College football schedule today: TV channels, start times for every NCAA game on Saturday - Sporting News

The College Football Playoff grows ever closer after the first rankings were released this week. All four teams in the Top 4 play this weekend, with Notre Dame having played on Friday. It's Rivalry Week in the SEC, meaning fans will be treated to arguably the best rivalry in sports as No. 1 Alabama plays host to No. 22 Auburn. The Tide will be without coach Nick Saban who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, but the Tigers could be without one of the best freshman running backs in the nation in Tank Bigsby who suffered an injury last week against Tennessee. After edging out Indiana in a closer than expected game, No. 4 Ohio State returns to action against a 2-3 Illinois team. Justin Fields should be able to reinsert his name into the Heisman discussion after throwing three interceptions against the Hoosiers. Indiana dropped to No. 12 in this week's rankings and plays Maryland this weekend. MORE: Watch select NCAA football games live with fuboTV (7-day trial) N

How to Overcome Challenges of Online Classes Due to Coronavirus | Best Colleges - U.S. News & World Report

How to Overcome Challenges of Online Classes Due to Coronavirus | Best Colleges - U.S. News & World Report

How to Overcome Challenges of Online Classes Due to Coronavirus | Best Colleges - U.S. News & World Report

Posted: 04 May 2020 06:39 AM PDT

[unable to retrieve full-text content]How to Overcome Challenges of Online Classes Due to Coronavirus | Best Colleges  U.S. News & World Report

Best Online History Degree Programs In 2020 • Benzinga - Benzinga

Posted: 07 May 2020 10:13 AM PDT

Benzinga Money is a reader-supported publication. We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article. Learn more.

Are you fascinated by history and want to further your education? Enrolling in an online history degree program can help you deepen your knowledge of a subject you find intriguing and help you unlock an abundance of career opportunities. 

Let Benzinga help you find the most suitable online history degree program for you. 

Why Choose an Online History Degree?

There are many reasons why an online history degree is worth pursuing. You can land a role that piques your interest and pays well. You'll also journey into the past and gain valuable insight into how the evolution of cultures, institutions and people around the globe have shaped the present. 

Wondering what career opportunities are available to history majors? It depends on where you decide to live after graduation, but here are some roles where history degree holders flourish: 

  • Archivist 
  • Curator 
  • Historian 
  • History teacher 
  • Journalist 
  • Librarian 
  • Museum curator 
  • Museum director 
  • Writer 

It may take a bit before you make a high salary with an online history degree, but it's possible through hard work and smart networking. 

Why the online route? Whether you're a nontraditional student or someone who prefers to study from the comfort of your home, distance learning allows you to plug into your studies on your own schedule. 

Find an Online University

How to Choose an Online History Degree

The best online history degree programs are reputable, affordable and offer an array of courses.


You want an online history degree from an accredited college or university. This communicates to prospective employers that your degree is not only legitimate — the school you earned it from adheres to strict academic standards. 

The professors should also be well-versed in history and have a track record of preparing students for success in the field or a graduate program. Read reviews from past students to gain insights. Also, be mindful of the job placement rate. 


What's the estimated cost of attendance? How do the tuition and fees for your top options stack up against the competition? Do some institutions charge more than others? Is there a trend of annual price hikes? 

These are questions you must ask when evaluating the affordability of an online history degree program. Programs with steep tuition and fees may not be worth the investment — you can yield the same results from a comparable option that doesn't charge as much. 

Course Offerings 

Most online history degree programs only require a few core courses before students can branch out into elective courses. Some also allow you to choose concentrations that you find most intriguing. 

It's important to review available electives before enrolling in a program. It wouldn't make sense to complete the core coursework only to realize that the elective courses don't align with your career goals. 

Jobs Waiting for You with a History Degree

Here are some of the top jobs waiting for history majors. 


Historians analyze historical sources and documents and report their findings and draft articles, books and reports. They also teach educational programs and facilitate presentations related to history. In this role, you will also examine historical data to determine if it's significant and authentic.

On average, historians earn $63,680 per year. 


Archivists are responsible for the appraising, editing and direct safekeeping of historically valuable documents and permanent records. They also collaborate with other archivists to conduct research-based activities.

In 2018, the median pay for archivists was $57,500. 


Curators oversee collections of artwork, historical items and scientific specimens. Some employers also require curators to conduct instructional public and research-related activities. 

The average annual salary for curators is $58,830. 

Best Online Colleges for a History Degree

Here's a list of the top online colleges for an online history degree. We've also included a review of each program to help you make an informed decision. 

1. Southern New Hampshire University 

Southern New Hampshire University Logo

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers a Bachelor of Arts in history. This degree program connects the dots between ancient civilizations and modern societies. It also provides you with the foundational knowledge needed to pursue a graduate degree in education, history, law or a related field. 

Students can map out their coursework to focus on certain parts of human history or a historical theme that piques your interest. Choose from the following concentrations: 

  • American History 
  • European History 
  • Middle Eastern History 
  • Military History 

History majors complete these core courses: 

  • Making History 
  • United States History I: 1607-1685
  • World Civilizations: Prehistory – 1500
  • World Civilizations: 1500 – Present 

Each concentration also has its own set of course requirements. Plus, there's a capstone research seminar that merges all the key concepts into 1 final course. 

If you prefer to enter the workforce immediately following graduation, you will be prepared for a career as an analyst, campaign worker, communications specialist, editor, journalist, lobbyist or researcher. 

You need 120 credits to earn your degree. SNHU allows up to 90 transfer credits from an accredited college or university to help you reach the finish faster and save money.

Enroll now

2. Arizona State University 

asu logo

The online Bachelor of Arts in history from Arizona State University is an ideal option if you already have credits under your belt and are looking for a degree-completion program. It also caters to working professionals with demanding career and family responsibilities.

This 120-credit hour program prepares you for a career in business, education and public service. The curriculum encompasses humanities, natural and social sciences and comparative studies of texts, practices and contexts. 

As a history major, you will take the following core courses: 

  • History in the Wild 
  • Methods of Historical Inquiry 
  • Social-Behavioral Sciences and Cultural Diversity in the U.S.
  • Studies in Asian History 
  • Studies in European History 
  • Studies in United States History 
  • The Historian's Craft 

Alumni work as archivists, editors, historians, history professors, intelligence officers, military officers, museum curators, news reporters and politicians. 

Enroll now

3. Oregon State University 

Oregon State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in history. These programs are research-focuses and explore how past actions influence the current world. 

History degree candidates must pass these core courses: 

  • History of the United States I, II and III
  • History of Western Civilization I, II and III
  • Religion in the United States
  • World History I: Ancient Civilizations 
  • World History II: Middle and Early Modern Ages
  • World History III: The Modern and Contemporary World 

Students also take a series of electives, a history capstone and a seminar. 

You'll gain an in-depth understanding of contemporary global issues as you hone your argumentation, critical thinking, documentation, intellectual development and writing skills. 

Both degrees require 180 credits for successful completion. Transfer credits are permitted. 

Enroll now

4. Washington State University 

Consider an online Bachelor of Arts in history from Washington State University Global Campus. It is a component of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

This program takes a closer look at human history and lessons that can be derived from them. You will also study diverse cultures, institutions and people of the past to better understand past events.

Students complete a rigorous curriculum that expands their knowledge of history and develops your critical, creative thinking and communication skills. You will also improve your information literacy and research skills. 

History core requirements include: 

  • Writing about History 
  • Seminar in History 

Elective courses that relate to European history, global history and United States history are also required. You must also choose to concentrate on Atlantic, European or United States history to fulfill the necessary course requirements. 

Enroll now

5. Florida International University 


Interested in learning more about how the world's cultures interact? An online bachelor's in history from Florida International University (FIU) Online may be a good fit. It covers history from a regional perspective and focuses on past societies and contemporary issues. 

You'll hone your communication, investigative and research skills as you work through the program. Students also explore art, historical texts, linguistic differences, philosophical thought and how they have evolved over time. 

You will also select from a pool of upper-level core courses. These include: 

  • Abuse of Power in Colonial Latin America
  • East Asian Civilization and Culture 
  • Greek History 
  • Latin America in the National Period 
  • Race, Gender and Science in Atlantic World 
  • The Black Death 

FIU Online requires at least 120 credits to finish the program. However, up to 60 credits can be transferred from a qualifying college or university. 

Enroll now

6. University of Louisiana at Monroe

The University of Louisiana at Monroe features an online Bachelor of Arts in history. It prepares you for graduate studies or a career in civil service counseling, education, foreign affairs, journalism, law, publishing and public relations. 

As a history major, you will take these core courses: 

  • Historian's Craft 
  • United States History I and II
  • World Civilization I and II

Students are also required to select an academic minor. You 120 credit hours to earn your degree. 

Enroll now

7. University of Illinois at Springfield 

The online bachelor's in history from the University of Illinois at Springfield is an ideal way to meet your educational goals on your own terms. You will examine connections between the past and present world to formulate narratives. 

Upper-level history courses for undergraduates include various topics such as African-American history, history of American law, Islamic civilization, the rise of Rome and more. 

Instruction is delivered via online lectures and tutorials. Students are also encouraged to complete internships and take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. 

You must live at least 50 miles away from the campus or have a documented disability to qualify for admission into the online program. 

Enroll now

8. Sam Houston State University 

Earn an online Bachelor of Arts in history from Sam Houston State University. This degree program is designed for individuals who aspire to work as archivists, curators, documentary editors, educators, records managers, researchers and historians. It's also ideal for those who want to continue their education in a graduate degree program. 

Core coursework for history majors include: 

  • United States History to 1876
  • United States History Since 1876
  • World History to 1500
  • World History Since 1500

Students also select 2 courses from these options: 

  • Ancient History 
  • Britain to 1714
  • Colonial Latin America 
  • Early America to 1783
  • Early Christianities 
  • Medieval History 
  • Native American History 
  • Renaissance Europe
  • Silk Roads to Atlantic World  
  • The Bible and Reform in Europe 
  • The Middle East, 500 – 1700

You need 120 credit hours to reach the finish line. 

Enroll now

9. University of Central Florida 

Offered by the College of Arts and Humanities at UCF Online, the online bachelor's in History helps you develop an in-depth understanding of the societal forces that shape the world. You will also enhance your analytical and critical thinking skills. 

The curriculum focuses on the history of civilization from the early days to the present. Students have the option to focus on a single geographic region like Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East or North America. There's also a capstone requirement. 

The rigorous coursework prepares you for a career as a congressional aide, foreign service officer, grant writer, information specialist, intelligence agent, lobbyist, media specialist or purchasing agent. 

You need 120 credit hours to finish the program. 

Enroll now

10. Liberty University 

Earn an online Bachelor of Science in history from Liberty University in just 3.5 years. This 120-credit hour degree program delves into events of the past and human society. It also focuses on economic trends, political actions and public perception from several periods in American, European and Western history.   

You will also hone your analytical, practical and research skills while gaining an in-depth understanding of historical events, figures and places. Core courses for history majors include: 

  • Historical Methodology 
  • History of Western Civilization I and II
  • Introduction to Geography
  • Survey of American History I and II

Students are also required to complete a series of electives and a senior capstone seminar. 

When you finish the program, you will have the skills and knowledge needed to teach or work as a data analyst, intelligence analyst or in a research-related role. 

Liberty University requires a minimum of 120 credits to earn your degree. However, you can transfer up to 90 credits from an accredited college or university. 

Enroll now

Get Started with an Online History Degree Program

Exciting about boosting your history smarts? Get started by evaluating the programs from our list of recommendations and comparing your options to find the best fit. You can enroll with confidence — all of these programs are offered by reputable colleges and universities.

The Best Online Culture Courses to Take Before Your Next Vacation - Condé Nast Traveler

Posted: 07 May 2020 02:01 PM PDT

Since the coronavirus pandemic began derailing travel plans, we've been spending more time finding ways to satisfy our curiosity from home. Every day, it seems like there are more livestreams and videos available that let you experience new places without leaving your couch, from museum exhibits to wildlife webcams. For those looking for something a little more interactive, we've compiled a list of classes to help you hone your language and dance skills, brush up on historical facts, or enjoy the food and beverages waiting for you on your next adventure, whether you're mentally planning a trip to Madrid, Tokyo, or Buenos Aires. Below, the best online courses to try out during quarantine, divvied up by category.

All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Learn the language

Driving through any country is a lot more fun when you can actually read the signs. (You'd be pretty irked to miss the turn for a hot spring in Iceland because you didn't know what hverir meant.) While you're dreaming of your next vacation, take some time to learn a bit of the language. DuoLingo is a free app and great for beginners trying to learn basic vocabulary, though it doesn't give the freedom for personalization to learn about specific topics. If you're looking for more, Rosetta Stone ($200 for unlimited lifetime access) provides personalized plans and live coaching. And if you want something tailored to vacations, Living Language has language courses specifically for travel. Their passport courses ($50) give you three months to learn language basics, as well as history, culture, and traditions of a specific country.

Study Greek Architecture on Udemy so you can point out the Temple of Poseidon on your next vacation.


Brush up on your historical and cultural knowledge

For history or art buffs planning a trip to a new city, chances are at least a few museums and famous landmarks will be part of your itinerary. In order to fully appreciate what you'll see, refresh your memory on the country's history first. There are basic history courses, like Coursera's free Russian History: From Lenin to Putin class, hosted by U.C. Santa Cruz. Then there are more specific classes tailored to niche interests. Harvard hosts free culture courses, like Japanese Books: From Manuscript to Print, which details historical writing formats and storytelling properties. Udemy runs introductory classes, like Egyptian Art ($165), which goes through different time periods and styles of art in Ancient Egypt. Architecture, an often overlooked topic, is influential to a country's cultural history; Udemy offers multiple courses on architectural history with varying depth, including Essentials of Byzantine Architecture ($25) and Greek Architecture ($195).

Deepen your appreciation for food

If you're craving cuisine from a specific city or region, now is the time to try and recreate it at home. While some of our favorite chefs have been sharing tutorials on social media, there are more structured options, too. Learn the Art of Sushi Making ($200) from Udemy gives lifetime access to resources, on-demand videos, and completion certificates with step-by-step virtual instruction. If you're looking for instruction from the best of the best, look no further than MasterClass's culinary section. Dominique Ansel, celebrated pastry chef and creator of the cronut, teaches French Pastry Fundamentals ($180). There are 17 pre-recorded lessons, each building on the last. Massimo Bottura offers a 14-part modern Italian cooking class ($180) on MasterClass, too. Other courses provide even more engagement: The Chef and the Dish hosts private Skype sessions with global chefs to learn specialized recipes like seafood paella ($300). The class goes through making paella and a side salad in two hours, and the one-on-one time with a professional chef allows you to ask questions while you learn.

Earn a wine certificate through the Napa Valley Wine Academy.


Become an alcohol aficionado

Like food, beverages are an important part of any country's culture. Rather than rely on bartenders' recommendations (though that is a good way to use your new language skills), use this time to get to know your own tastes. Skill Share ($100 a year, or $20 per month) has a wide range of online courses, including one on Belgian Beer. Not only does the class go through Belgium's beer culture, it helps you learn to differentiate styles and understand the production process. Napa Valley Wine Academy's course, Discovering Italian Wine ($125), provides maps to discover the regions where certain grapes grow, and exercises and exams, which, if completed, earn you a wine certificate. If you're eager to head south to Mexico City or Jalisco, consider expanding your tequila knowledge first. Tequila: Origins, Standards, Styles, Flavors ($10) from Beverage Edu is extensive for its price and covers tequila's history, drink and food pairings, and production methods and locations.

Dance like a pro

If you've always wanted to tango in Argentina or salsa dance through Colombia, consider learning a few steps before you visit. Coursera offers a free class from Emory University, called "So You Think You Know Tango?" There are two modules: the first focuses on the Argentinian dance's history and development, and the second teaches basic movements. Other courses focus more on dancing, less on history. Learn How To Dance Bachata ($50) from Udemy has 25 short tutorials, so you can follow the instructor over and over until you get it right. This class focuses on the basics, and won't get too advanced by the end. For people looking for mastery, try the Salsa Bootcamp ($67) from My Salsa Online. It starts with the fundamentals, but progresses into more complicated steps and patterns quickly, so you'll be dancing like a pro in no time.

Schools Must Both Reopen And Continue Online - Forbes

Posted: 05 May 2020 05:15 PM PDT

Note: The following article assumes there will be no viable coronavirus vaccine for at least a year and that countries and states will still have at least moderate social distancing guidelines in place over this time.

For as much as we'd all like to reopen schools and universities for this coming academic year, even an eternal optimist (like me) has trouble seeing how it happens without great difficulty. We have all the motivation in the world to reopen schools – for students who need school support services like free and reduced lunch, for students who don't have adequate Internet and device access at home, for the parents whose work is dependent on school as childcare, for all of us who crave some return to normalcy. The hard truth, however, is that the version of school we'll most likely return to this year won't be anything like it was before. With all the required protocols and considerations for social distancing during a global pandemic, schools may look a little like hospitals and feel a bit like detention to students. Nonetheless, we must carry forward.

This realization hit home for me while I was discussing with my kids the idea of going back to school and trying to prepare them that it will probably be very different this coming school year. We talked about what it would look like with social distancing measures in place. After thinking through things like students wearing masks and ensuring they stay 6 feet apart from others, I got some pretty dramatic reactions from them. My son (3rd grade) said, "It sounds like torture." My daughter (4th grade) drew pictures of it, which are included throughout this article. Our little family dinner conversation sent me through a whirlwind of thoughts about what re-opening will mean for schools.  

Schools were not designed for social distancing. Quite the opposite, they provide the optimal environment for spreading germs. Just ask any teacher about their first year of teaching and how many times they got sick. Students sit in crowded classrooms, disperse frequently through the halls to other classrooms, the gym, the cafeteria and bathrooms. Anyone who has ever seen any school or college between class sessions knows the visual of packed hallways full of students and teachers brushing past one another. Many U.S. schools are so overcrowded they have added external trailer classrooms in their parking lots. To follow moderate standards for social distancing – keeping 6 feet apart, wearing masks, and constantly washing hands and wiping down surfaces – is a dizzying and nearly impossible logistical task for schools and universities. It can be done and for various reasons it must be done. But we need to prepare for the fact it will be very different. And even with re-opening, we'll need to continue to provide online and distance education.  

Here's what it could look like.

Let's start with personal protective equipment (PPE). Will there be enough face masks and hand sanitizer available to allow students and teachers and staff to have fresh equipment on a daily basis? Schools will need to have new budgets for providing PPE to staff and students who can't afford it or don't have access. Students and all adults in the buildings will need to wear masks all day long. I can barely go an hour on a grocery store run before being thoroughly annoyed wearing a mask, while every breath fogs my glasses. I can't imagine the ability of my rising 4th and 5th graders to cope with wearing a mask for hours at a time. And then they will presumably have to take off their masks to eat lunch or have a snack or get a drink. Whether they do so at their own desks or in a cafeteria, what provisions are made to ensure students are properly distanced and that the surfaces they eat on are properly cleaned? Water fountains aren't viable anymore. Will schools be able to provide bottled water to students and staff in each classroom?  

Now, how about school buses? Do you have students sit in every other seat with only one student per seat? If so, does that mean every bus driver with a currently full bus load would have to make 2 or 3 separate routes in the same day? We haven't even arrived at school yet and we already face the daunting task of how we get students to school. (Sure, some schools students can walk or bike or have their parents drop them off.) But the busing system is our first major hurdle and it already calls into question at what capacity of student attendance can a school operate during social distancing? At a minimum there will need to be more bus routes with a reduced capacity of student riders. Already, we must consider the idea of splitting the school day into two cohorts – a morning and an afternoon one where students do half-days. Or we must consider students going to school every other day of the week in cohorts that vary from Mon/Wed students to Tues/Thurs students, etc.   

Now, let's think about school arrival and departure. The visual many of us have is that of bells ringing and massive throngs of students piling in and out of the jammed entrances and exits. New systems that stagger student arrivals and exits will need to be established. And then what about queuing up to do so? Lines established with distances of 6 feet apart – marking those distances with tape or paint both outside and inside the school? A line of just 100 students would be two football fields in length, for example.

There are additional considerations for colleges and universities. Here, the arrivals and departures look a bit different. Students from all over the country (and the world) arrive to campus in the fall and then depart en masse during breaks dispersing – again – all over the globe. How will universities screen students as they come to and then leave campus? Will 14-day quarantines be required upon arrival? Will universities be able to administer rapid coronavirus or antibody tests to students as they arrive? Given the limits to our current testing, it's hard to imagine we'll have enough rapid tests for universities by the end of August. Even if we do, will universities have the staffing, training or outsourcing solutions to administer tests to students? There's also still no compelling evidence that having had the virus previously prevents someone from getting it again which renders antibody testing moot for the time being.

