News 03-14-2003

Sponsor: Ektron

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Alliance to Promote Community College IT Training

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Bellevue Community College's National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET), and Microsoft Corp. have formed an alliance to create the Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute, which will provide advanced professional development training at 10 regional institutes involving 400 colleges by this summer. AACC president George Boggs said the current budgetary crises within the states made the timing of this new faculty development initiative important. "At a time when higher education dollars are being slashed and some colleges are having to cut programs or faculty, it is essential that new ways to support faculty development be advanced," he said. Over a four-year cycle, the Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institutes are designed to reach 90 percent of all IT faculty in community and technical colleges.

Sponsor: Syllabus

eLearning Systems: How do you differentiate between products? Join the Syllabus online community and discuss key issues with your peers in the Syllabus Forums at www.syllabus.com/forum. A variety of topics are posted, from eLearning Systems to Faculty Development. Sharon Gray, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD,leads a forum on how prospective users can differentiate between eLearning products and decide which best fits their needs. Check out the responses, weigh in with your thoughts and experiences, and learn from your colleagues.

http://info.101com.com/default.asp?id=673

MIT's Deshpande Center Makes Tech Innovation Grants

MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation issued its first round of grants in 2003 to MIT faculty in the school of engineering. The awards support a wide range of emerging technologies, including tiny technology, information technology, and alternative energy/innovations. The Deshpande Center is part of the MIT School of Engineering and was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting the research of MIT faculty and students. The funded projects involved work in nanocrystal memory devices, digital photography and video, a slow-down warning system for highways, image analysis for digital cameras, and computer animation.

For more information visit: http://web.mit.edu/deshpandecenter

eCollege, Houghton Mifflin Strike Content Sharing Accord

Course management system developer eCollege formed a partnership with publisher Houghton Mifflin Inc. to provide eCollege's customers access to Houghton Mifflin's online supplements for introductory courses in business, humanities, mathematics, science, social science, student success, and world languages. The titles will be available via the eCollege AU+ course management system, and will enable faculty to use the platform’s self-authoring and course development tools to improve their online courses. "It's important that faculty members have access to the kind of resources they need to best engage and challenge their students, and we believe the Houghton Mifflin content can ideally support them in this effort," said Oakleigh Thorne, chairman and CEO of eCollege.

SCT Sheds Last Non-Education Market Business Unit

Course management system developer SCT announced it had shed all of its non-education market businesses. The company sold its energy and utilities business to Indus International Inc. for $37.8 million. The divestiture follows the sale of two other SCT businesses that served the manufacturing and local government markets, and allows the company to focus solely on the higher education technology market. Over the past year, SCT has acquired several companies to broaden its higher-ed technology offerings. Those include Campus Pipeline Inc., Applied Business Technologies, and the student information systems business from Sallie Mae. SCT chief Mike Chamberlain said, "finalizing the sale of our energy and utilities business was the last step in SCT's evolution to focus solely on serving the technology needs of higher education."

New Deals, Awards, Contracts in Higher Education

DESIGN TOOLS—Ferris State University, which calls itself the largest engineering technology school in the United States, is incorporating Autodesk Inventor Series, a 2-D and 3-D software package that combines Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Mechanical Desktop software. Freshman and sophomore students, who had previously only used Autodesk Mechanical Desktop software for 2-D drafting and an introduction to 3-D design concepts, are now using Autodesk Inventor software to further their skills.

LEARNING SYSTEMS—Syracuse University has adopted Blackboard Learning System for campuswide use in supporting face-to-face classes. This spring, in the final phase of a pilot program before going to the enterprise, Syracuse has 100 faculty teaching 153 courses to more than 3,000 students using Blackboard. The school said it is making the move because of Blackboard’s ability to scale from 3,000 to 18,000 users, as well as its support of open standards and its ability to integrate with its PeopleSoft student information system.

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