The Space Satellite Revolution Could Turn Earth into a Surveillance Nightmare — from by Becky Ferreira
Laser communication between satellites is revolutionizing our ability to track climate change, manage resources, and respond to natural disasters. But there are downsides to putting Earth under a giant microscope.


And while universal broadband has the potential to open up business and education opportunities to hundreds of thousands of people, it’s the real-time satellite feeds of earth that may have both the most immediate and widespread financial upsides — and the most frightening surveillance implications — for the average person here on earth.

Among the industries most likely to benefit from laser communications between these satellites are agriculture and forestry.

Satellite data can also be used to engage the public in humanitarian efforts. In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, DigitalGlobe launched online crowdsourcing campaigns to map damage and help NGOs respond on the ground. And they’ve been identifying vulnerable communities in South Sudan as the nation suffers through unrest and famine.

In an age of intensifying natural disasters, combining these tactics with live satellite video feeds could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of people.

Should a company, for example, be able to use real-time video feeds to track your physical location, perhaps in order to better target advertising? Should they be able to use facial recognition and sentiment analysis algorithms to assess your reactions to those ads in real time?

While these commercially available images aren’t yet sharp enough to pick up intimate details like faces or phone screens, it’s foreseeable that regulations will be eased to accommodate even sharper images. That trend will continue to prompt privacy concerns, especially if a switch to laser-based satellite communication enables near real-time coverage at high resolutions.

A kaleidoscopic swirl of possible futures confronts us, filled with scenarios where law enforcement officials could rewind satellite footage to identify people at a crime scene, or on a more familial level, parents could remotely watch their kids — or keep tabs on each other — from space. In that world, it’s not hard to imagine privacy becoming even more of a commodity, with wealthy enclaves lobbying to be erased from visual satellite feeds, in a geospatial version of “gated communities.”



From DSC:
The pros and cons of technologies…hmmm…this article nicely captures the pluses and minuses that societies around the globe need to be aware of, struggle with, and discuss with each other. Some exciting things here, but some disturbing things here as well.




5 benefits of using Augmented & Virtual Reality Technologies in eLearning — from by Christoper Pappas
Are you looking for ways to make your eLearning course stand out from the crowd? What if I told you there is technology that can help you achieve not only that but also increase online learner engagement and motivation? In this article, I’ll share the most notable benefits of using Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies in your eLearning course.


Although their full implications are yet to be explored, alternate reality technologies make eLearning more engaging and productive. They are here to stay, and who knows what benefits they will bring to future learners. As the technology evolves, so too will the applications in eLearning. Which is why it’s essential for eLearning pros to keep up with cutting-edge tech and think of new and innovative uses for AR and VR tools.




National Museum of Finland Offers Virtual Time Travel — from by
Visitors can step into the world of Finland in 1863 with the power of virtual reality.


National Museum of Finland Offers Virtual Time Travel



Every type of AR and VR explained, from Rift to HoloLens and beyond — from by David Nield
Know your augmented from your virtual







Augmented reality lets doctors peer inside the body like never before — from by Tom Metcalfe
New devices will end ‘historic disconnect’ in doctors’ treatments of patients.


Augmented reality (AR) technologies that blend computer-generated images and data from MRI and CT scans with real-world views are making it possible for doctors to “see under the skin” of their patients to visualize bones, muscles, and internal organs without having to cut open a body.

Experts say AR will transform medical care by improving precision during operations, reducing medical errors, and giving doctors and patients alike a better understanding of complex medical problems.




Healthcare VR innovations are healing patients — from by Peter Nichol
Virtual reality is healing patients with augmented technologies. The patient experience has been transformed. Welcome to the era of engaged recovery — the new world of healing.


Three emerging realities will change the hospital experience with unparalleled possibilities:

  • Virtual reality (VR): full immersion, a simulated reality.
  • Mixed reality: partial immersion, virtual objects in a real world.
  • Augmented reality (AR): information overlay, simulated information on top of the real world.

Today, we’ll explore how advances in virtual reality are creating worlds that heal.

The next generation of clinical education
The list of possibilities for VR is endless. Augmented and virtual reality medical solutions are removing distractions, improving the quality of critical thinking, and maturing learning solutions, saving time and money while supercharging the learning experience. Explosive developments in 3D virtual and augmented reality have taken clinical education and hands-on learning to the next level.

Innovation is ever present in the virtual reality space for healthcare.

  • Mindmaze has developed a breakthrough platform to build intuitive human-machine interfaces combining virtual reality, computer graphics, brain imaging and neuroscience.
  • MindMotionPRO is a healthcare product offering immersive virtual reality solutions for early motor rehabilitation in stroke patients.
  • Live 360 uses consumer-level virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift.
  • Medical Realities offers systems designed to reduce the cost of training.
  • ImmersiveTouch is a surgical virtual reality technology that offers a realistic surgical touch and feel. It also brings patient images to life with AR and VR imaging.
  • BioFlight VR offers a broad range of medical VR and AR services, including VR training and simulations, AR training, behavior modification and 360-degree video.
  • Zspace is an immersive medical learning platform, virtualizing anatomical representations into complete procedural planning. zSpace brings a new dimension to medical learning and visualization across three spaces: gross anatomy VR lab (13,000 plus anatomical objects), teaching presentation view (share the teaching experience with the class via HD TV) and DICOM Viewer (volumetrically render 2D DICOM slices).






Digital reality A technical primer — from


Digital reality is generally defined as the wide spectrum of technologies and capabilities that inhere in AR, VR, MR, 360° video, and the immersive experience, enabling simulation of reality in various ways (see figure 1).





Key players in digital reality

In terms of key players, the digital reality space can be divided into areas of activity:

  • Tools/content—platforms, apps, capture tools, etc.
  • Application content—information from industry, analytics, social, etc.
  • Infrastructure—hardware, data systems, HMDs, etc.

Increasing investment in infrastructure may drive the growth of software and content, leading to new practical applications and, possibly, an infusion of digital reality software development talent.





This All-Female Founders Pitch Event Was Held in VR — from by Malia Probst
Hailing from 26 countries across the world, people came together in virtual reality to cheer on these top female founders in the XR industry.






How AR, VR and MR can Revolutionise Consumer Tech — from by Pauline Hohl


Enterprise leading consumer tech adoption
Concerning the need for a VR/AR eco system Max referred to the challenge of technology adoption: people need to be able to try different use cases and be convinced about the potential of AR ,VR and MR. In order to become available (and affordable) for consumers, the technology would have to be adapted by businesses first as the story of 3D printing shows as one example.

He also highlighted the importance of the right training for users to reduce the general learning curve for immersive technology. Poor instructions in the first instance can lead to bad user experiences and cause doubt and even a dismissall of ‘new’ technologies.

We see this firsthand at Kazendi when users try out Microsoft HoloLens for the first time. Max commented that: ‘When people try to make the basic hand gestures and fail they often take the device off and say it’s broken.’

We do have a robust entry demo process to combat this but at the consumer level, and this is as true for VR as much as it is for MR and AR, there is little room for error when learning curves are concerned.





McKinsey: automation may wipe out 1/3 of America’s workforce by 2030 — from by Steve LeVine

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In a new study that is optimistic about automation yet stark in its appraisal of the challenge ahead, McKinsey says massive government intervention will be required to hold societies together against the ravages of labor disruption over the next 13 years. Up to 800 million people—including a third of the work force in the U.S. and Germany—will be made jobless by 2030, the study says.

The bottom line: The economy of most countries will eventually replace the lost jobs, the study says, but many of the unemployed will need considerable help to shift to new work, and salaries could continue to flatline. “It’s a Marshall Plan size of task,” Michael Chui, lead author of the McKinsey report, tells Axios.

In the eight-month study, the McKinsey Global Institute, the firm’s think tank, found that almost half of those thrown out of work—375 million people, comprising 14% of the global work force—will have to find entirely new occupations, since their old one will either no longer exist or need far fewer workers. Chinese will have the highest such absolute numbers—100 million people changing occupations, or 12% of the country’s 2030 work force.

I asked Chui what surprised him the most of the findings. “The degree of transition that needs to happen over time is a real eye opener,” he said.


The transition compares to the U.S. shift from a largely agricultural to an industrial-services economy in the early 1900s forward. But this time, it’s not young people leaving farms, but mid-career workers who need new skills.



From DSC:
Higher education — and likely (strictly) vocational training outside of higher ed — is simply not ready for this! MAJOR reinvention will be necessary, and as soon as 2018 according to Forrester Research. 

One of the key values that institutions of traditional higher education can bring to the table is to help people through this gut wrenching transition — identifying which jobs are going to last for the next 5-10+ years and which ones won’t, and then be about the work of preparing the necessary programs quickly enough to meet the demands of the new economy.

Students/entrepreneurs out there, they say you should look around to see where the needs are and then develop products and/or services to meet those needs. Well, here you go!




As a member of the International Education Committee, at edX we are extremely aware of the changing nature of work and jobs. It is predicted that 50 percent of current jobs will disappear by 2030.

Anant Agarwal, CEO and Founder of edX, and Professor of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT





Automation threatens 800 million jobs, but technology could still save us, says report — from by James Vincent
New analysis says governments need to act now to help a labor force in flux


A new report predicts that by 2030, as many as 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide to automation. The study, compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute, says that advances in AI and robotics will have a drastic effect on everyday working lives, comparable to the shift away from agricultural societies during the Industrial Revolution. In the US alone, between 39 and 73 million jobs stand to be automated — making up around a third of the total workforce.


If a computer can do one-third of your job, what happens next? Do you get trained to take on new tasks, or does your boss fire you, or some of your colleagues? What if you just get a pay cut instead? Do you have the money to retrain, or will you be forced to take the hit in living standards?



WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS! Per Forrester Research: In US, a net loss of 7% of jobs to automation — *in 2018*!

Forrester predicts that AI-enabled automation will eliminate 9% of US jobs in 2018 — from by Gil Press

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A new Forrester Research report, Predictions 2018: Automation Alters The Global Workforce, outlines 10 predictions about the impact of AI and automation on jobs, work processes and tasks, business success and failure, and software development, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance.

We will see a surge in white-collar automation, half a million new digital workers (bots) in the US, and a shift from manual to automated IT and data management. “Companies that master automation will dominate their industries,” Forrester says. Here’s my summary of what Forrester predicts will be the impact of automation in 2018:

Automation will eliminate 9% of US jobs but will create 2% more.
In 2018, 9% of US jobs will be lost to automation, partly offset by a 2% growth in jobs supporting the “automation economy.” Specifically impacted will be back-office and administrative, sales, and call center employees. A wide range of technologies, from robotic process automation and AI to customer self-service and physical robots will impact hiring and staffing strategies as well as create a need for new skills.


Your next entry-level compliance staffer will be a robot.


From DSC:

Are we ready for a net loss of 7% of jobs in our workforce due to automation — *next year*? Last I checked, it was November 2017, and 2018 will be here before we know it.


***Are we ready for this?! ***


AS OF TODAY, can we reinvent ourselves fast enough given our current educational systems, offerings, infrastructures, and methods of learning?


My answer: No, we can’t. But we need to be able to — and very soon!



There are all kinds of major issues and ramifications when people lose their jobs — especially this many people and jobs! The ripple effects will be enormous and very negative unless we introduce new ways for how people can learn new things — and quickly!

That’s why I’m big on trying to establish a next generation learning platform, such as the one that I’ve been tracking and proposing out at Learning from the Living [Class] Room. It’s meant to provide societies around the globe with a powerful, next generation learning platform — one that can help people reinvent themselves quickly, cost-effectively, conveniently, & consistently! It involves providing, relevant, up-to-date streams of content that people can subscribe to — and drop at any time. It involves working in conjunction with subject matter experts who work with teams of specialists, backed up by suites of powerful technologies. It involves learning with others, at any time, from any place, at any pace. It involves more choice, more control. It involves blockchain-based technologies to feed cloud-based learner profiles and more.

But likely, bringing such a vision to fruition will require a significant amount of collaboration. In my mind, some of the organizations that should be at the table here include:

  • Some of the largest players in the tech world, such as Amazon, Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and/or Facebook
  • Some of the vendors that already operate within the higher ed space — such as, Ellucian, and/or Blackboard
  • Some of the most innovative institutions of higher education — including their faculty members, instructional technologists, instructional designers, members of administration, librarians, A/V specialists, and more
  • The U.S. Federal Government — for additional funding and the development of policies to make this vision a reality



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



10 really hard decisions coming our way — from by Tom Vander Ark

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Things are about to get interesting. You’ve likely heard that Google’s DeepMind recently beat the world’s best Go player. But in far more practical and pervasive ways, artificial intelligence (AI) is creeping into every aspect of life–every screen you view, every search, every purchase, and every customer service contact.

What’s happening? It’s the confluence of several technologies–Moore’s law made storage, computing, and access devices almost free.

This Venn diagram illustrates how deep learning is a subset of AI and how, when combined with big data, can inform enabling technologies in many sectors. For examples, to AI and big data add:

  • Robotics, and you have industry 4.0.
  • Cameras and sensor package, and you have self-driving cars.
  • Sensors and bioinformatic maps, and you have precision medicine.

While there is lots of good news here–diseases will be eradicated and clean energy will be produced–we have a problem: this stuff is moving faster than civic infrastructure can handle. Innovation is outpacing public policy on all fronts. The following are 10 examples of issues coming at us fast that we (in the US in particular) are not ready to deal with.

  1. Unemployment.
  2. Income inequality.
  3. Privacy
  4. Algorithmic bias.
  5. Access.
  6. Machine ethics. 
  7. Weaponization. 
  8. Humanity. 
  9. Genome editing.
  10. Bad AI.


From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I’m big on pulse-checking the pace of technological change — because it has enormous ramifications for societies throughout the globe, as well as for individuals, workforces, corporations, jobs, education, training, higher education and more. Readers of this blog will again hear me say that the pace of change has changed. We’re now on an exponential pace/trajectory (vs. a slow, steady, linear path).

“Innovation is outpacing public policy on all fronts.”

How true this is. Our society doesn’t know how to deal with this new pace of change. How shall we tackle this thorny issue?






Reading for delegates to the World Conference on Online Learning (taking place from 10/16/17 through 10/19/17 in Toronto, Canada)

Readings include:




Also see:

  • Emerging Tech Boosts Online Education Growth Over Next 4 Years — from by Meghan Bogardus Cortez
    A study finds that mobile devices, virtual reality and blending learning programs will spark innovation.
    With millions of students enrolling in at least one online course, it should be no surprise that a recent Technavio study found that the online education market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent until 2021. As enrollment and investment in online education increases, the report claims that the industry owes a lot of this growth to mobile devices and increased desire for blended learning opportunities.




Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities – 2017 — from with thanks to eduwire for their posting on this


Reuters’ annual ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries.

The top 10 innovative universities are:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  3. Harvard University
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. KU Leuven
  6. KAIST
  7. University of Washington
  8. University of Michigan System
  9. University of Texas System
  10. Vanderbilt University






The Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 (11th Annual Survey) has been compiled by Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies from the votes of 2,174 learning professionals worldwide, together with 3 sub-lists

  • Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning (PPL)
  • Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning (WPL)
  • Top 100 Tools for Education (EDU)


Excerpt from the Analysis page (emphasis DSC):

Here is a brief analysis of what’s on the list and what it tells us about the current state of personal learning, workplace learning and education.

Some facts

Some observations on what the Top Tools list tells us personal and professional learning
As in previous years, individuals continue to using a wide variety of:

  • networks, services and platforms for professional networking, communication and collaboration
  • web resources and courses for self-improvement and self-development
  • tools for personal productivity

All of which shows that many individuals have become highly independent, continuous modern professional learners – making their own decisions about what they need to learn and how to do it.





Global Human Capital Report 2017 — from the World Economic Forum

Excerpt from the Conclusion section (emphasis DSC):

Technological change and its impact on labour markets calls for a renewed focus on how the world’s human capital is invested in and leveraged for social well-being and economic prosperity for all. Many of today’s education systems are already disconnected from the skills needed to function in today’s labour markets and the exponential rate of technological and economic change is further increasing the gap between education and labour markets. Furthermore, the premise of current education systems is on developing cognitive skills, yet behavioural and non-cognitive skills that nurture an individual’s capacity to collaborate, innovate, self-direct and problem-solve are increasingly important. Current education systems are also time-compressed in a way that may not be suited to current or future labour markets. They force narrow career and expertise decisions in early youth. The divide between formal education and the labour market needs to be overcome, as learning, R&D, knowledge-sharing, retraining and innovation take place simultaneously throughout the work life cycle, regardless of the job, level or industry.


Insert from DSC…again I ask:

Is is time to back up a major step and practice design thinking on the entire continuum of lifelong learning?”


Education delivery and financing mechanisms have gone through little change over the last decades. In many countries, many youth and children may find their paths constrained depending on the type of education they are able to afford, while others may not have access to even basic literacy and learning. On the other hand, many developed world education systems have made enormous increases in spending—with little explicit return. Early childhood education and teacher quality remain neglected areas in many developed and developing countries, despite their proven impact on learning outcomes. Both areas also suffer from lack of objective, global data.

Generational shifts also necessitate an urgent focus by governments on human capital investments, one that transcends political cycles. Ageing economies will face a historical first, as more and more of their populations cross into the 65 and over age group and their workforces shrink further, necessitating a better integration of youth, female workers, migrants and older workers. Many emerging economies face change of a different kind as a very large cohort of the next generation—one that is more connected and globalized than ever before—enters the workforce with very different aspirations, expectations and worldviews than their predecessors.

The expansion of the digital economy is accelerating the presence of a new kind of productive entity, somewhere between human capital and physical capital—robots and intelligent algorithms. As a result, some experts expect a potential reduction in the use of human labour as part of economic value creation while others expect a restructuring of the work done by people across economies but stable or growing overall levels of employment.19 Yet others have cautioned of the risks to economic productivity of technological reticence at the cost of realizing the raw potential of new technological advancements unfettered.20 While in the immediate term the link between work and livelihoods remains a basic feature of our societies, the uncertainty around the shifts underway poses fundamental questions about the long-term future structure of economies, societies and work. However, for broad-based transition and successful adaptation towards any one of these or other long-term futures, strategic and deep investments in human capital will be even more—not less—important than before.





Google AR and VR: Get a closer look with Street View in Google Earth VR


With Google Earth VR, you can go anywhere in virtual reality. Whether you want to stroll along the canals of Venice, stand at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or soar through the sky faster than a speeding bullet, there’s no shortage of things to do or ways to explore. We love this sense of possibility, so we’re bringing Street View to Earth VR to make it easier for you to see and experience the world.

This update lets you explore Street View imagery from 85 countries right within Earth VR. Just fly down closer to street level, check your controller to see if Street View is available and enter an immersive 360° photo. You’ll find photos from the Street View team and those shared by people all around the world.







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