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Connexions Workshop


Background: The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Advanced Software Company (VASC), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) are currently collaborating on a project to develop the availability of MIT's OpenCourseWare (OCW) in Vietnam. As an extension of this project, an important means of expanding the availability of open courseware in Vietnam has been identified through Rice University's Connexions. "Connexions is a rapidly growing collection of free scholarly materials and a powerful set of free software tools to help authors publish and collaborate, instructors rapidly build and share custom courses, and learners explore the links among concepts, courses, and disciplines"(http://cnx.org/). Connexions offers high-quality, custom-tailored electronic course materials, open and available to the public via the internet. It fosters worldwide, cross-institutional communities of authors, instructors, and students. The ideas and philosophies embodied by Connexions have the potential to enhance significantly the very nature of teaching and learning in Vietnam, producing a dynamic, interconnected educational environment.

Objective: The Connexions Workshop will demonstrate how the Connexions software tools work, how Connexions facilitates teaching and learning, and how Connexions can be adapted to the Vietnamese environment.  The workshop will also help IT technicians learn how to install and maintain local connection servers (Rhaptos).
 
Structure: The workshop will address aspects of syllabus design, how to upload courses, knowledge-sharing, and how to teach OCW courses. Presenters will incorporate Power Point presentations, open discussions and questions, and references to articles, books, and websites. Participants during the workshop will use computers and internet access provided by the organizers.
 
Logistics: The one-day workshop will take place in Hanoi at the College of Technology, Information Technology Institute (ITI), Vietnam National University - Hanoi and at the University of Natural Sciences in Ho Chi Minh City.  Experts from Rice University's Connexions will serve as the presenters and will provide the content of the workshop. Funding for the local arrangements of the workshop will be provided by MOET, VEF and host institutions.  Travel expenses of the U.S. speakers will be covered by Connexions.
 
Sponsors, organizers, and interested organizations:
- Ministry of Education and Training (MOET)
- Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF)
- Connexions, Rice University
- College of Technology (COLTECH), Information Technology Institute (ITI) (VNU-Hanoi)
- University of Natural Sciences HCMC
- Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization - Regional Training Center (SEAMEO-RETRAC)
- Institute for Educational Research (IER), HCMC
 
Audience: Participants include instructors and IT technicians of the 14 Vietnam OpenCourseWare (VOCW) member universities, OCW Project Team members, instructors and students of the Digital Signal Processing Summer School (DSPSS), and other interested scientists and students.
Number of participants per site: About 40-50
 
Dates:
- Hanoi - July 18, 2006.
- HCMC - July 20, 2006.
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 5: 00 p.m.
 
Venue: College of Technology (COLTECH), Information Technology Institute (ITI) (VNU-Hanoi) in Hanoi and University of Natural Sciences in HCMC.

Visiting Experts from Connexions:

Richard G. Baraniuk is the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University and Founder of Connexions.  For his research in the area of Digital Signal Processing, he has received national young investigator awards from the US National Science Foundation and Office of Naval Research, the Rosenbaum Fellowship from the Isaac Newton Institute of Cambridge University, and the ECE Young Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Illinois.  He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2001.  For his teaching, he has received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice three times and the C. Holmes MacDonald National Outstanding Teaching Award from Eta Kappa Nu.

C. Sidney Burrus is Research Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University.  He has been on the board of Connexions since it was founded and is now Senior Strategist for Connexions.  He was Dean of Engineering at Rice from 1998 to 2005, Director of the Computer and Information Technology Institute from 1992 to 1998, and Chair of the ECE Department from 1984 to 1992.  He is a Fellow of the IEEE, has received various teaching awards from Rice, various research awards from IEEE and others, has written 5 books and published over 200 articles on Digital Signal Processing (DSP), and was a visiting faculty member at MIT and at the University of Erlangen in Germany.  He was a member of the founding committee for the new International University Bremen in Germany.  He received his PhD from Stanford University.

Charles F. Bearden, Jr. is the Senior Content Specialist for the Connexions Project.  In this capacity he supports authors and other users of the Connexions repository, and he develops the XML language and tools used by the project.  In addition to his involvement with Connexions, his professional experience includes electronic text and digital projects, medical informatics, and work in academic and public libraries.  He earned an A.B. in German from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in German from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.L.S. from the University of North Texas.



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