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:

 

More Employers Are Awarding Credentials. Is A Parallel Higher Education System Emerging? — from edsurge.com by Sean Gallagher and Holly Zanville

Excerpt:

As the acceptance of new types of credentials grows, a number of employers have become learning providers in their own right, in a way that could shake up the broader higher education landscape.

A growing number of companies have moved beyond training their own employees or providing tuition assistance programs to send staff members to higher education. Many of these employers are also developing their own curricula and rapidly expanding their publicly-facing credential offerings.

But the current boom in employer-issued credentials is different—and potentially transformational. Unlike the traditional IT certifications of decades past, these new credentials are less focused on proprietary technologies related to a given tech vendor, and are instead more focused on broadly applicable tech skill sets such as IT support, cloud computing and digital marketing.

 

Altered Work Landscape Points to New Directions for L&D — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Pamela Hogel

Excerpt:

Learning and development (L&D) leaders emerged from 2020 with increased respect and influence in their organizations—presenting opportunities to shape workers and drive readiness for further changes. Many organizations emerged from 2020 with an increased openness to digital transformation and an accelerated timetable for achieving online learning maturity.

The 2021 LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report, released in early March, bears this out.



From DSC:
Which fits nicely into this vision. 

 

It’s Time to Rethink Higher Education: What if our goal was creating social impact, not preserving the status quo? — from chronicle.com by Brian Rosenberg (president emeritus of Macalester College and president in residence of the Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Higher education should in its ideal form lead to more economic security for more people, a more equitable and innovative society, and a well-functioning democracy. Add whatever goals you would like, but these seem like a reasonable starting point and, given the present state of the country, more than a little aspirational.

But if we fail to explore — if we fail to go beyond superficial change and interrogate our most fundamental assumptions about how and what we teach, how and why we organize ourselves in the current way — we will have no one but ourselves to blame if the system as we know it shrivels to the point where it collapses from within or is painfully disrupted from without.

Also see:

The Pandemic May Have Permanently Altered Campuses. Here’s How. — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep
Trends accelerated by Covid-19 may make more sense than ever in the future, experts say.

Excerpt:

The Covid-19 crisis has transformed all aspects of higher education, and the physical campus is no exception. The Chronicle recently released a special report, Rethinking Campus Spaces, that offers strategies for doing more with less space, to save money and prepare for an uncertain future. Here is an adapted excerpt from the report.

The Chronicle asked more than 40 architects, campus planners, and leaders in student life and housing about how several categories of campus spaces might look different in the future. As colleges navigate difficult financial straits, many interviewees predicted more public-private partnerships, and renovations instead of new construction — which can be less costly and more environmentally friendly. Overall, their answers paint a picture of future campuses that are more adaptable, perhaps smaller, and focused on what’s most valuable about seeing one’s peers in person.

 

Telemedicine likely to change how we receive health care post-pandemic — from mlive.com by Justin Hicks

A patient sits in the living room of her apartment in New York City during a telemedicine video conference with a doctor. (Mark Lennihan/AP)AP

A patient sits in the living room of her apartment in New York City during a telemedicine video conference with a doctor. (Mark Lennihan/AP)AP

Excerpt:

As we look to the post-pandemic future, medical experts believe telemedicine will be here to stay as another option to increase access to care, reduce costs, and free up doctors to spend more time with patients who need in-person care.

“When I think about the pandemic, one thing that didn’t change about our lifestyles is people are busy,” Lopez said. “I think we’ll still see growth in overall visits because of the fact that people want access to care and when you lower the cost, it should go up.”

From DSC:
A friend of mine said that he is doing most of his practice now via the telehealth route (and has been for many months now). Then, recently, when I was at the lab, the knowledgeable woman who assisted me said that she thought virtual health was definitely going to stick. Many doctors and nurses will be using virtual means vs. physical visits she said.

Expectations get involved here — for education, for the legal field, and for other arenas.

 

Today’s Teens Questioning the Status Quo When It Comes to College — from prnewswire.com by with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
National survey finds high schoolers want lower-cost, quicker paths to careers: 50 percent are open to something other than a four-year degree

Excerpt:

For those who have been following the discussion, it will not come as a shock that this demographic is extremely concerned about the cost of higher education. In fact, the number one thing teens would change about college is the price tag. Their second top concern is making sure the path they take directly connects them to a future career. Specifically, the top three things Gen Z teens are most concerned about:

  • 50 percent—graduating with a high amount of debt
  • 44 percent—not getting a job after they graduate
  • 40 percent—not being prepared for a job after school ends

From DSC:
I sometimes use the tag “surviving” and it often has to do with individuals and families. But over the last few years, I have found myself using it for institutions of traditional higher education (as I did for this posting).

It’s time for reinvention if we want those institutions to survive. Those who can’t wait until the status quo returns are likely in for a disappointment, if not outright shock. Over the last several years, many people have already lost their jobs throughout higher ed, positions have gone unfilled, and early retirement offers were made (and often snatched up). The headcounts have been decreasing for years and the workloads have increased for the survivors of such cuts. The use of adjunct faculty members has been on the increase for many years now. 

Those institutions that have cultures that support experimentation, innovation, and support strategic, nimble, entrepreneurial thinking have a better chance of surviving.

 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 

A message about learning from the C-suite — from chieflearningofficer.com by Patricia A. McLagan
Executives are increasingly saying they want to create “learning organizations” and support “lifelong learning.” So, what should executives be saying to their workforce about learning today? Consider this sample letter to employees from the C-suite.

Excerpts:

How are you keeping up your skills and knowledge in our increasingly complex and fast-changing world of work? As today’s pandemic turmoil reminds us, it is hard to predict how the future will evolve. But one thing we do know is that continuous learning will be a key survival meta-skill for all of us — learning that each of us consciously guides every day, moment to moment, alone, in teams, with any resource, anywhere and anytime.

Consider: More than 50 percent of today’s jobs will probably disappear or change radically within 10 years. There are many reasons for this.

Beyond technology, companies like ours need more agility, innovation and self-management from everyone. We used to manage more by job descriptions, and you were best described as a box on the organization chart — probably with little expectation that you could experiment, take risks, and act with discretion and autonomy. But today and into the future, your skills and creative thinking matter more. Your “job” responsibilities shift as you move into and out of teams and as we call on you to support new strategies, customer groups and priorities.

From DSC:
I really appreciated reading this solid article from Patricia McLagan. She captured so many solid points. That said, I was bummed to see the following item included in this article (emphasis DSC):

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Our company is committed to supporting your learning development — yeh…right…all 5% of it. 
Whoopie. The other 95% of it belongs to you and me. (Which reminds me that words are so easy to say but much harder to truly back up.) And you and I will likely do it on your/our own time. That seems to be more of the reality…the expectation…especially when job cuts are occurring all over the place and the job plates continue to expand for those who survived the cuts.

My experience over my career has been that corporations used to promote and truly support their employees’ professional development. They sent more people to courses and significantly helped many people obtain their MBA’s as well as other relevant master’s degrees and/or certifications/ and/or just to support some professional interests.

For example, I’m forever indebted to one of my formers bosses, Irvin Charles Coleman III. I worked for Irv at Kraft Foods’ HQ’s and he once let me go to a seminar on Photoshop. Though I used Photoshop in my work, it wasn’t in my formal description. That seminar changed many things for me. It supported my growth and learning and it fed my passion for designing and creating content.

I’m sure this kind of thing still occurs, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t happen at nearly the level that it used to. That said, I don’t blame the corporate world for getting bummed out at their employees that they had invested in — only to see those same employees grab the degrees and credentials and leave for greener pastures. Through the years, it seemed like the corporate world backed off from providing such a level of training/professional development.

These days, it seems like the corporations and the businesses out there have the hiring expectation that you will hit the ground running from day one. Learning and development are up to you and me. Nevermind that the way learning is supposed to go is that you:

  • introduce the learning objectives to someone
  • give them the information/content
  • provide the relevant and aligned learning activities that help them truly engage with the content
  • provide aligned formative and summative assessments along the way to ascertain whether they learned the material/concepts or not.

So I’m amazed that corporations are putting recent grads through their own tests on things that many of these students have never actually studied. (Yeh, I can hear the push backs now…and while I agree with some of them, it’s not fair to the students. They just followed what the colleges and universities offered for$100,000-$400,000+).

I could go on, but I need to go do my taxes. Gotta run. I hope to pick this line of thought up later.

 

2U, Guild Education Partner to Expand Online Education for Adult Workers — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

But the current crisis is anything but, and an increasingly remote workforce will only accelerate the need for new skills and habits to keep companies running.

2U, a publicly traded company, will make its degree programs, short courses and online coding “bootcamps” available to Guild Education’s network of employers. That’s over 500 programs, spanning more than 30 disciplines, that they will have access to. It’s largely up to the employer to choose which ones they want to subsidize for their workers, Freedman says.

“Businesses are eliminating some roles, yet are desperate to hire for others. But you cannot hire away to solve what is fundamentally a training problem.” In other words, it makes more sense to invest in training internal talent, rather than firing people and hiring replacements.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian