Techno-News Blog

October 1, 2020

U Michigan Engineering Students Get Hands-on Learning at Home

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Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
The University of Michigan’s College of Engineering has dedicated $500,000 to help create high-quality learning experiences for students in hybrid and remote courses — particularly when it comes to hands-on projects. Half of the funding was used to design courses that would enable some students to attend in person while others participate remotely (the hybrid model), while the other half was spent on materials to create at-home project kits for students.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2020/09/08/u-michigan-engineering-students-get-hands-on-learning-at-home.aspx

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How UNO students have adapted to online learning in the face of COVID-19

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Regan Thomas, UNO Gateway

Gradually, students and professors have adapted to the new learning environment. This can be challenging for some, but others have found the positives in the situation. Junior Faith Loudon says that remote learning is the safest option right now. Loudon is a music therapy major, and although she would rather be attending in-person classes, she feels it is best for her and other students of UNO to be doing remote learning at the moment.

https://unothegateway.com/how-uno-students-have-adapted-to-online-learning-in-the-face-of-covid-19/

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Online learning ‘new ballgame’ for many academic instructors

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Sophia Voight, Advance Titan

Over 130 instructors completed the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Summer 2020 Online Initiative that provided instructors with tools and strategies to teach effective online classes. “Online learning is a new ballgame for many instructors,” Instructional Designer Sarah Bradway said. “I think that having the summer training has really helped to get instructors up to speed.” CETL and Information Technology teamed up over July and August to provide 21 different courses designed to help instructors teach engaging and successful online courses during the pandemic.

https://advancetitan.com/covid-19/2020/09/16/online-learning-new-ballgame-for-many-academic-instructors

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September 30, 2020

Looking Beyond COVID‐19: Crisis Leadership Implications for Chairs

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Ralph Gigliotti, Tomorrow’s Professor

Effective leadership during times of crisis requires a dual focus on triaging immediate needs while also making strategic decisions that serve the long‐term interests of one’s unit, department, or institution. As we make sense of the short‐ and long‐term effects of the pandemic, what follows are considerations for effectively navigating the present crisis while also looking ahead to collectively advance department strategic priorities.

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1815

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Perspective | How educators learn to teach online

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Steven W. Schmidt, Elizabeth M. Hodge and Christina M. Tschida; edNC
Our research demonstrated that negative views of online teaching were often correlated with lack of understanding, or even fear, of technology and of learning to teach in a new way. Many instructors were comfortable teaching face-to-face, many enjoyed it and were very good at it. Additionally, some instructors did not believe their topics could be taught online. They acknowledge that online learning worked well for some subjects, but could not envision it working for their subjects.

https://www.ednc.org/perspective-how-educators-learn-to-teach-online/

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Debunking a few myths on online learning

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Enrique Dans, Medium

Last week, in one of my articles, a reader commented that online learning basically consisted of “recorded videos and a web with tutorials and examples”. For someone who has been teaching online for twenty years in addition to delivering face-to-face classes, who has had the opportunity to abundantly compare both models, and who has also seen the institution where I work reach the top of the international MBA rankings for its online programs, I simply can’t accept that we’re going to lose the greatest opportunity ever to develop this type of learning due to myths, clichés and half-truths.

https://medium.com/enrique-dans/debunking-a-few-myths-on-online-learning-a6b33116d552

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September 29, 2020

Bichronous Online Learning: Blending Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Learning

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Florence Martin, Drew Polly and Albert Ritzhaupt, EDUCAUSE Review
As online learning becomes a more common model for higher education courses, institutions and instructors should investigate the benefits of including both synchronous and asynchronous elements in online learning to maximize the benefits of both these environments. Although the blending of face-to-face and online learning has been researched in many studies, the blending of synchronous and asynchronous online has not been researched to the same extent. Grounding on the term “chronous,” which means personification in time, we refer to this blend as bichronous online learning.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/9/bichronous-online-learning-blending-asynchronous-and-synchronous-online-learning

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The broadband industry steps up to connect students when the FCC will not

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Tom Wheeler, Brookings
Hooray for the broadband industry! It is time for some good news! America’s broadband providers have stepped up with the ‘K-12 Bridge to Broadband” to help meet the needs of millions of low-income American students who are unable to get on the internet so they can go to class from home. The national non-profit EducationSuperHighway estimates that 9.7 million students—half of which are students of color—do not have the home internet necessary for the COVID era’s online educational needs.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2020/09/15/the-broadband-industry-steps-up-to-connect-students-when-the-fcc-will-not/

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Learning lightboards bring a human element to online learning

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HERBERT TSANG, eCampus News
Students build learning lightboards–a kind of glass “chalkboard”–to promote the human face of remote learning. Trinity Western University (TWU) students bring more human faces to online learning by building lightboards that allow professors to look directly into the camera while drawing and illustrating on lighted glass…. Pettigrew hopes to help other students succeed in their studies this fall. “I am excited about building the lightboards because I believe that the transition to online school in the fall will be difficult for many people, and the use of lightboards can make this transition easier,” he said.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/09/16/learning-lightboards-bring-a-human-element-to-online-learning/

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September 28, 2020

A look at trends in college consolidation since 2016

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Education Dive
Updated Sept. 11, 2020  The last few years have been tumultuous for many U.S. colleges. Pressure to lower tuition, stagnating state funding and a shrinking pool of high school graduates has strained many institutions’ bottom lines and questioned their long-term viability. Those pressures have caused some to close. For many still in operation, the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact is adding a host of uncertainties to already tight operations. In doing that, we also revised our list to omit certain consolidation activity among public institutions in which their footprints remained largely the same. Prior to this update, we removed for-profit colleges from our list; this was due to their differences in scale from private nonprofit and public institutions as well as the sometimes fragmented nature of their closings.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-many-colleges-and-universities-have-closed-since-2016/539379/

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Colleges scrap spring break to limit coronavirus spread

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Hallie Busta, Education Dive
As colleges look ahead to the spring term, several are announcing they intend to cancel spring break.  The decisions continue a trend of institutions adjusting their academic calendars to reduce travel to and from campus.
And they come as schools offer more details on campus operations and instructional modes for the spring term.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/colleges-scrap-spring-break-to-limit-coronavirus-spread/585275/

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The effects of online learning

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Ella Craig, the Forge Today

Speaking to BBC Worklife, Associate Professor Gianpiero Petriglieri said that video calls require more attention than in person gatherings and this added effort to engage in the conversation causes what became to be known during lockdown as Zoom fatigue. During face to face interactions we can read body language and facial expressions to better engage and understand the conversation taking place, but during video calls this personal aspect is taken away. Zoom fatigue can leave you feeling drained for the rest of the day, reducing your ability to study or focus under the new, online, delivery method. As well as this, video calls and online lectures can impact mental health, says Professor Petriglieri.

http://forgetoday.com/2020/09/15/the-effects-of-online-learning/

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September 27, 2020

Rethinking online education with virtual event platforms

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NISHCHAL DUA, eCampus News
Virtual event platforms provide an important outlet for educators who are looking to re-engage their students.  The escalation and global impact of COVID-19 catalyzed a sudden shift to the university experience as we know it. By March 2020, 14 million students pivoted to online education. College enrollment in the United States is now down 20 percent going into the fall 2020 semester, and typical activities such as sports and on-campus events have been canceled. This new reality has pushed educators across the United States to rethink how they’re delivering online education and implement new ways to engage students during this crossroads.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2020/09/15/rethinking-online-education-with-virtual-event-platforms/

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Engaging Students Through Asynchronous Video-Based Discussions in Online Courses

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Patrick Lowenthal, et al; EDUCAUSE Review

As growing numbers of students take online and hybrid courses, higher education institutions are looking for ways to cultivate and sustain engagement with students remotely. One method is the use of asynchronous video-based discussions, which offers unique opportunities for instructors and students. Asynchronous video has been used in online courses as an instructional tool in many ways. For instance, online educators have created videos to share with students—including recorded lectures (screencasts or lecture capture), how-to videos, and feedback on assignments—for well over a decade.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/8/engaging-students-through-asynchronous-video-based-discussions-in-online-courses

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COVID-19: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The pandemic’s devastating impact is laid bare in this year’s Goalkeepers Report, which is published today. Each year the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation publishes this report to track 18 indicators included in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty, education, health care, gender equality and more. In recent years, the world has improved on every single one. This year, on the vast majority, it has regressed. The urgent question now is how to get back on track to meet these goals by 2030.

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/goalkeepers/report/2020-report/

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September 26, 2020

Meet the students thriving in remote learning

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Luke Winkie, Vox

But since the country entered its unprecedented distance learning experiment this spring, there’s been a growing contingent of students who’ve found themselves actually enjoying their cyberspace syllabus more than the physical version.  “I’m an introvert who deals with a lot of social anxiety,” said Maude, a 20-year-old special care counseling student in Quebec who has been taking remote classes since March and into the new school year. “In an online classroom, I don’t have to be around people or feel apprehensive about asking the teacher questions. Instead, I’m as calm as I can be, in my safe space at home.”

https://www.vox.com/first-person/21433095/coroanavirus-covid-19-school-reopening-online-learning-remote

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T-Mobile, University of Kansas to test 5G and online learning

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News Wire

How can 5G transform the future of nursing? That’s the challenge T-Mobile and students at the University of Kansas are taking on this fall semester. T-Mobile, KU School of Nursing (SON) and the KU Center for Design Research (CDR) have teamed up through a Capstone Research Project to help students develop new training methods and tools that could revolutionize how nursing is taught at the University of Kansas School of Nursing and beyond. CDR students working with technical experts at T-Mobile are researching potential solutions that combine the use of 5G technologies, distance learning principles, and design thinking. They’ll explore new ways to use virtual and augmented reality as a teaching tool, and advance understanding of the role artificial intelligence can play in a clinical environment.

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/t-mobile-university-of-kansas-to-test-5g-and-online-learning/d/d-id/763898

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Sustaining Emotional Connections with Your Students in an Age of COVID19 (Part 2 of 2)

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Howard Aldrich, Tomorrow’s Professor

The COVID 19 pandemic has transformed the teaching and learning environment. We are still discovering the many ways in which student and faculty interactions are affected by being mediated through facial coverings and spatial distance. Although faculty and students are now moving back into the classroom, they have lost a key piece of information that humans rely on to understand others’ meanings and read their emotions. We are accustomed to encountering masked others mainly in situations that make us anxious or afraid. Now, it is the new normal. Similarly, online teaching and learning can deprive us of the facial expressions and body language that helps us assess whether others understand and agree with us. Online teaching cannot replicate what occurs in a classroom, even when participants are unmasked. So, we have our work cut out for us!

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1814

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September 25, 2020

Why I’m Teaching Online

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Christopher Schaberg, Inside Higher Ed

Christopher Schaberg, who previously asserted he’d never teach online, describes why he’s now veering that way, even when he could teach face-to-face. A few years ago, I wrote an article for this site called “Why I Won’t Teach Online.” How short-sighted was that! Little did I know then that a novel coronavirus would make us all teach online — no matter how any of us felt about it. Like everyone else, I ended up teaching fully online last spring, and now I’m preparing to teach online again — or at least partly online — this semester. I look forward to meeting with my students in person again in the not-too-distant future. Probably we’ll have class outside, well spaced out and wearing masks. But in the meantime, I’ll gladly put my heart into teaching online, even though this would have been anathema to me a year ago.

https://insidehighered.com/views/2020/09/11/professor-who-asserted-hed-never-teach-online-explains-why-hes-opting-do-so-now

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Biggest limitation to online learning may be our imagination

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Ron Stefanski, Crain’s Detroit

Great teachers answer this question readily. They:
Engage students directly in their own learning and help them think independently.
Excite students’ natural curiosity and appetite for learning.
Adapt their teaching to students’ needs and use creative alternative approaches.
Nurture relationships and assist children in doing so.
The truth is — this is how effective learning takes place online as well.

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/other-voices/commentary-biggest-limitation-online-learning-may-be-our-imagination

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Cal State Schools To Continue With Online Learning In Spring Semester

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KPBS

The Long Beach-based California State University system, which is holding primarily virtual courses during the fall term, will continue with predominantly online instruction for the academic term beginning in January, Chancellor Timothy White announced last Thursday.  White said he wanted to make the announcement early so students and staff will have plenty of time to prepare. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time,” White said. White said the CSU’s 23 campuses will publish lists of course offerings in the coming weeks so students can select classes and campuses can allocate resources to meet student demand.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2020/sep/10/csu-continues-online-learning-spring-semester/

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