Outdated software hampers efforts to accommodate transgender students, colleges say

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Colleges that accommodate transgender students by letting them choose preferred names and pronouns find their efforts hindered by out-of-date software and federal reporting requirements.

Chancellor's smartphone action during graduation sparks a conversation about higher education etiquette and netiquette

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Chancellor's smartphone action during recent graduation ceremony sparks conversation about academics' etiquette and netiquette (and lack thereof). 

Learning Management System Outage at UC Davis

A weekend maintenance period turned into a week-long learning management system outage last week at the University of California at Davis, leaving faculty members and students worried they would not be able to finish finals. The university, which uses a version of Sakai it calls SmartSite, was on Thursday, May 19th, notified by its hosting company that the system would be down for maintenance that weekend. A week later, however, the system had still not been restored, and the outage threatened to affect finals, held during the second week of June. The news was first reported by the ed-tech blog e-Literate.

"[T]his is the system we're supposed to be using to download/view class information, upload assignments, etc.," a member of the university's Reddit community wrote. "Some of my classes don't even have textbooks -- the materials are all posted in PDF or links on SmartSite. We're doing midterms and are a couple of weeks away from finals!"

The system was restored on Friday, though administrators warned they were "not certain of the system’s reliability, support and capacity," and that the system would "be open for viewing and downloading course materials only" -- not uploading. On Saturday, the university tweeted the system was up and running. The university has previously announced plans to move to Canvas, the learning management system developed by Instructure.


The Pulse offers a guide to Podcasting 101

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This month's edition of The Pulse, marking the 10th anniversary of the podcast, features a history of the format and a how-to guide.

2U hopes to lower risk with program selection algorithm

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Companies spend millions of dollars so colleges can offer their programs online. 2U says data can tell the company if the investment will be worth it.

French Coding Academy Comes to the U.S.

The French coding academy 42 is coming to Silicon Valley with a goal of teaching 10,000 students how to code over the next five years, TechCrunch reported. Established in Paris in 2013, 42 is backed by a $100 million investment from the French entrepreneur Xavier Niel. The coding academy does not employ faculty members -- it uses project-based and peer-to-peer learning -- nor does it charge students tuition fees.

Registration opened on Tuesday, and the first students will begin studying in November after a summer of testing their coding skills. The campus will be located in Fremont, Calif.

Report on Shift in Learning Management System Market

The days of a college being stuck with its learning management system until it is forced to switch may be coming to an end, according to a new report by the ed-tech blog e-Literate. Thanks to advances in interoperability standards, which simplify the process of moving data from one system to another, more colleges are shopping around for new systems, according to the report. Based on data from the market research firm LISTedTECH, Blackboard still controls a plurality of the market (34 percent), followed by Moodle (25 percent), Instructure (14 percent) and D2L (11 percent).

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Georgia Tech plans next steps for online master's degree in computer science

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Online master's program in computer science -- a much-watched attempt to apply the MOOC model to for-credit programs -- may not be the big revenue generator the institute projected it would be, but administrators deem it a success and plan to expand it.

'The Pulse' podcast features interview with New Media Consortium's Bryan Alexander

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This month's edition of the technology podcast features a discussion with the senior researcher at the New Media Consortium.

Simple but potentially serious vulnerability behind anti-Semitic fliers

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Anti-Semitic fliers printed remotely at dozens of universities are a reminder than even printers can serve as a gateway for hackers.


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