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Chronicle of Higher Education examines the digital campus

digital campus

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a special report entitled "The Digital Campus," which examined the ways faculty members, administrators, and students are leveraging new and evolving technologies on campus.

The lead article, "The Slow-Motion Mobile Campus," looks at the degree to which iPads and other mobile devices are (and aren't) making a difference on college campuses, with a particular focus on Stanford University's high-tech campus in Palo Alto, Calif.

"[When] Stanford's School of Medicine lent iPads to all new students last August, a curious thing happened: Many didn't like using them in class," writes The Chronicle's Josh Keller. "Officials had hoped to stop printing an annual average of 3,700 pages of course materials per medical student, encouraging them to use digital materials instead. Some students rebelled, and Stanford was forced to resume offering printed notes to those who wanted them. In most classes, half the students had stopped using their iPads only a few weeks into the term."

In an article entitled "Twitter Meets the Breakfast Club," University of San Francisco associate professor David Silver describes the ways he's making use of Twitter in a course he's currently teaching.

"[For] both my students and me, Twitter simplifies course management by replacing at least three classroom technologies," he writes. "Twitter replaces the class listserv (or course blog, Blackboard, or discussion group) for our outside-the-classroom discussions and resource sharing. Twitter replaces e-mail announcements for new readings, location changes, and relevant happenings around the city. And Twitter replaces the cardboard box I used to bring to class to collect papers and other assignments."

And in an article entitled "Smartphones on Campus: the Search for 'Killer' Apps," The Chronicle's Jeffrey R. Young examines the wide variety of ways colleges and universities are making use of mobile applications.

"A cellphone screen may seem too small to use as a study aid," Young writes. "But then again, those screens are about the same size as standard 3 by 5 index cards, an age-old format for flashcards. So the space can be just right when it's time to cram for a test. Unlike paper flashcards, though, a smartphone can display video clips, audio, and interactive features that go far beyond flipping a card over to see an answer."

The full report can be viewed here.