Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania is a small institution of higher learning with a mere 2,100 students. According to an announcement made by the school today, all 2,100 of those students will be getting an iPad. The school’s iPad page says of the move, “This new program provides students with the best in technology and collaborative learning tools.”
The iPad program is part of the Griffin Technology Advantage Program which also provides students with 13-inch Macbook. Students are encouraged to use the devices in class and at home. The school will replace the Macbooks every two years. No word on replacement iPads though. All items provided as part of the Griffin Technology Advantage Program are owned by the students so they can take everything with them after graduation.
Seton Hill’s programs are geared at developing tech savviness in their attendees. However, it still remains unclear how much the school will use the iPads in a classroom environment. We predict a lot of games of Plants vs. Zombies will be happening in those lecture halls.
If you don't put much thought into the font you're using, maybe you should. That is, if you want to save money. But don't take our word for it - just ask the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who claims to have found a way to cut costs by changing the font in email.
So what's the big fonting deal? According to the Wisconsin college, the switch from the default font (Arial) to Century Gothic will cut back on the amount of ink required when students print out an email. And not just by a little bit, but about 30 percent less ink, says Diane Blohowiak, the school's director of computing.
According to Blowowiak, the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon, so both the students and the school stand to save a lot of money. More than just about cutting costs, the font switch is also part of the school's five-year plan to go green.
Amazon is betting the future of textbooks lies in e-ink, not paper, but even more evidence is mounting to suggest that they still have some work to do before the device is accepted universally. The Kindle DX which comes with a slightly larger screen than most eBook readers, along with a $489 price tag aims to reduce the burden of carrying dozens of books from class to class, but its shortcomings have some students ready to trade back down to the dead tree edition according to the Associated Press. "I like the aspect of writing something down on paper and having it be so easy and just kind of writing whatever comes to my mind," says Claire Becerra, a freshman at Arizona State University. Becerra further complained that notes made on the device often didn’t make sense because they were laced with typos and she relies more heavily on the highlighter tool as a result.
When asked how the device could be improved Madeline Kraizel, a freshman at Case Western Reserve University said a better system for managing bookmarks was needed, and a way that page numbers could remain consistent, so both teacher and student could reference material properly. Other students suggested that reading PDF files was often difficult, and if they weren’t formatted properly, zooming in to make the text readable didn’t always work.John Sherman, a first-year MBA student at the University of Virginia, claims that he still finds himself printing off case studies delivered in PDF format about half the time. "For the cases that require a lot of calculations, I find paper cases to be better," says Sherman, 31. "For me, it helps to scribble my thoughts in the margins."
It wasn’t all bad news for Amazon mind you. Students generally liked the concept behind the initiative, and many made use of some of the more unique features such as text to speech, allowing them to study more often. So, do you think the future of textbooks lies in e-Ink?
As the back to school shopping season kicks into high gear, look for OEMs to push PCs with product bundles and all kinds of enticing offers. For Apple, that might mean once again bundling an iPod with the purchase of a new Mac or MacBook, but that might not be enough. According to a new study by consumer electronics site Retrovo, college-bound students are less willing than ever to pay the so-called "Apple Tax" by purchasing a pricier Mac.
"While Apple has done well historically in the education market, 2009 marks the dawn of the netbook," says Vipin Jain, Retrevo CEO. "Students told us they wanted longer battery life, smaller size, and a lighter laptop. 58 percent of them plan on spending less than $750. Only 18 percent have a budget over $1,000."
It also isn't helping Apple's cause that "retailers are working overtime to attract students," such as Wal-Mart expanding its laptop selection by 40 percent and partnering with HP to make a sub-$300 Compaq Presario.
But take the survey with a grain of salt. While respondents were selected from a random sampling of Retrevo's 4 million monthly visitors, the sample size was only 300.
According to a recent pilot study, students that use Facebook regularly spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than those that haven’t even signed up for the site.
“We can’t say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying – but we did find a relationship there,” stated Aryn Karpinski, a doctoral student in education at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study. According to the report, hardcore Facebook users have GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users are packing a GPA in the range of 3.5 and 4.0.
However, more than three-quarters of Facebook’s users maintain that their use of the site doesn’t get in the way of their important study time.
A 3.0 isn’t bad, but if having a Facebook account is the difference between a 3.0 and a 4.0, I’ll be the first to close out my account! Though, I get to keep playing WoW, right?
According to an survey conducted by the Computing Research Association, the number of majors and pre-majors in American computer science programs was up 6.2 percent from 2007. This marks the first time in six years that enrollment in computer science has increased.
"This could be a sign that we are beginning to make headway as well as increased attention, increased interest, and increased investment," said Andrew A. Chien, director of research at Intel.
Since the dot-com implosion starting in 2000, the field has seen a startling decline, leading some to warn about the effect it would have on the nation's ability to compete in the global economy. But in the past few years, there has been much effort to allay potential students' fears that computer science entails little more than sitting cooped up in front of a PC banging out code. That has helped lead to a 9.5 percent increase in the number of new undergraduate majors in computer science, and cut the decline in new bachelor's degrees from 20 percent to 10 percent.
Despite the increase, computer science remains of most interest to men, at least according to enrollment and graduation figures. Women accounted for a consistent 11.8 percent of computer science bachelor degrees in 2008.
For the third year in a row, PC parts vendor Directron.com is giving away college scholarships to three individuals. Even better, Directron has bumped up the first place reward from $800 to $1,000. Second and third place scholarships remain at $500 and $300 respectively. And if this year's outcome follows the past two, Directron may reward several honorable mentions with smaller sized scholarships or store-credits.
To take a shot at one of the scholarships, U.S. residents are asked to submit a two-page single-spaced essay on any topic related to computers. There are several formats to choose from, which include fiction, non-fiction, short story, instruction manual, or a poem. Just be sure your submission contains "perfect spelling and grammar."
Directron says it will judge the submissions equally on the academic merit of the writing, and the originality and creativity of the content. More than just lip service, in 2006 the first place scholarship was awarded to Jason Kao, who broke down his essay into subjects, the first being "I <3 computers." So do we, Jason.
Deadline to enter is January 10th, 2009, with winners being announced shortly after on January 16th, 2009. If you're having trouble picking out a subject, Directron lists several potential candidates, though you'll probably have to go that extra creative mile if going the pre-selected route.
Rumblings that Amazon is working on a revised Kindle eBook reader have been coursing through the web since July, and it's believed the new version will come in a variety of colors to appeal to a larger audience. We'll have to wait and see, but at least one analyst sees an opportunity to cash in with college students and believes a collegiate version could make a debut in the not too distant future.
"There are already several new, improved versions of the Kindle in the works," said Tim Bueneman, an analyst with McAdams Wright Ragen.
Bueneman also predicts that one of the new features might include improved interface operating controls, which he notes has been issue with some buyers. But if Amazon is to target the collegiate crowd, the biggest issue might come down to price - $360 buys a lot of Ramen noodles.