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

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

IBL News | New York

The Covid-19 coronavirus is prompting major tech conferences around the world to pull out of their events.

Yesterday, Facebook announced the cancelation of its biggest event of the year, the F8 conference, over coronavirus-outbreak concerns and “in order to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put the event on,”  said the company in a statement.

The conference, scheduled to be held in San Jose on May 5-6 with an attendance of 5,000 people, will be replaced by “a combo of locally hosted events, videos, and live-streamed content,” Facebook said without providing further details.

The cancelation highlights how the Covid-19 or coronavirus –which has infected so far over 81,000 people and killed more than 2,700, mostly in China– is causing widespread disruption.

In the case of Facebook, the company recently pulled out of the March 9 Global Marketing Summit, a 5,000-person marketing conference held in San Francisco. In addition, the company said its supply chain for hardware has been disrupted and its employees have been told not to travel to China. Meanwhile, employees who have visited China are being asked to work from home, according to Bloomberg.

Facebook’s announcement followed other high-profile cancellations, including Microsoft and Unity which pulled out of the Game Developers Conference scheduled for March 16 to 17 in San Francisco.

In addition, Workday on Wednesday announced the cancellation of its March 2 sales conference. Two weeks ago, the Mobile World Congress, the largest trade show for mobile phones, was canceled in Barcelona.

San Francisco in State of Emergency

The San Francisco Bay Area has some of the highest travel rates to and from China when compared to other regions in the US. On Tuesday, the mayor of San Francisco declared the city to be in a state of emergency, although there are still zero confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the city.

The question now whether other major conferences on tech and education as well will do the same. Google and Apple are also scheduled to have major conferences in the San Francisco Bay Area in May and June, respectively. For now, Google has confirmed that it is currently planning to host its I/O conference on May 12 to 14 in Mountain View.


South by Southwest  (SXSWEdu), the largest upcoming edtech conference, that attracts over 30,000 people, said it plans to continue with the event on March 13 to 22, although it recognizes having “a handful of cancellations.”

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

IBL News | New York

MIT released a practical, free, eight-week-long course that provides resources and tools to plan a career path in the age of increasing dominance of artificial intelligence.

The course, Shaping Work of the Future, is available through MITx on edX and may be accessed at any time of the year. So far, over 17,000 learners have enrolled in the class.

Participants are eligible to sign up and receive an MITx Certificate upon completion.

Now in its sixth year, Shaping Work of the Future, has added new content, such as case studies and lectures from MIT’s leading technology and workplace academics. This year’s partnerships include, among others, the World Economic Forum and the International Labor Organization.

“The course goes beyond the headlines and focuses instead on what steps we can actually take to impact the future of work along with future-proofing our own skillset,” said the authors.

The key to this year’s new content are findings from the initial report by the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future with a focus on how to improve the quality of jobs, reduce income inequality and provide opportunities for long-term career success for everyone in the labor force, a case study on Optimax Systems, Inc.’s innovative management philosophy built on three key pillars, and lastly, a discussion on the ways participants can bring their ideas to fruition around the creation of a new social contract.

Co-designers of the course includes Thomas Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and the co-director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research, and Elisabeth Reynolds, executive director of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future and the MIT Industrial Performance Center.

Kochan has contributed two new lectures on “High Road Business Practices” and “The Role of Government” to the curriculum. Meanwhile, Dr. Reynolds’s contributed lectures on “Geography of Work” and “Policy Recommendations from the Task Force.”

David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, added a new lecture on “Work of the Past: Work of the Future”.

“If we take the right actions, we can empower workers to build rewarding careers and shape the future of work in ways that meet the needs of individuals, families, economies, and societies,” said Prof. Kochan. “To do so, we first need to understand how work is changing, how firms can compete and prosper while still supporting good jobs, how to update the policies, institutions, and practices governing the world of work, and then outline a path for everyone to help build a new social contract. That’s what this course is all about!”

Session topics are:

Class 1: Challenges & Opportunities for Work: Today and Tomorrow

Class 2: The Past Century of Work

Class 3: How Emerging Technologies are Changing Work

Class 4: Rethinking Skills and Education

Class 5: The Role of Business in Shaping Work

Class 6: The Role of Labor in Shaping Work

Class 7: The Role of Civic Institutions and Government in Shaping Work

Class 8: Putting it all Together: Social Contract Phase 2 and Developing a Personal Impact Plan




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