All posts by alliefjel

Top 10 Dream Colleges

Harvard University

The Princeton Review has released their Top Ten dream colleges for 2012. The list is based off of the top choices of students looking to enroll in the fall of 2012, they are, in order:

1. Harvard University
2. Stanford University
3. Columbia University
4. New York University
5. Princeton University
6. University of California – Los Angeles
7. Yale University
8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
9. Brown University
10. University of Southern California

We here on staff at Campus Media Group would be thrilled to make cases for some additional colleges including, in no particular order, University of Minnesota, Indiana University, University of Toronto, University of Kansas and Luther College.

 

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Hip-Hop in the Heartland

Minneapolis has long been known for its rich music scene, we can claim some of the most well-known musicians of the 20th century for our own. From Bob Dylan to Prince to The Replacements the Minneapolis area is home to an eclectic mix of talented artists.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, and really stretching further back than that, Minneapolis has been able to boost about a new slew of other artists, all coming out of its independent hip-hop scene.

Atmosphere is the most popular group out of this scene, a duo made up of MC Slug and DJ Ant , the group has been churning out music for nearly 20 years. Their following in the area is nothing short of fanatic with the duo consistently selling out the historic First Avenue Main room, their tracks spun on local radio and their new albums hotly anticipated and written about in local publications. Their fan base has reached a national and even international audience with their act hitting Europe this past winter and heading to Australia/New Zealand this spring.


Atmosphere is the headline act on the Rhymesayers label which hosts other, equally talented acts such as; Brother Ali, Grieves, Blueprint and Felt amongst many MCs. Every Memorial Day weekend the label throws the annual Soundset , which is an all day hip-hop festival in Shakopee Minnesota. The concert showcases much of the Rhymesayers label as well as other members of the local hip-hop community such as Heiruspecs and the critically acclaimed Doomtree. The festival drew 20,000 attendees last year and that is projected to grow this year as national acts Lupe Fiasco as well as Ghostface Killah & Raekwon are slated to headline along with Atmosphere.

The hip-hop coming out of Minneapolis is unlike anything you will hear on mainstream radio. There is an overall “consciousness” to it, and frequent themes go deeper than cars and money and tend to focus on frequent allegories to tell stories of life and love. Check out a video from Atmosphere below to get a taste of what makes Minneapolis hip-hop so unique.

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A Textbook Revolution

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Apple announced last week a major overhaul to its iBooks app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch they are calling iBooks2 which will allow textbooks to be sold and used on their devices.

iBooks in the past sold novels and other leisure reading, but this is the first time the application will support academic textbooks. Not only will students be able to read the textbooks , there will also be many interactive features, such as videos, games and quizzes, that a traditional textbook could not support.

Textbook Stack
Image by greenasian via Flickr

Apple has said none of the textbooks will cost more than $15, which is a far cry from the usual $80-$100 price tag for most academic textbooks. The company also already has partnerships with three of the largest textbook publishers in the United States: Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt- which combined make up 90% of the textbook market in this country. This means that all of the content that is available in traditional textbooks now will likely be available digitally in the very near-future.

While there are some pretty obvious pros to the new iBooks2, looming questions also remain: Will Apple be offering discounts on their devices in order to lure educators/students in? Will school districts be expected to provide the technology to the students free of cost or will students have to pay for their own? iPads currently run from $499.00-$829.00, which is a significant amount of money to pay up front for a delicate item that a teenager may forget on a bus. Will students have to get external hard-drives to store the textbooks? The average textbook is about 1.5 GB which means that a student would fill up a 16GB iPad pretty quickly. Will this replace courses such as biology where a significant amount of the work is done in a physical lab? Will high school students never experience the sacred ritual of fighting with your lab partner over who has to make the first cut into the poor frog at the beginning of the dissection?

Apple is not the only player in the digital textbook market, Google, Amazon and others have all tried it but so far none have really taken off.  Apple is surely looking to replicate the success and total market domination of iTunes with it’s re-launch of iBooks.

While obvious challenges and questions remain there is no doubt that iBooks2 is the future of education. It will take some pains, money and a significant overhaul in the way we look at education to get there, but

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