A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing — from technologyreview.com by Will Douglas Heaven
Online videos are a vast and untapped source of training data—and OpenAI says it has a new way to use it.

Excerpt:

OpenAI has built the best Minecraft-playing bot yet by making it watch 70,000 hours of video of people playing the popular computer game. It showcases a powerful new technique that could be used to train machines to carry out a wide range of tasks by binging on sites like YouTube, a vast and untapped source of training data.

The Minecraft AI learned to perform complicated sequences of keyboard and mouse clicks to complete tasks in the game, such as chopping down trees and crafting tools. It’s the first bot that can craft so-called diamond tools, a task that typically takes good human players 20 minutes of high-speed clicking—or around 24,000 actions.

The result is a breakthrough for a technique known as imitation learning, in which neural networks are trained to perform tasks by watching humans do them.

The team’s approach, called Video Pre-Training (VPT), gets around the bottleneck in imitation learning by training another neural network to label videos automatically.

Speak lands investment from OpenAI to expand its language learning platform — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers

Excerpts:

“Most language learning software can help with the beginning part of learning basic vocabulary and grammar, but gaining any degree of fluency requires speaking out loud in an interactive environment,” Zwick told TechCrunch in an email interview. “To date, the only way people can get that sort of practice is through human tutors, which can also be expensive, difficult and intimidating.”

Speak’s solution is a collection of interactive speaking experiences that allow learners to practice conversing in English. Through the platform, users can hold open-ended conversations with an “AI tutor” on a range of topics while receiving feedback on their pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.

It’s one of the top education apps in Korea on the iOS App Store, with over 15 million lessons started annually, 100,000 active subscribers and “double-digit million” annual recurring revenue.

 

 

Is AI Generated Art Really Coming for Your Job? — from edugeekjournal.com by Matt Crosslin

Excerpt:

So, is this a cool development that will become a fun tool for many of us to play around with in the future? Sure. Will people use this in their work? Possibly. Will it disrupt artists across the board? Unlikely. There might be a few places where really generic artwork is the norm and the people that were paid very little to crank them out will be paid very little to input prompts. Look, PhotoShop and asset libraries made creating company logos very, very easy a long time ago. But people still don’t want to take the 30 minutes it takes to put one together, because thinking through all the options is not their thing. You still have to think through those options to enter an AI prompt. And people just want to leave that part to the artists. The same thing was true about the printing press. Hundreds of years of innovation has taught us that the hard part of the creation of art is the human coming up with the ideas, not the tools that create the art.

A quick comment from DSC:
Possibly, at least in some cases. But I’ve seen enough home-grown, poorly-designed graphics and logos to make me wonder if that will be the case.

 

How to Teach With Deep Fake Technology — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Despite the scary headlines, deep fake technology can be a powerful teaching tool

Excerpt:

The very concept of teaching with deep fake technology may be unsettling to some. After all, deep fake technology, which utilizes AI and machine learning and can alter videos and animate photographs in a manner that appears realistic, has frequently been covered in a negative light. The technology can be used to violate privacy and create fake videos of real people.

However, while these potential abuses of the technology are real and concerning that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to the technology’s potential when using it responsibly, says Jaime Donally, a well-known immersive learning expert.

From DSC:
I’m still not sure about this one…but I’ll try to be open to the possibilities here.

 

Educators Are Taking Action in AI Education to Make Future-Ready Communities — from edsurge.com by Annie Ning

Excerpt:

AI Explorations and Their Practical Use in School Environments is an ISTE initiative funded by General Motors. The program provides professional learning opportunities for educators, with the goal of preparing all students for careers with AI.

Recently, we spoke with three more participants of the AI Explorations program to learn about its ongoing impact in K-12 classrooms. Here, they share how the program is helping their districts implement AI curriculum with an eye toward equity in the classroom.

 

Stealth Legal AI Startup Harvey Raises $5M in Round Led By OpenAI — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A hitherto stealth legal AI startup emerged from the shadows today with news via TechCrunch that it has raised $5 million in funding led by the startup fund of OpenAI, the company that developed advanced neural network AI systems such as GPT-3 and DALL-E 2.

The startup, called Harvey, will build on the GPT-3 technology to enable lawyers to create legal documents or perform legal research by providing simple instructions using natural language.

The company was founded by Winston Weinberg, formerly an associate at law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and Gabriel Pereyra, formerly a research scientist at DeepMind and most recently a machine learning engineer at Meta AI.

 

Beyond Courses: Instructional Approaches in 2022 — from learningguild.com by Jane Bozarth

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

 In researching “upskilling for L&D practitioners” earlier this year, Learning Guild members were asked what they feel has been the biggest shift in their work over time: While technology has driven much change, sometimes seemingly exponentially, nearly everyone talked about a different sort of shift. This was true even of those who landed on the younger end of the experience spectrum. According to respondents, the biggest change is the move away from the idea that the primary role of L&D is to create “courses.” Technology changed and became easier to use, enabling development of myriad digital solutions. As noted in that report, respondents viewed this change as welcome and positive.

When asked what other types of content respondents created to be delivered OUTSIDE of a traditional course, the most common responses were creating video and job aids/performance support materials. Microlearning and curated content were also frequently mentioned, and curated collections of existing material was popular with those engaged in traditional design.

Also relevant/see:

Games, Organizing, & Motivation: ID Links 10/25/22 — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
Curated links on games built in Twine, storytelling, organization, useful tools, motivation, and transitioning from teaching to ID.

From DSC:
Under the Storytelling and CYOA books section, it was interesting to see the Random Plot Generator, where Christy wrote: “A writing prompt tool to generate two characters, a setting, situation, theme, and character action. This could be a fun way to start scenarios if you’re feeling stuck. h/t Jean Marrapodi.”

I thought this might be a good tool for developing writers, improv actors, and likely others as well!  🙂  

Random Plot Generator

Also from Christy Tucker, see:

If the content is very stable and unlikely to change much over time, voice over might make sense in a branching scenario. Investing in creating video also makes more sense for more stable content and skills than for something that changes every 6 months.

 

Recent Advancements In Artificial Intelligence — from forbes.com by Gaurav Tewari

Excerpts:

As the founder of a technology investment firm, I’ve seen firsthand just how much AI has advanced in such a short period of time. The underlying building blocks of the technology are getting astonishingly better at an exponential rate, far outpacing our expectations. Techniques like deep learning allow us to run complex AI models to solve the most difficult problems. But while those who work in technology-centric careers are aware of AI’s explosive capabilities, the public at large is still largely unaware of the depth of AI’s potential.

Enterprise functions such as marketing, sales, finance and HR are all areas that can utilize new AI-enabled applications; these applications include providing customers with 24/7 financial guidance, predicting and assessing loan risks and collecting and analyzing client data.

Also relevant/see:

What is the Future of Artificial Intelligence? — from thedigitalspeaker.com by Dr. Mark van Rijmenam

Excerpts:

Let’s explore some real-life artificial intelligence applications.

  1. Using Artificial Intelligence for Navigation
  2. Marketers Use Artificial Intelligence to Increase Their Efficiency
  3. The use of Artificial Intelligence in robotics
  4. Gaming and Artificial Intelligence
  5. Incorporating Artificial Intelligence into Lifestyles

Artificial intelligence (AI): 7 roles to prioritize now — from enterprisersproject.com by Marc Lewis; with thanks to Mr. Stephen Downes for this resource
Which artificial intelligence (AI) jobs are hottest now? Consider these seven AI/ML roles to prioritize in your organization

While these seven AI roles are critical, finding talent to fill them is difficult.  AI, machine learning, and data analytics are new fields, and few people have relevant experience.

This leads us back to the fact: We are dealing with a Great Reallocation of the labor force to an AI/Machine learning, data-driven world.

3 ways AI is scaling helpful technologies worldwide — from blog.google by Jeff Dean
Decades of research have led to today’s rapid progress in AI. Today, we’re announcing three new ways people are poised to benefit.

Excerpts:

  1. Supporting 1,000 languages with AI
  2. Empowering creators and artists with AI
  3. Addressing climate change and health challenges with AI
 

Innova: A Revolution in Education? — from gettingsmart.com by Chris Terrill

Key Points

  • Innova Schools is designed to rapidly cut through the vast inequities that exist and be a lever for change in Latin America.
  • Innova has the potential to revolutionize education around the globe.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The initial school start-up was funded by Carlos Rodriguez Pastor, a Peruvian businessman. He saw an opportunity to provide high-quality schools in areas where the government struggled to supply essential education services (Peru and Colombia consistently rank near the bottom on the global education survey). He enlisted the famed US design firm IDEO to develop a comprehensive program that would eventually be utilized in multiple countries.

From DSC:
Stop the presses. I love that idea of using IDEO to be involved here. It seems like that is a positive step towards implementing Design Thinking within our learning ecosystems.

In the original model, the founders designed a rigorous, engaging, personalized curriculum, with a heavy emphasis on Project-Based Learning. I wanted to know if and how that is actualized, and how that is enacted across multiple countries in schools thousands of miles apart.

Finally, IDEO’s work included a design for the physical structure of schools to be quickly and economically replicated at each location; how was that design working? The vision for Innova may be one of the most ambitious educational undertakings today. What lessons can I, as an individual educational leader, and we, as a global education community, learn from their work?

The Maker Space and the Gaming Lab demonstrate clearly how digital competency is a central element of their curriculum. I saw highly engaging lessons that were perfectly synced with classroom projects, pursuing a bigger goal of equipping Colombian students to fill the digital labor gap. 

 

What does the ‘metaverse’ mean for education? — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
Experts warn educators to think twice before jumping on new technologies

Excerpt:

Sometime in the past year or two, you’ve likely heard the word “metaverse.” It’s the future, the next big frontier of the internet, if you ask technology CEOs or researchers.

While the term has become the latest buzzword in education circles, what it means for teaching and learning largely remains to be seen. Experts say much of what we see marketed as the metaverse from education technology companies isn’t actually the metaverse.

In a true metaverse experience, your digital identity travels between the physical and virtual worlds, Platt said. With the help of blockchain technology, that identity — your preferences, your achievements, your educational records, other elements of who you are — is maintained across platforms and applications.

 

HundrED Global Collection 2023 — from hundred.org
Meet the 100 most impactful innovations that are changing the face of education in a post-COVID world.

The HundrED Global Collection 2023

Excerpt:

The year 2022 has been a year to look to the future, as the global education conversation moves again toward themes of education transformation and the futures of education. The 100 innovations selected for this year’s global collection are impacting the lives of over 95 million students worldwide. The collection highlights the important role of teachers in education innovation; the continued need for students to develop 21st century skills, including social and emotional learning; an increasing focus on student wellbeing and mental health; and equity in education.

For more information, download the full Global Collection 2023 report.
You can also browse the innovation pages of the selected innovators here.
.

From DSC:
Here’s an excerpt of the email I received today from EducationHQ out of Australia — though I think it applies here in the United States as well:

.

Amplify and value teachers’ voice in education policymaking: researchers — from educationhq.com
Amplify and value teachers’ voice in education policymaking: researchers

Excerpt:

Monash University’s Teachers’ Perceptions of their Work Survey has revealed teachers’ waning satisfaction in their role and highlighted their…

Also from educationhq.com

Teachers changed my life: Trauma-informed education shows kids they matter — from educationhq.com by Beck Thompson
.

Nonprofit Bringing Businesses to Life in the Classroom — to the Tune of $400,000 — from the74million.org by Tim Newcomb
Making candles out of crayons, building birdhouses, fashioning furniture: Real World Scholars has helped 50,000 students become entrepreneurs

Not much entices a second grader to skip out on recess to get back to schoolwork. But excitement around a classroom-run business can do just that, especially when it means creating candles out of crayons and selling them in the local community.

Students design their ideal urban home in My ArchiSchool exhibition — from dezeen.com

Students were able to bring family members to the exhibition. Architectural model by Ethan Chan

Excerpt:

Promotion: fifty-two students presented digital designs and architectural models of their ideal home as part of Hong Kong-based education institute My ArchiSchool’s latest exhibition. As part of the exhibition, My ArchiSchool students were asked to design their ideal home within an urban environment. The exhibition, which took place on 2 October 2022 at the Sky100 on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, showcased photomontages of digital designs presented alongside physical models.

5 Resources that help students become digital citizens — from rdene915.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

We need to create opportunities for students to become more digitally aware and literate, and to be responsible when using technology. There are many ways to do this, depending on our content area and grade level. We can model best practices for our students, bring in a specific digital citizenship curriculum to guide them through their learning, or use digital tools and resources available to have students explore and create.

Helping students learn to safely navigate what has become a highly digital world is something that we are all responsible for. Students need to be aware of the impact of their posts online, how to create and manage social accounts and protect their information, and how to properly access and use resources they obtain through technology.

3 Reasons School and District Leaders Should Get on Social Media — from edweek.org by Marina Whiteleather

Excerpt:

School and district leaders can—and should—be using social media in their work.

That’s the message shared by Stephanie McConnell, a superintendent in the Hawkins Independent School District in Texas, and Salome Thomas-El, a K-8 principal in Delaware, during an Education Week K-12 Essentials forum on Oct. 13.

At the event, McConnell and Thomas-El provided insights and advice for school leaders who are hesitant to post on certain social platforms or unsure how to use them.

 

 

Assistive Technology for Kids with Multiple Disabilities — from equalentry.com

Help Kids Learn dot com -- online learning for special education -- uses assistive technologies

 

Lego Owner to Acquire Education-Technology Firm Brainpop — from nytimes.com by Trefor Moss
Kirkbi, the family-run company behind the world’s largest toy maker, plans to establish an education business

Excerpt:

Lego owner Kirkbi A/S is buying U.S. video-learning firm Brainpop for $875 million, according to the companies, as the family behind the world’s largest toy maker expands into the education business.

The Danish company said the purchase of Brainpop, which produces short animations used in schools to help children learn everything from math to music, was part of a plan to build a new business pillar. The deal—through which Kirkbi is acquiring Brainpop’s owner FWD Media Inc.—is expected to close Tuesday, the companies said.

“We are definitely on the path to establishing the Lego idea of learning through play in the formal education space,” said Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman of the Lego Brand Group, the Kirkbi entity that oversees the toy brand.

 

What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? [Christian]

TV makers are looking beyond streaming to stay relevant — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers and Nick Statt

A smart TV's main menu listing what's available -- application wise

Excerpts:

The search for TV’s next killer app
TV makers have some reason to celebrate these days: Streaming has officially surpassed cable and broadcast as the most popular form of TV consumption; smart TVs are increasingly replacing external streaming devices; and the makers of these TVs have largely figured out how to turn those one-time purchases into recurring revenue streams, thanks to ad-supported services.

What TV makers need is a new killer app. Consumer electronics companies have for some time toyed with the idea of using TV for all kinds of additional purposes, including gaming, smart home functionality and fitness. Ad-supported video took priority over those use cases over the past few years, but now, TV brands need new ways to differentiate their devices.

Turning the TV into the most useful screen in the house holds a lot of promise for the industry. To truly embrace this trend, TV makers might have to take some bold bets and be willing to push the envelope on what’s possible in the living room.

 


From DSC:
What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? Could smart TVs deliver more blended/hybrid learning? Hyflex-based learning?
.

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

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Or what if smart TVs had to do with delivering telehealth-based apps? Or telelegal/virtual courts-based apps?


 

Top Tools for Learning 2022 [Jane Hart]

Top Tools for Learning 2022

 

Top tools for learning 2022 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

In fact, it has become clear that whilst 2021 was the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things, 2022 has been the year of consolidation – with people reverting to their trusty old favourites. In fact, many of the tools that were knocked off their perches in 2021, have now recovered their lost ground this year.


Also somewhat relevant/see:


 

Augmented Books Are On The Way According To Researchers — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

Imagine this. You’re several chapters into a captivating novel when a character from an earlier book makes a surprise appearance. You swipe your finger across their name on the page at which point their entire backstory is displayed on a nearby smartphone, allowing you to refresh your memory before moving forward.

This may sound like science fiction, but researchers at the University of Surrey in England say that the technology described above is already here in the form of “a-books” (augmented reality books).

The potential use-cases for such a technology are virtually endless. As previously mentioned, a-books could be used to deliver character details and plot points for a variety of fictional works. The same technology could also be applied to textbooks, allowing students to display helpful information on their smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs with the swipe of a finger.

From DSC:

  • How might instructional designers use this capability?
  • How about those in theatre/drama?
  • Educational gaming?
  • Digital storytelling?
  • Interaction design?
  • Interface design?
  • User experience design?

Also see:


 

Online Learning, From the Margins to the Center — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
Online learning has evolved over the past 25 years from a niche position on the margins of higher ed to the leading driver of growth in enrollment and innovation.

Excerpt:

Online learning has grown from a marginal niche of higher ed to the largest provider of postsecondary learning in the world. We are now on the cusp of yet another technological evolution in the delivery of online learning. The advent of the metaverse in higher education is closer than many casual observers may think. By 2025, we will begin to see significant numbers of offerings using avatars and immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality engaging learners at a distance.

Do you have developmental immersion laboratories for your faculty and staff to prepare for 2025? Who at your university is advocating for the integration of VR, AR and XR into online delivery? Are you already collaborating with industry and business in developing the most effective and relevant technology-enhanced online programs that will meet their needs? Those who lead in these ventures will set the standards and gain the recruiting advantage in higher education.

 

Brands Are Already Making Millions in the Metaverse. Here’s What Business Owners Need To Know. — from inc.com by Ben Sherry
Entrepreneurs who follow Gen-Z into the metaverse could gain a competitive advantage.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If you’re still skeptical about the metaverse, you certainly aren’t alone. According to a recent survey, 55 percent of adults with yearly incomes over $100,000 said they were not interested or excited about the concept, while 37 percent said they were primarily worried about it. Only 6 percent of respondents claimed to be excited about the metaverse.

Those numbers might not seem encouraging, but it’s important to remember that one of the most popular metaverse platforms currently available, Roblox, averages more than 54 million daily users, the vast majority of whom are Gen-Z or younger. Those users have cumulatively spent more than $1 billion on digital items such as outfits or accessories designed to be worn by player avatars in addition to in-experience upgrades and various other paid features.

From DSC:
The article stated that over 30 million virtual worlds had been created from scratch using Roblox Studio, the platform’s creation engine. So youth are creating, sharing, and participating in virtual worlds all the time…while experimenting, playing, and practicing their creativity. This all is done outside of school. Hmm…

 

 

Top Content Providers For Immersive Learning (2022) — from elearningindustry.com by Christopher Pappas

Summary: 

Immersive learning experiences allow learners to interact by simulating real-life scenarios. Are you ready to offer engaging virtual environments and experiences to your workforce? Dive right into this thoroughly curated top list featuring the best content providers for VR training and bring your teams one step closer to the Metaverse.

 

From DSC:
The following two items make me wonder how Extended Reality (XR)-related techs will impact theatre, gaming, opera, & other forms of entertainment.


AR Opera Glasses Could Change Broadway Forever — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

Immersive technology brings the stage to life like never before.

Students from the South Korean Hongik University have developed a pair of reimagined 19th-century opera glasses that utilize AR technology to immerse spectators in Broadway shows in a variety of unique and imaginative ways. The device is compatible with popular shows such as Wicked, Aladdin, Cats, Mamma Mia, and Frozen.

Reddot_Rene from ???/??????? on Vimeo.


What ‘Shakespeare Karaoke’ Teaches About the Virtual Reality Future — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig
Does technology work better as a solo encounter or a group experience?

Excerpt:

To immerse, or not to immerse?

For professors designing virtual reality versions of Shakespeare’s plays, that is the question. The answer(s) may have implications for designing new edtech tools—and VR technology intended to be used beyond the classroom, too.

The Bard’s masterpieces, plays written in the late 1500s and early 1600s, have received all kinds of digital makeovers in the 21st century. Two current efforts designed by academics for use in teaching draw on extended reality tools that invite users to actively participate in scenes from works like “Romeo and Juliet.”

Play the Knave is a video game that helps users design actor-avatars they can direct with their bodies around virtual theater spaces. Shakespeare-VR is a project-in-development that will enable users to don a VR headset, step on to a virtual Elizabethan stage and perform alongside avatars voiced by professional actors.

Play the Knave* is a mixed reality video game that enables virtual design and performance of dramatic scenes from Shakespeare--or any text you choose

 

Survey Shows Teachers See Play and Choice in Learning Methods As Key to Student Engagement — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall

Excerpt:

A recent survey of teachers by Kahoot reveals that educators see playful learning and student choice in learning methods as vital to helping boost student engagement and outcomes, according to a new report from the ed tech company.

Kahoot’s May survey of over 8,000 K–16 educators nationwide found that teachers are still concerned about drops in student engagement during the pandemic, and they consider more student-centered approaches as the path forward.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian