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News 09-20-2002

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Stanford Med Deploys Wireless Learning System

Stanford University School of Medicine is testing a wireless polling system that would help instructors improve classroom interactions. During the summer, students used Palm m125 handhelds equipped with the Palm Bluetooth Card, a Secure Digital Input/Output card, and Stanford's custom-designed software to communicate wirelessly with instructors. The new approach is faster and provides more accurate feedback due to the anonymity it lends to students. Based on responses, instructors were able to dynamically tailor course material to meet the needs of a particular class. "Our students come from very different backgrounds," said Pat Cross, a professor of structural biology. "Being able to more precisely fine-tune our content leads to better-educated students and, ultimately, better-trained medical professionals. The key is really the anonymity the students have. Their answers are more truthful since there is no public embarrassment for answering incorrectly."

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Featured Session on Wireless Networking and Trends at Syllabus fall2002

With the deployment of wireless networking, students and faculty alike are beginning to enjoy the freedom of roaming unfettered through campus with their notebook and handheld computers. Will wireless networking change teaching and course administration? What are the security issues? A panel discussion led by Judith B'ettcher, CREN, will present first-hand observations and studies of wireless usage on campus at Syllabus fall2002. This education technology conference, held Nov. 3-5 at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a vendor fair and an opportunity to network with colleagues focused on technology in higher education.

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College Develops Custom Certification Program

The College of Extended Studies at San Diego State University has developed a certification program in telecommunications that is customized for employees of a company that provides voice and data services outsourcing. Under the customized certification program, employees of Profitline Inc. will take university-level courses to further their understanding of telecom services and technology. "Our program in telecommunications examines the most recent developments in this rapidly changing industry, and is designed so that graduates of the program can make their companies more successful and profitable," said William Byxbee, dean of SDSU's College of Extended Studies. ProfitLine chief Rick Valencia said, "providing our employees a customized curriculum from a world-class university will help us attract better talent, improve the knowledge base of our existing team, and enable us to provide even better service to our growing base of enterprise clients."

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Washington U. Launches Continuing Ed in IT

The Center for the Application of Information Technology (CAIT), a not-for-profit organization within Washington University in St. Louis that bills itself as an education center for IT leaders in the region, has hired e-commerce firm Perficient Inc. to develop a series of technical courses on technologies for the local business community. The company will deliver for CAIT courses around platforms and technologies such as IBM's WebSphere, Java, WebSphere Portal, and Web Services. "CAIT helps our consortium of major corporations in St. Louis align the resources required to meet the challenges posed by technology, and its integration into industry and government," says Bob Thomas, director of training services, CAIT. "To address those needs, CAIT forms partnerships with content providers like Perficient, where the expertise enhances the Center's capabilities."

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U. Cincinnati Med Center Launches Mobile Initiative

The University of Cincinnati Medical Center has deployed a wireless application that will enable medicine, nursing, and pharmacy students to record data and consult with faculty as they move beyond the school's campus for patient experience in area hospitals. The network was developed by AvantGo Inc., a provider of mobile enterprise software, and systems integration firm ArcStream. It is designed to help students track patient encounters by electronically capturing data directly on mobile devices. The real-time data capture enables staff to monitor students' progress during each patient encounter, providing a portfolio of patient encounters for students and staff, and improving the University's ability to submit accurate data for accreditation purposes. "Our goal with this always-available technology is to turn our campus into a wireless Internet environment where everything from research to library resources will be accessible from students' handheld devices." said Dr. John R. Kues, a professor of family medicine at the school.

Nova Southeastern U. Builds Campuswide Video Security System

Nova Southeastern University is installing a campuswide personal security and safety system that will comprise hundreds of video cameras when it is completed. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based university is working with Nice Systems, a provider of digital recording systems, and Siemens Building Technologies Inc. to deploy the system, which was conceived as part of a new library that is being built on campus. The initial phase of installation covered digital cameras on the main campus, applications for access control, and emergency call stations with two-way audio throughout the campus. The system is managed from a Security Operations Center (SOC), which currently monitors camera coverage for the new library, parking garages, and additional areas around campus.

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U. of South Dakota Extends 'Palm Initiative'

The University of South Dakota started the second year of a two-year pilot program to determine how handheld computers could enhance the educational experience. Under USD's "Palm Initiative," the university is exploring how mobile technology would help students develop organizational skills, gain better access to course materials, improve communication with faculty and peers, and encourage the use of other types of technology. About 2,500 Palm devices have been distributed to students and faculty. Also, server-based data synchronization software from Extended Systems Inc. has been incorporated into the network, allowing students to access and update via Infrared ports around campus, email, course material and information from faculty and peers, notes taken during lectures, homework assignments and appointments.

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