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October 6, 2011

Law School Innovation Thanks Master Innovator, Steve Jobs


The visionary who made the computer more personal (in President Obama's elegant words) contributed to educational innovation by making technology seem less the realm of computer scientists, and more the realm of a broader community of creative persons.  I received my first Macintosh in 1984, and have owned Apple computers ever since, going through every generation in turn. 

Apple long cultivated a close link to educators and students, even when Microsoft sought to make itself indispensable to business.  While I am critical of Apple's proprietary approach and its overly aggressive patent claims, I appreciate Steve Jobs' love of design and his belief in the beauty of technology.

Thank you, Steve Jobs.    

-- Anupam Chander


Let me join in with the expression of thanks for Jobs' legacy (even though I suspect through the years I have enjoyed his Pixar contributions more than his Apple products).   Let me also wonder aloud why the law school arena (as well as the law services industry) has not seen an innovative figure like Jobs in its recent history.  

I suspect that, despite all the purportedly progressive individuals involved in the law school universe, the reality of the social environment and the economic marketplace of law schools tend to be quite conservative and pretty reactionary when it comes to innovative ideas and models.  But these realities will not stop us here at LSI from continuing to talk about new ideas and models.

Posted by DAB

October 6, 2011 in Technology -- in general | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Another 15 law schools targeted over jobs data"

The title of this post is the headline of this new piece from The National Law Journal, which begins this way:

The attorneys behind class actions against New York Law School and Thomas M. Cooley Law School announced plans on Oct. 5 to sue 15 additional law schools for publishing what they described as misleading postgraduate job statistics.

They have yet to secure enough name plaintiffs for those suits, however. They won't file until three alumni from each of the targeted schools sign on, they said during a conference call with reporters. The announcement was intended in part to drum up plaintiff interest, they acknowledged.

The attorneys, David Anziska and Jesse Strauss, detailed what they said was convincing evidence that law schools have offered a skewed picture of postgraduate employment rates and salaries for years, not just since the latest recession. "The problem isn't going away, and the legal academy isn't owning up to it," Strauss said. "We strongly believe that by the end of 2012, almost every school in the nation will be sued, if not by plaintiffs who are represented by us, then by plaintiffs represented by other law firms."

Strauss and Anziska said they are targeting the 15 schools either because alumni or students approached them with concerns, or because the postgraduate job data they have reported to the American Bar Association were "implausible."

October 6, 2011 in Legal profession realities and developments, Serving students | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 2, 2011

What technologies (other than e-casebooks) can or will transform legal education?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this notable commentary discussing some new tech ideas in the field of K-12 education.  The piece by Jonathan Alter is headlined "Robo-Truant Tech And Other Apps To Fix Education," and here is a snippet:

The education reform movement is at an important juncture. It will either peter out in platitudes or advance based on a new consensus.  At this week's Education Nation conference in New York City, I came away with some hope for the latter. My cautious optimism is rooted in two Ts -- technology and transparency....

Even if they cordially despise each other, reformers and traditionalists will now have to work together to implement the new accountability laws enacted in the past few years in about a dozen states. One way to do so is by embracing smart new technology.

For years, faddish tech fixes like computers in the classroom have yielded few results. But that could be changing.  One of the most intriguing parts of Education Nation was the Innovation Challenge, a contest with shades of Donald Trump's show, "The Apprentice." Three young innovators presented their ideas on stage to a panel of judges moderated by Tom Brokaw:

Classdojo.com uses a competitive point system (always popular with students) to enable teachers to better handle the behavioral problems that so often impede learning.  The idea is to build character by rewarding teams of students who work together to stay on task and avoid disruptions.  Technology can't substitute for a teacher's class-management skills. But with as much as half of class time consumed by dealing with disruptive kids, it can help....

Classdojo won the $75,000 prize.  Even if this and other 2011 innovations flop, we're edging closer to the era when technology finally changes what is essentially a 19th-century system of education.  In science, paradigm shifts follow technological breakthroughs. Education won't be any different. 

Regular readers know I have been saying for quite some time that e-readers will eventually transform the traditional casebook model for legal education, and the popularity of the iPad and the forthcoming Kindle Fire reinforce my views on this front.  But I am wondering, and truly hoping, that there will be other technological innovation and/or breakthroughs that further revamp legal education for the 21st century.  Anyone bold enough to make predictions about what those innovations might be?

Some related prior posts:

 Posted by DAB

October 2, 2011 in Electronic Education, Teaching Resources, Technology -- in general, Technology -- in the classroom | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack