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News 10-22-2002

Sponsor: SMART Technologies Inc.

The Sympodium(TM) interactive lectern combines the advantages of the SMART Board(TM) interactive whiteboard with a contemporary podium design. It's perfect for larger classrooms and lecture theaters. To see the Sympodium interactive lectern in action, order your free video CD-ROM. Reply before November 1, 2002, and receive a FREE 12-disk CD case.

The Sympodium lectern lets you face your audience as you interact with your presentation. The lectern's interactive screen and your auditorium's projection system simultaneously display your computer image. Using the lectern's attached stylus, you simply touch the interactive screen to control applications, access the Internet or write electronic notes while your audience follows along. If you have questions about SMART products in education, please contact us at [email protected] or 1.888.42.SMART.

MIT Launches Center for Technology Innovation

MIT last week launched the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, a grant-giving organization that will use a $20 million endowment to support research by MIT faculty and students and facilitate collaboration among entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and business innovators. The center will support emerging technology, including biotechnology, information technology, new materials, tiny tech, energy, and environmental innovation. "Reducing the disconnect between academia and the marketplace ... promises to accelerate the rate that technological innovation reaches communities well beyond the boundaries of MIT," said Prof. Charles Cooney. The Center plans to award $15 million in program grants over the next five years, including nine grants already selected from a total of 47 proposals.

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Sponsor: Syllabus fall2002 Offers Networking, Interactive Discussions

Time is running out to register for the Syllabus fall2002 Education Technology Conference November 3-5 at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel in Newton, Mass. Highlighted by pre-conference seminars, keynote speakers and breakout sessions, the conference provides a multitude of networking opportunities and interactive discussions to stimulate your thinking about technology on campus. Birds of a Feather discussion groups are also scheduled for attendees to share information and explore key areas of implementation on campus. For more details and to register, go to

Georgia Schools Receive Economic Development Gift

Georgia Southern University and Georgia Southwestern State University received $3 million worth of technology, software, and training from NCR Corp., part of an economic development plan for rural Georgia. Under the arrangement, the schools will own intellectual property rights to selected software applications that NCR developed for global use by other business and government organizations. The universities will take over ongoing enhancement and future development of the software. Ultimately, NCR could become a distributor of the re-developed software for the universities, in return for which the universities would receive licensing fees. The fees are expected to generate revenue that the universities can invest in future R&D and expansion.

Speech-to-Sign-Language Application Unveiled

Two imaging, speech and language technology developers last week unveiled a product to convert speech into video-based sign language in real time. The iCommunicator, developed by ScanSoft Inc. and Interactive Solutions Inc., is designed to help people with hearing loss, as well as others without hearing loss, interact even if they do not know how to sign. The application uses ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking for automatic speech recognition, and ScanSoft RealSpeak for converting text into synthesized human speech. In a classroom setting, a teacher wears a wireless headset thatrelays what is spoken to a PC used by a student. The program converts the speech into text, and simultaneously presents video sign language from a database of more than 9,200 video clips. Developers said the application would help meet requirements for equal access to information required under Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

CMU Software Deal Focuses on Wireless Design

Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Wireless and Broadband Networking (CWBN) and wireless technology developer Ansoft Corp. have struck a deal that uses Ansoft software to help CMU students design, analyze, and understand wired, optical, and wireless networks and systems. The three-yearagreement was kicked off with an initial donation of HFSS and Ansoft Designer packages, advanced software for the design of high-frequency systems. CWBN was founded in 2001 to focus on advanced heterogeneousnetworks through research, teaching, and technology transfer. The Center is organized into four areas of expertise: networking, wireless communication, telecommunications policy, and optical communications.

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Planning Software for New Tablet PCs Unveiled

Productivity software firm FranklinCovey and a developer of mobile applications will introduce TabletPlanner, a planning and productivity software application for the Windows-powered Tablet PC. The tool will be introduced Nov. 7 during the launch of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system. TabletPlanner will initially be available for six Tablet PC manufacturers: HP, Acer, Fujitsu, Toshiba, ViewSonic and PaceBlade. The program has a natural handwriting interface based on the layout of the paper-based FranklinCovey Planner. It includes tools such as the Appointment Schedule, Prioritized Daily Task List, and Daily Notes.

For-Profit Ranked as Fourth Best Small Company

Corinthian Colleges Inc., a private, for-profit company specializing in post-secondary education, was chosen as the fourth best small company on the 2002 Forbes magazine 200 Best Small Companies list. The companies were ranked based on five-year average and most recent 12-month return on equity and growth in sales and earnings. Corinthian operates 64 colleges in 21 states, including 16 in California and 12 in Florida. The company says it serves the large and growing market of those seeking to acquire career-oriented education to become more qualified and marketable in their professions.

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