Introducing several new ideas to provide personalized, customized learning experiences for all kinds of learners! [Christian]

From DSC:
I have often reflected on differentiation or what some call personalized learning and/or customized learning. How does a busy teacher, instructor, professor, or trainer achieve this, realistically?

It’s very difficult and time-consuming to do for sure. But it also requires a team of specialists to achieve such a holy grail of learning — as one person can’t know it all. That is, one educator doesn’t have the necessary time, skills, or knowledge to address so many different learning needs and levels!

  • Think of different cognitive capabilities — from students that have special learning needs and challenges to gifted students
  • Or learners that have different physical capabilities or restrictions
  • Or learners that have different backgrounds and/or levels of prior knowledge
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Educators  and trainers have so many things on their plates that it’s very difficult to come up with _X_ lesson plans/agendas/personalized approaches, etc.  On the other side of the table, how do students from a vast array of backgrounds and cognitive skill levels get the main points of a chapter or piece of text? How can they self-select the level of difficulty and/or start at a “basics” level and work one’s way up to harder/more detailed levels if they can cognitively handle that level of detail/complexity? Conversely, how do I as a learner get the boiled down version of a piece of text?

Well… just as with the flipped classroom approach, I’d like to suggest that we flip things a bit and enlist teams of specialists at the publishers to fulfill this need. Move things to the content creation end — not so much at the delivery end of things. Publishers’ teams could play a significant, hugely helpful role in providing customized learning to learners.

Some of the ways that this could happen:

Use an HTML like language when writing a textbook, such as:

<MainPoint> The text for the main point here. </MainPoint>

<SubPoint1>The text for the subpoint 1 here.</SubPoint1>

<DetailsSubPoint1>More detailed information for subpoint 1 here.</DetailsSubPoint1>

<SubPoint2>The text for the subpoint 2 here.</SubPoint2>

<DetailsSubPoint2>More detailed information for subpoint 2 here.</DetailsSubPoint2>

<SubPoint3>The text for the subpoint 3 here.</SubPoint3>

<DetailsSubPoint3>More detailed information for subpoint 3 here.</DetailsSubPoint1>

<SummaryOfMainPoints>A list of the main points that a learner should walk away with.</SummaryOfMainPoints>

<BasicsOfMainPoints>Here is a listing of the main points, but put in alternative words and more basic ways of expressing those main points. </BasicsOfMainPoints>

<Conclusion> The text for the concluding comments here.</Conclusion>

 

<BasicsOfMainPoints> could be called <AlternativeExplanations>
Bottom line: This tag would be to put things forth using very straightforward terms.

Another tag would be to address how this topic/chapter is relevant:
<RealWorldApplication>This short paragraph should illustrate real world examples

of this particular topic. Why does this topic matter? How is it relevant?</RealWorldApplication>

 

On the students’ end, they could use an app that works with such tags to allow a learner to quickly see/review the different layers. That is:

  • Show me just the main points
  • Then add on the sub points
  • Then fill in the details
    OR
  • Just give me the basics via an alternative ways of expressing these things. I won’t remember all the details. Put things using easy-to-understand wording/ideas.

 

It’s like the layers of a Microsoft HoloLens app of the human anatomy:

 

Or it’s like different layers of a chapter of a “textbook” — so a learner could quickly collapse/expand the text as needed:

 

This approach could be helpful at all kinds of learning levels. For example, it could be very helpful for law school students to obtain outlines for cases or for chapters of information. Similarly, it could be helpful for dental or medical school students to get the main points as well as detailed information.

Also, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows, the system could check a learner’s cloud-based learner profile to see their reading level or prior knowledge, any IEP’s on file, their learning preferences (audio, video, animations, etc.), etc. to further provide a personalized/customized learning experience. 

To recap:

  • “Textbooks” continue to be created by teams of specialists, but add specialists with knowledge of students with special needs as well as for gifted students. For example, a team could have experts within the field of Special Education to help create one of the overlays/or filters/lenses — i.e., to reword things. If the text was talking about how to hit a backhand or a forehand, the alternative text layer could be summed up to say that tennis is a sport…and that a sport is something people play. On the other end of the spectrum, the text could dive deeply into the various grips a person could use to hit a forehand or backhand.
  • This puts the power of offering differentiation at the point of content creation/development (differentiation could also be provided for at the delivery end, but again, time and expertise are likely not going to be there)
  • Publishers create “overlays” or various layers that can be turned on or off by the learners
  • Can see whole chapters or can see main ideas, topic sentences, and/or details. Like HTML tags for web pages.
  • Can instantly collapse chapters to main ideas/outlines.

 

 

Reflections on “Inside Amazon’s artificial intelligence flywheel” [Levy]

Inside Amazon’s artificial intelligence flywheel — from wired.com by Steven Levy
How deep learning came to power Alexa, Amazon Web Services, and nearly every other division of the company.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Amazon loves to use the word flywheel to describe how various parts of its massive business work as a single perpetual motion machine. It now has a powerful AI flywheel, where machine-learning innovations in one part of the company fuel the efforts of other teams, who in turn can build products or offer services to affect other groups, or even the company at large. Offering its machine-learning platforms to outsiders as a paid service makes the effort itself profitable—and in certain cases scoops up yet more data to level up the technology even more.

It took a lot of six-pagers to transform Amazon from a deep-learning wannabe into a formidable power. The results of this transformation can be seen throughout the company—including in a recommendations system that now runs on a totally new machine-learning infrastructure. Amazon is smarter in suggesting what you should read next, what items you should add to your shopping list, and what movie you might want to watch tonight. And this year Thirumalai started a new job, heading Amazon search, where he intends to use deep learning in every aspect of the service.

“If you asked me seven or eight years ago how big a force Amazon was in AI, I would have said, ‘They aren’t,’” says Pedro Domingos, a top computer science professor at the University of Washington. “But they have really come on aggressively. Now they are becoming a force.”

Maybe the force.

 

 

From DSC:
When will we begin to see more mainstream recommendation engines for learning-based materials? With the demand for people to reinvent themselves, such a next generation learning platform can’t come soon enough!

  • Turning over control to learners to create/enhance their own web-based learner profiles; and allowing people to say who can access their learning profiles.
  • AI-based recommendation engines to help people identify curated, effective digital playlists for what they want to learn about.
  • Voice-driven interfaces.
  • Matching employees to employers.
  • Matching one’s learning preferences (not styles) with the content being presented as one piece of a personalized learning experience.
  • From cradle to grave. Lifelong learning.
  • Multimedia-based, interactive content.
  • Asynchronously and synchronously connecting with others learning about the same content.
  • Online-based tutoring/assistance; remote assistance.
  • Reinvent. Staying relevant. Surviving.
  • Competency-based learning.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re about to embark on a period in American history where career reinvention will be critical, perhaps more so than it’s ever been before. In the next decade, as many as 50 million American workers—a third of the total—will need to change careers, according to McKinsey Global Institute. Automation, in the form of AI (artificial intelligence) and RPA (robotic process automation), is the primary driver. McKinsey observes: “There are few precedents in which societies have successfully retrained such large numbers of people.”

Bill Triant and Ryan Craig

 

 

 

Also relevant/see:

Online education’s expansion continues in higher ed with a focus on tech skills — from educationdive.com by James Paterson

Dive Brief:

  • Online learning continues to expand in higher ed with the addition of several online master’s degrees and a new for-profit college that offers a hybrid of vocational training and liberal arts curriculum online.
  • Inside Higher Ed reported the nonprofit learning provider edX is offering nine master’s degrees through five U.S. universities — the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University, Arizona State University and the University of California, San Diego. The programs include cybersecurity, data science, analytics, computer science and marketing, and they cost from around $10,000 to $22,000. Most offer stackable certificates, helping students who change their educational trajectory.
  • Former Harvard University Dean of Social Science Stephen Kosslyn, meanwhile, will open Foundry College in January. The for-profit, two-year program targets adult learners who want to upskill, and it includes training in soft skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Students will pay about $1,000 per course, though the college is waiving tuition for its first cohort.

 

 

 

NEW: The Top Tools for Learning 2018 [Jane Hart]

The Top Tools for Learning 2018 from the 12th Annual Digital Learning Tools Survey -- by Jane Hart

 

The above was from Jane’s posting 10 Trends for Digital Learning in 2018 — from modernworkplacelearning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

[On 9/24/18],  I released the Top Tools for Learning 2018 , which I compiled from the results of the 12th Annual Digital Learning Tools Survey.

I have also categorised the tools into 30 different areas, and produced 3 sub-lists that provide some context to how the tools are being used:

  • Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning 2018 (PPL100): the digital tools used by individuals for their own self-improvement, learning and development – both inside and outside the workplace.
  • Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning (WPL100): the digital tools used to design, deliver, enable and/or support learning in the workplace.
  • Top 100 Tools for Education (EDU100): the digital tools used by educators and students in schools, colleges, universities, adult education etc.

 

3 – Web courses are increasing in popularity.
Although Coursera is still the most popular web course platform, there are, in fact, now 12 web course platforms on the list. New additions this year include Udacity and Highbrow (the latter provides daily micro-lessons). It is clear that people like these platforms because they can chose what they want to study as well as how they want to study, ie. they can dip in and out if they want to and no-one is going to tell them off – which is unlike most corporate online courses which have a prescribed path through them and their use is heavily monitored.

 

 

5 – Learning at work is becoming personal and continuous.
The most significant feature of the list this year is the huge leap up the list that Degreed has made – up 86 places to 47th place – the biggest increase by any tool this year. Degreed is a lifelong learning platform and provides the opportunity for individuals to own their expertise and development through a continuous learning approach. And, interestingly, Degreed appears both on the PPL100 (at  30) and WPL100 (at 52). This suggests that some organisations are beginning to see the importance of personal, continuous learning at work. Indeed, another platform that underpins this, has also moved up the list significantly this year, too. Anders Pink is a smart curation platform available for both individuals and teams which delivers daily curated resources on specified topics. Non-traditional learning platforms are therefore coming to the forefront, as the next point further shows.

 

 

From DSC:
Perhaps some foreshadowing of the presence of a powerful, online-based, next generation learning platform…?

 

 

 

Smartwatches Deemed Least Valuable Technology in the Classroom — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly
In our second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, faculty revealed what technologies they use in the classroom, the devices they most value, what they wish for and more.

Excerpts:

Smartwatches may be one of the hottest gadgets in the consumer market — making up nearly a third of all wearables sales this year — but the climate in the classroom is noticeably cooler for the wrist-worn devices. In our 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey, smartwatches came in dead last in the list of technologies faculty consider essential or valuable for teaching and learning. Just 9 percent of faculty called the devices “valuable” (an increase from 5 percent in 2016), and not a one deemed them “essential.” What’s more, 9 percent of respondents considered smartwatches “detrimental.”

When we asked faculty what computing devices were most valuable for teaching and learning, laptops came out on top, considered “essential” by 54 percent of respondents (up from 49 percent in 2016). Workstations (defined as higher-end computers with faster processors, more RAM, more storage and dedicated graphics cards) came in second, followed by all-in-one computers, traditional desktops and detachable tablets. (The lineup was similar last year.)

 

 

 

NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Library Edition — from nmc.org

Excerpt:

What is on the five-year horizon for academic and research libraries? Which trends and technology developments will drive transformation? What are the critical challenges and how can we strategize solutions? These questions regarding technology adoption and educational change steered the discussions of 77 experts to produce the NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition, in partnership with the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Chur, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB), ETH Library, and the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six developments in technology profiled in this report are poised to impact library strategies, operations, and services with regards to learning, creative inquiry, research, and information management. The three sections of this report constitute a reference and technology planning guide for librarians, library leaders, library staff, policymakers, and technologists.

 

 

 

 

 
 

20 awesome BYOD and mobile learning apps — from edutopia.org by Vicki Davis; updated 2/4/16

Excerpt:

We have now been Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for three years, and boy, do the students bring it. They bring it all! We have iPads, Surface, iPhones, Droids, Chromebooks, Macs, and PC laptops. Here’s my current thinking.

 

 

 

7 best Google apps and tools — from interestingengineering.com

  1. Google Keep
  2. Google Scholar
  3. Gmailify
  4. Google Lego
  5. Google Mars
  6. Google Developers
  7. Google Sky

 

GoogleSky-April2016

 

 

 

Chrome Music Lab

Excerpt:

Music is for everyone. So this year for Music In Our Schools month, we wanted to make learning music a bit more accessible to everyone by using technology that’s open to everyone: the web. Chrome Music Lab is a collection of experiments that let anyone, at any age, explore how music works. They’re collaborations between musicians and coders, all built with the freely available Web Audio API. These experiments are just a start. Check out each experiment to find open-source code you can use to build your own.

 

ChromeMusicLab-March2016

 

 

 

My challenge to you – 8 things all teachers should learn about #edtech — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson

Excerpt:

I love the School Report scheme that the BBC run via Newsround. We all remember the Newsrounds of our youth. For me it was John Craven who made me watch it whenever it was on. It was this report I saw recently on eight things teachers should learn, which got me thinking about eight things I thought teachers should learn about edtech.

My work sees me regularly helping teachers learn different things related to the use of technology and so in this post, I’m going to talk about the eight things I think teachers should learn with #edtech to help support their use of technology to enhance learning in the classroom.

Mark mentions: Google, Padlet, Kahoot, Socrative, Camera, Microphone, Twitter, Videoconferencing software

 

 

 

Quiz accommodations for students in Canvas and Moodle — from thejournal.com by Emmett Dulaney03/16/16

Excerpt:

As we move toward interacting more with students who have an individualized education program (IEP) indicating that they need additional time on tests and quizzes or just need to deal with life issues, it is imperative that the learning management system (LMS) depended upon by an instructor and student alike be properly configured for such accommodations. Canvas and Moodle are currently two of the most popular learning management systems, and both offer the ability to make adjustments to quiz functions within the course without compromising the overall structure of the course. In this article, we will examine how to do so and offer some tips on situations where they are relevant.

 

 

 

Use these Chrome apps to unleash students’ creativity — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

[The] Chrome web store is packed full of all kinds of educational apps and extensions some of which are also integrated with Google Drive. For those of you looking for a handy resource of Chrome apps to use with students in class, check out this comprehensive chart. In today’s post we are sharing with you a collection of some practical Chrome extensions to unleash learners creativity. Using these resources, students will be able to engage in a number of creative literacy activities that will allow them to multimodally communicate their thoughts, share their ideas and develop new learning skills.

 

 

 

Integrating technology and literacy — from edutopia.org by Frank Ward

Excerpt:

How do you work technology into the pedagogy, instead of just using something cool? That task can be especially daunting in language arts literacy classrooms where reading and writing skill development is the crux of daily lessons. However, as 1:1 technology initiatives roll out, integrating technology into the classroom is our reality.

With hundreds of sites, apps, Chrome extensions, and platforms available, choosing the right ones can seem overwhelming. As an eighth-grade language arts teacher, I’ve experienced this myself. Following are four tools that can help provide immediate formative assessment data as well as top-of-the-rotation feedback to help students develop personal learning goals.

If, like my school, you’re in a “Chromebook District,” these suggested tools will work well because all integrate perfectly when you sign in with your Google ID, limiting the need for multiple passwords. This saves a lot of student confusion, too.

 

 

 

Teachers are using theater and dance to teach math — and it’s working — from washingtonpost.com by Moriah Balingit

Excerpt:

This giggly play session actually was a serious math lesson about big and small and non-standard measurements. Dreamed up by Richardson and kindergarten teacher Carol Hunt, it aims to get the children to think of animal steps as units of measurement, using them to mark how many it takes each animal to get from a starting line to the target.

Teachers call such melding of art and traditional subjects “art integration,” and it’s a new and increasingly popular way of bringing the arts into the classroom. Instead of art as a stand-alone subject, teachers are using dance, drama and the visual arts to teach a variety of academic subjects in a more engaging way.

 

 

Some older items include:

Tech Tip: Using Nearpod for math instruction — from smartblogs.com

 

Storytelling app a hit; launches a new chapter in transmedia — from blogs.vancouversun.com

Excerpt:

Paul Pattison and Luke Minaker knew they were onto something when they got an email from the mother of a nine-year-old who read the first instalment of their interactive story, Weirdwood Manor.

She wrote that she couldn’t get her son to pick up a book,” said Pattison, technical director of All Play No Work, producer of the iPad app. “She got the app for her son and he went through it in two nights. He finished both books.

And then because we don’t have book 3 out yet, unprompted by her he went over to the bookshelf and pulled off a paperback and started reading chapter books again.

.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

How Google is reimagining books — from fastcodesign.com by Meg Miller
Editions at Play” sees designers and authors working simultaneously to build a new type of e-book from the ground up.

Excerpt:

The first sign that Reif Larsen’s Entrances & Exits is not a typical e-book comes at the table of contents, which is just a list of chapters titled “Location Unknown.” Click on one of them, and you’ll be transported to a location (unknown) inside Google Street View, facing a door. Choose to enter the house and that’s where the narrative, a sort of choose-your-own-adventure string of vignettes, begins. As the book’s description reads, it’s a “Borgeian love story” that “seamlessly spans the globe” and it represents a fresh approach to the book publishing industry.

Larsen’s book is one of the inaugural titles from Editions at Play, a joint e-books publishing venture between Google Creative Lab Sydney and the design-driven publishing house Visual Editions, which launched this week. With the mission of reimagining what an e-book can be, Editions at Play brings together the author, developers, and designers to work simultaneously on building a story from the ground up. They are the opposite of the usual physical-turned-digital-books; rather, they’re books that “cannot be printed.”

 

From DSC:
Interesting to note the use of teams of specialists here…

 

 

 

How to Publish an E-Book: Resources for Authors — by Jane Friedman

Excerpt:

About the only thing that remains constant in e-book publishing is that it changes—everything from the services to marketing strategies. Here, I’ve attempted to round-up all the good resources I know of related to (1) learning to publish an e-book, (2) finding the right e-publishing services, and (3) staying on top of changes in the industry.

Topics/areas that Jane provides resources for include:
Excellent Book-Length Guides
Getting Started & Principles
Producing a Solid Product
Sales, Marketing, and Promotion
Getting Reviews
Tools for Creating & Formatting E-Books
Tools for Creating Enhanced, Multimedia, or Full-Color E-Books
Major E-Book Retailers
Major E-Book Distributors & Services
To Find Freelance Help
Authors Who Blog About E-Book Publishing
News & Trends About E-Book Publishing

 

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