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News 07-05-2002

Group Seeks Tool for Higher Ed Tech Costs

The Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET), a unit of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), is mounting a project to give administrators and policy-makers insights into educational technology costs. The Technology Costing Methodology (TCM) project is a costing analysis tool for schools to use to analyze the costs of instructional approaches that make heavy use of technology, and to compare cost data for different instructional approaches. The project expands WCET's work to develop a standard method to calculate technology costs across higher education, and help policymakers and planners understand how to use cost information. WCET said it would use eCollege's AU plaform to create the tool. eCollege is providing a hosted environment, a digital campus, online registration and evaluation capabilities, and help desk support for all participants.

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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

Study: Email Hurts Workplace Productivity

Email is costing businesses millions of dollars each year, according to research by the University of Western Ontario. A study by UWO B-school prof Christina Cavanagh shows email is eating up employees' time. "Put simply, email is failing as a productivity tool in the workplace," she said. "People enjoy the convenience [of email] but this is far overshadowed by the volumes of low-value emails received each day." Most of the extra time spent dealing with email occurs away from the office, usually at home. That means that not only employees are spending productive time on unproductive matters, but they're also using personal time to do so, exascerbating work-lifestyle imbalances. "The most alarming finding was that many respondents accept their frustration with email as the price they have to pay for using it," said Cavanagh. Besides extending the workweek, that price includes answering emails while on the telephone, during meetings, and during vacations.

For more information, contact Christina Cavanagh at (519) 661-3357 or [email protected]

Columbia Dental School Takes to the Web

The Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery said it would develop online continuing education courses for dentists in collaboration with ArcMesa Educators, a multi-profession provider of continuing education. The school will select and develop the content for the courses, which ArcMesa will develop for both Internet and traditional home study. According to the American Dental Association, 47 states mandate continuing dental education for practicing dentists, totaling over 200,000 dentists. "We are a forward-looking institution that believes in providing education beyond the traditional walls of a dental school," said Dr. Ira Lamster, dean of the school. "Offering CME courses online will benefit our practicing faculty and alumni, as well as dentists across the country. In addition, foreign institutions seeking an affiliation with us will now have an opportunity to do so via the Internet."

For more information, visit:

Deals, Awards, Contracts in Higher Education

-- The University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky have signed a site license with InforMax, Inc., a provider of life science informatics solutions, that will enable both universities and 10 affiliated educational institutions to use InforMax's Vector NTI Suite and Xpression NTI software as a uniform platform for the management and analysis of molecular data.

-- The University of Tokyo has picked Avaya Wireless local area network technology for its campus network. The network will enable 30,000 students, faculty and staff at the university's campuses in the suburban towns of Hongo and Komaba to have wireless access to the university network and the Internet. It is the first campuswide wireless network for the University, which is one of Japan's leading universities.

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