College students fume over having to pay full tuition for dubious online learning

College students fume over having to pay full tuition for dubious online learning

Students describe online coursework as a dehumanizing realm where it can be hard to see, hear, talk, work, socialize and collaborate WASHINGTON — Work at the World War I memorial continues, despite blistering heat, a pandemic and recent rioting just blocks away. Deadlines to choose an option are looming in many Arizona schools, and parents are freaking out. Here’s how education leaders would make the decision. Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for information on today’s workouts later today… With as-prepared silver based ink or as raw materials, the patterned silver electrodes with high conductivity and flatness were fabricated via laser d…

Irvin Yang is the kind of student UC San Diego cherishes.

He’s extremely smart. And he comes from China, which means he pays twice as much tuition as California residents. The money helps cover the school’s operating expenses and students like him help give the campus its international flare.

At the moment, the joy isn’t mutual.

Like other schools, UCSD shifted to online classes in the spring due to novel coronavirus — and they are charging full tuition. Yang, a junior, hates it. “Class now feels like watching a YouTube video — and that’s when professors are being responsible,” he said. “The lazy ones just make us watch recordings from years before.

“Without the excitement of sitting in a classroom and interacting with my professors and peers I don’t see the point of getting up early to take class on time. We shouldn’t be paying full tuition for this.”

UC San Diego student Irvin Yang is unhappy with the quality of the university’s online classes.

(Courtesy of Irvin Yang)

Not everyone is this biting. But with the coronavirus surging as the fall semester draws near, schools from San Diego to Boston are preparing to keep many or most of their courses online, an approach many students say is a pale, pricey facsimile of the classroom.

They describe the online world as a dehumanizing realm where it can be hard to communicate, socialize and collaborate. The criticism comes from savvy consumers; most undergraduates are members of Generation Z, the first generation that’s always had the Internet, cellphones and social media.

“You miss out on important body language that can cue understanding or misunderstanding,” said Jahfreen Alam, a UCSD senior. “Online classes focus more on just learning the material whereas in-person classes provide the environment for engagement.”

The result is isolation, confusion and loneliness, say students. And they’re livid that schools are charging full tuition, especially at a time when the coronavirus has wiped out many of the jobs they — and their parents — would rely on to pay the bills.

Professors miss the campus classrooms as badly as students.

The shift to online teaching happened so fast it caused myriad problems for faculty, many which still exist. A new report by the University of California says some instructors experienced delays in getting the basic equipment they need to broadcast classes, such as good microphones and versatile webcams. Seemingly simple things like uploading course material can be a nightmare. Many faculty didn’t get enough help designing classes.

UC San Diego senior Jahfreen Alam misses the social “extras” of life on campus.

(Courtesy of Jahfreen Alam)

The UC report quotes an unidentified professor as saying, “While I use polls, breakout rooms, and chat, the level of interaction is just is not the same. Additionally, I am not getting to know my students like I have in the past. Students are rarely speaking to me before class or after class, as was normal when classes were taught in person.”

Another unidentified professor says in the June report: “I think that far less is being learned right now because our students are expected to attend classes that still have typical exams, paper assignments, etc. during a pandemic.

“We are in a crisis, and no amount of online maneuvering can ease the extreme anxiety and grieving that our students are experiencing.”

Everyone’s scrambling to adapt.

Faculty at San Diego State University are taking online classes to learn how to teach online classes. A faculty report says they are primarily using aging teaching software that can be confusing and difficult to use. The University of San Diego is spending $1.5 million to improve technology in 125 classrooms for the sake of in-person and online campuses.

Students aren’t indifferent to the need to shift to digital learning. The online classes are “a necessary evil to keep our citizens safe and the curve of COVID flat,” said Hanaa Moosavi, a senior at UCSD.

But students from UCSD to SDSU to Rutgers to the University of Chicago and University of Houston want a discount on tuition. Two Kansas State University students sued for their school for refunds after the virus forced the school to go online.

Chances are, students won’t get the financial break they’re looking for, at least in the short term.

Universities are hemorrhaging money due to the virus. UCSD says it has already lost $150 million and that it will lose an additional $150 million to $200 million this summer.

The situation could worsen if the Trump administration is allowed to prevent international students from staying in the US if schools are forced to offer online-only courses due to the pandemic. Nearly 9,000 of UCSD’s 39,000 students are from other countries, mainly China. Last year, the campus brought in more revenue from non-California resident undergraduates than those from California. (Story)

The state of California is suing the Trump administration to block his order.

USD, a private school, has lost $17 million, a figure that could almost double during the coming academic year, the campus says. (Story)

Schools also oppose discounts because they believe online courses are the equivalent of classroom instruction, and that they enable students to get what they really want — a degree.

USD issued a statement Friday saying, “The University is not considering a discount for tuition at this time.” Most California schools are taking a similar stand, and the public universities haven’t been considering a widespread rollback of the other fees it charges students.

The schools are holding fast despite the enormous financial pressure on students.

“Over 70 percent of current students lost some or all of their sources of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a survey released on July 7 by the California Student Aid Commission.

UCSD will charge California residents $14,480 in tuition for the coming academic year. Non-California residents like will pay $29,754. USD students, whether local or from afar, will pay $52,120.

Students are chafing at these prices not just because classes are online, but because they’re losing out on many of the social activities that come with life on campus.

“The extras, the opportunities, the networking availabilities (are) what makes a specific school unique,” Alam said. “By taking classes online I don’t have access to these extras or the same resources as I would if I were to be paying tuition for in-person classes.”

The University of San Diego will try to bring most of its students back to campus this fall.

(Courtesy University of San Diego)

UCSD has worked hard in recent years to expand its social offerings. Schools nationwide have been doing the same. This broad trend is producing a reckoning, said Garrett Broad, a communications professor at Fordham University in New York.

“It has led to a situation where a lot of college is closer to ‘summer camp’ for many students, focused on social interaction and fun as opposed to the core academic mandate that most universities were founded to realize,” Broad said.

“So when students are told that the university is going online they realize that the ‘summer camp’ aspect is over and they’re rightly mad because that’s what they think they are paying for.”

It’s a jolting change. But it may be a temporary one.

“Most colleges will return to teaching classes on campus after the pandemic is over,” said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of in Miami.

“They know that their Zoomification of college classes was a quick fix and not a permanent solution. Some may decide to start offering online education as an option, but they will need to invest more resources beyond just videotaping the lectures.

“Learning is difficult and interactive.”


Author: By Gary Robbins

Work on World War I memorial goes on amid pandemic

Work on World War I memorial goes on amid pandemic

WASHINGTON — Work at the World War I memorial continues, despite blistering heat, a pandemic and recent rioting just blocks away.

Visitors to Pershing Park have their temperatures checked when they enter the construction site, and they’re quizzed about their health. In addition to white hardhats and orange vests, they’re outfitted with purplish disposable gloves and masks.

A fence surrounds the 1.76-acre site on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House.

Officials broke ground on the $50 million project in December, though the real work didn’t begin until early January.

The lead memorial designer, Fayetteville native Joseph Weishaar, says the park is on track to open late in the year. The artwork at its heart will take awhile longer.

In New Jersey, sculptor Sabin Howard is crafting the memorial’s centerpiece, a 58-foot-long bas-relief sculpture commemorating the conflict.

It’s nowhere near complete.

“The dedication in December will just be sort of a soft opening,” Weishaar said. “Sabin won’t finish the sculpture until about 2024.”

A crane will be needed to put it in place.

Once it’s delivered and installed, there’ll be a high-profile unveiling, Weishaar said.

“That will be the official dedication. Whoever’s president in 2024, that’s who will be here,” he said.

Victor McCoy, the project’s senior superintendent, has been doing construction for years. He helped build the World War II memorial as well.

“To me, it’s an honor to work on it. I used to be in the service. I’m a veteran. I didn’t finish my training. I got a medical [discharge]. So I’m looking at this as serving, doing my portion, doing memorials,” he said.

Sparked by the June 28, 1914, assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, World War I was a global conflagration, four years of bloodshed.

The United States, which entered the conflict in April 1917, helped the British Empire, France and other Allied Powers defeat the Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.

By the time the guns fell silent, on Nov. 11, 1918, millions had died, including more than 116,000 U.S. service members.

The fragile peace that followed was fleeting, with World War II commencing in 1939. Millions more would die.

While monuments to other 20th-century conflicts — Vietnam, Korea and World War II — are already in place, the U.S. capital, until now, hasn’t had a similar tribute for those who served in the Great War.

The last of the nation’s World War I veterans, Frank Buckles, died on Feb. 27, 2011, Weishaar’s 21st birthday.

In December 2014, Congress authorized a monument to honor those who fought in the Great War.

Weishaar, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville’s Fay Jones School of Architecture, has been focusing on the project since winning the World War I commission’s international design competition in January 2016.

He was just 25 years old at the time. He’s 30 now and lives in Washington.

It took more than three years of design and redesign to satisfy a variety of government entities.

Initially, Weishaar intended to make sweeping changes to Pershing Park, which honors Gen. John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western front.

The plans had to be scaled back, however, after protests from preservationists and a determination by the National Park Service that the existing park was eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

After three years of hard work, the Commission of Fine Arts signed off on the project in September. The National Capital Planning Commission gave its blessing in October.

With work underway, Weishaar visits the site regularly.

Last week, construction crews unloaded the stainless steel pipes that will deliver water to the park’s new fountain.

Covid-19 hasn’t hobbled the project. In fact, it’s removed some traditional barriers.

For a while, noise ordinances were waived, McCoy said. Parking was easier to find.

Construction would begin at 6 a.m.

With the neighboring Willard Intercontinental hotel shut down, there wasn’t anybody there to wake up, McCoy added.

“It was real easy for us to work,” he said.

Asked why it took so long to build a World War I memorial, Weishaar cited a couple of reasons.

For most of the century, war memorials were typically erected on a local level.

That changed after the creation of the Vietnam War Memorial.

“Chronologically, the memorials have been working in reverse order. They started in Vietnam, then Korea, then World War II and finally World War I,” Weishaar said.

The calendar also may have conspired against a World War I memorial, Weishaar suggested.

“The 25th anniversary was right in the middle of World War II. The 50th was in the middle of Vietnam, I think. The 75th was right at the start of Iraq [and] Desert Storm,” he said. “When the centennial came up, everybody said, ‘We have to do it. This is our shot.'”


Author: Frank E. Lockwood

MIL-OSI NGOs: ILO Global Summit builds commitment to create better world of work after COVID-19

MIL-OSI NGOs: ILO Global Summit builds commitment to create better world of work after COVID-19

Source: International Labour Organization –

GENEVA (ILO News) – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has welcomed the commitment and determination of world leaders to build a better world of work as a core element of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking at the close of the Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work, the Director-General said, “I think it is difficult to overstate the level of common purpose, of determination, to overcome the crisis. To build forward to something better. From this everything else becomes possible.”

“We have some very important tools to deploy, as we seek to get the world of work back on its feet,” Ryder said. “Some are very familiar to us, such as social dialogue and international labour standards. We also have a relatively new asset in our hands. That is our Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work. I think we are seeing just how valuable it is as a roadmap for us to find the way forward.”

Heads of State and government, as well as prominent global employers’ and trade union leaders, took part in the three day global event, held online from 7-9 July. The Summit was the largest ever online gathering of workers, employers and governments with contributions from heads of the UN, WHO, IMF, WTO and the OECD.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said, “This global summit is an opportunity for governments, workers’ and employers’ representatives to shape winning responses,” he said. Recovery from the crisis, “is not a choice between health or jobs and the economy. They are interlinked. We will either win on all fronts or fail on all fronts.”

“We already have a strong foundation for action and solutions, the ILO Centenary Declaration as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth. Together we can emerge from this crisis stronger, with decent jobs and a brighter, more equal and greener future for all,” the Secretary-General added.

“Our systems, jobs, livelihoods and the economy are intertwined,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO). “WHO calls on governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations in the health sector to develop strong and sustainable national programmes for the occupational safety and health of health workers. Together, we have a duty to protect those who protect us.”

The Summit discussed strategies for addressing the massive world-of-work vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic and in particular, the needs of those working without social protection and in the informal economy; the promotion of full and productive employment and sustainable enterprises; ways of ensuring that poverty reduction, equality and combating climate change are core elements in the recovery process; and how the international community can recommit to delivering on the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The first part of the Summit, held from 1-2 July, consisted of a series of virtual regional events covering Africa, the Americas, the Arab States, Asia-Pacific and Europe and Central Asia. Representatives of governments, employers, workers, and regional organizations discussed the huge impact of the pandemic on their economies, labour markets and societies, and different national responses. The conclusions of these regional events fed into the discussions this week at the Global Summit.

The last day of the Global Summit, ILO Constituents’ Day, provided Ministers, workers’ and employers’ leaders from the ILO’s 187 member States a forum to share views on how the ILO Centenary Declaration can guide action to support recovery from the pandemic and build a better world of work.



Not sure whether to choose online or in-person school? Here's how to decide

Not sure whether to choose online or in-person school? Here’s how to decide

Struggling with whether to take the online or in-person route once school resumes?

I hear you. Most of us want our kids in brick-and-mortar schools, but still … there are concerns.

Maybe, like me, you have a spouse with an underlying condition, or you rely on a caregiver with one. Maybe you’re concerned about teachers’ health, or about the health of the wider community.

The novel coronavirus is unlikely to make most kids severely ill. But it remains unclear what role kids play in spreading COVID-19 to family members or others. Some studies suggest that attending school in-person can increase students’ likelihood of transmission; others suggest that school doesn’t play a role.

Meanwhile, there is mounting confusion over when (and how) school will restart. The Trump administration is pressuring schools to reopen fully in person, and as soon as possible.

Arizona has pushed back the start of in-person learning until Aug. 17, though more than 60 school board members are asking the state to delay that until October.

A few schools, like Phoenix Union and Alhambra, are offering only remote learning for the first quarter. But nearly all others – be they urban or rural, district or charter – are asking parents to choose between two learning options.

Some districts even have three: full-time in-person learning, full-time remote learning, and a hybrid model that splits students’ time between the two.

What will daily life look like for kids under these options? Good question. Many of the finer details have yet to be determined.

Yet many schools have set deadlines to choose one (and understandably so – they need to allocate staff for each), leaving many parents bewildered and stressed out about what to do.

I asked a half-dozen superintendents, administrators and education advocates how they would go about making these decisions. Their answers were nearly unanimous:

Schools are working overtime to make school as “normal” for students as possible, no matter which option families choose. But know that even if you go the in-person route, it will not look like school did before the forced shutdowns in March.

There will be no school-wide assemblies. Lunch and recess will come with physical distancing. Desks may now be arranged in rows, or shared tables taped off to help keep kids separated (how well that works, especially for younger kids, is another question). Outside visitors will be limited or prohibited.

As much as some parents may want school to resume just as it was before all of this started, that’s not going to happen. There will be fits and starts. Policies may change – and heck, the whole model could be upended if a school or community experiences an outbreak.

Schools are trying to plan for every contingency. But we’re all going to have to be flexible and know that this won’t be the school we remember, or that our kids were used to.

In a perfect world, we’d have clear guidance to determine our risk and choices that perfectly match our situations. But we don’t live anywhere near perfect.

There will be tradeoffs. I’ll offer our situation as an example: My son is entering kindergarten this year, and while he’s good academically, he really needs the time with other kids. Looking only at that aspect, our school’s full-time in-person option makes the most sense.

But my husband has Type 1 diabetes, and while the risk for him is unclear, we know it is higher than for most folks our age. We aren’t in lockdown, but we’re also choosing to avoid crowded, indoor situations.

It gives me pause to send my son into a classroom of at least 25 kids all day, every day, without masks.

I’m intrigued by our school’s flex option, because class sizes should be smaller and that should help with physical distancing.

But it’s unclear how much kids would really interact in this model, and how much hands-on work they’d get, either online or in the shorter in-person school days (another important consideration for us, because I know how my kid learns best).

There will be tradeoffs, no matter which option we ultimately choose.

The experts I talked to were clear: Do what’s best for your kid and your family.

Start by considering your student’s and your family’s COVID-19 risk, they said, but also your work and child care situations, your child’s learning style (are they more of a self-starter, for example, or do they need someone to help walk them through new material?) and other academic or social-emotional needs.

And don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions, such as how your school plans to notify parents of COVID-19 exposure or what process they’ll follow to quarantine classes or shut down the school.

Again, few schools have all of these details figured out. You may have to make your decision without key pieces of information.

But it’s important to ask the questions – and for schools to communicate what they still don’t know.

Above all, know this: This decision is highly personal. Now is not the time to pressure yourself or shame others for making different decisions.

I get it. We all want to ensure kids are getting a good education. We don’t want them falling behind. The achievement gap and digital divide remain real issues.

I also recognize that even though most schools are offering options, not all families have real choices. The need for child care or school lunches may outweigh all the choices we’d like to make about our health or class sizes or academic offerings.

But we all need a little (OK, a lot) of grace here.

Make the best decision you can with the information at hand, and go to bed at night knowing that’s all you can do.

Reach Allhands at On Twitter: @joannaallhands.

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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ starters making good progress; Nats’ Will Harris is pretty good + night work...

Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ starters making good progress; Nats’ Will Harris is pretty good + night work…

Davey Martinez told reporters on Sunday afternoon that he was changing things up a bit this week and moving workouts to late in the day so his players can get used to the 6:00 hour they’ll play a lot of their home games in during the 60-game MLB season (assuming they actually get to play this year).

“When we start, I think our first game is at 7:05. I want these guys to get accustomed to playing some night games. And also too, it’s been hot. I mean, real hot,” Martinez said.

“Moving some of these games to night we get a little bit of a break from that heat. Give these guys a break. But I want to get used to that playing at night.

“I think maybe Sunday we might play our game at 1:00 again. Just so that they understand, ‘Hey, we’ve got a night game on Saturday we’re going to play a day game on Sunday,’ and get them used to that as well.”

So, get used to getting news and quotes and stuff late in the evening rather than in the late afternoon hour that it’s been coming in over the past few weeks.

Go read your links…

Pitching Stories:

Nationals pitchers progress during Summer Camp – (
“Nationals manager Dave Martinez was happy to welcome back his team for Summer Camp workouts. When he saw his starting pitchers arrive at Nationals Park, that added an extra smile.”

Starters believe they’ll be ready for 90-100 pitches by opener – (MASN)
“[Aníbal] Sánchez was the final member of the projected rotation to face live hitters, but the veteran right-hander looked more ready for the season than any of his teammates.”

#Nats’ lefty Patrick Corbin talked to reporters a little while ago about the process of working towards Opening Day, the protocols in ST 2.0 and more:

Corbin pitches well in simulated game; protocols annoy Thames – (MASN)
“Martinez has worked catcher Raudy Read at first base and moved others around on the infield so they can get some experience at different spots.”

Nationals’ Plan A is for their starters to be ramped up by Opening Day – (NBC Sports Washington)
“The Nationals’ rotation is already approaching pitch counts it wouldn’t normally see until midway through spring training.”

Other Nationals Stories:

Thames working hard on his defense at first base – (MASN)
“I am fortunate to have a couple guys that can DH, [Eric Thames] being one of them. It’s nice. Instead of maybe him not playing one game you can pop him in and let him DH.”

Nats’ Thames on 1B drills: ‘I’m busting my butt’ – (
“’Staying healthy, whether it’s an actual injury or getting sick, that’s the No. 1 priority,’ Thames said on Saturday. ‘It is definitely different right now at first base.'”

Taking a crack at a 30-man opening day roster – (MASN)
“And there’s a whole lot the Nats still need to figure out between now and then. Like who’s going to make the opening night roster.”

Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Howie Kendrick among several Nationals players still not in Summer Camp – (NBC Sports Washington)
“More than a week into the Major League Baseball’s reboot, and its gleefully-named and grotesquely-sponsored Summer Camp, the Nationals are still in wait-and-see mode.”

Nats have contingency plans for missing players – (
“As the July 23 opener against the Yankees nears, the Nats are exploring contingency plans in case their lineup has holes in it.”

Don’t forget about these 5 sleeper moves – (
“Will Harris – He and Aroldis Chapman are the only relievers in baseball to record a 115 ERA+ or better across at least 45 innings in each of the past five seasons.”

Olney — Rob Manfred, Tony Clark should be front and center to answer coronavirus concerns – (ESPN)
“Some teams and players have been able to maintain full focus on baseball, but as the Nationals’ Sean Doolittle explained the other day, being in baseball is emotionally exhausting right now…”

Twelve days from their season-opener, the Astros:

– Have canceled two workouts
– Had Alex Bregman miss another because of delays
– Don’t have their major league pitching staff or pitching coach in camp and are awaiting COVID-19 results on all after a “potential exposure”

Why these seven impending MLB free agents have the most on the line in shortened 2020 season – (
“Adam Eaton – The 31-year-old remains a pesky on-base guy and he hasn’t posted a sub-100 OPS+ since 2013.”

Ron Washington adjusted lifestyle during quarantine, feels safe as MLB… – (
“Braves third base coach Ron Washington, at age 68, is comfortable coaching this season because he has faith in Major League Baseball and himself.”

Notes: Marlins’ roster plans; Villar goes deep – (
“Whichever way the Marlins go, Major League director of player personnel Dan Greenlee and the analytics department will have a say.”

Lack of drama gives Mets reason to ‘believe’ – (NY Post)
“The hurdles to a season remain significant, but it’s OK to recognize small victories while stressing the need to stay vigilant.”

McCutchen ‘all about’ creating positive change – (
“Andrew McCutchen could have tweeted a thought, a picture, a GIF, put down his phone and lived his life. He never considered that. Not then. Not now.”


Author: Patrick Reddington

Facile preparation of patterned silver electrodes with high conductivity, flatness and adjustable work function by laser direct writing followed by transfer process

Facile preparation of patterned silver electrodes with high conductivity, flatness and adjustable work function by laser direct writing followed by transfer process

Laser direct writing (LDW) method is a new technique to prepare high conductive silver electrodes.

The prepared silver electrode has patternable morphology and adjustable work function.

Resin transfer method improves the flatness of silver eletrodes.

With as-prepared silver based ink or as raw materials, the patterned silver electrodes with high conductivity and flatness were fabricated via laser direct writing (LDW) followed by transfer process, and the laser direct writing, work function adjustment and transfer process of silver electrodes were investigated in detail. The silver electrode with a sheet resistance of 0.9 Ω·sq-1 can be obtained after LDW at laser power of 3 W and scanning speed of 2.5 cm·s-1, and the work function can be adjusted by mixing zinc acetate or chlorogold acid into the precursor silver ink. After transfer process, the flatness of the electrodes reaches to 4.2 nm in the range of 1 × 1 μm2. This LDW preparation followed by transfer process is an appropriate approach to prepare high conductive patterned silver electrode for electronic devices.

silver metal electrodes

laser direct writing

transfer method

adjustable work function

© 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V.


College students fume over having to pay full tuition for dubious online learning

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