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News 07-02-2002

Babson Blends Online, Onsite MBA Program

Babson College said it will launch in Jan. a 'fast track' MBA program that integrates traditional onsite classroom instruction with distance learning components. The program will enable students to obtain an MBA in 27 months, and is designed for executives struggling to balance work and personal demands in an economic recession. Intel Corp. sponsored the program as a complement to its corporate education package, and has modeled it with 33 employees. The blended MBA program calls for students to attend monthly two and-a-half days of face-to-face sessions with Babson's faculty on campus in Wellesley. During the rest of the time, students will take part in Internet-based distance learning sessions with their professors and access interactive multimedia course content.

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Dell and Proxim Cyber Cafe Co-Sponsors at Syllabus2002

Dell, the world's leading direct computer systems company and Proxim Corporation, a leading manufacturer of wireless networking equipment, will combine to bring conference attendees a wireless, state-of-the-art Cyber Cafe at Syllabus2002. The Cyber Cafe will feature a relaxing atmosphere, Dell laptops and the new 802.11a Proxim wireless technology. The ninth annual education technology conference will be held July 27-31 in Santa Clara, offering a full program of workshops, seminars and breakout sessions plus keynote speakers Diana Laurillard, Lawrence Lessig and Jack Wilson.

For conference details and to register, go to

Sloan Grad Non-Profit to Bridge Digital Divide

A 2000 graduate of MIT's Sloan School of Management has launched a Phnom Penh, Cambodia-based company to provide data entry and digitization services to western universities, companies, and non-profits. Digital Divide Data was founded in by 2002 Sloan grad Jeremy Hockenstein, in partnership with a group of international advisors and Cambodian nationals with a goal to improve the lives of its disadvantaged Cambodian employees. DDD's current work focuses on university libraries, digitizing academic journals, out-of-print books, rare manuscripts, newspapers and magazines, and the vast number of surveys done each year by corporations and non-profits. 'The technology revolution d'esn't have to widen the gap between rich and poor,' said Hockenstein. "We are bridging that digital divide -- bringing the benefits of technology to Cambodians by providing valuable services to richer countries."

U Washington Wins MIT Innovation Honors

The MIT School of Architecture and Planning and consulting firm Accenture awarded the University of Washington's Catalyst Initiative its Higher Education Innovator Award, one of seven 2002 Digital Government Awards recognizing best practices in digital government and higher education. The Catalyst Initiative is a campus-wide array of resources, training, tools, templates, and support designed to help the schools' faculty make use of technology in their teaching. The program consists of a set of Web-based tools that are accessed easily by the university community; a primary Web site that works as a information clearinghouse on technology-related topics; a workshop series that provides tech training for instructors; and personalized individual consulting for faculty.

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Broadband Provider Zeros In on Higher Ed

RCN Corp., a supplier of telephone, cable television, and Internet services, is leveraging its residential business to focus on the higher education market. In its latest deal, the Princeton, N.J., company signed a five year contract to provide Tufts University dark fiber in the Boston area. The agreement allows Tufts to use a piece of RCN's fiberoptic network for secure, high-speed connections for university projects requiring high bandwidth. One segment of the network is being used to create a wide area network connecting the university's main campus and its Health Sciences Campus in downtown Boston. Another network segment links the main campus to Internet2. A third is being used as part of the school's disaster recovery plan. RCN has similar agreements with George Washington University, Boston University and American University.

Company Unveils Virtual Classroom Platform

Mentergy, a developer of e-Learning applications, unveiled TrainNet 5.0, a version of its broadband virtual classroom application that uses video and voice over IP to deliver instructional content over far-flung locations. TrainNet 5.0 supports multiple, live, instructor-led classrooms of both PC- and TV-based training on different levels of bandwidth connectivity. The latest version improves access to live and recorded classes and incorporates several self-paced learning programs. The company said benefits include access to TrainNet from a Web-based student browser, allowing students to add themselves to student lists and attend syncrhonous training sessions, as well as the use of the MPEG 4 Audio/Video Engine, allowing higher quality video over lower bandwidth sessions.

Awards, Deals, Contracts, in Higher Education

-- Gallaudet University has upgraded its financial applications through an arrangement with an enterprise application service provider (ASP). The school is working with Corio Inc. to obtain infrastructure and application management services for a fixed monthly fee.

-- Saflink Corp., a developer of biometric security solutions, reached an agreement with the University of Minnesota to deploy a biometric security system throughout its enterprise network. The University plans to deploy biometrics for 1,200 users pending a successful first phase of the project.

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