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Higher Ed
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/26/2021

"Despite the many challenges schools have had to face this past year, technology continues to be one of the key drivers for innovation," says Tech & Learning Content/Brand Director Christine Weiser. "The winning products recognized here have supported continuous instruction throughout the pandemic, and we expect this momentum to continue into next year and beyond. Congratulations to all of our winners."

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Tech & Learning
2/26/2021

"I know that teachers, parents and state and local leaders have been stretched thin trying to navigate this pandemic," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a telephone press conference announcing the CDC's new school guidelines for in-person class. "Instead of asking them to piece together a patchwork of guidances by topic, we believed it was important to create a one-stop shop to provide the scientific information they need to keep teachers, students, and other school staff safe when schools choose to reopen." But the guidelines quickly drew criticism. Some educators were disappointed that there were not more details about ventilation in schools and that educator vaccination was not a requirement for reopening. Others argue the guidance is too conservative when it comes to in-person learning.

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Tech & Learning
2/26/2021

Parlay is an online-based discussion platform which connects students in engaging and educational debates, both virtually and in person. Beyond the usefulness as a tool for creating debates, Parlay also offers teachers a powerful way to measure the resulting data. Educators can analyze topics, discussion style, student involvement, and even word use so that future work can be focused and refined to offer the best possible engagement and learning outcomes.

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Tech & Learning
2/25/2021

Universities in the Washington, D.C., area and researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are teaming up to provide 50,000 coronavirus tests a week for their campuses as well as those of Baltimore's public high schools conducting in-person learning. The saliva-based tests will be administered using a mobile lab.

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Inside Higher Ed
More Summaries:
University of Illinois
2/25/2021

Congressional Democrats want to close the so-called 90/10 loophole that exempts for-profit colleges from counting G.I. Bill funding as part of reportable federal aid. Under the current rule, for-profit schools can't receive more than 90% of their revenue from Title IV but have no limits on assistance for veterans.

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Higher Ed Dive
2/25/2021

The College Scholarship Service Profile, which is used by 300 colleges to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid, presents a barrier to many of the people it is meant to help, writes Eric Hoover. The lengthy form is so difficult to complete that many first-generation students and students from low-income households give up, Hoover writes.

2/25/2021

Faculty unions and other groups are calling for universities to be more accountable for their treatment of employees as well as for whether graduates can find employment and pay back student loans. The groups are hoping the Biden administration will take a fresh approach toward higher education, and that Congress will add new strings to federal funds to increase accountability.

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Inside Higher Ed
2/24/2021

Only 21% of college students said they have spoken up about an issue on campus that concerned them, a new survey, Student Voice, found. The most immediate concerns for students are financial, followed by mental health and course load, the survey showed.

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Inside Higher Ed
2/24/2021

States will not have the authority to cancel federally mandated standardized exams this year but will have wide-ranging discretion in when, where, and how the tests are given, the U.S. Department of Education announced recently. "State assessment and accountability systems play an important role in advancing educational equity," wrote Ian Rosenblum, acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, in a letter to Chief State School Officers. "At the same time, it is clear that the pandemic requires significant flexibility for the 2020-2021 school year so that states can respond to the unique circumstances they are facing."

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Tech & Learning
2/24/2021

Learning with Google has announced a host of new updates that will affect teachers, institutions, and districts. G Suite for Education has been renamed Google Workspace for Education and now offers more controls. In addition, Google Classroom has had an overhaul, adding lots of useful tools for teaching including powerful third-party app inclusion. Google Meet video has been updated with new controls and visibility, ideal for schools. And Google's Chromebooks have been updated, with 40 new models announced, and new ChromeOS software has been added.

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Tech & Learning