Inside Higher Ed Acquired by Times Higher Education — from insidehighered.com by Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman
Our editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman explain how this combination of publishing companies will improve global coverage of postsecondary education and better serve the higher ed community.

Excerpt:

As journalists, we often say that we want to report the news, not be the news. We are making an exception [on 1/10/22] to announce that Inside Higher Ed has been acquired by Times Higher Education (THE), the world’s leading provider of higher education news, data and insights.

 

Lawsuit Addressing Failures to Provide Course Materials to College Students with Disabilities May Head to Supreme Court — from accessibility.com by Daphne Wester

Excerpt:

Students with vision disabilities found themselves unable to participate in coursework in the Los Angeles Community College district when, as a rule of practice, necessary course materials like textbooks and syllabi were not provided in Braille or audio formats. Students, along with disability rights organizations, subsequently filed suit against one of the largest community college districts in the country in 2017, and in 2019 the case was decided in favor of the plaintiffs.

 

Reflecting and Planning With Four Lists — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Reflecting and Planning With Four Lists - continuing to NOT do, continuing to do, stopping, and starting

(Parenthetically, be sure to see
Ian’s list of items he put into Byrdseed TV in the year 2021.)

 

A Case for ‘Radical Simplification’ in Higher Education — from edsurge.com by Robert Talbert
This article is part of the guide Survival Mode: Educators Reflect on a Tough 2021 and Brace for the Future.

Excerpt:

The practice is a common retrospective technique known as Start/Stop/Continue, and it poses three questions:

• What are we not doing, that we should start doing?

• What are we doing, that we should stop doing?

• What are we doing, that we should keep doing?

Sitting in my home office running through this mental exercise, here’s what I came up with…

 

From DSC:
I haven’t tried this Chrome extension, but it looks interesting.


lunanotes.io — websiteChrome extension page

LunaNotes helps you take notes within YouTube, while still watching the video(s). You can customize your notes with their easy-to-use editor, take screenshots of the video and write, draw or add shapes over the screenshot with their screenshot editor.

 

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.)

 

VRJAM -- the metaverse platform for music

The VRJAM metaverse platform is coming to transform the world of live entertainment 

VRJAM, the UK’s leading creator of live music experiences in virtual reality, today teased the launch of the VRJAM platform, a revolutionary new metaverse events platform and NFT creation solution. 

To bring the VRJAM metaverse platform to life, VRJAM has partnered with market leading NFT software developer Enjin.io to launch a rich virtual reality world that offers a host of new solutions for artists to render and monetize their music and live shows in amazing new ways using NFT’s, blockchain and immersive technology.  

The VRJAM platform promises to open up completely new ways for both fans and artist to experience live music events and represents the next step in the evolution of live music. 

Ownership of this virtual world will be shared by a guild of globally recognised artists and record labels who will cooperate to create value and define new possibilities for music inside the metaverse. 

VRJAM’s metaverse platform offers solutions for true live performance using technology that is years ahead of other similar platforms. It provides unsurpassed user experience and offers fans, artists and labels an array of unique features:

VRJAM's metaverse -- a vivid virtual world built for music

At the heart of the VRJAM metaverse platform is a blockchain based trading and finance system, VRJAM Coin. This revolutionary new cryptocurrency will create ways for both artists and fans to earn money inside the metaverse and promises to create entirely new business models for artists, venues and labels at a time when their traditional ways of making money have been turned upside down by the Covid 19 pandemic. 

The VRJAM cryptocurrency is backed by investment from 5 of the world’s leading blockchain specialist investment and venture capital firms, demonstrating the exciting potential of VRJAM’s tech.

The VRJAM platform is scheduled to go live in early 2022, follow on social media to stay up to date.


From DSC:
Hmmmmm….might this type of thing spill over into the worlds of teaching and learning? More direct-to-consumer (learner) types of offerings? Will this open up the doors for new methods of earning a living or for  those interested in building a teaching & learning-based brand?

Alternatively, will this impact what actors, actresses, and comedians will be able to do?


Addendum on 12/2/21:


 

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.
 

From DSC:
From my perspective, both of the items below are highly-related to each other:

Let’s Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens. The Whole World Depends on It. — from edsurge.com by Anne-Marie Núñez, Matthew J. Mayhew, Musbah Shaheen and Laura S. Dahl

Excerpt:

Change may need to start earlier in the workforce development pipeline. Undergraduate education offers a key opportunity for recruiting students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic, gender, and disability groups into computing. Yet even broadened participation in college computer science courses may not shift the tech workforce and block bias from seeping into tech tools if students aren’t taught that diversity and ethics are essential to their field of study and future careers.

Computer Science Majors Lack Citizenship Preparation
Unfortunately, those lessons seem to be missing from many computer science programs.

…and an excerpt from Why AI can’t really filter out “hate news” — with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource (emphasis DSC):

The incomprehensibility and unexplainability of huge algorithms
Michael Egnor: What terrifies me about artificial intelligence — and I don’t think one can overstate this danger — is that artificial intelligence has two properties that make it particularly deadly in human civilization. One is concealment. Even though every single purpose in artificial intelligence is human, it’s concealed. We don’t really understand it. We don’t understand Google’s algorithms.

There may even be a situation where Google doesn’t understand Google’s algorithms. But all of it comes from the people who run Google. So the concealment is very dangerous. We don’t know what these programs are doing to our culture. And it may be that no one knows, but they are doing things.

Note:Roman Yampolskiy has written about the incomprehensibility and unexplainability of AI: “Human beings are finite in our abilities. For example, our short term memory is about 7 units on average. In contrast, an AI can remember billions of items and AI capacity to do so is growing exponentially. While never infinite in a true mathematical sense, machine capabilities can be considered such in comparison with ours. This is true for memory, compute speed, and communication abilities.” So we have built-in bias and incomprehensibility at the same time.

From DSC:
That part about concealment reminds me that our society depends upon the state of the hearts of the tech leaders. We don’t like to admit that, but it’s true. The legal realm is too far behind to stop the Wild West of technological change. The legal realm is trying to catch up, but they’re coming onto the race track with no cars…just as pedestrians walking or running as fast as they can….all the while, the technological cars are whizzing by. 

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

 

The net effect of all of this is that we are more dependent upon the ethics, morals, and care for their fellow humankind (or not) of the C-Suites out there (especially Facebook/Meta Platforms, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple) than we care to admit. Are they producing products and services that aim to help our societies move forward, or are they just trying to make some more bucks? Who — or what — is being served?

The software engineers and software architects are involved here big time as well. “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.” But that perspective is sometimes in short supply.

 

From DSC:
I was reading about a Ph.D. who was currently doing some research into the science of learning. This person had been teaching in a School of Education for years, but just (relatively) recently embarked on a Ph.D. During this person’s research, they came across a lot more information regarding the science of learning.

If this was true with someone who had been in education for years (and I can relate to that as well), it made me wonder:

  • How can we better get the word out to our learners re: how they can maximize their Return On Investment (ROI) from their studying time and efforts…?

Then I thought, why couldn’t we put these tips directly into our banners on our CMS’s and LMS’s and/or link our banners to some other web pages/resources that provide such best practices and tips for our learners!?!  This could occur within the corporate training world as well.

Examples:

Let's put best practices on studying directly within our LMSs banners!

Or we could link to resources regarding best practices in studying!

Along these lines, we should have 11×17 (or larger) posters like this plastered in every hallway of every learning space out there:

 

We should plaster these types of posters throughout our learning spaces!!!

 

Why inexperienced workers can’t get entry-level jobs — from bbc.com by Kate Morgan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

From DSC:
I love the idea of internships. (In my days in college, internships were reserved mainly for engineers; few of us had them back then.)

But with an eye on the cost of obtaining a degree, internships should be PAID internships. That is, interns should receive decent/proper compensation. I’m concerned that businesses will take advantage of free labor here (though that’s less likely given the tight labor market I suppose). But businesses have taken advantage of free labor in the past. “It takes a village…”

Also see:

 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

FLEXspace with LSRS v.3 Integration: Your Key to Future Proofing Learning Spaces — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A roundtable with FLEXspace and LSRS leaders and innovators

Excerpt:

A little more than a year ago, the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System was integrated into FLEXspace. Now, users have a “one-stop shop” to access both the media-rich resources of FLEXspace and the quantitative evaluations of the LSRS.

Here, a round table discussion provides five perspectives on what the integration has meant to users.

 

5 Ways Higher Ed Will Be Upended — from chronicle.com by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
Colleges will lose power, prices will go down, and credentials will multiply — among other jarring shifts.

Excerpt:

The dominance of degrees and “just in case” education will diminish; nondegree certifications and “just in time” education will increase in status and value.

In contrast, “just in time” education teaches students the skills and knowledge they need right now. They may need to learn a foreign language for an coming trip or business deal. They may need to learn an emerging technology. “Just in time” education comes in all shapes and sizes, but diverges from traditional academic time standards, uniform course lengths, and common credit measures. Only a small portion of such programs award degrees; most grant certificates, microcredentials, or badges.

From DSC:
Long-time readers of this blog and my old blog at Calvin (then College) will see no surprises here:

I published the idea of 50% off and more back in 2008

I discussed The Walmart of Education with Mary Grush back in 2013

Learning from the living class room

 
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian