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Spring 2011, Issue #1

Bison Bytes Online

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY NEWS & RESOURCES FOR HOWARD STUDENTS, FACULTY & RESEARCHERS

Fab Lab at How- Blogging from ard Middle School Kemet (Egypt) How (MS)² students will soon be able to build (almost) anything!

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Table of Contents

Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science - (MS)² - is a renowned charter school known for engaging its students in a robust STEM-focused academic agenda. Its about to get even better.

*Hover over icons for section descriptions *Click section titles to view articles

FRONT PAGE

Source: Sarah Roberts

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Howard students blogging: (L to R) M. Ricks, J. Beal, J. Robinson, B. Moncrease, D. Wise, and G. Robinson.

The Village - Fab Lab at Howard Middle School: How to Build (almost) Anything! Tech This - Howard Students Blogging from Kemet Quick Byte of the Month Social Networking During Crisis

FACULTY BYTES

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(MS)²’s Fab Lab, cont.

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Blogging from Kemet, cont. Mini-Bytes: Student News & Resources

GREEN BYTES

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Howard University Green: Introducing Howard’s New Office of Sustainability Mini-Bytes: Green News & Resources

OAS BYTES

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OAS/iLAB General Info Internships/Scholarships Bison Bytes Info

iLAB SOFTWARE & LAYOUT

Continued on page 2 “Upcoming Fab Lab”

Quick Byte of the Month

Mini-Bytes: Faculty News & Resources

STUDENT BYTES

A laser cutter, one of the suggested machines for a fab lab. (see video)

Nowadays, most communication is conducted through social media: phone, texts, instant messages, and social networking sites. At times, it is a combination of all the above. This has led to the creation of innovative apContinued on page 3 “Blogging From Kemet”

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Social Networking During Crises

We have wintessed within the past couple years the infinite power of social networking in a new context: crisis management and organizing for immediate social change. In Japan, for example, immediately following the recent natural disaster and nuclear crisis, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were all used to help people find family members in Japan, as well as help document levels of radiation. In Egypt, the protests that turned into a revolution began with a Facebook page calling for protests on January 25th, 2011, organized by the now famous Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim, as well as other activists. Social networking has been utilized to organize people in nations with dissatisfied citizens, such as the United States, Bahrain, Iran, and China and many more.

Source: Bharat Chronicle QUESTION: What effect will social media have on the current global power structure? Email your response (no more than a few sentences) to iLabConnect@bison.howard. edu and and we might publish it in the next Bison Bytes issue.

Winners will receive a free USB memory stick.

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Bison Bytes Online

Spring 2011, Issue #1

Faculty Bytes

(MS)²’s Upcoming Fab Lab

A personal fabricator “...is a small, self-contained factory that can make objects described by digital data...” (cont. from page 1) (MS)² plans to build a fab lab have become a reality with a $250,000 grant from the Tides Foundation (by way of Google). The check was officially granted in a presentation during an expo on technology, science and engineering hosted by (MS)² on Monday, March 7, 2011. So, what is a fab lab? It’s a place that does not believe in limitations. “If you can think it, you can build it” is the unofficial mantra. In theory, one should be able to design and build almost anything in a fab lab. According to (MS)² COO (and Howard alumnus) Yohance Maqbela, (MS)²’s Fab Lab will open next year and will be based

on the design of the original fab lab at MIT, which was created by MIT’s pioneering Center for Bits and Atoms and its director, Professor Neil Gershenfeld. Currently, all students at (MS)² are required to participate in an extracurricular program called “STEM Connections,” in which they sign up for STEM classes and clubs. Examples include the solar car design and the digital media club. According to Maqbela, the fab lab will “...support them and their projects.” Fab lab equipment is like a miniature desktop factory – the main piece of equipment is a digital fabricator, which is described as “...a small, self-contained factory that can make objects described by digital data...” There are hundreds of fab labs across the country and the globe, from South Africa to Afganistan to New Amsterdam (See Google Map of locations). The concept has become so popular because fab labs enable individual and small groups to produce goods at a small scale; its effect is hailed as a democratization of production for people living in remote locations and impoverished areas that lack easy access to commercial goods. It is safe to assume that the fab lab movement will continue to grow, according to Gershenfeld (see him speak about fab labs). In a 2006 Spectrum Magazine article, he

Source: Amsterdam Fab Lab

Fab Lab in Amsterdam

said “I’ve been spending time with heads of state and generals, ministers, senators, and tribal chiefs who all want to discuss fab labs, and I’m swamped with demand in every part of the world.” To help meet the demand for assistance with building fab labs, he published Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop--From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication in 2007. As with all highly-impactful technological innovations, Fab Labs will become more accessible as the setup cost diminishes. In 2006, Gershenfeld estimated that a fab lab costs $30,000 to build, but the price will shrink to $10,000 and then to $1,000 respectively. As mentioned above, (MS)²’s grant was for a whopping $250,000. This is over eight times the required fab lab setup cost - so it is safe to assume that their lab will truly be limitless.

Mini-Bytes Faculty News & Resources Howard Faculty Go Green:

“Five [Howard] faculty members recently earned certification for environmentally conscious or “green” teaching from the University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment (CETLA). The professors...teach in diverse fields and serve as role models for faculty and students because of their efforts to reduce paper use, save energy, decrease emisReturn to Front Page

sions associated with holding classes and encourage students to engage in environmental activities.” (read more)

When Textbooks and Social Media Collide: “A professor at a Christian lib-

eral arts college in Michigan puts textbooks together with social networking to get students jazzed about historical events.” (read more)

Google Enters the E-Book Fray. What Does It Mean?: “When one of the

country’s biggest technology companies--a company that has already digitized more than 15 million volumes as part of a mis-

sion to make humanity’s literary treasures available to all--decides to sell e-books, it’s easy to see the move as a defining moment.” (read more)

Video Tutorials to Support Instruction: “Screencasting software has al-

lowed Full Sail University to develop and revise online video tutorials for its distance learning and traditional students... the screencasting program blends well with the fast-paced media and entertainment instruction...” (read more)

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Bison Bytes Online

Spring 2011, Issue #1

Student Bytes

Blogging from Kemet

A primary purpose of COAS’s “Study Abroad in Kemet” blog-site is for students to keep their families and the Howard community informed about their experiences with “semi-real-time” information. Blog views increase when blog posts are re-posted on social networking sites such as Facebook. (cont. from page 1) proaches to mass-messaging information and events in real-time and “semi-realtime.” COAS’ Study Abroad in Kemet Blog-site is a great example (Kemet is the original indigenous name of Egypt). Last summer marked the 3rd consecutive year that Howard’s African-American Studies Department Chair Dr. Greg Carr, PhD, led a group of Howard students to Egypt, as well as the 2nd year his study abroad students utilized the blog-site. A trip to Egypt for a person of African descent is known to be deeply touching and transformative. According to Dr. Carr, “Kemet is the intellectual home in many

ways for humanity. For African people, it allows us to directly connect to that…it really opens up how we view ourselves and the world.” If Howard students are undergoing a lifechanging experience (Kemetamorphosis), then their family, friends, and the university community should be able to tune in. A blog (what is a blog?) is the perfect tool to allow them to do so: it is a blend of informal and formal communication, placing elements of social networking within a structure conducive to scholarly dialogue. Many Howard community members and others followed the students’ blog posts during their time in Kemet. “It was success-

ful – people let us know that they followed it and people responded [on the blog],” remarked Dr. Carr. “Study Abroad in Kemet” student participants, such as seniors James Robinson and Sarah Roberts, who were among the group’s most frequent bloggers, agree. For Roberts, one very important aspect is that Howard students with many different points of view documented their experiences. “Pictures and the memories will always be on the blog– I can always go back to it and show my own kids in the future.” Formal structures that document African cultural continuity are vital and severely lacking in general, which makes the blog all the more important. According to Robinson, the students’ most important purpose in blogging was “To be a scribe, which is to leave an institutional memory...at the same time, we were describing an institutional memory that was left for us.” Although they did it within a different paradigm and with very different resources, the student blog efforts of documenting and preserving their own records of African history and culture is a reflection of the work done thousands of years prior by their ancestors. Unfortunately, because of the recent revolutionary movement in Egypt, this summer’s planned trip to Kemet has been cancelled. Instead, Dr. Carr will lead a trip to South Africa and hopes to use a blog for that trip as well. For more info about the upcoming trip, contact Ms. Teresa Bush.

Mini-Bytes Student News & Resources Pres. Ribeau Discusses State of the University: “President Sidney A. Ribeau appeared on NBC4’s Vi e w p o i nt . . . h e sheds light on the exciting academic renewal underway, the University’s unmatched service to the community as well as current trends in higher education.” (read more)

100+ Upcoming Social Media and Tech Events: Listed events include “The Return to Front Page

Future of Event Planning and Social Media”, “How to Plan and Promote Events with Social Media”, “35 Ways to Find and Plan Events Online”, “8 Ways to Create Paperless Business Cards”, and many more. (read more)

How to Use Auction Sites to Get Cheap Stuff: “Have you ever heard of ‘Penny Auctions?’ They’re a new online auction model that is becom-

ing hugely popular. Penny auctions allow individuals...to buy new, popular products for just pennies...” (read more)

Happy 5th Birthday, Twitter : “It’s of-

ficially been five years since the very first tweet was sent by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey...With a valuation said to be approaching $10 billion, the Twitter of today is very different than the Twitter of five years ago (or even one year ago for that matter).” (read more)

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Bison Bytes Online

Spring 2011, Issue #1

Green Bytes

Howard’s Office of Sustainability

Alfonzye Chisholm, Director of Howard’s Office of Sustainability, plants flowers on Earth Day, 2010. Howard University has taken a major leap on its path to becoming more sustainable and “green.” Earlier this semester, the HU Office of Sustainability was founded. Its mission is to “Move Howard University to the forefront of the sustainability movement,” as well as to help the university adopt a triple bottom line, which places equal importance on environmental, social and financial benefit. Office of Sustainability Founding Director Mr. Alfonzye Ch-

isholm emphasizes that “…being inclusive of students is a top priority.” This is the second major institutional step in sustainability Howard has taken in the last couple of years. The Howard University Environmental Sustainability Council (HUESC), tasked with providing sustainability recommendations to Howard’s president, was formed last year and consists of Howard faculty, staff and students. Howard administration’s efforts reflect increased student interest in sustainability at Howard. There are many “green” student organizations, such as The Society of Holistic Living and Meditation (SHLM) and S.U.S.T.A.I.N., and green campus initiatives, such as CETLA’s Green Teaching Certification. However, these efforts are isolated and fragmented. Subsequently, according to Chisholm, one of the chief purposes of the office’s formation is “To centralize campus sustainability efforts.” Chisholm, who was formally the director of Howard’s Office of Capital Planning, has already been leading campus sustainability efforts for the last couple of years. These efforts, now maintained by his office, include Howard’s recycling program, the nationwide Recyclemania competition, calculating Howard’s carbon footprint, as well as helping organize Howard’s Earth Day activities and the first Howard Sustainability

Internship (see Bison Bytes Archives: Fall, 2010 #1 - click here if on campus). In addition, office efforts now include, but are not limited to, forming Howard’s green product policy, advocating for campus sustainability programs and applying for sustainability grants. Howard University is part of a larger university movement of sustainability institutionalization. The Sustainable Endowments Institute, which publishes Recyclemania is a the College nationwide campus S u s t a i n recycling competition. ability Report Card, reports that about 75% of all schools have “full-time staff dedicated to sustainability” and 57% have a sustainability office. Despite the small size of Howard’s Office of Sustainability and limited resources, its staff has a highly competitive spirit that is emblematic of the Howard tradition and will surely propel Howard to be a leader amongst university sustainability offices. In the enthusiastic words of the office’s administrative assistant, Ms. Carla Annang, “This is HU, you know?! We need to do it!”

Mini-Bytes Student News & Resources Green Competition Looks for Urban Energy Conservation Ideas: “A

new international competition challenges college students--and particularly women--to come up with creative ways to save energy in five different sectors of city environments. Many participants will receive interviews for internships, and 25 pairs of finalists will be flown to Paris in June 2011...” (read more)

State Program Funds Solar Project at U Maryland College Park: “With the help of a Maryland state energy program, the University of Maryland, College Return to Front Page

Park is gearing up to deploy a 631 kilowatt solar rooftop installation. The program is part of an ongoing effort by the university to fulfill its obligation under the American

College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to reduce carbon emissions resulting from campus operations, with the eventual goal of achieving carbon neutrality.... The installations are being funded partially by a grant from the state of Maryland’s Project Sunburst initiative...” (read more)

Green Giants: “Green DMV...whose

Green Job Corps trains disadvantaged people for “green” jobs doing audits, installing solar panels, and weatherizing buildings.... Last month, the Green Job Corps began Source: Washingtonian training a class Phillip O’Neal and in Alexandria.” Rhon Hayes, founders of Green DMV (read more)

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Bison Bytes Online

OAS Bytes & More OAS/iLAB Info & Services

End of Semester Hours 24 hrs: Sun, 12 pm - Fri, 7 pm Saturday: 10am - 6pm

Location 2301 Georgia Ave NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20009

• Howard Email/User Account Login Maintenance & Support (for assistance - visit OAS office) • Computing: 106 PCs & 70 Macs • Software Distribution (pick up at OAS office adjacent to iLAB in Suite 200) • Students: Microsoft Forefront Anti-virus (32 & 64 bit editions) • Staff: All of the above plus Microsoft Office Suite & Windows 7 OS • Faculty: All of the above plus SPSS 19.0, SPSS for Mac 19.0, SAS 3.2 & Mathematica • Printing: 7 HP Laserjet 9050n; prints 50 pages/minute • Scanning: 3 HP Scanjet G4010; Max flatbed scan - 8.5” x 12.2” • Computer Lab Classrooms (available for faculty reservation) • PC Classroom: 12 HP 9100s with Autocad, SPSS & Mathematica • MAC Classroom: 12 iMacs plus 1 computer for instructor

Internships & Jobs IT Internships Web/Graphic Design •

Adobe

Software Development • •

Yahoo Oracle

Engineering •

Chevron

Information Technology • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Agilent Technologies Alcatel-Lucent Apple AT&T Google GE (General Electric) Honeywell IBM InfoSys National Aquarium (Balt.) Progressive Auto Insurance Smithsonian Institute Symantec

Return to Front Page

Green/Sustainabiliity • Green Jobs & Internships • GreenJobs.com • Green Jobs Network • Green Jobs Ready • GreenPeace • Green For All • National Wildlife Federation • Tree Hugger

Green Ambassadorships •

Green for All

Spring 2011, Issue #1

Blackburn Lab General Information Location Blackburn Center lower level, adjacent to the cafeteria Hours Mon-Fri 11 am - 7 pm

Blackburn Services •Computing: 17 PCs & 18 Macs •Printing: 2 HP Laserjet 9050n; prints 50 pages/minute •Scanning: 1 HP Scanjet G4010; Max flatbed scan - 8.5” x 12.2”

About Bison Bytes Mission To inform the Office of Academic Support (OAS) constituents about the application of technological innovation in education and research development, as well as provide campus technology updates. Bison Bytes Team Jonathan Pourzal, Editor, Graphics, Layout Designer, Writer Ester Lopes, Co-Editor

Green Scholarships

Office of Academic Support (OAS) 2301 Georgia Ave NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20009

Contact: Call 202.806.2972 or email iLabConnect@bison.howard.edu

• • • •

Annie’s Homegrown Sustainable Agriculture Earth Island Institute’s New Leaders Initiative Green Seal (DC) National Evironmental Health Association Scholarship Award National Wildlife Federation SCA (Student Conservation Association) Summer Conference Scholarship

Ms. Ester Lopes, Director, Howard University Office of Academic Support

FEEDBACK - Take our survey To receive BB issues via email contact iLabConnect@bison.howard.edu

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Bison Bytes Online

Spring 2011, Issue #1

iLAB Layout & Software/Hardware Availability Map Key - Specialty Software South: Mathematica

Laptop Area

West: SPSS, Mathematica

South Graphics: Adobe Design Suite, Final Draft Pro, *No Microsoft Office*

East: SPSS & Mathematica

Helpdesk: Come here for assistance

Southeast: Mathematica & SPSS

North: SPSS & Mathematica

Scanners (Web surfing and printing not available)

North Graphics: SPSS, Mathematica, Autocad, Google Sketchup

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West PC

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Bison Bytes IT eNewsletter Spring 2011  

To inform the Office of Academic Sup- port (OAS) constituents about the application of technological innovation in education and research de...

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