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Education Technology

The Changing Face Of Campus Tech 346

Posted by timothy
from the personal-notetaking-droids dept.
SeaDour writes "CNET News has an interesting perspective on the changing face of technology on campus. These days, students are showing more interest in the tech perks that campuses have to offer, and universities are taking notice. Duke University, for example, just gave away free iPods to each of their 1,650 incoming freshman. Penn State offers subsidized access to Napster 2.0 for all students, and many other schools are now considering similar programs with Rhapsody and Cdigix. Perhaps the best offering is wireless internet access, which 90% of campuses now offer in some form. Are we seeing the day when college students make their school of choice not based solely on academics or athletics, but also on tech freebies like these?"
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The Changing Face Of Campus Tech

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:21PM (#10173418)
    I chose my University in part because they had network access ports in every dorm room, a good online paper (which I eventually ran), a bunch of computer labs, etc. And it wasn't even a tech-heavy school.
    • by EinarH (583836) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:35PM (#10173524) Journal
      This is a necessary evolution for american universities, it's nice to see that they know how to create the next generation of academics.
      It's just beyond me how they could have accomplished that without Ipods, Napster 2.0 and some quality music like the hits from Will Smith.
      • I'm assuming this was a joke that the moderators didn't get. Interesting? Try Funny. Listening to "Willenium" obviously isn't going to improve universities.
        • no kidding.

          perhaps they could reduce the tuition so that instead of only the rich spoiled brats that NEED ipods or other crap toys might be able to attend the schools.

          i've heard that harvard is upwards of $50,000 a year now, i'm sure these other schools are the same.

          how much of that student's tuition goes to crap like ipods and 'napster'?

          just bs. 'higher education' indeed.
          • In part, yeah ... but it's also supply and demand. College is no longer only for the intellectually inclined ... it's for everyone who's middle-class or upper-class, and for a lot of poorer kids as well. Thus, colleges are able to stratify, both based on how much you can pay and how smart you are. (A lot of these cheaper schools didn't exist a few decades ago).
    • by r0xah (625882) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:36PM (#10173536)
      I believe that these are reasonable expectations for a university. I think that any modern university should have internet access in dorms and more than likely they should have wireless as well. The new little "perks" such as getting a "free" iPod when you go to a school like Duke is not going to influence any intelligent person. You are already paying so much for school, the iPod is more than likely included in the price on top of that. If you look at the iPod as an expense to go to any school you may choose, then it wouldn't change the tuition cost over 4 years in any real way.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        These days it's becoming very important to look at the technology a school offers, but not because of ipods and mp3s. A lot of schools have implemented amazingly draconian policies on internet use. Blocked ports, bandwidth limits that prevent you from downloading linux all at once, and other measures that would outrage most slashdotters if they came from an ISP (like, say, comcast, which I'm sure many of you hate) have become common in colleges. And very often there's so little bandwidth, or so much abuse (
      • The new little "perks" such as getting a "free" iPod when you go to a school like Duke is not going to influence any intelligent person.

        Giving away iPods to individual students might be a minor incentive in itself, but what's really significant about this is that by giving them to ALL students changes the environment of the entire school..

        Frankly, though, I think it would me more effective to build the infrastructure to make PDAs extraordinarly useful so that students buy the devices on their own. For e
    • Network ports (and possibly wi-fi) are conveniences of the campus, and depending on the major you pick (e.g. Computer Science) it may indicate how serious or competent a given institution is. However, I would not pick a school based on what consolation prizes they hand out; I would pick a school based on the graduates they turn out, and the curiculuum. I'd furthermore be insulted if my school possibly spent my tuition money on lures for people who may not really care about school or take it seriously.
      • by jm92956n (758515) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:22PM (#10173816) Journal
        I'd furthermore be insulted if my school possibly spent my tuition money on lures for people who may not really care about school or take it seriously.

        Did you go to a school without a sports program? They haven't much of a point, other than to draw in prospective students and build the college's name up ("they have such an excellent basketball team that I can't imagine they'd employ professors of poor quality!").

        Nearly every school spends money to attract students; often they'll intentionally misrepresent the school to in one way or another to attract students. Why? Because, like every other institution, they must perpetuate or die. The latter alternative is the less pleasant one.
        • Yeah, if there wasn't for football teams, we wouldn't have slacker degrees like Management (aka "the M-train"). I'm waiting for the day when the next generation of greater height and smaller brain capacity players necessitates the creation of the Shoelace Repair degree, or some such nonsense.
          • ObSimRef (Score:3, Funny)

            by magefile (776388)
            Hibbert: [chuckles] Your playing days are over, my friend. But, you can always fall back on your degree in ... [reads chart] communications!? Oh, dear Lord!
            Lubchenko: I know! Is phony major. Lubchenko learn nothing. Nothing! [cries]

            Oh, and guess where the full-ride scholarships go? Yup, football. Which is part of why one of my favorite schools is my favorite - no football team :)
        • by nwbvt (768631)
          Sports programs are often paid for from a seperate pocket than academics, so the whole "my tuition is being wasted on football" argument doesn't hold water. This is the case at my university (Virginia Tech, which has a large sports program) and many others. Sports programs are more than capable of paying for themselves.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:23PM (#10173432)
    Are we seeing the day when college students make their school of choice not based solely on academics or athletics, but also on tech freebies like these?

    Academics? Athletics? Who the heck are you kidding? The choice of school hinges mainly on 1) chicks, 2) bars and 3) frequency of parties. It would be surprising if a free iPod didn't have a deciding effect on 95% of the applicants.

    • Re:Deeply obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

      by eupheric (618980)
      If academics aren't as important as chicks and parties, then explain the existence of 1) MIT 2)Harvard 3) Caltech.
      • Re:Deeply obvious (Score:2, Informative)

        by thief_inc (466143)
        Let me tell you some thing I do field service work at CalTech and many other colleges and Uni's and CalTech's women are the most unatractive of them all. I almost dread going there its like going to the anti-playboy mansion.
    • Re:Deeply obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jsebrech (525647)
      It would be surprising if a free iPod didn't have a deciding effect on 95% of the applicants.

      My school offers free colocation to students. Had I known that before I enrolled, I wouldn't have doubted so much about whether or not to go there.
  • Freebies ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:23PM (#10173436)

    thousands of dollars a year in school fees is not really "free"
    its about as free as in "buy 1 get 1 free"
    you are paying for it, maybe you should ask questions like
    "why are my school tuition fees being spent on frivilous sundries benefiting 3rd party companies instead of improving my schools educational resources"
    • Re:Freebies ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bedouin (248624) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:43PM (#10173587)
      All of this crap was included in my 'technology fees' every semester. Though, I lived off campus and (aside from using wireless, and the school's E-Mail system) I had no use for it. Half of the computers in the labs were on the fritz anyway; surely if I were forced to do my day-to-day assignments there I'd be afraid of data loss.

      "why are my school tuition fees being spent on frivilous sundries benefiting 3rd party companies instead of improving my schools educational resources"

      Better question is how come that money isn't spent equally on diverse platforms (i.e. Mac, Linux, Sun, whatever). Instead, MS buys out the entire college.

      At my school the technology desk used to send Mac users to me whenever they needed help setting up their wireless connection or accessing the school network. I had no problem with that, because their alternative policy was "not Windows, not supported." To the school's credit though not everyone was incredibly closed-minded. I guess this is what happens though when corporate interests become infused with curriculum and budgeting.

      I wrote them a complaint after graduation.
      • Re:Freebies ? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by typhoonius (611834) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:05AM (#10174031) Homepage

        Better question is how come that money isn't spent equally on diverse platforms (i.e. Mac, Linux, Sun, whatever). Instead, MS buys out the entire college.

        I go to NCSU, which is primarily an engineering school. All of our servers run on Solaris, and there are Suns all over campus. There are also numerous Windows 2000 workstations (and even a handful of Win2k servers doing non-critical stuff). We have a lab full of Red Hat Linux machines (all the x86s are Dells). We also have a number of Macs, including a lab full of G5s in the design school (which also has an OS 9 lab with a few Cubes). Students in the College of Engineering are required to take a course on Unix their first semester.

        Not all schools are Microsoft shills, if it makes you feel any better.

  • And yet... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Nos. (179609)
    The guys who use all this still can't get a date.
  • by Izago909 (637084) * <tauisgod@MONETgmail.com minus painter> on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:24PM (#10173440)
    Are we seeing the day when college students make their school of choice not based solely on academics or athletics, but also on tech freebies like these?

    "Freebies" my ass. Do you have any idea what tuition is up to these days? Anyone who thinks that either the students or taxpayers didn't pay for that nifty Napster service or shiny iPod's must not have majored in Econ. The iPod's I don't much care about; at least Apple has a record of being kind to educational institutions and new uses will be devised. To hell with the industry lapdog known as Napster; the only reason the schools purchase it for their students is to get a reprieve from the flood of lawsuits. I guarantee, even if the p2p traffic from the campus doubles, we won't see any new lawsuits.
    • by iammaxus (683241) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:33PM (#10173512)

      Yeah, as a student preparing to go to college in a year, I'm rather unhappy about all the "freebies", too. No student should be looking at such things when choosing a college because it should be blatantly obvious that these "freebies" are coming straight out of your own tuition. People don't want to buy a bundle including things like free music when they pay for college, they want education.

      Incidentally, I think this is a really good example of how a few colleges, like Duke, are really riding on, what I would say is, irrational demand. In the last few years, Duke has really gotten a surge in interest from students and it definitley doesn't correspond to some sort of surge in Duke's educational record. Duke sees that its making money off just being "cool" and its trying to keep this wave going a bit longer with scams like this.

      • by pHatidic (163975) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:39PM (#10173556)
        The only reason Duke is popular is because of their basketball team. Before the team their school was practically unknown, and only after their team started winning did more people want to apply and the admissions standards went up, even though the education is still mediocre. Same thing happened to Boston College through their hockey team, a previously unknown random 2nd rate catholic school suddenly became wildly popular because of one or two stars. The people that pay a huge premium to go to these sports colleges are being hugely ripped off, whereas huge research schools that accept more kids get ranked relatively poorly because more kids equals lower admissions standards by definition.
    • I worked for a university for quite some time... Universities are constantly looking for ways to raise fee's which they feel enhances their power/importance.

      For instance: At the university I was employed at (and was a student at) there was a *MANDATORY* reitrement plan. 7% of your income, GONE. The last year I was there they institutied mandatory student health care, at a cost of around $1000 a year. This is on top of the 30 - 40% of our tuition which was already for non tuition things. 80$ a quarter

    • only reason the schools purchase it for their students is to get a reprieve from the flood of lawsuits.

      well, maybe they majored in political economics
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by PedanticSpellingTrol (746300) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:25PM (#10173444)
    Dear University of South Carolina - Columbia:
    I know you just blew 100k on a completely useless GPS tracking system for your shuttle buses that don't leave campus. Next year, could you please consider supplying Nikon D70 packages to your returning sophomores?
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by mod_parent_down (692943) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:54PM (#10173659)
      100k? That's like 5 students.

      Seriously, I wonder if that's ever the currency denomination referred to by internal budgeting people. The Ooss (pronounced ooze, meaning "out-of-state students").

      As in, "Hey jim, I'm headin down to admishins, how muched those I-Paweds cost?"

      "Bout 75 ooze."

      "Whoo-ey!"

    • Stanford has a bus system, with about four simple loop routes. The newest buses have

      During the dot-com boom, Stanford was getting about a 20% return on the endowment, and they got carried away. Then when the market tanked, they started hitting on us alumni for more money.

  • How are they free? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:25PM (#10173448) Journal
    How are they free? They cost money and all that will happen is that tuition will go up to cover it. That is why tuition is going up at 7% - 10% per year.
  • Freebies? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Demogoblin (249774) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:26PM (#10173450)
    I dont really consider wireless acess a freebie, as that is part of the school's network.

    Even most schools that have these Napster like services make the students pay for music. I wouldn't exactly call that free.

    Good schools will still attract students based on academic reputation, not on freebies.
    • I don't really consider wireless access a freebie, as that is part of the school's network.

      Ditto here in Baton Rouge, TANSTAAFL, what's offered as "free" is pathetic and getting more costly and dumber all the time. LSU has charged a "tech fee" for years that's a significant percentage of the actual tuition. This fee is getting larger and they are now considering a laptop requirement on top of it.

      The money is being spent but it's all controlled tightly and not very flexible. They have more computers th

  • Scholarships? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AtariEric (571910) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:26PM (#10173453)
    Wouldn't that money be better off putting up scholarships for peeple who can't afford college? Or are these "freeebies" just a start of the new College Marketeering? Not even colleges seem to be immune to the ubercapitalist drumbeat these days...
    • More than likely the costs of these "freebies" are covered by the countless fees they dump on your on top of tuition costs. The majority of scholarship money usually comes from private donors.
    • Well, maybe having lots of perks will attract more rich students, who they can heavily tax with fees to dump back into the aid pool, thus offering more services and better financial aid to all. (I know it doesn't work that way, but we can dream)
    • Re:Scholarships? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MagicDude (727944) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:59PM (#10173681)
      Wouldn't that money be better off putting up scholarships for peeple who can't afford college? Or are these "freeebies" just a start of the new College Marketeering? Not even colleges seem to be immune to the ubercapitalist drumbeat these days...

      Most schools are actually not-for-profit organizations, however they do need to be capitalistic, not for money, but for students. Schools always want to get students with the best qualifications, so they'll dangle things for them to come to their school over another. Duke for example, is competining with Harvard and Yale and other similar schools for the cream of the freshman crop. Thus it's in their interest to say "Come to Duke, we'll give you a free IPod", and all other things being equal, this could be enough to sway a guy who has to pay $30000 a year to go to Harvard, or to pay $30000 a year to go to Duke, but gets a cool toy out of it. The school figures that spending a few hundred bucks per student will improve the quality of the student body more than giving one guy a full scholarship.
    • Re:Scholarships? (Score:4, Informative)

      by JeffTL (667728) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:05PM (#10173720)
      There won't be any scholarships coming out of student tech fees. They're funneled into the IT department and after they put junk in the labs and make the faculty fetch their e-mail on garbage (as in 3-year-old or so lab surplus when they get their hands on it, and they keep it for God knows how long), there's a surplus. They spend it on perks for themselves (Altiris servers so they don't have to go around with a LaCie drive and a Knoppix disk, or expensive Windows server software so they don't have to learn how to use Linux) or on occasion students and employees.
      • Re:Scholarships? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by base3 (539820)
        Ah, the good old "different pot of money" argument. What difference does it make whether the money for the iPods comes from "technology fees" or out of general tuition. Let me tell you a dirty little secret: the administration can move money from whatever pot to whatever pot it wants--the pots only have meaning when they're being used to screw the students.
    • The same could, and should, be asked of college athletics programs. They are arguably more peripheral to the university's (ideal, at least in my conception) goal of furthering knowledge and passing this knowledge and method of learning down to students.
  • by SynKKnyS (534257) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:27PM (#10173459)
    Unfortunately, each one of the students had to try AOL and refer 5 of their friends first.

    Ok, that was a bad one. :)
  • Wireless Access (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RWarrior(fobw) (448405) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:27PM (#10173462)
    I'm obviously in the 10% of campuses. [cc.tx.us] I was informed last week that I'm not permitted to bring my laptop onto campus at all, even if I don't connect it to the wired network.

    And the wireless network used to exist, but it was taken down because (holy shit!) students were sitting out in the parking lot using it.

    Bastion of education, that.
    • And the wireless network used to exist, but it was taken down because (holy shit!) students were sitting out in the parking lot using it.

      What? Were they sitting in the parking lot doing illegal stuff? What's it matter if they are wireless users with laptops lookign up porn in the parking lot or they have a desktop connected with patch cable looking up porn in their room?
    • Wow, your school wins the Ostrich Award for Excellence in IT Security. If they can't access the jacks, they can't fuck up the network, right?
      • IU-Bloomington [iub.edu] has the same idea. The use a basterdized half SRC, half crossover wiring diagram. It looks like this:

        12345678 --- 56781234

        When I worked in the support center I could always tell when a convention or a bunch of other guests were on campus. Imagine telling a thousand people that there is a reason they can't hook up their laptop to check their mail... on a near weekly basis.
    • I'm stunned by the idea that you can't bring your laptop on campus at all. Is there really such a rule? What justification do they give for it? I'm hard pressed to believe that a public institution could get away with such a thing. I've heard of banning guns, but laptops?

    • Bummer. We're getting ready to deploy 300 access points across campus, but I'm trying to hold firm on my request that we develop a wireless policy before we do it. IT's a case of the cart before the horse as far as ordering, but it does feel damn good to have hardware waiting to be deployed instead of fighting for it.

      We're aiming for ubiquitous wifi, but I'm not convinced we'll do it with 300 AP's. We shall see. :)

      I'm entertained by the fact that I'll use over a /24 of ip space just for management address
      • Maybe it would make sense to use internal non-routed addresses for managing the access points..

        Oh well, I tend to just ask for an ip-address for just about anything since we have a whole A-class to choose from at my school.. Nice having something like 1/250 of the whole world's ip addresses essentially for pick (well, they do segment it around campus).
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:28PM (#10173463)
    Students already make choices based on things other than academics or athletics now. Size of the campus, feel of the city, things to do, proximity to (or distance from) home, significant others, etc. And yes, they've made it on the basis of technology as well, long ago: when the University of Michigan started wiring its dorms for ethernet in the early to mid 90s, surveys of students showed some picked Michigan over other alternatives, in part, because of the availability of ethernet in the dorms. This increased with the advent of the web, and eventually came to be something students *expected* in most University dorms. (Incidentally, private housing owners are realizing students want this and are adding it in greater frequency to their buildings).

    But it seems to me that these technology items really fall into "academics"; e.g., some schools have better facilities or faculty than another for some particular discipline, and it could be argued that decisions based on that fall under the general guise of "academics", so why not this?
  • by douthat (568842) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:28PM (#10173466)
    Are we seeing the day when college students make their school of choice not based solely on academics or athletics, but also on tech freebies like these?"
    This depends on your definition of free. If I were a student at Duke University or Penn State, I would be worried that the school decided to use my hard-earned tuition money to buy things that are not directly associated with learning. Sure, the iPod makes a great portable hard drive, but is the data it is intended to hold somehow better stored on a $300 iPod rather than an inexpensive USB Key? At least the iPod, as a storage device, has some scholastic merit. Penn State subsidising Napster subscriptions using student tuition and fees is absoutely appaling. If I wanted a Napster subscription, I would buy one!

    On a separate note, if Penn State jumped on the iPod bandwagon, it would be not be compatible with its new Napster agreement. Screw that.
  • Although the Duke iPod thing has been covered by /. before, (and I have no intention of karma whoring the link, do a search if you're interested you lazy fucks,) this shit still makes me sick. Ok, yippie fuckin' skippie. You get a free iPod as a incoming freshman. Anyone who makes any choice for college based on that is an idiot.

    I can understand wireless acess points and good tech all around, in the sense of networks. Those kind of things may actually have some tangible impact on your enjoyment of colleg
    • For those interested, here is the story:

      baptiste [baptiste.us] writes "Duke University has entered into an agreement with Apple to distribute iPods to all of the incoming freshmen [duke.edu] this year - that's 1650 iPods! This agreement is part of an initiative to "encourage creative uses of technology in education and campus life" The iPods will have audio and text on them including special university content such as "faculty-provided course content, including language lessons, music, recorded lectures and audio books." Facul

  • Buying students (Score:5, Informative)

    by darylb (10898) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:29PM (#10173476)

    According to Duke's website [duke.edu], it now costs in excess of $40,000 per undergraduate year at Duke. And all they have to do to get people to commit to that level of insane cost is to give away network access and iPods? If that's the case, look for every two-bit program in the country to be loading students up with $2,000 in "freebies", just before tuition goes up $5,000. Of course, college students today are mostly on the public dole in the form of grants, government-insured loans (many of which are defaulted upon, passing cost to the taxpayer), and federal aid to their school. So what do they care? This is even better than the sleazy "finance guy" at the car dealership, who is all too willing to sell you the $2,000 car warranty, rolling it in to your 7%, 6 year balloon note.

    • The cost that a college actually pays for educating a student may be well above the tuition they charge (at least for equipment-dependent majors like CS and engineering. English may be cheaper.) The balance has to come out of things like endowments and sponsorships. So in some cases, it's worth it for the institution to 'buy' the best students it can in hopes of getting the ones who will be successful (and generous) after graduation.
    • That's stupid--people were willing to go to duke before the ipod, what difference does it make? hell, I'd say a good minimum 1/10 -> 1/4 of the studnet population already HAS an ipod at duke.

      the argument would go that you're paying for a quality education. Whether that's worth $160k is another question...I can tell you a substantial number of people i know from the 2004 graduating class will be making rather large salaries this upcoming year, and or doing graduate studies. it's a tradeoff.

      though we're
    • Re:Buying students (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wobblie (191824)

      Of course, college students today are mostly on the public dole in the form of grants, government-insured loans (many of which are defaulted upon, passing cost to the taxpayer), and federal aid to their school. So what do they care?

      "Pulic dole" for a $40,000 / year school? No fuckin way. the default rate on student loans was ~5% in 2003, so I don't know where you get this "many of which a defaulted upon" figure from. Do you know what happens to you if you default on a student loan? Try not paying tax

    • Re:Buying students (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MagicDude (727944) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @08:04AM (#10175789)
      Of course, college students today are mostly on the public dole in the form of grants, government-insured loans (many of which are defaulted upon, passing cost to the taxpayer)

      Everyone who gets federal loans has to go through entrance councling about what they're getting themselves into. So here's why federal loans are hardly a "go to college for free deal". First, there are only two ways to get out of a federal loan without paying - either die, or become so severely disabled that you're no longer able to function and hold a job. Bancrupcy does not absolve you of federal loans. If you're in default, the government can garnish your wages and your tax return until you're paid off. Additionally, your school will withhold your records if you're in default of your loans, so if you're applying for a new job or a professional license or something, your school will not release your transcript. Schools have a vested interest in making sure their students pay back their federal loans, because if the percecentage of their students who are in default gets too high, the government will stop giving that school's students federal loans. So if you're planning to live off the grid after you graduate, then yes, federal loans are free money.
  • ...was mostly based on the curriculum and network connectivity of the school. However, I'd be lying if I were to tell you that the prospect of a free-as-in-i-don't-have-to-pay-for-it-upon-reciept iPod wouldn't have had some influence.

    Mmmm. Shiny.

  • Wireless (Score:4, Informative)

    by FuzzzyLogik (592766) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:32PM (#10173496) Homepage
    One of the biggest perks to my new college is that they have 802.11b in every building. I didn't really know this going in but was very happy to see it when i was looking around on their website after i had transfered and was checking out the IT website.

    In fact from what I heard they were the first fully wireless campus in michigan. quite the feat.

    I've found it very very useful. I can check out electronic resources for a book we're reading in class or in some of my classes we have electronic reserves, which are basically scanned documents a teacher makes available only online so they don't have to run off copies for everyone. Very useful having net access anywhere and everywhere, also means i don't have to sit around waiting for a seat to be free in a lab, unless i want to print a paper.

  • ... that's whats paying for these useless things. Improved network access and labs, those are useful things. Napster and iPods, not so useful.

  • Athletics? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ancient Devices King (469802) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:35PM (#10173527)
    Are we seeing the day when college students make their school of choice not based solely on academics or athletics, but also on tech freebies like these?

    For those students who aren't on an athletic team, how are the athletics at a school any different from "perks" like internet access? I would actually argue that the ability for students to get work done more easily (like on laptops on a lawn on a nice day) should be more important for students considering where to go than the possibilty of the school's football team to go to a bowl game.
    • Re:Athletics? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kamel Jockey (409856)

      For those students who aren't on an athletic team, how are the athletics at a school any different from "perks" like internet access?

      I wouldn't consider student athletes to be receiving any perks at all. Sure they may go to school for free or for reduced cost, but look at that they are getting in return:

      • Because such students are frequently "waved-through" their courses, they receive a watered-down-at-best education which has absolutely no usefulness in the real world.
      • They give away for free some of t
  • by Black Acid (219707) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:35PM (#10173531)

    The best campuses are offering Internet2 [internet2.edu] connectivity -- I wouldn't even consider going to a college without Internet2 access. The main advantage of Internet2, besides speed, is that it is separate from the regular Internet1, and less susceptible to monitoring by third parties such as corrupt administrators and the questionable activities of BayTSP and others.

    I've been using I2Hub [i2hub.com] for a couple weeks at my college and am very impressed. All the benefits of fast Internet P2P at college, without the drawbacks (i.e., the RIAA suing you).

    Personally I don't buy the subsidized Napster or other music service access. I would rather choose a college based on its academic credibility, performance, a rigorous curriculum and dedicated teachers. College is an investment, and while access to these services may seem nice, I doubt many students will choose colleges entirely based on this. You would get much more out of going to a well-respected established universe than a cheap fly-by-night college that gives out useful gadgets for free to lure you in to paying for a four-year education. That said, Internet2 and iPods are invaluable, but I think of them more as gifts than a deciding factor in choosing which campus to matriculate to.

  • My Perk (Score:3, Funny)

    by LighthouseJ (453757) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:39PM (#10173560)
    I chose my school not for it's scholastic qualities, I chose it because of all the fabled women that are there. It's a general college, nothing special except the fact it's near a beach and hot girls tend to want to go to the beach. Being less than 30 minutes from Virginia Beach and all the girls that come with it are all the perks I need.

    girls > geek perks
    (begin the "You're new here, aren't you" remarks)
  • by a3217055 (768293)
    What does an iPod have to do with education? The whole problem with this trend is like the free condoms, shavers and breath mints that people get at college. These are nothing but expensive articles being 'pimped out to the students' who have no idea what they are for and start using them and hopefully get them addictded and while they pay off there school bills they can buy 99cent Apple songs. All this is nice, I would love to have all this. But most of all students should have a better education, access t
    • What does an iPod have to do with education?

      They're portable hard drives. What don't they have to with education? I wish my school gave me one for my graphic arts program. Maybe then we wouldn't have been messing around with Zip discs and trying to squeeze 100MB Photoshop files onto a 64MB thumb drive. And yes there are other solutions but an iPod is a nice one.

      • Not to mention you can record a whole semester's worth of lectures with one of these [griffintechnology.com].

        Network space at my university was limited (at the time) to 20mb per user; not really useful for huge media files. And even if the space were higher, transferring stuff is going to be time consuming if you live off campus (assuming they even offer FTP/WebDAV access).

        If you're working with video, audio, or just don't feel like deleting your files all the time (512mb isn't very much) then the iPod is a good solution. Not
  • by Zardus (464755) <yans@yancomm.net> on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:45PM (#10173601) Homepage Journal
    I decided to go to RPI because RPI requires that all students have relatively new laptops, and my family would have to no choice but buy me one. Boy do I wish that RPI's laptop program had never come around...

    Tech freebies are good and all, but people should really choose their college based on how much they like the location and education and such. Tech freebies will only keep one entertained for so long.
    • by Gannoc (210256) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:04PM (#10173711)
      I decided to go to RPI because RPI requires that all students have relatively new laptops, and my family would have to no choice but buy me one. Boy do I wish that RPI's laptop program had never come around...


      Ah, another RPI victim. After 3 years, your laptop is pretty crappy, and you still haven't gotten laid. Enjoy the weather!

      (I graduated well before the laptop bullshit)

    • I'm thinking about RPI but not because of the laptop requirement or any other perks like that they offer. It offers a good mixture of what I'm interested in and flexibility. My parents said they are going to get me a nice laptop no matter where I go (instead of a car, personally I think it's a good trade) so that doesn't matter at all. All of the other places I'm looking at (such as CMU, Lehigh) all have offers of some kind but that hasn't really weighed in on my decision so far. I think those freebies
  • by Muggins the Mad (27719) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:48PM (#10173621)

    Given the choice between a "free" iPod and having better teaching staff, I'd go for the college who spent *my* money on improving the education they can give me. If I was a music or media student then maybe an iPod would be a plus. Otherwise it's just a waste of my hard earned fees.

    The Napster stuff is absolutely horrendous. To me, universities are the *last* place that should be bowing to corporate bullying and selling its students as dumb consumers. Especially using the students money to do so.

    A good wireless network would seem to me to be a better alternative to larger computer labs, and I'd say that generally is a good thing.

    I went to University to learn and have fun learning. Sure, I love iPods, but I'd rather have had more textbooks, or more teaching staff, or better equipment in the labs.

    Or cheaper fees.

    - MugginsM

    • It seems that these days universities are corporations themselves. In this darwinistic neoliberal state that America has become, universities are practically preying on the students, like some sort of scamming ripoff joint. What differnce is there between the rapacious check cashing stores and tax refund outlets that prey upon the urban poor, and these fucking universities that set up these kids with tens of thousands of dallars in debt so they can get a BA from some cow college?

      It is SO sad what has happ
  • I don't think it's going to make much difference. It seems new and novel now, but within a couple years, all the schools will have competing programs. And it will be like trying to shop for a cell phone now. All the schools will have different plans that are nearly impossible to compare to one another to really be objective.

    Besides, some schools have been making things like laptops part of the tuition for years. This really isn't that new when you look at it this way. It's just the next evolution in perks
  • by Gannoc (210256) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:59PM (#10173684)

    As tuition prices skyrocket, and salaries decline, the value of a college education drops. It makes sense that campuses will start offering "perks" that appeal to 17 year olds to make them go to their schools.

    I mean, students are paying $120,000 or more for that "free" iPod, but a high school student doesn't understand about student loans or what that money actually represents.
    • Frankly, if you paid $120,000 for you're degree, its probably because you could affort the $120,000 bill and you/your parents throught it was worth it.

      I went to a pretty good private college for five years in an engineering program and paid nowhere near $120,000. If I had paid full tuition, bought every book and education supply some professor thoght necessary new from the bookstore, stayed in the dorms and paid for the full meal plan every term, I probably could have managed to get close to $120,000.
  • One of the reasons I chose Dartmouth College was because of thier outstanding computer facilities... The entire campus is wireless, there is free public printing (which at the time I matriculated was unlimited), network ports in every room, many classrooms, and other buildings, etc. It wasn't the only factor, but it was an important one.
  • ....you would think each student would have his/her own Cray computer....

    A bit of an exaggeration, maybe, but not that much of one....
  • Chose his college based on the fact the campus had an OC12 and a 10bT connection in every dorm room. His first month there he transfered over a terrabyte. After that though he got his connection permanently taken away for abuse.
  • We must differentiate "infrastructure" such as wireless networks and campus computers with "non-infrastructure" spending such as giving each student an iPod. What if the student already has an iPod? Purchasing individual items for students doesn't make sense. It would be like purchasing a pencil for each student? Or a textbook. Furthermore, an iPod is not a necessity.
  • freebies my ass! tuition went up more than 1k the year the uni I was attending started giving the freshmen laptops. the only gain here is that class programs can start assuming you have a laptop to bring to lab, an ipod for stealing music (couldn't think of a legit use students will actually use for that one, sorry. listen to lectures, lol, right), etc.

    considering how badly universities choose, mine chose compaq laptops which ended up terrible quality, ipods loose most ways compared to iriver (ogg suppo
  • Fun summer (Score:4, Funny)

    by yack0 (2832) <keimel@gmaCHICAGOil.com minus city> on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:19PM (#10173795) Homepage
    So at the school I work at, we just spent the last three weeks of the summer lighting up 12000 gigabit ports. It's never been faster to copy every single episode of the simpsons across the network. :)

    A busy as hell summer, but we're being poised to light up things like VoiP, TVoIP and ubiquitous wifi.

  • nope (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cerenyx (250774)
    short answer: no.

    far more traditional factors determine choice of university in my i'm-a-first-year-student-in-university opinion. where i come from, its all about the reputation of the university in question, and the weight a degree from the university will carry in your resume.

    between universities of similar 'repute' it then comes down to stuff like school culture, how 'happening' it is, the course-specifics (like whether Law is taught better in institution A or B) etc.

    freebies? nah. these add to the o
  • by segmond (34052) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:33PM (#10173881)
    That do be lovely!

  • I know of a local college that's got a $10,000 grant ( i.e. taxpayer money ) to install wireless on their campus. Hell I'd do it for $1000, and $20,000 a year to maintain it.
  • UAH missed that boat (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KingPrad (518495) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:45PM (#10173933)
    My campus - University of Alabama Huntsville - is not progressing in terms of offering tech perks to students. CNS (Computer and Network Services) has installed tons of new routing hardware to run dynamic VLANs on the residence hall and student apartments. Now we get to log on with our social security numbers and leave a java applet running in our system try 24/7 for network access.

    Over the summer they extended port blocks that already included all filesharing and bittorrent to cover other connection types. Remote desktop no longer works, and neither do several major MMO games that rely on peer connections. So in the end we no longer have static IPs, our network usage is monitored, we get to send our social security numbers all across the network, and the network is slower than it has ever been. It is a good day if I can stream an NPR broadcast.

    The best part is they instituted the logins and java monitoring applet AFTER student leases were renewed and without telling us beforehand. So now I and some friends are stuck in our 9-month leases under network usage terms we don't accept. Am I pissed? yeah.
  • damnit! (Score:2, Funny)

    by DeusExMalex (776652)
    someone remind me why i'm going to a small, cheap-ass liberal arts school, again? something about useful education?
  • My sister was given a brand new Thinkpad for choosing her school. All I got was a license plate!

  • 10GB Lines (Score:2, Informative)

    by karniv0re (746499)
    My school ( UNO [unomaha.edu]) is currently implementing 10Gbps lines into the College of IS&T. However, being a sophomore, I don't get much chance to play. We've also got a super computer, and a lot of other fun toys. All that really was the selling point. The prospect of being able to eventually play with that stuff sold me instantly.

    To hell with free iPods. If I want one of those (which I do), I'll go to FreeiPods.com [freeipods.com]. For a school to entice me, I don't want gimmicks or handouts, I want hands-on experience with b
  • I was talking to one of the networks admins at my school who had the joy of sitting through a meeting with an RIAA type about Napster. He said that we should really take a look at Napster or one of the other services and that we wouldn't have to worry about those pesky supenas anymore. Basically pay up and they'd stick us on some sort of do-not-haras whitelist. Thankfully our admin kindly told the guy to shove it and move on to the next collage.
  • Campus Tech? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeffkjo1 (663413) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @12:25AM (#10174132) Homepage
    Well, the technology services available on my campus definitely had a major effect on me. I moved off campus. Among other things, certain policies changed from my freshman to sophomore year (without them telling anyone, or updating their posted policies until after students had come in, and a certain someone (myself) asked because what worked freshman year didn't work anymore.)

    Anyway, I moved off campus. In fact, the company that I have internet with right now really stinks... they claim it's high-speed, up to 1.5 mbps, but my last dslreports.com speedtest pulled 22... thats 22 kilobits a second, not bytes.

    If I want 28.8 access, I'll get my DeLorean and move back to 1997. So anyway, I'm about to drop this company and pick up another one. Living off campus is nice, and honestly, after I figured in all of the costs that your 'room&board' on campus doesn't cover (like parking), it was actually LESS expensive to live off-campus.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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