MIT and Harvard announce edX

first_imgHarvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today announced the launch of edX, a transformational partnership in online education. Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.EdX will build on both universities’ experience in offering online instructional content.  The technological platform recently established by MITx, which will serve as the foundation for the new learning system, was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories, and student paced learning. Certificates of mastery will be available for those motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material.MIT and Harvard expect that over time other universities will join them in offering courses on the edX platform. The gathering together of many universities’ educational content on one site will enable learners worldwide to access the course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities.EdX will release its learning platform as open-source software so it can be used by other universities and organizations that wish to host the platform themselves. Because the learning technology will be available as open-source software, other universities and individuals will be able to help edX improve and add features to the technology.MIT and Harvard will use the jointly operated edX platform to research how students learn and how technologies can support effective teaching both on-campus and online.  The edX platform will allow study of which teaching methods and tools are most successful.  The findings of this research will be used to inform how faculty use technology in their teaching, which will enhance the experience for students on campus and for the millions of people expected to take advantage of these new online offerings.“EdX represents a unique opportunity to improve education on our own campuses through online learning, while simultaneously creating a bold new educational path for millions of learners worldwide,” MIT President Susan Hockfield said.Harvard President Drew Faust said, “EdX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education.”“Harvard and MIT will use these new technologies and the research they will make possible to lead the direction of online learning in a way that benefits our students, our peers, and people across the nation and the globe,” Faust continued.Jointly owned not-for-profit structureThe initiative will be overseen by a not-for-profit organization based in Cambridge, Mass., to be owned and governed equally by the two universities. MIT and Harvard have committed to a combined $60 million ($30 million each) in institutional support, grants, and philanthropy to launch the collaboration.MIT’s Anant Agarwal, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, who has headed development of the MITx platform under the leadership of MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif, will serve as the first president of edX.At Harvard, Provost Alan Garber will direct the Harvardx effort, and Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith will play a leading role in working with faculty to develop and deliver courses.It is anticipated that near-term course offerings from a range of Harvard and MIT schools will be included on the edX platform.Research to enhance residential modelEdX will enhance the traditional residential model of undergraduate education on both campuses by supporting an unlimited number of experimental online approaches to teaching that can be used by Harvard and MIT faculty and that will benefit students in Cambridge and Boston.  It also will have the benefit of providing global access to some of the world-class instruction that already occurs in Cambridge and Boston, but which is only one aspect of the full Harvard and MIT experience.“The campus environment offers opportunities and experiences that cannot be replicated online,” said Hockfield.  “EdX is designed to improve, not replace, the campus experience.”EdX will be separate from ongoing distance-learning initiatives at both institutions, including MIT OpenCourseWare and courses offered by Schools at Harvard, such as the Harvard Extension School, the Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Medical School.First courses by this fall The universities will work to develop further the online learning platform already begun with MITx and to populate the edX website with courses from the MIT and Harvard faculty.  During the early stages of the effort, the two universities will cooperate to offer as broad an initial set of courses as possible.  A first set of courses is scheduled to be announced in early summer and to start in the fall.“We are already moving forward quickly,” said Agarwal. “There’s a lot of energy in the air, and the teams at Harvard and MIT can’t wait to collaborate.”[ustream id=22290027 hwaccel=0 width=480 height=296]Video streaming by Ustreamlast_img read more

Battling COVID-19, South Africa prepares for first vaccines

first_imgJOHANNESBURG (AP) — Battling a COVID-19 resurgence driven by a more infectious variant, South Africa is preparing to roll out its first vaccines to the country’s frontline healthcare workers. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said a delivery of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive at Johannesburg’s international airport on Monday and there are plans for jabs to be given to doctors and nurses starting in mid-February. Mkhize said South Africa intends to vaccinate 67% of its 60 million people in 2021, starting with the most vulnerable health care workers.last_img read more

Camels Hump Middle School to serve as test site for solar program

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Camels Hump Middle School is well on its way to hosting a $500,000 solar installation that could serve as a statewide model for power generation and renewable energy education. Thanks in large part to federal funding secured by Senator Sanders and grants from the state’s Clean Energy Development Fund and Green Mountain Power, the Chittenden East school district will convert the roof of the 37 year-old school into a 72kW solar array.”In 1992, we were one of the first schools in Vermont to convert to biomass heating,” said Chittenden East superintendent Jim Massingham. “We are looking forward to taking this next step in showing the way to greater efficiency and hope that our project will help make it easier for other schools to make the best use of their resources. Having a system like this operational on our campus will also provide an invaluable educational resource for our students.”Like many of the schools built in the 1960’s and 70’s, Camels Hump features a large, flat roof, and was originally heated using electricity, which required a particularly good connection to the power grid. This combination provides the perfect environment for a large-scale solar installation. The school’s location in full view of Interstate 89 makes it an excellent demonstration site as well.”Their proposal fit perfectly with our Solar On Schools plan and Green Mountain Power’s ongoing effort to help build out solar capacity in Vermont,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power president and chief executive officer. “By working with schools, we can help to provide a direct community benefit through cost savings while also cutting carbon output and bringing us closer to our goal of installing 10,000 panels in 1,000 days.”David O’Brien, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, said this project fits in with Vermont values: “We know from our public engagement process that Vermonters want to see more in-state renewable energy projects. We’re pleased to see the state and federal government, private industry and public schools all come together to build renewable energy in our communities.”The project received $260,442 in federal funds secured by Senator Sanders, $250,000 from Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund and $25,000 in funding and technical support from Green Mountain Power, making the project cost effective for the local community. “This project will not only help the Camels Hump Middle School reduce its electric bill and carbon footprint, but will be a major step forward in moving our state toward a greener economy which relies more and more on sustainable energy,” Senator Sanders said. “There is little doubt in my mind that in the years to come the energy mix in this state will be very different than it is today — with a far greater reliance on sustainable energy. I hope that this project becomes a model for what can be done and a catalyst for further action.”The 345 panels will generate about 82,551 kWh each year or 12% of the schools’ annual electric usage. Over the 25-year life of the system, almost two million pounds of carbon dioxide will be offset. The school is also investigating simultaneous replacement of the building’s original power transformers that are nearing the end of their operational life.”We hope that the success of this project will lead to similar improvements at the other schools in our service territory and throughout the state,” said Ms. Powell.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power ( is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses. Source: GMP. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – April 16, 2009) –last_img read more

Ensuring IT compliance with email encryption

first_imgEmail encryption is encrypting (disguising) the content of emails in order to protect sensitive information from being read by anyone other than the intended recipients. Email encryption is a great idea for regulated industries, but in some cases it is either mandatory or strongly advised, as in the case of health care, the legal profession, and financial institutions. Other businesses that have to adhere to IT compliance protocols and IT auditing should also consider using email encryption to protect themselves and their clients against data security threats and breaches.HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and for the health care industry has brought the topic of email encryption to the forefront.  The mandate to encrypt email, however, does not apply to ALL email in a health care setting. If you are sending emails from one co-worker to another on a secure server, for example, it’s not required by HIPAA to encrypt that inter-agency communication. That is assuming the server is protected from external threats, and managed effectively with updated security patches. However, many health care firms are getting into the habit of encrypting across the board to avoid any gray areas. continue reading » 33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

COVID-19: Surabaya mayor feuds with East Java governor over mobile PCR labs

first_img“If you want to boycott [me], this is not how it should be,” Risma yelled into the phone. “I will tell everybody about it.“I can’t accept this. I was told I couldn’t do my job properly. If someone steals like this, then tell me, who is it who can’t do their job properly?”Risma also claimed that she had personally asked COVID-19 Task Force chief Doni Monardo – who also heads the BNPB – for the mobile labs.The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) also waded into the conflict, with PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto defending Risma, a PDI-P member, and criticizing the governor for not “considering the scale of priorities and strategic aspects of handling the COVID-19 outbreak in Surabaya.” The ongoing feud between East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa and Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini aka Risma over how to handle the COVID-19 outbreak in virus-stricken East Java province has erupted again, this time over two mobile polymerase chain reaction (PCR) labs.The two mobile labs had been loaned by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) for use in Surabaya – the epicenter of the outbreak in the province with 2,495 confirmed cases as of Saturday – but were taken over by the province’s COVID-19 task force and sent to Lamongan and Tulungagung regencies instead.The dispute came to light after a video of Risma speaking over the phone with an East Java administration official went viral on social media on Friday. Risma was apparently furious over the fact that the two PCR labs were not used in Surabaya.  Khofifah, however, defended the decision to divert the mobile labs elsewhere, saying that Surabaya already had enough testing facilities. “There are a total of four laboratories in Surabaya. There are also two PCR cars from the State Intelligence Agency. It’s more than enough. Other areas that are located far from the labs also have the same urgent needs,” she said on Friday as quoted by Java Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) acting chief Suban Wahyudiono claimed that the East Java administration had asked the BNPB chief for a total of 15 PCR machines for the province. “We sent the vehicles to Tulungagung because the regency has the second-highest number of COVID-19 PDP [patients under surveillance] in East Java, with 588 PDP. In fact, in Tulungagung, 172 PDP have died,” he said on Friday as quoted by Nevertheless, on Saturday, the two mobile labs arrived in Surabaya again and were immediately sent off by the local authorities to conduct swab tests in several locations in the city.“After they came, we conducted tests in Gelora Pancasila, Husada Utama hospital, Soewandhi hospital and Jiwa Menur hospital using the two PCR vehicles from the BNPB,” Surabaya’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson Febria Rachmanita said on Saturday.This is not the first time Risma and Khofifah have clashed over how to address the COVID-19 outbreak in the region. In April, the two were in disagreement over whether to enact large-scale social restrictions (PSBB). Earlier this month, Khofifah publicly criticized the Surabaya administration for its “late” response to a cluster of COVID-19 infections at one of tobacco giant PT HM Sampoerna’s factories in the city. (trn)Topics :last_img read more

Aon Belgium wins mandate for pan-European scheme for researchers

first_imgIt also assisted the Task Force with its final report, in which the committee suggested the pension fund be set up under Belgian legislation as an OFP structure.The Task Force shortlisted Belgium’s OFP, a trust-based arrangement in Ireland or a SEPCAV and ASSEP in Luxembourg as “the most practical locations”.Ultimately, it named Belgium’s OFP as the “preferred” vehicle and said it was “fully in line” with the EU’s IORP Directive.It also cited the fact the regulator is “accessible, open-minded and supportive”, there are no “quantitative investment and financing regulations” and the zero tax base.In the report, Aon estimated the initial costs to be €3m for the first three years of the scheme. It said it would take 15 years for the fund to finance itself.The IORP will be rolled out to EU member states this year and then be extended to include the whole of the EEA by 2018.The Commission said the IORP would help employers in “attracting researchers in an increasingly competitive environment” and further assist the development of the European Research Area. Aon Belgium has been awarded a four-year contract worth €4m for providing “support services” to the recently launched pan-European pension project for researchers.The costs, along with other “initial set-up costs”, over the first four-year period will be covered by the European Commission.A cross-border IORP is to be set up later this year, after a consortium of first supporters was named last autumn.Aon had been helping to set up the project in recent years.last_img read more

Acta Auriga On Track to Join Acta Marine W2W Constellation

first_imgThe construction of Acta Marine’s Ulstein SX195 walk-to-work (W2W) construction support vessel is progressing well and on schedule at Crist shipyard in Poland, the Den Helder-based company said, adding that the DP2 vessel will sail under the name Acta Auriga.Upon delivery, the Acta Auriga will join Acta Orion, her semi-sister vessel, and as such form the second vessel in the Acta fleet dedicated for W2W, offshore logistics and accommodation services for clients in the offshore renewable industry. The vessel is named after the constellation Auriga, meaning “the charioteer” in Latin.The Acta Auriga’s completed hull is expected to be towed from Crist, Poland to Ulsteinvik, Norway in early November 2017. Thereafter Ulstein Verft will complete the outfitting of the vesseland the installation of the SMST provided mission equipment – a motion compensated gangway and a 3D crane.Delivery of the vessel is slated for the end of the first quarter of 2018.Acta Marine will be present at the Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference 2017 in Amsterdam Rai on the 10th and 11th of October. Those who are interested in finding out more about the Acta Auriga and Acta Marine’s other vessels and services can do so by visiting the company at the stand 1.141.Images: Acta Marinelast_img read more

Cannabis: the science is still far from settled

first_imgStuff 17 September 2020Family First Comment: Cannabis impairs cognition and memory and “during adolescence is related to impairments in subsequent academic achievement and education, employment and income, and social relationships and social roles”. There is “no evidence” that cannabis works to treat drug addiction.OPINION: The general election aside, the referendum over the legalisation of recreational cannabis is also exciting some debate as parties and individuals take positions for or against the proposition.One thing that strikes me immediately is that the cannabis referendum is quite different from the euthanasia referendum. A majority vote for the End of Life Choice Act will bring it into effect. Voters know what they are getting. The legislation has already passed through Parliament.Not so with the cannabis referendum. There is a draft bill which voters can study, but none of the proponents of legalisation are saying that this is the bill that Parliament will pass if there is a majority vote in the referendum.They can’t say that because no one can guarantee what the new parliament will do. There may be significant amendments, so voters are less sure of the outcome and rightly more wary.The third aspect of the referendum that interests me is the science underlying the proposition that cannabis is a “good” drug to have in the community.Like most people I had assumed that the science on the matter was largely settled. When I delved into it, I found that this was very far from the case.In fact, an extensive review of the scientific literature undertaken in the United States found that the medicinal value of cannabis is still subject to significant and unresolved question marks.John Bishop is a Wellington-based writer and commentator.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Chelsea misfit splashes out on custom made Rolex watch

first_imgCHELSEA striker Michy Batshuayi clearly has a lot of free time on his hands after splashing out to design his own custom-made Rolex. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Jones’ team of experts took a “plain” £5,000 Rolex and blacked out the case and bracelet. Batshuayi also requested the dial to be painted dark purple, as well as the number markers and bezel replaced with an eye-catching rainbow design. Finishing off the tailor-made watch, Batshuayi’s signature was imprinted on the face. Taking to Instagram, Jones uploaded a time-lapse video of the design taking place, as well as a still image of the final look. read also:Chelsea demand huge £45m for misfit Batshuayi Captioning his post, he said: “The Process… Watch @mbatshuayi ideas come to life designing the completely customised #MJJMADE Rolex for our friend!center_img Promoted Content7 Things That Actually Ruin Your PhoneEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouThe 10 Best Female Drivers In Racing HistoryTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?What Is A Black Hole And Is It Dangerous For Us All?Can Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemBest Car Manufacturers In The World The 26-year-old – who had a huge hand in knocking Hull out of the FA Cup on Saturday – has shown he’s a man of many talents after helping create his own timepiece. The timepiece’s dial in painted dark purple, while the number markers and bezel have been replaced with a rainbow design Nicknamed Batsman, the former Borussia Dortmund loanee channelled his inner Bruce Wayne as he asked jeweller Matthew Jones to include bats in the centre of the dial.Advertisementlast_img read more