Posts Tagged ‘technology’

3 Things I Wish I’d Known Freshman Year: The Technology Edition

Categories: College Life

3 Things I Wish I'd KnownTechnology definitely has its place in today’s college environment, and it is important to stay on top of the latest advances to stay on top of your game.

#1: Online banking is your best friend.

Freshman year, I learned that there are many things I could do from the warm comfort of my own bed. Keeping track my bank account was one of them. I wish I’d known from the beginning how great of a resource online banking could be. When you are managing your money for the first time, it is very convenient to have a way to access account information from wherever you can connect to the Internet. Depending on weather conditions, your level of laziness, and the location of the nearest bank or ATM on campus, you may not always be able to make frequent visits and have an idea of where you stand financially. Create an online account with your bank, and you will always be able to make smart spending decisions.

#2: Other people can see your computer screen.

I have quite a few friends who had bad computer experiences freshman year. With the increasing popularity of Facebook and other social media websites, it is always important to remember that others can see what (and more importantly WHOM) you are looking at. You may assume that the people around you are paying attention to what is going on in class or in their studies at the library, but odds are if you are doing your own thing, they probably are, too. Unfortunately, this means they might be taking in their surroundings, including whatever is going on on your computer screen. There’s nothing wrong with checking your Facebook in public, but it’s WHOSE profile you’re looking at that can potentially get you into trouble. It’s impossible to know who around you will have a connection to the face on your screen, and in the small college environment, odds are it will somehow get back to them that you were checking them out.

#3: You don’t always have to be attached to your cell phone.

Building new relationships is one of the hardest parts of starting freshman year. Although you may be used to constantly texting friends on your cell phone, it is definitely a good idea to put it away when you’re out meeting new people. It is not necessary to always be talking to people who are not immediately around you, and you will come off as more interesting and more engaged if your focus is on the conversation you’re having in person instead of the conversation you’re having on your phone.

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For First Time in U.S., Udacity Online Course to Be Accepted for College Credit

Udacity Online Course Accepted for College Credit in U.S.

Image: udacity.com

Colorado State University’s Global Campus announced on September 6, 2012, that it will accept full transfer credits to students who enroll in a free computer-science class offered by Udacity, an online education company.

This is big news for the United States higher education system because it marks the first time that a university here has offered academic credit for a Udacity class. Austria and Germany, for example, already accept the credits.

To receive the transfer credits, which can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University, students will need to obtain a certificate of accomplishment from Udacity proving they passed the course. Afterward, they will need to pass a proctored exam, which is administered by the Pearson VUE testing group and costs $89.

Colorado State University’s Global Campus is an online university where students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school has a separate accreditation and allows students to transfer in when they have received more than 12 college credit hours. Faculty members in the information technology department reviewed Udacity’s computer science course and assessed its methods of student learning before announcing that the class met CSU standards.

The course, called “Introduction to Computer Science: Building a Search Engine” and taught by Professor David Evans of the University of Virginia, will aim to teach students basic computer science skills by taking them through the steps of building a Web search engine similar to Google. Around 94,000 students took the course when it was initially offered earlier in 2012, and an additional 98,000 signed up for the second class that began in April.

“We have students from well over 100 countries, from 13-year-olds to 80-year-olds, sharing in the experience,” Evans said.

CS101 is the first course that Udacity offered, and includes guest lectures by Sebastian Thrun, the company’s founder.

Thrun was a computer science professor at Stanford University who shocked his peers when he left his tenured position at one of the best universities in the country to create a start up that offered low-cost online classes. He experienced the potential of digital education at Stanford and got hooked, which led to the groundbreaking idea.

“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” Thrun said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill and I’ve seen Wonderland,” The Chronicle reported.

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Tablet Use Increasing in High School Classrooms

A US News and World Report published last week stated that tablet devices are increasing in popularity in high schools, overtaking laptops and computers as the most common technology used in the classroom.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was surprised by the increased rate of use, telling investors, “Education tends to be a conservative institution, but we’re not seeing that at all on the iPad. The adoption of the iPad in education is something I’ve never seen in any technology.”

iBooks is a new technology that is competing with printed textbooks in the college classroom. With tablet use on the rise in high school classrooms, students will be well-equipped to conform to the new iBook technology when they pursue higher education.

Michael Singleton, head of social studies at Florida’s Orlando Science Schools, believes that tablets have caused increased motivation in the classroom. In this day and age, students respond well to technological advantages when preparing to leave for college. “I would say an iPad will one day be the same as a book bag or a ruler or a pencil. I think that the iPad will be an essential component to schools, it’s certainly something we can’t ignore as a school—we need to embrace it,” Singleton said.

Schools are also using tablets as an incentive for strong performance in the classroom. Students will be issued the devices for use in school and at home, a privilege that will only remain should the student maintain a specified GPA. Educational experts believe the use of tablets will transfer some learning responsibility from the teacher to the student.

Amidst the growth, there are still those who do not think that the technology is suitable for the classroom. Tablets are harder to type on than laptops, and provide more options for students to get distracted, like playing games, while teachers are trying to teach. Proponents of the technology believe that students and teachers will adjust to these problems.

Joel Klein, an education professional, explained in a press release, “It is our aim to amplify the power of digital innovation to transform teaching and learning and to help schools deliver fundamentally better experiences and results.”

With technology taking over every facet of life in modern society, it’s only a matter of time before students are required to bring tablets to school, where teachers will utilize the numerous features in their lesson plans.

 

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