News Update Tuesday, March 7, 2006

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology

******************************************************
******************************************************
News for Tuesday, March 7, 2006

1 ] Higher Ed Mavens Support Wyden Internet Neutrality Bill
2 ] Texas A&M Lab to Research RFID Public Safety App
3 ] Humboldt U. Researchers Compare Blackboard, Moodle
4 ] Canadian Higher Ed Group Picks Learning Object Repository
5 ] Purdue Mounts Enterprise Server for Big Science Apps
6 ] Deals: Berkeley Electronic Press Available Via Blackboard

*****************************************************
*****************************************************

1 ] Higher Ed Mavens Support Wyden Internet Neutrality Bill

Higher education leaders praised a bill introduced last week by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to prevent high-speed Internet service providers from charging content companies extra for faster delivery of their Web sites. Wyden said the bill would help to ensure smaller start-ups trying to do business on the Internet would not be outdone by bigger companies. 'Neutrality in technology enables small businesses to thrive on the Internet, and allows folks to start small and dream big,' Wyden stated. 'That's what I want to protect with this legislation.'

In a letter to Wyden, Internet2 president Douglas Van Houweling and Educause President Brian Hawkins said, “higher education depends upon an open Internet to accomplish its mission of promoting educational opportunity for all Americans.” Wyden's bill would prohibit high speed Internet providers from creating priority channels and charging extra to deliver different types of content, such as movies and music. Google Inc. and other content providers argue that a private fast Internet could block users of their services. The big telephone carriers say the bill is an attempt to regulate the Internet.

To read a speech by Wyden on Internet neutrality, visit:
http://wyden.senate.gov/media/speeches/2006/02072006_testimony_on_net_neutrality.html

2 ] Texas A&M Lab to Research RFID Public Safety App

Texas A&M University has opened a laboratory to do research into business applications that could take advantage of wireless sensing devices and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies. The first project of the Sensors and RFID Technologies Lab involves designing a system to be used by a hazardous chemicals distributor to monitor temperature and chemical vapors. The complete system, which incorporates ActiveTag RFID technology from Access Inc., is currently being tested and will be released at the end of March.

'The goal of the laboratory is to prove the value of converging sensor monitoring with RFID technology,' said Ben Zoghi, professor and director of the lab. 'By combining the two technologies, we can provide constant monitoring as items move throughout a facility and the on-demand RFID triggers alarms when it is outside the normal set range. This is true, real-time visibility.'

3 ] Humboldt U. Researchers Compare Blackboard, Moodle

Two Humboldt State (Calif.) University researchers performed a side-by-side comparison of a course delivered via the Blackboard course management system and Moodle, an open source-based CMS. The Feb. 2005 project, created by Joan Van Duzer, an instructional technologist, and Kathy Muoz, a professor of health and physical education, compares performance and student satisfaction across features that include electronic assignment submissions, virtual areas for workgroups, online testing, surveying, and discussion forums.

The researchers, who were new to online teaching, wanted to answer the question: “can free software satisfactorily meet the needs of students, faculty, and instructional technologists for online teaching and learning?” Their project found that Moodle 1.3.2 held advantages over Blackboard 6.0 Basic Edition in the areas of providing individualized feedback easily to all assignments, as well as the ability to track a student’s activity in class. Blackboard had the edge over Moodle in appearance, gradebook, and threaded discussion, according to the researchers.

Van Duzer and Muoz were winners of Blackboard’s 2005 Bionic Course Contest for exemplary instructional design for online courses. Each of five winning contest entries was awarded $5,000 at the annual Blackboard User's Conference in Baltimore on April 12, 2005. Blackboard announced the formal completion of its acquisition of WebCT last week in a cash transaction worth $178 million.

To view the Humboldt survey please visit: http://www.humboldt.edu/~jdv1/moodle/all.htm

4 ] Canadian Higher Ed Group Picks Learning Object Repository

The Co-operative Learning Object Exchange (CL'E) a collaboration among 27 Canadian universities, has picked the multilingual version of the Desire2Learn Learning Object Repository (LOR) to enable users to develop, share, and reuse multimedia learning content. CL'E manager Peter Goldsworthy said the Desire2Learn repository was picked because of their “innovative future-oriented thinking and leading edge attitude.” CL'E will be working over the next couple of months to replace their existing application with the Desire2Learn Learning Object Repository. They will also be working on a new peer review project.

5 ] Purdue Mounts High Performance Server for Big Science Apps

Purdue University deployed an enterprise-wide software-based file-server for its three primary supercomputer clusters, which comprises 914 nodes and nearly 14 teraflops. The super fileserver, the Fusion parallel file system from Ibrix, Inc., will be used to support scientific visualization, geo-informatics, and climate modeling projects at Purdue’s Rosen Center for Advanced Computing. Michael Shuey, a higher performance computing architect at the Rosen Center, called the system a “very scalable, high-speed file system” that would give researchers “rapid access to terabytes of data from hundreds of compute nodes.”

6 ] Deals: Berkeley Electronic Press Available Via Blackboard

Blackboard Inc. signed a deal with the Berkeley Electronic Press to offer users a module that would let educators search Berkeley’s 85,000 online scholarly journal articles, working papers, institutional repository materials, theses, and dissertations from within Blackboard. Blackboard’s ResearchNow Content Building Block would provide users access to Berkeley’s ResearchNow database, a collection of peer-reviewed journals, subject matter repositories, working papers, and other 'grey literature' content from institutions that have opted for inclusion. More than 50 schools, including the University of California system, Boston College, Cornell, and the University of Nebraska, use the Berkeley platform for their repositories.

*****************************************************
*****************************************************

CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY is the only monthly publication focusing exclusively on the use of technology across all areas of higher education. CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY serves as a complete resource for administrative and academic IT leaders and provides in-depth, aggressive coverage of specific technologies, their uses and implementations on campus. Featured topics include advanced networking, administrative systems, portals, security, electronic publishing, communication solutions, presentation technologies, course management systems, technology infrastructure, and strategic IT planning - all the important issues and trends for campus IT decision-makers.

Click here for your FREE subscription.   
http://subscribe.101com.com/cam/magazine/newfree

Copyright 2006 101communications LLC. Campus Technology
Newsletter may only be redistributed in its unedited form.
Written permission from the editor must be obtained to reprint
the information contained within this newsletter.
Contact Rhea Kelly at rkelly@101com.com

comments powered by Disqus

Campus Technology News

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.