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News Update 06-17-2003

Study Shows Impact of Web Technology on Higher Ed

The latest results of a four-year study by McGraw-Hill on the impact of Web technology on higher ed institutions confirmed that Web-based technology is helping instructors achieve teaching objectives and has a positive impact on student attitudes and achievement. In 1999, only 22 percent of faculty participants viewed technology as very or extremely important for achieving success; in 2002, figures rose to 57 percent. The survey indicates that technology has increased dramatically in terms of importance, with 68 percent of respondents rating training and professional development as very or extremely important and 60 percent assigning a high level of importance to course Web site use in achieving teaching objectives.

Purchase the 30-page report by visiting

SPONSOR: Time is Running Out for Early Bird Savings: Don't Miss the June 27 Deadline!

This summer's tenth annual Syllabus Conference offers five days of not- to-be-missed keynotes, general sessions, breakouts, and more for education technology professionals. Join us July 27-31 at the San Jose Marriott and enjoy five new program tracks on topics of strategic importance. Plus, a special day on the Stanford University campus will allow you to experience the latest technology innovations first hand. All of this, including networking and exhibits, in Syllabus' traditional collegial atmosphere. Register today and take advantage of up to $200 in Early Bird discounts. For details and to register, go to

Harvard Med Surgeons Webcast Live Prostate Surgery

Surgeons at Harvard University affiliate Massachusetts General Hospital will demonstrate to an Internet audience a minimally invasive procedure to remove the prostate gland. The procedure is done through several small incisions in the abdomen, rather than a large, open one. Specially designed surgical instruments and cameras afford the surgeon precise control and excellent visibility for performing the operation. Douglas Dahl, MD, FACS, is the urologic surgeon who is performing the surgery, and his colleague, Shahin Tabatabaei, MD, will be describing the procedure and answering e-mail questions from viewers. The procedure will be performed from Mass General's "Operating Room of the Future," a state-of-the-art operating suite that maximizes use of recent or new technologies.

For access to the Webcast, which will take place today, June 17, at 4 p.m. EDT, visit:

Students Win Honors in 'Future Truck' Design Competition

Teams of students from Cornell University, Georgia Tech, and the University of West Virginia took away honors in software modeling in FutureTruck 2003, a four-year engineering program that brings together resources of industry, government, and academia to address environmental and energy-related issues posed by the growing demand for SUVs. The teams won first, second, and third-place prizes in software modeling sponsored by MathWorks, technical computing software for engineers and scientists. The award recognizes student teams who have created working models of engine, motor, transmission, controllers, and other subsystems that result in a more energy-efficient vehicle.

WPI Study: Most Fed Web Sites Fail Section 508 Standards

Most federal Web sites do not meet the government's own accessibility standards for disabled citizens, according to a new study by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Researchers found 67 percent of 417 federal government Web sites studied did not provide full accessibility based on its own Section 508 criteria. The regs call for all electronic and information technology purchased by the federal government to be usable by people with disabilities. "... the federal accessibility numbers were much better than those for the private sector, but below the levels of institutions of higher education," said WPI assistant professor of management Eleanor Loiacono, one of the co-authors of the study, titled, "Freedom of Access: A Study of Federal Website Accessibility."

Demographers Identify Where College Graduates Cluster

Many of this year's college graduates are leaving behind their college towns in pursuit of jobs in a tough economy, according to demographers from mapping software developer MapInfo Corp. In a study of residents of cities with bachelor degrees, the company found that California locales dominated the Top 10 list, while renowned college town Boston did not make the cut. The top 10 metro areas with the highest penetration of people with bachelor degrees are clustered in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Colorado.

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