Technology-Enabled Teaching July 20, 2005

Sponsored By:
Wide Range of Education Technology Providers Exhibit at Syllabus2005

Syllabus2005, July 24-28 in Los Angeles, features the latest products and solutions for campus technology in the conference Exhibit Hall. In addition to cutting-edge keynotes, more than 50 breakout sessions and peer-to-peer learning, Syllabus2005 features an interactive exhibit hall with leading technology vendors. Companies exhibiting include: NEC Solutions America, OpenDocs, Optx International, Questionmark, Qwizdom, Ruckus Network, SciQuest, Sophos, SP Controls, Spectrum Industries, Talisma, and TechSmith Corporation. View the entire program and exhibitor list online, and register now for Syllabus2005.

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Viewpoint

Low Tech Solutions to High Tech Problems in AV/Multimedia

By Will Craig

Colleges and universities that are disappointed in the performance of their audio visual equipment often look for the next step up–a brighter projector, a newer codec, a camera with more pixels, or a more expensive control system.

Minimizing Light
Classrooms that have projectors almost never use those projectors under optimal conditions. Front projection depends on projected light reflecting off of a smooth, light-colored surface. The resulting image is perceived by a viewer as the contrast between the illuminated parts of the screen and the non-illuminated parts (black). Unfortunately, any other light from the room that falls on the image area (usually from windows and lighting fixtures) also reflects off the projection surface, making the non-illuminated parts of the image brighter than they would otherwise be. The result is an image that is “washed out”, where the colors are faded and dim. This is a bad result when your institution has invested in state-of-the-art projection systems.

No matter how expensive the projector, they all function best in a darkened room. Since projectors can only project light, not darkness, any ambient light in the room decreases image contrast. This is why cinemas show movies in blackened auditoriums. Yet instruction is rarely carried out in the dark; so compromise results. Unfortunately, often the compromise is between full lighting and energy efficiency, instead of between full lighting and projector-friendly lighting.

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News & Product Updates

Penn State IT Staff Work on Teaching Draws Praise

Penn State apparently did well on its Middle States Commission accreditation review, and the Division of Information Technology Services was singled out for special acclaim for its work regarding undergraduate teaching and research.

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Students Prefer Web for Research but Faculty Skeptical

Sometimes faculty require a few citations to real books. More and more, lately, they're helping students understand how to discover the credibility of web resources.

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WebCT Provides ePortfolio Partnership Program

WebCT, announced this week that it is launching a Portfolio Design Partner (PDP) initiative with a group of customers “who will help define the scope and functionality of new ePortfolio software called the WebCT Learner Portfolio. WebCT will release the WebCT Learner Portfolio, which will be tightly integrated with their e-learning systems, next year, the company said.

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New DyKnow Software Offers Increased Functionality for Classroom Interaction

DyKnow, the interactive education technology vendor, announced releases version 4.1 of its DyKnow Vision and DyKnow Monitor software, which the company said offer major enhancements, including desktop broadcasting, filmstrip view, domain-based authentication and more efficient communications.

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Case Study

U of Arkansas Upgrades for Learning Solutions

By Linda L. Briggs

When the University of Arkansas recently installed PeopleSoft’s student module, it suddenly needed a job control system that could handle multiple platforms and applications across a distributed system.

With more than 17,000 students and 840 faculty members, the university is a nationally competitive, student-centered research institution based in Little Rock, Arkansas. The bulk of the school’s hefty administrative computing work was handled by a mainframe running IBM’s DB2 UDB database. The university is using modules within the PeopleSoft (now Oracle) Learning Solutions software suite for a number of administrative processes, including registration, admissions, financial aid, student accounts, student records, and student demographics.

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Tech Notes

CT Live! at ACUTA 34th Annual Conference and Exhibition

John Halpin of 3COM talks about the importance of "secured" converged networks for colleges and universities with Claudia Linh, associate editor of Campus Technology at the ACUTA conference and exhibition being held this week in Kissimme, Florida.

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum

I was wondering what anyone's thoughts are on using video and computer games for educational purposes. It seems to me that although many teachers/institutions are now utilizing computer technology and the internet as an educational medium, there d'esn't seem to be any hugely successful enterprises intersecting both educational software (which there is alot of) and the very lucrative gaming entertainment industry.
-- emmanuel9996

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