Author Archives: Jon Edwards

ETC Blog Gets a Facelift

IT's Academic screenshot

Welcome to the new ETC blog! Most of the writing and all of the keywording (is that a word?) are mine. The photography is Lorene Lavora’s. But this latest incarnation of this blog owes its look and feel and remarkable functionality to Michael Muzzie, Senior Web Developer in OIT’s Academic Services. It is our collective hope that members of the University community will like what they see here and then contact Michael to start their own blogs!

For more than 15 years, Princeton University has sponsored a series of technology seminars. Part of the outreach efforts of its IT department, these Lunch ‘n Learn seminars invite customer friendly speakers with varied affiliations to explore a wide array of cutting edge technology topics. During the past five years, Lorene Lavora and I sought to transform the existing series into fully integrated outreach, with these blog posts, very high quality podcasts, RSS feeds, and through Facebook, all in all a demonstration of how a small outreach office with sophisticated collaboration tools can leverage its resources.

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Lunch & Learn: The New Blackboard 9: Finding Your Way

Blackboard graphic

Ten years ago, Princeton adopted Blackboard as its course management system. During the past decade, the system has moved from serving a handful of courses to every course. What was an occasional convenience has become an integral part of the educational process at Princeton.

In June, the University will be upgrading the system to Blackboard 9. New features promise to improve teaching, learning, and course management. The most striking change initially, though, for instructional staff and builders, will be the new interface for editing and managing the course sites.

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Lunch & Learn: Mobile Princeton is Coming: Get out Your Smartphones!

Mobile Princeton

For reunions last year, OIT created a special web site tailored for the small mobile devices that are now proliferating in the marketplace, cell phones with web browsers, iPhones, Blackberries, and the like. The experiment proved to be quite successful. To accelerate the development of such services, OIT signed an agreement in December that will give the University access to Blackboard Mobile, an environment that will permit users to access public information about the University in a format especially suited to such mobile platforms.

The result will soon be a Princeton-specific application, m.Princeton, for leading brands of smart phones.

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Lunch & Learn: Wireless: Revolution and Evolution with H. Vincent Poor

Mobile communications graphic

Anyone, anytime, anyplace.

By virtue of its mobility, portability, and ease of connectivity, wireless connectivity provides users with unprecedented freedom, suggests H. Vincent Poor, Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Wireless communications is among our most advanced, and rapidly advancing, technologies, he notes. New wireless applications and services emerge on an almost daily basis, and the number of users of these services is growing at an exponential rate. More than half of the world’s population uses cell phones, and this is only one of a dazzling array of wireless technologies that have emerged in recent times.

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Lunch & Learn: “e-Readers in the Classroom?” with Janet Temos, Stan Katz, Dan Kurtzer, and Trevor Dawes

Student with a Kindle

In the Fall term of 2009, Princeton conducted a pilot sponsored by the High Meadows Foundation, the University Library, and the Office of Information Technology, to assess the use of e-readers in the classroom. The reader used was the Amazon Kindle DX, a lightweight, portable e-reader with the capacity to hold approximately 3500 books, in three University courses.

The project aimed to explore the use of the e-readers in classes for which e-reserves were the primary readings. The printing of e-reserve readings at Princeton accounts for a large portion of printing in public clusters (total of 10 million sheets of paper last year). The e-reader pilot sought to target e-reserve readings and present them on an e-reader to see if printing could be reduced.

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