Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Gadgets rule on college campuses: "The American college campus, long an oasis of scholarship and coming-of-age, is now being transformed by a more palpable force: an armada of laptops, cell phones and perpetual connectivity."

"This is college life today, where students are electronically linked to each other, to professors and to their class work 24/7 in an ever-flowing river of information and communication.

"U.S. colleges have been upgrading their computer systems for years, in large part to stay competitive. But the race to lure students with the most robust broadband networks and the hottest gadgets has hit a fever pitch. With many schools offering wireless Internet access anywhere on campus, colleges as a group have become the most Internet-accessible spots in the USA."

"For most undergrads, the non-stop connectivity is the fuel of college life. Online, students get homework and lecture outlines and take part in class discussions. 'It makes it easier to justify skipping class,' says sophomore Kristin Bedinger. She e-mails professors in the wee hours and instant-messages friends to brainstorm assignments. 'I have no idea how anyone made it through college without a (PC) and the Internet,' she says."

"Taking a stand against the onslaught is University of Michigan professor Buzz Alexander. A few years ago, he stopped answering e-mail from students in his introductory English class. 'I just realized I wasn't seeing people in my office. It dehumanizes the relationship. I want to talk to them in person and say, "How are things going?"'"

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