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IT Trends for Thursday, May 27, 2004

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Thursday, May 27, 2004

In This Issue


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

They're Not Like Us: Shouldn't We Do Something About That?

A year ago this week, professor David Starrett of Southeast Missouri State University, and director of that institution's Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning wrote here as a guest commentator, HIG, R U n2 CP?: The Technology is the Easy Part, about the level of acceptance students have for information technology tools and resources and the difficulty we have in understanding even what their expectations of us are, much less meeting those expectations. In the past year, I've also written in The Feral User about the raw, relatively unrestrained online behavior of many young people, who've grown up in cyberspace without any acculturation influence from teachers or parents.

Since then, I've seen article after article and news item after news item that makes me think about just how different from us these new undergraduate students are. Is it really possible to understand their expectations? I think we can do it with surveys and by measuring responses to things, but I am more and more convinced that as a Baby Boomer, I am beyond ever really understanding them. They're really different, they inhabit a different universe. But one news story last week was different - a young student did the right thing. Was this a sign of positive change, or anomalous behavior by a unique individual?
Read more


COW to Improve Phone Reception at Stanford

A second mobile cell-on-wheels (COW) station is being placed on the Stanford campus. Meanwhile, the paper's editorial board called for "a middle ground between unobtrusive cell-on-wheels trailers and tall ugly towers" to solve what it says are annoying problems with mobile service coverage.
Read more

Is Torvalds Really The Father of Linux?

A controversial report suggests that Linus Torvalds owes more to an earlier operating system, Minix, than is admitted. The report's conclusions are hotly disputed by both Torvalds and the author of the earlier system.
Read more

Wolverine Access Too Accessible

A student recently notified the University of Michigan that he had been able to view way too much of his own personal information on the Web and a check revealed that a new interface for Wolverine Access may have had an open loophole since February. “It’s just crazy because it wasn’t hard to get to at all. It took about five clicks and required no secret code at all,” the student said. (The loophole required using the Safari browser.)
Read more

PeopleSoft Continues Focus of Budget Struggle at Cal Poly

After it circulated for two weeks, one-fifth of Cal Poly's faculty have signed a petition asking the school not to borrow $15M to pay for deploying PeopleSoft's student administration software module.
Read more

GIT's Technology Square Links Old Campus to New Campus

The high-tech, media-union-type building is intended to revitalize midtown Atlanta. The area in question is separated from the Georgia Institute of Technology main campus by a 14-lane freeway, which is now virtually bridged by high-speed optical connections.
Read more

Update on Stanford Oracle Financial System Implementation

Much improved data quality and access, plus a slightly better user experience are pluses on the Stanford campus, but system instability and an increase in the amount of time it takes staff to do their related jobs are minuses. This is an excellent example of a report to the community on system implementation.
Read more

WIISARD at UCSD and Cal-(IT)2

Using the pre-existing UCSD Cyber Shuttle as a mobile command center, civic and university officials recently conducted a WIISARD (Wireless Internet Information System for Medical Response in Disasters) test run using a hypothetical "dirty bomb" explosion situation. WIISARD speedily deploys a sophisticated and secure wireless net as a communications aid to major disaster response.
Read more

Stanford Students Track Shuttle Buses With Online Map Using GPS

The tracking takes place on a Web site. Not everyone thinks it's a useful tool, but many do. And it's not just for passengers, the wireless reporting includes vehicle performance, passenger counts, fuel usage, and more.
Read more

NETI@home - Georgia Institute of Technology Uses Distributed Data Collection

An open source software package "collects network performance statistics such as average response time, average round trip time, connection times, download times, and number of packets and bytes sent and received" - not from servers, but from volunteer users' computers, all over the world. The data is used to analyze overall Internet performance.
Read more

Facebooks - What Are They Really All About?

For one thing, they are a rapidly growing part of the evolution of the use of information technology for social purposes, driven by student-age users at a pace old fogies can't even comprehend.
Read more


New Workbook Gives Students A Jumpstart On College Applications

For kids and parents worrying about the college application process, a new easy-to-use workbook gives students an early start and takes them step-by-step to success. Published by The NETWORK Inc., "Check Yourself into College" is neither voluminous nor verbose, begins as early as ninth grade, offers comprehensive and convenient tools, and brings focus and control to the college application process.
Read more

Microsoft, U. Virginia, Thomson Collaborate to Design New Instructional Tools

The University of Virginia, Thomson Learning, and Microsoft Corp. announce a collaboration to develop and deliver digital course material and tools that will help instructors better serve their students and help those students learn and retain more. The pilot project, involving the university's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, will bring rich digital content and learning applications to Tablet PCs.

U. of Kentucky to Improve Student Services with SAP

The University of Kentucky will leverage SAP(R) Campus Management, the student administration system, and SAP Grants Management, coupled with the SAP NetWeaver integration and application platform to reduce the cost of operations and enable innovation across 15 UK colleges over three years.


UT-San Antonio Awards First HACU Gateway Award

UTSA worked with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and Gateway to award a fully loaded Gateway M275E laptop to student Michael McNeil. A similar award will be given twice a year to exceptionally achieving UTSA students who were initially admitted with less than complete admission requirements.
Read more

McGraw-Hill Offers 900 eTextbooks at Discount Prices

McGraw-Hill Higher Education is addressing affordability issues that face many college students and professors. They are offering 900 e-textbooks at significantly reduced prices, providing students and professors with an affordable alternative to traditional print texts. In addition to its e-textbooks that span all disciplines, McGraw-Hill is also offering over 9,000 case studies and more than 5,000 readings and articles in a digital format.
Read more

Sponsored by:
Tired of T1's but finding fiber-optic cable too expensive for your LAN? Switch to optical wireless with LightPointe. We provide the speed of fiber with the flexibility of wireless. Point-to-point connectivity without the hassles or costly drain of licensing, permits, trenching. See why organizations such as Carnegie-Mellon University, New School University and Brooklyn Law rely on optical wireless from LightPointe.

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Syllabus2004 July 18-22, San Francisco: Technologies to Connect the Campus

Events Calendar

Sponsored by:
Syllabus2004 Features Day on Campus at UC Berkeley
Spend five days expanding your knowledge of the latest technology for higher education at Syllabus2004, July 18-22 in San Francisco and on the campus of UC Berkeley. During a special day-long visit to Berkeley you'll hear from some of the leading scholars on technology in education, including Kristine Hafner, Ph.D., on the role of IT at the University of California in turbulent times; Gary L. Baldwin, Ph.D., on the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), and Mark Kubinec on teaching with streaming media and electronic individual student response systems, to name a few. Register by June 18 and save up to $200.

For the complete program click here for details.


Should products and services from commercial publishers provide more of the functionalities of Course Management Systems, offering both content and course administration?


Laptop Tracking and Anti-Theft Tools Industry Grows

New alarm systems cover the gamut from motion detectors that set off audible alarms to stealth systems that reside on the hard drive and "phone home" to the owner the next time the laptop is on the Internet.
Read more

SunGard SCT Improves Student Service

SCT’s administrative software suite, PowerCAMPUS 5.0 and IQ.Web 3.0 helps small colleges and universities improve the campus experience. The new versions make it more convenient for students, faculty, and other constituents to use the Web to access campus information, complete tasks, and be more productive.

New Technology to Filter Spam from Purdue E-Mail

Purdue is rolling out a new spam-filtering service in response to a growing problem on the university’s network. Beginning June 14, the new service will be implemented for students who are enrolled in summer classes. The new filtering software is designed to save users time when they use their Purdue e-mail accounts. The filtering service will automatically scan incoming mail and quarantine messages that are identified as spam.
Read more

Gateway Notebooks Pump Up the Performance With Latest Intel Processor

Gateway 450 and Gateway M275 notebook PC lines with new Intel Pentium M processors designed for businesses, government agencies, educational institutions and students. The Gateway 450 is a mid-range performance and offers an optional built-in biometrics fingerprint sensor that can be used in lieu of passwords for identity authentication. The Gateway M275 is a convertible notebook that transforms into a Tablet PC by rotating the display on a hinge, then folding it on top of the keyboard for pen-based computing.

Sponsored by:
Education Technology Vendors Display Latest Products at Syllabus2004
Syllabus2004, July 18-22 in San Francisco and on the campus of UC Berkeley, features outstanding keynotes, sessions on critical technology issues, cutting-edge panels and peer networking in a collegial atmosphere. Silver Sponsors who will be exhibiting their latest products and services are Roaring Penguin Software, specializing in e-mail filtering, spam fighting and related product lines, and CSS Presentation Systems and Mitsubishi Presentation Products, offering an extensive line of multimedia projection systems and services known for award-winning color technology and innovative products.

For complete conference details and to register
click here for details.

Sponsored By

The Impact of Wireless Network on Instructional Computing

Howard Strauss, manager of technology outreach as Princeton University

Despite the popularity of the technology, wireless is only beginning to show its potential uses for instruction. Howard Strauss comments about the use of the technology, both in the classroom and remotely.

Click Here to Listen

Sponsored By

Discussion of the Week:

As academic budgets shrink, wireless access and mobile computing labs sometime appear to be attractive alternative to building and supporting fixed-station computer labs. What has been your experience with funding and mobile computing? Be sure include information about your campus to put your comments in context.

Posted by Kathleen Schwarz
UC Riverside Graduate School of Education

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