The Enterprise Gets Smart
Companies are starting to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to bolster customer experience, improve security and optimize operations.

Excerpt:

Assembling the right talent is another critical component of an AI initiative. While existing enterprise software platforms that add AI capabilities will make the technology accessible to mainstream business users, there will be a need to ramp up expertise in areas like data science, analytics and even nontraditional IT competencies, says Guarini.

“As we start to see the land grab for talent, there are some real gaps in emerging roles, and those that haven’t been as critical in the past,” Guarini  says, citing the need for people with expertise in disciplines like philosophy and linguistics, for example. “CIOs need to get in front of what they need in terms of capabilities and, in some cases, identify potential partners.”

 

 

 

Asilomar AI Principles

These principles were developed in conjunction with the 2017 Asilomar conference (videos here), through the process described here.

 

Artificial intelligence has already provided beneficial tools that are used every day by people around the world. Its continued development, guided by the following principles, will offer amazing opportunities to help and empower people in the decades and centuries ahead.

Research Issues

 

1) Research Goal: The goal of AI research should be to create not undirected intelligence, but beneficial intelligence.

2) Research Funding: Investments in AI should be accompanied by funding for research on ensuring its beneficial use, including thorny questions in computer science, economics, law, ethics, and social studies, such as:

  • How can we make future AI systems highly robust, so that they do what we want without malfunctioning or getting hacked?
  • How can we grow our prosperity through automation while maintaining people’s resources and purpose?
  • How can we update our legal systems to be more fair and efficient, to keep pace with AI, and to manage the risks associated with AI?
  • What set of values should AI be aligned with, and what legal and ethical status should it have?

3) Science-Policy Link: There should be constructive and healthy exchange between AI researchers and policy-makers.

4) Research Culture: A culture of cooperation, trust, and transparency should be fostered among researchers and developers of AI.

5) Race Avoidance: Teams developing AI systems should actively cooperate to avoid corner-cutting on safety standards.

Ethics and Values

 

6) Safety: AI systems should be safe and secure throughout their operational lifetime, and verifiably so where applicable and feasible.

7) Failure Transparency: If an AI system causes harm, it should be possible to ascertain why.

8) Judicial Transparency: Any involvement by an autonomous system in judicial decision-making should provide a satisfactory explanation auditable by a competent human authority.

9) Responsibility: Designers and builders of advanced AI systems are stakeholders in the moral implications of their use, misuse, and actions, with a responsibility and opportunity to shape those implications.

10) Value Alignment: Highly autonomous AI systems should be designed so that their goals and behaviors can be assured to align with human values throughout their operation.

11) Human Values: AI systems should be designed and operated so as to be compatible with ideals of human dignity, rights, freedoms, and cultural diversity.

12) Personal Privacy: People should have the right to access, manage and control the data they generate, given AI systems’ power to analyze and utilize that data.

13) Liberty and Privacy: The application of AI to personal data must not unreasonably curtail people’s real or perceived liberty.

14) Shared Benefit: AI technologies should benefit and empower as many people as possible.

15) Shared Prosperity: The economic prosperity created by AI should be shared broadly, to benefit all of humanity.

16) Human Control: Humans should choose how and whether to delegate decisions to AI systems, to accomplish human-chosen objectives.

17) Non-subversion: The power conferred by control of highly advanced AI systems should respect and improve, rather than subvert, the social and civic processes on which the health of society depends.

18) AI Arms Race: An arms race in lethal autonomous weapons should be avoided.

Longer-term Issues

 

19) Capability Caution: There being no consensus, we should avoid strong assumptions regarding upper limits on future AI capabilities.

20) Importance: Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth, and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources.

21) Risks: Risks posed by AI systems, especially catastrophic or existential risks, must be subject to planning and mitigation efforts commensurate with their expected impact.

22) Recursive Self-Improvement: AI systems designed to recursively self-improve or self-replicate in a manner that could lead to rapidly increasing quality or quantity must be subject to strict safety and control measures.

23) Common Good: Superintelligence should only be developed in the service of widely shared ethical ideals, and for the benefit of all humanity rather than one state or organization.

 

 

 

Excerpts:
Creating human-level AI: Will it happen, and if so, when and how? What key remaining obstacles can be identified? How can we make future AI systems more robust than today’s, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked?

  • Talks:
    • Demis Hassabis (DeepMind)
    • Ray Kurzweil (Google) (video)
    • Yann LeCun (Facebook/NYU) (pdf) (video)
  • Panel with Anca Dragan (Berkeley), Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), Guru Banavar (IBM), Oren Etzioni (Allen Institute), Tom Gruber (Apple), Jürgen Schmidhuber (Swiss AI Lab), Yann LeCun (Facebook/NYU), Yoshua Bengio (Montreal) (video)
  • Superintelligence: Science or fiction? If human level general AI is developed, then what are likely outcomes? What can we do now to maximize the probability of a positive outcome? (video)
    • Talks:
      • Shane Legg (DeepMind)
      • Nick Bostrom (Oxford) (pdf) (video)
      • Jaan Tallinn (CSER/FLI) (pdf) (video)
    • Panel with Bart Selman (Cornell), David Chalmers (NYU), Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX), Jaan Tallinn (CSER/FLI), Nick Bostrom (FHI), Ray Kurzweil (Google), Stuart Russell (Berkeley), Sam Harris, Demis Hassabis (DeepMind): If we succeed in building human-level AGI, then what are likely outcomes? What would we like to happen?
    • Panel with Dario Amodei (OpenAI), Nate Soares (MIRI), Shane Legg (DeepMind), Richard Mallah (FLI), Stefano Ermon (Stanford), Viktoriya Krakovna (DeepMind/FLI): Technical research agenda: What can we do now to maximize the chances of a good outcome? (video)
  • Law, policy & ethics: How can we update legal systems, international treaties and algorithms to be more fair, ethical and efficient and to keep pace with AI?
    • Talks:
      • Matt Scherer (pdf) (video)
      • Heather Roff-Perkins (Oxford)
    • Panel with Martin Rees (CSER/Cambridge), Heather Roff-Perkins, Jason Matheny (IARPA), Steve Goose (HRW), Irakli Beridze (UNICRI), Rao Kambhampati (AAAI, ASU), Anthony Romero (ACLU): Policy & Governance (video)
    • Panel with Kate Crawford (Microsoft/MIT), Matt Scherer, Ryan Calo (U. Washington), Kent Walker (Google), Sam Altman (OpenAI): AI & Law (video)
    • Panel with Kay Firth-Butterfield (IEEE, Austin-AI), Wendell Wallach (Yale), Francesca Rossi (IBM/Padova), Huw Price (Cambridge, CFI), Margaret Boden (Sussex): AI & Ethics (video)

 

 

 

ngls-2017-conference

 

From DSC:
I have attended the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference for the past two years. Both conferences were very solid and they made a significant impact on our campus, as they provided the knowledge, research, data, ideas, contacts, and the catalyst for us to move forward with building a Sandbox Classroom on campus. This new, collaborative space allows us to experiment with different pedagogies as well as technologies. As such, we’ve been able to experiment much more with active learning-based methods of teaching and learning. We’re still in Phase I of this new space, and we’re learning new things all of the time.

For the upcoming conference in February, I will be moderating a New Directions in Learning panel on the use of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). Time permitting, I hope that we can also address other promising, emerging technologies that are heading our way such as chatbots, personal assistants, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, tvOS, blockchain and more.

The goal of this quickly-moving, engaging session will be to provide a smorgasbord of ideas to generate creative, innovative, and big thinking. We need to think about how these topics, trends, and technologies relate to what our next generation learning environments might look like in the near future — and put these things on our radars if they aren’t already there.

Key takeaways for the panel discussion:

  • Reflections regarding the affordances that new developments in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) — such as AR, VR, and MR — might offer for our learning and our learning spaces (or is our concept of what constitutes a learning space about to significantly expand?)
  • An update on the state of the approaching ed tech landscape
  • Creative, new thinking: What might our next generation learning environments look like in 5-10 years?

I’m looking forward to catching up with friends, meeting new people, and to the solid learning that I know will happen at this conference. I encourage you to check out the conference and register soon to take advantage of the early bird discounts.

 

 
 

Why can’t the “One Day University” come directly into your living room — 24×7? [Christian]

  • An idea/question from DSC:
    Looking at the article below, I wonder…“Why can’t the ‘One Day University‘ come directly into your living room — 24×7?”

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

This is why I’m so excited about the “The Living [Class] Room” vision. Because it is through that vision that people of all ages — and from all over the world — will be able to constantly learn, grow, and reinvent themselves (if need be) throughout their lifetimes. They’ll be able to access and share content, communicate and discuss/debate with one another, form communities of practice, go through digital learning playlists (like Lynda.com’s Learning Paths) and more.  All from devices that represent the convergence of the television, the telephone, and the computer (and likely converging with the types of devices that are only now coming into view, such as Microsoft’s Hololens).

 

LearningPaths-LyndaDotCom-April2016

 

You won’t just be limited to going back to college for a day — you’ll be able to do that 24×7 for as many days of the year as you want to.

Then when some sophisticated technologies are integrated into this type of platform — such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based learner profiles, algorithms, and the ability to setup exchanges for learning materials — we’ll get some things that will blow our minds in the not too distant future! Heutagogy on steroids!

 

 


 

 

Want to go back to college? You can, for a day. — from washingtonpost.com by Valerie Strauss

Excerpt:

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if you could go back to college, just for the sake of learning something new, in a field you don’t know much about, with no tests, homework or studying to worry about? And you won’t need to take the SAT or the ACT to be accepted? You can, at least for a day, with something called One Day University, the brainchild of a man named Steve Schragis, who about a decade ago brought his daughter to Bard College as a freshman and thought that he wanted to stay.

One Day University now financially partners with dozens of newspapers — including The Washington Post — and a few other organizations to bring lectures to people around the country. The vast majority of the attendees are over the age 50 and interested in continuing education, and One Day University offers them only those professors identified by college students as fascinating. As Schragis says, it doesn’t matter if you are famous; you have to be a great teacher. For example, Schragis says that since Bill Gates has never shown to be one, he can’t teach at One Day University.

We bring together these professors, usually four at at a time, to cities across the country to create “The Perfect Day of College.” Of course we leave out the homework, exams, and studying! Best if there’s real variety, both male and female profs, four different schools, four different subjects, four different styles, etc. There’s no one single way to be a great professor. We like to show multiple ways to our students.

Most popular classes are history, psychology, music, politics, and film. Least favorite are math and science.

 

 


See also:


 

 

OneDayUniversity-1-April2016

 

OneDayUniversity-2-April2016

 

 

 


Addendum:


 

 

lyndaDotcom-onAppleTV-April2016

 

We know the shelf-life of skills are getting shorter and shorter. So whether it’s to brush up on new skills or it’s to stay on top of evolving ones, Lynda.com can help you stay ahead of the latest technologies.

 

 

How top liberal arts colleges prepare students for successful lives of leadership and service — from educationdive.com by John I. Williams, Jr.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, discussed the top ten skills that will be needed for careers in 2020:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgment and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility

The list is remarkable, both for what it includes and for what it doesn’t; and for the fact that it is as timeless as it is forward-looking. For our purposes, it serves as a useful gauge for the value of the education our students receive at highly-selective liberal arts colleges.

As I reflect upon the list, I realize graduates of top liberal arts colleges will smile as they read it, reminded that their education focuses on skills that will be valuable across a lifetime.

 

Going forward, college graduates may work for nine or more organizations over the course of their careers.

 

Yet, for all this techno-wizardry, the critical skills on WEF’s list for careers in 2020 resemble closely those that have defined the leaders who have emerged from top liberal arts colleges for decades. 

 

At the same time, top liberal arts colleges have always been committed to preparing students for more than just career success, including contributions to society more broadly. These colleges have always focused not only on the development of students’ intellect but on their character as well.

 

 

 

 

DanielSChristian-CognitiveHooks-LiberalArts-Oct-2015

 

Chapter 2 of the Daniel Willingham’s book entitled,  Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom, lays out the best case for the liberal arts degree that I’ve ever seen or read about.

First of all, a description of the book:
Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the classroom
Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.

  • Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the classroom
  • Includes surprising findings, such as that intelligence is malleable, and that you cannot develop “thinking skills” without facts
  • How an understanding of the brain’s workings can help teachers hone their teaching skills

 

From DSC:
Though more tangential to my main point here, I really appreciate Daniel’s bridging the worlds of research and teaching. He is knowledgeable about the relevant research that’s been done out there, and he uses that knowledge to inform his recommendations for how best to apply that research in the classroom. Often, it seems, these two worlds don’t get connected.  I also like how he models solid ways of teaching. For example, he knows that repetition helps, so he summarizes/repeats his main points throughout a chapter.

Speaking of chapters, here are some of my notes from chapter 2:

  • Factual knowledge must proceed skill. (p. 25)
  • We need factual knowledge before we can practice critical thinking or have the ability to analyze something (p. 25)
  • “Thinking well requires knowing facts, and that’s true not simply because you need something to think about. The very processes that teachers care about most — critical thinking processes such as reasoning and problem solving – are intimately  intertwined with factual knowledge that is stored in long-term memory…” (p. 28)
  • Critical thinking processes are tied to background knowledge (p. 29)
  • Thinking skills and knowledge are bound together (p.29)
  • “The phenomenon of tying together separate pieces of information from the environment is called chunking. The advantage is obvious: you can keep more stuff in working memory if it can be chunked. The trick, however, is that chunking works only when you have applicable factual knowledge in long-term memory.” (p. 34)
  • “Thus, background knowledge allows chunking, which makes more room in working memory, which makes it easier to relate ideas, and therefore to comprehend.” (p.35)
  • “…we don’t take in new information in a vacuum. We interpret new things we read in light of other information we already have on the topic.”  (p. 36)
  • “Not only does background knowledge make you a better reader, but it also is necessary to be a good thinker.” (p.37)
  • “When it comes to knowledge, those who have more gain more.” (p. 42)
  • “When it comes to knowledge, the rich get richer. (p.45 )
  • “…having background knowledge in long-term memory makes it easier to acquire still more factual knowledge.” (p. 44)
  • “Knowledge…is a prerequisite for imagination.” (p.46)
  • “The cognitive processes that are most esteemed — logical thinking, problem solving, and the like — are intertwined with knowledge.” (pgs. 46-47)

 

From DSC:
So the saying that “you get what you pay for” again turns out to be true.  That is, you will likely pay more for a 4-year liberal arts degree than what you will pay for a 10-12 week bootcamp.  But if you go to a bootcamp and come out knowing only how to code using programming language XYZ, you have far fewer cognitive “hooks” on which to hang new hats (i.e., new information).

A liberal arts degree covers and provides a great deal of knowledge — and it builds upon that knowledge with higher order skills. Such a degree provides a broader foundation of knowledge that creates numerous hooks on which to hang new hats in the future. 

These reflections regarding foundational knowledge and having hooks to hang new information on (and make new connections with) reminds me of Bloom’s Taxonomy.  Factual knowledge was the foundational layer of his original taxonomy:


Original

 

 

Revised

 

So it seems to me that the size/breadth of the foundational layer that’s been built from a liberal arts degree is far broader and deeper than a foundational layer obtained from attending a bootcamp.  The numerous number of cognitive hooks that it provides will help a sharp, hard-working graduate of a liberal arts program be able to not only understand the business at hand, but to practice creative thinking, to practice critical thinking, and to be able to innovate.

I’m not saying that a graduate of a bootcamp can’t do some of those things as well. (I also think that bootcamps can definitely have a place in our learning ecosystems.) But chances are that such a person has already built a broader foundation of remembering and understanding to draw upon.

 

What do you think, am I off base here or does this thinking accurately reflect
one of the areas in which a liberal arts degree is important and provides real, lasting value?

 

From DSC:
Are we neglecting to ask some key questions within higher education? I’ll get to those questions in a moment, the ones that came to my mind after seeing the following posting:


The robots are coming for your job! Why digital literacy is so important for the jobs of the future — from theconversation.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In a report released this week, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) claims that up to 70% of young people are preparing for jobs that will no longer exist in the future. The report also raises concerns about decreasing entry-level occupations for school leavers and the impacts of automation.

In another recent report, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia predicts that:

almost five million Australian jobs – around 40% of the workforce – face the high probability of being replaced by computers in the next 10 to 15 years.

The FYA report also makes the case for increased emphasis on developing digital literacy and the implementation of a digital technologies curriculum in primary school.

Digital literacy includes skills such as coding, data synthesis and manipulation, as well as the design, use and management of computerised, digital and automated systems. Success in the new work order requires these skills alongside lateral thinking, innovation, problem-solving, collaboration and entrepreneurship. Add these to the traditional literacy skills of reading and writing and you have a very complex picture of what literacy is.

 

With automation a real threat to future jobs, school curricula have to keep up with the times.

 

 


From DSC:
The article raises an important point: “At the same time, the question of how we are preparing students in our schools for the new work order also bears serious consideration.”

I couldn’t agree more, as there are enormous ramifications to this topic/question: Are we, in fact, preparing our students for the future that they will inherit? 

I suppose I could have also titled this posting, “More reasons to support the liberal arts,” as the liberal arts lay a strong foundation for many of the twists and turns that our students (and ourselves) will encounter down the road. 

However, I fear that even within our liberal arts programs, we aren’t offering quite enough new courses that would help our students deal with a rapidly changing world.  For example, I would like to see more courses on futurism offered — training students to look up and pulse check a variety of items that could impact them, their families, or their businesses in the future. Also, I don’t think they are going to know how to run their own businesses or to effectively freelance, something that 30-50% of them are going to need to do (depending upon which articles and reports one reads).

Also, why aren’t we offering more online-based opportunities for students to encounter learning opportunities and discussions that involve people from all over the globe? Won’t they be on project teams like that in the future? Isn’t that occurring already?

What do you think…how are we doing here? How are things in your city, state, or country?

 


 

 

What might our learning ecosystems look like by 2025? [Christian]

This posting can also be seen out at evoLLLution.com (where LLL stands for lifelong learning):

DanielChristian-evoLLLutionDotComArticle-7-31-15

 

From DSC:
What might our learning ecosystems look like by 2025?

In the future, learning “channels” will offer more choice, more control.  They will be far more sophisticated than what we have today.

 

MoreChoiceMoreControl-DSC

 

That said, what the most important aspects of online course design end up being 10 years from now depends upon what types of “channels” I think there will be and what might be offered via those channels. By channels, I mean forms, methods, and avenues of learning that a person could pursue and use. In 2015, some example channels might be:

  • Attending a community college, a college or a university to obtain a degree
  • Obtaining informal learning during an internship
  • Using social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn
  • Reading blogs, books, periodicals, etc.

In 2025, there will likely be new and powerful channels for learning that will be enabled by innovative forms of communications along with new software, hardware, technologies, and other advancements. For examples, one could easily imagine:

  • That the trajectory of deep learning and artificial intelligence will continue, opening up new methods of how we might learn in the future
  • That augmented and virtual reality will allow for mobile learning to the Nth degree
  • That the trend of Competency Based Education (CBE) and microcredentials may be catapulted into the mainstream via the use of big data-related affordances

Due to time and space limitations, I’ll focus here on the more formal learning channels that will likely be available online in 2025. In that environment, I think we’ll continue to see different needs and demands – thus we’ll still need a menu of options. However, the learning menu of 2025 will be more personalized, powerful, responsive, sophisticated, flexible, granular, modularized, and mobile.

 


Highly responsive, career-focused track


One part of the menu of options will focus on addressing the demand for more career-focused information and learning that is available online (24×7). Even in 2015, with the U.S. government saying that 40% of today’s workers now have ‘contingent’ jobs and others saying that percentage will continue climbing to 50% or more, people will be forced to learn quickly in order to stay marketable.  Also, the 1/2 lives of information may not last very long, especially if we continue on our current trajectory of exponential change (vs. linear change).

However, keeping up with that pace of change is currently proving to be out of reach for most institutions of higher education, especially given the current state of accreditation and governance structures throughout higher education as well as how our current teaching and learning environment is set up (i.e., the use of credit hours, 4 year degrees, etc.).  By 2025, accreditation will have been forced to change to allow for alternative forms of learning and for methods of obtaining credentials. Organizations that offer channels with a more vocational bent to them will need to be extremely responsive, as they attempt to offer up-to-date, highly-relevant information that will immediately help people be more employable and marketable. Being nimble will be the name of the game in this arena. Streams of content will be especially important here. There may not be enough time to merit creating formal, sophisticated courses on many career-focused topics.

 

StreamsOfContent-DSC

 

With streams of content, the key value provided by institutions will be to curate the most relevant, effective, reliable, up-to-date content…so one doesn’t have to drink from the Internet’s firehose of information. Such streams of content will also offer constant potential, game-changing scenarios and will provide a pulse check on a variety of trends that could affect an industry. Social-based learning will be key here, as learners contribute to each other’s learning. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will need to be knowledgeable facilitators of learning; but given the pace of change, true experts will be rare indeed.

Microcredentials, nanodegrees, competency-based education, and learning from one’s living room will be standard channels in 2025.  Each person may have a web-based learner profile by then and the use of big data will keep that profile up-to-date regarding what any given individual has been learning about and what skills they have mastered.

For example, even currently in 2015, a company called StackUp creates their StackUp Report to add to one’s resume or grades, asserting that their services can give “employers and schools new metrics to evaluate your passion, interests, and intellectual curiosity.” Stackup captures, categorizes, and scores everything you read and study online. So they can track your engagement on a given website, for example, and then score the time spent doing so. This type of information can then provide insights into the time you spend learning.

Project teams and employers could create digital playlists that prospective employees or contractors will have to advance through; and such teams and employers will be watching to see how the learners perform in proving their competencies.

However, not all learning will be in the fast lane and many people won’t want all of their learning to be constantly in the high gears. In fact, the same learner could be pursuing avenues in multiple tracks, traveling through their learning-related journeys at multiple speeds.

 


The more traditional liberal arts track


To address these varied learning preferences, another part of the menu will focus on channels that don’t need to change as frequently.  The focus here won’t be on quickly-moving streams of content, but the course designers in this track can take a bit more time to offer far more sophisticated options and activities that people will enjoy going through.

Along these lines, some areas of the liberal arts* will fit in nicely here.

*Speaking of the liberal arts, a brief but important tangent needs to be addressed, for strategic purposes. While the following statement will likely be highly controversial, I’m going to say it anyway.  Online learning could be the very thing that saves the liberal arts.

Why do I say this? Because as the price of higher education continues to increase, the dynamics and expectations of learners continue to change. As the prices continue to increase, so do peoples’ expectations and perspectives. So it may turn out that people are willing to pay a dollar range that ends up being a fraction of today’s prices. But such greatly reduced prices won’t likely be available in face-to-face environments, as offering these types of learning environment is expensive. However, such discounted prices can and could be offered via online-based environments. So, much to the chagrin of many in academia, online learning could be the very thing that provides the type of learning, growth, and some of the experiences that liberal arts programs have been about for centuries. Online learning can offer a lifelong supply of the liberal arts.

But I digress…
By 2025, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) will be able to offer excellent, engaging courses chocked full of the use of:

  • Engaging story/narrative
  • Powerful collaboration and communication tools
  • Sophisticated tracking and reporting
  • Personalized learning, tech-enabled scaffolding, and digital learning playlists
  • Game elements or even, in some cases, multiplayer games
  • Highly interactive digital videos with built-in learning activities
  • Transmedia-based outlets and channels
  • Mobile-based learning using AR, VR, real-world assignments, objects, and events
  • …and more.

However, such courses won’t be able to be created by one person. Their sophistication will require a team of specialists – and likely a list of vendors, algorithms, and/or open source-based tools – to design and deliver this type of learning track.

 


Final reflections


The marketplaces involving education-related content and technologies will likely look different. There could be marketplaces for algorithms as well as for very granular learning modules. In fact, it could be that modularization will be huge by 2025, allowing digital learning playlists to be built by an SME, a Provost, and/or a Dean (in addition to the aforementioned employer or project team).  Any assistance that may be required by a learner will be provided either via technology (likely via an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled resource) and/or via a SME.

We will likely either have moved away from using Learning Management Systems (LMSs) or those LMSs will allow for access to far larger, integrated learning ecosystems.

Functionality wise, collaboration tools will still be important, but they might be mind-blowing to us living in 2015.  For example, holographic-based communications could easily be commonplace by 2025. Where tools like IBM’s Watson, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Deepmind, and Apple’s Siri end up in our future learning ecosystems is hard to tell, but will likely be there. New forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will likely be mainstream by 2025.

While the exact menu of learning options is unclear, what is clear is that change is here today and will likely be here tomorrow. Those willing to experiment, to adapt, and to change have a far greater likelihood of surviving and thriving in our future learning ecosystems.

 

That ‘useless’ liberal arts degree has become tech’s hottest ticket — from forbes.com by George Anders; with a shout out to Krista Spahr for bringing this item to my attention

Except:

What kind of boss hires a thwarted actress for a business-to-business software startup? Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s 42-year-old cofounder and CEO, whose estimated double-digit stake in the company could be worth $300 million or more. He’s the proud holder of an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Canada’s University of Victoria and a master’s degree from Cambridge in philosophy and the history of science.

“Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true.”

And he’s far from alone. Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.  Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers–and make progress seem pleasant.

 

 

forbescover2

 

 

 

Addendum on 8/7/15:

  • STEM Study Starts With Liberal Arts — from forbes.com by Chris Teare
    Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
    Much has been made, especially by the Return on Investment crowd, of the value of undergraduate study in the so-called STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Lost in the conversation is the way the true liberal arts underpin such study, often because the liberal arts are inaccurately equated solely with the humanities. From the start, the liberal arts included math and science, something I learned firsthand at St. John’s College.

    This topic is especially on my mind since reading the excellent article George Anders has written for Forbes: “That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket” In this context, understanding the actual origin and purposes of the liberal arts is all the more valuable.

 

Avoiding Sweet Briar: Five tips to help institutions become more nimble — from evoLLLution.com by Richard DeMillo

Excerpt:

Educators and administrators who study the demise of institutions like Sweet Briar must wonder what steps might have been taken to avoid a similar fate. Could Sweet Briar have foreseen the problems ahead and taken steps in a different direction? How does a modern college or university remain agile in the harsh and ever-changing marketplace of higher education?

There is a disconnect between how a college or university functions and public perception. From research to classroom teaching, and even to administrative duties, faculty are expected to take on too much. As a result, innovation in education—a university’s main product—often takes a back seat.

 

When institutions become too assured of their central role, they inevitably lose ground to innovators who are better connected to the needs of students.

 

 

The shape of things to come: Five changes to move off Sweet Briar’s path — from evoLLLution.com by William G. Tierney

Excerpt:

To many of us, Sweet Briar College’s closure is not a singular example of a mismanaged institution but the proverbial canary in the coalmine. Many of our postsecondary institutions—especially under-endowed small liberal arts colleges—have to start changing or they will close. What needs to happen?

 

I certainly appreciate those of us who make forlorn calls for the noble aspirations of what academic life might once have been and perhaps one day could become again. At the same time, given the pace of change, if colleges and universities don’t get more with it, they will go out of business.

 

 

Addendum on 5/19/15:

  • Reinventing the Liberal Arts College: Collaborating to Steer Clear of Sweet Briar — from evoLLLution.com by Brian Williams
    Excerpt:
    Sweet Briar College’s decision to close has given heightened attention to a set of thorny questions that higher education leaders, particularly those in liberal arts colleges, have pondered for some time, revolving around a central theme: “Why do liberal arts colleges need to change their business model and what should that change entail?”As is frequently the case, the answers are much more complicated than the questions. Although similar in many respects as a group, liberal arts colleges are quite diverse in their settings, their financial circumstances, the missions they pursue and how they allocate their resources. As was recently observed in the wake of the closing at Sweet Briar, “every small college’s circumstances are unique, as are the personalities of its leaders, and drawing conclusions based on what happened at other institutions may be of limited value.” [1]
 
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