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News 08-06-2002

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Internet2 Releases Open Source Security Tool

Internet2, the consortium of universities building advanced networking systems for research, released OpenSAML, a building block for standards-based network identity solutions, such as single Internet sign-on and secure Web service transactions. OpenSAML is a free, open source reference implementation of the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), developed by the global non-profit consortium OASIS to allow authentication information to be exchanged among different Web access management and security products. "Open-source implementations of key protocols and technologies have been essential to making the Internet what it is today," said Bob Morgan, senior technology architect at the University of Washington. "We think SAML is an important technology and are promoting its adoption and evolution, in both open-source and proprietary contexts ..."

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Sponsor: Plan Now to Present at Syllabus fall2002

Share your expertise with education technology's leaders when you present at the Syllabus fall2002 conference, November 3-5. At this, Syllabus' 4th annual autumn visit to the Boston area, faculty, administrators and IT professionals will gather at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel to explore the latest applications of information technology in higher education institutions. Compelling technology topics presented in a collegial atmosphere is the hallmark of Syllabus' Boston conferences. Be there to set the tone with your presentation. Proposals to present at the main conference or to lead a full- or half-day seminar during the pre-conference are due by August 15.

Submission guidelines, content areas and complete details can be found online at

California Unveils 'Master Plan for Education'

The state of California last week released the latest version of its "Master Plan for Education," the result of dozens of committee, working group, and town hall meetings, as well as email testimony from thousands of Californians. The plan is a "roadmap for policymakers for the next 20 years," said state Sen. Dede Alpert. Major changes in the plan, which tries to align all sectors of the state education program, cover accountability; collective bargaining; pay for temporary faculty; a model instructional system for novice teachers; and greater focus on career preparation and integrated learning. "The Master Plan places students at the focal point of the entire system with an eye toward ensuring they can successfully compete in labor markets, creating the potential for individual well being for all California students and powering our economy with the human capital it needs," said David Rattray, president of UNITE-LA School-to-Career, a local education policy group.

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Revered Minn. Trade School Remakes Image

The Dunwoody Institute, begun 90 years ago as a trade school to train young adults for careers in Twin Cities area industries, has changed its name to the Dunwoody College of Technology. "It's time to call ourselves a college, because we've been operating more like one for a long time," said C. Ben Wright, president. He said a number of factors went into the decision, including confusion among students about the meaning of "institute," and the technical sophistication that has grown up around nearly all trades. "Fields such as manufacturing and automotive service, which usually conjure up images of grease smears and oil stains, now require trained technicians to program, operate and repair highly technical equipment," Wright said. "As we move more into the 21st century, we will see even greater levels of technology in all fields. Our name simply needed to be more in tune with all of this..."

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Sylvan Learning Standardizes on Blackboard

Sylvan Learning System's online higher education division adopted the Blackboard Learning System as its online operating system. Under the agreement, Sylvan will use a customized version of Blackboard for course authoring, management and delivery. Sylvan, one of the leaders in for-profit consumer education, has broadened its position in the post-secondary e-Learning market to 3,127 enrollments in 2002. Sylvan will now use Blackboard across its online higher ed offerings, which include Walden University for working professionals in education, management, health, and psychology; National Technological University for engineering, management, and computer-related fields; Canter & Associates for education professionals; and, a partnership with UCLA Extension, University of San Diego Continuing Education, and Andrews University.

State Department Starts Online IT Training

The Foreign Service Institute, the training division of the U.S. Department of State, will launch an e-learning program on information technology to prepare its personnel for increasingly technical systems used in the field of diplomacy. The program will be put together by SmartForce Inc., an online learning firm. State has made it a priority to upgrade its IT infrastructure and to deploy a system worldwide for Internet and e-mail access for all its employees. The SmartForce program will include courses on e-mail, Internet, and IT competency. "Providing easily accessible training, anytime and anywhere, increases the effectiveness of our entire organization," said Janette Corsbie, program director for the School of Applied Information Technology's Distance Learning Program, U.S. Department of State. "Given the current state of U.S. foreign affairs, it is essential to our national security that all personnel are competent in advanced technologies."

Awards, Deals, Contracts, in Higher Education

-- Acxiom Corp. signed an agreement with online education provider Career Education Corporation (CEC) to provide data center and network management services for CEC's 42 campuses, schools and universities. The data center will allow CEC to run continuously while still having secure, global access via the Internet to CEC's private network.

-- South China University of Technology will incorporate 40 seats of Cosmos/Works into its 3D CAD curriculum The school has been teaching with SolidWorks software since 1999, and works in cooperation with Hong Kong-based reseller Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology, Ltd. (ICT), to provide students with 3D CAD training. The implementation of Cosmos/Works will add an advanced feature of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to educate students on the analysis capabilities of SolidWorks products.

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