Friday, February 21, 2020

Leading tech trends have big implications for grads - BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Students should pay attention to emerging and prominent tech trends if they're looking for strong future career prospects. As technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence evolve, students can look to tech trends–some emerging, some well-established–to explore paths of study leading to high-paying STEM careers. A new report from GlobalData, a data and analytics company, details how virtual reality companies are increasingly using artificial intelligence and cloud technologies to develop stronger ecosystems. These developments have implications for higher education, from students up to campus leadership.

Alibaba's virus-beating education app draws Chinese students' ire - COCO LIU, Nikkei

Alibaba Group Holding's attempt to promote online education as the coronavirus forces schools across China to remain closed has hit an unexpected barrier: disgruntled, tech-savvy students. Young people vote down DingTalk in protest at having to study during school shutdowns. DingTalk, the tech conglomerates's messaging app, recently launched e-classes for schools. Now the app is taking a beating in online stores as tens of thousands of students who are angry at having to study despite schools being closed vent their frustrations by giving DingTalk a bad rating. Apps with lower ratings appear lower in searches, potentially hurting download rates.

Coronavirus: Universities cancel in-class mid-term exams, shift to online learning - Jolene Ang, Straits Times

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Holistic Approach for Nontraditional Students - Madeline St. Amour, Inside Higher Ed

Community colleges need to create holistic student supports to serve their increasingly diverse student populations, according to a series of briefs released by Achieving the Dream. The holistic student supports approach requires colleges to tie support services into a "seamless, timely and personal experience for every student," according to the nonprofit group. It includes comprehensive advising, scalable case management models, a change leadership framework and assessment using technology to improve these strategies as time goes on.

Arizona's top court agrees to review lawsuit over rising tuition at public universities - Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

The Arizona Supreme Court agreed this week to review a dismissed lawsuit that takes aim at rising tuition rates at the state's public universities.   The Arizona attorney general alleges in the lawsuit that tuition increases at the state's public universities violate the state constitution's mandate to keep higher education "as nearly free as possible." The legal battle comes as universities nationwide are struggling to curb tuition increases after years of wavering state support.

Income-Driven Repayment Plans for Student Loans: Budgetary Costs and Policy Options - Cngressional Budget Office

Introduced as a way to make student loan repayment more manageable, income-driven plans limit payments to a percentage of borrowers’ income and allow for loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years. The Congressional Budget Office examined how income-driven plans differ from plans that require fixed monthly payments, how enrollment in income-driven plans has changed over
time, and how those plans are projected to affect the federal budget.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

As Coronavirus Spreads, House-bound Chinese Students Are Causing An Online Ed-Tech Boom- John Cumbers, Forbes

China is on lockdown, and the whole world is watching developments about the coronavirus in real-time. Yet amidst the fear and panic, there’s a surprising consequence: students and workers who are effectively captive behind closed doors are logging online en masse. The result? New innovation and a burgeoning demand for a new way of learning and working. A catalyst, perhaps, for how we interact in a global economy that demands greater sustainability.

U., peer institutions oppose White House cutting research and education budget - David Veldran, Princetonian

In the press release, AAU President Mary Sue Coleman wrote that the proposal “reduce[s] investments in student aid and vital scientific research at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies” and “drastically cut[s] or end[s] several Education Department student aid programs including Federal Work-Study, the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.” In an email to The Daily Princetonian, University Spokesperson Ben Chang confirmed that the University shared the AAU’s concerns, adding that the University will be working with the New Jersey congressional delegation and other congressional members “to ensure that the final budget provides robust investments in education and research funding.”

Trump Budget Calls For Cuts To Disability Programs - Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop

President Donald Trump is proposing cuts to countless programs benefiting people with disabilities, advocates say, touching everything from Medicaid to employment and autism treatment.  Trump unveiled his $4.8 trillion budget proposal this week for the 2021 fiscal year that starts in October. The president’s budget is unlikely to be rubber-stamped by Congress, but essentially serves as a wish list outlining his priorities. Trump is seeking reductions to Medicaid, food assistance, state councils on developmental disabilities, university centers on developmental disabilities and protection and advocacy programs, said David Card at the National Disability Rights Network.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

India Opens the Door Wide for Online Learning - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

The government of India is for the first time allowing universities to offer fully online degrees -- a change that could reshape education delivery in the country while blowing open the door to a previously limited market for U.S.-based online education services companies. For many years, Indian universities and colleges were not permitted to offer more than 20 percent of a degree online, in part because of concerns about quality and limited mechanisms for oversight and regulation. Now, as part of a push to widen access to higher education and raise the profile of Indian institutions globally, restrictions on online learning are starting to lift.  Massive open online education providers Coursera and edX both say they hope to increase their existing presence in India and partner more deeply with institutions there.

More Trustees Fear for the Future - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

More than 40 percent of trustees are now very concerned about the future of higher education, up 14 points from last year, according to a survey. Trustees have grown significantly more concerned about the future of higher education in the last year, according to new polling released today that points to financial sustainability and the prices students pay as top sources of anxiety. And trustees aren’t just worried about the sector as a whole. A majority are also concerned about the future financial sustainability of their own institutions or systems.

