NCDA | Career Convergence - The NCDA's monthly web magazine for career practitioners

NCDA | Career Convergence – The NCDA’s monthly web magazine for career practitioners

From DSC:
I like the continuum that I see here:

  • K-12
  • Postsecondary
  • Workplaces
  • Counselors, Researchers, etc.

We ask students in college, for example, to pay an enormous amount of money at a time when they don’t know what’s all out there. Many don’t know themselves yet (I surely didn’t) and they also don’t know what discipline/area/jobs might be a good fit (again, I surely didn’t). We need more seamless transitions from one chapter/phase to another (and sometimes back again). We need more resources for students to find out what’s out there.

This is why I like services like LinkedIn Learning (which was Lynda.com), MasterClass, MOOCs and the like. A person can spend an hour or two (or even less) to see if that class, topic, etc. is of interest to them.

 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 

From DSC:
As the article below clearly relays, MOOCs did NOT fail! In the last decade, they have reached 220 million learners worldwide!

I don’t know the total number of graduates from the Ivy League — throughout all of the relevant institutions’ histories — but I would bet you that MOOCs have reached far more learners. And MOOCs did so in less than a decade. 

And you’re going to tell me MOOCs have been a failure?!!!! Are you being serious!?!?!  You can talk about completion rates all that you want to (and that misses the point, as some people sign up for MOOCs without ever intending to finish the entire course). As with other things, people get out of something what they put into that thing.


A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021 — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpts:

Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.

Originally, MOOC providers relied on universities to create courses. But that dependence is declining as more and more of the courses are created by companies every year. These corporate partners in course creation include tech giants Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

…the majority of the new courses launched on Coursera in 2021 are not from universities anymore.

These mass online courses were born without a business model. Yet within a decade, MOOCs went from no revenue to bringing in well over a half a billion dollars annually.

 

From DSC:
As with many emerging technologies, there appear to be some significant pros and cons re: the use of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)

The question I wonder about is: How can the legal realm help address the massive impacts of the exponential pace of technological change in our society these days? For examples:

Technicians, network engineers, data center specialists, computer scientists, and others also need to be asking themselves how they can help out in these areas as well.

Emphasis below is mine.


NFTs Are Hot. So Is Their Effect on the Earth’s Climate — from wired.com by Gregory Barber
The sale of a piece of crypto art consumed as much energy as the studio uses in two years. Now the artist is campaigning to reduce the medium’s carbon emissions.

Excerpt:

The works were placed for auction on a website called Nifty Gateway, where they sold out in 10 seconds for thousands of dollars. The sale also consumed 8.7 megawatt-hours of energy, as he later learned from a website called Cryptoart.WTF.

NFTs And Their Role In The “Metaverse” — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

Many people would perceive NFTs as mere images of digital artworks or collectibles which they can sell for massive prices. However, the frenzy surrounding digital art in present times has pointed out many new possibilities with NFTs. For example, the NFT metaverse connection undoubtedly presents a promising use case for NFTs. The road for the future of NFTs brings many new opportunities for investors, enterprises, and hobbyists, which can shape up NFT usage and adoption in the long term. 

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are a new class of digital assets, which are unique, indivisible, and immutable. They help in representing the ownership of digital and physical assets on the blockchain. Starting from digital artwork to the gaming industry, NFTs are making a huge impact everywhere.

The decentralized nature of the blockchain offers the prospects for unlimited business opportunities and social interaction. Metaverse offers extremely versatile, scalable, and interoperable digital environments. Most important of all, the metaverse blends innovative technologies with models of interaction between participants from individual and enterprise perspectives. 

From DSC:
How might the developments occurring with NFTs and the Metaverse impact a next-gen learning platform?

—–

Artist shuts down because people keep their work to make NFTs — from futurism.com by Victor Tangermann
NFT theft is a huge problem

Someone is selling NFTs of Olive Garden locations that they do not own — from futurism.com by
And you can mint a breadstick NFT — for free, of course

 

3 major trends affecting ed tech companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
We reviewed what executives said during their latest earnings calls to better understand patterns in the growing sector.

Excerpts:

Earlier on the call, he said Coursera’s entry-level certificates — which are developed by the likes of Facebook, Google, IBM, Intuit and Salesforce — attracted more than 2 million student enrollments since 2018.

“New entrants to the sector, such as corporations and online education companies, will offer genuine competition to traditional colleges, especially as pricing becomes more of a focus,” analysts wrote in the report. 

Several ed tech companies are seeing returns from efforts to work with companies to train their employees.

Officials at Udemy, a major MOOC platform that went public in October, said during a call with analysts in early December that their work with companies now accounts for 39% of their revenue – up from 23% a year ago.

 

From DSC:
I’m not saying not to go there…but one has to be very careful when dealing with cryptocurrencies. As the items below show, you can mess up…big time.

From DSC:
And that bit about the decimal point is key! I tried to locate an article that I recently read that described how one person lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because he misplaced the decimal in his asking price for a cryptocurrency. It was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but he said that his big thumbs got in the way. He mistyped the asking price and hit the Enter key before he recognized his mistake. He sold the cryptocurrency for a fraction of its real value. In that case, one would hope that the buyer would extend some grace and readjust the price. But that didn’t happen in this case. Ouch!


From DSC:
Again, I’m not saying that this area may not represent an enormous new, impactful, prosperous wave to ride. But I need to do a whole lot more learning before I feel comfortable jumping into this ocean.

That said when I read the quote below…I wondered:


 

 

The Humanities May Be Declining at Universities — But They’re Thriving on Zoom — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Throughout the pandemic, versions of this close-reading conversation have taken place week after week. Organized through new nonprofits and small startups including the Catherine Project, Night School Bar and Premise, they bring together adults who want to spend their free time talking to strangers about literature and philosophy.

It sounds at first like an ambitious book club—except for the fact that many of these seminars are organized and led by college professors, some so eager to participate that they do it for free.

“Mostly it’s a way for them to do a kind of teaching they can’t do at their regular jobs,” explains Zena Hitz, founder of the Catherine Project and a tutor (faculty member) at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

From DSC:
I’ve often thought that online-based learning may be the thing that saves the liberal arts (i.e., available throughout one’s lifetime and would be far less expensive). It would be ironic though, as many liberal arts institutions have not been proponents of online-based learning.

 

EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues take an optimistic view of how technology can help create the higher education we deserve —through a shared transformational vision and strategy for the institution, a recognition of the need to place student success at the center, and a sustainable business model that redefines “the campus.”

See the 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Almost two years into a global pandemic, it’s clear the higher education we knew will never return and now we can focus on getting the higher education we deserve.

 


From DSC:
I’m assuming that the we in the we deserve (as highlighted above) includes the students, as *the students* are the ones who most need for things to change.

That said, I’m doubtful such profound change will occur within higher education as it stands today. The existing cultures may prevent such significant and necessary change from occurring — and higher ed isn’t used to dealing with the current exponential pace of change that we’re experiencing. Plus, the downward spirals that many institutions are in don’t always allow for the new investments, programs, and/or experiments to occur. But who knows? When institutions of traditional higher education have their backs pressed up against the walls, perhaps such institutions and the people within them will be forced to change. There are innovative individuals and institutions out there. (I’m just not sure how much they’ve been listened to in many cases.)

To help students truly succeed means to change one’s core products/services — one’s story. But higher ed loves to play around the edges…rarely letting the core products/services get touched. 

To me, student success includes having students pay far less and, while still getting a solid liberal arts education/foundation, can get solid jobs immediately upon graduation. At least that’s my hope as we head into 2022. 

But what student success looks like may be different in the future.

Perhaps in 5 years, we will have moved much more towards a lifelong learning situation. Individuals may have joined a global, next-generation learning platform whereby one teaches for X minutes of the day, and learns for Y minutes of that same day. AI-based dashboards let people know which skills are in high demand, and then offer a menu of choices for how to acquire those skills.

A couple of lasts comments:

  • Being data-driven won’t save an institution. Vision might. But being data-driven has its limits.
  • The digital transformations being talked about within institutions of traditional higher education may be too little, too late. This conversation should have taken place a decade or more ago. (I think I just heard an “Amen!” from some folks who used to work at Blockbuster. They didn’t think a transformation was necessary either….but they learned their lesson the hard way. We should have learned from their situation…a long time ago. And I’m sure that you can think of other examples as well.)

 

VRJAM -- the metaverse platform for music

The VRJAM metaverse platform is coming to transform the world of live entertainment 

VRJAM, the UK’s leading creator of live music experiences in virtual reality, today teased the launch of the VRJAM platform, a revolutionary new metaverse events platform and NFT creation solution. 

To bring the VRJAM metaverse platform to life, VRJAM has partnered with market leading NFT software developer Enjin.io to launch a rich virtual reality world that offers a host of new solutions for artists to render and monetize their music and live shows in amazing new ways using NFT’s, blockchain and immersive technology.  

The VRJAM platform promises to open up completely new ways for both fans and artist to experience live music events and represents the next step in the evolution of live music. 

Ownership of this virtual world will be shared by a guild of globally recognised artists and record labels who will cooperate to create value and define new possibilities for music inside the metaverse. 

VRJAM’s metaverse platform offers solutions for true live performance using technology that is years ahead of other similar platforms. It provides unsurpassed user experience and offers fans, artists and labels an array of unique features:

VRJAM's metaverse -- a vivid virtual world built for music

At the heart of the VRJAM metaverse platform is a blockchain based trading and finance system, VRJAM Coin. This revolutionary new cryptocurrency will create ways for both artists and fans to earn money inside the metaverse and promises to create entirely new business models for artists, venues and labels at a time when their traditional ways of making money have been turned upside down by the Covid 19 pandemic. 

The VRJAM cryptocurrency is backed by investment from 5 of the world’s leading blockchain specialist investment and venture capital firms, demonstrating the exciting potential of VRJAM’s tech.

The VRJAM platform is scheduled to go live in early 2022, follow on social media to stay up to date.


From DSC:
Hmmmmm….might this type of thing spill over into the worlds of teaching and learning? More direct-to-consumer (learner) types of offerings? Will this open up the doors for new methods of earning a living or for  those interested in building a teaching & learning-based brand?

Alternatively, will this impact what actors, actresses, and comedians will be able to do?


Addendum on 12/2/21:


 

Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Professors are experts in their subject matters but many have limited training in actually teaching their students.

Excerpt:

“A lot of faculty are just modeling their instruction after the instruction they’ve received as an undergraduate or graduate student,” says Tanya Joosten, senior scientist and director of digital learning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the lead of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements.

As a perpetually short-on-time adjunct professor, I understand those who worry about mandatory training and required course reviews, but Pelletier stresses that she’s advocating for a more organic shift and that a top-down approach isn’t best. “That’s not as collaborative and generative as really just embracing that we have these two different kinds of experts, one type of expert is an expert in their subject, and the other expert is an expert in teaching and learning,” she says. More attention is needed to meld these two kinds of expertise. 

From DSC:
It’s not just that colleges and universities are big business — if you have any remaining doubts about that perspective, take a moment to look at this new, interactive database to see what I mean. But it’s also that this type of business often rewards research, not teaching. And yet the students over the last several decades have continued to pay ever-increasing prices for skilled researchers, instead of increasingly skilled teachers. 

Healthcare and higher education face similar challenges and transformations -- costs continue to soar

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

Would people put up with this with other types of purchases? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to…would you?  Would we like to pay for something that we aren’t getting — like paying for all the extra options on a new car, but not getting them?

What goes around, comes around.
But by allowing this to have occurred, a backlash against the value of higher education has been building for years now. In many learners’ minds, they are questioning whether it’s worth taking on (potentially) decades’ worth of debt. At a minimum, the higher the price of obtaining degrees and/or other credentials becomes, the less Return on Investment (ROI) is realized by the learners (i.e., the purchasers of these goods and services). So while getting a degree is often still worth it, the ROI is going down.
And this doesn’t address how relevant/up-to-date the educations are that these learners are receiving, which the employers out there will take issue with.

From an Instructional Designer’s perspective, it isn’t just time that’s the issue here. There continues to exist a tiered hierarchy within higher education. Faculty see themselves as more knowledgeable because they are teaching and because they are the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). But they are not expert teachers. Many full-time faculty members don’t listen to people who are knowledgeable in the learning science world, and they often don’t value that expertise. (This can be true of administrators as well.) But when a fellow faculty member (i.e., their “true peer” from their perspective) suggests the same idea that Instructional Designers have been recommending for years, they suddenly open their eyes and ears to see and hear this seemingly new, wonderful approach.

Some possible scenarios
Thus, a wave has been building against traditional institutions of higher education — readers of this blog will have picked up on this years ago. Once alternatives significantly hit the radar — ones that get the learners solid, good-paying jobs — there could be a mass exodus out of what we think of as traditional higher education. At least that’s one potential scenario.

For example, if a next-generation learning platform comes along that offers teams and individuals the ability to deliver lifelong learning at 50% or more off the price of an average degree, then be on the lookout for massive change. If professors and/or teams of specialists — those who are skilled in instructional design and teaching —  can go directly to their learners — it could be an interesting world indeed. (Outschool is like this, by the way.) In that scenario, below are two potential methods of providing what accreditation agencies used to provide:

  • Obtaining the skills and competencies being requested from the workplace to “pass the tests” (whatever those assessments turn out to be)
  • Voting a course up or down (i.e., providing crowd-sourced rating systems)

Other possible scenarios
Another scenario is that traditional institutions of higher education really kick their innovation efforts into high gear. They reward teaching. They develop less expensive methods of obtaining degrees. They truly begin delivering more cost-effective means of obtaining lifelong learning and development “channels” for educating people.

And there are other possible scenarios, some of which I could think of and many I would likely miss. But to even ask the solid and highly-relevant question as plainly stated in the article above — Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — that is something that must be dealt with. Those organizations that use a team-based approach are likely to be able to better answer and address that question.

 

2022 Top 10 IT Issues -- from Educause

2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

From DSC:
Time will tell which institutions have the prerequisite culture of innovation that will help reinvent themselves, stay relevant, and survive. 

And for people (who have worked in higher education for years) who don’t like to see learners as customers…well…when those learners are often paying $100,000-$250,000 or more for a four-year degree, those folks don’t have much say or credibility any longer. The price increases that they never stepped in to stop from occurring have forever changed the learning ecosystems within higher education. The idea of supporting  the perspective that says:

Well, we’re proud (and content) that our institution will have the lowest price increase in X (where X is a city, state,  or geographic region)
or
We’re proud that our institution will have the lowest price increase within our group of similar/comparative institutions.

…well, that type of perspective hasn’t cut it for years now. But the danger of that status quo perspective is only becoming apparent to many now that one’s very survival is at stake.


Addendum/also see:


 

 

Can MasterClass teach you everything? — from newyorker.com by Tad Friend

Can MasterClass teach you everything?

Malala Yousafzai on set. Though the site’s C.E.O., David Rogier, says, “Learning is uncomfortable,” the shoots are lavish. Photograph by Lewis Khan for The New Yorker

Excerpt:

When MasterClass launched, in 2015, it offered three courses: Dustin Hoffman on acting, James Patterson on writing, and Serena Williams on tennis. Today, there are a hundred and thirty, in categories from business to wellness. During the pandemic lockdown, demand was up as much as tenfold from the previous year; last fall, when the site had a back-to-school promotion, selling an annual subscription for a dollar instead of a hundred and eighty dollars, two hundred thousand college students signed up in a day. MasterClass will double in size this year, to six hundred employees, as it launches in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. It’s a Silicon Valley investor’s dream, a rolling juggernaut of flywheels and network effects dedicated to helping you, as the instructor Garry Kasparov puts it, “upgrade your software.”

 

Higher Education Needs to Move Toward Mass-Personalization — from fierceeducation.com by Susan Fourtané

Excerpt:

Every industry, from health sciences to marketing to manufacturing, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate the delivery of mass-personalization, yet education has been slow in its adoption. These smart systems create personalized solutions targeted to meet the unique needs of every individual.

Artificial Intelligence-based technologies have the potential of serving as tools for educators to provide personalized learning. However, for mass-personalization to work, institutions first need to align their leadership. In his feature session What Is It Going to Take to Move from Mass-Production to Mass-Personalization?, during the recent Online Learning Consortium virtual event, Dale Johnson, Director of Digital Innovation at Arizona State University, addressed the issue of mass personalization in higher education.

Johnson reinforced the idea that with mass-personalization professors can deliver the right lesson to the right student at the right time.

Mass-personalization software does not replace the professor. It makes the professor better, more focused on the students.

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian