SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Managing Aspections

By Will Craig, CTS-D CDT, Elert & Associates

The proliferation of wide-aspect monitors has put new burdens on those who support and train end-users who make presentations in classrooms, lecture halls, and boardrooms. As projectors increasingly are built into widescreen applications, these burdens will only get larger. Preparing and managing the expectations of end-users who are jumping into wide-aspect (or who are having it forced upon them) is vital to smooth(er) relations between presentation system users and those who support them.

Widescreen is not a monolithic standard. There are an enormous number of wide-aspect resolutions in the marketplace – everything from 852x480 to 1920x1200 and even higher. Investigation and calculations of the monitor selection at your local big-box retailer will reveal 16:9 aspect monitors, but also 15:9, 15:10, and some other similar shapes. Pixel count seems to be related to size; 15:9 seems to be more prevalent in the smaller (<20”) desktop wide-aspect monitors, while 16:9 is more common in the larger sizes of monitors...

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News & Product Updates

Commerce Department Names Academics to Panel on Dual-Use Technology

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez announced the appointment of 12 business and academic leaders to the newly formed Deemed Export Advisory Committee...

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Harvard Drops Early Admissions

Harvard announced plans to drop its "early action" admissions round...

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Microsoft High School Opens

The Microsoft-designed "School of the Future" opened recently in a working-class West Philadelphia neighborhood...

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Case Study

Electronic Student Assessment: The Power of Portfolio

By Matt Villano

At Bentley College (MA), the interdisciplinary Liberal Studies program has undergone quite a makeover: Educators there have completely revamped the way in which they assess student performance in class. For years, the process was “old school” – students were required to submit all work in person, printing out assignments on paper, stapling them, and handing them over to professors upon request. These days, however, the school handles assessment with next generation ePortfolio tools that enable students and teachers to exchange assignments electronically.

What’s so interesting, though, is that the technology is the architecture of the major itself, acting as the mechanism by which curricular objectives are supported and measured. Barbara Palmer, dean for information resources, says that faculty members designing the major had ePortfolios in mind from the get-go. On one level, the technology evaluates individual success. Collectively, however, the ePortfolios can be mined to get a sense of overall program quality. What’s more, because the Bentley program requires a great deal of student self-reflection and faculty adviser feedback, Palmer says the ePortfolios have become source material by which to gauge the value of the faculty-student interaction. “This initiative seeks to increase students’ ability to integrate learning and to make connections,” she reports. “We expect to use [ePortfolios] to evaluate our capacity to deliver on our curricular promises.”...

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Tech Notes

Strategic Technology Planning: Critical Thinking

By Matt Villano

Why is it that new tools and technologies are still being implemented in a vacuum at some colleges and universities, with little to no regard for the impact on the institution as a whole – even the connection to the institution’s professed or declared mission? True excellence in technology implementation emerges when IT, administrative, and academic leaders link IT to mission-critical institutional objectives, investing in hardware and software to serve an explicit purpose and a distinct population of users. Across the country, at public institutions of higher education in New Hampshire as well as at schools like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fordham University (NY), and Cornell University (NY), this is precisely the case... (Campus Technology)

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