Smart and Dumb Technology

Reid Hoffman is best known for helping create the social Giant Linkedin. But not only did he help create Linkedin, he was involved in the reations of Zynga, Facebook, and Paypal. It is safe to say that he understands value in business and knows where it is located. Where he does not seem to find much value is in the modern 4 year bachelor’s diploma that colleges offer now a days.
In his article about diplomas from traditional colleges, he refers to diplomas as outdated, “dumb” pieces of technology. An interesting phrase for a piece of paper, but that is he views it, as a piece of technology. It is his belief that diplomas have a 21st century upgrade waiting for them, that we as a society just need to get behind this upgrade.
As far as the problem of the diploma itself, he voices a common frustration that many employers find with their new, college graduated employees:
“[employers] also said that more than grades, major, or what school a person attended, “employers viewed an internship as the single most important credential for recent grads.”
At first glance, this perspective is baffling. Employers insist that college degrees are a prerequisite for employment, even for low-skilled clerical positions. And yet what they find most telling is not how well people do in four-year-degree programs, but how well they do in settings that approximate workplaces.”

So what is the answer then, to this long frustrated query? What do we as a society come up with in answer to a system that is becoming ineffective in terms of cost and value?
“Imagine an online document that’s iterative like a LinkedIn profile (and might even be part of the LinkedIn profile), but is administered by some master service that verifies the authenticity of its components. While you’d be the creator and primary keeper of this profile, you wouldn’t actually be able to add certifications yourself. Instead, this master service would do so, verifying information with the certification issuers, at your request, after you successfully completed a given curriculum.
Over time, this dynamic, networked diploma will contain an increasing number of icons or badges symbolizing specific certifications. It could also link to transcripts, test scores, and work examples from these curricula, and even evaluations from instructors, classmates, internship supervisors, and others who have interacted with you in your educational pursuits.

Ultimately the various certificates you earn could be bundled into higher-value certifications. If you earn five certificates in the realm of computer science, you might receive an icon or badge that symbolizes this higher level of experience and expertise. In this way, you could eventually assemble portfolios that reflect a similar breadth of experiences that you get when you pursue a traditional four-year degree.”

Can you imagine the benefits of a system like this? The efficiency of businesses across the globe would sky rocket! The world economic crises would be faced head on by a multitude of capable, competent civil workers who could contribute eight hours of their day to helping their businesses grow and flourish, and therefore, help the world around them grow and flourish. Of course the man who helped developed Linkedin, a business connections site, would be the one to see the benefits of “updating” the technology of the diploma.

But in the meantime, what does this have to do with the modern day business person? Well, the effects of being social are profound. Online social is so powerful that it could revolutionize a stagnant technology and turn around a world economy. If it can do that, then what can it do for you?
Or better yet, what can DAASN, do for you?

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