eLD February 16 2005

Campus Technology
Wed., Feb. 16, 2005


Editor's Note: This is the final edition of eLearning Dialogue, which is changing to Technology-Enabled Teaching, featuring news, product updates, resource information, opinion, and peer recommendations for implementing the next level of the smart classroom. Look for the first edition March 2.



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Higher Education: The Typewriter Generation and the Information Age

By Mark Gura and Bernard Percy

Higher education (including community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, and adult education programs) is facing two issues: low enthusiasm for the use of technology in course development and delivery and a lack of understanding about the way it should be used to reshape educational programs. Begun in 1990, the Campus Computing Survey (www.campuscomputing.net) is the largest continuing study of information technology in American higher education. This annual survey focuses on the use of computing and information technology in higher education. In the 2003 report Kenneth Green, founding director, comments that he has found an increasing use of technology to support instruction and the increasing role of course and learning management software. However, “few campuses provide recognition and reward for faculty efforts at instructional integration … in their review and promotion process.” This lack of recognition and reward are all indication of the struggle technology still faces to become enthusiastically accepted in course development and delivery in higher education.

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News & Product Updates

Demand for e-Learning Applications Seen Fueling Blackboard Growth

Noting e-learning applications ranks as a mission-critical top priority on campuses, Blackboard announced it gained 80 new clients in the U.S. and abroad for its ASP Services to host e-learning programs this past year. "E-learning applications are now consistently rated as the top three applications that are pivotal to the academic mission of institutions," said Ahmar Abbas, ASP Director at Blackboard. With the new clients, the company lists more than 300 learning institutions, in 41 states domestically and 15 international countries providing e-learning services hosted by Blackboard ASP. The hosted systems are currently serving more than two million students and faculty who have produced more than 10 terabytes of course content and material-exceeding the total digital capacity of print collections of the Library of Congress.

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Manhattan School of Music Presents Jazz Concert

To showcase the distance learning capabilities for its customized video conferencing system, the Manhattan School of Music produced a live concert beamed to the executive board of Polycom across the country in Pleasanton, Calif. Polycom provided the New York-based school with specifically tailored VSX 8000 group video conferencing system with custom features for music distance learning applications.

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ETS, eCollege, Joins Testing, Accreditation Services

ETS, the nonprofit educational testing organization, and education platform developer eCollege will jointly offer an online course evaluation solution to help schools with accreditation benchmarking. eCollege customers will be able to purchase access to ETS academic assessment instruments, which include the Student Instructional Report II (SIR II) for on-campus learning and the e-SIR II for distance learning, according to a joint announcement. The plan calls for online delivery through the eCollege platform. In addition to the current print version of SIR II, ETS customers will be able to purchase the new Web-based SIR II and e-SIR II products delivered through eCollege technology. This offers ETS customers a fully hosted, scalable and reliable online option.

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New Website Provides Distance Learning Resource for Working Adults

SearchForClasses.com is a new Web portal targeting working adults seeking information on education and career options. This online service features information on more than 100 accredited colleges and universities (including both online and campus schools) in the U.S. The Web content includes, a career assessment test, information on financial aid, discussion boards, and live assistance from “Career Coaches,” according to an announcement for the new service. The portal aims at the growing number of students 25 and older. – all aimed at helping working adults make the right decisions about advancing their careers. Students 35 and older have risen from 823,000 in 1970 to approximately 2.9 million in 2001, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By 2010, there will be about 6.5 million students over the age of 25 attending college, the announcement says, and notes that this year approximately one-third of adults in the U.S. participate in some formal learning.

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IBM Wiring S.F. State for Collaborative Computing

IBM is bringing its corporate Workplace product to campus. Big Blue and San Francisco State Univeristy signed a $2.3 million agreement to upgrade campus communication technologies, providing unified e-mail, calendaring, group collaboration and Web conferencing to students, faculty and staff. Under the deal, SFSU will purchase IBM's Workplace Collaboration Services running on IBM eServer pSeries hardware. SFSU plans for Workplace include setting up customized online portals and collaborative applications for its 29,000 students, and 3,000 faculty and staff, as well as 18,000 additional users, said Jonathan Rood, SFSU associate vice president for information technology. The majority of SFSU students are urban commuters.

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Case Study

Developing and Integrating Music, Digitally

By Anthony Brandt, Rice University

For years, teachers have used music appreciation courses to bring a better understanding of music. But despite advances in digital technology, music appreciation courses today are taught pretty much the same way they have been since the invention of the hi-fi stereo: students read a textbook, then listen to musical examples on recorded media. This process, however, is often an ineffective learning method because by the time students hear the music, they may have forgotten the particular concepts they are supposed to be listening for.

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Tech Notes

SunGard SCT Mobile Recruiting Solution for Microsoft .NET Platform

SCT PocketRecruiter provides off-campus admissions professionals with mobile access to the most current information about prospective students is now available for PDAs running Microsoft .NET, according to an announcement by SunGard SCT. SCT PocketRecruiter 2.0, built on .NET, provides wireless access to demographic, educational and test score data that resides in an institution’s administrative databases.

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum
Support for Open Source Solutions?

My impression is that UNIX talent is required. Can anyone speak to the level of support necessary to implement an OPEN SOURCE solution. -- Posted by Ralph Fasano, Rhode Island School of Design

Response: Hi Ralph, it depends on the OS system. Unix talent is definitly not needed to implement Moodle, it runs fine on Windows, even has a Windows installer.While much of the talk on the Moodle forums involves folks who are coding new modules for Moodle which requires extra levels of talent, simply running a standard Moodle install is no more difficult than running a standard WebCT, Blackboard, etc. install.You can even get a fully hosted supported system where all you do is run courses, via Moodle.com, for much less than hosted solutions for the other CMSs. -- Posted by michaelp

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eLearning Dialogue from Campus Technology is a bi-weekly electronic complement to Campus Technology, the only monthly magazine that focuses exclusively on the use of technology in higher education.

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Copyright 2005, 101communications, LLC. All rights reserved. eLearning Dialogue from Campus Technology may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from the editor must be obtained to reprint the information contained within this newsletter.

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