Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Minerva: How to Go to College During a Pandemic - Frank Bruni, NY Times

Students at Minerva spend four years entirely online. Is this the future of higher education?  Minerva drew attention at the outset, because it was one answer to intensifying questions about the affordability of college, the country-club excesses of some campuses and the erratic devotion to actual instruction. But it’s an object of even greater fascination now, because it willingly made changes that other schools are suddenly forced to consider, thanks to the coronavirus. Mitchell Stevens, an associate professor of education at Stanford, told me that even before the pandemic higher education “was in many ways being held together by prayers, Band-Aids, international students and a lot of debt.”

Ransomware: Your biggest security headache refuses to go away - Steve Ranger, ZDNet

Ransomware has been around for more than three decades, so it's hardly an unexpected threat. And yet, organisations large and small are still being taken completely by surprise by the file-encrypting malware, leaving them to decide between rebuilding many of their computer systems from scratch to rid themselves of the ransomware or paying up to the crooks in the hope that they will hand over the encryption keys. So why aren't we learning the lessons from all the companies that have already been hit by ransomware over the years? Here are a few reasons.

Faculty work to improve online class delivery for fall semester - By Duncan Slade, Daily Athenaeum - West Virginia University

In May, faculty knew fall classes were quickly approaching and would include some level of remote instruction. The spring semester’s emergency remote learning had soured some students to the entire concept of online education. Faculty had four months, not two weeks, to plan how they would show students the broad possibilities of online learning. Her classes this semester will look very different as students will use a virtual lab platform in conjunction with short video lessons to take measurements on a patient at a doctor’s office, grow glowing bacteria, and extract DNA from a strawberry.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Most fall classes will be online. What about courses that can’t be? - Joe Brandt, NBC10

Some college classes may not offer as many courses this fall if conditions change with the coronavirus pandemic. It’ll depend on whether that course can be brought online, or must be taught in person. But other fields of study require in-person contact for accreditation, or from sheer practice. Art schools are still planning to give students face-to-face time with an instructor in studio courses. Many technical programs with hands-on work also plan to do that in person. In either case, that will necessitate in-person contact during a pandemic that has infected more than 4.3 million Americans.

Visualizing Vulnerable Jobs Across America - Brookings Institution

A product of the Brookings Workforce of the Future initiative, this interactive database searches information from 380 metropolitan statistical areas.  Fields allow you to compare to other cities.  Great detail in major employment fields.

DePaul interim provost discusses fall quarter, online learning at virtual seminar - Nika Schoonover, DePaulia

Ghanem spoke first, discussing the steps DePaul took at the start of the pandemic and what precautions they plan to take. She mentioned the switch to online finals at the end of the winter quarter, the move to remote learning in the spring and summer sessions, and the use of a virtual commencement for graduating students. “At this point, what we are preparing for the fall, is to really reduce the footprint, have alternative teaching modalities, while making sure that our face to face classes are really for those classes that cannot be offered in a different modality focusing predominantly on lab type classes,” Ghanem said. “We have eliminated unnecessary travel for our faculty, our staff as well as our students, and we created a density analysis.”

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Work-study jobs may be remote, in-person or rescinded entirely this fall depending on colleges' policies. - Emma Kerr, U.S. News & World Report

Students who rely on part-time jobs funded by the federal work-study program to pay for college may see their financial aid options limited or rescinded this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. Whether students can access work-study funding, which is a form of aid that requires them to work for wages paid in part by the U.S. Department of Education, will depend on the policy in place at the college they attend. Work-study typically only accounts for a small piece of the pie when it comes to paying for college: In 2019-2020, 18% of families relied on work-study to pay for college, and the average aid amount among those families was $1,847, according to Sallie Mae's How America Pays for College 2020 study.

Now, more than half of Americans are millennials or younger - William H. Frey, Brookings Institution

To many Americans—especially baby boomers themselves—this news may come as a shock. For them, the term “millennial” has been associated with a youthful, often negative, vibe in terms of habits, ideology, and politics. Now, the oldest millennial is 39, and with their numbers exceeding those of baby boomers, the millennial generation is poised to take over influential roles in business and government. But the current political environment suggests this takeover could be contentious. Millennials and their juniors (Gen Z and younger) are more racially diverse than those that preceded them, with nearly half identifying as a racial or ethnic minority.

When looking for a new job, there are certain things you'll need to know - Mashable

When you're looking for a new job, there are certain skills you'll need just to get noticed. We recommend taking an online course to walk you through the specifics, but here are some pointers to get started. Get serious about LinkedIn. If you’re hitting that “Easy Apply” button on LinkedIn, your profile better look pristine. Convenience means there’s probably a larger applicant pool. So get a real headshot and spend more time on LinkedIn than Instagram.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

A new neural network could help computers code themselves - Will Douglas, MIT Technology Review

The tool spots similarities between programs to help programmers write faster and more efficient software. Intel's Jutin Gottschlich and his colleagues call this machine programming. Working with a team from Intel, MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, he has developed a system called Machine Inferred Code Similarity, or MISIM, that can extract the meaning of a piece of code—what the code is telling the computer to do—in much the same way as natural-language processing (NLP) systems can read a paragraph written in English.

How learning journals can help students grow - JIANG XUEQIN, Big Think

Jiang Xueqin is a China-based educator and writer and researcher at the Global Education Innovation Initiative at Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Jiang Xueqin endorses learning journals as a good method to promote meta-learning for students during the coronavirus pandemic. Learning journals can be kept for any activity and have three components: defining a goal "concretely and precisely," writing down the process, and writing down observations and reflecting on the experience.
While learning journals are primarily a personal exercise, Xueqin says that teachers can play a crucial role as coaches who motivate the student and find ways for them to improve with new learning strategies.

Library offers free online courses to help the unemployed - LINDA MCINTOSH, San Diego Union-Tribune

The Oceanside Public Library, which is temporarily closed because of the pandemic, provides free online courses to help folks who lost their jobs.  The courses are offered through the Coursera for Workforce Recovery program. The courses range from computer programming, digital literacy, data analytics/business analysis and software or app development to entrepreneurship, web design project management, marketing and business English among others.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Make Super Simple Videos for Teaching Online - Michael Wesch, EDUCAUSE Review

The hard part can be getting the confidence to talk to the camera, but making simple videos for online teaching can help you engage with students. This video was produced by Michael Wesch, professor at Kansas State University. You can find more videos like this on his YouTube channel @Michael Wesch.

EdX Advisory Council Calls for Short-Term Credential Programs, Industry-Aligned Curricula - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Learning platform edX recently convened the first (virtual) meeting of its MicroBachelors Program Skills Advisory Council, a group launched in early 2020 that brings together foundations, corporations and academic institutions to "solve shared challenges around reskilling and upskilling in order to address the demands of the future workplace."

Expanding Indian Higher Education - Joyce Lau, Times Higher Education

India’s plans to completely overhaul its higher education system and to open it to international branch campuses have been hailed as impressive by observers, although they remain uncertain about how the country will achieve its lofty goals. Government plan envisions "top 100 universities in the world" being given permission to operate in the country. The National Education Policy (NEP), approved after 12 months of public consultation, sets out a 20-year blueprint to nearly double higher education capacity.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Digital innovations aimed at enhancing democracy experts predict by 2030 - Emily A. Vogels, Lee Raine, Janna Anderson, Pew Research

Experts who were canvassed about the relationship between people’s technology use and democracy also expressed serious concerns about how things will unfold in the next decade. Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor of online learning at the University of Illinois, Springfield, wrote, “Dramatic shifts in employment and education are likely to take place in the coming decade.... New education models such as just-in-time AI-enhanced adaptive learning will emerge, as will truly personalized learning. These will grow in the context of broad social structures that emerge both within and outside formal education as we know it."

Community Colleges shifting toward more career and technical education - Matthew Dembicki, CC Daily

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, El Paso Community College (EPCC) in Texas was already shifting from being primarily an academic transfer institution to expanding more of its career and technical education (CTE) programs based on local demand for those skills among employers, according to President William Serrata. “I believe the pandemic will accelerate this shift,” said Serrata, chair of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) board of directors, during a panel discussion Friday at the virtual Education Writers Association National Seminar.

When Learning Becomes Leading, Leading Becomes Learning - Mary Grush, Campus Technology

At Georgia State University, students learn not only the technical competencies deemed necessary for "digital literacy"; they learn how to pair their new technical understanding with fledgling leadership skills. And while the GSU program, "Digital Learners to Leaders" (DLL) began as a popular co-curricular option back in 2018, it has gained recognition on campus as a solid support for students' academic, career, and personal choices. It is now incorporated into many of GSU's undergraduate programs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Higher-ed is digitized–now, let’s modernize it - SAAD EL YAMANI, eCampus News

Thanks to the hard work of faculty and the dedication of students, college campuses are hotbeds for innovation and discovery. The internet, antibiotics, the Richter scale, and Google’s algorithm are just a handful of the innovations that have been created on university soil. But, when it comes to technology’s role in supporting innovative teaching and learning practices in higher ed, U.S. institutions face significant barriers.

Google Adds 3 New Certificates on Coursera - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Google has announced three new certificate programs on Coursera: Data Analytics, Project Management, and User Experience Design. Part of the company's Grow with Google initiative, the Google Career Certificates are available to anyone, with no degree required to enroll. Google's first certificate program, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, launched in 2018, with 80 percent of participants reporting that the program helped them advance their job search or career within six months.

New Questions in the Wake of COVID-19: Insights from an ELI Analytics Roundtable - Kate Valenti and Linda Feng, EDUCAUSE Review

Pre-pandemic measurements of student engagement would have drawn from in-person observation as well as metrics from the student's digital ecosystem, such as number of LMS logins. Now, institutions must learn how to measure the active interest and motivation of their students and assess learning progress in a fully online interaction, with the added challenge that every single student has a valid reason to be distracted or "disengaged." Discussion during the ELI session drew out several implications of the move to online interaction, both in the early stages of the crisis and now as we all plan for the fall semester.