Harvard 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 Ustream
The presidential and Senate elections were the headlines on Tuesday and through the rest of the week, but it’s worth noting a few key places where voters said yes to ballot measures making life a little better for working families. In Florida, voters passed a $15 minimum wage amendment. It phases in very slowly, not reaching $15 until 2026, but it’s progress. If you’re wondering WTF is going on with more than 60% support for a minimum wage increase while Donald Trump won the state, welcome to Florida. The state’s voters did the exact same thing in 2004, voting for George W. Bush and a minimum wage increase.Colorado voters passed paid family leave. The state legislature had failed to pass such a bill, so organizers took it to the voters, and won. The law, which doesn’t go into effect until 2024, will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave at between 65% and 90% of their pay, up to $1,100 per week. It’s funded by a payroll tax.- Advertisement – And Arizona voters approved a tax on high-income households that will raise hundreds of millions of dollars for education. That comes after Arizona teachers went on strike for school funding in 2018. – Advertisement –
Travel restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hit global tourism hard, and the latest figures from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) show a 70% drop in international arrivals in the first eight months of 2020. Short-term recovery Demand for travel remains largely weak due to constant uncertainty about the pandemic and less confidence. Based on the latest trends, the UNWTO expects an overall decline close to 70% for the full year 2020. Decline in tourist arrivals in Croatia compared to 2019Source: U Source: UNWTO “This unprecedented decline has dramatic social and economic consequences and puts millions of jobs and businesses at risk.”, warned UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, adding that this underscores the urgent need for a safe resumption of tourism, in a timely and coordinated manner. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international arrivals fell by 81% in July and 79% in August. These are traditionally the two busiest months of the year and the peak of the summer season of the northern hemisphere. The fall to August represents 700 million fewer arrivals compared to the same period in 2019. This leads to a loss of $ 730 billion in revenue from international tourism. This is more than eight times the loss realized at the end of the global economic and financial crisis in 2009. After the gradual reopening of international borders, Europe recorded relatively smaller declines in July and August, -72 and -69%, respectively. The recovery, however, was short-lived, as travel restrictions were introduced due to an increase in infection. On the other hand, Asia and the Pacific recorded the largest declines of -96% in both months, reflecting border closures in China and other major destinations in the region. All regions of the world recorded large declines in arrivals in the first eight months of this year. The first region affected by COVID-19, Asia-Pacific, noted reduction of arrivals by 79%, followed by Africa and the Middle East, both – 69%, Europe -68% and America -65%. The recovery in international demand is expected in the third quarter of 2021. A panel of UNWTO experts predicts the return of international tourism in 2021, mainly in the third quarter of 2021. However, around 20% experts suggests to the return could only happen in 2022. Travel restrictions are seen as a major obstacle to the recovery of international tourism, with slow virus control and low consumer confidence. The lack of a coordinated response among countries, to ensure harmonized protocols and coordinated constraints, as well as the deterioration of the economic environment, was also recognized by experts as important obstacles to recovery. The share of tourism in GDPSource: U
Glenna Marie Turner, 95, passed away on Friday, February 17, 2017 at Ripley Crossing in Milan, In. She was born on May 5, 1921 to Robert and Charlotte (Otte) Cutter at Farmers Retreat, IN.On April 27, 1946 Glenna married Laurence Kieninger. Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, Jean and Beverly. Laurence and Glenna were married for 50 years until his passing on March 2, 1997. In May, 1998 Glenna married Arthur Turner and they enjoyed 14 years together until he passed in September 2012. Glenna was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Fifty Plus Club, AARP, Dillsboro Senior Citizens, Dillsboro Life Squad member for 15 years and a EMT for 12 years, and she worked for Filter Funeral Home in Dillsboro. She enjoyed reading, sewing, gardening and cooking.Glenna is survived by her two daughters: Jean Acre of Greensburg, IN and Beverly Stevens of Yorkville, IN; four grandsons: Bob Acre of Cross Plains, IN; Brian (Kim) Acre of North Vernon, IN; Brad Acre of Greensburg, IN; Chris Stevens of Greendale, In; five great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents: Robert and Charlotte Cutter; her brother: Gilbert (Bill) Cutter; her sister: Irene (Hope) Cutter; and her husband Laurence Kieninger and Arthur Turner.Funeral services will be at 12PM Tuesday February 21 at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Dillsboro, with Reverend Richard Kolaskey officiating. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery, Dillsboro. Visitation will also be Tuesday 10AM-12PM at the church. Memorials may be given in Glenna’s memory to Trinity Lutheran Church Parament Fund or Oakdale Cemetery Fund. Filter-DeVries Funeral Home, Dillsboro entrusted with the arrangements, Box 146, Dillsboro, IN 47018; (812)432-5480.