Worcester School Committee stands by decision to extend remote learning, will respond to letter from state education officials

Members of the Worcester School Committee on Thursday night stood by a decision to extend remote learning during the pandemic, as the district administration works to respond to a request for more information from Massachusetts education officials.

Superintendent Maureen Binienda told committee members during Thursday’s meeting that the district received a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education seeking more information about when students are expected to return to classrooms. Other districts that are using online learning models also got a letter, Binienda said.

Last month, the committee voted to push back the start of a hybrid learning model as updates to school HVAC systems were ongoing. Members had vowed to not bring back students until buildings are safe, and also noted rising coronavirus rates in the community, which continue to increase. Students with the highest level of needs are slated to return to school buildings on Jan. 25, while other students are expected to return later.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Education Secretary James Peyser and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley in November urged districts to bring students into classrooms unless there is evidence of in-school spread of coronavirus.

“We did receive a letter this week, as did other districts who have been full remote with special needs students, stating that they would like us to send a plan within 10 days and share what is our plan for getting our Group C, special ed students, back in school,” Binienda said.

The district is working on a response that refers to the hybrid plan previously approved by the committee.

“We will be writing that report this weekend and giving it to the mayor on Monday to review. We will include in that report a copy of both the district and the school-level reopening transition plan,” Binienda said.

Mayor Joseph Petty, the chair of the committee, noted that decisions on schooling are not made lightly and that Binienda meets regularly with Worcester Medical Director Dr. Michael Hirsh.

“I’m not disagreeing with the [DESE] commissioner. Worcester, I think, is different than some other communities and if I could bring everybody back I would. I would bring definitely back Group C,” Petty said. “I think it’s a bigger mistake to have jump-starts and start over again.”

Member Tracy O’Connell Novick noted that each day, multiple districts across the state have shifted learning plans and said disruption of the educational process is harmful to children’s learning.

“I do very much, Mr. Chair, resent the amount of pressure that the department and the state are putting on schools right now. I do not think that their primary concern right now is actually the education of our children. I think they’re trying to win a point,” Novick said.

Novick requested that Petty write and submit a cover letter that includes information about the positivity rate in Worcester, the communicability of coronavirus and its long-term effects.

Committee members said Thursday that they are glad Worcester students have not had to flip-flop between hybrid and remote models and

Read more

a Learning Management System for Data Integration

SAN MATEO, Calif., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Celigo, the leading Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) provider for both business and technical users, today introduced Celigo University, a learning management system that offers free online tools, resources, training and certification for building integrations across multiple applications.

“In this fast-moving business environment, companies need to efficiently automate and scale while cross-functionally sharing data,” said Jan Arendtsz, Founder and CEO of Celigo. “Regardless of one’s job title or role in the process, integrations should be easy and simple for everyone involved. With the launch of Celigo University, users will become more knowledgeable and empowered to create, customize and deploy the right solutions for their organizations.”

Key features of Celigo University’s on-demand curriculum currently include:

  • Learning paths on the fundamental and advanced features of Celigo’s integrator.io iPaaS platform that enables companies to integrate and manage a wide variety of applications
  • More advanced training on working with NetSuite and Salesforce, EDI integrations and Database, FTP and HTTP connectors
  • Curated courses on Celigo’s Integration Apps, the pre-built, full-featured integrations for popular cloud applications including Amazon, Shopify, Magento, Zendesk, Salesforce and more
  • Developer courses on JavaScript hooks, SuiteScript hooks and integrator.io REST APIs
  • Resource links to relevant webinars, product documentation, demos, ebooks, case studies and whitepapers
  • Incentives for completing training courses and passing quizzes and exams, including points, badges and certification 

For more information, visit Celigo University.

About Celigo

Built for both IT professionals and business users, Celigo is a next-generation integration platform (iPaaS) that easily connects and automates processes across thousands of applications. It allows users to quickly build, manage and handoff complex integrations at scale, requiring fewer IT resources and lowering total cost of ownership.

For more information, visit www.celigo.com, and follow Celigo on YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information, press only:
Rico Andrade
VP of Marketing, Celigo
[email protected]

Related Links

SOURCE Celigo, Inc.

Related Links


Source Article

Read more

Learning Centre – Massey University

Massey University is collaborating with the Nanjing University of Finance and Economics (NUFE) to provide a dedicated learning centre for our students who remain in China due to the temporary closure of borders due to COVID-19. 

The Massey Learning Centre will give students the option of joining classmates on campus at one of China’s outstanding universities.  Students will participate in online classes delivered by Massey University’s top academics with the additional support of local learning advisors.

Massey University is working with the New Zealand government on options to welcome international students back to campus when it is safe to do so, however it is likely that most of our overseas students will need to commence their 2021 studies online rather than in New Zealand.

What students will get


Three classrooms to accommodate up to 100 students (80 from Massey Business School and 20 from Massey’s College of Creative Arts) fitted out with online streaming for lectures with reliable WIFI.  IT support will be available. 

Massey’s students will be issued with a NUFE identification card, giving them access to all of the same facilities as NUFE’s enrolled students: e.g: university library; gyms; sports facilities and the student canteen.  By having this access to NUFE’s facilities this will help improve students’ sense of belonging. 

Due to China’s careful COVID-19 arrangements, all accepted students will be offered and accommodated at the NUFE campus.

Non-Academic Advisor and Support:

Support will be available for student management and services, pastoral care and non-academic support for students/liaising with NUFE on a range of student support matters (e.g: arranging IT support, student feedback, translation if required).  Occasional social activities will also be arranged to give students a sense of belonging and community.

Academic Support Advisors and Support:

Four academic support advisors. One advisor will be supporting College of Creative Arts students and three supporting Massey Business School students. The Academic Support Advisors will review any asynchronous activities and sit in on synchronous teaching sessions provided by Massey staff from within New Zealand.  They may provide local question and answer and lexicon support sessions. They may provide general support on study skills, types of assessment writing and referencing advice sessions. They may provide catch up or additional classes to support ordinary sessions as needed.


Read more

A machine learning solution for designing materials with desired optical properties

A Machine Learning Solution for Designing Materials with Desired Optical Properties
Controlling light-matter interactions is central to a variety of important applications, such as quantum dots, which can be used as light emitters and sensors. Credit: PlasmaChem

Understanding how matter interacts with light—its optical properties—is critical in a myriad of energy and biomedical technologies, such as targeted drug delivery, quantum dots, fuel combustion, and cracking of biomass. But calculating these properties is computationally intensive, and the inverse problem—designing a structure with desired optical properties—is even harder.

Now Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a machine learning model that can be used for both problems—calculating optical properties of a known structure and, inversely, designing a structure with desired optical properties. Their study was published in Cell Reports Physical Science.

“Our model performs bi-directionally with high accuracy and its interpretation qualitatively recovers physics of how metal and dielectric materials interact with light,” said corresponding author Sean Lubner.

Lubner notes that understanding radiative properties (which includes optical properties) is equally important in the natural world for calculating the impact of aerosols such as black carbon on climate change.

The machine learning model proposed in this study was trained on spectral emissivity data from nearly 16,000 particles of various shapes and materials that can be experimentally fabricated.

“Our machine learning model speeds up the inverse design process by at least two to three orders of magnitude as compared to the traditional method of inverse design,” said co-author Ravi Prasher, who is also Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Energy Technologies.

Mahmoud Elzouka, Charles Yang, and Adrian Albert, all scientists in Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area, were also co-authors.

Inverse design software automates design process for optical, nanophotonic structures

More information:
Mahmoud Elzouka et al, Interpretable Forward and Inverse Design of Particle Spectral Emissivity Using Common Machine-Learning Models, Cell Reports Physical Science (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrp.2020.100259
Provided by
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A machine learning solution for designing materials with desired optical properties (2020, December 2)
retrieved 2 December 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-machine-solution-materials-desired-optical.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Source Article

Read more

Up to 50% of university students unhappy with online learning, regulator finds

A “very large proportion” of university students do not like online learning and “do not wish to ever experience it again”, according to a wide-ranging report from the higher education regulator.

A review of student feedback has identified remote learning as “a problem” if it continues into 2021, after universities adopted it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students said it resulted in a “lack of engagement”, less time overall in class, isolation from their peers, IT issues, and made examinations and assessments particularly difficult and potentially unfair.

Related: Australian universities made $2.3bn profit in 2019 but $10bn of revenue was overseas student fees

Particular degrees like engineering, science, visual and performing arts were also especially affected by the lack of practical learning.

In recent months, Western Australia’s Murdoch University and Curtin University have announced that they will maintain online-only classes in 2021. At Murdoch, lectures will be online while “most” tutorials will remain face-to-face, and there will be more physical classes in fields of medicine, molecular and forensic sciences. Curtin plans to make all lectures online under a draft proposal.

The report, from the national Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, collected feedback surveys from 118 higher education providers across semester one.

It found that between 33% and 50% of students were unhappy with online learning.

“A very large proportion of respondents … commented that they did not like the experience of online learning and did not wish to ever experience it again,” the report said.

“These are large numbers across the sector and present a problem if the transition to online study must remain well into 2021.”

While the report said that most responses to online learning were positive, “a significant percentage … indicated that they did not wish to continue with remote study and wished to return to a face-to-face experience as soon as possible”.

The TEQSA also flagged a “somewhat disturbing” finding that many students did not want to use their video in online classes because they were ashamed about the appearance of their homes, or the presence of family members, after they were suddenly forced to take all classes from home.

When asked what “did not work well”, 41% of respondents reported IT problems, 34% said there was a lack of academic interaction, 30% said the assessments caused issues and 29% said there was a lack of engagement.

Fifteen per cent of respondents said online learning created issues with isolation, finance and their housing or home environment.

Between 20% and 22% of students had a positive response, and said they liked the “flexible access to materials” provided by online learning.

However, students also reported that the length of their online classes was shorter than their face-to-face classes, but they also had to do more work.

“Significant” issues were raised degrees like engineering or visual arts, that had important practical elements, or the final “capstone” years of other degrees, that often required internships or practical skills.

“It was reported many times that the duration of classes … was

Read more

62% Of Teachers Say Learning About Geography Is “Extremely Important”

To know Tim Needles is to know an art teacher who doesn’t shy away from taking creative risks to unlock his students’ artistic potential. Earlier this year, he transformed himself into Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of postman Joseph Roulin, and challenged his students to come up with their own versions.

From fine art to digital drawings, Tim has many inspirations. But one of his greatest muses? Science. He often infuses STEM into his art classes at Smithtown High School East in St. James, N.Y. as a tool for his students to creatively connect with complex issues and reimagine them as visually captivating pieces. To inform their latest art project, Tim’s class is using geography to map storm drains in their Long Island community, an exercise that led to a surprising revelation: the storm drain water from their own homes was flowing directly into the nearby river, contributing to pollution.

“No one, including myself, really knew where the water ended up,” Tim said. “It was one of those moments where everyone was just totally engaged and enlightened.”

One might think Tim is unique in his approach but new data shows that hundreds of educators not only share his passion for geography, but also infuse it into their lessons to create cross-curricular learning experiences.

In a recent National Geographic Society survey of U.S. educators, nearly two-thirds of participants (62%) said teaching geography was “extremely important.” The survey captured a cross-section of pre-K to 12th grade educators of varying ages, experiences, and subjects taught. Strikingly, the poll found that 74% of non-geography teachers have integrated geography into their curricula across a wide range of subjects, from biology, environmental science, history, literacy, visual arts and religion to—one might be surprised to find—performing arts. As one educator noted in the survey, “I teach music, so we study the locations and people…associated with the songs we learn.”

The links between geography and other subjects are endless. In literature, for example, consider the connection between John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and the Dust Bowl, or a history lesson on Machu Picchu and the engineering feats of the Inca people. One surveyed educator said: “All subjects relate because everything we study is connected to a place—whether you look at the carbon cycle across the globe or how ancient Koreans created celadon porcelain glaze.”

This school year alone, at least half of the surveyed educators said they plan to incorporate geography into their curricula, and many with a focus on tough-to-teach topics such as racial injustice, climate change or the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, why is learning about geography so critical to educators? One participant said, “Learning about our world allows us to learn and express empathy, and it builds kindness in humanity.” Another educator phrased it this way: “Because of the scope and breadth of what geography encompasses, students need to see the

Read more

Ashford University’s 2020 Teaching and Learning Conference Examines Critical Issues in Online Higher Education

Throughout the conference, participants joined three keynote addresses, four featured speakers, six panel discussions, and 120 presenters representing 14 institutions to create actionable ideas that explore the value of traditional liberal arts versus career-focused curricula. These discussions were guided with this question in mind: “Must education in the 21st century take an either/or approach to what will prepare students to be ethical and productive contributors to society?”

TLC’s keynote speakers encouraged conference attendees to consider this question with creativity, empathy, and purpose throughout the discussions and panels. Keynote speaker Larry Robertson, award-winning author, strategist, and innovation advisor at Lighthouse Consulting, opened the conference by offering a framework for resiliency through creative experimentation during challenging times in higher education. During his keynote address, Dr. Craig Swenson, President of Ashford University, encouraged conference attendees to consider how education helps to preserve democracy throughout our nation’s evolution. Dr. Warren Hayman, scholar, writer, and activist and the coordinator of the Urban Education Leadership doctoral program at Morgan State University in Baltimore; and, Morgan State doctoral candidate Kamaria Massey, closed TLC with a concrete action plan for overcoming implicit bias and creating successful learning environments for students of color.

The conference also featured a ceremony to honor the winners of Ashford University’s 2020 Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, who are nominated by their peers in the department and college leadership. This year’s honorees include:

  • Dr. Stephanie Mungle – Center for the Enhancement of the First-Year Experience
  • Kim Kenyon – Department of Education and Liberal Arts
  • Dr. Lauren Hall-Davis – Department of Health Sciences
  • Dr. Heather Frederick – Department of Behavioral Sciences
  • Amine Dehmani – Department of Technology Studies
  • Dr. Millicent Addo – Department of Organizational Studies
  • Dr. David Mackusick – Department of Advanced Management Studies
  • Jerry Spight – Department of Professional Studies

Ashford offers TLC participants and the general public additional opportunities for ongoing engagement with conference presenters and attendees, including an official conference social media hashtag (#ashfordtlc), and insightful content populated on the TLC Thought Leaders Blog. Recordings of each TLC 2020 session also are available on Ashford’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning YouTube page.

About Ashford University
Ashford University is a recognized leader and innovator in distance learning and online education. Ashford is designed to meet the needs of working students, offering programs most often sought by those whose primary educational goals relate to developing professional and career-relevant competencies. Flexible schedules, innovative delivery, and accessible academic support tools help working students balance busy lives with academic studies. Ashford offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. For more information, please visit www.ashford.eduwww.facebook.com/ashforduniversity, or www.twitter.com/AshfordU.

Ashford Media Contact: Pat Ogden
[email protected]

SOURCE Ashford University

Related Links


Source Article

Read more

Karnataka rolls out Learning Management System to digitise education in govt colleges- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday unveiled the first of its kind Digital Education initiative for government college students — Learning Management System (LMS) Karnataka.

LMS Karnataka will be rolled out for five lakh students in 430 Government First Grade Colleges, 87 Government Polytechnics and 14 Government Engineering Colleges from the academic year 2020-21.

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Higher Education Dr Ashwathnarayan called it a revolutionary step in the teaching-learning process in higher education in the country. The open-source platform, developed with an investment of Rs 4 crore, would give the students access to self-learning and live-learning, he added.

The department of higher education has touted this as a means to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural, private and  government institutes. The platform will provide e-content and support online assessment of government college students’ in the state.

The platform will have videos of the one-hour lectures that take place in classes, PPT, study material and practice test of 10 multiple-choice questions. 

Multilingual e-Content in Kannada and English is developed university-wise and subject-wise by the faculty of the Department of Collegiate and Technical Education for the past one month, said Pradeep P, Commissioner for Collegiate Education. The PPT will be a step up from the chalk and board method, he added.

He told The New Indian Express that now the first phase of the platform has been rolled out. The login and content access will be given to students and teachers, in this phase.  The first phase was developed by a third party developer in 15 days.

Deeming the platform as a medium to close the learning loop with continuous evaluation, he said it has daily and weekly tests, and the continuous evaluation works as an effective tool to gauge the capacity and weakness of students and teachers.

The inbuilt performance analytics, will give a picture of teaching-learning outcomes, on student, teacher, college, university and state level, he added calling it the “unlocking the true potential of every student and teacher”.

The platform works in the offline mode in the mobile app as well as on the web portal, Pradeep said, a measure to counter the drawbacks of the bandwidth and internet issues that were encountered while digitising education during the COVID19 pandemic.

In the previous year, Pradeep said more than 1 lakh students were given laptops which have windows operating system, and the platform will work on a website based mode as well.

Source Article

Read more

What will be the next move of the competitors in ASEAN Smart Education and Learning Market

Pune, New York, USA, November 27 2020 (Wiredrelease) Research Dive :The world is facing an unpredicted change and many of the industries are facing tough situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak has a positive impact on the ASEAN smart education and learning market. ASEAN smart education and learning refers to the utilization of technology for training and educating people in the South East Asian Nations. This region has adopted a unique platform or technology and advanced methods to enhance their education industry. In addition, ASEAN region is constantly investing more money for development of advanced technology that aids the education and learning system. Moreover, smart education and learning technology has opened new opportunities and job for residents. Recent developments such as AI, VR, gamification, and learning analytics have improved smart education and learning by improving various aspects such as speech recognition, planning, and problem-solving capability. During this coronavirus crisis situation, we are helping our clients in understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the ASEAN smart education and learning market.

Our report includes:

Technological Impact Social Impact Investment Opportunity Analysis Pre- Post-COVID Market Scenario Infrastructure Analysis Supply Side Demand Side Impact

According to a new report published by Research Dive, the ASEAN smart education and learning market is projected to garner a revenue of $363.0 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Download Sample Report and know How Growing smartphone consumers, developing ICT sector and government initiatives are the major factors driving the market growth @ https://www.researchdive.com/request-toc-and-sample/284

The ASEAN smart education and learning market is divided on the basis of delivery mode, end-user, and region. The report provides detailed information about drivers, opportunities, restraints, segmental analysis, and competitive players of the market. As per our analysts, rise in the number of smart phone consumers and developing ICT sectorhas increased the demand of the ASEAN smart education and learning market.

The Simulation-Based Delivery Model Segment is anticipated to rise with a Healthy CAGR till 2027

Based on the delivery mode, the ASEAN smart education and learning market is segmented into classroom-based, desktop or mobile based, and simulation based. Among these, the simulation based delivery model is anticipated to rise with a healthy CAGR and account for highest revenue in the forecast period. Technological advancements of simulation based delivery model and mounting adoption of this delivery model for teaching has enhanced the demand of his segment.

Check out How COVID-19 impact on the ASEAN Smart Education and Learning Market. Click here to Connect with Analyst @ https://www.researchdive.com/connect-to-analyst/284

The Language Training End-User is anticipated to observe Lucrative Growth in the Forecast Period

Based on the end-user, the ASEAN smart education and learning market is segmented into higher education, transnational education, TVET, language training, early childcare preschool, continual professional development, qualifications, and assessment standards. Among these, language training accounted for the maximum share in terms of revenue generation. Formation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to promote the development of official language has enhanced the demand of the language training end-user.

Read more

Iowa Department of Education approves waivers for online learning ahead

Since Monday, 11 districts have submitted waivers to move schools online or to extend existing waivers, some of which have already been approved. 

Waiver requests for remote instruction are on the rise in Iowa



On Tuesday, both Des Moines Public Schools and Johnston Community School District’s waivers to extend online learning were approved by the Iowa Department of Education. Des Moines school board members voted to apply for another waiver to go through Dec. 11 Sunday while Johnston board members unanimously voted Monday evening for a waiver through Dec. 13.

After having some schools in person for a little more than a month, Des Moines Public Schools will move back online temporarily, citing teacher absences and a high rate of COVID-19 in Polk County.

© Des Moines Public Schools
After having some schools in person for a little more than a month, Des Moines Public Schools will move back online temporarily, citing teacher absences and a high rate of COVID-19 in Polk County.

The Johnston School Board will meet Dec. 7 and discuss whether the online learning model will continue after Dec. 13.

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox.

Other large districts also applied for waivers. According to the television station KCRG, Cedar Rapids applied for and received a waiver for online learning through at least Dec. 11 to return to in-person Dec. 14. Waterloo and Davenport also applied for waivers in the last two days.

More: Gov. Kim Reynolds’ new mask mandate doesn’t apply to schools

Making it one of the only school districts in central Iowa without a waiver, the Bondurant-Farrar school board voted Monday night to extend its hybrid learning model through Jan. 4 — which coincides with the district’s return from winter break. 

The 5-0 vote follows the recommendation of the administration and also includes delaying all junior high activities and athletics until Dec. 11.

As of Nov. 20, the district reports four staff members and 25 students have tested positive for COVID-19 including 11 staff members and 152 students in quarantine. The 14-day COVID-19 positivity rate in Polk County Tuesday was 18%.

Sarah LeBlanc covers the western suburbs for the Register. Reach her at 515-284-8161 or [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa Department of Education approves waivers for online learning ahead

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more