Will the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally remake the legal industry? — from abajournal.com by Lyle Moran

Excerpt:

They both note that while the Great Recession was a substantial shock to the economic system, COVID-19 has resulted in the sudden upheaval of society at large. This includes changing how members of the public can access the court system or connect with a lawyer.

“It is really fundamentally disrupting overnight every single component of the legal system, and that is very different than 2008-2009,” says Leonard, who is also Penn Law’s chief innovation officer. “I think it creates enormous opportunities for changing many of the ways we work as lawyers, the ways we provide legal services to our clients and also the ways the justice system as a whole works.”

In the short term, Leonard says the pandemic has resulted in massive “forced experimentation.”

People being sworn in on a laptop

In June, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice McCormack swore in a cohort of law students via a Zoom conference. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Supreme Court; Shutterstock.

Also see:

 

NEW! Resolve disputes online for free -- with or without a mediator!

Excerpt:

This is a new service supported by the Michigan Supreme Court’s Administrative Office to provide a free, quick and easy way of resolving disputes that are typically filed as a small claims or landlord/tenant case in the district court.

Through MI-Resolve, parties can resolve their disputes online with or without the help of a mediator. Parties can also arrange to meet in person with a mediator or via videoconference. Mediation is a process in which a trained neutral person (a mediator) helps parties identify a solution to a dispute that best works for them. Mediators do not take sides, evaluate claims, or provide legal advice.

 

 

To provide the best learning environment while keeping everyone safe, WMU-Cooley Law School made the decision to continue teaching classes ONLINE for the Fall 2020 semester.

 

From DSC:
We at the WMU-Cooley Law School are working hard to enhance and expand our teaching toolboxes, so that we can pivot as necessary in the future. 

DanielChristian-EnhancingOurTeachingToolboxes.jpg

Whether we need to deliver our cognitive-science based, modern legal education via 100% online-based means, or whether it’s a blended/hybrid approach, or whether it’s 100% face-to-face again at some point in the future, we need to be ready for multiple methods and modes of teaching and learning. 

 

 

But I have to say, the work is hard. There are more and different kinds of people on the front lines of this Covid-19 situation than just the wonderful folks in healthcare. Many Instructional Designers (IDs), Information Technology (IT)-related staff, faculty members, and members of administration and are working overtime, all-the-time. It’s not easy. That said, I do believe that there will be some silver linings in this situation. Many faculty members are coming to appreciate the teaching and learning power of some of these tools — and will likely integrate several of these new tools/methods even if and when they return to our face-to-face-based classrooms.

 

Wrongfully accused by an algorithm- from the New York Times

Wrongfully accused by an algorithm — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill

Excerpt:

On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit Police Department telling him to come to the station to be arrested. He thought at first that it was a prank.

An hour later, when he pulled into his driveway in a quiet subdivision in Farmington Hills, Mich., a police car pulled up behind, blocking him in. Two officers got out and handcuffed Mr. Williams on his front lawn, in front of his wife and two young daughters, who were distraught. The police wouldn’t say why he was being arrested, only showing him a piece of paper with his photo and the words “felony warrant” and “larceny.”

His wife, Melissa, asked where he was being taken. “Google it,” she recalls an officer replying.

“Is this you?” asked the detective.

The second piece of paper was a close-up. The photo was blurry, but it was clearly not Mr. Williams. He picked up the image and held it next to his face.

“No, this is not me,” Mr. Williams said. “You think all black men look alike?”

 

Also relevant/see:

What a machine learning tool that turns Obama white can (and can’t) tell us about AI bias

 

Six Practical Approaches for Teaching Writing Online — from facultyfocus.com by Christian Aguiar and Albert Pearsall; with a shoutout to Bill Knapp from GRCC for posting this on Twitter

Six practical approaches for teaching writing online -- from faculty focus dot com

 

Fall Scenario #13: A HyFlex Model — from insidehighered.com by Edward Maloney and Joshua Kim

Excerpt:

In a HyFlex course, courses are delivered both in person and online at the same time by the same faculty member. Students can then choose for each and every class meeting whether to show up for class in person or to join it online. The underlying design ethos behind the HyFlex Model is flexibility and student choice.

To do it well, then, a lot of things need to line up, including the technology, the course design, the focus on pedagogy and the engagement of the students. Many schools that wish to scale the HyFlex Model across the curriculum for the fall semester will likely need to make a significant investment in classroom technology.

Also see the other scenarios from Kim and Maloney at:

15 fall scenarios for higher education this fall (i.e., the fall of 2020)

 

Problems planning for a Post-Pandemic Campus this fall — from bryanalexander.org by Bryan Alexander
How will campuses try to return to face-to-face education?  What does it mean now to plan for a Post-Pandemic Campus this fall?

Excerpt:

In April I published three scenarios for colleges and universities may approach the fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19, based on different ways the pandemic might play out.  I followed that up with real world examples of each scenario, as different institutions subsequently issued announcements about their plans.  To recap, they are:

  1. COVID Fall: today’s “remote instruction” continues and develops for the rest of calendar 2020.
  2. Toggle Term: campuses are ready and able to switch between online and in-person instruction as circumstances change.
  3. Post-Pandemic Campus: colleges and universities return in the fall to the traditional face-to-face mode after COVID-19’s danger has ebbed to a certain level.

 

6 ways college might look different in the fall — from npr.com by Elissa Nadworny

Excerpt:

What will happen on college campuses in the fall? It’s a big question for families, students and the schools themselves.

A lot of what happens depends on factors outside the control of individual schools: Will there be more testing? Contact tracing? Enough physical space for distancing? Will the coronavirus have a second wave? Will any given state allow campuses to reopen?

For all of these questions, it’s really too early to know the answers. But one thing is clear: Life, and learning for the nation’s 20 million students in higher education, will be different.

“I don’t think there’s any scenario under which it’s business as usual on American college campuses in the fall,” says Nicholas Christakis, a sociologist and physician at Yale University.

 

If law schools can’t offer in-person classes this fall, what will they do instead? — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

 

Invitation for Comment on Emergency Rulemaking — from uscourts.gov
Request for Input on Possible Emergency Procedures

Excerpt:

The committees seek input on challenges encountered during the COVID pandemic in state and federal courts, by lawyers, judges, parties, or the public, and on solutions developed to deal with those challenges. The committees are particularly interested in hearing about situations that could not be addressed through the existing rules or in which the rules themselves interfered with practical solutions.

And from Canada:
Our civil justice system needs to be brought into the 21st century — from theglobeandmail.com by Rosalie Silberman Abella

Excerpt:

I’m talking of course about access to justice. But I’m not talking about fees, or billings, or legal aid, or even pro bono. Those are our beloved old standards in the “access to justice” repertoire and I’m sure everyone knows those tunes very well.

I have a more fundamental concern: I cannot for the life of me understand why we still resolve civil disputes the way we did more than a century ago.

In a speech to the American Bar Association called The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice, Roscoe Pound criticized the civil justice system’s trials for being overly fixated on procedure, overly adversarial, too expensive, too long and too out of date. The year was 1906.

Any good litigator from 1906 could, with a few hours of coaching, feel perfectly at home in today’s courtrooms. 

 

EDUCAUSE COVID-19 QuickPoll Results: The Technology Workforce — from er.educause.edu by Susan Grajek

Excerpts:

Most of the survey respondents are working remotely and getting their work done. Although the work itself hasn’t changed much, workloads have increased, especially for IT leaders and people supporting teaching and learning. Most people have the technologies they need to work and to handle sensitive data, but many are struggling to maintain their physical, social, and emotional health. On the other hand, the newfound widespread ability to work productively from home is a silver lining, and respondents hope it can continue after the severe isolation of the pandemic eases.

Higher education institutions have had to change their cultures abruptly. Many respondents observed faster decision-making, greater focus, more collaboration, and more willingness to experiment and innovate.

The toothpaste is out of the tube: remote work works and should continue.

Greater compassion and support for work-life balance increases workforce engagement.

Values to keep: focus, communication, collaboration, and transparency.

The pandemic is accelerating digital transformation.

From DSC:
My health and work/family balance has been impacted, big time. A double whammy for me was that our local YMCA’s all closed down while the workloads increased even more. But as someone said, our ancestors had to deal with a lot worse than this with WWI and WWII, other wars/societal impacts, etc.

I, too, hope to be able to work more from home even after our workplaces are no longer off-limits. I get a lot done, my energy is better (not having to commute 2+ hours a day), my productivity to my employer has increased due to not having to commute –> the time I was in the car is time they get productivity-wise.

 

Why local news outlets may be among this pandemic’s victims — from medium.com by Sue Ellen Christian
The healthy functioning of our communities depends on the survival of our local news systems. Here’s how to start resuscitating close-to-home journalism, now.

Excerpt:

Just as we thought it couldn’t get worse for the survival of local news outlets, it has. Covid-19 is attacking what was left of the advertising base for local news outlets. Local retailers are the foundational advertisers for online news outlets. With shelter-in-place orders enacted throughout the country, retailers are struggling to pay the rent; low on their priorities for financial solvency is buying ads in a local newspaper, online news outlet, local television news show or community magazine.

Furthermore, those same retailers, such as book stores and restaurants, where single-sale print copies of local magazines and newspapers are often available, aren’t open, further hurting the already meager revenue streams of local news providers.

New York has the Times. Los Angeles has its Times. The nation’s capital has the Post. We in smaller and mid-size communities not only deserve our close-to-home updates and information, our local democracies rely on it.

Daily digital and print news outlets in particular offer citizens a public service: News about the schools our children attend, how our taxes are spent, what is happening in court systems and park districts and local elections. They fight for public documents to be released and public meetings to remain open — to be sure, all vital parts to democracy. But these outlets also offer our communities a reflection of ourselves.

 

Steps toward excellence: The power of learning objectives — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert
Making clear and measurable learning objectives for both the course and individual course modules. 

Excerpt:

How to write a clear, measurable learning objective

Allow me to (re-)introduce you to Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Each of the six levels of the taxonomy corresponds to a category of cognitive tasks, and in most of these diagrams of the taxonomy you will find action verbs attached to each level. The key to writing a clear, measurable learning objective is to focus on two questions at both the macro and micro levels:

What is it that I want students to learn? And,

What action with a measurable outcome can a student perform that will allow me to decide whether they have learned it?

Then it’s a matter of expressing that action as a declarative statement anchored to a concrete action verb at the appropriate Bloom level.

Also see Robert’s second posting here, entitled:

 

From DSC:
On the positive side…

What I appreciate about ‘s article is that it’s asking us to think about future scenarios in regards to higher education. Then, it’s proposing some potential action steps to take now to address those potential scenarios if they come to fruition. It isn’t looking at the hood when we’re traveling 180 mph. Rather, it’s looking out into the horizon to see what’s coming down the pike. 

6 Steps to Prepare for an Online Fall Semester — from chronicle.com b

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Plan for a multiyear impact. If colleges are forced to maintain online-only instruction in the fall and to defer reopening their campuses to in-person instruction to January 2021, the impact will be felt for years. College leaders should start thinking now about how to manage and potentially adjust spring-2021 (and beyond) course offerings, course sequencing, and degree requirements to avoid saddling students with graduation delays and the accompanying direct and indirect financial costs. In addition, colleges should anticipate a smaller-than-normal entering first-year class in fall 2020 (and thus a larger-than-normal enrollment a year later) and devise strategies to help mitigate the resulting stresses on admission rates and classroom and dorm capacity for first-year students entering in fall 2021 and beyond.

If instruction remains online-only in the fall, colleges won’t be able to afford that sort of inefficiency. College departments should start now to identify opportunities for collaborations that would draw on the collective wisdom and labor of faculty members from multiple institutions who are teaching similar courses. This would lessen the burden of migrating teaching materials and techniques to an online format.

From DSC:
I’ve often wondered about the place of consortiums within higher ed…i.e., pooling resources. Will the impacts of the Coronavirus change this area of higher ed? Not sure. Perhaps.

On the negative side…

I take issue with some of John’s perspectives, which are so common amongst the writers and academics out there. For example:

Conversely, an entire generation of current college students is now learning that it can be pretty boring to be one of several hundred people simultaneously watching a Zoom lecture.

You know what? I did that very same thingover and over again — at Northwestern University (NU), but in a face-to-face format. And quite frankly, it’s a better view on videoconferencing. It’s far more close up, more intimate online. I agree it’s a different experience. But our auditoriums were large and having 100-200+ students in a classroom was common. There was no interaction amongst the students. There were no breakout groups. The faculty members didn’t know most of our names and I highly doubt that the well-paid researchers at Northwestern — who were never taught how to teach in the first place nor did they or NU regard the practice of teaching and learning highly anyway — gave a rat’s ass about body language. Reading the confusion in the auditorium? Really? I highly doubt it. And those TA’s that we paid good money for? Most likely, they were never taught how to teach either. The well-paid researchers often offloaded much of the teaching responsibilities onto the teacher assistants’ backs. 

Bottom line:
Face-to-face learning is getting waaaay more credit than it sometimes deserves — though sometimes it IS warranted. And online-based learning — especially when it’s done right — isn’t getting nearly enough credit. 


Addendum: Another example of practicing futures thinking in higher ed:

 

FCC enacts $200M telehealth initiative to ease COVID-19 burden on hospitals — from techcrunch.com by Devin Coldewey

Excerpt:

The FCC has developed and approved a $200 million program to fund telehealth services and devices for medical providers, just a week or so after the funding was announced. Hospitals and other health centers will be able to apply for up to $1 million to cover the cost of new devices, services and personnel.

The unprecedented $2 trillion CARES Act includes heavy spending on all kinds of things, from direct payments to out-of-work citizens to bailouts for airlines and other big businesses. Among the many, many funding items was a $200 million earmarked for the FCC with which it was instructed to improve and subsidize telehealth services around the country.

 


Also see:

#telehealth#telemedicine#telelegal

 


 

Learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes! [Christian]

Learning ecosystems are going through massive changes!


From DSC:

Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes!

Each of us has our own learning ecosystem, and the organizations that we work for have their own learning ecosystems as well. Numerous teachers, professors, and trainers around the world are now teaching online. Their toolboxes are expanding with the addition of several new tools and some new knowledge. I believe that will be one of the silver linings from the very tough situations/times that we find ourselves in.

Expanding our teaching toolboxes


At the WMU-Cooley Law School, our learning ecosystem is also fluid and continues to morph.
This blog posting speaks to those changes.

https://info.cooley.edu/blog/learning-ecosystem-simply-defined-sources-for-learning

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Due to the impacts from the Coronavirus, this is happening today across many countries. But this vision is just beginning to develop. We haven’t seen anything yet.

 

From DSC:
Normally I don’t advertise or “plug” where I work, but as our society is in serious need of increasing Access to Justice (#A2J) & promoting diversity w/in the legal realm, I need to post this video.

 

Getting Campuses Ready for the Coronavirus — from insidehighered.com by Chuck Staben
What should leaders be doing to prepare their colleges if the situation worsens? Chuck Staben offers suggestions.

Colleges Prepare for Coronavirus Outbreaks on Campus — from wsj-com by Melissa Korn
Task forces map out prospects for quarantines, class cancellations as schools brace for virus spread

Teaching during a campus closure…— from linkedin.com by Bill Knapp
Here are some suggestions on preparing your on-campus students in the event of an unexpected campus closure (#COVID-19).

Coronavirus Forces Universities Online — from .insidehighered.com by Lindsay McKenzie
Compelled to close their campuses to limit the spread of coronavirus, U.S. universities with Chinese branches move at lightning speed to take teaching online.

NYU Response to Coronavirus Accelerates Digital Tool Adoption — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Instructors conducted some 700-plus sessions during the first week, using a multitude of tools to enable live feedback and interaction in both synchronous and asynchronous ways, including learning management system NYU Classes, media sharing service NYU Stream, web and audio conference tool NYU Zoom and commenting utility VoiceThread.

Keith Ross, dean of Engineering and Computer Science at NYU Shanghai, suggested that the health crisis has one silver lining: It’s bringing the faculty up to speed with online teaching tools in quick order. In a university article about the efforts, he mused that once the crisis has passed, faculty may choose to integrate the use of some of the tools into their traditional face-to-face courses.

NYU Stream and VoiceThread are letting students interact asynchronously. They can watch pre-recorded videos uploaded by instructors and then take quizzes, ask questions, make annotations and communicate with classmates using text, audio and video. Also available for use: NYU Web Publishing to publish and manage blogs; Slido and Piazza to conduct community voting and quizzes; Slack to support office hours; and Examity to proctor exams remotely.


How to Respond to Coronavirus: 6 Steps for Schools
— from edweek.org by Mark Lieberman

 

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