5 reasons why legal tech matters — from lawyer-monthly.com by Colin Bohanna

Excerpt:

5. Technology can improve access to justice
Using technology can help to increase access to justice in a number of ways. The increased adoption of videoconferencing technology seen during the pandemic has had a positive impact on those who have traditionally struggled to access legal services. That includes those living in rural areas, who may not live in proximity to a lawyer qualified to deal with their specific matter; those working in precarious situations that may not enable them to travel to meet a lawyer or who may have family- or elder-care responsibilities; and people with disabilities who may have mobility issues that make travel difficult.

Tech can also play an essential role in the support of legal aid. We know there’s a perception that the level of paperwork, admin, and invoicing requirements means the burden of conducting legal aid is high. As Clio is committed to transforming the legal industry, we offer a legal aid solution as part of our practice management software at no extra cost in order to increase access to justice, for all. It helps to cut legal aid processes drastically so that legal aid providers can focus on their client work and make legal aid work more financially viable.

Also relevant/see:

Top 10 Legal Operations Trends in 2022. — from jdsupra.com

Key legal operations trends for 2022

1. Growing legal operations teams
2. Formalizing the legal operations function
3. Implementing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program
4. Finding new ways to improve processes
5. Insourcing more work
6. Strengthening vendor management
7. Expanding the use of data analytics tools
8. Increasing technology investments
9. Strengthening the law department’s technology acumen
10. Improving data security

 

The state of teaching and learning in K12 — from Instructure

What began as an unplanned shift to remote learning two years ago has grown into a movement—a transformation, really—that has given way to a more measured approach to intentionally designed digital learning. The adoption of new educational technologies and instructional strategies has evolved teaching and learning as we know it at an unprecedented pace.

The state of teaching and learning in K12

TOC for the state of teaching and learning in K12

 

4 Trends to Watch in Education — from caitlintucker.com by Caitlin Tucker

Excerpt:

Last month, I delivered a keynote on the future of education. It’s a vast topic, so I focused on four trends likely to impact our work as educators.

  1. Continued growth in blended and online learning.
  2. Districts confront record-high teacher turnover.
  3. Students continue to struggle with trauma and learning loss.
  4. Increased concerns about equity and access.

As school leaders prepare for the 2022-2023 school year, these four trends can help them identify district priorities and create a strategic plan for the year ahead.

Also see:

What is “unschooling”? My Reflection Matters believes “it takes a village” — from ctpublic.org (Connecticut) by Katie Pellico and Luch Nalpathanchil

Excerpt:

Families are asked to log their “exit” from public school with the state agency. There were 550 exits reported in 2019, and that number rose to “around 3,500 in 2020.” By 2021, that number was at 2,300, though the Department of Education notes “students who have not returned to school by October 1 could still have returned to school any day after that for the remainder of the year.”

14 QUICK WAYS TO TECH-UP YOUR CLASSROOM — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

With technology becoming a more significant part of the classroom, you might feel that incorporating tech-enabled tools into your classroom is a difficult job, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of useful and fun apps out there that can help you bring technology into your classroom in a way that’s both entertaining and engaging.

Young learners are always surrounded by and exposed to technology, and it’s something that they have a natural affinity for. That’s why technology can be a useful educational tool to boost learner engagement and content retention.

Here are 14 easy ways that you can incorporate tech into your class…

5 Tips for Tackling Classroom Redesigns — from techlearning.com by Ellen Ullman
Creating learning spaces that are accessible for students with specific needs almost always leads to positive outcomes for all learners

 

Designing for Autism, ADHD, and More: Representing Neurodivergence — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Judy Katz

Excerpt:

Understanding inclusion from a neurodiversity perspective has both a DEI component (addressed in this article), and an accessibility component (addressed in the two articles to come in this series). As learning and development professionals, applying both is not just about accommodating impairment or staying compliant with the ADA. It’s about unlocking the talents that diverse neurotypes bring.

