Paper 53 is the ‘sketch-iPad’ you always wanted — from


Paper 53 is a brilliant app which combines drawings, notes, photos and sketches. It is available on the Appstore. The app is simple and user-friendly; just use your finger (or a stylus) to draw, paint, select colours, erase and lots more.



Google’s virtual reality field trips are available to everyone — from by Jon Fingas
Students can also use Google Cast to share their screens across the classroom.



10 very good new educational web tools — from


Below is a collection of some new educational web tools and mobile apps to try out in your instruction.  The purpose is to keep you updated about the new releases in the EdTech world and empower you with the necessary technology to take your teaching and learning to the next level.  Some of the things you can do with these applications include: Learn English pronunciation from native speakers, easily save web content to Google, search YouTube without having to stop the video playing, learn basic math skills through challenging games and activities, unshare sent files in Gmail, create interactive and engaging videos by adding polls, short questions and quizzes, create beautiful presentations and animations  using drawn images and stick figures and many more.



Teaching with digital timelines — from Derek Bruff


This year the Center for Teaching hosted a few educational technology working groups for faculty, staff, and students interested in exploring ways particular technologies might meet their instructional goals. One of the groups investigated the use of digital timeline tools, like Tiki-Toki and TimelineJS, that facilitate the creation of online, multimedia, interactive, and collaborative timelines. I had used such tools in my own teaching, having asked my 2010 writing seminar students to create a class timeline on the history of cryptography, and I was eager to talk with other instructors about the potential of student-produced timelines.



Top 5 AI virtual assistants: Now and into the future — from


In Silicon Valley and elsewhere there’s currently an AI arms race going on. The first wave of this race is centered around artificial virtual assistants that are poised to become our new digital best friends in the very near future. While many people are familiar with Apple’s popular AI virtual assistant, Siri, there are four other main players in the AI virtual assistant space.



From DSC:
Twitter is also a tool that you should consider putting in your toolbox — or in your students’ toolboxes. Consider how it was used here –> This Henry VIII Twitter Account Is The Best Way To Learn About Brexit | @KngHnryVIII tells it like it is (and like how it was in the 1500s).





Heuristic Media is working on 37 apps, 1 for each Shakespeare play — with The Tempest as its pilot app.










Addendum on 6/30/16:





From DSC:
Twitter is a tool that you should consider putting in your toolbox — or in your students’ toolboxes. Consider how it was used here –> This Henry VIII Twitter Account Is The Best Way To Learn About Brexit | @KngHnryVIII tells it like it is (and like how it was in the 1500s).




Stanford’s virtual reality lab cultivates empathy for the homeless — from by Rachael Myrow



The burgeoning field of Virtual Reality — or VR as it is commonly known — is a vehicle for telling stories through 360-degree visuals and sound that put you right in the middle of the action, be it at a crowded Syrian refugee camp, or inside the body of an 85-year-old with a bad hip and cataracts.  Because of VR’s immersive properties, some people describe the medium as “the ultimate empathy machine.” But can it make people care about something as fraught and multi-faceted as homelessness?

A study in progress at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab explores that question, and I strapped on an Oculus Rift headset (one of the most popular devices people currently use to experience VR) to look for an answer.

A new way of understanding homelessness
The study, called Empathy at Scale, puts participants in a variety of scenes designed to help them imagine the experience of being homeless themselves.


We can do nothing to change the past, but we have enormous power to shape the future. Once we grasp that essential insight, we recognize our responsibility and capability for building our dreams of tomorrow and avoiding our nightmares.

–Edward Cornish


From DSC:
This posting represents Part VI in a series of such postings that illustrate how quickly things are moving (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and to ask:

  • How do we collectively start talking about the future that we want?
  • How do we go about creating our dreams, not our nightmares?
  • Most certainly, governments will be involved….but who else should be involved in these discussions? Shouldn’t each one of us participate in some way, shape, or form?





Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem — from by Kate Crawford


But this hand-wringing is a distraction from the very real problems with artificial intelligence today, which may already be exacerbating inequality in the workplace, at home and in our legal and judicial systems. Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many “intelligent” systems that shape how we are categorized and advertised to.

If we look at how systems can be discriminatory now, we will be much better placed to design fairer artificial intelligence. But that requires far more accountability from the tech community. Governments and public institutions can do their part as well: As they invest in predictive technologies, they need to commit to fairness and due process.



