Staying student-centered on campus takes more than providing one-shot course-related instruction, quiet study rooms, or flexible seating. It will require us to be engaged with more components of the student experience, educate other campus faculty and administrators as to why we should have a seat at the table to influence and affect student programs and services, and talk with students to find out what challenges currently exist.
To the graduating class of 2012: All that money you or your parents have spent or borrowed to pay your tuition for the past few years? It’s not getting the same return on investment it did a decade ago.
According to the folks at the Economic Policy Institute, the average inflation-adjusted wage for male college graduates aged 23 to 29 was $21.68/hour. That’s an 11% over decline over the last ten years. And while wages for females in the same age and education group are only down 7.6% during that same time period, women still make significantly less on average ($18.80/hour).
» via The Consumerist
The fact is that nontenured and non-tenure-track faculty are toiling in undesirable positions at low pay and subsidizing the interests and security of tenured faculty members whose performance is not necessarily superior to nontenured faculty or even compatible with the needs and interests of students or the institutional mission.
For students at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, trying to secure a prime study spot in the library during the “reading days” before Finals Week has become as harrowing and dangerous as trying to purchase $2 waffle iron on Black Friday. Trampling! Pepper spray! These are now part of their library experience.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, In the 21st-Century University, Let’s Ban Books:
In this bookless college, all reading—which would still, of course, be both required and encouraged—would be done electronically. Any physical books in students’ possession at the beginning of the year would be exchanged for electronic versions, and if a student was later found with a physical book, it would be confiscated (in return for an electronic version). The physical books would be sent to places and institutions that wanted or needed them. Professors would have a limited time in which to convert their personal libraries to all-digital formats, using student helpers who would also record the professors’ marginal notes.
Why, in a world in which choice and personal preference are highly valued, would any college want to create such a mandate? Because it makes a bold statement about the importance of moving education into the future. It is, in a sense, only a step removed from saying, “We no longer accept theses on scrolls, papyrus, or clay tablets. Those artifacts do still exist in the world, but they are not the tools of this institution.” Or: “In this institution we have abandoned the slide rule. Those who find it useful and/or comforting can, of course, use it, but not here.”
If you’re looking for a textbook example of technology obstruction by the media industry, look no further than e-textbooks.
“About 90 percent of the time, the cheapest option is still to buy a used book and then resell that book,” says Jonathan Robinson, founder of FreeTextbooks.com, an online retailer of discount books. “That is really an obstacle for widespread adoption [of e-textbooks], because smarter consumers realize that and are not going to leap into the digital movement until the pricing evens out.”
— "iPad, I Saw, I Waited: The State of E-Textbooks" by Eric Blattberg, Wired's Gadget Lab
The current generation of college students has grown up with the internet and plenty of technology, but surprisingly, that doesn’t mean they know how find the information they need for research papers. A two-year study by the Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries Project concludes that students are so used to conducting simple searches on Google that they have a hard time doing more sophisticated research either online or in the library.
— Liz Dwyer in "Just Google It: How Search Engines Stunt College Students’ Research Skills" from Good.