SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, June 7, 2006


Imagining the Multisensory Classroom

David J. Staley
The Ohio State University

In 1981, my senior year of high school, I took a course called “Computer Math,” which used one of the recently developed desktop computers, a Tandy 486. This advanced class was intended for a few of us math and science geeks. No one in the class imagined that computers more powerful than our Tandy would become so important to the general curriculum that even kindergarteners would have access to them and be required to master them. This has been a recurring theme over the past few decades: technologies that were once on the periphery have moved to the core of the educational experiences. As these technologies become more important to our ideas about education, they similarly transform the shape and contours of our classrooms and learning spaces.

Like the computer a generation ago, technologies that are currently on the periphery of our educational experiences – such as 3-D printers, scent domes, voice in/voice out receivers, haptic interfaces – are poised to move to the center of our educational experiences, and in the process will transform our educational practices, from grades P-20. This essay urges readers to begin now to imagine how these new technologies will reshape our learning spaces to help them prepare their long-term strategies for information technology and physical infrastructure...

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News & Product Updates

Study Shows High Speed Internet Access Growing

The Pew Internet and American Life Project offers two encouraging statistics for technology-based educational programs...

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Report Outlines Components of Quality Distance Learning

“Evidence of Quality in Distance Education Programs Drawn from Interviews with the Accreditation Community” is a March 2006 report from the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education...

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Textbooks Reconsidered

“Reconsidering the Textbook” is an NSF-funded workshop that was held May 24-26, 2006...

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Case Study

Spanning Spaces at Hawaii Pacific University

By Justin Itoh

Living, working, and going to school in an island state certainly has its advantages, but sometimes being remotely located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has its challenges too; especially when it comes to outsourcing technology resources and services.

Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) is located in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu, with another campus on the windward side of Oahu in the city of Kaneohe. More than 5,500 students from every state in the United States, and from more than 100 countries, attend classes on one of our two campuses. Approximately 3,000 additional students attend HPU on eight military bases located on Oahu.

To provide efficient and fast technical support to our students enrolled in the online Distance Education Program, we initially used a leading Web conferencing provider for remote control capabilities. The school’s IT staff, a mix of full-time employees and Computer Science majors, found that it was much easier to guide students through the technical support process when they were able to take control of the student’s computer, share the desktop, and then diagnose problems in real-time. We also noticed that we were closing trouble tickets much more quickly. These experiences made it clear to us that remote control is a necessity for an IT department that d'es much of its work with off campus users...

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Tech Notes

Taming the Digital Beast

By Andy Patrizio

Is your digital institutional repository out of control? It’s time to step back and look at contribution, access, rights, storage, and functionality – issues you don’t want to monkey with.

No one will dispute that academic institutions excel at generating and collecting knowledge and information, but when it comes to incorporating modern technologies, students have been farther ahead of the curve than their institutions. Too many schools are still mired in paper admissions processes, for instance, while their students are actively trading MP3 files across the school’s Internet connection.

Though more gradually than their charges, schools are moving to modern digital media as a means of archiving and accessing their vast stores of knowledge. And campus library sciences professionals are partnering with IT to lead the way as the data and information explosion propels the cause forward. Sharing content has been a leading driver of the digital repository initiative, because, simply put, unshared knowledge isn’t knowledge – it’s a secret... (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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