Teaching to remain online for 2020-21

first_imgClaudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, laid out three potential scenarios for fall in an interim report to the community Monday that also confirmed online teaching will continue for the upcoming academic year.Each of the pathways she described envisions how to bring students safely back to campus and at what pace. One possibility is a fall semester with a low-density campus (much as things are currently), while another is a medium-density plan with 30 to 40 percent of undergrads (2,000 to 2,500) on campus. A third path welcomes all undergraduates (or those who can and want to return and don’t have travel restrictions) to a high-density campus.Regardless of which path forward is chosen, students will continue to engage in remote learning next year, with only rare exceptions. “The overwhelming reason for this decision is our commitment to protecting the academic enterprise and preserving academic continuity for all of our students,” wrote Gay. “Continued remote instruction ensures that academic continuity for all students is maintained, even if travel restrictions, visa issues, or health considerations keep them away from campus. We also recognize the difficulty of holding in-person classes while still conforming to guidance from public health authorities.” Related In a Q&A, Vice Provost Bharat Anand recaps the spring’s pivot to digital, and the planning underway for fall Turning Harvard virtual Though they vary in their missions, they report few serious problems and some pleasant surprises in the move to online learning Six graduate and professional Schools to remain online for fall The outlook for Harvard online learning Zooming through the grad Schools Administrators’ concerns include the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus and the possibility of additional quarantines How the information technology staff moved classes and operations online on a tight, coronavirus-threatened deadline Students can also expect a change to the academic calendar, with no breaks during the semesters to minimize travel, as well as significant new public health practices, including mask and social-distancing requirements and frequent, regular testing.In her message to faculty and staff, Gay noted that many factors yet to be determined will affect the decision, including a strategy to provide large-scale testing for the University community as a whole, being developed by Harvard University Health Services, as well as acquiring and distributing masks and other protective equipment, also being led by the University. She cited last week’s return to lab research as one marker for how to move forward.“We are learning valuable lessons from this process about how to reduce the risks of community transmission while maintaining a vibrant and active research community. Practices piloted during the resumption of research — like the universal masking protocol and baseline testing needs — are helping us determine what is possible for our residential experience in the fall,” she wrote.A final decision will be made by July.last_img read more

Call blockers should provide redress mechanisms for legit calls

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The Federal Communications Commission should require entities that block or label calls to provide real-time notification and adopt effective, transparent and timely redress mechanisms, CUNA wrote to the FCC Friday. CUNA previously submitted comments to the FCC on erroneous call blocking, and Friday’s comments are in reply to others who answered that original request for feedback.Numerous calling entities, including credit unions and representatives of public health and safety sectors, report increasing alarming levels of blocked calls, CUNA notes, and many of those comments provide substantial evidence of this increase.“The disturbing fact is that there is no comprehensive or reliable data on the effectiveness of blocking tools to accurately identify illegitimate or fraudulent calls without also interfering with the ability of legitimate providers to have their calls completed or not mislabeled as “spam” calls,” the letter reads. “According to comments, the lack of data reflects a complex, developing ecosystem coupled with a lack of uniform definitions or standards regarding what constitutes “reasonable analytics.”last_img read more

AP7 outshines private pension providers with 2017 return

first_imgAP7’s dominance over Sweden’s premium pension system increased last year with new customers and a better-than-average investment return.The fund – one of Sweden’s national pension funds and the default provider in the country’s premium pension system (PPM) – increased its saver numbers last year to more than half of the total participants in the system.Its balanced fund offering, Såfa, generated an investment return above the average return produced by private providers in the PPM, returning 14.4% in 2017.This compared to the 11.3% average return from funds included in the system’s funds marketplace, according to full-year figures released by the Swedish Pensions Agency. In 2016 Såfa returned 13.9%, compared to the average private sector return of 9.5%.The agency said: “Like the year before, 2017 was a year which – viewed from a premium pension perspective – goes down in history as one of the most dramatic.”The year had included everything from scandals and police investigations to a proposed overhaul of the funds marketplace, it said.The PPM is the funded part of the Swedish state pension where pension savers can make their own investment choices. Contributions can either be put into products from the wide range of private sector investment managers, or invested with state pension fund AP7’s Såfa option, which uses a lifecycle approach.The majority of savers in the system had their savings with AP7 in 2017, with the SEK400bn (€38.9bn) fund’s share of customers rising to 52% from 48% in 2016.However, accounts held with AP7 remained much smaller on average than those held with private sector providers. Assets held with AP7 Såfa amounted to 33% of the total fund capital in the premium pension system last year.The average account balance at AP7 was SEK173,400, while pension savers with their own portfolios with fund marketplace providers had an average of SEK241,200, according to the data.Bengt Norrby, statistician at the Swedish Pensions Agency, said: “An explanation for the difference in savings is that a large part of the capital inflow to AP7 Såfa comes from young savers, who usually have lower incomes and, consequently, lower pension contributions.”At the end of 2017, total managed capital in the premium pension system amounted to SEK1.4trn, up from SEK986bn at the end of the previous year.last_img read more

This week in esports: ESL, Mercedes, Betway, Sliver and G2

first_imgIt’s been another busy week in esports, with G2 attracting investment from the likes of FC Barcelona midfielder André Gomes grabbing many a headline. Elsewhere: Mercedes Benz and ESL have partnered ahead of ESL One Hamburg; Sliver.tv has raised over $9 million and Betway has become the official betting partner of the ESL Pro League. G2 attract investmentG2 Esports League of Legends team. Credit: RiotThe esports organisation’s funding round was concluded with a diverse group of investors on board, who bring with them a wealth of experience from the entertainment, financial, and traditional sport sectors. The most prominent of the investors is without a doubt FC Barcelona midfielder André Gomes. Others include Eric Mindich’s Everblue Management, MACRO Ventures, and Marc Lemann of Go4It, among others. This initial growth capital will be used ‘to enhance G2 Esports’ talent infrastructure as well strengthen their content and brand initiatives’.Portuguese midfielder André Gomes had this to say: “In this increasingly digital world, I see tremendous potential in esports. Carlos’s vast experience as a successful player, entertainer and successful team owner combined with G2’s impressive track record makes this investment a perfect fit. Esports is the next generation of sports and League of Legends is its cornerstone. I couldn’t be more thrilled to invest in and partner with G2 Esports.”Read the full article here.Sliver.tv raise $9.8 millionSLIVER.tv, a 360º virtual reality broadcasting technology company, has raised $9.8 million (£7.7m) in Series A funding in its bid to transform the esports spectator experience utilising VR. The round of funding was led by Danhua Capital, and Heuristic Capital Partners joined ZP Capital as fellow investors. Mitch Lui, CEO of Sliver.tv said he was “thrilled” to welcome the trio aboard. The haul brings funding up to a current total of $17.5m (£13.7m). Existing seed contributors DCM, Sierra Ventures, The VR Fund, Samsung Next Fund and Sony Innovation Fund also joined in for the round.The platform operates by submerging viewers in a fully immersive 360° in-world stream using virtual camera array technology. The company describes the arrangement as akin to ‘giving them courtside seats’, allowing fans to delve right into the action.Read the full article here.ESL and Mercedes Benz enter partnershipThis new partnership will ‘include tournament sponsorships across several global markets’. First up events wise is ESL One Hamburg 2017, the Dota 2 tournament and Major with with a prize pool of €1,000,000. Ralf Reichert, ESLRalf Reichert, CEO of ESL said: “We are thrilled to partner with Mercedes-Benz as the premiere automotive brand. This partnership represents an important step not only for us but for the whole esports industry – allowing us to explore exciting mobility solutions for the fans and players across the world, growing esports together, and getting it to the next level.”Read the full article here.Betway announce ESL Pro League Season 6 partnershipUndeterred by the Ninjas in Pyjamas sponsorship news last week, Betway and ESL have announced a partnership that will see the bookmaker become a sponsor for Season 6 of the ESL Pro League.The deal will see Betway enhance the ESL Pro League experience by adding live odds to the broadcast, much in the same way as they demonstrated at ESL One Cologne. The release also states that viewers will get an insight into the content that unique content Betway has produced. Anthony Werkman, Director of Marketing and Operations at Betway stated: “We are delighted to continue our market leading partnership with ESL. After the huge success of our ESL One Cologne sponsorship, supporting CS:GO’s most prestigious league was the logical next step.”Read the full article here.last_img read more