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Educause says universities are staying flexible

Universities were optimistic about resuming in-person instruction this fall, but the realities of the pandemic have forced institutions to renew their reliance on technology and remote education, according to a survey published by Educause earlier this month. Universities have had to adapt and move quickly to the new realities imposed by COVID-19 to ensure that students stay connected to their classes while navigating the challenges of the pandemic, Mark McCormack, senior director of analytics and research at Educause, told EdScoop. “Flexibility really seems to be key in this current environment,” McCormack said. Besty Foresman reports.

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How U. Texas built a statewide COVID-19 dashboard

To predict how COVID-19 will spread though Texas communities, researchers at the University of Texas, Austin developed a new COVID-19 data dashboard that can make four-week projections on the potential spread and impact of the virus, giving local leaders time to implement health guidelines before outbreaks get out of hand. Launched earlier this month, the dashboard tracks hospitalization data and anonymous cellphone mobility data to predict how the pandemic is progressing across the 22 Trauma Service Areas the state has been divided into to help citizens, school boards, city and county leaders, and health care providers make informed decisions for their families and communities. Betsy has the story.

Arizona State taps into VR for biology courses

Arizona State University has begun developing new immersive locales using virtual reality, starting with a virtual wildlife sanctuary for biology students. Through a new partnership with the virtual reality company Dreamscape Immersive, ASU leaders said they aim to make online classes more engaging, creating an immersive educational experience for students while they are learning remotely during the pandemic. Starting with introductory biology, and eventually expanding to more courses, the tools are designed to allow students to explore and engage with virtual worlds as an avatar in a game-like learning system. Read on.

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