Skillsoft to acquire CodeAcademy, a leading platform for learning high-demand technical skills, creating a worldwide community of more than 85 million learners — from skillsoft.com with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Boston – December 22, 2021 – Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL), a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock.

With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.”

Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio.

 

Elevate Becomes 1st Law Company to Receive ‘ABS License’ in US — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

And here’s some late breaking news, which also is about law company, Elevate. The Arizona Supreme Court has granted law company Elevate an ‘Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license’, making Elevate and its affiliated law firm, ElevateNext, a single entity.

This makes Elevate the first non-lawyer-owned law company, LPO, or ALSP in the United States with an integrated law firm. The ABS-licensed firm uniquely positions Elevate to address customer needs that require some aspect of legal practice along with technology, consulting, or services for ‘run the company’ business operations.

Also see:

 

A Move for ‘Algorithmic Reparation’ Calls for Racial Justice in AI — from wired.com by Khari Johnson
Researchers are encouraging those who work in AI to explicitly consider racism, gender, and other structural inequalities.

Excerpt:

FORMS OF AUTOMATION such as artificial intelligence increasingly inform decisions about who gets hired, is arrested, or receives health care. Examples from around the world articulate that the technology can be used to exclude, control, or oppress people and reinforce historic systems of inequality that predate AI.

“Algorithms are animated by data, data comes from people, people make up society, and society is unequal,” the paper reads. “Algorithms thus arc towards existing patterns of power and privilege, marginalization, and disadvantage.

 

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.

 

Python, Java, Linux and SQL: These are the hot tech skills employers are looking for — from zdnet.com by Owen Hughes
Programming languages continue to dominate jobs specs, with employers keen to build up their tech teams and deliver on expanding digital programmes.

In Q3, job listings in the tech industry suggest that organizations are on the lookout for technology professionals “who understand the core concepts of software development and project management” and possess technical skills in Linux, as well as programming languages Java, Python and SQL.

 

The 35 Best Apple and Google Apps of 2021 — from wonderoftech.com by Carolyn Nicander Mohr

Excerpt:

As 2021 draws to a close, Apple and Google have been busy creating their lists of the best apps of the year. These lists may include apps you already have or are familiar with. You may also discover your new favorite must-have app you’ll be eager to share with your friends.

 

Top 7 Artificial Intelligence Trends In 2022 — from techfunnel.com by Anirudh Menon

Excerpt:

If we look at the last couple of years, we have seen a significant leap in the way Artificial Intelligence is becoming an integral part of many organizations’ business plans. Already the journey of digital transformation has catapulted thanks to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and because of the pandemic situation, we saw significant innovation in the technology front, which will reach new heights in the year 2022 and further.

As strongly claimed by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc, the impact of artificial intelligence will be far greater than fire and electricity on humanity. Well, it might sound a bit exaggerated but what it implies is that the year 2022 is going to see new developments in this space and it will constantly create new benchmarks.

 

From DSC:
When I ran across the items below, I couldn’t help but wonder…”What does the legal realm need to know here?”

The Ultimate List Of Crypto Lending Platforms — from 101blockchains.com by Diego Geroni

The Ultimate List Of Crypto Lending Platforms

Know The Vulnerabilities And Security Concerns Associated With NFT — from 101blockchains.com by Diego Geroni

Know The Vulnerabilities And Security Concerns Associated With NFT

Radar trends to watch: December 2021 — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides
Developments in Programming, Quantum Computing, Cryptocurrency, and More

Radar trends to watch: December 2021

NFT sales reached $27 billion this year — from protocol.com by Nat Rubio-Licht
OpenSea dominated the business.

UNISWAP – Know Everything About The Largest Decentralized Exchange (DEX) — from 101blockchains.com by Diego Geroni

UNISWAP – Know Everything About The Largest Decentralized Exchange (DEX)

 

Teaching in the ‘Metaverse’? Roblox Looks to Make It a Reality — from edweek.org by Benjamin Herold
With millions in new grants to STEM organizations like Project Lead the Way, the gaming platform is moving into K-12 education.

Excerpts:

Hoping to expand its presence in K-12 schools, gaming company Roblox announced this month a new $10 million fund to support the creation of online learning experiences that take advantage of its platform’s unique way of letting users play, explore, and socialize in an endlessly evolving virtual world.

Roblox aims to play a major role in the emerging metaverse. Expanding into classroom education is a key vehicle for making that happen, Kantar told investors at a November conference. The company’s stated goal is to reach 100 million students worldwide by the end of the decade.

Making such inroads with K-12 schools, however, is no sure bet.

Also see:

Roblox Education

 

Best cybersecurity lessons and activities for K-12 education — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

The rate of cyber-attacks and crimes are rising worldwide due to increased social media usage, cloud storage, digital downloads, mobile and online payments. Computers and mobile devices are especially sensitive to malware, ransomware and phishing attacks to which children fall prey often. In comparison to other major industries, research claims that the education sector ranked last in terms of good cyber security performance, making it very important than ever aware students about cyber security and allow them to take responsibility for their internet safety, especially at presents as learners are locked up in the home after the COVID-19 outbreak and had to make a sudden transition to online education, it has become essential to teach them about cyber security for their safe and secure internet use.

We have compiled a list of the best cyber security lessons and activities for K-12 students.

 

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

 

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

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

 
 

8 ways to keep learning and developing new skills while at home — from babbel.com by Alice Austin
Being stuck inside doesn’t have to mean an end to personal development. Here’s how to keep learning new things while staying at home.

Excerpt:

Free Code Camp has been assembling a long list of courses that span multiple disciplines, from Data Science and Business to Personal Development and Art. They’re all Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and they allow you to take university-created online classes through providers such as Coursera or Udacity.

So that class you missed out your first time going to college? Now would be the time to go back and really enjoy it.

There are tons of online tutorials on YouTube and many apps that can help you hone your skills. Yousician is an app that provides video tutorials to learn piano, guitar, bass and ukulele. There are other apps that specialize in one area, like Flowkey for piano, or SingTrue for vocals. Whatever instrument you have lying around, there are definitely resources out there for you to improve your skills.

 

The Disruption Of Legal Services Is Here — from forbes.com by John Arsneault

Excerpt:

For the first time in those 12 years, I am now convinced we are on the precipice of the promised disruption in legal. Not because anyone in the law firms are driving toward this — but because venture capital and tech innovators have finally turned their attention to the industry.

Legal services are a much smaller overall market than, say, retail, financial services or biotech. In the world of disruption and the promised gold rush for the companies that do the disrupting, size matters. Legal has just been low on the industry list. Its number is now up.

It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback that industry now. Easy to see how big of a threat Amazon was to those companies. But when you are being rewarded for doing what you have always done and what your predecessors always did, it’s easy to miss what is around the bend. By the time those companies’ executives realized Amazon was a direct competitor with a much better fulfillment model, it was too late.

 

Sites and apps to enjoy with your kids — from wondertools.substack.com by Jeremy Caplan

Check out Jeremy’s list of sites and apps to review with your kids re:

  • Making music delightful
  • Bringing joy to science, math, and coding
  • Other fantastic resources for kids and families
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian