WCET Article Digest – Topic


  • Year Published : 2023
  • Month Published : January

EXAMPLE Articles


Here’s a look at which colleges are blocking TikTok
Many departments on college campuses use TikTok to help recruit students or to show off campus events. Lately, several higher education institutions across the nation have been blocking TikTok on government-issued devices due to privacy concerns. Buzzfeed reported last summer that employees from ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about U.S. TikTok users. They also tracked the physical location of several Forbes journalists. At least 19 states have banned TikTok, and some institutions have blocked access to it on their wireless networks. President Joe Biden outlawed TikTok on any federal government device. Will a TikTok ban impact student recruitment at colleges and universities? Source: Higher Ed Dive

Georgia awards $234M in federal cash for rural broadband
Between different rounds of COVID-19 aid, money from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and private investments, more than $1.5 billion is being given to Georgia to construct broadband internet for rural locations. These grants will provide service to around 77,000 locations in 28 counties. Around 209,000 homes and businesses will have the ability to subscribe to high-speed service. The new download and upload speeds will be 100 megabytes per second. Internet providers are strongly encouraged to provide a low-cost option, and they must participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity program that gives a $30 discount to qualifying households. How will policies like this expand higher education to rural communities? Source: Georgia Public Broadcasting

DOJ Agreement with UC Berkeley Over Digital Content Accessibility Could Have Huge Impact on IHEs
A consent decree between the Justice Department and the University of California (UC) Berkley may have broader implications for higher education institutions with free online content and courses that are not completely ADA compliant. People with disabilities have not been able to fully access online materials from UC Berkley for years. This consent decree will give equal access to people with disabilities who want to participate in and access the same online educational opportunities as people without disabilities. They will have equal access to free online courses, conferences, lectures, performances, and more. The Justice Department declared this recent news as a huge win for people with disabilities. Source: Campus Technology

U.S. to Review Rules on Accreditation, Distance Education and More
The Education Department will hold a series of negotiated rule-making sessions to propose new rules concerning accreditation, distance education, and student loan deferments. The White House plans to move aggressively to continue to influence higher education in the second half of President Biden’s term. Executive actions could be the most substantial source of policy modifications at the federal level. Politicians will explore topics like TRIO programs, Title IV, and state authorizations. They plan to propose to amend the definition of distance education. Do you think they will broaden or narrow the definition of distance education? In your opinion, how is distance education defined? Source: Inside Higher Ed

Access and Accessibility Articles

Southern University to Boost VR Teacher Training, Broadband Access
Southern University will expand broadband internet while creating interactive VR spaces with a $6.2 million grant. It hopes to close the digital divide by creating a K-12 workforce pipeline to engage middle school teacher candidates, educators, and university faculty and students. Not only will this grant provide better internet, but it will also increase accessibility for many students who might not have thought about attending college. Since Southern University was the first institution in Louisiana that Black teachers could attend, the institution is thrilled to continue its legacy of accessibility by leading the way with broadband access and technology. Source: GovTech

Outgoing governor’s early college expansion plans get financial boost
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a $5 million funding infusion to expand early college programming through five STEM Tech Career Academies. More students can earn an associate degree or industry-related credential at no cost. Massachusetts has a program that allows high school students to accrue college credit during all four years of high school. Instead of ending free access to community college classes after high school, students can receive two more years of science or technical classes for free. This initiative also helps to extend access to STEM fields to women and students of color. Along with increasing access to higher education for students, this initiative will also meet the needs of the employer community. Source: WBUR News

Want to support women in tech? Let them lead
Only 25% of employees are women at large tech companies. Nearly 60% of women in the tech field are expected to change jobs, and 20% are considering leaving the workforce. Many believe that it is a gender equality at work issue because firms continue to choose male tech entrepreneurs over women. The tech industry must create a level playing field for female employees, put them in senior leadership positions, and change how employees talk and think to help mitigate deeply rooted stereotypes. Tech leaders can progress toward gender equity by measuring their percentage of women in leadership, implementing family-friendly policies, holding all leaders to the same standards, and ensuring job postings don’t alienate women. What percentage of employees are women in tech fields at your institution? Source: Fast Company

Increasing Access to Upskilling and Professional Development
Many higher education institutions strive to promote lifelong learning and facilitate success beyond the classroom. With an increase in demand for non-traditional learning and online learning, access to quality educational resources is vital. Public libraries provide opportunities for individuals to upskill and further their professional development and are great partners for colleges and universities. Colleges can provide lifelong learning opportunities through quality online learning platforms that public libraries have access to. Gale Presents: Udemy is a common digital learning platform that provides over 19,000 on-demand video courses to Texan public library cardholders. Does your public library have access to online professional development? Source: Fierce Education

State receiving federal funds to establish a statewide comprehensive broadband program
North Dakota will receive at least $100 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for broadband internet. This program is different because North Dakota will be responsible for running it, not the federal government. The program has strong partnerships between the federal, state, local, and tribal governments. Since North Dakota has many rural areas, this funding will increase internet access for thousands of people. Everyone deserves to have equal access to telehealth, online education, and other services available via the internet. Source: Prairie Public Broadcasting

DOD to Establish Digital Academy to Expand Cyber Workforce
The Department of Defense (DOD) is establishing a digital academy to close the cybersecurity skills gap in the U.S. military. The Department of Defense Cyber and Digital Service Academy will give scholarships to college students in exchange for five years of service working at the Pentagon. This program will increase access to cyber and digital service training by offering free tuition, books, laboratory expenses, and other school fees. Participants will receive financial assistance for completing their internships while earning their degrees. Source: ExecutiveGov