From DSC:
Hmmm…many colleges and universities keep a close eye on their peers and often respond with similar strategies that their peers are pursuing. But who is an organization’s peer? The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s posting below — “How a College Decides Who Its Peers Are” — stated that “there is clearly no shared definition of what constitutes a peer institution.” 

Plus, I found this item especially interesting:

Harvard University selected only three peer institutions: Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. But 22 institutions, including Bowdoin, named Harvard as a peer. Bowdoin, a small, liberal-arts college with about 1,800 undergraduate students and no graduate programs, chose 98 “peers,” including the entire Ivy League and many large universities, some of which enroll more than 10,000 students. Bowdoin itself was picked by 35 institutions as a peer. All of them were small, liberal-arts colleges or universities that primarily serve undergraduates.

I have often thought that colleges and universities should care far less about what their peers are doing. Rather, they should move forward with their own solid visions, bold actions, and well-thought-through strategies — as there can be a great deal of danger and risk in the status quo.

Too many alternatives have been appearing — and will likely continue to appear — on the lifelong learning landscapes. Most likely, these new organizations will offer in-demand credentials/skills as well as the capabilities of helping people constantly reinvent themselves — with far less expensive price tags associated with these types of offerings.


How a College Decides Who Its Peers Are — from chronicle.com by Susan Poser
Questions of institutional identity are at the core of the process.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The mismatch between whom an institution chose as peers, and the colleges that reciprocated, pervades the data set. It raises the question of how institutions designate peers, which is a mystery. In some cases it is likely to be decided by someone in the Office of Institutional Research or the provost’s office in response to the Ipeds survey, while in others perhaps some process leads to a consensus among administrators. Regardless, there is clearly no shared definition of what constitutes a peer institution.

Also relevant/see:


 

Per Johann Neem, the innovations that promise to save higher ed are a farce.

The University in Ruins — from chronicle.com by Johann N. Neem
The “innovations” that promise to save higher ed are a farce.

From DSC:
First of all,
I appreciated Johann Neem mentioning and/or discussing several books in one posting:

  • Ronald G. Musto’s The Attack on Higher Education (2021)
  • Arthur Levine’s and Scott J. Van Pelt’s The Great Upheaval (2021)
  • Bill Readings’ The University in Ruins (1996)
  • Ronald J. Daniels’ What Universities Owe Democracy (2021)

And as a disclosure here, I have not read those books. 

Below are excerpts with some of my comments:

It’s already happening. Today, we walk among the ruins of an institution that once had a larger purpose. It’s not clear what role universities should play in society, and to what or to whom they are accountable, other than their corporate interests.

To some, that’s not a problem, at least according to Arthur Levine and Scott J. Van Pelt in The Great Upheaval (2021). They see higher education undergoing the same transformation that reshaped the music, film, and newspaper industries. Rather than place-based education overseen by tenured professors, they anticipate “the rise of anytime, anyplace, consumer-driven content and source agnostic, unbundled, personalized education paid for by subscription.”

Between Musto’s existential fears of disruption and Levine and Van Pelt’s embrace of it lies a third path. It takes the form of a wager — outlined by Ronald J. Daniels in What Universities Owe Democracy (2021) — that universities can and should continue to matter because of their importance in civic democratic life.

The article covers how the learning ecosystems within higher education have morphed from their religious roots to being an apparatus of the nation-state to then becoming a relatively independent bureaucratic system to other things and to where we are today.

Along the journey discussing these things, one of the things that caught my eye was this statement:

Hopkins, in this sense, lived up to its founding president Daniel Coit Gilman’s 19th-century aspiration that universities be places that acquire, conserve, refine, and distribute knowledge.

From DSC:
While I completely agree with that aspiration, I think more institutions of higher education could follow what John Hopkins University did with their efforts concerning the Covid-19 situation, as Neem mentioned. Generally speaking, institutions of higher education are not distributing knowledge to the levels that Gilman envisioned years ago.

In fact, these days those working within K12 are doing a whole lot better at sharing information with society than those who work within higher education are. For example, when I search Twitter for K12 educators who share content on Twitter, they are out there all over the place — and many with tens of thousands of followers. They share information with parents, families, fellow educators, students, school boards, and others. Yet this is not the case for those working in higher education. Faculty members normally:

  • aren’t out on Twitter
  • don’t blog
  • don’t have a podcast
  • don’t write for society at large. Instead, their expertise is often locked up — existing behind paywalls in academic journals. In other words, they talk to each other.

Later on…

As Daniels intuits, without a larger purpose to hold them fast, there is nothing to prevent universities from being buffeted by winds until they have lost direction. That is what Readings foresaw: Globalization liberates universities from national fetters, but at the risk of ruin.

From DSC:
While globalization may have something to do with universities becoming unanchored from their original purposes, globalization isn’t at the top of my mind when I reflect upon what’s been happening with colleges and universities these last few decades.

To see but one area of massive change, let’s take a brief look at college sports. There are now multimillion-dollar stadium projects, enormous coaches’ salaries, and numerous situations where tax-paying citizens can’t even watch sporting events without tons of advertisements being thrown into their faces every few seconds. Personally speaking, on numerous occasions, I couldn’t even access the games at all — as I wasn’t paying for the subscriptions to the appropriate providers.

Also, as another example of becoming anchored — and going back to the 1980’s — I attended Northwestern University for my undergraduate degree in Economics. While I have several wonderful lifelong friends from that experience for whom I’m deeply grateful, even back then NU had already moved far away from its motto which is based on Philippians 4:8.

Instead, please allow me to tell you what that learning community taught me and strongly encouraged me to think about:

  • You are only successful if you have the corner office, drive the higher numbered BMW’s, and have many people reporting to you.
  • If you make a lot of money.
  • You are supposed to compete against others vs. being in relationships with others. As but one example here, our test scores were published — by our Social Security numbers — outside our professors’ offices for all to see how we measured up to our classmates.

In fact, I’m not even sure that I would use the word “community” at all when I reflect upon my years at Northwestern. Instead, a WIIFM approach was encouraged (i.e., What’s In It For Me? where you are supposed to look out for #1). It took me years to unlearn some of those “lessons” and “learnings.”

But I realize that that’s not the case with all learning communities.

As Neem alluded to, I love the idea that an institution of higher education can — and often does — impact students’ hearts as well as minds. That was the focus at Calvin College (now Calvin University). Our oldest daughter went there and she was profoundly and positively influenced by her experiences there. In that context, students were encouraged to be in relationships with one another. There was plenty of hugging, praying for one another, etc. going on in that setting. There truly was community there.

***

Neem doesn’t think much of Levine’s and Van Pelt’s perspectives. He claims there’s nothing new in their book. He seems to discard the arguments being made about the cost of higher ed and, like many others, clings to the intellectual roots/purpose of higher ed.

While I’m not against intellect or pursuing knowledge — in fact, I’m all for it — I just have a problem when the price of doing so continues to become out of reach for soooooo many people.

Personally, I’ve tried to lower the cost of obtaining a degree within higher education for many years…but I was/we were only successful in doing so for a few years (and that was during a pilot of online-based learning). Yohan Na and I created the graphic below in 2008 for example — as I was trying to raise awareness of the dangers of the status quo:
.

.

So from a cost/access perspective, Levine’s and Van Pelt’s perspectives here sound pretty good to me. It appears to be much more affordable and realistic for the masses. Otherwise, the image/reality of the ivory tower is maintained…allowing “intellectuals” to continue to live and operate within their own sphere/hive/tribe.

Also, we need an AI-backed system of presenting which skills are needed and then how to get them. The ways things are set up today, institutions of traditional higher education have not been able to deal with the current pace of change out there.

As a final comment here…
The changing directions/purposes of institutions of higher education present a good example of why I entitled this blog Learning Ecosystems — as the systems that we use to learn and grow in are constantly morphing:

  • People come and go
  • Tools and vendors come and go
  • Purposes, focuses, and/or mission statements change
  • Our sources of information (i.e., our streams of content) come and go
  • Etc.
 

What is Legal Tech, and How Is It Changing the Legal Industry? — from startup.info

Excerpt:

Legal technology is a branch of technological innovation that targets and affects the legal sector specifically. The considerable pace of new invention in tech sectors – bolstered by government investment in UK-based innovation and growth – has highlighted some avenues of innovation that could change the face of the legal profession, streamlining judicial processes and helping firms during discovery.

However, in concert with the rapid pace of new technology that benefits legal practise, the technology’s legal implications are also being raised. With a technological landscape that has far outstripped the remit of conventional law, demand for technology lawyers has increased to enable businesses and lawmakers to navigate new tech possibilities.

Four Important Technology Trends for Law Firms in 2022 — from jdsupra.com

Excerpt:

It is easy to say (two years now into the pandemic) that COVID-19 changed the legal profession forever. After a massive shift in 2020 and 2021 to working and conducting court proceedings remotely, with the help of many remote technologies, many legal professionals may wonder what lies ahead from a technology standpoint. After such a dramatic shift, are there even more disruptions to embrace?

The answer is yes! The world turns, technology keeps evolving, and so too will the legal services industry. Below are predictions of technology trends that will continue to be important in 2022 and help shape the industry in the years ahead.

With RemoteDepo™ by U.S. Legal Support, everyone can participate in a remote deposition and interact as if they were in the same conference room. With an internet connection and webcam-equipped device, you can communicate in realtime, observe witness body language and seamlessly facilitate questioning.

Depositions. Virtually. Anywhere. Keep your discovery schedule on track with our secure video conference solution for remote depositions, arbitrations, hearings and other proceedings – RemoteDepo™.

How Legal AI Technology Adoption Leads to Real-World Results — from jdsupra.com

Excerpt:

Contracting is just one area where in-house lawyers and legal ops professionals are seeing real-world results by implementing AI. As innovation continues to disrupt the legal tech world, AI is being introduced into nearly every aspect of practice and business. But now, AI has evolved beyond a buzzword to provide meaningful – and impactful – results.

Ironclad’s New Connect Tool ‘Cuts Contracting Time By 40% — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

CLM Ironclad has launched a new tool called Connect, which creates a centralised view of the contracting process for all parties and, they claim, can reduce contract completion times by over 40% – which is a lot whether you are a busy inhouser, or a law firmer on the billable hour.

The new capability allows you to store all communications about a deal in one place, ‘even attachments and months-long email threads’ and allows you to keep everyone involved in negotiating a contract ‘in the loop’.

 

Right Now, Your Best Employees Are Eyeing the Exits– from chronicle.com by Marci K. Walton
To stay, they need better pay, reasonable hours, and an end to mission-based gaslighting.

Excerpt:

Right now, your best midlevel manager is updating her résumé. Your hardest-working director is controlling his excitement after learning the salary range for a private-sector opening. Your most trustworthy entry-level professional is writing a resignation letter because her new corporate position doubles her pay and doesn’t require nights or weekends.

Two years of pandemic life have left campus staff members beyond burned out. They are done. And they are leaving or thinking about it in droves. I know because I was one of them. After nearly 13 years working in residence life — a field to which I was deeply committed — I left higher education last March for the private sector. The move increased my salary by 50 percent and cut my workload in half.

This tweet was mentioned/linked to in the above article:

 

Resource via @ernperez
at this article/page.

From DSC:

Cloud-based learner profiles are a likely element of our future learning ecosystems

 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 

Top Ten HR Trends For The 2022 Workplace — from forbes.com by Jeanne Meister

As we enter 2022, changes in how we work, where we work, who we work with, why we work, and the technologies we use are in continual flux. Many of these changes started prior to the pandemic, were accelerated by it, and have become permanent aspects of the workplace.

Just as I have done in 2016, 2017201820192020, and 2021, here is my countdown of what you should include on your HR roadmap for 2022.

Also see:

 

 

Web 3.0 vs Metaverse: What’s the difference? — from homo-digitalis.net by Fabian Schmidt

Excerpt:

So what is Web 3.0?

On Twitter, a user asked if someone could explain the term in baby talk. I thought one answer was good:

    • Web 1.0 = Read
    • Web 2.0 = Read/Write
    • Web 3.0 = Read/Write/Own

This is a sufficient simplification to gain an initial understanding. Yet a bit more information is still important.

Let’s get one thing straight right away. As with all things in the making, there is not yet a clear-cut definition of Web 3.0. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the classic web, thinks of the semantic web as the next big step.

Since 2020/2021, there is another idea of Web3, and it is inspired by a new form of technology: Blockchains. At its core is a new wave of decentralization.

Besides decentralization, other key topics related to Web 3.0 include Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), Non-fungible-tokens (NFT), and Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

The metaverse is a digital world that is meant to feel as real as possible and can represent all concerns of human existence. From leisure to work.

Fabian Schmidt, Homo Digitalis, 2021


Bill Gates: Most Work Meetings Will Happen In The Metaverse In 3 Years — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

“Within the next two or three years, I predict most virtual meetings will move from 2D camera image grids—which I call the Hollywood Squares model, although I know that probably dates me—to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars,” said Gates in the post. “Both Facebook and Microsoft recently unveiled their visions for this, which gave most people their first view of what it will look like”.


Adidas to enter the metaverse with first NFT products — from dezeen.com by Rima Sabina Aouf

Excerpt:

Adidas has announced its next collection will be a mix of digital and physical items, and will be sold as NFTs produced with collaborators such as Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Titled Into the Metaverse, the collection will comprise virtual wearables that buyers can use in online platforms, but also the physical clothing to match.

It is Adidas’ first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens – essentially, digital collectibles with proven authenticity. NFTs act as a blockchain-based certificate of ownership, allowing pieces to be authenticated, bought and collected.


How Coinbase thinks about the Metaverse — from blog.coinbase.com by Brian Armstrong & Alex Reeve

Excerpt:

Primitive Metaverse platforms are selling virtual land for millions of dollars. Billions more are being invested in Metaverse startups. And Mark Zuckerberg recently renamed his entire company to reflect a focus on building the Metaverse.

Recently, our team put together an internal presentation about the Metaverse, who’s working on it, and how crypto will help make it real. I thought the presentation was well done, so I’m sharing most of the slides here.

Like Matt[hew Ball], we define the Metaverse as:

The future of the internet: A massively-scaled, persistent, interactive, and interoperable real-time platform comprised of interconnected virtual worlds where people can socialize, work, transact, play, and create.

The Metaverse is the distant evolution of Web3. In its most complete form, it will be a series of decentralized, interconnected virtual worlds with a fully functioning economy where people can do just about anything they can do in the physical world.

Who is building the Metaverse today?

 

3 major trends affecting ed tech companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
We reviewed what executives said during their latest earnings calls to better understand patterns in the growing sector.

Excerpts:

Earlier on the call, he said Coursera’s entry-level certificates — which are developed by the likes of Facebook, Google, IBM, Intuit and Salesforce — attracted more than 2 million student enrollments since 2018.

“New entrants to the sector, such as corporations and online education companies, will offer genuine competition to traditional colleges, especially as pricing becomes more of a focus,” analysts wrote in the report. 

Several ed tech companies are seeing returns from efforts to work with companies to train their employees.

Officials at Udemy, a major MOOC platform that went public in October, said during a call with analysts in early December that their work with companies now accounts for 39% of their revenue – up from 23% a year ago.

 

From DSC:
I’m not saying not to go there…but one has to be very careful when dealing with cryptocurrencies. As the items below show, you can mess up…big time.

From DSC:
And that bit about the decimal point is key! I tried to locate an article that I recently read that described how one person lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because he misplaced the decimal in his asking price for a cryptocurrency. It was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but he said that his big thumbs got in the way. He mistyped the asking price and hit the Enter key before he recognized his mistake. He sold the cryptocurrency for a fraction of its real value. In that case, one would hope that the buyer would extend some grace and readjust the price. But that didn’t happen in this case. Ouch!


From DSC:
Again, I’m not saying that this area may not represent an enormous new, impactful, prosperous wave to ride. But I need to do a whole lot more learning before I feel comfortable jumping into this ocean.

That said when I read the quote below…I wondered:


 

 

From DSC:
The following items are from a recent presentation by Zach Abramowitz entitledLegal Disruption: Key Trends to Watch in 2022.” By the way, you can sign up for Zach’s legal newsletter at zachabramowitz.substack.com/


Marble Law

 

Darrow raises $20 million to uncover corporate legal violations and bring justice to all — from calcalistech.com by Meir Orbach
The Israeli startup is focused on locating violations that have caused damage to millions of people on average – the threshold for a potential class-action lawsuit

Excerpt:

Darrow has developed a machine learning-based platform which discovers legal violations by some of the biggest corporations in the world. Operating chiefly in the U.S., the company is focused on locating violations that have caused damage to millions of people on average – the threshold for a potential class-action lawsuit.

 

TermScout

Term Scout

 

 

If the vision of the “Web3” comes to fruition, how might these developments impact the future of lifelong learning? [Christian]

The next age of the internet could suck power away from Big Tech while living on the same backbone as cryptocurrencies. Here’s what to know about Web3. — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

  • Web3 is the next generation of the internet and will exist on the blockchain.
  • It will be decentralized, meaning it won’t be controlled entities like Facebook or Google.
  • Twitter, GameStop, Reddit, and VC firm a16z are all putting resources into building Web3.

One aspect of the metaverse is that users will hopefully be able to go virtually from platform to platform with one single account — just like we will in Web3. 

And NFTs, one-of-a-kind tokens representing your ownership of a virtual good, could be more easily bought and sold with cryptocurrencies within a space like Web3. 


From DSC:
How might “Web3” translate into the future of lifelong learning? Here’s one vision/possibility:

There could be several entities and services feeding one's cloud-based learner profile

Each person would have a learner profile/account that could seamlessly log into multiple education/training providers’ platforms and services. The results of that learning could be stored in one’s cloud-based learner profile. This type of next-generation learning platform would still need subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, and other team members. But the focus would be on building skills — skills that an artificial intelligence-backed interface would demonstrate are currently being requested by the modern workplace.  This constantly-being-updated list of skills could then link to the learning-related experiences and resources that people could choose from in order to develop those skills.

The following vision/graphic also comes to my mind:

Learning from the living class room


 

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.

 

Discovery Education Collaborates with AWS to Enhance Recommendation Engine — from discoveryeducation.com

Excerpt:

SILVER SPRING, MD [On Monday,?September 27, 2021] — Discovery Education—a worldwide edtech leader supporting learning wherever it takes place — announced that it has enhanced its K-12 learning platform with Amazon Web Services (AWS) machine learning capabilities. The pioneering use of machine learning within the Discovery Education platform helps educators spend less time searching for digital resources and more time teaching.

Several months of planning and deep collaboration with AWS enabled Discovery Education to innovatively integrate Amazon Personalize technology into the “Just For You” area of its K-12 platform. The “Just For You” row connects educators to a unique, personalized set of resources based on the grade level taught, preferences, and assets used in the past.

“For some time, educators have desired more resources to help personalize teaching and learning. ML technology is already being used to curate our entertainment experiences, help with workforce productivity, and more, and it’s exciting to see this innovation is being integrated into classrooms,” said Alec Chalmers, Director, EdTech and GovTech Markets at AWS.

From DSC:
It looks like Amazon continues to make inroads into the education space. Team up this type of recommendation engine with an AI that’s pulling the latest skills that are needed for — and embedded within — job descriptions and you have a learning powerhouse. 

Disruption ahead…?

 

Learning from the living class room
Also see:

  • How Machine Learning Is Having an Impact on Education — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
    Discovery Education has partnered with Amazon Web Services to enhance its platform with machine learning. It’s one of many ways machine learning is being used in K-12 today.
 

Could Coursera become as prestigious as Harvard? This expert thinks so. — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

Big changes are coming to higher education, and those changes will be bigger and more disruptive than many college leaders realize as online education grows in both size and prestige.

That’s the view of Arthur Levine, in a new book called “The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future,” which he co-wrote with Scott Van Pelt, a lecturer and associate director of the Communication Program for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

As more students turn to these degrees for their credentials, they may come to see these corporate platforms as the provider of learning rather than worry about which college is the one behind the scenes doing the teaching, Levine says.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian