SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Solving Smart Classroom Problems: Knowing Where to Look

By Will Craig

Several times a week, I am in conversation with a campus technologist and mention a type of product that solves a problem or need that they have, and they exclaim “I didn’t know there was such a _____[fill in type of device]!” Here are a few examples from recent conversations:

  • Security Cover Replacement: we all know that the few hands that can touch switchers, mixers, amplifiers and the like, the better. But security covers are awkward: they require rack screw removal to tweak a knob or change a setting. Middle Atlantic’s key locked security doors mount directly to rack rail, rather than to the rack, console, or cabinet. By leaving the necessary accessible items (DVD/VCR, PC, etc.) and covering everything else behind a locked solid, Plexiglas, or vented door, you can discourage curious fingers while maintaining easy access to the equipment for service or adjustments. Middle Atlantic also has rack security screws that use bits not typically found in security bit sets. These are available at any hardware store or from their catalog...

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News & Product Updates

Google Jockey Concept Catching On

An article published by higher-education technology group Educause offers insight into the new practice known as “Google jockeying.”...

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Live Video of BU Commencement Shown on Campus Web Site

Graduation tickets can hard to come by, so some schools are seeking alternatives to the traditional waitlist system...

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Sensor G'es Wireless

The Wireless Dynamic Sensor System by Vernier combines a three-axis accelerator, a force sensor, and an altimeter into one unit...

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Case Study

The Lighter Side of Data Mining

By Linda L. Briggs

Can data analysis be fun? D'es predictive modeling have a lighter side? This spring, MBA students at the University of Washington will compete in a lighthearted “Crack the Case” contest to see who can do the best job analyzing a complex set of data. Using a graphical data analysis tool donated by Tableau Software, which is sponsoring the contest, the 13 teams of 2 to 3 students each will compete for HP notebook computers for the winning team.

A preliminary judging round will select three finalist teams. Those three will then present their case in front of a panel of judges that will include business executives from some high-profile Seattle-based firms, including Starbucks, Microsoft, and Internet traffic firm F5 Networks.

Behind the contest is Dr. Doug “Mac” MacLachlan, professor of marketing and international business at the University of Washington. MacLachlan teaches data mining principals, statistical algorithms and predictive modeling to his MBA students. These topics are so cutting-edge that he hasn’t yet found a suitable textbook.

“Increasingly, to get a sustainable competitive advantage in business, you need to approach decisions analytically,” MacLachlan says. “There’s so much data available that those companies that learn how to use it properly can get a leg up on competitors.”...

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Tech Notes

The CIO: Earning Your Seat

Taking a place at the president’s table may be helpful, even critical, to a chief information officer’s success. But don’t overlook other factors behind the current emergence of this new, collaborative, pan-campus leader, say CIOs in the know.

We are past the point where IT needs to be “run.” The IT department has become so enmeshed in the interests and activities of the entire institution that, these days, IT requires a good deal more than an overseer. While the executive charged with leading IT is often called the chief information officer, chief information leader would now be a much better title. And that’s because leaders can envision where we need to go and how to get there. They get everyone on board for the trip, and they solve problems that seem about to ruin the journey. They also make sure that the tank is filled with gas and the motor tuned so that nobody else even has to think about those things... (Campus Technology)

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum

Are LMS Anti-Web?
Posted by: cameronloudon - Australia

Recently I have been following the blog of Dr Peter Sefton who described MIT's Anti-web Learning Management System, Caddie as anti-web. He returned to this theme in a later entry called 'Links considered too difficult for online education software' (

What interests me most is that this observation could be applied to all the major players in the LMS space. Why do we need an LMS to be a file system repository for PDF and Word documents? Is that the best that can be offered to students?

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