The Public’s Growing Doubts About College ‘Value’ — from insidehighered.com by Doug Lederman
Americans aren’t questioning the importance of higher education, but they’re concerned it is unaffordable and unavailable for too many people. Experts dig into the data.

Excerpt:

After decades of almost unquestioned public support as some of America’s most valued institutions, colleges and universities are facing growing questions—not about whether higher education remains important but whether it’s available, affordable and valuable enough.

An episode of Inside Higher Ed’s The Key podcast recently explored the public’s evolving attitudes toward higher education, part of a three-part series on the concept of “value” in higher education…

Thousands of Students Take Courses Through Unaccredited Private Companies. Here’s a Look Into One of Them. — from chronicle.com by  Taylor Swaak

Excerpts:

A growing number of students are taking courses offered by unaccredited private companies and completing them in a matter of days or weeks — often for less than $200 — and then transferring the credits to colleges.

That growth comes in response to a perfect storm of skyrocketing higher-education costs, more adult learners seeking flexibility, and drops in enrollment that have spurred colleges to beef up retention and re-engagement efforts with “stopped-out” students.

 

VIRTUAL CAREER EXPLORATION SERIES — from kentisd.org (emphasis DSC)

Kent ISD’s Career Chats are designed to provide 7-12 grade students a virtual opportunity to meet real professionals employed in real jobs.  This series of 30-40 minute sessions will highlight professions in a variety of career pathways, giving students the opportunity to learn more about a career of interest, or to explore new options.  Professionals will share their own career path, along with valuable industry insights that support student career exploration.  Students will have an opportunity to ask their own questions through the platform’s chat function.

 

New Federal Data: Too Few Applicants in K-12 Schools — from usnews.com by Lauren Camera
More than half of public schools were understaffed at the start of the school year, and 69% reported the primary challenge was that too few teacher candidates were applying for open positions.

Excerpt:

Personnel shortages that challenged K-12 leaders at the outset of the new academic year and continue to disrupt the U.S. public school system are driven by a shortage in the pipeline of new educators and school staff, federal data confirms.

More than half of all public schools in the country reported that they were understaffed at the start of the 2022-23 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Education Department, and 69% reported that too few teacher candidates applying for open positions was the primary challenge.

Also relevant/see:

Too Few Candidates Applying for Teaching Jobs the Primary Hiring Challenge for More than Two-Thirds of Public Schools Entering the 2022-23 School Year — from prnewswire.com

Excerpt:

“The majority of public schools are starting the new school year feeling understaffed, particularly in areas like special education, transportation, and mental health,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “And while many schools say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging to fill positions, 20 percent of schools say that they were already understaffed before the pandemic began. These data points are critical for understanding challenges our public schools are facing, allowing policymakers to provide timely assistance to help our students and educators in areas where it is needed.”

As of August, public schools across the country reported that special education and mathematics teaching positions were among the most difficult teaching positions to fill for the 2022–23 school year. Seventy-eight and 75 percent of schools offering these positions reported it was either “very” or “somewhat difficult,” respectively, to hire fully certified teachers in these areas.

 

The New Learning Economy: It’s Time To Build in Education — from a16z.com by Anne Lee Skates and Connie Chan

Excerpt:

As we enter the third school year of the Covid era, a disturbing new normal is settling over the country. Students continue to be chronically absent; nearly 50,000 Los Angeles public school students failed to show up on the first day of school. Nine-year-olds’ math and reading levels have dropped to 20-year lows, and the dip in reading scores is the steepest decline in more than 30 years. Teacher vacancies are reaching crisis levels. Schools are even resorting to bringing back retirees and loosening basic teaching requirements to fill gaps.

Why is this so important? Education is a $1.8 trillion-dollar industry in the U.S. More importantly, our education system shapes who our future leaders and builders will be—more than 1 in 5 people in the U.S. are current K–12 and college students.

 

Traditional University Teacher Ed Programs Face Enrollment Declines, Staff Cuts — from the74million.org by Marianna McMurdock
As higher ed enrollment lags, colleges try to make teacher preparation more enticing, sustainable to ward off local shortages

“We have had basically at least an orange flag that’s been waving for the past 10 — and in urban and rural areas, well over 20 years — to say we’re not doing enough to recruit teachers,” said Kendra Hearn, associate dean for educator preparation programs at the University of Michigan. “…Everything has just been exacerbated by COVID.”

Experts believe a combination of economic and social factors are contributing to the decline: High stress working conditions, restrictions and political influence on what can be taught and low wages. 

 

 

Online Learning Pioneer Acquires Leading Training Provider for the Early Childhood Education Workforce — from prnewswire.com by StraighterLine

Excerpt:

BALTIMORE and WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — StraighterLine, a creator of affordable, flexible and career-aligned postsecondary courses, today announced the acquisition of ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), one of the largest online training providers for early childhood education professionals. The addition of the early childhood education learning platform, which served more than 87,000 teachers and staff across more than 6,200 childcare centers in 2021, reflects StraighterLine’s commitment to expanding access to training that closes persistent talent gaps and creates pathways to economic mobility.

“There is an urgent need for qualified early care and education workers across the nation,” said Maria Taylor, president of CCEI. “This acquisition is about building more lifelong learning opportunities that give passionate individuals flexible pathways to careers. We are excited to join the StraighterLine family and further expand the potential entry points into this meaningful profession.”

 

New Directory of Innovative School Models Aims to Encourage Experimentation — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

A new online library called the “Innovative Models Exchange,” unveiled Monday, hopes to give educators an easy place to quickly consider some possibilities. The exchange—developed by the nonprofit Transcend Education with funding from the Gates Foundation—allows schools to search through a database of “innovative” models that Transcend says are ready to be adopted by schools.

The nonprofit hopes that the database will shake up the education system.

 

Keynote Wrap-Up: NVIDIA CEO Unveils Next-Gen RTX GPUs, AI Workflows in the Cloud — from blogs.nvidia.com by Brian Caulfield
Kicking off GTC, Jensen Huang unveils advances in natural language understanding, the metaverse, gaming and AI technologies impacting industries from transportation and healthcare to finance and entertainment.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

New cloud services to support AI workflows and the launch of a new generation of GeForce RTX GPUs featured [on 9/20/22] in NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang’s GTC keynote, which was packed with new systems, silicon, and software.

“Computing is advancing at incredible speeds, the engine propelling this rocket is accelerated computing, and its fuel is AI,” Huang said during a virtual presentation as he kicked off NVIDIA GTC.

Again and again, Huang connected new technologies to new products to new opportunities – from harnessing AI to delight gamers with never-before-seen graphics to building virtual proving grounds where the world’s biggest companies can refine their products.

Driving the deluge of new ideas, new products and new applications: a singular vision of accelerated computing unlocking advances in AI, which, in turn will touch industries around the world.

Also relevant/see:

 

Bring Real-Time 3D Into the Classroom, and Teach for the Future — from edsurge.com by Melissa Oldrin and Davis Hepnar

Excerpt:

Real-time 3D (RT3D) is redefining interactive content. No longer confined to the realm of video games, this technology now plays key roles in industries as wide-ranging as architecture, medicine, automotive, aerospace and film.

Demand is growing rapidly for developers, programmers and artists skilled in working with Unity—the leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content. As use cases expand, and the much-discussed metaverse takes shape, educators today have an opportunity to prepare their students for the technology careers of tomorrow.

Real-time 3D is a technology that creates three-dimensional models, environments and complete virtual worlds that can be rendered instantly. This content goes far beyond traditional formats like film, television and print because it isn’t static; it’s both immersive and interactive. And it offers incredibly lifelike graphics while giving users precise, immediate control over their experience. In doing so, RT3D creates endless possibilities for media production and engagement.

 

Why Some Teachers Don’t Want to Go ‘Back to Normal’ — from edsurge.com by Daniel Lempres

Excerpts:

“My school did not drive me out of education. My students did not drive me out of education,” Aion says. Instead, he says he left because the lack of support and the deep systemic flaws in education had finally become too much. Aion says he was tired of pretending things were back to their pre-pandemic “normal,” and tired of pretending that “normal” had been working for students in the first place.

For educators like Aion and Bowyer, the expectation that public education would “return to normal” is one of the factors that pushed them out of the profession.

Her students were excited for her, and enthusiastically asked about what she would do instead of teaching them math. “I started crying in the middle of class,” Bowyer says. “And I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t actually want to leave, I want to be here and I want to do this. But I don’t think I can anymore.’”

 

Virtual Internships matches students with top companies around the world — from techcrunch.com by Catherine Shu

Excerpts:

Remote work struck down barriers for many employees, and now Virtual Internships is doing the same for university students around the world by partnering with over 12,000 companies from 100 countries.

Virtual Internships uses AI to match students at scale with internships at companies ranging from startups to blue chips and guarantees a match within one month.

 

Future of Learning Council on Statewide Grassroots Strategies & Pathways — from gettingsmart.com

Description of podcast:

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast Shawnee Caruthers is joined by Dr. Dave Richards, the Executive Learning Strategist for Michigan Virtual and a key part of Future of Learning Council, a partner that we’ve loved working alongside over the last year.

We are also joined by two superintendents who are a part of this project – Dr. Christopher Timmis, Superintendent of Dexter Community Schools and Dr. John VanWagoner of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

 

3 Pitfalls to Avoid in Shift to Skills-Based Hiring, Training — from by Lynne McNamee

Excerpts:

Since the pandemic many organizations have explored a shift in hiring and people development, moving from emphasizing candidates’ formal degrees to focusing on specific skills development and certifications.

With the dramatic increase in the average cost of a college degree in the USA—average per-student annual cost is now above $35,000—it is clear that meeting staffing needs while also supporting DEI efforts requires that organizations consider an alternative to the traditional option of requiring a degree for most positions.

While it’s easy to become enthusiastic about the potential benefits of focusing on specific, needed skills, it’s also prudent to be aware of potential pitfalls—and explore intentional processes and checks that can help learning leaders avoid these three common unintended consequences.

Speaking of skills, also see:

State of Global Skills 2022: Investing in Skills Development — from coursera.org

Watch the webinar on-demand to learn:  

  • How skills development has changed during the pandemic — and which changes are expected to last
  • How countries around the world have enacted policies that develop a more skilled workforce
  • Which are the most in-demand skills, and how to use regional and global skills data to drive strategic planning

 

 

From DSC:
I signed up to receive some items from Outlier.org. Here’s one of the emails that I recently received. It seems to me that this type of thing is going to be hard to compete against:

  • Professionally-done content
  • Created by teams of specialists, including game designers
  • Hand-picked professors/SME’s — from all over the world
  • Evidence-based learning tools

Outlier dot org could be tough to compete against -- professional-executed content creation and delivery

 

From DSC:
I post this with great hesitation. But there’s some truth in here.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian