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IT Trends for Thursday, December 18, 2003

Thursday, December 18, 2003

In This Issue


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

A “Green” New Year’s Resolution for IT Staff

Earlier this week, I and some colleagues met with a University of Michigan task force to talk about what kinds of performance indicators the university should define, measure, and periodically report regarding its progress toward being a more sustainable institution. Preparing for that meeting has got me thinking, once again, about what a shame it is that IT folks don’t more often think about sustainability issues and the contributions they could make.

There are in fact lots of things IT staff can do to assist their institutions with sustainability goals, some easy and short-term, others longer term but worth thinking about. I’ve listed a few here, not necessarily the most important ones, but some of the easier ones to do. Why not make it a new year’s resolution that you will do two of the easy things and also spend some time at least thinking about a tougher, more complicated issue? At the end of my column this week, I’ve got a technology tip to help you make your New Year’s pledge sustainable! (Look for the sentence in bold typeface.)
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They Got Him!

No, not Hussein, Jaynes. Jeremy Jaynes was arrested last week for big-spamming, under a strict Virginia law that permits the state to go outside itself (in this case to North Carolina) to prosecute spammers (
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New Department of Ed Site on Student Identity Theft has created a useful tool with insights for students and staff alike, maybe even highlighting some IT-related practices that should change. Share this with your student services colleagues.
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UN Internet Summit Avoids Clash, at Least for Now

A recent United Nations summit on information and communications technologies could have turned ugly regarding control of the Internet. Despite some anti-Americanism, the outcomes were not particularly hostile but a working group on Internet governance is aiming at a second phase of the summit next year (Distance Educator).
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States' Funding for Technology in Education Shrinks

A survey by the State Educational Technology Directors Association predicts that the average budget for a state education technology office decreased from $3.5M in 2003, and there's more to go in 2004 (eSchool News)...
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Brown to Eliminate Unlimited Free Printing by Students

Driven by finances and sustainability issues, Brown is moving to a system next fall where after sending a print command from one computer, students have to go to a "release station" and okay the print job. Sounds complicated, but it's already working elsewhere (Brown Daily Herald).
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Downloading MP3s for Free in Canada is Legal

The Canadian Copyright Board has determined that you can download in Canada all you want, it's the uploading that's against Canadian law. The board's opinion is not final, and appeals are likely. As part of the decision, a government fee on MP3 players is also being levied at the manufacturer level (ZDNet)...
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Conspiracy Theories and the Napster Deal

According to this article, the Penn State deal with Napster involves unethical relationships with the RIAA, Microsoft, and the Democratic party, and is generally unpopular with students, to boot (The Register).
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Berklee Shares a Lot, for Free

Berklee Shares is a new program by the prestigious Berklee College of Music, using a Creative Commons license, to share for free many self-contained music lessons, including MP3 audio, QuickTime movies, and PDFs (Christian Science Monitor)...
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Indiana U. Takes a Reasoned Approach to File Sharing

The school received more than 1,000 DMCA notices about illegal file sharing in 2002-03, and its current efforts focus primarily on educating students about legalities and potential consequences (IDSNews).
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University of Western Ontario G'es with WebCT Vista

The 32,000 students and 1,200 faculty, who already teach 1,000+ courses with WebCT, will be using WebCT's premier academic enterprise system beginning next year. It will be the third such installation in Canada....
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IT spending in UK Higher Ed to Increase by 7 Percent

The spending increase is driven by the need to better align postsecondary education with eventual employers' needs for technologically-proficient employees, which are seen as growing in all dimensions....
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N.J. Institute of Tech Offering Courses in 14 African Nations

Since 1997, NJIT has served nearly 2,000 African students with distance education courses at 34 African Virtual University learning centers throughout sub-Saharan Africa....
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Cutting IT Training in Hard Times Only Penny-Wise

Investing in a better-trained IT staff, even during difficult financial times, can pay off in the long term, especially if the training is not just technology-related, but includes other strategic skills...
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What is your most common method of projector control?
Local control using IR or RF remotes
Remote control using RS232 based control system
Desktop use (no remote used)
Other method

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Eleventh Annual Summer Conference on Education Technology
Plan to present at the Eleventh Annual Summer Conference on Education Technology held in the San Francisco July 18-22, 2004. Proposals for breakout sessions, panels, and workshops are due January 5. For details and further information, go to:

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Flat-screen TVs Provide Messaging at Cleveland State

With the goal of an eventual revenue stream, big, flat screen public televisions with 5 minutes of ads and 2-minutes of official university information have made their appearance around campus - to less than rave reviews.
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Software Lets Students Move Data From Device-to-Device

ImagiWorks, Inc., which makes programs for Palm handhelds other, released software that enables students to collect data on their Palm computers and then export it to other Palm-based applications. ImagiProbe 3.1 software enables teachers to pre-install assignments, including sensor calibrations and inquiry templates, directly into the ImagiProbe application on the students' computing device. This gives students easy access to each assignment as they are conducting their research because they can carry the text and setup with them and simultaneously collect data and read references.
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Adobe Opens Digital Media Store on World-Wide Web

Adobe Systems Inc. opened the Adobe Digital Media Store, an online retail site that offers a variety of Adobe PDF digital content for download, including Adobe PDF eBooks, links to digital magazines and newspapers, maps, research reports, and other documents in PDF. Store will use the eBook capabilities of Adobe Reader 6.0. to offer an easy digital rights management (DRM) system that enables users to view content on multiple computers and Palm-OS based handhelds.
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Sponsored By

Increasing Quality in Online Instruction
This week's interview features David Starrett Director, Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, Southeast Missouri State University.

Since 1997, technology institutes at Southeast Missouri State University have helped faculty to use technology effectively. Starrett discusses roles and rewards, assessment, and other issues regarding faculty development.

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Discussion of the Week:

A Hardware update .... just read about a Tablet PC running Linux for under a $1000. However, no built in wireless, and the compatibility of the character recognition app with anything else out there is questionable. Without getting in a funk about MS, the biggest problems for Tablet PCs seems to be the high costs. i.e. fees...

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