Learning in the Cloud: Canada’s First University to Move Operations into One Secure Cloud Infrastructure Sets the Stage for the Future of Learning — from globenewswire.com by Athabasca University
Athabasca University (AU) lays the groundwork to build a more accessible and personalized future for post-secondary learners

Excerpt:

Edmonton, Alberta, Sept. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At a time when you can personalize everything from your online shopping experience to your dating prospects, it seems only reasonable to ask: why can’t students “swipe right” on their course load? Why can’t a degree be structured around what someone wants to learn or how they learn, instead of what’s traditionally part of the program? In other words, why isn’t it possible to choose your own adventure in a university environment?

Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s Online University, recently completed a six-month rapid cloud migration project with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to construct a secure, flexible, and global infrastructure required to make personalized learning an infinitely scalable reality. With the completion of its cloud migration project, AU became the first post-secondary institution in Canada to move its entire digital operations infrastructure into its own secure AU cloud environment powered by AWS.

 

Walmart just started delivering stuff with drones — from futurism.com by Victor Tangermann

Excerpt:

Walmart just kicked off its own drone delivery pilot, a collaboration with drone delivery company Flytrex. The pilot launched today in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is limited to select grocery and household essential items from the retailer’s local stores.

 

Let's keep the drone armies out of the skies please.

From DSC:
It starts off with an army of drones from Walmart joined by another army of drones from Amazon.

Drones from Amazon Prime. Let's keep them out of the skies please.

 

Then company XYZ chimes in. Then company ABC chimes in. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Then the armies of drones change to more powerful, louder, more “capable” delivery vehicles that can handle bigger, heavier deliveries.

And suddenly, the skies are full of noise-making, sun-blocking pieces of human-made machinery that, for the most part, are convenient but not necessary. 

We need to think — and act — very carefully these days.

  • What kind of future do we want to hand down to our children and to our grandchildren?
  • What will the skies look and sound like in 2030 if such armies of drones and other types of airborne delivery vehicles are released?
  • Are we willing to say that our kids won’t mind paying the price?

Is this the future we want to create? Not me. I, for one, appreciate a quiet walk. I appreciate being able to look up at the skies, especially when they are clear. 

We have a responsibility to keep things this way.

To the relevant engineers and C-Suites out there:

  • Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
  • Please take more responsibility for what’s being developed/brought to market.

Let’s shut this down — now — before the momentum gets started. Let’s follow Portland’s example by shutting down facial recognition/AI:

  • Portland adopts landmark facial recognition ordinances — from thehill.com by Chris Mills Rodrigo
    Excerpt:
    “What makes Portland’s legislation stand out from other cities is that we’re prohibiting facial recognition technology use by private entities in public accommodations,” Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said during Wednesday’s deliberations. “This is the first of its kind of legislation in the nation,” he added.
  • Why Amazon tried to thwart Portland’s historic facial recognition ban — from salon.com by Matt Rozsa
    Amazon reportedly lobbied in secret to weaken Portland’s ban on private use of facial recognition technology

 

 

#lifelonglearning #stayingrelevant #reinvent #learning #surviving

 

Speaking of career-related items…also see the powerful commentary out at:

From DSC:
That article reminded me that there are a variety of people working on the “front lines” of this pandemic. 

 

Using the TV as a key tool in our learning ecosystems

From DSC:

  • If one doesn’t have access to the Internet, a computer, or any such mobile technology as seen in the image above…could TV become the medium through which one could be educated during this next year of the Coronavirus situation? That is, until we can develop better and more equitable policies, plans, funding, systems, infrastructures, and connectivity for all students!
  • After that, could we see more televisions morph into smart/connected TVs?
  • Could PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and other major networks collaborate with the U.S. Department of Education to help us educate all students? 
  • Could the largest internet company of 2030 be an online school as Thomas Frey predicts?

A few years ago, I had hoped that Apple was going to go all-in with their tvOS platform.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the New Apple TV during a Special Event; 9/9/15.

 

Though it’s still early in the game, that really hasn’t happened to the extent that I had hoped. That said, more recently, I was encouraged to see this article from back in July:

LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND LOUISIANA PUBLIC BROADCASTING TO TELEVISE HIGH-QUALITY MATH INSTRUCTION THIS SUMMER

 



 

Let’s ask the employees of PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and other networks if they would be willing to work with the U.S. Department of Education to help educate ALL students! Though educational TV is not new, I’m talking about taking things to a *whole* new level.

With that in mind, I created the following graphic:

Let's use television to minimize the learning gaps that will otherwise be experienced by many students this next year!

(One might ask why I used an old television in the above graphic. I was trying to get at the idea that one might not have a lot of resources to work with.)

 

From DSC:
For current and/or future data scientists out there.

Guides on how to ace your next data science interview

Required Skills
The data analyst position at Amazon requires specialization in knowledge and experience. Therefore, Amazon only hires highly qualified candidates with at least 3 years of industry experience working with data analysis, data modelling, advanced business analytics, and other related fields.

Other basic qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s or Masters (PhD prefered) in Finance, Business, Economics, Engineering, math, statistics, computer science, Operation Research, or related fields.
  • Experience with scripting, querying, and data warehouse tools, such as Linux, R, SAS, and/or SQL
  • Extensive experience in programming languages like Python, R,  or Java.
  • Experience with querying relational databases (SQL) and hands-on experience with processing, optimization, and analysis of large data set.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Macros and Access.
  • Experience in identifying metrics and KPIs, gathering data, experimentation, and presenting decks, dashboards, and scorecards.
  • Experience with business intelligence and automated self-service reporting tools such as Tableau, Quicksight, Microsoft Power BI, or Cognos.
  • Experience with AWS services such as RDS, SQS, or Lambda.
 

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!

 

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.
 

From DSC:
I saw the piece below from Graham Brown-Martin’s solid, thought-provoking posting entitled, “University as a Service (UaaS)” out at medium.com. My question is: What happens if Professor Scott Galloway is right?!”

Excerpt:

Prof Scott Galloway predicts lucrative future partnerships between the FAANG mega-corporations and major higher education brands emerging as a result of current disruptions. Galloway wonders what a partnership between MIT and Apple would look like?

 

The education conveyor belt of the last century that went school to university to work and a job for life just doesn’t work in an era of rapid transformation. Suppose we truly embrace the notion of continuous or lifelong learning and apply that to the university model. It wouldn’t just stop in your twenties would it?

University as a Service (UaaS), where higher education course and degree modules are unbundled and accessed via a monthly subscription, could be a landing spot for the future of higher education and lifelong learners. 

 


Below are some other items
regarding the future of higher education.


Also relevant/see:

https://info.destinysolutions.com/lp-updating-the-higher-education-playbook-to-stay-relevant-in-2020

Also relevant/see:

 

Also relevant/see:

 

Also relevant/see:

  • Fast Forward: Looking to the Future Workforce and Online Learning — from evolllution.com by Joann Kozyrev (VP Design and Development, Western Governors University) and Amrit Ahluwalia
    Excerpt:
    With employers and students looking to close the gap in workforce skills, it’s critical for them to know what skills are in need the most. Postsecondary institutions need to be the resource to provide learners with the education the workforce needs and to make both parties understand the value of the students’ education. With the remote and online shift, it’s a new territory for institutions handle. In this interview, Joann Kozyrev discusses the impact remote learning has on an online institution, concerns about the future of online learning and how to get people back into the workforce fast and efficiently. 

 

 

Tech conferences are going virtual, and it feels like Netflix content on demand — from .marketwatch.com by Jon Swartz

Excerpt:

Such is the new world of tech conferences in the age of COVID-19. They’ve gone all-digital, like Build and GTC Digital, and may never be the same. Absent a vaccine, the days of thousands of people herded into hotel ballrooms and convention centers like cattle, sharing cabs and eating in cramped quarters, are gone.

Far from crippling the tech industry, however, virtual shows could lead to democratization of what had once been an exclusive, pricey privilege for tech movers and shakers. In the new climate, consumers have free access to valuable technical content whenever they wish to view it.

“Last year, I paid several thousand dollars to attend, and if I was late for a session, I couldn’t rewind it. This year, I could.”

 

Amazon rolls out Alexa-powered voice shopping experience in India — from techcrunch.com by Manish Singh

Excerpt:

Amazon [on 3/12/20] rolled out an Alexa-enabled voice-powered shopping feature in India as the e-commerce giant looks for new ways to engage with customers in one of its key overseas markets.

Customers will be able to use Alexa to search for items on the e-commerce platform, add them to the cart and proceed to checkout — by tapping the in-app mic icon and saying commands such as “Alexa, show me sarees,” “Alexa, add saree to my cart” and “Alexa, go to checkout.”

 

How innovations in voice technology are reshaping education — from edsurge.com by Diana Lee
Voice is the most accessible form you can think of when you think about any interface. In education, it’s already started to take off.

It could be basic questions about, “Am I taking a class to become X?” or “How strong are my skills relative to other people?” An assistant can help with that. It could potentially be a coach, something that follows you the rest of your life for education. I’m excited about that. People that can’t normally get access to this kind of information will get access to it. That’s the future.

From DSC:
The use of voice will likely be a piece of a next-generation learning platform.

Voice will likely be a piece of the next generation learning platform

 

Things I Learned at Project Voice — from thejournal.com by Bradley Metrock, who produces the Project Voice conference, hosts This Week in Voice
Could 2020 be the year of the voice? These voice experts think so.

Excerpt:

Voice experience of the year for education, with these finalists:

Highlights took this category.

And voice developer of the year, with these finalists:

Bamboo Learning won this award.

Also see:

  • 12 Education Predictions for 2020 — by Dian Schaffhauser
    The learning and innovation in education never stops. Here’s what 12 education technology experts and observers expect for the new year in K-12.
 

From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

CES 2020: Finding reality in a deluge of utopia — from web-strategist.com by Jeremiah Owyang

Excerpts:

One of my strategies is to look past the products that were announced, and instead find the new technologies that will shed light on which products will emerge such as sensors and data types.

The trick to approaching CES: Look for what creates the data, then analyze how it will be used, therein lies the power/leverage/business model of the future.

Sharp’s augmented windows give us an interesting glimpse of what retail could look like if every window was a transparent screen…

Rivian, the new electric truck company, which is funded by both Ford and Amazon was featured at the Amazon booth, with a large crowd, each wheel has an independent motor and it’s Alexa integrated – watch out Cybertruck.

Caution: “Data leakage” (where your data ends up in places you didn’t expect) is frightening, and people will start to care. The amount of devices present, that offer data collection to unknown companies in unknown countries is truly astounding. Both from a personal, business, and national security perspective, consumers and businesses alike really don’t know the ramifications of all of this data sharing.

Also see:

 

The 20 top tech skills that employers want and that can help you find a job, according to recruiting site Indeed — from businessinsider.com by Rosalie Chan and Bani Sapra

Excerpt:

The job search site Indeed released a report this month about the top tech skills of 2019 based on job descriptions that are being posted.

Andrew Flowers, an economist at Indeed, says that in today’s job market, there are two major trends that drive the top skills in tech. The first is the rise of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The second is the rise of cloud computing.

“Python has had explosive growth,” Flowers told Business Insider. “If I’m around the dinner table and a nephew asks what should I learn? Having done this report, I would say, learn Python.”

 

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