Digital Ivy: Harvard Business School’s Next Online Program — from by Betsy Corcoran


A triad of Harvard institutions—its business School, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the department of statistics—are teaming up with Maryland-based digital education company, 2U, to offer an online executive education certificate in business analytics.

Orchestrating a cross-disciplinary program is no small feat, particularly at Harvard. “This was really hard [for Harvard] to pull off,” Paucek says. “It’s an intense, cross-disciplinary new offering from a school founded in 1636. The field is new, the offering of a complex blended certificate is new, and it’s being done with HBS, SEAS and the faculty, all blessed by the central administration. And it’s powered by an outside company that’s only 10 years old.”


The bottom line: HBS, Harvard SEAS and FAS faculty all want to put their imprint on the topic that is mesmerizing nearly every type of organization.



Also see:


Andrew Ng a soft-spoken AI researcher whose online postings talk loudly.

A March blog post in which the Stanford professor announced he was leaving Chinese search engine Baidu temporarily wiped more than a billion dollars off the company’s value. A June tweet about a new Ng website,, triggered a wave of industry and media speculation about his next project.

Today that speculation is over. is home to a series of online courses Ng says will help spread the benefits of recent advances in machine learning far beyond big tech companies such as Google and Baidu. The courses offers coders without an AI background training in how to use deep learning, the technique behind the current frenzy of investment in AI.


From DSC:
For those of you who shun online learning and think such programs will dilute your face-to-face based brands — whether individual colleges, universities, faculty members, provosts, deans, IT-based personnel, administrators, members of the board of trustees, and/or other leaders and strategists within higher education — you might want to intentionally consider what kind of future you have without a strong, solid online presence. Because if one of the top — arguably thee top — universities in the United States is moving forward forcefully with online learning, what’s your story/excuse?

And if one of the top thinkers in artificial intelligence backs online learning, again…what’s your story/excuse?

If dominates and Sears (and related retail stores who were powerhouses just years ago) are now closing…you are likely heading for major trouble as the world continues down the digital/virtual tracks — and you aren’t sending any (or very few) cars down those tracks. You won’t have any credibility in the future — at least not in the digital/virtual/online-based realms. Oh, and by the way, you might want to set some more funding aside for the mental and physical health of your admissions/enrollment teams in such situations…as their jobs are going to be increasingly stressful and difficult in order to meet their target numbers.


Also see:





The woman who thinks time has rendered Western education obsolete — from with thanks to Maree Conway for her tweet on this

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

For years, Finland has loitered in the upper echelons of global literacy and numeracy tables, leading politicians from other Western nations to see its education system as a model of inspiration. Why, then, is the Finnish government submitting it to a radical overhaul?

Dr. Marjo Kyllonen is the Education Manager for Helsinki. Having devised the blueprint for the future of Finland’s school system, she is playing a pivotal role in driving these changes through. She is doing so because she sees the structure and aims of current education systems in the West as increasingly irrelevant and obsolete, relics of an Industrial Age that we started to leave behind a long time ago. She argues that we need to rethink our entire relationship to education to equip future generations with the tools they need to face the challenges to come –challenges such as climate collapse, automated workforces, urbanisation and social division. The key to her blueprint is an emphasis on collaborative, holistic, “phenomenon” teaching – a routine that is less beholden to traditional subject-based learning and instead teaches pupils to work together to deal with problems they will face in their everyday lives, including those they encounter online and in the digital world.


  • If schools were invented today, what would they be like?
  • Instead of studying different subjects in isolation, learning should be anchored to real-life phenomena, things that kids see around them, so they see the connection between what they’re learning and real life. The traditional way of teaching isolated subjects with a teacher as the sole oracle of knowledge is widening the gap between the lives kids are living today and what they do at school.
  • So we have to think, what skills will people need in 60 years? Life is not split into subjects, so why is learning? What is more crucial for future society is cross-disciplinary thinking; all the experts say that the big problems of tomorrow won’t be solved if you only have one approach.


From DSC:
Whether one agrees with Marjo or not, her assertions are very thought provoking.  I really enjoyed reading this piece.



Excerpt from the Learning Spaces Collaboratory Roundtable | Spring 2016: Focusing on the Future of Planning Learning Spaces | Boston University

Also see this PDF file.

Driving Questions

  1. How can we promote active learning environments—in classrooms and in teaching labs? What does it take to promote small group peer-to-peer interaction and learning?
  2. How can spaces promote investigative, cross-disciplinary problem-based learning and problem-solving?
  3. What does a ‘technology-rich’ learning environment mean? What are the tools needed in learning spaces to prepare students for increasing technology-dependent careers. How many ways and places can technologies be used in a facility to serve the campus community as well as to support outreach beyond the campus?
  4. In our planning, how can we exploit opportunities for sharing, breaking down departmental silos? How can we maximize the use of flexible or case method classrooms, student study, break-out space, and shared administrative space? Does it work to distribute disciplines throughout the building rather than to cluster them by floor? What needs to be next to what?
  5. How can a goal of increasing lower division student success in STEM disciplines be addressed in the planning process? What does it take to attract students to these fields and motivate them to persist? How do we create a supportive environment conducive to success?
  6. How do our spaces reflect the social nature of learning, the need for collegiality, the unplanned interactions and conversations that shape and nurture communities?


Other Driving Questions

  1. What can the design of the building do to promote a culture of innovation in academic programs?
  2. How will students and faculty interact in this building, and how are team based collaborations supported within and outside of formal instruction times?
  3. How can we design for the future and encourage innovation and new ways of learning?
  4. How do we create an environment of entrepreneurial thinking, with the vibrancy and experimentation atmosphere of the West coast combined with the structure and richness of the Northeast academic history?
  5. How can we create awareness, connections and  encourage collaboration through our architecture?
  6. How do we capture the “Maker” experience of rapidly prototyping ideas in a non-STEM building?
  7. How essential is territorialization in a dynamic, academic environment, and what are the boundaries that should be defined by the
    physical environment?
    Since Bryant has been experimenting with rapidly adaptable learning environments, through recent campus renovations, the AIC project benefited from lessons learned, including:* Maximize clear structural dimensions to facilitate combining adjacent rooms if larger spaces are needed in a few years.
    * Make all tiers in classrooms easily removable to switch to flat floor environments if desired.
    * Maximize writing surfaces throughout the building.
    * Limit the negative impact of technology by creating spaces that encourage low-tech human interaction and promote hands on mapping of strategies and ideas





Other Driving Questions

  1. To enhance the educational experience, specifically for a large student population, what elements need to be considered in planning a learning community?
  2. How have technological advances in the science workplace changed the design of the undergraduate curriculum? How does this reshape space for different types of learning?
  3. How does the need for safety and efficiency drive operations and space planning?
  4. How do we create a welcoming environment and flexible learning spaces? How big is too big?
  5. How do we rigorously and responsibly plan for an unknown future?
  6. To support student success, what elements and adjacencies should an institution/design team consider for an academic building?






SMU’s pioneering pedagogy, SMU-X, recognised globally for innovation, creativity and impact — from by


SMU launched the SMU-X initiative in 2015 following three-and-a-half years of study and conceptualisation.  Through SMU-X, the University introduced across all its six Schools innovative and fresh curriculum that is multi-disciplinary and hands-on, and also created unconventional, flexible spaces for 24/7 use that meet the usage patterns and behaviours of the millennial student.

Four key principles characterise all SMU-X courses:

(i) inter-disciplinary content and activities;
(ii) experiential learning via an actual problem/issue faced by an organisation;
(iii) active student-mentoring by faculty and industry; and
(iv) three-way learning by faculty, student and partner organisation, in the form of a tripartite sharing forum at the end of the course.









From Zeina Chalich:





Here’s how you build an augmented reality game for HoloLens — from by Adi Robertson


Programming a hologram sounds like something that should be done with some kind of special cybergloves on a computer the size of a ‘60s IBM mainframe. But at Build 2015, Microsoft has been quietly taking developers through the “Holographic Academy,” a 90-minute training session that teaches them the basics of building projects for its HoloLens augmented reality headset. I’m not a developer, but Microsoft let me and some other journalists go through it as well — and it turns out that basic hologram creation is, if not exactly straightforward, at least pretty understandable.


From DSC:
Will designing learning-related games for augmented reality and virtual reality become an area of specialty within Instructional Design? Within Programming/Computer Studies-related programs? Within Human Computer Interface design programs or User Experience Design programs?  Will we need a team-based approach to deliver such products and services?

I wonder how one would go about getting trained in this area in the future if you wanted to create games for education or for the corporate training/L&D world? Will institutions of higher education respond to this sort of emerging opportunity or will we leave it up to the bootcamps/etc. to offer?



Also see:





Also see:

  • New Demo of Microsoft HoloLens Unveils the Future of Holographic Computing — from by B.J. Murphy
    What happens when you combine holographic technology with augmented reality and the Internet of Things (IoT)? Well, it would appear that you’ll soon be getting a hands-on experience of just that, all thanks to the Microsoft HoloLens. At the Build Developers Conference, Microsoft had unveiled the HoloLens and shocked the world on just how far we’ve come in developing legitimate, functional augmented reality and holographic computing.




Following up on yesterday’s posting, History Channel bringing online courses to higher ed, I wanted to thank Mr. Rob Kingyens, President at Qubed Education, for alerting me to some related work that Qubed Education is doing. Below is an example of that work:

The University of Southern California, Condé Nast and WIRED launch Master of Integrated Design, Business and Technology — from
New Learning Model Combines Network and Access of WIRED with Academic Strength and Vision of the USC Roski School of Art and Design

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

MARIN, Calif., October 1, 2014 – The University of Southern California, Condé Nast and WIRED today announced a partnership to create a new online Master’s degree in Integrated Design, Business and Technology. The partnership creates an unprecedented learning experience, combining the expertise of the editors, writers, and designers at WIRED with the academic rigor of USC, a leading research university known for its pioneering interdisciplinary programs. The aim of the 18-24 month degree is to educate creative thinkers and technologists to better equip them to transform the world of industry and enterprise. The first cohort is scheduled to begin in the 2015-2016 academic year.

“The pace of technology development requires higher education to continue to respond with programs that are flexible and adaptable, and that meet the needs of future cultural and business leaders,” said Dean Muhl.

“We’ve been thinking for years about what a university curriculum with WIRED would look like, and now we have a chance to build it with a terrific partner,” said Dadich. “Taking the best from USC and WIRED, we can teach discipline and disruption, business fundamentals, and the very latest innovation models from Silicon Valley. This is going to be thrilling.”

USC’s program development and build out will be powered by higher education partners Synergis Education and Qubed Education.


From Qubed’s website:

Qubed is the gateway for world-class, global brands to enter the education market with top tier universities.


From DSC:
I’ve long wondered if institutions of higher education will need to pool resources and/or form more partnerships and collaborations — either with other universities/colleges or with organizations outside of higher education. This reflection grows stronger for me when I:

  • Think that team-based content creation and delivery is pulling ahead of the pack
  • Hear about the financial situations of many institutions of higher education today (example1; example2)
  • See the momentum building up behind Competency Based Education (CBE)
  • Witness the growth of alternatives like Ideo Futures, Yieldr Academy, Lessons Go Where, ClassDo, Udemy, C-Suite and others
  • Hear about the potential advantages of learning analytics
  • See the pace of change accelerating — challenging higher education to keep up

For some institution(s) of higher education out there with deep pockets and a strong reputation, I could see them partnering up with an IBM (Watson), Google (Deepmind), Apple (Siri), Amazon (Echo), or Microsoft (Cortana) to create some next generation learning platforms. In fact, this is one of the areas I see occurring as lifelong learning/self-directed learning opportunities hit our living rooms. The underlying technologies these companies are working on could be powerful allies in the way people learn in the future — doing some heavy lifting to build the foundations in a variety of disciplines, and leaving the higher-order learning and the addressing of gaps to professors, teachers, trainers, and others.




“Learning in the Living [Class] Room” — as explained by Daniel Christian [Campus Technology]

Learning from the Living [Class] Room  — from Campus Technology by Daniel Christian and Mary Grush; with a huge thanks also going out to Mr. Steven Niedzielski (@Marketing4pt0) and to Mr. Sam Beckett (@SamJohnBeck) for their assistance and some of the graphics used in making these videos.

From DSC:
These 4 short videos explain what I’m trying to relay with a vision I’m entitling, Learning from the Living [Class] Room.  I’ve been pulse checking a variety of areas for years now, and the pieces of this vision continue to come into fruition.  This is what I see Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) morphing into (though there may be other directions/offshoots that they go in as well).

After watching these videos, I think you will see why I think we must move to a teambased approach.

(It looks like the production folks for Campus Technology had to scale things way back in terms of video quality to insure an overall better performance for the digitally-based magazine.) 

To watch these videos in a higher resolution, please use these links:

  1. What do you mean by “the living [class] room”?
  2. Why consider this now?
  3. What are some examples of apps and tech for “the living [class] room”?
  4. What skill sets will be needed to make “the living [class] room” a reality?



Alternatively, these videos can be found at:






Half of us may soon be freelancers: 6 compelling reasons why — from by Shane Snow

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The cost savings and flexibility of a non-salaried workforce often make business sense, but the model requires the workers to suddenly become businesspeople. We wanted to help our writer and editor friends continue doing what they were good at, without having to deal with the stress of finding work, getting paid on time, and marketing themselves on their own. And we were not the only ones who saw the wave coming. Communities for designers and other creative talent have helped these freelancers make it on their own for several years now.

And where it’s clear that the majority of creative people will be freelance before long, all signs point to other jobs one day following suit. This will mean huge things for the domestic and global economy, and it will give an enormous number of people increased flexibility, responsibility, and stress.

Freelancers are de-facto entrepreneurs, which means all of us need to learn to think and act like startups.


From DSC:
This is why I think we should help our youth develop their own businesses — or at least have some exposure to running their own business. In high school and in college, we should help our youth begin their own businesses, driven by their passion for a particular discipline/area.  The business may or may not make it — that’s not the point. They need to get their feet wet with experimentation, entrepreneurship, business fundamentals, innovating, and pivoting.

Other articles that corroborate the main point I — and the above author — are trying to get at:




Addendum on 8/15/13:

  • The New Freelance Economy: How Entrepreneurship Is Disrupting Unemployment — from by Dorie Clark and Will Weinraub
    According to government statistics, 7.4% of Americans are unemployed today. That’s over and above the nearly 90 million Americans who are reportedly not in the labor force. Every presidential race in recent memory has had our nation’s unemployment rate as a key topic of discussion. However, as we look at these statistics, we should first ask ourselves how these numbers are actually being calculated. Could we be missing something?

    Today, what we consider to be a “job” has changed, and it’s crucial that we take these new trends into account we when discuss issues related to unemployment – and how we should go about fixing it.

The folks needed to create the next generation of learning: Computers can’t touch this. [Christian]

From DSC:
What we need is a major hackathon — or an organization with deep pockets — that can bring together folks from a variety of disciplines including:

  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Instructional Designers
  • Cognitive Psychologists
  • Computer Scientists and/or those exerienced with learning analytics/data mining, Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Those gifted in film/media/videography/photography
  • Great storytellers/writers (including writing for transmedia-based learning experiences)
  • Folks who can create engaging, educational games
  • Designers
    • Web
    • Graphic
    • Interface
    • User experience
    • User interaction
    • Those gifted in creating multimedia-based content
  • Musicians
  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI) experts
  • Mobile learning experts
  • Those knowledgeable with second screens/M2M communications
  • Animators
  • Illustrators
  • Social media experts
  • Accessibility experts
  • Researchers
  • Those gifted in creating augmented reality-based apps
  • Legal/copyright experts
  • & others

We need for these specialists to collaborate in order to create the next generation of learning.  Anyone who can bring these skillsets together and experiment with creating materials will have significantly contributed something to the current generations and to future generations! 

And, in the words of M.C. Hammer,  computers “can’t touch this!”  Why? Because “learning is messy!”

What fields did I miss?
Please leave your thoughts and
feedback in the comments section.





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