From Web3 to Ed3 – Reimagining Education in a Decentralized World — from mirror.xyz by Scott David Meyer; with thanks to Bryan Alexander for posting this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpt:

Ed3 as a Source of Human Flourishing
Education is a right, and a cornerstone for human flourishing. The more we are able to teach our students, the better prepared they will be to enter the Knowledge Economy and leave their mark on the world.

We are at the beginning of the web3 wave. Entire industries are being re-imagined with a focus on participation and ownership. Education can, and should, follow suit.

By welcoming this new era of ed3, more students will be able to access, afford, and accredit a dynamic education that helps them flourish and leave their mark on the world.

 

Thomson Reuters’ Report May Signal Sea Change In Legal Profession — from techlawcrossroads.com by Stephen Embry

Excerpt:

In a nutshell, the Report demonstrates that to thrive post-pandemic and even survive, lawyers will need to better adopt technology, use better workflows, and make sure work is done by right mix and training, and experience. Otherwise, the work that is piling up during the great talent shortage just won’t get done.

More tech, better work process, more remote work, becoming nimble. Bottom line, successful law firms, and lawyers can’t afford business as usual post-pandemic.

Also see:

Thomson Reuters’ Report May Signal Sea Change In Legal Profession

 

Addendum on 1/17/22:

  • Fortnite Is Back On Apple iOS, for Some Users — from threstreet.com by Tony Owusu
    Beta testers for Fortnite on streaming cloud gaming service GeForce Now will have access to the third-person shooter through Apple’s Safari web browser.
 

The Associated Press is starting its own NFT marketplace for photojournalism — from theverge.com by Mitchell Clark
It’s offering collectors ‘exclusive, historic, and stunning visual content’

Excerpt:

The Associated Press, or AP, has announced that it’s starting a marketplace to sell NFTs of its photojournalists’ work in collaboration with a company called Xooa. It’s billing its foray into NFTs as a way for collectors to “purchase the news agency’s award-winning contemporary and historic photojournalism” and says that the virtual tokens will be released at “broad and inclusive price points” (though it’s hard to tell what types of prices resellers will want on the AP marketplace).

Also see:

Why Samsung built an NFT aggregator into its new TVs — from digitaltrends.com by Phil Nickinson

Excerpt:

Or, perhaps, it’s the idea of an “NFT aggregation platform” being built into the television. It sounds insane — baking something that most people don’t understand, let alone engage in — into a TV. Most of us can’t even describe what a non-fungible token is, let alone tell someone how to go get one. It’s a multi-layered process that’s far more difficult than taking a screenshot of something you saw on Instagram and then sticking it up on your TV.

But that’s also not the point.

“In 2022, Samsung is introducing the world’s first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator,” reads the press release, “a groundbreaking platform that lets you browse, purchase, and display your favorite art — all in one place.”

 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 

Amazon Gift Signals Confidence in Community Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Suzanne Smalley
The company is giving $3 million to kick-start a computer science bachelor’s degree program at community and technical colleges throughout Washington State.

Excerpt:

Amazon is funding a pilot that will support the launch of new computer science bachelor’s degree programs at community and technical colleges in Seattle and across Washington State, an investment meant to address a workforce shortage plaguing the e-commerce giant and other employers who can’t find qualified candidates for unfilled computer science positions.

 

Web 3.0 vs Metaverse: What’s the difference? — from homo-digitalis.net by Fabian Schmidt

Excerpt:

So what is Web 3.0?

On Twitter, a user asked if someone could explain the term in baby talk. I thought one answer was good:

    • Web 1.0 = Read
    • Web 2.0 = Read/Write
    • Web 3.0 = Read/Write/Own

This is a sufficient simplification to gain an initial understanding. Yet a bit more information is still important.

Let’s get one thing straight right away. As with all things in the making, there is not yet a clear-cut definition of Web 3.0. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the classic web, thinks of the semantic web as the next big step.

Since 2020/2021, there is another idea of Web3, and it is inspired by a new form of technology: Blockchains. At its core is a new wave of decentralization.

Besides decentralization, other key topics related to Web 3.0 include Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), Non-fungible-tokens (NFT), and Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

The metaverse is a digital world that is meant to feel as real as possible and can represent all concerns of human existence. From leisure to work.

Fabian Schmidt, Homo Digitalis, 2021


Bill Gates: Most Work Meetings Will Happen In The Metaverse In 3 Years — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

“Within the next two or three years, I predict most virtual meetings will move from 2D camera image grids—which I call the Hollywood Squares model, although I know that probably dates me—to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars,” said Gates in the post. “Both Facebook and Microsoft recently unveiled their visions for this, which gave most people their first view of what it will look like”.


Adidas to enter the metaverse with first NFT products — from dezeen.com by Rima Sabina Aouf

Excerpt:

Adidas has announced its next collection will be a mix of digital and physical items, and will be sold as NFTs produced with collaborators such as Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Titled Into the Metaverse, the collection will comprise virtual wearables that buyers can use in online platforms, but also the physical clothing to match.

It is Adidas’ first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens – essentially, digital collectibles with proven authenticity. NFTs act as a blockchain-based certificate of ownership, allowing pieces to be authenticated, bought and collected.


How Coinbase thinks about the Metaverse — from blog.coinbase.com by Brian Armstrong & Alex Reeve

Excerpt:

Primitive Metaverse platforms are selling virtual land for millions of dollars. Billions more are being invested in Metaverse startups. And Mark Zuckerberg recently renamed his entire company to reflect a focus on building the Metaverse.

Recently, our team put together an internal presentation about the Metaverse, who’s working on it, and how crypto will help make it real. I thought the presentation was well done, so I’m sharing most of the slides here.

Like Matt[hew Ball], we define the Metaverse as:

The future of the internet: A massively-scaled, persistent, interactive, and interoperable real-time platform comprised of interconnected virtual worlds where people can socialize, work, transact, play, and create.

The Metaverse is the distant evolution of Web3. In its most complete form, it will be a series of decentralized, interconnected virtual worlds with a fully functioning economy where people can do just about anything they can do in the physical world.

Who is building the Metaverse today?

 

RE:WIRED 2021: Beeple on Art as a Subscription — from wired.com by Greg Williams and Mike Winkelmann
Digital artist Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a. Beeple, shares how his latest piece, “Human One,” will continue to update over time—and what that means for how digital art will be viewed in the future.

From DSC:
The idea was that you buy some digital art — and that art can change at any time. One day, you walk down the stairs, and it looks one way. The next day, things have changed in it. 

NOTE:
I saw a much longer version of the above excerpted video when I was viewing the article at “LaTurbo Avedon Is Way Ahead of the Metaverse.” It looked like this:

 

From DSC:
The following items are from a recent presentation by Zach Abramowitz entitledLegal Disruption: Key Trends to Watch in 2022.” By the way, you can sign up for Zach’s legal newsletter at zachabramowitz.substack.com/


Marble Law

 

Darrow raises $20 million to uncover corporate legal violations and bring justice to all — from calcalistech.com by Meir Orbach
The Israeli startup is focused on locating violations that have caused damage to millions of people on average – the threshold for a potential class-action lawsuit

Excerpt:

Darrow has developed a machine learning-based platform which discovers legal violations by some of the biggest corporations in the world. Operating chiefly in the U.S., the company is focused on locating violations that have caused damage to millions of people on average – the threshold for a potential class-action lawsuit.

 

TermScout

Term Scout

 

 

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:


 

From the Paul Weiss Law Firm — back from 2019: A whitepaper re: cryptocurrency

Excerpt:

The development and growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has implications for many industries, including finance, media, and healthcare. In a series of papers, we will discuss the variety of ways in which cryptocurrencies and blockchains are being used in different fields. This paper, the first in our series of three papers, discusses cryptocurrencies, including how they operate in conjunction with the blockchain and how Bitcoin, the first major cryptocurrency, compares to traditional, fiat currencies.

Cash vs Bitcoin -- a comparison

From DSC:
How might the development of cryptocurrencies integrate in with a next-gen learning platform? Would teams and/or individuals get paid via a cryptocurrency? Hmmm…more learning to do.

It’s interesting to note what Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was trading at in 2017, 2018, and 2019 versus today:

  • In 2017 alone, Bitcoin’s price rose from $973 in January to $5,856 in October, and skyrocketed towards $20,000 by year end.
  • By February 2018, however, Bitcoin had fallen below $7,600.
  • In June 2019, Bitcoin’s price rose to approximately $10,000.

Today:

The huge price increase of Bitcoin -- BTC-USD -- in the last three years

Here’s what some of the other cryptocurrencies were trading at today:

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2022 Top 10 IT Issues -- from Educause

2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

From DSC:
Time will tell which institutions have the prerequisite culture of innovation that will help reinvent themselves, stay relevant, and survive. 

And for people (who have worked in higher education for years) who don’t like to see learners as customers…well…when those learners are often paying $100,000-$250,000 or more for a four-year degree, those folks don’t have much say or credibility any longer. The price increases that they never stepped in to stop from occurring have forever changed the learning ecosystems within higher education. The idea of supporting  the perspective that says:

Well, we’re proud (and content) that our institution will have the lowest price increase in X (where X is a city, state,  or geographic region)
or
We’re proud that our institution will have the lowest price increase within our group of similar/comparative institutions.

…well, that type of perspective hasn’t cut it for years now. But the danger of that status quo perspective is only becoming apparent to many now that one’s very survival is at stake.


Addendum/also see:


 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian