While public agencies continue to deploy chatbots and other artificial intelligence tools, confusion about the technology abounds, according to new survey findings from Gartner, and the pandemic has provided little fuel for its growth. The research agency found that 36 percent of survey respondents plan to increase AI and machine learning (ML) investments this year. Even so, proponents of AI and ML have significant work to do, said Dean Lacheca, Gartner’s public-sector research director, in an email interview with Government Technology.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
There was considerable discussion last fall about burnout among college staff and faculty. I wrote about how college leaders should prepare for a wave of burnout as the pandemic brewed a potent blend of constant work and worry. Recently, I’ve seen an increasing number of stories about workers who aren’t just exhausted. They are fed up. Stories have chronicled boycotts of in-person teaching, protests and die-ins to demand mask and vaccine mandates, faculty senate resolutions, and even faculty members walking away from jobs. I’ve heard from several colleagues at multiple institutions that morale is the lowest they have ever seen. People in higher education are using a new word to describe their experience: “demoralized.”
Monday, October 25, 2021
Six global higher-ed trends outlined in a new annual research report offer insight into how the pandemic has impacted higher education–and equity, engagement, and intention design are among the top trends. The report, State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education, comes from Instructure, the makers of Canvas. Overall, about half of respondents report a positive perception of online learning. Mental health is increasingly critical, with 92% viewing student psychological well-being as an impactful socioeconomic factor influencing student success. For North American respondents, skills-based learning emerged as a priority in year-two of the COVID crisis, with 70% of respondents saying that having definable skills is more important than course titles or a degree.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
These days some publishers are trying a new sales model they say will save students money: textbook subscription services. The latest player to jump in is Pearson, which released Pearson Plus over the summer as a “pay-as-you-go” alternative to traditional textbooks. Subscribers to Pearson Plus pay $9.99 per month for one access to one digital textbook or $14.99 per month to access all of the more than 1,500 titles on the company’s platform, with each plan requiring a four-month minimum. That pricing comes in slightly lower than a similar model offered by Cengage. The model has been referred to as a “Netflix for textbooks,” comparing it to the popular subscription streaming service that has long charged a flat monthly fee for all of its content.
Saturday, October 23, 2021
The pandemic undoubtedly inflicted real pain on higher education during the past year, but it also brought about clarity for what’s next. Much has already been written about how Covid-19 forced schools to accelerate their blending of in-person and online learning. While this abrupt shift created significant challenges, this hybrid model will in the long run greatly enhance the classroom experience. Toward that end, universities need to act now to break down barriers to access and reach a broader, more diverse population of students in the pipeline to college, to meet the needs of a changing workforce, and to provide life-long learning and career opportunities for working adults.
Friday, October 22, 2021
Cyber attacks: They’ve shut down government agencies, global companies and even a gas pipeline that serves nearly half the population along the East Coast of the United States. Experts say the attacks are growing in number and severity and that governments and businesses need to make it a priority to guard — and insure themselves — against them. But as cyber attacks and ransom demands grow, cybersecurity insurance is becoming increasingly expensive for the insured and the insurer. The upward trajectory in cost has some experts wondering if the cybersecurity insurance market will remain economically viable. Local and state government officials wonder too, but many believe the cost of not having cybersecurity insurance is incalculable, making their jurisdictions vulnerable to extreme losses in capital, human health and safety, not to mention reputation.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Though the mental strain of mastering this balancing act has been apparent for decades, Covid-19 has cast a particularly harsh light on the problem. Statistics show that stress and burnout are affecting more women than men, and particularly more working mothers than working fathers. This could have multiple impacts for the post-pandemic world of work, making it important that both companies and wider society find ways to reduce this imbalance. Recent data looking specifically at burnout in women is concerning. According to a survey by LinkedIn of almost 5,000 Americans, 74% of women said they were very or somewhat stressed for work-related reasons, compared with just 61% of employed male respondents.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
To thrive in the future, leaders need to face new challenges head-on. To do that, they will need support. As businesses recover, leadership development needs to be prioritized. Leadership assessments are one of the most valuable tools in the development toolbox. Companies will need to rethink what they are assessing and explore new ways to build up their leaders for success. Here are five traits you should consider when assessing leaders in the post-pandemic world. #1 Empathy.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Issues such as personal privacy, marketplace competition, and misinformation only become greater challenges in the metaverse due to the interconnectedness of that phenomenon. Rather than being distracted by the shiny new bauble, policymakers need to focus on the underlying problems of the digital revolution, which won’t go away with new technological developments. Just what is this “metaverse”? Today’s online activity can be described as a 2D experience; the metaverse is a 3D experience that can utilize augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and persistent connections to create an immersive world. Rather than spending 20-30 minutes a day moving among apps, users spend hours in much more realistic activities.
Monday, October 18, 2021
Facing compounding stressors, many American workers plan to change jobs in coming year - American Psychological Association, Science Daily
Work stress related to low salaries, long hours and a lack of opportunity for growth and advancement has increased since the start of the pandemic. More than 4 in 10 workers said they plan to switch jobs in the coming year, which could impact many industries already facing a shortage of workers, particularly the hospitality and healthcare sectors.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Why return to the office if you’re just Zooming all day anyway? - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Computerworld
Many business owners insist that their workers will return to the office soon. Think again. Mega-commercial real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield admits, “No one is expecting workers to come into the office to primarily answer emails—that and any other heads-down tasks can be done anywhere.” This is not happening, Cushman & Wakefield argues, just because COVID-19 forced businesses to embrace working from home. It’s a trend that’s been building since 2005. The further along an area is in the knowledge and experience economy, the more likely it is to support remote work. For example, in 2019—before anyone knew anything much about pandemics—Austin, Texas had already seen 14.4% of its office workers doing their jobs remotely.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
One Ivy, Columbia University, actually got an early start 35 years ago at the dawn of the digital age, when it launched its Video Network that now produces about a dozen online engineering master’s degrees. And in the past ten years these colleges have been active in offering so-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, which are free or low-cost courses, usually for no official credit. Ivy League colleges now offer more than 450 of these courses. And some Ivies offer graduate certificate programs online. Cornell, for example, lists about 90 in such fields as hospitality, human resources and engineering. But full degrees remain rare from these institutions. Harvard just introduced its first online degree as late as June this year.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Is a new Dark Age beckoning for higher education take-up? - Louise Nicol and Alan Preece, University World News
Enabling technology, applicant aggregation and a growing dissatisfaction with educational outcomes are with us today. There is no reason that one generation’s rite of passage won’t become another’s dead-end junction and some warning signs are already showing. A survey by the Bipartisan Policy Center and Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 29% of US adults did not think a college degree was ‘worth it’. A OnePoll survey of UK postgraduates in 2021 found 46% did not think their university education was worth the money and over 30% did not need a degree to do their current job.The Harris Poll in 2020 found 60% of student loan debtors in the US said their degree was not worth the student loan debt they had taken on.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
The job market is a tough nut to crack these days, especially when seeking high skills positions. Competition is fierce, and you need to stand out from other candidates. Futureproofing your career means ensuring that you remain a desirable employment prospect. Achieve this goal is by advancing your education and upgrading existing qualifications. It might be time for a complete career change as the world of work evolves. Many companies do not require employees to get bachelor’s degrees covering a wide academic area to secure a job. Instead, there is a growing trend that favors specific qualifications within a narrow field of expertise.This has led educational institutions to start offering short courses that tackle particular topics. For example, it is not necessary to get a marketing degree when a social media marketing qualification makes you an expert in a niche field.
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours - Aaron De Smet, et.al. - McKinsey Quarterly
More than 15 million US workers—and counting—have quit their jobs since April 2021, a record pace disrupting businesses everywhere. Companies are struggling to address the problem, and many will continue to struggle for one simple reason: they don’t really understand why their employees are leaving in the first place. Rather than take the time to investigate the true causes of attrition, many companies are jumping to well-intentioned quick fixes that fall flat: for example, they’re bumping up pay or financial perks, like offering “thank you” bonuses without making any effort to strengthen the relational ties people have with their colleagues and their employers. The result? Rather than sensing appreciation, employees sense a transaction. This transactional relationship reminds them that their real needs aren’t being met.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Empathy has always been a critical skill for leaders, but it is taking on a new level of meaning and priority. Far from a soft approach it can drive significant business results. You always knew demonstrating empathy is positive for people, but new research demonstrates its importance for everything from innovation to retention. Great leadership requires a fine mix of all kinds of skills to create the conditions for engagement, happiness and performance, and empathy tops the list of what leaders must get right. The reason empathy is so necessary is that people are experiencing multiple kinds of stress, and data suggests it is affected by the pandemic—and the ways our lives and our work have been turned upside down.
Monday, October 11, 2021
They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won't necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to "just-in-time education" that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.
Sunday, October 10, 2021
A.I. is steadily working its way into the business processes of big companies. That was my takeaway from a virtual event Fortune held yesterday as part of the lead-up to our Brainstorm A.I. gathering in Boston this November. A.I. applications are no longer limited to the easiest use cases—chat bots, robotic process automation, cybersecurity detection, etc. They are rapidly being embedded throughout the enterprise.
Saturday, October 9, 2021
This underappreciated leadership style has 3 major advantages - PATRICIA OMOQUI—ATLASSIAN, FastCompany
Mindful leadership is a leadership style in which managers learn how to consciously cultivate their ability to be present, open-minded, and compassionate when interacting with their team members—and they show the same care and consideration to themselves. It’s about shutting down the mind’s “busy mode” to notice and respond to what’s happening in the moment instead of defaulting to reactive patterns. (In this way, it’s similar to situational leadership.) Mindful leadership may sound like a “fluffy” term, but it’s quite the opposite. It takes a lot of focus and hard work to develop a skill set around mindfulness.
Friday, October 8, 2021
Female leaders in higher education have created more inclusive and open institutions – here are 3 key figures - Thalia Plata, The Conversation
How have female leaders in higher education shaped the state of the field today, and what broader lessons can be learned from them? Recently, Carmen Twillie Ambar, president of Oberlin College and Conservatory, and Carol T. Christ, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, explored this question with Michele Ozumba, former president of the Women’s College Coalition and board member of The Conversation, during a webinar hosted by The Conversation. They approached the issue through the lens of “Junctures in Women’s Leadership: Higher Education,” a book the three edited jointly and to which they each contributed chapters. The speakers discussed trends in female leadership, practical advice and takeaways from the women they interviewed for their book.
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Equity inspires 66 colleges to expand the reach of open educational resources - Matt Zalaznick, University Business
Excitement has been building around open educational resources at Framingham State University as a handful of faculty are creating their own textbooks with instructional designers enhancing the final product. Now administrators are working to entrench them across the Massachusetts institution by joining a new national network, the Institute on Open Educational Resources, launched by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. “The use of open textbooks at Framingham State is pretty much siloed,” says Millie González, the interim library dean. “Some departments are using them and there’s a lot of buzz. But in terms of any structures in place to know how many faculty are using them, that’s something we’re striving toward.”