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News 10-16-2001

Track at Syllabus fall2001 to Explore New Technologies

Which current technologies will have the most impact on higher education environments in the next five years? What emerging technologies will replace hem? Wireless technologies, mobile computing, handheld devices, PDAs, intelligent tutors, technology-mediated learning systems, and virtual reality are just a few of the developments covered in Track 1 at Syllabus fall2001, November 29-December 2 in Danvers, Mass. The conference will offer a diverse program with six tracks that cover the latest developments and current thinking by leaders in education technology. Don't miss this opportunity to attend a conference that will help you identify new possibilities for your institution. Online registration for the conference, along with full conference information is available at

Cornell Debuts On-Line Human Resources Management Program

eCornell, the distance learning subsidiary of Cornell University, last week launched an online curriculum for human resources professionals. The program, which will offer online workshops and certificate programs, will draw on the faculty and resources of Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). Francis Pandolfi, eCornell's president and CEO, said there were about 1 million human resources executives who cannot tap the ILR school because of distance. eCornell, founded in Sept. 2000, created ILR courseware that uses case studies, interactive exercises, simulations, role-playing scenarious and multi-media presentations.

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Commerce Tech Grants Go to Higher Ed

The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration this month awarded $42.8 million in Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) grants to 74 non-profit organizations, including 13 higher education institutions for projects ranging from a videoconferencing network for the hard-of-hearing to a wireless access network to support a mobile clinic. The grants, which were matched by $46.7 million in contributions from the private sector and state and local organizations, are designed to push the benefits of advanced telecommunications technologies to underserved communities.

In the higher ed community, the following schools received grants:

  • San Diego State University Foundation, $849,558 for the Digital Bridge Community Technology Network, a regional community network with a flexible, multi-use "smart community technology center." The network will link to six new mini-labs in public housing complexes and community technology centers in schools, libraries, and non-profit organizations throughout the county.

  • Miami-Dade Community College, $580,331 to build a network of eReach centers, where free online educational programs, such as high school equivalency and workforce readiness classes, can be provided to unemployed and underemployed job seekers. Each center will include 18-20 computers.

  • Eastern Kentucky University, $715,250 to develop a statewide videoconferencing network that will include 28 Deaf Access Stations equipped with computer workstations to allow a deaf or hard of hearing person to communicate with a hearing person.

  • Louisiana State University and A&M College, $666,830 to develop the nation's first statewide Internet-based fire service training program. The Fire Information Network will link all Louisiana fire departments and emergency services providers in order to provide alternative training services to rural and economically disadvantaged fire departments.

  • Grambling State University, $649,998 to work with African-American churches in six rural parishes in north Louisiana to increase Internet connectivity among church members to teach them how to access information and assistance in areas of education, health, workforce development, and family values, as well as community information.

  • Northeastern University, $399,225 for MassAgenda, a user-friendly web-based platform to offer several Boston-area community organizations the opportunity to communicate with each other to pursue community-building activities.

  • Mott Community College, $411,567 to help five Community Technology Centers (CTCs) in Flint, Mich., better serve end users. The project will establish four online Cohort Affinity Groups (CAGs) to focus on areas where opportunity exists for careers in information technology or business.

  • Montana State University, $809,365 for technology training centers at four Tribal colleges within Montana. The Centers will work with tribal elders and leaders to teach digital preservation skills.

  • University of New Mexico, $815,784 for broadband Internet connectivity to five tribal museums and culture centers. The network connecting the sites will allow the museums to develop web-based exhibitions and databases; cultural and arts education programs in traditional languages for the tribal members; and cultural education programs for the public.

  • North Carolina Central University, $441,043 to work with a local community development organization to promote the use of digital network technologies in underserved communities in Durham, N.C.

  • University of Texas, $794,353 to build a high-speed, digital fiberoptic network to link eight public school districts to social service and medical professionals for interactive training and interviews with at-risk children.

  • University of Tennessee, $749,498 for a mobile access network to extend an existing fixed video network. The network will support a mobile clinical center that will provide dental and ophthalmology services, as well as preventive care education, to children and elderly persons.

  • Lower Columbia College, $447,253 to develop community centers that will use existing and experimental networking technology to enhance opportunities for two of Washington State's most impoverished counties.

For more information, visit:

Northwestern Upgrades Network Search Technology

Northwestern University has incorporated new search software to enable its online users to perform relevant, comprehensive searches across 250,000 documents and 700 sites that comprise its network. Staci Roberts, director of Web Communications for the school, said the decentralization of university information made it "increasingly difficult to find documents within our network" as its user community grew. Northwestern chose Inktomi Enterprise Search, a scalable search software platform from Inktomi Inc.

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Lehigh to Offer Off-Campus Students Dial-up Access

Bethlehem, Pa.-based Lehigh University said it agreed to provide its off-campous students with dial-up Internet access. The school said it wanted to provide its off-campus students with the same level of network service it provided on-campus students. Lehigh will work with local Internet Service Provider Fastnet to provide the dial-up service and toll-free access numbers so that students' off-campus residences could be serviced. Roy Gruver, the school's director of technology management, said students receive a variety of ISP services, including email, and web and file space. About 600 students have signed up for the service out of about 2,000 who are eligible.

Vendor Gives $6M In Software To Kettering University

MSC.Software Corp., which markets simulation software for product design and manufacturing automation, said it donated $6 millon in computer-aided engineering software to Flint, Mich.-based Kettering University. The company said the donation acknowledges the need for students in the current economy to be exposed to the latest design tools. K.J. Berry, head of the engineering department at Kettering, which specializes in career-based engineering and applied science programs, said the donation helps the school maintain a curriculum that is "relevant, attractive and meet the needs of a changing engineering climate."

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California Unveils Web-based Teacher Assessment Module

iAssessment, a software company specializing in the education market, said its tools would be used in a California project to create a web-based method for testing how well teachers use technology for instruction and classroom management. The application service provider said its Teacher Technology Use Survey Module (TechUse) would be used as part of the California Technology Assistance Project's (CTAP) online interactive teacher-assessment portal, called CTAP2. Gary Quiring, a consultant with the California Department of Education, said the web module would help the state assess its teachers' "professional development needs and measure the results of our efforts to train them."

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LSU Center Builds Versatile Video Network

Louisiana State University's Health Science Center has finished a 72-node IP video network that links 12 offices across the state. The network, built by Wire One Technologies Inc., will be used to support research among state institutions and to collaborate with outside organizations. Kenneth Tanner, information technology analyst at the Health Science Center, said the Center often conferences across "separate, independently managed and addressed IP networks." The Wire One solution allocates network resources across multiple networks, "establishing video communications between ISDN users, IP users on our own networks and Internet2 users."

For more information, visit

Texas Wesleyan to Install Enterprise Software Platform

Texas Wesleyan University said it would install an enterprise software platform to integrate finance and administrative applications across the university intranet. The Fort Worth, Texas-based school said it would run Colleague software from Datatel Inc., which has modules for financials, projects accounting, human resources management, position budgeting, and residence life. Other built-in applications include a "benefactor" system for campaign planning, donor and pledge processing, and a "WebAdvisor" application that enables Web-based student self-service.

For more information, please visit

Electronic Document Group Announces Scholarship Winners

The Electronic Document Systems Foundation (EDSF), a non-profit organization for print and digital communications, last week announced 13 recipients of a $25,000 scholarship for the 2001 fall academic term. The scholarships are given to full-time students pursuing careers in the field of electronic document and communications. This year, over 80 students submitted applications for the scholarships. EDSF was founded in 1996 as a catalyst for education and research initiatives to resolve document communication issues that affect society.

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University of Utah Adopts Course Management System

The University of Utah's continuing education department adopted a course management system from Prometheus, a scalable software solution based on a community source code model. The solution encourages institutions to modify and develop the product, a web-based system that facilitates an interactive environment for online programs as well as face-to-face courses. The department is using Prometheus to convert correspondence courses to an online environment and to create online courses that can be offered both locally and nationally.

For more information, visit:

Don't Miss These Events from 101communications

Datawarehouse Institute
October 22-26, San Francisco, CA

Integration Solutions,
October 24-26
The premiere conference and exhibition to bring together the developer community.

Syllabus fall2001 "Next Steps: Moving Forward with Campus IT"
November 29-December 2, Danvers, MA.
Online registration available:

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