The college campus is the model for return to office — from by Jiani Zeng Honghao Deng
Using tech to map the spaces we need for the future of work

Excerpt:

Yet while the emergence of new variants continues to frustrate efforts to resume in-person work, the Delta variant alone does not explain why major employers continue to struggle to bring workers back in person. It seems that employees have lost faith in past models of working, which naturally prompts an examination of what a future “ebb and flow” will actually look like.

Well, it’s likely we already know what this new office environment will look like: the university campus.

College campuses have spaces that foster collaboration, community and culture — labs, open areas, cafes, not to mention auditoriums and arenas for events, sports and other rituals. But these are opt-in — no one forces you to go to the basketball game. You choose to go. So too companies will want to use their space to foster collaboration and culture for employees to opt into.

 

From DSC:
The articles below made me wonder…what will lawyers, judges, and legislators need to know about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies? (#EmergingTechnologies)

 

Higher Education Needs to Move Toward Mass-Personalization — from fierceeducation.com by Susan Fourtané

Excerpt:

Every industry, from health sciences to marketing to manufacturing, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate the delivery of mass-personalization, yet education has been slow in its adoption. These smart systems create personalized solutions targeted to meet the unique needs of every individual.

Artificial Intelligence-based technologies have the potential of serving as tools for educators to provide personalized learning. However, for mass-personalization to work, institutions first need to align their leadership. In his feature session What Is It Going to Take to Move from Mass-Production to Mass-Personalization?, during the recent Online Learning Consortium virtual event, Dale Johnson, Director of Digital Innovation at Arizona State University, addressed the issue of mass personalization in higher education.

Johnson reinforced the idea that with mass-personalization professors can deliver the right lesson to the right student at the right time.

Mass-personalization software does not replace the professor. It makes the professor better, more focused on the students.

 

Why inexperienced workers can’t get entry-level jobs — from bbc.com by Kate Morgan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

From DSC:
I love the idea of internships. (In my days in college, internships were reserved mainly for engineers; few of us had them back then.)

But with an eye on the cost of obtaining a degree, internships should be PAID internships. That is, interns should receive decent/proper compensation. I’m concerned that businesses will take advantage of free labor here (though that’s less likely given the tight labor market I suppose). But businesses have taken advantage of free labor in the past. “It takes a village…”

Also see:

 

Legal Technology: Why the Legal Tech Boom is Just Getting Started — from nasdaq.com by Casey Flaherty and Jae Um of LexFusion; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource via his Lawtomatic Newsletter, Issue #136

Excerpt:

In quick succession, legal technology finally saw its first IPOs:

With private money pouring into legal tech startups and based on our own conversations inside the industry, we at LexFusion expect more IPOs on the horizon. Thus, a primer on legal tech as a category to watch. This Part I summarizes the legal market fundamentals driving unprecedented investment in enabling tech—much of which extends beyond the boundaries implied by “legal” as a descriptor.

A pivot point appears to be upon us. Considered unthinkable a decade ago, US states and Canadian provinces—following similar reforms in the UK and Australia that have resulted in the first publicly traded law firms—are rapidly creating regulatory sandboxes to expand current rules limiting (a) who can provide legal services and (b) who can own those businesses.

From DSC:
One can see why #AI will become key. “…the projected CAGR for global data volumes is 26%—to pt where ‘the amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years.’ This data explosion complicates even standard legal matters.”

Gabe also mentioned the following Tweet, which is relevant for this posting:

 

Ideas are easily snuffed out...like this small plant. But when an idea takes root and grows...lookout!

 

Common Anxieties in Beginning HyFlex: Learning to Teach a HyFlex Class — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpt:

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest anxieties – FEARS – for many faculty considering or implementing a HyFlex approach for the first time is learning how to do so, and to do so effectively the very first time. No one likes to feel like they aren’t equipped to do the work they are required (or challenged) to do; perhaps especially teachers who are normally in full control of their classrooms and the activities that take place in them. When you are planning to teach HyFlex, it may seem like you are planning for CHAOS, or at least planning to lose control over the class environment(s), the teaching process, and ultimately student learning. Let’s address those concerns one at a time, but briefly.

If we assume you are an effective classroom teacher, then a common design path that I usually recommend is to start with your plans for an effective classroom experience and work to translate those to the other modes, accessing expert guidance as needed (such as, instructional designers, online course design books, your colleagues). What are the learning outcomes (or instructional objectives) for the classroom? How will those translate into the online mode(s) you are planning? What about the instructional content and associated activities for the classroom? How do those translate? What about plans for assessment? Start with what you know, and are confident with, and then layer in approaches for the other modes. 

 

‘A very big deal.’ Nonlawyer licensing plan clears hurdle in California — from reuters.com by Karen Sloan; with thanks to Law 2030’s October 2021 newsletter from the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School

Excerpt:

(Reuters) – California is on track to become the largest state to let specially trained nonlawyers offer legal advice in limited settings, such as employment and consumer debt.

The State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees on Thursday gave its preliminary blessing to a proposed “paraprofessional” program by voting to gather public comment on the plan. The public will have 110 days to weigh in on the proposal, which if adopted has the potential to jumpstart the fledgling movement behind legal paraprofessionals, or limited license legal professionals, as they are sometimes called.

 

The Disruption Of Legal Services Is Here — from forbes.com by John Arsneault

Excerpt:

For the first time in those 12 years, I am now convinced we are on the precipice of the promised disruption in legal. Not because anyone in the law firms are driving toward this — but because venture capital and tech innovators have finally turned their attention to the industry.

