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Crossing the Digital Divide:A Road Map to Technological Success NC State University: Lauren Welch (Team Leader) Coretta Roseboro Jordan Luzader Andy Petters
Stops Along the Information Super Highway • Blogging • Encryption • Institutional Spam • Podcasting • Online Learning • References BLOGGING ENCRYPTION SPAM
Stop #1: Blogging Background and News • Weblogs or blogs are becoming a popular medium for a variety of purposes (Herring, 2004). Blogging is often done by individuals for social or community building endeavors, but Glogoff (2005) noted that blogging can be used “as a knowledge-centered instructional tool.” • In the News- • Krause (2005) notes the benefit of blogging for fields such as English, the diversity of blog types, and the ability to subscribe through RSS to blogs. • College professors from across the country have a blog they use to express mainly negative feelings about their students (Lipka, 2006): http://rateyourstudents.blogspot.com • Further, faculty members and others have utilized blogging as a way to discredit college leaders and administrators (Read, 2006)
Pros and Cons of Blogging • Pros • Blogs act as a “two-way communication” between the host and guests (Schroeder, 2003) • Blogs create connections within communities (Schroeder, 2003) • Readership can be international, beyond those in an institution (Schroeder, 2003) • Cons • Blogs can include hate speech and could be used intentionally hurt others (Read, 2006) • Blogs require a level of oversight and monitoring (increasing labor costs)
Points to Ponder About Blogging Encryption • At NC State, blogging is used to obtain feedback on the main university website’s redesign process. Students from the university also organized a public message board/blog located online at www.thewolfweb.com. • How can blogging be utilized by student affairs units effectively? • Should your blog be open to the entire internet universe to read? • Why or why not?
Stop #2 Encryption Background and News • Laptops and wireless devices often contain confidential student information (Kiernan, 2006). Thus, these device may become threats to the university’s public image and student’s confidentiality, if the information is leaked. • In the News - • Approximately 20% of universities reported “major security incident last year that may have compromised people's private data” in 2004 (Foster, 2005, A31). • Recent example: A Montclair State University employee posted a file containing social security numbers for 9,100 online in 2005. Students threatened to sue the university, and federal legislation was introduced that year, proposing an $11,000 per student fee for breaches of secure information. This fine would amount to $100.1 million in the case of Montclair State University (Foster, 2005).
Pros and Cons of Encryption • Benefits of encryption software: • Blocks spread of sensitive information on device, if stolen • May prevent financial and public relations repercussions • Challenges of encryption software: • Does not prevent devices from being stolen • Adds to institutional expenditures • Requires creation of a log-in key system for the encrypted files and IT staff support • May not protect all sensitive information, if not all files are encrypted on the device • May be difficult to secure data on small, easy to lose devices such as thumb drives
Points to Ponder About Encryption Spam • A 2004 Chronicle of Higher Education survey indicates 89% of universities encrypt data, but only 22% encrypt all information (Foster, 2005). • Do you work with or have access to confidential student information? • If so, how much of that information (either on the NC State server or remote devices) is encrypted? • If not all of the information is encrypted, what are the risks and potential implications of breaching the confidential information? • You may wish to consider suggesting strategies and encryption technologies used at other universities (Kiernan, 2006): • Dickinson College: Uses BlackBerry devices, which erase data after 10 incorrect password attempts and which can be erased of data from a remote computer, if stolen • Virginia Tech: Considering use of a portable drive that requires a fingerprint check and PIN code to retrieve confidential information • Indiana: Installs Computrace software on laptops, which allows universities to trace stolen laptops
Stop #3: Institutional Spam Background and News • Institutional Spam has been a growing threat since 1998 when the first “explosion” of spam began to hit users. It is estimated today that 80% of email is spam. Most of this mail will never make it to inboxes, thanks to spam blocking software that is used to track and predict spam. (Goodman, 2007) • In the News- • Formerly institutions were most worried about losing control of internal systems. Now concern has shifted to access of confidential information. (Foster, 2006) • University of Texas won a Court of Appeals decision to block commercial spam as long as blocking was done without content or a viewpoint bias. (Foster, 2005)
Pros and Cons of Spam • Pros • Universities have won litigation that allows them to block spam. • Spam detection software continues to improve stopping more and more spam from ever getting to inboxes (Goodman, 2007). • Cons • Spammers constantly change and modify the coding of spam to continue to thwart spam detection software. • Spam detection software is quickly outdated and often difficult to keep current (Goodman, 2007). • Most spam comes from fishing, or membership with web-based companies. Once an account is accessed by a spammer it is quickly sold to many clients.
Points to Ponder About Spam Podcasting • Spam reduction technology requires continual updates and personnel to run this software. • How can student affairs professionals work to create and form partnerships with IT specialists to prevent institutional spam? • How can student affairs professionals educate students to help reduce spam?
Stop #4: Podcasting Background and News • IPods and other mp3 players are becoming part of the culture at many institutions. Higher education can take advantage of these devices by providing Podcasts as a resource for lectures and student affairs services, as well as to announce campus services. • In the News - • A Spanish professor Tidewater Community College in Virginia uses Podcasts to help her students practice speaking the language. (Read, 2007) • A recent study by TEMPO found that over 50% of teens owned portable music players. (Read, 2007) • The audiobook industry is currently one of the fasting growing components of publishing. (Read, 2007)
Pros and Cons of Podcasting • Pros • Many students currently own the hardware • Connects students’ academic experience to their lives outside of the classroom • Adapts to our students’ need for seamless use of technology • More connectivity to classes for distance education students • Cons • May result in class distinction between students who can and cannot afford the hardware • May need to create compatible software • Technical support may be needed for faculty and students • May lower class attendance
Points to Ponder About Podcasting Online learning • As more students are continuously connected to various kinds of technology, is it higher education’s responsibility to provide some services on all of the popular hardware? • How should an institution decide which hardware is most prevalent? What services should they alter accordingly?
Stop #5: Online Learning Background and News • Websites such as Blackboard are becoming commonplace in higher education. Course websites allow for a greater connectivity between students and instructors. • In the News - • In an Educause Center for Applied Research survey, over 80% of freshmen at the University of St. Thomas regarded their Blackboard experience as positive or very positive. (Undergraduate Use of Technology, 2007) • The students in the survey enjoyed the following aspects of Blackboard: access to the course syllabus, keeping track of assignments and tests, and link for online readings (Undergraduate Use of Technology, 2007)
Pros and Cons of Online Learning • Pros • Greater use of existing technological infrastructure • Millennial students are comfortable using a computer to learn • Increases technological competence of faculty and students • Can provide an interactive component to classes • Course websites can be updated quickly to provide accurate information to students • Cons • May not match every students’ preferred learning style • Requires all students in class to have computer access • May not match the pedagogy of the instructor or course
Points to Ponder About Online Learning • If a student does not learn well using online resources, how does an instructor still meet the student’s needs? • How can student affairs (ie. Living Learning Communities) take greater advantage of existing technological infrastructure?
Conclusions • We want to thank you for joining us in this journey along the information super highway. • It is our hope that you will use this presentation as a road map to learning about the five hot topics necessary to cross the digital divide and achieve technological success as a Student Affairs Professional at NC State University!
References Glogoff, S. (2005). Instructional blogging: Promoting interactivity, student-centered learning, and peer input. Innovate, 1(5). Goodman, J. Cormack, G. Heckerman, D. (2007). Spam and the ongoing battle of the inbox. Communications of the ACM, 50(2). Foster, A.L. (2005). When databases leak. Chronicle of Higher Education.52(17), A31. Foster, A.L. (2006). More colleges strive to protect data. Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(10). Foster, A.L. (2005). Appeals court says U. of Texas may block spam. Chronicle of Higher Education. 51(49). Herring, S.C., Scheidt, L.A., Bonus, S., & Wright, E. (2004). Bridging the gap: A Genre analysis of weblogs. Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Kiernan, V. (2006) Locking up the laptops. Chronicle of Higher Education.52(48), A27. Krause, S.D. (2005). Blogs as a tool for teaching. Chronicle of Higher Education, 51(42). Lipka, S. (2006). Notebook: A Blog gives professors space to vent about their students. Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(21). Read, B. (2006). Attack of the blog: When disenchanted faculty members take to the web, presidents should worry. Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(4). Read, M. (2007). Learning through MP3s: Publishers cater to student use of portable players for schoolwork. Retrieved February 13, 2007 from http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070212/Biz02/702120418/-1/Biz/CAT=Biz02 Schroeder, R. (2003). Blogging online learning news and research. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 7(2), 56-60. Survey reveals trends in undergraduate use of information technology. (2007). Retrieved February 14, 2007 from http://www.stthomas.edu/bulletin/news/20077/Wednesday/IRT2_14_07.cfm