Smart phone use among college students concerns some professors

Pam Walsh does not own a smart phone. Walsh, a senior at Bryant University in Rhode Island, is a commuter student and says she uses the money that would go toward phone payments for gas instead. But, she notes, there have been situations when a smartphone, with its internet capabilities, would have been useful, U.S. News reports.

“As a commuter student, there’s always a chance that weather will be poor and classes will be canceled because of it, but I may not find out about it until I’m on campus,” she says. “The professor might have canceled right before class through an eMail. If I had a smart phone, I would have gotten the eMail and I wouldn’t have had to drive to class in horrible conditions.”

For Walsh, who has never owned a smart phone, the constant urge to stay connected to the world via phone is not an issue. “I don’t really go through it,” she says. “As long as I’m not waiting on a phone call or a text message from someone, I can just leave [the phone] aside.” But for some college students, leaving a phone behind may cause feelings of anxiety and panic, which has brought one phobia to the forefront: nomophobia–the fear of being without your cell phone……Read More

U.S. News defends online college rankings amid harsh criticism

Researchers said they were satisfied with the level of participation in their rankings.

Creators of U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural ranking of online college programs continued their defense of the much-publicized list this week when they said their methodology would “evolve over time” and that students shouldn’t base their college selection on the magazine’s rankings.

What seemed to be an acknowledgment of online learning’s mainstream appeal and acceptance was quickly turned into a rallying point for campus technology officials disappointed with the list.

Some educational technologists panned the U.S. News list of the nation’s best online course offerings when it was released in early January, criticizing the compilation as one that lacked higher education’s full participation and expertise from campus officials with experience in web-based education.…Read More

U.S. News to collect online education data

As early as mid-July, U.S.News & World Report will begin a first-ever effort to collect in depth data from all online bachelor’s and five master’s degree level education programs in the United States. To that end, U.S. News Editor Brian Kelly reached out to college presidents to inform them about the new and exciting online education project and to urge them to help facilitate a response from their campuses…

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Wikipedia gradually accepted in college classrooms

In 1775, Paul Revere boisterously rung bells to warn colonists of an impending influx of British soldiers. Actually, he didn’t. But anyone who visited the Wikipedia page dedicated to Revere earlier this month may have thought that to be the case, reports U.S. News & World Report…this is precisely why college professors almost universally bar students from citing any information they glean from the site, despite the fact that it was the fourth most visited destination on the internet in 2010, according to Google…

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Learning disabilities can offer college admission edge

Can having a learning disability be an advantage when applying to college? Asks U.S. News & World Report. This probably sounds like a strange question, since most families no doubt assume that a learning disability is a negative when it comes to getting into colleges. But that assumption is wrong, insists David Montesano, a college admission strategist at College Match Educational Consultants, which has offices on the East and West coasts. The clientele at his college admission practice includes learning disabled students and he has seen how learning challenges can actually benefit students during the application process…

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10 least expensive private colleges

Strategizing a way to effectively finance a college education can be even more challenging than selecting a school to attend, says U.S. News & World Report. While many private colleges and universities may have high sticker prices, freshmen that began attending a private institution in fall 2010 received a nearly 50 percent tuition discount, on average, through financial grants, according to a recent survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers…

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10 colleges with the fewest cars on campus

Some freedoms that may seem alien to high school students are inherent in the college experience: There are no curfews imposed by parents, and no mandates to keep a room clean. Even a trip to see a best friend might be as easy was walking down the hall. One opportunity that isn’t always guaranteed, however, is hopping behind the wheel and taking a drive wherever—and whenever—you please, says U.S. News & World Report. Many large schools don’t allow freshmen to have cars on campus, and some even extend that policy through the entire four (or more) years of school. Of the 260 national universities—schools that offer doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees and emphasize research—surveyed by U.S. News in 2010, 160 reported data regarding the percentage of students who have cars on campus…

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10 universities with the highest percentage of small classes

Yesterday, U.S. News & World Report released their list of universities with the highest percentage of small classes. Unwieldy, research-centric universities aren’t generally famous for their individual attention, but some large universities do have a surprisingly high proportion of classes with 20 people or less in them. Check out our slide show of the top 10 universities with the highest percentages of small classes, says the Huffington Post…

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America’s most popular online teacher

America’s most popular teacher doesn’t work at Harvard University or a fancy prep school. In fact, he doesn’t work in a school at all, but his lessons have been viewed more than 56 million times, according to U.S. News & World Report. Salman Khan, a former hedge fund manager, is the founder of Khan Academy, a free online learning platform with a library of more than 2,300 videos covering everything from basic algebra and differential equations to the Vietnam War…

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