From DSC:
An AI-backed platform will constantly search all job postings and present the most desired skills in the marketplace and then how to get those skills. The providers will be individuals, organizations, training providers, traditional institutions of higher education, vendors and more.

Depending upon what happens with blockchain — and if a much more energy-efficient/environmentally-friendly solution can be implemented — blockchain may be a part of that equation.

 

The Future of Education | By Futurist Gerd Leonhard | A Video for EduCanada — from futuristgerd.com

Per Gerd:

Recently, I was invited by the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland to create this special presentation and promotional video discussing the Future of Education and to explore how Canada might be leading the way. Here are some of the key points I spoke about in the video. Watch the whole thing here: the Future of Education.

 

…because by 2030, I believe, the traditional way of learning — just in case — you know storing, downloading information will be replaced by learning just in time, on-demand, learning to learn, unlearning, relearning, and the importance of being the right person. Character skills, personality skills, traits, they may very well rival the value of having the right degree.

If you learn like a robot…you’ll never have a job to begin with.

Gerd Leonhard


Also relevant/see:

The Next 10 Years: Rethinking Work and Revolutionising Education (Gerd Leonhard’s keynote in Riga) — from futuristgerd.com


 

Demarginalizing Design: 3 powerful ways to get started — from ditchthattextbook.com by Dee Lanier

Excerpt:

Get proximate to the pain

  • Gather the people that are most affected by the problem.
  • Listen for pain. Emotions such as outrage and frustration are insights into the source of the problem.
  • Design with them, not for them. Your job is to facilitate the discussion that allows them to come up with their own solutions that affect their community.

From DSC:
You will notice some more postings regarding “Design Thinking” on this Learning Ecosystems blog from time to time. I’m continuing to do this because as we move more toward a reality of lifelong learning, we should probably rethink the entire cradle-to-grave design of our learning ecosystems.

 

New Pathways: Experiencing Success In What’s Next — from Getting Smart

Excerpt:

Some of you were able to attend our official kick-off event yesterday (on 6/21/22), but for those who weren’t able to make it we wanted to let you know that our new campaign, New Pathways, has officially begun!. Over the next few years, and in partnership with ASA, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Stand Together and the Walton Foundation, we will be dedicated to tracking innovations in the following six pillars:

  1. Unbundled Learning
  2. Credentialed Learning
  3. Accelerated Pathways
  4. New Learning Models
  5. Support & Guidance
  6. Policies & Systems
We believe that when combined, these pillars enable learners to find success in what’s next in their professional lives, their personal lives and in their communities.

 

 


 

GreenLight Means Go: Where Learner and Employment Records Are Headed — from gettingsmart.com by Getting Smart Staff

Excerpt:

New solutions present a unique solution to these challenges by providing a user-controlled technology to store, share, search, and match acquired competency with opportunity. One of the key players in this space is GreenLight Credentials, a frictionless, user-controlled talent search and credential-communicator that addresses these issues. On the outbound side, institutions and their learners can store any type of verified record including transcripts, credentials, badges, or other documentation of learning. These learning experiences are then translated into data – competencies, skills, interests, and accomplishments that are then matched with scholarship, university and employment opportunities. Universities and employers can join the network to discover and connect with prospective students or employees.

The vast majority of students who graduate from high school in the United States typically have their learning diluted to a single one-page transcript that lists courses and grades – and often a GPA.

What young people need now are repetitions in design thinking – to repeatedly find, frame, address complex problems and deliver value to a community.

— Getting Smart Staff

Also relevant/see from Getting Smart:

Innovating Together: the Geopolitical and Educational Path Forward — by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • The new mission of school is cultivating curiosity, purpose and problem solving by inviting learners into real world challenges in diverse teams using smart tools.
  • The path forward is innovating together.

The VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) is now hyper-connected (VUCAH).

Also relevant/see:

 

From DSC:
The following items made me reflect upon the place of COVID-19 in causing the current ills within higher education — but also thinking about the ills that were present long before Covid hit us.

Key point:
We should be careful not to conveniently use COVID-19 as the scapegoat for all that’s wrong within higher education.


On the faculty/staff side of the house


The Season of Our Professorial Discontent — from chronicle.com by Paul Musgrave
The pandemic irrevocably changed the student-teacher relationship — and not for the better.

Excerpts:

As pandemic slides into endemic, it’s worth asking: Did the pandemic break something fundamental about academe? Was the spring of 2022 the end of pandemic disruptions, or the start of a new normal?

This time, as I delivered the lines to an audience of 30 in a course with 200 students enrolled, I was wondering whether I wanted to give a lecture ever again.

From DSC:
Regarding the first quote…several things were broken within academe long before COID-19. Re: the second quote, what should that tell us if only 30 students showed up in a class with 200 students in it?

Faculty autonomy and faculty satisfaction are being whittled away.

From DSC:
From what I can tell, that’s been happening for years within the K-12 learning ecosystem. It seems like this trend is now occurring within the higher ed learning ecosystem. (I could go off on a tangent about why we didn’t help our fellow educators within K-12 — whose “product” directly impacts those working within higher ed — but I better not. This posting is already packed with reflections.)

Below are some relevant quotes from Kevin McClure’s 5/27/22 article out at The Chronicle of Higher Education (emphasis DSC). I agree with much of what Kevin is saying here.

Don’t Blame the Pandemic for Worker Discontent
It hasn’t just been a tough two years. It’s been a tough two decades.

Excerpt:

The pandemic alone didn’t cause the low morale and turnover you might be seeing among your faculty and staff members just as the lack of personal protective equipment didn’t solely give rise to the Amazon Labor Union. Yes, today’s workers are re-evaluating their workplaces, seeking reassignment within their institutions, and in some cases resigning from jobs altogether. But they are doing so for many of the same reasons they did 20 years ago — poor working conditions.

So burnout isn’t just about people struggling to cope with stress; it’s about people struggling in workplaces where stress never subsides.

In my own interviews on morale, higher-education workers have talked about leaders who aren’t listening, low compensation, and understaffing.

We see our workplaces differently, and our tolerance of poor working conditions has evaporated.

 


On the student side of the house


“It hasn’t just been a tough two years. It’s been a tough two decades.” The same — and likely more — could be said for the student side of the house, especially in regards to the price of education and how relevant/up-to-date the content has been. As the prices of obtaining a degree have skyrocketed over the last several decades, students and parents now HAVE to ask, “What’s the Return On Investment (ROI) here? Am I gaining the skills in college that will get me hired after college?”

Again, the point I’m trying to make here is that we should be careful not to conveniently use COVID-19 as the scapegoat for all that’s wrong within higher education.

Along these lines, the following two quotes seem relevant to me from Beth McMurtrie’s (6/2/22) Teaching e-newsletter (also from The Chronicle):

I asked Walton to tell me more about the setup at his university. He said classes were fully in person but instructors were encouraged to record lectures and be highly flexible with due dates. The result: Most days he had less than 50-percent attendance, and he received a lot of last-minute emails from students who said they woke up that morning with a headache or otherwise not feeling well. A few filed documented absence requests, but not many, suggesting that these were not serious illnesses, like Covid.

I’ve never had more incompletes for courses than in the last two years, so signaling to students that their distribution courses are flexible and accommodating has only let them de-emphasize them even more.

There’s likely a variety of causes/possibilities here — and I’m sure that Covid-related reasons are among them. But it makes me really wonder if students don’t think that the content is all that valuable or relevant to begin with these days. Is college even worth it anymore? Why am I here in the first place? Where is the motivation coming from? Is it extrinsic or intrinsic motivation?

Perhaps it’s time to change the curriculum/content as well as the price.


Daniel S. Christian: My concerns with just maintaining the status quo (from 2009).

A graphic I created back in 2009, with Yohan Na’s assistance.


 

Entrepreneur Education Platform GeniusU Raises $1.5M Seed Funding at $250M Valuation — from edtechreview.in ed by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Genius Group has recently announced that its EdTech arm, GeniusU Ltd, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round to support the development of its Genius Metaversity virtual learning plans.

With the fresh funding, GeniusU plans to extend its courses and programs to interactive learning environments in the metaverse, with students and faculty connecting and learning in global classrooms and virtual 3D environments. It also plans to integrate each student’s AI-based virtual assistant ‘Genie’ into the metaverse as 3D virtual assistants that accompany each student on their personalized journey and integrate its GEMs (Genius Education Merits) student credits into the metaverse. GEMs are earned by students as they learn and can be spent on products and services within GeniusU and counting towards their certifications.

 

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

Excerpt:

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



Also relevant/see:

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

Excerpt from Dive Brief:

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

Addendum on 5/11/22:


 

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

Excerpts:

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

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

 

2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition

 

2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition — from library.educause.edu

Sections include:

  • Trends: Scanning the Horizon
  • Key Technologies & Practices
  • Scenarios
  • Implications: What Do We Do Now?

 Also relevant/see:

 


Also relevant/see:

2022 Educause Horizon Report Suggests Change Is Here to Stay; No Return to ‘Normal’ — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

If the COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of unprecedented change in higher education — characterized by rapid pivots to remote work and learning and an explosion in the use of technology across the institution — the future is about reframing those changes into long-term realities, according to the 2022 Educause Horizon Report Teaching and Learning Edition, released this week. Colleges and universities are shifting their mindsets to “reflect an evolution from short-term ’emergency’ or ‘reactive’ modes of offering education during extraordinary circumstances to making strategic and sustainable investments in a future that will be very much unlike our past,” the report suggested.

6 Technologies and Practices Impacting the Future of Higher Education — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

 

Instructure’s Acquisition of Concentric Sky Bringing Some Changes to Canvas LMS Users — from thejournal.com by Rhea Kelly
Badgr Digital Micro-Credentialing Platform to be Rebranded as Canvas Badges, Optional ‘Pro’ Upgrades Coming

Excerpts:

Instructure said today its acquisition of Concentric Sky, maker of the Badgr digital credentialing platform, is complete, and the basic Badgr functions will be integrated into Canvas and rebranded as Canvas Badges.

Canvas Credentials will enable institutions to “seamlessly award badges that verify and track academic achievements, including competency-based education,” the company explained in a news announcement. With the stackable, shareable credentials, students will be able to track their personalized learning journeys and carry proof of their competencies and skills development.

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

Also see:

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

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

Also from highereddive.com see:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All that said…

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

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

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

Visually, speaking:


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


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


 

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

Excerpt:

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

Also from The Chronicle, see:

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

Higher Ed 101: The Credential Cluster

 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian