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September 23, 2013 • Issue no. 10 Volume 26

Boise, Idaho

First issue free

technology:

Friend Foe? or

In the classroom and in their lives, students are either rejecting or embracing technology every day. Which side are you on?

Handling cyber harrassment

Students combat cyber harrasment Mallory Barker @Mal_a_Gal

“Megan b. you may know a lot of people but no one really likes you. It’s a surprise you got into ASBSU. You should hit the gym sometime.” This statement was posted on Bronco Confessions 2.0 on Thursday, Sept. 19. For some people, most people, this statement would be devastating. Megan Buxton however, is stronger than most. “The Bronco Confessions post was definitely a shock. I did not take it to heart, but I can easily see how posting something like this could cause some serious damage,” Buxton said. “I actually felt much better after reading the responses posted by my friends. I am really lucky to have such a strong support system. I could only think about what I had done to this person to cause such a post to be warranted. If I honestly wronged the person, then I would like to apologize for what I have done.” Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) President, Ryan Gregg, commented on the site im-

mediately after the post in defense of Buxton. “Megan is one of the most compassionate people and the best friend that you could ask for. I’m ashamed that you are part of our Bronco community. You should be ashamed of yourself for how nasty your comments are,” Gregg said. “This is not the way that we treat people at Boise State, especially those who make the choice to serve.” Gregg then voiced his opinion on cyber harassment in general. “Cyber harassment is a serious issue. It’s an issue for kids who are high school age and now in college and life beyond. It’s unfortunate that we’re dealing with this because it’s a new way for people to be nasty to one another with no—or few—consequences,” Gregg said. The administrator of the site, who chose to remain anonymous, posted an apology a few days later and removed the post.

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Recognize the situation for what it is: Online harassment. It can also be referred to as cyberbullying, but regardless of the name, know that this is a sign of weakness for the perpetrator. As upsetting as it can be, recognize that it’s extremely important that you DO NOT respond to this person. Engaging with the bully often only makes matters worse. They feed off their victim’s misery and pain.

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Make a copy of the message, photo or video. The best way to do this is to copy the URL of the specific webpage where it’s happening. Then screenshot the webpage, just in case.

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Contact the website operators by phone, email and any contact submission forms that they have available on their site. Request that they take the content down immediately, and let them know that you’re filing a case with your local police department. Remain persistent. Continue calling and emailing the website operators until the content has been removed.

4

File a report with your local police department. While some police departments have an “Internet crimes division,” many do not. So unfortunately, in many cases the police can only get involved if your life has been threatened.

5

If necessary, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. They work together to track down serious cases of online criminal complaints.

See BULLYING I page 4

courtesy abc news

Students balance technology in the classroom Ryan Thorne @RyanThorne86

Every day, students at Boise State use their cell phones and laptops to send thousands of text messages and emails, or to check whether an assignment is due on the popular scholarly website Blackboard. As the internet and technology have be-

come integrated more into the education system, students are expected to keep up with the changing times, but for some professors like Rick Moore, chair of the Communication Department at Boise State, sometimes technology has no place in the classroom. “Typically with a lecture and discussion

class, I take a hard line against technology use,” Moore said. “It’s not that I don’t understand that learning can take place with those technologies, the difficulty is that they are a distraction for most students.” Moore allows technology use in the classroom when necessary to learn a concept or complete in class work, but he

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thinks excluding tech- and critical thinking nology from the class- doesn’t matter as much,” room is necessary to en- Moore said. gage students in focused For now however, thought. Moore requires his stu“Theoretically, in a dents to focus on the classroom setting, you task at hand, free of text are really trying to think messages and Facebook critically, and thinking posts. critically requires a sus“To me, critical thinktained train of thought ing requires great attenand those distractions tion and great focus,” (cell phones and lap- Moore said. tops) can be detrimenBoise State students tal,” Moore said. like sophomore kineMoore said there are a siology major Trevor number of things com- Summers think technolpeting for student at- ogy limits should not be tention online including imposed by professors email, Facebook, sports students should take scores, or the latest You- personal responsibility tube sensation. Moore when it comes to use in thinks society may even- the classroom. tually accept constant “You’re paying, so if distraction as an educa- you don’t want to pay tional norm. attention, that’s your “It might be that our fault,” Summers said. society is going to move to the point where logic doesn’t matter as much See Technology I page 4

Arts & Entertainment

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Sports

TALK NERDY TO ME

Why you should upgrade your phone “Talk Nerdy to Me” is a technology column written by Derek Deulus to provide technological advice to the Boise State community. If you’re due for a cell phone upgrade, then you owe it to yourself to upgrade. I’m not just saying this because it’s always great to get a new phone, but because if you don’t upgrade, then you’re just throwing away extra money to your cell phone carrier every month. And we all know, as students, every penny counts! Everyone knows when you buy a new Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, you are signing a contract for two years promising to pay something like $45 a month for service. What most people don’t know is the actual retail cost of these phones are around $500-$700, and part of that $45 a month payment is hidden phone payments. So let’s say that you purchase an iPhone for $100. For every $45 monthly payment you pay, $19 is going towards your phone. This means that 24 months later, when your contract is over, you have paid around $456. If you add to that your initial $100 you paid when you bought your phone, then your phone is officially paid off. So why is your monthly bill still the same? This is where U.S. carriers screw us over and profit off of us. This is also the reason why you owe it to yourself to upgrade your phone. U.S. carriers already charge way too much for phone service, so don’t give them more money if you don’t have to. If you want to save some money, as most students do, there is a better solution. Switch to T-Mobile. Not only are they one of the most affordable carriers in the U.S., but they also don’t pull any tricks. They don’t have twoyear contracts. Instead, you have a line of credit with them that you purchase your phone on. They create a phone payment plan for you that is added to your bill for a limited number of months, and once the phone is paid off your bill drops significantly. Now you’re only paying for cell service without any extra hidden costs and saving money each month.

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Tuition increases at College costs US public colleges at College costs rose again this academic year, but not as steeply as they have in past years. However, federal aid, which eases the lowest rate in burden for most students, has declined over the past two years. decades Type of college 2012-13 2013-14 % change

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Audio quality “Talk Nerdy to Me” is a technology column written by Derek Deulus. Like many people, I love music. Recently, one of my new favorite artists released her debut album. I did a quick Google search to see where it was available to download and this got me thinking about audio quality. Let’s start with the MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III). Without getting too technical, the basic idea behind MP3 is taking a pure recorded sound and compressing it into a smaller file while trying to retain the sound quality. In terms of audio quality and file size, the bigger the file you have, the more pure and quality sound you hear. If you were to take a song off of your CD and leave it completely uncompressed however, your average audio file size would be well over 30Mb (megabytes). That’s a lot of space for one song and your iPod would fill up pretty quickly. What audio compression does, is chips away little bits of audio that typically your ears don’t pick up on. This is usually your deep bases and very high ends in music. To your average music listener using $20 Apple earbuds, you’re not going to hear a difference and that’s great. If you want something a tad bit better in quality but don’t want to sacrifice your file space, start using AAC format. AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) was designed to be the successor to the MP3. AAC files offer higher quality sound at roughly the same file size as MP3’s. If you purchase your music through Apple’s iTunes then you’re already on your way, as Apple uses AAC. For the audiophiles of the world (I’m talking about the people who purchase $200+ headphones) industry standard MP3 probably won’t cut it. They most likely use file formats like FLAC or Apple Lossless compression. These are referred to as “lossless compressions codecs” because they don’t lose any sound quality. Just be warned though, one album could easily fill up to 1Gb (gigabyte) of hard drive space. So think about that the next time you are tempted to purchase those “Beats by Dre” headphones. Unless you’re using the right file format for your music, you may just be throwing away hard earned money.

The rise in tuition at public colleges slowed this year to the smallest increase in more than three decades, although financial aid has not kept pace to cover the hikes, according to a College Board study released Wednesday. At public four-year colleges and universities across the country, the average price for tuition and fees rose 2.9 percent this year _ the smallest annual rise in 38 years _ to $8,893 for instate students, the report said. Room and board adds about $9,500. However, analysts urged students and families to pay closer attention to what they described as the more important figure: the net average cost after grants, tax credits and deductions. That was $3,120, up from $3,050 last year, for average net tuition and fees at fouryear public colleges. “It does seem that the spiral is moderating _ not turning around, not ending, but moderating,” said Sandy Baum, a co-author of the College Board study and research professor at George Washington University. Baum said that the relatively small increase, while still

above the general 2 percent inflation, was good news and that she hoped it will encourage more students to enroll in college and apply for financial aid. The tuition hikes at four-year public colleges from 2010 through 2012 had averaged 7.9 percent, 8.5 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. California contributed to this year’s national slowdown: the University of California and California State University systems froze tuition for the second year in a row after sharp increases for 2011. At private nonprofit colleges, the average sticker price for tuition and fees was up 3.8 percent, to $30,094. That was a bit less than the rise of at least 4 percent in each of the previous three years. The much lower net cost, what students actually pay, averaged $12,460 after grants and tax benefits, up $530 from last year, the College Board reported. Room and board at private schools average about $10,820. Both public and private colleges have faced more pressure from the public and federal government to keep costs down, said economist Jennifer Ma, a coauthor of the report. “Obviously, they have been mindful of that,” she said. For

Two-year public Four-year public Four-year private

$3,154 8,646 28,989

$3,264 8,893 30,094

NOTE: Does not include room, board

Sources of aid 2012-13

Public and private sources of funding, in billions 2012-13 figures are preliminary

Federal aid 2010-11 2012-13

Work/study $185.5 169.7

1%

Non-federal loans 2010-11 8.1 2012-13 8.8

Federal loans

State, institutional, private grants 64.2 2010-11 68.7 2012-13 Source: The College Board example, President Barack Obama has proposed a new college rating system that takes pricing and financial aid into account. Plus, with the recession receding, some state governments have started to restore higher education funding that had been cut after tax revenues shrank five years ago, experts said. California vot-

Staff Writer

According to the Idaho Office for Refugees statistics, there were 686 refugees from 20 different countries whocame to Idaho in 2012. All of these refugees will have to obtain citizenship within seven years of their arrival in the United States. Some of them are without any English background, and some are illiterate, even in their native tongue. Assistant professor, Casey Keck, P.h.D., of the Boise State English Department has taken on the challenge of connecting Boise State students with the refugee population in the Boise community. With a Ph.D in applied linguistics, Keck and her team are working to help get elder refugees’ English proficiency levels high enough to pass the citizenship test. Keck is working in conjunction with Project SHINE, a nationwide program for refugee integration into American lifestyles and prevention of elder refugee isolation. The project that was started at Temple University has now spread across the United States with programs in 17 different states. “The largest program is at San Francisco State, where I last worked and got my start

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with Project SHINE,” Keck said. The Boise State volunteer staff for Project SHINE consists of seven people, a promising number considering this is the first year of the program. “The idea was pitched to me in the 2011-12 school year; we launched the first course in the spring of 2013,” Keck said. Classes such as Linguistics 310 and Linguistics 424 with a service-learning component generate most of the volunteers for the project. Keck’s motivation and inspiration to take on the coordinator position for such a hefty project came from her linguistic and education backgrounds. “My first job out of college was teaching English as a Second Language, which led to an interest in research and teaching other teachers,” Keck Said. From Atlanta, Ga. she moved to Flagstaff, Ariz. and carried out the rest of her schooling with a masters in teaching of English to speakers of other languages or TESOL and then finally her Ph.D. in applied linguistics. There is a research portion to the Project SHINE development phase. In this development, Stephen Gib-

son, Keck’s graduate assistant, is looking into designing a master’s project along with volunteering with SHINE. “I want to compile translations of the American Citizen Manual so the students can learn about the American government at home in their native tongue and then

Tax credits

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Grants

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ers last year, for example, approved Proposition 30, which increased some taxes that helped avoid tuition hikes. Once again, the annual College Board survey highlights California’s two-year community colleges as the best bargain in the nation, with tuition and other fees for state residents averaging $1,424, com-

Boise State teaches refugees to SHINE Hali Goodrich

+3.5% +2.9 +3.8

focus on English in class,” Gibson said. This is just one idea of a way to make all of the strange material that the refugees have to learn for the citizenship test more relatable. The project is newly launched, newly funded and thus far having a very positive

© 2013 MCT

pared with $3,264 nationwide. UC’s $13,200 in tuition and campus-based fees this year is above the $9,804 average at all doctoral degree-granting public universities, while Cal State’s average $6,695 is below the $7,750 for master’s degree institutions nationally. Read the full story at Arbiteronline.com. impact on refugee elders and on Boise State students alike. As more professors gain awareness of the project and how it can lend to service learning options in classes, the program grow. Students with any interest in helping or volunteering with Project SHINE can contact assistant professor Casey Keck at caseykeck@ boisestate.edu.

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Students visit Capitol with ASBSU Hillary McCarthy

Students can get involved with the legislature at the Day at the Capitol event held near the end of January to talk about positive economic and societal impacts at Boise State University. The Day at the Capitol is for students to get together, capitalize in a higher education and increase in state revenues. Last year, the event included topics like: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Boise State is serving a foundation for growth in the future. Along with the topics discussed last year with the legislatures, there were also presentations featuring the development of innovative educational delivery models to meet the needs of students, helping Idaho businesses thrive in a challenging economic environment and maximizing efficiency and improving academic quality. These are just three of the 10 presentations presented at Day at the Capitol. Cassie Sullivan, who is serving her first term elected in Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) as secretary of external affairs, is recruiting 40 to 50 students for Day at the Capi-

tol for January 2014. “The political significance of this event is for the Associated Students of Idaho to come together and invest in higher education. Make it education, it’s our best investment,” Sullivan said. Sullivan is interested in recruiting students to speak to the legislatures about ways Boise State can get more funding. As of right now Boise State receives twothirds funding compared to other colleges in Idaho. Jamie Lundergreen, president of the Honors Student Association, is a student who attended Day at the Capitol last year. “I was assigned a few legislators, so I was supposed to make contact with each of them and escort them to some of the informational booths,” Lundergreen said. “For the most part, I talked to them about their experiences as legislators, and they also asked me about my time at Boise State. From my perspective, the Day at the Capitol gave both the ambassadors and the legislators an opportunity to understand each other better in the hopes of supporting and promoting all that Boise State has to offer.” Boise State has a lot to offer when it comes to making

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Boise State students are invited to attend Day at the Capitol. the future something worth looking forward to. Students attending Boise State now can use Day at the Capitol as a way to connect with legislatures and show them there’s hope for a great future. By contacting ASBSU, students can become ambassadors and get the chance to attend Day at the Capitol. Students who are not familiar with Idaho politics can still get involved in this event. “Being from Nevada, I don’t have much history with Idaho politics, so I mostly talked to legislators about

Boise State evaluates LMS Keely Mills @PelozaJ

Madison Hansen, a junior English literature and gender studies major, doesn’t have any particular problems with using Blackboard for her courses. “I do find it useful, because I can’t imagine a better alterna-

tive,” Hansen said. Blackboard is the primary learning management system (LMS) used at Boise State. In 2012, the state of Idaho signed a four-year agreement with Blackboard Inc. to allow all educational institutions in the state to use the system for a reduced price. The price Boise

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State pays per year for Blackboard is $194,750. According to Dale Pike, director of academic technologies, Blackboard was first adopted with the idea of using it mainly for online courses. So, eCampus was very involved in helping to choose the LMS. “The choice of the platform

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their work as well as about my experiences at Boise State,” Lundergreen said. “It’s not an environment that students should be threatened by because it is meant to allow for conversational mingling. The important part is showing how much Boise State has to offer students and how it is impacting both Idaho and the Boise community.” Andrea Korn, who graduated in the spring of 2011, heard great things about Day at the Capitol. “I heard about the event

through some friends who at that time, were big into politics here at Boise State. They attended Day at the Capitol as ambassadors and talked to the legislatures about receiving more state funding so Boise State could continue to put on certain activities,” Korn said. Day at the Capitol gives the legislators and ambassadors a chance for a connection to solve problems in the community together. For more information, contact Cassie Sullivan in the ASBSU office.

was largely based on the needs of those faculty who were teaching those fully online courses,” Pike said. Leif Nelson, coordinator of instructional and assessment platforms, is currently evaluating other LMSs which could possibly lead to Boise State adopting a new system. Nelson is looking for a system that could be used throughout all programs of the university to create consistency for students. “I don’t know of any comprehensive, ‘Hey-what-LMSshould-we-use?’ campaign that has ever happened,” Pike said. “So we are trying right now to ask that question.” Nelson is directing an LMS advisory group, made up of faculty and staff who are involved in creating courses, to help evaluate different LMSs. This group is making up a survey for students and instructors to figure out what the most important functions of an LMS. “The student voice, in particular, is one that has not been well represented,” Pike said. The hope is the survey will be dispersed around the beginning of next semester. “I think it’s going to take a considerable amount of effort to get the level of feedback we want, but we are so open to suggestions,” Pike said. According to Nelson, its strengths are that it integrates with a lot of different

tools and can accomplish a large variety of tasks, however that can also come with some drawbacks. “The more expansive that application gets, the more difficult it is to keep everything running and that has a major impact on quality,” Pike said. Nelson continued to explain that one of the reasons many people have a negative perception of Blackboard, is because people think that “their interface design is old and cumbersome.” Nelson said since Boise State has had Blackboard for such a long time, so many professors are used to it and using their same materials semester after semester. If Boise State changed to another LMS, all staff would have to be trained again and content would have to be transferred. “The fact that there is kind of that long history with Blackboard is one of the reasons of why we still have it,” Nelson said. Pike also expressed excitement for a new website of digital media tutorials that Boise State will begin licensing next semester. The purpose of this platform is to promote the idea of digital fluency. “Every discipline could benefit from knowing how to design an effective presentation,” Pike said. However, the name of the site cannot yet be revealed. To add input about Blackboard, contact Dale Pike at dalepike@boisestate.edu.

“Talk Nerdy to Me” is a technology column written by Derek Deulus. Follow him on Twitter @Deulus. Lets talk about Wi-Fi. WiFi works similarly to your car stereo. It uses radio waves. And similar to stereo, as more and more devices use Wi-Fi, the available bandwidth that Wi-Fi uses gets smaller and smaller. More devices create more interference similar to how radio stations bleed into each other when the station numbers are close on a dial. Let me explain. Wi-Fi uses two frequency bands. They are 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Think of these two frequency ranges as two major highways which data flow on. In the 2.4Ghz range there are 11 channels. Think of the channels as lanes on a highway. Now while 11 channels may sound like a lot, the truth is that like radio stations on a dial, these channels tend to bleed into each other so what we have to do is spread them apart. So in reality, it’s more like having three channels available at your disposal. Those channels are typically one, six and 11. Now when you live in a house that’s spread further away from other houses, you don’t have as much of an issue with interference. Your neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal has less of a chance of reaching into your house and so you have less interference. But for those who live in an apartment complex, everyone’s Wi-Fi signal is close to each other. Because these signals are extremely close to each other, they often collide with each other similar to cars on a crowded highway, which slows down your network to unusable speeds. So what’s the solution? This is where the 5Ghz frequency band is used. The trade off is that you’ll need to invest some money into a dual band router. Unfortunately, most Internet service providers don’t offer dual-band routers, so there is a high chance you are only running on the 2.4Ghz frequency. The upside is that most people don’t use or know the frequency exists. The other trade off is that 5Ghz will give you faster speeds but at a shorter distance. This means your Wi-Fi may not reach every room in your house depending on the size of your home.

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