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Campus Briefs


DEEP IN THE BRONX FOREST? In New York City’s borough of The Bronx, Hostos Community College of CUNY students are taking their Palm Tungsten E2 PDAs to city parks, to study forest ecology. The Palms are part of an initiative at the college that will introduce mobile technology into curricula across various disciplines including mathematics, nursing, and biology.

PODCASTING THE WORD OUT. The interdepartmental Podcast Group at Broward Community College (FL) has implemented a specialized program highlighting key technology events and programs at the college. The “bobCasts” are named for Associate Professor of Speech and Communications Robert Buford, who leads the Podcast Group in its larger mission to foster podcasting throughout the multiple campuses of BCC.

Riverbluff Cave

FOSSILS VIA FIBER: Ozarks Technical
Community College
helps connect Riverbluff
Cave researchers via videoconference.

REAL-TIME PALEONTOLOGY. Ozarks Technical Community College (MO) and MOREnet, the Missouri Research and Education Network, are digging deeper into the application of videoconferencing to learning and research. They’ve installed 1,600 feet of armored, direct-burial fiber-optic cable in the Riverbluff Cave in southwest Missouri, and have networked a field house where work is being done on discovered items. Those finds include some of the oldest Ice Age fossils in North America. Polycom videoconferencing equipment will bring the field science into classrooms at various institutions around the state, while protecting the cave from some of the disturbances caused by human visitors.

AUTOMATING THE SYLLABUS. The Center for Learning Technologies at Old Dominion University (VA) has designed a web-based tool for faculty to create, adapt, and share course syllabi. The Syllabus Generator not only makes the faculty’s work easier, it promotes consistency and integration of university academic policies and scheduling information.

A GOOD DEFENSE. Regent University (VA) Ph.D. candidates in the School of Psychology and Counseling’s Counselor Education and Supervision program defend their dissertations online using Horizon Wimba software. Online defenses are preferred because a greater number and variety of students and authorities within the specialization can attend and participate in the discussions.

DON’T GET LOCKED OUT. When technologists at the University at Albany, SUNY (NY) wanted to upgrade a magnetic-strip-based locking system, old, thick concrete walls made hard-wiring a new system impractical. Instead, the university installed a wireless electronic access-control system from Schlage Electronic Security, which made retrofitting both easy and affordable.

SHORING UP EXCHANGE. Mindful of the disaster recovery scenarios of recent times, Texas Christian University administrators have taken steps to ensure nearly uninterrupted operation of the school’s Microsoft Exchange-based e-mail system during an event that could threaten its data center. Using SteelEye Technology’s Life- Keeper for Exchange, TCU can now failover its mail server in minutes, during planned or unplanned outages.

VIRTUAL UNION. Front Range Community College (CO) has created a Virtual Student Union so students can gather in an online chat room or join a threaded discussion. A student resources course shell was created, and all students using WebCT were enrolled. With 35,000- plus hits during the Spring 2006 semester, attendance is said to rival that of any F2F student union.

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