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Tech Talk

Ga. Students to Pay Tech Fees Next Year

ATLANTA — Students on Georgia’s public college campuses will pay a technology fee next fall, but what they get for their money will vary widely depending on where they go to school.
Many students will be able to register for classes online and connect to the Internet in their dorm rooms and classrooms, and some will even be issued laptop computers.
But at other colleges, they will find waiting lists to use campus computer labs and will have to stand in long lines to register for class.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey of Georgia’s 34 public colleges and universities found most campuses are quickly becoming wired environments of learning.
Responses to the survey also show some schools don’t yet have a detailed plan for how they will spend the $10 to $75 per semester technology fees.
The survey followed the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ approval of new technology fees for 28 public colleges. The other six already charged a fee.
Among those with a head start on providing technology are Clayton College & State University and Floyd College, rated ninth in the nation among the most-wired two-year school by the Yahoo! Internet search engine.
The schools’ technology fees of $300 per semester have been criticized by some, but students get to use laptops and have access to extensive help. At Clayton, 17 special technology classrooms are being provided for
student use.
“They are very wired,” said Tom Marshall, an information technology major at Clayton. “It’s really nice, especially when you’re in the field. You use the notebook computers a lot.”
At some schools, like Georgia Tech, dorms are wired so that there is a computer port for every bed. Georgia Tech — which according to Yahoo! ranked 15th among most-wired among research universities — requires
all incoming students to have their
own computers.
About 10 percent of universities nationwide have such a requirement, and the idea is spreading in Georgia.
Beginning this fall, the State University of West Georgia will require students to have access to a computer. Other schools, such as Valdosta State and Georgia College and State University, are considering such a requirement for students in specific majors, such as nursing.

U. of Tulsa to Assist in Fighting Hackers

TULSA, Okla. — The University of Tulsa is joining the fight against hackers and cyber attacks at the front line.
The university is one of seven institutions chosen this year by the National Security Agency to develop new strategies for Internet security. The school’s Center for Information Security will work with Tulsa-based Williams Communications to defend against “cyberterrorism,” said Sujeet Shenoi, a professor of computer science.
“Information warfare is fast becoming a huge problem,” Shenoi said. “When you look at the havoc and destruction that the ‘Love Bug’ attack brought and when you add that to similar attacks, then you realize the importance of the work.”
The “Love Bug” virus crashed e-mail servers all over the world last month and caused damages estimated at up to $10 billion. And just days after that, Internet bug watchers were warning of a new computer virus that was said to be even smarter and more destructive.
Computer experts at the University of Tulsa will focus on public telephone networks, such as fiber-optic networks, that are susceptible to attack.
Shenoi and fellow computer science professor John Hale are leading the research, and that many of the school’s “hacker-proofing” trials will be tested at Williams’ information security center.
The company is expanding its 24,000-mile fiber-optic network.
The Center for Information Security also will be working to raise awareness of the legal and political aspects of Internet security, Shenoi said.
“Research alone will never defeat cyber-terrorism,” he said. “The defense must involve a three-prong approach that includes research, laws and policy and education.”

Ark. College Envisions Online Degree

DeQUEEN, Ark. — Cossatot Technical College is seeking state approval to become the first two-year college in Arkansas to offer a degree available entirely online.
“Just because we are a small rural college doesn’t mean we can’t reach the rest of the world,” said Frank Adams, president of the school in southwest Arkansas. “Cossatot can be a part of what’s out there and then wait for everyone to catch up.”
The proposed online degree would be an associate of general studies, requiring 63 hours of work with 30 hours in general education and 33 hours of electives.
Steve Floyd, deputy director for academic affairs of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, said the degree was one of two proposals that will be discussed at the department’s July meeting in Helena.             

— Compiled from staff and wire reports

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