Journal Title George Fox Journal Online

Tech daze

Today's George Fox undergraduate student lives in a multimedia world. Recent technological advances have changed campus life, altering the way students learn, communicate, and procrastinate

a student coming out of a web browser

by Rob Felton

rfelton@georgefox.edu
tech kid, with Steve's face in a cell phone

Meet Steve Tussing, a senior accounting and psychology major with a paper due in 27 hours. Steve doesn't own a cell phone, PDA, or iPod, but technology will shape his day . . . *

Thursday, Fall Semester

7:02 a.m.
Awakes, showers, and checks e-mail on his laptop. A classmate in psychometrics class asks Steve about the paper assignment. Steve e-mails him the link to the online class syllabus.
A computer for every student: In 1991, George Fox became one of the first colleges in the nation to provide a computer (then a Macintosh Classic) to every freshman to keep upon graduation. The Computers Across the Curriculum program continues today. This year's freshmen chose between two laptops - a HP Business Notebook nx6110 or an Apple iBook.
8:07 a.m.
Watches his accounting professor display a PowerPoint presentation at the front of the classroom. The professor works through lease financial formulas by scribbling on his laptop display. His handwriting is projected on the wall screen.
Smart classrooms: Many of the classrooms on the George Fox Newberg campus, Portland Center, and Boise Center are equipped with Internet-connected computers, LCD projectors, and CD, DVD, and VCR players. "Smart Classrooms" allow professors to share everything from satellite images to Beethoven symphonies to video clips of historical events.
9:15 a.m.
Starts research by looking up articles using the George Fox library's online resources. "I don't like getting books," he says. "I do it all through the Web. It's convenient if I'm trying to do a paper the night before. I don't have to worry about checking (a book) out, checking it in, or it not being there."
Library online: The George Fox library offers online access to 18,000 academic journals. Thousands more articles, books, and magazine articles can be viewed through the library's other online databases or - if not online or on-site - a hard copy can be requested from several other regional libraries.
9:54 a.m.
Sends instant message to classmate asking if she had found any other sources for the paper.
Better than e-mail: Many students say instant messaging (real-time, person-to-person online text discussions) is the best way to communicate with friends. Students can either e-mail or instant-message students through the campus network.
11:55 a.m.
Uses ID card to buy a bagel at the Bruin Den cafe.
Key to success: Student identity cards at George Fox serve as food-service debit cards, electronic keys to campus buildings, library cards, and as a way to track chapel attendance. The cards also occasionally are used the old-fashioned way - to identify the student.
2:15 p.m.
Finishes a reading assignment for his communications class and posts a response on the class's online forum. Classmates soon will read his comments and post their own reactions on the discussion board.
3:00 p.m.
Starts work at the Institutional Technology Help Desk offering technical support to students and staff.
 
Help desk: Students with problems with their university computers can get free quick fixes and training 7:15 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day from the IT Help Desk. All university computers come with warranties, allowing IT staff to replace broken parts in minutes.
5:12 p.m.
Logs onto slashdot.org (News for Nerds. Stuff that matters), his favorite "computer geek site," for the latest technology news and reads the daily Scripture at goarch.org, the online chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
A campus-wide Web: Students at George Fox don't need to plug in to get Internet access on campus. George Fox offers wireless Internet access on its Newberg campus, Portland Center, and Boise Center.
7:07 p.m.
Returns to his laptop to write paper.
8:19 p.m.
Switches to his computer science homework. Logs onto his professor's Web site to review a multimedia recording of yesterday's class lecture. He listens to his professor's voice while the programming code, PowerPoint slides, and handwritten notes appear on the screen.
9:44 p.m.
Spots an inexpensive pair of sandals in the "For Sale" folder on BruinBoards. E-mails an offer. Browses through the Senior Class Discussion folder and Religion folder.
BruinBoards: Students and staff can read and post messages in dozens of different George Fox online forums. Messages range from prayer requests to job postings to complaints about cafeteria food. (Some things never change.)
10:33 p.m.
tech kid with a computer
Returns to work on paper.

Friday

1:32 a.m.
Bed
7:15 a.m.
Wakes up. Checks e-mail. Skips World of Music class.* Continues to write paper.
9:57 a.m.
E-mails paper to professor.
Going paperless: About a quarter of all George Fox professors request that papers and assignments be submitted in electronic form.

* While Steve is a real student (that's him in the little photo, above, this fictional day is a composite of his typical technology use.

* Steve says he rarely skips classes

tech kid with an iPod

Net gains

When this year's freshmen were born, students brought typewriters and cassette tapes to college. Eighteen years later, technology looks a bit different.

  1987 2005
George Fox enrollment 705 3,210
Phone home "Got a quarter?" Payphones are the only way you can call home "Can you hear me now?" Most students bring their own cell phones to school
On-campus call One phone per dorm hallway. Calling for a date is a public spectacle Calling from your room phone is a last resort if instant messaging, e-mail, and cell phone all fail
Computers Primarily used by secretaries as a recent replacement for their typewriters. Used by only a few faculty or administrators More than one per student and faculty
Journaling "Dear Diary...." Students write daily blogs, sharing their experiences with Mom, Dad, and anyone in the world with an Internet connection
Internet A twinkle in Al Gore's eye Wireless access in every classroom, residence hall, and most buildings
Music Cool new CD technology sounds sweet on those five-foot-tall speakers Students download music over Internet to their two-inch iPods
Library research Search the card catalog. Check out books from library Search thousands of online journals from dorm room
Spam e-mail Never heard of it Can't get rid of it

Highlights

Words from Wood-Mar
Communicating in the new culture  Full story...

Taking a step of faith
Sarah Baldwin Thomas joins George Fox as the new campus pastor. Full story...

Is God Republican or Democrat?
"Christians can surely agree that God calls us to help the poor, but what does this mean with respect to taxes and government programs?" Full story...

Bruin Notes
Taking a step of faith | Three to get ready | New Board members | Making the grade | Engineering wins ABET | Seminary losses | The doctorate is in  Full stories...