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Emerging IT Solutions: Education Sector

12 Sep, 2011 By: Dr. Satwant Kaur, HP imageSource

Emerging IT solutions will help educational Institutions as they face pressures of reduced funding, rising costs and increased competition. These newer solutions provide a low cost, well managed and secure IT environment that is collaborative, cloud-based and decentralized.

These IT solutions have the ability to securely manage student information, improving or maintaining a secure IT infrastructure, create a faculty/staff/student web portal, provide faculty, student email, and collaboration tools, and offer distance learning.

Emerging IT solutions enable teachers, staff and students’ any-time access to educational institution’s learning resources from a range of diverse endpoint devices. Thus all environments, such as classrooms, the library, home, remote, can be transformed into learning environments.

Emerging IT solutions enable learning that is engaging, collaborative and productive. Emerging IT solutions are especially useful in new fields of study such as informatics; medical imaging, instructional design, and educational technology whose studies require visual sharing of insights & ideas in rich multimedia content.
Emerging IT Solutions promote creativity and collaboration with new models of learning, such as Blogs, RSS, Podcasts, Wikis, Handhelds, Robotics, Social Networking, Virtual Worlds, Electronic Books, Augmented Reality, Gesture-Based Computing, and Learning Analytics.

Emerging Solutions: IT Infrastructure

•  Google Apps for email

•  IBM Virtual Infrastructure Access Services for virtualized environment and centralized IT services

•  IBM Smart administration solutions to gather data and insights for use in op erations, providing administrators and business officers information about institutional performance

•  Microsoft Live@edu to give students, staff, faculty, and alumni mobile, desktop, and web-based applications ability to collaborate on campus and create a community

•  Microsoft Web portals are a common gateway to the data and services that the people in university need to collaborate and share information Emerging Solutions: Security of IT Access IT solutions for security help provide secure access to education IT environments and help reduce spam and malware threats. Securing access involves adequately protecting sensitive information against theft, loss, and cyber attacks.

•  Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 allows users secure identity-based remote access to education organization portal; and enforce policy-based restrictions, such as auto-archiving or document deletion, on email message content and attachments

•  VMware end-user computing solutions can be used to provide students and faculty with secure and flexible access to applications and data any time, anywhere; and also reduce the cost and complexity of desktop management

•  VMware and RSA, the security division of EMC, use virtualization and security technologies to make security and compliance in the cloud logical and information-centric, built-in and automated, risk-based and adaptive

Emerging Solutions: Endpoint Security
Data on laptops, portable media, and other endpoints is vulnerable to threats as well as having physical vulnerability.

•  Windows BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, included with Windows 7 Enterprise, helps keeps documents and passwords safe by encryption if removable media is lost or stolen, or if PC hardware is decommissioned

•  Microsoft Identity and Access Management, provides secure identity and
access management

Emerging Solutions: Data Analytics
Data Analytics provides data to administrators and teachers to make better decisions. It enables them to measure student performance at individual and group levels; create analytical models that help predict performance.

•  Microsoft business intelligence (BI) tools, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server and Microsoft SQL Server, enables generation of reports and displaying them through Microsoft Office tools

•  IBM Business Analytics software helps ensure strong funding, optimize operations, and improve student, instructor and curriculum results through deeper performance insight and predictive analytics

Emerging Solutions: Rich Digital Content
Emerging digital communications are multi-mediated, and require communicators to produce and use photos, web video, movies, and webcasts. IT solutions in this realm allow digital communication, without the need to develop programming or scripting skills. Students, faculty, and staff need to be capable of conceptualizing, designing, and producing rich digital assets and experiences.

•  Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 and sophisticated professional tools such as Adobe Photoshop®, Flash®, Acrobat®, and Dreamweaver, helps provide visual representations of the results of complex statistical analyses; simulations of real-world decision-making situations that facilitate risk-free rehearsal;
and multiple visual perspectives of complex scientific, sociological, and geographical relationships

Emerging Solutions: Visual Data Analysis
Emerging IT solutions for visual data analysis help interpret and display data for the scientific analysis of complex processes. They help discover and understand patterns in large data sets with visual interpretation, statistics, data mining and visualization and simulation software.

•  Adobe professional software such as Flash, Dreamweaver, Adobe Premiere®, and Acrobat can stimulate and facilitate creativity by delivering high quality content assets across all varieties of digital media.

•  Adobe web development tools Captivate®, Contribute®, and Dreamweaver help develop and maintain websites with minimal instruction.

•  Adobe Photoshop can create images for quantitative analysis. It can publish an array of digital images—such as histological samples, radiological images and various other imaging artifacts

•  Adobe Creative Suite products can help package and disseminate digital storytelling projects; Adobe InDesign can help prepare and organize publications; Adobe Dreamweaver can be used for organization of websites

Emerging Solutions: Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers efficient pooling of on-demand, self managed virtual infrastructure, consumed as a service. College and university IT leaders can use cloud computing to consolidate data centers, keep data and applications secure and available, protect privacy and sensitive information, and manage end-user devices.

•  VMware virtualization and cloud infrastructure provides cost-effective, flexible, reliable and efficient environment; VMWare virtualized datacenter and its vSphere and vCloud APIs allow monitoring and management processes

•  IBM VCL Cloud Solutions for Education helps plan, design and implement a cloud-based virtual computing laboratory (VCL) for security-rich, cost-effective and location-independent access to computing, educational and software resources

Emerging Solutions: Secure Applications
The best application security solutions recognize and stop attacks before they can reach applications.

•  F5 Solution enforces a positive security model that allows only  “known-good” transactions and safeguards against unauthorized access and malicious traffic of every kind

•  F5 products including BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Access Policy Manager, BIG-IP Application Security Manager, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, and
BIG-IP® Edge Gateway safeguard against unauthorized access and malicious application attacks

Emerging Solutions: Free Web-based Tools
These free web-based tools enable collaborative sharing and creating content.

•  Slide Share allows sharing presentations on the web

•  Slide Cast combines slide shared power point files with audio & video stream

•  Course Cast captures video-based instructional content and streams it over
the Internet

•  Second Life allows creation of Virtual Content and Space

•  Sloodle integrates multi-user virtual environments such as Second Life with learning-management systems (VLEs) such as Moodle

Emerging Solutions: Computing for Research
High Performance computing solutions provides institution’s scientists and researchers the necessary tools for faster innovation in areas with heavy processing workload, such as modeling, molecular simulation, advanced mathematics, and computational chemistry.

•  Microsoft high-performance computing (HPC) platforms such as Microsoft 64-bit Windows HPC Server 2008,  provides such computing power with familiar Windows interface and tools to customize, deploy, and manage IT infrastructure.

•  Microsoft NetworkDirect is a Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) interface with architecture that bypasses operating system and TCP/IP overhead for high-speed, low-latency networks, such as those running on InfiniBand, 10-Gigabit Ethernet

•  IBM HPC Computing on Demand (CoD) Services provide flexible, scalable, cloud-based computing computational and storage resources for research you only pay for the resources you need; IBM HPC Computational servers include IBM System Blue Gene, a massively parallel computing platform

Without question, the innovations, technology, collaborations, cloud, security, and analytics offered by Emerging IT solutions for the education sector help meet challenges of budget cuts and complexity created by alternative learning paths.

Dr. Satwant Kaur is a Management & Technology Consultant; book author of “Transitioning Embedded Systems to Intelligent Environments;” was a platform strategist in the Intel Architecture Group, CTO of the Emerging Technologies Group at TIBCO Software, Dir. of Development at Symantec , & Chief Technology Architect of Quest Software. At Satwant.Kaur@gmail.com

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