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.

 

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?

 

From DSC:
As I looked at the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder…what is the role of the American Bar Association (ABA) in this type situation? How can the ABA help the United States deal with the impact/place of emerging technologies?


Clearview AI will get a US patent for its facial recognition tech — from engadget.com by J. Fingas
Critics are worried the company is patenting invasive tech.

Excerpt:

Clearview AI is about to get formal acknowledgment for its controversial facial recognition technology. Politico reports Clearview has received a US Patent and Trademark Office “notice of allowance” indicating officials will approve a filing for its system, which scans faces across public internet data to find people from government lists and security camera footage. The company just has to pay administrative fees to secure the patent.

In a Politico interview, Clearview founder Hoan Ton-That claimed this was the first facial recognition patent involving “large-scale internet data.” The firm sells its tool to government clients (including law enforcement) hoping to accelerate searches.

As you might imagine, there’s a concern the USPTO is effectively blessing Clearview’s technology and giving the company a chance to grow despite widespread objections to its technology’s very existence. 

Privacy, news, facial recognition, USPTO, internet, patent,
Clearview AI, surveillance, tomorrow, AI, artificial intelligence

 

BLOCKCHAIN INNOVATION CHALLENGE — from the American Council on Education (ACE)
About the Challenge
The challenge sought technology-enabled solutions that reoriented the education and employment ecosystem around the individuals that they aim to serve. It invited teams to articulate a vision and design pilots that addressed an ecosystem-first designed approach driving interoperability, social mobility, and learner control expanding on these essential themes:

  • Empower all learners: 
    How can learners exercise agency over their digital identities, including all records of learning, so they can share them in a secure, validated, and machine-readable way?
  • Unlock lifelong learning: 
    How can learning be better documented, validated, and shared no matter where it occurs? How can control or ownership of learning records improve the way underserved learners connect and unlock disparate learning opportunities?
  • Improve economic mobility: 
    How can blockchain help learners to find in-demand education in employment-relevant skills to advance economic mobility and to fulfill the promise of higher education???

The four winners of the Blockchain Innovation Challenge were…

 

Top 7 Artificial Intelligence Trends In 2022 — from techfunnel.com by Anirudh Menon

Excerpt:

If we look at the last couple of years, we have seen a significant leap in the way Artificial Intelligence is becoming an integral part of many organizations’ business plans. Already the journey of digital transformation has catapulted thanks to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and because of the pandemic situation, we saw significant innovation in the technology front, which will reach new heights in the year 2022 and further.

As strongly claimed by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc, the impact of artificial intelligence will be far greater than fire and electricity on humanity. Well, it might sound a bit exaggerated but what it implies is that the year 2022 is going to see new developments in this space and it will constantly create new benchmarks.

 

EduMAX 2021 recap: Together for student success around the globe — from blog.adobe.com by Sebastian Distefano

Excerpt:

University CIOs, deans, provosts, faculty and staff from more than 100 institutions convened online for the Adobe EduMAX 2021 conference, where academic leaders shared how they are transforming teaching and learning practices across their campuses. Key discussion points included:

  • How digital literacy increases engagement to bring faculty and students together, whether they are in-person, online or in a hybrid environment.
  • How digital literacy closes the skills gap in higher education and industry by fostering critical essential skills that employers value.
  • How faculty can integrate digital literacy across the curriculum for all students.
 

Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Professors are experts in their subject matters but many have limited training in actually teaching their students.

Excerpt:

“A lot of faculty are just modeling their instruction after the instruction they’ve received as an undergraduate or graduate student,” says Tanya Joosten, senior scientist and director of digital learning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the lead of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements.

As a perpetually short-on-time adjunct professor, I understand those who worry about mandatory training and required course reviews, but Pelletier stresses that she’s advocating for a more organic shift and that a top-down approach isn’t best. “That’s not as collaborative and generative as really just embracing that we have these two different kinds of experts, one type of expert is an expert in their subject, and the other expert is an expert in teaching and learning,” she says. More attention is needed to meld these two kinds of expertise. 

From DSC:
It’s not just that colleges and universities are big business — if you have any remaining doubts about that perspective, take a moment to look at this new, interactive database to see what I mean. But it’s also that this type of business often rewards research, not teaching. And yet the students over the last several decades have continued to pay ever-increasing prices for skilled researchers, instead of increasingly skilled teachers. 

Healthcare and higher education face similar challenges and transformations -- costs continue to soar

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

Would people put up with this with other types of purchases? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to…would you?  Would we like to pay for something that we aren’t getting — like paying for all the extra options on a new car, but not getting them?

What goes around, comes around.
But by allowing this to have occurred, a backlash against the value of higher education has been building for years now. In many learners’ minds, they are questioning whether it’s worth taking on (potentially) decades’ worth of debt. At a minimum, the higher the price of obtaining degrees and/or other credentials becomes, the less Return on Investment (ROI) is realized by the learners (i.e., the purchasers of these goods and services). So while getting a degree is often still worth it, the ROI is going down.
And this doesn’t address how relevant/up-to-date the educations are that these learners are receiving, which the employers out there will take issue with.

From an Instructional Designer’s perspective, it isn’t just time that’s the issue here. There continues to exist a tiered hierarchy within higher education. Faculty see themselves as more knowledgeable because they are teaching and because they are the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). But they are not expert teachers. Many full-time faculty members don’t listen to people who are knowledgeable in the learning science world, and they often don’t value that expertise. (This can be true of administrators as well.) But when a fellow faculty member (i.e., their “true peer” from their perspective) suggests the same idea that Instructional Designers have been recommending for years, they suddenly open their eyes and ears to see and hear this seemingly new, wonderful approach.

Some possible scenarios
Thus, a wave has been building against traditional institutions of higher education — readers of this blog will have picked up on this years ago. Once alternatives significantly hit the radar — ones that get the learners solid, good-paying jobs — there could be a mass exodus out of what we think of as traditional higher education. At least that’s one potential scenario.

For example, if a next-generation learning platform comes along that offers teams and individuals the ability to deliver lifelong learning at 50% or more off the price of an average degree, then be on the lookout for massive change. If professors and/or teams of specialists — those who are skilled in instructional design and teaching —  can go directly to their learners — it could be an interesting world indeed. (Outschool is like this, by the way.) In that scenario, below are two potential methods of providing what accreditation agencies used to provide:

  • Obtaining the skills and competencies being requested from the workplace to “pass the tests” (whatever those assessments turn out to be)
  • Voting a course up or down (i.e., providing crowd-sourced rating systems)

Other possible scenarios
Another scenario is that traditional institutions of higher education really kick their innovation efforts into high gear. They reward teaching. They develop less expensive methods of obtaining degrees. They truly begin delivering more cost-effective means of obtaining lifelong learning and development “channels” for educating people.

And there are other possible scenarios, some of which I could think of and many I would likely miss. But to even ask the solid and highly-relevant question as plainly stated in the article above — Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — that is something that must be dealt with. Those organizations that use a team-based approach are likely to be able to better answer and address that question.

 

Also see Matthew Ball’s Metaverse Primer (excerpt below from this page) — with thanks to Annie Zhang for this resource:


“The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.”


Jacob Navok: Computing and Network Needs of the Metaverse — from hellometaverse.fm by Annie Zhang

Excerpt:

to progress towards this vision of the metaverse, jacob is focused on tackling the hard problem of improving concurrency. how do you get millions of people to concurrently be participating and interacting in one live experience with no lag? 

he breaks this down the problem into two components:

  1. limitations of the traditional network to handle multiplayer experiences: coordinating, say, positional data of where you and all the other players in a game, gets very complicated, especially when latency needs to be low. meaning, if you want to see everything that everyone is doing at all times, coordinating the traffic of that data is very difficult

  2. with more connection, internet speed slows: the internet was not built for true real time communication, but rather optimized for cost and routing efficiency. when you load a fb page, it’s okay if it takes 10 milliseconds, but when you are in a shooting game, a delay of 10 milliseconds is a matter of life or death


Everything You Need To Know About The Metaverse — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers

Excerpt:

Silicon Valley has a new favorite buzzword: Ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this year that Facebook’s future would be in the metaverse, everyone has been rushing to figure out what a metaverse even is. And when Facebook rebranded as Meta in October, metaverse fever swept the tech industry. From Microsoft to Nvidia, every company is suddenly in the metaverse business, and seemingly overnight, countless people became metaverse experts.

But what actually is the metaverse? Why does it matter, and who needs to worry about it? If the metaverse is truly “the next chapter for the internet,” as Zuckerberg put it, it’s important to understand and define it so as not to be caught flat-footed when (or if) the metaverse wave catches on.

 

College costs have increased by 169% since 1980—but pay for young workers is up by just 19%: Georgetown report — from cnbc.com by Abigail Johnson Hess

Excerpt:

The report, titled “If Not Now, When? The Urgent Need for an All-One-System Approach to Youth Policy,” breaks down seven trends that have made it difficult for workers to transition from education to the workforce since 1980.

“Postsecondary education policy has failed to keep higher education affordable even as formal education beyond high school has become more essential,” reads the report. “Today, two out of three jobs require postsecondary education and training, while three out of four jobs in the 1970s required a high school diploma or less. Yet while young people today need more education than ever to compete in the labor market, a college education is more expensive than in the past.”



Also see:

 
 

Americans Need a Bill of Rights for an AI-Powered World — from wired.com by Eric Lander & Alondra Nelson
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is developing principles to guard against powerful technologies—with input from the public.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Soon after ratifying our Constitution, Americans adopted a Bill of Rights to guard against the powerful government we had just created—enumerating guarantees such as freedom of expression and assembly, rights to due process and fair trials, and protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Throughout our history we have had to reinterpret, reaffirm, and periodically expand these rights. In the 21st century, we need a “bill of rights” to guard against the powerful technologies we have created.

Our country should clarify the rights and freedoms we expect data-driven technologies to respect. What exactly those are will require discussion, but here are some possibilities: your right to know when and how AI is influencing a decision that affects your civil rights and civil liberties; your freedom from being subjected to AI that hasn’t been carefully audited to ensure that it’s accurate, unbiased, and has been trained on sufficiently representative data sets; your freedom from pervasive or discriminatory surveillance and monitoring in your home, community, and workplace; and your right to meaningful recourse if the use of an algorithm harms you. 

In the coming months, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (which we lead) will be developing such a bill of rights, working with partners and experts across the federal government, in academia, civil society, the private sector, and communities all over the country.

Technology can only work for everyone if everyone is included, so we want to hear from and engage with everyone. You can email us directly at ai-equity@ostp.eop.gov

 

 

3 Promising Opportunities to Teach Your Kids From Home — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
These organizations innovate homeschooling.

Excerpt:

What follows are three organizations that rethink the way children learn from home.

 


Outschool is one of the three organizations highlighted in this article.


From DSC:
My wife teaches for Outschool and really enjoys it! She develops solid relationships with her students and is able to personalize things (as she deals with 1-3 students at a time). She doesn’t charge much at all, but she enjoys it.

 

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired — from vox.com by Rani Molla and Emily Stewart; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
America’s broken hiring system, explained.

Tim Brackney, president and COO of management consulting firm RGP, refers to the current situation as the “great mismatch.” That mismatch refers to a number of things, including desires, experience, and skills. And part of the reason is that the skills necessary for a given job are changing faster than ever, as companies more frequently adopt new software.

“Twenty years ago, if I had 10 years experience as a warehouse manager, the likelihood that my skills would be pretty relevant and it wouldn’t take me that long to get up to speed was pretty good,” Joseph Fuller, a management professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of a recent paper on the disconnect between employers and employees, said. “The shelf life of people’s skills for a lot of decent-paying jobs has been shortening.”

From DSC:
I also think those hiring don’t think people can reinvent themselves. Folks who hire someone (and/or the applicant tracking systems as play) always seem to look for an exact match. There is little vision and/or belief that someone can grow into a position, or to lead differently, or to go in a different but better direction. They reach for their cookie cutters and shove their imaginations and ability to think bigger aside.

Employers could help people by investing in their employees’ growth and development — even if it means they actively help an employee take a right turn. Such an employee could hopefully find a new fit within that organization — if they do, they would likely turn out to be fiercely loyal.

Even if it means offering an employee 1-2 courses a year that they want to learn about — NO STRINGS ATTACHED — the learning culture would get a huge boost!!! Peoples’ love/enjoyment of learning would grow. Morale would improve. People would feel valued.

Let me offer a personal example:

  • My old boss, Mr. Irving Charles Coleman Jr, let me take a Photoshop class while I was working in the IT Department at Kraft Foods’ headquarters. Kraft paid for it, even though it wasn’t directly related to my position at the time. That course ended up changing my life and my future direction. No kidding. Thank you Irv! You’re the best!
 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian