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CT Briefs


VIDEO LITERACY. Thanks to a program dubbed VideoNotes, students at Carleton University in Ottawa can not only view streaming videos of class lectures, they can annotate, remix, and index them. Students access the interactive and editing functions through a portal that uses the Gotuit PowerVideo platform. Metadata created by students can be searched by the community, and students can compile segments of annotated lectures into "video notebooks" that serve as study guides and can be shared with others. Read more here.

BROWARD BEEFS UP BI. Business intelligence software from SAS is helping Broward Community College (FL) generate more timely and accurate reporting on finance and enrollment across its eight campuses. "It used to take us four to six weeks to pull our financial data together into a spreadsheet, and another three to four weeks to put the financial report together," says Patti Barney, BCC's VP of IT. "Now, using SAS, we can produce multiple reports in a single day with all of the required information, right on the desktop."

LOOK AT THE SUN SPOTS. At Warren Wilson College (NC), students are studying rainforest ecology by using wireless sensor networks deployed in Panama's Cocobolo Nature Reserve. From their campus in North Carolina, the students are able to keep tabs on atmospheric conditions, plant and insect activity, and other factors tracked with Sun SPOT remote sensing devices from Sun Microsystems. The students program the networked sensing devices in Java, and as an added plus, can learn how the system itself works; the Sun SPOT hardware, software, and operating systems are entirely open source.

CT Briefs

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY'S YouTube channel showcases the university to the public.

DO YOU YOUTUBE ODU? Old Dominion University (VA) has established an advertising-free YouTube channel to offer video resources and information about the university, targeted to a recruitment and admissions audience as well as for distance learning outreach. Besides featuring academics and faculty, the videos highlight campus life, athletic facilities, and a helicopter tour.

NEW LEGS FOR TECH SUPPORT. The University of Pittsburgh (PA) has signed Alloy Software to automate technical support for its financial information systems across multiple departments. Alloy Navigator will replace the university's previous homegrown system and centralize all the service and support processes in a single database.

NANOSCIENCE GETS QUIETER AT U OF O. The University of Oregon has dedicated its new Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories building, an underground science and technology research complex that will house nanoscience research projects supported by 20 ultra-high-precision metrology, probe, lithography, and bio-optics instruments. The bedrock below the building provided unique conditions for architecting a facility with a "quietness factor" that helps shield sensitive instruments (which work in nanoscale) from environmental vibrations. Read more here.


Mark Frydenberg MASHING IT UP. Mark Frydenberg, a senior lecturer of computer information systems at Bentley College (MA), is using Popfly with first-year students so they may better understand programming in a Web 2.0 world. Popfly is a Microsoft application that makes it easy to create a mashup (a Web 2.0 construct that combines data from multiple sources), making it possible, for example, to include that mashup on a blog or website, or embed it in a Facebook page. Frydenberg says the strategy is helping his students understand software development and deployment concepts at an earlier stage in their college careers than was possible before he employed mashups in his course. Read more here.

Editor's note: Mark Frydenberg will present "A Mashup Experience: Making Data Interactive for the Web 2.0 World" at the Campus Technology 2008 annual summer conference, held in Boston July 28-31.

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