SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Viewpoint

How to Handle IT Late Bloomers

By David Starrett

I once walked into a faculty member’s office to find an extraordinary Post-It noteboard on his desk. The off-white plastic cube with one glass side, conveniently angled toward his view, was a field of yellow with reminders, phone numbers, and messages. He told me that this was the most effective use of his computer monitor that he could think of. While he is in the minority, and a shrinking minority at that, there are still some faculty who have not yet caught up with the computer age.

To be sure, some instructors will never use a computer as a productivity-boosting tool, let alone an enhancement to teaching and learning. For some, it is simply a matter of not wanting to be bothered. Some faculty may be approaching retirement and don’t want to learn something new (though some near-retirees still relish the challenge and do make the effort to learn a new trick). For others, it is a disbelief in the technology that keeps their resistance up. They refuse to learn about IT because they do not believe there is any great benefit to using computer technology...

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News & Product Updates

Kent to Ban Athlete Web Profiles

Kent State's nearly 400 athletes will soon be banned from Facebook. This is not being done by the Web site itself, but by university administrators...

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Web-Based Undergrad Bibliographic Resource Set to Debut

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) will offer a new database of core titles for academic libraries that will succeed the standard reference work, Books for College Libraries (BCL), 3rd Edition, which was last published in 1988...

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NCAA Seeks Text Message Limit

The NCAA recommended legislation Friday that would limit text messaging between coaches and recruits, a practice that has become popular because it skirts the NCAA's limit on phone calls...

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Case Study

Tool Helps Map Out Complex Subjects

By Linda L. Briggs

Although years of using word processing and spreadsheet tools have blinded us to this fact, the mind d'esn’t really work in a linear fashion. That explains the interest over the years in “mind mapping,” a technique in which you sketch out ideas and words as interrelated items in a diagram. That sort of visual mapping has been touted for years as being a great tool for decision-making, problem-solving, and studying, among other things.

For professors teaching complex courses in which lots of ideas are introduced, mind mapping in class is an obvious way to help present materials. It may also be a useful study tool for students, especially visual learners.

While mind maps have been drawn by hand for years, Mindjet Corp. offers a digital mind-mapping tool called MindManager that brings mind mapping to the computer. The formerly PC-only tool was just released in a new version for the Mac. Although previous versions of MindManager could run on Macs using special software, it could be slow. MindManager 6 Mac, in contrast, was built with Apple’s Xcode development environment and Cocoa frameworks; it runs natively on Intel-based Macintosh computers. The integration also means the product can now use the Mac operating system’s Spotlight search technology to find content within a map...

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Tech Notes

Are You in 'Control'?

Will Craig

In his Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis attributed the following to a Calormene p'et: “He who attempts to deceive the judicious is already baring his own back for the scourge.”

Not much has changed, it seems. How many times have integrators, manufacturers, or even consultants sung the praises of installing extensive (and expensive!) integrated control systems for the classroom, even when contrary to common-sense functional and budgetary concerns? To make judicious decisions for your campus, beware of three big myths about integrated control systems, and what implications they have for classroom applications... (Campus Technology)

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum

"Smart" Classrooms
Posted by: Carine

Hello,

I read with great interest this blurb in your May 24 piece in Campus Technology. We are preparing to build 13 "smart" classrooms and were looking for a solution that would let instructors access the DVD/VCR, but not the rest of the AV equipment. You read our minds! In perusing the Middle Atlantic Web site, however, I wasn't able to come up with a picture of a cabinet put together as described here. Might you know where such a photo exists?

Thanks!

Photos of the cabinet in question can be found HERE. Model numbers are available as well.

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