Handheld retinal camera as an eye for innovation – D-EYE review — from medicalfuturist.com

The future of opthamology

Excerpt:

Sure, if something’s portable, easy to use and helps patients and doctors alike, it definitely ticks all our boxes. Does that mean we are going to test it though? Who are we kidding, of course it does! Join us on our journey to learn about the present and future of ophthalmology – and to get to know D-EYE, a new handheld digital retinal camera.

Ophthalmology can really profit from telemedicine. Recognising its potential, tech companies started targeting this medical sector, producing more and more interesting apps and devices. So, naturally, we’ve kept our eyes on ophthalmology for the past couple of years.

 

 

Colleges cut academic programs in the face of budget shortfalls due to Covid-19 — from cnbc.com by Jessica Dickler

Key points:

  • As colleges face extreme budget shortfalls, some institutions are cutting academic programs that were once central to a liberal arts education.
  • The University of Alaska system announced it will cut 39 academic departments in all, including sociology, creative writing, chemistry and environmental science.

 

Even before the global pandemic caused craters in the economy, some institutions were facing financial hardship after years of declines in state funding for higher education. A number of private schools had already made wrenching budget cuts, from curriculum changes to complete overhauls of their liberal arts programs.

 

From DSC:
A screenshot from the video (below) shows a new type of liberal arts program at Hiram College.

It could very well be that online-based learning turns out to save the liberal arts!!!!! How ironic is that!?!!

That is, many college presidents, provost, and faculty members — especially from smaller liberal arts types of schools — have disdained online-based learning for decades now. It was always viewed as “less than” in their minds…they didn’t want to go that route, as doing so would dilute their precious (and often overpriced) brands. (To be clear, this is not my view…but it was, and still is in many cases, their view.)

Anyway, it looks like more of these same folks will be losing their jobs in the next few years (if they haven’t already). At that point, we may see some of these same folks encounter a sudden paradigm shift. (A shift many of their colleagues have already gone through in prior years.) These same folks may come to appreciate that people will be willing to pay them for their knowledge — but only willing to do so at a much more affordable price…which will likely mean online.

Fewer people — especially when 47 million people in the U.S. alone have filed for unemployment over the last 14 weeks — can afford the cost of getting a degree. They are looking for inexpensive, convenient, efficient, effective means of reinventing themselves.

 

Huh…another potential irony here…it appears that colleges and universities are coming to know what many of us have known and experienced for years…and that is, the struggle to:

  • Reinvent oneself
  • Stay relevant
  • Survive
 

What is blockchain technology? The ultimate guide for beginners. — from cryptocoinsociety.com by Jesús Cedeño

Excerpt:

The purpose of this article is to address three central questions that should be discussed to fully understand and appreciate this revolutionary and disruptive technology called blockchain. This will include historical details about nascent technology and its evolutionary progress through the first decade of existence. We will also explore the different types of this technology and explain why the blockchain name is a misnomer and introduce a more proper name for the technology.

Why do we Need Blockchain Technology?
To answer this question we need to state what is the value proposition of Blockchain Technology. Blockchain’s value hinges on decentralization. Without decentralization blockchain technology is no different from regular databases. Decentralization removes the need to have an intermediary or a single authority that acts as gatekeepers of truth or having to trust an entity to ensure the trustworthiness of any transaction. Through blockchain, people will be able to transact with each other directly without having to worry that transactions will push through and will not be reversible.

 

 

Acts of meaning: How AI-based interviewing will transform career preparation in higher education — from er.educause.edu by Alan Jones, Suzan Harkness and Nathan Mondragon

Excerpt:

Machines parrot and correlate information. They do not comprehend or synthesize information the way humans do. Factors such as accents in pronunciation, word ambiguity (especially if a word has multiple meanings), deeply coded biases, limited association data sets, narrow and limited network layers used in job screening, and static translations will continue to provide valid ground for caution in placing too much weight or attributing too much confidence in AI in its present form. Nonetheless, AI has crept into job candidate screening, the medical field, business analytics, higher education, and social media. What is currently essential is establishing an understanding of how best to harness and shape the use of AI to ensure it is equitable, valid, and reliable and to understand the shifting paradigm that professional career counselors play on campus as AI becomes more ubiquitous.

There appear to be three points worth considering: the AI interview in general, the predominance of word choice, and expressiveness as read by facial coding.

From DSC:
Until there is a lot more diversity within the fields of computer science and data science, I’m not as hopeful that biases can be rooted out. My niece, who worked for Microsoft for many years, finally left the company. She was tired of fighting the culture there. The large tech companies will need to do a lot better if AI is going to make FAIR and JUST inroads.

Plus, consider how many biases there are!

 

Just-in-time online tutoring: Supporting learning anywhere, anytime — from er.educause.edu by Stefan Hrastinski

Excerpt:

What if learning could be supported anywhere, anytime, based on the needs of learners? This is a question that has been explored in different ways in research and teaching. Although an abundance of digital education resources are available online, learners have questions and need guidance when they are studying. Just-in-time online tutoring attempts to meet this need. It also has great potential as a complement to scheduled education.

Just-in-time learning has been defined as “anywhere, anytime learning that is just enough, just for me and just in time.”

 

PhotoVoice -- using photography to tell one's story

Photo voice dot org

 

Why photography?

A photograph is the quickest and easiest way for somebody to document the realities of their circumstances. Most people are familiar with photography to some degree, and it can be picked up relatively quickly by all abilities and ages.

Photography also crosses cultural and linguistic barriers, with its power lying in its dual role as both a form of creative expression and a way to document facts.

It provides an accessible way to describe realities, communicate perspectives, and raise awareness of social and global issues to different audiences.

Its relatively low cost and ease of dissemination encourages sharing, facilitating dialogue and discussion, even for those who have never picked up a camera before.

 

Addendum on 6/25/20

 

Majority of minority female lawyers consider leaving law; ABA study explains why — from abajournal.com by Debra Cassens Weiss

Excerpt:

Seventy percent of female minority lawyers report leaving or considering leaving the legal profession, according to an ABA report on the challenges that they face.

The statistic isn’t statistically significant because the researchers couldn’t find enough women of color in longtime practice to conduct the needed analysis, according to a preface to the reportLeft Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.

A June 22 ABA press release is here.

“Women of color have the highest rate of attrition from law firms as they continue to face firm cultures where their efforts and contributions are neither sufficiently recognized nor rewarded,” according to the report.

From DSC:
This is discouraging news. Crud.

 

Stunning minimalist series with warm colors — from fubiz.net by Al Mefer

Stunning minimalist series with warm colors -- by Al Mefer

 

PowerPoint Live is now generally available — from microsoft.com by Derek Jo

Excerpt:

Earlier this year, we announced that Live Presentations was coming soon, and we are excited to share that it is now generally available on PowerPoint for the web.

When we first announced PowerPoint Live, we saw excitement from both enterprise and education customers around how this feature could be utilized during in-person events—conferences, lecture halls, corporate all hands, town halls, and more. Of course, the world has changed a lot since then. 

We know that as more physical events and meetings take place, PowerPoint Live will prove to be a very useful tool for connecting with your audience and communicating more effectively, which we are excited to show you. However, we also have tips below on how to use this capability now in remote work and learning scenarios.

 

Credential blockchains could help student mobility. These 4 efforts explore how. — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

More than 70 efforts are underway around the world to use blockchain technology in education, and most set their sights on better connecting people with job opportunities, according to a new report published by the American Council on Education.

The report is part of the Education Blockchain Initiative, organized by the American Council on Education and supported by $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education. The initiative aims to study whether and how decentralized digital ledgers can give students and workers more control over their academic and job records and improve the flow of data among schools, colleges and employers, leaders told EdSurge in February.

 

 

Why everyone on your team must understand Instructional Design — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Megan MacDonald

Excerpts:

In my decade-long experience on projects of varying and increasing size, there are the key components I think you need to invest in helping your teams and management understand. And here they are:

  • Significance of learning objectives, and in particular the importance of action verbs and how they apply to your project.
  • Learning audience, including existing knowledge, background(s), and even personalities, can impact decisions such as instructor-led versus self-paced, where you need to start, the pace you need to set, and the specific information you need to provide on any given subject.
  • Concepts of cognitive load and scaffolding.
  • Instructional design is not always linear.
  • Finally, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to programs, courses, or even individual lessons.

 

 

COVID-19 Intensifies Need to Tackle Digital Accessibility — from campustechnology.com by By Glenda Sims
More learning content than ever before has migrated online, bringing accessibility concerns to the forefront. Here’s how higher ed institutions are making progress toward equitable access.

Excerpt:

Accessibility lawsuits in education are not new. However, with colleges and universities undertaking their own digital transformations (moving more content and services online), lawsuits targeted at equitable access to physical facilities (like bathrooms) have logically expanded to digital offerings for students relying on assistive technologies to access them. The current COVID-19 crisis is likely to exacerbate this, as more learning content than ever before has migrated online in these unprecedented times. Persons with disabilities will demand nothing less than completely equitable access, particularly when it comes to their safety. While many higher ed institutions still have much to do for their accessibility initiatives, there have been many promising developments…

 

 

Are you ready? Self-directed learning is the next wave for L&D — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Bill Brandon

Excerpt:

This article begins an exploration of the other major shift that is already in play and that will continue to affect our work: the phenomenon of self-directed learning. This is a trend that (like distance learning) was already underway before the pandemic, driven by a desire to reduce or eliminate the cost of formal instruction and to keep up with the speed of change itself.

What is self-directed learning?
Let’s use the classic definition from Malcolm Knowles. Self-directed learning is a process “in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating those learning outcomes.” (See reference at the end of this article.)

 

 

Law on trial — What the legal industry can do to defend it — from forbes.com by Mark Cohen

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

How can the legal industry help to restore the rule of law and public confidence in the legal system?

Some Recommendations
The profession must align with the industry to restore public confidence in the legal system. That means, among other things, that lawyers must recognize—as physicians do—that “it takes a village” to battle a crisis. Here are some recommendations how to do it.

1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Collaborate
3. Focus on the Vast, Underserved Retail Market Segment
4. Embrace Diversity
5. Modernize Legal Education and Training
6 Reimagine Courts
7. Think Globally
8. Use Influence to Create Just Laws and Enforce them Equally

 

IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft abandon law enforcement face recognition market — from which-50.com by Andrew Birmingham

Excerpt:

Three global tech giants — IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft — have all announced that they will no longer sell their face recognition technology to police in the USA, though each announcement comes with its own nuance.

The new policy comes in the midst of ongoing national demonstrations in the US about police brutality and more generally the subject of racial inequality in the country under the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter movement.

From DSC:
While I didn’t read the fine print (so I don’t know all of the “nuances” they are referring to) I see this as good news indeed! Well done whomever at those companies paused, and thought…

 

…just because we can…

just because we can does not mean we should


…doesn’t mean we should.

 

just because we can does not mean we should

Addendum on 6/18/20:

  • Why Microsoft and Amazon are calling on Congress to regulate facial recognition tech — from finance.yahoo.com by Daniel HowleyExcerpt:
    The technology, which can be used to identify suspects in things like surveillance footage, has faced widespread criticism after studies found it can be biased against women and people of color. And according to at least one expert, there needs to be some form of regulation put in place if these technologies are going to be used by law enforcement agencies.“If these technologies were to be deployed, I think you cannot do it in the absence of legislation,” explained Siddharth Garg, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, told Yahoo Finance.
 

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