Positives of neurodivergence
One of the best things you can do to lead to greater acceptance of neurodivergence in the workplace is to learn and reinforce to others that neurodivergent brains are often different in positive ways, despite broad negative stereotypes. Here are some examples, but remember, not all traits apply to all individuals; if you know one neurodivergent, you know one neurodivergent.

#autistics #ADHD #Aspergers #neurodivergence #DEI


Also from learningsolutionsmag.com:

Automation, AI Will Advance—and Challenge—Learning Leadership — by Markus Bernhardt

Excerpt:

The current momentum of change, seen across all sectors and industries, is unparalleled in magnitude and speed; both are accelerating. The need for businesses to adapt has arguably never been more pressing, while challenges continue to grow at an increasing pace.

The digital revolution has arrived, and we already find ourselves in the thick of it. For learning and development (L&D), the time has come that deploying automation will be key. When we look at other departments within organizations, we can no longer imagine how marketing, sales, finance, or HR would fare without automation. Here, automation has celebrated some huge successes, gathering momentum as available technology is deployed more broadly. The results are increasing efficiencies, accuracy, and speed, and at scale.

This article introduces a short series on automation and AI and their impact on L&D.


 

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSLEXIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

For most kids of school age, recognizing letters and learning to pronounce them comes as easy as possible. However, for children living with Dyslexia, it is typically an uphill task to achieve. Dyslexia is a reading disorder that impedes a child’s early academic development by significantly decreasing the ability to process graphic symbols, especially where it concerns language. Such children may struggle with language development before school age and experience difficulties learning to spell when they eventually enroll in school. Some symptoms commonly exhibited by dyslexic children include reversed letter and word sequences, weak literacy skills, and poor handwriting.

In all these, the good news for parents and educators with dyslexic children in their care is that with early diagnosis and suitable accommodations, they can learn to read like the other children.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSCALCULIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

If you have a child struggling with basic math skills and you’ve done everything else to resolve the situation yet it persists, the child might be suffering from Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a learning disorder typified by an inability to grasp basic math skills. The peculiar thing about this learning disorder is how it seems only to concern itself with foundational math skills. Lots of people living with this disorder will go on to learn advanced mathematical principles and concepts without any problems. Although manifestations of Dyscalculia will differ from person to person, another symptom commonly associated with the disorder is visual-spatial struggles or difficulty in processing what they hear.

It does not matter whether you are a parent or a teacher; if you are looking for the right accommodations needed to aid students with Dyscalculia, you have come to the right post. These are some steps you can take both in the classroom and at home to ease learning for students with Dyscalculia.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSNOMIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

When kids struggle with recalling words, numbers, names, etc., off the top of their heads without recourse to a visual or verbal hint, they might likely be suffering from Dysnomia. Dysnomia is a learning disability marked by an inability to recollect essential aspects of the oral or written language.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSGRAPHIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Like most learning disabilities, Dysgraphia makes learning difficult for students. In this case, this learning disorder is peculiar to handwriting and motor skills proficiency. Students living with Dysgraphia can suffer from problems ranging from forming letters accordingly, transferring their thoughts onto paper, tying their shoelaces, and zipping a jack. It is pretty standard that Dysgraphia sufferers compensate for their struggles with handwriting by developing remarkable verbal skills. However, this disorder is prone to misdiagnosis. It is due to a lack of sufficient research on the subject.

As a parent or an educator, if you have students who live with Dysgraphia, this post will show you which accommodations you need to put in place to help them learn correctly.


Also relevant/see:

EARLY INTERVENTION: A GUIDE — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Educators must effectively identify a student who needs early intervention, whether for autism, learning disorders, or even reading difficulties. The more serious the issue, the more essential early action becomes.


 

How to ensure we benefit society with the most impactful technology being developed today — from deepmind.com by Lila Ibrahim

In 2000, I took a sabbatical from my job at Intel to visit the orphanage in Lebanon where my father was raised. For two months, I worked to install 20 PCs in the orphanage’s first computer lab, and to train the students and teachers to use them. The trip started out as a way to honour my dad. But being in a place with such limited technical infrastructure also gave me a new perspective on my own work. I realised that without real effort by the technology community, many of the products I was building at Intel would be inaccessible to millions of people. I became acutely aware of how that gap in access was exacerbating inequality; even as computers solved problems and accelerated progress in some parts of the world, others were being left further behind. 

After that first trip to Lebanon, I started reevaluating my career priorities. I had always wanted to be part of building groundbreaking technology. But when I returned to the US, my focus narrowed in on helping build technology that could make a positive and lasting impact on society. That led me to a variety of roles at the intersection of education and technology, including co-founding Team4Tech, a non-profit that works to improve access to technology for students in developing countries. 


Also relevant/see:

Microsoft AI news: Making AI easier, simpler, more responsible — from venturebeat.com by Sharon Goldman

But one common theme bubbles over consistently: For AI to become more useful for business applications, it needs to be easier, simpler, more explainable, more accessible and, most of all, responsible

 

 

The Great Resignation: The toll taken on the legal field and what comes next — from abajournal.com by Thomas MacDonald

Excerpt:

The pandemic has reshaped thinking around the value of work. The Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance: Skills and Progression Mid-Year Survey uncovered three specific priorities legal professionals are factoring into their career decisions.

  • Balance: Young professionals are more in tune with work-life balance and place a higher value on mental well-being, leisure and other activities outside of work than previous generations.
  • Family: A higher percentage of the professional workforce are mothers. Likewise, men are taking a more active role in child-rearing than previous generations, as younger professionals juggle more domestic responsibilities across the board.
  • The Long Game: Many Generation X and millennial employees have long since conceded that their retirement will likely come much later in life than their elder counterparts. The prospect of working for an extra decade—or more—has tempered the enthusiasm for grinding away during their formative years.

Also relevant/see the following articles:

8 Legal Experts on the Future of the Billable Hour — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

Are you still billing by the hour? The reality is that most lawyers are and plenty will still be using it in the year 2032. However, many legal experts agree: the billable hour is under pressure, forcing lawyers to investigate other billing methods as well.

Laura Rosseel, Senior Associate at Cambrian, explains clearly why the billable hour is a topic for discussion: ‘There are countless arguments against working with billable hours. Invoicing based on billable hours puts the risk of both unpredictability in the scope of work as well as potential inefficiency on the client, instead of the law firm that is providing the service.

‘It does not differentiate based on the value of the task at hand, the urgency, or the time of day (or night), with which the task is carried out. Additionally, it is a performance metric for lawyers that favours working more over working better, and the relentless pressure is causing junior and mid-level lawyers to leave their firms.’

Digital exhaustion: Redefining work-life balance — from enterprisersproject.com by Irvin Bishop Jr.
Is your team suffering from the digital exhaustion that so often comes with remote and hybrid work? Consider these strategies to ease the stress

As workers continue to create and collaborate in digital spaces, one of the best things we can do as leaders is to let go. Let go of preconceived schedules, of always knowing what someone is working on, of dictating when and how a project should be accomplished – in effect, let go of micromanagement. Instead, focus on hiring productive, competent workers and trust them to do their jobs. Don’t manage tasks – gauge results. Use benchmarks and deadlines to assess effectiveness and success.

What did we learn at the CLOC Conference? — from zachabramowitz.substack.com by Zach Abramowitz
QR Codes, Outside Counsel Startups Make Great Shirts and Standing Out in a Sea of CLM

Some of the tools/products/vendors Zach mentioned were:

 

How Can a University Help Your Leadership Development Program? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Gaylen Paulson

Excerpt:

For L&D or HR departments, executive education offers a solution for upskilling employees and improving the effectiveness of company leaders. Programs are highly flexible and can target the development needs of a few individuals, a large project team, or a pipeline of future leaders. With additional flexibility on duration, location, and competency areas, executive education can deliver a range of solutions customized to your organization’s specific needs.

4 questions to ask when considering a leadership development program:

Also from learningsolutionsmag.com see:

How to Get Started with Chunking & Sequencing eLearning Design — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Madeleine MacDonald, Shweta Shukla, Lisa A. Giacumo

Also for Training / L&D Departments, see:

Using VR to enhance your DEI training — from chieflearningofficer.com by Scott Stachiw

Excerpt:

VR provides a vehicle with which several specific DEI issues can be dealt in particularly enlightening ways, such as:

  • Unconscious bias.
  • Microaggressions.
  • Showing empathy.
  • Acting as an ally.
 

Inside Microsoft’s new Inclusive Tech Lab — from engadget.com by C. Low; with thanks to Nick Floro on Twitter for some of these resources
“An embassy for people with disabilities.”

Increasing our Focus on Inclusive Technology — from mblogs.microsoft.com by Dave Dame

Excerpt:

In recent years, tied to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, teams from across Microsoft have launched several products and features to make technology more inclusive and accessible. [On May 10, 2022], as part of the 12th annual Microsoft Ability Summit, we celebrate a new and expanded Inclusive Tech Lab, powerful new software features, and are unveiling Microsoft adaptive accessories designed to give people with disabilities greater access to technology.

Microsoft’s Latest Hardware Is More Accessible and Customizable — from wired.com by Brenda Stolyar
The wireless system—a mouse, a button, and a hub—is designed to increase productivity for those with limited mobility.

Excerpt:

Microsoft if expanding its lineup of accessibility hardware. During its annual Ability Summit—an event dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility—the company showed attendees some new PC hardware it has developed for users with limited mobility. Available later this year, the wireless system will consist of an adaptive mouse, a programmable button, and a hub to handle the connection to a Windows PC. Users set up the devices to trigger various keystrokes, shortcuts, and sequences. These new input devices can be used with existing accessories, and they can be further customized with 3D-printed add-ons. There are no price details yet.

Along these lines, also see:

  • 14 Equity Considerations for Ed Tech — from campustechnology.com by Reed Dickson
    Is the education technology in your online course equitable and inclusive of all learners? Here are key equity questions to ask when considering the pedagogical experience of an e-learning tool.
 

China is about to regulate AI—and the world is watching — from wired.com by Jennifer Conrad
Sweeping rules will cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content.

Excerpt:

Some provisions aim to address complaints about online services. Under the rules, for instance, companies will be prohibited from using personal characteristics to offer users different prices for a product; they also will be required to notify users, and allow them to opt out, when algorithms are used to make recommendations.

Companies that violate the rules could face fines, be barred from enrolling new users, have their business licenses pulled, or see their websites or apps shut down.

Some elements of the new regulations may prove difficult or impossible to enforce. It can be technically challenging to police the behavior of an algorithm that is continually changing due to new input, for instance.

 

Education Needs a Reset. We Can Start by Listening to Our Teachers. — from edsurge.com by Elissa Vanaver

Excerpts:

What too few politicians and parents are talking about, though, is the dire state of the career pipeline for teachers, the ones we’ll be depending on to lead the post-pandemic learning recovery in our classrooms over the next few years—not to mention for the next generation.

Valuing teachers is the systemic path to centering students. In order to move the needle, we must go beyond what teachers need to do to address root causes that require cultural and systemic change. Here are a few things it will take:

  1. Understanding that teaching and learning are inherently relational and the power relationships have on student and teacher success.
  2. Centering the joy of learning and making classrooms a place students and teachers want to be.
  3. Creating an empowered teaching culture to advocate for children and encouraging creativity that optimizes engagement.
  4. Fostering culturally responsive methods through continuous mentoring by exceptional, experienced educators.
  5. Developing partnerships with quality teacher preparation programs for coherent and supportive career pathways.

From DSC:
When I used to work in customer service and also in technical support at Baxter Healthcare, I always thought that management should be listening closely to those employees who were on the front lines — i.e., those of us who were in regular contact with Baxter’s customers. Similarly, the teachers are on the front lines within education. We need to give them a huge say in what happens in the future of the preK-12 learning ecosystems. We also need the students’ voices to be heard big time.

Also popular last month from edsure.com, see:

 

Native American Students Can Now Attend U. of California Tuition-Free — from chronicle.com by Abbi Ross

Excerpt:

Native American students who are California residents will no longer have to pay tuition or fees at one of the nation’s largest public-university systems — a decision that some say is a long-overdue acknowledgment of past harms.

The University of California system said this week that all in-state students who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes will have tuition and fees — about $14,000 each year — waived starting this fall. Then, on Wednesday, one of California’s recognized tribes announced a $2.5 million scholarship fund that will cover tuition and fees for in-state students from unrecognized tribes.

From DSC:
Given the atrocities that have occurred within our nation in the past, this is an excellent step in the right direction.

 

New portal connects employers with neurodivergent job seekers — from protocol.com by Sarah Roach
Google, Dell and others are contributing to the Neurodiversity Career Connector.

Excerpt:

Microsoft, Google, Dell and a handful of other tech companies are helping to roll out a career portal for neurodivergent job seekers.

The Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable and Disability:IN introduced the Neurodiversity Career Connector, a platform for neurodivergent job candidates to find employers, the organizations announced today. Almost 50 companies that are part of the Roundtable, including Ford and SAP, are contributing to the portal.

 

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

From DSC:
A family member struggles with spelling — big time. This causes her major amounts of anxiety in school.

Another family member had some learning disabilities and reflects back on school with some bad memories.

Another family member struggles with social graces and learns at a much different pace than her peers — the move to her education being (predominantly) done via homeschooling has helped significantly.

A friend of mine has Dyslexia. He recently said that school was hell for him.

Another person I know doesn’t understand his daughter’s learning disabilities — at all. He’s asking a fish to climb the tree and yells at his daughter when she doesn’t produce like the other kids do. Her school is for college-bound learners, and there’s always pressure to maintain the school’s “blue-ribbon” status (i.e., sorry if you don’t fit in…but please board the train anyway, as it’s about to depart).

These people and stories about their educations got me to reflect on all the people who went through the school systems in the United States (over the last few decades) that didn’t work well for them. In fact, not only did the systems not work well for them, they were the sources of a great deal of pain, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, and embarrassment.  Instead of being a place of wonder or joy, school was a painful, constant struggle to get through.

For those who can keep up or even excel at the pace that the trains travel at, school isn’t that much of a problem. There are likely different levels of engagement involved here, but school is manageable and it doesn’t cause nearly the stress for someone who struggles with it.

For those with learning disabilities, I’d like to apologize to you on behalf of all the people who legislated or created rigid, one-size-fits-all school systems that didn’t understand and/or meet your needs. (Why we allow legislators — who aren’t the ones on the front lines — to control so much of what happens in our school systems is beyond me.) I’d like to apologize on behalf of all of the teachers, administrators, and staff who just accept the systems as they are.

Please help us reinvent our school systems. Help us develop the future of education. Help us develop a more personalized, customized approach. For those who are working to provide that, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

To everyone working within Pre-K through 12th grade, help us offer: More voice. More choice. More control. The status quo has to go. School should not be a constant source of pain and anxiety.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 

 

5 Tips for Educators From The Superintendent of the Year — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Superintendent of the Year Curtis Cain advises educators to keep alive the spirit of innovation that emerged during the pandemic and to remember how important the work they do is.

Superintendent of the Year Curtis Cain

Excerpt:

Keep Alive the Spirit of Innovation 
“The brain, once stretched, never returns to its initial size,” says Cain of the ways that schools have changed. His advice to staff in his district and beyond is to keep alive the spirit of innovation that was born in the pandemic.

“The needs of students have absolutely become more complex and more nuanced. And in many ways more urgent than they have been in the past,” he says. “So we’re going to have to keep having the ability to demonstrate a willingness to sit at the table, to problem solve.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian