Will a “Google PhD” become as good as a university-granted PhD? — from rossdawson.com by Ross Dawson

Excerpt:

A fundamental issue now is the degree to which employers care about the piece of paper as against the knowledge and capability. That is rapidly shifting as companies realize they will often miss out on exceptionally talented people if they insist on formal qualifications.

Entrepreneurs of course only care whether they have the knowledge to do what they’re undertaking.

It is a shifting landscape. Traditional advanced degrees have their place and will not disappear.

But “Google PhDs” will in some cases be as good, if they result in an equivalent level of expertise.

 

Changing the narrative on degree requirements — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Paul Fain; with thanks to Ryan Craig (I believe) for this resource
An ad campaign from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council will call on employers to drop the “paper ceiling” and hire more skilled workers without four-year degrees.

Excerpt:

A new national advertising campaign will seek to influence employers to look beyond the four-year degree in hiring, with the message that a “paper ceiling” holds back half the U.S. workforce.

The ads from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council are slated to start running in September. With slick production and some big corporate partners, including Walmart and Google, the campaign is designed to nudge hiring managers across the country to make good on the growing number of pledges from company C-suites, state capitals, and the White House to drop barriers for skilled job seekers who lack bachelor’s degrees.

This group of more than 70M Americans includes community college graduates, experienced workers, veterans of the U.S. military, and completers of job training programs or alternatives to college, according to the nonprofit Opportunity@Work. The ads will celebrate these workers, which the group says are skilled through alternative routes (STARs).


Also relevant, see:

Americans support student loan forgiveness, but would rather rein in college costs — from npr.org by Cory Turner; with thanks to Bryan Alexander for posting this on LinkedIn

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Erasing old debts vs. fixing the system
In one of the poll’s most unexpected findings, respondents were asked to choose which sentence they agreed with more:

    1. “The government should prioritize making college more affordable for current and future students”
    2. “The government should prioritize forgiving some debt for those with existing student loans”

A whopping 82% said the government’s priority should be making college more affordable for current and future students. Just 16% believed forgiving student debts should take priority.

What that tells me is that, while student loan forgiveness for some is seen as a good proposal and a short-term fix, where we actually need to go from here is true, systematic change,” Newall says.

 

Facebook Seems to Be Adding Video-Course Features. For Edtech, That Raises Old Fears. — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpts:

The tech giant Meta, widely known under its previous name Facebook, seems to be eyeing a way to allow users to offer video classes.

Since at least last year, Meta has experimented with Facebook Classes, a program designed to make online instruction through its platform smoother. A consultant recently noticed a company announcement about the features in the U.K. version of the platform and shared a screenshot on Twitter.

The company did not respond to questions about the program. But recent reports have speculated that the company could “bootstrap an online course ecosystem.”

Meta’s learning offering could be most trouble for other tech behemoths like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams, according to some speculations.

Either way, Meta’s possible entrance into the market plays into a long-standing fear of big tech in the edtech industry.

 

From DSC:
Inflation way up. Real wages way down. Not a good mix for higher education. And faculty members aren’t the only ones impacted here. These developments may cause the rise of additional alternatives to institutions of traditional higher education out there. 


One of the resources mentioned in Isha Trivedi’s article out at The Chronicle of Higher Education that’s entitled “Faculty-Pay Survey Records the Largest One-Year Drop Ever” was this one:

The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2021-22 — from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

Key Findings (emphasis DSC):
Provisional results were released in early April 2022, including summary tables and institution-level datasets. Key findings include:

  • From 2020–21 to 2021–22, average salaries for full-time faculty members increased 2.0 percent, consistent with the flat wage growth observed since the Great Recession of the late 2000s.
  • Real wages for full-time faculty fell below Great Recession levels in 2021, with average salary falling to 2.3 percent below the 2008 average salary, after adjusting for inflation.
  • Real wages for full-time faculty members decreased 5.0 percent after adjusting for inflation, the largest one-year decrease on record since the AAUP began tracking this measure in 1972.
  • In 2021–22, 97.2 percent of full-time faculty members were covered by retirement plans, a 2.8 percentage point increase from 2020–21.
  • Institutions reported full-time faculty salaries for women that are 81.9 percent of those for men in 2021–22, on average. The gender pay gap is greatest at the full professor rank.
  • From 2019–20 to 2021–22, the number of full-time women faculty members increased 1.6 percent, compared with a 2.5 percent decrease for men.
  • In 2020–21, average pay for adjunct faculty members to teach a course section ranged from $2,979 in public associate’s institutions without ranks to $5,557 in public doctoral institutions.
  • In fall 2020, about three in five (61.5 percent) faculty members were on contingent appointments.

Also relevant, see:

 

100 Universities established an OPM, Bootcamp or Pathways partnership in Q1 2022 — from holoniq.com
Bootcamps are directing more resources B2B and B2G, OPMs are growing existing partnerships further and evolving their technology and healthcare programs.

Excerpt:

Higher Education, like the broader economy, is awkwardly emerging from an almost exclusively digital, isolated and stimulus fuelled environment into… well it’s not clear yet. University Partnerships continued to be established at pace through Q1 2022, albeit at a much slower rate than through 2021.



Also relevant/see:

College contracts with OPMs need better oversight, watchdog says — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Excerpt from Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Education should strengthen oversight of colleges’ relationships with companies that help them launch and build online programs, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an auditing agency for Congress.

Addendum on 5/11/22:


 

Coursera launches skills training academy for colleges and companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Experts say the move could help the company strengthen its focus on selling courses to colleges rather than consumers.

Excerpts:

Coursera, like other popular MOOC platforms, has made its name by bringing online classes to the masses. But lately, the company has been expanding efforts to provide these offerings to colleges and employers rather than solely to consumers.

The company doubled down on that strategy Wednesday, when it announced the launch of a career training academy that enables users to earn entry-level certificates from companies like Meta and IBM in fields such as data analytics, social media marketing and user experience design. Institutions — including colleges, businesses and government organizations — can sign up to make the platform available to their students or employees.

The move signals a shift in strategy for the company. While Coursera is still focused on delivering courses directly to consumers, it’s also been building out its offerings to colleges and employers. This business segment includes Coursera for Campus, which allows colleges to use the platform’s content in their classes. 


From DSC:
For those who think MOOCs have come and gone:

Coursera has been using academic content created by universities for years to build its audience, amassing some 97 million users by the end of last year, according to its latest earnings report. 


Addendum on 5/11/22:

 

From DSC:
After seeing the item below, I thought, “Hmmm…traditional institutions of higher education better look out if alternatives continue to gain momentum.” Perhaps it’s wise to double down on efforts to gather feedback from students, families, parents, businesses, and other stakeholders in the workplace regarding what they want and need — vs. what the faculty members of institution ABC want to teach.


A Third of U.S. College Students Consider Withdrawing — from news.gallup.com by Stephanie Marken

Excerpt:

Editor’s Note: The research below was conducted in partnership between the Lumina Foundation and Gallup.

About a third (32%) of currently enrolled students pursuing a bachelor’s degree report they have considered withdrawing from their program for a semester or more in the past six months. A slightly higher percentage of students pursuing their associate degree, 41%, report they have considered stopping out in the past six months. These are similar to 2020 levels when 33% of bachelor’s degree students reported they had considered stopping out and 38% of associate degree students said the same.

 

The rise of alternative credentials in hiring — from shrm.org; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
Increasingly, U.S. workers are turning to alternative credentials as a way to enhance and demonstrate skills and work readiness. But can certifications, badges and apprenticeships stand in for traditional education and work experience when seeking a new job?

Excerpts:

Alternative credentials can be defined as any microcredential, industry or professional certification, acknowledgment of apprenticeship (registered or nonregistered), or badging that indicates one’s competencies and skills within a particular field. Alternative credentials do not include traditional academic degrees or required occupational licensures.

However, one potential barrier to employers’ wider recognition of alternative credentials is actually a technical one. Automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) frequently don’t pick up on them, because often there is still no standard approach to collecting this information as systems do for traditional education and work experience. Only one-third of HR professionals whose organizations use automated prescreening say this prescreening even recognizes alternative credentials. Such inconsistency offers a clear direction for both HR and the providers of applicant screening tools to improve the ways alternative credentials are captured in the application process.

 

Why One University Is Moving Toward a Subscription Model — a podcast from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

One big theme in education-innovation circles is that the professional world is changing faster than ever, and so schools and colleges must adjust how they teach to meet those needs.

One college in St. Louis, Maryville University, is embracing that argument in a big way by revamping its curriculum and even changing its business model to include options like a subscription model—with the goal of helping its students get good jobs after graduation.

“By the end of this decade or before, students should pay for higher ed the way they pay for Netflix or their cell phone bill,” Lombardi says.

From DSC:
I thought this was an interesting conversation and I agreed with much of what Mark Lombardi, President of Maryville University, had to say. 

I appreciated Jeff’s attempts at trying to get Mark to hear that “learning styles” aren’t supported by the research. I wish Mark would have used the word “preferences” instead…as I do think learners have preferences when it comes to them learning about new topics.

 

 

The Future Trends Forum Topics page — from forum.futureofeducation.us by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

The Future Trends Forum has explored higher education in depth and breadth. Over six years of regular live conversations we have addressed many aspects of academia.

On this page you’ll find a list of our topics.  Consider it a kind of table of contents, or, better yet, an index to the Forum’s themes.

Also see:

Since we launched in early February, 2016, the Forum has successfully published three hundred videos to YouTube.  Week after week, month by month, over more than six years we’ve held great conversations, then shared them with the world, free of charge.

 

This new organization wants to accredit career education — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
The Workforce Talent Educators Association will focus its quality assurance on outcomes, says its chief accreditation officer and managing director.

Excerpt:

A new nonprofit organization, the Workforce Talent Educators Association, is attempting to use the accreditation model to push for strong career education programs and degrees — and to serve as a stamp of quality for them.

That’s no easy task. The career education space is filled with a range of traditional college degrees as well as other options like certificate programs, stackable credentials, badges and apprenticeships. Plus, data on student outcomes for programs in the space can be confusing, lagging and limited.

Also from highereddive.com see:

 

Now we just need a “Likewise TV” for learning-related resources! [Christian]

Likewise TV Brings Curation to Streaming — from lifewire.com by Cesar Aroldo-Cadenas
And it’s available on iOS, Android, and some smart TVs

All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

Entertainment startup Likewise has launched a new recommendations hub that pulls from all the different streaming platforms to give you personalized picks.

Likewise TV is a streaming hub powered by machine learning, people from the Likewise community, and other streaming services. The service aims to do away with mindlessly scrolling through a menu, looking for something to watch, or jumping from one app to another by providing a single location for recommendations.

Note that Likewise TV is purely an aggregator.


Also see:

Likewise TV -- All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

 


From DSC:
Now we need this type of AI-based recommendation engine, aggregator, and service for learning-related resources!

I realize that we have a long ways to go here — as a friend/former colleague of mine just reminded me that these recommendation engines often miss the mark. I’m just hoping that a recommendation engine like this could ingest our cloud-based learner profiles and our current goals and then present some promising learning-related possibilities for us. Especially if the following graphic is or will be the case in the future:


Learning from the living class room


Also relevant/see:

From DSC:
Some interesting/noteworthy features:

  • “The 32- inch display has Wi-Fi capabilities to supports multiple streaming services, can stream smartphone content, and comes with a removable SlimFit Cam.”
  • The M8 has Wi-Fi connectivity for its native streaming apps so you won’t have to connect to a computer to watch something on Netflix. And its Far Field Voice mic can be used w/ the Always On feature to control devices like Amazon Alexa with your voice, even if the monitor is off.
  • “You can also connect devices to the monitor via the SmartThings Hub, which can be tracked with the official SmartThings app.”

I wonder how what we call the TV (or television) will continue to morph in the future.


Addendum on 3/31/22 from DSC:
Perhaps people will co-create their learning playlists…as is now possible with Spotify’s “Blend” feature:

Today’s Blend update allows you to share your personal Spotify playlists with your entire group chat—up to 10 users. You can manually invite these friends and family members to join you from in the app, then Spotify will create a playlist for you all to listen to using a mixture of everyone’s music preferences. Spotify will also create a special share card that everyone in the group can use to save and share the created playlist in the future.


 

Reflections on “Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?” [Bohnke]

From DSC:
Christin Bohnke raises a great and timely question out at edsurge.com in her article entitled:
Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?

Christin does a wonderful job of addressing the possibilities — but also the challenges — of using blockchain for educational/learning-related applications. She makes a great point that the time to look at this carefully is now:

Yet as much as unchangeable education records offer new chances, they also create new challenges. Setting personal and academic information in stone may actually counter the mission of education to help people evolve over time. The time to assess the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain technology is right now, before adoption in schools and universities is widespread.

As Christin mentions, blockchain technology can be used to store more than formal certification data. It could also store such informal certification data such as “research experience, individual projects and skills, mentoring or online learning.”

The keeping of extensive records via blockchain certainly raises numerous questions. Below are a few that come to my mind:

  • Will this type of record-keeping help or hurt in terms of career development and moving to a different job?
  • Will — or should — CMS/LMS vendors enable this type of feature/service in their products?
  • Should credentials from the following sources be considered relevant?
    • Microlearning-based streams of content
    • Data from open courseware/courses
    • Learning that we do via our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and social networks
    • Learning that we get from alternatives such as bootcamps, coding schools, etc.
  • Will the keeping of records impact the enjoyment of learning — or vice versa? Or will it depend upon the person?
  • Will there be more choice, more control — or less so?
  • To what (granular) level of competency-based education should we go? Or from project-based learning?
  • Could instructional designers access learners’ profiles to provide more personalized learning experiences?
  • …and I’m certain there are more questions than these.

All that said…

To me, the answers to these questions — and likely other questions as well — lie in:

  1. Giving a person a chance to learn, practice, and then demonstrate the required skills (regardless of the data the potential employer has access to)
    .
  2. Giving each user the right to own their own data — and to release it as they see fit. Each person should have the capability of managing their own information/data without having to have the skills of a software engineer or a database administrator. When something is written to a blockchain, there would be a field for who owns — and can administer — the data.

In the case of finding a good fit/job, a person could use a standardized interface to generate a URL that is sent out to a potential employer. That URL would be good for X days. The URL gives the potential employer the right to access whatever data has been made available to them. It could be full access, in which case the employer is able to run their own queries/searches on the data. Or the learner could restrict the potential employer’s reach to a more limited subset of data.

Visually, speaking:


Each learner can say who can access what data from their learner's profile


I still have a lot more thinking to do about this, but that’s where I’m at as of today. Have a good one all!


 

Census Bureau Releases New Educational Attainment Data — from census.gov; with thanks to The Chronicle of Higher Education for this resource

Excerpt:

FEB. 24, 2022 — Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released findings from the Educational Attainment in the United States: 2021 table package that use statistics from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement to examine the educational attainment of adults age 25 and older by demographic and social characteristics, such as age, sex, race and nativity.

Also from The Chronicle, see:

Higher Ed 101: The Credential Cluster — from futureupodcast.com with Sean Gallagher, Michael Horn, and Jeff Selingo

Higher Ed 101: The Credential Cluster

 

 

Universities reimagine teaching labs for a virtual future — from edtechmagazine.com by Renee Morad
Schools are replacing take-home lab kits with more advanced virtual options that allow students to access industry-grade equipment.

Excerpt:

Soon after, engineering professors at Morgan State began using more advanced virtual lab options, which allowed students to access industry-grade lab equipment. The students could use an oscilloscope, a digital multimeter, a power supply and a function generator. The students logged on remotely to a cloud-based platform and followed the instructor’s video feed to get real-time guidance and feedback.

As the global pandemic forced professors and department chairs to adapt to a new learning frontier, it shined a spotlight on new methods to remotely replicate the in-person lab experience. It shifted the university lab from a traditional learning center to a futuristic innovation hub.

From DSC:
Also interesting here, see:

Keysight University courses will advance your knowledge of precision digital and RF measurement approaches, the latest industry standards, compliance, power, and more.

Also relevant here, see:

  • U San Diego Nursing Students to Learn Clinical Skills in VR — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly
    Excerpt:
    The University of San Diego is rolling out virtual reality technology in its nursing curriculum to help prepare students for real-world clinical scenarios. The VR tools will enable students to learn and practice clinical skills in a low-risk setting, as well as reduce their anxiety when interacting with live patients, according to a news announcement.
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian