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Very, Very, Very Wired

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SSU Connected

For the third year in a row, Sonoma State University has made the annual “Most Connected Campuses” list, which features the results of a Princeton Review survey to find the 25 colleges and universities offering the most cutting-edge technology. The complete list is available here.

It wasn’t long ago that a highly connected campus was one where each dorm room had its own phone line. But in order to remain competitive in the 21st century, a college has to support wireless networking, provide ultra-high-speed connections to classrooms, and allow students to take classes online.

Today’s students depend on technology to live, work and play, and today’s colleges have to provide high-tech tools in order to attract the best applicants. This third annual edition of the Princeton Review Most Connected Campuses examine the technological capabilities of the country’s best schools and reports which 25 campuses are the closest to the cutting edge.

To determine the rankings, the Princeton Review solicited data from 361 top colleges and universities around the country, asking them a number of questions about the technological sophistication of their campuses.

Criteria included the breadth of the computer science curriculum; the sophistication of campus technology, including streaming media of classes and extracurricular offerings; availability of school-owned digital cameras and equipment for student use; wireless Internet access on campus; and support for handheld computing.

In previous years, the Princeton Review ranked all of the schools it surveyed. But this year, because so little difference may exist between a No. 1 and No. 2 school, they decided to single out and present only the 25 most connected campuses and not to rank further within that group.

“The schools on our list have demonstrated leadership in preparing and supporting students for life in the digital age. Students who understand the value of technology to both their career prospects and overall quality of life will want to pay special attention to the schools on our list,” commented Rob Franek, vice president and publisher.

“All of the 25 campuses on this elite list are all impressively well-connected, and they are all using technology in innovative, thought-provoking ways,” said Michael Noer, executive editor, news, at Forbes.com.

Forbes.com also offers a look at the technological differences between a dorm room in 1976 and one in 2006; an overview of new Web-based services that help students find roommates, order snacks and even do their laundry; a story about the unique challenges of securing computer networks on college campuses; and a feature on the Mars Stereo Imaging project, which uses networking technology to let undergraduates explore the surface of Mars.

Detailed profiles on these and other schools are available here: www.princetonreview.com.