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New tech should support student and faculty needs, campus innovation officials say

Universities need to develop strategies to ensure technology is being used to support change and solve institutional problems, education technology officials said during Educause's annual conference. Implementing technology simply because it's new and shiny, though, won't address students' and institutional needs as well as a thought-out strategic plan Betsy Foresman has the details.

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UCLA creates hate-crime tracker

Researchers at the UCLA American Indian Studies Center recently launched an interactive hate-crime map to help track incidents across the U.S. The map, which will collect hate-crime data from submissions by people who have experienced such crimes and through news sources, is intended to supplement reporting on hate crimes and increase awareness for them, according to an announcement made by the researchers last week. “Ultimately, we hope it contributes to ending hate crimes against anyone,” said Shannon Speed, director of the American Indian Studies Center. Betsy has more.

UC Berkeley builds pop-up wastewater lab to aid local public health agencies in COVID-19 response

The University of California, Berkeley set up a temporary laboratory where it is testing sewage water to spot signs of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the university announced last week. University leaders said the new high-throughput pop-up lab is helping health officials collect data on where the virus may be spreading, circumventing some of the limitations of testing people individually. “Wastewater naturally pools the waste from hundreds to even millions of people in a single sample, so if you can collect a representative sample of wastewater and analyze it, you can gain a tremendous amount of information that you likely couldn’t gain through testing people individually," said Kara Nelson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. Learn more about the lab here.

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