Maybe it’s that reality is more interesting than fiction? At least reality seems to be a lot more interesting to high school students shopping for colleges and universities. MIT figured that out five years ago. The New York Times reports that MIT hires some of its upperclassman students to blog about life at the Institute for marketing purposes. One such blogger, senior Cristen Chinea has her days when she feels out of place at MIT (e.g., after sleeping through part of a Star Wars marathon, the Times says), but she basically just loves the place. Dozens of other schools, too – including Amherst, Bates, Carleton, Colby, Vassar, Wellesley, and Yale – are similarly linking to highlighted student blogs from their home pages, the Times adds, but none “match the first-hand narratives and direct interaction with current students” that MIT’s bloggers have achieved (they get “$10 an hour for up to four hours a week” for their efforts). The bloggers “have different majors, ethnicities, residence halls and, particularly, writing styles. Some post weekly or more; others disappear for months. “But they’re celebrities to their high-schooler readers, much sought-out during Campus Preview Weekend. Maybe another trend?: celebrity, as well as marketing, that’s real.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems