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Technology Happenings In Higher Education


NEW MOODLE EPORTFOLIO. Abilene Christian University (TX) and its online learning services integrator, Embanet, have developed a new ePortfolio system for use with the school's Moodle learning management system. When students upload work into the system, they are required to post a "reflection" that reveals the thought process behind their assignments. ACU Director of Distance Learning Gary Tucker comments, "The exciting aspect of this software is that it not only allows students to build a strong portfolio of representative work, but also requires them to reflect on what they learned and why it is important." ACU and Embanet plan to test the system and then release it to the Moodle open source community.


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HD BROADCAST EXPERIENCE. In a partnership with Time Warner Cable and ESPN, Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) had been broadcasting the weekly halfhour TV show "SportsZone" since 2003. But Time Warner wanted more content from RIT for its sports cable network. To provide that, RIT needed a production studio-- so staff and students built a cutting-edge high-definition broadcast trailer at a third of typical industry costs. Read more here.

TAKING ON TWISTERS. University of Oklahoma researchers are studying tornadoes using highperformance computing resources at The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center. A Sun Constellation Linux cluster running up to 579.4TFlops and connected to the TeraGrid is producing 3D simulations that help researchers understand how tornadoes form, in the hope of improving prediction. Nature is still a bit ahead of science, though: "The full simulations can take up to a week to complete, but the actual tornado forecast has to be done in a matter of minutes," says Ming Xue, professor of meteorology and director of OU's Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. "To actually use the tools for real-time prediction, computers need to be much faster."

ADDRESSING DNS. At Millersville University (PA), BlueCat Networks' Adonis DNS and Proteus IPAM products are ensuring network services stay up and available to everyone on campus, including a mixture of Unix, Windows, Linux, and Mac users. "We had several DNS issues that left our DNS server either fully or partially unavailable to our campus," explains Interim Associate Director of Systems Greg Schmalhofer. "We realized we had to move from our non-standard DNS implementation to a more reliable solution that incorporated best practices." The Adonis Management Console allows configuration and administration from a single, centralized workstation.

SAE AT SOUTH SUBURBAN. Datatel has announced that South Suburban College (IL) will use the company's technology and services to create a Strategic Academic Enterprise (SAE), replacing the college's legacy system. The new system will allow the college to offer online self-service capabilities to improve constituent services and attract more highly qualified applicants. Datatel has, since this past fall, focused its messaging around the SAE, a strategy that supports crossfunctional domains while placing student success at the central focus. More on Datatel's SAE initiative here.


Angie ParkerENHANCING ED TECH IN SOUTH AFRICA. Northcentral University (online) School of Education Dean Angie Parker has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project at Rhodes University in South Africa. Parker will research and implement education technology at all four universities in the Eastern Cape. The Fulbright Specialists program provides short-term opportunities to US faculty and professionals (this year numbering more than 400), to support curricular and faculty development as well as institutional planning at postsecondary institutions throughout the world.

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