The top content management systems — from w3techs.com

Excerpt:

38% of the websites use none of the content management systems that we monitor.
WordPress is used by 39.7% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 64.1%.

From DSC:
Though I love WordPress and it continues to do well market share-wise…for people who want to get into blogging and/or who want to get their voice out there, I’m disappointed that WordPress has gone the way of web design and production (i.e., into major complexities). WordPress needs a WordPress-Lite version or an easier-to-use interface/theme/template section for beginners (or something along those lines).

 

 

Best NASA Pictures of 2020 — from fubiz.net

Beyond the beauty of these contemplative images, the space agency also had another goal: that of raising awareness of the urgency of taking action to protect the Earth and its fragile environments. Fires, pollution, rising waters, floods…so many phenomena that these images reveal and document with precision and that should challenge us. As Thomas Pesquet said after his experience in orbit, looking down on the Earth can make us aware of its fragility and the sometimes disastrous action of man on nature.

Best NASA Pictures of 2020

Also see:

 

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:
And here’s another interesting picture/item:

A proposed building for the Rotterdam Harbour

 

23 Greatest Engineering Highlights from 2020 — from interestingengineering.com by Christopher McFadden
These are some of the greatest engineering highlights from 2020.

23 Greatest Engineering Highlights from 2020

 

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! 

 

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

 

Google Photos’s promise of unlimited free storage is going away — from fastcompany.com by Jared Newma
Starting in June of next year, new Google Photos uploads will count toward a storage limit, even at reduced resolution.

Excerpt:

Starting on June 1, 2021, Google will begin counting new photo and video uploads toward users’ storage limits, even for the compressed “high-quality” images that Google stores for free today. Existing photos and videos won’t count toward the storage limit, but for anyone who keeps using the service, the core promise of unlimited free storage is effectively going away.

 

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!


 

Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery: Chicago's only black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space

Powered by Bookshop: Supporting local, independent bookstores.

Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space, Semicolon Bookstore and Gallery is committed to nurturing the connection between literature, art, and the pursuit of knowledge; while also using the power of words to better our community.

 

Virtual Reality: Realizing the Power of Experience, Excursion and Immersion in the Classroom — from nytimes.com
A framework for teaching with New York Times 360 V.R. videos, plus eight lesson plans for STEM and the humanities.

A Guide for Using NYT VR With Students

  • Getting Started With V.R. in the Classroom
  • Lesson 1: A Mission to Pluto
  • Lesson 2: Meet Three Children Displaced by War and Persecution
  • Lesson 3: Four Antarctic Expeditions
  • Lesson 4: Time Travel Through Olympic History
  • Lesson 5: Decode the Secret Language of Dolphins and Whales
  • Lesson 6: Memorials and Justice
  • Lesson 7: The World’s Biggest Physics Experiment
  • Lesson 8: Journey to the Hottest Place on Earth

 

 

Many students complain that online-based learning doesn’t engage them. Well, check this idea out! [Christian]


From DSC…by the way, another title for this blog could have been:

WIN-WIN situations all around! The Theatre Departments out there could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging, digitally-based learning experiences! 


The future of drama and the theatre — as well as opera, symphonies, and more — will likely include a significant virtual/digital component to them. While it’s too early to say that theatre needs to completely reinvent itself and move “the stage” completely online, below is an idea that creates a variety of WIN-WIN situations for actors, actresses, stage designers, digital audio/video editors, fine artists, graphic designers, programmers, writers, journalists, web designers, and many others as well — including the relevant faculty members!

A new world of creative, engaging, active learning could open up if those involved with the Theatre Department could work collaboratively with students/faculty members from other disciplines. And in the end, the learning experiences and content developed would be highly engaging — and perhaps even profitable for the institutions themselves!

A WIN-WIN situation all around! The Theatre Department could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging learning experiences!

[DC: I only slightly edited the above image from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Though the integration of acting with online-based learning materials is not a new idea, this post encourages a far more significant interdisciplinary collaboration between the Theatre Department and other departments/disciplines.

Consider a “Dealing with Bias in Journalism” type of topic, per a class in the Digital Media and Journalism Major.

  • Students from the Theatre Department work collaboratively with the students from the most appropriate class(es?) from the Communications Department to write the script, as per the faculty members’ 30,000-foot instructions (not 1000-foot level/detailed instructions)
  • Writing the script would entail skills involved with research, collaboration, persuasion, creativity, communication, writing, and more
  • The Theatre students would ultimately act out the script — backed up by those learning about sound design, stage design, lighting design, costume design, etc.
  • Example scene: A woman is sitting around the kitchen table, eating breakfast and reading a posting — aloud — from a website that includes some serious bias in it that offends the reader. She threatens to cancel her subscription, contact the editor, and more. She calls out to her partner why she’s so mad about the article. 
  • Perhaps there could be two or more before/after scenes, given some changes in the way the article was written.
  • Once the scenes were shot, the digital video editors, programmers, web designers, and more could take that material and work with the faculty members to integrate those materials into an engaging, interactive, branching type of learning experience. 
  • From there, the finished product would be deployed by the relevant faculty members.

Scenes from WMU's Theatre Department

[DC: Above images from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Colleges and universities could share content with each other and/or charge others for their products/content/learning experiences. In the future, I could easily see a marketplace for buying and selling such engaging content. This could create a needed new source of revenue — especially given that those large auditoriums and theaters are likely not bringing in as much revenue as they typically do. 

Colleges and universities could also try to reach out to local acting groups to get them involved and continue to create feeders into the world of work.

Other tags/categories could include:

  • MOOCs
  • Learning from the Living[Class]Room
  • Multimedia / digital literacy — tools from Adobe, Apple, and others.
  • Passions, participation, engagement, attention.
  • XR: Creating immersive, Virtual Reality (VR)-based experiences
  • Learning Experience Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interface Design
  • …and more

Also see:

What improv taught me about failure: As a teacher and academic — from scholarlyteacher.com by Katharine Hubbard

what improv taught me about failure -as a teacher and academic

In improv, the only way to “fail” is to overthink and not have fun, which reframed what failure was on a grand scale and made me start looking at academia through the same lens. What I learned about failure through improv comes back to those same two core concepts: have fun and stop overthinking.

Students are more engaged when the professor is having fun with the materials (Keller, Hoy, Goetz, & Frenzel, 2016), and teaching is more enjoyable when we are having fun ourselves.

 

Apple announces 5G-capable iPhone 12 Pro with LiDAR-enhanced AR — from uploadvr.com by Ian Hamilton

Excerpt:

The new feature on the iPhone 12 Pro promises much improved AR features, like what’s pitched as helping improve photo quality as well as instantaneous placement of virtual content into your environment. It also may make 3D scanning of objects or places in the real world a more common practice.

 

[Re: online-based learning] The Ford Model T from 1910 didn’t start out looking like a Maserati Gran Turismo from 2021! [Christian]

From DSC:
Per Wikipedia, this is a 1910 Model T that was photographed in Salt Lake City:

The Ford Model T didn't start out looking like a Maserati from 2021!

 

This is what online/virtual learning looks like further down the road. Our journey has just begun.

From DSC:
The Ford Model T didn’t start out looking like a Maserati Gran Turismo from 2021! Inventions take time to develop…to be improved…for new and further innovations and experiments to take place.

Thinking of this in terms of online-based learning, please don’t think we’ve reached the end of the road for online-based learning. 

The truth is, we’ve barely begun our journey.

 


Two last thoughts here


1 ) It took *teams* of people to get us to the point of producing a Maserati like this. It will take *teams* of people to produce the Maserati of online-based learning.

2) In terms of online-based learning, it’s hard to say how close to the Maserati that we have come because I/we don’t know how far things will go. But this I do know: We have come a looooonnnnnggggg ways from the late 1990s! If that’s what happened in the last 20 years — with many denying the value of online-based learning — what might the next 5, 10, or 20 years look like when further interest, needs, investments, etc. are added? Then add to all of that the momentum from emerging technologies like 5G, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, bots, algorithms, and more!


From DSC:
To drive the point home, here’s an addendum on late 9/29/20:

Mercedes-Benz Shares Video of Avatar Electric Car Prototype

 

Students need digital skills more than ever. We know because they’re telling us. — from jisc.ac.uk by Ruth Drysdale
As learners return to colleges and campuses, there’s no turning back from the online shift they’ve experienced this year. Embedding digital in both face-to-face and remote learning is more crucial than ever.

There’s been impressive change in the past six months, but we’ve also seen emergency measures, introduced at speed, as a ‘good enough’ sticking plaster solution. Students are telling us they need digital embedded into their courses. Now is the time to listen and respond, transforming approaches and delivering robust systems that can withstand the uncertainties ahead.

 

Just released today! Jane Hart’s Top 200 Tools for Learning

Jane Hart's Top 200 Tools for Learning -- released on 9-1-20

Top 200 Tools for Learning — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

The Top Tools for Learning 2020 was compiled by Jane Hart from the results of the 14th Annual Learning Tools Survey, and released on 1 September 2020. For general information about the survey and this website, visit the About page. For observations and infographics of this year’s list, see Analysis 2020.

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian