Digital Learning in ‘Inside Higher Ed’ This Week

Among the topics: Two universities go big on big data; Arizona State and Uber team up on online degrees; federal investigations into web accessibility; dealing with GDPR.

November 7, 2018

The following news developments relevant to "Inside Digital Learning" readers received coverage in our parent publication, Inside Higher Ed, this week:

  • Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country are currently under investigation by the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for failing to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities -- but ensuring that every aspect of a university's sprawling web presence meets recommended web-accessibility standards remains a huge challenge.
  • Two major research universities are undertaking significant restructurings to elevate the study of and research on big data. The University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are creating entirely new institutions within their campuses to come to terms with the ubiquity of data and the rise of AI -- and to accommodate a surge in popularity that these fields are generating among students and employers.
  • Arizona State University is partnering with the ride-sharing company Uber to offer drivers tuition-free online degrees. Uber drivers or their family members will have the opportunity to choose from more than 80 undergraduate degree programs. To qualify, drivers will have to maintain a high user rating and drive regularly. They can also earn certificates in entrepreneurship or English as a second language. Initially, the benefits will only be available to drivers in eight cities across the U.S.
  • American colleges and universities that have yet to figure out a plan to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation still have time to act, attendees at Educause's annual conference were told last week. Speaking at a conference session called GDPR: Where Are We Now? Esteban Morin, a lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, told university IT leaders to “not panic” if they are just starting to develop a plan to ensure their institution is compliant with the E.U. data protection and privacy rules.


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