From DSC:
Yesterday, I introduced a vision that integrates a variety of trends and emerging technologies that I’ve been keeping an eye on.


Click this thumbnail image to access the larger image / vision

Today, I want to focus on what this means for jobs, employment, career development — especially as it relates to higher ed and the corporate world.

As the trends are pointing out, there will be teams of specialists — with a variety of skillsets required — and each of these team members will play a different role. Some of these positions are captured in the graphic immediately below:
(many for-profit schools already have that table set)



Within higher ed, the extent to which this affects faculty members depends upon how these teams are formed. If faculty members don’t go along with this, institutions will likely reach out to adjunct faculty members — or contracted firms/help — to fill the gaps. Unless there are some other distinguishing factors, those institutions who don’t move towards a team-based approach will become irrelevant. It will be increasingly difficult for one person to develop the content that can compete with a team of specialists.  Also, organizations of excellence — who have higher initial development costs — will be able to spread these costs out over a global pool of students — resulting in a significantly cheaper alternative.  Organizations who don’t move in this direction may find that the pipelines coming into their institutions continue to get smaller.

There will be new jobs available — and changes to some existing jobs — as well, such as:

  • Virtual tutors
  • Virtual field trip guides (picture a person with some type of mobile device capturing a variety of places, events, talks, etc. in another country).
  • Curators
  • Technical support personnel specializing in building and supporting these platforms
  • Data analytics professionals
  • Artificial intelligence specialists
  • Specialized programmers
  • User interface designers
  • User experience designers
  • …and more

Roles may be altered for professors, teachers, and trainers. But teaching others how to discern quality information will likely continue to be important.

Employers may end up developing their own curriculum/cloud-based apps.  Apprentices, interns and prospective employees will be able to access these materials, with the understanding that they will be assessed at some point.

The web-based learner profiles will demonstrate where someone has been — and where they are currently at.

That’s it for now, but I will be jotting down further thoughts re: this vision from time to time. 








Udemy’s Faculty Project nabs 50,000 students and an Ivy league professor — from by Ryan Lawler


About six weeks ago, educational video startup Udemy launched its Faculty Project, a nonprofit program for distributing streaming university curriculum online. Early results have been pretty successful, with more than 50,000 students signing up for the program. But that’s not all: the Faculty Project is also bringing on ever more prestigious faculty, with its first Ivy League professor soon coming on board.

In contrast to Udemy’s for-profit platform, which enables teachers to create online courses and charges for access to them, the Faculty Project is a free offering that is designed to connect students from around the world with university faculty for high-quality courses online.


From DSC:

  • Tie this type of cloud-based platform in with learning analytics, new types of certifications/assessments/badges, web-based learner profiles, and the ability to continue building your own cloud over a lifetime, and you may find yourself enjoying a very powerful learning ecosystem!!!



American Association of University Professors -- Program Closures


The financial crisis that began in 2008 and the ensuing reductions in state support for higher education have led to devastating cuts at colleges and universities across the country. A growing number of institutions are eliminating majors, graduate programs, or even entire departments; the map above tracks program closures that have been reported in the media since the start of the crisis.

This map is not comprehensive. It is designed solely to highlight media coverage of program closures, which is sometimes flawed and can quickly become outdated, and does not reflect the ongoing casework of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Head in the clouds? Ten free Web 2.0 tools to support faculty research — from by G. Andrew Page, Ph.D.

Our Top 11 Most Popular Articles for 2011, part 1 — from Faculty Focus
As another year draws to a close, the editorial team at Faculty Focus looks back on some of the top articles of the past year. Throughout 2011, we published nearly 250 articles. The articles covered a wide range of topics – from academic integrity to online course design. In a two-part series, which will run today and Wednesday, we reveal the top 11 articles for 2011

Our Top 11 Most Popular Articles for 2011, part 2 — from Faculty Focus
It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a few top 10 lists, but this year we’re taking it one step further with the top 11 articles of 2011. Each article’s popularity ranking is based on a combination reader engagement metrics. Today’s post reveals the top five most popular articles.

Making the Review of Assigned Reading Meaningful — from Faculty Focus
The typical college student dreads hearing, “Let’s review the chapters you read for homework.” What generally ensues is a question and answer drill in which students are peppered with questions designed to make clear who has and hasn’t done the reading. In reality, these exchanges do little to encourage deep thought or understanding of the assigned reading. Here are some new ways to approach the review of reading assignments.

The Scholarly Kitchen - What's hot and cooking in scholarly publishing


Also see:

Building Learning Communities 2011 Keynote: Dr. Eric Mazur — from November Learning


Today, we are officially relaunching our opening keynote from BLC11 with Dr. Eric Mazur. Dr. Mazur is the Area Dean of Applied Physics and Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

In his keynote, Dr. Mazur shares his vast research on teaching and learning. Students in Dr. Mazur’s class are moving far away from the traditional stand and deliver lectures given in many k-12 and university classrooms around the world, and they are gaining a much deeper understanding of the material being taught in the process.

As you watch this video, we invite you to take some time and respond to one or more of the following questions…


From DSC:
What I understood the key points to be:

  • Teaching and learning should not be about information transfer alone; that is, it’s not about simply having students “parrot back” the information.  That doesn’t lead to true learning and long-term retention.
  • The more a teacher is an expert in his/her content, the more difficulty this teacher has in understanding how a first time learner in this subject struggles
  • Rather we need to guide and use peer instruction/social learning/collaboration amongst students to construct learning and then be able to apply/transfer that learning to a different context
  • Lecturing is not an effective way to create a long term retention of information
  • Peer instruction/human interaction creates effective learning
  • “The plural of anecdotes is not data.”
  • Eric is seeking data and feedback to sharpen his theories of how to optimize learning
  • Technology serves pedagogy — technology should afford a new mode of learning
  • Towards that end, Eric and team working on “Peer instruction 2.0”
  • How do I design good questions?  Optimize the discussions? Manage time? Insure learning is taking place?
  • Eric is working with several other colleagues to create a system for building and using data analytics to give useful information to instructor about who’s “getting it” and who isn’t; about how we learn
  • Peer instruction not without issues — how people group themselves and who students choose to collaborate with can be problematical
  • Why not have the system do the pairing/grouping?
  • System uses algorithms, facial recognition, posture analysis; cameras, microphones
  • Surveys also used
  • The system is attempting to help Eric and his team learn about learning
  • The system being used at Harvard and by invitation only

Eric ended with a summary of the 2 key messages:

  1. Education is not about lecturing
  2. We can move way beyond the current technologies and use new methods and technologies to actively manage learning as it happens


From DSC:
After listening to this lecture, the graphic below captures a bit of what he’s getting at and reflects some of my thinking on this subject as well.  That is, we need diagnostic tools — along the lines of those a mechanic might use on our cars to ascertain where the problems/issues are:


Best practices help dispel the myths of online faculty hiring practices — from Faculty Focus by Mary Bart


Some of the myths include:

  • Faculty who only teach online courses are typically hired “differently” than faculty who teaching face-to-face.
  • Academic departments are reluctant to use geographically-dispersed faculty to teach online courses.
  • Little to no effort is made to integrate faculty who teach only online courses into a department’s faculty community.
  • Faculty who teach only online courses are not subject to the same kind of teaching evaluation as those who teach face-to-face courses.

Check out the Teachscape Reflect product — looks very promising!



What if you could accurately capture everything that happens in the classroom? Imagine being able to catch every detail of teaching and learning, and then being able to review the captured material online anytime, anywhere, to assess instructional practices.

By combining 360-degree video and high-quality audio capture with online collaboration tools featuring research-based frameworks—including Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching—Teachscape Reflect delivers a classroom observation system and virtual professional learning community anchored in a common definition of teacher effectiveness.

From DSC:
We may be investigating this product for use with supporting remote student teachers. But Reflect can also be used for professional development purposes as well.

Also see:


Teachscape’s omnidirectional camera is used to capture in real time a 360-degree classroom scene. In the video stream it creates, both the instructor and the students can be seen. —Zhigang Zhu/Department of Computer Science, City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center


New software and hardware tools are being developed to help teachers get a more panoramic view of how things are going in their classrooms


10 telling employment trends in academia — from; also saw this at the site



The job outlook for university professors is a bundle of contradictions, confusing — and threatening — even the most prestigious of teachers. While a generation of professors is retiring and leaving new job openings, the economy is still crumbling, and slashed state budgets and diminished endowments make it difficult for schools to pay competitive salaries, or keep full-time professors on staff. Part-time and online positions are increasing, however, and professors now need to be even savvier about how they track their careers, just like professionals in other fields. Here are 10 telling employment trends for academics.

Be nice to techies — from Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth

From DSC:
A hearty “Amen!” to this Steve!   🙂





Should you write an ebook? — from by Nick Morgan


Here are some of the current e-options that have sprung up around traditional publishing and self-publishing.

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