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News 04-17-2001

Syllabus 2001 Conference
Highlights Technology in Higher Education

The Syllabus 2001 conference will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley, July 20-24. The conference will present a framework for successful integration and implementation of instruction and information technologies on campus. College-level faculty, department chairs, IT managers, administrators, and media professionals will all find sessions relevant to their work. A variety of keynote addresses, breakout sessions, case studies, workshops, seminars, and technology demonstrations will provide exciting opportunities for attendees to absorb the fundamentals of technology use and gain a practical understanding of how to implement information technologies at the classroom, program, and institutional levels.

Conference content areas will include new technologies and pedagogies; Web-based learning environments and support strategies; new institutions, organizational models, strategic issues, and standards; case studies in teaching and technology implementation; connecting educational research to practice; and a featured track on Teaching, Learning, and Technology provided by the TLT Group.

Visit SyllabusWeb at for more information about Syllabus 2001, and look for the full conference brochure, available in the April issue of Syllabus magazine.

Poll Shows Faculty Prefer Web-Enhanced Courses

A new e-learning poll from WebCT shows strong faculty preference for Web-enhanced classroom instruction over either traditional classroom-only instruction or online-only distance education. Faculty also say student learning achievement is maximized in courses that combine online and classroom elements. The e-learning poll also reveals the impact of distance learning programs on higher education institutions. 73 percent of poll respondents say their institution's implementation of a distance learning program allowed their institution to reach and serve new student populations. 42 percent said implementation of a distance learning program effected a change in intellectual property policies; 31 percent said it effected changes in facilities, and 27 percent said it generated a change in faculty compensation policies.

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ONI Systems Contributes to Duke's Photonics Center

ONI Systems Corp., a provider of all-optical telecommunications equipment for metro and regional networks, recently announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Duke University's Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communications Systems (FCPCS). The contribution represents a commitment to Research Triangle Park (RTP) and to advancing optical networking research and ONI's corporate involvement includes membership on the Industry Advisory Board of the Fitzpatrick Center; sponsorship of selected research in FCPCS Focused Research; recruitment access to Duke's Pratt School of Engineering students; opportunities to enroll ONI employees as students; and collaboration with Duke Engineering faculty.

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Mentergy Develops Web-based Performance Support

Mentergy, Inc., an e-learning company, and provider of enterprise e-learning solutions worldwide, recently announced that it has developed 32 lessons for Autodesk's AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD 2000I programs. The project includes the development of e-learning lessons that will provide users with step-by-step tutorials and hands-on experience to enhance their skill in working with AutoCAD. As part of Autodesk's initiative to provide users with e-learning offerings, the Allen division developed Web-based lessons to give AutoCAD users access to concepts, tutorials, and "try-it" features that they can immediately incorporate into their jobs. They will be delivered as individual lessons, available 24/7, and also as part of live, Web-based training courses presented by subject matter experts. The AutoCAD lessons are developed in HTML and will be viewed using the Autodesk Learning Assistance (ALA) environment that the Allen team previously developed for Autodesk. ALA is a high performance learning environment integrated into Autodesk products and currently being used by millions of users. Allen offers this same system to its customers as iDiscover, providing learning "chunks" of catalogued information accessible via an Intranet, Internet, or CD-ROM.

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Community Colleges to Gain Access to .edu Internet Domain

Community colleges around the nation took a major step toward gaining the .edu domain designation with the recent announcement by Department of Commerce officials that they intend to transfer administration of .edu Internet domain space to EDUCAUSE, the national association of information technology in higher education. As the registry for .edu, EDUCAUSE will manage the database of campus Internet names and has announced its commitment to include all regionally accredited U.S. institutions of higher education, including accredited community colleges.

CommonName for Simplicity

CommonName, a global Internet company, recently launched the third generation Web addressing service for personal users. The free service replaces complicated URLs and e-mail addresses with simple names and words chosen by users. Personal users can establish unique, Internet identities without the need to notify friends and colleagues of changes to their e-mail or Web site addresses. To send an e-mail, instead of typing [email protected], users simply type the CommonName 'John Smith' into an e-mail client, such as Microsoft Outlook. Similarly, users can type 'Yahoo' into their browser's address bar, and they will be taken to their local Yahoo Web site. CommonName works with all major browsers and e-mail clients, including Outlook, Outlook Express, and Eudora, and can be downloaded free from the CommonName Web site at

Ulead Releases New Royalty-Free Media Products

Ulead Systems, Inc., a developer of image editing, video editing, and Web graphics software, announced recently a new, royalty-free line of media products. The line gives commercial and freelance producers or designers unlimited and unrestricted use of hundreds of high-resolution digital photos and video clips. All Ulead titles grant unlimited and unrestricted use to all video clips or photos used in multimedia projects, eliminating the need to obtain authoring or producing rights, licensing, or pay royalties. Video clips and photos may be used or altered as often as desired without seeking permission.

For more information, visit

VFZoom Adds Photoshop Plug-in

VFZoom has announced the availability of the VFZ Photoshop Pro Plug-in and the free VFZ Photoshop Basic Plug-in to allow users of Photoshop 6.0 for Macintosh and Windows the ability to import, view, convert, and scale image files in sizes of 5 percent to 1200 percent without loss of quality. The plug-in enables users to incorporate VFZ content into most workflows so that graphic artists, advertising designers, and others can accept VFZ images as easily as other popular formats. The VFZ Photoshop Plug-in allows users to open VFZ/PFZ files, select the enlargement desired, and save any image from a Photoshop session as a VFZ file. Users can download a fully functional copy of the VFZ Photoshop plug-ins and any VFZoom product for a free 14-day trial at

UK Course Finder

The Morrisby Organization, one of the UK's psychometric test publishers, has launched a Web site to help students and advisors find higher education courses in the UK. At, students complete an online questionnaire to identify study interest areas and personal preferences, and a search engine helps to locate a selection of appropriate courses, universities, and colleges. Results of the search are displayed online within seconds.

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