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University of Pennsylvania Launches Communications Suite

The University of Pennsylvania is launching a service for its students called "Penn Live." The aim of the program is to provide communications tools for students, such as e-mail, blogging, and photo sharing.

Penn Live is designed for students in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School--about 13,000 out of Penn's total of 20,000 students. The university is partnering with Microsoft to develop Penn Live, which is based on a custom version of Windows Live.

Said Ramin Sedehi, vice dean for finance and administration at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Arts and Sciences: "This is really all about our students. We listened to what they had to say, and we were guided in our decisions by a student advisory board that evaluated different options. We’re excited that now we have identified a partner who can help us deliver on our vision for a state of the art communications platform."

Some of the features of Penn Live include:
  • 2 GB of e-mail storage;
  • Support for offline and mobile e-mail access (offline access provided through the use of a beta version of Windows Live Mail Desktop);
  • Access to RSS feeds;
  • Web calendaring;
  • Blogging;
  • Contact management;
  • Photo sharing;
  • Instant messaging; and
  • Access to Microsoft's version of MySpace, called Microsoft Live Spaces.
Students will be able to access their e-mail accounts even after they graduate, as long as they log in at least once a year.

Penn Live is slated to launch this fall.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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