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COVID-19: Impact on Higher Education and Ed Tech

Here you'll find our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on higher education institutions.


Indiana U Embracing Blend of On-Campus and Online for Fall

In a statement today from President Michael McRobbie, Indiana University announced its plans for resuming fall instruction.

Penn State Prepping for Return to Campus

Pennsylvania State University has acquired 500,000 masks in preparation for resuming work and classes.

College Using Block-Class Plan to Reduce COVID-19 Risk

Arizona's Prescott College will reopen on-campus classes this fall with a new risk-management strategy: using a flexible block-class schedule to minimize contacts among faculty, staff and students.

HS Seniors Share Concerns in Survey About College Plans

Nearly half of high school seniors (45 percent) in a recently Encoura Eduventures survey are at least moderately concerned that COVID-19 will force them to change their college choices, and eight in 10 (81 percent) have some concerns that COVID-19 might delay their enrollment.

U Arizona Places Former Surgeon General in Charge of Leading Campus Re-entry

Even as the University of Arizona announced that it would hold classes on campus in the fall, along with a heavy emphasis on testing for COVID-19, the university has also appointed a former surgeon general of the United States to lead the reopening process. Richard Carmona will head the "reentry task force," which is steering the development and execution of a return-to-campus plan.

CDC Adds New COVID-19 Guidelines for Higher Ed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently came out with additional guidelines to help institutions of higher education protect students, faculty and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Johns Hopkins Offers Free Certificate Course on Contact Tracing

In a special arrangement with Bloomberg Philanthropies, a new course by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health is training people to do COVID-19 contact tracing.

Free Playbook Offers Guidance to Faculty on Moving Courses Fully Online

A "playbook" from a team of higher education organizations provides advice and tips for faculty on how to design their courses for online delivery, enhance their online instruction and pursue continuous improvement.

Updated: Free and Discounted Ed Tech Tools for Online Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As more and more colleges and universities have shut down their campuses to curb the spread of COVID-19, education technology companies have stepped forward to help move student learning to the virtual realm.

Google Meet Now Offers Free Option

Google has just made premium functionality in its online video meeting software freely available to anybody with a Google e-mail account.

Maker Mask, Pi-top to Share Lessons on 3D Printing Respirator Masks

A nonprofit maker organization is working with a company that creates computer kits to encourage people to make respirators for their communities.

The 5 Stages of Moving Online

From determining a remote learning strategy to planning for the new normal and enabling standards-based practices, these five phases describe the progress institutions are making toward excellence in teaching and learning online.

CSU Courses to Remain Primarily Virtual for Fall

This fall, California State University will be keeping most of its institutions' courses online, in response to the ongoing health and safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most College Students Expect to Head Back to School in the Fall

College students are now feeling much more enthusiastic about the prospect of returning to school in the fall.

Updated: Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19

Refer your college students to these services to help them keep up with school work.

U Arizona Announces In-Person Classes for Fall as Campus Plans for More COVID-19 Testing

The University of Arizona plans to resume in-person classes this fall, after the state began statewide antibody testing with help of the university.

11 Considerations for Resuming In-Person Instruction in the COVID-19 Era

A new set of guidelines from the American College Health Association has provided a run-down of key considerations for safely reopening institutions of higher education as the COVID-19 pandemic slows.

How Fundraising Can Step Up to the COVID-19 Challenge

College and university advancement teams are evolving their strategies to help their institutions persist through uncertain times. Here are five examples to learn from.

U Arizona Launches Global Campus with 73 Locations

The University of Arizona has expedited plans to launch a global campus, involving other institutions of higher education on five continents, to reach international students whose plans have been disrupted by COVID-19-induced campus closures, international travel restrictions or visa moratoriums.

MOOCs Gain Pickup, Respond to COVID-19

MOOCs — massive open online courses — have become a major part of the online learning conversation with the advent of school closures due to coronavirus. Class Central, a site that tracks and catalogs the online learning platform segment, reported a "surge" of attention on MOOCs beginning on March 15, a date when "social distancing" became part of the common language.

ASU’s Thunderbird Grads to Cross Stage as Robot Avatars

Thunderbird School of Global Management, a school within Arizona State University, is planning for a robot-filled graduation. The institution will be using telepresence robots equipped with a tablet computer to provide video and audio of the graduating seniors.

Universities Adopt Remote Lab Tools to Let Engineering Students Continue Work Remotely

Three universities have gone public with their use of remote laboratory equipment from National Instruments (NI) to give students hands-on practice with live data and instrumentation, even as they made the switch from in-person to remote classes.

9 Next Steps to Make Online Education More Engaging

Video lectures may have worked as a stop-gap measure in the emergency move to online learning, but they just don't cut it for the long term. Here are nine ways to bring distance education courses to the next level.

Lowered Expectations, Dropped Assignments Dominated Switch to Online Courses

Nearly half of faculty in a recent survey said they lowered their expectations about the amount of work they could expect from their students after the switch to online learning in response to school closures caused by COVID-19.

Three-Quarters of College Students Call Online Classes 'Unengaging,' Miss Campus Interactions

In an April survey done by education technology vendor Top Hat, a quarter of college students said they're undecided about whether or not to continue their education in the fall.

Why Saddleback College Expects to Be 90 Percent Online for Fall

This community college was one of the first to announce its plans for the fall semester. And no matter what students might prefer, they won't be returning to standard classroom settings anytime soon.

COVID-19's Ultimate Impact on Online Learning: The Good and the Bad

Higher education's current move to online learning may be leaving a sour taste in the mouths of students and faculty across the country, but there is a silver lining.

ProctorU Proposes Student Bill of Rights for Remote Learning

Ed tech company ProctorU has created a "student bill of rights" that outlines seven areas of expectations students should be able to count on from their academic institutions.

ED Announces $300 Million Grant Competition to 'Rethink Education'

The United State Department of Education has launched a new grant program offering $307.5 million in funds for states to "create adaptable, innovative learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary learners in response to the COVID-19 national emergency."

Cal State Fullerton Clarifies Fall Plans

California State University, Fullerton has had to mop up the confusion generated when local news stations reported that the campus would be delivering its courses virtually on the first day of classes in fall. According to a statement issued by Provost Pamella Oliver a day later, the reporting was wrong.

Community College Hosting First Open Esports Tournament ... Online

A Missouri community college will shortly be running its first open esports tournament. That will take place online between May 1 and 3, 2020 and be hosted by Crowder College, a two-year college serving nine counties in the state. The event will feature one-on-one competitions with Super Smash Brothers Ultimate on Nintendo Switch. The semi-finals and finals will be live-streamed on May 3.

Carnegie Mellon Maps Offer More Data for COVID-19 Forecasting

Carnegie Mellon University has created five interactive maps intended to paint a more detailed picture of COVID-19 across the country and help in forecasting disease activity. The COVIDcast maps bring together real-time data on symptoms, doctor visits, medical tests and browser searches related to COVID-19, offering some unique insights into what's happening at the state, metropolitan area and county level.

U Nevada Reno Adopts Virtual Recruitment

A Nevada university has begun its recruiting of the class of 2024 through online means, including virtual tours, web conference advising sessions and other digital outreach. Officials at the University of Nevada, Reno said the goal was to remove barriers from incoming high school seniors who might be stymied by the current stay-at-home directive.

Distance Learning Ramp-up: A Strategic View

When Arizona State University shifted the whole student body to online learning during its COVID-19 campus closure, it had an advantage: Lessons learned by EdPlus and ASU Online. In this interview, EdPlus CEO Phil Regier shares the pain and the promise of digital education at distance.

Survey: Emergency Move Online Forced More than Half of Faculty to Learn New Teaching Methods

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all higher education institutions (90 percent) in a recent survey used some form of emergency distance education to complete the Spring 2020 term. And 56 percent of faculty who moved courses online were using teaching methods they had never used before.

Education Leaders Push to 'Remove Fine Print' from Keep Americans Connected Pledge

According to former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, some companies are withholding free access service from families who have outstanding bills or other debt problems with the company.

Stony Brook Team Builds Spare-Parts Ventilator in 10 Days

A cross-disciplinary team at Stony Brook University in New York has prototyped and tested a ventilator that could be used as an alternative to standard ventilators should the supply run out. The project was done in 10 days.

4,000-Plus U.S. Higher Ed Institutions Impacted by COVID-19; More Than 25 Million Students Affected

At last count, 4,235 higher education institutions across the United States have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic — affecting an estimated 25,798,790 students, according to a visualization from Entangled Solutions.

Amazon Initiative Offers Resources for Educators Switching to Remote Learning

Amazon Web Services Education has introduced a set of free resources intended to help teachers and faculty in K-20 with their transitions to remote teaching and learning.

California CCs Adopt Labster for Virtual Lab Work

With nearly all campuses transitioning to online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak, California's community colleges will let students continue their science lab-based education by giving them access to virtual laboratories.

University Expands Chatbot Use to Handle Students' Coronavirus Questions

Lamar University in Texas is using a chatbot to help share information with students during the coronavirus pandemic.

New Johns Hopkins Tracking Map Delves Deeper into U.S. COVID-19 Data

Johns Hopkins University has launched a United States-specific COVID-19 tracking map with comprehensive county- and state-level data.

Ready for Anything with Internet Technology? Aim High.

Colleges and universities have been impelled, in recent weeks, to conduct nearly all academic and business processes online for our health and safety amid the hazards of COVID-19. Out of this, a persistent question has emerged: Are we really able to carry on the best values of higher education through our online presence? Gardner Campbell considers the question.

Rice Converts Summer School to All-Online Delivery

To take advantage of the momentum created by a quick switch from face-to-face courses to online version, one Texas university is ramping up plans for a major online summer session too. Rice University, which switched to distance learning in March in response to coronavirus, has decided to offer all of its summer courses online.

Call for Code Global Challenge Addresses COVID-19 and Climate Change

COVID-19 is part of this year's Call for Code Global Challenge, run by the Clinton Global Initiative University and IBM. The challenge is a global program to entice students, developers and other problem solvers with both technical and non-technical backgrounds to create practical applications that use cloud, data and artificial intelligence and can make an "immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues."

Johns Hopkins Measures Social Distancing by Twitter Use

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have turned to Twitter data to find out whether social distancing recommendations are having an effect in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free Online Course to Help Fast-Track 3D Printing Skills

State University of New York Canton Professor Matthew Burnett has been making face shield components to help medical staff protect themselves against COVID-19 as they deal with a deluge of patients in that state. To build capacity and expertise out in the wider world, Burnett has begun offering free weekly instruction via Zoom for those who are interested in 3D modeling and printing.

App Shows What 6 Feet Away Looks Like

Two education organizations have created a free Apple iOS app to help demonstrate how far to stay away from other people to practice safe physical distancing. The program, "Social Distancing Trainer," was produced by Discovery Education and Afterschool Alliance. The app uses augmented reality to get the idea across.

NYU Research Documenting What People Touch as They Move Through Virus-Laden World

How does COVID-19 get transmitted? Researchers from New York University are out in the streets right now capturing examples of activities where people are coming into contact with surfaces that could host the virus left behind by others who have already touched the same surfaces.

Seniors Invited to Participate in Minecraft Graduation Ceremony

Some students are hitting Minecraft during their "self-quarantines" to recreate their campuses. And at least one group is planning a national graduation ceremony to take place in their virtual world.

How the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Pays Out for Ed

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 24, 2020, includes about $30.75 billion directly dedicated to the needs of public education.

Free Blackboard Tool Converts Files to Accessible Formats

Blackboard has launched a free tool for boosting the accessibility of digital course content. File Transformer, Powered by Blackboard Ally, allows students to convert files into a variety of alternative formats, such as HTML, audio MP3, ePub, electronic Braille or Beeline Reader.

9 Thoughts for Dealing with Online Learning in a Crisis

Colleges and universities everywhere are rushing to move courses online and keep teaching and learning going during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how to cope with what may feel like an impossible task.

Massive Operational and ERP Risks in the COVID-19 Crisis

IT operations might be the farthest thing from your mind during the coronavirus pandemic, but it's more important than ever to focus on equipment, systems, security and IT support.

Colleges Pitch in to 3D Print Medical Gear

Colleges all over the country are helping out COVID-19 response efforts by producing health equipment with their 3D printers, including face shields and respirator masks.

Remote Learning on the Fly: Notes from China

While university instructors around the world scramble to implement delivery of their courses online — a medium with which they may have only limited experience — they can learn from the field notes of their counterparts at the largest international joint-venture university in China.

Online Forum to Discuss Coronavirus, Higher Education and Ed Tech

Tomorrow, Campus Technology is teaming up with Future Trends Forum for an online discussion on the coronavirus pandemic, higher education and technology.

CHLOE Report Advice for Online Learning: Focus on Completing Course Reqs

This year's report on The Changing Landscape of Online Education comes as nearly every college and university in the land is taking its courses online in response to COVID-19. In an 11th-hour addition to the report, CHLOE researchers suggested that the immediate goal for any institution right now should be to have faculty communicate with students on completing the tasks and assignments they need to satisfy course requirements.

Updated Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map Adds Local Data

Johns Hopkins University has upgraded its COVID-19 tracking map to include local data from every city and county in the United States.

Moving to Digital Learning Fast: Staying Positive

The rushed transition to online instruction during the coronavirus pandemic can be wrought with anxiety, technical issues, concern for students and more. What's the best way to stay positive and support faculty?

Moving to Digital Learning Fast: More Questions Answered

With the coronavirus pandemic closing college and university campuses everywhere, faculty are tasked with a quick move to online instruction. Here, education experts offer advice on how to make the transition.

Colleges, Universities Struggle with Commencement Decisions

In the face of coronavirus concerns, Monmouth College in Illinois has sent out word that it plans to delay its graduation, which was scheduled for May 17, 2020. And universities and colleges in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota, Texas, Utah and most other states have made similar decisions.

Oxford Scientists Develop Rapid Testing Tech for COVID-19

Two research teams — one in Oxford and the other in Suzhou, China — have come up with a rapid-testing technology for coronavirus (COVID-19). The project is taking place at the University of Oxford and Oxford's Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research.

Moving to Digital Learning Fast: Where to Start

As coronavirus changes life as we knew it, these education experts offer advice on how to make the transition to online instruction.

College Spins Off Platform for Real-Time Online Learning

Foundry College, a two-year-old institution that provides "face-to-face" classes online, has spun off its active learning platform as a stand-alone service.

Oxford Recommends Mobile App for Instant Contact Tracking in Time of Coronavirus

As described in a World Health Organization report on COVID-19, Chinese disease officials sent out more than 1,800 teams of epidemiologists with five people per team in Wuhan to track down the individuals that sick people may have come into contact with before they quarantined. A project underway at Oxford University wants to make that process instantaneous.

University of the People Opens Its Online Courses to Any University

A tuition-free university, the University of the People, said it would make its online courses available to American universities, enabling their students to take courses for credit.

2U Offers Partner Universities Help in Training Faculty for Online Instruction

2U just launched "No Back Row PRO," a free set of services to help faculty who are part of its university partners ramp up their online delivery of courses.

Free and Discounted Ed Tech Tools for Online Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As more and more colleges and universities are shutting down their campuses over the next several weeks in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, education technology companies have stepped forward to help move student learning to the virtual realm.

VitalSource Grants Free Access to Digital Content

VitalSource is offering free access to digital learning materials through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, to aid those students attending colleges and universities that have closed in response to COVID-19.

Blackboard Provides Fast Track to Digital Class Software Subscription

Learning management system company Blackboard has enabled a self-service portal where colleges and schools can immediately subscribe to its digital collaboration platform, Blackboard Collaborate.

Checklists Provide Guidance for Emergency Remote Instruction

Quality Matters, a nonprofit focused on standards for online learning, has created a set of checklists for rapidly moving classes online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kahoot! Offering Free Access to Premium Plan

Kahoot! has begun offering free access to the "premium" version of its game-based learning software. This move comes in response to the number of schools and colleges that are shifting to online education to minimize face-to-face contact during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nation's Largest CC District Shifting to Online Learning Until Mid-April

The country's largest community college system, Los Angeles Community College District, announced this week that it is moving as many courses as possible to online formats across its nine colleges, at least until April 13.

Coursera, EdX Offer Free Access to Courses for Universities Impacted by Coronavirus

With universities all over the world looking to quickly move face-to-face classes online, massive open online course companies Coursera and edX have stepped in to offer access to their vast portfolios of course content.

Carnegie Mellon Points Flu Forecasting at COVID-19; Outcomes Unknown

Each year researchers at Carnegie Mellon University run a flu forecasting process to provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with data that can help scientists understand timing, peak and intensity of that year's flu season, which typically runs from October through May. This year, however, at the request of the CDC, the researchers will stay on the job into summer since scientists don't yet know whether COVID-19 will follow the same cycle of subsiding as the weather warms up.

Coronavirus Response: Count of Campus Closures Continues to Rise

In the face of coronavirus, institutions large and small, public and private, two-year and four-year are canceling classes for the foreseeable future to reduce the likelihood of face-to-face interactions as much as possible.

SXSW EDU Canceled Due to Coronavirus Fears

The SXSW EDU conference has been called off, owing to fears over the coronavirus. SXSW EDU is an annual education-focused event held in Austin, TX, the week before the main SXSW festival, which has also been canceled.

Crash Course Offers Roadmap for Quick Transition to Online Learning

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative has launched a free online course to help instructors and institutions that need to make a quick move to remote learning.

Coronavirus App to Provide At-Home Risk Assessment

Researchers at Augusta University are creating an app that will allow users to assess their COVID-19 infection risk at home in minutes, based on how they feel and where they've been.

Johns Hopkins Dashboard Maps Global Coronavirus Cases

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has developed an interactive, web-based dashboard that tracks the status of COVID-19 around the world.

Personal Computing Device Market in Temporary Decline Due to Coronavirus

All categories of computing devices, including tablets, desktops, workstations, laptops and smartphones, will be impacted in 2020 by COVID-19 and its hit on the supply chain and global economies.

CDC Issues COVID-19 Guidance to Higher Ed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued interim guidance for higher education administrators on how to respond to coronavirus.

OLC Offers Resources for Online Learning in the Face of Coronavirus Shutdowns

To help institutions prepare for emergency situations such as a coronavirus outbreak, the Online Learning Consortium has put together a list of tools and advice for handling a quick shift to online courses.

Coronavirus Pushes Online Learning Forward

While the physical campus at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has been closed due to coronavirus (now referred to as COVID-19 by health experts), faculty have quickly adopted an online teaching platform to reach their students through remote instruction.

9 Resources for When Coronavirus Moves Your Course Online

As universities in China move courses online to serve students remotely in the face of COVID-19 lockdowns, instructors are rushing to modify their pedagogy and incorporate digital teaching tools. To help ease that transition, we've gathered our top stories on online teaching and instructional design, chock full of tips and best practices from the trenches.

NYU Response to Coronavirus Accelerates Digital Tool Adoption

When New York University closed its NYU Shanghai campus in response to the COVID-19 epidemic in China, little did it realize how much students would appreciate the efforts the university went through to keep their learning on track. The spring 2020 semester kicked off with school officials determined to use digital tools to deliver learning online as an alternative.

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