Ecosystems for the future of learning — from thebigidea.education-reimagined.org by Education Reimagined and the History Co:Lab

The intent of this report is to help communities build their capacity for transformation of education, advancing toward what our society needs most—a system that works for young people. It draws on the experiences and insights of innovators across the United States who are already answering this challenge—creating learner-centered, community-based ecosystems.

This report includes:

  • a landscape analysis of select communities creating learning ecosystems;
  • a framework that emerged from the analysis and can be used by communities to consider their readiness and appetite for this transformation;
  • an invitation to communities to explore and discover their own path for reimagining education; and
  • a call for national and regional institutions to listen, learn from, and create the conditions for communities to pursue their visions.

From DSC:
The above items was accessed via the article below:

Where Does Work to Imagine a Learner-Centered Ecosystem Begin? — from gettingsmart.com by Alin Bennett

Key Points

  • The Norris School District in Wisconsin exemplifies how learner profiles and community connections can enhance authentic learning experiences for young people, fostering a culture of belonging and responsibility.
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School demonstrates the importance of enabling conditions, such as creating microschools with access to shared services, to support a learner-centered approach while ensuring scalability and access to a variety of resources.
 

Affordability and Microcredentials — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
Cutting costs for short-term credentials with course sharing and, perhaps, federal money.

‘Bespoke, e-Commerce-Enabled Storefronts’
Demand for nondegree credentials has risen. But it can be expensive and tricky for colleges to create their own workforce-relevant courses and certifications. Homegrown microcredentials also may be more likely to fall flat with students and employers, particularly in competition with professional certificates from big brands like Salesforce or AWS.

Acadeum, an online course-sharing company, is betting that a networked marketplace will be a better option for its 460 college and university partners, which include a growing number of community colleges. Beginning last month, those colleges can tap into 380+ online certificates, certifications, and skills-training courses.

“Skills Marketplace lowers the barrier of entry for institutions to self-select only the certifications that align their program offerings to meet student and workforce demand,” says David Daniels, Acadeum’s president and CEO.

 

6 work and workplace trends to watch in 2024 — from weforum.org by Kate Whiting; via Melanie Booth on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The world of work is changing fast.

By 2027, businesses predict that almost half (44%) of workers’ core skills will be disrupted.

Technology is moving faster than companies can design and scale up their training programmes, found the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.

The Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 found that “lack of economic opportunity” ranked as one of the top 10 biggest risks among risk experts over the next two years.

5. Skills will become even more important
With 23% of jobs expected to change in the next five years, according to the Future of Jobs Report, millions of people will need to move between declining and growing jobs.

 

How This College Dropout Raised $29 Million for His Online Education Platform and Landed the Biggest Investor of All — Shaq — from entrepreneur.com by Dan Bova; via GSV
Campus founder Tade Oyerinde and investor Shaquille O’Neal discuss the debt-free mission of the online community college.

Key Takeaways

  • Campus offers two-year associate degrees with tuition costs that allow many students to go for free.
  • The online community college has garnered $29 million in investment.
  • Shaq says the company met his criteria for investment: a passionate founder, a mission to change lives and a solid exit strategy.

Colleges Were Already Bracing for an ‘Enrollment Cliff.’ Now There Might Be a Second One. — from chronicle.com by Dan Bauman; via GSV

[In addition to the decline of high school graduates starting in 2025] In recent months, however, the Census has updated its forecasts — instead of rebounding at some point in the mid-2030s, the number of 18-year-olds is now projected to contract after cresting at around 4.2 million people in 2033, shrinking to around 3.8 million by 2039. After that, the Bureau doesn’t anticipate the population of 18-year-olds will exceed 4 million people in any year this century.


How this Vietnam vet started a college program at a desert prison — from opencampusmedia.org; an essay by James “Sneaky” White as told to Charlotte West.

James “Sneaky” White, 80, spent nearly four decades incarcerated in California. His nickname “Sneaky” comes from his days as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. While he was incarcerated, he helped create a college program that has since graduated more than 1,500 men. In this “as told to” story, he shares how he started a college program for veterans at a desert prison.


Virtual Forum – On Demand
Starting a Program for Incarcerated Students — from chronicle.com by Charles B. Adams, Ruth Delaney, and Laura Massa; via Goldie Blumenstyk

Does your institution have programming in place for incarcerated students? Thanks to new federal assistance, students in many prisons can now take college courses for credit. While colleges are interested in starting or expanding programs to serve those students, they often have no idea how to do so.


 

It’s Time to Launch a National Initiative to Create the New American High School — from the74million.org by Robin Lake; via GSV
Robin Lake: We must start thinking, talking and acting bigger when it comes to preparing teens for both college and career.

The blueprint design of a chair that you would often see in a high school classroom


One State Rolled Out a Promising Child Care Model. Now Others Are Replicating It. — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Last month, business leaders and child care advocates from a handful of states convened on Zoom. Representing Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia, they had come together to discuss a new child care model, called “Tri-Share,” that has gained traction across the country, including in their respective regions.

The cost-sharing model, in which the state government, the employer and the employee each pay for one-third of the cost of child care, first launched in 2021 in Michigan, where it is furthest along. But it has become so popular that other states, including New York, North Carolina and Kentucky, have already secured funding for their own adaptations of the program.

Also relevant/see:


Road Scholars: When These Families Travel, School Comes Along for the Ride — from the74million.org by Linda Jacobson; via Matthew Tower
‘It’s not just a pandemic thing,’ one industry expert said about the growing number of families ‘roadschooling’ across the country.


Using Technology for Students in Special Education: What the Feds Want Schools to Know — from edweek.org by Alyson Klein

But this is the first time the department has released guidance on how assistive technology relates to the special education law. That’s partly because schools have come to rely so much more on technology for teaching and learning, Wright-Gallo said.

The guidance, released last month, is aimed at parents, specialists who provide services to babies and toddlers at risk of developmental delays, special educators, general educators, school and district leaders, technology specialists and directors, and state education officials, Wright-Gallo said.


Guiding and Connecting the Homeschooling Community — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn
How ‘Teach Your Kids’ is Empowering Parents to Take Charge of their Students’ Educations

More and more parents are taking charge of their children’s education through homeschooling.  Manisha Snoyer’s podcast and online homeschooling community, Teach Your Kids, is seeking to empower parents with the guidance, tools, and network they need to thrive as educators for their children. She joined the Future of Education to discuss her work, dispel misconceptions about homeschooling, and consider the future of this growing trend. I was intrigued to explore her observations that, through modularity, families can pull apart socialization, childcare, and the learning itself to make the benefits of homeschooling much more accessible. As always, subscribers can listen to the audio, watch the video, or read the transcript.


Can Career Learning Bring America’s Young People Back to School? — from realcleareducation.com by Taylor Maag

School absenteeism sky-rocketed post-pandemic: 6.5 million more students missed at least 10% or more of the 2021-22 school year than in 2017-18. This means 14.7 million students were chronically absent even after schools reopened from the pandemic. While preliminary data shows that absentee rates slightly decreased in the 2022-23 school year, truancy remains a serious concern for our nation’s K-12 system.

If we want to get students back in the classroom and avoid poor outcomes for our nation’s young people, U.S. leaders must rethink how we operate K-12 education. One potential solution is reinventing high school to ensure every young person is exposed to the world of work through career-oriented education and learning. An analysis of international cross-section data found that nations enrolling a large proportion of students in vocational or career-focused programs have significantly higher school attendance rates and higher completion rates than those that don’t.


My child with ADHD is being disciplined at school for things they can’t control. What can I do? — from understood.org by Julian Saavedra, MA
Is your child with ADHD being disciplined at school more and more? Get expert advice on how to manage school discipline. Learn the steps to better advocate for your child.

Also relevant/see:

  • What can I do if my child’s teacher takes recess away? — from understood.org By Kristin J. Carothers, PhD
    School can be extra hard for kids with ADHD when teachers take recess away. An expert weighs in on how you can work with teachers to find a solution.
  • For teachers: What to expect in an IEP meeting — from understood.org by Amanda Morin
    You’re not alone in having questions about IEP meetings. If you’re not a special education teacher, you may not have a lot of training around the IEP process.  Here are some of the basics:
 

Thriving in an age of continuous reinvention — from pwc.com
As existential threats converge, many companies are taking steps to reinvent themselves. Is it enough? And what will it take to succeed?
.

.

 

The future of learning — from moodle.com by Sonya Trivedi

Self-directed and continuous learning
The concept of self-directed and continuous learning is becoming increasingly popular, reshaping our approach to knowledge and skill acquisition in both formal education and workplace settings. This evolving landscape reflects a world where traditional career paths are being replaced by more dynamic and flexible models, compelling learners to adapt and grow continuously.

The Future of Learning Report 2022 highlights this shift, noting the diminishing concept of a ‘career for life.’ With regular job switching and the expansion of the gig economy, there is an increasing need for a workforce equipped with a broad range of skills and the ability to gain qualifications throughout their careers. This shift is underlined by learners increasingly seeking control over their educational journeys, understanding that the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills is essential for staying relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. Reflecting this trend, a significant portion of learners, 33%, are choosing online platforms for their flexibility and ability to cater to individual needs and schedules.

From DSC:
The next paragraph after the above excerpt says:

Much like how companies such as Uber and Airbnb have reshaped their respective industries without owning traditional assets, the future of education might see universities functioning as the ‘Netflix of learning.’ In this model, learners comfortably source their educational experiences from various platforms, assembling their qualifications to create a personalised and continuously evolving portfolio of skills??.

But I don’t think it will be universities that function as the “Netflix of learning” as I don’t think the cultures of most institutions of traditional higher education can deal with that kind of innovation. I hope I’m wrong.

I think it will be a new, global, lifelong learning platform that originates outside of higher education. It will be bigger than higher education, K12, corporate training, or vocational training — as such a 21st-century, AI-based platform will offer all of the above and more.

Learning from the living AI-based class room


Slow Shift to Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

Real progress in efforts to increase mobility for nondegree workers is unlikely during the next couple years, Joseph Fuller, a professor at Harvard University’s business school who co-leads its Managing the Future of Work initiative, recently told me.

Yet Fuller is bullish on skills-based hiring becoming a real thing in five to 10 years. That’s because he predicts that AI will create the data to solve the skills taxonomy problem Kolko describes. And if skills-based hiring allows for serious movement for workers without bachelor’s degrees, Fuller says the future will look like where Texas is headed.


Report: Microcredentials Not a Strategic Priority for Many Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report finds that while most colleges surveyed embrace alternative credentials, many have a decentralized approach for creating and managing them.

While the majority of colleges focused on online, professional and continuing education have embraced alternative credentials, a significant number of those institutions haven’t made them a strategic priority.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a new study released Monday by UPCEA, the organization previously known as the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

“While a lot of institutions want this, they don’t necessarily all know how” to deliver alternative credentials, said Bruce Etter, UPCEA’s senior director of research and consulting. “Embracing it is great, but now it needs to be part of the strategic plan.”


The Higher Learning Commission’s Credential Lab — from hlcommission.org

HLC’s Credential Lab


10 higher ed trends to watch in 2024 — from insidetrack.org by

Trend 1.
Linking education to career paths

Trend 2.
Making sense of the AI explosion

Trend 3.
Prioritizing mental health on campus

…plus 7 other trends


North Carolina’s Community Colleges Make a Big Bid to Stay Relevant — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Margaret Moffett
The system is poised to ask state legislators to overhaul its funding formula to focus on how well colleges prepare students for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The new formula would pay a premium to each college based on labor-market outcomes: the more students enrolled in courses in high-demand, high-paying workforce sectors, the more money the college receives.

Importantly, the proposed formula makes no distinction between curricular courses that count toward degree programs and noncredit continuing education classes, which historically offer fewer slots for students because of their lower FTE reimbursement rates.



Supporting Career and Technical Education — from bloomberg.org via Paul Fain

The American job market is changing. A high school diploma is no longer a ticket to a good job now, an increasing number of employers are offering “middle-skill jobs” that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Industries like health care, IT, advanced manufacturing, and financial services continue to see sustained growth at all levels, and they need workers with the experience and the credentials to fill new positions. Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need through internships, apprenticeships, academics, and work-based learning.

 

How to Co-Design Curriculum: Fostering Inclusivity through Shared Family Narratives — from gettingsmart.com by Jimmy McCue

Key Points

  • Discover a learner-centric curriculum at Embark Education, where learners recently co-designed a transformative project centered around family narratives and recipes.
  • Explore the intersection of culinary traditions, empathy, and critical analysis as learners delve into the complexities of cultural revitalization, shifting demographics, and systemic inequities in their communities.
  • Engage with a hands-on approach to competency-based education, culminating in the creation of a culturally rich product in collaboration with local community partners, fostering a deep sense of pride and ownership among learners and their respective communities, alike.

From DSC:
I especially like the learner-centered approach, along with the collaboration with local community partners here. As described in Getting Smart’s Smart Update:

Microschool Spotlight: Embark Education


Getting Smart admires Embark Education’s innovative approach for reimagining the middle school experience, recognizing the pivotal nature of adolescence. With a commitment to providing personalized and relevant learning experiences, Embark supports learners in courageously exploring, engaging, and discovering their sense of self, contributing to the broader mission of revolutionizing education.

“We are anchored in the unwavering belief that by simply trusting learners, both youth and adults, we create the conditions for them to curiously and confidently unlock their potential – and that their potential is limitless.” – Brian Hyosaka, Head of School

 

Resisting the Youth Sports Industrial Complex — from educationnext.org by Jonathan V. Last; via the The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2023 from educationnext.org
Children’s sports are corrupted, but parents don’t have to play along

Excerpt (emphasis by DSC):

That’s the point of Linda Flanagan’s Take Back the Game, a book about the corruption of youth sports. It should be required reading for every parent. It should be handed out in the hospital along with What to Expect the First Year and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

Flanagan, a journalist and former running coach, has pulled off a rare trick: she diagnoses a societal sickness, traces the roots of the malady, and prescribes a cure.

The problem is that we have a Youth Sports Industrial Complex that forces kids into single-sport specialization before they hit middle school. It demands that children be involved in (expensive) club and travel sports programs starting in elementary school.

Her first dictum is to delay entry into organized sports as long as possible. Don’t sign them up for pee-wee soccer to get a jump on the club scene—send them out into the yard to kick the ball around. Have a catch with them. Shoot baskets. Let them tumble and do cartwheels in the grass. As Flanagan says, “Just let them play.”

Another key precept from Flanagan: The family is more important than kids’ sports.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson from Take Back the Game is that parents have agency.

 

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. — from letter.visualgrowth.com by Ash Lamb
If you let other people plant those seeds for you, the garden, no matter how big or colorful, won’t be yours, it’ll be someone else’s.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

What you think, you become.
.

Here’s a powerful mantra.

“I won’t outsource my thinking.”

Don’t let that popular influencer decide how you present yourself to the world.

Don’t allow some generic business guru to decide what type of business you should be focusing on.


From DSC:
I thought that Ash Lamb had some solid points here. And as I’ve read the Scriptures through the years, I’ve realized that ideas are like seeds. Like seeds, ideas can:

  • start small
  • take root
  • grow
  • become powerful, while transforming something bit by bit

So ideas can start small and be fragile. Many get squashed and never make it. And others don’t have healthy soil in which to grow. But other seeds grow roots. 

I’ve learned that we are transformed when our THINKING is transformed.

Here are just a couple of verses of scripture that emphasize that point:

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So ideas and thoughts/ways of thinking can be good/helpful or bad/not helpful. I just like the point that Ash Lamb made — to NOT outsource our thinking to others.

NOTE: The above thoughts aren’t just about our spiritual lives. People working in many types of organizations have witnessed some of these dynamics/phenomena with new ideas as well.

 

Learners’ Edition: AI-powered Coaching, Professional Certifications + Inspiring conversations about mastering your learning & speaking skills

Learners’ Edition: AI-powered Coaching, Professional Certifications + Inspiring conversations about mastering your learning & speaking skills — from linkedin.com by Tomer Cohen

Excerpts:

1. Your own AI-powered coaching
Learners can go into LinkedIn Learning and ask a question or explain a challenge they are currently facing at work (we’re focusing on areas within Leadership and Management to start). AI-powered coaching will pull from the collective knowledge of our expansive LinkedIn Learning library and, instantaneously, offer advice, examples, or feedback that is personalized to the learner’s skills, job, and career goals.

What makes us so excited about this launch is we can now take everything we as LinkedIn know about people’s careers and how they navigate them and help accelerate them with AI.

3. Learn exactly what you need to know for your next job
When looking for a new job, it’s often the time we think about refreshing our LinkedIn profiles. It’s also a time we can refresh our skills. And with skill sets for jobs having changed by 25% since 2015 – with the number expected to increase by 65% by 2030– keeping our skills a step ahead is one of the most important things we can do to stand out.

There are a couple of ways we’re making it easier to learn exactly what you need to know for your next job:

When you set a job alert, in addition to being notified about open jobs, we’ll recommend learning courses and Professional Certificate offerings to help you build the skills needed for that role.

When you view a job, we recommend specific courses to help you build the required skills. If you have LinkedIn Learning access through your company or as part of a Premium subscription, you can follow the skills for the job, that way we can let you know when we launch new courses for those skills and recommend you content on LinkedIn that better aligns to your career goals.


2024 Edtech Predictions from Edtech Insiders — from edtechinsiders.substack.com by Alex Sarlin, Ben Kornell, and Sarah Morin
Omni-modal AI, edtech funding prospects, higher ed wake up calls, focus on career training, and more!

Alex: I talked to the 360 Learning folks at one point and they had this really interesting epiphany, which is basically that it’s been almost impossible for every individual company in the past to create a hierarchy of skills and a hierarchy of positions and actually organize what it looks like for people to move around and upskill within the company and get to new paths.

Until now. AI actually can do this very well. It can take not only job description data, but it can take actual performance data. It can actually look at what people do on a daily basis and back fit that to training, create automatic training based on it.

From DSC:
I appreciated how they addressed K-12, higher ed, and the workforce all in one posting. Nice work. We don’t need siloes. We need more overall design thinking re: our learning ecosystems — as well as more collaborations. We need more on-ramps and pathways in a person’s learning/career journey.

 

Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2023 — from microsoft.com by various authors; via Stefan Bauschard

Throughout 2023, AI and the future of work have frequently been on the metaphorical – and often literal – front page around the world. There have been many excellent articles about the ways in which work may change as LLMs are increasingly integrated into our lives. As such, in this year’s report we focus specifically on areas that we think deserve additional attention or where there is research that has been done at Microsoft that offers a unique perspective. This is a report that should be read as a complement to the existing literature, rather than as a synthesis of all of it.

This is a rare time, one in which research will play a particularly important role in defining what the future of work looks like. At this special moment, scientists can’t just be passive observers of what is happening. Rather, we have the responsibility to shape work for the better. We hope this report can help our colleagues around world make progress towards this goal.
.

Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2023

Excerpt:

Analyzing and integrating may become more important skills than searching and creating 
With content being generated by AI, knowledge work may shift towards more analysis and critical integration

  • Information search as well as content production (manually typing, writing code, designing images) is greatly enhanced by AI, so general information work may shift to integrating and critically analyzing retrieved information
  • Writing with AI is shown to increase the amount of text produced as well as to increase writing efficiency (Biermann et al. 2022, Lee et al 2022)
  • With more generated text available, the skills of research, conceptualization, planning, prompting and editing may take on more importance as LLMs do the first round of production (e.g., Mollick 2023).
  • Skills not directly to content production, such as leading, dealing with critical social situations, navigating interpersonal trust issues, and demonstrating emotional intelligence, may all be more valued in the workplace (LinkedIn 2023)
 

AI Is Transforming Corporate Learning Even Faster Than I Expected — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Of all the domains to be impacted by AI, perhaps the biggest transformation is taking place in corporate learning. After a year of experimentation, it’s now clear that AI will revolutionize this space.

Here’s a simple example. I asked Galileo™, which is powered by 25 years of research and case studies, “How do I deal with an employee who’s always late? And please give me a narrative to help?” Rather than take me to a course on management or show me a bunch of videos, it simply answered the question. This type of interaction is where much of corporate learning is going.

In all my years as an analyst, I’ve never seen a technology with so much potential. AI will revolutionize the L&D landscape, reinventing how we do our work so L&D professionals can spend time consulting with the business.

 

Nearly half of companies say they plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Carolyn Crist
Many employers are dropping degree requirements to create a more diverse workforce and increase job candidate numbers, survey results show.

Forty-five percent of companies plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for some positions in 2024, according to a Nov. 29 report from Intelligent.com.

In 2023, 55% of companies removed degree requirements, particularly for entry-level and mid-level roles, the survey shows. Employers said they dropped these requirements to create a more diverse workforce, increase the number of applicants for open positions and because there are other ways to gain skills.


Fitch Ratings issues deteriorating outlook for higher ed in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
The credit ratings agency cited high labor and wage costs, elevated interest rates and uneven enrollment gains across the sector.

Dive Brief:

  • Fitch Ratings issued a deteriorating outlook Monday for U.S. colleges and universities in 2024, citing high labor and wage costs, elevated interest rates and uneven enrollment gains across the sector.
  • These challenges will limit colleges’ financial flexibility next year, according to the credit ratings agency. Moreover, Fitch analysts expect only a 2% to 4% uptick in colleges’ net tuition revenue and said tuition increases likely cannot counter rising operating expenses.
  • The outlook expects the divide to grow between large selective colleges and their smaller, less selective counterparts. “Flagship schools and selective private institutions are expected to experience relatively steady to favorable enrollment, while some regional public institutions and less-selective private schools in competitive markets have experienced declines,” according to the analysis.

Credit rating agencies split on higher ed outlook in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
S&P argues economic conditions will stress regional institutions, though Moody’s says the sector is stable overall.

Dive Brief:

  • Two credit rating agencies are somewhat divided in their outlooks for U.S. higher education in 2024, with one arguing the sector has stabilized, while the other forecasts tough economic conditions for less selective, regional colleges.
  • Revenue growth from sources like tuition and state funding looks promising, Moody’s Investors Service argued in an analysis Thursday. S&P Global Ratings, however, said Thursday that only highly selective institutions will enjoy student demand and healthy balance sheets. Their less selective counterparts face enrollment declines and credit pressures in turn, S&P said.
  • Both organizations agreed that labor shortages and similar challenges will squeeze colleges next year. Higher ed is contending with a boom in union activity, while widespread faculty tenure “remains a unique sector risk, limiting budget and operating flexibility,” Moody’s said.

 

 

Can new AI help to level up the scales of justice?


From DSC:
As you can see from the above items, Mr. David Goodrich, a great human being and a fellow Instructional Designer, had a great comment and question regarding the source of my hope that AI — and other forms of legaltech — could significantly provide more access to justice here in America. Our civil justice system has some serious problems — involving such areas as housing, employment, healthcare, education, families, and more.

I’d like to respond to that question here.

First of all, I completely get what David is saying. I, too, have serious doubts that our horrible access to justice (#A2J) situation will get better. Why? Because:

  • Many people working within the legal field like it this way, as they are all but assured victory in most of the civil lawsuits out there.
  • The Bar Associations of most of the states do not support changes that would threaten their incomes/livelihoods. This is especially true in California and Florida.
  • The legal field in general is not composed, for the most part, of highly innovative people who make things happen for the benefit of others. For example, the American Bar Association is 20+ years behind in terms of providing the level of online-based learning opportunities that they should be offering. They very tightly control how legal education is delivered in the U.S.

Here are several areas that provide me with hope for our future


There are innovative individuals out there fighting for change.
And though some of these individuals don’t reside in the United States, their work still impacts many here in America. For examples, see:

There are innovative new companies, firms, and other types of organizations out there fighting for change. For examples:

There are innovative new tools and technologies out there such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) 
    • AI and machine learning remain pivotal in legaltech, especially for in-house lawyers who deal with vast quantities of contracts and complex legal matters. In 2024, these technologies will be integral for legal research, contract review, and the drafting of legal documents. Statistics from the Tech & the Law 2023 Report state more than three in five corporate legal departments (61%) have adopted generative AI in some capacity, with 7% actively using generative AI in their day-to-day work. With constant improvements to LLM (Large Language Models) by the big players, i.e. OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft (via OpenAI), 2024 will see more opportunities open and efficiencies gained for legal teams. (Source)
    • From drafting contracts to answering legal questions and summarising legal issues, AI is revolutionising the legal profession and although viewed with a sceptical eye by some law firms, is generally perceived to be capable of bringing huge benefits. (Source)
    • Legal bots like Harvey will assist lawyers with discovery.
  • Technology-assisted review (TAR) in e-discovery
  • Due to COVID 19, there were virtual courtrooms set up and just like with virtual/online-based learning within higher education, many judges, litigants, lawyers, and staff appreciated the time savings and productivity gains. Along these lines, see Richard Susskind’s work. [Richard] predicts a world of online courts, AI-based global legal businesses, disruptive legal technologies, liberalized markets, commoditization, alternative sourcing, simulated practice on the metaverse, and many new legal jobs. (Source)

There are innovative states out there fighting for change. For examples:

  • Utah in 2020 launched a pilot program that suspended ethics rules to allow for non-lawyer ownership of legal services providers and let non-lawyers apply for a waiver to offer certain legal services. (Source)
  • Arizona in 2021 changed its regulatory rules to allow for non-lawyer ownership. (Source)
  • Alaska with their Alaska Legal Services Corporation
  • …and others

And the last one — but certainly not the least one — is where my faith comes into play. I believe that the Triune God exists — The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit — and that the LORD is very active in our lives and throughout the globe. And one of the things the LORD values highly is JUSTICE. For examples:

  • Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice. Proverbs 29:26 NIV
  • These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; Zechariah 8:16 NIV
  • …and many others as can be seen below

The LORD values JUSTICE greatly!


So I believe that the LORD will actively help us provide greater access to justice in America.


Well…there you have it David. Thanks for your question/comment! I appreciate it!

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian