasing module, for instance, offers new requisition capabilities and a personalized, collaborative environment to provide streamlined workflow for module managers, approvers, requesters, and purchasing agents. Other features include easier access to view finances, automatic line separation for each approver, a personalized alert system to monitor requisition status, and embedded e-mail links throughout the requisition lifecycle. Anew personalized navigation window called My Workspace has also been added to provide a customizable user interface and enable users to collaborate with coworkers and achieve tasks more effectively. Contact vendor for pricing.