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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Syllabus Press
Is your campus equipped with Intelligent Classrooms?

Mitsubishi and Bryant College: Remarkable AV convergence

Network security courses with Roberta Bragg

News for Tuesday, August 24, 2004

* Who’s On First: US News Computer Science Rankings Out
* Students Returning to Campus with High Tech War Chest
* Brandon Hall Moves Annual LMS Report to Web Database
* Students Rate U. of Chicago, MIT, Tops in Academics
* Blackboard Launches Enterprise Learning Object Repository
* More Join the Digital Entertainment Services Bandwagon

Is your campus equipped with Intelligent Classrooms?

Dell understands Intelligent Classrooms create new opportunities in
teaching and learning with new technology and network integration.
Go online now to take Dell’s free online assessment, which ranks
your campus’ Intelligent Classroom Readiness.

Who’s On First: US News Computer Science Rankings Out

US News & World Report came out last week with its annual quality
rankings of colleges and universities, with some of the usual suspects
holding their own in the categories for top computer engineering
departments. For schools offering doctorates in the field, the top
three from US News are: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the
University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University. For
schools offering only bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, the
magazine put the top three departments at Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Calif.,
and New York’s Cooper Union College.


Imagine having the resources to merge your IT department with your
library and audio visual group. This is the kind of AV technology
enhancements HB Communications and Mitsubishi’s XL5950 ColorView™
Projector have been able to accomplish for an enriched educational
experience. Now, Mitsubishi wants you to experience their fully
featured front projectors for higher education. Take advantage
of a FREE Mitsubishi ColorView™ projector evaluation, and learn
more about how the Mitsubishi XL5950 successfully contributed to
the convergence of voice, data and video for Bryant College's
Unistructure Building.

Click here for details.

Brandon Hall Makes Annual LMS Report to Web Database

E-learning consulting firm released LMS Knowledgebase,
an online service that offers performance profiles of 50 learning
management services. Users of the subscription-based service can
customize side-by-side comparisons of various LMSes across 200-plus
features. Brandon-Hall produces an annual report on LMS, which is now
web-accessible via the new service. “Learning management systems are
more powerful and sophisticated than ever,’ said CEO Brandon Hall. “We
wanted to … take our LMS information to another level.”

KnowledgeBase allows users to see whether particular features are
built-in, require customization by the vendor, or are available from
third parties. The service also provides users with LMS industry trends;
pricing details; information on interoperability tests that have been
performed with back-office systems and content development tools;
standards that are supported; testing, assessment, and reporting
capabilities offered; and options for installation versus hosting.

Students Returning to Campus with High Tech War Chest

College students migrating back to campus this month will carry with
them $122 billion in spending power, including $24 billion in discretionary
spending, according to a study by a market research firm related last
week. The 360 Youth College Explorer Study was conducted by Alloy Inc
and looked at college students-aged 18 to 24 years, from two-year and
four-year colleges and who attend part or full-time. Of these, annual
per capita spending is $13,000, according to the survey.

The findings place students at the forefront of digital technology, with
13 percent considering themselves early adopters of emerging devices
and gadgets. The majority (90%) owns a computer, and two-thirds (65%)
of those have broadband connection; among students, 62% own a stereo, a
cell phone (77%), a printer (77%), a television (84%) and a calculator

Three-quarters of students (74%) own a DVD player and just over half
(55%) own a gaming system. More than six in ten 18 to 24 year old college
students use their cell phone for text messaging (62%) and playing games
(70%), and 41% of students with cell phones can access the Internet
through their mobile phone.

"College students have an insatiable appetite for information, and so
are eager to get the best devices that give them the most efficient
access," said Derek White, an executive vice president of Alloy. "The
use of technology can create real efficiencies in their social and
academic lives, and for today's college students, technology is not so
much a luxury, but a necessity that's become seamlessly integrated into
their everyday environment."

The study was fielded by Harris Interactive during the Fall 2003 semester
and polled 4,608 college students.

Students Rate U. of Chicago, MIT, Tops in Academics

Data are one thing; preferences another. According to a survey by test
prep firm The Princeton Review of over 110,000 students at 357 colleges,
the University of Chicago has the best academics overall. MIT was rated
the “the toughest college to get into;” and Vermont’s Marlboro College
took “best profs” honors. The results are being rolled into a book,
“The Best 357 Colleges.” The survey asked students 70 questions about
their school's academics, campus life and student body, as well as their
study hours, politics, and opinions. Surveys are conducted on campuses
and via the Princeton Review Web site.

Security Courses at TechMentor, San Jose, Sept. 27 – Oct. 1

Come to TechMentor San Jose for its Windows security courses by
renowned security experts Roberta Bragg, Roger Grimes and Mark
Minasi. Their sessions will cover bulletproofing your network,
encrypting file systems, securing LAN communications, battling
spam, hardening Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, and more.

For complete conference details go to


Blackboard Launches Enterprise Learning Object Repository

Course management system developer Blackboard Inc. is including a
Learning Object Catalog as part of the latest release of the Blackboard
Content System (2.0). The Blackboard Content System is itself a part of
the Blackboard Academic Suite, a group of integrated applications for
teaching and learning.

Blackboard said the Learning Object Catalog would enable institutions
to store and describe learning objects in a central open repository.
With it, faculty can locate or import content for use across course
sections, departments or universities. Content developers can also share
their learning objects with the public and institutions can share
learning objects with other institutions. The catalog supports a more
automated and scalable process for reviewing and publishing learning
objects than was available before, users said.

"In our traditional model of managing course content, our instructors
build courses using their own content," said Terrence Verity, CIO of
Seneca College, who added that Blackboard’s Content System “expands
this model through the use of the Learning Objects Catalog. Now our
instructors can improve the quality of their courses by tapping into
the wealth of materials that their colleagues have created."

More Join the Digital Entertainment Services Bandwagon

Marietta College, Ohio University, the Rochester Institute of Technology,
the University of Denver, Wake Forest and Yale University are among the
latest schools to give-in to the trend of providing digital media
entertainment services on their campuses. All six recently contracted
with “Cdigix Inc. to provide students with legal downloadable access to
more than 800,000 songs through MusicNet, as well as video from various
film and TV content providers.

Standard prices for campus students are $2.99 for access to 800,000
music tracks with a monthly subscription, or individual song downloads
for 89 cents. Entertainment programming will be available under a
subscription model for $9.99 per month, or $3.99 for individual movies
on a pay-per-view basis. Also, the firm offers “Clabs” educational
course curriculum free to enrolled students, giving them access to video
and audio media content via their own computer.

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