Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

From DSC:
My answer to the question “Is Accreditation a Barrier to Innovation?” would be “Yes, it is.” But admittedly, maybe that’s because I work for a law school these days…and in the legal education realm (as controlled by the American Bar Association), there is YET to be a fully 100% online-based Juris Doctor (JD) degree that I’m aware of. There are some schools that have applied for “variances,” but we’re talking 20+ years after institutions of higher education introduced online-based learning! Those programs who have applied for variances are under an incredible amount of scrutiny by the American Bar Association, that’s for sure. So the legal realm is NOT doing well with innovation.

But in regards to other areas of higher ed and its accrediting bodies…I’m sorry, but you can’t tell me that the run-up in the price of higher education over the last several decades had nothing to do with HE’s accrediting bodies and either their support of — or their lack of support of — those organizations who were trying to introduce something new.

But along these lines, I’d like to hear from folks like:

  • Burck Smith from Straighterline on his perspectives and his company’s experiences with the various accrediting bodies that Straighterline has had to deal with. His insights here would carry a significant impact/weight for me.
  • Or perhaps someone like James DeVaney from University of Michingan’s Center for Academic Innovation or Joshua Kim who writes about higher education and edtech/online learning
  • Or folks like Mary Grush or Rhea Kelly at CampusTechnology.com
  • Surveying organizations who could speak for a massive group of students/learners/employees
  • …and/or other folks who are either trying to innovate within the existing systems, have heard from both sides of the table here, and/or have tried and failed to innovate within the existing structures

We’ll see if institutions of traditional higher education can reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant and survive (especially colleges and universities…not so much the community colleges). The accreditation bodies will have a large part in whether this happens…or not.

Along these lines…let’s see what happens to the growth of alternatives to those types of institutions as well.

 

Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work — from McKinsey & Company; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpts:

Our findings help define the particular skills citizens are likely to require in the future world of work and suggest how proficiency in them can influence work-related outcomes, namely employment, income, and job satisfaction. This, in turn, suggests three actions governments may wish to take.

  1. Reform education systems
  2. Reform adult-training systems
  3. Ensure affordability of lifelong education

Establish an AI aggregator of training programs to attract adult learners and encourage lifelong learning. AI algorithms could guide users on whether they need to upskill or reskill for a new profession and shortlist relevant training programs. 

Foundational skills that will help citizens thrive in the future of work


From DSC:
No one will have all 56 skills that McKinsey recommends here. So (HR) managers, please don’t load up your job postings with every single skill listed here. The search for purple unicorns can get tiring, old, and discouraging for those who are looking for work.

That said, much of what McKinsey’s research/data shows — and what their recommendations are — resonates with me. And that’s why I keep adding to the developments out at:

Learning from the living class room

A powerful, global, next-generation learning platform — meant to help people reinvent themselves quickly, safely, cost-effectively, conveniently, & consistently!!!

 

The Future of Work series from PBS can be seen here online

DIGITAL SERIES – FUTURE OF WORK: THE NEXT GENERATION

Excerpt:

The working landscape in the United States has rapidly changed in the last 30 years. The one job-for-life model is vanishing and younger workers are trading in stability and security for flexibility and autonomy. GBH and PBS Digital Studios present the Future of Work digital series, a six-part docuseries chronicling six mid-career adults as they navigate the rapidly changing work landscape covering topics such as debt, the gig economy, remote working, career identity, and more.

 

5 Ways Higher Ed Will Be Upended — from chronicle.com by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
Colleges will lose power, prices will go down, and credentials will multiply — among other jarring shifts.

Excerpt:

The dominance of degrees and “just in case” education will diminish; nondegree certifications and “just in time” education will increase in status and value.

In contrast, “just in time” education teaches students the skills and knowledge they need right now. They may need to learn a foreign language for an coming trip or business deal. They may need to learn an emerging technology. “Just in time” education comes in all shapes and sizes, but diverges from traditional academic time standards, uniform course lengths, and common credit measures. Only a small portion of such programs award degrees; most grant certificates, microcredentials, or badges.

From DSC:
Long-time readers of this blog and my old blog at Calvin (then College) will see no surprises here:

I published the idea of 50% off and more back in 2008

I discussed The Walmart of Education with Mary Grush back in 2013

Learning from the living class room

 

There’s a New Wave of AI Research Coming to Transform Education — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

Preparing for Students’ Second Act
With a focus on adult learners, the AI Institute for Adult Learning and Online Education, or ALOE, will look to improve online education for the more than 100 million American workers who will need to “reskill” over the next 10 years.

It will also learn from the massive amounts of data generated by online students that isn’t accessible in traditional in-person classes.

 

Fintropolis is an educational Minecraft world that teaching middle schoolers finance — from pixelkin.org

Excerpt:

Two years ago, Ally Financial, a financial services company, hired four interns from Historically Black Colleges and Universities through their Moguls in the Making program to promote financial literacy in younger students. The four college students, Erin Martin (Alabama A&M), Earl Perry and Keishon Smith (Florida A&M), and DeMari Tyner (North Carolina A&T) designed Fintropolis, a world in Minecraft, available now for free in Minecraft and Minecraft: Education Edition.

Also see:

Learn about life-boosting financial skills, including careers & jobs, taxes, budgeting, savings, credit, identity protection and investing.

 

Four Steps to Improve Retention with Schema Theory — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Hannah Hunter

Excerpt:

If you read the word “breakfast”, what comes to mind? Do you think of your favorite breakfast foods? The smell of a cup of coffee? Time spent with family? A quick bite in the car on the way to work?

It is likely that many words, images, and emotions come to mind. This collection of interconnected thoughts and feelings constitute a schema.

What is a schema?
A schema is a mental model stored in long-term memory that the brain uses to organize information. Schemas are built from memories and experiences and are unique to each individual. You have schemas for every topic imaginable: objects, events, people, activities, relationships, and even your concept of self.

Also see:

An entire generation of the workforce is on its way out over the next 5-10 years. And then look who’s coming behind them. A new generation that learns differently than their predecessors, that has different expectations, and that stays in jobs exponentially shorter than their predecessors.

 

Things To Know Now About the Future of Nondegree Credentials — from stradaeducation.org by Amy Wimmer Schwarb

Excerpt:

Certificates. Licenses. Microcredentials. Nanocredentials. Digital badges.

The array of options for postsecondary education and training has exploded over the last several decades, and interest is still growing: According to Strada Public Viewpoint research, 62 percent of Americans would prefer skills training or another nondegree option if they enrolled in a program within the next six months. In the 1950s, 5 percent of American workers held some type of licensure or certification; today, 30 percent do.

In the absence of an existing system from education providers, employers are starting to do the work of standardizing credentials and making them transferable. 

“They’re starting to act like a mini higher ed system, and with that comes responsibility, and you could maybe say some accountability,” Zanville said. “There’s some interesting work behind the scenes on what that could look like going forward.”

 

A LIFETIME OF LEARNING — from continuum.uw.edu

Excerpts:

The 60-year curriculum is the modern approach to a lifetime of learning. Getting a degree, getting a job and never setting foot in a classroom again are not today’s reality.

A discussion paper from the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in the next 10 to 15 years, the need for new tech skills will accelerate. We will also need people who will develop, innovate and adapt those technologies. The paper asserts that, right now, 80% of the workforce doesn’t have the skills for most of the jobs that will be available in the next five to 10 years.

The 60-year curriculum. Lifetime learning is now a requirement.

From DSC:
It would be good to integrate more vocational types of pathways/items in here as well.

 

The Short-term Credentials Landscape — from newamerica.org by Monique O. Ositelu, PhD, Clare McCann, and Amy Laitinen
What We See and What Remains Unseen

Abstract

Given the rapid growth in short-term programs, and policymakers’ fast-growing interest to invest federal higher education dollars into very-short-term credentials, we explore what the research does—and does not— show us about such credentials’ utility in the labor market. With concerns about equity, our review of the literature guides us towards caution, as a strong push for short-term certificates may run the risk of reifying socioeconomic stratification.

From DSC:
I wonder…will accreditation move towards the use of crowd-sourced methods? Similar to rating one’s driver or one’s experience with a product, will microcredentials get into more reviews and recommendations from the users of various learning/training-related sites and services?

Will users of a service comment on whether the credential helped them (with a salary increase, with practical knowledge, with an expanded scope of projects at work, etc.)?

 

Microsoft President Warns of Orwell’s 1984 ‘Coming to Pass’ in 2024 — from interestingengineering.com by Chris Young
Microsoft’s Brad Smith warned we may be caught up in a losing race with artificial intelligence.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The surveillance-state dystopia portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984 could “come to pass in 2024” if governments don’t do enough to protect the public against artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft president Brad Smith warned in an interview for the BBC’s investigative documentary series Panorama.

During the interview, Smith warned of China’s increasing AI prowess and the fact that we may be caught up in a losing race with the technology itself.

“If we don’t enact the laws that will protect the public in the future, we are going to find the technology racing ahead, and it’s going to be very difficult to catch up,” Smith stated.

From DSC:
This is a major heads up to all those in the legal/legislative realm — especially the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Bar Associations across the country! The ABA needs to realize they have to up their game and get with the incredibly fast pace of the twenty-first century. If that doesn’t occur, we and future generations will pay the price. Two thoughts come to my mind in regards to the ABA and for the law schools out there:

Step 1: Allow 100% online-based JD programs all the time, from here on out.

Step 2: Encourage massive new program development within all law schools to help future lawyers, judges, legislative reps, & others build up more emerging technology expertise & the ramifications thereof.

Google’s plan to make search more sentient — from vox.com by Rebecca Heilweil
Google announces new search features every year, but this time feels different.

Excerpt:

At the keynote speech of its I/O developer conference on Tuesday, Google revealed a suite of ways the company is moving forward with artificial intelligence. These advancements show Google increasingly trying to build AI-powered tools that seem more sentient and that are better at perceiving how humans actually communicate and think. They seem powerful, too.

Two of the biggest AI announcements from Google involve natural language processing and search.

Google also revealed a number of AI-powered improvements to its Maps platform that are designed to yield more helpful results and directions.

Google’s plans to bring AI to education make its dominance in classrooms more alarming — from fastcompany.com by Ben Williamson
The tech giant has expressed an ambition to transform education with artificial intelligence, raising fresh ethical questions.

Struggling to Get a Job? Artificial Intelligence Could Be the Reason Why — from newsweek.com by Lydia Veljanovski; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for the resource

Excerpt:

Except that isn’t always the case. In many instances, instead of your application being tossed aside by a HR professional, it is actually artificial intelligence that is the barrier to entry. While this isn’t a problem in itself—AI can reduce workflow by rapidly filtering applicants—the issue is that within these systems lies the possibility of bias.

It is illegal in the U.S. for employers to discriminate against a job applicant because of their race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin, age (40 or older) or genetic information. However, these AI hiring tools are often inadvertently doing just that, and there are no federal laws in the U.S. to stop this from happening.

These Indian edtech companies are shaping the future of AI & robotics — from analyticsinsight.net by Apoorva Komarraju May 25, 2021

Excerpt:

As edtech companies have taken a lead by digitizing education for the modern era, they have taken the stance to set up Atal Tinkering Labs in schools along with other services necessary for the budding ‘kidpreneurs’. With the availability of these services, students can experience 21st-century technologies like IoT, 3D printing, AI, and Robotics.

Researchers develop machine-learning model that accurately predicts diabetes, study says — from ctvnews.ca by Christy Somos

Excerpt:

TORONTO — Canadian researchers have developed a machine-learning model that accurately predicts diabetes in a population using routinely collected health data, a new study says.

The study, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, tested new machine-learning technology on routinely collected health data that examined the entire population of Ontario. The study was run by the ICES not-for-profit data research institute.

Using linked administrative health data from Ontario from 2006 to 2016, researchers created a validated algorithm by training the model on information taken from nearly 1.7 million patients.

Project Guideline: Enabling Those with Low Vision to Run Independently — from ai.googleblog.com by Xuan Yang; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for the resource

Excerpt:

For the 285 million people around the world living with blindness or low vision, exercising independently can be challenging. Earlier this year, we announced Project Guideline, an early-stage research project, developed in partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, that uses machine learning to guide runners through a variety of environments that have been marked with a painted line. Using only a phone running Guideline technology and a pair of headphones, Guiding Eyes for the Blind CEO Thomas Panek was able to run independently for the first time in decades and complete an unassisted 5K in New York City’s Central Park.

Deepfake Maps Could Really Mess With Your Sense of the World — from wired.com by Will Knight
Researchers applied AI techniques to make portions of Seattle look more like Beijing. Such imagery could mislead governments or spread misinformation online.

In a paper published last month, researchers altered satellite images to show buildings in Seattle where there are none.

 

2 Chronicles 10 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com (emphasis DSC)

Excerpt:

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “The people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”

From DSC:
The new, younger king didn’t listen to the older, more experienced people (i.e., the elders) who had worked with King Solomon (a king who reigned over a united Israel for 40 years…and a person whom the Bible says was the wisest king of all time). Instead the younger king sought the counsel of his younger peers and went with that advice. This led to Rehoboam’s downfall — at least in terms of keeping a strong, united Israel. He was only a king of a much smaller kingdom due to his decision and actions.

What might the youth of today learn from this? How might entrepreneurs learn from this? What might companies like Google, Facebook, and others learn from this? How might this impact how we go about developing the culture of a company? What’s valued and what’s not valued?

There are probably different lessons one can learn from 2 Chronicles Chapter 10. But here’s one example that comes to my mind…

…just because we can…

just because we can does not mean we should


…doesn’t mean we should.

 

just because we can does not mean we should

 

If You Thought Working From Home Was Messy, Here Comes Hybrid Work — from wsj.com by Chip Cutter
Mandatory Mondays and Fridays. Unused desks and crowded conference rooms. Employers and workers navigate a return to offices.

Excerpts:

Some companies that are hiring say they can’t find knowledge workers willing to come into an office five days a week, according to chief executives, human-resource chiefs and recruiters.


It’s become really sort of a requirement if you’re looking for top talent,” Mr. Herrington says. “Those folks are pretty much saying, ‘Hey, if I can’t have a bit of a hybrid work environment, then I’m probably not going to be interested.’”

From DSC:
I’ve often noticed that the problems that we work on in higher ed are occurring in K12 and also in the corporate world. How to move forward from this Covid19 situation is another similar problem being worked on. Perhaps with some different/additional questions for HE and K12:

  • Where do the students prefer to be? In face-to-face (F2F)-based situations? 100% online? Hyflex? Hybrid? Other?

But really, I wonder if things don’t boil down to what the market will dictate…?

 

Doubling down on accessibility: Microsoft’s next steps to expand accessibility in technology, the workforce and workplace — from Brad Smith, President of Microsoft

Excerpt:

Accessibility by design
Today, we are announcing a variety of new “accessible by design” features and advances in Microsoft 365, enabling more than 200 million people to build, edit and share documents. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies, we aim to make more content accessible and as simple and automatic as spell check is today. For example:

  • A new background accessibility checker will provide a prompt to fix accessibility issues in content across the core Office apps and Outlook will nudge users to correct accessibility issues.
  • AI in Microsoft Word will detect and convert to heading styles crucial for blind and low-vision readers.
  • A new Excel navigation pane designed for screen readers will help people easily discover and navigate objects in a spreadsheet.
  • We’re expanding Immersive Reader, used by 35 million people every month, to help with the comprehension of PowerPoint slides and notes.
  • In Teams, high-contrast mode can be used to access shared content using PowerPoint Live  which will reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity with Dark Mode in Word.
  • New LinkedIn features that include auto-captioning for LinkedIn Live broadcasts, captions for enterprise content and dark mode later this year.

More than 1 billion people around the world live with a disability, and at some point, most of us likely will face some type of temporary, situational or permanent disability. The practical impacts are huge. 

Addendum on 5/6/21:

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian