Category Archives: Student Life


How Video Games Are Becoming University-Approved Sports

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Andrew Higley, U. of Cincinnati

When 800 video gamers arrived at the University of Cincinnati’s basketball arena on Saturday morning, 8,000 feet of extension cords and 11,000 feet of Ethernet cables awaited them. Check-in was at 9 a.m., and they had a lot to carry: laptops, desktops, TV monitors, GameCube controllers. They set up beneath the championship banners and retired jerseys hanging on the walls.

During the two-day tournament, held by the university’s League of Legends club, teams from …


How an App Helps Low-Income Students by Turning College Life Into a Game

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 3.19.38 PMStudying in the library, getting help from a tutor, even cheering at a college football game — all of those activities carry a little extra reward for low-income students at Ball State University.

The university is in its second year of offering a mobile application called “Ball State Achievements,” designed for students who come to Ball State on federal Pell Grants. The app essentially gamifies their college experience; they earn points for engaging in specific aspects of campus life, which c…


Universities Ban Smart Watches During Finals

Some Australian universities warned students this month not to wear wristwatches during final exams, amid concerns that increasingly popular wearable technology, like the Apple Watch, could foster cheating.

La Trobe University, in Melbourne, and the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, both issued warnings at the start of their final-exam periods that students would have to remove their watches before testing began. The University of New South Wales required students to put all wristwatches…


Journalism Center Experiments With Delivering Campus News on Yik Yak

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 4.41.56 PMYik Yak, the anonymous social-media app, is perhaps best known for spreading rumors and bullying on many campuses. But journalism students at the University of Florida are experimenting with using the platform to deliver news updates, in what the project’s leaders say could become a model for other colleges.

Over the past few months, students at the university’s Innovation News Center have been developing and adding content to a news feed, called “Swamp Juice,” for people on or near the camp…


Silicon Valley Innovation: Stanford Law Student Crowdsources Her Graduation Speech

Though higher education is constantly changing, commencement ceremonies have largely stayed the same. A graduating student at Stanford Law School is trying to change that.

Marta F. Belcher is crowdsourcing the speech she will give next month at the law school’s precommencement diploma ceremony, offering her classmates an opportunity to share in crafting that final message.

The point of a student commencement speaker, Ms. Belcher said, is to have someone who can speak to the student experience. B…


How Social Media Helps Students Adapt to College

For today’s students, social media isn’t just a diversion. It’s a support system.

That’s the key finding of a paper exploring the role that Facebook plays in helping students adjust to campus life. Collin M. Ruud, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented the paper, “Social Networking and Social Support: Does It Play a Role in College Social Integration?,” on Sunday at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting.

Mr. Ruud ha…


LinkedIn Expands Efforts to Help Colleges Keep in Touch With Students and Alumni

LinkedIn is doing more these days to attract college students, and to work with colleges to use the website to get better data on what their students do after graduation.

The social-networking company announced on Wednesday a new feature that allows college students and graduates to add their college affiliation to the education section of their profile by clicking a button on the college’s website or in an email from the college. When they do that, public information from their profile, such as…


App Gives Students an Incentive to Keep Their Phones Locked in Class

screen568x568Resisting the urge to pull out your phone in class is quite difficult for many students, apparently. There are texts to answer, emails to read, snapchats to send, and rude comments to post on Yik Yak. But two students at California State University at Chico have created something they hope will persuade students to keep their phones tucked firmly in their pockets: An app that rewards them with coupons for local businesses when they exhibit self-control and leave their phones untouched during cla…


Facebook Addiction and GPA

Facebook is a tempting distraction. I have it open as a tab in my browser as I write this. And look, it’s showing that I have a new notification! I must see it, immediately. Facebook designed the site to make me feel that way.

This doesn’t bode well for college students. If professionals, and even some professors, have a hard time resisting the lure of Facebook, then what chance do 18-year-olds have?

New research suggests that the kids may be all right. A study of Facebook activity and grade-poi…


Obama Proposes Bill to Protect Student Data, but Not in Higher Education

The abundance of data being collected on students has been celebrated as an opportunity to “personalize” education. But privacy advocates have long warned that digital paper trails might leave today’s students exposed if their personal information fell into the wrong hands.

The White House announced on Monday that it would be taking up the cause of student privacy, pushing legislation that would “prevent companies from selling student data to third parties for purposes unrelated to the educati…