Women of Foresight: Changes in Education for Future Student Success — from leadingthought.us.com by Dr. Liz Alexander

 

 

Excerpt:

Education. A topic that remains hotly debated all over the world. Especially now, as we struggle to find our footing as our futures hurtle towards us, faster and more profoundly different than ever before.

What changes do existing schools and colleges need to make to better prepare students for the trends we already see? Together with those “weak signals” that suggest other, possible futures? In “trying to adapt education for what the American economy is evolving into,” is mandating “coding classes” part of the answer?  Are we doing enough to take into account contrarian perspectives like this one? Who gets to decide what the purpose of education should be, in any case?

These are just some of the questions everyone–from policy makers to parents, academics to students themselves–need to think about.

Intrigued as to what the global futurist and foresight communities might have in mind, I posed them the following question:

If there was one thing I could change in education to better prepare students for the future of work, it would be…

The twenty women that responded to my call are either professional futurists or apply foresight in their roles as leaders in global firms and consultancies, think tanks and foundations. They’re from countries as geographically disperse as Australia, Egypt, Germany, India, New Zealand, Norway, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

(If you’re wondering why I only asked women, it was a deliberate move to broaden commentary on “our futures,” so people don’t think it’s the sole purview of older, white men. Also, because I believe women’s natural inclinations toward relationships and collaboration, communities and mutual support, are the future!)

 

 

One example/answer:

“…to put more emphasis on HOW students will contribute, rather than WHAT their expertise will be, by helping them answer these three questions:

  • How do I most want to contribute to something larger than myself, aka my ‘mission in life’?
  • In what work environment will I be able to make the meaningful contributions I’m capable of?
  • How do I interact with others? What might derail my ambitions, dreams, and wishes? What can I do about it?”

 

 

 

 

partnershiponai-sept2016

 

Established to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.

 

GOALS

Support Best Practices
To support research and recommend best practices in areas including ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency and interoperability; privacy; collaboration between people and AI systems; and of the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.

Create an Open Platform for Discussion and Engagement
To provide a regular, structured platform for AI researchers and key stakeholders to communicate directly and openly with each other about relevant issues.

Advance Understanding
To advance public understanding and awareness of AI and its potential benefits and potential costs to act as a trusted and expert point of contact as questions/concerns arise from the public and others in the area of AI and to regularly update key constituents on the current state of AI progress.

 

 

 

ngls-2017-conference

 

From DSC:
I have attended the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference for the past two years. Both conferences were very solid and they made a significant impact on our campus, as they provided the knowledge, research, data, ideas, contacts, and the catalyst for us to move forward with building a Sandbox Classroom on campus. This new, collaborative space allows us to experiment with different pedagogies as well as technologies. As such, we’ve been able to experiment much more with active learning-based methods of teaching and learning. We’re still in Phase I of this new space, and we’re learning new things all of the time.

For the upcoming conference in February, I will be moderating a New Directions in Learning panel on the use of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). Time permitting, I hope that we can also address other promising, emerging technologies that are heading our way such as chatbots, personal assistants, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, tvOS, blockchain and more.

The goal of this quickly-moving, engaging session will be to provide a smorgasbord of ideas to generate creative, innovative, and big thinking. We need to think about how these topics, trends, and technologies relate to what our next generation learning environments might look like in the near future — and put these things on our radars if they aren’t already there.

Key takeaways for the panel discussion:

  • Reflections regarding the affordances that new developments in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) — such as AR, VR, and MR — might offer for our learning and our learning spaces (or is our concept of what constitutes a learning space about to significantly expand?)
  • An update on the state of the approaching ed tech landscape
  • Creative, new thinking: What might our next generation learning environments look like in 5-10 years?

I’m looking forward to catching up with friends, meeting new people, and to the solid learning that I know will happen at this conference. I encourage you to check out the conference and register soon to take advantage of the early bird discounts.

 

 

A new “MicroMasters” online learning program offered by major universities — from hechingerreport.org by Nichole Dobo
From Hong Kong to Holland, 14 institutions join MOOC partnership

Excerpt:

A new kind of credential has entered the crowded market for online learning.

EdX, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that provides online courses, announced last week the creation of 19 “MicroMasters” courses, a new type of online educational program. These courses are tailored master’s degree-level classes that can help students hone skills that will be immediately useful in the workplace.

“I think the MicroMasters is a big next step in the evolution of education,” Anant Agarwal, the CEO of edX and an MIT professor, said in an interview last week.

These courses – offered through 14 universities including Columbia, Arizona State University and the University of Michigan, as well as some in Australia, Europe and India – are open to anyone who wants to take them. No transcripts or prerequisites required. Students don’t even need a GED to enroll.

Anyone can learn in the MicroMasters program for free, although those who wish to receive a certificate of completion must pay a $1,000 fee. That money gives the student more than a piece of paper; it also pays for extra services, such as more attention from the instructor.

 

 

edx-micromasters-sept2016

 

Also somewhat related/see (emphasis DSC):

  • An Online Education Breakthrough? A Master’s Degree for a Mere $7,000 — from nytimes.com by Kevin Carey
    Excerpt:
    Georgia Tech rolled out its online master’s in computer science in 2014. It already had a highly selective residential master’s program that cost about the same as those of competitor colleges. Some may see online learning as experimental or inferior, something associated with downmarket for-profit colleges. But the nation’s best universities have fully embraced it. Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, U.S.C. and others have also developed online master’s degrees, for which they charge the same tuition as their residential programs.Georgia Tech decided to do something different. It charges online students the smallest amount necessary to cover its costs. That turned out to be $510 for a three-credit class. U.S.C. charges online students $5,535 for a three-credit class. (Both programs also charge small per-semester fees.)

    With one of the top 10 computer science departments in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech had a reputation to uphold. So it made the online program as much like the residential program as possible.

 

 

 

From chatbots to Einstein, artificial intelligence as a service — from infoworld.com by Yves de Montcheuil

Excerpt:

The recent announcement of Salesforce Einstein — dubbed “artificial intelligence for everyone” — sheds new light on the new and pervasive usage of artificial intelligence in every aspect of businesses.

 

Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery, Einstein’s models will be automatically customized for every single customer, and it will learn, self-tune, and get smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data. Most importantly, Einstein’s intelligence will be embedded within the context of business, automatically discovering relevant insights, predicting future behavior, proactively recommending best next actions and even automating tasks.

 


Chatbots, or conversational bots, are the “other” trending topic in the field of artificial intelligence. At the juncture of consumer and business, they provide the ability for an AI-based system to interact with users through a headless interface. It does not matter whether a messaging app is used, or a speech-to-text system, or even another app — the chatbot is front-end agnostic.

Since the user does not have the ability to provide context around the discussion, he just asks questions in natural language to an AI-driven backend that is tasked with figuring this context and looking for the right answer.

 

 

IBM is launching a much-awaited ‘Watson’ recruiting tool — from eremedia.com by Todd Raphael

Excerpt:

For many months IBM has gone to recruiting-industry conferences to say that the famous Watson will be at some point used for talent-acquisition, but that it hasn’t happened quite yet.

It’s here.

IBM is first using Watson for its RPO customers, and then rolling it out as a product for the larger community, perhaps next spring. One of my IBM contacts, Recruitment Innovation Global Leader Yates Baker, tells me that the current version is a work in progress like the first iPhone (or perhaps like that Siri-for-recruiting tool).

There are three parts: recruiting, marketing, and sourcing.

 

watsonrecruitingtool-sept2016

 

 

Apple’s Siri: A Lot Smarter, but Still Kind of Dumb — from wsj.com by Joanna Stern
With the new MacOS and Apple’s AirPods, Siri’s more powerful than ever, but still not as good as some competitors

Excerpt:

With the new iOS 10, Siri can control third-party apps, like Uber and WhatsApp. With the release of MacOS Sierra on Tuesday, Siri finally lands on the desktop, where it can take care of basic operating system tasks, send emails and more. With WatchOS 3 and the new Apple Watch, Siri is finally faster on the wrist. And with Apple’s Q-tip-looking AirPods arriving in October, Siri can whisper sweet nothings in your inner ear with unprecedented wireless freedom. Think Joaquin Phoenix’s earpiece in the movie “Her.”

The groundwork is laid for an AI assistant to stake a major claim in your life, and finally save you time by doing menial tasks. But the smarter Siri becomes in some places, the dumber it seems in others—specifically compared with Google’s and Amazon’s voice assistants. If I hear “I’m sorry, Joanna, I’m afraid I can’t answer that” one more time…

 

 

 

IBM Research and MIT Collaborate to Advance Frontiers of Artificial Intelligence in Real-World Audio-Visual Comprehension Technologies — from prnewswire.com
Cross-disciplinary research approach will use insights from brain and cognitive science to advance machine understanding

Excerpt:

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y., Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) today announced a multi-year collaboration with the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT to advance the scientific field of machine vision, a core aspect of artificial intelligence. The new IBM-MIT Laboratory for Brain-inspired Multimedia Machine Comprehension’s (BM3C) goal will be to develop cognitive computing systems that emulate the human ability to understand and integrate inputs from multiple sources of audio and visual information into a detailed computer representation of the world that can be used in a variety of computer applications in industries such as healthcare, education, and entertainment.

The BM3C will address technical challenges around both pattern recognition and prediction methods in the field of machine vision that are currently impossible for machines alone to accomplish. For instance, humans watching a short video of a real-world event can easily recognize and produce a verbal description of what happened in the clip as well as assess and predict the likelihood of a variety of subsequent events, but for a machine, this ability is currently impossible.

 

 

Satya Nadella on Microsoft’s new age of intelligence — from fastcompany.com by Harry McCracken
How the software giant aims to tie everything from Cortana to Office to HoloLens to Azure servers into one AI experience.

Excerpt:

“Microsoft was born to do a certain set of things. We’re about empowering people in organizations all over the world to achieve more. In today’s world, we want to use AI to achieve that.”

That’s Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, crisply explaining the company’s artificial-intelligence vision to me this afternoon shortly after he hosted a keynote at Microsoft’s Ignite conference for IT pros in Atlanta. But even if Microsoft only pursues AI opportunities that it considers to be core to its mission, it has a remarkably broad tapestry to work with. And the examples that were part of the keynote made that clear.

 

 

 

 

2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Winners — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird Chronophotography — from theawesomer.com by photographer Xavi Bou

 

 

 

 

Magical Pictures of Nature shot by a Traveller — from fubiz.net by photographer Lorenzo Montezemolo

 

 

 

 

 

IBM Foundation collaborates with AFT and education leaders to use Watson to help teachers — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

ARMONK, N.Y., Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Teachers will have access to a new, first-of-its-kind, free tool using IBM’s innovative Watson cognitive technology that has been trained by teachers and designed to strengthen teachers’ instruction and improve student achievement, the IBM Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers announced today.

Hundreds of elementary school teachers across the United States are piloting Teacher Advisor with Watson – an innovative tool by the IBM Foundation that provides teachers with a complete, personalized online resource. Teacher Advisor enables teachers to deepen their knowledge of key math concepts, access high-quality vetted math lessons and acclaimed teaching strategies and gives teachers the unique ability to tailor those lessons to meet their individual classroom needs.

Litow said there are plans to make Teacher Advisor available to all elementary school teachers across the U.S. before the end of the year.

 

 

In this first phase, Teacher Advisor offers hundreds of high-quality vetted lesson plans, instructional resources, and teaching techniques, which are customized to meet the needs of individual teachers and the particular needs of their students.

 

 

Also see:

teacheradvisor-sept282016

 

Educators can also access high-quality videos on teaching techniques to master key skills and bring a lesson or teaching strategy to life into their classroom.

 

 

From DSC:
Today’s announcement involved personalization and giving customized directions, and it caused my mind to go in a slightly different direction. (IBM, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and others like Smart Sparrow are likely also thinking about this type of direction as well. Perhaps they’re already there…I’m not sure.)

But given the advancements in machine learning/cognitive computing (where example applications include optical character recognition (OCR) and computer vision), how much longer will it be before software is able to remotely or locally “see” what a third grader wrote down for a given math problem (via character and symbol recognition) and “see” what the student’s answer was while checking over the student’s work…if the answer was incorrect, the algorithms will likely know where the student went wrong.  The software will be able to ascertain what the student did wrong and then show them how the problem should be solved (either via hints or by showing the entire problem to the student — per the teacher’s instructions/admin settings). Perhaps, via natural language processing, this process could be verbalized as well.

Further questions/thoughts/reflections then came to my mind:

  • Will we have bots that teachers can use to teach different subjects? (“Watson may even ask the teacher additional questions to refine its response, honing in on what the teacher needs to address certain challenges.)
  • Will we have bots that students can use to get the basics of a given subject/topic/equation?
  • Will instructional designers — and/or trainers in the corporate world — need to modify their skillsets to develop these types of bots?
  • Will teachers — as well as schools of education in universities and colleges — need to modify their toolboxes and their knowledgebases to take advantage of these sorts of developments?
  • How might the corporate world take advantage of these trends and technologies?
  • Will MOOCs begin to incorporate these sorts of technologies to aid in personalized learning?
  • What sorts of delivery mechanisms could be involved? Will we be tapping into learning-related bots from our living rooms or via our smartphones?

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

The Few, The Proud, the Unusual — by Jack Uldrich

Excerpt:

An army of ants is an awe-inspiring and efficient force of nature. While each ant is individually small, collectively they accomplish amazing things—provided they have a sufficient source of food. The same is true of today’s modern corporation—if it has a profitable source of revenue. Alas, when the food or the money dries up, both the army and the corporation are endangered.

To protect themselves, ants rely on a unique sub-group of “pioneer ants.” Their sole job is to move out away from the main army in search of the next source of food. In this way, the pioneers act as a hedge against the possibility of being caught without a future source of food.

Every organization should also have at least a few “pioneers ants” whose single job is to identify future opportunities. To ensure these individuals have the best chance of success, I have outlined a series of unusual characteristics that I believe will bolster their odds of success–and, thus, your success…

 

 

Every organization should also have at least a few “pioneers ants” whose single job is to identify future opportunities.

 

 

 

Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip — from wired.com

Excerpt:

Burger, a computer chip researcher who had joined the company four years earlier, was pitching a new idea to the execs. He called it Project Catapult.

The tech world, Burger explained, was moving into a new orbit. In the future, a few giant Internet companies would operate a few giant Internet services so complex and so different from what came before that these companies would have to build a whole new architecture to run them. They would create not just the software driving these services, but the hardware, including servers and networking gear. Project Catapult would equip all of Microsoft’s servers—millions of them—with specialized chips that the company could reprogram for particular tasks.

Today, the programmable chips that Burger and Lu believed would transform the world—called field programmable gate arrays—are here. FPGAs already underpin Bing, and in the coming weeks, they will drive new search algorithms based on deep neural networks—artificial intelligence modeled on the structure of the human brain—executing this AI several orders of magnitude faster than ordinary chips could. As in, 23 milliseconds instead of four seconds of nothing on your screen. FPGAs also drive Azure, the company’s cloud computing service. And in the coming years, almost every new Microsoft server will include an FPGA. That’s millions of machines across the globe. “This gives us massive capacity and enormous flexibility, and the economics work,” Burger says. “This is now Microsoft’s standard, worldwide architecture.”

It’s a typical tangle of tech acronyms. CPUs. GPUs. TPUs. FPGAs. But it’s the subtext that matters. With cloud computing, companies like Microsoft and Google and Amazon are driving so much of the world’s technology that those alternative chips will drive the wider universe of apps and online services. Lee says that Project Catapult will allow Microsoft to continue expanding the powers of its global supercomputer until the year 2030. After that, he says, the company can move toward quantum computing.

 

10 Incredible Uses of Virtual Reality — from fortune.com by Rose Leadem
It’s not just for video games.

Excerpt:

Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, architecture to manufacturing.

Psychologists and other medical professionals are using VR to heighten traditional therapy methods and find effective solutions for treatments of PTSD, anxiety and social disorders. Doctors are employing VR to train medical students in surgery, treat patients’ pains and even help paraplegics regain body functions.

In business, a variety of industries are benefiting from VR. Carmakers are creating safer vehicles, architects are constructing stronger buildings and even travel agencies are using it to simplify vacation planning.

Check out these 10 amazing uses of VR.

 

 

Visit the U.K. Prime Minister’s Home in This Virtual 10 Downing Street Experience — from uploadvr.com by

Excerpt:

Google has unveiled a new interactive online exhibit that take users on a tour of 10 Downing street in London — home of the U.K. Prime Minister.

The building has served as home to countless British political leaders, from Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher through to Tony Blair and — as of a few months ago — Theresa May. But, as you’d expect in today’s security-conscious age, gaining access to the residence isn’t easy; the street itself is gated off from the public. This is why the 10 Downing Street exhibit may capture the imagination of politics aficionados and history buffs from around the world.

The tour features 360-degree views of the various rooms, punctuated by photos and audio and video clips.

 

 

 

Microsoft’s HoloLens Now Helps Elevator Technicians Work Smarter — from uploadvr.com by Charles Singletary

Excerpt:

In a slightly more grounded environment, the HoloLens is being used to assist technicians in elevator repairs.

Traversal via elevator is such a regular part of our lifestyles, its importance is rarely recognized…until they’re not working as they should be. ThyssenKrupp AG, one of the largest suppliers for elevators, recognizes how essential they are as well as how the simplest malfunctions can deter the lives of millions. Announced on their blog, Microsoft is partnering with Thyssenkrupp to equip 24,000 of their technicians with HoloLens.

 

 

ms-hololens-thyssenkrupp-sept2016

Insert from DSC re: the above piece re: HoloLens:

Will technical communicators need to augment their skillsets? It appears so.

 

 

 

 

Phiona: A Virtual Reality Portrait of ‘Queen of Katwe’ — from abcnews.com by Angel Canales and Adam Rivera

 

vr-queenofkatwe-2016

 

 

Get a front-row seat in Harvard’s largest class, thanks to virtual reality — from medium.freecodecamp.com by Dhawal Shah

harvard-cs50-sep2016

Intro video here: This is CS50 2016

 

 

The future of mobile video is virtual reality — from techcrunch.com by Mike Wadhera

Excerpt:

But in a world where no moment is too small to record with a mobile sensor, and one in which time spent in virtual reality keeps going up, interesting parallels start to emerge with our smartphones and headsets.

Let’s look at how the future could play out in the real world by observing three key drivers: VR video adoption, mobile-video user needs and the smartphone camera rising tide.

 

 

Now, a virtual reality programme to improve social skills in autistic kids — from cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com by
The VR training platform creates a safe place for participants to practice social situations without the intense fear of consequence.

Excerpt:

“Individuals with autism may become overwhelmed and anxious in social situations,” research clinician Dr Nyaz Didehbani said.

“The virtual reality training platform creates a safe place for participants to practice social situations without the intense fear of consequence,” said Didehbani.

The participants who completed the training demonstrated improved social cognition skills and reported better relationships, researchers said.

 

 

 


Also see:


 

 

 

 
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