Techno-News Blog

March 7, 2021

I Actually Like Teaching on Zoom

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Viet Thanh Nguyen, NY Times

As a college professor, I, too, miss some of the elements of teaching in a classroom, including the intellectual energy that can flow around a seminar table, the performative aspect of lecturing to a large audience and the little chats that take place by happenstance during breaks or after class with students. More important, with my smaller graduate classes of 10 to 20 students, I have noticed little falloff in intellectual quality. Looking at 10 or 20 faces on a screen is manageable, and the experience is a pretty faithful replication of a real-world seminar. Breakout rooms for smaller discussions are simple to arrange, and they lack the cacophony of overheard conversations in live settings. My teaching evaluations have been positive if a little less effusive than usual, perhaps because of the lack of human warmth that being face to face makes possible.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/opinion/zoom-video-school-teaching.html

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COVID-19 has transformed education – here are the 5 innovations we should keep

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Paul Cowell, World Economic Forum

Five changes made to higher education due to COVID-19 will still be beneficial after the pandemic, according to an expert. These include the introduction of wider digital resources and more creative assessment methods. Students can be regarded as partners to their lecturers, making them more active in learning and giving online feedback. Online teaching can also allow lecturers to tailor activities more specifically to their subject.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/covid-19-pandemic-higher-education-online-resources-students-lecturers-learning-teaching

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Coursera files for IPO amid online learning boom

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Riley de León, CNBC
Coursera filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “COUR.” The education tech company saw 59% revenue growth year over year, largely due to a pandemic-induced boom in digital learning. Net losses grew to more than $66 million year over year, according to documents filed with the SEC Friday.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/05/coursera-files-for-ipo-amid-online-learning-boom-.html

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March 6, 2021

It is time to restore the US Office of Technology Assessment

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Darrell M. West, Brookings Institution

The past several decades have seen digital technologies revolutionize a number of different sectors. Advances such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mobile technology have reshaped the landscape and provided new ways of analyzing information, handling communications, and undertaking financial transactions. Yet 25 years ago, just as the digital era was unfolding, Congress terminated the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that provided legislators with research on new developments and recommendations for dealing with digital problems. At a time when Americans are worried about privacy, security, fairness, transparency, and human safety, it is time to bring back the OTA so that members have the latest advice on how to deal with these issues.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/it-is-time-to-restore-the-us-office-of-technology-assessment/

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2021’s Most & Least Educated States in America

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Adam McCann, Wallet Hub

College opens doors to more career opportunities, higher earnings and new social connections, among other benefits. But how much schooling one receives also matters to some extent. Generally, the higher the level of education one completes, the higher their income potential and the lower their chances of unemployment become. See listings below.  A separate WalletHub analysis identifies the Most & Least Educated Cities.

https://wallethub.com/edu/e/most-educated-states/31075

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For colleges, $7B in federal broadband aid highlights extent of digital divide

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Daniele McClean, Higher Ed Dive

Institutional leaders fear the lack of access is widening higher education’s class divide and forcing students to drop out or not enroll in college. The latest federal coronavirus relief package, which passed in December, included $7 billion to help expand broadband to underserved communities and connect people who do not have the means to pay for it. A significant chunk of that money will help minority-serving institutions and students who receive Pell Grants, which are given to those with the greatest financial need. The package follows an earlier round of emergency relief, passed in March, some of which was used by states, cities and colleges to expand access to the internet. However, experts and institutional leaders say the funds were merely a Band-Aid that helped many students transition online quickly, but they did not close the digital divide.

https://www.highereddive.com/news/for-colleges-7b-in-federal-broadband-aid-highlights-extent-of-digital-div/595007/

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March 5, 2021

Effective online course design starts with people

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MICHAEL ATKINSON, eSchool News

Often, success lies on a narrow path. It starts with the emotional intelligence to examine multiple points of view. For example, the campus distance learning administrator who seeks input and feedback from teachers and students before mapping a virtual learning framework. Or a teacher who imagines what it’s like to be a student who is struggling as they plan their online course. Caring enough to examine multiple viewpoints leads to amazing learning.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2021/02/15/effective-online-course-design-starts-with-people/

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Students adapt to taking online classes with a roommate

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Maya Morita, Athens Post
Students living in residence halls this semester are having to adapt to doing online classes while in the same room as their roommate. With some classes starting at the same time, students may find themselves having to adjust their learning in order to be courteous to their roommate. Erin Ashley, a sophomore studying meteorology, said that she feels that she has to leave the room in order to speak in class.

https://www.thepostathens.com/article/2021/02/covid-roommates-online-learning-difficulties

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7 questions–and answers–about copyright during online learning

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BY ROY KAUFMAN, eSchool News

In determining whether to apply fair use to an infringement, the courts look at four factors set out in the statute (although even the statute itself says that these factors are “non-exclusive”–meaning that a judge can take other, similar factors into account as well):

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
2. The nature of the copyrighted work
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2021/02/15/7-questions-and-answers-about-copyright-during-online-learning/2/

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March 4, 2021

Bridging the educational divide with tech skilling

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JACKY WRIGHT, eCampus News
Digital competencies will be essential for students’ future success as workers–here’s why tech skilling is critical. Closing the educational divide and the digital skills gap has always been important to technologically-minded educators, but the disruptions of COVID-19 have brought a new urgency. Ensuring all students can participate equitably and fulfill their dreams in society hinges on having the right access to technology, especially in the education system.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/02/12/bridging-the-educational-divide-with-tech-skilling/

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Who is ‘best in class’ for HE digital transformation?

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Nic Mitchell, University World News
The best in class for the digital transformation of higher education take a holistic approach, covering everything from student recruitment to enhancing the value of the student experience and improving outcomes and employability, according to market research for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group. But they are the exception, with an international survey of 17,000 students finding that 70% of these higher education students worldwide were in institutions “not digitally mature” and some universities were “digitally distraught” when the COVID-19 shutdowns began.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210212110216804

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Have universities learned how to be ready for a crisis?

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Nita Temmerman, University World News

The traditional and continuing main functions of universities are to teach and to research and, in so doing, to meet the needs of society and improve it. The organisational structure should ensure teaching and research are both able to flourish. The structure should ensure the organisation is agile and that it encourages innovation. The structure should promote open, understandable communication and timely and appropriate decision-making. Ultimately, it is the leadership at the very top that impacts on what organisational design is adopted and how well governed the university is. Good governance should lessen, not increase, senseless bureaucracy and confusion around decision-making.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210208125319719

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March 3, 2021

Higher education needs to develop better crisis responses

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Stefania Giannini and Kristin Vinje, University World News
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that no education system is resilient to crisis. And even if the digital revolution has transformed the higher education system more profoundly than anything else in the past decades, the pandemic has been no less hard-hitting. Its economic impact alone could force up to seven million students to drop out. International students have been stranded. In every country, students are struggling with access to remote learning, social isolation and economic strife. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified fragilities and inequalities across digital, gender, social and educational lines, especially in regions already affected by conflict.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210211090640737

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UGA professors discuss challenges of virtual and face-to-face learning

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Laurel Lee Chatham, Red & Black

The beginning of the University of Georgia’s spring semester has granted students, along with faculty, a variety of class formats to choose from as one can learn online or face-to-face.  Conducting classes online has allowed content to be delivered “anytime, anywhere,” Bramorski said. Online delivery of class material has presented flexibility for both students and faculty. “UGA is best when face-to-face both for students and instructors. Online has merits that I would not have known about but for the pandemic,” Garrison said. “When I go back to a real classroom — next fall, we hope — I will continue to use things I have learned [while] being online.”

https://www.redandblack.com/uganews/uga-professors-discuss-challenges-of-virtual-and-face-to-face-learning/article_006563dc-6db9-11eb-a1ec-43dd2eab8362.html

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Online Learning Boom Opens New Avenues To Spread Indigenous Languages

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SAVANNAH MAHER, KUMM

As with almost all kinds of other schooling, the pandemic has forced some classes in Indigenous languages to shut down entirely. But it has also spurred development of online options to reach students and to bring new ones into the fold. Among them, the Mountain West News Bureau’s Savannah Maher.

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/13/967600325/online-learning-boom-opens-new-avenues-to-spread-indigenous-languages

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March 2, 2021

Some like it hot: don’t forget to warm up online learning spaces

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Lucinda McKnight, Times Higher Education

As we’re all learning, the digital classroom can be a cold and lonely space. But even the most reluctant students and academics must remember that online learning has the potential for rich and meaningful interactions. The lack of “temperature” is one reason why many students prefer to learn face to face, meaning that “warming up” the screen needs to become a priority for educators − especially for video-based tutorials and seminars via platforms such as Zoom. This does not just mean warmth in tone of voice. It’s about designing spaces, educator performances and learning programmes that make students feel welcome and included.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/some-it-hot-dont-forget-warm-online-learning-spaces

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UMN to pay Google $2.36M for new online learning platform

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Josh Verges, Twin Cities Pioneer Press

The University of Minnesota will pay Google $2.36 million to create a new online learning platform for the health sciences bachelor’s degree program at the Rochester campus. Starting in summer 2022, students will begin working toward their degree on an accelerated schedule, using a combination of virtual and in-person learning. The nearby Mayo Clinic will be integrated into the coursework, providing oversight, mentorship and opportunities for applied, experiential learning.

https://www.twincities.com/2021/02/11/umn-to-pay-google-2-36m-for-new-online-learning-platform/

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Howard University Partners with Coursera to Provide Online Educational Content

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Alonda Thomas, Howard University

“I am really excited about this partnership with Coursera, one of the preeminent purveyors of educational content in the 21st-century learning landscape, which will help us spread the vision and mission of Howard University beyond our campus,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick, who is a member of Coursera’s University Advisory Board. “Historically, there has been a disconnect between companies and top-level talent from underrepresented communities who don’t have the same access and resources as other job seekers. These kinds of partnerships can help enhance opportunities for people of color by aligning their education with the needs of businesses.”

https://newsroom.howard.edu/newsroom/article/13831/howard-university-partners-cou

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March 1, 2021

How higher ed can start 2021 off right

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Casey Welch, eCampus News

Higher education leaders would do well to take COVID-induced changes into consideration when identifying new ways to meet students’ needs.  For example, career preparation has always been top of mind for college-bound teens. But more students now than ever before are beginning to realize the need to plan ahead. A recent survey found that 99 percent of Gen Z recognizes the value of making connections with employers, even when they don’t have jobs currently available.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2021/02/09/how-higher-ed-can-start-2021-off-right/

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Data Privacy Day 2021 Outreach: Six Words about Privacy

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Svetla Sytch, EDUCAUSE Review
They debuted Six Words on Cybersecurity at UCSD and Six Words about Privacy at U-M, inviting members of their campus communities to submit six words describing what security and privacy meant to them. Listen to this podcast to hear from Corn and Bermann about how they got their projects started. Boiling thoughts down to six words highlights what people consider to be the most important dimensions of a topic. On Data Privacy Day 2021, we look into the topic of privacy through the lens of the University of Michigan’s Six Words about Privacy project.

https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2021/1/data-privacy-day-2021-outreach-six-words-about-privacy

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First it was Agile software development, now Agile management is remaking the workplace

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Mark Samuels, ZDNet

Mark Evans, managing director of marketing and digital at insurer Direct Line, says the key to effective Agile management is what’s known as servant leadership, a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. Rather than commanding and controlling, leaders need to give other people the power to make decisions. Evans says this shift in behaviours and mindsets is probably the most challenging part of a switch to Agile for business leaders. “I went through a change curve, where I could get the idea that I’m not really in control of anything and I’m just sort of facilitating and helping to prioritise and maybe set the overall vision and mission. But, truthfully, it’s a really big deal to jump to that and feel like your self-worth is still there,” he says.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/first-it-was-agile-software-development-now-agile-management-is-remaking-the-workplace/

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