You've watched theOscars and the Gram-
mys, but have you seen the Webbys? The first
annual "Webby" awards for Cool Sites of the
Year were announced in August. And the
This Web rip-off of MTV's Real World is cyber-
fluff. Stopime iftyou've heard this: Five house-
mates share their "real" experience of living
together in a California beach house. Novel
concept, eh? Butithis group oftthe buff and
beautiful connects with the outside world in
diaries onthe site.
Runner-up: David Siegel's Home Page -
" Crash Site -
" Rocktropolis -
* Mr. Showbiz -
Ir IS NOT YET NOON, AND ALREADY STUDENTS ARE HOLED UP IN
campus computer labs, slouching beneath fluorescent lights as they
click through the World-Wide Web, post e-mail messages and
pound out term papers.
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COLLEGE BOOKSTORES MAY SOON HAVE TO CUT THEIR LOSSES
on blue book inventories, because computerized test-taking
is quickly becoming a virtual reality.
That's right -
within the next few
years you may be tak-
ing graphically inter-
finals, and they won't
be limited toh ec nical
fields. You could be
taking your Shake-
speare final or yourR
Spanish midterm withar d
a keyhoard instead of
a No. 2 pencil.
Drake Prometric, a
pany, has already Who needs No. 2 pencils when you've
implemented electron- got a keyboart?
ic tests for pilots at avi-
ation schools around the country and is a simple interface, easy to use, and you
working on tests for nontechnical college don't have to wait around for results," he
classes. says. But Marut still uses an older, analog
With electronic testing, professors will be interface known as "pen and paper" for
able to develop in-depth questions, using making notes and calculations.
advanced graphics, to make sure students Still, some students are skeptical. "I
really know their stuff. Questions can be think it creates another barrier between the
designed using multiple choice, short answer student and the test," says Scott Kates, a
or essays. The tests also boast an instant senior at Syracuse U. Students would have
computerized answering system that com- to worry about not only the test, Kates
putes your score immediately. That means explains, but also the computer itself
no more angst-ridden waiting period before What we want to know is: How long
your grade shows up. before they invent a virtual study program?
Jonathan Marut, a senior aviation tech-
nology major at Central Missouri State U., Debra D'Agostino, Syracuse UlPhoto by Jason
has already taken exams on computer. "It's Millstein, U. of Arizona
12 U M zo October 1995
But while their minds are expanding, their
bodies could be deteriorating.
Computer-related injuries have tripled
since 1984, according to the Bureau of Labor.
Known as ergonomics disorders, these techno-
Carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis can
leave you with pain and numbness in your
shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. Ouch!
And if you ignore the symptoms, you may
have to go under the knife to relieve the pain.
And that's not all. The computer you
thought was your new best friend could end
up being a real pain in the neck. And the
Karen Allen, the U. of Virginia's ergonom-
ics task force chair, stresses prevention. Being
armed with the proper equipment - a mouse
pad with a wrist rest, an adjustable chair, an
anti-glare screen - can help. But you need to
use common sense, too. If you're finishing that
last-minute term paper, stretch your muscles
and drag your eyes away from the screen.
"There's a penalty to pay if you don't,"
says Chris Goodrum, a junior at Georgia
Tech, who actually took a human interface
course. "If you're on the computer for eight or
nine hours at a time, you can get lower-back
pain or wrist pain."
Remember when your grade school teacher
scolded you for slouching? You should have
listened. Sitting up straight, taking the key-
board off your lap and keeping the monitor an
arm's distance away can prevent problems.
Even with awareness, students may not
make the necessary equipment and posture
changes until it's too late.
Larry Glasser, a junior at Northwestern U.,
says that although he occasionally has
headaches, he doesn't think about the prob-
lems his frequent Internet use could cause.
"I figure if every time I turn off the com-
puter I have a sore wrist or throbbing
headache, then I'll do something about it."
Courtney Cairns, Penn State Uillustration by Rob
Lilly, American Animation Institute, Calif.
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