‘Stackable credentials’ could be future of higher education in Colorado — from thedenverchannel.com by Nicole Brady; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Stackable credentials could be future of higher education in Colorado

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

DENVER — Metropolitan State University of Denver is one of Colorado’s largest four-year institutions, but some students are spending just months there — not years — before joining the workforce.

They’re doing it by “stacking” credentials.

“Stackable credentials are really a convergence of individuals wanting to learn in smaller chunks and industries being willing to accept those chunks,” said Terry Bower, associate vice president of Innovative and Lifelong Learning at MSU Denver.

The career launchpad lays out exactly what steps are needed to work in those industries and how much money a person can earn with different credentials.

For students who decide they want to add more credentials or work toward a degree, they can return to MSU with no credits lost.

From DSC:
That part that says “The career launchpad lays out exactly what steps are needed to work in those industries and how much money a person can earn with different credentials” will likely be a part of a next-generation learning platform. Here are the skills in demand. Here are the folks offering you the ability to learn/develop those skills and here’s what you can expect to earn at different levels of this type of job. The platform will be able to offer this type of information and these types of opportunities throughout your lifetime.

Cloud-based learner profiles will be part of this new setup — along with recommendation engine-based results based upon one’s learning preferences (not learning styles — which don’t exist — but upon one’s learning preferences).

Learning from the living class room

 

The Great Resignation: The toll taken on the legal field and what comes next — from abajournal.com by Thomas MacDonald

Excerpt:

The pandemic has reshaped thinking around the value of work. The Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance: Skills and Progression Mid-Year Survey uncovered three specific priorities legal professionals are factoring into their career decisions.

  • Balance: Young professionals are more in tune with work-life balance and place a higher value on mental well-being, leisure and other activities outside of work than previous generations.
  • Family: A higher percentage of the professional workforce are mothers. Likewise, men are taking a more active role in child-rearing than previous generations, as younger professionals juggle more domestic responsibilities across the board.
  • The Long Game: Many Generation X and millennial employees have long since conceded that their retirement will likely come much later in life than their elder counterparts. The prospect of working for an extra decade—or more—has tempered the enthusiasm for grinding away during their formative years.

Also relevant/see the following articles:

8 Legal Experts on the Future of the Billable Hour — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

Are you still billing by the hour? The reality is that most lawyers are and plenty will still be using it in the year 2032. However, many legal experts agree: the billable hour is under pressure, forcing lawyers to investigate other billing methods as well.

Laura Rosseel, Senior Associate at Cambrian, explains clearly why the billable hour is a topic for discussion: ‘There are countless arguments against working with billable hours. Invoicing based on billable hours puts the risk of both unpredictability in the scope of work as well as potential inefficiency on the client, instead of the law firm that is providing the service.

‘It does not differentiate based on the value of the task at hand, the urgency, or the time of day (or night), with which the task is carried out. Additionally, it is a performance metric for lawyers that favours working more over working better, and the relentless pressure is causing junior and mid-level lawyers to leave their firms.’

Digital exhaustion: Redefining work-life balance — from enterprisersproject.com by Irvin Bishop Jr.
Is your team suffering from the digital exhaustion that so often comes with remote and hybrid work? Consider these strategies to ease the stress

As workers continue to create and collaborate in digital spaces, one of the best things we can do as leaders is to let go. Let go of preconceived schedules, of always knowing what someone is working on, of dictating when and how a project should be accomplished – in effect, let go of micromanagement. Instead, focus on hiring productive, competent workers and trust them to do their jobs. Don’t manage tasks – gauge results. Use benchmarks and deadlines to assess effectiveness and success.

What did we learn at the CLOC Conference? — from zachabramowitz.substack.com by Zach Abramowitz
QR Codes, Outside Counsel Startups Make Great Shirts and Standing Out in a Sea of CLM

Some of the tools/products/vendors Zach mentioned were:

 

China is about to regulate AI—and the world is watching — from wired.com by Jennifer Conrad
Sweeping rules will cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content.

Excerpt:

Some provisions aim to address complaints about online services. Under the rules, for instance, companies will be prohibited from using personal characteristics to offer users different prices for a product; they also will be required to notify users, and allow them to opt out, when algorithms are used to make recommendations.

Companies that violate the rules could face fines, be barred from enrolling new users, have their business licenses pulled, or see their websites or apps shut down.

Some elements of the new regulations may prove difficult or impossible to enforce. It can be technically challenging to police the behavior of an algorithm that is continually changing due to new input, for instance.

 

Why One University Is Moving Toward a Subscription Model — a podcast from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

One big theme in education-innovation circles is that the professional world is changing faster than ever, and so schools and colleges must adjust how they teach to meet those needs.

One college in St. Louis, Maryville University, is embracing that argument in a big way by revamping its curriculum and even changing its business model to include options like a subscription model—with the goal of helping its students get good jobs after graduation.

“By the end of this decade or before, students should pay for higher ed the way they pay for Netflix or their cell phone bill,” Lombardi says.

From DSC:
I thought this was an interesting conversation and I agreed with much of what Mark Lombardi, President of Maryville University, had to say. 

I appreciated Jeff’s attempts at trying to get Mark to hear that “learning styles” aren’t supported by the research. I wish Mark would have used the word “preferences” instead…as I do think learners have preferences when it comes to them learning about new topics.

 

 

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.
 

Metaverse vs. employment law: The reality of the virtual workplace — from arstechnica.com by Kate Beoiley
It is unclear how employee protections apply in the universal digital realm.

Excerpt:

When it comes to employment laws, however, it is unclear what rules of engagement apply in a universal digital realm. What counts as harassment in the metaverse? Can an avatar be discriminated against, or worse? Will national legislation protect employees or does working in the metaverse require a new rule book altogether?

Lack of legal framework
But the metaverse takes hybrid working a step further and brings with it a host of thorny employment law issues. These range from practical challenges, such as how employees are paid, to more philosophical ones, like whether avatars have a legal identity. “The legal conundrums are about as diverse as the possibilities of the metaverse itself,” says Jonathan Newman, managing associate at law firm Simmons & Simmons.

 

These 3 charts show the global growth in online learning — from weforum.org by Johnny Wood; with thanks to Ray Schroeder out on LinkedIn

Example chart:

Also relevant/see:

The company has launched 13 new degrees with colleges since 2021, bringing the total number of bachelor’s, master’s and postgraduate degrees up to 38, according to Maggioncalda.

2U saw $152.4 million from its degree segment in 2021’s fourth quarter, about 11 times the revenue Coursera brought in from its degree business over the same period. 

 
 

From DSC:
One of my sisters is a Professor of Psychology and she highly recommended that I check out the work of Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Below is an example video that was recorded on October 25, 2014 as part of the 25th Anniversary Chicago Humanities Festival, Journeys. I included some excerpted slides in this posting to give you a flavor of portions of this talk.

Description (emphasis DSC):

Each of us takes the same journey from birth to consciousness—but none of us recalls it. This early stage of life is crucial; Sigmund Freud famously obsessed over it, as do millions of parents every day. What goes on cognitively during that time, and what can parents—and other adults—do to further promote infant well-being? Join renowned psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry, recipient of the 2014 Dolores Kohl Education Prize, for this discussion of early-childhood brain development and its long-term importance.

Social & Emotional Development in Early Childhood [CC]

 

 

From DSC:
As the article below clearly relays, MOOCs did NOT fail! In the last decade, they have reached 220 million learners worldwide!

I don’t know the total number of graduates from the Ivy League — throughout all of the relevant institutions’ histories — but I would bet you that MOOCs have reached far more learners. And MOOCs did so in less than a decade. 

And you’re going to tell me MOOCs have been a failure?!!!! Are you being serious!?!?!  You can talk about completion rates all that you want to (and that misses the point, as some people sign up for MOOCs without ever intending to finish the entire course). As with other things, people get out of something what they put into that thing.


A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021 — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpts:

Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.

Originally, MOOC providers relied on universities to create courses. But that dependence is declining as more and more of the courses are created by companies every year. These corporate partners in course creation include tech giants Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

…the majority of the new courses launched on Coursera in 2021 are not from universities anymore.

These mass online courses were born without a business model. Yet within a decade, MOOCs went from no revenue to bringing in well over a half a billion dollars annually.

 

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?

 

From DSC:
As I looked at the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder…what is the role of the American Bar Association (ABA) in this type situation? How can the ABA help the United States deal with the impact/place of emerging technologies?


Clearview AI will get a US patent for its facial recognition tech — from engadget.com by J. Fingas
Critics are worried the company is patenting invasive tech.

Excerpt:

Clearview AI is about to get formal acknowledgment for its controversial facial recognition technology. Politico reports Clearview has received a US Patent and Trademark Office “notice of allowance” indicating officials will approve a filing for its system, which scans faces across public internet data to find people from government lists and security camera footage. The company just has to pay administrative fees to secure the patent.

In a Politico interview, Clearview founder Hoan Ton-That claimed this was the first facial recognition patent involving “large-scale internet data.” The firm sells its tool to government clients (including law enforcement) hoping to accelerate searches.

As you might imagine, there’s a concern the USPTO is effectively blessing Clearview’s technology and giving the company a chance to grow despite widespread objections to its technology’s very existence. 

Privacy, news, facial recognition, USPTO, internet, patent,
Clearview AI, surveillance, tomorrow, AI, artificial intelligence

 

BLOCKCHAIN INNOVATION CHALLENGE — from the American Council on Education (ACE)
About the Challenge
The challenge sought technology-enabled solutions that reoriented the education and employment ecosystem around the individuals that they aim to serve. It invited teams to articulate a vision and design pilots that addressed an ecosystem-first designed approach driving interoperability, social mobility, and learner control expanding on these essential themes:

  • Empower all learners: 
    How can learners exercise agency over their digital identities, including all records of learning, so they can share them in a secure, validated, and machine-readable way?
  • Unlock lifelong learning: 
    How can learning be better documented, validated, and shared no matter where it occurs? How can control or ownership of learning records improve the way underserved learners connect and unlock disparate learning opportunities?
  • Improve economic mobility: 
    How can blockchain help learners to find in-demand education in employment-relevant skills to advance economic mobility and to fulfill the promise of higher education???

The four winners of the Blockchain Innovation Challenge were…

 

Top 7 Artificial Intelligence Trends In 2022 — from techfunnel.com by Anirudh Menon

Excerpt:

If we look at the last couple of years, we have seen a significant leap in the way Artificial Intelligence is becoming an integral part of many organizations’ business plans. Already the journey of digital transformation has catapulted thanks to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and because of the pandemic situation, we saw significant innovation in the technology front, which will reach new heights in the year 2022 and further.

As strongly claimed by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc, the impact of artificial intelligence will be far greater than fire and electricity on humanity. Well, it might sound a bit exaggerated but what it implies is that the year 2022 is going to see new developments in this space and it will constantly create new benchmarks.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian