The Humanities May Be Declining at Universities — But They’re Thriving on Zoom — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Throughout the pandemic, versions of this close-reading conversation have taken place week after week. Organized through new nonprofits and small startups including the Catherine Project, Night School Bar and Premise, they bring together adults who want to spend their free time talking to strangers about literature and philosophy.

It sounds at first like an ambitious book club—except for the fact that many of these seminars are organized and led by college professors, some so eager to participate that they do it for free.

“Mostly it’s a way for them to do a kind of teaching they can’t do at their regular jobs,” explains Zena Hitz, founder of the Catherine Project and a tutor (faculty member) at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

From DSC:
I’ve often thought that online-based learning may be the thing that saves the liberal arts (i.e., available throughout one’s lifetime and would be far less expensive). It would be ironic though, as many liberal arts institutions have not been proponents of online-based learning.

 

EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues take an optimistic view of how technology can help create the higher education we deserve —through a shared transformational vision and strategy for the institution, a recognition of the need to place student success at the center, and a sustainable business model that redefines “the campus.”

See the 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Almost two years into a global pandemic, it’s clear the higher education we knew will never return and now we can focus on getting the higher education we deserve.

 


From DSC:
I’m assuming that the we in the we deserve (as highlighted above) includes the students, as *the students* are the ones who most need for things to change.

That said, I’m doubtful such profound change will occur within higher education as it stands today. The existing cultures may prevent such significant and necessary change from occurring — and higher ed isn’t used to dealing with the current exponential pace of change that we’re experiencing. Plus, the downward spirals that many institutions are in don’t always allow for the new investments, programs, and/or experiments to occur. But who knows? When institutions of traditional higher education have their backs pressed up against the walls, perhaps such institutions and the people within them will be forced to change. There are innovative individuals and institutions out there. (I’m just not sure how much they’ve been listened to in many cases.)

To help students truly succeed means to change one’s core products/services — one’s story. But higher ed loves to play around the edges…rarely letting the core products/services get touched. 

To me, student success includes having students pay far less and, while still getting a solid liberal arts education/foundation, can get solid jobs immediately upon graduation. At least that’s my hope as we head into 2022. 

But what student success looks like may be different in the future.

Perhaps in 5 years, we will have moved much more towards a lifelong learning situation. Individuals may have joined a global, next-generation learning platform whereby one teaches for X minutes of the day, and learns for Y minutes of that same day. AI-based dashboards let people know which skills are in high demand, and then offer a menu of choices for how to acquire those skills.

A couple of lasts comments:

  • Being data-driven won’t save an institution. Vision might. But being data-driven has its limits.
  • The digital transformations being talked about within institutions of traditional higher education may be too little, too late. This conversation should have taken place a decade or more ago. (I think I just heard an “Amen!” from some folks who used to work at Blockbuster. They didn’t think a transformation was necessary either….but they learned their lesson the hard way. We should have learned from their situation…a long time ago. And I’m sure that you can think of other examples as well.)

 

Fastcase Unveils NextChapter Docs Form Preparation, Client Management Tools, and Workflow Tools for All Practice Areas — from legaltechmonitor.com by Jaime Houssami

Excerpt:

To that end, NextChapter is soon releasing a Forms Exchange, where seasoned attorneys can upload their form templates to the marketplace for other attorneys to purchase for their own use. “Providing access to pre-built forms designed by subject matter experts will be useful for many of the solo and small firm practitioners,” said NextChapter’s first Forms attorney author Carolyn Elefant.

TechReport 2021: Websites & Marketing — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Allison C. Johs

Excerpt:

The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes to the practice of law–many of which were overdue–including virtual meetings and client conferences, remote document signings, court appearances by Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and more. But according to the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report results on the use of technology in the legal profession, there is still work to be done.

Linklaters launches virtual global business teams internship — from legaltechnology.com by Caroline Hill

Excerpt:

While most law firm internships are focussed exclusively on attracting future lawyers, magic circle law firm Linklaters has launched a virtual global business teams internship programme aimed at 16- to 18-year-old students. The new internship, which will be welcomed by many for shining a light on the key functions that enable a law firm to run and succeed, will help interns to become aware of the wide range of career options available at Linklaters.

Linklaters Internships For 16-18 Year Olds To Cover Legal Ops + Tech — from artificiallawyer.com

 

Native American Students Build STEM Skills While Exploring Their Cultural Stories with VR/AR Design Projects — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Tilanka Chandrasekera

Excerpt:

Through a $1.5million, four-year NSF grant, Oklahoma State University researchers are leveraging their earlier work with proven, college-level design courses that incorporate VR, AR, and 3D printing technologies. But this time, they are helping underserved Native American middle school students develop STEM skills.

Here, Campus Technology talks with Principal Investigator Dr. Tilanka Chandrasekera, who is an endowed professor at OSU and director of the Mixed Reality Lab, to find out more about the grant that the NSF titled, “Engaging Native American Students in STEM Career Development Through a Culturally Responsive After School Program Using Virtual Environments and 3D Printing.”

 

2022 Top 10 IT Issues -- from Educause

2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

From DSC:
Time will tell which institutions have the prerequisite culture of innovation that will help reinvent themselves, stay relevant, and survive. 

And for people (who have worked in higher education for years) who don’t like to see learners as customers…well…when those learners are often paying $100,000-$250,000 or more for a four-year degree, those folks don’t have much say or credibility any longer. The price increases that they never stepped in to stop from occurring have forever changed the learning ecosystems within higher education. The idea of supporting  the perspective that says:

Well, we’re proud (and content) that our institution will have the lowest price increase in X (where X is a city, state,  or geographic region)
or
We’re proud that our institution will have the lowest price increase within our group of similar/comparative institutions.

…well, that type of perspective hasn’t cut it for years now. But the danger of that status quo perspective is only becoming apparent to many now that one’s very survival is at stake.


Addendum/also see:


 

 

Three Steps to Building a Learning Culture That Delivers Innovation — from sloanreview.mit.edu by Ori Mor
To create technological solutions for grand challenges, companies must foster cultures that support continuous learning and team optimism.

Excerpt:

Now that we’re on the other side, with our system up and running in retail outlets, helping to reduce e-waste (such as cords and batteries), we’re able to look back and see what it took to get here. While the skills of our team were essential, the biggest reason we ultimately succeeded was our culture of continuous learning. Three steps in particular allowed that culture to thrive.

Also relevant — especially to those working in higher education — see:

 
 

 

The college campus is the model for return to office — from by Jiani Zeng Honghao Deng
Using tech to map the spaces we need for the future of work

Excerpt:

Yet while the emergence of new variants continues to frustrate efforts to resume in-person work, the Delta variant alone does not explain why major employers continue to struggle to bring workers back in person. It seems that employees have lost faith in past models of working, which naturally prompts an examination of what a future “ebb and flow” will actually look like.

Well, it’s likely we already know what this new office environment will look like: the university campus.

College campuses have spaces that foster collaboration, community and culture — labs, open areas, cafes, not to mention auditoriums and arenas for events, sports and other rituals. But these are opt-in — no one forces you to go to the basketball game. You choose to go. So too companies will want to use their space to foster collaboration and culture for employees to opt into.

 

The rise of “third workplaces” — from axios.com by Erica Pandey

Excerpt:

The big picture: As the world begins to move past the pandemic but holds onto remote work, we’re seeing the rise of “third workplaces” — teleworking spots in cafes, hotels or co-working spaces.

The remote work setup at Kindred. Photo: Erica Pandey/Axios

 

Black College Grads Borrow 35% More for a Public Education but Earn 22% Less Than Their Peers — from Kamaron McNair with thanks to Frankie Rendón for this resource

KEY FINDINGS
  • Census data shows that Black millennials with a Bachelor’s earn 22% less ($44,498 versus $56,731) on average than other degree-holding millennials.

  • Black millennials outpaced their peers in just three states — Oregon, Maine and Alaska. But only by an average of 2% — or roughly $1,200.

  • The earnings gap for recent graduates widened in more than half of U.S. states. From 2014 to 2019, the earnings gap for graduates widened in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The gap widened by more than 29 percentage points in Vermont, the most of any state.

  • The worst wage gap for Black millennials was in Montana, where Black bachelor’s degree graduates working full time earn 50.3% less on average than non-Black workers.

  • North Dakota recorded the smallest earnings gap at 2.7%. Here, Black millennial bachelor’s degree-holders earn just $1,400 less on average than non-Black earners.

  • Black students borrowed more in student loans than their fellow students. At four-year public schools, Black students and their families borrowed 35% more. Non-Black families contributed an average of $14,434 to their student’s education, more than double the $5,545 Black families contributed.

Also see:

 

Addendum on 6/23/21:

 

From DSC:
Again, as you can see from the items below…there are various plusses and minuses regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Some of the items below are neither positive or negative, but I found them interesting nonetheless.


How Amazon is tackling the A.I. talent crunch — from fortune.com by Jonathan Vanian

Excerpt:

“One way Amazon has adapted to the tight labor market is to require potential new programming hires to take classes in machine learning, said Bratin Saha, a vice president and general manager of machine learning services at Amazon. The company’s executives believe they can teach these developers machine learning basics over a few weeks so that they can work on more cutting-edge projects after they’re hired.”

“These are not formal college courses, and Saha said the recruits aren’t graded like they would be in school. Instead, the courses are intended to give new developers a foundation in machine learning and statistics so they can understand the theoretical underpinnings.”

Machine Learning Can Predict Rapid Kidney Function Decline — from sicklecellanemianews.com by Steve Bryson PhD; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource

Excerpt:

Machine learning tools can identify sickle cell disease (SCD) patients at high risk of progressive kidney disease as early as six months in advance, a study shows.  The study, “Using machine learning to predict rapid decline of kidney function in sickle cell anemia,” was published in the journal eJHaem.

NYPD’s Sprawling Facial Recognition System Now Has More Than 15,000 Cameras — from vice.com by Todd Feathers; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource
The massive camera network is concentrated in predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods, according to a new crowdsourced report.

Excerpt:

The New York City Police Department has built a sprawling facial recognition network that may include more than 15,000 surveillance cameras in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, according to a massive crowdsourced investigation by Amnesty International.

“This sprawling network of cameras can be used by police for invasive facial recognition and risk turning New York into an Orwellian surveillance city,” Matt Mahmoudi, an artificial intelligence and human rights researcher at Amnesty, wrote in the group’s report. “You are never anonymous. Whether you’re attending a protest, walking to a particular neighbourhood, or even just grocery shopping—your face can be tracked by facial recognition technology using imagery from thousands of camera points across New York.”

Related to that article is this one:

The All-Seeing Eyes of New York’s 15,000 Surveillance Cameras — from wired.com by Sidney Fussell
Video from the cameras is often used in facial-recognition searches. A report finds they are most common in neighborhoods with large nonwhite populations.

Excerpt:

A NEW VIDEO from human rights organization Amnesty International maps the locations of more than 15,000 cameras used by the New York Police Department, both for routine surveillance and in facial-recognition searches. A 3D model shows the 200-meter range of a camera, part of a sweeping dragnet capturing the unwitting movements of nearly half of the city’s residents, putting them at risk for misidentification. The group says it is the first to map the locations of that many cameras in the city.

Don’t End Up on This Artificial Intelligence Hall of Shame — from wired.com by Tom Simonite
A list of incidents that caused, or nearly caused, harm aims to prompt developers to think more carefully about the tech they create.

Excerpt:

The AI Incident Database is hosted by Partnership on AI, a nonprofit founded by large tech companies to research the downsides of the technology. The roll of dishonor was started by Sean McGregor, who works as a machine learning engineer at voice processor startup Syntiant. He says it’s needed because AI allows machines to intervene more directly in people’s lives, but the culture of software engineering does not encourage safety.

 

Growth Mindset Leadership & The Pygmalion Effect — from by Trevor Ragan and the Learning Lab; featuring Robert Rosenthal, Christine Rubie-Davies, and Michael Merznich. With thanks to Chris Church, Tenured Professor and prior Associate Dean of Academic Programs at the WMU-Cooley Law School
Our mindsets impact others more than we realize. As leaders, we can use this to improve the learning environment.

Excerpt:

We know that our individual mindsets (growth mindset & fixed mindset) can impact our capacity to grow. But how do our mindsets impact others?

Renowned researcher, Robert Rosenthal outlines his work and shows how our expectations can have a huge impact on the performance and development of the people around us.

Christine Rubie-Davies from the University of Auckland shows us how teacher expectations play a role in student development.

From DSC:
I highly recommend that all professors, teachers and student teachers, trainers — and even those supervising others — check this piece out! Nice work Trevor & Company! Below are some snapshots from this presentation.

The agenda for Trevor Ragan's presentation re: the Pygmalion Effect

 

Whatever you think your limits are...you're wrong.

 

There are many labels that we put on others -- and that has real consequences and ramifications...both positive and negative depending upon the label.

Teachers expectations of someone matters!

 

The Pygmalion Effect -- our labels and expectations can become self-fulfilling prophecies

 

Put the label of learner at the top! We can all grow and learn, even though we aren't all equally gifted in all disciplines.

 

2 Chronicles 10 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com (emphasis DSC)

Excerpt:

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “The people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”

From DSC:
The new, younger king didn’t listen to the older, more experienced people (i.e., the elders) who had worked with King Solomon (a king who reigned over a united Israel for 40 years…and a person whom the Bible says was the wisest king of all time). Instead the younger king sought the counsel of his younger peers and went with that advice. This led to Rehoboam’s downfall — at least in terms of keeping a strong, united Israel. He was only a king of a much smaller kingdom due to his decision and actions.

What might the youth of today learn from this? How might entrepreneurs learn from this? What might companies like Google, Facebook, and others learn from this? How might this impact how we go about developing the culture of a company? What’s valued and what’s not valued?

There are probably different lessons one can learn from 2 Chronicles Chapter 10. But here’s one example that comes to my mind…

…just because we can…

just because we can does not mean we should


…doesn’t mean we should.

 

just because we can does not mean we should

 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian