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News 01-08-2002

Texas Instruments Unveils Educational Handheld

Texas Instruments last week announced the launch of an educational handheld computer, dubbed the Voyage 200 personal learning tool (PLT). The company said the unit combines the functionality and three times the Flash memory of the TI-92 Plus, a graphing tool for college advanced math. The computer comes with an icon desktop, which enables users to navigate among handheld applications, a large display with 128 by 240 pixel imaging, and a QWERTY keypad. Other features of the unit include Cell Sheet, a spreadsheet application; StudyCards, an electronic flashcard application; Notes, an application for taking notes; and Statistics with List Editor, an analytical program that can be used with data collection for performing inferential and advanced statistical analyses.

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Fla. College Launches Sample Online Course

St. Petersurg College in Pinellas County, Fla., launched a sample online mini-course that is accessible from the home page of the college's campus web site. The sample course, titled "Introduction to Online Learning," includes a video welcome from the instructor, a course syllabus, brief reading and writing assignments, a group discussion board, chat rooms, email, and a quiz visitors can take. The navigation of the site is based in WebCT, the software system that the school uses to deliver online courses. By exploring this sample class, prospective online students can get a feel for what online learning is like and whether they're comfortable with it, according to SPC provost Dr. Jim Olliver.

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Mount Saint Mary's College Automates HR Processes

Mount Saint Mary's College said it experienced a significant reduction in human resources and payroll operating costs since implementing UltiPro, a Web based employee management application, two years ago. Pauline Engelstatter, executive director of human resources at the Maryland college, said the software helped the school generate key reports, "in minutes instead of hours ... We used to spend three hours a week manually pulling data to complete a workers' compensation report. (Now) we can run that report in minutes and have reduced overall report preparation time to a fraction of what it once was." Ultipro was developed by Florida-based Ultimate Software.

Gift Endows Photonics Lab at Worcester Institute

IPG Photonics Corp., a manufacturer of high-performance fiberoptic lasers and amplifiers, donated $360,000 to establish the IPG Photonics Laboratory in the Physics Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Mass.-based WPI's faculty and students will use the gift to develop new laboratory programs in the areas of optics, diode lasers, and fiberoptics. IPG and WPI said the gift recognizes the need for greater photonics research given the burgeoning job market in photonics and the University's strength in optics-related sciences.

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KnowledgeNet, EMC Sign E-Learning Agreement

KnowledgeNet Inc., a developer of e-learning software, signed an agreement to provide EMC Corp. with access to its entire product line, including content and authoring tools and services, to use as part of EMC's technical education offerings. Under the agreement, EMC will use KnowledgeNet's e-learning formats to support its global e-learning initiative, which encompasses worldwide internal training and EMC's professional certification program. "We chose KnowledgeNet to support our e-learning initiative because of their total service offering," said Bill Dacier, EMC's Vice President of Global Technical Training.

Adult-Ed Provider Starts Online Sports Management Program

Adult-education powerhouse National University will offer an online bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in sports management. The program, to be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, will also be offered in the classroom, beginning in March. The San Diego-based school said the program responds to an estimated 25 percent growth in demand for sports management professionals in the next decade. The program is targeted for coaches, athletic directors, team administrators, and professional athletes whose work hours, frequent travel and schedules prevent them from attending traditional university classes.

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Verona U. Uses CA Tools for Infrastructure Management

The University of Verona has signed a deal with Computer Associates to use its enterprise software Unicenter to manage the school's distributed IT infrastructure. Using the software will enable the university to centrally control its mixed Windows, Linux, and Unix IT environment. In the first phase of integrating the Unicenter system, the university wanted to monitor all the systems on its network, which were interconnected at speeds ranging from 34 to 155 Mbps. It then moved ahead with other functions, including gaining systematic control of its software licenses, up-to-date tracking of all hardware and software assets across the network, end-to-end virus protection, and centralized management of backup processes.

Lectora Updates E-Learning Authoring Software

E-learning authoring software developer Trivantis Corp. released an updated version of its Lectora Publisher Enterprise LMS Edition 2002. The company said the update includes a number of enhancements for educators and students, inlcuding the ability to print hard copies of work both during development and after publishing; the ability to save courses as templates; and the ability to divide tests into an unlimited number of sections. Lectora can be used with a number of learning management systems, including Blackboard, Saba, KnowledgePlanet, Learnframe, and GeoMetrix.

Wireless Hacking Demo Highlights Webster Software Deal

St. Louis-based Webster University's School of Business & Technology next month will host a series of live computer hacking demonstrations using wireless technology. The demos will be offered to a group of business and IT professionals to kick off a partnership between the school and Systems Advisory Group Enterprises, Inc., a Texas-based web security firm. The partnership includes the use of two SAGE servers to tighten website security for Webster's online graduate-level course offerings and extended campus network. Benjamin Akande, dean of the School of Business & Technology, said the partnership would "provide our IT students with the most current thinking in the IT field as well as give students hands-on experience with the most current technology available in web security."

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