BOSTON, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Colleges used to recruit students with
solid academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and winning football
teams. But times have changed ... and so have the expectations of prospective
"The average incoming freshman in 2001 was born in 1984, was a child when
the Web first consumed our culture, and, in many cases, has never seen a
printed encyclopedia," says Andres Nannetti, CEO of Rovia (www.rovia.com), a
Boston-based provider of secure delivery of digital content via the Web. "The
reality is that high school students are accustomed to going online daily for
entertainment, information and communication, and, as they transition to
college, expect the institution's technology to support their lifestyle. The
bottom line is -- today's students are sophisticated and wired and demand
their schools are too," continued Nannetti.
Not convinced? Pick up the Sunday paper this weekend and note the "back to
school" shopping circulars. School suppliers are no longer touting folders,
notebooks and backpacks, they are promoting flat monitors, memory cards and PC
Just as advertisers have acknowledged this generation's interest in
technology, colleges too recognize that increasingly for today' students,
technology rules. In response, institutions are continually introducing
cutting-edge technologies to engage and compel their students. From Web cast
lectures to online study groups to interactive online textbooks, professors
are reaching out to students with new, high tech tools.
In addition, many progressive colleges are using technology as a
recruiting tool. Questions on campus tours have changed from "Do many students
pledge fraternities?" to "Will I have a T1 line in my dorm room?" Many
campuses are responding by providing broadband access, not only in their room,
but in the library and student union too.
"Technology has dramatically changed the way educators teach and how
students learn, said Ted Cooley, assistant professor and director of
information technology at the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth.
College. "Students have high expectations and are demanding innovative
technology to be integrated into their classrooms, libraries, and dorms. In
addition, professors have discovered that technology enables them to better
understand how well students are absorbing information being presented to
Some of the most exciting new technologies to hit campus this fall include
wireless Internet access, the interactive online textbook or eTextbooks, class
specific intranets, and Web-based networks that allow students to access their
work online from any terminal or device, instead of solely on their PC.
"Today's printed textbooks include Web addresses and other multi-media
tools like audio files, streaming video, PowerPoint slides and more embedded
right in the text. To use these features, students need to go online -- a
purely digital textbook just makes more sense," said Nannetti.
The fact is that higher education institutions, once firmly based in
tradition and a commitment to maintaining the status quo, are now focused on
innovation. Case in point is Marc Bridgeman, American University, and class
of '05 who commented, "The campus is great, classes are super, but what really
impressed me was that the campus is as wired as many of the office buildings
in downtown Boston."
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