This week’s headline story: Cellphones Reveal Insight on Students
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame used the centrality of cellphones in college students’ lives to delve deep into students’ usage habits and how their social networks affect their everyday lives. Researchers in Sociology and Computer Science teamed up with Sprint to provide 200 entering freshman volunteers with cellphones. The student volunteers signed waivers allowing the researchers to track their cellphone usage for two years in order to map their social networks. During the third year, the researchers analyzed the data on students’ usage and behavior. Some of the key research findings include that:
- Entering freshmen quickly form their social networks, generally within 10 to 15 weeks.
- The size of social networks varies greatly, with some numbering five or six and others 50 or more – perhaps due to students being introverts or extroverts.
- Women tend to have larger social networks than men, as do minorities.
- The networks featured varied religious affiliations including Catholics, non-Catholics and “nones.”
- Despite the stereotype that college-age students are tuning out of group settings and focusing on their cellphones, they are keeping their network informed of items of interest that are happening in the group they’re currently in.
- and finally, While the size of a student’s social network is fairly stable, the network’s composition changes periodically.
New technology to provide insights into the health of students [Notre Dame News]
Other Headline News…
- Computing leaders team up on K-12 computer science framework [SD Times]
A new initiative is looking to make computer science a core part of K-12 education. The Computer Science Teachers Association, the Association for Computing Machinery, and Code.org are teaming up to create a new framework that defines the appropriate scope and sequence for K-12 computer science. The framework is expected to be released this summer, and will be designed to identify core computer science and concepts students exiting grades 2, 5, 8 and 12 should know.
- Could Peach Be the Next Juicy New Social Network App? [NewsFactor]
A new social networking app took the stage this week. developed by one of the founders of Vine, Peach appears to the most recent serious contender to Facebook and is being described as part-Slack, part-Twitter, and part-Facebook. . Peach’s key distinction from other social messaging apps is its use of “magic words” to enable different types of user posts. Type the word “shout,” for example, and you can create a post using extra-large text, while typing the word, “safari” immediately opens a Web page in that browser to allow for online searches. While some say that Peach is “taking the world by storm,” others are already declaring the app “dead.”
in Information Security News…
- Patch Tuesday Fixes Critical Flaws in Windows, IE and Office [NewsFactor]
Microsoft Ends Security Updates for Older IE Versions [NewsFactor]
In the first Patch Tuesday of 2016, Microsoft rolled out nine security bulletins. Six are rated “critical” on Redmond’s scale and three are rated “important.” All told, seven fixes address remote code execution vulnerabilities, which means attackers could gain access to PCs or servers from outside locations. This marks the last batch of patches for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 — and Windows 8, which Microsoft will no longer protect.
and in Tech Industry news…
- Apple Defies Industry Trend as PC Sales Fall Again [NewsFactor]
Apple keeps defying a PC industry trend: While other major computer-makers saw shipments fall in 2015, Apple increased the number of Macs it shipped worldwide last year, according to estimates from two research firms.
- Skype Rolls Out Free Group Video Calling [NewsFactor]
Skype Previews Integration with Team Messaging Platform Slack [NewsFactor]
Skype has announced that in celebration of 10 years of video calling, it will be launching group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 Mobile — everywhere, completely free. The company is also releasing a preview version of a new integration with the team messaging platform Slack.