Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
An Online Newsletter from SyllabusMedia
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News for Tuesday, June 15, 2004

* Suit Alleges Firm Misleads Colleges on Sale of Student Data
* Penn State, Drexel, Win NSF Grants for Courseware Design
* U. Miami Partners with Local K-12 for Online High School
* Department of Kudos: Virginia Tech, MIT, eCollege Honored
* Security Buying Decisions: Case Western Reserve, U.C. Irvine

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Suit Alleges Firm Misleads Colleges About Sale of Student Data

CollegeNet, Inc., which provides Internet and software-based
administrative services to the higher-ed sector, filed a
lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oregon charging competitor
XAP Corp. with misleading colleges, universities, and students
about the sale of student data.

Through its “Mentor” Websites, XAP receives and processes
online admissions applications on behalf of U.S. colleges and
universities. CollegeNet alleges that XAP has regularly
provided student information to student loan lenders, loan
guarantors and others without disclosing to schools that they
were doing so, and without obtaining informed consent of the
students involved. The complaint also alleges that XAP has been
paid substantial sums of money by these lenders.

The complaint cites an agreement between XAP and a Kentucky
lender, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
("KHEAA"), by which a KHEAA affiliate pays XAP $10 for contact
information for each student whose information XAP forwards to
KHEAA. The deal then calls for XAP to split with KHEAA proceeds from
"transactions generating fee revenue recognized by XAP for
referring system users…to various commercial entities."

Xap Corp. could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit at
press time.


Penn State, Drexel, Win NSF Grants for Courseware Design

Penn State and Drexel universities were awarded seed grants to
develop interdisciplinary, project-based courses on designing
software for K-12 education. The grants were made through the
TRAILS (Training and Resources for Assembling Interactive
Learning Systems) project, funded by the National Science
Foundation and launched in 2002 at SRI International’s Center
for Technology in Learning.

The project supports courses in which university students from
computer science, information science, education, and the arts
work together in teams to develop educational tools, often
pilot-testing them in local K-12 classrooms. SRI coordinates
the network of TRAILS courses, provides centralized tools for
designing and prototyping the software, and facilitates access
to pedagogical and technical experts.

The new courses will be taught during the 2004-5 school year.
At Penn State, Christopher Hoadley, an assistant professor in
the College of Education and the School of Information Sciences
and Technology, will lead students in multidisciplinary teams.
Each team will be tasked with building educational technologies
while exploring the relationships between teaching, user
interface design, and product design.

At Drexel, Frank Lee, assistant professor of Computer Science
in the College of Engineering, will develop a course on
“Educational Game Design,” which will teach students the role
of the “psychology of play” in designing educational games and
the importance of multidisciplinary teams.

For more information, visit: http://www.trails-profect.org

U. Miami Partners with Local K-12 for Online High School

The University of Miami has partnered with a local private K-12
school to start an online high school, the Miami Herald
reported. The Sagemont School last fall approached UM with
plans for a partnership that would let UM professors do research
on online education, while Sagemont gets the benefit of the
university's name on its program, officials at both schools
said.

The newly inaugurated University of Miami Online High School
now has 225 students in 40 countries, most of them professional
athletes and performers who travel often and wouldn't be able
to attend a traditional high school. The virtual school serves
ninth through 12th grades, and next year will start to offer
eighth grade as well. It is fully accredited and offers
college-level courses that earn the students college credits.

Department of Kudos: Virginia Tech, MIT, eCollege Honored

Virginia Tech received a 21st Century Achievement Award in
Science for its development of a 2,200 processor supercomputer
from a cluster of 1,100 Power Mac G5 computers. Called System
X, the system is currently the world’s third fastest computer.
The award was sponsored by information tech journal
Computerworld.

“The goal of the Virginia Tech project was to develop novel
computing architectures that reduce their cost, time to build,
and maintenance complexity. As a result, institutions with
relatively modest budgets can now afford to build a premier
supercomputer," said Hassan Aref, dean of Virginia Tech's
College of Engineering.

Also, MIT and Sapient Inc. were also honored for their work to
develop MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW), which was named as the
best application of IT in the field of education. MIT OCW
offers free and open online access to the educational materials
from 701 MIT courses, spanning MIT's five schools and all 33 of
its academic disciplines. Anne Margulies, executive director of
MIT OCW, said that since the launch of the MIT OCW pilot in
2003, the Web site has received traffic from users in more than
215 countries, city-states and territories, “making it a truly
global initiative.”

Finally, course management system developer eCollege was named
“Technology Company of the Year” by the Colorado Software and
Internet Association, which has handed out the award for the
last 10 years.

An independent panel of judges made up of 30 technology executives
evaluated eCollege on the following criteria: Mission and
Vision, Market Size and Strategy, Solid Business Practices,
R&D, Product Innovation and Relevance, Influence on Industry
Growth, Financial Growth, Culture, Employee Retention, Community
Involvement, and Contributions to Customer Success. The 2004
CSIA award was presented during a ceremony held at the
University of Denver.

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Security Buying Decisions: Case Western Reserve and U.C. Irvine

Case Western Reserve University purchased RazorGate 450, security
appliances from Mirapoint Inc., to protect e-mail for more than
26,000 students, faculty, and staff on its campus in Cleveland,
Ohio. Working with one of Mirapoint's reseller partners, The
Newman Group, Case Information Technology Services (ITS) staff
said it chose RazorGate for its ease-of-use and blend of e-mail
security functionality and individual management tool.

"With the SoBig virus, we had to employ three full-time
engineers working around the clock to fix the problem,” said
Tony Kramar, application development manager at Case ITS.
“With RazorGate, we are able to eliminate costly overhead
expenses that we've incurred in the past fighting viruses and
spam. Users appreciate the per-user spam controls that allow
them to set e-mail screening parameters to fit their personal
needs. As a result, we have received positive feedback from
both faculty and staff who have noticed a dramatic decrease in
the amount of spam
they receive."

Meanwhile, Stanford University deployed network firewall protection
from Juniper Networks Inc., for its School of Education.

To serve an “open” user environment while preserving network
reliability and performance, Stanford's School of Education
worked with systems integrator, Corsa Networks and used Juniper
Networks NetScreen integrated firewall and virtual private
network (VPN) systems. "Stanford needed a firewall solution
with security functionality, scalability, throughput and
redundancy," said Dr. Paul Kim, chief technology officer at
Stanford University School of Education. "We wanted to share
best practices with other Stanford University schools who
are also using Juniper Networks security products."

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