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News 01-24-2003

Sponsor: NEC's eco-friendly, business-friendly PC

The PowerMate eco, from NEC. It's small, powerful, environmentally conscious, and quiet. It's built with a lead-free motherboard, NEC's patented recyclable plastic, and a boron-free flat-screen display. For more information from NEC Solutions America, visit

Educause, MERLOT Form Alliance on eLearning

The National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII), a program of Educause, and the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) formed an alliance to share information and to develop joint programs that advance online learning. The alliance will support national and campus-based initiatives in faculty development, technology use in teaching and learning, shared learning tools, and online community facilitation. Educause Vice President Carole Barone, who leads the NLII, said, "This alliance will result in an extension of expertise and focused action plans between two programs singularly dedicated to the transformative role that technology plays in education."

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Syllabus Radio: Log on and Listen!

Sponsor: Syllabus Radio: Log on and Listen!

Jeffrey L. Popyack and Nira Herrmann of Drexel University discuss pen-based electronic grading of student work submitted online. The challenges and several solutions to marking electronic text are presented in this interview with Judith Boettcher. Syllabus Radiopresents audio interviews with leaders in education technology available 24x7 at

NSF to Fund Nan'Engineering Education Initiatives

The National Science Foundation will contribute financial support to a new professional education initiative from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA). The program, the Nan'Engineering TecForum and Nan'Engineering Education Workshop, will take place this week in Santa Clara, Calif. The program will consist of the Nan'Engineering TecForum tutorial to give members and faculty a grounding in discipline. It will take on the task of introducing nanoscience and engineering into undergraduate engineering programs, and the development of a framework of interdisciplinary nan'engineering graduate degree programs accessible to students from both the engineering and scientific disciplines.

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Worcester Poly Adds Human Transporters to Fleet

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is incorporating Human Transporters (HTs)—personal motorized self-balancing vehicles—into its campus police department to make patrols around the school easier. The Segway HT uses gyroscopes and tilt sensors to emulate human balance. When a person leans slightly forward, the HT moves forward. When leaning back, the Segway HT moves back. Riders can comfortably cruise at six to eight miles per hour on sidewalks and paths, or about two to three times walking speed. The Segway HT can travel a distance that ranges from 11 to 15 miles on a single charge. The Admissions Department at WPI also plans on using its Segway HT for activities like hosting campus tours, open houses, college nights and special events.

Help Desk Institute to Offer Training Via Webinar

The Help Desk Institute (HDI), an industry association for help desk and support professionals, said its Internet component—the HDI eUniversity—will offer HDI certification training via Webinars beginning this month. HDI eUniversity will use the WebEx Training Center to reach service and support professionals with HDI's training programs. HDI eUniversity, which began last fall, currently provides HDI's online certification training program, which includes downloadable courseware to prepare for HDI's Customer Support Specialist (CSS), Help Desk Analyst (HDA), Help Desk Senior Analyst (HDSA), and Help Desk Manager certifications.

Deals, Awards, Contracts in Higher Education

COURSE MANAGEMENT—Michigan State University has adopted ANGEL, an open enterprise course management system, as its online course management solution. AGEL is a Web-based, enterprise course management system that can manage course material for distance learners. The platform was developed by CyberLearning Labs Inc., which grew out of Indiana University's Advanced Research and Technology Institute after ANGEL was developed by faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

EQUAL ACCESS—Kurzweil Educational Systems Inc., a maker of reading technology for people with learning and visual disabilities, began shipping Version 7 of Kurzweil 3000, a reading, writing and learning application for struggling students. Kurzweil 3000 Version 7 is designed to give flexibility to the testing experience, allowing students to leverage, when appropriate, the visual and auditory features of the software.

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