The hurry’er we go, the behind’er we get. There aren’t enough days in the week. If it’s not one thing, it’s six of another.
Sound familiar? We’ve certainly had our share of busy here at MOREnet this summer. We’d planned to have the second issue of our research newsletter out in July — we almost made it! We’d planned to include the research plan for the coming fiscal year with the newsletter. Well, we fell a little short of that mark, but you can see the calendar of research activities for the rest of this calendar year at www.more.net/researchcalendar.html.
In the last newsletter, we discussed two security related projects: the managed firewall pilot and the network appliance project. Both of those projects have been completed.
A goal of the managed firewall project was to determine the level of support required for a potential MOREnet-managed firewall service. MOREnet staff managed existing firewall devices and firewall feature-enabled member routers in order to learn the time commitment required to manage them on behalf of a member. In the end it turned out that there was just not enough member interest to warrant making this a MOREnet service.
The network appliance project took a hard look at devices capable of providing content filtering, bandwidth management, anti-virus, anti-spam, asset management and firewall services from a single platform. Our research and business case analysis showed that devices do exist and there is member interest. At this time, a bid request has been prepared and will be issued shortly. If the responses are favorable and an award is made, MOREnet will offer this as a new service for members. We’ll provide more details when they are available!
The Communication Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) has seen a flurry of activity on the national scene recently. Just what impact the act may have on MOREnet members and MOREnet is unclear. This research has two areas we are watching; first, the activity of the policy-makers, and second, the technology requirements that will be required to comply with the law. We had been watching this topic all along but have escalated our efforts both in tracking and reporting news and status to you. As a result, we have added a page to the MOREnet website dedicated to CALEA information. Bookmark www.more.net/about/calea, as we will be posting information to this page as developments occur.
You are all aware of the interest in podcasting; it’s everywhere you turn it seems. Due to this interest, we’ve started a project we are calling Best Practices in Podcasting. Podcasting is a very easy to use technology for users, but what is the best way for you to begin providing information to your community in this format? This project will take a look at what it takes to get into podcasting to help you select the right tools and develop the procedures to have success “publishing” information via podcasting.
Another area that members have shown a lot of interest in is course management systems (CMS). Later this summer, we’ll begin a project to look at four open source CMS applications to determine the feasibility of a MOREnet-hosted CMS. The current project plan calls for a small team of CMS professionals from the membership to evaluate the applications and provide us with service requirements. It should be an interesting project and could ultimately lead to a new MOREnet service offering.
If you haven’t already done so, mark your calendars now for the Missouri Instructional Technology Conference on Oct. 22-24, 2006. See www.more.net/conferences/fall2006 for more information. At the conference we will have a roundtable discussion session dedicated to research activities. This is an opportunity for you to tell us what you are looking into, what you think MOREnet should be looking into or to just talk to your peers about what they are researching.
As always, if you have ideas for areas of research, we want to know. Contact me anytime with your topics by phone at (573) 882-9730 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director, Strategic Technologies
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