In an op-ed in Slate magazine, former Florida governor Jeb Bush argues that it’s time to make a national investment to bring the internet to everyone in America. According to Governor Bush, nearly 21 million Americans had no fixed broadband service in 2019 because they live in rural areas where broadband providers say it’s too expensive to serve. Alternatively, they may not be able to afford it (I would suggest that affordability is an urban issue as well as a rural issue).
In June 2020, the McKinsey consulting group commissioned a survey of global business executives about the post-pandemic future workforce. The survey responses clearly indicate a period of future disruption and change. Millions of low-income people have lost their jobs, and the survey indicates that the mix of post-pandemic jobs will look decidedly different from the pre-pandemic mix.
An Inside Higher Ed blogger, Dr. Josh Kim, recently penned an article posing the question, “What if everything stays online forever?” Dr. Kim acknowledges that not everything is online now, and certain functions like construction, maintenance, and hospital services have to remain face-to-face.
In March, the governors of many states ordered social distancing and remote work for non-essential workers. Companies with offices scrambled to enhance their technology platforms in order to accommodate so many additional people working online and remotely.
Of the four Grand Challenges to higher education, financial health is foremost among the minds of many traditional higher education institutions, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently published articles and books call attention to the warning signs and at-risk metrics for traditional institutions that are financially troubled. For example, I’ve written about Robert Zemsky’s College Stress Test, Scott Galloway’s Value-to-Cost ratio and Vulnerability Score, and the Hechinger Report’s Financial Fitness Tracker.
In the latest issue of the Educause Review, Educause researchers Susan Grajek and D. Christopher Brooks write that Grand Challenges should be issued to encourage institutions to solve some of the biggest issues in higher education and that a digital transformation could be the best way to solve those challenges. For the uninitiated, a Grand Challenge “describes desired outcomes to problems that are extremely difficult (but not impossible) to solve and that are widespread, if not global, in scope.”
Potable water is a requirement for life, yet in many towns and cities across the United States, municipal water poses human health risk either from source water or water infrastructure. As a society, we need household-scale water testing to understand the extent to which the health of the local population is at risk. In an effort to help our students understand the quality of their local drinking water, we have established the Water Testing and Awareness Project (Water TAP).
Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) released its findings from a six-month study on the use of blockchain technology in education.
Co-authors P.W. Singer’s and August Cole’s latest book, Burn-In, is billed as a novel of the real robotic revolution. The setting for the book takes place in a Washington, DC of the future when computers and robots have been utilized by companies and the government to replace employees, putting many people in America out of work.
One of my favorite memories of graduate school was from the morning we discussed John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. Nerdy, I know. Thirty years later, I still remember the more than hour-long conversation we had about the title. The title! The professor asked us why we thought Milton chose to put the adjective after the noun instead of before it.