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Weekly Review
January 7, 2021
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From PEW Research Center:
Striking Findings from 2021
By Katherine Schaeffer
The PEW Research Center sums up its most striking research of 2021 about social beliefs and opinions in the US and internationally. Key findings: more Americans now than any other time in history are deciding not to have children, identify as religiously unaffiliated, and are unmarried or unpartnered. Internationally, more people now more than ever cite family as a core source of meaning in their lives above other factors like friends, occupation, and society. Read this article
From The New Yorker:
What’s so Great about Great-Books Courses?
By Louis Menand
Harvard professor Louis Menand critiques two new books by fellow English faculty celebrating "great books" courses as the preeminent tools for self-knowledge, taking issue specifically with their view that "science is the enemy of ethical insight and self-knowledge." He argues that humanists should not be fighting a war against science but rather connecting with it and other disciplines outside the humanities. In his critique, Menand implicitly makes a compelling case for the role of the humanities in the modern university. Read this article
A Move for 'Algorithmic Reparation' Calls for Racial Justice in AI
By Khari Johnson
As AI increasingly informs hiring decisions, criminal sentencing, and who receives health care, there are growing efforts to encourage those working in the field to explicitly consider racism, sexism, and other structural inequalities. One proactive approach is the building of "reparative algorithms" that prioritize protecting and supporting groups historically discriminated against. More reactively, AI audits and "algorithmic impact assessments" can be used to help businesses and governments identify biases built into their use of AI. Read this article

From Times Higher Education:
How to apply virtual reality to enhance learning experiences
By Ithai Stern
Virtual reality (VR) simulators are starting to make their way into higher ed as the EdTech industry flourishes. Infusing lessons with VR experiences enables students to learn through experience in both a psychological and physiological way. This technology enhances classroom experience while enabling students to better understand the settings and challenges of their prospective job or industry. Hands on experiences are invaluable for preparing students for the real world, and VR is enabling this. Read this article
From The Economist:
Ten Trends to Watch in the Coming Year
By Tom Standage
2022 promises to be a year in which the world will need to learn to adjust to the new realities of work, travel, climate change, and the ongoing pandemic. Key trends include the relationship between the US and China, concerns about inflation and the supply chain, crypto currencies becoming a more accepted form of currency, and the growing extraterrestrial travel industries. Additionally, the merging of sports and politics will continue to rise as countries like China and Qatar host internationally attended events. Read this article
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