Ability to do creative, non-routine work will be a must in the coming automation era. Is this realistic for most workers? — from robohub.org by Martin Ford

Excerpt:

There can be no doubt that technological progress has resulted in a far more prosperous society. Technology has often disrupted entire industries and, in some cases — as with the mechanization of agriculture — destroyed millions of jobs. In the long run, however, the economy has always adjusted and new  jobs have been created, often in entirely new industries. Why then should we be concerned that the revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence will lead to sustained unemployment? I think the answer has to do with the nature the work that most members of our workforce are best equipped to perform.

Tagged with:  

The Internet of Things: When GE sees a $ trillion opportunity, you might want to take it seriously. — from thebln.com by Mark Littlewood
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— The link/posting above is from March 12, 2013
— The item below is from November 26, 2012

Some sample images:

IndustrialInternet-Nov2012

 

How the internet is making us poor — from qz.com by Christopher Mims

Excerpt:

Everyone knows the story of how robots replaced humans on the factory floor. But in the broader sweep of automation versus labor, a trend with far greater significance for the middle class—in rich countries, at any rate—has been relatively overlooked: the replacement of knowledge workers with software.

 

 

Also see:

 

From DSC:
So…what courses aren’t we teaching in K-12 and in higher ed that we need to be teaching to help our students get prepared for this quickly-changing situation in the workplace? Now? In the near future? 

What’s some good career advice (or resources) out there?

Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind is one resource that comes to mind.

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on the future of higher education -- March 2013 by Daniel Christian

 

Also, the PDF file of this article is here.

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From DSC:
Though the title of this article I wrote says 10 years, it may be more or less (and given the pace of change, I would lean towards sooner rather than later).  

If you haven’t read Christensen’s/Horn’s/Johnson’s work re: disruption — such as Disrupting Class and/or The Innovator’s Dilemma — it would be worth your time to do so. They are right on the mark. What they have been asserting is happening within higher education.  The article briefly addresses face-to-face learning and hybrid learning as well.  Readers of this blog will know that I have been pressing for higher ed to reinvent itself in order to stay relevant. There is danger in the status quo, especially when the conversation continues to move away from traditional higher education.

See other perspectives out at evoLLLution.com as well.

 

 

Desktop PCs less popular than ever — from Scott Martin and Jon Swartz, USA TODAY — with thanks to Mr. Rick DeVries at Calvin College for this resource

 

DesktopPCsLessPopThanEver-Feb2013

The Professors’ Big Stage — op-ed from the New York Times by Thomas Friedman

Excerpt:

I just spent the last two days at a great conference convened by M.I.T. and Harvard on “Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education” — a k a “How can colleges charge $50,000 a year if my kid can learn it all free from massive open online courses?”

Expert panel brings clarity to MOOCs in Business+MOOCs Hangout — fron onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com

The Business+MOOC Panel
Host: Jay Cross
Educators:  Dave Cormier, Stephen Downes, Terri Griffith and George Siemens
Business People: Jos Arets, Bert De Coutere, Lal Jones-Beyy (from Coursera) Mark Finnern,  Jerry Michalski

 

BusinessPlusMoocs-2-27-2013

 Start at 10 mins into the recording.

Also see:

 

From DSC:
Great to see folks from higher education and the corporate world collaborating here — this type of thing needs to occur more often.

College branding: The tipping point — from forbes.com by Roger Dooley

Excerpt:

Change is coming to this market. While there are multiple issues of increasing importance to schools, two stand out as major game-changers.

 


From DSC:
Important notes for the boards throughout higher education to consider:


Your institution can’t increase tuition by one dime next year. If you do, you will become more and more vulnerable to being disrupted. Instead, work very hard to go in the exact opposite direction. Find ways to discount tuition by 50% or more — that is, if you want to stay in business.

Sounds like the scene in Apollo 13, doesn’t it? It is. (i.e. as Tom Hanks character is trying to get back to Earth and has very little to do it with. The engineers back in the United States are called upon to “do the impossible.”)

Some possibilities:

  • Pick your business partners and begin pooling resources and forming stronger consortia. Aim to reduce operating expenses, share the production of high-quality/interactive online courses, and create new streams of income. Experimentation will be key.
  • Work with IBM, Apple, Knewton and the like to create/integrate artificial intelligence into your LMS/CMS in order to handle 80% of the questions/learning issues. (Most likely, the future of MOOCs involves this very sort of thing.)
  • Find ways to create shorter courses/modules and offer them via online-based exchanges/marketplaces.  But something’s bothering me with this one..perhaps we won’t have the time to develop high-quality, interactive, multimedia-based courses…are things moving too fast?
  • Find ways to develop and offer subscription-based streams of content


 


From DSC:
First, what prompted the questions and reflections that are listed below?  For that, I turn to some recent items that I ran across involving the use of robotics and whether that may or may not be affecting employment:


 

The work of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; for example their book Race Against the Machine

Excerpt of description:

But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines.

 

How to freak out responsibly about the rise of the robots — from theatlantic.com by Derek Thompson
It’s fun to imagine an economy where machines are smarter than humans. But we don’t need  an artificial crisis over artificial intelligence.

Excerpt:

Let’s say it upfront: Technology can replace jobs and (at least temporarily) increase income inequality. From the spinning jenny to those massive mechanical arms flying wildly around car assembly lines, technology raises productivity by helping workers accomplish more in less time (i.e.: put a power drill in a human hand) and by replacing workers altogether (i.e.: build a power-drilling bot).

What ails us today isn’t a surplus of robots, but a deficit of demand. Yes, we have a manufacturing industry undergoing a sensational, but job-killing, productivity revolution — very much like the one that took farm employment from 40 percent in 1900 to less than 5 percent today. But the other nine-tenths of the economy are basically going through an old-fashioned weak-but-steady recovery, the kind that hundreds of years of financial crises would predict.

 

America has hit “peak jobs” — from techcrunch.com by Jon Evans

Excerpt:

“The middle class is being hollowed out,” says James Altucher. “Economists are shifting their attention toward a […] crisis in the United States: the significant increase in income inequality,” reports the New York Times.

Think all those job losses over the last five years were just caused by the recession? No: “Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market,” according to an AP report on how technology is killing middle-class jobs.

 

Technology and the employment challenge — from project-syndicate.org by Michael Spence

Excerpt:

MILAN – New technologies of various kinds, together with globalization, are powerfully affecting the range of employment options for individuals in advanced and developing countries alike – and at various levels of education. Technological innovations are not only reducing the number of routine jobs, but also causing changes in global supply chains and networks that result in the relocation of routine jobs – and, increasingly, non-routine jobs at multiple skill levels – in the tradable sector of many economies.

 

 

Man vs. robot — from macleans.ca by Peter Nowak

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industrial-robots

 

 

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Secondly, some reflections (from DSC)


I wonder…

  • What types of jobs are opening up now? (example here)
  • What types of jobs will be opening up soon? How about in 3-5 years from now?
  • Should these trends affect the way we educate and prepare our kids today? 
  • Should these trends affect the way we help employees grow/reinvent themselves?

Again, for me, the answer lies at least partly in helping people consistently obtain the knowledge that they need — i.e. to help them build, grow, and maintain their own learning ecosystems — throughout their lifetimes.  We need to help people dip their feet into the appropriate streams of content that are constantly flowing by.

Perhaps that’s one of the key new purposes that K-12, higher ed, and the corporate training departments out there will play in the future as they sift through the massive amounts of information coming at us to help individuals identify:
.

  • What are the most effective tools — and methods — that people can use to connect with others?
    (Then allow folks to pick what works best for them. Current examples: blogging/RSS feeds, Twitter, social bookmarking.)
    .
  • Who are some of the folks within each particular discipline/line of work that others (who want to learn about those disciplines) should know about?
    .
  • What trends are coming down the pike and how should we be preparing ourselves — and/or our organizations — for those changes?
    .

 

The coming automatic, freaky, contextual world and why we’re writing a book about it — from scobleizer.comby Robert Scoble

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

First, the short version of today’s news. Shel Israel and I are collaborating on a book, titled, The Age of Context: How it Will Change Your Life and Work.

The long version:

A new world is coming. It’s scary. Freaky. Over the freaky line, if you will. But it is coming. Investors like Ron Conway and Marc Andreessen are investing in it. Companies from Google to startups you’ve never heard of, like Wovyn or Highlight, are building it. With more than a couple of new ones already on the way that you’ll hear about over the next six months.

First, the trends. We’re seeing something new happen because of:

  1. Proliferation of always-connected sensors.
  2. New kinds of cloud-based databases.
  3. New kinds of contextual SDKs.
  4. A maturing in social data that nearly everyone is participating in.
  5. Wearable computers and sensors like the Nike FuelBand, FitBit, and soon the Google Glasses.

 

Also see:

0117_InternetofThings_Feat

 

Also see:

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EnteringTheShiftAge-Houle-Jan2013

 

Book Description
Release date: January 18, 2013

The Information Age? Think again.

Change is everywhere: how we communicate, what we do for a living, the values we hold, the way we raise our children, even the way we access information. Thanks to a global economy, the force of the Internet, and the explosion of mobile technology, we have—almost imperceptibly—been ushered into a new era, the Shift Age, in which change happens so quickly that it’s become the norm.

Man-made developments—such as tools, machines, and technology—defined previous ages, but the Shift Age will be defined by our own power of choice. In Entering the Shift Age, leading futurist David Houle argues that we are going through a major collapse of legacy thinking, eroding many of the thought structures that have defined the last two hundred years of humanity. Houle identifies and explains the new forces that will shape our lives—including remote workplaces, the cloud, “24/7” culture, speed-of-light connectivity, creativity, and the influence of Millenials and Digital Natives—for the next twenty years.

In this eye-opening book, Houle navigates this pivotal point in human history with clarity and anticipation, focusing on the power of human consciousness and the direct influence we can impart on everything from healthcare to media to education. According to Houle, we are more independent than ever before. We are in control.

There’s no “going back” to the way things were. Reality is changing ever faster, and ENTERING THE SHIFT AGE is your guide to keeping up.

 

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read the book, I would probably take a different angle/perspective on some things here.  Yet, this work seems important in that it addresses the constant change — and pace of change — that we find ourselves and our world in.

 

The Agenda with Steve Paikin: The Classroom of 2030 — with thanks to Will Richardson for posting this on Twitter

About the video:

  • Published on October 29, 2012 | Length: 52:57
  • The internet, individual tablets, smart screens: will digital technology realize the promise of customized, student-centred education? The first in The Agenda’s Learning 2030 series, from the Communitech Hub in Kitchener, Ontario.

From DSC:
Whereas:

  • The Walmart of Education continues and higher ed finds itself in a game-changing environment
  • The pace of change continues to accelerate
  • Disruptive innovations continue to poke at the higher education bubble
  • There is danger in the status quo
  • We all need to constantly reinvent ourselves and our organizations in order to remain relevant…

…institutions of higher education would be wise to significantly increase the priority of experimentation on their campuses during 2013.  This might take the form of creating smaller, more nimble organizations within their overall universities or colleges, or it might be experimenting with new business models, or it might be identifying/experimenting with promising educational technologies or new pedagogies, etc.  I will have several blog postings re: experimentation — and potential things to try out — during 2013; so stay tuned.

Whether we are staff, faculty, or administration, change is coming our way in 2013.  So starting today, get involved with further innovations and experiments on your campus — don’t be a roadblock or you will likely find your institution eventually becoming irrelevant. As Steve Jobs did/believed, cannibalize your own organization before someone else does.

 

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

 

From the January/February 2013 issue of The American Interest:

 

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Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The most important part of the college bubble story—the one we will soon be hearing much more about—concerns the impending financial collapse of numerous private colleges and universities and the likely shrinkage of many public ones. And when that bubble bursts, it will end a system of higher education that, for all of its history, has been steeped in a culture of exclusivity*. Then we’ll see the birth of something entirely new as we accept one central and unavoidable fact: The college classroom is about to go virtual.

Because recent history shows us that the internet is a great destroyer of any traditional business that relies on the sale of information. The internet destroyed the livelihoods of traditional stock brokers and bonds salesmen by throwing open to everyone access to the proprietary information they used to sell. The same technology enabled bankers and financiers to develop new products and methods, but, as it turned out, the experience necessary to manage it all did not keep up. Prior to the Wall Street meltdown, it seemed absurd to think that storied financial institutions like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers could disappear seemingly overnight. Until it happened, almost no one believed such a thing was possible. Well, get ready to see the same thing happen to a university near you, and not for entirely dissimilar reasons.

The higher-ed business is in for a lot of pain as a new era of creative destruction produces a merciless shakeout of those institutions that adapt and prosper from those that stall and die.

But what happens when a limited supply of a sought-after commodity suddenly becomes unlimited? Prices fall. Yet here, on the cusp of a new era of online education, that is a financial reality that few American universities are prepared to face.

Anyone who can access the internet—at a public library, for instance—no matter how poor or disadvantaged or isolated or uneducated he or she may be, can access the teachings of some of the greatest scholars of our time through open course portals. Technology is a great equalizer.

Big changes are coming, and old attitudes and business models are set to collapse as new ones rise. Few who will be affected by the changes ahead are aware of what’s coming. Severe financial contraction in the higher-ed industry is on the way, and for many this will spell hard times both financially and personally. But if our goal is educating as many students as possible, as well as possible, as affordably as possible, then the end of the university as we know it is nothing to fear. Indeed, it’s something to celebrate.

 

 


* The old way:

Colleges rise as they reject — from online.wsj.com
Schools invite more applications, then use denials to boost coveted rankings


 

 

Daniel S. Christian - Think Virtual -- April 2012

 

Also relevant/see:

Accreditation actions increased during financial downturn — from The Chronicle by Eric Kelderman

Excerpt:

“Not long ago, accreditation sanctions were rare. Now, in response to growing government criticism of poor disclosure about quality, pricing, and outcomes, as well as inefficient cost management, accreditors are taking more aggressive and quicker actions to bolster their role in demonstrating quality and performance standards in U.S. higher education,” the report says.

The main reasons for the actions are, not surprisingly, financial troubles for colleges struggling with endowment losses, cuts in state appropriations, and the growing institutional costs of student financial aid. But accreditors are also focusing more attention on outcomes, including assessing student learning and graduation rates, the report says.

From DSC:
If the public wants change in higher ed, I might suggest starting with changing who is on the accreditation teams.  Historically speaking, things don’t seem to have changed that much with all insiders on these teams. 

(I wondered when these agencies were going to start sensing some heat in their kitchens.  If I could make at least one prediction for 2013, it’s that the temperatures in those kitchens are going to go up in 2013. I’ll probably make more predictions, but I think that one is low-hanging fruit!)

 

Combine the trends listed in this graphic:

.

Trends-ReportFromDeptOfEdu-2012

— from The Economics of Higher Education, Dec 2012 (pg 2)

 

…with the next several graphics…

.

Surging college costs price out middle class -- from CNNMoney.com on June 13, 2011

 

.

The middle class falls further behind

 

.

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

From 5/21/09

 

 

…and you can see that the Perfect Storm in Higher Ed has been amassed.  Massive change is in the air. People will find a way to achieve their goals/objectives — one way or another. College is still a good call — but what “college” and “university life” will look like in 5 years will likely be very different from what they look like today.

There is no returning to the “good ol’ days” — things are not going back to the way they were 5-10 years ago.  It’s time for massive — but controlled/intentional — experimentation within higher ed, to find out how best to use the Internet in order to promote learning (and, hopefully, to still make a living!).

.

 

asdfsadf

 

 

 


Some examples that illustrate that change is in the air…and that the conversation continues to move outside traditional institutions of higher education (I mention these not to dog higher ed, but to get us to innovate, to reinvent ourselves, and to stay relevant!)


 

Big idea 2013: College becomes optional — from LinkedIn.com by Ben Smith

Jailbreaking the degree: The end of the 4 year diploma — from onlineuniversities.com by Justin Marquis

Excerpt:

What’s wrong with getting a college degree? According to the grassroots movement, “Jailbreaking the Degree,” being pushed by radical education startup Degreed.com, quite a bit. The organization has identified several fundamental flaws with the long standing college degree process. It aims to overcome them and dramatically change the nature of learning and credentialing in the process. In order to justify their initiative they present some dramatic numbers on their website…

Degreed wants to jailbreak the college degree — from techcrunch.com by Rip Empson

Saying no to college — NYT.com by Alex Williams

Do a Google search on uncollege.org and see what you get

The rise of college alternatives— from huffingtonpost.com by Dan Schawbel

educreations.com: Teach what you know. Learn what you don’t.

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