Students saved nearly $5M with Penn State's open educational resources - Betsy Foresman, edScoop

Penn State announced last week that its initiative to enable access to higher education by lowering the cost of textbooks and other course materials has made serious progress, saving students a combined $4.8 million over the past three years. “Penn State’s novel, combined approach to lowering textbook costs through the use of both freely open and affordable, or low-cost, resources, is gaining notice in higher education nationwide,” Penn State’s Rebecca Miller Waltz said in a press release.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Will Coronavirus Crisis Trigger an Enrollment Crisis? - Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed

The biggest story in international education over the last decade was, in a word, China. As the number of students from China studying in the U.S. grew rapidly, fueled by a big increase in tuition-paying undergraduates, colleges and universities grew reliant on them to balance their budgets. And as Chinese universities grew in stature, American colleges created innumerable partnerships with their Chinese counterparts in research and other areas.  Now the global public health crisis precipitated by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, in China -- and the imposition of travel restrictions barring entry to the U.S. of most foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the last 14 days -- threatens student flows and other forms of collaboration. More than 1,100 people have died from the virus, which was first identified in December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

Under Lockdown for Coronavirus, Parents Struggle to Deal With Their Kids - Rebecca Kanthor, NY Times

Throughout China, quarantines and lockdowns are the new norm as cities try to contain the virus. Most parents here are afraid to let their kids go outside even for a little while, and no one knows how long it will last. Just a few days ago, we heard that schools, which have been on winter vacation for the past three weeks, won’t start again until March at the earliest. So teachers are sending out e-learning assignments as many parents head back to work remotely.

Quantum entanglement over 30 miles of fiber has brought super secure internet closer - Douglas Heaven, Technology Review

In a paper in Nature today, Pan Jian-Wei at the University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, and his colleagues describe an experiment in which they demonstrate entanglement through more than 30 miles of fiber coiled in a lab, with lower transmission errors than previous attempts. “This is a big improvement,” says Pan, who is sometimes called the “father of quantum.” The trick was to find efficient ways to entangle two particles. The team used an atom, which stayed put, and a photon, which was sent down the fiber. They found that they were able to create an entangled pair of nodes much more reliably than was demonstrated in previous experiments—including the one setting the mile benchmark, which it beat by five orders of magnitude.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Know Your Students - Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Far too often we begin planning a class with the content, pedagogy, technology and outcomes in mind -- without first researching the students. When teaching, it seems logical to begin with the content or the pedagogy and then apply technologies to meet the outcomes we see, yet this misses the most important foundational step in the process. It is to get to know the students who have enrolled in your program in the past or for whom you are designing the class. We cannot make assumptions. Over time the characteristics, knowledge and aspirations of enrolling students change. Especially today, with a range of career changers, adult learners and online learners from different regions, continents and cultures, we must be vigilant to monitor them to make sure we are meeting their needs.

Keeping pace with lifelong learning demands - RICHARD PRICE, eCampus News

There is a tendency to see the transition between higher education and the workforce, from a skills acquisition perspective, as packing all your belongings from college into one suitcase, getting your first job, and then…that’s it. You unpack, settle down, and never have to pack again. If you need anything else, your employer takes care of it. This leads educational institutions, government agencies, and many companies to imagine a single, modular interface between college and a first job, and to behave as if higher education’s role is done after the graduation ceremony.

Florida lawmakers weigh merger for two small public colleges - Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

The Florida Legislature is weighing a proposal that would begin the process of merging two of the state's smaller colleges with two of its larger institutions. Under the plan, the New College of Florida would merge with Florida State University, while Florida Polytechnic University would combine with the University of Florida. The smaller institutions would also transfer their assets to the larger universities. The proposal makes Florida the latest state to consider merging its public institutions as a way to address enrollment declines and to help lower higher ed spending.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Trump returns to cuts in higher ed budget proposal - Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Education Dive

The Trump administration on Monday released its $66.6 billion budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, which would slash the agency's funding by about 8%. Among its provisions, the budget plan would eliminate subsidized federal student loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. It would also open Pell Grants to students in nontraditional, short-term programs and to certain students who are incarcerated. Higher ed experts say the cuts are largely familiar from previous budget cycles and have little chance of passing Congress.

Microsoft, Twitter and Walmart want to help you get a job in tech — without racking up student loans - Greg Iacurci, CNBC

Firms like Ford, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Sony Electronics, Sprint, Toyota, Twitter, Visa and Walmart are exploring, and in some cases implementing, apprenticeship programs for careers in technology. Tech apprenticeships offer a new way for Americans without a college degree or tech background to land a job in the field without going back to school.  The average student loan balance is around $30,000, up from $10,000 in the early 1990s.

Deal with online giant threatens Pennsylvania colleges, Moody’s warns - JILL BARSHAY, The Hechinger Report

If you want to understand how online degrees are shaking up traditional colleges and universities, look at Pennsylvania. In January 2020, the state’s 14 community colleges signed an unusual agreement with a private nonprofit university far outside Pennsylvania’s borders to encourage students to complete their bachelor’s degrees online.