The academic career is broken  — from chronicle.com by Hannah Leffingwell

Excerpt:

We are in the midst of a crisis in academe, to be sure, but it’s not an economic crisis. It’s a crisis of faith. The question is not just whether our institutions pay faculty fairly, but whether any wage is worth the subservience and sacrifice that modern higher ed requires. Too often, colleges perceive themselves as voluntary, meritocratic institutions dedicated to a “higher” moral purpose. Or, as one of the characters in Babel puts it: “The professors like to pretend that the tower is a refuge for pure knowledge, that it sits above the mundane concerns of business and commerce, but it does not.”

Have these strikes solved the central paradox of academe: a capitalist institution that claims it is above capitalism while exploiting students, faculty, and staff for financial gain? No, they have not.

It gives me no pleasure to say that the system I have dedicated my entire life to is broken — that it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Also related to careers and higher education, see:

36% of higher ed supervisors are looking for other work, study finds — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpt:

Over a third of higher education supervisors, 36%, are likely to look for a new job in the next year, according to a new survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, CUPA-HR. And only 40% said they were interested in finding employment opportunities at their current institution.

 

From DSC:
Let’s put together a nationwide campaign that would provide a website — or a series of websites if an agreement can’t be reached amongst the individual states — about learning how to learn. In business, there’s a “direct-to-consumer” approach. Well, we could provide a “direct-to-learner” approach — from cradle to grave. Seeing as how everyone is now required to be a lifelong learner, such a campaign would have enormous benefits to all of the United States. This campaign would be located in airports, subway stations, train stations, on billboards along major highways, in libraries, and in many more locations.

We could focus on things such as:

  • Quizzing yourself / retrieval practice
  • Spaced retrieval
  • Interleaving
  • Elaboration
  • Chunking
  • Cognitive load
  • Learning by doing (active learning)
  • Journaling
  • The growth mindset
  • Metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking)
  • Highlighting doesn’t equal learning
  • There is deeper learning in the struggle
  • …and more.

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more


NOTE:
The URL I’m using above doesn’t exist, at least not at the time of this posting.
But I’m proposing that it should exist.


A group of institutions, organizations, and individuals could contribute to this. For example The Learning Scientists, Daniel Willingham, Donald Clark, James Lang, Derek Bruff, The Learning Agency Lab, Robert Talbert, Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, Eva Keffenheim, Benedict Carey, Ken Bain, and many others.

Perhaps there could be:

  • discussion forums to provide for social interaction/learning
  • scheduled/upcoming webinars
  • how to apply the latest evidence-based research in the classroom
  • link(s) to learning-related platforms and/or resources
 

ChatGPT Creator Is Talking to Investors About Selling Shares at $29 Billion Valuation — from wsj.com by Berber Jin and Miles Kruppa
Tender offer at that valuation would make OpenAI one of the most valuable U.S. startups

Here’s how Microsoft could use ChatGPT — from The Algorithm by Melissa Heikkilä

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Microsoft is reportedly eyeing a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the startup that created the viral chatbot ChatGPT, and is planning to integrate it into Office products and Bing search. The tech giant has already invested at least $1 billion into OpenAI. Some of these features might be rolling out as early as March, according to The Information.

This is a big deal. If successful, it will bring powerful AI tools to the masses. So what would ChatGPT-powered Microsoft products look like? We asked Microsoft and OpenAI. Neither was willing to answer our questions on how they plan to integrate AI-powered products into Microsoft’s tools, even though work must be well underway to do so. However, we do know enough to make some informed, intelligent guesses. Hint: it’s probably good news if, like me, you find creating PowerPoint presentations and answering emails boring.

And speaking of Microsoft and AI, also see:

I have maintained for several years, including a book ‘AI for Learning’, that AI is the technology of the age and will change everything. This is unfolding as we speak but it is interesting to ask who the winners are likely to be.

Donald Clark

The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI — from maggieappleton.com by
Proving you’re a human on a web flooded with generative AI content

Assumed audience:

People who have heard of GPT-3 / ChatGPT, and are vaguely following the advances in machine learning, large language models, and image generators. Also people who care about making the web a flourishing social and intellectual space.

That dark forest is about to expand. Large Language Models (LLMs) that can instantly generate coherent swaths of human-like text have just joined the party.

 

DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis Urges Caution on AI — from time.com by Billy Perrigo

It is in this uncertain climate that Hassabis agrees to a rare interview, to issue a stark warning about his growing concerns. “I would advocate not moving fast and breaking things.”

“When it comes to very powerful technologies—and obviously AI is going to be one of the most powerful ever—we need to be careful,” he says. “Not everybody is thinking about those things. It’s like experimentalists, many of whom don’t realize they’re holding dangerous material.” Worse still, Hassabis points out, we are the guinea pigs.

Demis Hassabis 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Hassabis says these efforts are just the beginning. He and his colleagues have been working toward a much grander ambition: creating artificial general intelligence, or AGI, by building machines that can think, learn, and be set to solve humanity’s toughest problems. Today’s AI is narrow, brittle, and often not very intelligent at all. But AGI, Hassabis believes, will be an “epoch-defining” technology—like the harnessing of electricity—that will change the very fabric of human life. If he’s right, it could earn him a place in history that would relegate the namesakes of his meeting rooms to mere footnotes.

But with AI’s promise also comes peril. In recent months, researchers building an AI system to design new drugs revealed that their tool could be easily repurposed to make deadly new chemicals. A separate AI model trained to spew out toxic hate speech went viral, exemplifying the risk to vulnerable communities online. And inside AI labs around the world, policy experts were grappling with near-term questions like what to do when an AI has the potential to be commandeered by rogue states to mount widespread hacking campaigns or infer state-level nuclear secrets.

AI-assisted plagiarism? ChatGPT bot says it has an answer for that — from theguardian.com by Alex Hern
Silicon Valley firm insists its new text generator, which writes human-sounding essays, can overcome fears over cheating

Excerpt:

Headteachers and university lecturers have expressed concerns that ChatGPT, which can provide convincing human-sounding answers to exam questions, could spark a wave of cheating in homework and exam coursework.

Now, the bot’s makers, San Francisco-based OpenAI, are trying to counter the risk by “watermarking” the bot’s output and making plagiarism easier to spot.

Schools Shouldn’t Ban Access to ChatGPT — from time.com by Joanne Lipman and Rebecca Distler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students need now, more than ever, to understand how to navigate a world in which artificial intelligence is increasingly woven into everyday life. It’s a world that they, ultimately, will shape.

We hail from two professional fields that have an outsize interest in this debate. Joanne is a veteran journalist and editor deeply concerned about the potential for plagiarism and misinformation. Rebecca is a public health expert focused on artificial intelligence, who champions equitable adoption of new technologies.

We are also mother and daughter. Our dinner-table conversations have become a microcosm of the argument around ChatGPT, weighing its very real dangers against its equally real promise. Yet we both firmly believe that a blanket ban is a missed opportunity.

ChatGPT: Threat or Menace? — from insidehighered.com by Steven Mintz
Are fears about generative AI warranted?

And see Joshua Kim’s A Friendly Attempt to Balance Steve Mintz’s Piece on Higher Ed Hard Truths out at nsidehighered.com | Comparing the health care and higher ed systems.

 



What Leaders Should Know About Emerging Technologies — from forbes.com by Benjamin Laker

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The rapid pace of change is driven by a “perfect storm” of factors, including the falling cost of computing power, the rise of data-driven decision-making, and the increasing availability of new technologies. “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent,” concluded Andrew Doxsey, co-founder of Libra Incentix, in an interview. “Unlike previous technological revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving exponentially rather than linearly. Furthermore, it disrupts almost every industry worldwide.”

I asked ChatGPT to write my cover letters. 2 hiring managers said they would have given me an interview but the letters lacked personality. — from businessinsider.com by Beatrice Nolan

Key points:

  • An updated version of the AI chatbot ChatGPT was recently released to the public.
  • I got the chatbot to write cover letters for real jobs and asked hiring managers what they thought.
  • The managers said they would’ve given me a call but that the letters lacked personality.

.



 

What factors help active learning classrooms succeed? — from rtalbert.org Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

The idea that the space in which you do something, affects the thing you do is the basic premise behind active learning classrooms (ALCs).

The biggest message I get from this study is that in order to have success with active learning classrooms, you can’t just build them — they have to be introduced as part of an ecosystem that touches almost all parts of the daily function of a university: faculty teaching, faculty development and support, facilities, and the Registrar’s Office to name a few. Without that ecosystem before you build an ALC, it seems hard to have success with students after it’s built. You’re more likely to have an expensive showcase that looks good but ultimately does not fulfill its main purpose: Promoting and amplifying active learning, and moving the culture of a campus toward active engagement in the classroom.

From DSC:
Thank you Robert for your article/posting here! And thank you for being one of the few faculty members who:

  • Regularly share information out on LinkedIn, Twitter, and your blog (something that is all too rare for faculty members throughout higher education)
  • Took a sabbatical to go work at a company that designs and develops numerous options for implementing active learning setups throughout the worlds of higher education, K12 education, and the corporate world as well. You are taking your skills to help contribute to the corporate world, while learning things out in the corporate world, and then  taking these learnings back into the world of higher education.

This presupposes something controversial: That the institution will take a stand on the issue that there is a preferred way to teach, namely active learning, and that the institution will be moving toward making active learning the default pedagogy at the institution. Putting this stake in the ground, and then investing not only in facilities but in professional development and faculty incentives to make it happen, again calls for vigorous, sustained leadership — at the top, and especially by the teaching/learning center director.

Robert Talbert


 

It takes a village — from chieflearningofficer.com by Joe Mitchell
Colleges, companies and training providers have a unique opportunity to work together to address tech worker shortages and create more opportunities and upward mobility.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But what higher education institutions and companies need isn’t a totally new approach that ignores the old systems — it’s someone to act as connective tissue between them. Fortunately, an emerging cadre of education providers are doing just that: developing the curriculum to help students earn industry-recognized credentials that can help them get good jobs right away in high-demand fields, and then working with universities to get that curriculum to their students.

The environment seems ripe for this type of collaboration.2020 survey of business leaders found that 70 percent think higher education institutions should be more involved in job training. Nearly 90 percent say colleges and universities could help their students learn industry-specific knowledge and advanced technical skills.

 

Five Ways to Strengthen the Employee-Employer Relationship in 2023 — from sloanreview.mit.edu by Ally MacDonald; with thanks to Roberto Ferraro for this resource
Organizational experts offer insights on how to make meaningful changes to engage employees in the coming year.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Before 2020, the structure of jobs evolved sluggishly and unimaginatively, despite evidence that traditional ways of working often harmed employee well-being. The past two years have provided leaders with an opportunity to rethink how their employees work. Those seizing this chance are applying an R&D mindset to how jobs are designed, with the goal of structuring work in ways that allow their employees to thrive while on the job and in their nonwork lives as well. It is these forward-thinking leaders who will make 2023 the most innovative year ever when it comes to how people work.

From DSC:
I like the idea of an R&D mindset. Very nice.

 

The Edge Newsletter from Goldie Blumenstyk

Subject: The Edge: Today’s Issues in Schools; Tomorrow’s Higher-Ed Challenges

Excerpts:

Issues like chronic absenteeism in big urban and rural districts, the impact of classroom shootings on kids, and schools’ struggles to handle teenagers’ mental-health challenges might not be day-to-day concerns for college leaders and those who work with them. But these will matter to higher ed in the not-so-distant future, as those K-to-12 students make their way to college. And they could matter even more if those students don’t ever even make it to college.

Words of wisdom:

Those of us who might be a little higher-ed siloed in our thinking on education would do well to widen our perspective. 

From DSC:
And it isn’t just about the impacts of COVID-19 either — though those things are very important. We would do well to get out of our siloes and practice some high-level design thinking to implement a cradle-to-grave, lifelong learning ecosystem. The vocational and corporate training worlds are highly relevant here as well.

 

 

The Work-From-Anywhere War Is Beginning — from wired.com by Bruce Daisley
Forget return-to-office mandates. The most sought-after talent want ultimate flexibility. Their bosses need to get on board.

Excerpt:

Who calls the shots on how many days you end up working in the office? It has gradually dawned on bosses that it isn’t them. The real power holders? The elusive “top talent” that every firm is trying to attract.

Top talent doesn’t just want hybrid work, they want to work from wherever they want. “There are two kinds of companies,” Choudhury explains. “One is going to embrace work-from-anywhere, and the second is in denial—I feel those companies will lose their workforce.” He argues that the “companies that are trying to drag back time will lose some of their best talent, and that dynamic will force these companies to catch up.”

 

What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble’s Surprising Turnaround? — from tedgioia.substack.com by Ted Gioia
Digital platforms are struggling, meanwhile a 136-year-old book retailer is growing again. But why?

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Daunt refused to play this game. He wanted to put the best books in the window. He wanted to display the most exciting books by the front door. Even more amazing, he let the people working in the stores make these decisions.

This is James Daunt’s super power: He loves books.

But I almost hate to say it, because the lesson is so simple.

If you want to sell music, you must love those songs. If you want to succeed in journalism, you must love those newspapers. If you want to succeed in movies, you must love the cinema.

But this kind of love is rare nowadays. I often see record labels promote new artists for all sorts of gimmicky reasons—even labels I once trusted such as Deutsche Grammophon or Concord. I’ve come to doubt whether the people in charge really love the music.

 

From DSC:
For those who dog the “doomsayers” of higher ed…

  • You need to realize many “doomsayers” are trying to get traditional institutions of higher education to change, experiment, lower their price tags, collaborate with K12 and/or with the corporate/vocational realms, and to innovate
  • While many of those same institutions haven’t closed (at least not yet), there are many examples of budget cuts, downsizing, layoffs, early retirements, etc.
  • Many of those same institutions are not the same as they were 20-30 years ago — not even close. This is becoming especially true for liberal arts colleges.

Here’s one example that made me post this reflection:

Why some rural universities are dropping dozens of programs — from npr.org by Ason Fuller, Lee Hale, and Sarah McCammon

NPR’s Sarah McCammon talks with Hechinger Report Author Jon Marcus about the financial woes of rural universities and why some are dropping dozens of programs.

Excerpt:

Many colleges and universities in rural America are slashing budgets as enrollment numbers continue to dwindle. And often, the first things to be cut are humanities programs like history and English. It’s forcing some students to consider transferring to other schools or leaving higher education altogether. Jon Marcus has been covering this erosion of funding at rural universities and its domino effects with The Hechinger Report, and he joins us now. Welcome to the program.

 

From DSC:
For me, I wish politicians and legislators would stay out of the way and let public and private educators make the decisions. But if any politician is about to vote on significant education-related policies, laws, etc. — I would like to suggest that society require them to either:

  • teach a K12-based class for at least one month
    or
  • be in the classroom for the entire day to observe — and do this for at least one month 

Perhaps we would have far less standardized testing. Perhaps we would have far more joy and wonder — for the teachers as well as for the students. Perhaps lifelong learning — and the love of learning — would get the wind in its sails that it so desperately needs.
.


From DSC:
Along these lines of enjoyment in everyday things, could this type of thing happen more within education?

 

From DSC:
For those seeking a doctorate in education: Here’s a potential topic for your doctoral thesis.

Homelessness is a huge issue. It’s a complex issue, with many layers, variables, and causes to it. I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that we are all one to two steps away from being homeless, and I agree with that.

But as I was passing a homeless person asking for money on the exit ramp from a local highway the other day, I wondered what place, if any, education played (or didn’t play) in people’s lives. Was/is there any common denominator or set of experiences with their education that we can look at? If so, can we use design thinking to get at some of those root issues? For examples:

  • Was school easy for them? Hard for them?
  • A source of joy for them? A source of pain for them?
  • Were they engaged or disengaged?
  • Were they able to pursue their interests and passions?

It might turn out that education had little to do with things. It could have been health issues, broken relationships, systemic issues, the loss of a job, addictions, intergenerational “chains,” or many other things. 

But it’s worth someone researching this. Such studies and interviews could turn up some helpful directions and steps to take for our future.

#homelessness #society #education #passions #participation
#research #educationreform #K12 #lifelonglearning

 

Some Day In Higher Education: Predictions And Possibilities For A Jolly Academic New Year — from forbes.com by Ann Kirschner

Excerpt:

  • Partnering with the private sector. Some university will have a clear strategy and adequate staff to develop strategic partnerships with key regional economic players. These would include internship/apprenticeship student opportunities and curricular initiatives including part-time teaching roles for professors of practice in rapidly changing technologies.
  • Looking for presidential talent in new places. Some university will vet its new president for skills and experience as leaders of complex organizations in an era of disruption, with a Ph.D. as a optional nice-to-have. There just aren’t enough good ex-provosts and deans to go around.
  • An educated board of trustees. Some university will provide its trustees with a realistic understanding of the highly competitive and complex world of higher education today. Nostalgia for the good old days and a roomful of well-meaning financial experts can strangle innovation at a time when the university should be the leader in solving the world’s challenges, starting with the exploding need for advanced, scalable, affordable education.

Redefining the professoriate. Some university will reject the institutional shame of relying on overworked and underpaid adjunct faculty and on graduate students who are headed for those same dead-end adjunct positions. Some university will evolve the tenure process into one that celebrates and supports faculty as innovative teachers and rewards their critical role in student career development and service to the university.

 

Top challenges for L&D leaders in 2023 — from chieflearningofficer.com by Ken Blanchard

Excerpts:

From an HR perspective, survey respondents reported that the biggest challenges they expect as HR and L&D leaders in 2023, in ranked order, are:

  1. Capacity and resources
  2. Turnover and attrition
  3. Improving engagement and experience
  4. Adapting to a hybrid culture

From DSC:
I wonder if many in higher education might respond similarly…? Perhaps some even in the K-12 space as well.

Also see:

This posting from William Kennedy-Long (re: instructional design) out on LinkedIn:

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

I read Clark Quinn’s outstanding article which I highly recommend reading, entitled Performance Focus For Deeper Learning Design.

Immediately, I was captivated by what it and he had to say, such that I wrote a short piece to follow up on it.

What are on-ramps? Here’s how to build them for all adult learners to reach their academic potential — from chieflearningofficer.com by Michelle Westfort

Excerpt:

This may come as a surprise — adult learners over 25 make up nearly 40 percent of today’s U.S. undergraduate population at colleges and universities. However, these learners often find themselves treated as outliers by institutions designed for traditional students, which leads to poorer learner outcomes and, as a result, barriers to social mobility.

To ensure adult learners can meaningfully participate in your workforce education program, organizations can build on-ramps capable of accommodating all learners.

On-ramps provide employees access to high-quality academic programs, enable them to continue their educational journey toward a degree or certification by meeting them where they are, and hold a key role in paving the way for successful learner outcomes.

Leveraging 2022’s future-forward lessons to improve L&D — from chieflearningofficer.com by Keith Keating

Excerpts:

Top 4 future-forward lessons from 2022:

  1. The world changes rapidly — prepare for it
  2. Anticipate trends, events and the skills you’ll need in the future
  3. Continuously adopt new capabilities and expand your knowledge
  4. Use tech to your advantage
 

How Skills Are Disrupting Work: The Transformational Power of Fast-Growing, In-Demand Skills — from burningglassinstitute.org by Nik Dawson, Alexandra Martin, Matt Sigelman, Gad Levanon, Stephanie Blochinger, Jennifer Thornton, and Janet Chen
A “State of Skills” Report from the Burning Glass Institute, the Business-Higher Education Forum, and Wiley

On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.

Excerpt:
By analyzing hundreds of millions of recent U.S. job postings, the Burning Glass Institute and the Business–Higher Education Forum (BHEF) identified four of the fastest-growing, highest-demand emerging skill sets:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Management
  • Social Media

These four skill sets serve as a laboratory for understanding what business and education leaders can do to prepare workers and students for skills disruption. To illustrate how programs can help learners and workers acquire essential skills, this report includes profiles of recent innovations from the BHEF network.

The future belongs to those who seek to understand, anticipate, and harness the power of emerging skills, rather than maintain a posture of reaction/response.

The prospect of helping all those who are challenged by skill disruption hinges on the readiness of business and higher education to engage in understanding and planning for skill disruption over the long term.

From DSC:
“On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.” That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about the exponential pace of change. It’s hard to deal with. Our institutions of education are not used to this pace of change. Our legal system isn’t used to this pace of change. And there are other industries struggling to keep up.

Should the pace of change be an element of our design when we think about using Design Thinking to create a new lifelong learning ecosystem?

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian