Michelle R. Weise

What Robots Can Teach Us About Being Human

Over the next few months, Michelle R. Weise will be devoting her column to explaining one small thing about the future of work. Here’s the first of her series for EdSurge.Tell me how you do your job. This simple phrase is one way to determine how quickly your job might become automated in the future.

Unlocking the ‘Black Box’ of College Outcomes

Consumers today have access to thousands of reviews and copious amounts of data on just about every item they purchase (even the seemingly insignificant, like a $20 HDMI cable). But when it comes to making what, for most, will be one of the largest investments in their lifetime, prospective college students have precious little information that could guide their decision-making process.

Michelle Weise: ‘We Need to Design the Learning Ecosystem of the Future’

“Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.”

—Jim Dator, futurist at University of Hawaii-Manoa
Here’s something ridiculous for you: Futurists and experts on aging and longevity are now suggesting that the first people to live to be 150 years old have already been born. That is a long time to live—and work. It’s almost unfathomable: Will the careers of the future last 80 or 100 years?

Bringing ‘Blind Auditions’ to the Job Market

When “The Voice” premiered in 2011, it distinguished itself from other televised singing contests by featuring a blind auditions phase. Contestants had 30 seconds to sing their hearts out while four rock-star judges sat with their backs turned to them. During that short 30-second interlude, each person had the opportunity to lure one or more judges to turn their chairs around based on voice only. Nothing else mattered.

What Can Higher Ed Learn from Precision Medicine?

First, it was about access. Then completion. Now, it’s about wellness. Over the last few decades, discussions in higher-education reform have evolved from the concept of getting as many students through the doors of colleges, to making sure they complete their intended pathways. Now, the conversation appears to be shifting toward a question of educational well-being.

Future-Proofing College by Embracing ‘Purpose Learning’

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Hyperloop, has some serious reservations about artificial intelligence. And just as his inventions sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, so do his fears about AI: He worries that we risk unintentionally creating a super-smart machine that could obliterate humanity. One reason Musk is so eager to colonize other planets, in fact, is that he fears AI will wipe out the human race. We need a place to which to flee, he argues, even if it’s Mars.

Colleges Need to Work Together to Build Competencies of the Future

To address the disconnect between higher education and the workforce, several colleges are experimenting with microcredentials, certificates, clusters of competencies, and even blockchain to communicate easily their students’ mastery of knowledge, skills, and abilities to employers. Some may scorn this trend as unnecessarily catering to a skills-obsessed world. Teaching up-to-the-minute skills appears to run counter to the concept of teaching students how to learn for a lifetime.

Why a Robot-Filled Education Future May Not Be as Scary as You Think

The robots are coming, and some of them are charming. That was my reaction on a recent visit to Singularity University, when I met two robots named Pris and Pepper. Even though her “brain” was turned off when I met Pris, she was still able to sit on the floor, cock her head, blink, and follow my words and my body with her head. At times, she would even blink with a tinge of pink in her eyes. The effect was uncanny, engaging, and almost flirtatious.

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