Changing the narrative on degree requirements — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Paul Fain; with thanks to Ryan Craig (I believe) for this resource
An ad campaign from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council will call on employers to drop the “paper ceiling” and hire more skilled workers without four-year degrees.

Excerpt:

A new national advertising campaign will seek to influence employers to look beyond the four-year degree in hiring, with the message that a “paper ceiling” holds back half the U.S. workforce.

The ads from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council are slated to start running in September. With slick production and some big corporate partners, including Walmart and Google, the campaign is designed to nudge hiring managers across the country to make good on the growing number of pledges from company C-suites, state capitals, and the White House to drop barriers for skilled job seekers who lack bachelor’s degrees.

This group of more than 70M Americans includes community college graduates, experienced workers, veterans of the U.S. military, and completers of job training programs or alternatives to college, according to the nonprofit Opportunity@Work. The ads will celebrate these workers, which the group says are skilled through alternative routes (STARs).


Also relevant, see:

Americans support student loan forgiveness, but would rather rein in college costs — from npr.org by Cory Turner; with thanks to Bryan Alexander for posting this on LinkedIn

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Erasing old debts vs. fixing the system
In one of the poll’s most unexpected findings, respondents were asked to choose which sentence they agreed with more:

    1. “The government should prioritize making college more affordable for current and future students”
    2. “The government should prioritize forgiving some debt for those with existing student loans”

A whopping 82% said the government’s priority should be making college more affordable for current and future students. Just 16% believed forgiving student debts should take priority.

What that tells me is that, while student loan forgiveness for some is seen as a good proposal and a short-term fix, where we actually need to go from here is true, systematic change,” Newall says.

 

The Future of Education | By Futurist Gerd Leonhard | A Video for EduCanada — from futuristgerd.com

Per Gerd:

Recently, I was invited by the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland to create this special presentation and promotional video discussing the Future of Education and to explore how Canada might be leading the way. Here are some of the key points I spoke about in the video. Watch the whole thing here: the Future of Education.

 

…because by 2030, I believe, the traditional way of learning — just in case — you know storing, downloading information will be replaced by learning just in time, on-demand, learning to learn, unlearning, relearning, and the importance of being the right person. Character skills, personality skills, traits, they may very well rival the value of having the right degree.

If you learn like a robot…you’ll never have a job to begin with.

Gerd Leonhard


Also relevant/see:

The Next 10 Years: Rethinking Work and Revolutionising Education (Gerd Leonhard’s keynote in Riga) — from futuristgerd.com


 

Second Chance Pell helps deliver degrees to over 9,000 incarcerated students — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpts:

“Some programs may start as a real passion of an individual faculty member,” she said. “But in order for them to be sustainable, programs need cross-college support. Students need things like academic advising and access to library services. We’re seeing more and more of that, which is terrific.”

The existence and funding of such programs benefits people both in and out of the prison system. Inmates who participate in correctional education programs are 28% less likely to return to prison after their release than those who don’t, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of research. And research suggests that offering postsecondary programs could reduce levels of violence in prison.

 

The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders: A Tokyo Restaurant Where All the Servers Are People Living with Dementia — from openculture.com

Whole towns have already begun to structure their services around a growing number of citizens with dementia. But dementia itself remains “widely misunderstood,” says Restaurant of Mistaken Orders producer Shiro Oguni in the “concept movie” at the top of the post. “People believe you can’t do anything for yourself, and the condition will often mean isolation from society. We want to change society to become more easy-going so, dementia or no dementia, we can live together in harmony.”

Also see:

How Technology Can Improve Elder Care — from digitalsalutem.com by João Bocas

In this article, I talk about:

  1. The growth of the aging population
  2. The future of elder care is already here
  3. Smart homes, augmented and virtual reality, and wearables as potential solutions
  4. How these solutions can help providers deliver elder care
  5. The benefits of using these solutions

The world is changing. The way we live, the way we work, and the way we age are all being transformed by technology. In fact, some experts say that by 2030, more than half of the world’s population will be over 50 years old.

This is a new phenomenon for humanity. With this shift comes a need for new approaches to healthcare that are better suited to an aging population with increasingly complex needs.

 

SXSW EDU Launch Winner Our Worlds Bringing Native American Culture to Life Through Mobile-Based Immersive Reality — from the74million.org by Tim Newcomb

Excerpt:

Take a stroll along the La Jolla Shores Beach in San Diego, and you might find sand between your toes. But users of the new Our Worlds app, winner of the 2022 SXSW EDU Launch Competition, might also find much more. Through augmented reality, they can look at that same stretch of beach and see handmade tule boats from the local Kumeyaay tribe.

Our Worlds launched to highlight Native American history via modern-day technology, putting what founder and CEO Kilma Lattin calls “code to culture” and pushing Native American civilization forward. Lattin says Our Worlds offers a full suite of technology — virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence — to capture all the components that make a culture.

 

Apple’s first AR/VR headset inches closer to launch — from protocol.com by Nat Rubio-Licht
The company reportedly showed off the device to board members as it makes progress on the headset’s operating system.

Camp K12 Launches Hatch Kids, a Metaverse & AR/VR Creation Platform for Kids — from edtechreview.in by Stephen Soulunii

….

 

 

AI research is a dumpster fire and Google’s holding the matches — from thenextweb.com by Tristan Greene
Scientific endeavor is no match for corporate greed

Excerpts:

The world of AI research is in shambles. From the academics prioritizing easy-to-monetize schemes over breaking novel ground, to the Silicon Valley elite using the threat of job loss to encourage corporate-friendly hypotheses, the system is a broken mess.

And Google deserves a lion’s share of the blame.

Google, more than any other company, bears responsibility for the modern AI paradigm. That means we need to give big G full marks for bringing natural language processing and image recognition to the masses.

It also means we can credit Google with creating the researcher-eat-researcher environment that has some college students and their big-tech-partnered professors treating research papers as little more than bait for venture capitalists and corporate headhunters.

But the system’s set up to encourage the monetization of algorithms first, and to further the field second. In order for this to change, big tech and academia both need to commit to wholesale reform in how research is presented and reviewed.

Also relevant/see:

Every month Essentials publish an Industry Trend Report on AI in general and the following related topics:

  • AI Research
  • AI Applied Use Cases
  • AI Ethics
  • AI Robotics
  • AI Marketing
  • AI Cybersecurity
  • AI Healthcare

It’s never too early to get your AI ethics right — from protocol.com by Veronica Irwin
The Ethical AI Governance Group wants to give startups a framework for avoiding scandals and blunders while deploying new technology.

Excerpt:

To solve this problem, a group of consultants, venture capitalists and executives in AI created the Ethical AI Governance Group last September. In March, it went public, and published a survey-style “continuum” for investors to use in advising the startups in their portfolio.

The continuum conveys clear guidance for startups at various growth stages, recommending that startups have people in charge of AI governance and data privacy strategy, for example. EAIGG leadership argues that using the continuum will protect VC portfolios from value-destroying scandals.

 

China is about to regulate AI—and the world is watching — from wired.com by Jennifer Conrad
Sweeping rules will cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content.

Excerpt:

Some provisions aim to address complaints about online services. Under the rules, for instance, companies will be prohibited from using personal characteristics to offer users different prices for a product; they also will be required to notify users, and allow them to opt out, when algorithms are used to make recommendations.

Companies that violate the rules could face fines, be barred from enrolling new users, have their business licenses pulled, or see their websites or apps shut down.

Some elements of the new regulations may prove difficult or impossible to enforce. It can be technically challenging to police the behavior of an algorithm that is continually changing due to new input, for instance.

 

A Turning Point for Prison Education — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
With reinstatement of Pell Grants imminent, the programs weigh technology’s long-term role.

Excerpts:

Incarcerated people who participate in postsecondary-education programs are 48 percent less likely to return to prison, according to a 2018 study from the RAND Corporation.

Three colleges that The Chronicle spoke with are in varying stages of adding technology to their prison-ed programs.

Addendum on 5/11/22:

It was a proud, and somewhat routine commencement ceremony for Calvin University on Monday, May 9, though held in the confines of a state prison.

Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary joined the Michigan Department of Corrections Monday to host the graduation ceremony for Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) students at the state’s Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia.

Addendums on 5/16/22:

 

Native American Students Can Now Attend U. of California Tuition-Free — from chronicle.com by Abbi Ross

Excerpt:

Native American students who are California residents will no longer have to pay tuition or fees at one of the nation’s largest public-university systems — a decision that some say is a long-overdue acknowledgment of past harms.

The University of California system said this week that all in-state students who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes will have tuition and fees — about $14,000 each year — waived starting this fall. Then, on Wednesday, one of California’s recognized tribes announced a $2.5 million scholarship fund that will cover tuition and fees for in-state students from unrecognized tribes.

From DSC:
Given the atrocities that have occurred within our nation in the past, this is an excellent step in the right direction.

 

From DSC:
There are many things that are not right here — especially historically speaking. But this is one WE who are currently living can work on resolving.

*******

The Cost of Connection — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan
The internet is a lifeline for students on far-flung tribal campuses. Too often, they’re priced out of learning.

Excerpt:

Affordable and reliable broadband access can be a lifeline for tribal colleges, usually located on or near Native American reservations, often in remote, rural areas across the Southwest and Midwest. Chartered by their respective tribal governments, the country’s 35 accredited tribal colleges operate in more than 75 campus sites across 16 states, serving more than 160,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives each year. They emphasize and help sustain the culture, languages, and traditions of their tribal communities and are often the only higher-education option available for Native students in some of the nation’s poorest rural regions.

Also relevant/see:

Tribal Colleges Will Continue Online, Despite Challenges — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
Other institutions could learn from their calculus.

Excerpt:

Two years after tribal colleges shuttered alongside institutions nationwide, many remain largely, if not fully, online, catering to students who’ve historically faced barriers to attending in person. Adult learners — especially single mothers who may struggle to find child care, or those helping to support multigenerational households — make up the majority of students at more than half of the 32 federally recognized institutions in the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program. These colleges are also often located in low-income, rural areas, where hours of daily commute time (and the cost of gas) can prove untenable for students simultaneously working part- or full-time jobs.

Also relevant/see:

Why Tribal Colleges Struggle to Get Reliable Internet Service — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan and Jacquelyn Elias
For tribal colleges across the country, the pandemic magnified internet-access inequities. Often located on far-flung tribal lands, their campuses are overwhelmingly in areas with few broadband service providers, sometimes leaving them with slow speeds and spotty coverage.

“You can be driving from a nearby town, and as soon as you hit the reservation, the internet and cellphone signals drop off,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, president of the American Indian College Fund and a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. “Students would be in the middle of class and their Wi-Fi access dropped off.”

Worsening matters, many students have been limited by outdated equipment. “We had students who were trying to take classes on their flip phones,” Crazy Bull said. Such stories were cropping up throughout Indian territory.

 

Seeing the possibilities, I finally took a chance. I studied English, political science and finite math, and each class I passed deepened my confidence and self-love.

This growing self-love was key to my academic development. Growing up, I didn’t experience much real love, outside of my mother and a few family members. I most often encountered the kind of false love expressed through violence and monetary possessions. College changed the way I thought about myself and others. I worked hand-in-hand with men from all backgrounds to complete assignments, and even taught other students. Before I knew it, I was getting A’s on my essays and solving quadratic equations in math class.

When people question why it’s important to educate prisoners, I remind them that to see change, we must support change. We must give individuals the opportunity to see themselves as more than the harm they’ve caused, more than what was once broken within them.

Christopher Blackwell

Also relevant/see:

Calvin University's Prison Initiative

 

University Behind Bars

 

A group of workers are shown paving a new highway in this image.

From DSC:
What are the cognitive “highways” within our minds?

I’ve been thinking a lot about highways recently. Not because it’s construction season (quite yet) here in Michigan (USA), but because I’ve been reflecting upon how many of us build cognitive highways within our minds. The highways that I’m referring to are our well-trodden routes of thinking that we quickly default/resort to. Such well-trodden pathways in our minds get built over time…as we build our habits and/or our ways of thinking about things. Sometimes these routes get built without our even recognizing that new construction zones are already in place.

Those involved with cognitive psychology will connect instantly with what I’m saying here. Those who have studied memory, retrieval practice, how people learn, etc. will know what I’m referring to. 

But instead of a teaching and learning related origin, I got to thinking about this topic due to some recent faith-based conversations instead. These conversations revolved around such questions as:

  • What makes our old selves different from our new selves? (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • What does it mean to be transformed by the “renewing of our minds?” (Romans 12:2)
  • When a Christian says, “Keep your eyes on Christ” — what does that really mean and look like (practically speaking)?

For me, at least a part of the answers to those questions has to do with what’s occupying my thought life. I don’t know what it means to keep my eyes on Christ, as I can’t see Him. But I do understand what it means to keep my thoughts on what Christ said and/or did…or on the kinds of things that Philippians 4:8 suggests that we think about. No wonder that we often hear the encouragement to be in the Word…as I think that new cognitive highways get created in our minds as we read the Bible. That is, we begin to look at things differently. We take on different perspectives.

The ramifications of this idea are huge:

  • We can’t replace an old highway by ourselves. It takes others to help us out…to teach us new ways of thinking.
  • We sometimes have to unlearn some things. It took time to learn our original perspective on those things, and it will likely be a process for new learning to occur and replace the former way of thinking about those topics.
  • This idea relates to addictions as well. It takes time for addicts to build up their habits/cravings…and it takes time to replace those habits/cravings with more positive ones. One — or one’s family, partner/significant other, and friends — should not expect instant change. Change takes time, and therefore patience and grace are required. This goes for the teachers/faculty members, coaches, principals, pastors, policemen/women, judges, etc. that a person may interact with as well over time. (Hmmm…come to think of it, it sounds like some other relationships may be involved here at times also. Certainly, God knows that He needs to be patient with us — often, He has no choice. Our spouses know this as well and we know that about them too.)
  • Christians, who also struggle with addictions and go to the hospital er…the church rather, take time to change their thoughts, habits, and perspectives. Just as the rebuilding of a physical highway takes time, so it takes time to build new highways (patterns of thinking and responses) in our minds. So the former/old highways may still be around for a while yet, but the new ones are being built and getting stronger every day.
  • Sometimes we need to re-route certain thoughts. Or I suppose another way to think about this is to use the metaphor of “changing the tapes” being played in our minds. Like old cassette tapes, we need to reject some tapes/messages and insert some new ones.

What are the cognitive highways within your own mind? How can you be patient with others (that you want to see change occur within) inside of your own life?

Anyway, thanks for reading this posting. May you and yours be blessed on this day. Have a great week and weekend!


Addendum on 3/31/22…also relevant, see:

I Analyzed 13 TED Talks on Improving Your Memory— Here’s the Quintessence — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
How you can make the most out of your brain.

Excerpt:

In her talk, brain researcher and professor Lara Boyds explains what science currently knows about neuroplasticity. In essence, your brain can change in three ways.

Change 1 — Increase chemical signalling
Your brain works by sending chemicals signals from cell to cell, so-called neurons. This transfer triggers actions and reactions. To support learning your brain can increase the concentration of these signals between your neurons. Chemical signalling is related to your short-term memory.

Change 2 — Alter the physical structure
During learning, the connections between neurons change. In the first change, your brain’s structure stays the same. Here, your brain’s physical structure changes?—?which takes more time. That’s why altering the physical structure influences your long-term memory.

For example, research shows that London taxi cab drivers who actually have to memorize a map of London to get their taxicab license have larger brain regions devoted to spatial or mapping memories.

Change 3 — Alter brain function
This one is crucial (and will also be mentioned in the following talks). When you use a brain region, it becomes more and more accessible. Whenever you access a specific memory, it becomes easier and easier to use again.

But Boyd’s talk doesn’t stop here. She further explores what limits or facilitates neuroplasticity. She researches how people can recover from brain damages such as a stroke and developed therapies that prime or prepare the brain to learn?—?including simulation, exercise and robotics.

Her research is also helpful for healthy brains?—?here are the two most important lessons:

The primary driver of change in your brain is your behaviour.

There is no one size fits all approach to learning.

 


 

How sponsorship can help women in tech advance — from mckinsey.com

Excerpt:

While women earn about half of science and engineering degrees, they make up less than 20 percent of people employed in these fields. And for many who choose this career path, they are commonly the only person of their gender in a room.

This International Women’s Day, we’re looking at one workplace element that can help reverse those trends for women in tech: connecting with a sponsor who creates opportunities for them and advocates for their advancement.

Women in Tech: Breaking Bias in the Workplace — from technative.io

Excerpt:

However, as important having a mentor is, it is imperative to have strong decision making power of your own. Future Processing’s Mleczko suggests women take control of their lives actively: “You are the only one who can decide about your life and your future. Do not let your dreams go just because other people say you are not capable of something. Some things need time, so be patient but do not resign. Everyone started at the very beginning.”

Inclusive Hiring in Tech: How to Write More Inclusive Job Descriptions — by Jill Bender


Addendums on 3/17/22:


 

 

Howard University to digitize its archive of thousands of Black newspapers — from nbcnews.com by Curtis Bunn
A $2 million grant will be used to digitize Howard’s Black Press Archives, the largest collection of newspapers from the U.S., Africa and the African diaspora.

Excerpt:

Now, with the help of a $2 million grant announced Monday, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center will make available countless articles that captured in real-time the impact of historical events on Black people that have long been difficult, if not impossible, to access. By digitizing its extensive Black Press Archives, anyone will be able to access Howard’s collection of more than 2,000 newspapers from the United States, Africa and the African diaspora online.

 

As bomb threats keep targeting HBCUs, 64 higher ed groups tell Congress to act — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

More than a dozen HBCUs have been forced to clear campuses and cancel in-person classes following bomb threats this year. Fisk University, in Tennessee, issued a shelter-in-place order Monday after receiving a series of threats. The same day, Howard University, in Washington, D.C., received a bomb threat for the fourth time since the beginning of January and told students and employees to stay indoors.

All-clear notices have since been issued for both Fisk U and Howard U.

‘You’re Not Safe as a Black Person’: New Round of Bomb Threats Rattles HBCUs — from chronicle.com by Oyin Adedoyin

Excerpt:

The recent string of bomb threats across a handful of historically Black colleges and universities has sparked fear within higher education’s Black community. “This is probably one of the clearest examples of hate crimes based on race,” said Paulette Granberry Russell, the president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

From DSC:
Some of the institutions I saw mentioned were:

  • Bowie State University, Howard University, Albany State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Southern University and A&M College, and Delaware State University

Can you imagine if this happened at Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Stanford, and/or similar institutions? You and I both know that if students there kept having to put up with bomb threats and having their in-person classes canceled, there would be hell to pay! There would be a lot more heat in the kitchen. A lot more noise. A lot more overall societal concern. 

For me, the bottom line is that this situation is horribly wrong. It’s downright evil. I hope it gets resolved soon, though I have to say that I’m not as hopeful as I’d like to be in this 21st century of ours here in the United States…where I continue to be amazed at our lack of unity, respect, compassion, and caring for other people. The amount of racism and hate crimes in our country is just horribly wrong.

On somewhat related notes, see:

Where HBCU grads are thriving — from linkedin.com by McKenna Moore

Excerpt:

Promotion rates for graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) rose 4.94% in 2021 from the previous year, according to insights from LinkedIn’s data on over 600,000 HBCU alumni. The industries that outperform others in promoting HBCU grads include energy and mining, software and IT services, hardware and networking, finance and manufacturing. And the specific job functions that lead to the best chance of promotion for these alumni are program and project management, marketing, human resources, business development and accounting.

Black talent on the fast track: these 10 paths stand out for HBCU graduates — from linkedin.com by George Anders

Excerpt:

All told, more than 600,000 graduates of HBCUs such as Spelman have profiles on LinkedIn. That makes it possible for LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team to analyze the career paths that these alumni have chosen – and to extract insights about promotion rates by job types, gender and in comparison to non-HBCU graduates.

The overall picture that emerges from this data includes a wide list of career paths where HBCU alumni are thriving, as well as signs that overall gaps between HBCU graduates’ promotion rates and non-HBCU trends haven’t yet closed.

Giving to Community Colleges and HBCUs Soared Last Year — from philanthropy.com by Dan Parks

Addendum on 2/19/22:

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian