Colleges cut academic programs in the face of budget shortfalls due to Covid-19 — from cnbc.com by Jessica Dickler

Key points:

  • As colleges face extreme budget shortfalls, some institutions are cutting academic programs that were once central to a liberal arts education.
  • The University of Alaska system announced it will cut 39 academic departments in all, including sociology, creative writing, chemistry and environmental science.

 

Even before the global pandemic caused craters in the economy, some institutions were facing financial hardship after years of declines in state funding for higher education. A number of private schools had already made wrenching budget cuts, from curriculum changes to complete overhauls of their liberal arts programs.

 

From DSC:
A screenshot from the video (below) shows a new type of liberal arts program at Hiram College.

It could very well be that online-based learning turns out to save the liberal arts!!!!! How ironic is that!?!!

That is, many college presidents, provost, and faculty members — especially from smaller liberal arts types of schools — have disdained online-based learning for decades now. It was always viewed as “less than” in their minds…they didn’t want to go that route, as doing so would dilute their precious (and often overpriced) brands. (To be clear, this is not my view…but it was, and still is in many cases, their view.)

Anyway, it looks like more of these same folks will be losing their jobs in the next few years (if they haven’t already). At that point, we may see some of these same folks encounter a sudden paradigm shift. (A shift many of their colleagues have already gone through in prior years.) These same folks may come to appreciate that people will be willing to pay them for their knowledge — but only willing to do so at a much more affordable price…which will likely mean online.

Fewer people — especially when 47 million people in the U.S. alone have filed for unemployment over the last 14 weeks — can afford the cost of getting a degree. They are looking for inexpensive, convenient, efficient, effective means of reinventing themselves.

 

Huh…another potential irony here…it appears that colleges and universities are coming to know what many of us have known and experienced for years…and that is, the struggle to:

  • Reinvent oneself
  • Stay relevant
  • Survive
 

Credential blockchains could help student mobility. These 4 efforts explore how. — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

More than 70 efforts are underway around the world to use blockchain technology in education, and most set their sights on better connecting people with job opportunities, according to a new report published by the American Council on Education.

The report is part of the Education Blockchain Initiative, organized by the American Council on Education and supported by $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education. The initiative aims to study whether and how decentralized digital ledgers can give students and workers more control over their academic and job records and improve the flow of data among schools, colleges and employers, leaders told EdSurge in February.

 

 

Law on trial — What the legal industry can do to defend it — from forbes.com by Mark Cohen

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

How can the legal industry help to restore the rule of law and public confidence in the legal system?

Some Recommendations
The profession must align with the industry to restore public confidence in the legal system. That means, among other things, that lawyers must recognize—as physicians do—that “it takes a village” to battle a crisis. Here are some recommendations how to do it.

1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Collaborate
3. Focus on the Vast, Underserved Retail Market Segment
4. Embrace Diversity
5. Modernize Legal Education and Training
6 Reimagine Courts
7. Think Globally
8. Use Influence to Create Just Laws and Enforce them Equally

 

“How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

YouTube Contest, “With Justice for All,” Seeks Submissions from Students About the Effect of Covid-19 and Recent Tragedies on Their Educational Experience

Prizes include 11 scholarships for students who best address the question, “How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform (CER), in partnership with the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, today launched “With Justice for All,” a national YouTube contest for students.

Over the last few months, students and schools have faced significant challenges from distance learning and national tragedies. Times like these highlight how a great education is the most important asset a student has to effectively change the world.

So CER decided to ask students directly: Has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times? Tell us how well your school did — or didn’t do — in providing you a great education.

“We want you to be able to take charge of your education,” said Jeanne Allen, CER’s founder and chief executive. “We want to assist you in writing the next chapter of your education story. Tell us your story, and we’ll tell everybody who needs to know, especially those in power.”

Videos must be shorter than three minutes, hashtagged with #MyEducationVideo, and submitted to MyEducationVideo.com by 11:59 PM EDT on July 4, 2020. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges. Awards include 10 $2,500 scholarships — and one $20,000 scholarship — to the high school or college of a student’s choice. Winners will be announced during a live-streamed ceremony (date and time T.B.D.), and their videos may be shown to delegates at both of the 2020 national conventions this summer.

“We’ve designed this contest for students ages 13 and older, because we know it can be hard to get your ideas about education heard when you’re a kid,” said Allen.

For more information, visit MyEducationVideo.com.

https://www.myeducationvideo.com/

 

Also see:

“If we are not centering equitable student success, we’re gonna be put back decades and decades. And we’re already trying to retrofit.”

 

Blockchain Can Disrupt Higher Education Today, Global Labor Market Tomorrow — from cointelegraph.com by Andrew Singer
Blockchain can play its part in the education sector — record-keeping in 2–3 years and then adoption by the labor market?

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In the post-pandemic world, individuals will need to seize ownership and control of their educational credentials — documents like degrees and transcripts — from schools, universities and governments. That notion received key support last week from the American Council on Education in a study funded by the United States Department of Education focusing on the use of blockchain in higher education.

“Blockchain, in particular, holds promise to create more efficient, durable connections between education and work,” wrote Ted Mitchell, the president of ACE, in the foreword to the study published on June 8, adding: “In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, learners will be more mobile, moving in and out of formal education as their job, health, and family situations change.”

A key theme of the report is personal data agency — i.e., how “distributed ledger technologies [DLT] can ‘democratize’ data and empower individuals with agency over their personal information.”

 

Blockchain has been described as a hammer in search of a nail. If so, academic credentialing appears to be as obvious a nail as one can find. The current international trade in fake academic degrees, after all, is “staggering,” as the BBC reported, and with a global labor market increasingly mobile, the world could badly use a decentralized, borderless, tamper-free ledger of verifiable credentials — both for education and the broader labor market.

 

 

 

Remote collaboration and virtual conferences, the future of work — from forces.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpts:

Ten weeks ago, Jesse Damiani, writing on Forbes.com, told the story of a college professor who turned his course about XR into a research project about remote collaboration and virtual conferences.

He and his students reimagined the course as an eight-week research sprint exploring how XR tools will contribute to the future of remote work—and the final product will be a book, tentatively titled, Remote Collaboration & Virtual Conferences: The End of Distance and the Future of Work.”

This is a chapter of that book. It will be available on June 15.

The thing everyone wants is not a technology, it’s engagement. The same kind of engagement that you would have in real life, but better, faster, cheaper *and safer* than it was before.

Also see:

 

The Post-Pandemic Outlook for Edtech — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpts:

For the edtech industry, the pandemic poses a paradox. Never before have schools and colleges so urgently needed digital tools and services to facilitate remote learning—and been less able to afford them.

Consumer edtech, then, may be where the market is hottest moving forward. And experts say a new key audience has emerged in the sector: parents. Many have been thrust—begrudgingly—into the role of homeschool teacher, and they’re looking for ways to keep kids on track academically that don’t require them to spend hours brushing up on fractions.

“The new audience for edtech companies, whether they sell directly to consumers or not, is the parent. That’s a major and permanent change,” he explains. “Whether it’s needed all the time or not, it needs to be built in.” 

— Frank Catalano

Online Tutoring Services
It’s been a hot few years for companies that connect students with tutors who teach online. Between 2016 and 2019, online tutoring services raised more than $1.2 billion in venture capital.

 

XR for Learning – June 3, 2020 — from twist.learningguild.net

Excerpt:

Augmented, Virtual, and other mixed reality technologies are rapidly emerging and advancing, creating new and exciting opportunities for training and education. XR for Learning collects some of the best XR content that learning professionals can learn from.

Here’s this week’s recommended content.

 

From DSC:
After reading the following item from Jeremy Caplan’s most recent e-newsletter entitled, “Tiny Stuff I Love“…

Alfred = Saves me time on copying and pasting
If you copy and paste stuff frequently, get a clipboard manager. I use Alfred throughout every workday. It keeps the last 100+ things I’ve copied in a neat list so I can paste anything I’ve used recently into a browser, document, or wherever else.

This is super-handy when I’m copying and pasting things repeatedly from one place to another. Sometimes I’m moving a bunch of stuff from a document into an email. Or putting several links or notes into a Zoom chat window.

Lots of tools do something similar. I also like the Copied App, $8 on the Mac App store. It has a companion iPhone app.

 

…I instantly thought of how useful this type of tool would be for teachers, professors, and perhaps trainers as well — especially when grading!

From this page (emphasis DSC):

What Does a Clipboard Manager Do?
The default clipboard in Windows works well, but it’s quite basic. The biggest limitation is that it can only hold one item at a time. If you copy a piece of text, forget to use it, then copy an image later, the text will be gone. Another hassle is that you can’t view what you’ve copied without pasting it.

For anyone who copies and pastes all the time, these are big problems. Thankfully, this is where clipboard managers come in. They greatly expand the functionality of your clipboard by remembering dozens of entries, allowing you to pin frequently used snippets for easy access, and much more.

 

Afred 4 for the Mac

Alfred is a clipboard manager for the Mac

 

Readers of this blog might also be interested in some of the other tools that Jeremy mentions, including:

  • Toby = Save and share my browser tabs

Toby -- save and load sets of browser tabs

 

litera tv dot com -- Daniel Linna and Bob Ambrogi's conversation on June 3, 2020

WEDNESDAY | 6.3 | Law Insights with Bob Ambrogi and Daniel Linna, Director of Law and Technology Initiatives, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Notes (emphasis DSC):

  • Trying to build community, collaborate, work together
  • How do you manage a team remotely? How build community online?
  • Spontaneous interactions still needed
  • In what ways does the online ecosystem ADD to what we are doing?
  • Jury trial – online; equalizer for those involved in trial; “all in same space on the screen”
  • Start with some basic/smaller things – landlord/tenant
  • Racism going on heavily this week – a second pandemic
  • Developing a quality movement in law (Linna)
  • We need quality metrics and we need to measure the value being provided. What makes something effective, high-quality, and valuable? Now apply that thinking to the delivery of legal services.
  • Project mgmt / quality movement – less defects, etc. in 1980’s / lean thinking / 6 sigma in GE / but haven’t seen this in the area of law
  • Empiricism in law – 100 years ago medicine and law were in the same spot; since then medicine started more testing, empirical work, data-driven practices; but law didn’t
  • Daniel Linna’s blog – https://www.legaltechlever.com/
  • Can we come up with metrics?
  • Dan worked with a lawyer-assisted program in Lansing, MI – what happened? What was duration of cases? Data-driven thinking; measure; make it more of a science
  • Bob asked isn’t law less scientific and perhaps more art than a science?
  • What kinds of metrics are we talking about in litigation?
  • Contracts – can we figure out what adds value and what makes a contract “better?” (Insert from DSC: Better for whom though?)
  • What actually matters to the client? Clauses that lawyers think that are important, businesspeople don’t think are important. Risk mitigation is not all the client thinks about.
  • Incomprehensible contracts – too hard to understand
  • Natural language generation – what inputs do we need? We don’t want many contracts to be the dataset that an algorithm gets trained on.
  • (Insert from DSC: Daniel relayed some information that reminded me of Clayton Christensen’s disruptive thinking: 80% of impoverished folks get NOTHING. Totally disconnected. Perhaps we don’t need perfection, but even something is much better than nothing. For example, provide an online legal aid booklet to those who are trying to represent themselves.)
  • Go for low-hanging fruit for more empirical
  • Ambrogi: How does the work you are doing impact access to justice (#A2J)? How could quality movement impact police procedures? Is there applicability in terms of what you are writing about?
  • Human-Centered Design – uncovering biases. Why would people TRUST the criminal system if they can’t trust the CIVIL system? Perhaps if landlords thought differently. Disconnected.
  • Innovate, improve, project management;
  • Way decisions are made vary greatly; need more open data from our courts; lack of transparency from courts.
  • Leadership – commitment to resolve issues. Lacking vision. What do we want our legal systems to look like/act like?

Call to action:

  • Have or develop a quality mindset
  • Leadership needs to paint a vision for what the future looks like
  • Training around legal operations
  • How to measure quality and value – be more data-driven

We need disruption AND continuous improvement – not one or the other.
–Daniel Linna

 

From DSC:
I saw the piece below from Graham Brown-Martin’s solid, thought-provoking posting entitled, “University as a Service (UaaS)” out at medium.com. My question is: What happens if Professor Scott Galloway is right?!”

Excerpt:

Prof Scott Galloway predicts lucrative future partnerships between the FAANG mega-corporations and major higher education brands emerging as a result of current disruptions. Galloway wonders what a partnership between MIT and Apple would look like?

 

The education conveyor belt of the last century that went school to university to work and a job for life just doesn’t work in an era of rapid transformation. Suppose we truly embrace the notion of continuous or lifelong learning and apply that to the university model. It wouldn’t just stop in your twenties would it?

University as a Service (UaaS), where higher education course and degree modules are unbundled and accessed via a monthly subscription, could be a landing spot for the future of higher education and lifelong learners. 

 


Below are some other items
regarding the future of higher education.


Also relevant/see:

https://info.destinysolutions.com/lp-updating-the-higher-education-playbook-to-stay-relevant-in-2020

Also relevant/see:

 

Also relevant/see:

 

Also relevant/see:

  • Fast Forward: Looking to the Future Workforce and Online Learning — from evolllution.com by Joann Kozyrev (VP Design and Development, Western Governors University) and Amrit Ahluwalia
    Excerpt:
    With employers and students looking to close the gap in workforce skills, it’s critical for them to know what skills are in need the most. Postsecondary institutions need to be the resource to provide learners with the education the workforce needs and to make both parties understand the value of the students’ education. With the remote and online shift, it’s a new territory for institutions handle. In this interview, Joann Kozyrev discusses the impact remote learning has on an online institution, concerns about the future of online learning and how to get people back into the workforce fast and efficiently. 

 

 

How colleges can help educate the 40-million-plus newly unemployed — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpts:

A need for speed in learning
Experts at conferences have been talking for years about “the future of work”—how automation and other forces will reshape the job market, and how colleges need to create new kinds of offerings that are more flexible. Barrett said that with COVID-19, “it’s kind of like the future of work just dropped down on top of us all of a sudden.”

Colleges should realize that many learners will be looking to colleges to help them accelerate their learning, she added. That includes serving new high school graduates grappling with “learning loss” from the last weeks of disrupted schooling, and also helping “new adults coming into higher education who have been out of college for a long time.”

 

From DSC:
I, for one, am glad that we made the investments in the telecommunications and networking infrastructures, in the PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, other items in the #edtech realm, as well as investing in a variety of technologies through the years. Given the need to move online due to the Coronavirus, I’d say such investments offered many a solid ROI throughout K-12, higher education, as well as in the corporate world. But I realize that not everyone has access to these things…which is something we must work on as a nation.

But had we not made those investments, where we would be now?

Also see:

Teaching during COVID-19: Why We’re Fortunate — from er.educause.edu by Gardner Campbell

 

Not in the Future—Now — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts:

…technology can no longer be seen as a utility working quietly in the background. Now more than ever, technology is a strategic asset that is vital to the success of every higher education institution.

Digital transformation (Dx) can no longer be considered an aspirational concept. It must be understood as an imperative. And that well-worn, precious notion of campus technology professionals doing work that is noticed only when there is an outage? This too is a thing of the past.


[Technology] is not just a lifeline that got us through a tricky situation. It is and must increasingly be understood as an integral, strategic part of the successful college or university. Not in the future. Now.

 

 

Learning channels of the future will offer us more choice. More control. [Christian]

 

From DSC:
And this phenomenon of learning from the living [class] room will likely pick up steam; some learning-related services are already heading that way.

 

Learning from home -- masterclass dot com

Learning from home -- masterclass dot com

 

Also see:

Preparing Students for a Lifelong Disruptive Future: The 60-Year Curriculum — from evolllution.com by Chris Dede | Professor of Learning Technologies in the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University and John Richards | Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

Although written before the pandemic, a just-published book, The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy (Dede and Richards, 2020), describes the looming challenge/opportunity of a coming, epic half-century whose intensity of disruption will rival the historic period civilization faced from 1910-1960: two world wars, a global pandemic, a long-lasting economic depression and unceasing conflicts between capitalism and communism.

In our tactical responses to moving teaching online because of the pandemic, we have the strategic opportunity to develop a new model that blends higher and continuing education and realizes the potential of next-generation methods of instruction and assessment (National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2018) to focus on lifelong learning.

 

RESEARCH REPORT: Shaping the Future of Post-Secondary Education — from cherrytree.com; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
A Time of Transformation in Post-Secondary Education and the American Workforce.

Excerpts:
The objective of this paper is to:

  1. Analyze the current “forever changed” moment for both the post-secondary sector and American workforce; and
  2. Provide insights and ideas for post-secondary education leaders, employers, policymakers and investors based on my analysis.


First and foremost, only growth mindsets will work in this environment.

Online programs will continue to grow.

Higher education institutions must permanently reduce their fixed costs.

Accreditors are going to have to become more tolerant of new models. Accreditors were created to provide self-regulation and a system of peer-review that leads to continuous improvement. Along the way, they were asked to become arbiters of quality in higher education as a condition for federal financial aid eligibility. The structural incentives for accreditors create conditions for them to avoid risk and be conservative. This will not serve society well in the months and years ahead. They will have to embrace innovation or alternatives to traditional accreditation needed.

Faster, less expensive programs with easily understood learning outcomes which are directly tied to employment will be in increasing demand.


From DSC:
Some graphics come to mind — yet again.

Learning from the living class room

 

But this time, those folks who haven’t been listening or who thought *they* were in control all along, are finally being forced to wake up and look around at the world and the new landscapes. They are finally coming to the realization that they are not in control.

Innovation. Speed. Responsiveness. Quick decision making. These things are tough for many institutions of traditional higher education; there will have to be massive cultural changes. Bringing down the cost of obtaining a degree has to occur...or the backlash against higher ed will continue to build momentum. Consider just a couple of recent lawsuits.

Several new lawsuits filed recently against institutions of higher education

 

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