Lay should let sleeping dogs lie - Lowell Sun

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Lay should let sleeping dogs lie - Lowell Sun Lay should let sleeping dogs lie - Lowell Sun Posted: 05 Mar 2021 10:15 PM PST THREE REASONS why School Committee wannabe Dominik Lay should abandon all efforts to replace his buddy Bob Hoey, who resigned from the committee Feb. 26 just a few days after his abhorrent, racially insensitive behavior on a local cable television show: First, the evidence to support Lay's claim he lives in Lowell and not Boston is scant. After Lowell officials received complaints that Lay did not live in the city, and in fact lived in Brighton, City Solicitor Christine O'Connor penned a four-page letter last week explaining in part why Lay does not live in Lowell. O'Connor, a top-notch sleuth, found via a search of public records that Lay has owned his Brighton property since 2015, however, a search of the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds shows that Lay has been associated with this property since Novemb

Extended reality: U-M online courses make XR accessible to everyone - University of Michigan News

Extended reality: U-M online courses make XR accessible to everyone - University of Michigan News


Extended reality: U-M online courses make XR accessible to everyone - University of Michigan News

Posted: 15 Dec 2020 09:28 AM PST

Student Caitlyn Chua. Image courtesy U-M Academic Innovation

Student Caitlyn Chua. Image courtesy U-M Academic Innovation

For the past several years, Michael Nebeling has taught students at the University of Michigan the most advanced techniques in virtual and augmented reality while encouraging novice users to experiment with the technology by utilizing devices like cell phones and everyday materials found at home.

So, it's not surprising that a new three-course online specialization on extended reality that Nebeling developed with a team at the U-M Center for Academic Innovation would have something for everyone—from novices to the most advanced users, designers and developers.

Extended reality, or XR, is the term for technology that encompasses virtual, augmented and mixed reality—and it is the focus of a major initiative the university announced one year ago.

The specialization on Coursera called "Extended Reality for Everybody," has a broad target audience: students, instructors, designers and developers, researchers, librarians, managers and entrepreneurs. This reflects Nebeling's philosophy that this technology need not be overly complicated in the way it is created or out of reach in terms of budget for equipment. Yet, it can be as advanced as the creativity, technical savvy and imagination of users who wish to explore the greatest depths of the applications.

"I really enjoyed putting the knowledge and experience I have gained over the last five years doing research and teaching in this space into this MOOC specialization," said Nebeling assistant professor at the U-M School of Information. "It really brings together a lot of different perspectives, from critical design and design thinking, to hands-on working and developing with these technologies. I hope my courses will be a powerful resource for both novice XR creators and those who have worked in the space for years."

The specialization launched this week. It gives learners the chance to enroll in one course to learn the basics about the technology or take a deeper dive and earn certification for successful completion of all three. The courses are identified as an introduction to XR, XR design and XR development.

"This is one of the more unique features of this specialization," said Annie Sadler, design manager at the Center for Academic Innovation. "You can choose your depth."

For example, instructors might find the first course helpful to learn about how to use the technology to teach it to students. Nebeling often is asked to lecture on how to use these techniques in the classroom, and much of what he shares in those talks is incorporated in the course that goes over the definitions and uses of the technology.

The second course looks at XR from a designer's perspective, and includes work on physical and digital prototyping, including storyboarding and wireframing. This is a course that brings together years of Nebeling's research on rapid prototyping techniques with both physical and digital tools and provides a practitioner's guide to doing XR without being a programmer.

The third and more advanced course gets into the nuts and bolts of XR for those who want to know about developing new XR applications with state-of-the-art programmer tools. Participants will learn various development approaches, making the jump from 2D to 3D user interfaces, and using WebXR, Unity and Unreal for creating XR apps.

Even within the courses one can go further, taking additional honors tracks. In the first course, this involves extended discussion, and in the other two courses, participants can complete hands-on projects. Nebeling says they can use various XR devices to complete peer-reviewed projects that will provide significant portfolio pieces in the end.

Nebeling, who serves as the Center for Academic Innovation XR Faculty Innovator-in-Residence, previously offered a teach-out on "Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality: Opportunities and Issues," which provided an important starting point. Participants in the short-term learning event discussed the emerging technology's potential and pitfalls. Feedback was very positive but many asked for courses that went beyond theoretical to practical application of the technology.

"There are a lot of things that, in my view, make this specialization special," he said. "It provides a comprehensive overview of the XR space, whereas previous offerings mostly focused on virtual reality or tools like Unity.

"It is taught from a human-centered design perspective with a design thinking mindset, whereas most previous courses assumed a programming background. It embeds interviews and discussion rounds with my students, who also contributed their projects as case studies to help other students learn from their experience working in this space."

Learners can opt to take only one or two courses but certification for the specialization requires completing the entire series. Completing the honors track earns additional recognition.

More information:

Students happy with quality of education despite challenges | - University Business

Posted: 15 Dec 2020 07:45 AM PST

A new Lumina Foundation and Gallup study shows the effects COVID-19 is having on students' outcomes, wellbeing and considerations for remaining in college.

Kannika Yawichai/Getty Images

Students seeking associate and bachelor's degrees are largely upbeat about the quality of the education they are receiving from higher education institutions, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Lumina Foundation and Gallup.

More than 70% in fact say their colleges and universities have been "excellent" or "very good" in providing robust academic courses and programs, even during the COVID-19 pandemic and as most of those who responded in the State of the Student Experience study were operating in remote environments.

That positive outlook is not without its caveats – as the 6,000 students who were surveyed raised concerns about the switch to virtual learning, the potential financial impact of COVID-19 on their ability to complete degrees and the continued strain on their wellbeing.

"COVID-19 presents an ongoing challenge to schools given students' concerns about their ability to continue," said Stephanie Marken, Gallup's Executive Director for Education Research. "Increased access to mental health and financial aid resources will be critical for student completion."

Inside instruction: The good and not so good

Despite the disruption that has occurred throughout higher education, quality is still strong, according to the majority of respondents.

Those studying fully in-person ranked their education quality highest (with more 51% responding excellent and 34% saying it is very good). More than 70% of those in hybrid or fully online learning models rated their institutions either excellent or very good.

However, students who experienced a change in models were not as positive about their instruction. Between 53-60% of associate degree and bachelor's degree candidates said the quality of education was slightly worse or much worse than prior to the start of the pandemic.

First-time students were far more positive about the instruction they are receiving, with 80% giving a thumbs up.

Students at private, for-profit institutions were the most positive about the quality of the education they are receiving, with researchers noting that it was likely due to the fact that most students already were learning online before the pandemic. The same was true for older students, whose satisfaction at 78% outpaced younger students at 73%, because many of their offerings also were online.

Inside the numbers

For those who made the transition from fully in-person models to fully online, researchers noted a large disparity in their ratings on "wellbeing and the quality of the student experience."

  • Just 27% say they are thriving, compared with 45% of those who had no change in instruction model.
  • Only 25% say they strongly agree that "their professor cares about them as a person" compared with 65% with no instruction change.
  • Only 17% say they have a mentor, compared with 41% of those who have experience no change in model.
  • Only a third agree they belong at their college or university.

For those enrolled students, the majority are aware of mental health services, emergency financial assistance and tutoring that are available at their colleges. However, most are either unaware or say their institutions don't provide career counseling, food assistance or childcare support programs. The response numbers were lower for all categories among two-year students and Black and Hispanic students.

About a third of students, no matter their instruction model or changes to it, say they have considered stopping taking courses, primarily because of COVID-19, emotional stress, cost of attendance and childcare responsibilities. The students mostly likely to stop taking courses are those who have moved into completely online environments. Some 50% of bachelor-seeking students say it is likely that COVID-19 will affect their ability to complete their degree. That number is higher for associate degree students at 56%.

Extended reality: University of Michigan online courses make XR accessible to everyone - Mirage News

Posted: 15 Dec 2020 09:38 AM PST

For the past several years, Michael Nebeling has taught students at the University of Michigan the most advanced techniques in virtual and augmented reality while encouraging novice users to experiment with the technology by utilizing devices like cell phones and everyday materials found at home.

So, it's not surprising that a new three-course online specialization on extended reality that Nebeling developed with a team at the U-M Center for Academic Innovation would have something for everyone-from novices to the most advanced users, designers and developers.

Extended reality, or XR, is the term for technology that encompasses virtual, augmented and mixed reality-and it is the focus of a major initiative the university announced one year ago.

The specialization on Coursera called "XR for Everybody: The Knowing, Doing & Shaping of AR/VR/MR," has a broad target audience: students, instructors, designers and developers, researchers, librarians, managers and entrepreneurs. This reflects Nebeling's philosophy that this technology need not be overly complicated in the way it is created or out of reach in terms of budget for equipment. Yet, it can be as advanced as the creativity, technical savvy and imagination of users who wish to explore the greatest depths of the applications.

"I really enjoyed putting the knowledge and experience I have gained over the last five years doing research and teaching in this space into this MOOC specialization," said Nebeling assistant professor at the U-M School of Information. "It really brings together a lot of different perspectives, from critical design and design thinking, to hands-on working and developing with these technologies. I hope my courses will be a powerful resource for both novice XR creators and those who have worked in the space for years."

The specialization launched this week. It gives learners the chance to enroll in one course to learn the basics about the technology or take a deeper dive and earn certification for successful completion of all three. The courses are identified as an introduction to XR, XR design and XR development.

"This is one of the more unique features of this specialization," said Annie Sadler, design manager at the Center for Academic Innovation. "You can choose your depth."

For example, instructors might find the first course helpful to learn about how to use the technology to teach it to students. Nebeling often is asked to lecture on how to use these techniques in the classroom, and much of what he shares in those talks is incorporated in the course that goes over the definitions and uses of the technology.

The second course looks at XR from a designer's perspective, and includes work on physical and digital prototyping, including storyboarding and wireframing. This is a course that brings together years of Nebeling's research on rapid prototyping techniques with both physical and digital tools and provides a practitioner's guide to doing XR without being a programmer.

The third and more advanced course gets into the nuts and bolts of XR for those who want to know about developing new XR applications with state-of-the-art programmer tools. Participants will learn various development approaches, making the jump from 2D to 3D user interfaces, and using WebXR, Unity and Unreal for creating XR apps.

Even within the courses one can go further, taking additional honors tracks. In the first course, this involves extended discussion, and in the other two courses, participants can complete hands-on projects. Nebeling says they can use various XR devices to complete peer-reviewed projects that will provide significant portfolio pieces in the end.

Nebeling, who serves as the Center for Academic Innovation XR Faculty Innovator-in-Residence, previously offered a teach-out on "Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality: Opportunities and Issues," which provided an important starting point. Participants in the short-term learning event discussed the emerging technology's potential and pitfalls. Feedback was very positive but many asked for courses that went beyond theoretical to practical application of the technology.

"There are a lot of things that, in my view, make this specialization special," he said. "It provides a comprehensive overview of the XR space, whereas previous offerings mostly focused on virtual reality or tools like Unity.

"It is taught from a human-centered design perspective with a design thinking mindset, whereas most previous courses assumed a programming background. It embeds interviews and discussion rounds with my students, who also contributed their projects as case studies to help other students learn from their experience working in this space."

Learners can opt to take only one or two courses but certification for the specialization requires completing the entire series. Completing the honors track earns additional recognition.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.

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