From DSC:
DC: Will Amazon get into delivering education/degrees? Is is working on a next generation learning platform that could highly disrupt the world of higher education? Hmmm…time will tell.

But Amazon has a way of getting into entirely new industries. From its roots as an online bookseller, it has branched off into numerous other arenas. It has the infrastructure, talent, and the deep pockets to bring about the next generation learning platform that I’ve been tracking for years. It is only one of a handful of companies that could pull this type of endeavor off.

And now, we see articles like these:


Amazon Snags a Higher Ed Superstar — from insidehighered.com by Doug Lederman
Candace Thille, a pioneer in the science of learning, takes a leave from Stanford to help the ambitious retailer better train its workers, with implications that could extend far beyond the company.

Excerpt:

A major force in the higher education technology and learning space has quietly begun working with a major corporate force in — well, in almost everything else.

Candace Thille, a pioneer in learning science and open educational delivery, has taken a leave of absence from Stanford University for a position at Amazon, the massive (and getting bigger by the day) retailer.

Thille’s title, as confirmed by an Amazon spokeswoman: director of learning science and engineering. In that capacity, the spokeswoman said, Thille will work “with our Global Learning Development Team to scale and innovate workplace learning at Amazon.”

No further details were forthcoming, and Thille herself said she was “taking time away” from Stanford to work on a project she was “not really at liberty to discuss.”

 

Amazon is quietly becoming its own university — from qz.com by Amy Wang

Excerpt:

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon empire—which recently dabbled in home security, opened artificial intelligence-powered grocery stores, and started planning a second headquarters (and manufactured a vicious national competition out of it)—has not been idle in 2018.

The e-commerce/retail/food/books/cloud-computing/etc company made another move this week that, while nowhere near as flashy as the above efforts, tells of curious things to come. Amazon has hired Candace Thille, a leader in learning science, cognitive science, and open education at Stanford University, to be “director of learning science and engineering.” A spokesperson told Inside Higher Ed that Thille will work “with our Global Learning Development Team to scale and innovate workplace learning at Amazon”; Thille herself said she is “not really at liberty to discuss” her new project.

What could Amazon want with a higher education expert? The company already has footholds in the learning market, running several educational resource platforms. But Thille is famous specifically for her data-driven work, conducted at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon University, on nontraditional ways of learning, teaching, and training—all of which are perfect, perhaps even necessary, for the education of employees.

 


From DSC:
It could just be that Amazon is simply building its own corporate university and will stay focused on developing its own employees and its own corporate learning platform/offerings — and/or perhaps license their new platform to other corporations.

But from my perspective, Amazon continues to work on pieces of a powerful puzzle, one that could eventually involve providing learning experiences to lifelong learners:

  • Personal assistants
  • Voice recognition / Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • The development of “skills” at an incredible pace
  • Personalized recommendation engines
  • Cloud computing and more

If Alexa were to get integrated into a AI-based platform for personalized learning — one that features up-to-date recommendation engines that can identify and personalize/point out the relevant critical needs in the workplace for learners — better look out higher ed! Better look out if such a platform could interactively deliver (and assess) the bulk of the content that essentially does the heavy initial lifting of someone learning about a particular topic.

Amazon will be able to deliver a cloud-based platform, with cloud-based learner profiles and blockchain-based technologies, at a greatly reduced cost. Think about it. No physical footprints to build and maintain, no lawns to mow, no heating bills to pay, no coaches making $X million a year, etc.  AI-driven recommendations for digital playlists. Links to the most in demand jobs — accompanied by job descriptions, required skills & qualifications, and courses/modules to take in order to master those jobs.

Such a solution would still need professors, instructional designers, multimedia specialists, copyright experts, etc., but they’ll be able to deliver up-to-date content at greatly reduced costs. That’s my bet. And that’s why I now call this potential development The New Amazon.com of Higher Education.

[Microsoft — with their purchase of Linked In (who had previously
purchased Lynda.com) — is
another such potential contender.]

 

 

 

The NEW Periodic Table of iOS Apps for AR and VR — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson

 

You can download a high-quality version of the table here.

 

 

 

Lenovo is including its standalone Daydream headset in classroom VR kits starting this Spring — from 9to5google.com by Ben Schoon

 

 

 

 

Our Screenless Future Calls For Augmented Parenting — from fastcompany.com by Anya Kamenetz
How will parents manage their children’s screen time when there are no screens?

 

 

 

8 ways augmented and virtual reality are changing medicine — from israel21c.org by Abigail Klein Leichman
Israeli companies are using futuristic technologies to simplify complex surgery, manage rehab, relieve pain, soothe autistic kids and much more.

 

 

 

 

Augmented reality system lets doctors see under patients’ skin without the scalpel — from ualberta.ca by Katie Willis
New technology lets clinicians see patients’ internal anatomy displayed right on the body.

 

 

 

27 Mixed Reality (MR / AR) Influencers to Follow in 2018 — from by Mark Metry
Influencers to Follow in 2018

 

 

 

DAQRI Founder’s Passionate TED Talk on Potential Impact of Augmented Reality Gets Personal — from augmented.reality.news by Adario Strange

 

 

 

 

AI plus human intelligence is the future of work — from forbes.com by Jeanne Meister

Excerpts:

  • 1 in 5 workers will have AI as their co worker in 2022
  • More job roles will change than will be become totally automated so HR needs to prepare today


As we increase our personal usage of chatbots (defined as software which provides an automated, yet personalized, conversation between itself and human users), employees will soon interact with them in the workplace as well. Forward looking HR leaders are piloting chatbots now to transform HR, and, in the process, re-imagine, re-invent, and re-tool the employee experience.

How does all of this impact HR in your organization? The following ten HR trends will matter most as AI enters the workplace…

The most visible aspect of how HR is being impacted by artificial intelligence is the change in the way companies source and recruit new hires. Most notably, IBM has created a suite of tools that use machine learning to help candidates personalize their job search experience based on the engagement they have with Watson. In addition, Watson is helping recruiters prioritize jobs more efficiently, find talent faster, and match candidates more effectively. According to Amber Grewal, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, “Recruiters are focusing more on identifying the most critical jobs in the business and on utilizing data to assist in talent sourcing.”

 

…as we enter 2018, the next journey for HR leaders will be to leverage artificial intelligence combined with human intelligence and create a more personalized employee experience.

 

 

From DSC:
Although I like the possibility of using machine learning to help employees navigate their careers, I have some very real concerns when we talk about using AI for talent acquisition. At this point in time, I would much rather have an experienced human being — one with a solid background in HR — reviewing my resume to see if they believe that there’s a fit for the job and/or determine whether my skills transfer over from a different position/arena or not. I don’t think we’re there yet in terms of developing effective/comprehensive enough algorithms. It may happen, but I’m very skeptical in the meantime. I don’t want to be filtered out just because I didn’t use the right keywords enough times or I used a slightly different keyword than what the algorithm was looking for.

Also, there is definitely age discrimination occurring out in today’s workplace, especially in tech-related positions. Folks who are in tech over the age of 30-35 — don’t lose your job! (Go check out the topic of age discrimination on LinkedIn and similar sites, and you’ll find many postings on this topic — sometimes with 10’s of thousands of older employees adding comments/likes to a posting). Although I doubt that any company would allow applicants or the public to see their internally-used algorithms, how difficult would it be to filter out applicants who graduated college prior to ___ (i.e., some year that gets updated on an annual basis)? Answer? Not difficult at all. In fact, that’s at the level of a Programming 101 course.

 

 

 

Artificial intelligence is going to supercharge surveillance – from theverge.com by James Vincent
What happens when digital eyes get the brains to match?

From DSC:
Persons of interest” comes to mind after reading this article. Persons of interest is a clever, well done show, but still…the idea of combining surveillance w/ a super intelligent is a bit unnerving.

 

 

 

Artificial intelligence | 2018 AI predictions — from thomsonreuters.com

Excerpts:

  • AI brings a new set of rules to knowledge work
  • Newsrooms embrace AI
  • Lawyers assess the risks of not using AI
  • Deep learning goes mainstream
  • Smart cars demand even smarter humans
  • Accountants audit forward
  • Wealth managers look to AI to compete and grow

 

 

 

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants in L&D: 4 Use Cases to Pilot in 2018 —  from bottomlineperformance.com by Steven Boller

Excerpt:

  1. Use a virtual assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to answer spoken questions from on-the-go learners.
  2. Answer common learner questions in a chat window or via SMS.
  3. Customize a learning path based on learners’ demographic information.
  4. Use a chatbot to assess learner knowledge.

 

 

 

Suncorp looks to augmented reality for insurance claims — from itnews.com.au by Ry Crozier with thanks to Woontack Woo for this resource

Excerpts:

Suncorp has revealed it is exploring image recognition and augmented reality-based enhancements for its insurance claims process, adding to the AI systems it deployed last year.

The insurer began testing IBM Watson software last June to automatically determine who is at fault in a vehicle accident.

“We are working on increasing our use of emerging technologies to assist with the insurance claim process, such as using image recognition to assess type and extent of damage, augmented reality that would enable an off-site claims assessor to discuss and assess damage, speech recognition, and obtaining telematic data from increasingly automated vehicles,” the company said.

 

 

 

6 important AI technologies to look out for in 2018 — from itproportal.com by  Olga Egorsheva
Will businesses and individuals finally make AI a part of their daily lives?

 

 

 

 

 

Aiding Reading Comprehension With Post-Its — from edutopia.org by Judy Willis

Excerpt:

Sample Post-it Prompts
In these prompts, the students address the text directly—by calling it “you”—as though they were having a conversation with it.

To be completed before reading for prediction and preview:

  • I think you’ll be telling me…
  • I already know things about you, so I predict…

To be completed after briefly skimming the assigned pages:

  • What does the heading for this section suggest about what will come?
  • What does this picture (graph, diagram, etc.) suggest about this reading topic?

To be completed during reading as a response to what is read:

  • You’re similar to what I’ve learned before, because you remind me of…
  • I would have preferred a picture of… (Students can also sketch, describe, or download a picture, graph, or diagram)
  • This is not what I expected, which was…
  • This gives me an idea for…
  • I want to know more about…
  • This information could be useful to me because I’m interested in…
  • I think this will be on the test because…

The use of Post-its increases memory pattern linkages, understanding, and the pleasure of reading. As students become more skilled readers through strategies that promote pattern seeking and linking, they build their independent skills about how to think actively about the text—their metacognitive skills.

 

 

 

EdX Quietly Developing ‘MicroBachelors’ Program — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt:

EdX, the nonprofit online-education group founded by MIT and Harvard, is quietly developing a “MicroBachelors” degree that is designed to break the undergraduate credential into Lego-like components.

In December, edX won a $700,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to support the MicroBachelors effort with the organization’s university partners. Officials from edX declined to talk about the project, saying only that it is in the early stages. But at a higher-education innovation summit last month hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, listed the project as part of the group’s long-term vision that began with its MicroMasters program. And the organization has filed a trademark for the term “MicroBachelors” as well.

 

“Education in five to ten years will become modular, will become omnichannel, and will become lifelong,” Agarwal said at the meeting, later explaining that omnichannel meant offering courses either online or in person.

 

How would a MicroBachelors be different than, say, a two-year associate’s degree, which is arguably already half a bachelor’s degree? Sarma said that the idea behind both MicroMasters and MicroBachelors is that they are “about putting stuff that can be done online, online.” In other words, the big idea is offering a low-cost, low-risk way for students to start an undergraduate education even if they can’t get to a campus.

 

 

 

Also relevant/see:

 

 

 
 

Top Ten Makerspace Favorites of 2017 — from worlds-of-learning.com by Laura Fleming

Excerpt:

This year’s New Media Consortium/COSN’s 2017 K-12 Horizon Report deemed makerspaces the future of edtech and predicted full adoption in K-12 in one year or less! It is more important than ever that we plan and create GREAT makerspaces! Part of doing so is selecting the right materials, resources and supplies to support the experiences you want your students to have in your makerspace. In what has become an annual tradition, I am thrilled to highlight some of my favorite makerspace-related things for this year.  As always, I am grateful to my friend and colleague, Travis Lape, for his input on this list! It is my hope that this year’s favorites encourage you to think ‘out of the box’ as you choose products to support your makerspace themes.

I am proud to present to you, the Worlds of Making Top Ten Makerspace Favorites of 2017!

 

Buildr TAPE
You can now turn almost anything into a surface that allows you to build with legos! Buildr TAPE™ is flexible, cuttable, and wearable toy building block reusable adhesive tape.  This peel and stick TAPE™ instantly transforms virtually any surface into a bendable base for building new amazing creations with your traditional toy building blocks. Compatible with Lego®.

 

 

 

 

 

Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8 — from the New International Version (NIV)

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

Philippians 4:8-9 from The Message:

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling
your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable,
authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard
and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything
work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

 

 

 

Augmented Reality: Everything You Need to Know for 2018 — from isl.co by Josh Strupp

Excerpt:

Here’s the trade-off: what we gain in development ease-of-use (native SDKs, integration into existing workflows) and performance enhancements (load times, battery efficiency, render quality, integration with native apps), we lose in universality; naturally, each company wants you staying within its own ecosystem.

In a nutshell: new AR platforms from today’s tech giants are aimed at reducing technical headache so you can focus on creating amazing experiences… but they also want you creating more apps for their respective mobile ecosystems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This AR App Teaches You How To Play The Piano — from vrscout.com by Steve Ip & Sydney Wuu
AR piano learning system with improvised jam sessions.

Excerpt:

Learning to play the piano is getting an immersive upgrade with a new augmented reality (AR) piano training software called Music Everywhere. The HoloLens app aims to help students of all talent levels build fundamental music theory and performance skills. While traditional piano lessons can cost upwards of $100 per hour, Music Everywhere is free on the Microsoft store and offers a cost effective tutoring solution that provides students with immediate interaction feedback, making it differ greatly from watching a video tutorial.

Founded in 2017, Music Everywhere began at Carnegie Mellon’s ETC with Seth Glickman, Fu Yen Hsiao, and Byunghwan Lee realizing the nascent technology could be used for skills training. The app was the first Augmented Reality music learning platform to take first prize in Microsoft’s HoloLens Developer Contest, beating more than one-thousand submissions.

 

 

 

 

Making Virtual Reality a Reality in Today’s Classrooms — from thejournal.com by Meredith Thompson

Excerpt:

The market for virtual reality applications is growing at a rapid pace, and is expected to double in the next five years (Bolkan, 2017). As the cost of equipment falls and schools have greater access to technology, there is great interest in virtual reality as an educational tool. A small but growing group of educators have started to integrate virtual reality in their classrooms, with promising results (Castaneda, Cechony & Bautista, 2017). We reached out to teachers and administrators who are currently using virtual reality in their classrooms to hear their perspectives and practical strategies for infusing this resource into their classrooms.

Teachers have creative ideas for how to incorporate immersive education in current classrooms: how to select activities, how to set up the classroom, how to get support during the activity and how to transport devices. Teachers also shared their ideas for future applications of VR, including how to deepen the learning experience and to expand the reach of these technologies to a greater population of students.

Here we share three vignettes of three different approaches: a social studies class in a suburban school district, a district-wide perspective from an urban school district and a class designed entirely around understanding and implementing VR for other classrooms. We also share how we are using these ideas to inform our own project in designing a collaborative immersive virtual reality educational game for introductory high school biology.

 

 

3 best practices from VR implementation across departments — from ecampusnews.com by Andrew Woodberry
Professors across many disciplines are embracing VR technology as an integral part of their learning tools

Excerpts:

VR is already being used for many real-world applications–hiring, training, marketing/sales, medical purposes, entertainment, and more–and is worth considering for many different university departments.

At German University in Cairo, architecture students used our platform to create tours of historical Cairo buildings, complete with educational hotspot overlays on particularly interesting features. This multimedia approach educated students without them having to travel to the buildings. It also made for a more “stickier” learning experience for the students involved in creating it.

At Emporia State University, for example, the forensic science students view virtual crime scenes recorded at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in Topeka. Forensic-science students can look for clues and learn facts via voiceover, mimicking an actual crime-scene inquiry quite impressively.

 

 

Augmented and virtual reality products to get excited about in 2018 — from gearbrain.com by Alistair Charlton
CES 2018 showed us the way forward for AR and VR this year

Excerpt:

Just as televisions and driverless cars have become part of the furniture at the CES technology show, so too have virtual and augmented reality headsets.

Although the momentum behind VR’s growth slowed in 2017 – the industry seemingly unsure if it should progress with a technology destined to remain a niche – AR is being welcomed into the spotlight with open arms.

Here are six AR and VR highlights from CES 2018.

 

 

Looking to boost AR and VR technology, University of Washington establishes center in Seattle — from edscoop.com by Emily Tate
The UW Reality Lab will focus on “core research advances” in augmented and virtual reality.

Excerpt:

The University of Washington, hoping to get ahead in the burgeoning field of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), has launched the UW Reality Lab, a center for research, education and innovation in AR and VR.

One of the first research centers in the world built for AR and VR projects, the UW Reality Lab is also located in Seattle — a hotspot for technology companies, from behemoths like Amazon and Microsoft to startups still trying to get off the ground.

 

“We’re seeing some really compelling and high-quality AR and VR experiences being built today,” Steve Seitz, center co-lead and Allen School professor, said in the university’s statement. “But, there are still many core research advances needed to move the industry forward — tools for easily creating content, infrastructure solutions for streaming 3D video, and privacy and security safeguards — that university researchers are uniquely positioned to tackle.”

 

 

 

Augmented Reality: Is it the Future of eLearning

Excerpt:

Why Augmented Reality is Important for eLearning
According to a report released by CCS Insight, augmented and virtual reality hardware is set to become a $4 billion market by 2018. Let’s take a look at how augmented reality can be leveraged in the online learning space:

Simulated working environments
One of the most common advantages of online learning is the ability to form an environment in which the users have the freedom to experiment. As people usually learn from their mistakes, when they work in a consequence-free environment, they are most likely to remember the right way to do things.

Support Gamification
As online learning management systems (LMSs) use gamification widely, augmented reality can be directly applied. In AR reality training module, employees will be rewarded for effectively performing their routine tasks in the right way, which will eventually improve performance.

Immersive Learning Environments
Using a tablet, smartphone for the online training software means the users are constantly distracted with emails, notifications from social channels etc. This is one of the reasons why elearning content uses interactive multimedia elements to engage students. With augmented reality, elearning courses can be supported with 360° video, which will engage the user and remove distractions for them.

Motion tracking
Motion and gesture tracking are part of the AR experience. They are commonly leveraged for choosing menu items or engaging with video game-based environments.

In the online learning domain, LMSs can use this technology to track learner’s progress to ensure that they are achieving the set targets without fail. This will boost real-time training performance and improve interactivity with instant feedback.

Simply put, with augmented reality the possibilities are endless. With the growing number of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) workplaces, it is expected that employees and learners will be delighted to use augmented reality.

 

 

Virtual Reality And Beyond: The Future Of Music Experiences — from hypebot.com by Jen Sako

Excerpt:

The Musical Future of VR
VR technology is still in its earliest stages, but musicians are already seeing how they will be able to connect to fans and make news ones without the expense of touring. In artificial environments, bands can invite music lovers into their world.

But beyond the obvious entertainment factor, VR has the potential to become a tool for education. Music students could enter a studio space using VR gear for lessons and practice. The immediate feedback provided and game-like atmosphere may keep students more motivated and engaged. Imagine methods for teaching that include ways to slow down and loop difficult parts or bringing in the composer for lessons.

VR can also connect music lovers to the many people behind the scenes involved in producing the music they enjoy. Listeners can learn about the industry and how a song comes to life. They’ll understand why it’s important to play a part in sustaining the music business.

For this technology to become a reality in itself inside consumers’ listening and learning spaces, obstacles need addressing. The hardware is still pricey, bulky and requires a power source. Apps need creators who will need more in the way of artificial intelligence.

 

 

ARiA, The AR Conference At MIT, Is The Anti-CES — from forbes.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpt:

“The ability to combine digital information with the real world is going to disrupt every business model, transform human/machine interaction, and generate innovative use cases across every discipline and in every vertical including education, healthcare, manufacturing,” Werner continued. “I see ARiA as the TED for AR, where the best minds come together to solve real work problems and share ideas to capitalize on the huge opportunity.”

 

Broadcast news and sports now routinely lay data, graphics, and animation onto the physical world. AR has become ubiquitous in ways that have nothing to do with smart glasses. “AR is on the verge.

 

 

2017 Augmented Reality Year in Review — from wikitude.com

 

 

 

Microsoft Education unveils new Windows 10 devices starting at $189, Office 365 tools for personalized learning, and curricula to ignite a passion for STEM — from blogs.windows.com by Yusuf Mehdi

Excerpt:

In regards to mixed reality for immersive learning:

  • Pearson – the world’s largest education company – will begin rolling out in March curriculum that will work on both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets. These six new applications will deliver seamless experiences across devices and further illustrate the value of immersive educational experiences.
  • We are expanding our mixed media reality curriculum offerings through a new partnership with WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project****, for distribution nationally on PBS LearningMedia™. This effort brings cutting-edge Earth and Space Science content into classrooms through digital learning resources that increase student engagement with science phenomena and practices.
  • To keep up with growing demand for HoloLens in the classroom we are committed to providing affordable solutions. Starting on January 22, we are making available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens. To take advantage of the limited-time academic pricing offer, please visit, hololens.com/edupromo.

 

 

 

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