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Technology Happenings In Higher Education


CT Briefs 

AT AVE MARIA U, you'll get a cellular connection even in hurricane-resistant buildings.

BOOSTING THE BARS. At Ave Maria University (FL), getting a cellular connection was difficult-- even with four major carriers operating in the area. And, explains University Operations Manager Wally Hedman, "Cellular coverage was a safety issue. We needed cellular service inside the library building, and we needed to be able to reach resident occupants via cell phone in each of our dormitories, in case of an emergency." Rather than live with the poor coverage or wait for the cellular vendors to expand their coverage, the university took matters into its own hands. Using ADC's InterReach Fusion system, Ave Maria boosted coverage and brought the cellular signals of all four carriers indoors, with an in-building distributed antenna system. Now, the cellular signal is always strong, even inside newly constructed buildings with walls more than two feet thick (architects designed Ave Maria's campus to stand up to Florida Gulf Coast hurricanes). The system allows coverage for existing campus facilities and will scale with the planned growth of the institution.

14,000 NOTEBOOKS SUPPORT UW E-SCHOLARS. During each of the next four years, the University of Wisconsin-Stout will deploy to students about 3,500 HP notebook computers with accessories, software, network storage, e-mail, web page space, and wired and wireless access. The technology is considered essential to student success and is offered as part of the university's "e-Scholar" program. E-Scholar Program Coordinator Jane Henderson explains, "The e-Scholar program is included in the undergraduate tuition so that UW-Stout students are provided with the tools that they will need to be technology-literate in this environment." Read more here.

REACH MORE, FASTER. Reaching the greatest number of students in the shortest time possible was top priority as campus officials at Pacific University (OR) built out the university's emergency notification system. The university's "Boxer Alerts" system now automatically includes Facebook and Twitter accounts in its e2Campus solution from Omnilert. That means that the university can send e2Campus alerts to campus constituents simultaneously via Facebook and Twitter, without the need to log in to the sites separately, and at no extra cost. In addition, students who have not yet enrolled in the school's official alert system may still receive the alerts through the two popular social media outlets. Omnilert notes that Pacific was the first school to integrate those social networking sites with the e2Campus mass notification service.

ENTERPRISE INTEGRATION, SIZE XXL. The University of Nebraska and the Nebraska State College System have selected PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions to replace a legacy student system from another vendor. As a joint project, the college systems will implement the Oracle software at the four campuses of the University of Nebraska and the three campuses of the Nebraska State College System, providing integrated services-- registration, financial aid, grades, billing, and more-- to a whopping 49,700-plus students. CedarCrestone will complete the implementation.


Menko JohnsonFROM SJSU TO STANFORD. Instructional Technologist Menko Johnson is the latest addition to the innovative staff at Stanford University's (CA) pioneering Wallenberg Hall. Johnson moved to Stanford from San Jose State University (CA), where in 2006 he was on the team that launched SJSU's Academic Success Center. There, he managed the Incubator Classroom from 2006-2008, helping SJSU faculty develop new teaching methodologies in that high-tech learning environment. As an academic technology specialist at Wallenberg, he will focus on the effective integration of technology in teaching spaces and extend his research interest in the ways technology mediates and creates innovative teaching pedagogies.

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