Technology and the College Admissions Process: When It Comes to Using the Web for Researching Potential Schools, Students Aren't as Smart about It as They (and Others) like to Believe
Tyre, Terian, District Administration
We all know the Internet has forever altered how high school students research and apply to colleges. After all, seniors can "visit" campuses and their surroundings via virtual tours, peruse online course catalogs at will, and explore financial-aid options using free tools on Web sites. Increasingly, it's just a matter of filling in the fields of a Web-based application form and clicking "Submit." It's all good, right?
Not completely. It's more of an 80/20 ratio. For, along with the clear advantages that the Internet brings to the process, it has brought problems as well.
For instance, savvy seniors may think they have it all wired, and might just skip the step of talking with a school guidance counselor. Parents, accustomed to deferring to their kids' expertise when it comes to all things "computer," might be tempted to concur. This would be a mistake.
It's not that excellent information isn't available on the Internet. It is, and moreover, much of it was previously unavailable. But most high school seniors, despite their self-confidence, are not yet adept enough at gathering it.
"Kids are great recreational users [of the Internet], but lousy academic users," observes Kenneth Hartman, "and that includes their researching of colleges." Hartman, a member of the Graduate School of Education at The University of Pennsylvania who spent 11 years at The College Board, is the author of The Internet Guide for College-Bound Students. He notes that most students just go to the main pages of college Web sites--the marketing materials, if you will. Fewer than 25 percent will dig much deeper, he estimates, and thus most are missing opportunities for real insight.
Using the Web and e-mail, "now students can find the `unofficial' information about a school or academic program," Hartman explains. To learn about hotbed issues or crime on campus, for example, they can read the college's student newspaper online. To explore non-academic life, they might scan the meeting …
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Publication information: Article title: Technology and the College Admissions Process: When It Comes to Using the Web for Researching Potential Schools, Students Aren't as Smart about It as They (and Others) like to Believe. Contributors: Tyre, Terian - Author. Magazine title: District Administration. Volume: 39. Issue: 2 Publication date: February 2003. Page number: 22+. © 2007 Professional Media Group LLC. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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