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Professor Shuts Student's Laptop in Class, Gets Arrested for Assault

A professor at Georgia's Valdosta State University was arrested on assault charges last week, after shutting a laptop on a student's hand. Frank J. Rybicki, an assistant professor of media studies, reportedly became angry with a female student who seemed to be surfing the Web on her laptop rather than paying attention to class. Frustrated, he shut the laptop and dismissed the student, who...

Professors May Gain Some Props for Tweeting

LOL captain! My captain! A sociable and "human" Twitter account may be a fast way to inculcate young minds, according to a new study in Learning, Media, and Technology. Hoping to give some advice to the many befuddled professors attempting to craft public social media personae, the study set out to test what impact different types of tweets had on a professor's perceived credibility. Students...

Undergrads Totally Into Virtual Worlds, College Admins Swear

Remember how we thought in the mid-'90s that the 2000s would be all about holographs and virtual worlds? But didn't we collectively agree that virtual reality jumped the shark around the time CNN opened a Second Life news bureau, but apparently academe never signed on. The New York Times has a charming story today on how university professors are using interactive, digital visualizations to...

Student Charged With Hacking Grades on School Computers for Money

Police in Nevada have arrested a 19-year-old college student, accusing him of hacking into his high school's computer system and inflating students' grades in exchange for money. The suspect, Tyler Coyner, allegedly obtained the password to Pahrump Valley High School's network, giving him the ability to change students' grades. Coyner, who is currently enrolled as a student at the University of...

Copycat College Site Scams Students With Fake Application Fees

The University of Redwood, judging from its website, seems like any other college. The school boasts a full faculty, its campus features plenty of verdant, open spaces, and it even accepts applications online. The only problem, though, is that the University of Redwood doesn't exist. And all those alluring campus photos and accomplished faculty members actually belong to Oregon's Reed College...

Gates Foundation Bets on Facebook Startup to Keep Kids in School

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to encourage college freshmen to stay in school -- and it's counting on social networking to help. Today, the organization is expected to announce a $2 million investment in a company called Inigral, which sets up school-specific Facebook sites at colleges around the country. Unlike Facebook pages devoted to particular colleges or universities,...

Bad News: Technology Is Physically Addictive, Study Finds

Share Do you open your laptop as soon as you wake up? Do you sneak out of the office to tweet from your smartphone? Do you get the shakes if you go several hours without visiting Switched? If so, you're not alone, because, according to a new study, we're all physically addicted to the meth of new media. The study, titled 'Unplugged,' was undertaken by the University of Maryland's International...

'Welcome' Groups for College Freshmen on Facebook Revealed as Subtle Marketing Scheme

Share High school seniors preparing to go to college next year may be tempted to familiarize themselves with their new schools and classmates on Facebook. But one collegial "welcome group" on the social network may not be what it seems. Certain Facebook pages advertise themselves as online forums for rising freshmen at various schools, including NYU, Pepperdine, Middlebury, Wesleyan and the...

MPAA Reminds Colleges That Piracy Can Cause Funding Cuts

Back in the summer, the deadline passed for colleges and universities to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), which required schools to develop a plan for dealing with illegal movie and music downloads on campus. Now, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has sent letters to presidents at schools across the country, reminding them that Title IV federal aid...

Facebook Doesn't Make Us Antisocial, Study Says

Wasting your life away on Facebook may not seem like the most social of activities, but, according to a new study from the University of Texas, all those hours you spend on the social network may actually strengthen your personal ties with friends and family. To test the effects of Facebook on real-world relationships, researchers at the University of Texas questioned 900 college students and...

Professor's Viral Lecture on Ethics Compels (Innocent?) Cheaters to Confess

University of Central Florida professor Richard Quinn has been a professional educator for over 20 years. Despite his decades of experience, Quinn recently delivered an unprecedented lecture that he "hoped [he] would never have to give." Prior to the lecture (which is currently going viral), Quinn had grown concerned about widespread cheating after he recognized an unlikely pattern in his class's...

Using Facebook, Teen Confirms Secret to High SAT Score

Share A teenager from New York thinks he's cracked the SAT -- and he says he did it with a little help from Facebook. Fourteen-year-old Milo Beckman apparently wanted to test the research of MIT professor Les Perelman, who had claimed that longer essays resulted in higher SAT scores. According to the College Board, these essays aren't graded according to any rigorous criteria, but on the "general...

Colleges Save Students Cash by Forcing Them to Buy E-Textbooks

We've already heard about how students are clinging to printed textbooks despite many of the advantages provided by e-books. Sales of electronic textbooks are expected to increase in the coming years, but growth may be relatively slow, with optimistic estimates projecting a 15-percent adoption rate by the end of 2012. But a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education claims that some...

First Free Digital Textbook Hits The Web, But College Still Costs $9,843 Per Minute

The university textbook system is a deplorable legal racket that deprives college students of much-needed money. The books cost hundreds of dollars, return for almost nothing, produce tons of paper waste and rapidly lose relevance because of constant scientific advancement. Various universities and state governments have investigated shifting to minimally priced online and digital books, which --...

Duke Senior Karen Owen's Provocative PowerPoint Goes Viral, Embarrasses Everyone

When Karen Owen put together a mock senior "thesis" on her sexual conquests at Duke University, she thought it would provide some innocent amusement for her and her friends. Once the 42-page PowerPoint presentation found its way to the Web, though, the 22-year old's personal joke quickly became a viral sensation -- much to the embarrassment of those involved. In her presentation, titled "An...