With the start of the new academic year, College Needs Corner wishes Good Luck to all of its blog readers. Following are some news that might interest you, current and future college students, and the first is about textbooks online.

Barnes & Noble

  • An article from Inside Higher Ed discusses some news about renting textbooks (for college but also for K-12 education) from the well-known Amazon and Kno, and also getting free digital textbooks from Boundless, which is a new start-up. Textbooks, especially those bought on campus, are very expensive. How come Boundless offers free textbooks? First of all the textbooks are in only several fields (Writing, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Business, Biology, History and Physiology); secondly, the author of the above mentioned article says their textbooks lack in quality and that they are “mostly just a bunch of Wikipedia entries.”
  • A Battery That Folds! An Article from EE Times India appeared on 08/08/12
    and writes: “Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) researchers have developed a super-thin, flexible, all-solid-state battery that could one day lead to phones and gadgets that can be folded.” That would be really cool!
  • A report by Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit organization advocating Latino educational success is cited by The Next America online publication. The report says that of the top higher education institutions that have granted the most STEM degrees to Latino graduates in the 2009-2010 school year, more than half are concentrated in just six states, according to a new report. These states are Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Texas. As I mentioned in my previous post College Needs and the STEM Fields US needs more students in the STEM fields. And indeed, the report mentioned above also says that “Given the relative youth of the Latino population relative to the aging of the U.S. population overall, supporting the increased growth of Latinos with postsecondary credentials in STEM is critical to meeting the projected workforce needs of the nation by 2020.” I just wish more Us students become interested in the STEM fields, whether they are Latinos or not.
  • Another minority in the STEM fields, in particular in Computer Science, consists of women. I often come across articles writing about this aspect of college life. A new article in Chicago Tribune writes: “Although computer science is one of the fields poised for exponential job growth over the next several years, there’s a glaring lack of women entering the field.”

    Since 1984, the number of computer science degrees awarded to women has steadily declined, and today only 13 percent of computer science graduates are female. Accordingly, top jobs in the field are male-dominated. A recent study by technology outsourcing and recruiting firm Harvey Nash Group found that out of 166 U.S.-based technology firms that replaced their CEOs last year, only six appointed a woman for the position.

    How to bridge the gap? The article suggests to start educating young girls from an early age (primary school already) to become interested in computers and computer programming.

    “From a very young age, we need to give girls the confidence to take risks and make a few mistakes,” Julie Gill, a recent Pace University computer science graduate, adds. “As a programmer your whole day is pretty much fixing your own mistakes, so we need to teach girls they don’t have to be perfect, and just outright encouragement for girls who are good at problem-solving.”

Filed under: College news

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