From DSC and Adobe — for faculty members and teachers out there:

Do your students an enormous favor by assigning them a digital communications project. Such a project could include images, infographics, illustrations, animations, videos, websites, blogs (with RSS feeds), podcasts, videocasts, mobile apps and more. Such outlets offer powerful means of communicating and demonstrating knowledge of a particular topic.

As Adobe mentions, when you teach your students how to create these types of media projects, you prepare them to be flexible and effective digital communicators.  I would also add that these new forms and tools can be highly engaging, while at the same time, they can foster students’ creativity. Building new media literacy skills will pay off big time for your students. It will land them jobs. It will help them communicate to a global audience. Students can build upon these skills to powerfully communicate numerous kinds of messages in the future. They can be their own radio station. They can be their own TV station.

For more information, see this page out at Adobe.com.

 

 

From DSC:
This is where we may need more team-based approaches…because one person may not be able to create and grade/assess such assignments.

 

 

What one college discovered when it stopped accepting SAT/ACT scores — from by Valerie Strauss

Excerpt:

We completely dropped standardized tests from our application as part of our new mission-driven admissions strategy, distinct from the “test-optional” policy that hundreds of colleges now follow. If we reduce education to the outcomes of a test, the only incentive for schools and students to innovate is in the form of improving test-taking and scores. Teaching to a test becomes stifling for teachers and students, far from the inspiring, adaptive education which most benefits students. Our greatly accelerating world needs graduates who are trained to address tough situations with innovation, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and a capacity for mobilizing collaboration and cooperation.

We weighed other factors in our decision:

  • Standardized test scores do not predict a student’s success at our college.
  • SATs/ACTs are strongly biased against low-income students and students of color, at a time when diversity is critical to our mission.
  • We surveyed our students and learned not one of them had considered rankings when choosing to apply to colleges; instead they most cared about a college’s mission.
  • Some good students are bad test takers, particularly under stress, such as when a test may grant or deny college entry. Multiple-choice tests don’t reveal much about a student.
  • We’ve developed much better, fairer ways to assess students who will thrive at our college.

Our shift to a mission-driven approach to admissions is right for Hampshire College and the right thing to do. We fail students if we reduce them to a standardized test number tied more to their financial status than achievement. We fail students by perpetuating the myth that high standardized test scores signal “better” students. We are in the top one percent of colleges nationwide in the percentage of our undergraduate alumni who go on to earn advanced degrees – this on the strength of an education where we assess their capabilities narratively, and where we never, not once, subject them to a numerical or letter grade on a test or course.

 

The 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts — from tutora.co.uk by Giorgio Cassella

Excerpt:

If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education.

Tools for teaching and learning, parent-teacher communication apps, lesson planning software, home-tutoring websites, revision blogs, SEN education information, professional development qualifications and more.

There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up – especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach!

So how do you know which ones are the best?

Well, as a team of people passionate about education and learning, we decided to do a bit of research to help you out.

We’ve asked some of the best and brightest in education for their opinions on the hottest EdTech of 2017. These guys are the real deal – experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco.

They’ve given us a list of 82 amazing, tried and tested tools…


From DSC:
The ones that I mentioned that Giorgio included in his excellent article were:

  • AdmitHub – Free, Expert College Admissions Advice
  • Labster – Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
  • Unimersiv – Virtual Reality Educational Experiences
  • Lifeliqe – Interactive 3D Models to Augment Classroom Learning

 


 

 

 

 

 

Key issues in teaching and learning 2017 — from Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)

Excerpt:

Since 2011, ELI has surveyed the higher education teaching and learning community to identify its key issues. The community is wide in scope: we solicit input from all those participating in the support of the teaching and learning mission, including professionals from the IT organization, the center for teaching and learning, the library, and the dean’s and provost’s offices.

 

 

 

What educators can learn about effective teaching from a Harvard prof — from ecampusnews.com by Alan November

Excerpt:

Harvard professor David Malan has managed to pull off a neat trick: His Computer Science 50 course is the most popular course at both Harvard and Yale. By examining his success, we can learn some important lessons about effective teaching.

CS50 assumes no prior knowledge or skill in computer programming, yet it’s extremely demanding. Despite its rigor, CS50 regularly attracts thousands of students each year. While some aspire to become software engineers, others enroll just to experience the course.

Why is Professor Malan’s course so popular, even with students who don’t plan a career in computer science—and even though it requires a lot of work? Here are three keys to Malan’s effective teaching that I think all schools everywhere should apply, from K-12 schools to colleges and universities.

  • Strengthen the social side of learning.
  • Teach students to self-assess.
  • Provide a public audience to inspire students to invent.
 

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with AI, NLP, and blockchain-based technologies! [Christian]

From DSC:

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and blockchain-based technologies!

When I saw the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder what (we currently know of as) “TVs” will morph into and what functionalities they will be able to provide to us in the not-too-distant future…?

For example, the article mentions that Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element will be offering TVs that can not only access Alexa — a personal assistant from Amazon which uses artificial intelligence — but will also be able to provide access to over 7,000 apps and games via the Amazon Fire TV Store.

Some of the questions that come to my mind:

  • Why can’t there be more educationally-related games and apps available on this type of platform?
  • Why can’t the results of the assessments taken on these apps get fed into cloud-based learner profiles that capture one’s lifelong learning? (#blockchain)
  • When will potential employers start asking for access to such web-based learner profiles?
  • Will tvOS and similar operating systems expand to provide blockchain-based technologies as well as the types of functionality we get from our current set of CMSs/LMSs?
  • Will this type of setup become a major outlet for competency-based education as well as for corporate training-related programs?
  • Will augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) capabilities come with our near future “TVs”?
  • Will virtual tutoring be one of the available apps/channels?
  • Will the microphone and the wide angle, HD camera on the “TV” be able to be disconnected from the Internet for security reasons? (i.e., to be sure no hacker is eavesdropping in on their private lives)

 

Forget a streaming stick: These 4K TVs come with Amazon Fire TV inside — from techradar.com by Nick Pino

Excerpt:

The TVs will not only have access to Alexa via a microphone-equipped remote but, more importantly, will have access to the over 7,000 apps and games available on the Amazon Fire TV Store – a huge boon considering that most of these Smart TVs usually include, at max, a few dozen apps.

 

 

 

 

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 


Addendums


 

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

.

  • Once thought to be a fad, MOOCs showed staying power in 2016 — from educationdive.com
    Dive Brief:

    • EdSurge profiles the growth of massive online open courses in 2016, which attracted more than 58 million students in over 700 colleges and universities last year.
    • The top three MOOC providers — Coursera, Udacity and EdX — collectively grossed more than $100 million last year, as much of the content provided on these platforms shifted from free to paywall guarded materials.
    • Many MOOCs have moved to offering credentialing programs or nanodegree offerings to increase their value in industrial marketplaces.
 

From DSC:
Recently, my neighbor graciously gave us his old Honda snowblower, as he was getting a new one. He wondered if we had a use for it.  As I’m definitely not getting any younger and I’m not Howard Hughes, I said, “Sure thing! That would be great — it would save my back big time!  Thank you!” (Though the image below is not mine, it might as well be…as both are quite old now.)

 

 

Anyway…when I recently ran out of gas, I would have loved to be able to take out my iPhone, hold it up to this particular Honda snowblower and ask an app to tell me if this particular Honda snowblower takes a mixture of gas and oil, or does it have a separate container for the oil? (It wasn’t immediately clear where to put the oil in, so I’m figuring it’s a mix.)

But what I would have liked to have happen was:

  1. I launched an app on my iPhone that featured machine learning-based capabilities
  2. The app would have scanned the snowblower and identified which make/model it was and proceeded to tell me whether it needed a gas/oil mix (or not)
  3. If there was a separate place to pour in the oil, the app would have asked me if I wanted to learn how to put oil in the snowblower. Upon me saying yes, it would then have proceeded to display an augmented reality-based training video — showing me where the oil was to be put in and what type of oil to use (links to local providers would also come in handy…offering nice revenue streams for advertisers and suppliers alike).

So several technologies would have to be involved here…but those techs are already here. We just need to pull them together in order to provide this type of useful functionality!

 

 

From DSC:
The other day I had posted some ideas in regards to how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality are coming together to offer some wonderful new possibilities for learning (see: “From DSC: Amazing possibilities coming together w/ augmented reality used in conjunction w/ machine learning! For example, consider these ideas.”) Here is one of the graphics from that posting:

 

horticulturalapp-danielchristian

These affordances are just now starting to be uncovered as machines are increasingly able to ascertain patterns, things, objects…even people (which calls for a separate posting at some point).

But mainly, for today, I wanted to highlight an excellent comment/reply from Nikos Andriotis @ Talent LMS who gave me permission to highlight his solid reflections and ideas:

 

nikosandriotisidea-oct2016

 

 

From DSC:
Excellent reflection/idea Nikos — that would represent some serious personalized, customized learning!

Nikos’ innovative reflections also made me think about his ideas in light of their interaction or impact with web-based learner profiles, credentialing, badging, and lifelong learning.  What’s especially noteworthy here is that the innovations (that impact learning) continue to occur mainly in the online and blended learning spaces.

How might the ramifications of these innovations impact institutions who are pretty much doing face-to-face only (in terms of their course delivery mechanisms and pedagogies)?

Given:

  • That Microsoft purchased LinkedIn and can amass a database of skills and open jobs (playing a cloud-based matchmaker)
  • Everyday microlearning is key to staying relevant (RSS feeds and tapping into “streams of content” are important here, and so is the use of Twitter)
  • 65% of today’s students will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet (per Microsoft & The Future Laboratory in 2016)

 

futureproofyourself-msfuturelab-2016

  • The exponential pace of technological change
  • The increasing level of experimentation with blockchain (credentialing)
  • …and more

…what do the futures look like for those colleges and universities that operate only in the face-to-face space and who are not innovating enough?

 

 

 

From Microsoft and LinkedIn:

Microsoft and LinkedIn: Together changing the way the world works — from blog.linkedin.com

Excerpt:

Today [6/13/16] we are excited to share that LinkedIn has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Microsoft. We are joining forces with Microsoft to realize a common mission to empower people and organizations. LinkedIn’s vision – to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce – is not changing and our members still come first.

Our companies are the world’s leading professional cloud and network. This deal will allow us to keep growing, investing in and innovating on LinkedIn to drive value for our members and our customers. Our members will continue to develop their skills, find a job and be great at that job, using our platform. We will continue to help our customers hire top talent, market their brand, and sell to their customers.

 

 

 

From DSC:
It’s interesting to reflect upon what this acquisition could mean and what it could bring to the workplace/career development table.

LinkedIn.com purchased/acquired Lynda.com (announced in April 2015), a growing/thriving (online-based learning) training and development company who can deliver lifelong learning and credentials to people…which continues to help people reinvent themselves.

LinkedIn.com is working on an economic graph, a digital mapping of the global economy…building a database/marketplace of job openings and people who can fill those jobs.

What is the Economic Graph?
The Economic Graph is, in short, a digital mapping of the global economy. It will include a profile for every one of the 3 billion members of the global workforce, enabling them to represent their professional identity and subsequently find and realize their most valuable opportunities. It will include a profile for every company in the world, who you know at those companies up to three degrees to help you get your foot in the door, and the product and services those companies offer to enable you to be more productive and successful. It will digitally represent every economic opportunity offered by those companies, full-time, temporary and volunteer, and every skill required to obtain those opportunities. It will include a digital presence for every higher education organization in the world that can help members obtain those skills. And it will overlay the professionally relevant knowledge of every one of those individuals, companies, and universities to the extent that they want to publicly share it. Learn more about the Economic Graph and join the discussion.

Now Microsoft is purchasing/acquiring LinkedIn.com and the data/endeavors/technologies/platforms LinkedIn.com has been working on.

(Add to that the fact that Microsoft has been working on artificial intelligence (AI), personal assistants (i.e., Cortana).  It has been working on other forms of HCI as well, such as HoloLens.)

Therefore, some questions come to my mind:

  • Will the purchase of LinkedIn.com now add a potentially huge new reason to choose their platform/ecosystem as well?  In fact, Microsoft could be expanding their platform/ecosystem — or creating a new platform — to take advantage of using AI, personal assistants, and big data to play the ultimate match maker in the workplace.
  • Will freelancers utilize their services to find work? (The use of freelancing continues to grow; already in the mid-30 percents of the American workforce now.)
  • Will Microsoft be a source of cloud-based learner profiles?
  • Will Microsoft now get into the credentialing business?  Will Microsoft employ blockchain-based technologies? (Higher ed, take note if so.)
  • How will badges/badging play into this platform?
  • Will Microsoft work with companies to offer assessments into whether person A can be successful in position B?
  • What will this mean for lifelong learning?

Hmmmm….time will tell.

 


 

Addendums later on 6/13/16

Excerpt from this article:

Nadella explained it in a sentence to Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff Monday morning.

He said that buy buying LinkedIn’s professional network:

“It helps us differentiate our CRM product with social selling. It helps us take Dynamics into new spaces like human capital management with recruiting, and learning, and talent management.”

He later told analysts that connecting LinkedIn data with Dynamics [Microsoft’s suite of business management software] is “where the magic starts to happen.”

 

 

MicrosoftPurchasesLinkedIn-June2016

MicrosoftPurchasesLinkedIn-2-June2016

 

MicrosoftPurchasesLinkedIn-3-June2016

 

 

Excerpt from this article:

Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.

 


 

 

CIO Explainer: What is blockchain? — from blogs.wsj.com by Steve Norton

Excerpt:

Known by many as the technology underpinning the bitcoin digital currency, blockchain has acquired a new identity in the enterprise. At a time when companies face new challenges in data management and security, it’s emerging as a way to let companies make and verify transactions on a network instantaneously without a central authority. Today, more than 40 top financial institutions and a growing number of firms across industries are experimenting with distributed ledger technology as a secure and transparent way to digitally track the ownership of assets, a move that could speed up transactions and cut costs while lowering the risk of fraud. Some companies see an opportunity to use blockchain to track the movement of assets throughout their supply chains or electronically initiate and enforce contracts.

Blockchain remains in the experimental phase inside many large firms and there are few tested use cases, experts and analysts caution. Here’s a look at how this emerging technology works:

 

 

Why is the financial industry so interested in Blockchain? — from dcebrief.com

Executive Brief:
With huge money and effort being put into blockchain research by almost the entire financial industry, many have wondered what the reasoning behind it is. To investigate this, Goldman Sachs, the global banking business, has used its research division to put together a report on the effects of blockchain implementation will have on the industry itself. Showing massive cost savings, improved security and a wide range of suitability for other market sectors, the report identifies the many benefits of blockchain technology and emphasizes the robust nature of the foundation of digital currency itself.

 

 

Opinion: What Blockchain means for higher education — from edsurge.com by Kerri Lemoie

Excerpt:

Originally created as the underlying database for bitcoin (the peer-to-peer digital asset and payment system), blockchain’s technology is now being seen as valuable and purposeful beyond the financial sector. The advantages blockchain provides to store information on a secure, permanent, historical ledger that can be both public and private will change how edtech applications approach student data.

In higher ed this means that student data could be shared across many institutions—rather than a single one—and also include data from online learning tools, co-curricular activities, employment history and other learning experiences. This would allow the data to be exchanged, understood and validated amongst many parties. Imagine the pictures of students’ learning experiences that this could provide and how these pictures could help develop and improve upon course design, facilitate transferring credits, or prove qualifications for a job to a potential employer.

 

 

“The learner could have a record of their learning from MOOCs, professional development activities and universities.”

 

 

 

How blockchain will disrupt the higher education transcript — from campustechnology.com by David Raths
Blockchain technology could offer a more learner-centered alternative to traditional credentialing.

Excerpt:

Last year, the MIT Media Lab began issuing digital certificates to the participants in its Director’s Fellows program. The authentication behind the certificates relies on blockchain technology, best known for its connection to the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

In a blog post, Philipp Schmidt, director of learning innovation at the Media Lab, described how blockchain works: “In essence, it is a just a distributed ledger to record transactions. What makes it special is that it is durable, time-stamped, transparent and decentralized. Those characteristics are equally useful for managing financial transactions as for a system of reputation. In fact, you can think of reputation as a type of currency for social capital, rather than financial capital.”

The technology has tremendous potential for higher education, according to Phil Long, chief innovation officer and associate vice provost for learning sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. In a May 12 Future Trends Forum video chat hosted by consultant and futurist Bryan Alexander, Long pointed to credentialing as an obvious first place to apply blockchain in higher ed.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Could blockchain be the tech to create cloud-based learner profiles?

 

 


Addendum on 6/7/16:

  • Blockchain Revolution| Is the future of business a company without workers, managers, or a CEO? — from qz.com
    Excerpt:
    These days, it’s hardly surprising to hear that a hot new startup has received gobs of money from eager investors. But a new company called the DAO (short for “decentralized autonomous organization”) is not your average startup. The DAO, designed to serve as a kind of venture capital fund for the cryptocurrency community, is the first of a new breed of business. It has no CEO and no staff; indeed, it has no human management at all. The company itself is simply software that runs on a blockchain, the technology that powers digital currencies like bitcoin. Through its first three weeks, the DAO raised over $130 million from tens of thousands of global investors, and it’s not done yet. But regardless of how the company fares, its mere existence portends profound changes for business, government, and the roles that people play in our economy. Analysts have questioned whether the DAO is legal or viable. Like any startup, it may fail. It may have attracted investors who don’t understand the risks. Some investors may be speculators in it for a quick buck, in turn, reducing the size of the fund. It may be attracting criminals or terrorists masquerading as entrepreneurs. To be sure, these are important concerns. But the DAO’s debut is a watershed moment in the history of financial services. It demonstrates that autonomous entities can raise huge sums of money without traditional intermediaries. How will venture capitalists and investment banks respond to these blockchain IPOs that crowd-source hundreds of millions of dollars from a global investor base?

 


 

Addendums on 6/8/16:

  • Blockchain’s hype exceeds its grasp – for now — from cio.com by Clint Boulton
    Broad adoption of blockchain technology is likely years away as companies struggle to understand how to apply the digital ledger technology to practical scenarios amid regulatory, governance and standards obstacles.

Excerpt:
Blockchain has been touted by venture capitalists, technophiles and pundits as the Next Big Thing in computer science. The reality, however, is that the digital ledger software at the heart of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has a long way to go before it gains mainstream adoption.

That was a key takeaway from a blockchain panel at last month’s MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. Noting that blockchain enables parties to ferry financial transactions, contracts and other digital records over the Internet, MIT professor Christian Catalini asked the panel about potential enterprise applications for the technology.

 

  • Credentials | MIT Media Lab, Learning Machine Partner on Blockchain-Based Credentials — from campustechnology.com by Joshua BolkanExcerpt:
    The MIT Media Lab’s Learning Initiative has partnered with Learning Machine to release the initial version of an open-source project designed to build an ecosystem for creating, sharing and verifying education credentials based on blockchain technology.Using the Bitcoin blockchain, the certificates can be shared with anyone who requires documentation as simply as sending a link and future versions will add features to improve real-world usability, such as versioning, revocation, cohort issuance, document encryption and cost reducation. “The goal of our collaboration with the MIT Media Lab is to empower individuals with shareable credentials that can be used peer-to-peer and verified as authentic,” said Chris Jagers, co-founder and CEO of Learning Machine, in a prepared statement.

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems