Category Archives: Technology

Tech trends on campus.


LinkedIn Will Buy Online-Learning Company for $1.5 Billion

LinkedIn announced Thursday it has agreed to acquire the online-learning company for $1.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. It is the social-networking giant’s largest acquisition to date, and signals its continued expansion into the education realm. offers more than 2,900 courses online, which include video tutorials for various skills.

“Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like D…


Auburn Accidentally Published Personal Information of Students Who Didn’t Apply to Auburn

The personal information of 364,012 current, former, and prospective students was accidentally exposed on Auburn University’s website for six months, The Birmingham News reports. The information may include the Social Security numbers of students who didn’t even apply to Auburn.

“We didn’t apply, we didn’t send our SAT/ACT scores, we have nothing to do with Auburn, and we’re angry,” Lyndsay Medlin, a student at the University of Virginia School of Law, told the newspaper, referencing herself and…


Watch a Professor’s Elaborate April Fools’ Joke Slay His Lecture Class

April Fools’ Day can be treacherous, especially in academe (I’m looking at you, student newspapers). But I’m happy to report that pulling off a good, wholesome joke — one that doesn’t make light of both racism and genocide — is possible in an academic setting.

Cue Matthew Weathers, an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Biola University, who on Wednesday delighted his students with an impressively choreographed — and exceedingly nerdy — piece of pedagogy:

It’s worth notin…


edX Settles With Justice Dept. Over Disability-Law Compliance

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement with edX, the prominent MOOC provider, to bring it into compliance with federal antidiscrimination laws.

According to the terms of the agreement, edX will make its website and learning-management system fully accessible to the disabled within 18 months; ensure that the system used to create online courses is also accessible within 18 months; and create two new positions to oversee accessibility, among other things. As part of the agreement, ed…


Penn State Fraternity Is Accused of Sharing Photos of Nude Female Students

A fraternity at Pennsylvania State University’s main campus has been suspended after a former member told the police about a private Facebook page set up to share photographs of unsuspecting nude women, the Associated Press reports. The former member of Kappa Delta Rho told the police that the page also contained photos of drug sales and hazing, according to a police warrant obtained by the AP.

The former member also told the police, who are investigating, that a second page was created last yea…


New Project Will Turn Out-of-Print Humanities Texts Into Free E-Books

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are teaming up on a new grant program that seeks to turn out-of-print books in the humanities into freely available e-books. The project is known as Humanities Open Book.

The two organizations said in a news release that texts proposed for the Humanities Open Book program “must be of demonstrable intellectual significance and broad interest to current readers.”

The groups will give grants to publishers to identify huma…


Obama vs. His Predecessors in State of the Union’s Focus on Colleges: an Interactive Tool

President Obama said the words “college” or “colleges” 12 times in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, which seems like a relatively high figure for a speech—and a nation—full of issues. How does Mr. Obama’s focus on higher education in the address compare to that of other presidents?

The work of Benjamin M. Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, provides a viewable answer. Using a database containing the text of every State of the Union message, Mr. Schmi…


Dartmouth Accuses 64 Students of Cheating in Popular Course

Dartmouth College has accused 64 students of cheating in a “Sports, Ethics, and Religion” course taught last fall, the Valley News reports. Randall Balmer, chairman of the religion department, discovered in October that absent students in his class were passing their clickers to classmates who were present to answer in-class questions on their behalf.

Mr. Balmer told the newspaper that most of the students involved had been suspended for a semester. In the fall he counted 43 students who handed …


Youngstown State Will Make Websites Accessible to Disabled After Federal Probe

Youngstown State University has agreed to update its websites to accommodate people with disabilities after the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights found that the college had violated two federal nondiscrimination laws.

The department announced on Friday that the Ohio institution had agreed to, among other things, write and publish a notice of nondiscrimination on relevant materials, provide appropriate training to staff members who work on its websites, and report back on its pr…


MIT Pulls Professor’s Online Lectures After Sexual-Harassment Finding

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has taken down online lectures by a former faculty member after it determined he had sexually harassed a woman on the Internet, The Boston Globe reports. A woman who was participating in MITx, the institute’s online-learning platform, filed a complaint against Walter Lewin in October.

Mr. Lewin stopped teaching on the campus in 2008, and last taught an MITx course in 2013. The Globe could not reach him for comment on Monday night.

“Dr. Lewin had a long a…