Teachers across America are obsessed with Google products — here’s how Apple and Microsoft plan to win them back — from businessinsider.com by Rachel Premack

Excerpt:

  • Google has taken over technology in the classroom from education stalwarts Microsoft and Apple.
  • That’s a valuable market to dominate. Ed tech is expected to hit $43 billion in value by 2019, just under half of which is based in K-12.
  • Chromebooks are cheaper than hardware from Microsoft and Apple, and Google’s classroom management software is a teacher favorite because of how easy it is to use.
  • Here’s what the two plan to do to take back some market share from Google.

 

 

 

 

 

100 voices of AR/VR in education — from virtualiteach.com

 

 

Ambitious VR experience restores 7,000 Roman buildings, monuments to their former glory  — from smithsonianmag.com by Meilan Solly
You can take an aerial tour of the city circa 320 A.D. or stop by specific sites for in-depth exploration

Excerpt:

Ever wish you could step into a hot air balloon, travel back in time to 320 A.D., and soar over the streets of Ancient Rome? Well, that oddly specific fantasy is achievable in a new virtual reality experience called “Rome Reborn.”

The ambitious undertaking, painstakingly built by a team of 50 academics and computer experts over a 22-year period, recreates 7,000 buildings and monuments scattered across a 5.5 square mile stretch of the famed Italian city. The project, according to Tom Kington of the Times, is being marketed as the largest digital reconstruction of Rome to date.


A snapshot from Rome Reborn

 

VR Isn’t a Novelty: Here’s How to Integrate it Into the Curriculum — from edsurge.com by Jan Sikorsky

Excerpt:

While the application of VR to core academics remains nascent, early returns are promising: research now suggests students retain more information and can better synthesize and apply what they have learned after participating in virtual reality exercises.

And the technology is moving within the reach of classroom teachers. While once considered high-end and cost-prohibitive, virtual reality is becoming more affordable. Discovery VR and Google Expeditions offer several virtual reality experiences for free. Simple VR viewers now come in relatively low-cost DIY cardboard view boxes, like Google Cardboard, that fit a range of VR-capable smartphones.

Still, teachers may remain unsure of how they might implement such cutting-edge technology in their classrooms. Their concerns are well founded. Virtual reality takes careful planning and implementation for success. It’s not simply plug-and-play technology. It also takes a lot of work to develop.


From DSC:

Reduced costs & greater development efficiencies needed here:

“In our case, to create just 10 minutes of simulation, a team of six developers logged almost 1,000 hours of development time.”

 

 

Unveiling RLab: the First-City Funded VR/AR Center in the Country Opens Doors at Brooklyn Navy Yard — from prnewswire.com
New York City’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Center Will Fuel Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Education, While Creating Hundreds of Well-Paying Jobs

Excerpt:

BROOKLYN, N.Y.Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Brooklyn Navy Yard today announced the launch of RLab – the first City-funded virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) lab in the country. Administered by NYU Tandon with a participating consortium of New York City universities, including Columbia UniversityCUNY and The New School, RLab will operate out of Building 22 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will cement New York City’s status as a global leader in VR/AR, creating over 750 jobs in the industry.

 

 

New virtual reality lab at UNMC — from wowt.com

 

 

 

 

This VR-live actor mashup is like your best absinthe-fueled nightmare — from cnet.com by Joan Solsman
Chained, an immersive reimagining of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, weds virtual reality with a motion-capture live actor. Could it be the gateway that makes VR a hit?

 

 

Also see:

 

…and this as well:

 

See the results of a months-long effort to create a HoloLens experience that pays homage to Mont-Saint-Michel, in Normandy, France, in all its forms – as a physical relief map and work of art; as a real place visited by millions of people over the centuries; and as a remarkable digital story of resilience. In this three-part Today in Technology series, they examine how AI and mixed reality can open a new window into French culture by using technology like HoloLens.

 

 

 

The Insecurity of Things: a Brief History of US IoT Cybersecurity Legislation (Part 2) — from zone.com by Cate Lawrence
Check out these national attempts to legislate IoT security.

Excerpt:

There’s been a number of efforts over the last few years to legislate or provide a legal response to matters of cybersecurity. Part 1 of this article takes a look at recent efforts by California. This article examines the national attempts to legislate these poorly secured connected devices.

 

Creating an Immersive, Global Experience for Business Education — from campustechnology.com by Meg Lloyd
The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is using cutting-edge videoconferencing technology to connect students and academic scholars in a truly global classroom.

 

 

Teachers urged to instill assignments with ‘choice and relevancy’ — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

new report from the Education Trust looks at the role of two “powerful levers” — choice and relevancy — in motivating and engaging students. This national nonprofit works on issues that disproportionately affect students from low-income families and students of color. In its new paper the organization offered guidance to help educators bring relevancy to their assignments and give students “authentic choices.”

 

As they concluded, “When teachers consistently offer assignments that include choice in content, product or process, students will find the learning ownership needed to stay engaged and achieve at high levels.”

 

 

From DSC:
At this stage in life, my wife and I have one of our kids in high school…our son, who is now in his junior year. He is a very intelligent young man who wants to go into acting/drama/the theater. But he is a game player. He knows how the game is played and he plays it (most of the time). He can’t wait until the next phase of life because he views so much of his current education as being forced down his throat. Many of the topics that his courses deal with are things that he doesn’t care anything about. He would much rather study topics that HE wants to learn about.

He shared two recent examples with me:

  1. In his acting class, his acting teacher gave some of his own personal background and how he came to be where he is today; every eye and ear were open my son said…it was completely quiet in the room
  2. In his econ class, the teacher shared about the value of time on investing and gave some examples involving the growth of some investments over time; again, every eye and ear was open according to my son.

These were items of extreme relevance to those classes/audiences. And the students were paying attention, big time.

Also, when given more choice, students are apt to be much more engaged in their learning — even, perhaps, developing more of an actual enjoyment of learning.

Funny (but not really) how many times we hear of adults who later on went on to love learning…but they hated school.

 

 

 

 
 

GM to lay off 15 percent of salaried workers, halt production at five plants in U.S. and Canada — from washingtonpost.com by Taylor Telford

Excerpts:

Amid global restructuring, General Motors announced Monday it would reduce its North American production and salaried and executive workforce

These changes are part of GM’s efforts to focus its resources on self-driving and electric vehicles, as well as more efficient trucks, crossovers and SUVs, the company said in a statement.

The company also said it will cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce, laying off 25 percent of its executives to “streamline decision-making.” GM also said it will close two plants outside North America by the end of 2019. Those locations have yet to be announced.

 

From DSC to students:
Take note of this. If you’re heading for the corporate world (and other arenas as well these days), be ready for constant change. Always keep learning in order to stay marketable. In addition, hopefully you’ll be pulse checking the relevant landscapes along the way to minimize getting broadsided. Look for signs of what’s coming down the pike and develop some potential scenarios — and your plans/responses to those scenarios.

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies — from technologyreview.com by Antonio Regalado
A daring effort is under way to create the first children whose DNA has been tailored using gene editing.

Excerpt:

When Chinese researchers first edited the genes of a human embryo in a lab dish in 2015, it sparked global outcry and pleas from scientists not to make a baby using the technology, at least for the present.

It was the invention of a powerful gene-editing tool, CRISPR, which is cheap and easy to deploy, that made the birth of humans genetically modified in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) center a theoretical possibility.

Now, it appears it may already be happening.

 

Where some see a new form of medicine that eliminates genetic disease, others see a slippery slope to enhancements, designer babies, and a new form of eugenics. 

 

 

Is Amazon’s algorithm cashing in on the Camp Fire by raising the cost of safety equipment? — from wired.co.uk by Matthew Chapman
Sudden and repeated price increases on fire extinguishers, axes and escape ladders sold on Amazon are seemingly linked to increased demand driven by California’s Camp Fire

Excerpt:

Amazon’s algorithm has allegedly been raising the price of fire safety equipment in response to increased demand during the California wildfires. The practice, known as surge pricing, has caused products including fire extinguishers and escape ladders to fluctuate significantly on Amazon, seemingly as a result of the retailer’s pricing system responding to increased demand.

An industry source with knowledge of the firm’s operations claims a similar price surge was triggered by the Grenfell Tower fire. A number of recent price rises coincide directly with the outbreak of the Camp Fire, which has been the deadliest in California’s history and resulted in at least 83 deaths.

 

From DSC:
I’ve been thinking a lot more about Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos in recent months, though I’m not entirely sure why. I think part of it has to do with the goals of capitalism.

If you want to see a winner in the way America trains up students, entrepreneurs, and business people, look no further than Jeff Bezos. He is the year-in-and-year-out champion of capitalism. He is the winner. He is the Michael Jordan of business. He is the top. He gets how the game is played and he’s a master at it. By all worldly standards, Jeff Bezos is the winner.

But historically speaking, he doesn’t come across like someone such as Bill Gates — someone who has used his wealth to literally, significantly, and positively change millions of lives. (Though finally that looks to be changing a bit, with the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund; the first grants of that fund total $97 million and will be given to 24 organizations working to address family homelessness. Source.)

Along those same lines — and expanding the scope a bit — I’m struggling with what the goals of capitalism are for us today…especially in an era of AI, algorithms, robotics, automation and the like. If the goal is simply to make as much profit as possible, we could be in trouble. If what occurs to people and families is much lower down the totem pole…what are the ramifications of that for our society? Yes, it’s a tough, cold world. But does it always have to be that way? What is the best, most excellent goal to pursue? What are we truly seeking to accomplish?

After my Uncle Chan died years ago, my Aunt Gail took over the family’s office supply business and ran it like a family. She cared about her employees and made decisions with an eye towards how things would impact her employees and their families. Yes, she had to make sound business decisions, but there was true caring in the way that she ran her business. I realize that the Amazon’s of the world are in a whole different league, but the values and principles involved here should not be lost just because of size.

 

To whom much is given…much is expected.

 

 

 

Also see:

GM to lay off 15 percent of salaried workers, halt production at five plants in U.S. and Canada — from washingtonpost.com by Taylor Telford

Wall Street applauded the news, with GM’s stock climbing more than 7 percent following the announcement.

 

From DSC:
Well, I bet those on Wall Street aren’t a part of the 15% of the folks being impacted. The applause is not heard at all from those folks who are being impacted today…whose families are being impacted today…and will be feeling the impact of these announcements for quite a while yet.

 

 

Fall 2017 Top 30 Largest Online Enrollments in US – With LMS Usage and Trends Since 2012 — from mfeldstein.com by Phil Hill

Excerpt:

Finally, it’s worth looking at the top 30 trend over time. Obviously the University of Phoenix is no longer the 800 pound gorilla in distance education, with two not-for-profits – Western Governors University and Southern New Hampshire University – poised to overtake Phoenix in the next year or two. This view also shows the tendency for most institutions to top out at approximately 60,000 students, but this may be changing with the three counter-examples above as well as Grand Canyon University.

 

 

Beijing to judge every resident based on behavior by end of 2020 — from bloomberg.com

  • China capital plans ‘social credit’ system by end of 2020
  • Citizens with poor scores will be ‘unable to move’ a step

Excerpt:

China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with  Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

The capital city will pool data from several departments to reward and punish some 22 million citizens based on their actions and reputations by the end of 2020, according to a plan posted on the Beijing municipal government’s website on Monday. Those with better so-called social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will find life more difficult.

The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be “unable to move even a single step,” according to the government’s plan.

 

From DSC:
Matthew 18:21-35 comes to mind big time here! I’m glad the LORD isn’t like this…we would all be in trouble.

 

 

Global IoT technology market to reach $318 billion by 2023, says GlobalData — from which-50.com

Excerpt:

The global market for Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which consists of software, services, connectivity, and devices, reached $130 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $318 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData forecasts show that solutions for government, utilities and manufacturing dominate the market, with a total of 58 per cent of the opportunity in 2018 and a slighter smaller 55 per cent of the market in 2023, as others such as travel and leisure and retail grow their respective shares. Energy and transportation are other major verticals, with a combined 15 per cent of the market in both 2018 and 2023.

 

Also see:

  • As digital technology pervades the utility industry so too does the risk of cyber attacks — from by which-50.com by Joseph Brookes
    Excerpt:
    Smart metres and IoT have the potential to optimise performance and maintenance of the billions of dollars worth of infrastructure in Australian utilities. But each new device creates a potential access point to systems that are not designed with cyber security in mind and, in some cases, are already exposed.
 

Mama Mia It’s Sophia: A Show Robot Or Dangerous Platform To Mislead? — from forbes.com by Noel Sharkey

Excerpts:

A collective eyebrow was raised by the AI and robotics community when the robot Sophia was given Saudia citizenship in 2017 The AI sharks were already circling as Sophia’s fame spread with worldwide media attention. Were they just jealous buzz-kills or is something deeper going on? Sophia has gripped the public imagination with its interesting and fun appearances on TV and on high-profile conference platforms.

Sophia is not the first show robot to attain celebrity status. Yet accusations of hype and deception have proliferated about the misrepresentation of AI to public and policymakers alike. In an AI-hungry world where decisions about the application of the technologies will impact significantly on our lives, Sophia’s creators may have crossed a line. What might the negative consequences be? To get answers, we need to place Sophia in the context of earlier show robots.

 

 

A dangerous path for our rights and security
For me, the biggest problem with the hype surrounding Sophia is that we have entered a critical moment in the history of AI where informed decisions need to be made. AI is sweeping through the business world and being delegated decisions that impact significantly on peoples lives from mortgage and loan applications to job interviews, to prison sentences and bail guidance, to transport and delivery services to medicine and care.

It is vitally important that our governments and policymakers are strongly grounded in the reality of AI at this time and are not misled by hype, speculation, and fantasy. It is not clear how much the Hanson Robotics team are aware of the dangers that they are creating by appearing on international platforms with government ministers and policymakers in the audience.

 

 

Why blockchain is quickly becoming the gold standard for supply chains — from datafloq.com

Excerpts:

Global supply chains are complex processes. Different companies, with distinctive objectives, are working together to achieve a common goal; to bring something from A to B. For a supply chain to work, partners have to trust each other. To do so, there are multiple checks-and-balances, extensive documents and different checkpoints all interacting in a web of bureaucratic processes. Knowing the amount of paperwork required to send a product from farm to plate, it is remarkable that we have managed to develop global supply chains.

However, the processes in place are time-consuming, expensive and they don’t always prevent growing problems such as counterfeit products, fragmentation and falsification of data, lack of transparency, extensive settlement times and incorrect storage conditions.

Especially the availability of counterfeit products is an extensive problem. Research showed that 20 out of 47 items audited from renowned retailers such as Amazon or eBay turned out to be counterfeit. This results in annual damages of $1 trillion of missed income by retailers and manufacturers.


Three use cases of improved supply chains

  1. Beiersdorf – developing an open pallet exchange
  2. Bayer – total recall of pharmaceuticals
  3. Kellogg’s – food quality and safety first

 

 

Incredible artwork by Matthew Shlian

 

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