College Nation

Technology cited for decline in cursive


University of Nebraska

Technology may be drowning the importance of handwriting.

Handwritten documents, either in cursive or block leader, are rarely seen in this fast-paced world; people disagree on whether it’s a problem or not.

Some people at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said computers are mainly to blame for the downturn in handwriting.

Guy Trainin, a professor in teaching, learning and teacher education, said sometimes professors require students to handwrite their exams with blue books, but even that’s soon to change.

He said people should know how to read and write – but not in cursive.

Lauren Cotton, a junior fashion merchandising major, said many people choose to type because it’s faster and easier to correct mistakes.

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Trainin said people should be asking themselves why cursive is important at all.

“Knowing how to read and write is more important than how to write nicely,” he said.

“It’s more a technological issue than anything else.”

Learning to write in cursive was more important at a younger age, Trainin said.

Now students are learning to type as children.

Society isn’t showing that it values handwriting, Trainin said, and shorthand is rarely taught at the college level anymore.

“Cursive will disappear,” he said. “It disappears daily.”

– Courtesy of The Daily Nebraskan

Veterans say benefits aren’t good enough


University of Florida

Congressman Cliff Stearns came to South Florida Community College Feb. 22 because several student veterans said their GI scholarship benefits aren’t good enough.

Most of the issues dealt with not receiving enough money to pay for their full tuition.

The Montgomery GI Bill entitles veterans to 36 months of public college or university tuition. To receive the benefits, the soldier has to pay $1,200 during his or her first year of service.

“But after being in the service from either four or 24 years, they lack the mathematical and grammatical skills taught by school,” said Ricky Heckerson, an SFCC student and Air Force veteran.

To fill the education gap many soldiers take remedial courses, Heckerson said. These classes do not count toward graduation and can take up to eight months away from the 36 months of education provided by the GI Bill.

Even though many soldiers are not able to use their educational benefits while serving, National Guard soldiers lose all of them upon leaving the military.

When James Tompkins left the National Guard, his educational benefits were revoked, he said.

“National Guard soldiers are carrying an enormous amount of the burden in the war on terror, often resulting in multiple deployments for individual soldiers,” Tompkins told Stearns. “They should at least be entitled the same period of time to use their education benefits as members of active duty.”

Leland Hill, an SFCC student and the president of the Collegiate Veterans Society, told Stearns he had a problem with the latest GI Bill, which compensates troops based on consecutive terms of service. He said the bill is unfair to troops who are deployed for several short periods instead of fewer, longer terms.

Stearns said he thinks the University of Florida should chip in to help veterans.

“The University of Florida comes to me every year to ask for money,” he said. “If I’m helping out with all of the programs, the least they can do is help out the veterans.”

– Courtesy of The Independent Florida Alligator

Women’s desks found to have more germs


Louisiana State University

A recent study conducted by the University of Arizona shows that women’s offices contain more germs than men’s offices, CBSnews.com reported.

The study tested eight sites in 59 women’s and 54 men’s offices that were located in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

Researchers tested eight points in participants’ offices – the phone, desktop, computer mouse, computer keyboard, exclamation key on the computer keyboard, a pen, the bottom of a desk drawer and handles of each desk drawer. The study showed that women participants’ desks had twice the amount of bacteria than men’s desks.

Cathy Agan, extension service home economist, said office germs are not surprising to her because office workers come in contact with so many people throughout the day.

People are not as careful in their own offices as they are in other public places such as a restroom, she said.

She said people do not regularly clean their offices as often as places such as public restrooms get cleaned. A public restroom is generally cleaned at least once a day, but an office may not be cleaned for a week or two, she said.

Agan said bacteria grows in areas that have moisture, food and a temperature ranging from 40 to 140 degrees, which is where average room temperatures fall.

Agan said people should take steps to prevent bacteria.

“Regularly wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds,” Agan said. “(And) periodically clean desk and surface areas with wipes.”

It is also important to wash hands several times a day, she said. Washing hands after using the bathroom and playing with animals and before eating is important to help prevent the spread of viruses such as flu and cold.

– Courtesy of The Daily Reveille