Net Neutrality on Campus
In mid-December of last year, the American Library Association (ALA), together with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE, sent a preemptive open letter to the Federal Communications Commission expressing the groups' reservations about the commission's imminent ruling on the new framework for net neutrality and its effects on higher education and libraries. Among the primary concerns: Allowing broadband providers to charge prioritization fees to enhance the delivery of certain Internet traffic puts nonprofit educational institutions at a disadvantage compared with entertainment and for-profit schools; and weaker safeguards for wireless services as opposed to wired services could have a detrimental effect on higher education, which is increasingly relying on wireless to deliver a variety of services to on-campus and off-campus users.
SOURCE: “ALA relays concerns about upcoming net neutrality order to FCC” (ala.org, Dec. 14, 2010)
The Changing Bookstore Business
It's no longer business as usual for the college bookstore. Not surprising, the increase in digital content and online course offerings at higher education institutions is disrupting the typical role of the bookstore on campus. Another adjustment for bookstores, according to “Defining the College Store of 2015,” a report provided by the National Association of College Stores, is the changing demographics of the student population. Over the next five years, the student body is expected to become older, include more minorities and be technologically proficient. Bookstores will need to change their products and services to meet the needs of these core customers.
SOURCE: “Defining the College Store of 2015,” NACS Foundation
Photo: PBNJ Productions/Getty Images
A Chatty Help Desk
Adopting new communications applications can significantly reduce the cost of help-desk support. According to HDI's 2009 Practices & Salary Report, which surveyed 1,000 support centers, online chat is the most economical route for help-desk communication at higher education institutions, costing $10 per incident compared with $15 for e-mail, $18 for phone and $20 for walk-up. But few colleges are taking note of the savings that online chat offers. While 44 percent of respondents agree that online chat is a must-have for the help desk, only 30 percent of these schools are using this tool.
SOURCE: 2009 Practices & Salary Report, HDI
Students Atwitter over Twitter
A November 2010 survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed that college-age Internet users form the largest demographic of Twitter users. Among the 8 percent of total Internet users who use Twitter, 14 percent are in the 18–29 age group. Some other findings: 9 percent had some college education and another 9 percent had completed college; minority Internet users are twice as likely to use Twitter as white users; urban residents are twice as likely to use the service as rural residents.
SOURCE: “8% of online Americans use Twitter,” Pew Internet & American Life Project (Dec. 9, 2010)