Action learning in the virtual world | MIT News

john rambo

This year marked the third time that MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node hosted a fintech entrepreneurship program designed for students from MIT and from Hong Kong, but this summer marked the first time the experience was hosted online. Called MIT Entrepreneurship and Fintech Integrator (MEFTI), 33 students participated remotely across five different time zones due to Covid-19.

“Doing this virtually is a challenge for everyone, and we’re proud that our students made it through the nine days,” says Professor Charles Sodini, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor in Electrical Engineering and faculty director of the Innovation Node.

The program retooled to make it work in a virtual world, using a flipped classroom model where students watch select lectures or videos ahead of time. That allowed shorter synchronous sessions on Zoom to ease out of an already demanding schedule.

What’s unique about MEFTI is the involvement of industry partners who help students

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Pittsburgh Public Schools Deal With Internet Issues On First Day Of Virtual Learning

john rambo

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After months of planning, Tuesday was the start of the school year for Pittsburgh Public Schools, but it didn’t come without some technology issues.


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They district is starting the year virtually, for at least the first nine weeks of classes, but some families are still in need of devices.

“I can’t get a laptop. This is the third time I’m in line,” grandparent of four, Rita Waters, said.

Waters had devices for only two of her grandchildren until today. She said the process has been a hassle.

“It’s just so much wasted time. I should be home,” she said outside Pittsburgh Oliver.

Pittsburgh Public Schools continued distributing devices as online learning began.

Chief Accountability Officer Dr. Ted Dwyer says 1,000 devices will be in this week and that a device should get to everyone that needs one.

“We just need the people who need the

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How schools are helping provide virtual learning in internet dead zones

john rambo

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced schools that reopen safely to in-person learning will receive “incentives” saying the state has an additional $345 Million in educational funds. So, will counties with spotty internet access take the Governor up on his offer? The answer is “no” in Charles County.

Is Governor Hogan’s offer of incentives enough to make counties start in-person classes?



Katherine O’Malley Simpson, communication director for Charles County Public Schools, said the county will stick to virtual learning with a slow phased-in approach to in-person instruction starting with special education students, those who are homeless, and those with poor internet access.

One community in Charles County with poor internet access is Nanjemoy.

The small rural community is about a 40-minute drive from Waldorf, with a population of just under 3,300, according to

Vincent Scott reached out to WUSA9 saying most of the town has

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Technology helps Bay Area teachers rethink distanced learning

john rambo

Every teacher knows and dreads it: the look of a bored student. This school year, with a sea of new faces he’s never seen before, sixth-grade teacher Zac Hansel is more worried than usual.

“Right now, at the beginning of the year, we have one shot to get them in and keep them in,” said Hansel, who teaches at Santa Rita Elementary School in Los Altos.

That’s easier said than done when teachers are still adjusting to the challenges of teaching online, especially when the students don’t know them — and vice versa. How do you rethink a profession that hinges on personal engagement and variety to work solely through video calls and computer screens? In the time of coronavirus, teachers like Hansel are making it work with creativity, a dizzying array of new apps and software, and a lot of patience. And they’re learning a lot along the way.

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UBC’s Master of Educational Technology program offers grads deep insights into online learning approaches

john rambo

This spring, public postsecondary institutions across Canada delivered most of their schooling online.

They had no alternative in the wake of the global outbreak of COVID-19.

But virtual learning is not a novel development—not by any means.

As far back in 2002, UBC’s Faculty of Education pioneered the first fully online graduate program in Canada.

The website states that it “educates professionals in the use and impact of digital learning technologies”.

What is the biggest misconception about this approach?

“In the past months of the pandemic I have often heard individuals claim or report that online learning is inferior to face-to-face learning,” MET program director Teresa M. Dobson stated. “Such individuals seek a return to ‘normal’ (e.g., face-to-face settings) as soon as possible.

“When learning is robustly designed for online contexts, it can be rich, varied, and highly engaging,” she emphasized. “It is not inferior to face-to-face learning; it is

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13 new learning centers will open up Monday

john rambo

The district said this is not like reopening schools. These centers are for vulnerable children who cannot learn at home due to lack of internet.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County Schools will be opening learning centers in 13 schools for students who lack internet access.

Starting Monday, August 31, the centers will open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays during remote learning. 

RELATED: ‘If you can open up a learning center, why can’t you open up Guilford County schools?’

Students at the centers can use the district’s high-speed internet capabilities to access digital content and complete assignments. After Labor Day, students at the center will be able to access live, online instruction provided by their teachers.

While the service is free, advanced registration is required.

“It’s on a first come, first serve basis but preference is given to students who do not have broadband connectivity at home,” Chief

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Greensboro mentoring program remodeling remote learning spaces

john rambo

The SHIELD Mentoring program is halfway to its goal of raising $2,500 to remodel 25 students’ learning spaces.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Many families want to make their home feel more like the classroom for their students doing remote learning but it can be expensive to put it all together.

A Greensboro mentoring group is stepping up to help.

The SHIELD Mentoring program is halfway to its goal of raising $2,500 to remodel students’ learning spaces.

Founder Precious McKoy realized how important these types of spaces can be when her own kids started remote learning.

“Initially, we were all sitting at the dining room table which didn’t work so well because we were all facing each other,” McKoy said, “It’s a little more difficult than we may want to talk about for our youth to focus for a very long time whenever they are sitting in front of a computer.”


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A third of world’s children missed remote learning

john rambo

remote learning
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The U.N. children’s agency says at least a third of children couldn’t access remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, creating “a global education emergency.”

At the height of lockdowns meant to curb the pandemic, nearly 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, UNICEF said.

“For at least 463 million children whose schools closed due to COVID-19, there was no such a thing as remote learning,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.

“The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global education emergency,” she said in a statement. “The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come.”

The report released late Wednesday night highlights significant inequality across regions, with school children in sub-Saharan Africa the most affected. The highest number of children affection by region were in South Asia, at least 147

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Mobile Guardian launches $1 million COVID-19 software grant to assist schools to implement distance learning through mobile device technology

john rambo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mobile Guardian, the leading mobile device management (MDM) solution in education, launches the COVID-19 relief grant for K-12 schools in the United States. The $1 million software grant assists schools with safeguarding students online, remote classroom management and cloud-based, device software maintenance, on and off-campus for Android, ChromeOS, iOS and macOS devices.” data-reactid=”13″WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mobile Guardian, the leading mobile device management (MDM) solution in education, launches the COVID-19 relief grant

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Trent University providing more than 500 free laptop computers for students’ online learning

john rambo

Trent University is providing more than 500 students with laptop computers to assist them with remote learning for the upcoming school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the university announced more than $270,000 has been raised through a new donor-funded initiative called Remote Learning Initiative (ReLI) which will provide 500 students with Google Chromebook laptop computers.

ReLI was created to help students overcome financial and technology resource hurdles for the 2020-21 academic school year, which beings Sept. 10 at Trent’s campuses in Peterborough and Durham.

“In today’s world, not having the correct technology can directly translate to not having access to a quality education,” stated Sherry Booth, director of philanthropy at Trent University.

Read more:
University tuitions on the rise despite move to online courses amid COVID-19

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“The ReLI program is unique because unlike other post-secondary institutions that loan laptops to students, we are providing

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