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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
An Online Newsletter from SyllabusMedia

Free White Paper: Using Assessments to Enhance Learning

Meeting the Wireless Challenge

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News for Tuesday, August 10, 2004

* USDLA, Nova Team Up to Train Distance Learning Experts
* Traditional Campus Tour is Going High Tech
* WebCT, MERLOT, Partnership to Spur Content Exchange
* Software Developed to Help Combat Attention Deficit Disorder
* NOAA Forms Multi-Agency Government Internship Committee

Free White Paper: Using Assessments to Enhance Learning

Questionmark’s new 31-page white paper, “Assessments Through the Learning
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USDLA, Nova Team Up to Train Distance Learning Experts

The United States Distance Learning Association teamed up with non-profit
Nova Southeastern University's to launch a certificate program to help
institutional managers integrate electronic education practices into their
business processes. The “Distance Learning Leaders” certificate program
involves two on-site days at Nova’s Fort Lauderdale campus, followed by
a six-weeks of online requirements. According to the partners, the certificate
program will train distance education managers in establishing strategic
direction, procurement, implementation, distance learning management,
and evaluation.

Target candidates include chief learning officers, higher ed distance
learning directors, training directors and managers, as well as education
technology directors and faculty. Dr. John G. Flores, Executive Director
of USDLA, called the program a “ ‘must-take course' for anyone in the
distance learning industry."

Read more:

Meeting the Wireless Challenge

How are campus IT professionals keeping up with changing
technologies, the demand for Wi-Fi and the funding challenges
that go along with that? Read what some colleges and universities
are doing to meet the wireless challenge on a special Syllabus
microsite sponsored by SBC. This special section on the
connected campus looks at networked technologies through
articles, case studies, white papers and more.

Go to

Traditional Campus Tour is Going High Tech

This fall Arizona State University will offer visitors to its campus a
GPS-based, self-guided walking tour. Using a handheld computer and
global positioning satellite technology, visitors will be able to see
and hear content about the campus when entering dozens of GPS hotspots
located throughout campus. ASU developed the tour with Onpoint Systems,
a provider of content for audio tour programs. The idea is the brainchild
of Tim Desch, ASU's dean of undergraduate admissions, and Robert Boscamp,
president and CEO of Onpoint Systems, and an ASU alumnus.

Desch, who calls the technology, a "great student-recruiting tool,” said
it allows students and their families to spend as much time as they want
at campus locations that most interest them. Tour participants will use
Dell's Axim handheld computer and a receiver and wireless headset to
access the GPS-enabled program. The audio-assisted tour allows users to
select the schools, colleges and other campus attractions they want to
visit. As tour-g'ers approach a building or landmark with a corresponding
GPS hot spot, an audio program provides perspective on the history or
importance of the site to student life and career choices.

Software Technology Unveiled to Combat Attention Deficit

An educational system developer – borrowing technology created by a
University of North Carolina med school professor and former NASA scientist
has created a “brain-controlled system” designed to help students with
attention deficit disorders visualize the impact of their behavior on
their concentration. The non-invasive device, called “Play Attention,”
monitors brain waves and feeds data to a computer -- enabling a user to
control screen characters by maintaining focus on the task without the
use of their hands. "Children quickly learn how fidgeting and other
distracting behaviors immediately decrease their ability to mentally
control screen characters," says the educator who adapted the technology,
Peter Freer. "They learn there is a direct correlation between their behavior
and attention."

Olafur Palsson, an associate professor of medicine at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-inventor of similar technology at
NASA. "It trains basic mental skills that underlie the ability to complete
school-related tasks, it systematically monitors and reduces attention-incompatible
behaviors, and it encourages the type of brain activity that is known
from research to be associated with good concentration. This multi-faceted
approach g'es far beyond the scope of most brainwave biofeedback training.
All of this is furthermore packaged into a training format that is
self-esteem building for the learner and well suited for use in educational
and home settings."

NOAA Forms Multi-Agency Government Internship Committee

Agencies of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
located in the southern Mississippi and eastern Louisiana region have
formed an internship committee to promote student development programs
at the science agency. MAGIC, the Multi-Agency Government Internship
Committee, is composed of students from the National Weather Service
(NWS) Forecast Office, NOAA, National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), National
Coastal Data Development Center, and the National Marine Fisheries
Service Office (NMFS). The agency said MAGIC allows its members to
share best practices in internship program development, and allows each
agency to share outreach tools as to offer a vehicle for interns to
share similar goals and experiences.

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WebCT, MERLOT, Partnership to Spur Content Exchange

Course management system vendor WebCT formed a partnership with MERLOT,
higher-education' online content clearinghouse, to enable WebCT users to
perform targeted searches across the 10,000 learning objects indexed on
MERLOT to create customized online courses. MERLOT's Web site aggregates
links to online learning materials along with peer reviews and assignments
that previous users have found effective.

Users will be able to pinpoint WebCT-ready content produced by faculty,
institutions and publishers, including IMS standards-based learning modules,
question databases and quizzes. Once learning objects become part of
the MERLOT referatory, they are indexed by subject, material type, audience,
format, author, language, copyright restrictions, peer review and member
comment availability, and rating. Users may browse the learning objects,
search them or subscribe to updates as part of the MERLOT site's RSS
(Really Simple Syndication) content distribution engine.

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