Sunday, September 20, 2020

A strong online learning infrastructure is key to higher ed’s future - JOHN WOODS, Campus Technology

COVID-19 is changing the future of online learning—and smart institutional leaders will pay attention to what students need learn and succeed. As a growing list of colleges and universities reverse course from their previous plans and opt for a fully-remote, online learning approach instead, the risk that many will approach the transition focused more on mere survival than success is growing every day. Granted, no institution should be expected to assemble a comprehensive online learning infrastructure overnight. Most of the schools that began investing in online education before COVID-19 envisioned it as at least a five- to 10-year project. The pioneers in online learning have been innovating for decades and still have not perfected every aspect of it. However, there are some initial steps in the right direction that schools can take as they work to design and refine their online learning infrastructure.

Effective Teaching Is Anti-Racist Teaching - Mary Wright, Tomorrow's Professor

Here, we outline five key starting points of anti-racist classrooms, designed to magnify the transformative impact of education but also to mitigate the negative harm. Borrowing from Kendi’s (2019, p. 18) definition of anti-racist policy, we define “anti-racist teaching” as intentional syllabus design, class content, or pedagogy that creates or develops racial equity, with applications for face-to-face and remote/hybrid teaching environments. We also commit to incorporating these principles into our own practice, in our work to support teaching and learning at Brown.

6 Basic Ingredients To Online Learning Success - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Online learning can be extra challenging as students often find themselves with a lack of motivation. It is difficult to seek help when struggling with work, which can lead to students sometimes feeling alone in their studies. However, there are a few ways in which students can improve their results. We will be discussing 6 basic ingredients that can lead to online learning success.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Online Learning and Mental Health - Katie Wheatley, Forge Today

It’s a sad reality that the number of students experiencing mental health problems is likely to increase as a result of Covid-19 and the impact it’s had, and will continue to have, on our university experiences. However, the University of Sheffield must be commended for the number of support services they are offering and promoting. The Student Advice Centre will be providing advice via email, phone or Google meet as they cannot offer in person appointments. The counselling service offers drop-in sessions, appointments, workshops and group sessions depending on what students feel comfortable with. You can also attend a Student Access to Mental Health (SAMHS) triage appointment and receive a personalised plan. For those who’d rather remain anonymous, the university promotes Sheffield Nightline.

Online Learning: The Advantages of Never Having to Step Foot on Campus - Adriana Ruvalcaba, the Runner

CSU Bakersfield, like many other universities across the nation, began the fall 2020 semester by adopting a virtual learning method to keep students and faculty safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent switch from on-campus to online learning has caused many students, including myself, stress on whether they will adapt to this new education landscape. But does anyone miss being on campus? Because I don’t.  I am glad to finally let go of these time-consuming and frustrating school rituals.

Advice from EMU professors on how to survive a semester online - GRACIE THOMPSON, Eastern Echo

Six EMU professors hosted an online seminar, “Let’s Talk About Online Learning,” on Thursday, August 27 to answer questions and acknowledge the difficulties that students may face during a virtual fall 2020 semester. Due to COVID-19 concerns, most EMU classes are being held online through Zoom, Canvas, or other online applications. This has created a rising number of questions, problems and worries for students who are forced to face this new method of learning. In response to these concerns, Eastern Michigan University held the Aug. 27 webinar, sending an email on Wednesday, August 26 inviting students to register and attend.  The webinar was recorded and is available for public viewing on Youtube.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Upskilling Workers For The Post-Pandemic Economy - Adam Millsap, Forbes

The pandemic has permanently altered the labor market and many people currently unemployed or furloughed will never return to their old jobs. Instead, they will need to learn new skills to find new jobs in growing sectors of the economy. Businesses, non-profits, and higher-education institutions are partnering to provide the training people need to succeed in the post-pandemic economy and beyond.  It has always been important for workers to learn new skills throughout their careers. When skills stagnate, careers stagnate, and that’s especially true in our fast-paced service economy driven by rapid technological change.

Steering universities through crisis, upheaval and protest - Yojana Sharma, University World News

The demands of the past six to eight months have been unprecedented for university leaders steering their institutions through the COVID-19 pandemic, planning for an economic squeeze that could heavily impact teaching and research and responding to societal upheaval caused by both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement sparking demands for change on campuses around the world .

Helping universities learn, change and grow with digital transformation - Times Higher Education

In a panel session at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2020, academic and industry leaders from across four continents met to discuss best practice for digital transformation policies and the resources that have proven most effective since campuses were forced to close or reduce their capacity to teach in-person. Rorden Wilkinson, pro vice-chancellor of education and student experience at UNSW Sydney led the conversation by saying that it was clear students were “responding well” to working online, but that a key focus going forward would be the teaching of soft skills. “Making sure that students authentically network and collaborate” was important when limited to digital communication platforms, he explained. “The two things we have to work out in tandem are: how do we assess and how do we record those skills in our students?”

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Blockchain Can Disrupt Higher Education Today, Global Labor Market Tomorrow - Andrew Singer, CoinTelegraph

Blockchain can play its part in the education sector — record-keeping in 2–3 years and then adoption by the labor market? In the post-pandemic world, individuals will need to seize ownership and control of their educational credentials — documents like degrees and transcripts — from schools, universities and governments. That notion received key support last week from the American Council on Education in a study funded by the United States Department of Education focusing on the use of blockchain in higher education.

$900,000 Blockchain Innovation Challenge Seeks Solutions for Sharing Learners' Skills with Employers - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The American Council on Education (ACE) has announced a $900,000 competition designed to identify blockchain-based solutions that will help underserved learners document their skills and credentials and share them with potential employers. The Blockchain Innovation Challenge is part of ACE's Education Blockchain Initiative. Selection criteria include: Building community and consensus around solving a common problem through blockchain technology; interoperability and open design; and Providing individuals with data literacy skills and agency over their own data. The application deadline is Oct. 30. 

Blockchain could help colleges like ASU provide better, more secure online education - Bill Detwiler, ZDNet

Tasks that were once conducted face-to-face, now have to be accomplished remotely. Blockchain could help schools perform some of these administrative tasks with more security and transparency. Technology makes the shift possible, but challenges abound.  ASU has a goal of supporting 100,000 online learners by 2025. They are already have 55,000 students. Blockchain will play a key role in helping them meet that goal by allowing ASU to better track and certify each student's "learning accomplishments," Kidewell said.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

How Theater Programs Are Adjusting to Online Learning - YASMIN ZACARIA MIKHAIEL, Teen Vogue

Hannah Baity, 18, and her ensemble were nearly performance ready for their next play in a year-long theater program when things took a turn at the end of March. “[It] was really nice [when the director] called to say we were moving to virtual rehearsals and a virtual show,” recalls the youth ensemble member with Free Street Theater (FST) in Chicago. During this time, Hannah, like artists nationwide, were met with emails announcing cancelations or digital transition plans. To get the opposite reaction from her program director was a relief, but also a challenge. “We had actually devised the whole play when COVID-19 happened with [the following city] shelter-in-place [order]. We had to rewrite it for the digital space and I almost quit,” Hannah tells Teen Vogue.

Using Covid-19 As Catalyst For Lifelong E-Learning - Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, Forbes

Lifelong learning is important at three levels: For the individuals who learn, it increases their knowledge and skills and thereby increases their employability for future jobs and satisfies their desire to learn and develop. For organizations it is an important source of innovation and helps making sure that they can keep up with the changes in their environment and be an attractive employer. And for society, lifelong learning increases the likelihood that key challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change can be resolved.

Ed Talk: Online Education for Adults - Vernon Miles, ARL Now

While elementary and secondary school students across the country adjust to full-time distance learning, adults have been learning online for years. Online courses offer adults the flexibility to continue their education while working and taking care of families. Some enroll in these courses to learn new job skills and expand their employment opportunities. Others are lifelong learners who enjoy studying the arts, literature, language, history and a myriad of other subjects offered online.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

15 skills LinkedIn say will help you get hired in 2020 - and where to learn them - World Ecomonic Forum

LinkedIn has created a list of the most in-demand hard and soft skills in the 2020 job market. The company used data from 660+ million professionals in its network and 20+ million job listings to determine the skills in high demand relative to their supply. You'll find the 15 hard and soft skills linked below, as well as online courses you can take to build them.

More than Half of Students May Lack Reliable Access to High-Speed Internet - Rhea Kelly, eCampus News

According to a new survey from Visual Objects, 51 percent of high school and college students do not have consistent access to high-speed internet and WiFi. The company, which helps businesses find and hire creative firms, surveyed 400 students across the United States about how they are adapting to remote learning. Sixty-three percent of students surveyed intend to take online classes this fall. But among those remote learners, about 35 percent will be staying home rather than living on campus, meaning "they may be without computers, software, and other resources available at school," the survey report noted.

ASU Initiative Aims to Redesign Higher Education - Rhea Kelly, eCampus News

Specific goals of the initiative include building partnerships with other university leaders to drive innovations at their institutions; developing a stackable credential system to make it easier for students to select courses that reflect their individual skills and interests as well as document their competencies in their preferred career paths; developing technological components for a Trusted Learner Network to support a verifiable, learner-owned record system and potentially replace traditional transcripts with a competency-based credential system.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Comeback Story: How Adults Return to School to Complete their Degrees Hadass Sheffer, Iris Palmer, Annette B. Mattei; New America

The new majority of college students have adult responsibilities, such as parenting, earning a living, and paying for college. Unfortunately, adult students are often treated as an afterthought by colleges and policymakers. Over the last 20 years, more than 37 million students have left without receiving a degree that would greatly improve their economic prospects. This joint report from the Graduate! Network and New America examines the journeys of determined individuals who get back on track, persevere, and earn their degree—known as comebackers—to show how policy makers and postsecondary institutions can design systems that support success for this new majority and better serve all students.

Working from home: The 12 new rules for getting it right - Daphne Leprince-Ringuet, ZDNet

From video-conference etiquette to triple-checking your emails, here are some do's and dont's to help you navigate the new digital workplace.  And while most organizations switched their staff to remote working almost overnight, the new codes that are emerging are here to stay. Three quarters of CFOs, according to Gartner, intend to shift some of their employees to remote work permanently. While there might be hundreds of best-selling business etiquette handbooks out there, not many have anticipated such a radical turn of events. But experts are already thinking about the digital etiquette of the future – and here are some of the do's and don'ts of the remote business space that they have already identified.

Here’s why an MBA is important during COVID-19 - eCampus News

Business school hopefuls who are wondering whether MBA courses will address the coronavirus pandemic should know that this topic will be routinely discussed in classes at many B-schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. Even when the world isn’t in a state of crisis, MBA courses frequently incorporate current events, and that will be even more true now that the world is facing unprecedented challenges, MBA deans and faculty say. They note that it is essential for business school students to grapple with the financial and economic problems posed by the pandemic.