Educause Live Blog (Wed, Nov 4, 2009) - Cloud Computing/New Research Services

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 5:23pm.
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The presenter, Beth Secrist, is sharing a specific case from her institution (read the session description here).

Part I - She describes various reasons for Software as a Service (SAAS) or Cloud Computing.

- flexibility
- Agility
- Scalability
- Sustainability

She asserts that campus cyber infrastructure has focused on the "underserved" and average user rather than the high end user. However, I wonder if the approach could/should be reversed? What if the cloud were used to support "underserved" and average user (e.g., BB hosting/support) while on-campus IT groups were doing development for high end users?


Educause Live Blog (Wed, Nov 4, 2009) - Lunch

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 4:27pm.
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Lunch at Educause is really something to admire. Not because of the food (although the smokey turkey on a croissant, potato chips and brownie were good) but because of how efficient they are able to provide lunch to 8.000 people. The box lunch stacked on tables is the key. Somehow it all just works.

At first it's a little awkward to be eating with people you don't know but after a while you just start talking with everyone.


Educause Live Blog (Wed, Nov 4, 2009) - Initiatives from the NSFs DataNet Program

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 2:40pm.
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This session is off to a bad start. One of the presenters was unable to make it as a result of the flu.

In 2003, the Atkins Report on Cyber Infrastructure Program to support science and engineering initiatives (e.g, high performance networking, instrumentation, high end computing) emphasized the need for data management.


Educause Live Blog (Wed, Nov 4, 2009) - Cloud Computing: Hype of Hope

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 2:18pm.
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The cloud is not "the answer." It is an option.

If you are prepared to go the cloud, you better be prepared to go back off the cloud.

We are too early in the game to understand all the pros and cons.

Some lessons:

- Your support paradigm will change.

- Support is usually within 24 hours. But it is not immediate.

- There will be several post-integration issues.

Participant: We have done a lot of cloud outsourcing already. Phone service is a great example. If the cloud can't solve your problems, go back to your local environment.

Participant: Do you trust the cloud service providers?

Participant: The economics of cloud computing also need be taken seriously.

This session was packed. It will made available on the Educause site shortly.


Educause Live Blog (Wed, Nov 4, 2009) - Digital Learning Resources: E-Books and E-Readers

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 1:32pm.
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Rob Abel, CEO of IMS Global Learning Consortium is leading this session.

Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart, is in the room as a participant.

The session begins with different people in the room sharing their stories of use of e-books and e-book readers.

So far the two cases that have been shared involve library uses of the e-books. Libraries have a deep interest in this because of the possibilities of access.

Problem: There are not many e-books available.


Lead a Better Life the Jerry Jones Way

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Thu, 09/24/2009 - 11:45pm.
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I am not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys (or Jerry Jones) but I thought this piece from Sports Illustrated was pretty interesting. In it, the author (Chris Ballard) outlines a six-point plan for living a better life based on a meeting he has with the Cowboys owner. I am by no means endorsing the plan (particularly #3). However, I think there are points that are worth keeping in mind as we go about our work (e.g., #6).

Here's the complete six-point plan:

1. Get the party started

2. Micromanage everything

3. Stop wasting your time with sleep

4. Go against the crowd

5. Go Big!

6. Be magnanimous


Cushing Academy and E-Books

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Sat, 09/05/2009 - 7:36am.
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Cushing Academy, a 144-year old New England prep school, is spending almost half a million dollars to replace its library with a "learning center."

"In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine."

The plan has its critics (e.g., Keith Michael Fiels, executive director of the American Library Association; William Powers, author of a paper published at Harvard called “Hamlet’s Blackberry: Why Paper is Eternal") but the school administration is moving forward. Headmaster James Tracy:

"Instead of a traditional library with 20,000 books, we’re building a virtual library where students will have access to millions of books....We see this as a model for the 21st-century school."


Best Paper Award

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 1:19am.
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"NetPosse: A Tool for Connecting Users in Virtual Communities" was recently selected as the best paper of those presented in the session "Computing / Information Systems and Technologies" at the 7th International Conference on Computing, Communications and Control Technologies (CCCT 2009). As a result, the paper is being reviewed by the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (JSCI) for possible publication. It is interesting to see Net Posse on paper versus what Kyoho, Jeannie, and Faisal prototyped. Congratulations to Faisal and Gary on this award. And many thanks to Brian for reviewing the paper.


Gmail Down

Submitted by Hui Soo Chae on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 8:55pm.
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Almost everyone in the EdLab was without their gmail for a few hours yesterday.

If you are curious why, click here for the official explanation from Google.

As you might expect the "Internets" was abuzz as a result of the outage. One of the more "interesting" perspectives is titled, "Billion Dollar Business Idea: Email With 100% Uptime." An excerpt:

"I shall continue to use an “old school” email desktop client (Apple’s Mail) to download all my Gmail info on a daily basis. The cloud still isn’t reliable enough, and seeing how it took forty years to get here – I figure there’s still at least a decade to go."

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