Stanford Cancels Two Weeks of Classes. University of Washington and Seattle Make a Similar Decision

IBL News | New York

In response to the expanding outbreak of the coronavirus, Stanford announced late Friday that the school will cancel in-person classes for the final two weeks of the winter quarter, beginning Monday, March 9. Several large-group events at the university are also being adjusted or canceled.

“To the extent feasible, we will be moving classes to online formats in place of in-person instruction,” said Provost Persin Drell in a statement. “Any winter quarter final exams that were scheduled to be administered in person will need to be administered in take-home format, complying with university rules for such exams,” he added. Though classes will not be meeting in person, the university will remain open.

Also, Stanford University is canceling the in-person Admit Weekend event, for prospective undergraduates who have been or will be offered admission to Stanford, scheduled for the weekend of April 23-26.

Stanford launched the website with resources to assist and further guidance instructors. Canvas LMS will be the main instructional platform.

On a separate note, school officials announced that a faculty member who works in a clinic tested positive for the coronavirus, although he didn’t stay in the work environment since experiencing symptoms. The university notified people who might have been exposed and requested that they self-isolate.

Hours before on Friday, The University of Washington became the first university in the U.S. to announce that it would halt in-person classes and exams, in hopes that that will slow the spread of the coronavirus. “As of March 9, 2020, classes and finals on all three campuses (Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma) will not be held in person for the remainder of winter quarter, which ends March 20,” said  Provost Mark Richards in a statement“We plan to resume normal class operations when spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance.”

Hours later, Seattle University made a similar decision. To support efforts by public health agencies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region, Seattle University announcing that beginning Monday, March 9, classes will no longer be held in person through winter quarter, March 20.

Stanford University’s website with the response to COVID-19.

The City of Austin Cancels SXSW March Festival and Plans a Virtual Conference

IBL News | New York

The SXSW famous educational and film festival in Austin, Texas, was canceled today, as the city declared a local disaster due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The move came after many big-name companies and entertainers pulled out of the conference, along with a petition signed by tens of thousands of people calling for the festival to be canceled.

Mayor Steve Adler, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Dr. Mark Escott of the Interim Health Authority and Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden, made the announcement this Friday.

Dr. Escott said the decision to cancel SXSW was made after weighing options to mitigate the risk of the disease. He said factors such as the close proximity of participants and attendance of international guests led officials to cancel the event entirely.

City officials announced that all other upcoming events outside of SXSW will also be evaluated by Austin Public Health officials for a disease mitigation plan.

“We are devastated to share this news with you,” SXSW said in a statement. “The show must go on is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of the unprecedented situation.”

The festival and conference said it was already “exploring options to reschedule and provide a virtual SWSW online experience as soon as possible participants.”


More News about SXSW

Apple, Netflix and Ozzy Osbourne Join Other Big Names Taking a Pass on SXSW 2020 in Austin

IBL News | New York

As coronavirus cases spiked across the U.S., Apple, Netflix, and CNN/WarnerMedia joined yesterday a number of big-name companies pulling out of SXSW in Austin –which runs March 13 to 22.

In addition, entertainers such as Ozzy Osbourne, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, among others, canceled their appearances and events amid ongoing fears of coronavirus.

The 71-year-old rocker Ozzy Osbourne was scheduled to attend the conference to support the world premiere screening of A&E’s forthcoming “Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne,” a two-hour special set to air this summer.

Still planning to attend as keynote speakers were Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, philanthropist Lauren Powell Jobs, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and singer Janelle Monae, among others.

Despite pressure mounting from Coronavirus concerns, the Austin biggest festival organization team ensured yesterday is proceeding as planned. “We are working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event, proceeding with safety as a top priority,” a representative explained.

“We’ve had persons investigated across the state for the past six weeks, and none of those individuals have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Mark Escott.

The SXSW conference yearly draws about 10,000 educators and business leaders to Austin, Texas, each March.

Here’s a list of companies that have pulled out of SXSW so far:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • China Gathering
  • Mashable
  • TikTok
  • Amazon Studios
  • Vevo
  • SAP
  • The Latinx House
  • Netflix
  • Apple
  • WarnerMedia
  • Capital Factory



SXSW Will “Proceed as Planned” Despite Public Pressure to Cancel Over the Virus

IBL News | New York

SXSW (South by Southwest), the annual edtech, film, and music conference in Austin, “will proceed as planned”, despite concerns about the coronavirus, Austin public health officials said during a press conference this Wednesday.

“Right now there’s no evidence that closing South by Southwest or other activities is going to make this community safer,” said Dr. Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health“Today the threat of community spread in Austin remains low, however, we are prepared for it to happen here.”

On Tuesday, Mark Escott said at least one person in Travis County was being tested for COVID-19.

SXSW’s economic impact of last year’s event on the city was estimated to be $355.9 million, according to a report paid for by SXSW.

The organizers behind SXSW, which is scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 22, had come under intense public pressure in recent days to cancel the event.

Several high-profile organizations such as Facebook, Amazon Studios, Twitter and Intel had dropped out, and a petition on calling for the cancellation garnered more than 43,000 signatures.

Austin city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak involves convening a panel of health officials, including local physicians and infectious disease experts, to evaluate how the virus is affecting Austin. 



Facebook, Intel and Twitter Pulling Out of SXSW. Educause’s ELI, NVIDIA’s GTC and Google IO Canceled

IBL News | New York

Facebook, Twitter, Intel, Capital One, and TikTok, among other big-name companies, pulled out of its presence at the 2020 South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, yesterday, amid concerns of the coronavirus spread.

In addition, a petition calling for the cancellation of the two-week event garnered more than 35,000 signatures. 

However, the SXSW festival, scheduled for March 13, is still on. The organization refuses to cancel due to the impact on the economy of Austin, experts told IBL News.

Also in Houston, Texas, the CERAWeek Energy Conference (March 9-13) was canceled.

Another high-profile educational event, Educause’s ELI, in Bellevue, WA, was canceled. Some participants gathered together to hold an unconference that might involve some face-to-face participation.

As the fear of coronavirus continues to grow, two more companies, Google I/O and Nvidia removed their annual events.

Google sent out an email to all attendees informing them of the decision. I/O 2020 was set to be held from May 12th to the 14th at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California

Nvidia decided to shift its GTC 2020 on March 22-26 in San Jose, California, to an online event. Company’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang will still deliver a keynote address, which will be available exclusively by streaming video. [Updates of the event]

More than 80,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and more than 60 of those cases are in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Harvard University epidemiologist, Marc Lipsitch, said that as much as 70 percent of the world’s population could get the coronavirus. He added that 1 percent of those who develop symptoms could die.

NVIDIA Issues a Free Certificate Course About AI Video Analytics on Its ‘Deep Learning Institute’ Platform

IBL News | New York

NVIDIA launched this month a free, eight-hour course about AI on Jetson Nano hosted on its Deep Learning Institute (DLI) platform.

This instructional ecosystem usually features certificate courses priced at $30 or $90, attracting hundreds of thousands of paid learners.

The “Getting Started with DeepStream for Video Analytics on Jetson Nano” course teaches “how AI-based video understanding can unlock insights, whether it’s recognizing a cat in your backyard or optimizing customers’ shopping experiences,” say the authors.

In this online course, learners will use JupyterLab notebooks on Jetson Nano to build projects that extract meaningful insights from video streams through deep learning video analytics.

Upon completion, students will be able to build a DeepStream application to identify and classify cars and count people in a crowded scene, while obtaining an NVIDIA certificate.

“It’s important that all developers, particularly young people and those from under-represented communities, have opportunities to learn about AI and contribute to, and benefit from, the AI ecosystem if they wish,” wrote Greg Estes, VP of Corporate Marketing and Developer Programs at NVIDIA.

[Disclosure: NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute is powered by IBL Education]




edX & Platforms | March 2020: Purdue, MIT, Open edX, Coursera, Udacity, OER…

Newsletter format  |  Click here to subscribe ]


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2020 – NEWSLETTER #25  |  Breaking news at IBL News  |  Noticias en Español


Open edX

• Provides an Overview of the Features of Its Open edX-Based Science Platform

• A Purdue Program for High School Students Assures Admission by Passing Five CLEP Exams

• Moravian College Explains How They Are Building Their Online Programs With a Non-OPM Partner



• A Practical Course from MIT on edX Teaches How to Shape Your Future in the Age of AI

• UT Austin Launches a Top Master’s Degree on Nutritional Sciences on



• Coursera Introduces an Annual Subscription Plan for Learners Similar to Its Business and Campus Offering

• Imperial College Launches a Free Course Explaining the Science Behind the Response to the Coronavirus



• Udacity Releases a Program for Executives Looking to Incorporate AI into their Businesses

• Founder of Udacity Attracts Silicon Valley Investors to His AI-Based Call-Center Startup



• A Powerful Tool to Author OER for Building Lessons, Modules, and Assignments

• A Visual Tool That Enhances Vocabulary Instruction Was Awarded at the LearnLaunch Competition


2020 Upcoming Events

• Education Calendar  –  MARCH  |  APRIL  |  MAY  |  JUNE  |  JULY – DEC  |  Conferences in Latin America & Spain


This newsletter is created in collaboration with IBL Education, a New York City-based company specialized in open-source learning platforms. Read the latest IBL Newsletter   |  Archive of Open edX Newsletters

“Some Schools May Shut Down Due to the Coronavirus,” Says The White House

IBL News | New York

For the first time, the U.S. schools brace for a coronavirus disruption.

The Department of Education announced the creation of a task force to prepare for the possible impacts of the coronavirus.

Betsy DeVos, the U.S. secretary of education, said at a congressional hearing Thursday that Mitchell “Mick” Zais, the deputy secretary, will lead the task force.

A web page provides the latest guidance for schools on the disease.

Federal public health officials have urged schools to brace for more cases of the virus in the U.S.

On Fridayduring the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, warned of potential school shutdowns.

“Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. May you see impacts on public transportation? Sure. But we do this. We know how to handle this,” Mulvaney said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that K-12 schools across the country develop contingency plans for school dismissals and closures, as well as the continuation of classes online.

President Donald Trump said during a news conference on Wednesday that “schools should be preparing and get ready, just in case.”


Universities Cancel Study Abroad Programs

On the other hand, a growing list of American universities has canceled study programs in China,  South Korea, and Italy–with 374 cases and 12 deaths–, as the virus spreads.

In addition, most of them urged students or employees who are currently on university business in those countries to return to the US immediately.

This a partial list of the universities and programs impacted, according to CNN:

  • Elon University has suspended its program in Florence, Italy, for the semester.
  • Fairfield University has immediately closed its Florence University of the Arts study abroad program and required all students enrolled in the program to depart Italy.
  • Florida International University canceled study abroad programs to Italy, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.
  • New York University canceled classes at NYU Florence.
  • Syracuse University suspended its program in Florence and is working to assist its students with returning to the U.S.
  • University of Tennessee suspended all spring and summer education abroad programs in both China and South Korea.


The New York Times: How to Prepare for the Coronavirus

Learning At Scale | February 2020: Coronavirus, ASU, MIT, Instructure, Cornerstone, Udemy…

Newsletter format  |  Click here to subscribe ]

FEBRUARY 2020  –  NEWSLETTER #31  |  Breaking news at IBL News  |  Noticias en Español


Coronavirus’ Outbreak

• Time to Cancel Your Ed Conference? Facebook Pulls Out of Its Biggest Event; Microsoft Follows

• The World’s Largest Smartphone Conference Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

• International Education Will Be Disrupted by the Coronavirus Travel Ban

• UMass Boston Student Contracted the Coronavirus; 100 at Princeton University Self-Quarantined

• Over 25,000 ASU Students Demand to Cancel Classes Due to a Coronavirus Case on Campus


Higher Ed

• Michael Crow Gets a $30 Million Gift from State Farm to Fund a Workforce Development Program at ASU

• The Annual Jupyter Conference Is Back – It Will Take Place on August 10-14 in Berlin, Germany

• MIT Donates the $850,000 Received from Epstein and Suspends Prof. Seth Lloyd


Corporate Business

• Cornerstone OnDemand Acquires Saba for $1.4 Billion

• Udemy Claims a Valuation of $2 Billion and Announces 5,000 Corporate Clients

• Course Hero: $100M in Revenue, 1M Subscribers, and a Valuation of $1.1 Billion

• Canadian EdTech Top Hat Raises $55M Trying to Disrupt the Textbook Industry

• Has 2U Turned the Corner? Quarterly Reports Show Improved Revenue and the Stock Surges 11%


Instructure / Canvas LMS

• Instructure’s CEO Steps Down and the Board Approves a Tender Offer to Acquire All Outstanding Shares

• Thoma Bravo Raises Its Offer for Instructure to $49 Per Share, but Investors Might Demand a Higher Price

• Instructure’s Shares Fell 3% Amid Concerns that the $2 Billion Takeover from Thoma Bravo Will Fail

Dissident Investors Are Likely to Derail the Instructure Transaction Unless They Get an Improved Offer


2020 Upcoming Events

• Education Calendar  –  MARCH  |  APRIL  |  MAY  |  JUNE  |  JULY – DEC  |  Conferences in Latin America & Spain


This newsletter is created in collaboration with IBL Education, a New York City-based company specialized in open-source learning platforms. Read the latest IBL Newsletter   |  Archive of Open edX Newsletters

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