USA Ed.Net Briefs
February 22, 1999

Briefs in this issue:

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

EDUCATION-RELATED TECHNOLOGY NEWS


NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

ANTHROPOLOGY DEGREE VALUED IN CORPORATE WORLD
As companies go global and search for leaders for a diverse workforce, an anthropology degree is becoming more valuable. The study of man is no longer a degree for museum directors. Citicorp created a vice presidency for an anthropologist who discovered early warning signs to identify people who do not pay credit card bills. Not satisfied with consumer surveys, Hallmark is sending anthropologists into the homes of immigrants, attending holidays and birthday parties to design cards they will want. No survey can tell engineers what women really want in a razor, so marketing consultant Hauser Design sends anthropologists into bathrooms to watch them shave their legs. Textbooks now have chapters on business applications of anthropology. The University of South Florida has created a course of study for anthropologists headed for commerce. Del Jones, "Hot asset in corporate: Anthropology degrees" USA Today, February 18, 1999, B1 (
http://www.usatoday.com)

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WOMEN WORKING TO GET MORE WOMEN IN OFFICE
The gains made by women in politics in the past thirty years seem to be leveling off. The number of women in elected offices remains below 25 percent. Only 3 of the 50 state governors are women, 9 of 100 senators are women, and 56 of 435 House members are women. The United States ranks 39th among nations in terms of women in office. Women are working to recruit and encourage women candidates through organizations such as The White House Project, which aims to put a woman in the Oval Office. Women find it difficult to beat incumbents, 75 percent of whom are men, in part because they have more trouble raising money than men. Other obstacles include lack of time for mothers of young children, rebuffs by party leaders, and intense scrutiny that threatens privacy. Fourteen women's political groups have united this year to form the Women's Information and Resource Candidate Clearinghouse to get more women into politics. Recent polls show that voters trust female candidates more than male candidates. Richard Wolf, "Women's political gains in past 3 decades level off" USA Today, February 17, 1999 7A (
http://www.usatoday.com)

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CAMPUS PROTESTS DEMAND CODE FOR LOGO CLOTHES
Princeton University became the latest site of student rallies urging stronger conduct codes for factories that make clothing bearing university logos. Rallies are planned at Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell and other universities as officials gather to draft an anti-sweatshop code. Institutions that sell baseball caps, T-shirts and other items bearing their insignias began showing widespread interest in the issue in 1998 amid reports that some factories were mistreating workers. At Duke and Georgetown universities and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, student groups marched to top administrative offices and stayed there, in some cases for days, until officials agreed to their demands. Student organizers hope non-confrontational meetings scheduled on several campuses will lead to positive results. Mary Beth Marklein, "Campus sweatshop protests spread" USA Today, February 17, 1999, D3 (
http://www.usatoday.com)

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HISTORIANS IN DEMAND TO STUDY CORPORATE TIES TO NAZIS
The Ford Motor Company was named in a lawsuit accusing it of profiting from its German operations in the Nazi era. For banks, insurers and companies like Ford, the increasing number of Holocaust-related lawsuits has created both a litigation and public relations nightmare. But the lawsuits have also created a mini-boom for historians and research specialists. As a result, a growing number of corporations have hired well-known academics to write their wartime histories or scour ancient file rooms worldwide for damaging or exculpatory information. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements, potential public embarrassment, and even business complications. Barry Meier, "Chroniclers of Collaboration" The New York Times, February 18, 1999, C1 (
http://www.nytimes.com)

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SAN FRANCISCO SETTLES LAWSUIT ON SCHOOL DESEGREGATION
The San Francisco School District has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit by Chinese American students seeking to end the city's school desegregation efforts based on race. The settlement, which received preliminary approval from a Federal district judge, would eliminate racial and ethnic quotas that have been enforced at San Francisco schools for 15 years. It would also prohibit assigning any of the district's 62,000 students to a school, class or program solely on the basis of race or ethnicity. The Associated Press "San Francisco Settles Lawsuit On Desegregation of Schools" as published in The New York Times, February 18, 1999, A17 (
http://www.nytimes.com)

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UW TO OFFER PROFESSORS DISCOUNTED HOME LOANS
In an effort to slow the brain drain at its campuses, the University of Washington plans to offer professors and staff members discounted home loans. The UW has joined the Hometown Home Loan Program, a lending program that offers reduced fees, lower interest rates and, for lower income buyers, help with down payments. Professors and staff members at the UW will be able to apply for home loans through the program starting February 25. Most of the benefits apply only to homes in Seattle or King County. The loan program, administered by Continental Bank, was set up by Seattle officials and has been offering loans to city employees, Seattle Education Association members and employees of the Seattle Community College District. Roberto Sanchez, "UW to offer discounted home loans as a perk" The Seattle Times, February 20, 1999, A7 (
http://www.seattletimes.com)

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EDUCATION-RELATED TECHNOLOGY NEWS

AFRICAN AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENT CELEBRATED ON PBS WEB SITE The richness and vibrancy of the African American experience is available on "The African-American Journey" Web site (http://www.pbs.org/aajourney/) from PBS ONLINE. Organizing content into arts, living, history, politics, and people categories, the African-American Journey site provides an annotated, categorical index of more than 100 sites, interviews and articles on PBS ONLINE that address the African-American experience. Additionally, it offers a monthly guide to PBS television programming with African-American themes, an area just for kids, and links to African-American content on the Web sites of PBS's member stations across the country. PBS ONLINE (http://www.pbs.org), PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS ONLINE features more than 65,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for more than 300 PBS programs and specials.PBS ONLINE press release distributed by Internet News Bureau (http://www.newsbureau.com).

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NASA QUEST PRESENTS WRIGHT FLYER ONLINE
In early March NASA will begin wind tunnel tests on an authentic replica of the Wright Flyer, the first powered airplane. Right now, online, you can get involved in these historic tests. (
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright) Built by volunteers from the Los Angeles chapter of the AIAA, the Wright Flyer model will be tested to better understand flight characteristics. This will help identify safety issues to be addressed before a future piloted flight on the 100 year anniversary of the first flight. Many related online resources are available for schools and others: (1) Wednesday, February 24,1999; 10:30 -11:30 AM Pacific, Live chat with Orville and Wilbur Wright; NASA time machine lets you talk with these famous brothers; (2) Biographies of key players; (3) Grade appropriate lesson plans in which students use real tunnel test data to meet standards-based learning goals; and (4) Elementary and middle school students work together to improve glider designs. There is much more if you participate in history on NASA Quest.Thanks to Marc Siegel, NASA Learning Technologies, (msiegel@quest.arc.nasa.gov) for the information in this brief.

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TOP TEN WIRED CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES
San Francisco ranked as the most wired city in America for the second year in a row according to a survey conducted by "Yahoo! Internet Life." The rest of the top ten list in order: (2) Austin, Texas; (3) Seattle; (4) Washington, D.C.; (5) Boston; (6) San Jose, Californai; (7) San Diego; (8) Minneapolis-St. Paul; (9) Atlanta; and (10) Dallas-Fort Worth. Austin has more people logging onto the Internet from home than any other city. San Jose, California has more people logging on from work. Cities were rated on population (over one million), percentage of adults logging on at home and work, the number of computers connected to the Internet, the number of sites dedicated to the town and quality of the sites. Chris Allbritton, The Associated Press "San Francisco logs on as nation's most wired city- Seattle in third place" as published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 16, 1999, C2 (
http://www.seattle-pi.com)

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$500 COMPUTERS WORK FINE FOR BASIC INTERNET USE
It is now possible to get an Internet-ready computer for less than $500. Peter H. Lewis, describes in the "State Of The Art" column his testing of an inexpensive computer. "Lately I've been testing the cheapest system I could buy, the $399 'emachines etower 300k,' coupled with a $100 'emachines eview 14-inch monitor.'" Lewis writes that "the system works surprisingly well, if all you want to do is connect to the Internet, send and receive e-mail, browse the Web, balance the checkbook and check your portfolio, write letters and school reports, play some simple games, use educational software, shop online, visit chat rooms and newsgroups, and listen to audio CDs while you work." Lewis describes this computer as "an impressive bargain." The first emachines reached stores in November 1998 and by the end of December, emachines was nearly tied with Apple Computer for retail sales in North America. Peter H. Lewis, "Good Enough Computers" The New York Times, February 18, 1999, D1 (
http://www.nytimes.com)

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ONLINE PUBLICATION OF ACADEMIC DISSERTATIONS
Academic dissertations are getting wider circulation thanks to the vast distribution routes of the Internet. More scholars are publishing their doctoral dissertations or master's theses at Dissertation.com (
www.dissertation.com), a site created in 1997 by Jeff Young, a former marketing specialist whose idea grew from frustration with his own master's thesis research. For $149, writers can publish and sell their work on the site, which Young operates from his home. He assigns each work an International Standard Book Number, or I.S.B.N., which also permits it to be found and sold through bookstores and online sellers like Amazon.com. Then, any search of books at Amazon.com, for instance, or at a bookstore could locate a dissertation that Young had registered. Visitors to Dissertation.com can download a document in Portable Document Format (PDF) for $6 or order a bound paper copy, starting at $19.95. The writer receives a 40 percent royalty. Rita Beamish, "Rescuing Scholars From Obscurity" The New York Times, February 18, 1999, D7 (http://www.nytimes.com)

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Copyright, Dr. Steven W. Simpson, Simpson Communications