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Syllabus IT Trends for July 31, 2003

Thursday, July 31, 2003

In This Issue


A “Chat” Sneak Attack

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

Here at the Syllabus conference in San Jose, we were all thrilled with our day-long visit to Stanford University on Monday and the wonderful facilities we experienced. Of special interest were the many sessions in Wallenberg Hall, home to the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL). There we interacted in several experimental “smart” learning spaces utilizing video, large screens, and various collaborative software programs. If you can picture Tom Cruise in Minority Report, utilizing floor-to-ceiling transparent displays of visually arresting data and moving the data around by waving his arms in the air . . . well, we’re not there yet . . . but these are clearly good first steps on that path. Many attendees from other institutions were in awe of the capabilities and of their apparent cost!

In the panel discussion following most of the day, David Brown or Wake Forest University made the distinction between such “experimental” learning spaces and learning spaces designed with “proven-to-be-best” technologies. We’ll talk a bit more about some of what we saw, but this author thinks that a really inexpensive way to enhance learning in classroom space is pretty easy to introduce and quite inexpensive. I’m talking about instant messenger, IRC chat.

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Harvard Now Owns RSS 2.0 Blogging Standard

Its intent is to keep the technology available to all, and to license it to anyone under a Creative Commons license. (Harvard Crimson)
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Will Universities Get into the Music Distribution?

Lost sales on one side, clogged networks and subp'enas on the other – is the solution for colleges and universities to include music licensing fees in student computer use fees? (Wired)
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Instant Messaging in the Lecture Hall

Some like it. Some hate it. But its another piece of the previously unforeseen part of the iceberg that is information technology in the classroom. Yes, we have enabled high-tech note-passing in the lecture hall! Now, do we support and leverage it, or try to stop it? (New York Times)

Read more (free registration required)

Portuguese Students – All of Them – to Get Connected

The Portuguese government is backing a deal to bring laptops and wireless connectivity to its 150,000 higher education students – with discounts from manufacturers and subsidized loans.
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Carnegie-Mellon Gets $7M to Develop Next PAL

PAL is a – Perception Assistant that Learns – and it only takes a little bit of imagination to foresee students coming to campus with one, perhaps one that interacts with their virtual portfolio. (Wired)
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Distance Learning Best Practices from U.S. Distance Learning Association

United States Distance Learning Association released Electronic Learning Communities – Issues and Practices, a collection of up-to-date best practices and methods for building and maintaining distance teaching and learning environments. The book has information on learning management systems, instructional design, and faculty/staff training.
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Grid Computing Resources for Computer Systems Design

Grid computing resources for research in computer systems design including nanotechnology is available at the University of Florida Advanced Computing and Information Systems (ACIS) Laboratory.
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Frostburg State Wireless Platform Builds on Campus LAN

Frostburg State University, part of the University System of Maryland system, has installed an enterprise wireless platform throughout its campus. The university acquired the system from Airespace Inc. It allows for integration with the existing campus LAN infrastructure so that wireless can be delivered over the campus Ethernet backbone. FSU said the deal preserves its investment in routers and switches, which lowers the overall cost of the system.

Oberlin Picks Fault-Tolerant Network from Enterasys

Oberlin College has turned up an enterprise network architecture across its campus. Oberlin said its objective was to build a fault-tolerant network that could grow to accommodate an increasing number of users and to evolve with new technologies. The school chose secure network technology from Enterasys Inc. As part of the deal, Oberlin deployed Enterasys's RoamAbout Wireless LAN in most public access areas, including the student union, a number of classrooms and the library.

Sponsored by:

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TechMentor conference
September 2-6
San Diego, CA
Click here for details

7/27 - 7/31

Events Calendar

Sponsored by:
Innovative Furniture Solutions for the Electronic Classroom
Computer Comforts designs and manufactures furniture for computer labs and classrooms. Our many product solutions include recessed monitor tables, tech benches and multi-media carts. Make sure to visit our website to see the patented Hide-Away table, designed for the multi-use lab. When not in use, the monitor is safely stored below a flip-down lid for non-computer use. We recently added a video clip of this HOT product. Let us help with classroom layout and design.
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Approximately what percent of your institution's incoming freshmen will bring their own laptop or desktop computer to campus this fall?

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New! IT Certification on the Cheap
Spend next to nothing on your next IT certification. How? The cert experts at have created a 40-page guide to IT Certification on the Cheap. It's loaded with tips for free and cheap training, books, testing and practice exams – plus hundreds of links to beta exams, cert vendors, web resources, user groups and more. Buy now and save 30% off the cover price!
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Macromedia Packages Content for WebCT Platform

Macromedia announced the availability of a free Dreamweaver product extension that enables faculty to immediately publish course content, such as a syllabus or class assignments, to WebCT's Campus Edition and Vista e-learning platforms. The extension eliminates the need for hand-coding of XML describing content elements and structure. It also gives faculty the layout and editing capabilities of Dreamweaver and the integrated technology of WebCT for course management and delivery.

Dreamweaver Content Packager for IMS is available for download here..

Lippincott Williams Introduces Mouse with Feelings

Immersion Medical, a subsidiary of Immersion Corp., and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins introduced the first PC-based health training program that incorporates haptics into a mouse. The software replicates and combines the senses of sight, sound and touch to let health care professionals and students practice conducting a physical exam with a computer and a touch-enabled mouse. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a leading global health publisher, is the exclusive publisher and distributor of the training tool.
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Software Shelf Releases ‘Breakthrough’ Print Manager

Software Shelf released Print Manager Plus 5.0, an upgrade of its enterprise print management solution designed to cut and recoup the cost of printing. The software allows tracking of user and printer usage, resulting in complete cost accounting. Version 5.0 adds control of plotters, an administrative console for centralized service control, date and time scheduling for updating of quotas, as well as individualized printer restrictions.
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Presentation Creator: PowerPoint Into Web Multi-Media

Presentation Creator, Inc., introduced a hosted software application that enables companies to quickly create, manage and deliver time-sensitive business knowledge. Authors create simple slides in PowerPoint; the slides can then be transformed to high-impact multimedia communications with the addition of voice, photo or video. The self-authored presentations can then be uploaded to the Presentation Creators Engine that stores the rich media presentations and makes them instantly available over the Web.
Learn more

Sponsored By

Wireless Handheld Computers to Increase Interactivity and Collaborative Learning
This week's interview features Betty L. Black,

Click Here to Listen

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Current Topics in Our forums include:
elearning Systems

E-commerce & Enterpreneurship on Campus

Faculty Development

Faculty Best Practices

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