SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, January 10, 2006

News & Product Updates

Carnegie Mellon Harnesses Google Earth for Tele-Tourism

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is one of the beneficiaries of a $285,000 Pennsylvania government grant to use Google Earth to support “virtual tourism” in the state. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell said the money will help cement a partnership between CMU and Google, as well as NASA, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, and the National Civil War Museum to allow “virtual tourists” to immerse themselves in Pennsylvania’s Civil War trails.

With the technology, users could view a historic trail, zoom in to read the inscription on a Civil War monument, or go back in time to witness the change of seasons on a historic battlefield. Building on Google, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office will incorporate a new “Gigapan” technology developed through the Global Connections Project, a partnership that includes CMU, Google, and NASA’s Ames Research Center...

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Consider a Calling Center on Your Campus?

It may be possible that too many people have too direct of an access to many of your campus' administrative offices, causing staff to handle many calls that could less expensively have been answered by such a center.

College students working through the complexities of higher education’s administrative processes want their questions answered immediately. That’s a tall order for colleges and universities that may field thousands of calls per week related to tuition billing, financial aid, and registration. To ease the burden on staff, many institutions have implemented call centers, providing students and parents with quick, accurate, and personal assistance. The bonus benefit: These centers, staffed by real people rather than automated response systems, have opened other lines of communication...

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The Internet as a Resource for News and Information about Science

This recently-released report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project explores the increasing tendency of Americans to use the Internet to research science topics, as well as related new items.

When asked where they get most of their news and information about science, 20% of all Americans say they turn to the internet for most of their science news. That translates to 40 million adults. This is second only to television, which is cited by 41% of Americans as the place where they get most of their science news and information...

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