Lessons from teaching touch-based therapies remotely

You’re going to do what? Teach massage therapy online? Is that even possible? How’s that going to work? These are just a few reactions I received from faculty and students when we were approved to begin moving to online education and an increased reliance on technology in the classroom due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

At Pacific College of Health and Science, we were already accustomed to using technology in the classroom, such as Moodle, to host all of our course handouts, online quizzes, assignments, grade books, and more. In addition, some of our faculty regularly used PowerPoint, YouTube videos, and other media in their lectures and presentations.

Related content: COVID-19’s impact on teaching and learning

However, our massage faculty had never taught or held an online class. It was a new concept for us, and frankly, a new concept for massage therapy education in general. Because massage education leads to a licensed profession in most states, each state determines what is allowable when it comes to the delivery of this education. Under “normal” circumstances in Illinois, massage education has only been exclusively allowed in-person and onsite (never via online education). As a result, the world of teaching massage therapy online was new to us all.

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Aver launches advanced AI auto tracking distance learning camera

AVer Information Inc., the award-winning provider of video collaboration solutions and education technology solutions, announced today the launch of the ground-breaking TR310 AI Auto Tracking Distance Learning Camera. Designed specifically for the evolving K-12 distance learning classroom, the TR310 boasts advanced Artificial Intelligence to automatically detect the teacher’s movement in the classroom, allowing them to focus on delivering their curriculum instead of worrying about staying within the camera’s view.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms of the TR310 drive two auto tracking modes including Presenter Tracking or Zone Tracking with no need for a camera operator. Presenter Tracking allows the camera to automatically follow the presenter with either full body or half body, or manually track any other specific presenter with a simple click. Since the AI technology focuses on the body rather than simply the face, the camera recognizes and follows the presenter even if he or she is wearing a PPE mask. Zone Tracking allows automatic and seamless tracking between multiple preset zones to support different learning stations in the classroom.  Completely hands-free, the TR310 provides the flexibility for the teacher or presenter to move freely about the room and let the camera do the work. The 10X optical zoom provides a clear and concise image of the teacher regardless of how far he or she is from the camera, allowing remote students to remain engaged with the instructor. The optical zoom is important as it provides better quality video from a further distance than cameras featuring only digital zoom that can greatly reduce the resolution of the image.

The included free software allows for video recording, image capture and live streaming, while administrative features allow for the easy maintenance, control and management of hundreds of cameras from a single location. Compatible with all major video conferencing platforms used for distance learning such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangout, the TR310 will integrate with whichever solution the school is using. Connecting a document camera allows the teacher to display physical objects and material simultaneously during a lesson.

“K-12 schools need to solve the large problem of providing an immersive classroom experience to remote students with an affordable but professional-grade solution, not just another Band-Aid,” says Andy Teoh, Director of Product Management, K-12 and Pro AV. “The AVer TR310 addresses this with advanced AI technology that stands out among all video options on the market to track the teacher automatically without a camera operator.”

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Founded in 2008, AVer is an award-winning provider of education technology and video collaboration camera solutions that improve productivity and enrich learning. From accelerating learning in the classroom to increasing competitive advantage for businesses, AVer solutions leverage the power of technology to help people connect with one another to achieve great things. Our product portfolio includes Professional Grade Artificial Intelligence Enabled Auto Tracking Cameras, Microsoft Teams Certified Enterprise Grade USB Cameras, Document Cameras and Mobile Device Charging Solutions. We strive to provide industry leading service and support that exceeds our customer’s expectations. We are also deeply committed to our community, the environment and employ stringent green processes in all we do. Learn more at averusa.com and follow us @AVerInformation.

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Woz Enterprise Launches Federally Recognized Technology Apprenticeship

Woz Enterprise – a division of Woz U – and University of Phoenix are bringing the technology and education sectors together to launch a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program to address the widening technology skills gap and put Americans to work. This world-class, transformative technology apprenticeship program trains community-college graduates in STEM fields with day-one skills and places them in entry-level apprenticeship jobs, while setting them on a path to earn a bachelor’s degree in an in-demand field.

“We have all heard about the tech talent gap. Hundreds of companies have been trying to address it, yet here we are in 2020, and the gap remains,” said Chris Coleman, President of Woz Enterprise. “Truly offering relief to this talent-starved industry, at scale, requires collaboration from the private, education, and government sectors. This apprenticeship model is the game-changer we have all been looking for.”

Through this program, apprentices learn while receiving a salary and gaining valuable work experience. Woz Enterprise builds and delivers the customized technology curricula that can result in credits toward a University of Phoenix Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT).

“This unique program comes at a critical time as companies today are looking for solutions to adapt the skills of their workforce to match the velocity of change of their businesses.” said Raghu Krishnaiah, Chief Operating Officer of University of Phoenix. “University of Phoenix is pleased to work with Woz U to provide an unprecedented education pathway that includes validated learning outcomes for community college graduates.”

The modern technology apprenticeship model launched this spring in 11 states in partnership with Infosys, a global leader in digital, IT, and consulting services. Selected candidates completed an intensive, eight-week pre-apprenticeship training program in one of seven technology tracks to gain essential day-one skills to start a career with one of Woz Enterprise’s recruiting business partners.

As full-time junior associates, these individuals then participate in a structured online learning program for 12 months. During this time, they continue working and earning a salary, which increases as they gain key competencies. Training hours can be applied for college credit at University of Phoenix, potentially shortening the time to obtain a BSIT.

“We believe it is a great value proposition for all involved, allowing us to supply quality training to meet the staffing needs of the technology industry in America while providing income and great, flexible higher education opportunities to individuals. We are embracing new perspectives and forming dynamic alliances to inject creativity and ingenuity in the technology sector,” said Coleman.

Building on its initial, groundbreaking alliance with University of Phoenix and Infosys, Woz Enterprise will be working to expand and broaden the scope of the apprenticeship program.

For more information about Woz Enterprise modern technology apprenticeships, please visit https://woz-u.com/enterprise/apprenticeship. For media inquiries, please contact Ana Pereira at Ana@uriascommunications.com.

About Woz Enterprise
Woz is an Arizona-based digital learning eco-system designed to train, cultivate, and upgrade talent in technology fields to meet the workforce needs of today and the future. As a division of Woz U, Woz Enterprise helps recruit, retrain, and retain qualified employees with flexible, customizable, career-focused training content, with the option to white-label programs using our proprietary learning experience platform. With a curriculum that is updated every two weeks, we are empowering individuals in high-demand technology careers and helping to close the skills gap while adhering to global technology education and business standards. We help companies achieve their objectives by providing valuable technology training tools to upskill their workforce and ultimately grow their business.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from select locations across the U.S. as well as online. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

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5 ways to get back to campus with safety in mind

Students are itching to return to college campuses, hungry for social interaction and the collegial experience they’ve longed for since schools abruptly sent everyone home in the spring. But professors and faculty aren’t so excited. Many are anxious about the precautions (or the lack thereof) their colleges and universities plan to take against COVID-19.

The New York Times dubbed faculty concerns a “rising revolt.” Who can blame those who work in academia when college is synonymous with socializing? Will coeds heed social distancing warnings or skip Friday-night parties?

Related content: Back to campus in the fall?

If universities can’t open fully, they’ll likely suffer a huge financial hit, with some students demanding (and getting) tuition discounts and others delaying education. So much of the college experience relies on the convergence of thought, conversation, and — for many — being present.

If only you could place a protective bubble around each person to enforce social distancing and ward off droplets. Unfortunately, that’s magical thinking. A full return in a way that makes students, faculty and staff feel less at-risk requires a new kind of planning and more reliance on technology. While some universities plan to set up COVID-19 screening stations, check temperatures daily and require tests for those with a fever, others may not yet have a full plan.

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You’re invited: Learn how to enhance safety and communications on your campus

Register Now

Safety is a critical component of any campus, and a key part of safety is having the right information during an emergency. Leveraging tools and practices that keep the right people informed at the right time goes a long way toward enhancing safety and security at college. However, safety is an ongoing process. It doesn’t happen all at once, and it should never be thought of as something that can be done once and then be left alone. Safety requires continuous adaptations to respond to the needs of your school or district.

Attend this free webinar to:
• Learn about emergency preparedness and response
• Understand how to build a mass notification ecosystem that reaches everyone
• Receive best practices for using mass notifications to communicate about new schedules and expectations that have been implemented as a result of COVID-19

Register Now

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Audio-Visual Furniture Line with Release of Slim-Footprint, Adjustable Lectern

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin – lecturers have to function within many environments. Yet there is an increased expectation for use of technology and expanded mobility within that same classroom. Factor in a wide variance in physical traits and you have a challenge accommodating instructors. We set out to address those core issues, while minimizing the impact on an institutions budget,” said Ben Jones, Spectrum’s Vice President of Sales.

The Adjustable Height Slim Lectern builds off Spectrum’s thinnest, sleekest lectern and provides an upgrade for ergonomics and comfort. The Adjustable Height Slim Lectern features an amazing 10” of electrical height adjustment to the top surface. “An overlooked benefit for instructors is that height-adjustable lecterns can help to relieve or prevent such common ailments as back pain and carpel tunnel syndrome,” Jones added.

The lectern can be specified with an optional 6RU, removable rack, to fully-support AV environments. The removable rack, along with a removable audience panel, help simplify initial integration and in-classroom support  On the instructor side of the lectern an “underbridge” can be mounted to accommodate power modules or surface-mount, room control devices. Available with glides for stationary use, or four locking casters for maximum flexibility, the lectern can be configured to your specific environment.

Spectrum’s newest lectern is available in a variety of colors from Spectrum’s Expressions line of designer finishes and can be personalized with an organization’s logo to maximize visibility for a brand.

Additional information on Spectrum’s new lectern can be found at: https://www.spectrumfurniture.com/en/lectern-and-podium-solutions/adjustable-height-lecterns3/adjustable-height-slim-lectern.

About Spectrum Industries Inc.:
Founded in 1968, Spectrum Industries is a premier technology furniture and OEM manufacturer located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. For the past 50+ years, Spectrum has designed and produced over 4,300 different high-quality products which can be found in thousands of education, government, healthcare, and corporate settings. Spectrum Industries, QUALITY SOLUTIONS by design. Additional information on Spectrum Industries can be found at: https://www.spectrumfurniture.com/en/.

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Educating students using real-world problems, with real-world data

For students in STEM programs, learning about data analytics is a critical piece of the curriculum. Unfortunately, most students only have access to fixed, static data that can’t be collected and analyzed in real-time, which doesn’t simulate the business environments they will work in after graduation.

Today, the industry demands “translators” who can make connections between data and data analytical techniques to drive operational improvements — and that training must start in the classroom before entering the professional world.

Related content: How data and technology will drive the future of higher ed

University of California, Davis, has embedded this thinking into our curriculum for years, working with OSIsoft — a leader in operational technology and developer of the PI System — to form the backbone of our energy management, sustainability operations, and student programs.

Improving the art of winemaking

Winemaking has evolved into a blend of art and science, leaning heavily on winemaker expertise as well as critical production markers. It’s susceptible to changes in soil, drought, process issues, human error, and more.

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Prioritizing students when planning for fall

It’s no secret that higher education is facing a pivotal moment right now. COVID-19 has highlighted many of the issues critical to higher education administrators today, including rising tuition costs and general student safety. Utah’s Snow College, and myself as president, are not immune to that.

Amidst this pandemic, I urge all administrators to adopt student-first initiatives and policies as you discuss and develop plans for the fall semester. No matter the method – be it fully online, fully in-person, or some combination of the two – students are facing the academic setting with more personal and emotional challenges to learning than ever before. For students of color or low socioeconomic status, they’re likely facing even more of that stress load.

Related content: Back to campus in the fall?

When the COVID-19 pandemic first garnered attention, Snow College faced a unique challenge: protecting not only our students but also the local community. Based in the small Utah farming town of Ephraim, Snow College is home to more than 5,000 college students, but the remaining community skews far older. The overwhelming majority of our students are not from Ephraim or neighboring communities. Many come from the populace Wasatch Front, including cities like Salt Lake City and Provo.

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Higher-ed is digitized–now, let’s modernize it

Thanks to the hard work of faculty and the dedication of students, college campuses are hotbeds for innovation and discovery. The internet, antibiotics, the Richter scale, and Google’s algorithm are just a handful of the innovations that have been created on university soil. But, when it comes to technology’s role in supporting innovative teaching and learning practices in higher ed, U.S. institutions face significant barriers.

While education technology has grown as an industry, its acceleration isn’t up-to-speed with other sectors, such as business and health care. It’s easier for college students and their parents to buy furniture online, or even a car, than it is to select and pay for course registrations online. Current campus technology doesn’t match the expectations or needs of higher-ed consumers.

Related content: 3 ways higher ed needs to modernize to survive

Yes, digital platforms are present on campus. But, most of these solutions aren’t built with the student experience in mind. To match the features of modern platforms such as Facebook and Uber, educational technology must prioritize engagement and the user experience.

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eLumen Introduces Professional Services to Help Institutions of Higher Learning Lead Change and Improve Outcomes

Minneapolis, MN―eLumen, the all-in-one platform that helps institutions of higher learning and all individual stakeholders succeed on purpose, today announced the launch of a suite of professional services designed to leverage the effectiveness of instructors and enhance the accomplishments that take place on campuses across the world every day. These services will support colleges and universities in their efforts to better understand and utilize the technology solutions across campus, access more timely and insightful performance data, enhance accreditation and compliance practices, give students better visibility into their mastery of key skills, and much more.

“At eLumen, our focus is to help institutions facilitate student achievement that is foundational―guiding the pathway to mastery of key skills in a fashion that provides a course to something greater. That’s why we work to provide resources and technology to connect what’s possible for all stakeholders, expanding and enhancing the expectations of what education should be,” said Joel Hernandez, CEO of eLumen. “Our new professional services build on what we’ve already achieved through our platform by addressing institutions’ needs in educational technology, curriculum, assessment management, and student pathways. These services, delivered in-person or remotely by experienced practitioners, will help institutions introduce a sense of control of complex processes and gain confidence in the value they can deliver to students.”

eLumen’s professional service engagements range between three to five days in duration and can be delivered on or offsite. This includes the COVID-19 Toolkit, a customizable package of services created to support institutions through current challenges, and to prepare for success this fall and beyond. The toolkit includes training and workshop options to best prepare staff for the upcoming semester.

Additionally, the following professional services are available to support change at every level:

Leading Transformative Change

  • Strategic Review: Transformational Readiness―Institutions seeking a project charter and plan to enact transformational change can benefit by working with eLumen to evaluate readiness, work on strategic goals, and implement a plan for execution. eLumen helps institutions determine where to start and how to sustain a manageable, high-impact strategy.
  • Continuous Improvement―In this engagement, eLumen guides institutions through integrated processes that result in meaningful data and more purposeful engagement to support alignment of goals, measures, methods, analyses, and actions. Colleges and universities looking to increase the depth and breadth of benefits provided by regular and cyclical assessment, improve integration between curriculum and assessment, and enhance student learning outcomes can benefit from this support.

Improving Teaching and Learning Outcomes

  • Supporting Guided Pathways―eLumen will work with the institution to implement the Guided Pathways model by designing a plan that works in alignment with the institution’s catalog system to help ensure students are guided to degree completion and pathway success.
  • Designing Quality Curriculum and Processes―This engagement specifically supports institutions interested in establishing a process for backwards design and curriculum design while using instructional design techniques and institutional processes supported by software. It is relevant to colleges and universities in the process of creating and/or revising curriculum or evaluating the need for pathway creation.
  • Accreditation and Compliance―This engagement is designed to support institutions that have recently experienced or are anticipating an accreditation visit and are looking to establish sustainable accreditation practices supported by software solutions. eLumen provides trusted consultants who walk the college or university through best practices to make assessment, program review, and curriculum mapping data sufficient and stable for accreditation and compliance.

Supporting Technology Implementation and Review

  • Strategic Academic Technology Review―Institutions often benefit from an outside review of their academic technology solutions before considering engaging in additional software implementations. Through this process, eLumen evaluates schools’ existing and planned academic technology platforms, consults on current strategies, ensures alignment with current academic solutions, and identifies potential overlap and/or gaps in existing and planned academic technology solutions.
  • Adoption Management―This solution assists faculty and staff in the change and adoption processes once eLumen is introduced. As shifts in campus culture take shape, institutions benefit by defining the extent and scope of change alongside an expert guide
  • Health Check―This process supports institutions who have implemented eLumen and are ready to review how well implementation has gone, the product alignments with strategic goals of the institution, and intended use of the product and best practices. It is tailored to help colleges and universities scrutinize specific aspects of how they are using eLumen, the culture of assessing academic performance, and to undertake forms of analysis.

eLumen also offers custom services, available to any institution with a specific need that can be addressed through guided educational expertise and knowledge practice. In these engagements, eLumen collaborates with the college or university to determine goal alignment around core institutional needs. Institutions interested in learning more about eLumen professional services can visit elumenconnect.com.

About eLumen
eLumen is the all-in-one platform that helps institutions of higher learning and all individual stakeholders to succeed on purpose. It enables colleges and universities to integrate their curriculum, assessment, and student success processes in a manageable fashion, within their operational capacity and under budget.

With individual and group progress toward learning goals made visible through an easy-to-navigate interface and simple charts and graphs, faculty and students get real-time comprehensive insights into academic progress and take control of the next steps toward growth. Institutions have all the data and functionality to demonstrate compliance and, more importantly, success, attracting new generations of learners who will thrive in school and pursue a fulfilling career path. Learn more at elumenconnect.com

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