From DSC:
Who needs to be discussing/debating “The Social Dilemma” movie? Whether one agrees with the perspectives put forth therein or not, the discussion boards out there should be lighting up in the undergraduate areas of Computer Science (especially Programming), Engineering, Business, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Philosophy, Religion, Political Science, Sociology, and perhaps other disciplines as well. 

To those starting out the relevant careers here…just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Ask yourself not whether something CAN be developed, but *whether it SHOULD be developed* and what the potential implications of a technology/invention/etc. might be. I’m not aiming to take a position here. Rather, I’m trying to promote some serious reflection for those developing our new, emerging technologies and our new products/services out there.

Who needs to be discussing/debating The Social Dilemna movie?

 

 

Radar trends to watch: October 2020 — from oreilly.com

Excerpt:

This month, the big surprise is that there’s no significant technology news about COVID. And there is more news than ever about legislation and regulation. I suspect that the legal system will be a big driver for technology over the next year. Another trend that doesn’t quite count as technology news but that definitely bears watching is that college enrollment in the US is down. Grad schools are up, 4 year colleges are down slightly; the big hit is in 2 year colleges. COVID is probably the biggest contributing factor, but regardless of the cause, this is an inauspicious trend.

 

From DSC:
I hesitate to post this one…but this information and the phenomenon behind it likely has impacted what’s happening in the higher education space. (Or perhaps, it’s a bit of the other way around as well.) Increasingly, higher ed is becoming out of reach for many families. Again, is this a topic for Econ classes out there? Or Poli Sci courses?


Trends in income from 1975 to 2018 — from rand.org by Carter Price and Kathryn Edwards

Excerpt:

We document the cumulative effect of four decades of income growth below the growth of per capita gross national income and estimate that aggregate income for the population below the 90th percentile over this time period would have been $2.5 trillion (67 percent) higher in 2018 had income growth since 1975 remained as equitable as it was in the first two post-War decades. From 1975 to 2018, the difference between the aggregate taxable income for those below the 90th percentile and the equitable growth counterfactual totals $47 trillion.

Trends in income

Also see:

  • ‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1% — from fastcompany.com by Rick Wartzman
    The median worker should be making as much as $102,000 annually—if some $2.5 trillion wasn’t being “reverse distributed” every year away from the working class.
    .
  • The top 1% of Americans have taken $50 trillion from the bottom 90%—And that’s made the U.S. less secure — from Time.com by by Nick Hanauer and David Rolf
    [From DSC: By the way, that title likely has some link bait appeal to it.]
    Excerpt: 
    As the RAND report [whose research was funded by the Fair Work Center which co-author David Rolf is a board member of] demonstrates, a rising tide most definitely did not lift all boats. It didn’t even lift most of them, as nearly all of the benefits of growth these past 45 years were captured by those at the very top. And as the American economy grows radically unequal it is holding back economic growth itself.

Why is our death toll so high and our unemployment rate so staggeringly off the charts? Why was our nation so unprepared, and our economy so fragile? Why have we lacked the stamina and the will to contain the virus like most other advanced nations? The reason is staring us in the face: a stampede of rising inequality that has been trampling the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of Americans, year after year after year.

 

For New Orleans–based firm, architecture is a tool for design justice — from autodesk.com by Redshift Video

Excerpt:

When Bryan C. Lee Jr. was a boy, his family moved from Sicily to Trenton, NJ, and he was struck by not only the vastly different physical environment but also the ways different physical spaces affect people. It’s a concept that he explores today at Colloqate Design, an architecture and design-justice firm that focuses on civic, communal, and cultural spaces through the lens of racial justice.

 

From A New Way Forward:

Grab the remote! A series from Big Picture Learning!

Grab the remote! A series from Big Picture Learning!

Also see the following “Must Reads” from A New Way Forward:


From DSC:
Along these lines…in regards to digital equity, I’m reminded of this recent graphic:

Let's use television for folks who don't have access to the Internet -- Daniel Christian

 

The Fed’s Evolution Is Coming to a Computer Screen Near You — from nytimes.com by Jeanna Smialek
The 2020 version of the Federal Reserve’s loftiest annual meeting will be webcast this week, allowing the public to tune in for the first time. It could be the stage for an important policy shift.

Jerome Powell at the Fed

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

On Thursday, Chair Jerome H. Powell will have a chance to update America on the central bank’s soon-to-conclude framework review, in which it has revisited its policy tools for good and bad times, in a speech at the Kansas City Fed’s annual conference. The storied gathering of elite economists has been held behind closed doors in Jackson Hole, Wyo., since 1982. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be held remotely and streamed on the Kansas City Fed’s YouTube page this year, allowing the public to tune in for the first time ever.

 

 

From DSC:
May this be the start of something new!!! How cool/rewarding would it have been for our economics-related courses to be able to tap into this from a remote distance…then discuss (and track) things afterward!


Addendum:

 

Using the TV as a key tool in our learning ecosystems

From DSC:

  • If one doesn’t have access to the Internet, a computer, or any such mobile technology as seen in the image above…could TV become the medium through which one could be educated during this next year of the Coronavirus situation? That is, until we can develop better and more equitable policies, plans, funding, systems, infrastructures, and connectivity for all students!
  • After that, could we see more televisions morph into smart/connected TVs?
  • Could PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and other major networks collaborate with the U.S. Department of Education to help us educate all students? 
  • Could the largest internet company of 2030 be an online school as Thomas Frey predicts?

A few years ago, I had hoped that Apple was going to go all-in with their tvOS platform.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the New Apple TV during a Special Event; 9/9/15.

 

Though it’s still early in the game, that really hasn’t happened to the extent that I had hoped. That said, more recently, I was encouraged to see this article from back in July:

LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND LOUISIANA PUBLIC BROADCASTING TO TELEVISE HIGH-QUALITY MATH INSTRUCTION THIS SUMMER

 



 

Let’s ask the employees of PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and other networks if they would be willing to work with the U.S. Department of Education to help educate ALL students! Though educational TV is not new, I’m talking about taking things to a *whole* new level.

With that in mind, I created the following graphic:

Let's use television to minimize the learning gaps that will otherwise be experienced by many students this next year!

(One might ask why I used an old television in the above graphic. I was trying to get at the idea that one might not have a lot of resources to work with.)

 

Back-to-School Help for Students Without Internet — from by James K. Willcox
For millions of families, broadband access is a challenge. These resources can help bridge that digital divide.

Excerpt:

“If it wasn’t glaringly clear before, the pandemic has confirmed the vital importance of a broadband internet connection—one that is reliable, affordable, and in some cases, simply available,” says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel in Consumers Reports’ Washington, D.C., office. “Unfortunately, far too many Americans lack access or are unable to afford broadband.”

A new state-by-state report on America’s K-12 students by Common Sense and Boston Consulting finds that almost 16 million students and 10 percent of teachers lack adequate internet or computing devices at home. Minority households are among the most affected. Though 18 percent of white homes lack broadband, the figure rises to 26 percent for Latinx homes and 30 percent for Black homes. The percentage is even higher among Native American households.

From DSC:
Though this solid article lists some very helpful resources, we have to do much better than this as a nation! It’s not right. 

My thanks to James McQueen for this resource.

 
 

Solid points made by Martin Giles, Senior Editor, CIO Network for Forbes…below is the majority of his CIO newsletter for this week

Now that more and more companies are extending their work-from-home timelines, the issue of how to monitor and manage the productivity of remote workers is becoming even more pressing. Some businesses are rolling out software applications to track things such as workers’ keystrokes or watch what they are doing when they are on the internet. IT teams are central to these efforts, even if they aren’t the ones who initiate them.

Providing the technology is deployed appropriately, the use of such tools may not be illegal. But does it make sense to deploy them? Forbes CIO Network contributor Irina Raicu makes the case against doing so in a thought-provoking post.

Raicu argues that deploying intrusive tech such as keyloggers sends a signal to workers that employers don’t respect their autonomy and dignity. It also penalizes effective workers, who are being made to pay a price in terms of lost privacy so that managers can identify poor performers. Deploying intrusive tracking technologies in homes that are now doubling as workplaces also contributes to the normalization of their use more broadly across society.

Under pressure from business heads and HR departments, tech leaders may be tempted to fold rather than fight the tools’ deployment. But there’s another reason tracking tech can backfire that should resonate with anyone worried about cyber threats—which means just about every CEO and board director in America and beyond.

The sensitive, personalized data monitoring tech gathers is a tempting target for hackers and a breach could trigger a legal nightmare. Given that the bad guys have stepped up their attacks to take advantage of the chaos the pandemic has sown, this threat is even more concerning.

Excerpt from Irina’s article:

However, indiscriminate deployment of tracking tools would create a surveillance work culture that is likely to cause significant harm, while at the same time failing to deliver the results that business leaders expect. 

From DSC:
I see this same type of stuff going on within K-12, higher ed, and even in law schools. Often, we establish cultures whereby students are treated with great suspicion. It’s us vs. them. The verbiage is around cheating and plagiarism and the use of tools like Turnitin, Respondus, Examity, and many others. Why isn’t the focus on being on the same team? i.e.,

  • “Don’t you realize Mr. or Ms. Student that I’m trying to help you become the best lawyer, judge, legislator, etc. as possible?”
  • “Don’t you realize that I’m trying to help teach you skills, knowledge, and ethics that will aid you in your future?”

Why is unity / being on the same team so difficult to achieve in human relationships? I don’t have the answers. It’s just very disappointing. 

It’s clear that we have some major disconnects in our motivations and views of other people. We should be working as members of the same team.

With the need for speed within most organizations today, TRUST is key. Reminds me of this book by Stephen M.R. Covey:

The Speed of Trust -- a book by Stephen M.R. Covey

Addendum on 8/14/20:

  • 6 ways leaders can rebuild trust in their organizations — from fastcompany.com by Cara Brennan Allamano
    A Udemy survey suggests that more than half of workers believe their employers are using COVID as an excuse to cut staff. These strategies can help dissolve their suspicions.
 

Pandemic turns smartphones from luxury to must-have as India’s schools go online — from news.trust.org by Roli Srivastava
Smartphones help classes continue as schools remain closed, but the poorest families are struggling to keep up

Excerpts:

India is the world’s second-biggest smartphone market after China, and nearly half of the country’s almost one billion mobile users already have a phone with internet access.

With no clear sign of schools reopening soon, internet access has become a must for children to follow classes, prompting more low-income families to scrape together the money to buy a cheap or second-hand smartphone for the first time.

Customised lessons for first to 12th grade students will be aired on television and radio in a “one class-one channel” initiative planned by the federal human resource department.

 

Law schools should have flexibility in responding to ‘extraordinary circumstances,’ ABA House of Delegates says — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

Resolutions regarding distance-education programs, the adoption of emergency policies by law schools, teach-out plans and provisional program approval were approved this week by the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.

Also see:

 

Florida educators file lawsuit to protect health and well-being of students, educators and communities — from feaweb.org, with thanks to Staci Maiers for this resource

Excerpt:

TALLAHASSEE — Along with educators and parents, the Florida Education Association filed suit Monday against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida State Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to safeguard the health and welfare of public school students, educators and the community at large. The lawsuit intends to stop the reckless and unsafe reopening of public school campuses as coronavirus infections surge statewide.

Also see:

 
 

What a Black tech movement might look like — from venturebeat.com by Khari Johnson

Excerpt:

That’s why, Wilson told VentureBeat, she is launching the National Black Tech Ecosystem Association. The group’s initial community gathering will focus on bringing together people in tech and the Black faith community.

“My ultimate vision is to build an association that allows for all of those entities to share information, to collectively organize, develop policy, and if needed protest moments around this new tech world that’s being built,” she told VentureBeat.

 

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