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IT Trends for Thursday, June 24, 2004

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

In This Issue


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

BBBB . . . We Wish It and Sakai Well

Last Friday, Blackboard, Inc., produced its initial public offering (IPO) of company stock. The stock was issued at the expected $14 per share, and Blackboard now trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol BBBB. As I write these words, it’s trading at about $21 per share, so someone’s making some bucks!

It’s a major move for a company whose founders and investors have been very patient while building functionality, a brand, and a client list that they now say includes more than 1,000 higher education institutions. I remember Blackboard way back when it was looking for its 100th customer, and I wish the company well. It and its competitors of all stripes, need to do well to give us the right tools and let us focus on what we do with the tools.
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Blackboard Soars in Market Debut

About 17 percent of US colleges and universities use some version of Blackboard, which may have been why its public trading debut went well. Priced at $14 per share when it became available, it rose as high as $23+ per share early in the same day last week and stayed above $20 per share well into Monday.
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Do SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft Comprise an Oligopoly?

In deposition, Oracle President Charles Phillips said that SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft comprised an oligopoly for back-office business applications. Now he's backpedaling.
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Blind Get Earful of Spam Daily

There are millions of blind Internet users, and if you think reading all that spam is tough, imagine having to listen to it! If you can see, you can scan. If not, you have to listen to software read you each subject line.
Read more

New Offices For IT Staff at University of Texas at Austin

Would you complain if you were forced to move due to athletic facility construction? Depends on where you end up.
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Student Government Funds E-Mail Service Upgrade at UT-Arlington

The intent is to spend nearly $70 of student government funds to upgrade to a more user-friendly service, and get more students - most of whom use free e-mail services like Yahoo! - to use the school system.
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Bricks and Mortar Computer Store At Purdue Is A Big Hit

It opened with a crowd of 1,500 students and the interest has stayed high for the new ITaP Offline Store and demonstration area.
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Oops. It Wasn't Open Source After All

The Oklahoma State University Web-based calendar was a cool idea. Unfortunately, two OSU IT staffers who thought it was open source took it from Texas Tech University, but it wasn't. They're working things out.
Read more

U. of Georgia Sees Laptops in the Field, Literally

Imagine a farmer sitting in his pickup with a laptop, or on the combine, and actively monitoring soil moisture, even feeding the hogs remotely.
Read more

U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…Showing The Way

Unroll that wall monitor and pin it up right over there. Not yet, but by scattering specks of single crystal silicon onto sheets of plastic, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are on the way to mechanically flexible thin-film transistors.
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Italian Universities Combat Cell Phone Cheating on Exams

They're testing a device that will interrupt all cell phone usage within a radius of about 250 feet.
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Half the Students Show Up For Class - And He D'esn't Mind?

At Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, students can complete part of the course in a classroom and the rest online. Some do it all online for what the school calls its "hybrid" classes.
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North Dakota Universities Stick With 15-Day Lag On Payroll

As part of its PeopleSoft implementation, the system is changing the pay periods for its staff and not everyone understands the change or is happy with it, proving once again that the technology is the easy part.
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Webcam at Radford U. Sparks Protests

The new Webcam isn't part of the pre-existing surveillance system but some are concerned about civil liberties as it offers the potential for scrutiny of public behavior.
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Entire City Of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, G'es Wireless

Moving your school or business to Rio Rancho? If so, you don't have to worry about the wireless infrastructure, it's already in place and operating.
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Hard Choices . . . Smart Planning @ SCUP-39

Higher education's premier planning conference for 2004, in a world- class city, linked up with friends, colleagues, and peers from all over!
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EDUCAUSE, NLII, And NMC Announce Teaching And Learning Alliance

The National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII), the leading-edge teaching and learning program of EDUCAUSE, and the New Media Consortium (NMC) announced a new collaboration at the NMC Summer Conference in Vancouver, Canada, on June 18, 2004. The NLII and the NMC unveiled plans for a two-tiered strategy to discover, identify, and assess new and emerging technologies for higher education.
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Web Preservation Is Tough When We're Always Looking Forward

"'This is not a problem; this is a crisis,'" said Daniel Greenstein, head of the California Digital Library, which serves the 10 universities in the University of California system. He said information is disappearing from government Web sites at an alarming rate."
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GAO Issues New Report On SEVIS

It's not your fault if your campus had SEVIS problems--the GAO says that the problem is that the Department of Homeland Security is just not paying enough or the right kind of attention to SEVIS.
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UT Gets Cyber Security Grant for AT&T

The University of Texas at Dallas will split an AT&T Foundation $100,000 cyber security research grant with Syracuse University. The grants are part of the AT&T Foundation's technology and innovation portfolio, which supports research in emerging technology issues.
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Darpa Funds New Photonic Research Center at U. of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to create a photonic research center to develop ultra-fast light sources for high-speed signal processing and optical communications systems. The grant will provide $6.2 million in funding over four years.
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Sponsored by:
Seagate Momentus unlocks the power of notebook computers with a 5400-RPM spin speed and optional 8MB cache buffer. Momentus stands head-to-head with 4200-RPM notebook drives in BatteryMark tests, while simultaneously increasing system level performance by almost 50 percent. Seagate Momentus delivers the experience, commitment and innovation you expect from the world's leading manufacturer of disc drives.

Click here for details


Syllabus2004 July 18-22, San Francisco: Technologies to Connect the Campus

Events Calendar

Sponsored by:
Hewlett Packard
Introducing the HP Workstation xw4100: a top-of-the-line solution that delivers innovative technology at a low price. Designed to help you and your school operate as effectively as possible. And now, when you buy an xw4100 Workstation, you’ll save your school $656, for a limited time.

Click here for details


Should products and services from commercial publishers provide more of the functionalities of Course Management Systems, offering both content and course administration?

Sponsored by:
The 21st Century Chalkboard: Distributed Collaboration
Hear a pioneer in the field of collaboration, James Oliverio, Professor and Director of Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida, present an in-depth discussion on how collaboration technologies and new media are expanding the boundaries of the traditional classroom. This MediaSite Live presentation, sponsored by Oracle, provides a resource for higher education professionals to learn how collaboration can redefine teaching and learning across disciplines.

To access this Web event, as well as all the micro site resources, click here for details.


SUNY Stony Brook Unwires With Meru Networks

"This is only the beginning," said Mr. Richard W. Reeder, Chief Information Officer of Stony Brook University. "Plans are already under way to implement WLANs in dormitories and in departments that can benefit from Wi-Fi access."
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Gateway Tablet PCs Deployed at Winono State U.

In the largest higher-education implementation of Tablet PCs in North America, Winona State University, of Winona, Minn., has signed an agreement with Gateway, Inc. to standardize on Gateway M275 convertible tablets for its students, faculty and staff.

The seven-year deal, which includes an initial two-year agreement and five, one-year extensions, will likely exceed $40 million over the length of the contract. Winona State will immediately rollout more than 4,000 Gateway M275 Tablet PCs for incoming freshmen, as well as current students, faculty and staff ready for a refresh of their existing notebooks.

Nortel Networks Unveils New Platform, Transforming Optical Networking

Building on its leadership in delivering next generation optical networking technology, Nortel Networks introduced the Common Photonic Layer, a new DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) optical transport platform that is designed to transform and converge networks across service provider, enterprise and cable MSO (multiple systems operators) markets. This transformation will enable customers to minimize operational and capital costs, sustain profitability and accelerate the delivery of value-rich services.

U. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Implements Estrada

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) has selected Estrada Foundations along with the Estrada Academic Extension Suite to redesign and manage its Internet and Intranet Web sites. UPJ will be able to personalize content to the visitor, topic, location within the Web site and many other personalization factors. UPJ will also be able to add interactivity to its Web site utilizing the new Academic Extension Suite (AES). AES enables UPJ to take advantage of enterprise wide functionality such as calendars, document management, news and announcements, forums, and more.

Sponsored by:
Wide Range of Education Technology Providers to Exhibit at Syllabus2004
Syllabus2004 takes place July 18-22 in San Francisco and on the campus of UC Berkeley. In addition to cutting-edge keynotes, breakout sessions and panel discussions, attendees will see the latest products for campus technology in the conference Exhibit Hall. Some of the companies include: Insight Public Sector, offering consulting, procurement, product delivery, maintenance, and support to higher education institutions; NEC Solutions, Visual Systems Division, selling and supporting display solutions and multimedia presentation systems for unique needs and environments; Questionmark, providing assessment software for educators and trainers to securely write, administer, and report on tests and surveys in Windows and Web environments; Spectrum Industries, researching, designing, and developing computer lab furniture specifically for classrooms, and Sprint, developing, engineering, and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies nationwide. Early Bird registration ends June 25--save up to $200 now!

To view the entire exhibitor list, and to register for Syllabus2004, click here for details.

Sponsored By

The Impact of Wireless Network on Instructional Computing

Howard Strauss, manager of technology outreach as Princeton University

Despite the popularity of the technology, wireless is only beginning to show its potential uses for instruction. Howard Strauss comments about the use of the technology, both in the classroom and remotely.

Click Here to Listen

Sponsored By

Discussion of the Week:

As academic budgets shrink, wireless access and mobile computing labs sometime appear to be attractive alternative to building and supporting fixed-station computer labs. What has been your experience with funding and mobile computing? Be sure include information about your campus to put your comments in context.

Posted by Kathleen Schwarz
UC Riverside Graduate School of Education

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