From DSC:
Below is another example of the need for Design Thinking as we rethink a cradle-to-grave learning ecosystem.


The United States Needs a Comprehensive Approach to Youth Policy — from cew.georgetown.edu

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

On the education front, federal legislation serves as an umbrella for many state and local policies and programs. Education policy is further fragmented into K–12 and postsecondary silos.

An all-one-system approach to youth policy would support young people along the entire continuum of their journey from school to work. It would help them attain both postsecondary education and quality work experience to support their transitions from education to good jobs. In this modernized approach, preschools, elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, four-year universities, employers, and governments would all follow an integrated playbook, helping to smooth out young people’s path from pre-K–12 to college and work. To transform youth policy, systemic reforms should incorporate the following:

 

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?

 

From DSC:
Unless students see how the topics that you are introducing are relevant to *their futures*, it just develops a mindset of “how do I play the game/system?” and “what’s the least I can do to get an A?”

On a somewhat-related tangent:

 

Skills, Skills, Skills Now is the time. — from by Katelyn Donnelly and Eric Scott Lavin
Skills matter more than ever.

Excerpt:

For years, the importance of building demonstrable skills has been growing. The research is clear: skills acquired through work experience increase lifetime earnings. Yet, a massive shift in how learners, educators, and employers think about skills is just beginning.

Three subtrends set the stage for a massive inflection point in how we think about skills…

Learning will be the only constant throughout a career.  Success in the modern workforce is learning experiences to build skills, and the best way to build skills is to do real-world projects.

Below is a sampling of organizations and companies pushing the boundaries. Some of these are established players with mature businesses and tested business models.

Also relevant/see:

The Job Skills of 2023 — from Coursera

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

Excerpt from the Executive Summary Section

  1. The fastest-growing skills are digital skills
    The top ten overall fastest-growing skills are digital skills. The ongoing evolution of technology means employers are regularly seeking new digital competencies from potential hires while also reskilling existing workers.
  2. The fastest-growing digital skills are changing more significantly than the fastest-growing human skills
    The top ten digital skills vary significantly from last year—only two have carried over year-on-year: data visualization and user experience. The human skills in demand remain steadier, suggesting an evergreen demand for skills like change management and communication.

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

 

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch

Also see:

2023 Strategic Trends Glossary — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

  • Closer alignment of higher education with workforce needs and skills-based learning
  • Continuation and normalization of hybrid and online learning
  • Continued adoption and normalization of hybrid and remote work arrangements
  • Continued resignation and migration of leaders and staff from higher education institutions
  • Declining public funding for higher education
  • …and more
 

Empty Classrooms, Abandoned Kids: Inside America’s Great Teacher Resignation— from nytimes.com; video by Agnes Walton and Nic Pollock

Excerpt:

A survey of National Education Association members at the beginning of the year revealed an unsettling truth: More than half of the respondents said they were looking for a way out. That’s an astounding number of unhappy teachers. If they all quit, it would leave millions of students in the lurch.

But were these just empty threats? At the start of this school year, we spoke to over 50 educators in almost 20 states to find out. The picture they painted was far bleaker than we could have imagined: Empty classrooms, kids in crisis, and teachers who can’t survive another day on the job — that’s the reality of American education today.

And from the UK, see the following:
The word OUCH! comes to my mind here — for this item from the UK and from the above item from the US. The politicians are going to need to back off and let the teachers do their jobs. Or we may not have many people who want to go into teaching anymore. The current situation is not only bad for the teachers, it’s bad for the youth/students.

 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 

An obituary for education—or not? — from brookings.edu by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer M. Zosh, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Elias Blinkoff, and Molly Scott

Excerpt:

MAKING SCHOOLS WORK
The science of learning offers a blueprint of how children in our future can and will succeed. For the last three decades, researchers made enormous progress in understanding how human brains learn. If we can teach in a way that capitalizes on these findings—if we can apply the science to the classrooms—we will have evidence-based ways of helping children grow the suite of skills that will make them successful in today’s classrooms and the workplaces of tomorrow. Our Brookings report, A New Path to Educational Reform and our book Making Schools Work: Bringing the Science of Learning to Joyful Classroom Practice, detail how this research in the science of learning can offer a scalable, evidenced based path to re-invigorating and re-imagining education for our time.

Children learn when they are active, not passive observers of what is taught. Children learn when they are engaged in the material and not distracted, when the information is meaningfully connected to their knowledge in ways that are culturally responsive. They learn best in social contexts, when there are strong teacher-student and peer relationships, when the information is iteratively presented multiple times in slightly different ways, and when the learning is joyful. Yes, it is possible to have joyful teaching that affords deeper learning. When we teach in ways that the brain learns, the learning “sticks” and generalizes to new problems and new solutions.

 

The Shrinking of Higher Ed — A Special Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
A special report on the implications of the enrollment contraction.

Excerpt:

Nearly 1.3 million students have disappeared from American colleges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. That enrollment contraction comes at a precarious moment for the sector. Inflation is driving up costs and straining budgets, stock-market volatility is putting downward pressure on endowment returns, and federal stimulus funds are running out. Why is the enrollment crunch happening now? How are colleges responding? What might turn things around? Those are the questions fueling this special report.

A Public Regional on the Edge — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman
New Jersey City University’s plan to grow its way out of financial trouble backfired. What went wrong?

Excerpts:

NJCU’s story is a cautionary tale for similar institutions — small public regional colleges with ambitions to expand in a crowded higher-education market. While its real-estate dealings have drawn unfavorable scrutiny, the university was responding to challenges that face its peers, in northern New Jersey and around the country: increased competition for a declining number of high-school graduates.

Public regional universities, like NJCU, enroll about 40 percent of all college students nationally, and a far larger percentage of minority, low-income, and first-generation students than better-known flagships and top research universities do.

But a lack of state support, limited ability to attract students from outside the region, and sparse fund raising have made the university vulnerable to economic downturns and demographic shifts that have led to fewer high-school graduates, especially in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

Linked to in the above article was this article:

Declining enrollment has Western Michigan University on budgetary tightrope — from mlive.com by Julie Mack

Excerpts:

KALAMAZOO, MI — Western Michigan University has 17,835 students this fall, its lowest enrollment since the 1960s.

The number is down 6% from last fall. Down 27% from a decade ago, when the fall headcount was 24,598. Down 41% from 20 years ago, when WMU’s fall count peaked at 29,732.

And thanks to a declining birthrate and a shrinking percentage of new high school graduates enrolling in college, that downward enrollment trend is likely to continue indefinitely.

Rather, “what COVID did was force our hand after years of pressure created by declining enrollment and demographic trends that suggest declines will continue for the next decade,” she said. “So while COVID brought our financial situation into sharp relief, the budget cut was a measure taken to relieve pressure created over many, many years.”


A relevant addendum here:

Avoiding the Trap of Too Little Too Late — from tytonpartners.com by Trace Urdan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

The challenges facing higher education are well understood: a demographic cliff of traditional-aged applicants, a declining proportion of full-pay families, and a growing skepticism of the value of (ever-more) expensive post-secondary degrees with resulting student consumerism. Add to this rapidly rising technological complexity, deferred maintenance on deteriorating physical assets, escalating administrative costs associated with student services and supports, and a burgeoning array of college substitutes, and the challenges are clear. The combination of lower tuition revenue and higher costs points toward an inevitable sector consolidation. And while many college administrators will readily acknowledge this point in the abstract, few will consider that it might apply to them.

 

To future-proof a workforce, kill the perpetual hiring machine and embrace lifelong learning — from fortune.com by Clay Dillow

Excerpt:

A looming economic slowdown, the Great Resignation, a relentlessly expanding skills gap, and employees that would simply rather work from home. This week at Fortune’s CEO Initiative forum, a panel of company executives discussed the litany of challenges they face in developing and maintaining their workforces over the next several years.

 

25 Transferable Skills Employers Look For in 2022 — from wikijob.co.uk by Nikki Dalea; with thanks to Ryan Mein for this resource

Excerpt:

Transferable skills combine competencies, knowledge and skills that you have gained from the workplace during your career path, from school, internships or elsewhere and take with you to your next employment or career change.

General skills that can be used in different employment roles come under the transferable skills banner; they can be used in various industries and in roles at other seniority levels.

These can be hard skills – technical knowledge like using specific software – and soft skills, the competencies and abilities that are harder to be taught, like active listening and communication.

Communication, problem solving and teamwork are all examples of transferable job skills because they can be used in any employed role, your education or vocational training.

 

What’s Stopping You from Reinventing Your Career? — from hbr.org by Heather Cairns-Lee and Bill Fischer; with thanks to Mr. Roberto Ferraro for this resource

Summary (emphasis DSC):

In the authors’ work teaching and coaching thousands of managers, they have identified four traps – self-sufficiency, overthinking, procrastination and searching for the answer – that prevent leaders from taking the first steps necessary for considering and exploring possible new versions of themselves for the future. The authors have found ways to help leaders recognize which traps they are falling into and start imagining a way out — largely inspired by design thinking principles such as rapid prototyping, making ideas visual, and getting quick feedback.

 

2023 Top 10 IT Issues: Foundation Models — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

Recent times have brought about a Great Rethink that is upending previous models of management and working. Higher education is no exception. In 2023, institutional and technology leaders are ready for a new approach.

The EDUCAUSE 2023 Top 10 IT Issues help describe the foundation models that colleges and universities will develop next year and beyond, acting on what was learned in the pandemic and framed by the three building blocks of leadership, data, and work and learning.

See where things are headed in 2023 and beyond.
.

The Educause 2023 Top 10 IT Issues

 

.

From DSC:
At this point in time, I’d find your visionary, innovative, tech-savvy leaders out there — and not just for IT-related positions but for Presidents, Provosts, CFO’s, Heads of HR, and similar levels of positions (and ideally on the Boards as well.) Such people need to be at the table when strategies are hammered out.

For example, if your institution didn’t get seriously into online learning long before Covid19 hit, I’d clear house and go back to the drawing board on your leadership.

Also, data won’t save higher ed. New directions/pathways might. But I’m doubtful that new sources of data will — no matter how they are sliced and diced. That sort of thing is too much at the fringe of things — and not at the heart of what’s being offered. The marketplace will eventually dictate to higher ed which directions institutions of traditional higher education need to go in. Or perhaps I should say that this is already starting to occur.

If alternatives to institutions of traditional higher education continue to grow in acceptance and usage — and don’t involve current institutions of higher ed — those sorts of institutions may already be too late. If more corporations fully develop their own training programs, pathways, and credentials, there may be even fewer students to go around.

A final thought: Cheaper forms of online-based learning for the liberal arts may be what actually saves the liberal arts in the long run.


Also relevant/see:


 

Attention higher-ed leaders: Faculty and staff have something to say — from ecampusnews.com by Jen Landon; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource
Higher-ed leaders can apply the same listening skills and level of investment put forth for students toward their workers

Excerpts:

An organization’s greatest asset is its people. In no other industry is that more true than in higher education. The importance of faculty and staff can’t be overstated; they are, in every way, core to carrying out the mission of higher education.

Institutions should put employee satisfaction at the top of their list from day one: investing in the growth and success of faculty and staff with as much determination as they invest in student success. This mindset should extend to job candidates as well.

From DSC:
I appreciate some attention being paid here to the career/skill development of faculty and staff, as well as to the attempts to create caring cultures. Higher ed has a lot to learn from the corporate world in terms of training its managers, supervisors, and leadership. Provosts, for example, move out of the academic ranks and I’d bet that most of them have never had any training in being a leader — especially re: the business side of higher ed. 

Staff members are key to all institutions of higher education, yet many of them are second-class citizens on many (most?) campuses. They have limited say and even more limited budgets. Even though they have transformed institutions — such as the case with providing online/blended/hyflex-learning — they aren’t lifted up.

For myself, if I didn’t feel like I was growing and learning, I felt stagnant. That’s why blogging has been so wonderful and important to me through the years. The budgets for training one’s staff are very important — as staff members need to stay marketable and relevant. As with most others in the workplace, staff and faculty members may need to reinvent themselves from time to time. Hopefully, this type of growth/reinvention is being supported by the institutions of traditional higher education out there.


Speaking of the workplace and higher education, you might be interested in The Job newsletter. This week’s edition was interesting indeed! 


 

Deloitte State of AI Report 2022 calls out underachievers — from venturebeat.com by Sharon Goldman

Excerpt:

Deloitte released the fifth edition of its State of AI in the Enterprise research report today, which surveyed more than 2,600 global executives on how businesses and industries are deploying and scaling artificial intelligence (AI) projects.

Most notably, the Deloitte report found that while AI continues to move tantalizingly closer to the core of the enterprise – 94% of business leaders agree that AI is critical to success over the next five years – for some, outcomes seem to be lagging.

What is a surprise, she added, is how quickly the AI landscape is changing – to the point that what began as an every-other-year Deloitte report is now created annually. 

From DSC:
I’m reminded of some graphics here…

 

Also relevant/see:

‘State of AI in the Enterprise’ Fifth Edition Uncovers Four Key Actions to Maximize AI Value — from deloitte.com
Research reveals the key actions leaders can take to accelerate AI outcomes

Key takeaways

For Deloitte’s “State of AI in the Enterprise,” Fifth Edition, we surveyed 2,620 global business leaders representing six industry areas and dozens of sectors. Key findings include:

  • Ninety-four percent of business leaders surveyed agree that AI is critical to success over the next five years.
  • Seventy-nine percent of leaders say they have fully deployed three or more AI applications, compared to 62% last year.
  • There was a 29% increase in the number of respondents self-identifying as “underachievers,” suggesting that many organizations are struggling to achieve meaningful AI outcomes.
  • Top challenges associated with scaling according to respondents are managing AI-related risk (50%), lack of executive commitment (50%), lack of maintenance and post launch support (50%).
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian