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Articles: Hardware

 Affordable Android

The ZTE Optik 3G Android tablet from Sprint is an e-reader, media player, and portable computing device. The 7-inch touchscreen display has a WXGA 1280x800 resolution and pinch-to-zoom technology and operates on the Android 3.2 Honeycomb system with a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The 7.6 inches tall, 4.7 inches wide tablet, weighing less than 1 pound, costs as low as $99.99.

Computer platforms are broadening on campus as colleges and universities invite students to use a variety of tablets, laptops, and desktops in mobile and traditional learning environments. Device choices expand as the emphasis is on apps over hardware.

Few students—traditional or nontraditional—complete their work within the 9-5 work day. Rather, libraries and dorm rooms are bustling late into the night with students burning the midnight oil. But, according to findings from the 2012 ACUTA (The Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education) ResNet Survey, only 9 percent of colleges and universities offer 24/7 network support.

Apps for Education

If you were to travel 10 years into the future and walk onto a college campus, what would you expect digital signage to look like? I’m not sure what it will look like, but what I do know is that my two young sons will want to interact with it. Steve Jobs left me a legacy of listening to endless fire truck videos; clips of animated cars, trucks, and trains speaking in German, Dutch, and Japanese; and video updates of the latest in dancing robots (“bebots,” as my 18-month-old calls them).

iPad

On January 19, Apple held a much-hyped education event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City where the company revealed its move into the textbook distribution market with the release of the iBooks 2 and iBooks Author apps.

Notable for its higher ed implications, iBooks Author is available as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create iBooks textbooks and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. Education technology experts weigh in on how this could change how professors disseminate information.

Capture in High Def

Tim Goral

Registration is now open for UBTech. “The conference formerly known as EduComm” returns to the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, June 11-13. With the theme Technology Changes Everything, UBTech 2012 will feature a wide assortment of sessions focusing on how technology impacts Campus Networks and Infrastructure, Facilities Planning and Design, Teaching and Learning Technologies, Marketing Your Institution, and Financial Services. This year the conference also includes, for the first time, four pre-conference summits.

Telepresence isn’t for every institution. Have your campus leaders considered other related technologies?

“Think of video conferencing on a spectrum from low cost on a student’s own device up to sophisticated telepresence systems,” says Lew Epstein of Steelcase. He explains that sharing projects outside the classroom or across the world can be done on almost any screen.” All of that can happen with the device in your pocket or on large screens in the classroom; the point is that within that spectrum, it’s all executable now and it’s all happening.”

webcam

Imagine being a student in a class listening to your professor as she writes on a whiteboard at the front of the room. She asks a question and you faintly hear a voice, but you can’t see who it came from or understand what was said—because you’re sitting at your desk participating in class through your webcam.

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