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IT Trends 06-05-2003

Thursday, June 05, 2003

In This Issue


An Intelligent Design Paradigm

Terry Calhoun, Commentator
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
University of Michigan

When planning for the design and construction of learning spaces, faculty, IT staff, and facilities planners should work hand in hand from the very beginning. Sounds like a no-brainer, d'esn't it? Within the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) we call that "connecting the dots." Unfortunately, the dots frequently do not get connected, or are connected backward or after the fact. A guest opinion from Jerry B'erner of Azusa Pacific University addresses a significant planning issue that often results from the inter-departmental boundaries we are all familiar with: learning spaces designed first by facilities planners, with IT consultants pulled in as an afterthought and faculty not consulted until it's time to show them the new space. There is a better way!

A Guest Opinion by Gerald L. B'erner
Azusa Pacific University

Consider the traditional paradigm for the design of learning spaces. The college's facility planner and the architect are responsible for basic definition of the space. They determine the size, layout, and other details of the space; they also are involved with the selection of classroom furniture. When these basic decisions have been made, the IT department is brought into the process to define how the learning space will be connected to the campus network (both data and video); they also decide the type of instructor station and projection equipment will be incorporated into the space. When all these decisions have been made, faculty are scheduled into the learning space and must adapt their teaching styles and methodologies to the facility, as designed. The teaching-learning pedagogy takes a back seat to the facility and IT planners! …

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MIT Computing Labs Merge

The New Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence is being created by the merger of two historic research centers, the AI Lab (Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and the LCS (Laboratory for Computer Science). Later this year, the merged operation will move into a new Frank Gehry-designed academic village …
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Library Robots at U. Louisville

As the University of Louisville renovates its Ekstrom Library, it plans to modernize and save money by saving space with a state-of-the-art, automated book retrieval system for its 1.2 million books. With this system, students can't see the books on a shelf until the push of a button and the shelf unfolds … (Louisville Cardinal)
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Software "Donations" to Campuses Decline

The potential for software giveaways to influence higher ed purchasing decisions has always troubled some, but such donations are important for many programs and institutions. Recent reductions in donations and increasing restrictions and requirements on others are creating IT management headaches and complications in decision-making and purchasing … (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
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First Successful Live Broadcasts Over Internet2

Live C-SPAN broadcasts are now available to everyone who has an Internet2 network connection, courtesy of Northwestern University and Video Furnace. "We believe this to be one of the world's first successful live broadcasts over Internet2, and it showcases the capabilities and reality of converging live video to the desktop utilizing high speed, multicast-enabled IP networks," says Morteza Rahimi, vice president and chief technology officer for Northwestern …
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Carnegie Mellon Enters DARPA $1M Challenge

Will anyone win the challenge this first year? The challenge is for an automated vehicle with participants to traverse "the western U.S. desert using autonomous vehicles, where the only human interaction allowed during the entire race is to press the start button." CMU thinks it has a chance, with a history of related projects such as the volcano exploring Dante, the sun-following Hyperion, and Nomad—which searched for meteorites … (The Tartan)
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SHEEO Distance Ed and Technology Resources

A list of Internet links to higher ed tech resources from state to state provided by SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers).
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Student Teaching Assessment

Russell Hunt's list of Resources on Student Evaluations of Teaching includes Web links as well as references to hardcopy articles.
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TLT Group/Low Threshold Applications

The TLT Group works to help educational institutions, associations, and corporations "improve teaching and learning by making more appropriate and cost-effective use of information technology without sacrificing what matters most." Its Web site has a host of links to resources and it also offers a couple of moderated email lists. One of its more interesting features, given current budget restraints, is a set of Low Threshold Applications (LTAs). An LTA is "a teaching/learning application of information technology that is reliable, accessible, easy to learn, non-intimidating and (incrementally) inexpensive." A focus is on cool and productive things you can do with widely available technology tools. We bet you'll find a trick or two here that will either make your life easier or impress someone else.
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Iowa Communications Network Cuts Deal with Aggregator

The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) has cut a deal with Terawave Communications to deploy its Integrated Network Terminal, an access aggregation platform. The system will enable ICN, a statewide fiberoptic network linking higher education, government, libraries and schools, to offer video, voice, and data services via point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, multi-protocol networks under a single network umbrella. Mark Dayton, Director of Engineering for ICN, said the platform will be "the basis for our statewide Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) video network."

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About the same

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Syllabus2003 to Offer Special Day at Stanford
This summer's 10th annual Syllabus Education Technology Conference features a day of learning and exploration at Stanford University--a special day to see, feel and experience the latest in technology for higher education. You'll learn about high-performance learning environments, including Wallenberg Hall and the Stanford Center for Professional Development, plus have the opportunity to select breakout sessions covering areas of strategic importance to higher education professionals. The day promises to be an insider's look at one of the nation's premier campuses and is limited to the first 500 registrants. Sign up now to attend Syllabus2003 July 27-31 at the San Jose Marriott and Stanford University. Early Bird discounts are available until June 27. To register or for more details, click here.


IBM Introduces Software to Automate Metadata Creation

IBM introduced DB2 Cube Views, software that will simplify the task of organizing data for analysis. The software automates the creation of metadata, which is used by search engines and knowledge management tools to analyze databases. The software will eliminate the need for users to create metadata for every individual search and analysis tool.

NEC Unveils Five-in-One Projector

NEC unveiled a five-function-in-one projector, the NEC DT20. It incorporates a digital camera, which allows it to display video and digital data, as well as show transparencies and objects like standard overhead projectors. The system packs 2,800 lumens, weighs in at 16 pounds, and is priced at just over $6K.

Adobe Releases PDF Maker for Beginners

Adobe Systems Inc. announced Acrobat Elements 6.0, the latest version of its PDF software geared toward entry level users. The software is designed to let the average user create a simple PDF. It is priced at $29 per user for 1,000 seats.

Opsware Automation Added to HP Utility Data Center

Hewlett-Packard Co. is using software from Opsware Inc. to "virtualize" its Utility Data Center (UDC) platform. The UDC allocates data center resources, such as servers, networking, and storage, to jobs on a dynamic basis. The Opsware software will be added to automate data center functions such as application deployment and rollback, software provisioning, and patching.

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