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News 03-07-2003

Sponsor: Faculty Best Practices: What are Colleagues Doing?

Discuss key issues and hot topics with the experts and your colleagues in the Syllabus Forums at David Brown of Wake Forest University leads a forum on faculty best practices and how to use technology to improve teaching and learning. How are you using asynchronous discussions? What tips to do you for others? Weigh in with your thoughts and questions and see what solutions your colleagues might have.

Ball State Design Center Will Develop Digital Ed Applications

Ball State University opened the Center for Media Design, a $20 million research initiative designed to be a hub for research, assessment, and development of digital media applications in education, industry, and in communities. The Center would provide a foundation for consumer testing on campus as well as in the community. Other testing options include a "smart house," where real consumers will be under observation while testing advanced technology products and a wireless lab dedicated to researching the next best mobile products and content for market. "The work going on here shows great promise in transforming how our faculty uses technology to enhance the education of our students," said Ball State president Blaine Brownell.

Microsoft Sends $15M Software to Historically Black Colleges

Microsoft Corp. announced a $15 million software grant to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund (TMSF) technology initiative, a multi-year effort to raise more than $100 million to upgrade technology at public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The software grant will be distributed to TMSF institutions through a competitive process designed to identify the schools best prepared to take advantage of the technology. There are currently 45 TMSF colleges. Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Elijah Cummings said the grant "will create a bridge that will help close the 'digital divide' in higher education and provide the necessary tools HBCUs need to compete in today's global economy."

New Jersey Dental School Rolls Out Wireless Curriculum

The New Jersey Dental School launched an electronic curriculum program using wireless and DVD storage technologies to provide access to information by dental students no matter where they are. Under the new curriculum, each freshman student will be outfitted with a wireless IBM ThinkPad, enabling them to move around without losing access to their information. Each student's curriculum and course material can then be updated every six months at no additional cost. The system will allow students to download information from their wireless Internet connection at any time or place. Students also have access to e-mail from professors and digital video on the latest tools and techniques. All of these services are provided through a school-wide wireless network.

Ohio State's MicroMD Lab Deploys IP-Based Monitors

Ohio State University's MicroMD Laboratory, a center for developing microsystems and nanotechnology devices, is using Netbotz, an IP-based monitoring system, to help track the physical security and safety of the materials, equipment, and personnel working in the laboratory. Shana Underberger, the lab’s manager of information systems, said, "We have a number of isolated areas within the lab. It's critical that we have an eye on all these places to make sure everything's okay. Having the visual information about what's going on is a part of how we constantly improve our processes." The system allows lab personnel to review captured images to locate the source of a problem. Underberger said the group is looking to eventually integrate the environmental information captured by sensors on the monitoring appliance with their current building monitoring system. "This will give us even more control about what's going on with all our systems throughout the lab," she added.

U. Florida G'es With Linux Mainframe for Advanced Lab

The University of Florida has selected the Linux-only IBM eServer zSeries 800 as the heart of its Advanced Computing and Information Systems (ACIS) laboratory at the school's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Gainesville, Fla. The university plans to integrate the z800 running z/VM, IBM's advanced virtualization software, a 3.36TB IBM Enterprise Storage Server (code named "Shark"), and a 32-node IBM eServer xSeries cluster running VMWare and Linux to support its pioneering research in the emerging field of grid computing. The goal of grid computing is to enable the secure, shared usage of geographically distributed computing res

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