New benchmarking tool for higher ed seeks to address workplace soft skills gap — from chieflearningofficer.com by Elizabeth Loutfi
Quality Assurance Commons’ new Employability Self-Assessment will support higher education programs as they develop proficiency in teaching eight 21st century soft skills critical to today’s employers.

Excerpt:

A new assessment tool created for higher education institutions to track and measure the career success of their graduates was launched this week by nonprofit organization Quality Assurance Commons. The tool, which is called the Employability Self-Assessment, helps institutions identify the key skills employers want in candidates in the current and post-pandemic workplace.

The ESA has already been piloted at 20 colleges and universities and is being implemented at eight higher education institutions in the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities System, according to a company press release.

According to the report, the top three missing soft skills reported by employers were problem solving, critical thinking, innovation and creativity; ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity; and communication.

From DSC:
Hmmm…do our current ways of doing things get students to that point? Are the ways in which we structure our educational systems facilitating the development of those skills? Apparently not. What needs to change? For me, it’s offering “More choice. More control.” to the students. And watch the energy, curiosity, and enjoyment of learning greatly increase.

 

New Film Addresses Mental Health By Challenging Us To ‘Listen’ To Our Youth Voice — from gettingsmart.com by Michael Niehoff

New Film Addresses Mental Health By Challenging Us To Listen To Our Youth Voice

 


Also see:

IW Official Guide: World Mental Health Day Supporting the workplace during the pandemic and beyond

IW Official Guide: World Mental Health Day Supporting the workplace during the pandemic & beyond — from inspiring-workplaces.com by Aimee O’Leary

For World Mental Health Day 2020, we have created a quick guide of 10 top tips for you. It has been compiled from experts around the world on how to support the mental health of your people during these challenging times.

It includes:

  • How to do your part to break the stigma
  • How to create functional routines
  • How to look out for colleagues without being invasive
  • How to stay connected
  • and more

Lastly, before reading the guide, reach out to someone you know today, who you have haven’t spoken with in a while and simply ask… How are you, really? It will make a huge difference.

*****************

 


Addendum on 10/13/20:

As the Pandemic Grinds On, Here Are 5 Big Worries of College Presidents — from chronicle.com by Michael Vasquez

Excerpt:

Campus mental health is the No. 1 worry. The college leaders were asked to select their five top concerns from a list of 19 Covid-related issues. Fifty-three percent of presidents listed student mental health, and 42 percent pointed to faculty and staff mental health as being among their biggest worries. Anxiety, uncertainty, depression, and grief — compounded by the isolation of the pandemic — have exacted an often invisible toll on people who study and work in higher education.

 

Legalweek Announces a New Virtual Experience for 2021 named Legalweek(year) — from prnewswire.com
Legalweek originally to be held in-person on February 1-4 will now be a series of 5 interactive virtual events held throughout the year to guide legal leaders through the new legal landscape.

Excerpt:

NEW YORKOct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Beginning on February 2-4, 2021, Legalweek(year) will bring together thousands of legal professionals for a series of 5 innovative virtual legal events that tackle the changing legal landscape and provide actionable insights to help legal leaders restructure, rebuild and reinvigorate today’s law firms and legal departments. The Legalweek(year) virtual series aims to serve as the anchor for the legal community during an unprecedented time, as well as a guide throughout the coming year to inform legal professionals of emerging trends, cutting edge legal technology and expert analysis of the tectonic shifts in the industry.

 

Progress in the time of COVID-19: Reconsidering gender equity in the legal profession — from abovethelaw.com by Amanda M. Fisher
Here are five ideas to advance gender equity in the profession.

Excerpt:

Law is steeped in tradition, but COVID-19 ravaged several pillars to which the legal profession was moored. For example, time at the office was the highest currency before the pandemic, despite many lawyers, often parents — usually mothers — requesting flexible schedules and remote options. Yet during COVID-19, employers were forced to reassess whether time in the office is worth more than the safety of their employees. So, if we can make changes to keep the profession running during a pandemic, we can also reimagine the profession in a less-gendered way. Here are five ideas to advance gender equity in the profession:

 

 

From DSC:
Along these lines…

Sometimes, I think we need to be very careful with Artificial Intelligence (#AI) — which elements of it and which applications of it that we use in our society and which we don’t move forward with. But in the case of cloud-based learning profiles (some might say competency profiles), AI makes sense. Algorithms could make sense. Data mining could make sense.

A cloud-based learning profile might not make sense always to us — as it could be very large indeed. But AI-based algorithms could assist with finding appropriate matches between jobs, competencies, passions, skills, and candidates.

Such services will likely be part of a next-gen learning platform.

 

[Re: online-based learning] The Ford Model T from 1910 didn’t start out looking like a Maserati Gran Turismo from 2021! [Christian]

From DSC:
Per Wikipedia, this is a 1910 Model T that was photographed in Salt Lake City:

The Ford Model T didn't start out looking like a Maserati from 2021!

 

This is what online/virtual learning looks like further down the road. Our journey has just begun.

From DSC:
The Ford Model T didn’t start out looking like a Maserati Gran Turismo from 2021! Inventions take time to develop…to be improved…for new and further innovations and experiments to take place.

Thinking of this in terms of online-based learning, please don’t think we’ve reached the end of the road for online-based learning. 

The truth is, we’ve barely begun our journey.

 


Two last thoughts here


1 ) It took *teams* of people to get us to the point of producing a Maserati like this. It will take *teams* of people to produce the Maserati of online-based learning.

2) In terms of online-based learning, it’s hard to say how close to the Maserati that we have come because I/we don’t know how far things will go. But this I do know: We have come a looooonnnnnggggg ways from the late 1990s! If that’s what happened in the last 20 years — with many denying the value of online-based learning — what might the next 5, 10, or 20 years look like when further interest, needs, investments, etc. are added? Then add to all of that the momentum from emerging technologies like 5G, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, bots, algorithms, and more!


From DSC:
To drive the point home, here’s an addendum on late 9/29/20:

Mercedes-Benz Shares Video of Avatar Electric Car Prototype

 

Digital transformation: 5 ways the pandemic forced change — from enterprisersproject.com by Gordon Haff
The pandemic has reshaped consumer behavior and team expectations. At a recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium event, CIOs detailed what it means for organizations, IT, and the CIO role

Excerpt:

The new CIO role: Chief Influencing Officer
Zemmel says that the evolution of the role of the CIO has been accelerated as well. He sees CIOs increasingly reporting to the CEO because they increasingly have a dual mandate. In addition to their historical operational role running the IT department, they now are also customer-facing and driving revenue. That mandate is not new for forward-looking IT organizations, but the pandemic has made other organizations hyper-aware of IT’s role in driving change quickly. CIOs are becoming a sort of “chief influencing officer who is breaking down silos and driving adoption of digital products,” Zemmel adds.

Experian’s Libenson puts it this way: “The pandemic has forced us to be closer to the business than before. We had a seat at the table before. But I think we will be a better organization after this.”

 

Will Pandemic Disruption Drive More Legal Operations Transformation? — from prnewswire.com
Deloitte Releases 2020 Legal Operations Survey

Excerpt:

NEW YORKSept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While 86% of in-house counsel surveyed said they see opportunity to modernize legal services provided to their stakeholders, Deloitte’s “2020 Legal Operations Survey” found that challenges remain. Respondents described their corporate legal departments’ maturity level for technology as just “foundational.”

Ashley SmithDeloitte Risk & Financial Advisory managing director, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP said, “Organizations everywhere have undergone massive change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic uncertainties. As business strategies shift and the corporate legal department is called on to do more to help organizations navigate through disruption, focusing on legal operations transformation could help in-house counsel and their teams to evolve beyond heavy manual, tactical work – into leveraging technology to offer more strategic insights and value.”

Also see:

Deloitte's 2020 Legal Operations Survey

 

DC: You want to talk about learning ecosystems?!!? Check out the scopes included in this landscape from HolonIQ!

You want to talk about learning ecosystems?!!? Check this landscape out from HolonIQ!

Also see:

Education in 2030 -- a $10T market -- from HolonIQ.com

From DSC:
If this isn’t mind-blowing, I don’t know what is! Some serious morphing lies ahead of us!

 

From DSC:
I hesitate to post this one…but this information and the phenomenon behind it likely has impacted what’s happening in the higher education space. (Or perhaps, it’s a bit of the other way around as well.) Increasingly, higher ed is becoming out of reach for many families. Again, is this a topic for Econ classes out there? Or Poli Sci courses?


Trends in income from 1975 to 2018 — from rand.org by Carter Price and Kathryn Edwards

Excerpt:

We document the cumulative effect of four decades of income growth below the growth of per capita gross national income and estimate that aggregate income for the population below the 90th percentile over this time period would have been $2.5 trillion (67 percent) higher in 2018 had income growth since 1975 remained as equitable as it was in the first two post-War decades. From 1975 to 2018, the difference between the aggregate taxable income for those below the 90th percentile and the equitable growth counterfactual totals $47 trillion.

Trends in income

Also see:

  • ‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1% — from fastcompany.com by Rick Wartzman
    The median worker should be making as much as $102,000 annually—if some $2.5 trillion wasn’t being “reverse distributed” every year away from the working class.
    .
  • The top 1% of Americans have taken $50 trillion from the bottom 90%—And that’s made the U.S. less secure — from Time.com by by Nick Hanauer and David Rolf
    [From DSC: By the way, that title likely has some link bait appeal to it.]
    Excerpt: 
    As the RAND report [whose research was funded by the Fair Work Center which co-author David Rolf is a board member of] demonstrates, a rising tide most definitely did not lift all boats. It didn’t even lift most of them, as nearly all of the benefits of growth these past 45 years were captured by those at the very top. And as the American economy grows radically unequal it is holding back economic growth itself.

Why is our death toll so high and our unemployment rate so staggeringly off the charts? Why was our nation so unprepared, and our economy so fragile? Why have we lacked the stamina and the will to contain the virus like most other advanced nations? The reason is staring us in the face: a stampede of rising inequality that has been trampling the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of Americans, year after year after year.

 

Students need digital skills more than ever. We know because they’re telling us. — from jisc.ac.uk by Ruth Drysdale
As learners return to colleges and campuses, there’s no turning back from the online shift they’ve experienced this year. Embedding digital in both face-to-face and remote learning is more crucial than ever.

There’s been impressive change in the past six months, but we’ve also seen emergency measures, introduced at speed, as a ‘good enough’ sticking plaster solution. Students are telling us they need digital embedded into their courses. Now is the time to listen and respond, transforming approaches and delivering robust systems that can withstand the uncertainties ahead.

 

Walmart just started delivering stuff with drones — from futurism.com by Victor Tangermann

Excerpt:

Walmart just kicked off its own drone delivery pilot, a collaboration with drone delivery company Flytrex. The pilot launched today in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is limited to select grocery and household essential items from the retailer’s local stores.

 

Let's keep the drone armies out of the skies please.

From DSC:
It starts off with an army of drones from Walmart joined by another army of drones from Amazon.

Drones from Amazon Prime. Let's keep them out of the skies please.

 

Then company XYZ chimes in. Then company ABC chimes in. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Then the armies of drones change to more powerful, louder, more “capable” delivery vehicles that can handle bigger, heavier deliveries.

And suddenly, the skies are full of noise-making, sun-blocking pieces of human-made machinery that, for the most part, are convenient but not necessary. 

We need to think — and act — very carefully these days.

  • What kind of future do we want to hand down to our children and to our grandchildren?
  • What will the skies look and sound like in 2030 if such armies of drones and other types of airborne delivery vehicles are released?
  • Are we willing to say that our kids won’t mind paying the price?

Is this the future we want to create? Not me. I, for one, appreciate a quiet walk. I appreciate being able to look up at the skies, especially when they are clear. 

We have a responsibility to keep things this way.

To the relevant engineers and C-Suites out there:

  • Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
  • Please take more responsibility for what’s being developed/brought to market.

Let’s shut this down — now — before the momentum gets started. Let’s follow Portland’s example by shutting down facial recognition/AI:

  • Portland adopts landmark facial recognition ordinances — from thehill.com by Chris Mills Rodrigo
    Excerpt:
    “What makes Portland’s legislation stand out from other cities is that we’re prohibiting facial recognition technology use by private entities in public accommodations,” Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said during Wednesday’s deliberations. “This is the first of its kind of legislation in the nation,” he added.
  • Why Amazon tried to thwart Portland’s historic facial recognition ban — from salon.com by Matt Rozsa
    Amazon reportedly lobbied in secret to weaken Portland’s ban on private use of facial recognition technology

 

 

From DSC:
For those folks looking for work, the article below relays some solid advice/tips to get you past the Applicant Tracking Systems out there. The last time I was searching for a position, I had no idea how prevalent these systems are out there. To quote from the article:

Because of the sheer volume, 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to manage each step of the hiring process. 

If you haven’t looked for a job in a while, this will blow you away. To get your resume in front of an actual human being is a major accomplishment.

5 secrets to get you past the résumé-reading robots — from fastcompany.com by
Before your résumé gets to a recruiter, it’s read by an AI-driven Applicant Tracking System. A human resources exec advises how you can beat the robot.

 


From DSC:
…and by the way, this is very much relevant for faculty members and staff members out there. Consider this quote from Debora Spar, senior associate dean of Harvard Business School Online:

Many colleges and universities will suffer extreme financial stress; some – up to 345 colleges, according to one recent estimate – could be forced to close. Faculty are likely to face layoffs unprecedented in the history of U.S. higher education.


 

From DSC:
Are Economics classes across the United States talking about our current situation? It seems to me that this kind of discussion would be so important, relevant, and thought-provoking. Economics is a complex subject. I know I would have appreciated learning more about the complexities, the pieces, the ingredients, the interrelationships of things in my college years. Seems like there are some solid topics for discussion board postings in here…

ECONOMY
Worries grow over a K-shaped economic recovery that favors the wealthy — from cnbc.com

KEY POINTS
  • As the economy struggles to shake off the pandemic effects, worries are growing that the recovery could look like a K.
  • That would be one where growth continues but is uneven, split between sectors and income groups.
  • One obvious area of concern is the dichotomy of the stock market vs the real economy, especially considering that 52% of the market is owned by the top 1% of earners.
  • “Let’s not get lost on different letters of the alphabet,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “There are certainly parts of the economy that need more work.”
 

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