The case for a next generation learning platform [Grush & Christian]

 

The case for a next generation learning platform — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush & Daniel Christian

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Grush: Then what are some of the implications you could draw from metrics like that one?

Christian: As we consider all the investment in those emerging technologies, the question many are beginning to ask is, “How will these technologies impact jobs and the makeup of our workforce in the future?”

While there are many thoughts and questions regarding the cumulative impact these technologies will have on our future workforce (e.g., “How many jobs will be displaced?”), the consensus seems to be that there will be massive change.

Whether our jobs are completely displaced or if we will be working alongside robots, chatbots, workbots, or some other forms of AI-backed personal assistants, all of us will need to become lifelong learners — to be constantly reinventing ourselves. This assertion is also made in the aforementioned study from McKinsey: “AI promises benefits, but also poses urgent challenges that cut across firms, developers, government, and workers. The workforce needs to be re-skilled to exploit AI rather than compete with it…”

 

 

A side note from DSC:
I began working on this vision prior to 2010…but I didn’t officially document it until 2012.

 

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

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room:

A global, powerful, next generation learning platform

 

What does the vision entail?

  • A new, global, collaborative learning platform that offers more choice, more control to learners of all ages – 24×7 – and could become the organization that futurist Thomas Frey discusses here with Business Insider:

“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.

  • A learner-centered platform that is enabled by – and reliant upon – human beings but is backed up by a powerful suite of technologies that work together in order to help people reinvent themselves quickly, conveniently, and extremely cost-effectively
  • A customizable learning environment that will offer up-to-date streams of regularly curated content (i.e., microlearning) as well as engaging learning experiences
  • Along these lines, a lifelong learner can opt to receive an RSS feed on a particular topic until they master that concept; periodic quizzes (i.e., spaced repetition) determines that mastery. Once mastered, the system will ask the learner whether they still want to receive that particular stream of content or not.
  • A Netflix-like interface to peruse and select plugins to extend the functionality of the core product
  • An AI-backed system of analyzing employment trends and opportunities will highlight those courses and streams of content that will help someone obtain the most in-demand skills
  • A system that tracks learning and, via Blockchain-based technologies, feeds all completed learning modules/courses into learners’ web-based learner profiles
  • A learning platform that provides customized, personalized recommendation lists – based upon the learner’s goals
  • A platform that delivers customized, personalized learning within a self-directed course (meant for those content creators who want to deliver more sophisticated courses/modules while moving people through the relevant Zones of Proximal Development)
  • Notifications and/or inspirational quotes will be available upon request to help provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability – helping learners establish habits of continual, lifelong-based learning
  • (Potentially) An online-based marketplace, matching learners with teachers, professors, and other such Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • (Potentially) Direct access to popular job search sites
  • (Potentially) Direct access to resources that describe what other companies do/provide and descriptions of any particular company’s culture (as described by current and former employees and freelancers)
  • (Potentially) Integration with one-on-one tutoring services

Further details here >>

 

 

 



Addendum from DSC (regarding the resource mentioned below):
Note the voice recognition/control mechanisms on Westinghouse’s new product — also note the integration of Amazon’s Alexa into a “TV.”



 

Westinghouse’s Alexa-equipped Fire TV Edition smart TVs are now available — from theverge.com by Chaim Gartenberg

 

The key selling point, of course, is the built-in Amazon Fire TV, which is controlled with the bundled Voice Remote and features Amazon’s Alexa assistant.

 

 

 

Finally…also see:

  • NASA unveils a skill for Amazon’s Alexa that lets you ask questions about Mars — from geekwire.com by Kevin Lisota
  • Holographic storytelling — from jwtintelligence.com
    The stories of Holocaust survivors are brought to life with the help of interactive 3D technologies.
    New Dimensions in Testimony is a new way of preserving history for future generations. The project brings to life the stories of Holocaust survivors with 3D video, revealing raw first-hand accounts that are more interactive than learning through a history book.  Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, the first subject of the project, was filmed answering over 1000 questions, generating approximately 25 hours of footage. By incorporating natural language processing from the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), people are able to ask Gutter’s projected image questions that trigger relevant responses.

 

 

 

 

What a future, powerful, global learning platform will look & act like [Christian]


Learning from the Living [Class] Room:
A vision for a global, powerful, next generation learning platform

By Daniel Christian

NOTE: Having recently lost my Senior Instructional Designer position due to a staff reduction program, I am looking to help build such a platform as this. So if you are working on such a platform or know of someone who is, please let me know: danielchristian55@gmail.com.

I want to help people reinvent themselves quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively — while providing more choice, more control to lifelong learners. This will become critically important as artificial intelligence, robotics, algorithms, and automation continue to impact the workplace.


 

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

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room:
A global, powerful, next generation learning platform

 

What does the vision entail?

  • A new, global, collaborative learning platform that offers more choice, more control to learners of all ages – 24×7 – and could become the organization that futurist Thomas Frey discusses here with Business Insider:

“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.

  • A learner-centered platform that is enabled by – and reliant upon – human beings but is backed up by a powerful suite of technologies that work together in order to help people reinvent themselves quickly, conveniently, and extremely cost-effectively
  • An AI-backed system of analyzing employment trends and opportunities will highlight those courses and “streams of content” that will help someone obtain the most in-demand skills
  • A system that tracks learning and, via Blockchain-based technologies, feeds all completed learning modules/courses into learners’ web-based learner profiles
  • A learning platform that provides customized, personalized recommendation lists – based upon the learner’s goals
  • A platform that delivers customized, personalized learning within a self-directed course (meant for those content creators who want to deliver more sophisticated courses/modules while moving people through the relevant Zones of Proximal Development)
  • Notifications and/or inspirational quotes will be available upon request to help provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability – helping learners establish habits of continual, lifelong-based learning
  • (Potentially) An online-based marketplace, matching learners with teachers, professors, and other such Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • (Potentially) Direct access to popular job search sites
  • (Potentially) Direct access to resources that describe what other companies do/provide and descriptions of any particular company’s culture (as described by current and former employees and freelancers)

Further details:
While basic courses will be accessible via mobile devices, the optimal learning experience will leverage two or more displays/devices. So while smaller smartphones, laptops, and/or desktop workstations will be used to communicate synchronously or asynchronously with other learners, the larger displays will deliver an excellent learning environment for times when there is:

  • A Subject Matter Expert (SME) giving a talk or making a presentation on any given topic
  • A need to display multiple things going on at once, such as:
  • The SME(s)
  • An application or multiple applications that the SME(s) are using
  • Content/resources that learners are submitting in real-time (think Bluescape, T1V, Prysm, other)
  • The ability to annotate on top of the application(s) and point to things w/in the app(s)
  • Media being used to support the presentation such as pictures, graphics, graphs, videos, simulations, animations, audio, links to other resources, GPS coordinates for an app such as Google Earth, other
  • Other attendees (think Google Hangouts, Skype, Polycom, or other videoconferencing tools)
  • An (optional) representation of the Personal Assistant (such as today’s Alexa, Siri, M, Google Assistant, etc.) that’s being employed via the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This new learning platform will also feature:

  • Voice-based commands to drive the system (via Natural Language Processing (NLP))
  • Language translation (using techs similar to what’s being used in Translate One2One, an earpiece powered by IBM Watson)
  • Speech-to-text capabilities for use w/ chatbots, messaging, inserting discussion board postings
  • Text-to-speech capabilities as an assistive technology and also for everyone to be able to be mobile while listening to what’s been typed
  • Chatbots
    • For learning how to use the system
    • For asking questions of – and addressing any issues with – the organization owning the system (credentials, payments, obtaining technical support, etc.)
    • For asking questions within a course
  • As many profiles as needed per household
  • (Optional) Machine-to-machine-based communications to automatically launch the correct profile when the system is initiated (from one’s smartphone, laptop, workstation, and/or tablet to a receiver for the system)
  • (Optional) Voice recognition to efficiently launch the desired profile
  • (Optional) Facial recognition to efficiently launch the desired profile
  • (Optional) Upon system launch, to immediately return to where the learner previously left off
  • The capability of the webcam to recognize objects and bring up relevant resources for that object
  • A built in RSS feed aggregator – or a similar technology – to enable learners to tap into the relevant “streams of content” that are constantly flowing by them
  • Social media dashboards/portals – providing quick access to multiple sources of content and whereby learners can contribute their own “streams of content”

In the future, new forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) will be integrated into this new learning environment – providing entirely new means of collaborating with one another.

Likely players:

  • Amazon – personal assistance via Alexa
  • Apple – personal assistance via Siri
  • Google – personal assistance via Google Assistant; language translation
  • Facebook — personal assistance via M
  • Microsoft – personal assistance via Cortana; language translation
  • IBM Watson – cognitive computing; language translation
  • Polycom – videoconferencing
  • Blackboard – videoconferencing, application sharing, chat, interactive whiteboard
  • T1V, Prsym, and/or Bluescape – submitting content to a digital canvas/workspace
  • Samsung, Sharp, LCD, and others – for large displays with integrated microphones, speakers, webcams, etc.
  • Feedly – RSS aggregator
  • _________ – for providing backchannels
  • _________ – for tools to create videocasts and interactive videos
  • _________ – for blogs, wikis, podcasts, journals
  • _________ – for quizzes/assessments
  • _________ – for discussion boards/forums
  • _________ – for creating AR, MR, and/or VR-based content

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

 

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

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Faculty Innovation Toolkit — from campustechnology.com by Leila Meyer and Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

  • 15 Sites for Free Digital Textbooks
  • 12 Tips for Gamifying a Course
  • 10 Tools for More Interactive Videos
  • 4 Ways to Use Social Media for Learning

 

FacultyInnovationToolkit-CampusTechnology-June2016

 

 

 

What are the learning-related ramifications of technologies that provide virtual personal assistants? [Christian]

Everything Siri can do for you and your Apple TV — from imore.com by Lory Gill

Excerpt:

When you ask Siri what it can search for, it will respond, “I can search by title, people (actor, director, character name, guest star, producer, or writer), ratings (like PG or TV-G), reviews (such as best or worst), dates (like 2012 or the 80s), age (like kid-friendly or teen), seasons, episodes, and studio. And of course, I can search by genre.”

But, what else can Siri do?

Siri has a fairly robust search feature with multi-layer filtering.

While you are watching a movie or TV show, or listening to music, you can get a little extra help from Siri. It’s like having a buddy sitting next to you — but they don’t shush you when you ask a question.

You can search for content in the Music app on Apple TV by artist, album, or song title. With a little know-how, you can also turn Siri into your personal deejay.

While you may normally look to your smartphone for your weather predictions, Siri can be just as helpful about the conditions around the world as your local weatherman or app. All you have to do is ask.

 

From DSC:
Following this trajectory out a bit into the future — and in light of significant developments that continue to occur with artificial intelligence, the development and use of algorithms, the potential use of web-based learner profiles (think LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com, MOOCs, the use of nanodegrees), second screen-based apps, and the like — one has to wonder:

“What are the ramifications of this for learning-related applications?!”

 

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

 

 

 

 

Finding our voice: Instructional Designers in higher education — from er.educause.edu by Sandra Miller and Gayle Stein

Key Takeaways

  • A New Jersey workshop on instructional design gave attendees the opportunity to learn about instructional designers’ roles at different institutions and brainstorm good ideas, tips and tricks, important contributions to the field, and how to overcome shared challenges.
  • Instructional technologists and video production coordinators also are involved in the instructional design process, helping faculty learn how to use instructional tools.
  • A major challenge for instructional designers is faculty resistance to new pedagogies and deliveries — not just to hybrid and online courses.
  • Institutional acknowledgement of skill acquisition in their professional development can lead faculty to place a higher value on technology integration in teaching and learning.

What Instructional Designers Do
Instructional designers take on a variety of roles. They can be course development focused or technology focused. They can be facilitators, mentors, trainers, collaborators, reviewers, and mediators, and more likely some combination of those. They often have different roles to fill in addition to instructional design: they may supervise computer labs, have responsibility for classroom technology, and/or oversee video production facilities.

The instructional designers who attended the NJEDge.Net Instructional Design Symposium are involved in:

  • Providing both pedagogical and technology training, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes separately
  • Moving courses between learning management systems
  • Creating new online courses or transitioning face-to-face courses to online formats
  • Producing video and other multimedia
  • Supporting a variety of software that faculty want to use to create their courses or
  • Training faculty to teach more effectively using technology
  • Supporting students using LMSs
  • Ensuring that courses meet federal requirements for accessibility
  • Lobbying for funding for faculty who are taking time to create online courses
  • Creating challenging assessments to minimize cheating

Instructional technologists and video production coordinators also are involved in the instructional design process. They help faculty learn how to use instructional tools such as lecture capture, synchronous meetings, asynchronous discussions, collaborative document writing, group work, clickers, learning management systems, video production, and video editing.

 

The instructional designers found that it made a difference in terms of trust and respect accorded them when they sat on the academic side of the house. (Nonetheless, the majority of instructional designers at the symposium report to the IT side and ultimately (usually) to the financial/administrative side, despite their preference for the academic side.)

 

 

A prediction from DSC:
Those institutions who develop and use internal teams of specialists will be the winners in the future.

Below are some of the forces that will reward those institutions who pursue such a strategy in order to design, create, and provide their offerings/services include:

  • The rise of personalized/adaptive learning (data mining, learning analytics are also included in this bullet point)
  • The increased use of artificial intelligence and the development of intelligent systems/assistants/tutoring
  • Higher ed’s need to scale and reduce the going rates/prices of obtaining degrees — yet maintaining quality
  • Rapid technological changes and an ever increasing amount to know as instructional technologists (this is also true with videographers, multimedia developers, copyright experts, and other members of the team)
  • New discoveries and advances w/in the various disciplines — which require faculty members’ focus to stay on top of their disciplines
  • The changing expectations of students, and how they prefer to learn
  • The rise of alternatives to institutions of traditional higher education who, from their very start, develop and use internal teams of specialists (all the more relevant if these alternative organizations obtain the financial backing of the Federal Government)

The trick is how such teams should actually operate so as not to become bottlenecks in keeping the curricula relevant and up-to-date. After all, it takes time and resources to effectively design, create, and deliver blended and/or online courses.

 

 

Interactive app brings 4th-century thinker to life — from campustechnology.com by Toni Fuhrman
At Villanova University, a student-developed app version of Augustine’s Confessions brings contemporary vitality and relevance to a classic 4th-century work.

Excerpt:

Augustine of Hippo, who lived from A.D. 354 to 430, might be surprised to find his Confessions in circulation today, including a number of e-book versions. Still widely read, popular in great books programs and studied in university classes, The Confessions of St. Augustine is autobiography and confession, spiritual quest and emotional journey.

One of the most recent electronic versions of the Confessions is an interactive app developed at Villanova University (PA), the nation’s only Augustinian Catholic University. Released three months ago on Augustine’s birthday (Nov. 13), the Confessions app is required for all freshmen as part of a “foundation” course. Available for both Apple and Android devices, the app includes the 13 books of the Confessions, authoritative commentaries, photo gallery, timeline, map and text-highlighted audio, as well as search, note-taking, annotation and bookmark options.

 

“What better way to reflect on and update this struggle than for today’s students to use technology to bring the text to life through visual, audio and analytical components?”

 

 

 

Confessions-Feb2016

 

 

From DSC:
Love the idea. Love the use of teams — including students — to produce this app!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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