Friday, July 31, 2009

Hands-on with the Microsoft Surface

On Wednesday, I attended CloudCamp, an unconference focused on cloud computing. The event was held at Microsoft's beautiful new research facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event feature a number of "cloud vendors" (Microsoft, EMC Atmos, Rackspace (Slicehost), UNISYS, Right Scale, Intuit, Signiant, and Iron Mountain), some analysts, a handful of end-users (like me), and one other academic (again like me). I'll share some thoughts on the event in a future post, but here's some video of the MS Surface. I've removed the sound, because there was a lot of background noise.

Friday Funny

The close captioning on this video is a great illustration of why we have to teach our technology students communication skills. Reminds me of a guy I used to work with. He would say something at a meeting and I would have to translate into "English." Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

John Gruber on Microsoft

Great post on Microsoft from John Gruber. Well worth the read!

Daring Fireball: Microsoft's Long, Slow Decline
I’m not arguing that Microsoft will collapse. They’re too big, too established for that to happen. I simply think that their results this quarter were not an aberration, but rather the first fiscal evidence of a long, slow decline that began several years ago.

The eLearning White Space

Interesting post on the idea of white space in eLearning. Essentially, a period of time for the learner to reflect on what they've learned. This is not a new concept, and something that is valuable for any time of learning (face-to-face, self-study, etc). Do you provide your students with white space?
If you are familiar with principles of graphic design you know that white space, also known as negative space, is an important part of layout. It refers to the blank areas between the pictures and type on the screen or page.
In his book Design Elements, Timothy Samara states, ‘Space calls attention to content, separates it from unrelated content around it, and gives the eyes a resting place.’

The eLearning White Space

Learning has its own version of white space. It refers to the space instructional designers can give learners during instruction; the mental pause; the purposeful omission; the resting place that provides the time and space to use natural cognitive strategies to absorb things. This can be difficult to provide in an eLearning environment. We don’t typically think of eLearning as a place to linger. It’s not often that you hear someone say, ‘I think I’ll light some candles, make a cup of chamomile tea, and chill with an eLearning course.’

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tires From Wood

Very cool use of cellulose from plant fiber to make tires.

OSU foresters swap tree fibers for rubber in fuel efficient tires
wood science researchers at Oregon State University to figure out that we've been doing this whole 'tire' thing wrong for generations now. While studying some uses of microcrystalline cellulose, which can be made easily from practically any type of plant fiber, these Earth-loving gurus discovered that said material could actually improve the efficiency of vehicle tires when used in place of silica. Granted, only about 12 percent of the silica -- which is used as a reinforcing filler in the manufacture of rubber tires -- was swapped out, but the resulting tires gripped just as well in wet weather while decreasing the rolling resistance during those dry summer months. Furthermore, tires constructed with these fibers could be made with less energy, though long-term durability studies are still needed to prove that this whole plan is viable for more than a few thousand miles.

Nortel Trying to Dig Out of Bankruptcy

Ericsson Buys Nortel Wireless Units for $1.13 Billion
Swedish wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson on Saturday said it had penned a deal to buy a majority of Nortel Networks' North American wireless business for $1.13 billion.
The Stockholm-based group said the purchase is on a cash and debt-free basis and covers the older CDMA and newer LTE wireless businesses of Nortel's Carrier Networks unit.

Nortel on Friday placed its wireless business up for auction behind closed doors in New York City, and international tech industry titans submitted their best offers for the prized division.

Nortel, a former telecommunications equipment powerhouse, sought bankruptcy protection in January and the auction was planned after the company said it planned to liquidate its business.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recruiting Women Technoblog

If you haven't done so already, head over to the
Recruiting Women Technoblog, a brand new blog from Donna Milgram and IWITTS - The Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science. At the blog, you'll find:

  • new strategies for recruiting and retaining women and girl into your technology programs
  • free online training
  • a proven practices library
    learning library
  • posters of female role models
  • and more ...

Here's the RSS feed to subscribe!

Visualizing One Trillion Dollars

This video has been making it's way around the blogosphere. Not sure that the numbers are all accurate, but it's a great visualization and a great way to get kids/students talking and thinking about the financial crisis and the response to it.

Visualizing One Trillion Dollars

Twitter Is Not Mainstream

While Twitter has gotten a lot of press from Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey, and was critical for sharing information after the elections in Iran, this piece seems to indicate that Twitter has not yet reached mainstream status. One interesting stat to me is that people (20% and 12%) think that Twitter is only for young people. In my experience, it's the exact opposite - very few young people use Twitter.

69% Of Adults Don't Know What Twitter Is
69% of adults surveyed have little knowledge of what Twitter is, the LATimes reports, citing a LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll.

Of 2,025 adults surveyed, 69% said they didn't know enough about Twitter to comment on it.

More stats:

  • Of 1,015 advertisers surveyed, 17% didn't know much about the microblogging service.
  • 50% of advertisers surveyed said they expected Twitter to experience a huge growth in the next few years.
  • 20% felt Twitter was only for young people.
  • Only 12% of consumers surveyed said Twitter use would grow in the coming years, and an equal percent felt only young people used Twitter.

Verizon and the Palm Pre

This is a little more than a rumor, when you have the CEO of Verizon providing the details.

Verizon to offer Palm Pre in early 2010 | Wireless

There is still no official word about when or if Verizon Wireless will ever get Apple's iPhone, but the wireless operator has confirmed it will be getting the Palm Pre early next year.
The company's chief operating officer, Denny Strigl, spilled the beans on the impending smartphone availability during a conference call with analysts and investors discussing the company's second-quarter earnings on Monday. The Palm Pre, which was highly anticipated for several months, is currently only available on Sprint Nextel's network.

Since Sprint and Verizon use the same underlying cell phone technology, it shouldn't come as a huge shock that Verizon would be getting its own version of the Pre. But it's somewhat surprising that the carrier will be getting the device so soon.

NPR and New Media

public radio2.png
There are a number of great iPhone apps for listening to streaming from public radio stations. Public Radio is one of the more recent and is a very well done app. NPR sees the world changing and is responding to these changes by making content available in a variety of formats and to a variety of devices.
public radio.png
NPR Is Enhancing Its Web Site:
NPR, the public radio network, is introducing a revamped this week, giving users what its executives say is an easier-to-navigate Web site that emphasizes written reporting over audio reports.

It is part of a digital expansion, branded with the new tagline ‘Always On,’ that will include several mobile applications to be available late this summer.

The changes are meant to raise the level of NPR’s journalism and journalistic output, and to make public radio more widely available, not just on local stations but on any format consumers might want, said Vivian Schiller, NPR’s president and chief executive.

‘We are a news content organization, not just a radio organization,’ Ms. Schiller said.

The Web site changes are part of a strategy meant to increase NPR’s share of the midday audience, between its ‘Morning Edition’ and the late afternoon ‘All Things Considered,’ when listening to NPR stations drops considerably, said Kinsey Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of NPR Digital Media.

Instead of short paragraphs that direct users to click on links to audio reports taken from NPR’s programs, the Web site will now offer fully reported text versions of articles, so users can click from their cubicles. ‘We think the midday experience is much more text-driven,’ Mr. Wilson said.

The Web site will flip ‘from being a companion to radio to being a news destination in its own right,’ Ms. Schiller said.

In the coming weeks, NPR will release free mobile applications for the iPhone, Google’s Android and Symbian-powered phones.

Dozens of public radio apps already are available for the iPhone and other mobile platforms. NPR’s new applications, however, will emphasize news content, offering quick links to articles in written or audio form.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update on ACU's Mobile Learning Initiative

I wrote a blog post last December on Abilene Christian University's Mobile Learning Initiative and more recently on their iPhone Programming course. Brett Terpstra from The Unofficial Apple Weblog interviewed three of the ACU staff leading the initiative. The results from the year one pilot are encouraging. So much so, that the University is handing out another 500 devices this year.

ACU's iPhone initiative: a year later

Terpstra was able to follow up with three of the project leaders:
... George Saltsman (Faculty Development), Scott Perkins (Director of Research) and William (Bill) Rankin (Director of Educational Innovation), meeting up for a multiparty video chat which revealed the excitement these guys have for what they are seeing become the platform for education: the iPhone.
I wonder how many schools have a designated "Director of Innovation?"

A rough assessment of the conversation from Terpstra concludes that "... the iPhone (and the iPod touch) has played a role in creating a new model for higher education at ACU."

The implementation included handing out
957 devices to incoming freshmen, as well as 169 to faculty and another 182 to staff. It wasn't a blind move, or a gimmick; it was the result of much research, planning, and even a faculty contest to submit ideas for implementing technology -- namely, the iPhone -- into the curriculum in ways which would be beneficial, non-distracting and begin to chip away at the age-old paradigms of the lecture hall. [Emphasis added - MQ]
The iPhone requires a two-year plan from AT&T, therefore
... incoming freshmen were given a choice between an iPhone, an iPod touch, or neither. Unsurprisingly, every incoming student accepted one or the other, with about 36% choosing a iPod touch over an iPhone.
A wide variety of web-based activities were built around the devices. These activities were carefully constructed to leverage the existing infrastructure and its' security and to ensure that students without the devices could still access the materials.
In addition to podcasts, class polls and various communication channels made possible by iPhone ubiquity, the school also provides a web portal -- one that can be accessed through either an iPhone or any standard web browser on a desktop or laptop computer. It offers everything from curriculum overviews and syllabi to account information and Google Calendars, and provides an information center for all students. Making this web-based meant existing security measures stayed in place, and students without iPhones/iPod touches had equal access. Additionally, iPhone specific tools were created to enhance the educational experience. One such application was an attendance tool which automatically contacts absent students via an email they can reply directly to.
Taking attendance and remembering the names and faces of the many students I encounter every semester is an ongoing challenge. In my twelve years of teaching I've gotten a lot better at remembering names and faces, but the staff at ACU even have a fun, innovative solution to this arduous tasks.
Programmers at ACU went an extra step and added a game to the attendance tool, offering professors a memory challenge matching up faces with names. It might sound a little corny, but it went over well and, as a result, improved the instructors' relationships and interactivity with the students.
The results of the pilot are very encouraging:
Several surveys were taken (with an unusually large percentage of respondents), and information was compiled. One of the questions asked was about the distraction level the iPhones and iPod touches generated in the classroom.

... 90% of the faculty and staff stated that the devices "were not a distraction in class." Students reported that they were bringing their devices to class, and that their performance, grades and class work all benefited. The studies also revealed that 82% of the students had used the web portal at least once per week during the Fall semester, 49% said they were given at least one assignment that required device usage outside of class, and 60% of students said they had regular opportunities to use the device for at least one class.
On the faculty side, about 65% of the 167 iPhone/touch-using faculty and staff members responded to survey questions on topics such as demographic and experience factors, personal and classroom usage, and perceived impact on student engagement and performance. An overwhelming majority of the respondents deemed the program a success, said that there was adequate communication and that the device was easy to use and implement. 70% responded positively about the course calender, 83% were in favor of online course documents, 63% for podcasts, 74% were happy about in-class internet searches, 76% responded favorably to the devices' role in taking attendance, and a whopping 87% stated that they felt comfortable about using the devices for required course activities. 
The goals of the project included inducing a paradigm shift, moving "... the typical lecture room ideology into this century, and beyond. In conclusion, ... all agree that the iPhone and devices like it represent the future of education ... "like it or not." Finally, some keys to the success of the project were identified.
The success of such programs depends both on the ubiquity and availability of the devices, as well as acceptance by the staff and students. The purely voluntary method of distribution and the freedom to use the device as a social and entertainment tool offered as part of the package both went a long way toward furthering the latter. [Emphasis added - MQ]

Friday, July 17, 2009

Video in the Classroom

Earlier, I posted a link to the Universal Newsreel collection at the Internet Archive.

Here's a great video (less than a minute) that I can use to introduce satellite communications in my wireless class.

Spice Up Your Classes with Classic Newsreels

Great resource for educators in just about any discipline - Universal Newsreels from 1929 to 1967. This collection (currently 601 items) has been released into the public domain and made available at the Internet Archive (link below). You can search the collection by subject or keyword, or browse the entire collection. The videos can be embedded in your website or online course, and even downloaded in a variety of formats. No matter what you teach or even if you're just a history buff, this collection is worth a look.

Internet Archive: Free Downloads: Universal Newsreels:
In the pre-TV era, people saw the news every week in their neighborhood movie theaters. Newsreels were shown before every feature film and in dedicated newsreel theaters located in large cities. Universal Newsreel, produced from 1929 to 1967, was released twice a week. Each issue contained six or seven short stories, usually one to two minutes in length, covering world events, politics, sports, fashion, and whatever else might entertain the movie audience. These newsreels offer a fascinating and unique view of an era when motion pictures defined our culture and were a primary source of visual news reporting.

Universal City Studios gifted Universal Newsreel to the American people, put the newsreels into the public domain, and gave film materials to the National Archives in 1976. Surviving materials from the entire collection are available at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More University Data Stolen

Yet another case of data theft or loss at a college or university. While many schools focus on firewalls, closing ports, and limiting what employees can do on the network, they seem to neglect the most common threat to data - lost or stolen laptops or data drives. Also read my earlier posts on data theft:
Computer With Personal Information of Cornell U. Students and Professors Stolen:
A laptop containing the names and Social Security numbers of some 45,000 Cornell University students and faculty members has been stolen, The Cornell Daily Sun reports. The computer was stolen earlier this month, when a university employee was correcting file-processing transmission errors and left the computer unattended. In a press release, the university said it will offer a year’s worth of free credit reports, credit monitoring, and identity-theft protection to anyone affected. On a separate Web page, the university said it would not provide any additional information on the theft, as local police are investigating the incident.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Academic Journals Moving to Online-Only?

It seems academic journals are also subject to the difficulties faced by newspapers. I'm assuming that most journals are constructed to break even - i.e. the revenue pays for staff, printing, and distribution. If you can't break even, you have no business. I'm also somewhat dubious of the claim that scientists are happier reading online. While I don't doubt that most scientists are doing quite a bit of online research. A journal moving online doesn't necessarily guarantee it's survival. One of the comments to the article makes the point that:
Chemistry journals have a very restrictive access policy even on decades-old papers. They need to provide more open access something like what ASM does with its journals.
Maybe these online journals need to look at a completely different model. What that is, I'm not sure.

Chemistry Journals Go Digital-Only
The American Chemical Society, which publishes several dozen academic journals, is moving to end print editions and produce journals only online. The move was noted by the journal Nature in late June after someone sent it a copy of a memo from a chemical-society official, but unfortunately you can’t read the complete report unless you pay a fee to subscribe or buy one-time access.

And that’s precisely the issue—making money online, and losing it in print—that drove the chemistry society’s decision, according to a recent story in Ars Technica, which you can read in full, at no charge. The Web site notes that the journal publisher said, in the memo, that ‘printing and distribution costs now exceed revenues from print journals.’ Plus, scientists seem happier reading online, the society thinks. So this summer, all but three of its journals will become digital-only.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Palm Pre

Fake Steve Jobs' take on the Palm Pre keyboard:
The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: Jon Rubinstein now says he'll get a new liver, too
Really, guys, it's a terrific piece of work. Especially that keyboard with the teeny-tiny keys. I was thinking of an accessory you could sell in the Sprint stores: a little knife that Pre users can use to whittle down their fingertips. Oh, and some Band-Aids to patch up cuts from that razor-sharp edge that Gizmodo used as a Ginsu.

Monday, July 13, 2009

CAD for the iPhone

Very cool CAD application cadTouch R2 for the iPhone. In the old days, you captured ideas on paper, in a little notebook. Now you're drawing your ideas in CAD - wherever and whenever they come to you. Great for capturing information from a working construction site, sketching out ideas with a client, or working on your own Frank Gehry ideas. See videos of the app in action below. UPDATE: The app got some pretty poor reviews, so I suggest you think long and hard before plopping down $10. Too bad.
cadTouch is a revolutionary CAD (computer aided design) software that follows you whenever you are, draw floorplans or land surfaces (and calculate their area), fa├žades, mechanical or structural parts (and calculate their moment of inertia), diagrams, field notes, and more with precision drawing and right from the field. Then send your results instantly via e-mail (jpg) or FTP (dxf).

New v2.1 update's new features:

- DXF file importation, now you can open your CAD files created from your desktop computer right on your iPhone or iPod, this bridges your office to your site, you will always have your drawings with you when you really need them. (compatible with AutoCAD™, ArchiCAD™, SketchUp™, Illustrator™, Solidwors™, Vectorworks™ and every DXF-capable software). The first iphone cad viewer ever.

- DXF file exportation, now you can save your work into the most flexible CAD format ever seen on the iPhone, you will be able to communicate with any desktop CAD software. This feature will really change the way you work. For example, an architect now can draw a floorplan with measures taken on site and then instantly share it's drawing to his office: imagine the time you will save, now you don't have to re-draw, now you pin-point measure errors right from the site of measure.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Abolish Lectures

A pretty radical statement - from a student no less. I've been making the case lately that our classrooms haven't changed in the last 100 years. According to this story, the current classroom approach to teaching/lecturing may be nearly 1000 years old.
University lectures are past their sell-by date and should be abolished in favour of virtual teaching, according to a student leader.

Wes Streeting, president of the National Union of Students, says lectures are old-fashioned and increasingly irrelevant to modern learning.

For generations, students have packed into cramped lecture theatres to listen to professors enthuse about their subjects.

Some students take notes attentively and others struggle to stay awake, but Mr Streeting says the whole concept should be eradicated.

Instead students could make greater use of lecture handouts, online learning, chat rooms and downloads, with more time freed for staff to conduct small and intensive tutorial sessions.

Writing in Policy Review magazine, Mr Streeting said: ‘In my higher education revolution, the lecture would be first up against the wall.

‘Why is it, in the age of mass higher education, that we keep packing lecture theatres with hundreds of students for a format designed for teaching no more than 20 in an elite system?

‘Come the revolution, I’d see virtual learning environments acting as a space for students to come together and collaborate.’

Mr Streeting said that with record levels of public borrowing and a ‘relatively poor’ settlement for higher eduction in the budget, universities should be thinking creatively about the challenging financial climate.

‘While our vice-chancellors might not be tempted to storm the barricades to overthrow our political system, it should serve as an incentive — alongside the more important catalyst of student appetite — to revolutionise learning and teaching in higher education.’

Lectures are an established part of the university process. The huge numbers on some courses mean that 300 to 400 students have to be taught in one go.

Documents at Oxford University refer to lectures taking place as long ago as 1116, although this would not have been in the modern mass format. The University of Cambridge estimates that it began using lectures in the late 13th century.
Click to read the rest

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Quick Wireless Audit

Steve Branigan, an adjunct professor and advisory committee member in my networking program has a great blog post on performing a wireless audit. First he points out the dangers of connecting to a rogue access point and then provides step-by-step directions for a quick and dirty wireless audit.

how to do a quick wireless audit « Steven Branigan’s Blog
What could be the problem with using an unauthorized (rogue) access point or a convenient hotspot? There are three problems that jump to mind:

  1. You might have permission to use that network. This could lead to embarrassment should it arise that corporate communications are going over someone’s open linksys access point based in their apartment.
  2. The owner of the network could decide to monitor all communications on their network, which might include your conversations.
  3. The wireless network could be so open that anyone could attach to the network and scan all the computers on the local network. This could make it easy to connect to fileshares on any computer attached to the wireless network, for example.
It is entirely possible for a user to connect to an open network accidentally. Here is an example of how that can happen. When I visit one of my favorite coffee shops, I will connect to their public use wireless network, named ‘tmobile’. Whenever I go into that coffee shop, my computer will automatically connect to the ‘tmobile’ network. What would happen if that ‘tmobile’ network appeared in the office building? Well, most likely, my computer would automatically connect to the tmobile network, and this could be a problem! There is an easy way to test for your environment and see if you have users that will automatically attach to a wireless network.
  1. Get an inexpensive access point, such as a linksys wrt54g.
  2. Set the network name (also known as the SSID) to linksys. (other SSIDs to use include tmobile, default, belkin54g and guest.)
  3. Do not connect the WAN port to the corporate network or the Internet. This will ensure that no access point users will connect to the Internet.
  4. Plug the access point in.
  5. After about 2 hours, connect to the wireless network and log in as the administrator. Examine the DHCP log. It is in here that you will find the number of people that attached to the wireless access point along with their computer name.
Using this list, you can help find users that might be suspectible to unknowingly connecting to a rogue access point.

College Professors and Twitter

Most people who try Twitter or hear about Twitter are still in stage 1 - denial. Faculty, in particular, are at a loss figuring out how they or their students might use Twitter in and outside of the classroom. Here's a story from Wichita, Kansas detailing how some faculty are using Twitter.
College professors find Twitter a useful educational tool:
Adapting their teaching to take advantage of new technology, a growing number of college professors are using Twitter as an extension of the classroom — asking students to raise questions, hold discussions online, keep up with breaking news and share links to interesting stories.

Some, like Mary Knudson, who teaches writing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, use Twitter to encourage students to write concisely. She thinks the limited number of characters helps writers remember to choose words carefully, cut clutter and realize how much can be said in a small space, like a haiku.

Others say experimentation with Twitter is the latest sign of a real shift in education, away from a professor lecturing students to a more democratic and wide-ranging exchange of information.

'It changes the dynamic of the way people teach and the way people learn,' said Monte Lutz, a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins. 'It encourages people to connect with each other. It can be almost a Socratic dialogue, in real time, in the class.'

Lou Heldman, distinguished senior fellow in media management and journalism at WSU, taught a class last semester that explored social networks and new media. He required students to join Twitter and use it to post links to articles relevant to the class.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Cell Phone is the Classroom


In my work and my presentations, I've been advocating for the integration of cell phones into the classroom. Part of my logic is these kids have the devices, and they're already using them in class (usually for text messaging). Why don't we give them something constructive to do with the phones. Here's a great story detailing the increasing use of cell phones in the classroom. I particularly like the nursing example. This goes even further than I have envisioned, using the cell phone to actually deliver educational content

Cell phones used to deliver course content
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says schools and colleges should deliver course content to the cell phones that students use to talk and text every day. Some campus officials are listening, and classes via web-enabled cell phones could be mobile learning's next evolution. 

'Kids are on their cell phones the 14 hours a day they are not in school,' Duncan said in a recent interview with eCampus News at Education Department (ED) headquarters in Washington, D.C. With teenagers and young adults using cell phones constantly, Duncan said, technology officials should find ways to send homework, video lectures, and other classroom material so students can study wherever they are.

The first reported use of cell phone-enabled college courses originated at Japan's Cyber University, which used SmartBank 3G smart phones to deliver electronic course material in November 2007. (See "Next ed-tech frontier: Classes via cell phone.") The 2,000-student university that offers 100 online classes lured students by offering the first course via cell phone free of charge if the student switched providers and bought the SmartBank smart phone.

Some American campuses have joined the classes-via-cell-phone trend, including Louisiana Community & Technical College System and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Ball State nursing students began using mobile devices last school year, and downloading course material has literally taken a considerable weight off of students' shoulders. Brandon Campbell, the nursing school's lead technology services specialist, said electronic nursing manuals accessed on a mobile device replaced a two-foot stack of reading material that students once lugged around from class to class.


Ball State's 800 undergraduate and graduate nursing students are required to buy an AT&T mobile device so they can access lab books, medical dictionaries, diagnosis literature, and other resources throughout the school year. Students can download free updates of course material, but they have to pay for new text editions after that, Hodson-Carlton said. Students pay about $250 for the cell phone-enabled texts, officials said, adding that those course materials can last a student throughout his or her undergraduate studies at the university.

The convenience of nursing manuals via mobile devices has become so appealing at Ball State that professional clinicians at the university often ask nursing students to use their cell phones, Hodson-Carlton said.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

IT Technicians and Certifications

GlobalKnowledge has an interesting piece on Top IT Certifications in Demand Today. An important point they make is that many organizations - in particular midsize organizations - are more likely to hire technicians with multiple skills. So rather than having a program that focuses students on only one certification, our programs should provide them with the knowledge and skills to pursue multiple, diverse certifications. For example, network specialist with additional certifications in security, servers and operating systems. Another key finding is that in a down economy it's important not only to have experience with a technology, but also technical certifications.
But as organizations cut jobs in a tight economy, businesses that are hiring have the pick of candidates, and they're demanding certifications as well as experience...
So encourage your students to take their certifications!

Among the certifications in demand are:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Cisco and Microsoft certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Cisco's Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • ITIL® - the Information Technology Infrastructure Library
  • Virtualization (VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft certifications)
  • Help Desk Institute certification

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Amazon Kindle and ADA

Trouble on the horizon for the Kindle and other e-book readers?

Advocates for the Blind Sue Arizona State U. Over Kindle Use
The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind are suing Arizona State University for its use of the Amazon Kindle to distribute electronic textbooks to students, saying the device cannot be used by blind students.

The groups say the Kindle has text-to-speech technology that reads books aloud to blind students, but that the device’s menus do not offer a way for blind students to purchase books, select a book to read, or even to activate the text-to-speech feature, according to a joint statement by the two groups.

In a lawsuit filed last week, a journalism student was also named as a plaintiff.

Does Your College Have an iPhone App?

The University of Saskatchewan does. Here's a video of the app in action.

iUSask - iPhone App for the University of Saskatchewan
Programmers at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada have developed a cutting edge new iPhone application, which will enable students to search library archives, confirm class times and check marks for their work.

Described as a ‘mobile information resource for the University of Saskatchewan’, the app will also enable students to read campus news, view campus maps, access lists of classes for the day and even watch live webcams of the campus.


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