ISNS students embrace learning in a world of virtual reality — from by

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

To give students the skills needed to thrive in an ever more tech-centred world, the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) is one of the world’s first educational facilities now making instruction in virtual reality (VR) and related tools a key part of the curriculum.

Building on a successful pilot programme last summer in Virtual Reality, 3D art and animation, the intention is to let students in various age groups experiment with the latest emerging technologies, while at the same time unleashing their creativity, curiosity and passion for learning.

To this end, the school has set up a special VR innovation lab, conceived as a space for exploration, design and interdisciplinary collaboration involving a number of different subject teachers.

Using relevant software and materials, students learn to create high-quality digital content and to design “experiences” for VR platforms. In this “VR Lab makerspace” – a place offering the necessary tools, resources and support – they get to apply concepts and theories learned in the classroom, develop practical skills, document their progress, and share what they have learned with classmates and other members of the tech education community. 

 

 

As a next logical step, she is also looking to develop contacts with a number of the commercial makerspaces which have sprung up in Shenzhen. The hope is that students will then be able to meet engineers working on cutting-edge innovations and understand the latest developments in software, manufacturing, and areas such as laser cutting, and 3D printing, and rapid prototyping.  

 

 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the sharp interface out at Adobe (see image below), I’ve often thought that there should exist a similar interface and a similar database for educators, trainers, and learners to use — but the database would address a far greater breadth of topics to teach and/or learn about.  You could even select beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels (grade levels might work here as well).

Perhaps this is where artificial intelligence will come in…not sure.

 

 

 

 

nmc-digitalliteracyreport-oct2016

 

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.

 

digitallits-nmc-oct2016

 

 

The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.

 

 

To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
collaborating,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.

 

 

Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.

 

 

Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.

 

 

 

 
 

GoldmanSachs-Jan2016Report
With thanks to Fred Steube for this resource

 

 

Virtual reality facilitates higher ed research and teaches high-risk skills — from edtechmagazine.com by Jacquelyn Bengfort
From neuroscience to ship navigation, virtual environments deliver real-world learning inside the classroom.

Excerpt:

Simulators are an important part of their education. Stepping into one of three full-mission bridge simulators replicates the experience of standing in an ocean liner’s pilothouse and lets students practice their skills in handling a ship — without risk.

“In the simulator, you can push the limits of the environment: increase the amount of current that’s there, go to the limits of the amount of wind that can be handled by the tugs,” says Capt. Victor Schisler, one of Cal Maritime’s simulator instructors.

 

 

 

 

Oculus Launches Virtual Reality Program in High Schools — from thejournal.com by Sri Ravipati
The new initiative provides students with VR equipment to create short films on social issues.

Excerpt:

Oculus has announced a new pilot program for high school students to use virtual reality as a tool for social change.

As part of the VR for Good initiative, the 360 Filmmaker Challenge will connect nine San Francisco Bay Area high schools with professional filmmakers to create three- to five- minute 360 degree films about their communities. Students will receive a Samsung Gear VR, a Galaxy S6, Ricoh Theta S 360 cameras and access to editing software to make their films, according to Oculus.

 

 

 

 

How Adobe is connecting virtual reality with the world of product placement: 360-degree video mixes atmosphere and ads — from adweek.com by Marty Swant

Excerpt:

Interested in watching the 2015 hit film The Martian from the surface of the moon? Adobe wants you to take you there.

Adobe isn’t entering the latest next-generation space race to compete with SpaceX, Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic anytime soon. But it is for the first time entering the worlds of virtual reality and augmented reality through new Adobe Primetime products.

[On May 17th] Adobe debuted Virtual Cinema, a feature that will allow Primetime clients to develop experiences for users to enter a virtual environment. According to Adobe, users will be able to view traditional video in a custom environment—a cinema, home theater or branded atmosphere—and watch existing TV and motion picture content in a new way. There’s also potential for product placement within the virtual/augmented reality experience.

 

 

 

From Samsung Gear 360 Unboxing and Video Test — from vrscout.com by Jonathan Nafarrete

 

360-degree-camera-comparisons-May2016

 

 

Could HoloLens’ augmented reality change how we study the human body? — from edtechmagazine.com by D. Frank Smith
Case Western Reserve University is helping to revolutionize medical-science studies with a new technology from Microsoft.

Excerpt:

While the technology world’s attention is on virtual reality, a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is fixated on another way to experience the world — augmented reality (AR).

Microsoft’s forthcoming AR headset, HoloLens, is at the forefront of this technology. The company calls it the first holographic computer. In AR, instead of being surrounded by a virtual world, viewers see virtual objects projected on top of reality through a transparent lens.

CWRU was among the first in higher education to begin working with HoloLens, back in 2014. They’ve since discovered new ways the tech could help transform education. One of their current focuses is changing how students experience medical-science courses.

 

 

 

 

How to make a mixed reality video and livestream from two realities — from uploadvr.com by Ian Hamilton

Excerpt:

Follow these steps to record or stream mixed reality footage with the HTC Vive
A mixed reality video is one of the coolest ways to show people what a virtual environment feels like. A green screen makes it easy for a VR-ready PC to automatically remove everything from a camera’s feed, except for your body movements.  Those movements are then seamlessly combined with a view from another camera in a virtual environment. As long as the two cameras are synced, you can seamlessly combine views of two realities into a single video. In essence, mixed reality capture is doing what Hollywood or your weatherman has been doing for years, except at a fraction of the cost and in real-time. The end result is almost magical.

 

 

 

 

Adobe Photoshop unveils artificial intelligence tool to identify fonts from 20,000 typefaces — from ibtimes.co.uk by Mary-Ann Russon

Excerpt:

Graphic designers, rejoice – the hours upon hours of struggling to figure out what a type face is will finally be over as Adobe is adding an artificial intelligence tool to help detect and identify fonts from any type of picture, sketch or screenshot.

The DeepFont system features advanced machine-learning algorithms that send pictures of typefaces from Photoshop software on a user’s computer to be compared to a huge database of over 20,000 fonts in the cloud, and within seconds, results are sent back to the user, akin to the way the music discovery app Shazam works.

 

 

 

State-of-Content-Adobe-2016

 

Excerpt:

RULE #1: DESIGN FOR THE MULTISCREEN REALITY
Consumers are multiscreening more than ever before — optimize your content for it

  • On average, 83 percent of global consumers report they multiscreen, using 2.23 devices at the same time.

 

Design-Multiscreenreality-March2016

 

 

As attention spans shrink, 59 percent of consumers globally would rather engage with content that’s beautifully designed than simple — even when short on time.

 

 

More than half of consumers (57%) would prefer to watch videos on breaking news vs. read an article and 63 percent would rather skim several short stories than read deeper articles.

 

Globally, consumers use an average of 5 devices and 10 services

 

 

 

 

Adobe’s Project Comet has been renamed ‘Experience Design’ — and it [launched on 3/14/16] — from thenextweb.com by Nate Swanner

Excerpt:

Adobe’s Project Comet is now Experience Design (XD), and is available in preview for anyone with an existing Adobe account.

Noting there are currently “lots of tools tackling many parts of the problem” of designing apps, Adobe is positioning XD to compete more directly with Sketch, and it does a fantastic job. Not only will you be able to design artboards, but XD lets you make macro changes and prototype as well.

It begins with the type of project you have (Web, iPhone, iPad or ‘custom size’ designs), but XD also has UI Kit packets preloaded. You can choose from iOS, Google’s Material Design or Windows. XD also shows you recent files so you can jump right back into prototyping.

 

Adobe-ExperienceDesign-3-14-16

 

 

 

Microlearning: The e-Learning method taking off around the world — from educators.co.nz by Catherine Knowles

Excerpt:

Technology is disrupting traditional learning bringing new methods and tools into educational institutions and businesses.

Microlearning, for instance, has displayed great potential for growth, according to Association Learning + Technology 2016 – a report published by Tagoras and sponsored by YM Learning.

The report looks at the use of technology to enable and enhance learning in the continuing education and professional development market and provides insight into how the role technology plays in learning has and will evolve.

 

In fact, among five emerging types of learning (microlearning, massive open online courses (MOOCs), flipped classes, gamified learning, and microcredentials), microlearning shows the highest rate of adoption – and arguably the greatest potential for growth.

 

 

 

Podcasting is perfect for people with big ideas. Here’s how to do it — from by Todd Landman
Surprisingly few academics have learned how to podcast – but it’s a great way to reach a wider audience

Excerpt:

In the face of conflict in the Middle East, the flow of refugees to Europe and the violence associated with Islamic State and other militants, there has never been a more important time to talk about human rights. And talk about them is what I do – not in a lecture hall or at conferences with academics, but in a podcast series. Let me explain why.

I have worked as a political scientist for 25 years, focusing on human rights problems such as the struggle for citizenship rights in Latin America and the relationship between inequality and human rights violations.

I am part of a wide network of people dedicated to producing sound evidence on human rights, and my work has been communicated through articles, books and reports. But I am limited in my ability to reach the people I would most like to engage and influence – those who do not have an academic understanding of human rights but might benefit from finding out about it.

There is a new breed of academic who understands this and is committed to bridging the gap between academia and the real world. Many blog, actively seek media coverage of their research and appear on radio and television to shed light on the issues of the day.

 

 

From DSC:
Some of the tools that Landman mentioned were:

e-camm-for-skype-jan2016

  • A MacBook Pro and its free audio editing software GarageBand (for Mac OS X and for iOS)
  • A lapel mic used with his iPhone

 

garageband-jan2016

 

Some other tools to consider:

 

 

From DSC:
The above articles point to the idea — and the need — of creating “streams of content” — something that I wish more professors, teachers, staff, administrators, trainers, and instructional designers would create. Blogs, podcasts, and the use of Twitter come to my mind. Such channels could really help build others’ learning ecosystems.

Many professors and academics — folks who have so much information to share with the world — often produce works just for other academics in their discipline to review/check out. Such bubbles don’t have the impact that would occur if professors created streams of content for members of society to check out and learn from. Such mechanisms would also hopefully strip away some of the more academic sounding language and would get to the point.

 

 

streams-of-content-blue-overlay

 

 

 

 

Also see:

podcastscratch-june2015

 

Watch Adobe’s Monument Mode erase tourists from photos in real time — from theverge.com by Rich McCormick

Excerpt:

Adobe’s MAX conference took place last night, showing off technology, software, and features the company is currently working on. One of the stars of this year’s show was “Monument Mode,” a new feature that promises to work with smartphone cameras to crop out tourists, cars, and other moving objects that might be blocking your shot of famous landmarks.

 

Photography Startup Light Launches Multilens Camera — from by Tekla Perry

Excerpt:

Last year, stealthy Palo Alto startup Light picked up $9.7 million in venture funding to “reimagine the art and science of photography.” Job postings indicated they were looking for people with experience in combining multiple recorded images to reduce noise and improve image quality.

This week, Light demonstrated a prototype of its first product, what it calls a “multi-aperture computational camera,” the L16, at the Code/Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay. This flat camera, which looks like a fat smartphone, includes 16 camera lenses with a variety of focal lengths, 10 of which fire at any one time. Behind each lens is a camera module that records an image in 13-megapixel resolution; exposure is set individually for each lens. Then the camera’s software selectively combines those images.

 

 
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