FCC Broadband Plan Pushes Ambitious Agenda for U.S. Education

After almost a year of development that included holding 36 public workshops in person and online and reading through 23,000 public comments, the Federal Communications Commission has released its national broadband plan with a formal report to Congress. Calling high-speed Internet access "indispensable for the 21st century, the foundation for our economy, the foundation for our democracy in the digital age," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declared the plan "ambitious but achievable."

U Tennessee Taps into 10-Gigabit Network

The University of Tennessee System will be linking to and using a new 10-gigabit IP network core built by AT&T for the state of Tennessee. The system will be expanding its use of NetTN, a custom-built virtual private network begun in 2008, to connect its five campuses statewide.

IBM Researching Mobile Device Accessibility with Universities

IBM will be working with two universities to explore the creation of an open, common user interface platform for mobile devices. The software developed by IBM, the National Institute of Design of India in Bangalore, and the University of Tokyo's RCAST, the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, will be made available as open source.

Higher Ed Sees Dramatic Ramp-Up of Unified Communications Plans

Two-thirds of institutions of higher education institutions--66 percent--have prepared a business case or strategic plan for implementing unified communications (UC), citing reduced operating costs and distance learning as the top benefits. That's up from 41 percent in 2009, according to new research released this week.

Mississippi State Students Design Android Phone Games

A dozen students in Mississippi are working with a cellular carrier to develop smartphone games that will eventually end up in the Google Android Market. The students, enrolled in a game design class at Mississippi State University, are working with Cellular South to create computer games for the HTC Hero.

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Building a 21st Century Media Facility

When the University of Nevada, Reno built its new 295,000-square-foot Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (MIKC), it wasn't just to replace an old library that was bursting at the seams with books. Rather, it was a conscious effort to make a break from the past and build a multi-purpose, multi-media facility incorporating technology from the ground up.

Snowmageddon Creates Avalanche of Emergency Alert Subscriptions

Institutions located in the northeastern part of the country found an uptick in the number of new subscribers for their emergency alert services during the first week of February--as "Snowmageddon" struck.

Casper College Launches CC Alert System

Casper College in Wyoming is launching a new emergency alert system from Inspiron Logistics. Casper College (CC) Alert uses the company's Wireless Emergency Notification System to deliver text, e-mail, and voice messages to subscribers about weather-related school closings and public safety threats.

Arizona State Adds Facebook and Twitter for Emergency Alerts

Arizona State University in Tempe has added Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds to its emergency messaging system. E2Campus, the university's emergency messaging provider, recently integrated the social networking functionality into its subscriber profiles.

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House Bill Opens E-Rate to Community Colleges

E-Rate could be in for some major changes as it heads toward "version 2.0." A bill introduced in the House this week would add a five-year pilot program to subsidize broadband equipment and services for colleges, with funds totaling $750 million over the life of the pilot.