Daniel Christian: My slides for the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat

From DSC:
Last Thursday, I presented at the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat. I wanted to pass along my slides to you all, in case they are helpful to you.

Topics/agenda:

  • Topics & resources re: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Top multimodal players
    • Resources for learning about AI
    • Applications of AI
    • My predictions re: AI
  • The powerful impact of pursuing a vision
  • A potential, future next-gen learning platform
  • Share some lessons from my past with pertinent questions for you all now
  • The significant impact of an organization’s culture
  • Bonus material: Some people to follow re: learning science and edtech

 

Education Technology Organization of Michigan -- ETOM -- Spring 2024 Retreat on June 6-7

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

Slides of the presentation (.PPTX)
Slides of the presentation (.PDF)

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

OPINION: Americans need help paying for new, nondegree programs and college alternatives — from hechingerreport.org by Connor Diemand-Yauman and Rebecca Taber Staehelin
Updating the Pell Grant program would be an excellent way to support much-needed alternatives

Janelle’s story is all too familiar throughout the U.S. — stuck in a low-paying job, struggling to make ends meet after being failed by college. Roughly 40 million Americans have left college without completing a degree — historically seen as a golden ticket to the middle class.

Yet even with a degree, many fall short of economic prosperity.

 

Are Colleges Ready For an Online-Education World Without OPMs? — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell (Columnist)
Online Program Management companies have helped hundreds of colleges build online degree programs, but the sector is showing signs of strain.

For more than 15 years, a group of companies known as Online Program Management providers, or OPMs, have been helping colleges build online degree programs. And most of them have relied on an unusual arrangement — where the companies put up the financial backing to help colleges launch programs in exchange for a large portion of tuition revenue.

As a longtime administrator of online programs at colleges, I have mixed feelings about the idea of shutting down the model. And the question boils down to this: Are colleges ready for a world without OPMs?


Guy Raz on Podcasts and Passion: Audio’s Ability to Spark Learning — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn

This conversation went in a bunch of unexpected directions. And that’s what’s so fun about it. After all, podcasting is all about bringing audio back and turning learning into leisure. And the question Guy and his partner Mindy Thomas asked a while back was: Why not bring kids in on the fun? Guy shared how his studio, Tinkercast, is leveraging the medium to inspire and educate the next generation of problem solvers.

We discussed the power of audio to capture curiosities and foster imagination, how Tinkercast is doing that in and out of the classroom, and how it can help re-engage students in building needed skills at a critical time. Enjoy!



April 2024 Job Cuts Announced by US-Based Companies Fall; More Cuts Attributed to TX DEI Law, AI in April — from challengergray.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Education
Companies in the Education industry, which includes schools and universities, cut the second-most jobs last month with 8,092 for a total of 17,892. That is a 635% increase from the 2,435 cuts announced during the first four months of 2023.

“April is typically the time school districts are hiring and setting budgets for the next fiscal year. Certainly, there are budgetary constraints, as labor costs rise, but school systems also have a retention and recruitment issue,” said Challenger.


Lifetime college returns differ significantly by major, research finds — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Engineering and computer science showed the best return out of 10 fields of study that were examined.

Dive Brief:

  • The lifetime rate of return for a college education differs significantly by major, but it also varies by a student’s gender and race or ethnicity, according to new peer-reviewed research published in the American Educational Research Journal.
  • A bachelor’s degree in general provides a roughly 9% rate of return for men, and nearly 10% for women, researchers concluded. The majors with the best returns were computer science and engineering.
  • Black, Hispanic and Asian college graduates had slightly higher rates of return than their White counterparts, the study found.
 

Colleges are now closing at a pace of one a week. What happens to the students? — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Most never finish their degrees, and alumni wonder about the value of degrees they’ve earned

About one university or college per week so far this year, on average, has announced that it will close or merge. That’s up from a little more than two a month last year, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO.

Most students at colleges that close give up on their educations altogether. Fewer than half transfer to other institutions, a SHEEO study found. Of those, fewer than half stay long enough to get degrees. Many lose credits when they move from one school to another and have to spend longer in college, often taking out more loans to pay for it.

Colleges are almost certain to keep closing. As many as one in 10 four-year colleges and universities are in financial peril, the consulting firm EY Parthenon estimates.

Students who transferlose an average of 43 percentof the credits they’ve already earned and paid for, the Government Accountability Office found in the most recent comprehensive study of this problem.

Also relevant:

 

[Report] The Top 100 AI for Work – April 2024 — from flexos.work; with thanks to Daan van Rossum for this resource
AI is helping us work up to 41% more effectively, according to recent Bain research. We review the platforms to consider for ourselves and our teams.

Following our AI Top 150, we spent the past few weeks analyzing data on the top AI platforms for work. This report shares key insights, including the AI tools you should consider adopting to work smarter, not harder.

While there is understandable concern about AI in the work context, the platforms in this list paint a different picture. It shows a future of work where people can do what humans are best suited for while offloading repetitive, digital tasks to AI.

This will fuel the notion that it’s not AI that takes your job but a supercharged human with an army of AI tools and agents. This should be a call to action for every working person and business leader reading this.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

The $340 Billion Corporate Learning Industry Is Poised For Disruption — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

What if, for example, the corporate learning system knew who you were and you could simply ask it a question and it would generate an answer, a series of resources, and a dynamic set of learning objects for you to consume? In some cases you’ll take the answer and run. In other cases you’ll pour through the content. And in other cases you’ll browse through the course and take the time to learn what you need.

And suppose all this happened in a totally personalized way. So you didn’t see a “standard course” but a special course based on your level of existing knowledge?

This is what AI is going to bring us. And yes, it’s already happening today.

 

…that doesn’t mean everyone is having an easy time of it. Some Americans feel increasingly pressured by the surge in the cost of carrying their debt. Delinquency rates on their credit card debt and auto loans are now at the highest in more than a decade.

Just a serious note of caution for you and for your future families. 


And speaking of youth and personal finances — and seeing as it’s tax time — also see:

Topic no. 501, Should I itemize?

Deductions reduce the amount of your taxable income. In general, individuals not in a trade or business or an activity for profit, may take a standard deduction or itemize their deductions.

You should itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions if the total amount of your allowable itemized deductions is greater than your standard deduction or if you must itemize deductions because you can’t use the standard deduction. You may also want to itemize deductions if your standard deduction is limited because another taxpayer claims you as a dependent. Itemized deductions, subject to certain dollar limitations, include amounts you paid, during the taxable year, for state and local income or sales taxes, real property taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, disaster losses, gifts to charities, and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses.

 

Edtech Unicorns Are Evolving Rather Than Disrupting — from bloomberg.com by Alex Webb

Consider Coursera Inc., the most prominent survivor of that early edtech hype. It’s now a public company, with a hefty $2.3 billion valuation. Finally, 12 years after it was founded — by, incidentally, another Google veteran in Andrew Ng — it’s set to report its first profit this year, according to analyst estimates. And the enterprise business is considerably more profitable, enjoying a 68% gross margin in 2023, compared to the consumer business’s 53% margin.

Figuring out the right match between training and utility is how several business schools seem to have developed successful online courses — which they are charging top dollar for. They’re in close contact with the sort of large corporations who hire their graduates, giving them a more intimate understanding of what those businesses seek.

Harvard Business School is one example. It made $74 million from online courses in fiscal 2022, the most recent year for which data is available

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

6 work and workplace trends to watch in 2024 — from weforum.org by Kate Whiting; via Melanie Booth on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The world of work is changing fast.

By 2027, businesses predict that almost half (44%) of workers’ core skills will be disrupted.

Technology is moving faster than companies can design and scale up their training programmes, found the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report.

The Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 found that “lack of economic opportunity” ranked as one of the top 10 biggest risks among risk experts over the next two years.

5. Skills will become even more important
With 23% of jobs expected to change in the next five years, according to the Future of Jobs Report, millions of people will need to move between declining and growing jobs.

 

Educational practices to identify and support students experiencing homelessness — from edresearchforaction.org by Alexandra Pavlakis, J. Kessa Roberts, Meredith Richards,  Kathryn Hill. &  Zitsi Mirakhur

The EdResearch for Action Overview Series summarizes the research on key topics to provide K-12 education decision makers and advocates with an evidence base to ground discussions about how to best serve students. Authors – leading experts from across the field of education research – are charged with highlighting key findings from research that provide concrete, strategic insight on persistent challenges sourced from district and state leaders.

 

Thriving in an age of continuous reinvention — from pwc.com
As existential threats converge, many companies are taking steps to reinvent themselves. Is it enough? And what will it take to succeed?
.

.

 

The future of learning — from moodle.com by Sonya Trivedi

Self-directed and continuous learning
The concept of self-directed and continuous learning is becoming increasingly popular, reshaping our approach to knowledge and skill acquisition in both formal education and workplace settings. This evolving landscape reflects a world where traditional career paths are being replaced by more dynamic and flexible models, compelling learners to adapt and grow continuously.

The Future of Learning Report 2022 highlights this shift, noting the diminishing concept of a ‘career for life.’ With regular job switching and the expansion of the gig economy, there is an increasing need for a workforce equipped with a broad range of skills and the ability to gain qualifications throughout their careers. This shift is underlined by learners increasingly seeking control over their educational journeys, understanding that the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills is essential for staying relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. Reflecting this trend, a significant portion of learners, 33%, are choosing online platforms for their flexibility and ability to cater to individual needs and schedules.

From DSC:
The next paragraph after the above excerpt says:

Much like how companies such as Uber and Airbnb have reshaped their respective industries without owning traditional assets, the future of education might see universities functioning as the ‘Netflix of learning.’ In this model, learners comfortably source their educational experiences from various platforms, assembling their qualifications to create a personalised and continuously evolving portfolio of skills??.

But I don’t think it will be universities that function as the “Netflix of learning” as I don’t think the cultures of most institutions of traditional higher education can deal with that kind of innovation. I hope I’m wrong.

I think it will be a new, global, lifelong learning platform that originates outside of higher education. It will be bigger than higher education, K12, corporate training, or vocational training — as such a 21st-century, AI-based platform will offer all of the above and more.

Learning from the living AI-based class room


Slow Shift to Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

Real progress in efforts to increase mobility for nondegree workers is unlikely during the next couple years, Joseph Fuller, a professor at Harvard University’s business school who co-leads its Managing the Future of Work initiative, recently told me.

Yet Fuller is bullish on skills-based hiring becoming a real thing in five to 10 years. That’s because he predicts that AI will create the data to solve the skills taxonomy problem Kolko describes. And if skills-based hiring allows for serious movement for workers without bachelor’s degrees, Fuller says the future will look like where Texas is headed.


Report: Microcredentials Not a Strategic Priority for Many Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report finds that while most colleges surveyed embrace alternative credentials, many have a decentralized approach for creating and managing them.

While the majority of colleges focused on online, professional and continuing education have embraced alternative credentials, a significant number of those institutions haven’t made them a strategic priority.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a new study released Monday by UPCEA, the organization previously known as the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

“While a lot of institutions want this, they don’t necessarily all know how” to deliver alternative credentials, said Bruce Etter, UPCEA’s senior director of research and consulting. “Embracing it is great, but now it needs to be part of the strategic plan.”


The Higher Learning Commission’s Credential Lab — from hlcommission.org

HLC’s Credential Lab


10 higher ed trends to watch in 2024 — from insidetrack.org by

Trend 1.
Linking education to career paths

Trend 2.
Making sense of the AI explosion

Trend 3.
Prioritizing mental health on campus

…plus 7 other trends


North Carolina’s Community Colleges Make a Big Bid to Stay Relevant — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Margaret Moffett
The system is poised to ask state legislators to overhaul its funding formula to focus on how well colleges prepare students for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The new formula would pay a premium to each college based on labor-market outcomes: the more students enrolled in courses in high-demand, high-paying workforce sectors, the more money the college receives.

Importantly, the proposed formula makes no distinction between curricular courses that count toward degree programs and noncredit continuing education classes, which historically offer fewer slots for students because of their lower FTE reimbursement rates.



Supporting Career and Technical Education — from bloomberg.org via Paul Fain

The American job market is changing. A high school diploma is no longer a ticket to a good job now, an increasing number of employers are offering “middle-skill jobs” that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Industries like health care, IT, advanced manufacturing, and financial services continue to see sustained growth at all levels, and they need workers with the experience and the credentials to fill new positions. Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need through internships, apprenticeships, academics, and work-based learning.

 

Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2023 — from microsoft.com by various authors; via Stefan Bauschard

Throughout 2023, AI and the future of work have frequently been on the metaphorical – and often literal – front page around the world. There have been many excellent articles about the ways in which work may change as LLMs are increasingly integrated into our lives. As such, in this year’s report we focus specifically on areas that we think deserve additional attention or where there is research that has been done at Microsoft that offers a unique perspective. This is a report that should be read as a complement to the existing literature, rather than as a synthesis of all of it.

This is a rare time, one in which research will play a particularly important role in defining what the future of work looks like. At this special moment, scientists can’t just be passive observers of what is happening. Rather, we have the responsibility to shape work for the better. We hope this report can help our colleagues around world make progress towards this goal.
.

Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2023

Excerpt:

Analyzing and integrating may become more important skills than searching and creating 
With content being generated by AI, knowledge work may shift towards more analysis and critical integration

  • Information search as well as content production (manually typing, writing code, designing images) is greatly enhanced by AI, so general information work may shift to integrating and critically analyzing retrieved information
  • Writing with AI is shown to increase the amount of text produced as well as to increase writing efficiency (Biermann et al. 2022, Lee et al 2022)
  • With more generated text available, the skills of research, conceptualization, planning, prompting and editing may take on more importance as LLMs do the first round of production (e.g., Mollick 2023).
  • Skills not directly to content production, such as leading, dealing with critical social situations, navigating interpersonal trust issues, and demonstrating emotional intelligence, may all be more valued in the workplace (LinkedIn 2023)
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian