College cost website raises questions about Romney’s higher-ed stance

Full Sail's CEO has donated nearly $50,000 in support of Romney's presidential campaign.

The for-profit Florida university that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney supports as a model for holding down college costs is one of the country’s priciest schools, according to a new Education Department (ED) website that helps prospective students compare tuition costs.

The College Affordability & Transparency Center, launched June 12, compares college and university net prices, or the tuition and fee costs minus grant and scholarship money given to its students. The federal website also lets students see where net college prices are rising at the fastest rate.

Full Sail University, a school based in Winter Park, Fla., has the third highest net price of all U.S. for-profit colleges, and it costs more for students than any public or nonprofit college, according to the Transparency Center’s online calculator.

This, some observers say, could be noteworthy because Romney—during his bid for the Republican nomination—often presented Full Sail as a model for colleges and universities looking to make higher education more affordable.

Romney, in an interview with a pool of journalists last fall, said Full Sail was committed to “hold[ing] down the cost of their education.”

“You are going to find students saying, ‘You know what? That’s not a bad deal. I’m not willing to come out of college with $100,000 in debt,’” he said. “I happen to think competition is a great source of invention and improvement. Our institutions of higher learning … don’t recognize that they need to compete and keep their prices down, they need to keep their tuitions competitive.”

Romney’s support for Full Sail and other for-profit colleges—which receive more than $30 billion in federal student aid annually—came as Full Sail’s CEO, Bill Heavener, gave the maximum $2,500 to Romney’s campaign and another $45,000 to a so-called “super PAC” that supports Romney for president and is run by aides to the former Massachusetts governor.

The unveiling of the College Affordability & Transparency Center comes amid President Obama’s legislative battle with Congressional Republicans, many of whom support an increase in student loan interest rates scheduled to kick in July 1.

David Halperin, a senior fellow for United Republic, a site that tracks how money is used in national politics, said Romney’s outspoken support on behalf of Full Sail and the University of Phoenix should be more closely examined as college affordability becomes a central issue of the 2012 race for the White House.

Romney, if elected president, “would allow federal financial aid … to continue to flow to even the worst offenders in the industry, schools that lure veterans and low-income students with deceptive and coercive recruiting practices,” Halperin wrote in a blog post. “This is about as cynical as politics can get—telling voters complete falsehoods in pursuit of policies that help your donors and business associates, while abusing struggling students and fleecing the taxpayers.”

Still, the president’s campaign could find it difficult to criticize Romney’s lauding of Full Sail because Ed Haddock, Full Sail’s founder and co-chair, served on the Obama for America National Finance Committee and helped raise more than $200,000 for Obama’s 2008 presidential bid, according to public records.


University Embraces Bring-Your-Own-Device with Wireless Network

The University of South Florida expanded wireless coverage to support a growing number of personal devices and deliver highly secure anywhere, anytime wireless access. Cisco provided an easily managed and scaled wireless network for 11,000 simultaneous users campuswide.Download Whitepaper







New app connects college sports fans on Twitter

College sports fans have flocked to Twitter for game coverage.

When Philip Sanford goes to his favorite bar to watch his beloved Seton Hall Pirates, he brings along his phone charger so he also can follow the game on Twitter. David Foreman likes using the social media site to communicate with West Virginia fans across the country.

More and more these days, when the game is on, so is the computer.

Or tablet. Or cell phone.

Sports fans around the world are following along on Twitter while they watch their favorite teams in person or on TV, and now a new application from a San Francisco startup is designed to make that experience even easier for them.

“Since I can’t really listen to [the game when] I’m at a sports bar, I like to read about what’s going on from a journalistic point of view,” said the 29-year-old Sanford, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. “I can learn about what’s going from several different sources.”

There are signs all over that sports fans are using Twitter even while the game is going on in front of them.

Sporting events are responsible for the majority of the top moments measured in tweets per second. The Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Chelsea on April 24 peaked at 13,684 tweets per second, second only to the 2011 showing of a movie in Japan.

According to a study by the Perform sports media group, 26 percent of U.S. fans use social media platforms to follow their favorite sports, up from 15 percent in a similar survey in 2011.

One-third of those fans say they use Twitter to follow sports, trailing Facebook (89 percent) and YouTube (65)—based on 1,002 online interviews of adults conducted during February and March.

Colleges and professional sports leagues are paying attention to those numbers. Sunday’s Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR marked Twitter’s first official partnership with a sports league.

There are all sorts of official hashtags that allow fans to zero in on everything being said about their hometown or alma mater’s teams at key moments.

Foreman, 40, of Lewisburg, Pa., likes the community aspect found on Twitter during sporting events.

“I’m sort of an expatriate, so a lot of time as I’m watching the Pirates game I am communicating with people in California and other far-flung locations, especially watching WVU,” said Foreman, who works in development at Bucknell University.

Will Hunsinger knows exactly what Foreman is talking about.

Hunsinger, 42, is a proud Georgetown alum and avid follower of the men’s basketball team.


Campus Compact Names University of Minnesota’s Andrew Furco Winner of Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award

Boston, MA – Campus Compact has named Andrew Furco, associate vice president for Public Engagement and associate professor of Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN to receive the 2012 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. The award is bestowed annually to recognize one senior, tenured faculty member for exemplary leadership in engaged scholarship, contributions to the public good, and advancing students’ civic learning.
“We seek out faculty who actively implement democratic community/campus partnerships, who undertake community-based research, and who are champions for fostering their institution’s commitment to service-learning and civic engagement,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen F. Curley.
Of his work, Furco says, “For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to experiential education and the active involvement of individuals in collaborative experiences.”

Dr. Heidi Barajas, associate dean for Engagement, Diversity and Undergraduate Programs in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota says of Furco, “Through his graceful leadership as a teacher, researcher, and administrator, Professor Furco is systematically shifting the academic culture in our college and across the university system to more fully embrace community engagement practices in our teaching, research, and outreach.”
“Professor Furco is himself a remarkable engaged scholar and teacher, but what makes him exceptional is his ability to translate his individual curriculum into a platform for institutional change that transforms universities and colleges across the globe into being fully engaged institutions,” she concludes.
“Andy Furco is a master of democratic dispositions, principally equality, diversity, respect and a bit of self-deprecating humor,” notes Evan Goldberg of the Alameda County Office of Education, a community partner who has collaborated with Furco for more than 15 years. “He is hard working, demanding of self, and forgiving of others. He brings people together even in atmospheres that drive people apart. He instructs by his actions and demeanor. Andy Furco can teach us all to be better democratic citizens.”
Furco began his career as a middle school music teacher and holds a BA in Music and an MA in Special Education from University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his doctorate in Educational Administration from University of California, Berkeley in 1997.
Throughout his career, Furco has pushed for better research that can more rigorously measure the potential impacts of community engagement on students, faculty, institutions, and communities. Along with producing a number of research instruments, such as the Service-Learning Institutionalization Rubric, he was instrumental in launching the field’s annual international research conference on service-learning.
Furco continues to teach and publish on topics that explore the civic purposes of higher education. He works with community partners in countries throughout the world to help students experience the role of youth community engagement from an international perspective.
“Andy’s personal and academic commitments get to the core — to the very heart of Campus Compact’s mission. They echo the most fundamental underpinnings of our work,” adds President Curley, speaking from the Compact’s national office in Boston.
The Ehrlich Award brings a monetary award plus the opportunity to conduct a special session at the American Association of Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting in January 2013 in Atlanta, GA, where Professor Furco will formally be presented the Ehrlich Award.

Four finalists have also been acknowledged for their achievements. They include:

Peter Bortolotti, Johnson & Wales University (RI)
Associate Professor of Marketing

Gabriel Garcia, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine (CA)
Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions

Stephen (Steve) Philion, St. Cloud State University (MN)
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Director of the Saint Cloud State University Faculty Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota

Gary Welborn, Buffalo State College (NY)
Associate Professor of Sociology

Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building community engagement into campus and academic life. The Compact has 34 state affiliate offices that reach from Hawaii to Maine.
For more information, visit


VSCHOOLZ announces agreement with The Associated Press

June 14th 2012 – Coral Springs, FL – VSCHOOLZ is proud to announce an agreement
with The Associated Press. VSCHOOLZ will access AP’s vast repository of archived
media, images, stories and primary source documents to enhance its digital content. The
VSCHOOLZ team will tag the content pieces as individual learning objects, assign both a
content type and specific level of rigor to each piece of content, and will then align the
use of each learning object with national common core standards.
“VSCHOOLZ’s decision to use AP journalism to create educational products, in
Spanish and English, is innovative and reflects AP’s reputation for accuracy and
independence,” said Jim Baltzelle, AP’s Florida chief of bureau and Caribbean
business manager. “VSCHOOLZ will have access to AP’s constant stream of
video, text stories, graphics, multimedia and more than 11 million new and
archival photographs in AP Images. It is an exciting partnership in virtual
“This is a groundbreaking move for digital learning,” said Trina Trimm, C.O.O,
VSCHOOLZ. “In a time when traditional textbook sales are declining by an
average of 20 percent per year, schools and districts are seeking alternative
sources of high-quality, accurate information to use in curriculum development.
Reaching digital students on a wide variety of devices means looking to
nontraditional sources for academic content and The Associated Press is a valid,
authentic and trusted provider of accurate information.”
About VSCHOOLZ, Inc.
VSCHOOLZ was founded by a team of educators to provide e-learning solutions for
schools or districts that want to support a blended digital learning environment in
traditional schools or that want to launch their own virtual programs. As a member of the
H. Education family, a H. Wayne Huizenga Holdings company, VSCHOOLZ is able to
provide strong levels of support in the depth and breadth of site implementation for
schools and districts. Powered by VSCHOOLZ gives schools or districts a fully
integrated, customizable classroom management platform that allows teachers to edit,
change, remove or adapt high quality content provided to fit their individualized
classroom and school needs. All courses come complete with fully customizable
interactive and engaging student activities, as well as, supplemental online resources. The
lessons are delivered in a safe and user-friendly online environment, which incorporates
collaborative tools, message boards, digital drop boxes, chat rooms and teacher-to-teacher
file sharing. This new approach to education caters to the digital learner of all


ATEN Launches New VanCryst Professional A/V Products at InfoComm 2012

ATEN announced, at InfoComm 2012, new product additions to its VanCryst line of professional A/V solutions. The new products include new HD optical extenders, an HD 8×8 matrix video switch, a universal A/V to HD scaler, a VGA/CAT5 16×16 A/V matrix switch and an 8×8 VGA A/V matrix switch.

ATEN’s new VM0808H is an 8×8 HD matrix video switch that is capable of routing up to eight HDMI sources to a maximum of eight HDMI displays — ideal for multi-screen home theater installations. The VM0808H offers a “Power on Detection” feature where, if an HDMI source is powered off, the unit can automatically switch to the next powered-on source. The matrix switch is fully HDMI and HDCP compatible. It supports long distance transmission (up to 65 feet) over high quality HDMI cables. The VM0808H also boasts an ATEN exclusive Scheduling Program that provides users with the ability to switch content to each display on a customizable schedule.

The ATEN VM1616T is a 16×16 VGA-based matrix switch that routes and distributes audio, video and RS-232 signals up to 984 feet using CAT5e cable. The VM1616T can receive data from up to 16 A/V sources and transmit data to up to 16+1 A/V displays. It offers several convenient methods to access and control the source devices: locally, with front panel pushbuttons, an RS-232/ RS-485 serial port; and remotely, over the Internet with a browser-based Web page interface. The VM1616T is a perfect fit for long-distance video applications where flexibility and security are essential. Ideal solutions are security situations where several remote cameras need to be monitored from a central location such as casinos, traffic control centers, restricted access areas, port security facilities, or industrial supervision. It is also an excellent device for disseminating information such as advertising, routine or emergency instructions and scheduling information.

The VM0808 is an 8×8 VGA video matrix switch with audio support. The VM0808 connects eight VGA/audio sources to a maximum of eight destination devices. With the enterprise in mind, the VM0808 supports video bandwidth of 500MHz for a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1440 up to a distance of 215 feet. The rack mountable VM0808 is a highly flexible device allowing any of the eight A/V inputs to be directed to any, or all, of the A/V destinations. The seamless switching may be accomplished via front panel selection knobs, IR remote, or RS-232.

The VC1080 is a universal A/V to HD scaler. It is designed to efficiently convert component (two each), composite (two each), S-Video and VGA video with audio to HDMI. The VC1080 provides excellent chrominance and luminance separation for composited video, and de-interlacing for smooth video playback. The VC0808 supports HD digital video up to 1080p and computer monitor video up to 1920 x 1200. It extends HDMI video up to 50 feet. Audio outputs include L/R stereo, optical, coaxial and HDMI. The VC0808 may be controlled via front panel push buttons, IR remote, or RS-232.

ATEN’s new HDMI optical extenders, the VS882 and VS892, provide long-distance transmissions of HDMI, IR and RS-232 signals up to 1970 feet and 12 miles respectively. A unique feature is the ability to use an existing remote to control either a TV or video input. Both units are fully HDCP 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 (3D, Deep Color, 1080p) compliant and support signal rates up to 3.12 GB/s.


Magican Software redesigns its app to become more Mac-friendly

According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research, Inc., a global research and advisory firm, the number of Mac users has nearly doubled in the past three years, and thanks to a local Mac software company, Mac users across the globe will now be able to use, search, and download items with ease.

“We have redesigned our logo, website and app UI to make it more Mac style and more easy to use,” said Emma Lynne, market manager for Magican Software LTD, an independent Mac software developing company found in 2010.

Lynne explained that the main features of the app have not changed, but added that the company, which specializes in Mac system optimizing software development, will continue to update its software called Magican with additional features.

Magican, according to Lynne, is a system optimizer for Mac OS X, which helps users to speed up Mac in all directions.

“Magican is totally free, but it has many powerful features,” Lynne stressed, before adding, “Compare it with our competition. It is free without limited features.”

Magican Software LTD’s decision to redesign its app in an effort to make it “easier” for Mac users to use its app could prove to have perfect timing.

According to a study conducted by the Software and Information Industry Association, Macintosh software comprises over 18 ercent of all software sold, where Macintosh users use more applications than Windows users, citing “ease” of installation of Mac applications as one of the reasons.

“Our floating window is another highlight,” Lynne noted. “It could be moved to the top status bar and move back to interface easily. It can help monitor the system state in real-time without occupying much desk space. Plus, we are planning on adding features of antivirus and fire wall in Magican future updates.”

Victor Lipp, an avid Mac user and Magican Software LTD customer, said he gives the company two thumbs up for its efforts with the app redesign.

“They have done a wonderful job of building and updating this application,” Lipp said. “Keep up the good work.”

Lipp, however, isn’t the only one who expressed their appreciation for the company’s software and redesign to make it easier for Mac users.

Magican Software customer identified as Adrian, described Magican as one of the best software’s he has ever used.

“I just wanted to say thanks for this fine bit of software,” he said. “It sure saved me a lot of time cleaning out 9.9 GB of useless trash that I would have spent weeks sorting through all files. This is a great product.”

When asked for the main reasons why Mac users should try its Magican software, Lynn said, “It’s free, but safe, and our app is good in quality. It can help users protect their Mac in all directions and we’re also planning on adding features, such as antivirus and fire wall in future updates.”

For more information about Magican Software LTD’s products, please visit:


Opinion: Do we need a revolution in higher education?

In spite of ever rising tuition and ballooning student loan debts, a large majority of students still desire to attend college, says William J. Bennett, a CNN contributor, and author of “The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood.”  Traditional notions are deeply engrained in the public’s mind. College is considered the path to a better, higher paying job, the best way to make connections and propel a career, and a status symbol, especially for those who go to elite universities. However, given the dismal reality facing college graduates, perhaps the future of higher education will have to change. In some cases, a college diploma may no longer guarantee the high potential lifetime earnings it once did. An online salary ranking system called calculates a student’s 30-year return on investment at the top 1,300 colleges nationwide based on average alumni salary and tuition costs. Their recently issued 2012 report suggests that out of the 4,500 colleges and universities in the nation only the top 800 to 850 give you an annual return on investment greater than 4%. In pure financial terms, students might be better off investing their tuition money in stocks rather than four years with one of our nation’s many colleges…

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How to improve college student aid disclosure

Ten college and university presidents met with Vice President Biden at the White House recently to announce their voluntary endorsement of a uniform financial aid award letter that would provide students with clearer, more transparent and accurate information about how much they will have to pay — now, and in the future — for their college education, says Robert Massa, vice president for communications at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, for the Washington Post. The initiative is an effort to discourage students from financially over-extending themselves, and beginning in the 2013-14 school year students applying to any of these institutions will be given a one-page cost or “shopping sheet” prepared by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The sheet will include the full price of a year at college, including an estimate for books and personal expenses. This is nothing revolutionary as far as I’m concerned, as I’ve always worked for colleges that disclosed this information. But what will be of value is the part that breaks out grants from loans and work-study income, and shows students the long-term implications of borrowing by estimating monthly payments after graduation…

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Microsoft to unveil own-brand Windows 8 tablet on Monday, report claims

Microsoft plans to unveil an own-brand Windows 8 tablet on Monday that will mark the company’s entrance into the media tablet market, a report claims, BGR reports. Citing an unnamed source, The Wrap reported on Thursday that Microsoft intends to compete with Apple’s iPad and Google-powered Android tablets not only as a software vendor — potentially pulling in $85 or more per Windows RT license sold — but also as a hardware vendor. Microsoft is holding a press conference on Monday, and while the company did tease a major announcement, the focus of the event has not been disclosed…

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