5 brands already boldly embracing the metaverse — from thedrum.com by Dani Gibson
As part of The Drum’s Metaverse Deep Dive, we round up some of the best examples of brands causing a stir within the virtual online world by creating out of this world experiences.

Marketing in the metaverse — from thedrum.com

Marketing in the metaverse -- The Drum immerses itself in future of the internet

 

From DSC:
I post the following item because I’ve often wondered how law schools should best handle/address the area of emerging technologies. It’s not just newly-minted lawyers that need to be aware of these technologies’ potential pros and cons — and the developing laws around them. It’s also judges, legislators, politicians, C-Suites, and others who need to keep a pulse check on these things.

Hermès Sues NFT Creator Over ‘MetaBirkin’ Sales — from by Robert Williams
The French leather goods giant alleges trademark infringement and dilutive use of its iconic Birkin name.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The complaint, which was first reported on The Fashion Law, raises questions about how trademark protections for real-world items will be enforced in the digital realm as commercial activity heats up in the metaverse. Brands including Balenciaga and Nike are experimenting with virtual fashion. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs (unique digital assets authenticated using blockchain technology), depicting fashion items have sold for millions in recent months.

 

Thomson Reuters’ Report May Signal Sea Change In Legal Profession — from techlawcrossroads.com by Stephen Embry

Excerpt:

In a nutshell, the Report demonstrates that to thrive post-pandemic and even survive, lawyers will need to better adopt technology, use better workflows, and make sure work is done by right mix and training, and experience. Otherwise, the work that is piling up during the great talent shortage just won’t get done.

More tech, better work process, more remote work, becoming nimble. Bottom line, successful law firms, and lawyers can’t afford business as usual post-pandemic.

Also see:

Thomson Reuters’ Report May Signal Sea Change In Legal Profession

 

Inside Higher Ed Acquired by Times Higher Education — from insidehighered.com by Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman
Our editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman explain how this combination of publishing companies will improve global coverage of postsecondary education and better serve the higher ed community.

Excerpt:

As journalists, we often say that we want to report the news, not be the news. We are making an exception [on 1/10/22] to announce that Inside Higher Ed has been acquired by Times Higher Education (THE), the world’s leading provider of higher education news, data and insights.

 

Addendum on 1/17/22:

  • Fortnite Is Back On Apple iOS, for Some Users — from threstreet.com by Tony Owusu
    Beta testers for Fortnite on streaming cloud gaming service GeForce Now will have access to the third-person shooter through Apple’s Safari web browser.
 

Elevate Becomes 1st Law Company to Receive ‘ABS License’ in US — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

And here’s some late breaking news, which also is about law company, Elevate. The Arizona Supreme Court has granted law company Elevate an ‘Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license’, making Elevate and its affiliated law firm, ElevateNext, a single entity.

This makes Elevate the first non-lawyer-owned law company, LPO, or ALSP in the United States with an integrated law firm. The ABS-licensed firm uniquely positions Elevate to address customer needs that require some aspect of legal practice along with technology, consulting, or services for ‘run the company’ business operations.

Also see:

 

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.

 

2022: Year Of The Great Convergence — Volume IV, #1 by Ryan Craig

Excerpts:

Three sets of would-be pathway providers are converging on this massive opportunity. It’s going to get crowded very fast. Here’s the current landscape and prospects for each at the outset of the Great Convergence:

  1. Education-as-a-Benefit Providers
  2. Education Platform Companies
  3. Learning Experience Platforms

While one of these three sectors is likely to win the Great Convergence, there are two other possible outcomes.

 

Amazon Gift Signals Confidence in Community Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Suzanne Smalley
The company is giving $3 million to kick-start a computer science bachelor’s degree program at community and technical colleges throughout Washington State.

Excerpt:

Amazon is funding a pilot that will support the launch of new computer science bachelor’s degree programs at community and technical colleges in Seattle and across Washington State, an investment meant to address a workforce shortage plaguing the e-commerce giant and other employers who can’t find qualified candidates for unfilled computer science positions.

 

From DSC:
Below are some items that offer potential future scenarios, predictions, trends, forecasts. and upcoming lawsuits for 2022. These resources provide some interesting fodder for reflection.


10 Forecasts For The Near Future Of Tech & Life As We Know It — from digest.scottbelsky.com by Scott Belsky

The next generation of top talent will have “Polygamous Careers,” transforming the corporate world as we know it. The traditional job market, tax forms, college, and healthcare are all geared for an old world that fails to engage our modern brains…

The rise of immersive experiences will mainstream 3D creation. All this metaverse hype will fall completely flat unless such experiences are filled with rich, engaging, 3D, interactive, and personalized content. 3D content creation will become 100x more accessible.

Here’s our cheat sheet for 2022’s tech lawsuits — from protocol.com by Ben Brody
Your guide to a bunch of the Google antitrust cases, where the FTC is with Facebook, what could happen next with Sec. 230 and more.

How fifth graders see the world in 20 years — from hechingerreport.org by Lillian Mongeau, Christina Samuels, Kathryn Palmer, and Chelsea Sheasley
Flying cars, houses on Mars — and hopefully no more Covid or racism

7 higher education trends to watch in 2022 — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
Politics bleeding into college operations, new regulatory action, continued expansion of online ed and more are stories we’ll be following in 2022.

Can ed tech providers build on their momentum?
The last two years have been a massive boon to MOOC platforms. The number of people registered on Coursera, one of the most well-known MOOC providers, swelled to around 92 million in September, up from 77 million in 2020 and 46 million the prior year. Likewise, demand for competitor Udemy surged during the pandemic.

6 Essential educational trends to look out for in 2022 — from blog.neolms.com by Andreea Mihaly

5 gaming trends to watch in 2022 — from protocol.com

What comes next for enterprise tech in 2022 — from protocol.com

After a period of great disruption and rapid modernization, 2022 will be a year during which enterprise companies take a breath and a closer look at the software and cloud services they snapped up like holiday season COVID-19 tests over the last two years. The products and trends that survive that scrutiny will set the priorities for the rest of the decade.

The tech IPOs to watch in 2022 — from protocol.com by Biz Carson and Michelle Ma
Some have filed. Some have hired the right people. And some are just on investors’ wishlists.

The bigger-picture view of the industry is that gaming is on the precipice of major shake-ups to its core business and distribution models, as well as shifts many years in the making around game monetization and developer work culture.

Bitcoin could reach $100,000—and other predictions for 2022 — from fortune.com by Joanna Ossinger

“The race is on to be the app store for crypto,” said Philip Gradwell, chief economist at Chainalysis, in an email. “A major lesson of Web 2.0 was that consumers love platforms, and I don’t think that is going to change for Web 3.0. Currently there is no crypto platform that owns the customer relationship and aggregates suppliers. I predict that in 2022, many companies will race to build this platform…”

AWS will buy a SaaS company, and other 2022 enterprise predictions — from techcrunch.com by Ron Miller

______________

Addendum on 1/7/22:

 

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.

 

Repurposed real estate emerges as unconventional source of savings, revenue for colleges and universities — from highereddive.com

Excerpt:

As market conditions evolve, higher ed leaders are striving to build a profitable future amidst chronic funding obstacles. Between roadblocks like disruptive online competition, evolving demographics, crippling student debt and dwindling enrollment, traditional operating models cannot produce enough gains to satisfy market demands, argues KPMG.

It’s one reason why many institutions are exploring inventive ways to free up and generate funds without hampering student and staff experiences. As higher ed leaders look to diversify funding sources, repurposed real estate is emerging as a significant bottom-line booster.

 

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

 

Web 3.0 vs Metaverse: What’s the difference? — from homo-digitalis.net by Fabian Schmidt

Excerpt:

So what is Web 3.0?

On Twitter, a user asked if someone could explain the term in baby talk. I thought one answer was good:

    • Web 1.0 = Read
    • Web 2.0 = Read/Write
    • Web 3.0 = Read/Write/Own

This is a sufficient simplification to gain an initial understanding. Yet a bit more information is still important.

Let’s get one thing straight right away. As with all things in the making, there is not yet a clear-cut definition of Web 3.0. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the classic web, thinks of the semantic web as the next big step.

Since 2020/2021, there is another idea of Web3, and it is inspired by a new form of technology: Blockchains. At its core is a new wave of decentralization.

Besides decentralization, other key topics related to Web 3.0 include Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), Non-fungible-tokens (NFT), and Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

The metaverse is a digital world that is meant to feel as real as possible and can represent all concerns of human existence. From leisure to work.

Fabian Schmidt, Homo Digitalis, 2021


Bill Gates: Most Work Meetings Will Happen In The Metaverse In 3 Years — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

“Within the next two or three years, I predict most virtual meetings will move from 2D camera image grids—which I call the Hollywood Squares model, although I know that probably dates me—to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars,” said Gates in the post. “Both Facebook and Microsoft recently unveiled their visions for this, which gave most people their first view of what it will look like”.


Adidas to enter the metaverse with first NFT products — from dezeen.com by Rima Sabina Aouf

Excerpt:

Adidas has announced its next collection will be a mix of digital and physical items, and will be sold as NFTs produced with collaborators such as Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Titled Into the Metaverse, the collection will comprise virtual wearables that buyers can use in online platforms, but also the physical clothing to match.

It is Adidas’ first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens – essentially, digital collectibles with proven authenticity. NFTs act as a blockchain-based certificate of ownership, allowing pieces to be authenticated, bought and collected.


How Coinbase thinks about the Metaverse — from blog.coinbase.com by Brian Armstrong & Alex Reeve

Excerpt:

Primitive Metaverse platforms are selling virtual land for millions of dollars. Billions more are being invested in Metaverse startups. And Mark Zuckerberg recently renamed his entire company to reflect a focus on building the Metaverse.

Recently, our team put together an internal presentation about the Metaverse, who’s working on it, and how crypto will help make it real. I thought the presentation was well done, so I’m sharing most of the slides here.

Like Matt[hew Ball], we define the Metaverse as:

The future of the internet: A massively-scaled, persistent, interactive, and interoperable real-time platform comprised of interconnected virtual worlds where people can socialize, work, transact, play, and create.

The Metaverse is the distant evolution of Web3. In its most complete form, it will be a series of decentralized, interconnected virtual worlds with a fully functioning economy where people can do just about anything they can do in the physical world.

Who is building the Metaverse today?

 

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.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian