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July 06, 1998 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-07-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Monday, July 6, 1998 - The Michigan Daily - 9

. ., _

Online
degrees a
possibility
By Rick Freeman
Daily Staff Reporter
Universities are expected to be on the
cutting edge of technology, but in the
state of Washington, a proposal by Gov.
Gary Locke might make some universi-
ties actually become the cutting edge of
technology.
The proposal, created by the gov-
ernor's 2020 Commission of the
Future of Higher Education, suggests
the possibility that in the future, col-
lege degrees may be attained through
online coursework. In response to the
report, around 850 faculty members
signed a petition in protest.
University of Michigan Prof. Rees
Midgely, a technology expert, said it
is currently possible to do all the
work necessary to receive a bache-
lors' degree online. "Clearly it is pos-
sible to get a college degree on the
Internet," Midgely said.
But whether the necessary work
can be done ot the Internet is not the
maim concern of the faculty at
Washington.
The petitioners are concerned that
the governor's advisers may help pro-
duce a "knowledge industry." They
point to several aspects of the propos-
al suggesting a debit-card system,
courses on CD-ROM and other inno-
vations. The petitioners caution that
applying new technology in these
ways is opening a pandora's box.
"Economics is going to drive it,

E-mail, Internet help
students make most of
their studies at the 'U'

By Adam Zuwerink
aily Staff Reporter
From keeping in touch witlh
friends around the world to a cheap,
quick way of asking your parents for
money to checking on the latest
announcements from professors, e-
mail has become a major form of
communication for University stu-
dents.
"I check my e-mail at least once or
twice a day," said Romica Singh, an
LSA sophomore.
Although most University students
quickly become proficient in the use of
e-mail and the Intemet, many come to
the University having never used e-mail
and must find a way to pick up the nec-
essary skills.
"It's really helpful to dive in and
figure everything out," said Michael
Miller, an Engineering senior. "I
went to an informational session
right away that was very helpful."
In addition to informational ses-
sions held at the 15 computing sites
around campus, many students pick
up basic skills from e-mail sessions
held during orientation and from
friends and roommates who have
used the Internet before.
After picking up the basics of e-
mail and the World Wide Web, many
students find the internet an invalu-
able resource, especially for keeping
in touch with professors.
Singh said e-mail is an effective way
for professors to relay informationto stu-
dents because students check their e-mail

at least once a day.
Beyond e-mailing announcements,
many professors are developing
sophisticated web pages for their
classes.
"In my riue Crime class, we interact-
ed with the professor and each other
online by writing and reviewing papers
over the Net," Miller said.
E-mail is the most popular use of
the Internet for University students,
but as the world moves deeper into
the information age, other types of
Internet and computer skills have
become a valuable asset that many
employers seek.
One of these assets for University
students is learning to not only surf the
World Wide Web, but to understand
how it sorks by creating a personal web
page using a programming language
called IlyperText Markup Language
(IfITML).
'II iMI is useful for the future and
stuidenis should learn to make their own
home page or go to a camp workshop,'
Singh syid.
Additionally, many students find it
helpful to become familiar with com-
puting sofware such as Microsoft
Word and Excel or Lotus Notes.
"I s ish I s ould have learned to
use Excel or Lotus earlier," said
I SA senior Tom Jolliffe.
Jolliffe said software knowledge
is a crucial skill in the workplace.
"I know of at least one job I
missed, and it's really easy to learn,"
Jolliffe said.

A recent proposal by Washington Gov. Gary Locke caused many to protest the
possibility of receiving a bachelors' degree online.

unfortunately," Midgely said,
One of the petition organizers told
the Chronicle of Higher Education
that a large portion of the signatures
came from members of the Computer
Science department at Washington.
Still, ifa person wants a bachelor's
degree, then the technology will exist
to make that possible within "two to
three years," Midgely said.
Another question, then, would be

whether universities would choose to
make such options available. Midgely
warned that doing so could hurt small-
er schools without the technology
resources of larger ones.
LSA junior Pam Hirschman said if
given the option of gaining a degree
on the Web, she would turn it down,
"I wouldn't want to gain an educa-
tion from a computer," Hirschman
said.

JULY 4
Continued from Page 1
School, which includes games, rides and a midway.
"I went to a carnival at Pioneer High School. While we were
up in the ferris wheel we saw some fireworks," said Karen
Langner, an LSA senior. "The last two years, I haven't been (in
Ann Arbor) so it was kind of nice to be here. But I didn't think
much about the holiday, I'm not that patriotic"
LSA junior Ken Heskett said the holiday is especially
meaningful for his family because many members have
served in the military.
"Every generation of our family has been in the military;'
Heskett said. "It's more significant this year because I just
got out of the military and my uncle retired this year.
"It's a celebration of the founding of our country and it's
important to our family because we've been part of that
through our military service," Heskett added.
Heskett said he enjoyed the holiday by spending time with
his family and attending a parade.
"We had a barbecue;" Heskett said. "We struggled vainly
to get a historic vehicle to work. I couldn't get it out for the
Fourth of July parade."
While many businesses closed down for part or all of the
weekend, SNRE junior Jenny Hefferan said she still had to
work through some of the holiday.
"I work at Seva. We closed a couple hours earlier," Hefferan
said. "I was disappointed. I didn't see any fireworks although I
wanted to. It's possibly the first Fourth of July that I haven't."
Despite the holiday, many students continued to do Glasswork.
"I went to a barbecue at a colleagues. I also did some
research," said Mike Thompson, a School of Public Policy
junior. "I haven't celebrated in something like four years. It's
more just a day off. mtried to celebrate it more when I'm at
home. I tend to think it's more of a family holiday"

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incoming first-year student Jessica Mumma celebrates
independence Day at the fireworks display in Northville.

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