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Podcast: The Three Digital Waves of Higher Ed in a Pandemic

Fernando Bleichmar, general manager of higher education and skills at Cengage, discusses a new survey Cengage conducted surrounding the response and impact of Covid-19 from the perspectives of administrators and faculty. 

“At Cengage we normally serve over 100,000 faculty in a year with digital, over 5 million students. In those two weeks alone, we had to set up new courses for faculty for over 10,000 faculty, serving over half a million students. So what that tells me is that this first wave, what we saw, was people doing the best they could as quickly as they could. So it’s not a fundamental digital evolution. It is more of a triage of doing the best they can as quickly as they can to deliver through the semester,” Bleichmar explains. 

Beyond this first wave, faculty and administrators are developing ways to connect with students and keep them engaged. Then higher ed institutions are developing "nerve centers," central groups that are planning how to move forward during the pandemic and advance digital learning.

Listen to the podcast here.

This podcast is created and produced by higher education experts Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn.  Selingo, a FutureEd senior fellow and former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, is special advisor and professor of practice at Arizona State University, and a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities. Horn is chief strategy officer for the Entangled Group, an education investment firm,  and a senior partner at Entangled Solutions, an education consulting company.  Selingo and Horn can be contacted here. Future U is supported by the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, a partnership between Arizona State University and Georgetown University, and by Entangled Solutions.