From DSC:
After seeing the sharp interface out at Adobe (see image below), I’ve often thought that there should exist a similar interface and a similar database for educators, trainers, and learners to use — but the database would address a far greater breadth of topics to teach and/or learn about.  You could even select beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels (grade levels might work here as well).

Perhaps this is where artificial intelligence will come in…not sure.

 

 

 

 

Introducing the new Surface family — from microsoft.com
To do great things, you need powerful tools that deliver an ideal balance of craftsmanship, performance, and versatility. Every Surface device is engineered with these things in mind, and you at the center. And that’s how the Surface family does more. Just like you.

 

 

microsoftintrossurfacedesktop2-10-26-16

 

Also see the new Surface Dial:

 

mssurfacedial-10-26-16

 

 

 

Microsoft ‘Surface Studio’ and ‘Dial’ Up Close  — from blogs.barrons.com by Tiernan Ray

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Microsoft (MSFT) this morning held an event in downtown Manhattan that included both an update to Windows, the “Creators” edition, and also new versions of the company’s Surface tablet computer, including a revamp of the “Surface Book” laptop and tablet combo device, and a new desktop machine called the “Surface Studio” that has the thinnest display ever made, the company claims.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing at the event was something called “Dial,” a rotating puck device that can function like a wireless mouse with the Studio, but can also be placed right on top of the display itself to bring up a context-specific menu of functions, or to perform actions like cut and paste.

 

 

 

Microsoft announces its first desktop PC, the $3,000 Surface Studio — from businessinsider.com by Steve Kovach

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Microsoft on Wednesday announced its first desktop PC, the Surface Studio.

It’s an all-in-one computer, designed to compete with Apple’s iMac. The PC is geared toward professionals, and it has high-end specs designed for tasks like video or photo editing.

But the real surprises are the adjustable display and a new accessory called the Surface Dial. The display can lie nearly flat on the table, giving graphics artists the ability to draw and work. The Surface Dial can be placed on the screen to bring up color palettes and other options. The Surface Dial will work with other Surface products — the Surface Pro and Surface Book — but you won’t be able to use it on the screens.

 

 

 

Microsoft wants to bring machine learning into the mainstream — from networkworld.com by Steven Max Patterson
Microsoft released the beta of the Cognitive Toolkit with machine learning models, infrastructure and development tools, enabling customers to start building

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Microsoft just released the open-source licensed beta release of the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit on Github. This announcement represents a shift in Microsoft’s customer focus from research to implementation. It is an update to the Computational Network Toolkit (CNTK). The toolkit is a supervised machine learning system in the same category of other open-source projects such as Tensorflow, Caffe and Torch.

Microsoft is one of the leading investors in and contributors to the open machine learning software and research community. A glance at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference reveals that there are just four major technology companies committed to moving the field of neural networks forward: Microsoft, Google, Facebook and IBM.

This announcement signals Microsoft interest to bring machine learning into the mainstream. The open source license reveals Microsoft’s continued collaboration with the machine learning community.

 

 

 

Microsoft just democratized virtual reality with $299 headsets — from pcworld.com by Gordon Mah Ung

Excerpt:

VR just got a lot cheaper.

Microsoft on Wednesday morning said PC OEMs will soon be shipping VR headsets that enable virtual reality and mixed reality starting at $299.

Details of the hardware and how it works were sparse, but Microsoft said HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will be shipping the headsets timed with its upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, due in spring 2017.

Despite the relatively low price, the upcoming headsets may have a big advantage over HTC and Valve’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift: no need for separate calibration hardware to function. Both Vive and Oculus require multiple emitters on stands to be placed around a room for the positioning to function.

 

microsoft-299-vr-headsets-10-26-16

 

 

The 10 Coolest Features Coming to Windows 10 — from wired.com by Michael Calore

Excerpt:

Microsoft is gearing up for a Windows refresh. The Windows 10 Creators Update will arrive on all Windows 10 devices for free in the spring of 2017. Today, Microsoft showed off all the new features coming to the multi-mode OS. Here’s the best of what will be coming to your Windows PC or Surface device.

 

 

 

 

 

The Surface Studio Story: How Microsoft Reimagined The Desktop PC For Creativity — from fastcompany.com by Mark Sullivan
A 28-inch screen, a very special hinge, and a new type of input device add up to an experience conceived with artists and designers in mind.

 

 

 

nmc-digitalliteracyreport-oct2016

 

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.

 

digitallits-nmc-oct2016

 

 

The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.

 

 

To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
collaborating,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.

 

 

Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.

 

 

Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.

 

 

 

 

2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Winners — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird Chronophotography — from theawesomer.com by photographer Xavi Bou

 

 

 

 

Magical Pictures of Nature shot by a Traveller — from fubiz.net by photographer Lorenzo Montezemolo

 

 

 

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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:

 

 

 

From DSC:
Interactive video — a potentially very powerful medium to use, especially for blended and online-based courses or training-related materials! This interactive piece from Heineken is very well done, even remembering how you answered and coming up with their evaluation of you from their 12-question “interview.”

But notice again, a TEAM of specialists are needed to create such a piece. Neither a faculty member, a trainer, nor an instructional designer can do something like this all on their own. Some of the positions I could imagine here are:

  • Script writer(s)
  • Editor(s)
  • Actors and actresses
  • Those skilled in stage lighting and sound / audio recording
  • Digital video editors
  • Programmers
  • Graphic designers
  • Web designers
  • Producers
  • Product marketers
  • …and perhaps others

This is the kind of work that I wish we saw more of in the world of online and blended courses!  Also, I appreciated their use of humor. Overall, a very engaging, fun, and informative piece!

 

heineken-interactive-video-cover-sep2016

 

heineken-interactive-video-first-sep2016

 

heineken-interactive-video0-sep2016

 

heineken-interactive-video1-sep2016

 

heineken-interactive-video2-sep2016

 

heineken-interactive-video3-sep2016

 

 

 

 

2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest — from fubiz.net

Excerpt:

Every year, National Geographic opens its nature photography contest to photography lovers all around the world, with four categories: Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action and Animal Portraits. A perfect occasion for people who are passionate about nature to enjoy unusual or majestic scenes. The winner of the Grand Prize will win a 10-days trip for two in the Galápagos as well as two online portfolios with National Geographic.

 

Also see the National Geographic site regarding this year’s contest:

natlgeog-pic2016

 

 

 

iphoneplus-2cams

From Apple:

iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t have just one entirely new camera system — it has two. The same 12MP wide-angle camera that’s on iPhone 7 works with a 12MP telephoto camera that can get even closer. That means you can get higher-quality zoom from farther away. And with an all-new depth-of-field effect (coming soon), portrait shots will look better than ever. Say hello to the world’s best photo op.

Depth-of-field effect.
Depth of field allows you to keep faces sharp while creating a blurred effect in the background. When you take a shot with iPhone 7 Plus, the dual-camera system uses both cameras and advanced machine learning to make your subject sharp while creating the same out-of-focus blur in the background — known as the bokeh effect — previously reserved for DSLR cameras. So no matter what’s behind your subject, it’s easy to create a great portrait.

 

 

Dual camera smartphones – the missing link that will bring augmented reality into the mainstream — from theconversation.com

Excerpt:

Smartphones boasting “dual cameras” are becoming more common, and news that they will feature on the just-announced iPhone 7 Plus indicates the arrival into the mainstream. But while dual cameras may stem from efforts to improve picture quality, it has the potential to lead us down much more interesting paths: the real story may be that Apple is using dual cameras to position itself for the augmented reality world ushered in by the Pokemon Go phenomenon.

The iPhone uses machine learning algorithms to scan objects within a scene, building up a real-time 3D depth map of the terrain and objects. Currently, the iPhone uses this to separate the background from the foreground in order to selectively focus on foreground objects. This effect of blurring out background details, known as bokeh, is a feature of DLSRs and not readily available on smaller cameras such as those in smartphones. The depth map allows the iPhone to simulate a variable aperture which provides the ability to display areas of the image out of focus. While an enviable addition for smartphone camera users, this is a gimmick compared to what the depth map can really do.

 

What Apple has is the first step toward a device like Microsoft’s HoloLens, an augmented reality head-mounted display currently in development.

Software that provides similar analysis of people’s poses and location within a scene for dual camera smartphones would provide a virtual window onto the real world. Using hand gesture recognition, users could naturally interact with a mixed reality world, with the phone’s accelerometer and GPS data detecting and driving changes to how that world is presented and updated.

 

 

Apple has not arrived here by accident. In addition to acquiring Linx, Apple also purchased augmented reality pioneer Metaio in 2015, suggesting a game plan to develop a mixed reality platform.

 

 

 

Dual camera smartphones: here’s why you should want one — from t3.com by Joseph Carey
The iPhone 7 Plus is meant to feature dual cameras, but why are two cameras better than one?

Excerpt:

One sensor for the main image and one for the detail – dual cameras never usually have two of the same sensor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prisma-July2016

Description:
Turn Every Photo into Art | Using Artificial Intelligence
Prisma transforms your photos into artworks using the styles of famous artists: Munk, Picasso as well as world famous ornaments and patterns. A unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence helps you turn memorable moments into timeless art.

 

From DSC:
I’ve tried this tool and it’s really fun to use — producing some creative results! An innovative, sharp tool for sure.

 

———–

Addendum on 8/22/16 from DSC:
I wanted to highlight Nikos Andriotis’ comment on this posting, as it’s creative, innovative, fun, thinking!

Great tool! I’ve used it already too. A neat excersise for art classes would be converting an unrelated picture to a particular style, and then asking the learners what style is it, and where has it been used. Quite simple, but sounds rather enjoyable to me.

 

 

 

 

XL-Muse creates tunnel of books for shop in China — from dezeen.com

 

 

 

100-Year-Old Theatre Turned into a Magnificent Bookstore — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

 

Prismatic Paintings Produced From Refracted Light by Stephen Knapp — from thisiscolossal.com by Kate Sierzputowski

 

 

 

 

Passing From Day to Night in Israel — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

French Artist Turns Barren Walls into Beautiful Photorealistic Murals — from interestingengineering.com by Trevor English

 

 

 

 

Giant Boombox Mural in Chile

 

 

 

 

Tilt shift Van Gogh’s paintings — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

Superb Symmetrical Architecture Shot by EMCN — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

Triangular Tree House Chapel With a View to the Brazilian Sea — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Carlo Cane

 

 

 

 

PHASED | LA from SCIENTIFANTASTIC on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

Fairy Pictures Of Fireflies in Japan — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

The Magical Realism of Eric Roux-Fontaine’s Dreamlike Paintings — from thisiscolossal.com

 

 

Horseman-NationalGeographic2016Winner

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

 

Amazing Architectural Photography by Ivan Huang — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

 

30 Paper Art Designs

30PaperArtDesigns-March2016

 

 

Some creative sites to check out:

 

 

A fascinating 3D-printed light-based zoetrope by Akinori Goto — from thisiscolossal.com by Christopher Jobson

 

 

 

Hand-Cut Mandalas and Other Intricate Paper Works by Mr. Riuby — from thisiscolossal.com Kate Sierzputowski

 

 

 

 

Awesome Photographs taken from the Top Of The Golden Gate Bridge — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

Urban Photography Playing with Lights and Shades

 

 

 

Picture books for the arts integrated classroom — from educationcloset.com by Brianne Gidcumb|

Excerpt:

Today, though, I’m turning the focus back to those books on the shelves of your classroom libraries, as I share seven children’s titles that you might want to add to your bookshelves!

 

 

 

Specialists central to high-quality, engaging online programming [Christian]

DanielChristian-TheEvoLLLution-TeamsSpecialists-6-20-16

 

Specialists central to high-quality, engaging online programming — from EvoLLLution.com (where the LLL stands for lifelong learning) by Daniel Christian

Excerpts:

Creating high-quality online courses is getting increasingly complex—requiring an ever-growing set of skills. Faculty members can’t do it all, nor can instructional designers, nor can anyone else.  As time goes by, new entrants and alternatives to traditional institutions of higher education will likely continue to appear on the higher education landscape—the ability to compete will be key.

For example, will there be a need for the following team members in your not-too-distant future?

  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Specialists: those with knowledge of how to leverage Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) in order to create fun and engaging learning experiences (while still meeting the learning objectives)
  • Data Scientists
  • Artificial Intelligence Integrators
  • Cognitive Computing Specialists
  • Intelligent Tutoring Developers
  • Learning Agent Developers
  • Algorithm Developers
  • Personalized Learning Specialists
  • Cloud-based Learner Profile Administrators
  • Transmedia Designers
  • Social Learning Experts

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

4ad71636670749.5724cb5feab7e

 

 

 

LaurentRosset.com > Photomanipulation

laurentrosset-june2016

 

 

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

 

FranzKafkasHead-DavidCerny-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

poly-3

 

 

 

New powerful street art by Pejac — from fubiz.net

 

 

 

 

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

 

TitltBrush-Google-June2016

 

 

 

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

 

DroneFootage-Excellent-June2016

 

 

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

 

Tracy-Lee-Stum--2016

 

 

 

Sony’s canvas redefines the giant display landscape.

 

Sony-Canvas-HUGE-6-2016

 

 

SonyCanvas-June2016

The bigger your giant display, the more important viewing angle becomes.
In this example, we’re showing an 8K x 2K (7680 x 2160) screen.

 

 

Sony-CanvasForCreativity

 

 

Sony redefines high-end visual display with new canvas for creativity — from blog.sony.com

Excerpt:

The scalable system is made up of multiple display units (each measuring 18 x 16 inches) that can be joined together with no bezels to create a limitless and seamless large-screen display.

 

 

 

Also see:

Excerpt:
Sony is literally blowing people away with their new Crystal LED technology. Sony’s new Canvas display system is a high-end visual display that re-defines the landscape for large-scale visual entertainment. The new technology, Crystal Light Emitting Diode Integrated Structure (CLEDIS), uses Sony’s ultrafine LEDs in a unique surface mounting structure as its light source to deliver a visual experience not possible with even the highest end conventional LED array. This scalable new type of canvas delivers an unmatched viewing experience, offering 99 percent black surface area, for high contrast, high resolution and immersive visuals.

This new type of canvas enables limitless flexibility and creativity in public spaces and high-end visual entertainment.  It is far more advanced when compared to the technologies currently available for large-scale display, offering a leap forward in depth, contrast, color, resolution and impact.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Leveraging the power of the BYOD phenomenon along with the increased usage of active learning-based classrooms, if students could “upload” their content to such enormous screens, one could easily imagine some highly-engaging discussions — providing students with excellent opportunities to create and share their own content.  Numerous windows and applications could be simultaneously displayed on such a video wall, providing/hosting some serious Jigsaw teaching techniques!

 

 

 

 

Teaching while learning: What I learned when I asked my students to make video essays — from chronicle.com by Janine Utell, Professor of English at Widener University

Excerpt:

This is not exactly a post about how to teach the video essay (or the audiovisual essay, or the essay video, or the scholarly video).  At the end I share some resources for those interested in teaching the form: the different ways we might define the form, some of the theoretical/conceptual ideas undergirding the form, how it allows us to make different kinds of arguments, and some elements of design, assignment and otherwise.

What I’m interested in here is reflecting on what this particular teaching moment has taught me.  It’s a moment still in progress/process.  These reflections might pertain to any teaching moment where you’re trying something new, where you’re learning as the students are learning, where everyone in the room is slightly uncomfortable (in a good, stretching kind of way), where failure is possible but totally okay, and where you’re able to bring in a new interest of your own and share it with the students.

Take two:  I tried this again in an upper-level narrative film course, and the suggestions made by students in the previous semester paid off.  With the additional guidance, students felt comfortable enough being challenged with the task of making the video; a number of them shared that they liked having the opportunity to learn a new skill, and that it was stimulating to have to think about new ways of making choices around what they wanted to say.  Every step of realizing their storyboard and outline required some problem-solving, and they were able to articulate the work of critical thinking in surprising ways (I think they themselves were a little surprised, too).

Some resources on the video essay/scholarly video:

 

 

From DSC:

A couple of comments that I wanted to make here include:

  1. I greatly appreciate Janine’s humility, her wonderful spirit of experimentation, and her willingness to learn something right along with her students. She expressed to her students that she had never done this before and that they all were learning together. She asked them for feedback along the way and incorporated that feedback in subsequent attempts at using this exercise. Students and faculty members need to realize/acknowledge/accept that few people know it all these days — experts are a dying breed in many fields, as the pace of change renders it thus.
    .
  2. Helping students along with their new media literacy skills is critical these days. Janine did a great job in this regard! Unfortunately, she is in an enormous minority.  I run a Digital Studio on our campus, and so often I enter the room with dismay…a bit of sorrow creeps back into me again, as too many times our students are not learning some of the skills that will serve them so well once they graduate (not to mention how much they would benefit from being able to craft multimedia-based messages and put such messages online in their studies while in college). Such skills will serve students well in whatever future vocation they go into.  Knowing some of the tools of the trade, working with digital audio and video, storyboarding, working with graphics, typography, and more — are excellent skills and knowledge to have in order to powerfully communicate one’s message.

 

 

 

 

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