Experts say restoring Baltimore County school network may take weeks, with classes potentially back in days - Baltimore Sun

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Experts say restoring Baltimore County school network may take weeks, with classes potentially back in days - Baltimore Sun Experts say restoring Baltimore County school network may take weeks, with classes potentially back in days - Baltimore Sun A Biden Administration Could Bring Big Changes To Schools And Colleges - NPR Automating HR Functions in Education: AI in Schools | The Legal Intelligencer - Law.com Experts say restoring Baltimore County school network may take weeks, with classes potentially back in days - Baltimore Sun Posted: 27 Nov 2020 04:39 PM PST There are many options available that don't require teachers to plug into the county system, said Avi Rubin, technical director of the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute and a computer science professor. When classes closed down in March for the coronavirus, he said, he was able to quickly put his class on a video conferencing platform.

Should Colleges Reopen in the Fall? - The Wall Street Journal

Editor’s note: This Future View is about reopening universities in the fall. Next week we’ll discuss the severe financial problems many colleges are facing. We’ll ask, “If budget cuts are necessary, where should colleges look to find savings?” Students should click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before May 12. The best responses will be published that night.

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Editor’s note: This Future View is about reopening universities in the fall. Next week we’ll discuss the severe financial problems many colleges are facing. We’ll ask, “If budget cuts are necessary, where should colleges look to find savings?” Students should click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before May 12. The best responses will be published that night.

Indulge Nostalgia, but Don’t Trust It

I want to see my friends. And I want to be seen, strolling down the quad, carefree and collegiate, in a yellow dress I bought online for this exact purpose. I want to have my papers handed back to me with real thumb depressions at the bottom and real chicken-scratch comments I’ll squint to read. I can’t wait to settle in my favorite spot in the library, the couch near the door, so I can say hi to everyone who walks in and accomplish nothing substantial. The refined part of me wishes for theater productions and concerts and poetry readings. How I long to breakfast on potatoes O’Brien in North Dining Hall. And by God, fellow students, tell me: Are there not moments, however fleeting, where you long to hear your name, roll-called, in a mandatory 9 a.m. lecture? Don’t deny it.

But if no vaccine is available by September, do I think my school should reopen in the fall? Out of an abundance of caution, I don’t think it should. I can’t trust my nostalgia for on-campus squirrels or in-person lectures to lead me to a conclusion that is safe for all Americans, or even for all students at my university. And unless the virus has magically disappeared in the past 40 days and won’t resurge, reopening universities raises the question: What did we social-distance for, anyway?

—Renee Yaseen, University of Notre Dame, international economics and Arabic

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A Semester for Herd Immunity

An acute state of vigilance during the early days of the pandemic befit our lack of understanding. We were scared then because we didn’t know what we were dealing with, but by this point fear shouldn’t dictate our approach. Instead, we should discuss evidence and trade-offs. Reopening schools means putting more people at risk, but staying closed threatens the livelihoods of many university employees and other locals, diminishes the quality of students’ education, and delays much of the university’s research.

I’m inclined to let market entrepreneurs decide how to proceed. U.S. universities are dynamic institutions. Many could reopen for in-person classes for those students willing to come in, while simultaneously offering online courses for high-risk students and those who are simply risk-averse. No one would be forced back. A varied fee structure could also offer students more options: full tuition for on-campus schooling, half off for online-only.

America’s goal should be to achieve a state of herd immunity without suffering catastrophic damage. Allowing a lower-risk population of students to return to school seems a sensible step to begin that process. I’d like for my college to reopen in the fall, but that’s a conviction loosely held and based on limited information. As we learn more, the answer may become clearer.

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—Pietro Moran, George Mason University, economics

Not Every School Can Afford to Stay Closed

When students from around the world return to my university, they may bring the coronavirus back with them. Yet staying closed for the fall semester could threaten the survival of the college and the small town that hosts it.

Oberlin, like many other schools, was already struggling financially before the pandemic. It was considering laying off 108 staff members before the shutdown due to budget constraints. Now it’s missing substantial revenue from housing and dining. Another semester of this could do irreparable damage. Layoffs could affect campus program coordinators and residential education staff, and even extend to faculty, as fewer students are willing to pay tuition for a semester online, and virtual class sizes increase.

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Last but not least, think of Oberlin, Ohio, and the other college towns across the country. Many, perhaps most, of the jobs in these places rely in some way on the local college. Absent college employment and spinoff effects, entire communities will face economic decline. It is a difficult debate, but in the end, America needs its colleges open.

—Bridget Smith, Oberlin College, politics

Open Up Already

I want my school to reopen for three reasons. First, it is safe. The minuscule Covid-19 death rate among healthy young people doesn’t justify shutting down in the fall. Students with pre-existing conditions can be accommodated by recording all classes or allowing students to join in live via Zoom, and universities can curb the virus’s spread through social distancing, smaller class sizes, masks and tests. Some students may still get infected and an even smaller number may suffer from it, but this risk exists off campus, too. Reopening responsibly is the best way to balance a full university experience and public health.

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Second, online learning is ineffective. It requires a self-discipline that most students, myself included, don’t have. Prerecorded Zoom lectures can give me only enough to get through online quizzes and pass/fail exams. It is difficult to engage the material in a meaningful way without in-person communication with my professors and classmates.

Third, I miss my friends. Until Covid-19, I never fully appreciated chatting before class, complaining about professors, discussing the material, and journeying through school with people by my side. It isn’t good for man to be alone.

—Ryan Gallagher, St. Louis University, law

Social Distancing in the Dining Hall?

I desperately want to return to college in the fall, but I don’t see how large schools can adhere to social-distancing guidelines. Mine has 30,000 undergraduates and requires students to take intro-level lectures that can exceed 250 students a class. For students, let alone older professors, this is asking for trouble.

The challenge only becomes greater outside the classroom. Communal dining halls and dorms may prove unworkable, and is the administration really going to count how many people enter each office, store and community center? How will it stop students from socializing or regulate what they do off campus before returning to shared communal spaces? Besides, from laziness in cleaning dishes to sharing drinks at parties, college students aren’t known for their cleanliness. Their safety will inevitably be put at risk.

—Kieran Murphy, University of Colorado, Boulder, journalism

Lessons From Outside the Classroom

At first thought, yes, I would like school to reopen in the fall. I chose to study at Harvard not only to learn in an immersive and diverse environment, but also to meet intelligent peers. But unless there is a vaccine, campus life would be different. The limitations on social contact would make it much more difficult to forge close-knit relationships. It wouldn’t be the university experience I’ve come to enjoy. On second thought, I might prefer to stay home.

At home I’m in close contact with my brother and boyfriend. Online meetings on Zoom aren’t especially engaging, but I’ve gained the space to explore my talents and interests. With more time spent on my computer, I have delved into online editing platforms and created the first episode in my new podcast series, “Awakening the Minds.” If online learning isn’t the most effective, at least it has helped make clear that classes aren’t everything, that relationships are more important than grades. I appreciate the shift in perspective.

—Kaitlin Wheeler, Harvard University, theological studies

Not Safe Yet

There probably isn’t a single college student who wants another semester online. But if no vaccine or treatment has emerged by the fall, that’s precisely what we should get.

This virus spreads like wildfire, meaning that campuses will face total infection. While most students should be able to recover, not all of them will. Even young people are susceptible to serious harm from Covid-19. But the virus won’t stop at the edge of campus. Families of students returning home could become infected, along with professors and their families.

If we want to return to normal, we must first linger in this abnormal world of online classes and social distancing for a little longer than we would like. It is the only way to stay safe.

—Ian Krietzberg, College of New Jersey, journalism

Click here to submit a response to next week’s Future View.



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