News 09-04-2001

"The Next Killer App" at Syllabus fall2001

Carl Berger, respected professor of Science and Technology Education at the University of Michigan, will present the keynote address at the Syllabus fall2001 conference in the Boston area, Thursday, November 29. "We're at the convergence of technological, pedagogical, and administrative changes in higher education that could generate the 'killer app' for students and teachers," Berger says. "Open knowledge initiatives, wireless, new operating systems, campus course tools, and the sharing of interoperable learning objects may change the way we do our daily work as much as a word processor has changed the way we write," he adds. Berger's address, titled "The Next Killer App, or SoYou Thought Your Change in Administrative Computing Was Expensive...," will use the Visible Human Project as a starting point to consider these pending changes in teaching and learning environments in higher education.

For complete conference details, visit http://www.syllabus.com/fall2001/index.asp. Online registration is available at http://confreg.uoregon.edu/syllabusfall2001.

Hebrew University to Develop E-Learning Center

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,renowned for providing a high-tech learning environment for its medical students, recently launched an E-Learning Center designed to expand and improve the electronic learning and teaching facilities available at the university and to assist in the development of new teaching and learning technologies. Arel Communications and Software and SGI are offering the Hebrew University School of Medicine a complete solution called ContinUlearn, which enables synchronous and asynchronous rich-media distributed learning. ContinUlearn is powered by SGI media serving, Arel's Ideal suite of e-learning software and Kasenna's MediaBase media streaming software. At the core of the E-Learning Center will lie a computer farm that consists of 100 PCs powered by SGI for media streaming.

For more information, visit http://www.sgi.com.

THINQ Wins CompTIA Corporate Award of Excellence

THINQ Learning Solutions' work with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to bring new job opportunities to economically challenged communities has won the company a first-place Corporate Award of Excellence from CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association. The THINQ/JHU program has so far placed 90 percent of participants in well-paying jobs. CompTIA recognized the joint program to provide an electronic lifelong career tran-script system for underemployed residents of the metro Baltimore area. The goal of the initiative is to help residents acquire the skills needed to find jobs in the community. Conceived by JHU and built on the THINQ TrainingServer Learning Management System (LMS), the career transcript system helps job candidates map out learning plans, acquire and test skills online, track learning progress, and document their capabilities for employers. The system also lets communities aggregate transcripts into "community skills maps" that can attract new employers to the area. More than 100 formerly under-employed individuals have already obtained well-paying jobs as laboratory technicians at Johns Hopkins and private employers.

For more information, visit http://www.comptia.org and http://www.xspertise.com.

MetaText Signs Agreement with Wiley

MetaText, the digital textbook division of netLibrary, recently announced an agreement with John Wiley & Sons. MetaText will develop electronic versions of 15 of Wiley's college textbooks, eight of which will be available for review and adoption in the fall of 2001. The agreement will allow students to purchase Wiley titles through MetaText's Web-based platform beginning this fall. The Wiley titles that will be available through MetaText include textbooks and study guides in the subject areas of business, accounting, science, and social science. The textbooks are Web-based and allow users access from virtually any online computer in the world. There is no download or plug-in requirement, and MetaText editions facilitate communication via e-mail, and offer instructor annotations and announcements. Additional features include student annotation, highlighting, Web linking, and American Heritage Dictionary integration.

For more information, visit http://www.MetaText.com.

Russian Programmer Indicted

A San Jose, Calif. grand jury has indicted Russian computer programmer Dmitry Skylarov and his company, charging that they violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Skylarov and his company, ElcomSoft, were charged with copyright violations for writing and selling a program that enables users of Adobe's eBook Reader to circumvent copyright protections of e-book publishers. Though the program is legal in Russia, if convicted in the U.S., Skylarov could be fined $250,000 and sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

Indiana University Creates Three New Tech Labs

A multi-million dollar Lilly Endowment grant has enabled Indiana University to launch three new laboratories to research diverse aspects of pervasive computing. Pervasive computing is the increasingly powerful integrated combination of high-speed computers and intelligent devices, ranging from scientific instruments of all kinds and sizes, to home appliances, low-cost ubiquitous sensors, personal communicators and information stores, and online digital libraries--all completely interconnected by wired and wireless networks accessible anywhere in the world. Pervasive Technology Labs will ultimately house six distinct labs, including the Advanced Network Management Lab, Open Systems Lab, and Community Grids Lab. Funded by a $30 million Lilly Endowment, Pervasive Technology Labs will contribute to the development of Indiana's information technology sector through technology transfer, commercialization of innovations produced in the labs, and joint research and development partnerships with industry.

For more information, visit http://www.pervasivetechnologylabs.iu.edu.

LAN/WLAN Analysis Software Site License Program

WildPackets, developers of network and Internet management tools, is offering a site license program for higher education and K-12 accounts that allows campus-wide or district-wide use of a full suite of products. A limited-time program provides for the incorporation of EtherPeek, AiroPeek, and other WildPackets' products into classroom curriculum while also offering the tools for general LAN/WLAN analysis, monitoring and troubleshooting by campus IT staff.

For more information, visit http://www.wildpackets.com.

Multimedia Editing on the Windows 2000 Desktop

Contour Design has announced the release of the ShuttlePRO multimedia controller for Windows 2000. The USB-based ShuttlePRO has thirteen buttons, a jog wheel, and a shuttle knob that are fully programmable to any keyboard shortcut. The "shuttle knob" is the outer ring that facilitates fast forward and rewind for quick access of digital frames. The "jog wheel" is the internal portion of the knob, which provides precise frame-by-frame control. The device is supplied with easy to use software that allows users to customize the device for their favorite audio, video, and multimedia applications. The ShuttlePRO comes with application settings for video editing software applications including Premiere, Cubase, Boris RED, After Effects, ProTools, VideoStudio, MediaStudio Pro, VideoWave, among others.

For more information, visit http://www.contourdesign.com.

Duke to Combat Plagiarism

Duke University, in an effort to stop Internet plagiarism, has purchased a license for its faculty to use turnitin.comóa Web site that seeks to determine whether papers had been plagiarized. The new database, available at turnitin.com, will be available to instructors who have probable cause to suspect plagiarism.

BU Takes IT Training Programs National

Boston University has launched TrainingTrack to distribute classroom-based IT training products and services through a national network of independenttraining affiliates. TrainingTrack provides IT and project management curricula from Boston University as a co-branded offering to regional training organizations on a market-exclusive basis. The courseware offered through the network is designed to help institutions of higher education cultivate recurring, life-long learning, revenue streams and tap national corporate IT training contracts. In addition to curricula, TrainingTrack will provide affiliates with marketing and consulting expertise for market differentiation and recruiting.

For more information, visit http://www.trainingtrack.com.

Portable Computer for Education Market

Brainium Technologies, a provider of technology-based education solutions, recently announced the company is in full production of its new Brainium DreamMax wireless computer. The DreamMax combines the Microsoft Windows CE 3.0 operating system and Microsoft Windows for Handheld PC 2000 Pocket Office applications an Intel RISC processor. The DreamMax is sold in a number of configurations, including individual units with carry cases; Group Packs of 4 units with a rechargeable, locked cabinet; and the Rol-A-Lab dock and charge cart of up to 20 units. Each configuration can be operated in a wireless environment facilitating student access to online and networked resources.

For more information, visit http://www.brainium.com.

Federal Report on Digital-Copyright Law

A recent U.S. Copyright Office report recommends against revising copyright law to assure that libraries and consumers can lend and archive software and other electronic material they purchase. The Copyright Office is required to issue the report to Congress so that lawmakers can decide whether there are holes or flaws in the digital-copyright law that need to be fixed. The report concludes that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which updated copyright law for a digital environment, has not significantly undermined what is known as the first-sale doctrine. The doctrine allows purchasers of books, CDs, and software to give them away or sell them. The Copyright Office report recommended revising the digital-copyright law to ensure thattemporary "buffer" files made while broadcasting videos or music on the Internet should be exempt from infringement liability and extra royalty fees. The office also advised that the law be clarified to say that back-up copies of electronic data are prohibited from distribution under the first-sale doctrine.

ISTE Research Journal Offers Free Issue

ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) published a free issue of its quarterly Journal of Research on Technology in Education at its Web site, http://www.iste.org/jrte. This issue marks the journal's name change from the Journal of Research on Computing in Education (JRCE). Highlights of this issue include articles about the effectiveness of math and technology standards, the role of technology and best practices in K-12 teaching, and the impact of accountability systems on school culture. Authors hail from such diverse and influential institutions as Arizona State University West, Purdue University, Delphi Research, Hong Kong Baptist University.

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