How to apply Midyear 2021 lawsuit data to make your digital content more inclusive. — from UsableNet

Redefining the Future of Law: Alternative Legal Service Models — from clio.com by Joshua Lenon; with slides of the recording here.

Advantages of Automated and Bundled Legal Services — from clio.com

The Law Firm of the Future — from joetechnologist.com by Joseph Raczynski

The impact of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs on the legal industry with Joseph Raczynski — from the ABA Center for Innovation

Reimagining Law: The Importance of Law Librarians in a Digital World — from legaltechmonitor.com

AI CLM Company LinkSquares Raises $40M, Says It Will Soon Release First-of-its-Kind Product — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

“Today, we’re witnessing the next major step up in power, thanks to artificial intelligence software,” Sunak wrote. “AI is creating legal solutions that can outpace and outperform traditional software in the same way steamships and diesel-powered vessels could outperform even the most impressive wind-powered tall ships.” And just as the step up to power changed what boats could do, “Linksquares is changing what a legal software solution can do and be.”

From DSC:
AI has plenty of pitfalls, no doubt. But a range of AI-based technologies continues to move forward and become further integrated into numerous industries and disciplines. The legal realm is not only using AI-based applications already, but it will also need to have the knowledge to be able to support clients who bring cases involving AI (and other emerging technologies) to them.

 

Companies are key to solving the digital skills gap — from zdnet.com by Vala Afshar
The digital skills gap is becoming a digital skills crisis. An innovation expert discusses the root cause of what is driving the digital skills shortage and how can companies contribute to closing the gap.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Vala Afshar: When we talk about the digital skills gap, what do we really mean?

Simon Mulcahy: Fundamentally, it’s an issue of supply and demand: a mismatch between the need for a digitally savvy workforce and the availability of workers trained in those skills. Every organization — whether a bank, healthcare company or retailer — is becoming a digital organization. Core digital skills aren’t the purview of a single department but increasingly hard-wired into nearly every job on the planet.

On the flip side, there’s a massive shortage in the skills needed to operate and lead in a digital-first environment. More importantly, there’s no mechanism in place to fix it.

VA: What can be done to address this growing gap, and what role should companies play?

SM: We need to revamp the way we deliver education. Of course, we need to build a foundation early on, but there are much better ways to equip people than through exams that don’t evolve to match society’s needs or degrees that force young people into onerous debt.

Instead, we should think of ourselves as lifelong learners. In support of that, we need just-in-time training that’s integrated into our working experience and relevant to wherever we are on our career journey. We need education that’s widely available, simple to access and affordable. It has to be easy to upskill or gain the knowledge we need to divert onto a different path. We also need education to be a lot more personal, matching what an individual needs in the moment.

 

From DSC:
While checking out an edition of innovation & tech today, the following sites caught me eye.

LearnWorlds looks intriguing to me. It will be interesting to see how teachers, professors, trainers, instructional designers, artists, coaches, and more make their living in the future. I’m pulse-checking the area of learning platforms and posting items re: it so that we can stay informed on these trends.

Learn Worlds dot com -- create and sell online courses from your own website

Learn Worlds dot com -- create and sell online courses from your own website

Also from LearnWorlds:

 


Also see:

Thinkific’s powerful, all-in-one platform makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love.

thinkific.com -- an online learning platform

 

2U, Inc. and edX to Join Together in Industry-Redefining Combination — from transformingdigitaleducation.com

  • 2U to acquire substantially all edX assets, including edX brand, website, and marketplace
  • Together, 2U and edX will reach over 50 million learners, serve more than 230 partners, and offer over 3,500 digital programs on the world’s most comprehensive free-to-degree online education marketplace
  • Proceeds of the transaction will go to a nonprofit led by Harvard and MIT focused on transforming educational outcomes, tackling learning inequities

Other items related to this:

 

 

Coursera: The ‘Amazon’ Of Online Education May Grow By Magnitudes — from seekingalpha.com

Summary

  • Increasing student dissatisfaction and declining enrollment suggest that many people are rethinking traditional methods of higher education.
  • The historical value of universities is becoming defunct as the internet allows a more efficient, less expensive, and more accessible vector of transmitting knowledge.
  • Innovative platforms like Coursera offer students a huge “marketplace” of high-quality courses far less expensive than those in traditional universities.
  • Given Coursera’s minimal barriers to growth and its massive total addressable market, I would not be surprised to see its annual revenue rise by 10X or more within years.
  • COUR may be one of the few recent IPOs which is actually trading below its fundamental fair value – subject to the assumption that online education will eventually supersede traditional models.
 

For College Finances, There’s No ‘Return to Normal’ — from chronicle.com by Mark S. LeClair
The critical problems facing higher education won’t end with the pandemic.

Excerpt:

Higher ed is in trouble. It faces a demographic crunch in 2026, when smaller high-school graduating classes will mean greater competition for students. That will lead to tuition discounting and underenrolled classes for many colleges. And yet that demographic crisis is only one of many significant challenges the sector faces. As noted by Forbes in its annual review of college and university financials, approximately 20 percent of all institutions now warrant a “D” ranking (its lowest). Many are under serious financial strain and may not survive.

The Forbes financial analyses have been warning of a worsening situation for years. The added stresses from the Covid-19 pandemic will further aggravate the untenable circumstances facing hundreds of institutions. There is now a very short window within which we must carry out significant reforms.

 

It’s like Netflix for education: UND considers subscription tuition model — from grandforksherald.com by Sydney Mook; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn
Think of it as Netflix or Hulu – popular television subscription services – but for a UND education. Students could pay a flat rate and take as many (or as few) online courses as preferred, so long as they aren’t considered a full-time, degree-seeking student.

Excerpts:

UND wants to add a flat-rate subscription option to its tuition model.

Think of it as Netflix or Hulu – popular television subscription services – but for a UND education. Students could pay a flat rate and take as many (or as few) online courses as preferred, so long as they aren’t considered a full-time, degree-seeking student.

“You enroll, you have a subscription and during that subscription, you can binge watch,” said Jeff Holm, vice provost for online education and strategic planning at UND.

UND says it wants to “provide competency-based, online education that provides ‘micro-pathways’ or smaller targeted units of learning to individuals as a way to enhance their skill set and knowledge for advancing in the labor market or reskilling for a new employment opportunity.”

 

Law Firm Deregulation Programs Pick Up Speed in Utah, Arizona  — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Sam Skolnik

Excerpt:

Efforts to allow non-lawyers to own law firms in Arizona and Utah are picking up steam, as participating companies say it’s inevitable that more states will be following similar paths.

Utah’s regulatory “sandbox” and Arizona’s “alternative business structures” program are being closely watched by the country’s largest law firms like Snell & Wilmer, which is actively weighing the possible benefits.

“Snell & Wilmer has considered and is considering opportunities that these changes may present to a traditional law firm,” said Mark Morris, a Salt Lake City-based partner with the firm, which also has offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. The firm, he said, “is closely watching the successes and failures of others who are actively participating in these programs to help guide any future decisions.”

Utah's sandbox tests new legal service ownership models

 

A16z is betting $20 million on Maven, an ed tech and creator economy mashup — from protocol.com by Penelope Blackwell
Since launching in January 2021, instructors have sold over $1 million worth of courses on Maven.

Excerpt:

A little over a decade ago, Gagan Biyani founded Udemy, one of the main platforms that popularized massive open online courses. Now, he’s back with a new idea that jams together ed tech and the creator economy, and he thinks it can help more students stick out their online learning.

His new company, Maven, is focused on cohort-based learning. An expert tutor with a large online following leads an online course for a group of learners. The students join and move through content at the same pace, but much of the learning happens peer-to-peer as the students share their experiences over the web.

“There are thousands of experts, creators, and practitioners around the world who have valuable knowledge to share but aren’t traditional professors, and we think this is the best way for creators to monetize over the next decade,” said Biyani. “We’re creating the university of the future, built around these 21st-century professors.”

From DSC:
If adjunct faculty members want to go a different way in order to try their hand at making a lot more money, institutions of traditional higher education better look out! Especially if this new/alternative approach picks up steam! Such institutions have been paying extremely low rates for adjunct faculty members. And because these folks aren’t tenured faculty members, they rarely get much of a say in the strategies and directions that their institutions set and pursue.

With lifelong learning now a requirement, this type of alternative will be on an increasing number of peoples’ radars out there.

A picture of a radar

 

A second demographic cliff adds to urgency for change — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
The demographic cliff we have been anticipating since the drop in births with the 2008 recession now has a younger sibling — the COVID-19 cliff is coming with another deep drop in recent births.

Excerpts:

In sum, competition is rapidly growing; the pool of “traditional” students is evaporating; employers are dropping degree requirements; and, with student debt now surpassing $1.7 trillion, we all know that families are looking for more cost-effective paths to the knowledge and skills they seek. “The fundamental business model for delivering education is broken,” said Rick Beyer, a senior fellow and practice area lead for mergers and affiliations at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. “The consolidation era started a few years ago. It will continue. We will see more closures.”

What, then, are the bright spots for postsecondary learning?

Online learning tops the list despite some bad press for the hastily put-together remote learning of last year. Adult students, in particular, prefer the flexibility and mobility of online. Enrollment in online programs has continued to increase while overall higher ed enrollments have declined each of the past dozen years.

 

Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials — from Credential Engine; with thanks to Will Richardson  for this resource
February 2021

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Learners, educators and policymakers understand that high school completion and education beyond high school are critical to thrive in the workforce. However, until recently an inventory of the number or type of secondary and postsecondary credential opportunities in the United States did not exist. This is the third annual report from Credential Engine that attempts to count all these credentials. The report identifies 967,734 unique credentials in the U.S. in 16 detailed credential categories across four types
of credential providers:

  • Postsecondary educational institutions—359,713 degrees and certificates
  • Massive open online course (MOOC) providers—9,390 course completion certificates, micro-credentials, and online degrees from foreign universities
  • Non-academic providers—549,712 badges, course completion certificates, licenses, certifications, and apprenticeships
  • Secondary schools—48,919 diplomas from public and private secondary schools

Also see:

NLET Releases “Newest Economy” Paper

In The Newest Economy: Welcome to the Credential Currency Revolution, Gordon Freedman, NLET’s president, examines the discontinuity between high schools, community colleges, career and technical education, and workforce development programs and their alignment and linkages to high demand jobs and careers. The paper suggests moving beyond the current array of offerings and labor market tools to a marketplace solution using modern technology and data analytics to link credentials (badges, certifications, degrees) to hiring outcomes.

The paper is a collaboration among NLET, Credential Engine, Southern Regional Economic Board (SREB) and GoEducate, Inc. who together are building a Credential Alliance to further the work described in the report.

Press Release
Executive Summary
Download the Report

 

Coursera Conference 2021: Highlights and Takeaways — from blog.coursera.org by Betty Vandenbosch

Excerpt:

The Coursera Product Innovation session was another conference favorite, as we shared learner stories and offered a glimpse into some of the key innovations we worked on over the past year to support learners, educators, and institutions:

  • Individual learners now benefit from personalized course recommendations, hands-on projects, improved accessibility options, and AI-powered support to help motivate and encourage them on their learning journey.
  • Educators and instructors can import videos, quizzes, and other assets to re-use across courses. They can also connect Coursera to their institution’s learning management system and repackage content to create new, stackable credentials such as Specializations and Professional Certificates.
  • Businesses, governments, and universities can help employees and learners develop in-demand skills to stay competitive in the workplace with smart solutions like SkillSets and Academies, which are designed to offer targeted skills development in every part of an organization.

Also see:

 

Why Tech Companies View the Job Search As Big Business — from edsurge.com by Ayesha Khan

Excerpt:

A pre-pandemic study shows that more than 4 in 10 college degree holders are underemployed and are likely to remain that way for decades to come. This coupled with the astronomical cost of college and mounting student loan debt raises a need for alternative pathways into America’s workforce. The current college system is not putting all Americans to work.
Jobtech has the potential to be more effective for job seekers by aligning their aspirations more directly with the needs of employers. Unlike higher education institutions, a jobtech company’s profit and survival depend on people getting placed in good jobs.

The success of these businesses hinges on securing opportunities for job seekers. This guarantees customer satisfaction, repeat business, positive margins and a healthy, sustainable business model.

 

 

Imagine the future of law, legal technology and new law jobs — from canadianlawyermag.com by Monica Goyal
The year is 2025. The legal system was transformed by COVID-19 and the profession reflects that

Excerpt:

The question for all of us is what happens next? Some say lawyers will go back to their offices and things will operate as they did pre-pandemic. But what about the massive changes to global business and the impact of digitization on the profession? How will this new cyber-efficiency influence future legal jobs? Consider three different kinds of lawyers in the year 2025:

 

 

A professor teaching about equations in front of a smartphone -- in order to reach remote learners

Will a Rise in Online Learning Open Remote Teaching Opportunities for Faculty? — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell (Columnist)

Excerpts:

Liberating campus-bound faculty.
Of the many remarkable things about online learning—its principal benefit—is to give students the freedom to learn almost anywhere. And that goes for faculty members, too, who might now have access to new opportunities to teach remotely for institutions around the globe—and let colleges hire online faculty with attractive strengths who happen to live far away.

That has already started to happen during the pandemic, with so many faculty and staff working and teaching from home. Since it has made no difference to their students where they were living, some, quite privileged, took off for country homes or slipped away to vacation spots, continuing to teach online as if they were at a nearby campus.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian