August 31, 2007

Dell Notebook Shortage and Other Insights

Yesterday, I flew down to Austin for an IT Executive Education session hosted by Dell Computers.

My not so hidden agenda was to try and work with Senior Dell executives to try and ameliorate the negative impact of Dell's supply chain problems on our students who ordered Latitude D640 notebooks as part of Case Western Reserve University's recommended notebook configuration for the beginning of semester.

If you (student) ordered a Dell notebook for fall semester off of the Case Western Reserve University e-store and you have a delayed delivery date, please contact Bob has authority now to work with our Dell representative to deliver a short term solution, While not perfect, hopefully we will get you online and back to work with technology tools to support your academic efforts here at the University.

The only other insight I would offer from yesterday's session was Michael Dell's sharing of his new Dell tablet PC over cocktails. The tablet pc appears to have been a real working demo (in contrast to many early mock ups) and according to Michael will be available by the end of the quarter. Folks from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine were part of the customer focus group and I think they and the rest of the campus community will be very pleased with the results.

Lev Gonick
Case Western Reserve University
August 31, 2007

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June 25, 2007

An Invitation to Engage - Case Western Reserve Univ and Google Apps

Today, the ITS Project Management Office (Peggy Watts Gup), in collaborations with the Technology Infrastructure Services organization posted its draft business case for moving Case towards the suite of applications services being promoted by Google. The suite includes email, calendaring, and several other applications.

In an effort to garner feedback from the general community, the ITS senior management team requested that the business plan be shared with the community. The goal of the sharing of the draft is to welcome direct reflection, recommendation, and suggestions from the community on this important platform offering. In addition, we will attempt to fashion an FAQ to the rest of the community based on feedback from those interested in participating in the Wiki.

I hope you will take time to read the business case and offer direct feedback on the proposed arc of activity.

You can find the business plan at

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April 05, 2007

Red {an Orchestra} in OneCleveland Second Life April 14th


On April 14, 2007, at 8:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time), Red {an orchestra} will be premiering the first ever live digital-simulcast of an American orchestra into the 3D virtual web. In partnership with Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, OneCommunity and the New Media Consortium (Austin, Texas), Red {an orchestra} will perform its concert, That Red Guy, both in Cleveland at the Masonic Auditorium as well as into two sites in Second Life. Second Life is the free online virtual environment that has been gaining international attention as the future of the internet.

This performance heralds the “Grand Opening” of virtual Cleveland and the Case Western Reserve University Campus known as OneCleveland, thereby demonstrating to the world Cleveland’s role as both a “digital city” and great cultural center. This will be the first time ever a live audio/video feed of an American orchestral concert is presented in Second Life and is sure to be of interest to orchestra audiences around the world.

Red {an orchestra} is using this concert experience in Second Life to explore ways of introducing new audiences to Classical Music, an important part of Red’s mission. Second Life has over 5 million inhabitants active worldwide in the site transacting over $1.7 million in real money daily. Many colleges, museums, universities, and corporations have established a presence there for community building, education programs, and collaboration.

What will you experience?

First you need to go to to learn how to create your own avatar, which is your character in the Second Life virtual world. You will be given instructions on how to get to the OneCleveland or New Media Consortium areas of that virtual world. At 8:00 pm, while Red {an orchestra} performs live at the Masonic Auditorium in Cleveland, you and an audience of other avatars will be seated at either OneCleveland or the New Media Consortium campus amphitheatres. Each amphitheatre will feature three screens. The central screen will stream the live performance and the other two screens will show exciting images related to the concert.

The Concert:

That Red Guy has music orchestrated and composed by Red’s Artistic Director and Conductor, Jonathan Sheffer. Red {an orchestra} will present the world premier of Sheffer’s A Red Couch Floating in Lake Erie: A Symphony of Songs. This new work features a libretto written by Cleveland poets and poems written about Cleveland. This is a tribute to Cleveland and is based on poems published by the Poets’ and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland. The poems include one about Helen Keller experiencing a 1913 blizzard in Cleveland, and one about the only major league baseball player ever hit and killed by a pitch – yes in Cleveland.

The other pieces include the North American premier of Jonathan Sheffer’s Romp: Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra, featuring Anders Paulsson of Sweden, the world-leading classical soprano saxophonist. And, Six Preludes from the Well Tempered Clavier, an orchestral transcription Sheffer composed from Bach’s masterpiece, “The Well Tempered Clavier” will also be performed.

We suggest you take time to get acquainted with Second Life at least a day in advance of the performance so that your Red experience will be as rewarding as it would be live. We look forward to seeing you, either in Real Life or in Second Life for the experience of “your life”.

Seating at the Seating at the site is limited. Entry to the Red {an orchestra} performance in Second Life (while free) is based on a “first-come” bases.

For the in-person live concert... here are the details

When: April 14, 2007, 8:00 PM
Where: Second Life OneCleveland Campus (Go to to register and get instructions on how to participate)
Where: Masonic Auditorium; Cleveland, Ohio

* Tickets are priced from $15-$65
* Available online at
* Or by phoning 216.361.1733

RED’s performance in Second Life is made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and with support from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, the New Media Consortium, OneCommunity, Leonard Steinbach Cultural Technology Strategies,,, and the musicians of Red {an orchestra}.


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March 26, 2007

CEAI Community Portlet Contest


CampusEAI Consortium Portlet Contribution Contest Overview

*Description of the Contest:*


The Portlet Contribution Contest is designed to recognize developers
and institutions who contribute to the community.
Submit as many portlets to the CEAI Community Development Center
(CDC) as you can by May 17th, 2007!!!!


* This contest is open to all CEAI member Oracle Portal, uPortal and
Sharepoint developers (Case Western Reserve is a founding University member of CEAI), who are the legal age of majority in their
country, province or state of legal residence.
* Persons in any of the following categories are not eligible to
participate or win the prize(s) offered: o (a) Employees or agents of CampusEAI Consortium o (b) immediate family members (defined as parents, children,
siblings and spouse, regardless of where they reside) and/or
those living in the same household as any person in (a) above;

*Start Date of Contest:*

This contest begins at 12:01 P.M. Eastern Time (EDT) Zone in the
United States (e.g. New York time) on March 26th, 2007.

*End Date of Contest:*

This contest ends at 11:59 P.M. (EDT) on May 17th, 2007.


* $50 cash per upload to the institution
* Special Lunch at Portlets 2007 for the institution with the second (see web site for details)
most number of contributions*
* Special Lunch at Portlets 2007 for the institution with the most
number of contributions*
* Adobe Web Bundle for the institution with the most number of

* Attendance at Portlets 2007 required to obtain the reward
** Prize can be substituted for Cash Value

Prizes will be announced at Portlets 2007 on May 18th 2007 and will
be shipped to winners at CEAI's expense.

All other expenses not specified herein are the responsibility of
will be awarded in US Dollars. All costs associated with currency
exchange are the sole responsibility of the winner

*Winners List:*

CEAI will publish the winners list in the CDC by May 19th, 2007,
available for a period of up to 60 days.

*Where to Submit:*

Portlets must be uploaded to the CampusEAI Community Development
Center (CDC).

*Submission Requirements:*

Your submission must meet the following requirements:

* No proprietary or closed source code
* Must be buildable (externally)
* Must run on the OC4J Portlet Container

*What to Submit:*

Your submission must include the following:

* Source code
* Instructions explaining how to install
* Instructions explaining how to build

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March 21, 2007

Collaborating to Build a Strategic Planning Framework for IT @ Case Western Reserve University

About sixteen months ago, I heard a terrific presentation from Don Tapscott author of Growing Up Digital and co-author of the recent book (w. Anthony Williams) Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. The overall presentation was a prelude to the new book. Don is a master story teller and one of the stories he told (or I recall he told) was about a group of young Kenyan political and constitutional activists using a wiki to inform its citizens on the 2005 proposed constitutional referendum.

From time to time I have used examples in my blog from Africa and other so-called third world countries to provoke and jolt our own thinking regarding how "shift happens".

I was inspired by the spirit of the story and made a mental note to see how we might be able to use a similar process of collaboration and engagement as we think about the power of new tools (like Wiki pages) to enable deep and powerful ways of creating new, more democratic and a more engaged form of civic culture. Some of the those opportunities are still to come in the larger civic engagement known currently as Cleveland 2.0. However, here at Case Western Reserve University we have an opportunity to model the possible impact of such an approach through our IT Strategic Planning Framework process.

As I scan the Net, I have not found another example of a University using a Wiki for a major operations or divisional strategic planning process, so I am curious to see if there will be any uptake or interest here at Case Western Reserve University.

With the assistance of Lora Veselsky, Jeff Gumpf, and Jeremy Smith, we have posted a reasonable comprehensive draft of our proposed 2007-2012 ITS Strategic Planning Framework on the Case Wiki.

Over the past month or so, we have invited, ITS Senior Management, the ITS Planning and Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Planning, the Faculty Senate Committee on Information Resources, the Council of Technology Officers and today, I posted an invite to all of ITSPAC and the ITS Staff. By way of this blog, I hope to extend the invitation to collaboration and participation. We have already had more than 600 visits to the Wiki page.

As organized, we invite you to comment through links in more than 20 locations within the wiki to formally share your feedback within specific sections of the wiki document. We also have left the "edit" feature on and encourage those of you interested (within the Case Community who log-in) to contribute directly to the body of the document).

The outline of Strategic Planning Framework for ITS@Case follows. Please join the collaboration.


* 1 Why Strategic Planning Matters
* 2 Where We've Come From: Please share your view
* 3 Current State of IT@Case: Please share your view
* 4 The Vision: Re-Imagine, Re-Invigorate, Re-invent
* 5 Broad Themes
* 6 Service Lines and Allocations
* 7 Highlighting Important Goals
* 8 20 Strategic Initiatives:
o 8.1 Initiatives One-Six: Structured innovation to support teaching, learning, research, and the on-campus student experience
o 8.2 Initiatives 7-12: Engagement and Collaboration Services
o 8.3 Initiatives 13-20: Attending to the 3Cs -- Core Technology, Compliance, and Continuity Planning
* 9 Improve identity management
* 10 Upgrade Administrative Systems
* 11 Strategy: Improve support for administrative services
* 12 Measuring Outcomes
* 13 Visions of Where We Need/Want/Must Be in 2012
* 14 IT Planning and Goals for Case Western Reserve University’s Schools/Colleges/and Distributed Units
* 15 ITS Scorecard 2002-2007

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February 28, 2007

An Invitation to Cleveland 2.0: An Open Planning Forum

Leave Your Comments and Feedback Below

Friday March 16th, 2007
Dively Building (Belleflower & Ford)
1-4 pm
Happy Hour to Follow

Re-Imagining and Re-Inventing the Future of Cleveland: Where Cleveland’s Community Priorities meet Mashups, Pipes, and Second Life

Following the two year long Voices and Choices region-wide community dialog and priority setting effort, on March 16th, 2007 Case Western Reserve University and a growing group of co-sponsors (see below) are hosting a half-day charette we are calling Cleveland 2.0. The gathering will focus on community priorities and focus effort and attention on how the new and emerging next generation of Internet services (known generically as Web 2.0, can be harvested to meaningfully attend to community priorities (click here for a youtube 4 minute primer .

Our goal for the day is to generate a “flagship 50” set of applications (see below 10 examples) that can become the focus of attention and answer the proposition “what’s next” in the effort to re-imagine, reinvent and reinvigorate Cleveland and its environs. Our conviction is that as we demonstrate our ability to “listen well and hard” technologists can work together and support and collaborate in enabling cross-institutional initiatives to support various community priorities. While acknowledging that institutional prerogative and organizational behaviors are realities so too is the reality of the need to attend to broader community-based priorities in order to make possible a Cleveland 2.0 project. If it were not a stretch, Cleveland 2.0 would probably not be worth attempting as a re-imagining effort. When people ask us to outline the horizon for this activity, we have become accustomed to suggesting that Cleveland 2.0 is a project with multiple derivative opportunities that might have a 3-5 year life cycle (

We would like to invite you and your organization (and anyone within one degree of separation) to join us at this open, agenda-setting forum. In addition to lending your name/organization to the Community Call for Engagement, we are asking each participant to come to the half day charette with at least two project ideas. In addition, we are asking you to bring your passion and your commitment to the process of re-imagining and re-inventing Greater Cleveland.

Please take a moment and send an rsvp to (please indicate if you will need parking at Case Western Reserve University).

Cleveland 2.0 Participants (We'll keep on adding names)

David Akers, NEOSO
Paul Apostle, Medical Mutual
Susan Berger, Positive Education Program
Bill Bradfield, PerceptIS
Micki Byrnes, WKYC NBC
Craig Chaitof, Cisco Systems
Brad Chilton, University Hospitals
Doug Craver, Knotice, Where it all Clicks
Simmie Davis, Hitchcock Center for Women
Bill Deal, Inamori International Center for Ethics, Case Western Reserve University
Michael DeAloia, City of Cleveland
Deb Donley, VOCON
Sari Feldman, Cuyahoga County Public Libraries
Pam Gill, Cleveland Clinic
Lev Gonick, Case Western Reserve University
Heather Greer, Red {an orchestra}
Stefan Holmes, First Merit
Anjli Jain, CampusEAI
Kevin Johnson, KKJ Group
Gail Papay, Inamori International Center for Ethics, Case Western Reserve University
Rebecca Ranallo Kahl, Cuyahoga County Public Libraries
James Levine, Ingenuity Festival
Tom Lucas, Sherwin Williams
Joan McFaul, Case Western Reserve University
Dan McMullen, Calfee, Halter & Griswold
Ed Morrison, iOpen
David Moss, Cleveland Institute of Art
Thomas Mulready,
Brad Nellis, NEOSA
George Nemeth, Meet the Bloggers
Chris Ronayne, University Circle Incorporated
Scot Rourke, OneCommunity
Steve Sadler, EMC
Bill Snow, Sprint Corporation
Kay Soltysiak, IBM
Len Steinbach
Ted Theofrastous, Beta Strategies Group
Perry White, Citizen's Academy
Eliza Wing,

Just to wet the appetite, here are 10 ideas that might be worth considering in this connected community undertaking.

Idea 1: Today I Decide – Cleveland 2.0

• A common, replicable and scalable web 2.0 framework enabling citizens to propose legislation in their cities and counties; with enough e-votes, the city council or county commissioners’ commits to taking it up. Moreover, a single portal of such grassroots legislative action are enabled using web 2.0 tools so that regional efforts can be developed based on connecting grassroots initiatives with each other.

Idea 2: Personal Digital Citizen Initiative – Cleveland 2.0

• Every household in Cuyahoga County earning under $40,000 should be able to apply for a Personal Digital Citizenship device. Everyone in the county should have access to the PDC gateway which should, among many other initiatives, support online petitions, interactive chat and video sessions with elected officials, streaming of committee activities all across the region, routine community votes on agenda setting topics, polls, priority setting and much more. When it finally comes down to voting at the polls, we anticipate that civic engagement will at least double as democratic practices will be routine. Of course, the same PDC can be used for education, health research, communication, and entertainment at only marginal incremental costs. Civic engagement plus education in Cleveland 2.0 can give rise to a prototypical netizenship model that connected community initiatives the world over will seek to replicate.

Idea 3: Cleveland 2.0 PledgeBank

• The Cleveland 2.0 PledgeBank is a web 2.0-enabled site to help people get things done, especially things that require lots of participants. PledgeBank allows users to set up pledges and then encourages other people to sign up to them. A pledge is a statement of the form 'I will do something, if a certain number of people will help me do it'. Some simple examples of the Cleveland 2.0 PledgeBank might be: 'I will start recycling if 100 people in my Ward will do the same'; 'I will help organize my child's school playground if 3 other parents will help'; 'I will build a useful website if 1000 people promise to contribute to it'.

Idea 4: Cleveland Health Interpreters Network

• The Cleveland Health Interpreters Network [CHIN], connected by OneCommunity represents the work of a consortium of leading public hospitals, health care organizations and technology companies. It addresses the challenge of how to communicate effectively with limited English-speaking patients and deliver quality healthcare in a multi-cultural society. Given the diversity of languages in our region, not only will CHIN support local patient care, it also provides an opportunity to drive a service model to other health care network providers who will use CHIN as an ASP. Services can be enabled to support Voice Over IP consultations but more compelling will be the implementation of thousands of video conference calls per month.

Idea 5: Student Success and Safety Messenger: a Cleveland 2.0 project

• A SMS notification solution, the SSS Messenger can record a personalized message, select a preprogrammed calling list, and send a message to parents from a computer or IP phone. The solution will allow teachers to communicate with parents more regularly and helps foster a stronger relationship with them. Linked to the student information system and back hauled over OneCommunity, the SSS system can use CMSD (or other districts’) IP voice infrastructure to notify parents of absentees, school closings, extra curricular events, student successes, and concerns.

Idea 6: Cleveland Neighborhood Health Check

• A web 2.0 enabled portal that builds on the work of the Mandel School of Applied Social Science’s Poverty Center project with SAS. The Poverty Center’s current project allows researcher’s to map layers of key demographic data across cities, wards, and even down to street level. The Neighborhood Health Check uses the same infrastructure but allows citizens to report directly to the GIS system the status and well being of 100 key neighborhood health indicators including lighting, side walks, signage, grounds upkeep, patrolling, garbage collection, and dozens of other services. This direct authoring tool will provide community members, elected officials as well as city/county service managers to gain valuable input directly from citizens on the health of the neighborhood.

Idea 7: Wireless Regional Public Transportation Services Project

• All buses and lightrail in Northeast Ohio should be connected to wireless infrastructure enabled by OneCommunity. The infrastructure should allow travelers to stay productive, engage in leisure activities, or learn about activities in neighborhoods that the transit services ride through. In addition, the transit infrastructure should be leveraged to provide every stop with a timely update on the time before the bus or rapid arrives as well as send out messages to regular passengers to their offices or homes.

Idea 8: Cleveland 2.0: International Center for High Definition Presence in Support of the Arts and Culture

• OneCommunity’s unprecedented ultrabroadband connectivity makes possible distributed performance art collaboration. Ensembles and other performers from Greater Cleveland can leverage the International Center’s core facilities to enable innovative collaborations including small traveling groups to regional or rural centers performing in real time with larger ensembles connected over OneCommunity to the International Center. New forms of art in dance, music, and theater enabling community collaborations between inner city schools in northeast Ohio and around the nation (and beyond). Experimental international collaboration all using new high definition video-based IP services.

Idea 9: Cleveland 2.0 Virtual Worlds Project

• Cleveland 2.0 is more than a physical location on the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland 2.0 also represents a mega project to bring the core cultural, education, health care, and research in the region to the Virtual World’s platform. A photo-realistic series of sims in Second Life, the Cleveland 2.0 Virtual Worlds project will allow both citizens in the region as well as visitors from all over the world to experience Cleveland. They can have a virtual interaction with a health care professional at University Hospitals, or visit the new Cleveland Museum of Art to explore a possible donation of a wing. Education, orientations, patron experiences, concerts, poetry readings, art installations, curatorial experiences, education seminar experiences, self help organizations, and commercial services are all part of the Cleveland 2.0 Virtual Worlds project.

Idea 10: Cleveland 2.0: Northeast Ohio Oral History Project

• A community-wide collaboration to document individual family trees and link them to a wiki-version of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland allowing individuals, families, communities, churches, unions, and other organizations to link “their” story to the official story of the history of Cleveland. A combination of oral histories and video testimonials using a simple template of recording, annotating, and linking, the Oral History Project will be a model of civic engagement, appreciation for our history and building a strong foundation for future generations to celebrate local history.

The scope of the flagship 50 charette will be to generate hundreds of potential projects aligned to community priorities as outlined in the Voice and Choices process. Through a process of collaboration, assessment and evaluation, a top contender list of prospects should be developed into mini-business cases and moved to the center of the community’s radar screen for development. The ten ideas are just that, some ideas that can leverage web 2.0 technologies into solutions that can be shared broadly.

The half-day of activity will involve community dialog, priority settings, interactive demonstrations, a technical tract on new tools like Pipes, Mashups, and Second Life and plenty of opportunity for learning and sharing.

We hope you will consider joining the Cleveland 2.0 initiative.


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February 01, 2007

The Blackboard "Pledge"

Today's announcement by Blackboard regarding a commitment in perpetuity to never assert its course management patents among open source and home grown course management systems is a legal compromise with little consequence in the higher education marketplace. In the life cycle of software, homegrown system rarely scale unless they become commercialized. In a narrow sense, the threat of a frivolous law suit to keep lawyers employed has been avoided regarding the stand alone platform issue. The implications of the pledge regarding Open Source Software is much more intriguing. I believe that over the next 5 years we are likely to see significant tension associated with this pledge. The history of community-based and open source initiatives is anything but a binary choice between open and proprietary systems. As so-called Open Source initiatives evolve over time they will continue to have proprietary pieces in their DNA and perhaps more importantly, there is a near 100% certainty that none of today's OpenSource course management systems will survive in the marketplace as autonomous offerings. As Blackboard continues to evolve as a software solutions provider it will, in all likelihood, continue to be build value by adding layers of additional functionality to its core product (think about Msft's IE and Windows OS debacle). Those new layers of functionality will almost certainly lead to confrontation with dominant proprietary players. Whether in reaction to Blackboard's position in the market (a defensive posture) or in attempt to preempt, there is a a significant likelihood that today's open source solutions will evolve, over the mid-term, first as "open source" course management platform strategic partners with proprietary enterprise integrated software solution providers and within a version release or two become tightly integrated into the proprietary software code. How Blackboard and the higher education community respond to that probable scenario is not a matter of "if" but rather "when." In the near term, the courts will likely be called upon to test the veracity of the Blackboard's patent claim against emerging alternative course management system providers. Blackboard should take one more look in the mirror and realize that it is not its patents that will protect its near monopoly share of commercial course management software (full disclosure Case Western Reserve University is an enterprise customer of Blackboard) but rather its ability to demonstrate a true commitment to innovation and responsiveness to the higher education marketplace. Today's Blackboard announcement is a short term "fix" on an unfortunate journey that starts with the anti-intellectual position of seeking a "patent" on a 21st century version of a "whiteboard and a marker"in the 20th century or dare we say a 19th version of a "blackboard and chalk".

Lev Gonick, February 1, 2007

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