Daily Digest: Internet, internet, internet

by Courtney Sinner

Tuesday is another cold one, folks, so pull on the cap and belly up to some hot cocoa while you peruse the Daily Digest.


*Minnesota wants to build a better broadband infrastructure for better high-speed internet, but there may not be enough money to fund it (shocker, right?), according to an article by Minnesota Public Radio, which cites www.connectmn.org as a good way for people to test their broadband connection and keep internet providers accountable for the rates that they publish, but sometimes can’t offer in certain areas (I think I’ve heard about this in a commercial.). A Humphrey Institute person is also sourced in the story, basically saying that if we invest the money into this kind of infrastructure (apparently we started a project like this right before the dot-com bust and it was never finished), people will invent new ways of using the internet, which could be good for innovation.


*As some readers may know, good ‘ol T-Paw said in his state of the state address last week that 25% of college and university classes be transferred online in the next six years — but MinnPost’s Sharon Schmickle asks whether that’s even feasible. Theoretically, she writes, it’s more cost effective since you don’t have to turn on the lights in the classroom and people don’t have to drive to campus, but there are other, new costs that come into play, namely, the need to hire more teachers since they can’t handle 500 students for one online class — they usually cap out at 25 or 35. And then there’s the question of whether it’s actually a good learning experience. It’s an interesting perspective on the problem, and one that the U should think about if they want to oblige Pawlenty.


*Speaking of Pawlenty, he announced his proposal for how to fix our budget problems today, and, surprise!, higher ed is taking a major cut, along with welfare and health care. Keep an eye on the Daily for more on the higher ed stuff (T-Paw proposed an 8 percent cut for both the U and MnSCU, which Bruininks called "deep"), but it seems that overall, our Gov. is relying on an Obama stimulus hand-out. Overall state spending is only being cut by 2.2 percent.


Here’s to that mug of cocoa you’re nursing … hope it warms you up. Thursday is supposed to be near 30, so there is light at the end of the tunnel!


Courtney Sinner

Campus Editor