Facebook is using artificial intelligence to categorize everything you write — from


Facebook has just revealed DeepText, a deep learning AI that will analyze everything you post or type and bring you closer to relevant content or Facebook services.



March of the machines — from
What history tells us about the future of artificial intelligence—and how society should respond


EXPERTS warn that “the substitution of machinery for human labour” may “render the population redundant”. They worry that “the discovery of this mighty power” has come “before we knew how to employ it rightly”. Such fears are expressed today by those who worry that advances in artificial intelligence (AI) could destroy millions of jobs and pose a “Terminator”-style threat to humanity. But these are in fact the words of commentators discussing mechanisation and steam power two centuries ago. Back then the controversy over the dangers posed by machines was known as the “machinery question”. Now a very similar debate is under way.

After many false dawns, AI has made extraordinary progress in the past few years, thanks to a versatile technique called “deep learning”. Given enough data, large (or “deep”) neural networks, modelled on the brain’s architecture, can be trained to do all kinds of things. They power Google’s search engine, Facebook’s automatic photo tagging, Apple’s voice assistant, Amazon’s shopping recommendations and Tesla’s self-driving cars. But this rapid progress has also led to concerns about safety and job losses. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others wonder whether AI could get out of control, precipitating a sci-fi conflict between people and machines. Others worry that AI will cause widespread unemployment, by automating cognitive tasks that could previously be done only by people. After 200 years, the machinery question is back. It needs to be answered.


As technology changes the skills needed for each profession, workers will have to adjust. That will mean making education and training flexible enough to teach new skills quickly and efficiently. It will require a greater emphasis on lifelong learning and on-the-job training, and wider use of online learning and video-game-style simulation. AI may itself help, by personalising computer-based learning and by identifying workers’ skills gaps and opportunities for retraining.





In Wisconsin, a Backlash Against Using Data to Foretell Defendants’ Futures — from by Mitch Smith


CHICAGO — When Eric L. Loomis was sentenced for eluding the police in La Crosse, Wis., the judge told him he presented a “high risk” to the community and handed down a six-year prison term.

The judge said he had arrived at his sentencing decision in part because of Mr. Loomis’s rating on the Compas assessment, a secret algorithm used in the Wisconsin justice system to calculate the likelihood that someone will commit another crime.

Compas is an algorithm developed by a private company, Northpointe Inc., that calculates the likelihood of someone committing another crime and suggests what kind of supervision a defendant should receive in prison. The results come from a survey of the defendant and information about his or her past conduct. Compas assessments are a data-driven complement to the written presentencing reports long compiled by law enforcement agencies.



Google Tackles Challenge of How to Build an Honest Robot — from by


Researchers at Alphabet Inc. unit Google, along with collaborators at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and OpenAI — an artificial intelligence development company backed by Elon Musk — have some ideas about how to design robot minds that won’t lead to undesirable consequences for the people they serve. They published a technical paper Tuesday outlining their thinking.

The motivation for the research is the immense popularity of artificial intelligence, software that can learn about the world and act within it. Today’s AI systems let cars drive themselves, interpret speech spoken into phones, and devise trading strategies for the stock market. In the future, companies plan to use AI as personal assistants, first as software-based services like Apple Inc.’s Siri and the Google Assistant, and later as smart robots that can take actions for themselves.

But before giving smart machines the ability to make decisions, people need to make sure the goals of the robots are aligned with those of their human owners.



Policy paper | Data Science Ethical Framework — from
From: Cabinet Office, Government Digital Service and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP
First published: 19 May 2016
Part of: Government transparency and accountability

This framework is intended to give civil servants guidance on conducting data science projects, and the confidence to innovate with data.

Detail: Data science provides huge opportunities for government. Harnessing new forms of data with increasingly powerful computer techniques increases operational efficiency, improves public services and provides insight for better policymaking. We want people in government to feel confident using data science techniques to innovate. This guidance is intended to bring together relevant laws and best practice, to give teams robust principles to work with. The publication is a first version that we are asking the public, experts, civil servants and other interested parties to help us perfect and iterate. This will include taking on evidence from a public dialogue on data science ethics. It was published on 19 May by the Minister for Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock. If you would like to help us iterate the framework, find out how to get in touch at the end of this blog.





Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

We need to update the New Deal for the 21st century and establish a trainee program for the new jobs artificial intelligence will create. We need to retrain truck drivers and office assistants to create data analysts, trip optimizers and other professionals we don’t yet know we need. It would have been impossible for an antebellum farmer to imagine his son becoming an electrician, and it’s impossible to say what new jobs AI will create. But it’s clear that drastic measures are necessary if we want to transition from an industrial society to an age of intelligent machines.

The next step in achieving human-level ai is creating intelligent—but not autonomous—machines. The AI system in your car will get you safely home, but won’t choose another destination once you’ve gone inside. From there, we’ll add basic drives, along with emotions and moral values. If we create machines that learn as well as our brains do, it’s easy to imagine them inheriting human-like qualities—and flaws.



DARPA to Build “Virtual Data Scientist” Assistants Through A.I. — from by William Hoffman
A.I. will make up for the lack of data scientists.


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Friday the launch of Data-Driven Discovery of Models (D3M), which aim to help non-experts bridge what it calls the “data-science expertise gap” by allowing artificial assistants to help people with machine learning. DARPA calls it a “virtual data scientist” assistant.

This software is doubly important because there’s a lack of data scientists right now and a greater demand than ever for more data-driven solutions. DARPA says experts project 2016 deficits of 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists worldwide, and increasing shortfalls in coming years.



Robot that chooses to inflict pain sparks debate about AI systems — from by Maverick Baker


A robot built by roboticist Alexander Reben from the University of Berkeley, California has the ability to decide using AI whether or not to inflict pain.

The robot aims to spark a debate on if an AI system can get out of control, reminiscent of the terminator. The robot design is incredibly simple, designed to serve only one purpose; to decide whether or not to inflict pain. The robot was engineered by Alexander Reben of the University of Berkeley and was published in a scientific journal aimed to spark a debate on whether or not artificial intelligent robots can get out of hand if given the opportunity.



The NSA wants to spy on the Internet of Things. Everything from thermostats to pacemakers could be mined for intelligence data. — from by Andrew Dalton


We already know the National Security Agency is all up in our data, but the agency is reportedly looking into how it can gather even more foreign intelligence information from internet-connected devices ranging from thermostats to pacemakers. Speaking at a military technology conference in Washington D.C. on Friday, NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett said the agency is “looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now.” The Intercept reports Ledgett was quick to point out that there are easier ways to keep track of terrorists and spies than to tap into any medical devices they might have, but did confirm that it was an area of interest.



The latest tool in the NSA’s toolbox? The Internet of Things — from by Lulu Chang


You may love being able to set your thermostat from your car miles before you reach your house, but be warned — the NSA probably loves it too. On Friday, the National Security Agency — you know, the federal organization known for wiretapping and listening it on U.S. citizens’ conversations — told an audience at Washington’s Newseum that it’s looking into using the Internet of Things and other connected devices to keep tabs on individuals.


Addendum on 6/29/16:


Addendums on 6/30/16


Addendum on 7/1/16

  • Humans are willing to trust chatbots with some of their most sensitive information — from by Sam Shead
    A study has found that people are inclined to trust chatbots with sensitive information and that they are open to receiving advice from these AI services. The “Humanity in the Machine” report —published by media agency Mindshare UK on Thursday — urges brands to engage with customers through chatbots, which can be defined as artificial intelligence programmes that conduct conversations with humans through chat interfaces.





How chatbots and deep learning will change the future of organizations — from by Daniel Newman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Don’t let the fun, casual name mislead you. Chatbots—software that you can “chat with”—have serious implications for the business world. Though many businesses have already considered their use for customer service purposes, a chatbot’s internal applications could be invaluable on a larger scale. For instance, chatbots could help employees break down siloes and provide targeted data to fuel every department. This digital transformation is happening, even in organizational structures that face challenges with other formats of real-time communication.

Still unclear on what chatbots are and what they do? Think of a digital assistant—such as iPhone’s Siri or Alexa, the Artificial Intelligence within the Amazon Echo. A chatbot reduces or eliminates the need for many mobile apps, as the answers are stored inside the chatbot. Need to know what the weather’s like in LA? Ask your chatbot. Is your flight running on time? Ask your chatbot. Is the package you ordered going to be delivered while you’re away? You get the gist.


From DSC:
How might institutions of higher education as well as K-12 school districts benefit from such internal applications of chatbots? How about external applications of chatbots? If done well, such applications could facilitate solid customer service (i.e., self-service knowledgebases) and aid in communications.



Hold Tight: The Chatbot Era Has Begun — from by
Chatbots: What they are, and why they’re so important for businesses


Imagine being able to have your own personal assistant at your fingertips, who you can chat with, give instructions and errands to, and handle the majority of your online research — both personally and professionally.

That’s essentially what a chatbot does.

Capable of being installed on any messenger platform, such as Facebook messenger or text messages, a chat bot is a basic artificial intelligence computer software program that does the legwork for you — and communicates in a way that feels like an intelligent conversation over text or voice messaging.




Once-in-a-decade paradigm shift: Messaging — from by Beerud Sheth
In the history of the personal computing industry, we have had a paradigm shift about once every decade.







Smart assistants and chatbots will be top consumer applications for AI over next 5 years, poll says — from by Blaise Zerega


Virtual agents and chatbots will be the top consumer applications of artificial intelligence over the next five years, according to a consensus poll released today by TechEmergence, a marketing research firm for AI and machine learning.

The emphasis on virtual agents and chatbots is in many ways not surprising. After all, the tech industry’s 800-pound gorillas have all made big bets: Apple with Siri, Amazon with Alexa, Facebook with M and Messenger, Google with Google Assistant, Microsoft with Cortana and Tay. However, the poll’s data also suggests that chatbots may soon be viewed as a horizontal enabling technology for many industries.


From DSC:
Might this eventually affect students’ expectations? Blackboard’s partnership with IBM and Amazon may come into play here.



Some like it bot: Why chatbots could be the start of something big — from
Chatbots are on the rise. With Google, Facebook and Microsoft competing to be the caring voice your customers turn to, what does this mean for your enterprise?


The most prevalent indicator that the artificial intelligence-driven future is rapidly  becoming reality is the rise of the chatbot – an  A.I. software program designed to chat with people. Well, more accurately, the re-emergence of the bot. Basically, robots talking to humans talking to robots is the tech vision for the future.


Maybe one of the most obvious uses for this technology would be in service. If you can incorporate your self-service knowledge base into a bot that responds directly to questions and uses customer data to provide the most relevant answers, it’s more convenient for customers…



Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York — from by Samuel Gibbs
Free service DoNotPay helps appeal over $4m in parking fines in just 21 months, but is just the tip of the legal AI iceberg for its 19-year-old creator


An artificial-intelligence lawyer chatbot has successfully contested 160,000 parking tickets across London and New York for free, showing that chatbots can actually be useful.

Dubbed as “the world’s first robot lawyer” by its 19-year-old creator, London-born second-year Stanford University student Joshua Browder, DoNotPay helps users contest parking tickets in an easy to use chat-like interface.





Addendum on 6/29/16:

A New Chatbot Would Like to Help You With Your Bank Account — from by Cade Metz


People in Asia are already using MyKai, and beginning today, you can too. Because it’s focused on banking—and banking alone—it works pretty well. But it’s also flawed. And it’s a bit weird. Unsettling, even. All of which makes it a great way of deconstructing the tech world’s ever growing obsession with “chatbots.”

MyKai is remarkably adept at understanding what I’m asking—and that’s largely because it’s focused solely on banking. When I ask “How much money do I have?” or “How much did I spend on food in May?,” it understands. But when I ask who won the Spain-Italy match at Euro 2016, it suggests I take another tack. The thing to realize about today’s chatbots is that they can be reasonably effective if they’ve honed to a particular task—and that they break down if the scope gets to wide.


Blackboard Partners with IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) – North America Customer Announcement

Date Published: Jun 27,2016
Product: Collaborate, ANGEL, Learn, CE/Vista, Xythos, Moodlerooms, Analytics, Open Content
Article No.: 000042385

Announcement Details:
We are excited to share some news with you about Blackboard’s new partnership with IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) which will have far-reaching and lasting impacts for the education technology industry.  This communication will provide details on how this will benefit our customers and other business partners.

This partnership will enable us to accelerate our focus on developing innovative educational products and services that serve the needs of our customers. And it will open the door for us to develop novel solutions benefiting the education ecosystem.  There are two parts to this partnership that will benefit you:

Selection of AWS as our strategic cloud platform and partnership with IBM for operations and infrastructure management

We will partner with IBM in the operations and infrastructure management of Blackboard’s data centers.  We have also selected AWS as our cloud services provider and entered into an agreement with IBM to manage our cloud services environments. This partnership will enable Blackboard to focus on what we do best – developing innovative educational products and services – while relying on the world-class data hosting and operational capabilities of IBM and AWS.

This partnership does not affect our Transact customers.

This partnership offers customers many benefits. It will enable us to accelerate our focus on developing innovative educational products and services that serve the needs of our customers. Furthermore, we will leverage IBM’s experience, scale, and tools with the goal of  delivering the highest quality of service possible to our customers. This includes stringent service level agreements intended to ensure that Blackboard customers receive the most reliable and resilient hosting services available in the marketplace.  In addition, this partnership allows for enhanced technical, organizational and physical security measures to safeguard Blackboard customer data.  We will also leverage the power of the AWS ecosystem to accelerate product development and deployment; further improving customer experience in the future.

Our relationship with Amazon and IBM is integrated. There are no gaps in accountability for delivering reliable services to our clients.  And its backed by a comprehensive and robust set of service level commitments to deliver highly available and responsive services for you.

Exclusive partnership to co-develop cognitive education solutions utilizing Watson

Blackboard and IBM have entered into an exclusive agreement to develop cognitive educational solutions for the K-12 and higher education markets.  The partnership will combine Blackboard’s expertise in developing innovative education products in use by millions around the world, with the power of IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology to create exclusive solutions to address some of the most pressing problems in education.

IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. In short, it can help to ‘hyper personalize’ the educational experience.

To sum it up, we’re tremendously excited about partnering with IBM and Amazon to deliver extraordinary capability to our customers. And we’re excited by what’s on the horizon for Blackboard and our customers as we continue to focus on delivering innovative products that address some of the most pressing challenges in education.

To learn more about our partnership, check out our press release on We’ll also provide further details in the weeks ahead through webinars and at BbWorld.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.  Why did Blackboard select IBM and AWS as their partners?
We spent considerable time selecting our partners, and we’re confident in what both IBM and Amazon will deliver for our customers. IBM is one of the world’s top infrastructure management organizations, and is uniquely positioned because of its experience and work in the education space. AWS is the clear leader in cloud services, with the largest global cloud infrastructure footprint, the most well-developed ecosystem, tremendous momentum and rate of innovation.Both companies share our values and dedication to maintaining the privacy of customer data, and both have invested heavily in world-class security programs to keep your data safe in accordance with global standards and regulations.

2.  Will the partnership extend to infrastructure provision and management for Blackboard’s Transact customers?
No.  Transact will continue to operate as today with no changes.

3.  How can I learn more about this partnership between Blackboard and IBM and the benefits to me?
In order to provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about this partnership and how it will benefit you, we have planned for several sessions at BbWorld, and have scheduled a series of customer webinars.  BbWorld is scheduled for July 12-14 and the webinars will be scheduled  in July and August.

4.  Will this change in responsibility affect who I call if I have a question or issue?
No.  Your support will continue to be handled by the same Blackboard team that exists today.

5.  Will I see any changes as a result of the partnership?  Yes.  We expect that you will see operational improvements starting in the 3-6 month timeframe.  These include improved system availability and accelerated response time to issues.

6.  What does this mean for Security and Privacy?
IBM and AWS share our focus on providing highly secure environments and experiences. This partnership will provide an enhanced data security program and robust technical, organizational and physical security measures to protect customer data, including student data.  Further, our agreement with IBM and AWS contains detailed provisions intended to safeguard data in North American markets in specific consideration of applicable privacy laws and regulations.   These provisions include geographic restrictions on the location and transfer of customer data, and encryption standards, to comply with applicable law.

7.  Does this partnership mean that I will need to move out of my existing Learn hosted environment?
No.  While in time many customers are planning to transition their Learn deployment to our cloud environment, customers who are currently running Learn 9.1 in our managed hosting datacenters will not be required to move.

8.  What about other Blackboard applications besides Learn?
Many other Blackboard applications are already delivered in a software-as-a-service model using Blackboard-managed datacenters. Over the coming years, IBM and Blackboard will work together to move these applications from Blackboard datacenters to AWS. Any migration plan will be developed in full consideration of giving customers an uninterrupted service and user experience.

9.  What about the current SaaS deployment for Blackboard Learn?
There is no impact.  Learn SaaS already runs on AWS.

10.  What is IBM Watson?
IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. In short, it can help to ‘hyper personalize’ the educational experience.

Watson gained a level of fame in 2011 when the team put their technology up against two of Jeopardy’s greatest champions in the history of the game. It was an exciting two-day match that resulted in Watson beating out the competition – not just from right answers, but also from using the right strategy for wagers to win the game.

See how Watson beat the Jeopardy leaders in this short video.

How does Watson work? Watch this educational video.

11.  Are there any definitive plans for the cognitive education solutions developed with Watson that I need to plan for at my institution?
We are in the early stages of this relationship. Blackboard and the Watson Education team are starting the process of scoping out the solutions that will bring the most value to K-12 and higher education.  We plan to communicate our progress and solicit your input as we move forward.

12.  What if I have more questions about this partnership?
There are three ways you can get answers to your questions:

  • Attend one of the multiple sessions planned for BbWorld.
  • Attend one of the online webinars will be schedule in the coming weeks.
  • Contact your Account Executive or Customer Success Advocate.


Addendum on 6/29/16:

  • Blackboard Inc. and IBM Enter Strategic Relationship to Develop Cognitive Solutions and Manage Infrastructure Operations
    IBM and Blackboard will work collaboratively to develop cognitive educational solutions utilizing the capabilities of both companies to advance learner success. The companies will combine Blackboard’s expertise in developing innovative education products used by millions of people around the world with the power of IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology. The new solutions will offer greater support for teachers and students to address their collaborative needs in the classroom and help students complete and achieve their educational goals.



ISTE 2016 Monday highlights: Monarch to newspapers, Soundtrap teams up with Google, and Google releases Google Cast — from


ISTE 2016: Michio Kaku says education needs a revolution — from by Jena Passut
The theoretical physicist says a fourth wave of technology is about to begin, and educators must prepare students to thrive in the new landscape.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

There have been three major waves of technology: steam power and locomotive, electricity and automobile, and high tech, Kaku said. We are about to enter a fourth wave — biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence — that will drive the economy, he said.

How should educators respond when computers become part of the wallpaper and Internet-enabled contact lenses make information accessible at the blink of an eye?


“I don’t just want my students to learn,” she said. “I want them to want to learn.”

— Kerry Gallagher


ISTE and Microsoft collaborate to provide new school planning and professional learning resources — from
ISTE and Microsoft collaborate to provide new school planning and professional learning resources; multi-project initiative to include first of its kind blueprint for school transformation, leadership courses, school development tools.


DENVER -June 26, 2016 -At today’s ISTE 2016 opening general session, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) and Microsoft Corp. announced they plan to combine and expand a host of their world-class initiatives to ensure educators and school leaders around the world have access to school planning and professional development resources. This collaboration stems from a shared belief that technology has the power to transform learning, and can do so most effectively when it’s embedded in how a school or educator thinks about and drives new learning opportunities.


Innovation is more than creating new things —


8 questions to ask before creating a makerspace —


Amazon unveils online education service for teachers — from by Natasha Singer





A dozen classic tools in the futurist’s toolbox — from


In addition to those new tools, however,they still rely on more traditional ones, which are their versions of wrenches and ratchets. Here’s a quick outline the more popular methodologies, listed alphabetically:

  1. Backcasting
  2. Causal layered analysis
  3. Delphi surveys
  4. Environmental scanning and monitoring
  5. Forecasting
  6. Futures wheel
  7. Polling
  8. Gaming
  9. Modeling and simulations
  10. Scenario planning
  11. Trend analysis
  12. Visioning


From DSC:
K-20 students need to know about these things!  MBA’s should definitely be required to take courses on futurism. Speaking of such courses, we need more courses that focus on futurism and on helping students develop these kinds of skills. Given the pace of technological change and the level of disruption that can occur these days, these sorts of tools in one’s toolbox can come in very handy indeed.




A theme park inspired by Noah’s Ark to open this summer [in Williamstown, Kentucky, USA] — from by Daniel Esparza
“Ark Encounter” in Kentucky will feature a reproduction of the biblical ark



Williamstown, Kentucky, 30 miles south of Cincinnati, is home to Ark Encounter, a theme park whose main attraction is a reproduction, literally of biblical proportions, of the very famous Noah’s ark.

Being 510 feet long (or 300 cubits, strictly following the biblical description of the legendary ship), the ark is already the biggest timber-framed structure in the United States. Actually, its total surface area rises up to 120,000 square feet; that makes it just over twice as large as the White House, and longer than three space shuttles laid end to end — so, yes, you can bet Noah indeed had room for a pair of each animal.


















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