Coronavirus campus closures top 220—and keep growing
Coronavirus had compelled more than 220 colleges and universities had canceled in-person classes, asked students to go home and shifted to online education in some form as of Thursday, according to a crowdsourced Google doc.
All institutions in the University of North Carolina System will transition to an indefinite period of online education by March 23. All gatherings of 100 or more people will be been canceled or postponed.
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The Univesity of Colorado Boulder is also shifting to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester, and Chancellor Philip DiStefano has also asked employees to work from home, though residence halls, dining halls, the libraries, student recreation centers and other facilities will remain open.
The University of Maryland is winding down operations and has asked students leaving for spring break not to expect to return to campus until at least April 10. The university will deliver all courses online starting March 30.
Utah’s three largest institutions—The University of Utah, Utah State University and Weber State University—are canceling classes, The Salt Lake City Tribune reported.
Coronavirus raises equity concerns
The rapid pace of closures, and the shifts online, have some in higher ed reminded campus leaders to continue to support students who may not have ready access to computers and connectivity.
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“These kinds of remote solutions have the effect of doubling down on inequalities that are already in the system, and that’s going to be even more true when it happens, unexpectedly, mid-semester,” Kate Antonova, an associate professor of history at Queens College in New York, told WIRED.
“I’ve already surveyed my students, and I definitely have students who have no internet-connected devices at home,” Antonova told WIRED. “And I have even more students who have a smartphone but are paying for their own data, so they wouldn’t be able to stream long lectures.”
Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times took a look at some of the awkward momentsUSC and UCLA students experienced as they adjusted to online education this week.