Online Study Shows More and More College Students Are Using Mobile Devices to Complete Coursework
Jul26

Online Study Shows More and More College Students Are Using Mobile Devices to Complete Coursework

In today’s technology-fueled world, it is no secret that everyone wants to be on the go. Mobile devices have grown so popular that they account for nearly two out of every three minutes spent online. Now, they’re having a serious impact on the online education world. According to their July report on college students who take courses online, Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House have found that a full 59% of students use a mobile device for online classwork. The company, which helps universities develop and expand their degree programs, surveyed 1,500 undergraduate and graduate online learners. Half of these students so enjoyed the flexibility of online learning that they would not attend live lectures and classes even if the courses were made available to them. Aslanian also found that even though only half of students were given the opportunity to take online classes, 90% of students who take live on-campus classes prefer going to the Internet to learn. In total, Learning house estimates that 3.5 million students are currently pursuing their degrees online. Being mobile gives students the option to be flexible, and to study wherever they’d like. Students who choose this route also tend to be younger than those who go to classes on campus. Susan Aldrige, president of Drexel University Online, tells the U.S World & News Report that this trend doesn’t surprise her. She explains, “We have witnessed a significant increase, for our online students, in the number of students who are utilizing mobile devices to review lectures, materials, documents in advance.” The study also found that tuition was the number one factor driving online program selection, that 68% of students spent less than four weeks choosing the program they wanted to attend, and that 63% of students start class within a month of...

Read More
Facebook Teams With Microsoft to Improve Workplace Productivity
Jul26

Facebook Teams With Microsoft to Improve Workplace Productivity

Facebook recently announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corp. in an effort to improve workplace productivity using online email and other software. The social media giant will use Microsoft software while in the process of producing its own workplace communication and collaborative service. The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook announced it will not use Microsoft’s Office 365, the web-based version of Microsoft’s large suite of workplace productivity programs. Taking into account that most people will work an average of 90,000 hours in their lifetime, improving efficiency is crucial to success. Contrary to belief, Facebook will not be using all the programs that Office 365 has to offer. The social network, which has over 13,000 employees, will use the email and calendar services that come with the package. However, it doesn’t utilize Skype for business, messaging, or video conferencing services, because the two are in direct competition. While the company is mainly looking to use the service for emailing and scheduling purposes, it will continue to use its own Facebook at Work service. Facebook at Work is an internal service in which employees can communicate with each other and share content through the company’s secure web interface. “Facebook at Work doesn’t end the need for email,” Mr. Campos said. “It’s not a binary thing.” Email is far from dead. In fact, the Radicati Group Inc. — a research firm that monitors both collaboration and messaging technology — predicts that 215.3 billion emails will be sent each day before 2016 ends. That figure is anticipated to grow 5% each year through the year 2020. The transition to Office 365 gives Facebook the ability to utilize Microsoft’s Delve service, which helps employees find internal reports and relevant news more efficiently. Many people may not be aware that in 2007, Microsoft invested $240 million into Facebook. When asked whether it still retains that stake, representatives for Microsoft declined to give a response stating that it was unrelated to their previous...

Read More
Two Killed in Random Florida Hospital Shooting
Jul25

Two Killed in Random Florida Hospital Shooting

A hospital patient and employee are dead after an apparently random shooting attack on the third floor of Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, FL, about 40 miles east of Orlando. Police officials say that David Owens, 29, allegedly entered through the emergency room of the hospital around 2 a.m. on Sunday, July 17, and opened fire with a handgun, killing patient Cynthia Zingsheim, 88, and hospital staff member Carrie Rouzer, 36. Security guards at the Medical Center managed to tackle and detain the suspect until police arrived. The Titusville Police Department said that the attack appears to be an “isolated incident,” and that investigators have thus far been unable to determine any motive for the shootings nor any connection between the shooter and the victims. Owens has a prior history of run-ins with the law, including substance abuse and mental health issues. He is currently being held at Brevard County Jail, where he has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder. Parrish Medical Center has since been cleared for safety by authorities. It’s not clear how Owens managed to get past security; a statement from Parrish said that all protocols were properly followed and that the incident would be reviewed. While some 400,000 people die every year in hospitals from preventable harm to patients, this case does not appear to be one of them. Victim Carrie Rouzer was working an extra shift at the time of the shooting to make up for a previous medical leave, said her son, Casey Smith. “Her job was to sit with those people. So, you know all she was trying to do is help everybody. You ask any of these people. That’s all she ever did. She wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said. Cynthia Zingsheim was also described as a caring woman by a close friend. “It was always a pleasure seeing her out there. We would talk periodically. Always had a pleasant smile. Pleasant words. Very concerned about people,” said Charles Hickmon. A statement from the Parrish Medical Center read: “Our hearts are broken for the families affected by this tragedy, and we are supporting our care partners, patients and...

Read More
Michael Phelps Completes Probation Following DUI Conviction, Gets Off With No Jail Time
Jul06

Michael Phelps Completes Probation Following DUI Conviction, Gets Off With No Jail Time

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps officially completed his probation this week following his 2014 DUI conviction. In December 2014, Phelps was sentenced to 18 months probation as a result of his DUI arrest in Baltimore. He was charged with driving under the influence, speeding, and crossing double lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel. The conviction caused the Olympian to be suspended from the USA swimming team and required him to check into a rehab facility for 45 days of treatment. When Phelps came out of rehab, he told the media that he was not sure he was ever an alcoholic, but he did say “I know I probably have moments where I have gone off the deep end where I shouldn’t.” This was the swimmer’s second DUI arrest. The first occurred in 2004, and at that time he also received 18 months probation. Considering that Maryland state law cites “up to one year” imprisonment as the penalty for a DUI first offense, one might wonder if Phelps did not receive preferential treatment from the court due to his status as an Olympian and international celebrity. “Clearly, you don’t need a lecture from this court,” said District Court judge Nathan Braverman during his hearing back in 2014. Defense attorney Steven A. Allen added, “I think this has driven home, in a very meaningful way to him, what needs to be done. I have the greatest degree of confidence this will never happen again.” One can’t help but wonder: if Phelps were not a white celebrity and athlete, would the judge and his attorney have been so confident in his rehabilitation? Would Phelps have so easily avoided jail time? Imprisonment is a typical penalty for a DUI in many states. For instance, a DUI conviction in Ohio can result in jail time ranging from three days to six months. In Maryland, a first offense calls for imprisonment of up to on year while a second offense calls for a mandatory minimum of five days and a maximum of two years imprisonment. Michael Phelps had his slate wiped clean after just 18 months of...

Read More
More Americans Are Throwing Birthday Parties — For Their Dogs
Jul05

More Americans Are Throwing Birthday Parties — For Their Dogs

Americans spent a combined $60.28 billion on their pets last year. That total might include food, grooming, accessories, boarding, beds — and, apparently, birthday parties. Lavish birthday parties for pets — especially dogs, it seems — appear to be on the rise, particularly in young urban areas like New York and Nashville. Fox 5 News New York ran a story on the trend last week, as did New York Magazine earlier this month. “A lot of people if you look around at this party are young people, millennials that have dogs instead of babies right away,” said Nikki Cole, who threw her dog Minnie a city rooftop birthday party, replete with custom-made dog treats, a professional photo booth, and themed cocktails (for the humans). “This is like a practice run.” The American Pet Products Association estimates that 28% of pet owners purchase birthday gifts for their dogs, and 7% throw birthday or holiday parties for them. But as more people begin to pick up the idea from friends, media stories, or Pinterest boards, those numbers may soon explode. “When you say it out loud it sounds crazy,” said Jes Feuer, pet-mother to a Coton de Tulear named Preston who turned six in April. They celebrated with a party at a bar in New York’s East Village. “I know it’s a bit ridiculous, but that’s okay, because people look forward to it. It’s a good excuse to do something a little silly. It’s just a great, fun thing to do.” The trend expands opportunities not only for pet-lovers and their party guests, but for party event planners, too. An affair of this level, after all, requires the organization of hundreds of details, from the food to the decorations, invitations, and activities. Hayley Rammuno has been running a strictly fur-only event planning business, Puppy Parties NYC, for two years now. “Since last year we’ve doubled the number of parties we do,” she told Fox News. For fees ranging from $300 to $1,500, she’ll help book your venue, coordinate games, supply a dog-friendly cake, and offer thank-you cards for all your “pawty” needs. Pet stores and suppliers have been quick to jump in on sponsoring events, too, as these puppy parties tend to be ripe for social media sharing and exposure. Disney helped provide party favors for the dog Minnie’s party, while dog costumers Rubie’s and registry site Zola have also pitched in for party help. Perhaps best of all, though, these events also take a strong stance toward giving, rather than receiving. Many owners and their fur-babies set up donation pages for animal shelters or groups in lieu of gifts for...

Read More