Simon Fraser University

Social networking, school rankings

April 17, 2007
Traumatized turn to Internet
In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech, students trying to cope with the situation turned to the Internet to share information, pass messages and stay connected. Richard Smith, an associate professor of communication at SFU and co-author of a new book on wireless communications, says the Internet has become part of young people’s media ecology and in this case, is providing students who’ve experienced tragedy with a place to talk things through. Smith can comment on the benefits  – as well as the pitfalls — of such Internet use.

Richard Smith, (Smith is at a conference; available today only via email); 604.291.5116

Looking past school rankings
The Fraser Institute’s annual school performance report cards are out. SFU education dean Paul Shaker contends that there isn’t a “quick and easy foolproof scheme” for parents when it comes to choosing a school. Last year, he and colleagues issued a report questioning the effectiveness of rating B.C. schools. Shaker and report co-author Phil Winne, an SFU education professor, can share their views in light of the latest rankings. See

Paul Shaker, 604.291.6796;
Phil Winne, 604.291.4858;

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