MOOC Enrollment Explodes in 2020 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

According to a new report by Class Central, a company that tracks massive open online courses, of all learners who have registered for MOOCs throughout their history, a third did so last year. Coursera, the largest MOOC operator, added nearly four times the number of new registered users, exploding from 8 million in 2019 to 31 million in 2020 — a rise of 387 percent. Dhawal Shah, founder of Class Central, estimated that Coursera’s total number of users is currently 76 million.

Whereas topics in technology, business and career development dominated pre-COVID-19, during the pandemic learners focused on wider interests: Art and design, self-improvement, the humanities, communication skills, health & medicine and foreign languages surfaced in the top 10 subjects.

 

OpenAI’s text-to-image engine, DALL-E, is a powerful visual idea generator — from venturebeat.com by Gary Grossman; with thanks to Tim Holt for sharing this resource

OpenAI’s text-to-image engine, DALL-E, is a powerful visual idea generator

Excerpt:

OpenAI chose the name DALL-E as a hat tip to the artist Salvador Dalí and Pixar’s WALL-E. It produces pastiche images that reflect both Dalí’s surrealism that merges dream and fantasy with the everyday rational world, as well as inspiration from NASA paintings from the 1950s and 1960s and those for Disneyland Tomorrowland by Disney Imagineers.

From DSC:
I’m not a big fan of having AI create the music that I listen to, or the artwork that I take in. But I do think there’s potential here in giving creative artists some new fodder for thought! Perhaps marketers and/or journalists could also get their creative juices going from this type of service/offering.

Speaking of art, here are a couple of other postings that caught my eye recently:

This Elaborately Armored Samurai Was Folded From A Single Sheet of Paper
Also see:

 

Best Online Educational Games for High School Students — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

…the introduction of educational games to kids helps increase their motivation and engagement, enhance visual skills, improve students’ interaction and collaboration abilities with their peers, and apply gaming values in a real-world situation; most importantly, it improves learning.

Learning Apps For Kids To Explore in 2021 — from edtechreview.in by Priyanka Gupta

Excerpt:

Living in a digital era and in times when technology has kept education going, let’s look at some promising learning apps for kids to explore in 2021.

 

 

From DSC:
I was thinking about projecting images, animation, videos, etc. from a device onto a wall for all in the room to see.

  • Will more walls of the future be like one of those billboards (that presents two or three different images) and could change surfaces?

One side of the surface would be more traditional (i.e., a sheet wall type of surface). The other side of the surface would be designed to be excellent for projecting images onto it and/or for use by Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and/or Virtual Reality (VR).

Along these lines, here’s another item related to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI):

Mercedes-Benz debuts dashboard that’s one giant touchscreen — from futurism.com

 

Sundance 2021 Goes Virtual for the New Frontier VR Program — from by Emory Craig

Excerpt:

The New Frontier Program at the Sundance Film Festival has always positioned itself at the intersection of film, art, and technology. Its experimental projects in VR have been groundbreaking, from Nonny de la Peña’s ‘Hunger in Los Angeles,’ the first-ever VR documentary to be showcased at the Festival (2012) through this year’s remarkable projects, many of which focused on movement and play in VR. With the pandemic still the reality of our lives, Sundance 2021 finds itself having to transition that spirit to a virtual environment.

 

A ‘Great Cultural Depression’ Looms for Legions of Unemployed Performers — from nytimes.com
With theaters and concert halls shuttered, unemployment in the arts has cut deeper than in restaurants and other hard-hit industries.

Excerpt:

During the quarter ending in September, when the overall unemployment rate averaged 8.5 percent, 52 percent of actors, 55 percent of dancers and 27 percent of musicians were out of work, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. By comparison, the jobless rate was 27 percent for waiters; 19 percent for cooks; and about 13 percent for retail salespeople over the same period.

Also see:

Actors and Writers and Now, Congressional Lobbyists — from nytimes.com
Be an #ArtsHero started with a failed effort to extend unemployment benefits. It’s gone on to be a prime proponent of the message: Cultural work is labor.

 

Mind-Bending 3D Staircase Wins the Best Illusion of the Year Contest — from interestingengineering.com by Loukia Papadopoulos
The winner’s work is a mesmerizing take on the classic Schröder Staircase.

 

Coming Home for Christmas — from 500px.com by Arnd Kolleck
.
Coming Home for Christmas by Arnd Kolleck on 500px.com

 

Animation Trends in 2021: Popping and Intriguing Animation Ideas — from graphicmama.com by Lyudmil Enchev

Excerpt:

Before we dive in, a quick list of the 9 animation trends in 2021:
1. 3D style
2. Live-Action and Animation Mix
3. Use Textures
4. Don’t Underestimate Sound FX
5. Unique Characters and Illustration styles
6. Realistic Expressions
7. Glow and Shine Effects
8. Retro/Vintage Style Animations
9. Storytelling

.

Meet Texas A&M graduate Cheyenne Chapel, a CG artist behind Pixar’s new animated film ‘Soul’ which premieres this Christmas on Disney+ — from victoriaadvocate.com by Joe Friar, with thanks to Keesa V. Johnson for posting this on LinkedIn

Cheyenne Chapel

Cheyenne Chapel is photographed on January 21, 2020 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

 

Impressive Moving Dunes Optical Illusion — from fubiz.com

Impressive Moving Dunes Optical Illusion

 

From DSC:
I want to thank my sisters for the following items, all involving Christmas:

My sister’s watercolor of a Christmas scene:

Merry Christmas! Emmanuel -- God with us!

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Also see this fun piece from another of our sisters — Christmas according to kids:

Also see:

If you want to see, hear, and experience some wonderful creativity, artwork, music, and animation that relate to Christmas, you might want to check out the Christmas section out at JacquieLawson.com.

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

 

From DSC:
And here’s another interesting picture/item:

A proposed building for the Rotterdam Harbour

 
 

Railroad-journal dot com -- for those folks who love trains and photography!

From DSC:
My brother-in-law, Bob Bender, captures a lot of great trains out at railroad-journal.com. He has an artistic way of capturing the scenes and he provides a lot of interesting background/information for each picture. If you like trains, you should check his site out! 

 

Some sharp creativity from two artists!!

 

From DSC:
As readers of this blog know, I’m highly suspect about the future use of drones — especially from many large companies who might each develop their own army of drones and fill the skies with their sites and sounds. But below, you will see a very creative, cool use of drones (which is akin to many of the aerial pics/angles we see these days).

Long-Exposure Drone Photography — from theawesomer.com by Reuben Wu

Incredible long exposure drone photography -- by Reuben Wu

Another example of an incredible long exposure drone photography picture -- by Reuben Wu

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter showed me a “Bitmoji Classroom” that her mentor teacher — Emily Clay — uses as her virtual classroom. Below are some snapshots of the Google Slides that Emily developed based on the work of:

  • Kayla Young (@bitmoji.kayla)
  • MaryBeth Thomas 
  • Ms. Smith 
  • Karen Koch
  • The First Grade Creative — by C. Verddugo

My hats off to all of these folks whose work laid the foundations for this creative, fun, engaging, easy-to-follow virtual classroom for a special education preschool classroom — complete with ties to videoconferencing functionalities from Zoom. Emily’s students could click on items all over the place — they could explore, pursue their interests/curiosities/passions. So the snapshots below don’t offer the great interactivity that the real deal does.

Nice work Emily & Company! I like how you provided more choice, more control to your students — while keeping them engaged! 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

From DSC:
I also like the idea of presenting this type of slide (immediately below, and students’ names have been blurred for privacy’s sake) prior to entering a videoconferencing session where you are going to break out the students into groups. Perhaps that didn’t happen in Emily’s class…I’m not sure, but in other settings, it would make sense to share one’s screen right before sending the students to those breakout rooms and show them that type of slide (to let them know who will be in their particular breakout group).

The students in the different breakout sessions could then collaboratively work on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you could watch their progress in real-time!

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

Also see:

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter told me about this great/cool WIN-WIN situation here! I thought it was so cool, that I wanted to pass it along. What a great way to help communities, students, folks who want to read/write/produce art and more!


 

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