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IT Trends 04-24-2003

Thursday, April 24, 2003

In This Issue


Knowing What You Know—Who Has, Where Is, Your "Tacit" Knowledge

Terry Calhoun, Commentator
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
University of Michigan

D'es IT on your campus know what it knows? For example, if a technician in the Anthropology Department were to call your support line and say: "I've got a professor here who's just bought a Nextel (Motorola iM1100) wireless modem and wants it installed to work on his Windows XP machine, but I'm having problems," what do you tell him? Pick one:

(a) Never heard of it. We don't support that.
(b) Never heard of it. I'll ask around.
(c) Never heard of it, but wait a sec … "John D'e over in the School of Education has installed one of those, why don't you call him."

At most universities, the helpful intent but ignorance represented by (b) would be the typical response, even though at many of those schools the senior IT staff would prefer the answer to be (a). I hope you didn't pick (a), but maybe you did. [It's not the direction this piece is going, but we will write some other time about the dissonance between making our jobs easier (and fitting into the budget) and supporting the institution's mission.]

We think that more of you could have answers like (c), and within budget too, if there were some effort put into campuswide knowledge management systems for IT staff …

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Are Blackboard Hackers Encouraging Illegal Behavior?

Two students from the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia who have apparently found flaws in Blackboard's security were stopped by court order recently from presenting their findings at Interz0ne II, a conference of mostly hackers … (Washington Post)
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George Washington Terminates Alumni E-mail Accounts

GWU, which had serious, campuswide e-mail outages in January, is terminating the practice of allowing alumni to retain their "" e-mail addresses when they leave campus. Instead, in June it will begin an "" e-mail forwarding service … (
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Johns Hopkins Makes Campus IT Serve Health Care

Hopkins' CIO Stephanie L. Reel says that having a single CIO for all IT, both for the university and for the hospital, enables the institution to leverage all of the talent in diverse departments for more substantial IT gains … (CIO Information Network)
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Green-er Computing: Dell Returns to Its Roots

Dell is kicking off a program to make recycling electronic equipment more convenient and affordable, saying that student environmental activism was one factor leading the company to improve its recycling program. "Dell was created by a college student on a university campus, so student interest in this issue was a motivator," Dell spokesperson Cathie Hargett said … (The Hoya)
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Who G'es There? Authentication Via the Lens of Privacy

As authentication becomes ever more ubiquitous, understanding its interplay with privacy is vital. The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Academies has issued a new report, which provides a framework to guide thinking about these issues when deciding whether and how to use authentication … (Computer Science and Telecommunications Board)
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Critical Factors in Planning a Distance Learning Program

"Six Factors to Consider When Planning Online Distance Learning Programs," by Suzanne Levy is a comprehensive paper that reviews six factors to be considered when planning and developing an online distance learning program, including: vision and plans, curriculum, staff training and support, student services, student training and support, and copyright and intellectual property … (Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration)
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U. Wisconsin Distance Education Clearinghouse

The Distance Education Clearinghouse is a comprehensive Web site bringing together distance education information from state, national, and international sources. New information and resources are being added to the Distance Education Clearinghouse on a continual basis. One of the oldest Internet sources for distance education news and information, the Distance Education Clearinghouse first appeared as an electronic bulletin board in the 1980s, and was ultimately launched on the Web in 1995 …
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CalTech Picks HP Itanium 2 Systems for TeraGrid Project

California Institute of Technology's Center for Advanced Computing Research has installed HP Itanium 2-based servers running on Linux as part of a 32-node cluster to perform data intensive applications on the TeraGrid project, the world's largest distributed infrastructure for open scientific research. The Center will use 17 HP dual-processor clustered rx2600 Itanium 2-based servers to perform scientific simulations and move large volumes of data across the network in real time. TeraGrid is an $88 million NSF project that will allow researchers to help solve problems such as molecular modeling for disease detection, drug discovery, automobile crash simulations, and research on alternative energy sources . . .
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Stephen Hawkings's Cosmos Project Picks SGI Supercomputer

The U.K. Cosmos consortium led by Professor Stephen Hawking of the University of Cambridge signed a contract with SGI for an Altix 3000 supercluster. The supercomputer, based on the Intel Itanium 2 processor, will form the next phase of a British computational and visualization grid to support the project. This Cosmos initiative enables experts to collaborate on research to model the history of the universe from the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang to the present day, about 14 billion years later …
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Is chat an effective vehicle for student interaction, when used in the context of an online course?


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Syllabus2003 is celebrating its 10th annual summer conference for education technology professionals with five days of don't-miss keynotes, general sessions, break-outs and more. Monday, July 28, will be spent at Stanford University where you'll see and experience the latest education technology in action. Four days of high-level programming at the San Jose Marriott feature five new tracks on topics of strategic importance. Plus, you'll enjoy networking and exhibits in Syllabus' traditional collegial atmosphere. Don't miss out. Early Bird registration in effect until June 27--Save up to $200 on the Gold Package and attend all five days. For details and to register click here.


LookSmart Screensaver Grubbing on Your Campus?

LookSmart's new screensaver acts as a distributed computing search engine that will use individuals' (or institutions') computers to crawl a portion of the Web and relay details back to the company. The inventor hopes that "the system's 'distributed crawl' will fairly soon be capable of indexing all of the Web's estimated 10 billion pages—every day." … (Wired)
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eCollege Aims for Faculty Productivity in Authoring Tool

Course management system developer eCollege said it's upgrading its authoring tools to provide faculty users more flexibility in creating course content. New features include ways faculty can hide content, such as pop quizzes, from student view, as well as advanced scheduling controls to allow faculty to determine exactly when to display and withdraw announcements on the course home page …
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Indiana Prof Debuts Research and Survey Tool

CourseShare, an eLearning research company founded by Indiana University professor Curt Bonk, has released version 2.0 of its SurveyShare software, which allows users to collaborate in survey creation and data analysis. The software allows users to send public or private surveys, store respondent information in a personal address book, download results, graph findings, and send automated survey reminders, to name a few of its new features …
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Network Jack Reduces Connection Costs for Schools

Networking technology developer 3Com Corp. introduced an entry-level version of its Network Jack product line. The company says it is ideal for schools, universities, and hospitals looking for an affordable way to add multiple network wall connections per desktop in both new and existing construction sites …
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