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IT Trends for Thursday, July 22, 2004

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

In This Issue


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

Moving from Chaos to a Field of Dreams

“If you build it, they will come.” In one part of our campus we have marketers and strategic enrollment specialists working to brand our institutions as the kind of places students will want to come to – and to which their parents are willing to send them. In another part, we have practitioners learning about what students actually want and act. In yet another part we have academics doing research on a wide variety of topics that affect learning.

Whose “field of dreams” is it, anyway? In a recent conference session at “Hard Choices . . . Smart Planning”, Lennie Scott-Webber, dean of the School of Interior Design at Ryerson University in Toronto referred to “maintenance-driven design.” What did she mean? Well, I questioned her after the session and she’s pretty opinionated about the fact of, and the negative consequences from, so many classrooms on so many campuses designed with parameters and specifications that are more driven by maintenance over time than by considerations of the spaces involved as learning spaces. The custodians’ and janitors’ needs drive much classroom design more so than do the needs of students.
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Blackboard Schedules Second Quarter Earnings Release and Conference Call

Interested parties are asked to access the pertinent Blackboard Web site at least 15 minutes ahead of time to be sure they can download and prepare the software needed to participate in the call.
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Six More Colleges Sign Campus-Wide Deals with Napster

The colleges include: Cornell University, George Washington University, Middlebury College, University of Miami, University of Southern California, and Wright State University. Each has a different agreement.
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Don't Tell Harvard "the Check Is in the Mail"

Why not? Because after September, that excuse just won't work. Harvard University is moving to e-mail notification and invoicing, intending to save more than $65k a year on paper, printing, and mailing costs.
Read more

University of Mississippi Library to Go Wireless

Twenty-one access points will offer 90-95 percent coverage of the J.D. Williams Library this fall, responding to that campus' student government's lobbying efforts.
Read more

University of New Mexico Student Passwords Hacked

As many as 500-1,500 students' Linux passwords were compromised. Administrators suspect that a distributed supercomputer at the University of Illinois may have contributed the computing power to do the dirty deed.
Read more

UM-Flint Staffers Take Late Lunch for 1,631 Laptops

The University of Michigan-Flint is providing technical support for local schools in a statewide initiative to provide a laptop computer for every sixth grader. Last week, expecting a shipment of 150 computers, which appeared to be arriving early, staffers had to skip lunch to handle the delivery of 1,631 laptops.
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Cost Cutting to Save UI $37.4 Million - IT Hit Hard

The University of Illinois is making deep cuts in administrative staffing. The largest personnel cuts were in senior administrative staff, especially administration information technology and academic and administrative computing.
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Public Release of Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment

Sakai has released to the public its Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) software to the public. The release puts "the full code in the hands of any institution that wishes to begin using or understanding the Sakai software."
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High Tech Experimentation and Research in the Social Sciences

At the University of California-Berkeley, the XLab program uses 50 battery-powered, wireless laptops on mobile carts to provide circumstances in which social scientists can suggest and then quickly implement relatively low cost experiments and research not otherwise possible.
Read more


iPods As a Learning Tool?

Duke University. Duke University will spend $500,000 on the project, which includes hiring a technology specialist to give grants to faculty and study the outcome.
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Events Calendar

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Online Support Network G'es from Beta Program to Production Environment

The r-smart group, a provider for open source solutions for education, announced the release of version 1.0 of its r-smart network (RSN). RSN is designed currently to accompany the r-smart group’s version of ePortfolio and provide 24x7 online support for users and administrators.
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Macromedia Web Publishing System Upgrades to Include School and Campus Site Licenses

Macromedia Contribute enables non-technical users to update pages on Web sites or Intranets as easily as they would edit a Microsoft Word document. Contribute 3 adds granular administrator control, flexible approval workflow, editing enhancements, and Dreamweaver MX 2004 integration to its award winning ease-of-use and browse-edit-publish workflow.
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New Version of LoveGate Spreads Through Networks

Macromedia Contribute enables non-technical users to update pages on Web sites or It's back . . . in a new version. At Texas A&M, the network is detecting infected computers and blocking their Internet access until they are cleaned.
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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.

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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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