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Courses in race relations and Christmas cookies

Arizona State University will offer free online classes — more than 200 of them — to students, professors and the public over its winter break, which begins next week. The virtual programming, which will make up ASU’s “Innovation Quarter,” aims to keep students engaged over the holidays with courses on social justice, resume building and cookie decorating. In addition to providing additional online education opportunities, the university is also using the program as a marketing tool to showcase the university to the general public.     Betsy Foresman has more.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

K-12 cyberattacks are growing, CISA warns

More than half of all ransomware attacks against state and local government entities reported over the past few months have targeted K-12 school systems, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said Thursday in an alert released in conjunction with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. According to the advisory, 57% of ransomware incidents reported to the MS-ISAC in August and September — when new academic years began — affected school districts, compared to 28% in the first seven months of the year. And ransomware events against schools have continued to tick up since September. Benjamin Freed has the full story on StateScoop.

Sac State's 'Chill Cloud'

California State University, Sacramento has launched a virtual hangout space for students, staff and faculty to combat social isolation during COVID-19 pandemic. Such virtual spaces have become a growing trend in higher education as administrators seek ways to continue the social aspects of their campuses, despite many campuses remaining largely closed by the health crisis. Sac State's hangout, called Chill Cloud, has attracted students to form activities including open mic nights for poets and performers, virtual yoga, story-telling nights and cooking parties. Betsy has the details.

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