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3 New Orleans Public Schools Have Shifted To Online Learning Since Start Of School Year – WWNO

Posted: August 25, 2021 at 1:44 am

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Two New Orleans public schools temporarily pivoted to online learning this week due to the coronavirus. In-person attendance is mandatory this year, but the district does allow schools to transition students to online learning if absolutely needed.

Students at ENCORE Academy and New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School (Sci High) will switch to virtual learning for the next two weeks because of quarantine-related staffing issues and operational challenges. The schools did not identify suspected classroom transmission as a reason for the building closures.

ENCORE has reported 8 COVID cases since the start of the school year, 3 of which are active, and 102 students and teachers are in quarantine. Sci High has reported 13 COVID cases since the start of the school year, 7 of which are active, and 47 students and teachers are in quarantine.

We do not have enough staff on-site to teach and supervise students, ENCORE told families in a message dated Aug. 23. Therefore, we have determined that virtual instruction for all students for the next two weeks is the best decision we can make for our students and staff.

A third school, Livingston Collegiate Academy, in New Orleans East started the school year online on Aug. 11 but transitioned back to in-person this week.

Livingston has reported 5 positive cases of COVID-19 since early August. Ten students and staff members are in quarantine, according to data compiled by the district.

This decision was made after careful consideration of our schools circumstances amidst the national landscape and our local climate, the school wrote in an Instagram post. At Livingston, many of our instructional staff will be unable to be on campus for the next two weeks due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and associated protocols.

NOLA-PS chief operations officer Tiffany Delcour said temporarily pivoting to online-only schooling is something officials expect when a significant number of quarantines causes staffing issues.

More than 4,600 students and teachers are currently in quarantine, up from 638 during the first week of classes and 3,004 the second. Louisianas surge in COVID cases has begun to slow for all age groups except for children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old.

School officials continue to remind parents that as far as theyre aware children and teachers are not spreading the virus on campus.

There is still little evidence of COVID-19 spreading in our schools, Delcour said. The vast majority of COVID in our schools is related to community spread.

ENCORE transitioned to online-only learning for two weeks last December after identifying a potential COVID-19 cluster. After consulting with the Louisiana Department of Health, Delcour said further action was not required.

Nearly half of the citys charter operators, including the organizations that oversee Sci High and Livingston, have mandated that staff get vaccinated against COVID. At most schools, staff still have several weeks to comply with the mandate.

ENCORE Academy has not publicly announced a vaccine requirement for staff and told families in a message announcing the two-week closure that 80 percent of staff are fully vaccinated -- though the majority of remaining staff members have just one shot to go.

3 New Orleans Public Schools Have Shifted To Online Learning Since Start Of School Year - WWNO

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Board approves online learning option | Education – ECM Publishers

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The Stillwater Area Schools board unanimously approved an online school option for elementary school students during a special called meeting on Monday, Aug. 16.

Superintendent Malinda Lansfeldt said the program is designed for students who are not yet eligible for vaccination. The program will include classes for students and teachers from across the district.

The district received emails from parents and it even received a handwritten letter from an elementary school student requesting an online option in response to recent increases in COVID cases because of the delta variant.

The student wrote, Dear school Bord please can I have online school? Becuse thats the way I feel safe. Its like if you really wanted to meet new frends! (Because the letter is written by an elementary school student, the Gazette is not editing the statement for spelling).

The 139 students who signed up, were required to commit to entirely online learning for the first semester. There is no plan currently in place for a second semester option; however, district staff will discuss those plans with the board in October, and their recommendation will depend on the COVID-19 situation.

All board members voiced support for the temporary online learning option, and many also supported the distance learning option becoming permanent in some form.

The upcoming online program will be housed at Andersen Elementary with the teachers running the program collaborating together, district superintendent Malinda Lansfedlt said at the meeting on Aug. 13.

Andersen Elementary School Principal Anna Wilcek spoke during the boards regularly Aug. 13 meeting.

She said theres a wealth of knowledge because the pandemic forced the district to figure out an online option quickly. It will help this year to have the online teachers housed in the same building instead of mixed all over the district.

It will be exciting to bring all of that brain power together, Wilcek said. (Well) take lessons from last year, and apply them to this year. Im ready to dive in, and work with amazing people.

Board members asked about an about offering an online learning option for sixth to 12th grade. Last year the board focused on returning elementary school students to buildings while keeping more online options available for secondary learners.

The reversal in thinking is that there are complexities at the secondary level, assistant superintendent Jennifer Cherry said.

We just do not have the capacity, we do not want to go back to our teachers and ask them to teach online in addition to in-person learning, Cherry said. It does not make sense at this time.

The board approved the funding request for the program at $250,000. The money will be used to hire four full-time equivalent employees. The money will come from COVID relief funds.

The board also approved $35,000 in funding for technological capital investments.

The district estimated that if the students left the district because there wasnt an online option it would cost the district $1.4 million.

I look at this as a long-term investment, Lansfeldt said. If we can keep even 25 students, this pays for itself.

Do we have any measurable outcomes with the online learning, board member Tina Riehle asked?

While there wasnt specific data immediately available, Cherry responded that anecdotally distance learning is a good fit for some students.

Online learning is not for every child, Cherry said. We do know some children did very well online. Typically it was the students whose family chose the online option.

School board member Annie Porbeni asked about an online option for sixth grade students as many are 11 years old and who are not yet eligible for a vaccine.

When conducting research, the district found only a handful of those students really wanted an online option, and the district was able to work with those few specific cases to come up with a solution, Cherry responded.

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Board approves online learning option | Education - ECM Publishers

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Improving in-class special education with positives from online learning – eSchool News

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As schools, parents, and students across the country prepare for school re-entry, many are celebrating a return to the classroom. There is no shortage of studies and expert opinions stating that the majority of students learn better in-person. But, for the many students who are looking forward with hope to a September where class happens in a room rather than through a screen, there are also a significant number of students who thrived in online instruction and are nervous about losing the confidence they found in a new modality of learning.

Special education teams know this because they have always been focused on ensuring that schools find the best ways to serve and support all students, not just those in the majority or who fit the norm. For many of the students who need special accommodations, introducing technology into learning has been nothing short of revolutionary.

Many students have thrived

As the months of the pandemic progressed, school leaders started to notice that, despite the drawbacks of remote learning, there was a subset of students for whom the modality allowed them to thrive in ways they hadnt in an in-person school setting. Remote learning has been a disaster for many students. But some kids have thrived, declared one article, positing that special education students, in particular, could benefit from schools taking lessons from distance learning back into the classroom.

Students with anxiety have been particularly called out as benefitting from remote instruction, which reduces the social variables and allows them to focus exclusively on the learning. Similarly, some students with autism have discovered benefits from online learning this year. Andrea Parrish, director of development and learning systems at the IDEALS Institute, posited that remote learning simplified the learning process for some students with autism. They can just focus on the content or just focus on the instructions at hand, she said. And so they dont have to navigate all of those other social experiences while theyre learning.

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Improving in-class special education with positives from online learning - eSchool News

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False positive COVID tests at Rice prompted return to online learning – Houston Chronicle

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Brittany Britto,Staff writer

Aug. 24, 2021Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 12:49p.m.

A COVID-19 testing provider at Rice University produced multiple false positive test results last week, which prompted the universitys recent decision to revert to remote learning for the first two weeks of the fall semester, according to officials.

Kevin E. Kirby, who serves as chair of Rices crisis management advisory committee, said in a letter to university staff Sunday that the testing provider had changed its protocols resulting in significant differences in how test results are decided. After finding some unusual patterns in the testing data, Rice officials, who were unaware of this change, asked the provider to revert to their previous testing strategy.

THE LATEST NUMBERS:Interactive maps, charts show spread of COVID across Houston

Kirby did not give the testing providers name.

The university retested around 50 people who originally tested positive twice on different days and by two different providers. All but one persons results came back negative.

The university began ramping up testing on Aug. 13 days before move-in and its orientation week due to a surge of the coronavirus and its delta variant in the Houston community. Initial results showed 81 people had tested positive out of around 4,500 people tested over nine days, resulting a 2 percent positivity rate. Though that rate is lower than that of the surrounding community, Kirby said it was a cause for concern because it was much higher than the 0.24 percent positivity rate Rice had for the last academic school year, during which the university ran 150,000 tests.

This unusual campus positivity rate prompted us to take quick action and assume a more cautionary posture until we could determine whether there was a significant risk of widespread infection, Kirby said.

Also on Rice moves first 2 weeks of fall semester classes online

Rice announced Aug. 19 that it would shift its first two weeks of the fall semester online and implemented a host of temporary restrictions, including a ban dining in groups indoors and drinking alcohol on campus, and a delayed move-in. The university also said it would grant refunds or waive fees for those who no longer wanted to live on-campus.

An examination of the testing data, however, showed some inconsistencies. A majority of the positive tests results were produced by one provider. More than 90 percent of those reported infections were from community members who were fully vaccinated and 75 percent of those tests were from people who reported no symptoms. Additionally, most of the people shown as positive were from different populations, with only one possible cluster indicated.

These testing data anomalies were part of the reason we decided to take most of our classes on-line for the first two weeks, until Sept. 3, as a precautionary measure, Kirby said.

After retesting, however results showed the the positivity rate at Rice for those nine days was 0.6 percent not the 2 percent originally reported.

COVID LIVE UPDATES: Keep up with the pandemic and its impact on Houston

Kirby noted that despite there being less infection than originally reported, Rice will keep its first two weeks of the semester online and its other announced plans in tact since many students and faculty have made plans accordingly. The university will also use this time to assess whether they need to implement any other strategies, but the plan is still to return to in-person classroom instruction fully in two weeks, he said.

Kirby said some other adjustments will be made in the coming weeks. For example, students who were once asked to delay their arrival on campus can now move in. Weekly testing requirements will continue.

The university has also relaunched its testing statistics dashboard on its COVID-19 website, which show stats since Aug. 13 as well as data from August 2020 through May 2021.

Of the 4,834 people tested since Aug. 13, 26 have tested positive, according to the dashboard.

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False positive COVID tests at Rice prompted return to online learning - Houston Chronicle

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Study: One year later, students and educators in Asia Pacific are beginning to crack the code for online learning – Taiwan News

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By Lenovo, Media OutReach

2021/08/24 16:30

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 24 August 2021 - As schools cross the one-year mark since the rapid shift to virtual classrooms, a new study commissioned by Lenovo and Microsoft has found that both students and educators see enormous potential in online learning, but are just beginning to enjoy its advantages. The biggest barriers to success in online learning have not been a lack of technology access, but low use of available solutions and social challenges stemming from extended periods of remote learning.

Conducted by specialist firms YouGov and Terrapin across 12 markets in Asia Pacific during May 2021, the study examined nearly 3,400 students, parents and educators to understand their assessment of e-learning since the pandemic began, including 218 students in Hong Kong, and explored how technology can further engage students and support learning.

"With schools closed in many countries for the better part of 2020, educators, parents and students alike have grappled with new learning technologies. This study has helped us better understand how educators, parents and students have adapted to online learning during the pandemic, what the real challenges are, and what solutions can be deployed to help make learning technologies more effective," said Fan Ho, General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau, Lenovo.

"The role of technology has become a much needed lifeline in enabling teaching and learning between students and educators today. Despite the challenges faced over the last year, we admire the resilience and adaptability students and educators have had as classrooms shifted from traditional set-ups to virtual environments. As we move forward, it is clear innovation will continue to transform learning experiences and we remain committed in supporting the industry with the right tools and solutions so that they are equipped for the new age of education," said Larry Nelson, Regional General Manager, Education, Microsoft Asia.

Technology in education became the norm during the past year with mixed results

Across Asia Pacific, more than 80% of students and 95% of educators increased their use of technology during the past year, while 68% of students and 85% of educators spent more money on technology during the past year than they had in the previous year. This trend will continue, with 66% of students and 86% of educators expecting to further increase their spending on learning technology in the coming year.

Educators and students had differing opinions on the impact of online classes on educational performance. Educators were relatively positive about their teaching performance online, with 59% confident that teaching performance had improved, and 24% believing it had been maintained. However, students' assessment was mixed: around a third of students believed their performance had improved, another third believed it had stayed the same during the period of online learning, and the remaining third believed their learning performance had declined.

Accessibility and convenience are major advantages of online learning

Among students, accessibility (63%) and flexibility (50%) were named as major advantages of online learning, including the ability to access a broad variety of content and materials from all over the world. Additionally, 62% of students and 67% of educators praised the convenience of eliminating the need to commute.

Meanwhile, 64% of educators highlighted the advantages of centralizing the teaching materials in one easily accessible online resource such as Microsoft Teams for Education , along with 50% who commend the fact that e-learning encourages collaborative learning, and allows for more personalised learning and support.

Students and educators know what they want but are just beginning to leverage existing solutions

Students and their parents said it was "extremely important" that their technology provides security (50%), privacy (52%), flexible performance (26%), and continuous value (29%). Just 17% considered it to be extremely important to have the lowest possible cost for a technology solution.

Educators were also interested in education-specific security (75%) and data privacy (79%), but additionally named collaboration features (64%), student assessment tools (63%), general ease of use (59%), and accessibility features (53%) as extremely important.

However, although 72% of students used a laptop such as a Lenovo Yoga and 29% used a tablet such as a Lenovo IdeaPad to access online learning, few had embraced the full suite of learning solutions: just 38% of students used video conference apps such as Microsoft Teams, only 20% used cloud-based document sharing, and 14% used remote access files. Around 15% of students had access to an online learning management system.

Almost 95% of educators used a laptop such as a Lenovo ThinkPad for their daily teaching. While 76% had used video conference apps, only 56% used cloud-based document sharing, and just 36% used remote access files. Around 66% used an online learning management system. Additionally, 34% had used a virtual reality platform such as Lenovo ThinkReality.

Students and educators find ways to cope with tech support, but distraction, engagement and isolation are barriers

Physical distance did not deter students or teachers from getting the technical support they needed while e-learning; although many school technical support teams were unable to cope with the volatile demand, students and educators found alternative sources of support. Students were more likely (33%) to ask a classmate, friend, or younger household member for help than they were to go to school tech support staff (15%). Similarly, 47% of educators addressed their concerns to the school tech support team, but 32% simply tried to find an answer themselves, 31% asked another teacher, and at least 11% consulted with a nearby teenager.

Around 14% of educators had embraced device-as-a-service (DaaS). DaaS offers a subscription-based model including laptops, desktops, tablets, tech support, software and management services.

Students and educators found the most profound barriers to online learning in the social sphere. More than 60% of students and educators indicated that they experienced weakened social relationships during the period of online learning. The top four factors listed as challenges by students and their parents were distractions at home (54%), less motivation to attend online classes at home (48%), lack of immediate feedback and interaction with teachers/classmates (46%) and social isolation or difficulty in meeting people (41%).

While video conferencing applications provide many avenues for real-time interaction, attending all their classes through a screen proved to be challenging for students. 75% of educators listed "students get distracted or lose concentration during live sessions" as one of the major barriers to e-learning.

New subscription models, smarter collaboration and devices can unlock potential of online learning

"What we see from this study is that there can be enormous benefits from education technologies, but students and educators have yet to embrace its full potential," continued Amar Babu. "Both students and educators are looking for collaborative, personalized learning using technologies that can keep them engaged, with the material and with each other. Lenovo is at the forefront of these technologies, with built-in features leveraging Artificial Intelligence, helping create opportunities for online engagement, and providing convenience and reliability."

Lenovo's services portfolio supports ongoing learning by bringing end-to-end solutions to schools and universities.

As the world adjusts to a new normal, education is entering a new age of teaching and learning. Advanced technologies are paving the way for students to experience immersive learning with real-world applications, and empowering educators to help students continue learning through new and different methods, wherever they may be.

About the Study

Conducted in May 2021, the research surveyed 783 educators in Asia Pacific, along with 669 parents and 1,935 students aged 16 to 25 above about their experience with e-learning during the global pandemic. Respondents surveyed were from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Korea, India, and Japan.

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions, services and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. To find out more visit and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

#Lenovo #Microsoft

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Study: One year later, students and educators in Asia Pacific are beginning to crack the code for online learning - Taiwan News

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Is now the time for a full embrace of lifelong learning? – Times Higher Education (THE)

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The pandemic brought disruption and chaos to education around the world, but experts and leaders have sought out silver linings from the switch to online learning, hoping to find positive lessons for the future of education.

Experts say that one benefit is likely to be a greater emphasis on lifelong learning, allowing students access to education throughout their lifetime.

William Locke, director of the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, says that for most universities, lifelong learning usually described as continuing education has seldom been a core activity, as their focus has been on full-time undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses.

However, the pandemic, and the switch to online learning and homeworking, will increase the demand for shorter, work-related courses with clear benefits to learners in employment and those wanting to change their careers, he says.

There is no doubt it will rise up the agenda, Locke adds. Already many universities have flirted with developments such as short courses, Moocs [massive open online courses] and microcredentials because they recognise that lifelong learning will become the norm and these are ways to dip their toes in the water. However, whether the quality and volume of current provision is sufficient to meet these needs remains to be proven.

The pandemic has already prompted some universities to focus their efforts into improving their lifelong-learning offerings. Last year, UNSW Sydney announced plans to entrench lifelong learning as a new chapter in its history, while allowing staff and students to continue working remotely after the pandemic passes. The flexible working and study arrangements will free up an estimated 22,000 square metres of lecture theatres and offices and enable community organisations, business and industry to work on campus directly with academics.

Chris Styles, dean of the UNSW Business School, says that even before the pandemic, the world of work was constantly changingdriven by new technologies as well as social change and increasing customer expectations.

Covid-19 has accelerated the need for businesses to be able to upskill and reskill at scale and quickly as well as a desire for employees to have a range of learning experiences and credentials beyond the traditional degree, and delivered in a flexible and targeted manner, he adds.

Styles says that the university is still working to ensure we properly understand specific market needs and where the UNSW can best contribute. But he envisages that the institution will deliver flexible, skill-focused learning experiences of perhaps shorter duration as part of the plans.

One institution with a jump on embedding lifelong learning into its education is the National University of Singapore (NUS), which implemented its Lifelong Learners programme, where undergraduates are enrolled for 20 years from the point of admission, in 2018.

Tan Eng Chye, president of NUS, says the programme was a response to the widespread disruption and job displacement caused by global mega trends, such as digitalisation and artificial intelligence, sweeping rapidly across many sectors of the economy and society.

We need people to be more agile, nimble and multifaceted in the way they approach things, and in their skills and abilities. The only way they can learn new knowledge, upskill and reskill is to continually learn, as things change, over the span of 45 to 50 years of their working life, he says, adding that lifelong learning is central to future-proofing the NUS education experience.

To achieve this, the institution has implemented flexible ways of teaching and learning, ensuring that students are offered multiple pathways to a wide range of disciplines. NUS students are also taught a common curriculum, meaning they have a grounding in both science and humanities from the outset. Tan says this approach builds students competencies and interests and helps develop an enhanced emphasis on interdisciplinarity in teaching and research.

For NUS, a key element of lifelong education is close industry alignment. This also supports the Singaporean governments Industry Transformation Programme, which will see the development of road maps for 23 critical industries, such as manufacturing, built environment and healthcare.

However, while industry can be an important partner for lifelong-learning strategies, Locke warns that one of the problems for universities is that they are competing and collaborating with commercial organisations that have very different cultures and ethos.

Educational institutions can offer the academic and professional credibility, especially in assessment and accreditation. But, given their current financial and logistical constraints, can they invest sufficiently in the expertise and infrastructure required to really make a significant contribution to lifelong education? he asks.

The recent announcement that 2U, an online education company, has paid $800million (580million) to acquire edX, the non-profit platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has demonstrated the success of online short courses and microcredentials in the commercial space. It also offers an insight into how universities can collaborate with for-profit companies to provide non-traditional offerings that are easier and often cheaper to access later in life.

One option,according to Locke, is for universities to draw on their alumni and industrial and professional networks to keep ahead of the changing nature of work and to anticipate future skills needs, although, he adds, that in order to respond quickly to these changes, they would need to ensure that their curriculum approval processes are fast and efficient.

Jonathan Michie, professor of innovation and knowledge exchange at the University of Oxford and director of the institutions department for continuing education, agrees that flexibility and agilityare key to implementing lifelong learning in university education.

The pandemic has shown that universities need to change their mindset and recognise that flexible learning is going to be the future, he says.

In the UK, the Westminster government has signalled it is ready to get on board, launching its Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which will create a new lifelong learning entitlement, allowing individuals flexible loan funding for four years of post-18 education, including for shorter, modular segments.

However, Michie says the bill will need amending to make it truly effective. For example, there is a strong emphasis on skills, but it fails to recognise that it is important that adult educators and people in the community should be able to decide for themselves what they want to learn. Recognising this is good for democracy and good for communities, he says.

Former universities minister and conservative peer Jo Johnson has also criticised the bill for putting restrictions on the lifelong learning loan on non-STEM subjects and for failing to recognise the economic value generated by the wider creative industries.

Michie adds that interdisciplinarity is central to upskilling and says that moving towards more bite-sized chunks and accreditation of smaller courses will make it much easier for students to gain a wider range of knowledge and competencies.

What is needed is for universities to develop lifelong-learning strategies across the whole university. Currently, a lot pay lip service to lifelong learning without having a proper strategy, he says.

Michie says the starting point for universities should be recognising that they will be teaching people of different ages and different experiences.

Locke agrees. The optimal mix of online and short, intensive in-person education would need to be found for each target group of learners, including a considerable amount of choice to meet individuals preferences and to suit their circumstances, he says. This would include opportunities for synchronous (real time) and asynchronous learning, especially when reaching learners in other time zones.

However, ultimately it is the quality of the teaching staff that will make all the difference to the success of a universitys move to lifelong learning, Locke concludes. How current their knowledge and experience is, how expert they are in using the new technologies, whether they have reasonable workloads and time to refresh their knowledge and expertise, and if they have access to professional development opportunities and career progress.

TheTimes Higher EducationWorld University Rankings 2022, which includes metrics on universities' teaching environments, will be published at 00:01 BST on 2 September. The results will beexclusively revealed at theTHEWorld Academic Summit(1-3 September), which will focus on the interrelationship between universities and the places in which they are located.

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Janeil Rey to return to College of Education as interim dean –

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Dr. Janeil Rey

Dr. Janeil C. Rey, whose tenure at SUNY Fredonia began more than 30 years ago in the Educational Development Program (EDP), has been appointed interim dean of the universitys College of Education, effective Aug. 16.

For the past five years, Dr. Rey has been the director of workforce development at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, where she directs career and technical education, P-TECH and adult education programs.

Dr. Reys combination of leadership skills and experience, content expertise, teaching experience and her intimate knowledge of local and regional schools and their administrators make her uniquely qualified to provide interim leadership for the College of Education, said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kevin Kearns, who announced the appointment after close consultation with President Stephen H. Kolison Jr.

Rey succeeds Dr. Anna Thibodeau, an associate professor and department chair currently serving as the interim dean of the College of Education, who will retire at the end of August after a long and distinguished career at Fredonia.

Dr. Thibodeau has been instrumental in shaping the direction of the college over the years, Dr. Kearns indicated, and has provided steady leadership during arguably Fredonias most challenging academic year.

At this critical time of enrollment challenges and change it is clear that we need to continue Annas legacy of leadership in the College of Education. Along with leadership changes, the college is challenged by a change in accrediting bodies, new curricular initiatives including the online Education Leadership program and a pressing need to nurture relationships with our school partners, Kearns said.

I am enormously grateful to Dr. Thibodeau for her long history of contributions to Fredonia, especially for her stellar work as interim dean during this past year, Kearns said.

A search for a permanent dean will be conducted by Dr. David Starrett, who joined Fredonia as executive vice president and provost in mid-August.

In a career in education that spans more than 35 years, Rey has been a teacher, professor and administrator.

For over 18 years, Rey held positions as adjunct professor, visiting professor, assistant professor and co-coordinator of Fredonias EDP program and also taught the masters proposal and thesis writing courses and leadership courses for aspiring school principals and superintendents. Rey also led the Belize Service Learning Project, a short-term study abroad program that places Fredonia students as volunteer teachers in Belize schools during the J-Term.

Positions Rey has held elsewhere include assistant superintendent for instruction at Fredonia Central Schools and special projects manager, a part-time position, at Erie 2 BOCES following the birth of her first child. She also served as superintendent and K-12 principal at Ripley Central School. Rey joined Fredonias EDP program as an academic counselor in 1989.

Prior to relocating to Western New York, Rey was an academic counselor for the Watermark Program of Landmark School and also taught reading and English to dyslexic students.

Rey holds permanent New York State Certification as a School Administrator/Supervisor and as a School District Administrator. She has an undergraduate degree in American Studies with New York State certification to teach Social Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University and a masters degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her doctoral dissertation on rural school superintendents was through the University at Buffalo.

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Marshalltown’s new virtual academy joins 22 other Iowa districts offering fully-accredited online options – Local 5 –

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The district says nearly 150 students are enrolled in the online option, K-12.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa On the first day of school at Anson Elementary in Marshalltown, kids are scurrying through hallways and filling up classrooms. This year, teachers can look forward to welcoming students in person year-round.

Yet within the walls of Mrs. Jess Althaus' kindergarten classroom, there's still just one person: Mrs. Althaus. The educator of nearly a decade has moved to fully online learning, part of the new Marshalltown Virtual Academy (MVA).

"I definitely dont have a lot of classroom set-up," said Althaus. "I just kind of have my desk."

Though the job involves less set-up, there's more prep time involved. Althaus teaches kindergarten as well as ELL, grades K-6.

"It takes little bit more [time] because I have extra grade levels," she said.

But she says with parents assisting at home, she has extra help.

Althaus is one of MVA's six full-time teachers, grades K-6. At the 7-12 age level, just under a dozen teachers split time between in-person teaching and virtual teaching. In total, the district says between 144-150 students are participating, and they're at capacity.

Twenty-three Iowa school districts are now accredited to offer a full-time online learning option.

Principal Ronnie Manis heads up MVA's K-6 program and says it's providing parents an option for their families to say safe amid the rise of the delta variant.

"COVID is still there, and parents are scared," said Manis. "They are concerned, especially in the elementary school, our kids are at an age where they cant be vaccinated. We have had parents say that they want to stay here until that vaccination is offered for kids if it is safe for them."

Eric Goslinga, principal of MVA's 7-12 program, says it can better accommodate students struggling with mental health issues.

"Through the pandemic, we have seen a rise in generalized anxiety disorders in the population of students," said Goslinga. "So we have some kids who find that they are more comfortable at home and are seeking that comfortable place to do their learning."

Goslinga adds that high school students are choosing to attend MVA to get a head start on preparing for college.

"If you have a collegebound student, this gradual-release model of them being more responsible for initiating getting their work done, I think sets them up well," said Goslinga. "They have a pattern...previous experiences about being self-starters and engaging in their own learning independently."

Both Goslinga and Manis say many students simply prefer the online learning option, regardless of health concerns. It gives them hope that MVA will continue long after COVID-19 is over.

"We capped out [student capacity] before school started, so that tells me that parents are interested. Kids are interested," said Mains. "As long as we keep offering a quality product, which we will, I think theres every opportunity to continue if its possible."

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Alternative credentials in higher education have a champion – EdScoop

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A leading higher education association is setting its sights on alternative credentials, on Tuesday launching two new groups to simplify the process for institutions looking to implement more short-term programs.

The University for Professional and Continuing Education Association announced a council, composed of campus leadership drawn from its more than 400 member institutions, to lead research and discussion on logistics and strategy for offering alternative credentials. Alternative credentials, such as micro-credentials and certificates offered by bootcamps and massive online open courses, are often offered online and are skill-based.

Julie Uranis, the associations vice president for online and strategic initiatives, told EdScoop institutions can struggle with the IT component of introducing credentials that arent based in credit hours, as student information systems are often built for traditional degrees.

When we start thinking about the space a little bit more, we learn that there are barriers to access that are a product of policies and systems that that just need to be reconsidered or reworked, she said.

When students pay to take a course that doesnt end in a degree, sometimes they also arent assigned a student ID number, which can limit access to university systems they need to succeed in the course, Uranis added. She said the council will address these problems by publishing papers on best practices, but the association will also create a formal network for any employee from a member institution to share their experiences and successes and get advice on credential programs.

Uranis said the association conducted a survey on alternative credentials and that many members saw an opportunity for traditional higher education to address specific workforce needs. In the survey, the majority of members said that new credentials were aligned with their institutions strategy, but about 48% said they were unsure that developing these new degrees greatly benefited finances.

For decades upon decades, our university leadership usually comes out of that degree-seeking space, Uranis said. What our members are saying is we need greater attention to this, we need advocacy, we need folks providing a primer to our leadership so that they dont see this as another adult learning initiative.

Uranis said higher education needs to focus on fundamental operational issues to further work in the new credential space, a discussion she said can be facilitated through the member network.

Its a great opportunity for us to really get folks that are interested in this topic and have already successfully engaged in some of these activities to be able to share that with their peers and colleagues, she said.

The announcement comes as more institutions seek ways to boost enrollment, but also as more learners are switching degree paths in light of the coronavirus pandemic or aiming for a promotion at work. Colleges and universities are offering more online programming, often partnering with companies like 2U, Emeritus or the recently-acquired EdX. User numbers for these sites skyrocketed during the pandemic, with EdX founder Anant Agarwal calling the shift in skills needed in workplaces and COVID-19 a double whammy in the online education space.

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Alternative credentials in higher education have a champion - EdScoop

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London, Aug. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- D2L, a global learning technology leader, announced today that its partner, The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) is using D2L Brightspace to develop a blended learning programme for its 46,000 students, combining the benefits of online and in-person teaching.

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS, in Dutch: Hogeschool van Amsterdam) is a higher education institution which strives to put learners in charge of their own study path, delivering personal education that helps to develop students professional identities.

As part of its plans to evolve the universitys learning programme, AUAS begana phased roll-out of D2L Brightspace in September 2018 before implementing it across the whole institution in September 2019. When COVID-19 lockdown restrictions caused universities to close in spring 2020, Brightspace was integral to delivering lessons that took place completely online.

Without D2L Brightspace, we wouldnt have been able to continue our educational programme during the lockdown restrictions, said Pieter van Langen, Product Owner of AUAS Digital Learning Environment. Implementing Brightspace has helped the university adopt a growth mindset when it comes to digital transformation, which was crucial when adapting to distance learning and thinking about our long-term strategies. A few months into the pandemic, the universitys board agreed that we would never return to normal, fully on-campus lessons. Instead, we will use Brightspace to provide the most value to students of face-to-face and online teaching.

As the Universitys first ever learning management system (LMS), Brightspace has enabled faculty to design their own courses, and provides new functionalities for all of its lecturers.

Building off of the excitement and energy generated by our annual Fusion conference, were celebrating our customers and the ways in which they are changing the world," says Elliot Gowans, Senior Vice President, International at D2L. Were excited to see how The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences will continue to use D2L Brightspace as an integral part of its digital transformation journey following the success made so far.

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At the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), we educate tomorrows professionals in a wide array of fields and disciplines of higher education. With our distinct focus on applied sciences, the AUAS enables students, lecturers and researchers to develop cutting-edge and practical knowledge and innovations.

Our university of applied sciences consists of seven faculties. We have a total of 45,797 students and offer 96 Bachelors, Masters and Associate degree programmes. We are one of the biggest employers in the field of higher education, and in Amsterdam, with some 4,077 staff members.

Learn more about AUAS at


D2L is transforming the way the world learns helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our more than 950 global employees are dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than where they found it. Learn more about D2L for K-12, highereducationand businesses ABOUT D2L BRIGHTSPACE D2L Brightspace is acloud-basedlearning platform built for organisations that value continuous investment in people to drive their business success. D2L Brightspace is powering smarter upskilling and reskilling of workforces around the world. It is a place that supports all aspects of learning with better engagement and productivity through personalised learning. It gives your teams the toolstheyregoing to love and makes it easy to support exceptional experiences face-to-face or fully online. D2L Brightspace is designed in close collaboration with clients around the world building a rich set of features to improve engagement, retention and learning outcomes. And it makes it easier to give feedback.Itsworry-free with 99.99% reliability.Itshighly accessible and looks beautiful on any mobile device, making it easier for you to reach every learner. Like many of our clients, D2L uses itsaward-winningBrightspace learning platform to support onboarding, compliance training, leadership development, and upskilling of its own employees. This has led to consecutive #1 in North America awards for new hire and onboarding experiences. To learn more, visit D2L forCorporate Learning. UK PRESS CONTACT Pippa Twigg, Finn Partners 07769 719 719 Twitter:@D2L_EMEA 2021 D2L Corporation.

All D2L marks are trademarks of D2L Corporation. Please visit for a list of D2L marks.

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