.

2024 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report® Teaching and Learning Edition

Trends
As a first activity, we asked the Horizon panelists to provide input on the macro trends they believe are going to shape the future of postsecondary teaching and learning and to provide observable evidence for those trends. To ensure an expansive view of the larger trends serving as context for institutions of higher education, panelists provided input across five trend categories: social, technological, economic, environmental, and political. Given the widespread impacts of emerging AI technologies on higher education, we are also including in this year’s report a list of “honorary trends” focused on AI. After several rounds of voting, the panelists selected the following trends as the most important:

 

Are two teachers better than one? More schools say yes to team teaching — from hechingerreport.org by Neal Morton
Early research shows it cuts turnover and improves teachers’ job satisfaction

The model, known as team teaching, isn’t new. It dates back to the 1960s. But Arizona State University resurrected the approach, in which teachers share large groups of students, as a way to rebrand the teaching profession and make it more appealing to prospective educators.

In Mesa, teachers working on a team leave their profession at lower rates, receive higher evaluations and are more likely to recommend teaching to a friend.

Early research also indicates students assigned to educator teams made more growth in reading and passed Algebra I at higher rates than their peers.


Question: What Early Advice Had a Lasting Impact on Your Teaching? — from edutopia.org
Share the pivotal advice that shaped your teaching and learn from others in our community.


What Districts With the Worst Attendance Have in Common — from edweek.org by Sarah D. Sparks

It is tough to bring students back to the classroom once chronic absenteeism rates begin to climb. As more districts struggle with historically high absenteeism, new research suggests they may need a more systemic approach to reengaging students.

A new working paper on Michigan schools released by the Annenberg Center found most school districts with severe attendance problems did not directly address absenteeism when planning school improvement strategies. Among those that did focus on improving attendance, few coordinated their interventions across schools and aligned interventions to combat the specific barriers keeping students from school.

“If you think about the reasons that families are missing school, informing families about their children’s attendance is certainly important, but it’s not like the primary driver of absenteeism,” Singer said, “so there’s a disconnect.”


3 Strategies for Successfully Starting Your Career as a School Leader — from edutopia.org by Alexandra Auriemma
An assistant principal near the end of her second year in the job shares her advice for those moving into leadership roles.

However, I’ve learned that effective leadership isn’t about having all of the answers; it’s about knowing which questions to ask. Effective leaders listen deeply and ask questions that shape people’s thinking, moving the organization from where it is to where it needs to go. 


Building Better Schools: The art of leading change in education — from gettingsmart.com by Tyler Thigpen

Today’s K12 students are spending the vast majority of their time in classrooms listening to answers to questions they did not ask and following rules they did not have a hand in making. Given that this dynamic goes on for years, what is it doing to students’ minds and spirits? To their agency and empowerment? Are we unintentionally graduating dependent young adults?

But what if the opposite were true? What if schools empowered children to flourish? What if schools were the places where they could explore, identify, express, and develop their thoughts, feelings, and goals? There’s power in the uniqueness of every child. It’s time that school designs honor students’ unique calling, preferences, and goals, and encourage them to pursue those. It’s time to move fully into a new era for learning where learners can develop greater self-leadership than ever before.

 

The Digital Transformation Journey: Lessons For Lawyers Embracing AI — from abovethelaw.com by Olga V. Mack
The journey from the days of leather-bound law books to the digital age — and now toward an AI-driven future — offers valuable lessons for embracing change.

No One Will Miss The ‘Good Old Days’
I have yet to meet a lawyer nostalgic for the days of manually updating law reports or sifting through stacks of books for a single precedent. The convenience, speed, and breadth of digital research tools have made the practice of law more efficient and effective. As we move further into the AI era, the enhancements in predictive analytics, document automation, and legal research will make the “good old days” of even the early digital age seem quaint. The efficiencies and capabilities AI brings to the table are likely to become just as indispensable as online databases are today.

The Way We ‘Law’ Will Change For The Better
The ultimate goal of integrating AI into legal practice isn’t just to replace old methods with new ones; it’s to enhance our ability to serve justice, increase access to legal services, and improve the quality of our work. AI promises to automate mundane tasks, predict legal outcomes with greater accuracy, and unearth insights from vast data. These advancements will free us to focus more on the nuanced, human aspects of law — strategy, empathy, and ethical judgment.


AI to Help Double Legal Tech Market Over Five Years, Gartner Says — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Isabel Gottlieb (behind a paywall)

  • Tech to take up a bigger share of in-house legal spend
  • Generative AI boom has much longer to run

The legal tech market will expand to $50 billion by 2027, driven by the generative artificial intelligence boom, according to an analysis by market research firm Gartner Inc.

That growth, up from about $23 billion in 2022, will be driven by continued law firm spending on AI legal tech, as well as in-house departments allocating more of their overall budgets to technology, said Chris Audet, chief of research in Gartner’s legal, risk and compliance leaders practice. The market size prediction, released publicly on Thursday, comes from a late-2023 analysis for Gartner clients, and the 2022 market size comes from …


Legal Tech Market To See Huge Lift Off Thanks to GenAI — from digit.fyi by Elizabeth Greenberg

The global legal technology market has grown significantly in recent years and generative AI (GenAI) will accelerate this growth, meaning the market will reach $50 billion in value by 2027, according to Gartner.

“GenAI has huge potential for bringing more automation to the legal space,” said Chris Audet, chief of research in the Gartner for legal, risk & compliance leaders practice.

“Rapid GenAI developments, and the widespread availability of consumer tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, will quickly increase the number of established legal technology use cases, in turn creating growing market conditions for an increasing number of legal-focused tools.”

“New technologies can fundamentally change the way legal organizations do business, and GenAI has enormous potential to do this,” an analyst at Gartner said.


Revolutionizing Legal Tech in 48 Hours — from law.stanford.edu by Monica Schreiber
At CodeX Hackathon, SLS Students Help Create Award-Winning AI Tools to Help Veterans and Streamline M&A

Disabled veterans seeking to file claims with the Veterans Administration are faced with multiple hurdles and reams of paperwork. Many vets resort to paying third-party companies thousands of dollars to help them with the process.

What if there were a way to streamline the claims process—to condense burdensome information gathering and data inputting into a linear, simplified set of tasks guided by a chatbot? How long would it take to roll out a tool that could accomplish that?

The answer: about 48 hours—at least for an interdisciplinary team of students from Stanford University’s schools of Law, Business, and Computer Science collaborating feverishly during Codex’s Large Language Model (LLM) Hackathon held recently on campus.


What If Your Law Firm Had A Blank Page For Legal Tech? — from artificiallawyer.com

f law firms had a blank page for legal technology and innovation, what would they do?

While organisations across all sectors are getting to grips with the opportunities and risks posed by genAI, forward-thinking law firm leaders are considering what it means for their businesses – today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.

But some firms remain constrained by yesterday, due to legacy processes, ways of working and mindsets. To create the conditions for change, firms need to adopt a ‘blank page’ approach and review all areas of their businesses by asking: if we were starting afresh, how would we design the organisation to future-proof it to achieve transformative growth with genAI at the core?

From DSC:
This sentence reminds me of the power of culture:

But some firms remain constrained by yesterday, due to legacy processes, ways of working and mindsets.


Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Sarah Glassmeyer — from legaltalknetwork.com by Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighell, and Sarah Glassmeyer

What if, instead of tech competence being this scary, overwhelming thing, we showed lawyers how to engage with technology in a more lighthearted, even playful, way? The reality is—tech competency doesn’t have an endpoint, but the process of continuous learning shouldn’t be dull and confusing. Sarah Glassmeyer joins Dennis and Tom to talk about her perspectives on technology education for attorneys, the latest trends in the legal tech world and new AI developments, and growing your knowledge of technology by building on small skills, one at a time.
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How Legal Technology Can Add Value to an M&A Practice — from lexology.com

Following is a primer on some of the A.I.-driven legal technologies, from contract review and automated due-diligence solutions to deal collaboration and closing-management tools, that can drive productivity and efficiency during the four phases of an M&A transaction, as well as enhance market insight and client service.

 

The Verge | What’s Next With AI | February 2024 | Consumer Survey

 

 

 

 

 

 




Microsoft AI creates talking deepfakes from single photo — from inavateonthenet.net


The Great Hall – where now with AI? It is not ‘Human Connection V Innovative Technology’ but ‘Human Connection + Innovative Technology’ — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

The theme of the day was Human Connection V Innovative Technology. I see this a lot at conferences, setting up the human connection (social) against the machine (AI). I think this is ALL wrong. It is, and has always been a dialectic, human connection (social) PLUS the machine. Everyone had a smartphone, most use it for work, comms and social media. The binary between human and tech has long disappeared. 


Techno-Social Engineering: Why the Future May Not Be Human, TikTok’s Powerful ForYou Algorithm, & More — from by Misha Da Vinci

Things to consider as you dive into this edition:

  • As we increasingly depend on technology, how is it changing us?
  • In the interaction between humans and technology, who is adapting to whom?
  • Is the technology being built for humans, or are we being changed to fit into tech systems?
  • As time passes, will we become more like robots or the AI models we use?
  • Over the next 30 years, as we increasingly interact with technology, who or what will we become?

 

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Lifelong Learning — from prsa.org by Susan B. Walton, Ph.D.

The first step to finding the right PR learning program is understanding what’s currently available to learners:

  • Undergraduate and graduate degree programs remain the pathway to earning a college degree in public relations, and now include more online options than ever before.
  • Certificate programs are shorter courses of study that often focus on strengthening specific skills, such as crisis communications or knowledge of a specific industry such as health care. They are offered through professional associations, employers, private entities or academic graduate programs, especially programs geared toward working professionals.
  • Microcertificate or microcredential programs may be even shorter and more focused than certificate programs. They can be a series of short courses and are usually focused on skills needed for a specific employer or job, such as analytical tools for a particular web platform. Successful completion of the microcertificate(s) may earn a microcredential, such as a badge, which can be displayed on the recipient’s social media sites.

If you’re a professional who’s considering jumping back into school, then certificate and microcertificate programs are excellent ways to dip a toe in the water.


On somewhat related notes:

Public Infrastructure on Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
The search for population-level solutions to strengthen links between education and work.

The new Center for Skills by C-BEN seeks to bring clarity and coordination to the skills space. Launched this week with a $1.5M grant from Walmart, the center will attempt to create objective, reliable ways to assess and validate skills, to help bridge the gap between education and the workforce.

The center could help the millions of employers who are looking for skills-based solutions and aren’t going to build their own skills academies, says Clayton Lord, director of foundation programs at SHRM.

“It’s hard for small and mid-sized businesses to find their way into this conversation,” he says. “We can’t create something that is more arduous for employers.”


Closing The Skills Gap: An Inside Look At The Achievement Wallet — from forbes.com by Dr. Sarah DeMark

In the dynamic realm of today’s workforce, skills gaps are increasing. Highly skilled talent is out there, but information gaps and traditional hiring methods make it challenging for skilled talent and employers to find one another. While digital recruiting systems have made it more efficient to find prospective candidates, qualified candidates are often vetted out of the hiring process when they do not match the exact criteria, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business School.

With the rapid pace of change — think automation, new technology, and artificial intelligence — businesses must innovate and think about the best ways to create career mobility and career pathways for their workforces into the roles of tomorrow.

In Pursuit of Agency
Imagine a future where learners can instantly see where they stand in a crowded job market, assess their abilities and gaps, and identify opportunities for growth. Or where employers can identify candidates with specific, often hard-to-spot competencies and skills. Possible? Yes. Western Governors University (WGU), the country’s largest competency-based, workforce-relevant online university, is reimagining that future by deploying the Achievement Wallet for WGU students nationally and working students at educational institutions across the state of Indiana.

Also see:

 

Colleges are now closing at a pace of one a week. What happens to the students? — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Most never finish their degrees, and alumni wonder about the value of degrees they’ve earned

About one university or college per week so far this year, on average, has announced that it will close or merge. That’s up from a little more than two a month last year, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO.

Most students at colleges that close give up on their educations altogether. Fewer than half transfer to other institutions, a SHEEO study found. Of those, fewer than half stay long enough to get degrees. Many lose credits when they move from one school to another and have to spend longer in college, often taking out more loans to pay for it.

Colleges are almost certain to keep closing. As many as one in 10 four-year colleges and universities are in financial peril, the consulting firm EY Parthenon estimates.

Students who transferlose an average of 43 percentof the credits they’ve already earned and paid for, the Government Accountability Office found in the most recent comprehensive study of this problem.

Also relevant:

 

AWS, Educause partner on generative AI readiness tool — from edscoop.com by Skylar Rispens
Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause announced a new tool designed to help higher education institutions gauge their readiness to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause on Monday announced they’ve teamed up to develop a tool that assesses how ready higher education institutions are to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Through a series of curated questions about institutional strategy, governance, capacity and expertise, AWS and Educause claim their assessment can point to ways that operations can be improved before generative AI is adopted to support students and staff.

“Generative AI will transform how educators engage students inside and outside the classroom, with personalized education and accessible experiences that provide increased student support and drive better learning outcomes,” Kim Majerus, vice president of global education and U.S. state and local government at AWS, said in a press release. “This assessment is a practical tool to help colleges and universities prepare their institutions to maximize this technology and support students throughout their higher ed journey.”


Speaking of AI and our learning ecosystems, also see:

Gen Z Wants AI Skills And Businesses Want Workers Who Can Apply AI: Higher Education Can Help — from forbes.com by Bruce Dahlgren

At a moment when the value of higher education has come under increasing scrutiny, institutions around the world can be exactly what learners and employers both need. To meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and equip learners with the technical and ethical direction needed to thrive, institutions should familiarize students with the use of AI and nurture the innately human skills needed to apply it ethically. Failing to do so can create enormous risk for higher education, business and society.

What is AI literacy?
To effectively utilize generative AI, learners will need to grasp the appropriate use cases for these tools, understand when their use presents significant downside risk, and learn to recognize abuse to separate fact from fiction. AI literacy is a deeply human capacity. The critical thinking and communication skills required are muscles that need repeated training to be developed and maintained.

 

Making your campus neurodivergent friendly — from timeshighereducation.com
How to create a university where neurodivergent staff and students feel welcome and thrive in the classroom, in the lab and throughout campus

Neurodivergent students and staff think about, interact with and see the world differently from their neurotypical peers and colleagues. Universities that adopt inclusive practices to welcome people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other disabilities to campus also foster their distinct strengths and talents in the classroom, labs, boardrooms and social spaces. This collection of resources offers advice for teachers, researchers, PhD supervisors and administrators for supporting neurodiversity in higher education.


Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? — from nytimes.com by Ron Lieber; via Ryan Craig
Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year. The school doesn’t really want to talk about it.

It was only a matter of time before a college would have the nerve to quote its cost of attendance at nearly $100,000 a year. This spring, we’re catching our first glimpse of it.

One letter to a newly admitted Vanderbilt University engineering student showed an all-in price — room, board, personal expenses, a high-octane laptop — of $98,426. A student making three trips home to Los Angeles or London from the Nashville campus during the year could hit six figures.

This eye-popping sum is an anomaly. Only a tiny fraction of college-going students will pay anything close to this anytime soon, and about 35 percent of Vanderbilt students — those who get neither need-based nor merit aid — pay the full list price.

But a few dozen other colleges and universities that reject the vast majority of applicants will probably arrive at this threshold within a few years. Their willingness to cross it raises two questions for anyone shopping for college: How did this happen, and can it possibly be worth it?


‘Running Out of Road’ for FAFSA Completion — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
The number of students who filled out the federal aid form is down nearly 30 percent. The ramifications for access and enrollment could be devastating.

And that’s probably an optimistic estimate, said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives; if the pace of completion doesn’t pick up, the decline could be closer to 700,000 students. That could translate to up to a 4 percent drop in college-goers come fall, DeBaun said, which would be the largest enrollment drop since the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that’s likely to be made up primarily of low-income and first-generation students.


Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
Federal researchers followed the post-secondary outcomes of 23,000 students for 12 years. 

Only 60 percent of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school.

That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a new report the National Center for Education Statistics released Monday that analyzed the enrollment, completion and financial aid outcomes of students.

The researchers tracked the postsecondary educational outcomes of roughly 23,000 students beginning in 2009 when they were freshman in high school through 2021, when the cohort was eight years out from graduating high school.


Race to the Finish | The rise of faster bachelor’s degrees raises the question: What is college for? — from chronicle.com by Kelly Field; from Jeff Selingo

Taken together, the two recent decisions illustrate a blurring of the lines between the two- and four-year sectors that is taking place not just in Idaho, but nationwide, as colleges struggle to overcome enrollment declines and skepticism about the value of a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s pretty clear that higher education is in a funk,” said Robert M. Zemsky, a University of Pennsylvania professor, who has been advocating for three-year programs for more than 15 years. “There’s a sense that we have to do something to make the product better, more relevant, and less costly to students.”


Excerpt from Next — from/by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: While critics of a shorter degree see it as a lesser replacement for the four-year baccalaureate degree, advocates see it as another option for students who might not be interested in college at a time when enrollment is falling.

  • “We need to use this opportunity to redesign and do things better,” Carrell said. “That means that we all need to stay curious. We need to be a learning enterprise…and learn from the evidence we produce.”

Job-Ready on Day One — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

The U.S. faces a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades—fields like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, and construction. And those labor gaps are likely to widen as the federal government spends billions on infrastructure projects.

Employers in these industries are desperate for hires, says Doug Donovan, the founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. Yet the “challenge is not employer demand for workers,” he says, “but rather ensuring that learners learn about skilled trades careers and pursue them.”

The Austin-based Interplay offers online and VR training for workers in the skilled trades. The company was founded in 2016 with a focus on upskilling the hands-on worker. Even before the pandemic exacerbated labor shortages, Donovan says companies in these trades needed to hire workers who didn’t have all the skills required for jobs.

Interplay’s online courses and 3D, interactive simulations get close to what a learner is going to see on the job, says Donovan. “We aren’t trying to replace hands-on, instructor-led training,” he says. “We are trying to deliver tools that enhance that hands-on time or make it more efficient.”


 

 

Why Teachers Quit + What You Can Do Instead — from devlinpeck.com by Devlin Peck

Today we’ll dive into the main reasons behind why teachers quit and signs to look for if you’re considering quitting teaching too.

Instructional design
Instructional design is the process of developing learning experiences for higher education, the corporate world, or for organizations such as non-profits. Many teachers transition into the field because of overlapping tasks that allow you to continue teaching, all while learning a new skill set. But instructional design also offers:

  • Higher rates of pay than teaching. Instructional design is a better paid industry than teaching. You can also work when and where you like.
  • Better work-life balance. 94% of instructional designers said they were happy with their work-life balance in our recent survey.
  • Less stress. Instructional design is a less demanding role than teaching as you don’t have the same safety considerations or unreasonable expectations as you have in many teaching jobs.

From DSC:
I hesitate to post this, as I don’t want to discourage teachers already dealing with all kinds of challenges. But I’m posting it for the teachers who are tired of fighting a broken one-size-fits-all system that answers to their state’s legislators (vs. their students/families/communities). For those teachers hanging in there, please fight for change where you think it’s needed.  We trust your judgment, as you are on the front lines. And I always try to support people working on the front lines — whether in business or in schools.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

The $340 Billion Corporate Learning Industry Is Poised For Disruption — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

What if, for example, the corporate learning system knew who you were and you could simply ask it a question and it would generate an answer, a series of resources, and a dynamic set of learning objects for you to consume? In some cases you’ll take the answer and run. In other cases you’ll pour through the content. And in other cases you’ll browse through the course and take the time to learn what you need.

And suppose all this happened in a totally personalized way. So you didn’t see a “standard course” but a special course based on your level of existing knowledge?

This is what AI is going to bring us. And yes, it’s already happening today.

 

Supreme Court: Bar exam will no longer be required to become attorney in Washington State — from spokesman.com by Emma Epperly

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The bar exam will no longer be required to become a lawyer in Washington, the state Supreme Court ruled in a pair of orders Friday.

The court approved alternative ways to show competency and earn a law license after appointing a task force to examine the issue in 2020.

The Bar Licensure Task Force found that the traditional exam “disproportionally and unnecessarily blocks” marginalized groups from becoming practicing attorneys and is “at best minimally effective” for ensuring competency, according to a news release from the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts.

 

Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power — from washingtonpost.com by Evan Halper
AI and the boom in clean-tech manufacturing are pushing America’s power grid to the brink. Utilities can’t keep up.

Vast swaths of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid.

A major factor behind the skyrocketing demand is the rapid innovation in artificial intelligence, which is driving the construction of large warehouses of computing infrastructure that require exponentially more power than traditional data centers. AI is also part of a huge scale-up of cloud computing. Tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft are scouring the nation for sites for new data centers, and many lesser-known firms are also on the hunt.


The Obscene Energy Demands of A.I. — from newyorker.com by Elizabeth Kolbert
How can the world reach net zero if it keeps inventing new ways to consume energy?

“There’s a fundamental mismatch between this technology and environmental sustainability,” de Vries said. Recently, the world’s most prominent A.I. cheerleader, Sam Altman, the C.E.O. of OpenAI, voiced similar concerns, albeit with a different spin. “I think we still don’t appreciate the energy needs of this technology,” Altman said at a public appearance in Davos. He didn’t see how these needs could be met, he went on, “without a breakthrough.” He added, “We need fusion or we need, like, radically cheaper solar plus storage, or something, at massive scale—like, a scale that no one is really planning for.”


A generative AI reset: Rewiring to turn potential into value in 2024 — from mckinsey.com by Eric Lamarre, Alex Singla, Alexander Sukharevsky, and Rodney Zemmel; via Philippa Hardman
The generative AI payoff may only come when companies do deeper organizational surgery on their business.

  • Figure out where gen AI copilots can give you a real competitive advantage
  • Upskill the talent you have but be clear about the gen-AI-specific skills you need
  • Form a centralized team to establish standards that enable responsible scaling
  • Set up the technology architecture to scale
  • Ensure data quality and focus on unstructured data to fuel your models
  • Build trust and reusability to drive adoption and scale

AI Prompt Engineering Is Dead Long live AI prompt engineering — from spectrum.ieee.org

Since ChatGPT dropped in the fall of 2022, everyone and their donkey has tried their hand at prompt engineering—finding a clever way to phrase your query to a large language model (LLM) or AI art or video generator to get the best results or sidestep protections. The Internet is replete with prompt-engineering guides, cheat sheets, and advice threads to help you get the most out of an LLM.

However, new research suggests that prompt engineering is best done by the model itself, and not by a human engineer. This has cast doubt on prompt engineering’s future—and increased suspicions that a fair portion of prompt-engineering jobs may be a passing fad, at least as the field is currently imagined.


What the birth of the spreadsheet teaches us about generative AI — from timharford.com by Tim Harford; via Sam DeBrule

There is one very clear parallel between the digital spreadsheet and generative AI: both are computer apps that collapse time. A task that might have taken hours or days can suddenly be completed in seconds. So accept for a moment the premise that the digital spreadsheet has something to teach us about generative AI. What lessons should we absorb?

It’s that pace of change that gives me pause. Ethan Mollick, author of the forthcoming book Co-Intelligence, tells me “if progress on generative AI stops now, the spreadsheet is not a bad analogy”. We’d get some dramatic shifts in the workplace, a technology that broadly empowers workers and creates good new jobs, and everything would be fine. But is it going to stop any time soon? Mollick doubts that, and so do I.


 

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

To Fix U.S. Education, Free Our Teachers — from www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Brandon Busteed

Teachers are the least empowered, most[-]disrespected, stressed and burned-out of all professions in the U.S. IMAGED CREATED BY DALL-E FOR BRANDON BUSTEED Teachers are the least empowered, most[-] disrespected, stressed and burned-out of all professions in the U.S. IMAGED CREATED BY DALL-E FOR BRANDON BUSTEED

If your goal was to create a miserable work environment where employees are stressed, burned out, disrespected and given no say in their job just look to U.S. schools for inspiration. They are our ‘best practice of miserable workplaces.’ And if you were looking for one major fix to education in America, you’d do everything in your power to ensure teachers are empowered.

Teacher engagement and empowerment may be the single most important national objective for improving education. Yet years of failed education policy combined with maligned attitudes about teaching have rendered teachers as among the least empowered and most disrespected professions in the country. This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. After all, teachers are the gateways to every profession because they are the ones we have tasked with teaching and motivating every young person in the country.

We need to free our teachers to do what they do best – to teach and inspire. Well-intentioned yet failed education policies that have overemphasized standardized testing and driven national and state-level ‘standardized’ curriculum have led to teacher disempowerment.


Transforming Communities Into K-12 Classrooms — from forbes.com by Kate Cassada

Putting The Public Back In Education
CommunityShare is an interesting nonprofit organization that has found a way to promote vibrant educational experiences by connecting students and educators to the skills, knowledge, and life experiences of community members.

Founded in 2015 in Tucson, Arizona, CommunityShare aims to reimagine the relationship between schools and communities. The organization’s vision is “a world where everyone sees themselves as a learner and educator working together to develop their community’s potential.”

Through CommunityShare, teachers and community partners, from artists to astronauts, co-design enriched learning projects that tap into students’ creativity, cultivate real-world skills, and expose students to available community assets.


An unexpected way to fight chronic absenteeism — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
School districts are having some success with using telemedicine and teletherapy to ensure more kids stay in school  

The telemedicine clinic is also a way to relieve the burden on working parents, Oakley said: Many parents in the district’s Title I schools work hourly wage jobs and rely on public transportation, making it difficult to pick up a sick child at school quickly.


How HBCUs are building a stronger Black teacher pipeline — from k12.dive.com by Anna Merod
As HBCUs produce 50% of all Black educators nationwide, a UNCF report illustrates best practices for recruitment efforts.

Dive Brief:

  • Amid ongoing efforts to diversify the K-12 teacher workforce, a United Negro College Fund report finds some historically Black colleges and universities are working to get Black students in the teacher pipeline by tapping into faculty networks, establishing relationships with school districts and using financial aid as a recruitment tool.
  • Additionally, HBCUs leveraged long-standing connections with their local Black church communities to promote teacher prep programs and financial aid offerings during religious services.
  • UNCF suggested higher ed institutions develop pipelines for Black educators beginning in high school by offering students opportunities to work with children and then maintaining relationships with them through their matriculation into college and eventual completion of a teacher certification.
 
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