Posts by Kelly Truong
August 6, 2010, 02:00 PM ET
While the Kindle has largely failed with students as a replacement for printed textbooks, some colleges plan to test new e-reader devices whose promoters argue that two screens are better than one.
One of the new e-readers is called Kno, which was announced in June and will be given to about 100 students at three colleges. The Kno sports two 14-inch screens, allowing users to read on one screen while writing notes on the other. With a pen stylus, students are able to highlight text and make annotations as they read. Both screens are LCD rather than the e-ink technology used in the Kindle, which means they can display in color, but they could be harder on the eyes for long reading sessions. The company plans to make the product available on the market just before Christmas.
Kno's founder, Osman Rashid, argues that students who have tested the device so far found it more portable than ...Read More
July 26, 2010, 07:15 PM ET
Princeton University announced today that it plans to shut down University Channel, a Web service that streams videos of public-policy lectures, citing financial reasons.
The online audio and video service, started in 2005, provides lectures by prominent scholars on political affairs. The Web site offers hundreds of videos and audio recordings from 47 college campuses, including some outside the United States. The service also provides academic programming to 121 public television operations.
The University Channel Web site will shut down on November 3, according to a message sent to the channel's e-mail announcement list, signed by Rebecca Anderson, a spokesperson for Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
"While we have decided that it no longer makes financial sense for Princeton to host the UChannel, we still believe that noncommercial, quality...Read More
July 22, 2010, 03:55 PM ET
Through a new partnership with World Computer Exchange, the upstart online institution University of the People hopes to build communication centers in six developing countries over the next six months, allowing students without good Internet access to take online courses.
World Computer Exchange is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding youth access to information technology in developing countries. “We’re trying to go into developing countries that [the university] might not have a lot of students in now,” said Timothy Anderson, World Computer Exchange president.
University of the People, founded in 2009, promises tuition-free education in business administration and computer science. The university says its enrollment includes approximately 500 students from nearly 100 countries.
According to Mr. Anderson, the two institutions are focusing on establishing sites in...Read More
July 20, 2010, 10:43 AM ET
Each week it seems like a new college is ready to bestow iPads on its students for academic purposes. The latest is Oklahoma State University, which plans to distribute iPads to an estimated 120 students in the fall.
“The goal is to push this tool as hard and as far as we possibly can to really see what the limitations are,” said Bill Handy, visiting associate professor at the university's School of Media and Strategic Communications.
Mr. Handy, who is overseeing the project along with Tracy Suter, associate professor of marketing, said that iPads will be given to students in two courses at the university's communications and business schools, along with the faculty members.
“We’re going to be evaluating what we need to do to fully integrate the tool into the classroom,” he said.
Oklahoma State joins several other colleges that have announced plans to distribute iPads to students in ...Read More
July 15, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
Spend as much time on Facebook as you want—it won’t affect your GPA, a new study says.
Researchers at Northwestern University found no connection between time spent on social-networking sites and academic performance. The study, the results of which appear in the latest issue of Information, Communication & Society, included responses from approximately 1,000 first-year students at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Sites such as Facebook and MySpace had no effect on grades, despite how often students used them or how many they used.
Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies and sociology at Northwestern, suggests that the benefits of social-networking sites may cancel out the distractions they pose.
“You could go on there and waste your time,” she said. “On the other hand, you can connect with your classmates, get information about homework assignments, get...Read More
July 13, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
E-books will make up more than half of Saint Leo University’s library collection, starting this fall.
With the acquisition of a new e-book database, 53 percent of the library’s collection will consist of online material. Students are able to download e-books to their computers, smartphones, and iPads.
“To me, this is the way all universities will need to go,” said Brent Short, director of library services.
Mr. Short says the biggest benefit of e-books is that they are accessible anywhere and anytime. Expanding online material is particularly important at Saint Leo, where the majority of the student body is based off the campus, he said.
“We have people in the military that are on station in Iraq, so obviously, online resources are crucial for them,” he added.
Saint Leo’s library contains 116,000 e-books and 106,000 print titles. Although the library continues to add to its print...Read More
July 12, 2010, 01:18 PM ET
A federal judge has cut a Boston University student’s illegal file-sharing fine by 90 percent, declaring the original fee “unconstitutionally excessive.”
Last July, a jury decided on a fine of $675,000 against Joel Tenenbaum, a graduate student, for downloading and distributing 30 songs. He filed for a retrial, which resulted in the reduced penalty of $67,500, set by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner on Friday.
In her 62-page ruling, the judge called the original fine “unprecedented and oppressive” and said it violated the Fifth Amendment’s due-process clause. “There is no question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh,” she judge.
The Recording Industry Association of America, representing the four major recording labels to which Mr. Tenenbaum owes payment, issued a statement declaring its intention to contest the new ruling: “With this decision, the court has...Read More
July 8, 2010, 02:00 PM ET
College Web sites using Adobe Flash risk exposing students’ personal data, a new study finds.
Three computer-science lecturers at the University of Worcester—Joanne Kuzma, Colin Price, and Richard Henson—ran a scan on 250 college Web sites, testing for security vulnerabilities. Approximately 20 percent of the sites ran applications containing personal information within a Flash plug-in, which the researchers say may not be as secure as the universities' own systems. Six displayed what the researchers deemed “high-critical problems," containing scripts that could be manipulated by hackers.
According to the report, which is unavailable online, security problems can arise due to professors, departments, and student organizations maintaining separate pages through the main university Web site. Academic departments often have their own individual servers, which are not set up through the...Read More
July 2, 2010, 03:25 PM ET
In an effort to expand broadband access and create jobs across the United States, President Obama has announced the awarding of $765-million in grants and loans to recipients that include public and private colleges.
The money, distributed through the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture, will go to 66 projects led by colleges, Internet-service providers, libraries, communication companies, and counties. All pledge to stimulate the economy by expanding high-speed Internet to neglected communities.
“This is going to have an enormous impact on the country,” said Gary Bachula, vice president for external relations at Interne 2, the high-speed networking consortium for colleges and universities.
Internet2 received $62.5-million to expand its research-and-education network to include more than 100,000 “community anchor” institutions, like colleges, libraries, and...Read More
July 1, 2010, 12:00 PM ET
Colleges are ramping up efforts to connect with prospective students through Twitter—but students aren’t interested, a new study says.
Evidence has shown that teenagers rely on college visits and Web sites to learn about colleges, rather than social-media outlets. When it comes to Twitter, students are barely on the site at all, let alone for college research purposes.
Abe Gruber, director of marketing at Bloomfield College, found in a recent study that while 40 percent of college admissions offices are active on Twitter, only 15 percent of prospective students expressed interest using in Twitter to learn about colleges.
Mr. Gruber surveyed 200 prospective freshmen and 70 admissions offices in his study. He presented his findings at the Hobsons Connect U conference this week in Minneapolis.
“Twitter scores high for the admissions officers, but not for students,” said Mr. Gruber.
He ...Read More