Legal services are a much smaller overall market than, say, retail, financial services or biotech. In the world of disruption and the promised gold rush for the companies that do the disrupting, size matters. Legal has just been low on the industry list. Its number is now up.

It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback that industry now. Easy to see how big of a threat Amazon was to those companies. But when you are being rewarded for doing what you have always done and what your predecessors always did, it’s easy to miss what is around the bend. By the time those companies’ executives realized Amazon was a direct competitor with a much better fulfillment model, it was too late.

 

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired — from vox.com by Rani Molla and Emily Stewart; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
America’s broken hiring system, explained.

Tim Brackney, president and COO of management consulting firm RGP, refers to the current situation as the “great mismatch.” That mismatch refers to a number of things, including desires, experience, and skills. And part of the reason is that the skills necessary for a given job are changing faster than ever, as companies more frequently adopt new software.

“Twenty years ago, if I had 10 years experience as a warehouse manager, the likelihood that my skills would be pretty relevant and it wouldn’t take me that long to get up to speed was pretty good,” Joseph Fuller, a management professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of a recent paper on the disconnect between employers and employees, said. “The shelf life of people’s skills for a lot of decent-paying jobs has been shortening.”

From DSC:
I also think those hiring don’t think people can reinvent themselves. Folks who hire someone (and/or the applicant tracking systems as play) always seem to look for an exact match. There is little vision and/or belief that someone can grow into a position, or to lead differently, or to go in a different but better direction. They reach for their cookie cutters and shove their imaginations and ability to think bigger aside.

Employers could help people by investing in their employees’ growth and development — even if it means they actively help an employee take a right turn. Such an employee could hopefully find a new fit within that organization — if they do, they would likely turn out to be fiercely loyal.

Even if it means offering an employee 1-2 courses a year that they want to learn about — NO STRINGS ATTACHED — the learning culture would get a huge boost!!! Peoples’ love/enjoyment of learning would grow. Morale would improve. People would feel valued.

Let me offer a personal example:

  • My old boss, Mr. Irving Charles Coleman Jr, let me take a Photoshop class while I was working in the IT Department at Kraft Foods’ headquarters. Kraft paid for it, even though it wasn’t directly related to my position at the time. That course ended up changing my life and my future direction. No kidding. Thank you Irv! You’re the best!
 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 

Legal Tech’s Predictions for Legal Technology Innovation in 2022 — from legalreader.com by Smith Johnes

Excerpts:

  • By 2024, non-lawyer workers will replace 20% of generalist lawyers in legal departments.
  • Legal departments will have automated half of legal work connected to big corporate transactions by 2024.
  • Legal departments will triple their investment in legal technology by 2025.

From DSC:
What are the ramifications for law schools and legal departments if these legal tech-related predictions come true?

 

[CA] State Bar Proposes Allowing “Paraprofessionals” to Practice Law — from acbanet.org by Tiela Chalmers

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The [CA] State Bar currently has committees working on two proposals that would, if approved, have huge impact on the legal profession. Both committees are working on amending the legal regulatory system to address ways to expand the resources available to those needing legal help. One committee is looking particularly at tech solutions, including permitting Artificial Intelligence solutions that would automate answers to legal questions. But this blog post will focus on the one that is farther along in development – permitting “paraprofessionals” to practice some types of law, with various restrictions.

Also see:

California Paraprofessional Program Working Group — from calbar.ca.gov

Excerpt:

The State Bar’s recently published California Justice Gap Study: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Californians, found that 55 percent of Californians experience at least one civil legal problem in their household each year, and Californians received no or inadequate legal help for 85 percent of these problems. A lack of knowledge about what constitutes a legal issue and concerns about legal costs lead many Californians to deal with problems on their own rather than seek legal help. A thoughtfully designed and appropriately regulated paraprofessionals program is an important component of the solution to the access to legal services crisis in California by expanding the pool of available and affordable legal service providers.

 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

How tech will change the way we work by 2030 — from techradar.com by Rob Lamb
Everyday jobs will be augmented by technology

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Blockchain will have a significant impact on work in the next decade and beyond. But if you believe the sci-fi hype or get bogged down in the technology, it can be difficult to relate them to today’s workplaces and jobs.

Excerpt:

Here are three everyday examples of their potential, expressed in terms of the business challenge they are addressing or how consumers will experience them. I don’t mean to over simplify – these are powerful tools – but I think their potential shines through best when they’re expressed in their simplest terms.

From DSC:
I have an issue with one of their examples that involves positioning AI as the savior of the hiring process:

The problem with this process isn’t just that it’s hugely time-consuming, it’s that all kinds of unconscious biases can creep in, potentially even into the job advert. These issues can be eradicated with the use of AI, which can vet ads for gendered language, sort through applicants and pick out the most suitable ones in a fraction of the time it would take an HR professional or any other human being.

AI can be biased as well — just like humans. Lamb recognizes this as well when he states that “Provided the algorithms are written correctly, AI will be key to organisations addressing issues around diversity and inclusion in the workplace.” But that’s a big IF in my mind. So far, it appears that the track record isn’t great in this area. Also, as Cathy O’Neil asserts: “Algorithms are opinions embedded in code.”

AI may not be as adept as a skilled HR professional in seeing the possibilities for someone. Can person A’s existing skillsets be leveraged in this new/other position?

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian