The 2016-2021 Worldwide Self-paced eLearning Market: The Global eLearning Market is in Steep Decline — from


The Perfect Storm of Market Inhibitors
There are five major convergent inhibitors driving the global revenues for self-paced eLearning downward:

  • Intense commoditization
  • The eLearning product lifecycle is in the final stage and suppliers are diversifying their product catalogs beyond eLearning
  • The collapse of the global LMS market
  • Profound degree of product substitution
  • The leapfrog effect in mobile-only countries

None of these inhibitors are reversible. Combined, they are driving the global eLearning market into steep declines in revenue. Any one of these inhibitors would dampen the demand for eLearning, but the presence of all five creates very unfavorable market conditions for suppliers.













A Seminal Day in VR: Announcing “Moon” —


This is a big day for Virtual Reality. Today, Lytro is proud to announce “Moon,” the first ever live-action 6DoF VR experience in history.

To understand why this is a historic day for VR, let’s take a step back and look at the current landscape. Today, there are two kinds of experiences available in VR.

High Immersion (6DoF), Low Realism. The first type of experience is produced using real-time game engines. These experiences are highly immersive – they allow the viewer to move around a virtual space in six degrees of freedom6DoF (3 to rotate your head, and 3 to move around in the space). But, the imagery these experiences can show is limited to computer-generated content that renders in just a few milliseconds. Despite advances in real-time game-engine technology, these experiences cannot yet be photorealistic. And of course, they cannot capture the real world.

Low Immersion (3DoF), High Realism. The second type of VR experience available today is 360 video. These experiences are “high realism” – they can show imagery created by filming the real world or by spending tens or hundreds of hours rendering a single computer-generated frame. But, these experiences aren’t “high immersion” because the viewer is stuck to a single point in space – in fact, the viewer is really just watching video projected on a sphere around her head. We call this 3DoF – the viewer has only the 3 degrees of freedom to rotate her head.

Neither of these brings us the “jet-packs and flying cars” future VR has promised. The true promise of VR is to transport us to real and fictional places with full fidelity – to feel like we’re there with all our senses, and to believe that we’re there because of the realism of our new surroundings. This promised future requires BOTH “high realism” AND “high immersion” (6DoF) – a combination that no technology has been capable of. Until now.








IdioT InTo IoT — from by Michael Moe, Luben Pampoulov, Li Jiang, Nick Franco, Suzee Han, Michael Bartimer

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But an interesting twist to Negroponte’s paradigm is emerging. As we embed chips in physical devices to make them “smart,” bits and atoms are co-mingling in compelling ways. Collectively called the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices are appearing in our homes, on the highway, in manufacturing plants, and on our wrists. Estimates vary widely but IDC has predicted that the IoT market will surpass $1.7 trillion by 2020.

Here again, Amazon’s arc is instructive. Its “Echo” smart speaker, powered by a digital assistant, “Alexa”, has sold over three million units in a little over a year. Echo enables users to play music with voice commands, as well as manage other integrated home systems, including lights, fans, door locks, and thermostats.














High-Profile Cyber Attacks on Physical Assets







Future proof yourselves — from Microsoft & The Future Laboratory

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Executive Summary
Explore the world of work in 2025 in a revealing evidence-based report by future consultants The Future Laboratory and Microsoft, which identifies and investigates ten exciting, inspiring and astounding jobs for the graduates of tomorrow – but that don’t exist yet.

Tomorrow’s university graduates will be taking a journey into the professional unknown guided by a single, mind-blowing statistic: 65% of today’s students will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet.

Technological change, economic turbulence and societal transformation are disrupting old career certainties and it is increasingly difficult to judge which degrees and qualifications will be a passport to a well-paid and fulfilling job in the decades ahead.

A new wave of automation, with the advent of true artificial intelligence, robots and driverless cars, threatens the future of traditional jobs, from truck drivers to lawyers and bankers.

But, by 2025, this same technological revolution will open up inspiring and exciting new career opportunities in sectors that are only in their infancy today.

The trick for graduates is to start to develop the necessary skills today in order to ensure they future proof their careers.

This report by future consultants The Future Laboratory attempts to show them how to do just that in a research collaboration with Microsoft, whose Surface technology deploys the precision and versatility of pen and touch to power creative industries ranging from graphic design and photography to architecture and engineering.

In this study, we use extensive desk research and in-depth interviews with technologists, academics, industry commentators and analysts to unveil 10 new creative job categories that will be recruiting tomorrow’s university students.

These future jobs demonstrate a whole new world of potential applications for the technology of today, as we design astonishing virtual habitats and cure deadly diseases from the comfort of our own sofas. It is a world that will need a new approach to training and career planning.

Welcome to tomorrow’s jobs…



65% of today’s students will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet.



One of the jobs mentioned was the Ethical Technology Advocate — check out this video clip:



“Over the next decade, the long-awaited era of robots will dawn and become part of everyday life. It will be important to set out the moral and ethical rules under which they operate…”





The first truly awesome chatbot is a talking T. Rex — from by John Brownlee
National Geographic uses a virtual Tyrannosaur to teach kids about dinosaurs—and succeeds where other chatbots fail.




As some have declared chatbots to be the “next webpage,” brands have scrambled to develop their own talkative bots, letting you do everything from order a pizza to rewrite your resume. The truth is, though, that a lot of these chatbots are actually quite stupid, and tend to have a hard time understanding natural human language. Sooner or later, users get frustrated bashing their heads up against the wall of a dim-witted bot’s AI.

So how do you design around a chatbot’s walnut-sized brain? If you’re National Geographic Kids UK, you set your chatbot to the task of pretending to be a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Cretaceous-era apex predator that really had a walnut-sized brain (at least comparatively speaking).


She’s called Tina the T. rex, and by making it fun to learn about dinosaurs, she suggests that education — rather than advertising or shopping — might be the real calling of chatbots.




Also relevant/see:



Two things happened today that got me to reflect on the word resilience:

  1. An all-campus conference with faculty and staff, whereby one of the breakout sessions was about supporting emotional resilience in our students. It was led by the head of the campus’ counseling center. She gave some data on the increased use of the counseling center over the last 4 years. Evidently, this isn’t just happening at our campus, but all over the country.
  2. Then I ran into the article below; some excerpts are listed below as well.

When I’m teaching a First Year Seminar course this fall, one of the topics deals with resilience. When I’m addressing it, I want to focus on the parts highlighted in green below, and stay clear of the caution noted in red below.

An additional thought on this is that today’s students are dealing with the high prices of obtaining a college degree. This means that many of them have to work to get through school. Otherwise, many of these students will come out of school with enormous debts — debts that don’t go away until they are paid up. I’m not saying that by them working the students can pay all of their expenses — that’s becoming highly unlikely these days. But it can reduce the amounts of their debts.  These debts affects when students get married, when they can buy a home, when and how much they can save for retirement, and more. So the stresses are very realand different from many of us from a different generation. We can’t just say they need to be more resilient as an entire generation.

No, the job for us working within higher ed needs to be to bring the price of obtaining a degree down. Not just “no more increases.”  No. Bring the costs down! 

We can’t expect to have an arms race in the facilities that we offer as well as in our sports programs (and though I was an athlete in college I still say this) and expect costs to go down. Technology looks to me to be our best chance of bringing costs down, while maintaining quality. I don’t have the time to expand on that perspective now, but the greater use of online learning as well as the increased use of emerging technologies that can deliver more personalized learning should help.



Struggling students are not ‘lacking resilience’ – they need more support — from by Gabbi Binnie

Some excerpts:

Students often see the word as a synonym for strength, and therefore feel that lacking resilience is a sign of weakness. A professor could be saying “be more resilient” and mean that a student shouldn’t take critical comments on their work personally. But what a student hears is something like, you aren’t strong enough, or you need to man-up, or you lack backbone.

Times have changed
Problems are often discussed with an “it was different back in my day” attitude. So if students are accessing university counselling services more, it’s because the entire student population is losing its resilience. If disability services are overstretched, the same reason is given. And when tutors are asked to provide pastoral support – historically always a part of the personal tutor role – they feel it’s because these “modern students” need extra help.

Students might be asking for help earlier and for problems that they once might have kept to themselves. But to dismiss an entire generation isn’t fair.

Students are coping with all sorts of factors that make their lives a challenge: the worry about tuition fee debt, an intensely competitive graduate jobs market and the pressure of social media. By recognising this, university staff can start to support their students to become more resilient.

Resilience is a great concept. Learning not to be discouraged by past failings and recognising shortcomings is an extremely useful skill. Students need to be equipped to spring back from tough situations, or times when they didn’t achieve perfection – this is vitally important in universities.

As support staff we need to enable students to learn the skills of resilience. We need to standardise what we mean by it. And we should never use the term when discussing mental health.




LinkedIn ProFinder expands nationwide to help you hire freelancers — from


The freelance economy is on the rise. In fact, the number of freelancers on LinkedIn has grown by nearly 50% in just the past five years. As the workforce evolves, we, too, are evolving to ensure we’re creating opportunity for the expanding sector of professionals looking for independent, project-based work in place of the typical 9 to 5 profession.

Last October, we began piloting a brand new platform in support of this very endeavor and today, we’re excited to announce its nationwide availability. Introducing LinkedIn ProFinder, a LinkedIn marketplace that connects consumers and small businesses looking for professional services – think Design, Writing and Editing, Accounting, Real Estate, Career Coaching – with top quality freelance professionals best suited for the job.



Also see:




Also see:




For makerspaces out there, check out the Shaper Origin product! — with thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this excellent resource/find!


We fuse computers with handheld tools to simplify the process of making. Shaper Origin is the world’s first smart handheld cutting tool. From intricate design work to dining room tables, Origin tackles projects of every size and complexity.






The Internet of Things is here, and it isn’t a thing — from by Christopher Mims
Selling services via connected devices is how many companies have created businesses


Everyone is waiting for the Internet of Things. The funny thing is, it is already here. Contrary to expectation, though, it isn’t just a bunch of devices that have a chip and an internet connection.

The killer app of the Internet of Things isn’t a thing at all—it is services. And they are being delivered by an unlikely cast of characters: Uber Technologies Inc., SolarCity Corp. , ADT Corp., and Comcast Corp. , to name a few. One recent entrant: the Brita unit of Clorox Corp. , which just introduced a Wi-Fi-enabled “smart” pitcher that can re-order its own water filters.



When internet-connected devices are considered a service, consumers don’t have to worry about integrating gadgets. Focusing on services also helps vendors clarify their offerings.



How does the combination of smarts, sensors and connectivity enhance people’s lives?




Why every college campus needs a chatbot — from by John Brandon


Dropping a child off at college is a stressful experience. I should know — I dropped off one last week and another today. It’s confusing because everything is so new, your child (who is actually a young adult, how did that happen?) is anxious, and you usually have to settle up on your finances.

This situation happens to be ideal for a chatbot, because the administrative staff is way too busy to handle questions in person or by phone. There might be someone directing you in the parking lot, but not everyone standing around in the student center knows how to submit FAFSA data.

One of the main reasons for thinking of this is that I would have used one myself today. It’s a situation where you want immediate, quick information without having to explain all of the background information. You just need the campus map or the schedule for the day — that’s it. You don’t want any extra frills.



From DSC:
My question is:

Will Instructional Designers, Technical Communicators, e-Learning Designers, Trainers, (and other positions as as well) going to have to know how to build chatbots in the future? Our job descriptions could be changing soon. Or will this kind of thing require more programming-related skills? Perhaps more firms like the one below could impact that situation…








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