Universities Offer Cutting Edge Technology to Recruit Top Students And Enhance Their Learning Experience

Aug 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Rovia

    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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