SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Viewpoint

Getting the Grants: Boost Your Chances!

By John Moore

In the information technology arena, a number of tech companies offer grants that can help advance university research and instructional programs. That’s the good news. Now for the bad news: Competition abounds and only a handful of grant seekers obtain funding.

But grant writers can improve their chances. Tech foundation executives describe a number of steps institutions can take to make their application stand out from the masses. Consider the following tactics...

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News & Product Updates

House Approves Bush’s Request for Higher NSF Budget

The House of Representatives passed a spending bill for the National Science Foundation that will increase the agency’s budget by...

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Spellings Commission Report Mum on Education Technology

A first draft of a report by the Spellings Commission, the Bush administration’s panel (named after Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings) established to study the future of higher education, includes just two references to technology...

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Forrester: Skills Shortage Will Worsen Unless Industry Seeds IT Talent

A new report from Forrester shows that IT and programming studies enrollment is significantly dropping...

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Case Study

Improving the Administration of Mathematics Placement Tests

By Scott Sutherland, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics, SUNY Stony Brook

A University administered placement tests are common practice and normally occur in the areas of mathematics and science. However, the administration process for placement exams often differs across colleges and universities. Some perform the test at the beginning or end of the summer, while some do it during orientation. Some have the students come in to the high schools or universities to take it, while others send it to the students’ homes.

The resources required to administer placement tests are substantial. The State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook’s mathematics department has been giving a placement test to every freshman and a large fraction of their transfer students for 15 years, having developed a series of multiple choice questions ranging from arithmetic through to the end of single variable calculus.

For Stony Brook, the test was traditionally administered during orientation at the beginning of the year using paper-based Scantron cards. As such, the school was faced with the logistical nightmare of conducting the test, scanning and recording the grades in their student record, and advising the appropriate course placement all in one morning, so the students could register that afternoon. Not only was this process harrowing for the staff and faculty, the students often complained that they weren’t prepared, that they didn’t know they had to write a test, and therefore, the results did not truly represent their ability...

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Tech Notes

Special Report: Open Source Vision

By Matt Villano

Open source has changed everything about student computing at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. Over the last few years, when students wanted to utilize mission-critical systems, they had to log in to separate systems to access basic functions such as e-mail, course registration, and financial aid. Students couldn’t toggle from one application to another. To switch, they had to log out of one and log in to the next. The progress was both tedious and time-consuming. By 2005, technology officials knew they had put up with the situation for far too long. The time had come to find a solution.

The hunt for that solution began that year. Fed up with inefficiencies in the way the disparate portal sites were linked, CIO Christian Boniforti set out to centralize all student-oriented systems within a unique portal, and establish a single sign-on feature that would enable students to log in once and have access to everything they needed... (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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