Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Making Online Learning Active - Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed

We must engage, motivate and challenge our students, tap in to their innate curiosity and challenge them with activities that they find authentically meaningful. Active learning in virtual environments is not a mission impossible. It’s eminently doable. The keys are to ask our students to interpret conventional and unconventional primary sources; invite them to experiment with new ways of organizing, visualizing, analyzing and presenting data; encourage them to undertake investigations, solve problems and engage in role playing, brainstorming and debates; and create their own multimedia projects and presentations.

Online learning critical to the 'reskilling' of America - JEFF MAGGIONCALDA, the Hill

Policymakers should use this opportunity to launch a large-scale effort to help Americans develop the skills to do the jobs of the future. Some lawmakers are already laying the foundation for this American reskilling. The Skills Renewal Act is a bipartisan, bicameral proposal to provide a $4,000 tax credit to individuals to cover the cost of training programs that build high-demand skills. To maximize participation during the pandemic, the bill includes provisions for distance learning to help workers with access to job-relevant education. This is where the Skills Renewal Act could have a transformational impact.

Pandemic reveals opportunities for 5G connectivity - MIT Technology Review

Demand for the wireless technology’s speed and power has reached astronomic heights—while supply remains conspicuously low. The coronavirus health crisis may have changed that. Once implemented, the long-anticipated 5G experience will be dazzling: smart factories, telemedicine, and augmented reality will be commonplace. Users will have ubiquitous, high-speed connectivity everywhere, whether moving or at rest. “When you have to re-create all of these experiences—from education to health care to transportation to work—you suddenly realize what you’re missing,” said John Roese, president and CTO of products and operations at Dell Technologies.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

3 ways remote learning changed my instruction forever - Phil Cox, eCampus News

As the school year comes to an end, educators are looking at how our classrooms have changed over the past few months and the various possibilities of what the future of learning will hold. And while my school, like many, has not made its final decision on how learning will take place in the fall, I’ve taken an opportunity to look back at the successes with online learning to understand how my class will forever be changed, for the better.

Now Is the Time to Embrace Mobile Learning - Christina Moore, EDUCAUSE Review

The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the opportunities and benefits that mobile technologies can provide to students and instructors as they learn and teach in unusual times. I am not typically glued to my phone screen, but I have come around to intentional mobile learning for two main reasons: it offers incredible untapped learning potential, and it reroutes mindless screen scrolling. Recent Pew Research data shows that we all want to use our phones for beneficial tasks like learning.

Learning online at night - Aarushi Datta, University of Washington Daily

Four months ago, I was living in Lander Hall and walking to and attending classes during the day. Then, all of a sudden, with the onset of this pandemic, I had to return home to Bangalore and attend online classes from the other side of the globe. As a UW student living in India, I had to attend my classes at night. I lived an inverted day, with a routine of sleeping at 5 a.m. and waking at 2 p.m. I spent most of my afternoons completing assignments and studying. Evenings were when I made use of all the extra time I now had - while confined to our apartment under a strict lockdown stretching more than two months. Even now, as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, I continue to live under virtual lockdown.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Faculty actually liked online learning (mostly), survey finds - Matt Zalaznick, University Business

Only 17% of the 1,500 faculty members surveyed said their view of online learning has become less favorable since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the report from Tyton Partners, a higher ed consulting firm.  Instructors said student engagement, along with access and equity concerns, were the biggest challenges.  Contrary to public opinion, the sudden shift to wholesale online learning in higher ed did not create a furious backlash from college and university faculty, a new survey finds.

The new global university in the post-COVID-19 world - Jamal Eddine Benhayoun, University World News

Universities have long stood as privileged and well-protected sites serving the creation, structuring and dissemination of knowledge, both theoretical and practical. The complex but relatively short history of the modern university allows us, however, to track a course of intellectual endeavour characterised by recurrent resilience, ingenuity and innovation.  The new global university has to make a statement of its own through the actual diversity of its community of staff and students and by its power to network and influence academe irrespective of the time difference, geographical location and cultural background.

At least 7 colleges cancel fall sports because of the coronavirus - Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

At least seven colleges have canceled their fall sports in the last two weeks out of concerns related to the coronavirus. Bowdoin College, in Maine, and the University of Massachusetts Boston, were among the first schools to cancel their fall seasons. Several other institutions followed suit.  Although Division I schools and many other colleges appear to be resuming sports in the fall, the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and among student-athletes may jeopardize the season. Sports management experts and health officials are advising colleges to prioritize student safety.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

How Should the Edutech Industry Preserve Momentum During and After the Covid-19 Cataclysm? - Anant Goyal, Entrepeneur

It is nothing short of a prospective moment under the sun for the online learning lobby, provided it wholly capitalizes on such a chance offering. With students facing a severe discontinuity of their learning process, it is up to the e-learning platforms to supplement the educational loss of students as well as the professional void of teachers. As the essential procurers of knowledge, the students as guided by their teachers will naturally turn to online learning modes for continuing their learning trajectory. It is then up to the edutech players to preserve the momentum, even more so after the initial popular and massive adoption of e-learning platforms and new-age knowledge portals amongst the primary stakeholders as the go- to-mode for acquiring education.

Improving Connections: The Advantages of Wi-Fi 6 for Online Learning - Doug Bonderud, EdTech

Zoom classes. Netflix shows. Livestreamed work webinars. With the majority of Americans continuing to work and learn from home, annoying network congestion is plaguing families who struggle with the limited bandwidth of Wi-Fi 5. This can be particularly frustrating for college students and their professors, especially with a significant portion of higher education schools planning to adopt the blended learning model in the coming academic year. But there is a solution for that: Wi-Fi 6 can support up to four times the number of devices that Wi-Fi 5 can. Also known as the 802.11ax, this relatively new wireless connection standard promises big benefits for postsecondary schools — especially when paired with other emerging technologies, such as 5G mobile networks.

Virtual science labs are real, can be used in blended learning - Josephine Larbi-Apau, University World News

Authoring this article was spurred by a progressive dialogue among a community of scientists at Cornell University, where I studied. Amid the COVID-19 plague, these adroit academics are sharing knowledge on how to handle science laboratories virtually and effectively to benefit the learning needs of students. The need to perform as an innovative, resourceful and effective classroom teacher and administrator cannot be overstated.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Pandemic Spurs Drive-Up Access for Online Learning - Network World

At the beginning of March, when California was in the early stages of realizing the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had already begun plans to transition to virtual learning at Sacramento State. However, given the diversity of our students, and their varied living situations, we knew that delivering classes online would work only if all of our students could access them.  Fortunately, our new six-floor parking structure provided us with a solution. We determined that we could deploy Wi-Fi on floors 2-6 by leveraging the existing telecom closets on those floors. Then students could drive up to a designated parking spot and access online courses securely using their Sacramento State eduroam credentials.

The 100 Most Popular Courses During the Pandemic - Christof Rindlisbacher, Class Central

In total, the top 100 courses represent approximately 11.7 million new enrollments during the pandemic. Surprisingly, a substantial portion (nearly 20%) of those 11.7 million enrollments came from one course: Yale University’s The Science of Well-Being. A few courses related to COVID-19 that were launched during the pandemic also made it to the list. Overall, 30+ such courses have been launched by institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Complete Florida Plus Program budget cuts impact online learning program support - ANDREW ATTERBURY,

The move, barring action before midnight Tuesday, will kill the Complete Florida Plus Program, an array of technology systems that faculty, staff and students throughout Florida rely on, never more so than now, in the midst of a pandemic that has amplified reliance on distance learning. The cuts include a database of online courses and an online library service that provides 17 million books to 1.3 million students, faculty and staff. At least 2,000 adult learners could be cut off from their scholarships and school accreditation could even be at risk without the resources housed under Complete Florida, which are used by students at high schools, state colleges and universities.

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Role of Learning in Colleges' Decisions About Fall - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Presidents weren't wowed by their colleges' performance in delivering instruction this spring. Their worries about how effectively they can teach online, and students' potential dissatisfaction with that learning, are part of what's driving most of them to physically reopen their campuses this fall. (Yes, money is a major factor, too.) They may be overestimating their ability to ensure a safe and comfortable physical environment for learning.

What Will Higher Ed Hybrid Learning Classrooms Look Like? - Amelia Pang, Educational Tech

As colleges and universities across the nation plan for an unprecedented transition to hybrid learning, what are some common issues they should be anticipating? And how can schools help their faculty and instructors better prepare? We asked two higher education experts to share their plans and solutions: Joe Way, director of learning environments at the University of Southern California, and John Hulen, national education director at Crestron Electronics.

Why Nurturing Talent Will Help Companies Survive the Pandemic - Sydney Finkelstein, Knowledge at Wharton

What is common between leaders like San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh, Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison and California cuisine pioneer Alice Waters? They, and scores of others like them, “generate and regenerate talent on a continuous basis,” according to Sydney Finkelstein, a professor of management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Wild Card For An In-Person Fall: College Student Behavior - ELISSA NADWORNY, NPR

Around the U.S., coronavirus cases are rising among young people. The spread of the virus has been connected to college-related events such as fraternity parties, drinking at off-campus bars and athletic practices. For colleges planning to bring thousands of students together in the fall, student spread is a real worry. And the stakes are high: If there are outbreaks, campuses may once again be forced to shut down, scattering students and disrupting academics and college finances all over again.  To keep that from happening, schools have created robust guidelines — but those plans rely on a major wild card: students following the rules.

Bracing for a Fall - Teresa Valerio Parrot and Erin Hennessy, Inside Higher Ed

Each day, colleges and universities announce their fall semester plans with great confidence, fanfare and media coverage. And yet somewhere out there is the first institution -- and the second institution, and the third and so on -- to be forced by circumstances outside its control to pivot from those plans to something different. Fall plans were created with wiggle room built in, however, communications about a shift must be carefully constructed to retain credibility and preserve enrollment while accepting the reality that health and safety of our communities have to supersede the value of the on-campus experience and ideology of in-person learning.

The Remote Learning Diaries: Moving Forward and Improving the Future of Online Learning - Jackie Chris, EdTech

The beauty of an e-learning classroom is its malleability, and the potential for it to be as accommodating, accessible and collaborative as possible to meet the needs of professors and students. Improvement comes from a willingness from students to take full advantage of platform features and offer substantive feedback — and from instructors working to determine best practices for virtual classrooms. While we are making the most of being alone together, we should also be striving to find new ways of connecting to one another.