3 major trends affecting ed tech companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
We reviewed what executives said during their latest earnings calls to better understand patterns in the growing sector.

“It’s going to be a series of short, discrete skill-building offerings knitted together in a curated or customized manner,” Craig said. “It’s going to be done within enterprises in five years’ time, and that’s going to further reduce the influence of colleges and universities.”

 

Resource via @ernperez
at this article/page.

From DSC:

Cloud-based learner profiles are a likely element of our future learning ecosystems

 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 

More students question college, putting counselors in a fresh quandary — from hechingerreport.org by Laura Pappano
The pandemic has made counselors reflect on how to help students evaluate many different paths and opportunities, then figure out what interests them

Excerpt:

Many high schools, said Anderson, “like to promote the fact that 100 percent or 95 percent are college-bound.” Such data points are not barometers of success, she argues, because they are more about “sending students off to the next institution” than helping them work through individual needs, skills and desires.

Are people ready to rethink what “success” looks like? And how to help students achieve it?

For teens across the country — many of them burnt out, confused or newly questioning long-held plans — that conversation is coming alive. It is unfolding amid scrutiny of the cost and value of a college degree and the multiplying options for alternative training.

 

 

Autonomous Weapons Are Here, but the World Isn’t Ready for Them — from wired.com by Will Knight
A UN report says a drone, operating without human control, attacked people in Libya. International efforts to restrict such weapons have so far failed.

This may be remembered as the year when the world learned that lethal autonomous weapons had moved from a futuristic worry to a battlefield reality. It’s also the year when policymakers failed to agree on what to do about it.

On Friday, 120 countries participating in the United Nations’ Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons could not agree on whether to limit the development or use of lethal autonomous weapons. Instead, they pledged to continue and “intensify” discussions.

 

 

A handful of colleges are finally providing training in a way consumers want it: fast — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
‘Rapid reskilling’ seeks to speed up the frustratingly slow pace of switching careers

Excerpts:

Such so-called rapid reskilling remains surprisingly rare in public and nonprofit higher education, which generally has been slow to respond to the need for accelerated training among the nation’s many career-switchers.

While conventional education institutions have long offered what they call short-term training, what they often mean by that is “shorter than it takes to get a degree.” Such programs still typically follow academic semesters that start only in the fall or spring and meet for a few hours a week, stretching on for months or years.

“We have really picked up the pace,” said Urban. “That’s something that is very, very attractive to career-switchers. People want it faster and they want it cheaper and they want it more conveniently. And that’s not a mode of operation in which traditional colleges and universities have thrived.”

 

 

If the vision of the “Web3” comes to fruition, how might these developments impact the future of lifelong learning? [Christian]

The next age of the internet could suck power away from Big Tech while living on the same backbone as cryptocurrencies. Here’s what to know about Web3. — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

  • Web3 is the next generation of the internet and will exist on the blockchain.
  • It will be decentralized, meaning it won’t be controlled entities like Facebook or Google.
  • Twitter, GameStop, Reddit, and VC firm a16z are all putting resources into building Web3.

One aspect of the metaverse is that users will hopefully be able to go virtually from platform to platform with one single account — just like we will in Web3. 

And NFTs, one-of-a-kind tokens representing your ownership of a virtual good, could be more easily bought and sold with cryptocurrencies within a space like Web3. 


From DSC:
How might “Web3” translate into the future of lifelong learning? Here’s one vision/possibility:

There could be several entities and services feeding one's cloud-based learner profile

Each person would have a learner profile/account that could seamlessly log into multiple education/training providers’ platforms and services. The results of that learning could be stored in one’s cloud-based learner profile. This type of next-generation learning platform would still need subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, and other team members. But the focus would be on building skills — skills that an artificial intelligence-backed interface would demonstrate are currently being requested by the modern workplace.  This constantly-being-updated list of skills could then link to the learning-related experiences and resources that people could choose from in order to develop those skills.

The following vision/graphic also comes to my mind:

Learning from the living class room


 

Prisons are training inmates for the next generation of in-demand jobs — from hechingerreport.org by Danielle Dreilinger
Revamping career-tech education in prison with the goal of reducing recidivism

Excerpt:

And postsecondary education in prison, both vocational and more traditionally academic, will soon become more widespread: This perennially low-funded, essentially hidden part of the education world will be getting more money, thanks to three decisions in Washington: the First Step Act criminal justice reforms, the newest version of the federal Perkins Act for career and technical education and, most notably, the recent expansion of Second Chance Pell college grants for prisoners.

That’s good news, the evidence shows. Inmates who participate in correctional education — from GED certificates to college degrees and trade training and everything in between — are up to 43 percent less likely to return to prison, and such education provides a $5 return for every taxpayer dollar spent, according to the Rand Corp. And that’s just within three years of a prisoner’s release.

 

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.

 

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:


 

 

Along these lines, also see:

From DSC:
Again, this is the type of thing that would be very helpful to learn about in high school.

 
 

Education and Justice Departments Warn of Covid’s ‘Profound Toll’ on Student Mental Health — from chronicle.com by Sarah Brown

Excerpt:

As the pandemic drags on past 19 months in the United States, the Education Department and the Justice Department on Wednesday implored colleges and schools to be especially attentive to students who are showing signs of self-harm or suicide.

If institutions don’t adequately support students with mental-health diagnoses, as required by federal law, the departments warned that they could draw an investigation.

Suzanne B. Goldberg, a former senior administrator at Columbia University who’s now the Education Department’s acting assistant secretary for civil rights, wrote in a letter to educators that the Covid-19 era had “taken a profound toll” on students’ mental health.

 

 

Why inexperienced workers can’t get entry-level jobs — from bbc.com by Kate Morgan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

From DSC:
I love the idea of internships. (In my days in college, internships were reserved mainly for engineers; few of us had them back then.)

But with an eye on the cost of obtaining a degree, internships should be PAID internships. That is, interns should receive decent/proper compensation. I’m concerned that businesses will take advantage of free labor here (though that’s less likely given the tight labor market I suppose). But businesses have taken advantage of free labor in the past. “It takes a village…”

Also see:

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

Learning from the living class room

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian