Coppell ISD becomes first district to use IBM, Apple format — from by Shawn Shinneman


Teachers at Coppell Independent School District have become the first to use a new IBM and Apple technology platform built to aid personalized learning.

IBM Watson Element for Educators pairs IBM analytics and data tools such as cognitive computing with Apple design. It integrates student grades, interests, participation, and trends to help educators determine how a student learns best, the company says.

It also recommends learning content personalized to each student. The platform might suggest a reading assignment on astronomy for a young student who has shown an interest in space.


From DSC:
Technologies involved with systems like IBM’s Watson will likely bring some serious impact to the worlds of education and training & development. Such systems — and the affordances that they should be able to offer us — should not be underestimated.  The potential for powerful, customized, personalized learning could easily become a reality in K-20 as well as in the corporate training space. This is an area to keep an eye on for sure, especially with the growing influence of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.

These kinds of technology should prove helpful in suggesting modules and courses (i.e., digital learning playlists), but I think the more powerful systems will be able to drill down far more minutely than that. I think these types of systems will be able to assist with all kinds of math problems and equations as well as analyze writing examples, correct language mispronunciations, and more (perhaps this is already here…apologies if so). In other words, the systems will “learn” where students can go wrong doing a certain kind of math equation…and then suggest steps to correct things when the system spots a mistake (or provide hints at how to correct mistakes).

This road takes us down to places where we have:

  • Web-based learner profiles — including learner’s preferences, passions, interests, skills
  • Microlearning/badging/credentialing — likely using blockchain
  • Learning agents/bots to “contact” for assistance
  • Guidance for lifelong learning
  • More choice, more control





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  • First IBM Watson Education App for iPad Delivers Personalized Learning for K-12 Teachers and Students — from
    Educators at Coppell Independent School District in Texas first to use new iPad app to tailor learning experiences to student’s interests and aptitudes
    With increasing demands on educators, teachers need tools that will enable them to better identify the individual needs of all students while designing learning experiences that engage and hold the students’ interest as they master the content. This is especially critical given that approximately one third of American students require remedial education when they enter college today, and current college attainment rates are not keeping pace with the country’s projected workforce needs1.  A view of academic and day-to-day updates in real time can help teachers provide personalized support when students need it.

    IBM Watson Element provides teachers with a holistic view of each student through a fun, easy-to-use and intuitive mobile experience that is a natural extension of their work. Teachers can get to know their students beyond their academic performance, including information about personal interests and important milestones students choose to share.  For example, teachers can input notes when a student’s highly anticipated soccer match is scheduled, when another has just been named president for the school’s World Affairs club, and when another has recently excelled following a science project that sparked a renewed interest in chemistry.The unique “spotlight” feature in Watson Element provides advanced analytics that enables deeper levels of communication between teachers about their students’ accomplishments and progress. For example, if a student is excelling academically, teachers can spotlight that student, praising their accomplishments across the school district. Or, if a student received a top award in the district art show, a teacher can spotlight the student so their other teachers know about it.

Preparing for the future of Artificial Intelligence
Executive Office of the President
National Science & Technology Council
Committee on Technology
October 2016



As a contribution toward preparing the United States for a future in which AI plays a growing role, this report surveys the current state of AI, its existing and potential applications, and the questions that are raised for society and public policy by progress in AI. The report also makes recommendations for specific further action s by Federal agencies and other actors. A companion document lays out a strategic plan for Federally-funded research and development in AI. Additionally, in the coming months, the Administration will release a follow-on report exploring in greater depth the effect of AI-driven automation on jobs and the economy.

The report was developed by the NSTC’s Subcommittee on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, which was chartered in May 2016 to foster interagency coordination, to provide technical and policy advice on topics related to AI, and to monitor the development of AI technologies across industry, the research community, and the Federal Government. The report was reviewed by the NSTC Committee on Technology, which concurred with its contents. The report follows a series of public-outreach activities spearheaded by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 2016, which included five public workshops co-hosted with universities and other associations that are referenced in this report.

In the coming years, AI will continue to contribute to economic growth and will be a valuable tool for improving the world, as long as industry, civil society, and government work together to develop the positive aspects of the technology, manage its risks and challenges, and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to help in building an AI-enhanced society and to participate in its benefits.




Our latest way to bring your government to you — from
Why we’re open-sourcing the code for the first-ever government bot on Facebook Messenger.




On August 26th, President Obama publicly responded to a Facebook message sent to him by a citizen—a first for any president in history. Since then, he has received over one and a half million Facebook messages, sent from people based all around the world.

While receiving messages from the public isn’t a recent phenomenon—every day, the White House receives thousands of phone calls, physical letters, and submissions through our online contact form—being able to contact the President through Facebook has never been possible before. Today [10/14/16], it’s able to happen because of the first-ever government bot on Facebook messenger.



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Ephesians 3:20-21  (NIV)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


55% of faculty are flipping the classroom — from by Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly
Our first-ever Teaching with Technology survey gauged educators’ use of the flipped classroom model, blended/online teaching environments and more.


The majority of higher education faculty today are flipping their courses or plan to in the near future, according to Campus Technology‘s 2016 Teaching with Technology survey. The survey polled faculty members across the country about their use of technology for teaching and learning, their wish lists and gripes, their view of what the future holds and more.



From DSC:
Speaking of flipping the classroom…I’ve listed some ideas below for a recording studio for your college or university — with the idea to provide more choice, more control to faculty members who want to record their lectures.

A small recording booth with a Mac in it that has ScreenFlow loaded on it; alternatively, you could use a PC with a desktop recording app such as Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Jing, or something similar.



A larger recording room that has a LightBoard (NU) or Learning Glass (SDSU) in it:

Image result for lightboard


A larger recording booth that simply has some whiteboards and/or some easels with paper on them



A Microsoft Surface Hub, or a SMART Board Interactive Display, or perhaps an Epson BrightLink, or something similar for writing and capturing annotations, images, graphics, etc.




…and likely other booths with other options that faculty can walk in and use. Again, the idea is to let the faculty members choose what’s most comfortable/convenient for them. 





From DSC:
Here’s an idea that came to my mind the other day as I was walking by a person who was trying to put some books back onto the shelves within our library.





From DSC:
Perhaps this idea is not very timely…as many collections of books will likely continue to be digitized and made available electronically. But preservation is still a goal for many libraries out there.



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IoT and the Campus of Things — from by


Today, the IoT sits at the peak of Gartner’s Hype Cycle. It’s probably not surprising that industry is abuzz with the promise of streaming sensor data. The oft quoted “50 billion connected devices by 2020!” has become a rallying cry for technology analysts, chip vendors, network providers, and other proponents of a deeply connected, communicating world. What is surprising is that academia has been relatively slow to join the parade, particularly when the potential impacts are so exciting. Like most organizations that manage significant facilities, universities stand to benefit by adopting the IoT as part of their management strategy. The IoT also affords new opportunities to improve the customer experience. For universities, this means the ability to provide new student services and improve on those already offered. Perhaps most surprisingly, the IoT represents an opportunity to better engage a diverse student base in computer science and engineering, and to amplify these programs through meaningful interdisciplinary collaboration.

The potential benefits of the IoT to the academic community extend beyond facilities management to improving our students’ experience. The lowest hanging fruit can be harvested by adapting some of the smart city applications that have emerged. What student hasn’t shown up late to class after circling the parking lot looking for a space? Ask any student at a major university if it would improve their campus experience to be able to check on their smart phones which parking spots were available. The answer will be a resounding “yes!” and there’s nothing futuristic about it. IoT parking management systems are commercially available through a number of vendors. This same type of technology can be adapted to enable students to find open meeting rooms, computer facilities, or café seating. What might be really exciting for students living in campus dormitories: A guarantee that they’ll never walk down three flights of stairs balancing two loads of dirty laundry to find that none of the washing machines are available. On many campuses, the washing machines are already network-connected to support electronic payment; availability reporting is a straightforward extension.



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2016 Innovators Awards | A Location-Aware App for Exploring the Library — from by Meg Lloyd
To help users access rich information resources on campus, the University of Oklahoma Libraries created a mobile app with location-based navigation and “hyperlocal” content.

Category: Education Futurists

Institution: University of Oklahoma

Project: OU Libraries NavApp

Project lead: Matt Cook, emerging technologies librarian

Tech lineup: Aruba, Meridian, RFIP



Somewhat related:





From DSC:
Consider the affordances that we will soon be experiencing when we combine machine learning — whereby computers “learn” about a variety of things — with new forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) — such as Augment Reality (AR)

The educational benefits — as well as the business/profit-related benefits will certainly be significant!

For example, let’s create a new mobile app called “Horticultural App (ML)” * — where ML stands for machine learning. This app would be made available on iOS and Android-based devices. (Though this is strictly hypothetical, I hope and pray that some entrepreneurial individuals and/or organizations out there will take this idea and run with it!)


Some use cases for such an app:

Students, environmentalists, and lifelong learners will be able to take some serious educationally-related nature walks once they launch the Horticultural App (ML) on their smartphones and tablets!

They simply hold up their device, and the app — in conjunction with the device’s camera — will essentially take a picture of whatever the student is focusing in on. Via machine learning, the app will “recognize” the plant, tree, type of grass, flower, etc. — and will then present information about that plant, tree, type of grass, flower, etc.


Above image via




In the production version of this app, a textual layer could overlay the actual image of the tree/plant/flower/grass/etc.  in the background — and this is where augmented reality comes into play. Also, perhaps there would be an opacity setting that would be user controlled — allowing the learner to fade in or fade out the information about the flower, tree, plant, etc.




Or let’s look at the potential uses of this type of app from some different angles.

Let’s say you live in Michigan and you want to be sure an area of the park that you are in doesn’t have any Eastern Poison Ivy in it — so you launch the app and review any suspicious looking plants. As it turns out, the app identifies some Eastern Poison Ivy for you (and it could do this regardless of which season we’re talking about, as the app would be able to ascertain the current date and the current GPS coordinates of the person’s location as well, taking that criteria into account).





Or consider another use of such an app:

  • A homeowner who wants to get rid of a certain kind of weed.  The homeowner goes out into her yard and “scans” the weed, and up pops some products at the local Lowe’s or Home Depot that gets rid of that kind of weed.
  • Assuming you allowed the app to do so, it could launch a relevant chatbot that could be used to answer any questions about the application of the weed-killing product that you might have.


Or consider another use of such an app:

  • A homeowner has a diseased tree, and they want to know what to do about it. The machine learning portion of the app could identify what the disease was and bring up information on how to eradicate it.
  • Again, if permitted to do so, a relevant chatbot could be launched to address any questions that you might have about the available treatment options for that particular tree/disease.


Or consider other/similar apps along these lines:

  • Skin ML (for detecting any issues re: acme, skin cancers, etc.)
  • Minerals and Stones ML (for identifying which mineral or stone you’re looking at)
  • Fish ML
  • Etc.


Image from


So there will be many new possibilities that will be coming soon to education, businesses, homeowners, and many others to be sure! The combination of machine learning with AR will open many new doors.


*  From Wikipedia:

Horticulture involves nine areas of study, which can be grouped into two broad sections: ornamentals and edibles:

  1. Arboriculture is the study of, and the selection, plant, care, and removal of, individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants.
  2. Turf management includes all aspects of the production and maintenance of turf grass for sports, leisure use or amenity use.
  3. Floriculture includes the production and marketing of floral crops.
  4. Landscape horticulture includes the production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants.
  5. Olericulture includes the production and marketing of vegetables.
  6. Pomology includes the production and marketing of pome fruits.
  7. Viticulture includes the production and marketing of grapes.
  8. Oenology includes all aspects of wine and winemaking.
  9. Postharvest physiology involves maintaining the quality of and preventing the spoilage of plants and animals.






FAITH and SCIENCE activities for your classroom—designed by teachers for teachers


From the About Us > The FASTly Story page

Could there be a way forward, a way of exploring the intersection of faith and science that isn’t fearful but hopeful?

In early 2011, a group of high school teachers gathered in a backwoods lodge, talking about the challenges they faced as they tried to engage big questions about science and faith. Students came to them afraid of controversy; parents worried their teaching would present the wrong angle; administrators warned them not to “stir the pot.”

What does it look like, they wondered, to teach science well in a Christian context? How might they help students to trust that the Bible and science aren’t mutually exclusive? Could there be a way forward, a way of exploring the intersection of faith and science that wasn’t fearful but hopeful?

Out of this conversation—and many others like it—the FAST project was born. A broad team came together to create this resource that begins with the conviction that the classroom can be a powerful site for discipleship. Where faith and science are so often seen as a source of conflict, FAST creates a space in which teachers and students are invited to engage them as a fruitful opportunity to learn and grow. FAST explores hard questions with integrity, encouraging the very best teaching practices within the context of Christian faithfulness.

Led by The Kuyers Institute and The Colossian Forum, FAST is a collaborative endeavor, drawing on the expertise of high school teachers, scholars, writers, and web developers. It is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

This site already includes a large collection of teaching activities, training materials, background essays, book reviews, and more. Click here to start exploring. By the end of 2017, thanks to the committed work of our project team and the ongoing support of the John Templeton Foundation, the number of Activity Maps on the site will nearly double. Sign up here for updates as continues to expand.



Also see:

  • Teaching faith and science? This new website changes everything. — from by Jennifer Vander Molen
    From TCF’s earliest days, our staff has worked closely with high school teachers to help students engage with difficult questions in the arena of faith and science. Young people so often feel the pinch of our culture’s inability to handle conflict well—but we’re convinced that the church can show them a better way. In order to help educators address these unique concerns, TCF has collaborated with the Kuyers Institute on the three-year FAST (Faith And Science Teaching) Project to create and launch by teachers for teachers, promotes an integrated, intentional, and creative approach to teaching and learning at the intersection of faith and science. The site offers hundreds of free, ready-to-use activities organized by subject area. It also features a robust resource section containing practical teaching strategies and conceptual resources.








Why Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Growth — from


Fuel For Growth
Compelling data reveal a discouraging truth about growth today. There has been a marked decline in the ability of traditional levers of production—capital investment and labor—to propel economic growth.

Yet, the numbers tell only part of the story. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a new factor of production and has the potential to introduce new sources of growth, changing how work is done and reinforcing the role of people to drive growth in business.

Accenture research on the impact of AI in 12 developed economies reveals that AI could double annual economic growth rates in 2035 by changing the nature of work and creating a new relationship between man and machine. The impact of AI technologies on business is projected to increase labor productivity by up to 40 percent and enable people to make more efficient use of their time.



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© 2016 Learning Ecosystems