Differentiation Technique: Embed A Classic — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

Possibly my #1, most favorite way to increase the interest in a lesson is to simply remove the built-in examples in a lesson and replace them with some kind of classic.

Wait, What’s A “Classic”?
A classic may immediately bring to mind old works: Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Da Vinci. And those are indeed important! Use them.

But I’d say that The Wizard of Oz is a classic. Lord of the Rings is a classic. Hokusai’s painting of The Great Wave is a classic. The Beach Boys are a classic!

Classics are things that are culturally important. They could be stories, films, songs, paintings, photos, and so on. Classics are referenced constantly in daily conversation as well as in other creative works.

 

Transforming the classroom with augmented learning — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Forbes documented the many ways that augmented reality (AR) has come to life in recent years. They list several award-winning apps that use AR. A few are:

  • The “Gatwick Airport Passenger” App, which helps passengers navigate the airport;
  • The “Dulux Visualizer” App, which  lets you virtually scan and paint your room any color you choose;
  • “Envisioned by the Mine” App, which lets you put 3D images of any type of accessory or furnishing in your home that Lowe’s offers;
  • “Sephora Virtual Artist”, which allows you to “put makeup on” without actually touching brush to face;
  • “Accuvein”, which doctors and nurses use to scan a patient’s vein network (it reduces escalations by 45%);
  • And, of course, there are apps like the “BIC DrawyBook App” just for fun.

But what about the classroom? Can we see a future in transforming the classroom with augmented learning?

From DSC:
Along the lines of developing creativity with edtech…

I saw another item recently about Book Creator, something that’s made this blog before. I love that type of tool because it promotes creativity, unleashes a student’s imagination, promotes their artwork and writing/storytelling and their musical or acting abilities, and it develops skills in design and developing multimedia-based artifacts. For teachers, it could be a nice project-based learning exercise. 

I asked our youngest daughter if she would like to use it…we’ll see. You can get a free account that allows you to publish up to 40 books. (Plus there is pricing for schools and districts.)

And who knows…? This type of thing might just produce the next J.K. Rowling or a J.J. Abrams.

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

 

AI voice actors sound more human than ever —and they’re ready to hire— from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao
A new wave of startups are using deep learning to build synthetic voice actors for digital assistants, video-game characters, and corporate videos.

Excerpt:

The company blog post drips with the enthusiasm of a ’90s US infomercial. WellSaid Labs describes what clients can expect from its “eight new digital voice actors!” Tobin is “energetic and insightful.” Paige is “poised and expressive.” Ava is “polished, self-assured, and professional.”

Each one is based on a real voice actor, whose likeness (with consent) has been preserved using AI. Companies can now license these voices to say whatever they need. They simply feed some text into the voice engine, and out will spool a crisp audio clip of a natural-sounding performance.

But the rise of hyperrealistic fake voices isn’t consequence-free. Human voice actors, in particular, have been left to wonder what this means for their livelihoods.

And below are a couple of somewhat related items:

Amazon’s latest voice interoperability move undermines Google — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
With a new toolkit, Amazon is making it easier to build devices that run multiple voice assistants — weakening one of Google’s key arguments against licensing the Google Assistant for such scenarios.

People should be able to pick whatever assistant they prefer for any given task, simply by invoking different words, Rubenson said. “We think it’s critical that customers have choice and flexibility,” he said. “Each will have their own strengths and capabilities.”

Protocol Next Up — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
Defining the future of tech and entertainment with Janko Roettgers.

Voice is becoming a true developer ecosystem. Amazon now has more than 900,000 registered Alexa developers, who collectively have built over 130,000 Alexa skills. And those skills are starting to show up in more and more places: “We now have hundreds of physical products” with Alexa built in, Alexa Voice Service & Alexa Skills VP Aaron Rubenson told me this week.

 
 

Drawing on Ancient Arts and New Technology, Husson U. Launches Degree in Extended Reality — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

The origins of the experience may come from an ancient artform: theater.

“As a set designer, I would think about experiences that are recreating augmented reality, essentially,” says Brave Williams, an associate professor at Husson University in Maine. “It is an augmentation of reality that has been done for thousands of years.”

Now, Williams is helping his institution push the boundaries of Shakespeare’s famous line that “all the world’s a stage.”

To expand the center’s reach, university leaders decided to build extended reality into the college curriculum. One example was the development of AR Stagecraft, an app that translates student set designs into an immersive experience of what the scenery would look and feel like if built on an empty stage.

Also see:

IEX CENTER — from husson.edu

An Innovation HubThe iEX Center /ai,?ks/ is an innovation hub that develops solutions using extended reality (XR) experiences such as virtual and augmented reality. Through the iEX Center, students learn how to solve real-world problems using the advanced technology associated with the emerging XR field.

These immersive and interactive experiences are developed with the involvement of students and faculty within the School of Technology and Innovation, as well as those from other colleges across campus as they work together on interdisciplinary XR projects.

 

My post-pandemic learning list — from chieflearningofficer.com by Elliott Masie
This is the time to extend our skills as learning professionals through the power of learning. 

Excerpt:

Curation on a personal level. I want to create new ways to curate awesome information and knowledge that I encounter every day. I want a “Later” button on my mouse or a gesture feature on my phone to capture and re-present indicated content to me at a later time. My curiosity as a learner is demanding a better way to tag or selectively highlight content, conversations and resources effortlessly and at any time throughout the day.

Adding arts to learning for impact. We have hosted 33 one-hour Empathy Concerts since April 2020, combining Broadway performers and learning experts for powerful blends of content and music relevant to the workplace. I am excited to expand models for incorporating music, songs and theater into our learning efforts. Arts expand the emotional impact of cognitive mastery.

Also see:

The reverse culture shock of returning to the office — from chieflearningofficer.com by Camille Preston
Understanding reverse culture shock and its effects may be the best way to prepare for post-pandemic work and life.

Excerpt:

While leaving home to return to work will be remarkably different than coming back from an overseas tour, there are similarities. Understanding reverse culture shock and its effects may also be the best way to prepare for post-pandemic work and life.

 

 

ARHT Media Inc.
Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

Excerpt:

ARHT Media mounted a holographic display at the event in Vancouver and had Sunlife’s executive captured and transmitted live as a hologram to the event from our Toronto studio. He was able to see the audience and interact with them in realtime as if he was attending the event and present in the room.

ARHT Media Inc. launches the Holopod | A holograph of the head of global sales appears on stage. Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

From DSC:

  • Will holographic displays change what we mean by web-based collaboration?
  • Will this be a part of the future learning ecosystems inside of higher education? Inside of the corporate training world? Inside the world of events and webinars?
  • How will this type of emerging technology impact our communications? Levels of engagement?
  • Will this type of thing impact telehealth? Telelegal?
  • How will this impact storytelling? Media? Drama/acting? Games?
  • Will the price come down to where online and blended learning will use this type of thing?
  • Will streams of content be offered by holographic displays?

 

 

By Putting Tensions on Stage, Colleges Aim to Change Campus Culture — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

That’s the creative solution more colleges are turning to as they try to make their cultures more inclusive for people who find themselves marginalized within academia. Programs for applied theater at institutions including University of Michigan, University of New Hampshire, University of Virginia and Florida International University bring to life higher ed troubles and tensions through original sketches, shows and the occasional musical number.

An applied theater sketch is like a pane of glass. For some viewers, it’s a mirror that reflects their personal experiences. For others, it’s a window into the lives of their colleagues and students. And for everyone willing to engage, it’s a magnifying lens that enlarges the details of daily interaction for clearer inspection.

From DSC:
I say we expand this line of thought even more: Here’s another idea/approach to leveraging the talents of Theatre Majors throughout higher education.

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!

 


Also from edsurge.com:

Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials – 2021 Report — from credentialengine.org

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Learners, educators and policymakers understand that high school completion and education beyond high school are critical to thrive in the workforce. However, until recently an inventory of the number or type of secondary and post-secondary credential opportunities in the United States did not exist. This is the third annual report from Credential Engine that attempts to count all these credentials. The report identifies 967,734 unique credentials in the U.S. in 16 detailed credential categories across four types of credential providers…

 

Radio.Garden — with thanks to David Pogue for this resource

From DSC:
This is amazing! Some screenshots:

Radio.garden -- tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe!

Radio.garden -- tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe!

Several questions/reflections come to my mind:

  • What could those teachers and professors who are trying to teach someone a language do with this?!
  • If this can be done with radio stations, what can be done with learning-related streams of content?!
  • Talk about “More Choice. More Control.”  Man o’ man!

Streams of content


Addendum on 2/28/21:
Could this type of interface be used to navigate the world of work? Where instead of nations, you would have arenas of work?

 

91 movies and TV shows to stream for Black History Month — from fastcompany.com by Joe Berkowitz
For Black History Month, here’s a streaming guide to historical fiction, biopics, documentaries, and sitcoms, made by and about Black Americans.

91 movies and TV shows to stream for Black History Month

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

Excerpt:

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

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

 

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

Excerpt:

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

Also see:

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

 

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

My sister’s watercolor of a Christmas scene:

Merry Christmas! Emmanuel -- God with us!

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

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

Also see:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian