HBS Online: Why Harvard Business School’s digital rebrand is big news for online learning — from businessbecause.com by Seb Murray
Name change from HBX to Harvard Business School Online symbolizes a maturing market. We speak to Patrick Mullane, executive director of HBS Online, to find out more

Excerpt:

At first glance, it may have seemed like an inconsequential name change: Harvard Business School’s digital learning platform HBX would be called HBS Online.

But commentators have billed the recent rebrand as having the potential for a big impact on online education. For one, the makeover could help to further legitimize the market.

Online learning was initially considered second-rate to campus study, due to concerns about teaching quality and interactivity online. Nitin Nohria, the dean of HBS, saying in 2010 that the school would never go online in his lifetime, appeared to confirm the scepticism.

But he has since admitted he ‘misjudged the potential of online education’ and is…

 

From DSC:
This is very old hat…but those who haven’t taught online should not judge online teaching and learning. If I gave you the writeups from my students from a class that I have taught in both a face-to-face format as well as in an online format — where I ask them what they learned during the class — I swear that you could not tell which documents represented those courses taught online vs. those taught face-to-face. I guarantee it. So as the saying goes…don’t judge it if you haven’t tried it.

Oh…and by the way, many of the innovations in teaching and learning are happening in the digital/virtual realm. Not all, but many. And we haven’t seen anything yet. 

 

 
 

The moral issue here — from law21.ca by Jordan Furlong

Excerpt:

“I’m not worried about the moral issue here,” said Gordon Caplan, the co-chair of AmLaw 100 law firm Wilkie Farr, according to transcripts of wiretaps in the college admission scandal that you’re already starting to forget about. Mr. Caplan was concerned that if his daughter “was caught …she’d be finished,” and that her faked ACT score should not be set “too high” and therefore not be credible. Beyond that, all we know from the transcripts about Mr. Caplan’s ethical qualms is that “to be honest, it feels a little weird. But.”

That’s the line that stays with me, right through the “But” at the end. I want to tell you why, and I especially want to tell you if you’re a law student or a new lawyer, because it is extraordinarily important that you understand what’s going on here.

So why does any of this matter to lawyers, especially to young lawyers? Because of that one line I quoted.

“I mean this is, to be honest, it feels a little weird. But.”

Do you recognize that sound? That’s the sound of a person’s conscience, a lawyer’s conscience, struggling to make its voice heard.

This one apparently can’t muster much more than a twinge of doubt, a feeling of discomfort, a nagging sense of this isn’t right and I shouldn’t be doing it. It lasts for only a second, though, because the next word fatally undermines it. But. Yeah, I know, at some fundamental level, this is wrong. But.

It doesn’t matter what rationalization or justification follows the But, because at this point, it’s all over. The battle has been abandoned. If the next word out of his mouth had been So or Therefore, Mr. Caplan’s life would have gone in a very different direction.

 

 

 

MIT has just announced a $1 billion plan to create a new college for AI — from technologyreview.com

Excerpt:

One of the birthplaces of artificial intelligence, MIT, has announced a bold plan to reshape its academic program around the technology. With $1 billion in funding, MIT will create a new college that combines AI, machine learning, and data science with other academic disciplines. It is the largest financial investment in AI by any US academic institution to date.

 

From this page:

The College will:

  • reorient MIT to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study at MIT, allowing the future of computing and AI to be shaped by insights from all other disciplines;
  • create 50 new faculty positions that will be located both within the College and jointly with other departments across MIT — nearly doubling MIT’s academic capability in computing and AI;
  • give MIT’s five schools a shared structure for collaborative education, research, and innovation in computing and AI;
  • educate students in every discipline to responsibly use and develop AI and computing technologies to help make a better world; and
  • transform education and research in public policy and ethical considerations relevant to computing and AI.

 

 

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White House Launches AI.gov — from nextgov.com by Brandi Vincent

Excerpt:

All the federal government’s initiatives and resources around artificial intelligence can now be accessed on one dedicated website, AI.gov, which the White House launched today.

“It’s a real hub for all the AI projects being done across the agencies,” Michael Kratsios, the U.S. deputy chief technology officer within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told attendees of The Economist’s artificial intelligence event in Washington.

 

 

The “third, and probably the most important” priority is a sharp focus on supporting the American worker. He said the government needs to address the impacts that the rise of automation and artificial intelligence will have on the economy and workforce. “We need to make sure that the American worker is prepared for the jobs of the future,” he said. “And we need to make sure [workers] are reskilled and retrained for [evolving jobs] and that there’s a pipeline of AI talent that continues to be the fuel for the next great discoveries.”

 

 

 

ABA TECHSHOW 2019 is in the books, and the reviews are in — from techshow.com

Excerpt:

ABA TECHSHOW 2019 wrapped up on Saturday, March 2, with the now-traditional 60 Tips in 60 Minutes presented by ABA TECHSHOW Co-Chairs Lincoln Mead and John Simek, and Co-Vice-Chairs Heidi Alexander and Catherine Sanders Reach.

It would be difficult to say it any better than legal tech blogger and the host of the Start-Up Alley pitch competition, Bob Ambrogi, who opined that “(a)fter 33 years, the ABA TECHSHOW remains relevant and essential.” Bob’s reflections on ABA TECHSHOW, including that it struck the right balance of programs and vendors, and offered a range of educational sessions from basic to innovative, were echoed many times in conversation with attendees, from long-time veterans to first-timers.

Yes, it was cold in Chicago – to some of us from naturally warmer climes, bitterly cold – but the buzz of excitement from the 15 start-ups that competed in Wednesday night’s Start-Up Alley competition, the over 40 vendors brand new to TECHSHOW, and the stellar national faculty more than made up for that. Nicole Black, technology evangelist of MyCase, captured the exciting vibe in her blog.

Dan Lear in a reflective post speculated whether it is time to take the “tech” out of TECHSHOW considering growing technology knowledge. Mike Whelan suggested a more interactive, personalized experience might work better. An ABA TECHSHOW highlight was keynote speaker Betsy Ziegler, CEO of the technology and innovation incubator 1871, who enthralled and captivated the audience shocking them with the fact that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish.

Looking for more takeaways? Check this summary from Sensei Enterprises, or this one from Jeff Richardson, aka iPhoneJ.D.. or TECHSHOW take-aways from Attorney at Work. The ABA Journal extensively covered ABA TECHSHOW, as did the Legal Talk Network and Above the Law.

 

 

Is Thomas Frey right? “…by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet.”

From a fairly recent e-newsletter from edsurge.com — though I don’t recall the exact date (emphasis DSC):

New England is home to some of the most famous universities in the world. But the region has also become ground zero for the demographic shifts that promise to disrupt higher education.

This week saw two developments that fit the narrative. On Monday, Southern Vermont College announced that it would shut its doors, becoming the latest small rural private college to do so. Later that same day, the University of Massachusetts said it would start a new online college aimed at a national audience, noting that it expects campus enrollments to erode as the number of traditional college-age students declines in the coming years.

“Make no mistake—this is an existential threat to entire sectors of higher education,” said UMass president Marty Meehan in announcing the online effort.

The approach seems to parallel the U.S. retail sector, where, as a New York Times piece outlines this week, stores like Target and WalMart have thrived by building online strategies aimed at competing with Amazon, while stores like Gap and Payless, which did little to move online, are closing stores. Of course, college is not like any other product or service, and plenty of campuses are touting the richness of the experience that students get by actually coming to a campus. And it’s not clear how many colleges can grow online to a scale that makes their investments pay off.

 

“It’s predicted that over the next several years, four to five major national players with strong regional footholds will be established. We intend to be one of them.”

University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan

 

 

From DSC:
That last quote from UMass President Marty Meehan made me reflect upon the idea of having one or more enormous entities that will provide “higher education” in the future. I wonder if things will turn out to be that we’ll have more lifelong learning providers and platforms in the future — with the idea of a 60-year curriculum being an interesting idea that may come into fruition.

Long have I predicted that such an enormous entity would come to pass. Back in 2008, I named it the Forthcoming Walmart of Education. But then as the years went by, I got bumbed out on some things that Walmart was doing, and re-branded it the Forthcoming Amazon.com of Higher Education. We’ll see how long that updated title lasts — but you get the point. In fact, the point aligns very nicely with what futurist Thomas Frey has been predicting for years as well:

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider. (source)

I realize that education doesn’t always scale well…but I’m thinking that how people learn in the future may be different than how we did things in the past…communities of practice comes to mind…as does new forms of credentialing…as does cloud-based learner profiles…as does the need for highly efficient, cost-effective, and constant opportunities/means to reinvent oneself.

Also see:

 

 

Addendum:

74% of consumers go to Amazon when they’re ready to buy something. That should be keeping retailers up at night. — from cnbc.com

Key points (emphasis DSC)

  • Amazon remains a looming threat for some of the biggest retailers in the country — like Walmart, Target and Macy’s.
  • When consumers are ready to buy a specific product, nearly three-quarters of them, or 74 percent, are going straight to Amazon to do it, according to a new study by Feedvisor.
  • By the end of this year, Amazon is expected to account for 52.4 percent of the e-commerce market in the U.S., up from 48 percent in 2018.

 

“In New England, there will be between 32,000 and 54,000 fewer college-aged students just seven years from now,” Meehan said. “That means colleges and universities will have too much capacity and not enough demand at a time when the economic model in higher education is already straining under its own weight.” (Marty Meehan at WBUR)

 

 

A Chinese subway is experimenting with facial recognition to pay for fares — from theverge.com by Shannon Liao

Excerpt:

Scanning your face on a screen to get into the subway might not be that far off in the future. In China’s tech capital, Shenzhen, a local subway operator is testing facial recognition subway access, powered by a 5G network, as spotted by the South China Morning Post.

The trial is limited to a single station thus far, and it’s not immediately clear how this will work for twins or lookalikes. People entering the station can scan their faces on the screen where they would normally have tapped their phones or subway cards. Their fare then gets automatically deducted from their linked accounts. They will need to have registered their facial data beforehand and linked a payment method to their subway account.

 

 

From DSC:
I don’t want this type of thing here in the United States. But…now what do I do? What about you? What can we do? What paths are open to us to stop this?

I would argue that the new, developing, technological “Wild Wests” in many societies throughout the globe could be dangerous to our futures. Why? Because the pace of change has changed. And these new Wild Wests now have emerging, powerful, ever-more invasive (i.e., privacy-stealing) technologies to deal with — the likes of which the world has never seen or encountered before. With this new, rapid pace of change, societies aren’t able to keep up.

And who is going to use the data? Governments? Large tech companies? Other?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally pro-technology. But this new pace of change could wreak havoc on us. We need time to weigh in on these emerging techs.

 

Addendum on 3/20/19:

  • Chinese Facial Recognition Database Exposes 2.5 Million People — from futurumresearch.com by Shelly Kramer
    Excerpt:
    An artificial intelligence company operating a facial recognition system in China recently left its database exposed online, leaving the personal information of some 2.5 million Chinese citizens vulnerable. Considering how much the Chinese government relies on facial recognition technology, this is a big deal—for both the Chinese government and Chinese citizens.

 

 

Six global banks sign up to issue stablecoins on IBM’s now-live Blockchain Network — from cointelegraph.com by Marie Huillet

 

 

From DSC:
For the law schools, relevant lawyers, legislators, and judges out there…how soon before you are addressing blockchain-related issues, questions, and topics? My guess…? Sooner than you think.

 

 

Huge study finds professors’ attitudes affect students’ grades — and it’s doubly true for minority students. — from arstechnica.com by Scott Johnson

Excerpt:

Instead, the researchers think the data suggests that—in any number of small ways—instructors who think their students’ intelligence is fixed don’t keep their students as motivated, and perhaps don’t focus as much on teaching techniques that can encourage growth. And while this affects all students, it seems to have an extra impact on underrepresented minority students.

The good news, the researchers say, is that instructors can be persuaded to adopt more of a growth mindset in their teaching through a little education of their own. That small attitude adjustment could make them a more effective teacher, to the significant benefit of a large number of students.

 

Along these lines, also see:

 


 

 

Genesis 1:1 — from biblegateway.com
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

 

 

From DSC:
And He did/does/will do AWESOME work!

 

 

Higher Education’s 2019 Trend Watch & Top 10 Strategic Technologies — from EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR)

Most Influential Trends

  • Growing complexity of security threats
  • Student success focus/imperatives
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Increasing complexity of technology, architecture, and data
  • Contributions of IT to institutional operational excellence
  • Each of these trends is influential at 63% or more of colleges and universities. And, they are enduring—these are the same trends that exerted the most influence on IT strategy in 2018.

 

 

713% growth: Legal tech set an investment record in 2018 — from forbes.com by Valentin Pivovarov

Excerpt:

Among other things, this is due to the relevance of e-Discovery as one of the most popular destinations in the whole legal tech industry.

 

Also see:

Future law school. What does it look like? — from forbes.com by Valentin Pivovarov

Excerpt:

Can technology upgrade legal education?
If we are promoting a society where everyone feels enfranchised, we must come up with ways to democratize access to legal education.

To speak about access to legal education in the US, only a small sliver of American citizens can afford to get a legal education at a university. Even part-time degree programs typically extend over four years and require three to four nights a week of extensive study time on top of lengthy commutes.

Also, a significant percentage of the country’s population doesn’t live within commuting distance of a law school.

 

We are at the beginning of a gigantic world trend in law schools and universities, investing major resources in technological solutions to ensure that future lawyers will exhibit competitiveness and a high level of training. Already, at least 10% of US law schools teach knowledge related to the use of AI. Their number will increase as law schools begin to more effectively implement technologies in the practice of applying current legislation.

 

 

4 key tech strategies for the survival of the small liberal arts college — from campustechnology.com by Kellie B. Campbell
In a recent study on the use of technology to reduce academic costs in liberal arts colleges, four distinct themes emerged: the strategic role of IT; the importance of data; the potential of alternative education delivery modes; and opportunities for institutional partnerships. Here’s how IT leaders at these small colleges understand the future of their institutions.

Excerpt:

In this study, the flexibility of the semi-constructed interview format resulted in a fascinating level of honesty and bluntness from participants. In particular, participants’ language changed when they were asked to take off their professional hat and consider a new point of view — it was a chance to be vulnerable and honest. What was probably most interesting was that almost everyone signaled that the status quo is not sustainable. Something in the higher education model has to change for institutions to stay open, yet many lack a strategy for effecting change. Even if they do have a strategy in place on the business side, many are hesitant to dive into analysis and change on the academic side of the institution.

Institutions simply cannot continue to nibble at the edges of change. Significant change is needed in order to sustain the financial model of higher education. The ideas for doing so are out there, though the work must be guided by the institutional mission and consider new models for delivering education. CIOs and their departments can play an important role in that work — providing infrastructure, data, access, services and ideas — but institutional leadership at large needs to understand IT’s strategic role and position the organization to make that impact.

When participants were able to think about the “what if” question — what if the institution were forced to drastically cut academic costs — several had detailed, “out there” ideas that might not be traditionally welcomed into higher education cultures. Yet a number of participants were not being asked by their institutions to think about such ideas. The question is, if everyone agrees that the status quo is not sustainable, why aren’t they thinking about it?

 

 

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