On both K-12 and university campuses, will we require daily temperature checks for each student? Who will administer those tests and once again, how will we manage the lines of students waiting to go through a temperature check station? What's the protocol if a student has a fever or tests positive with coronavirus? Schools will need to have on-site quarantine facilities to immediately remove the student from the population. For K-12 schools this will likely need to be a temporary quarantine area until a parent or guardian can come retrieve them. On college campuses, these will need to be long-term facilities than can house students for at least a 14-day quarantine period. In worse cases, they will need procedures for transporting severely ill students to proper medical facilities.

And what about the issue of student housing on college campuses? Once again, most student housing was designed for occupancy efficiencies as opposed to social distancing. Will universities allow students to live together in the same double or triple occupancy rooms? Will parents even allow their children to live with others and will students even want to do so? How will bathroom-sharing policies work? Will cleaning of bathrooms and dorm rooms move to daily or multi-daily intervals and if so, what kind of staffing and budget increases would be necessary? It would be quite a departure from the college days of old when vomit from Friday night parties wouldn't be cleaned up until the following Monday. Wait, what's that you just said…parties?

The party's over…for now. Think of all the aspects of school and college that make it fun, that make it human and social. School assemblies, plays, musical events, sporting events, gym class – all will be virtual at best. Parties? Certainly not in large groups. I can see modified recesses outdoors where students can be properly spread out. But then what kind of games can you play doing that? College students on campus could get outside and run or bike. However, hitting the gym becomes a whole other problem. Wiping down equipment after each use? Daily overnight deep cleaning? A limit to the number of students using the gym at the same time? Dare we even consider the other pandemic-fueling factors of beer funnels, keg stands, scorpion bowls, Jello shots, and the healthy libidos of high school and college students?

Let's assume for a moment that current public health data holds true – that young people are far less likely to die from coronavirus than others. True, the risk to young people themselves might be low. But all schools and universities have significant populations of staff and faculty who will be at far higher levels of risk. The behavior of students and their adherence to social distancing guidelines will be paramount to the safety of the employees of educational institutions. What about the teachers and faculty who are 50+ years of age or immunocompromised? They'll likely be able to teach from home but that will be the same situation students are in now – except they'll be taught remotely by a teacher while in school.

In K12 schools - every single day - students come back home from school to the family members they live with. For colleges and universities, students typically come home on various breaks throughout the year. Will colleges still be able (and will it still be advisable) to release students on breaks? Or will students need to stay on campus for the entire year? In any and all of these scenarios, schools and universities still become potential nodes of virus spread for the families and communities to which their students return.

This brings us to the evolving and unprecedented legal liability considerations for schools and universities. What will be considered a reasonable standard for a school or university to prevent the spread of COVID-19? Will the efforts described above be enough to protect schools from lawsuits in the event students, staff or teachers get sick? What about the protection of student and employee private health information – such as their COVID-19 test results or temperature check station results? Will schools require contact tracing apps for students and staff and if so, how will such apps ensure protection of personal health data?

This spring has also given us a glimpse into how students and parents think about the value of their education and the tuition they pay for college. (This may soon be true for private, tuition-based K12 schools as well.) Several students have filed class action law suits against universities demanding rebates on their tuition since they were unable to experience the full value of being on campus and enjoying all the various aspects of college life. Will similar lawsuits arise when students come to campus in the fall under social distancing regulations? It's going to be hard to imagine that colleges and universities will be able to maintain their past tuition rates when the student experience will be significantly limited. Universities aren't even hinting at this yet, but rest assured the market of students and parents will push in the direction of differentiated tuition prices during COVID-19 social distancing measures – whether that be with students on-campus or continuing their studies online.

What are the implications of all this? We will have to both reopen schools and continue distance learning. There's no other choice as neither will be sufficient alone. And we're all going to have to buck up here. Whether learning online at home or heading to school in the fall under social distancing guidelines, none of the scenarios are going to be anything close to what most of us have experienced in the past. It's already been and will continue to be a difficult transition for students, teachers and parents. We need to embrace it because there really aren't any alternatives. We will simply be choosing between distance education and greatly modified in-school/on-campus learning. It's highly likely both of these options will continue for at least the next academic year.

Some students and families in K12 schools will have no choice. Kids being able to go to school is critical to parents' jobs. For students reliant on free and reduced lunches, going to school is crucial for their wellbeing. If schools don't open or if they do so where students go half days (such as either mornings or afternoons), they will still need to find innovative ways to feed students. Bus drivers may start delivering lunches to bus stops – along with laptops, tablets and basic school supplies. For families without Internet access, will we find innovative ways to supply cellular-connected devices or set up local Wi-Fi hot spots?

For other students and families many options will suddenly be considered. Do I send my children to school grounds or do I keep them home and continue distance learning? What about a full shift to homeschooling? Or fully online K12 schools? One thing is certain, students and parents are quickly becoming far more involved in (and knowledgeable about) their own education. When unsatisfied, they will push to demand changes in their current education or find new and better solutions. So far, the forced rush to provide ad-hoc remote learning has been mostly dissatisfying to students, parents and teachers. Over time, remote education will yield to much better, purposely developed online courses.

When it's done right, online education can be as effective as classroom-based learning. Prior to COVID-19, most schools and colleges hadn't invested in developing their online learning capabilities. Now, whether they like it or not, they must. And they will make great strides and improvements in the process. It's just a matter of how fast they get there. It will be difficult for most of them to make huge strides by the fall, but over the course of the year (and years) to come, there will be dramatic improvement in the overall quality of online learning. Likewise, we will see a wave of new innovations with classroom teaching too. "Necessity as the mother of all invention" will bear out in incredibly inspiring ways in education over the months and years to come.

We'll ultimately see hybrid models develop over time where it becomes increasingly clear that some things can be done better online while others will ensure the timeless value of in-person and on-campus experience. Lectures by teachers or faculty can be produced in highly engaging ways via asynchronous video so that teachers and students can spend more time together in discussion, answering questions or working on projects. This flipped classroom model has already begun to revolutionize education around the world; now it will speed up dramatically. Students won't want or need to go to school or campus to hear a lecture. They will, however, crave going to school to be part of activities, socialize with friends, and work on engaging projects or research with teachers. Think of all the labs and various equipment that students need to access at school and on-campus. Blending the best of online and in-person will lead to better outcomes across the board.  

We need to be a combination of patient, persistent and pedagogically open-minded. Patient with ourselves, with our kids and students, with teachers and faculty and with school leaders as they deal with unquestionably impossible tasks. Persistent in our dreams and desires and appetite for learning. And pedagogically open-minded to various new ways of teaching and learning. Ultimately, students with goals and dreams will stop at nothing to pursue their education. I'm reminded of an opportunity I had to meet Dr. Sakeena Yakoobi, the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), when she was awarded the WISE Prize for Education in 2015. When the Taliban banned girls education, the AIL organized underground homeschools for thousands of girls across Afghanistan. Where there is a will there is a way. And where there is education, in any form, there is hope.  

Post-script: Toward the end of our family dinner discussion, after thinking about it for a while, my son ended by saying, "Well, at least I'll get to see my friends." He came a long way in a short conversation from feeling like it would be torture to realizing it might not be so bad after all.   

Most NC schools fail to make top 50 list for 'Best Online College' - WRAL Tech Wire

Posted: 21 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

CHAPEL HILL — When it comes to online college education, apparently North Carolina's universities still have a ways to go.

College Consensus recently published its ranking of the 50 Best Online College and Universities, and no higher education institution from the Old North State made the cut, including Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State.

Western Carolina, however, cracked the top five.

Instead, the University of Florida took the first spot again this year, with Rutgers University-New Brunswick, The University of Illinois, Western Carolina, and The University of Iowa rounding out the top five.

The College Consensus methodology pulls together college rankings from top publishers, including Forbes, Money, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Wallethub and Washington Monthly. It then averages student reviews from sites like Cappex, Niche, Student Review and more, to get the full picture of how students see their colleges.

"Online college education has come a long way," the Chapel Hill-based firm said in its release. "While predatory, unscrupulous online 'colleges' once threatened to make online degrees a punchline, today the most prestigious colleges and universities – from the Ivy League to research giants like MIT and Stanford – offer fully online programs. In other words, the best online colleges for undergraduates are some of the best colleges, period."

To qualify for the ranking institutions have to have a Consensus Score and offer at least five fully online bachelor's degree or bachelor's completion programs.

To get the full list, go here.


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