News 10-25-2002

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 www.syllabus.com/fall2002.

Survey: Internet Trumps Library in Student Success

A survey by McGraw-Hill Ryerson found that Web technology is considered by higher-ed faculty to be the most effective resource in encouraging student success, outweighing traditional resources such as the library and tutoring. The survey, which followed three years of data collection at U.S. and Canadian universities, found that 83 percent of higher-ed faculty believe Web technology is a key contributor to student success. The survey said that 62 percent of faculty now use Web content for course preparation, 56 percent use the Internet to supplement textbooks and 51 percent use the Web to ensure up-to-date course content. The use of the Internet in course preparation jumped to first place in terms of importance, with 91 percent of faculty ranking it extremely important. McGraw-Hill said this reflects the increasing amount of current Web-based information available and students' expectations about it being used in their courses.

To order copies of the survey, contact Marlene Luscombe, (905) 430-5130 or marlenel@mcgrawhill.ca.

States Tap Universities to Stimulate Network Demand

A survey by a utility think tank found states are using innovative ways to stimulate demand for rural broadband services. The survey by the National Regulatory Research Institute found that 14 states make state-owned networks available to local governments, universities and schools. One state leases state networks to private providers, while 11 states use anchor tenancy to leverage their demand as a big customer in a group of small ones, to encourage providers to invest in underserved areas. Demand aggregation, in which small communities pool demand, is being used in seven states. In addition to demand-side programs, many states use supply-side incentives: Seven states make grants available to service providers, eight states have programs of grants or loans; four use tax incentives, and seven offer discounts.

For more information, visit: www.nrri.ohio-state.edu and select Complimentary Briefings.

Howard U. Launches High-Tech, Converged Media Lab

Howard University's Department of Journalism, together with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and Microsoft Corp., have launched a media lab that will combine broadcast, print, advertising, and public relations studies under one converged journalism curricula. Microsoft provided software and $70,000 for hardware, technical assistance, and furniture to support the Converged Media Lab. The multimedia facility contains broadcast monitors and 10 workstations with computers, printers, scanners, and digital graphic-design equipment. "We know that the convergence is occurring," said Dr. Jannette Dates, dean of Howard University's School of Communications. "To help shape change, you need to embrace it and try to understand and work with it."

Kurzweil Program to Integrate Classroom Readers

Reading-technology developer Kurzweil Educational Systems said it will offer a program to train educators to integrate Kurzweil 3000—its comprehensive reading, writing, and learning software for struggling students—into the classroom and to adapt its use to students' learning styles and boost their performance. The professional development program (PDP) is designed to assist teachers who are struggling to learn and incorporate new technologies and incorporate them into the classroom. The Kurzweil PDP involves four workshop modules to accommodate teacher technology expertise and tight work schedules.

Firm Unveils Web-Storage Back-Up for Higher Ed

Data-storage system developer DataPeer Inc. last week launched VirtU, a system offering higher-ed institutions mobile, Web-based, remote backup, storage, and synchronization of data. The system will provide secure access to content, including course materials, research documents, and images, so that space on individual desktop hard drives and institution servers can remain available for other data storage and processing purposes. The company said the system can transfer, store, retrieve, and synchronize data between multiple devices, from desktops and laptops to handhelds and PDAs regardless of location.

Awards, Deals, Contracts in Higher Education

Wireless—The University of Notre Dame picked a wireless access-point system from American Access Technologies Inc. in designing its next-generation telecommunications network. The company makes zone cabling units that mount in ceilings, raised floors, and in custom furniture, routing traditional cabling, wireless, and fiber optics to the office desktop. Notre Dame's Network Design Engineer Ric Mauch said the solution helped the school solve the problems of "security and aesthetics."

Video Distance Learning—Texas Tech University is using interactive video conferencing technology to help manage its distance-learning program. The system, Polycom Inc.'s ClassStation, integrates the software and hardware for enabling classroom video communications in one package. With the system, the university's Hill County Initiative is providing students who are not located near a Texas Tech campus access to the school's faculty. The university also uses video extensively in its College of Education, allowing students working on teaching credentials to observe K-12 classroom behavior before they begin student teaching.

Teacher Training Systems—La Sierra University, in Westlake Village, Calif., is using teacher training and "credentials management" software from Novantus Corp. to support the school's Career Ladder Teacher Training and APPLES (Advancement of Para-Professionals through Leadership, Education and Support) programs. The company's Online Registration and Administrative Processing System and Credential Management System are solutions "capable of connecting different clients and users in a highly scalable platform," according to John Thomas, Dean of the La Sierra University School of Business.

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