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Coronavirus Forces $600 Billion Higher Education Industry Online

March 19, 2020 / John Hechinger
SHARESHARESHARE

Packham taught herself two popular software programs for videoconferencing, Zoom and Kaltura. She plans to hold office hours via Skype and produce TikTok videos to explain the importance of food stamps in the current economic crisis. She’s already recorded a video lecture for her 41 students, but is far from satisfied with it. “If I was a student, I would not want to watch this,” she says.America has 1.5 million faculty members, and, like Packham, 70% have never taught a virtual course before, according to education technology researcher Bay View Analytics. To promote social distancing during the pandemic, universities are sending students home en masse to learn on their laptops. In a matter of weeks, as spring breaks end, the $600 billion-plus higher education industry must sudden