Jane’s Top 10 Tools for Learning 2016 — from c4lpt.co.uk by Jane Hart


On Friday 23rd September, voting closes in the 10th Annual Survey of Learning Tool  – so it’s not too late to vote!

You can find out how to do so HERE – essentially it involves sharing your own Top 10 Tools for Learning – privately or publicly.

Anyway, as we reach the final few days of voting in 2016, I thought it was time to share my personal top 10 tools – so here they are:



Also see:




Photos of clouds and storms by Sean R. Heavey — from designsoak.com





Surreal monochromatic GIFs by Carl Burton — from thisiscolossal.com by Christopher Jobson






LaurentRosset.com > Photomanipulation




Accurate ballpoint pen art — from fubiz.net





A rotating 42-layer sculpture of Franz Kafka’s Head by David Cerny — from thisiscolossal.com by Christopher Jobson









PolyWood: Toy animal concepts rendered in polygons by Mat Szulik — from thisiscolossal.com by Christopher Jobson






New powerful street art by Pejac — from fubiz.net





Google’s Tilt Brush allows you to paint in 3 dimensions — from interestingengineering.com






Watch the year’s best drone footage — in just 2.5 minutes — from digitaltrends.com by Hillary Grigonis





Vertiginous Skyscrapers of Hong Kong— from fubiz.net featuring the work of Ekaterina Busygina






Stunning 3D Chalk Art Illusions by Tracy lee Stum — from hongkiat.com






I’m convinced this virtual reality short is the future of animation — from techinsider.io by Kirsten Acuna


If there’s one takeaway I’ve gathered from the Tribeca Film Festival, it’s that people are doing some incredible things with VR.

The New York City festival has 18 virtual experiences on display for attendees to check out this year in a Virtual Arcade, and one I kept hearing a lot of chatter about was “Allumette,” a nearly 20-minute animated short from startup Penrose Studios. I heard several people declare it the best VR short of the festival by far.

I agree. It’s excellent.

I checked out “Allumette” (French for Matchstick), which first debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Wednesday evening and was blown away by the experience.



It’s that level of immersion — where you feel like a participant in the actual story — that makes me excited to see what else filmmakers and artists will continue to do in this medium.




From DSC:
Below are 2 articles that I ran across, almost back to back.  Check them out and see if you, too, don’t see a major gap here. Though not really news, it doesn’t seem that we’re making much progress either.


The 25 Skills You Must Master to Land a New Job in 2016 (Infographic) — from inc.com by Jacquelyn Smith
If you know how to code or are fluent in another language, you’ll have a leg up on other candidates.


To find out what it takes to successfully land a job, LinkedIn analyzed all of the hiring and recruiting activity that occurred on its site in 2015, and uncovered the 25 hottest skills in 14 different countries.




Now, check this next one out!


When it comes to jobs, Generation Z may not be the ‘tech’ generation after all — from by Conner Forrest
A new study by CompTIA found that many young people are simply uninterested in IT jobs. Here’s how that could impact the workforce.

According to a new study by IT trade association CompTIA, a mere 13% of 13-17 year-olds surveyed said they want to pursue a career in IT. This is despite the fact that 70% of Generation Z respondents reporting that they love technology.

According to the CompTIA report, much of Generation Z’s disinterest in technological professions is mainly due to their lack of understanding about the field. This is especially true in school, with 38% of junior high and high school students saying their schools provide no information on IT jobs. According to Code.org, only 10% of high schools in the US offer computer science classes.

Also, the gender gap prevailed among Generation Z respondents with only 10% of girls saying they were interested in IT, compared to 23% of boys.



Houston, we have a problem!*
The demand isn’t being met — nor does it look like it will be met — with the appropriate supply.

*  Though this is not a new problem,
it doesn’t seem that we’re making
much progress here.




Discover Explain3D — from interestingengineering.com by Eben Atwater


Long ago, someone coined the adage, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Illustrators and teachers have grasped that simple truism throughout thousands of years of human history – It’s a fact that many, if not most of us, are visual learners. That’s especially true when it comes to things mechanical. That said, it’s 2015, and certainly time for a twenty first century iteration of this venerable learning principle to manifest. And in fact, it has – Consider Explain 3D – An interactive encyclopedia of 3D simulations and visualizations that helps kids, teachers or parents to explain and understand how things work. Explain 3D is a great tool to help youngsters develop the skills of logical thinking and imagination, while poking around in some very cool modern technologies and technical stuff.





Storytelling app a hit; launches a new chapter in transmedia — from blogs.vancouversun.com by Gillian Shaw


Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Paul Pattison and Luke Minaker knew they were onto something when they got an email from the mother of a nine-year-old who read the first instalment of their interactive story, Weirdwood Manor.

She wrote that she couldn’t get her son to pick up a book,” said Pattison, technical director of All Play No Work, producer of the iPad app. “She got the app for her son and he went through it in two nights. He finished both books.

And then because we don’t have book 3 out yet, unprompted by her he went over to the bookshelf and pulled off a paperback and started reading chapter books again.

While the storytelling app had already shot to ‘Best New App’ in Apple’s app store, chalking up 5,000 downloads in the first two weeks after it was released, the realization that it converted a reluctant nine-year-old to an avid reader confirmed for Pattison and Minaker they were on the right track.

It is a common theme we have been hearing,” said Pattison. “They get to this age range of eight to 12 and they stop being interested in reading. Video games, Snapchat – all these other things dominate.

Although we’re an app in digital, what we really wanted to do is re-engage kids in reading, tap into their imagination, have them rediscover that.




My thanks to Mary Grush at Campus Technology for her continued work in bringing relevant topics and discussions to light — so that our institutions of higher education will continue delivering on their missions well into the future. By doing so, learners will be able to continue to partake of the benefits of attending such institutions. But in order to do so, we must adapt, be responsive, and be willing to experiment. Towards that end, this Q&A with Mary relays some of my thoughts on the need to move more towards a team-based approach.

When you think about it, we need teams whether we’re talking about online learning, hybrid learning or face-to-face learning. In fact, I just came back from an excellent Next Generation Learning Space Conference and it was never so evident to me that you need a team of specialists to design the Next Generation Learning Space and to design/implement pedagogies that take advantage of the new affordances being offered by active learning environments.








Rapt Media: 9 Predictions for Online Video in 2014 — from adotas.com

  1. There will be a push to replicate the “TV experience” on the web.
  2. Interactive video is going to redefine traditional broadcasting.
  3. Video will be the GIF of 2014.
  4. Web video series will use PWYW pricing model.
  5. Online content producers will create more original series.
  6. We’ll see at least one high-profile crowd-funded season of television.
  7. Videos will become the primary shopping vehicles for tablet users around the world.
  8. A few innovative companies will start leveraging Interactive Video to replace costly in-person training. Higher education and corporate training will see a huge disruption as animated avatars and Interactive Video pair up to present personalized online training to hundreds of thousands of users without anyone ever leaving the comfort of their home or office.
  9. Video with choice is going to revolutionize customer service.

Learning from the Living (Class) Room [Grush & Christian]



Learning in ‘the Living [Class] Room’
From campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Daniel Christian
Convergent technologies have the ability to support streams of low-cost, personalized content, both at home and in college.


A proposal for Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and any other company who wants to own the future living room [Christian]





“The main obstacle to an Apple television set has been content. It has mostly failed to convince cable companies to make their programming available through an Apple device. And cable companies have sought to prevent individual networks from signing distribution deals with Apple.”

Apple, closer to its vision for a TV set, wants
ESPN, HBO, Viacom, and others to come along

qz.com by Seward, Chon, & Delaney, 8/22/13


From DSC:
I wonder if this is because of the type of content that Apple is asking for. Instead of entertainment-oriented content, what if the content were more focused on engaging, interactive, learning materials? More on educational streams of content (whether we — as individuals — create and contribute that content or whether businesses do)?

Also see:


internet of things


Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The communications landscape has historically taken the form of a tumultuous ocean of opportunities. Like rolling waves on a shore, these opportunities are often strong and powerful – yet ebb and flow with time.

Get ready, because the next great wave is upon us. And, like a tropical storm, it is likely to change the landscape around us.

As detailed by analyst Chetan Sharma, this particular wave is the one created by the popularity of over-the-top (OTT) solutions – apps that allow access to entertainment, communication and collaboration over the Internet from smartphones, tablets and laptops, rather than traditional telecommunications methods. Sharma has coined this the mobile “fourth wave” – the first three being voice, messaging (SMS) and data access, respectively – and it is rapidly washing over us.


Addendum on 11/25:









From DSC:
When I woke up last night, an idea surfaced to the forefront of my thinking. It had to do with augmented reality. I wondered (and tried to picture)…

What if augmented reality could help bring something that’s harder to picture/understand/grasp to life? 

What if, for example, you could point your mobile device at an object/piece of paper/”button” on a main screen and have an animation pop up that would explain what’s being discussed…?  I realize this is being done in some areas (even in elementary apps such as ColAR App), but I think we are largely leaving this area untapped and we’re missing out on a powerful, potential way of engaging students and inviting interactivity.

For example, I had a very difficult time grasping organic chemistry — and the “weeding out” method worked on me big time!  That course had a lot to due with me questioning my future as a pre-med student and I ended up dropping out of pre-med (a good decision, but heh, why blow the story now?).   Being a student who prefers visuals, I think that it would have helped me greatly if I could have seen — and ideally manipulated — models and animations in real time.

For example:

  • If I tried to move an atom to an inappropriate ring/connection, the holographic design would show a holographic pop up — with accompany audio — letting me know why that won’t work.  Wow.
  • Then I ran into the article below and the idea came back to me…and again, I wondered…where might augmented reality help us out here? Or holographic displays that can be manipulated?



Which points to:

BEAUTY OF MATHEMATICS — a video on Vimeo from PARACHUTES.TV by Yann Pineill & Nicolas Lefaucheux

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music.”

—Bertrand Russell


“Learning in the Living [Class] Room” — as explained by Daniel Christian [Campus Technology]

Learning from the Living [Class] Room  — from Campus Technology by Daniel Christian and Mary Grush; with a huge thanks also going out to Mr. Steven Niedzielski (@Marketing4pt0) and to Mr. Sam Beckett (@SamJohnBeck) for their assistance and some of the graphics used in making these videos.

From DSC:
These 4 short videos explain what I’m trying to relay with a vision I’m entitling, Learning from the Living [Class] Room.  I’ve been pulse checking a variety of areas for years now, and the pieces of this vision continue to come into fruition.  This is what I see Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) morphing into (though there may be other directions/offshoots that they go in as well).

After watching these videos, I think you will see why I think we must move to a teambased approach.

(It looks like the production folks for Campus Technology had to scale things way back in terms of video quality to insure an overall better performance for the digitally-based magazine.) 

To watch these videos in a higher resolution, please use these links:

  1. What do you mean by “the living [class] room”?
  2. Why consider this now?
  3. What are some examples of apps and tech for “the living [class] room”?
  4. What skill sets will be needed to make “the living [class] room” a reality?



Alternatively, these videos can be found at:






Content as a Service (CaaS) — from knowledgestarblog.wordpress.com by David Grebow


The etextbook in 2018 will be dramatically different than the etextbook of today. It will be coupled to an app that will provide you with Content as a Service (CaaS). CaaS will include many of the following features (and more that have yet to be imagined):

  • Multimedia
  • Simulations
  • Educational Games
  • Animations
  • Pre- and post-tests
  • Formative and Summative Quizzes
  • Adaptive testing
  • Networked Social Learning
  • Study groups
  • Analytic Datasets
  • Virtual and Flipped classes
  • Communities of Learning and Practice
  • Virtual classes.


Also see:




From DSC:
I love multimedia because it enables me to craft a message using audio, video, text, graphics, and even animations.  The Internet extends the power of this communication by allowing that message to go forth 24 x 7 x 365 in multi-directional ways — even allowing others to join in the conversations and participate.

The following item made me reflect upon on how important this is becoming to business:


How (and why) is Marketing Changing?
The first thing to understand about marketing today is that it’s all about shared experience. Consumer behavior is radically changing with respect to content consumption. No longer are people consuming most of their content on the TV, a newspaper, or even their computer. Rather, they are using a combination of channels:



From DSC:

  • Won’t this trend also impact students’ expectations/hopes/engagement?
  • What do we need to do to help youth build these skillsets?



Also related/see:

  • The rise, implications & benefits of the second screen — from newsworks.org.uk by Mark Challinor
    Telegraph Media Group’s director of mobile Mark Challinor says in this new era of second screens, news companies must create content that helps consumers to multi-task on multiple platforms with multiple devices.

Watching television – or even reading a newspaper – with a smartphone and/or tablet device is becoming one of the most popular leisure activities of this “mobile age”. In turn, publishers such as ourselves are trying to find ways to capitalise on this somewhat new consumer behaviour of real-time interaction, which, more often than not, includes social media. This type of interaction, referred to as “the second screen” or “the companion device”, has become not just a latest hot topic of discussion all over social media blogs; it is a huge development for the mobile app industry and a target-rich environment for our advertisers.

  • Emerging markets’ second-screen boost with 1BN smart devices by 2014 — from rapidtvnews.com by Joseph O’Halloran
    New research by IDC has revealed that it won’t just be Western Europe and North America forming happy hunting grounds for second-screen services and applications. The analyst says it is clear that demand for smart connected devices is quickly shifting from developed to emerging markets and that by the end of 2014, global shipments of smart connected devices such as PCs, tablets, and smartphones will exceed surpass 1.7 billion units, with roughly one billion units delivered to emerging markets. The emerging markets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the 2012-2017 forecast period, compared to the 7% CAGR expected in developed markets.

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