Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack on the Transformative Possibilities of this Moment — from law.upenn.edu with Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack

Excerpt:

Bridget Mary McCormack is Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and is a leading voice on modernizing court systems to expand access to justice and deepen public confidence in legal systems.

On this episode, she joins us to share her thoughts on how courts can learn from the experiences COVID-19 has created to better serve the public in a post-pandemic world. She also shares her views on how regulatory reform can transform legal services and why improving legal systems matters for the entire American experiment.


Addendum on 12/13/21:
Ontario Court Lays Down the Law on Technology Competence and Video Proceedings — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

An Ontario judge has laid down the law on technology competence, ruling in no uncertain terms that every lawyer has a duty to keep pace with changing technology, and that a lawyer’s discomfort with new technologies — in this case, video depositions — is no excuse for reverting to pre-pandemic methods.

 

EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues take an optimistic view of how technology can help create the higher education we deserve —through a shared transformational vision and strategy for the institution, a recognition of the need to place student success at the center, and a sustainable business model that redefines “the campus.”

See the 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Almost two years into a global pandemic, it’s clear the higher education we knew will never return and now we can focus on getting the higher education we deserve.

 


From DSC:
I’m assuming that the we in the we deserve (as highlighted above) includes the students, as *the students* are the ones who most need for things to change.

That said, I’m doubtful such profound change will occur within higher education as it stands today. The existing cultures may prevent such significant and necessary change from occurring — and higher ed isn’t used to dealing with the current exponential pace of change that we’re experiencing. Plus, the downward spirals that many institutions are in don’t always allow for the new investments, programs, and/or experiments to occur. But who knows? When institutions of traditional higher education have their backs pressed up against the walls, perhaps such institutions and the people within them will be forced to change. There are innovative individuals and institutions out there. (I’m just not sure how much they’ve been listened to in many cases.)

To help students truly succeed means to change one’s core products/services — one’s story. But higher ed loves to play around the edges…rarely letting the core products/services get touched. 

To me, student success includes having students pay far less and, while still getting a solid liberal arts education/foundation, can get solid jobs immediately upon graduation. At least that’s my hope as we head into 2022. 

But what student success looks like may be different in the future.

Perhaps in 5 years, we will have moved much more towards a lifelong learning situation. Individuals may have joined a global, next-generation learning platform whereby one teaches for X minutes of the day, and learns for Y minutes of that same day. AI-based dashboards let people know which skills are in high demand, and then offer a menu of choices for how to acquire those skills.

A couple of lasts comments:

  • Being data-driven won’t save an institution. Vision might. But being data-driven has its limits.
  • The digital transformations being talked about within institutions of traditional higher education may be too little, too late. This conversation should have taken place a decade or more ago. (I think I just heard an “Amen!” from some folks who used to work at Blockbuster. They didn’t think a transformation was necessary either….but they learned their lesson the hard way. We should have learned from their situation…a long time ago. And I’m sure that you can think of other examples as well.)

 

The State of Student Success & Engagement in Higher Education -- from Instructure

The State of Student Success & Engagement in Higher Education — from instructure.com (authors of the Canvas LMS)
Our 2021 Global Student engagement and success study uncovers vital stats and key trends to help education institutions thrive through today’s education challenges.

Excerpt:

  • Connect students with alumni and potential employers through virtual networking, internships/externships, mentorship programs, and strategic partnerships.
  • Align curriculum with workforce outcomes and offer opportunities for students to showcase skill sets.
  • Close the perceived awareness gap of work/career readiness programs on campus with alumni programming highlighting the success of campus career resources.
  • Embed career exploration throughout the higher education experience and provide actionable insights into employment trends.

 

 

8 tech and leadership podcasts to add to your playlist — from enterprisersproject.com by Stephanie Overby
Check out these podcasts to keep up to date on CIO lessons learned, emerging tech trends, leadership best practices, and more

From DSC:
This article does a great job of providing a description of each podcast, why you should listen to it, and a list of recent episodes so you can see some of the topics that they are talking about.

 

Ohio State U. Unveils a Plan for All Students to Graduate Debt-Free — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman

Excerpt:

Nearly half of all undergraduates at Ohio State University take out loans to help pay the costs of attending college, borrowing an average of more than $27,000. Kristina M. Johnson, the new president of the land-grant university, wants to reduce that proportion to zero.

Johnson announced a plan on Friday, at her investiture, to reach that goal within a decade.

Instead of offering students federal direct loans as part of their financial-aid packages, the university will use a combination of grants, internships, and opportunities to assist with research.

“People without family means, which includes many of the country’s minority students, start their adult lives in a financial hole,” Johnson said during her investiture speech. “I want all of our graduates to be free to say yes to every great opportunity that comes their way.”

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to Support Students and Families through Technology and Innovation — from thejournal.com by Jeremy Davis

Excerpt:

Here are just a few district-wide innovations that resulted from the pandemic:

  • Worked with our local public access television station to broadcast district updates and educational resources. We contracted with Discovery Education to post some of their content to local channel 3 for students without home Internet access, and we built a television studio where our Innovation team worked with district teachers to produce content for local cable from 8–3 every week day.

DC: Which reminds me of this idea/graphic:

  • Students were provided with Internet hotspots to ensure every student in the district could access the content and the video conferencing lessons with their teachers.
  • The Educational Services department created an amazing curriculum and summer school program where students could log in and complete curricular activities as enhancements to the curriculum and throughout the summer.
  • Created videos of “how” we could do both live and online teaching at the same time to help teachers feel more comfortable with the new way of teaching.
 

We Need to Make Schools Human Again. That Means Treating Teachers With Respect. – from edsurge.com by Jennifer Yoo-Brannon

Excerpts:

The first thing I noticed when we returned to school after remote learning was that my conversations with teachers got real deep real fast.

But we are not just educators, of course. We are mothers of multiple school-aged children, parents of special needs students who need a high level of support, individuals with anxiety disorders exacerbated by the worldwide anxiety of the pandemic. We are human too. While we transform our schools into welcoming spaces for students, we must also make them a human place to work for educators as well. We can’t forget that we saw each other’s humanity—shared a universal human experience—and then return to business as usual. We must make schools human again.

Avoid toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how bad a situation is, we should all have a positive mindset about it. Toxic positivity isn’t optimism. Toxic positivity rejects or refuses to acknowledge how difficult things can be. This message is for administrators in particular.

From DSC:
When I read this…

In other words, the question is not “How do we get teachers to participate in professional development?” but rather, “How can we create a context in which everyone will want to engage in professional learning?” To feel human in our workplace, we all need to feel like we have choices and teachers need to feel trusted and empowered to make those choices.

…I’m thinking to myself…isn’t this the same for our students?

 

All aboard: Bitcoin’s rise inspires even big banks to staff up on crypto talent — from linkedin.com by George Anders

Excerpt:

That’s according to a new analysis by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team, which finds that major financial services firms will add more than three times as many staff steeped in digital-asset experience this year than in 2015. That pace jumped 40% in the first half of 2021 alone, compared with the same period last year.

“The opportunities in digital assets are plentiful,” BNY Mellon’s Roman Regelman, the bank’s CEO of asset servicing and head of digital, told LinkedIn News. “We can now attract talent in a very different way.”

Also relevant, see:

  • Wharton’s New Crypto Course to Take Crypto for Tuition Fees — from insidehighered.com by Suzanne Smalley
    Excerpt:
    The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania last week announced it would become the first Ivy League school and the first American business school to accept enrollment payments in cryptocurrency via Coinbase. The announcement came alongside news that the prestigious business school also has launched an online certificate program focused on the economics of blockchain and digital assets.
 

2022 Top 10 IT Issues -- from Educause

2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

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

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

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

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


Addendum/also see:


 

 

 The new frontier: Why visionary CLOs are switching focus to developing technical teams rather than people managers — from chieflearningofficer.com by Alastair Gordon
The new frontier for CLOs is this: How do we unleash the untapped potential of our technical experts to gain competitive advantage or community benefit? 

Excerpt:

The race to develop talent is changing its focus.

Historically, success relied on developing extraordinary leaders to inspire and lead large groups of people. But today, and in the future, the new challenge for learning teams is to create an edge for their organization by radically improving their development of technical specialists.

Engineers, economists, researchers, software developers and data scientists — they’re in the vanguard of innovation. No other group has the same potential to create value, cut costs or introduce better processes. This trend is seeing early adopter organizations in the vanguard of a shift to rebalance the annual learning budget toward developing technical experts in nontechnical capabilities.

Also relevant/see:

 
 

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.

 

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired — from vox.com by Rani Molla and Emily Stewart; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
America’s broken hiring system, explained.

Tim Brackney, president and COO of management consulting firm RGP, refers to the current situation as the “great mismatch.” That mismatch refers to a number of things, including desires, experience, and skills. And part of the reason is that the skills necessary for a given job are changing faster than ever, as companies more frequently adopt new software.

“Twenty years ago, if I had 10 years experience as a warehouse manager, the likelihood that my skills would be pretty relevant and it wouldn’t take me that long to get up to speed was pretty good,” Joseph Fuller, a management professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of a recent paper on the disconnect between employers and employees, said. “The shelf life of people’s skills for a lot of decent-paying jobs has been shortening.”

From DSC:
I also think those hiring don’t think people can reinvent themselves. Folks who hire someone (and/or the applicant tracking systems as play) always seem to look for an exact match. There is little vision and/or belief that someone can grow into a position, or to lead differently, or to go in a different but better direction. They reach for their cookie cutters and shove their imaginations and ability to think bigger aside.

Employers could help people by investing in their employees’ growth and development — even if it means they actively help an employee take a right turn. Such an employee could hopefully find a new fit within that organization — if they do, they would likely turn out to be fiercely loyal.

Even if it means offering an employee 1-2 courses a year that they want to learn about — NO STRINGS ATTACHED — the learning culture would get a huge boost!!! Peoples’ love/enjoyment of learning would grow. Morale would improve. People would feel valued.

Let me offer a personal example:

  • My old boss, Mr. Irving Charles Coleman Jr, let me take a Photoshop class while I was working in the IT Department at Kraft Foods’ headquarters. Kraft paid for it, even though it wasn’t directly related to my position at the time. That course ended up changing my life and my future direction. No kidding. Thank you Irv! You’re the best!
 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian