So while we may be a few years from plugging into the Matrix, what is becoming clear is that to survive and thrive in the coming decades, colleges and universities will need to focus on creating an online experience as compelling as their on-campus experience.

Ryan Lufkin

 

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


 

Coursera’s Global Skills Report

Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

Here are some of our top findings:

  • Digital skills are the shared language of the modern economy.
  • Women’s participation continued to rise.
  • The developing world had the highest rate of learner growth.
  • Lower levels of internet access mean lower levels of skills proficiency.
  • Courses in human skills had more learners from developed countries, while those in digital skills had more from developing ones.
  • The U.S. held steady in its overall skills proficiency ranking—yet it lost meaningful ground in core technology and data science skills.
  • Europe leads the world in skills proficiency.
  • Proficiency in technology and data science skills varies widely across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Learners used Coursera to understand the pandemic.
 

Measurement has never mattered more — from chieflearningofficer.com by Tom Griffiths
5 best practices to excel at L&D measurement in remote and hybrid work.

Excerpt:

Measuring learning has always been important, but in today’s remote and hybrid workplaces, it’s essential. You can develop, design and deliver the best training programs, but if you can’t show stakeholders across the organization that it actually “worked,” then you’re missing a crucial part of the story. Today’s remote and hybrid workplaces demonstrate that it’s more important than ever to use structured and intentional measurement methods, due to the reduced visibility and increased flexibility of our workforce. If business leaders were skeptical before about how in-person training impacted behaviors in the office, imagine how skeptical they might be now as training takes place from home in our pajamas.

Showing training results under these conditions has never been so important for learning and development. While the training environments have changed, companies still need to show that every dollar spent was a good investment. And how can we say training, or the L&D function it comes out of, is valuable if we never measure its effectiveness?

From DSC:
I agree that it helps to attempt to measure learning — and thus I posted this article by Tom Griffiths from Chief Learning Officer. That said, it’s much easier said than done. In fact, I think it’s most likely impossible to actually and accurately do so.

To me, it’s like when I was working at Kraft and we were trying to get people to use electronic mail. How would you begin to quantify the Return on Investment (ROI) from using/implementing email throughout the organization? As but one example, what happens if two people or two groups/departments are able to communicate faster and collaborate better due to electronic mail and are able to get a new product to market first?

  • How should that be quantified?
  • Is it fair to put all of the value on email/communications?
  • What about the research and the product development/testing that it took to get to that point? How should the ROI be divvied up? For how long should the ROI be attributed to email and to those other things?

Surely email helped a great deal, but to try to quantify that ROI is next to impossible, if not downright impossible. 

The same with learning. Don’t believe me? 

Well, let’s narrow the focus waaaaaaay down for a second — to make it begin to be more realistic.

What did you learn this last week?

  • Can you recall it all?
  • Did you take a pre-test and post-test on everything that you learned?
  • Can you quantify the ROI on each piece of that learning? That is, could you attach a dollar amount to all of the results of that learning? I doubt it. I couldn’t.

But were you glad that you learned those things? Were they beneficial? Do you think learning about new things is worth the trouble?

And that’s just one person looking at the last week of their learning.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the five best practices to excel at L&D measurement. They can be helpful and they can scratch the surface of obtaining such data. But at the end of the day, the C-Suite will have to accept that not everything can be neatly packaged into pieces of data and accurate ROI’s.

Should that stop them from trying to help their employees reinvent themselves? Learn new skills/upskill? No, I don’t think so either. But it’s a fool’s errand to think you’ll be able to measure all learning in one’s organization.

At the end of the day, what drives investment in L&D’s efforts needs to be an appreciation for lifelong learning and the place of learning within the culture of one’s organization. While one may not be able to fully capture the ROI from it, learning is still valuable.

If I were a Chief Learning Officer in a corporation, I’d try to make it so that everyone could get the time and budget to learn something new about ANY topic that they wanted to. Get the love of learning going! Get that yeast baked into the bread.

I’m sure that there’s much more to say about this — but that’s going to have to do it for today. 

 

Shifting Skills, Moving Targets, and Remaking the Workforce — from bcg.com by Matt Sigelman, Bledi Taska, Layla O’Kane, Julia Nitschke, Rainer Strack, Jens Baier, Frank Breitling, and Ádám Kotsis; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
Our analysis of more than 15 million job postings reveals the future of work.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Jobs do come and go, but even more significantly, jobs change. Day by day, skill by skill, the basic building blocks of a job are repositioned, until the role looks much different than it did just five years ago. Yet the job title—and the worker in the job—may remain the same.

But even company leaders may not realize how profoundly and rapidly the jobs throughout their business and industry are evolving. A comprehensive look at job listings from 2016 through 2021 reveals significant changes in requested skills, with new skills appearing, some existing skills disappearing, and other existing skills shifting in importance.

The challenge for employers and employees alike is to keep up—or, better yet, to get ahead of the trends.

Four Big Trends
We see four big trends in skill change:

    • Digital skills, like technical fluency and abilities including data analysis, digital marketing, and networking, aren’t limited to jobs in IT.
    • Soft skills, like verbal communication, listening, and relationship building, are needed in digital occupations.
    • Visual communication has become increasingly important even outside of traditional data occupations. Experience with tools such as Tableau, MS Power BI, and Adobe Analytics is in high demand.
    • Social media skills, such as experience with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Adobe Photoshop, are in demand in the current media climate.

Also from Ryan Craig, see:

How to Really Fix Higher Ed — from theatlantic.com by Ben Sasse
Rather than wiping the slate clean on student debt, Washington should take a hard look at reforming a broken system.

Excerpts:

Most young Americans never earn a college degree, and far too many of those who do are poorly served by sclerotic institutions that offer regularly overpriced degrees producing too little life transformation, too little knowledge transmission, and too little pragmatic, real-world value.

Far too often, higher education equates value with exclusivity, and not with outcomes. The paradigmatic schools that dominate higher-ed discussions in the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post measure themselves by how many high-school seniors they reject, rather than by how many they successfully launch, by how much they bolster the moral and intellectual development of the underprivileged, or even by a crude utilitarian calculus such as the average earnings of their recent graduates.

Each of these changes will depend on breaking up the accreditation cartels. College presidents tell me that the accrediting system, which theoretically aims to ensure quality and to prevent scammers from tapping into federal education dollars, actually stifles programmatic innovation inside extant colleges and universities aiming to serve struggling and underprepared students in new ways. 


One last item here:

Learning Should Be Like Cooking — from linkedin.com by Cali Koerner Morrison

Excerpt:

We need systems of record that are learner-owned, verifiable and travel across all types of learning recognition. 1EdTech is making great strides in this direction with the comprehensive learner record and the T3 Innovation Network with the LEROpen Skills Network and Credential Engine are making great strides to level the playing field on defining all elements of skills-based learning and credentialing. We need pathways that help guide learner-earners through their career progression so they are in a constant swirl of learning and earning, leveling up with each new achievement – from a microcredenial to a master’s degree.

 

Prioritizing Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace is Evolving and Driving Change in the Legal Profession — from law.upoenn.edu by Daniel T. Lukasik, Esq.; with thanks to PennLaw’s Future of the Profession Initiative (from 6/9/22) for this resource

Excerpt:

I now know I was never the only one with a mental health problem. Over the past five years, numerous surveys have confirmed what I and others suspected: anxiety, burnout, depression, and problems with alcohol are rampant throughout the legal profession. Compared to the general population, the magnitude of lawyer distress is deeply troubling.

In a confidential ABA survey of 13,000 lawyers, twenty-eight percent reported they had experienced a problem with depression within the past twelve months, a rate four times that found in the general population. Yet, given this sobering fact, there’s good cause to feel optimistic about the profession’s future.

Today, there is nothing short of a revolution in the law at all levels regarding mental health.

Two other relevant items from PennLaw’s Future of the Profession Initiative from 6/9/22:

From DSC:
I post this for:

  • Undergrad students within higher education — as you should go into a career in the legal profession with your eyes wide open.
  • For the rest of us in society — for a better understanding of others’ situations. If you know of a lawyer in the family or as a friend, you may want to check in with them as to how they are really doing.
 

From DSC:
The following items made me reflect upon the place of COVID-19 in causing the current ills within higher education — but also thinking about the ills that were present long before Covid hit us.

Key point:
We should be careful not to conveniently use COVID-19 as the scapegoat for all that’s wrong within higher education.


On the faculty/staff side of the house


The Season of Our Professorial Discontent — from chronicle.com by Paul Musgrave
The pandemic irrevocably changed the student-teacher relationship — and not for the better.

Excerpts:

As pandemic slides into endemic, it’s worth asking: Did the pandemic break something fundamental about academe? Was the spring of 2022 the end of pandemic disruptions, or the start of a new normal?

This time, as I delivered the lines to an audience of 30 in a course with 200 students enrolled, I was wondering whether I wanted to give a lecture ever again.

From DSC:
Regarding the first quote…several things were broken within academe long before COID-19. Re: the second quote, what should that tell us if only 30 students showed up in a class with 200 students in it?

Faculty autonomy and faculty satisfaction are being whittled away.

From DSC:
From what I can tell, that’s been happening for years within the K-12 learning ecosystem. It seems like this trend is now occurring within the higher ed learning ecosystem. (I could go off on a tangent about why we didn’t help our fellow educators within K-12 — whose “product” directly impacts those working within higher ed — but I better not. This posting is already packed with reflections.)

Below are some relevant quotes from Kevin McClure’s 5/27/22 article out at The Chronicle of Higher Education (emphasis DSC). I agree with much of what Kevin is saying here.

Don’t Blame the Pandemic for Worker Discontent
It hasn’t just been a tough two years. It’s been a tough two decades.

Excerpt:

The pandemic alone didn’t cause the low morale and turnover you might be seeing among your faculty and staff members just as the lack of personal protective equipment didn’t solely give rise to the Amazon Labor Union. Yes, today’s workers are re-evaluating their workplaces, seeking reassignment within their institutions, and in some cases resigning from jobs altogether. But they are doing so for many of the same reasons they did 20 years ago — poor working conditions.

So burnout isn’t just about people struggling to cope with stress; it’s about people struggling in workplaces where stress never subsides.

In my own interviews on morale, higher-education workers have talked about leaders who aren’t listening, low compensation, and understaffing.

We see our workplaces differently, and our tolerance of poor working conditions has evaporated.

 


On the student side of the house


“It hasn’t just been a tough two years. It’s been a tough two decades.” The same — and likely more — could be said for the student side of the house, especially in regards to the price of education and how relevant/up-to-date the content has been. As the prices of obtaining a degree have skyrocketed over the last several decades, students and parents now HAVE to ask, “What’s the Return On Investment (ROI) here? Am I gaining the skills in college that will get me hired after college?”

Again, the point I’m trying to make here is that we should be careful not to conveniently use COVID-19 as the scapegoat for all that’s wrong within higher education.

Along these lines, the following two quotes seem relevant to me from Beth McMurtrie’s (6/2/22) Teaching e-newsletter (also from The Chronicle):

I asked Walton to tell me more about the setup at his university. He said classes were fully in person but instructors were encouraged to record lectures and be highly flexible with due dates. The result: Most days he had less than 50-percent attendance, and he received a lot of last-minute emails from students who said they woke up that morning with a headache or otherwise not feeling well. A few filed documented absence requests, but not many, suggesting that these were not serious illnesses, like Covid.

I’ve never had more incompletes for courses than in the last two years, so signaling to students that their distribution courses are flexible and accommodating has only let them de-emphasize them even more.

There’s likely a variety of causes/possibilities here — and I’m sure that Covid-related reasons are among them. But it makes me really wonder if students don’t think that the content is all that valuable or relevant to begin with these days. Is college even worth it anymore? Why am I here in the first place? Where is the motivation coming from? Is it extrinsic or intrinsic motivation?

Perhaps it’s time to change the curriculum/content as well as the price.


Daniel S. Christian: My concerns with just maintaining the status quo (from 2009).

A graphic I created back in 2009, with Yohan Na’s assistance.


 

The DNA of a strong learning culture — from chieflearningofficer.com by Stella Collins
How is the learning culture where you work now? What’s stayed the same? What’s changed?

Excerpt:

In this article, I will explore real stories through the lens of the DNA for an effective learning culture and discover practical examples you can apply in your own organization.

They recognized every single person in the business needs to learn, from the CEO to the most junior recruit. Everyone is a learner when “the times they are a-changin’.”

When people talk about changed behaviors, upskilling or knowledge acquisition, what they really mean, at a fundamental level, are changes to the structure, chemistry and function of our brain. These become our perceptions, memories, behaviors, habits and skills. When you don’t know any of the science, your training interventions are more likely to be hit and miss. Your training can become much more effective and armed with some proven tools to drive attention, build memories and create new habits.

 

From DSC:
The items below reminded me that things aren’t looking good for higher education these days. Having a son a quarter of the way through college makes this even more relevant/personal for our family.


The Big Quit | Even tenure-line professors are leaving academe. — from chronicle.com by Joshua Doležal

Excerpts:

We have become accustomed to the exodus of graduate students, postdocs, and adjuncts, but before Covid it was still possible to see tenured and tenure-track faculty members as relatively immune from the stresses of working in higher ed. No more. A 2020 study by The Chronicle and Fidelity Investments found that more than half of all faculty members surveyed were seriously weighing options outside of higher education: either changing careers entirely or retiring early.

“If a return to normal simply means restoring the burnout conditions that the pandemic inflamed, then the rumble of faculty members leaving may build to a roar that no amount of magical thinking can explain away.”

Here’s a relevant quote from a weekly newsletter — Teaching — from The Chronicle of Higher Education (by Becky Supiano)

The bottom line? “You don’t get student success,” McClure says, “unless you have invested in faculty well-being.”

The quote is from Kevin McClure, who is “trying to get the challenges front-line faculty and staff face on the radar of more college leaders.” As primarily a former staff member, I appreciate that he’s including staff members here. Staff are important members of the academe as well.


Drop in Spring-2022 Enrollment Is Worse Than Expected — from chronicle.com byAudrey Williams June

Excerpt:

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provide a final tally on enrollment for the spring of 2022 — and reveal a persistent trend: College attendance continues to decline.

Undergraduate enrollment fell 4.7 percent from a year earlier, a shortfall of more than 662,000 students. Since the pandemic began, the undergraduate student body has dropped by almost 1.4 million students.

But also in play, he said, are students who increasingly question the value of college, are wary about taking out student loans to pay for it, and who have options to join the labor market instead.


Michigan colleges experience nation’s worst spring enrollment dive, new report shows — from mlive.com by Samuel Dodge

Excerpt:

College enrollment across Michigan plummeted 15% during the spring semester this year, dragged down by a 20% hit to four-year public universities, a new report shows. Spring enrollment across all sectors dropped to 360,220 students, a decrease of more than 62,000 from 2021 to this year, according to data released Thursday, May 26, by the National Student Clearinghouse.


[Cost of Inequity]  The Student Loan Crisis — from businessinsidre.com by various
How the student loan industry put a $1.7 trillion price tag on the American dream and the proposed reforms that could pay the bill.


A somewhat-related item:

The Future of Higher Education Is the Hybrid Campus — from campustechnology.com by Dr. Jeffrey R. Docking
Blending the best of face-to-face instruction with the flexibility of online learning can enhance the higher ed experience for all types of learners, lower the cost of a degree and better prepare students for the workforce.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

What Students Want
Students and families are increasingly rethinking whether a traditional college education is worth the investment, leaving higher ed leaders searching for innovative ways to showcase their school’s value and entice students. When we think about what students really want, they want more than a degree — they want skills training that will ensure a well-paying, rewarding career. In fact, 62% of college students say they would be more likely to re-enroll if their institution offered “new programs and certificates tailored to the new economy” with high-demand majors and education that connects them to employability. This makes sense since employers are continuing to find value in students developing a “broad skill base that can be applied across a range of contexts.”

But over the last several years, and after seeing the success of it at Adrian College, I’ve become convinced that the future of residential colleges is not face-to-face or online, but an intelligent blend of both modalities.


A somewhat-related item:

Navigating career turbulence — from ted.com by Adam Grant; with thanks to Deirdre Honner for this resource

Description:

Everyone’s career will hit some turbulence at some point. Instead of pushing harder against the headwinds, we’re sometimes better off tilting our rudder and charting a new course. In this episode, host Adam Grant speaks with people who have taken unusual steps to battle uncertainty, rethought their approach to finding and landing a job and reached out for help in unexpected places — as well as an expert on recessions who forecasts the future by looking to the past. Listen and subscribe to WorkLife with Adam Grant and more podcasts from the TED Audio Collective wherever you’re listening to this.

 

Above video from Steve Kerr’s statement on school shooting in Texas

From DSC:
Steve Kerr has it right. Powerful. Critically important. 

“Enough!”  “We can’t get numb to this!”

 

 

Airbnb’s design for employees to live and work anywhere — from news.airbnb.com; with thanks to Tom Barrett for this resource

Excerpt:

Airbnb is in the business of human connection above all else, and we believe that the most meaningful connections happen in person. Zoom is great for maintaining relationships, but it’s not the best way to deepen them. Additionally, some creative work and collaboration is best done when you’re in the same room. I’d like working at Airbnb to feel like you’re working at one of the most creative places on Earth, and this will only happen with some in-person collaboration time.

The right solution should combine the best of the digital world and the best of the physical world. It should have the efficiency of Zoom, while providing the meaningful human connection that only happens when people come together. We have a solution that we think combines the best of both worlds.

We’ve designed a way for you to live and work anywhere—while collaborating in a highly coordinated way, and experiencing the in-person connection that makes Airbnb special. Our design has five key features…

Now, a thought exercise on that item from Tom Barrett:

While you are there, extend the thought experiment and imagine the new policy for a school, college or university.

  1. You can work from home or the office
  2. You can move anywhere in the country you work in, and your compensation won’t change
  3. You have the flexibility to travel and work around the world
  4. We’ll meet up regularly for team gatherings, off-sites, and social events
  5. We’ll continue to work in a highly coordinated way

From DSC:
As a reflection on this thought experiment, this graphic comes to my mind again. Teachers, professors, trainers, staff, and students can be anywhere in the world:

Learning from the living class room

 

 

One-time jailhouse lawyer creates legal jobs program for the formerly incarcerated — from abajournal.com by Matt Reynolds

Excerpts:

Devon Simmons, co-founder and project director of a new program helping those with past convictions find work as paralegals and other jobs in the legal profession, says there’s a wealth of untapped legal talent among formerly incarcerated people.

Simmons emerged from prison 15 years later. By that time, he was a product of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“Once I came home, I would constantly see people unemployed who I had sat in the law library with,” Simmons says. “These individuals have legal expertise, but they’re not given the opportunity to utilize it. What if I could create a platform in which I could make that happen?”

 

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:
I thought this was a powerful message as well. It was good for me to hear this — and not just for people who have Intellectual Disabilities (ID), but rather for all learners/people.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian