From DSC:
As some of you may know, I’m now working for the WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School. My faith gets involved here, but I believe that the LORD wanted me to get involved with:

  • Using technology to increase access to justice (#A2J)
  • Contributing to leveraging the science of learning for the long-term benefit of our students, faculty, and staff
  • Raising awareness regarding the potential pros and cons of today’s emerging technologies
  • Increase the understanding that the legal realm has a looooong way to go to try to get (even somewhat) caught up with the impacts that such emerging technologies can/might have on us.
  • Contributing and collaborating with others to help develop a positive future, not a negative one.

Along these lines…in regards to what’s been happening with law schools over the last few years, I wanted to share a couple of things:

1) An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Benjamin Barton:

The Law School Crash

 

2) A response from our President and Dean, James McGrath:Repositioning a Law School for the New Normal

 

From DSC:
I also wanted to personally say that I arrived at WMU-Cooley Law School in 2018, and have been learning a lot there (which I love about my job!).  Cooley employees are very warm, welcoming, experienced, knowledgeable, and professional. Everyone there is mission-driven. My boss, Chris Church, is multi-talented and excellent. Cooley has a great administrative/management team as well.

There have been many exciting, new things happening there. But that said, it will take time before we see the results of these changes. Perseverance and innovation will be key ingredients to crafting a modern legal education — especially in an industry that is just now beginning to offer online-based courses at the Juris Doctor (J.D.) level (i.e., 20 years behind when this began occurring within undergraduate higher education).

My point in posting this is to say that we should ALL care about what’s happening within the legal realm!  We are all impacted by it, whether we realize it or not. We are all in this together and no one is an island — not as individuals, and not as organizations.

We need:

  • Far more diversity within the legal field
  • More technical expertise within the legal realm — not only with lawyers, but with legislators, senators, representatives, judges, others
  • Greater use of teams of specialists within the legal field
  • To offer more courses regarding emerging technologies — and not only for the legal practices themselves but also for society at large.
  • To be far more vigilant in crafting a positive world to be handed down to our kids and grandkids — a dream, not a nightmare. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Still not convinced that you should care? Here are some things on the CURRENT landscapes:

  • You go to drop something off at your neighbor’s house. They have a camera that gets activated.  What facial recognition database are you now on? Did you give your consent to that? No, you didn’t.
  • Because you posted your photo on Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and/or on millions of other websites, your face could be in ClearView AI’s database. Did you give your consent to that occurring? No, you didn’t.
  • You’re at the airport and facial recognition is used instead of a passport. Whose database was that from and what gets shared? Did you give your consent to that occurring? Probably not, and it’s not easy to opt-out either.
  • Numerous types of drones, delivery bots, and more are already coming onto the scene. What will the sidewalks, streets, and skies look like — and sound like — in your neighborhood in the near future? Is that how you want it? Did you give your consent to that happening? No, you didn’t.
  • …and on and on it goes.

Addendum — speaking of islands!

Palantir CEO: Silicon Valley can’t be on ‘Palo Alto island’ — Big Tech must play by the rules — from cnbc.com by Jessica Bursztynsky

Excerpt:

Palantir Technologies co-founder and CEO Alex Karp said Thursday the core problem in Silicon Valley is the attitude among tech executives that they want to be separate from United States regulation.

“You cannot create an island called Palo Alto Island,” said Karp, who suggested tech leaders would rather govern themselves. “What Silicon Valley really wants is the canton of Palo Alto. We have the United States of America, not the ‘United States of Canton,’ one of which is Palo Alto. That must change.”

“Consumer tech companies, not Apple, but the other ones, have basically decided we’re living on an island and the island is so far removed from what’s called the United States in every way, culturally, linguistically and in normative ways,” Karp added.

 

From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

From DSC:
Very disturbing that citizens had no say in this. Legislators, senators, representatives, lawyers, law schools, politicians, engineers, programmers, professors, teachers, and more…please reflect upon our current situation here. How can we help create the kind of future that we can hand down to our kids and rest well at night…knowing we did all that we could to provide a dream — and not a nightmare — for them?


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill
A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

 

Excerpts:

“But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year…”

Clearview’s app carries extra risks because law enforcement agencies are uploading sensitive photos to the servers of a company whose ability to protect its data is untested.

 

DC: Precursor to a next gen learning platform…? Another piece is falling into place.

 

From pizza to transplant organs: What drones will be delivering in the 2020s — from digitaltrends.com by Luke Dormehl

Excerpt:

From drone racing to drone photography, quadcopters and other unmanned aerial vehicles rose to prominence in the 2010s. But in the decade to come they’re going to become an even bigger thing in the next 10 years. Case in point: Deliveries by drone.

Who should you be watching in this space?


From DSC:

While I appreciate Luke’s reporting on this, I am very much against darkening the skies with noisy machines. Again, we adults need to be very careful of the world that we are developing for our kids! If items could be delivered via a system of underground pipes, that would be a different, quieter, not visible, more agreeable approach for me.

Just because we can…

 

Indian police are using facial recognition to identify protesters in Delhi — from fastcompany.com by Kristin Toussaint

Excerpt:

At Modi’s rally on December 22, Delhi police used Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) software—which officials there acquired in 2018 as a tool to find and identify missing children—to screen the crowd for faces that match a database of people who have attended other protests around the city, and who officials said could be disruptive.

According to the Indian Express, Delhi police have long filmed these protest events, and the department announced Monday that officials fed that footage through AFRS. Sources told the Indian news outlet that once “identifiable faces” are extracted from that footage, a dataset will point out and retain “habitual protesters” and “rowdy elements.” That dataset was put to use at Modi’s rally to keep away “miscreants who could raise slogans or banners.”

 

From DSC:
Here in the United States…are we paying attention to today’s emerging technologies and collaboratively working to create a future dream — versus a future nightmare!?!  A vendor or organization might propose a beneficial reason to use their product or technology — and it might even meet the hype at times…but then comes along other unintended uses and consequences of that technology. For example, in the article above, what started out as a technology that was supposed to be used to find/identify missing children (a benefit) was later used to identify protesters (an unintended consequence, and a nightmare in terms of such an expanded scope of use I might add)!

Along these lines, the youth of today have every right to voice their opinions and to have a role in developing or torpedoing emerging techs. What we build and put into place now will impact their lives bigtime!

 

The cost of college increased by more than 25% in the last 10 years—here’s why — from cnbc.com by Abigail Hess

Excerpt:

During the 1978 – 1979 school year, it cost the modern equivalent of $17,680 per year to attend a private college and $8,250 per year to attend a public college. By the 2008 – 2009 school year those costs had grown to $38,720 at private colleges and $16,460 at public colleges.

Today, those costs are closer to $48,510 and $21,370, respectively. That means costs increased by roughly 25.3% at private colleges and about 29.8% at public colleges.

Also see:

How affordable are public colleges in your state for low-income students?

Students from low-income backgrounds should be able to attend college without shouldering a debt burden or having to work so many hours that they jeopardize their chances of completing a degree. But that’s just not possible today.

Think students today can work their way through college? Think again.

For millions of college-going students, one of the most urgent concerns is the rising cost of college and how to pay for it — and not just for tuition but other necessities like textbooks, housing, food, and transportation. The idea that one can work one’s way through college with a minimum-wage job is, in most cases, a myth. In the vast majority of states, students at public four-year institutions would have to work an excessive number of hours per week to cover such costs. The same goes for students at many public community and technical colleges. In one of the costliest scenarios, students would have to work 45 hours a week to be exact, leaving nearly no time to focus on academics.

Overall, students from low-income backgrounds, despite access to financial aid, are being asked to pay well beyond their means for a college degree. In the following analysis, we look closely at just how much beyond their means.

Also see:

Also see:

 

AI arms race — insidehighered.com by Lilah Burke
More employers are using applicant tracking systems to hire employees. Some colleges are using new AI-based tools, like VMock, to help students keep up.

Excerpt:

When college students need help with their résumés, some now will be turning to algorithms rather than advisers.

In the last decade, a growing number of large companies have started hiring using applicant tracking systems, AI-based platforms that scan résumés for keywords and rank job candidates.

Similarly, video interviewing platforms that use algorithms to evaluate a candidate’s voice, gestures and emotions have become ubiquitous in some industries. HireVue, the most well-known of these platforms, has drawn accusations of being pseudoscientific and potentially exacerbating bias in hiring.

The frustration many job candidates voice when coming up against these platforms is that they have no way of knowing what they could have done better. The systems give no feedback to candidates.

So what if students, job seekers and career advisers could use the AI for themselves?

Boston University, in a document of VMock tips for students, also advised graphic design or other creative industry students to have two versions of their résumé, one with a conventional layout.

From DSC:
Per my nephew, who works in a recruiting type of position within HR for a Fortune 500 organization:

  • Without a doubt HR recruiting is using AI to help in the selection process.
  • Many companies use keyword scanners, but not everyone [and, in fact, his company did not].
  • HireVue is very important to use when it comes to understanding a person’s presentation skills since a lot of presenting is done via Skype/live video these days. So HireVue is not going away anytime soon. I think it’s a great system/product.
  • At the end of the day, a good recruiter will identify the best talent that has applied to a position. I think it’s important for students to really think about what position they’re applying for and be realistic with their applications. I think that’s where a lot of frustration happens with students that apply to positions and never get to the first round interview. They apply to 20-50 positions that don’t reflect their experience at all…so that’s where coaching and personal advisement is important
 

Stepping Back from the Cliff: Facing New Realities of Changing Student Demographics — from evoLLLution.com by Jim Shaeffer
Most universities that plan to stick to the status quo and serve exclusively traditional learners are facing a cliff. CE divisions can help their institutions avoid a potential drop, but only if they’re empowered.

Excerpt:

Demographics of students enrolling at colleges and universities are evolving. And students’ expectations are evolving as well. As the numbers of 18-22 year olds fresh out of high school drop, the recruitment of non-traditional students is becoming more important than ever. In this interview, James Shaeffer discusses the role continuing education (CE) departments can play as drivers of innovation and reflects on how CE leaders can help their main campus colleagues embrace transformational change.

Addendum on 1/4/20:

 

Merry Christmas!

 

From DSC:
To those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas to you and to yours!

 

 

Art-filled journeys into the future — methods of futures education for children in lower stage comprehensive school — from kultus.fi by Ilpo Rybatzki and Otto Tähkäpää

Art-filled futures education

 

See this PDF file which contains the following excerpt:

In art, futures literacy plays a significant role. Art has the ability to point elsewhere; to fool and mess around with things and shake up conventions without needing to achieve measurable benefits (Varto, 2008). Art ensures a solid background for imagining alternative worlds. It is important to support a permissive atmosphere that supports experimentation! From the perspective of art pedagogy, activities focus on the idea of art experience as meeting place (Pääjoki, 2004) where people can see themselves in a new light beside another person’s thoughts and imagination. Strengthening futures literacy means supporting transformative learning that aims for change. Through this type of learning, we can question norms, roles, identities and the concept of what is ‘normal’ (Lehtonen et al., 2018).

When discussing the future, we are always discussing values: what kind of future is desirable for any one person? Artistic activity can produce materials through which human meanings can be communicated from one person to another and questions about values in life can be discussed (Varto, 2008; Valkeapää, 2012). Encounters create opportunities for dialogue and enriching one’s perspectives. Important aspects include creating safe settings, the individual expression of the participants, the courage to open up and thrown oneself into the centre of an experience, as well as the courage to question or even completely let go of presumptions. In the age of the environmental crisis, art has a critical role in all of society. We cannot solve difficult problems using the same kind of thinking that created the problems in the first place.

 

With thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this resource.

 

Merry Christmas all!

From DSC:
Before people start heading out of Dodge, I wanted to wish those of you who celebrate it, a very Merry Christmas! May you and yours enjoy some moments of deep peace this holiday season. And may you share some meaningful, wonderful time with those you love.

I’m grateful to our heavenly Father for His numerous gifts — especially for the gift of His Son, our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ!

 

The 10 vital skills you will need for the future of work — from Bernard Marr

Excerpt:

Active learning with a growth mindset
Anyone in the future of work needs to actively learn and grow. A person with a growth mindset understands that their abilities and intelligence can be developed and they know their effort to build skills will result in higher achievement. They will, therefore, take on challenges, learn from mistakes and actively seek new knowledge.

Start by adopting a commitment to lifelong learning so you can acquire the skills you will need to succeed in the future workplace.

 

Greta Thunberg is the youngest TIME Person of the Year ever. Here’s how she made history — from time.com

Excerpt:

The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and Thunberg has no magic solution. But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change. She has offered a moral clarion call to those who are willing to act, and hurled shame on those who are not. She has persuaded leaders, from mayors to Presidents, to make commitments where they had previously fumbled: after she spoke to Parliament and demonstrated with the British environmental group Extinction Rebellion, the U.K. passed a law requiring that the country eliminate its carbon footprint. She has focused the world’s attention on environmental injustices that young indigenous activists have been protesting for years. Because of her, hundreds of thousands of teenage “Gretas,” from Lebanon to Liberia, have skipped school to lead their peers in climate strikes around the world.

 

Young people! You CAN and will make a big impact/difference!

 

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