What’s next for online education? — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

An ecosystem not a dichotomy
As you’re hopefully already getting from my thoughts so far, I personally see our options for quality education in the future more like an ecosystem and not a series of mutually exclusive paths. It’s time to discard- or at least question-the “online vs. in person” dichotomy, almost always unfavourable to online education. It’s time to think in a more nuanced way about this. And, yes, you’ve guessed, more nuanced is always more difficult. Seeing the shades of grey requires a critical lens that we don’t need to see black and white.

The extent to which online education will be used in the future does not depend only on people (micro level), it depends on institutions (meso level) and policies (macro level).

The learning ecosystem, in my view:

    • includes various modalities used in a complementary way and as a continuum;
    • serves a multitude of audiences, at different stages of learning, with different aims and degrees of engagement;
    • requires comprehensive and interconnected support structures at institutional level, for students and faculty.

Also from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai, see:

Intentional learning design — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

Excerpt:

My definition
Let’s start with a definition. By intentional learning design I mean designing learning experiences:

    • Focusing on the “why”: ensuring that any decision taken at the design stage is aligned with the overall narrative of the course and, more precisely, with the learning objectives; this requires self-reflection, at least some knowledge of the main pedagogical principles, attention to detail and openness to see learning design as an iterative process and not a box on a checklist;
    • Focusing on students’ experience: designing a course/ programme that is well tailored to students’ needs; this requires knowing your students well, making your design choices explicit to them and involving them in an ongoing dialogue.

Mid-term reflections on my American adventure

Excerpt:

A sneak peek into my research on Centres for Teaching and Learning (CTLs)
With a big part of the data collection already behind me, I thought I’d briefly share here some of my most important- and sometimes surprising- findings so far. While still pretty superficial, this can hopefully give you an insight into the discussions I’ve been having and hopefully make you curious to find out more once I’ll get to publish my results.

    • Positioning of CTLs.
    • Sense of CTL vulnerability.
    • The backgrounds and personalities of CTL leaders.
    • Integrated CTLs.
    • Credibility.
    • Who works in CTLs?
    • Professional development and career paths in CTLs.
    • CTL offer and programming.
    • Graduate student support.
    • Online education.
 

6 ADA accessibility trends revealed in our mid-year 2022 report — from blog.usablenet.com by Jason Taylor

Excerpt:

We just published our mid-year ADA web and App report created by the UsableNet research team reviewing all lawsuits filed in federal courts under the ADA and California state court under Unruh. We review the cases to identify where a digital property, including websites, mobile apps, and video, is the subject of the claim. Our bi-annual reports let UsableNet inform our clients and provide them with the most up-to-date advice for planning their digital accessibility initiatives.

Here is my main take on some key numbers based on what we have seen in 2022 and what’s driving those numbers. 


 WEB ACCESSIBILITY LAWSUIT NUMBERS ARE HIGH AND SET TO ONLY GET HIGHER.

 
 

From DSC:
An AI-backed platform will constantly search all job postings and present the most desired skills in the marketplace and then how to get those skills. The providers will be individuals, organizations, training providers, traditional institutions of higher education, vendors and more.

Depending upon what happens with blockchain — and if a much more energy-efficient/environmentally-friendly solution can be implemented — blockchain may be a part of that equation.

 

Meet the metaverse: Creating real value in a virtual world — from mckinsey.com with Eric Hazan and Lareina Yee

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Welcome to the metaverse. Now, where exactly are we? Imagine for a moment the next iteration of the internet, seamlessly combining our physical and digital lives. It’s many things: a gaming platform, a virtual retail spot, a training tool, an advertising channel, a digital classroom, a gateway to entirely new virtual experiences. While the metaverse continues to be defined, its potential to unleash the next wave of digital disruption is clear. In the first five months of 2022, more than $120 billion have been invested in building out metaverse technology and infrastructure. That’s more than double the $57 billion invested in all of 2021.

How would you define the metaverse?
Lareina: What’s exciting is that the metaverse, like the internet, is the next platform on which we can work, live, connect, and collaborate. It’s going to be an immersive virtual environment that connects different worlds and communities. There are going to be creators and alternative currencies that you can buy and sell things with. It will have a lot of the components of Web3 and gaming and AR, but it will be much larger.

Also relevant/see:


Also relevant/see:


 
 

Some learning-related tips from Eva Keiffenheim’s Learn Letter


Excerpts from Eva’s 6/15/22 letter re: learning a language — with Mathias Barra, who “has studied about 20 languages and is fluent in six”

2) The best way to mastery is by making language learning part of your life
There’s no single best way to study languages. Mathias approached every language differently.

The most important thing is to find some activities that you actually enjoy in the language. For example, you can:

  • watch a Netflix series with double subtitles with the free Language Reactor extension
  • reading a book in the language you’re learning, for example with easy readers?
  • go to radio.garden and listen to the language you’re learning
  • switch your phone settings to another language
  • write your diary in the language you’re learning

“The best way to study languages is not to limit it to study time, but to make it part of your life, for example, through exposure.”

Some tools and resources Mathias recommends:

  • iTalki offers 1-on-1 lessons in more than 150 languages
  • Journaly allows you to type a text that natives correct
  • Slowly connects you with a language tandem for writing letters
  • HiNative gets you answers from native speakers
  • Speechling helps you work on listening comprehension

See the full interview here.

And from Eva’s 6/22/22 Learn Letter:

According to this concept, there’s an optimal arousal level for task performance. The Yerkes-Dodson Law says there is an empirical relationship between stress and performance. Yerkes and Dodson discovered that the optimal arousal level depends on the complexity and difficulty of the task.

From DSC:
Reading a bit about the Yerkes-Dodson Law, I was reminded of a bad learning experience from years ago. I recall sitting in a conference room at Baxter Healthcare and I was trying to learn more about programming.  I had just been switched into a new group and my new supervisor was trying to teach me some basic items (basic to him, anyway). He was getting increasingly frustrated at me for not understanding some things. The more frustrated he got, the less I could even concentrate on what he was saying and trying to teach me. 

Along these lines, I also remember a relative trying to teach another relative some new things. Again, the more upset the “teacher” got, the less able the “learner” was able to concentrate. It didn’t end well. 

Oh…what’s that?! I’m hearing a loud “Amen!!!” coming from countless music teachers and students out there too. 

For these kinds of reasons, I want to learn more about the place of emotion in our learning ecosystems.

 

Radar Trends to Watch: June 2022 — from oreilly.com

Excerpt:

The explosion of large models continues. Several developments are especially noteworthy. DeepMind’s Gato model is unique in that it’s a single model that’s trained for over 600 different tasks; whether or not it’s a step towards general intelligence (the ensuing debate may be more important than the model itself), it’s an impressive achievement. Google Brain’s Imagen creates photorealistic images that are impressive, even after you’ve seen what DALL-E 2 can do. And Allen AI’s Macaw (surely an allusion to Emily Bender and Timnit Gebru’s Stochastic Parrots paper) is open source, one tenth the size of GPT-3, and claims to be more accurate. Facebook/Meta is also releasing an open source large language model, including the model’s training log, which records in detail the work required to train it.

 

 
 

Opportunities for Education in the Metaverse -- from downes.ca by Stephen Downes

Opportunities for Education in the Metaverse — from downes.ca by Stephen Downes

Excerpt:

This short presentation introduces major elements of the metaverse, outlines some applications for education, discusses how it may be combined with other technologies for advanced applications, and outlines some issues and concerns.

Also relevant/see:

What Should Higher Ed in the Metaverse Look like? – from linkedin.com by Joe Schaefer

Excerpt:

The Metaverse is coming whether we like it or not, and it is time for educators to think critically about how it can benefit students. As higher education continues to evolve, I believe every learning product and platform working with or within the Metaverse should, at least, have these functionalities:


Addendum on 5/23/22:


 

Google Maps to add “immersive view” — from futuretimeline.net
Google Maps, the world’s most-downloaded travel app, will soon become more immersive and intuitive thanks to a major upgrade.

 

Excerpts:

A new “immersive view” will generate far more detailed graphics than are available currently. This will provide sweeping views of cities in full 3D, complete with simulated cars, real-time weather, realistic day/night cycles, shadow effects, water reflections, and even animations like birds flying through the sky.

The company also announced an update for Live View. First launched in 2019, this provides augmented reality (AR) walking routes in the form of arrows, directions, and distance markers.

These improvements are possible thanks to advances in computer vision and AI that allow billions of aerial, street view, and other images to combine and create a rich, seamless, digital model of the world.


Addendums on 5/23/22:

Google Wants To Deliver World-Scale AR Using Google Maps — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

Somewhat relevant/see:

Earth // Around The World From The Air 4K from Kien Lam on Vimeo.

 
 

Ransomware is already out of control. AI-powered ransomware could be ‘terrifying.’ — from protocol.com by Kyle Alspach
Hiring AI experts to automate ransomware could be the next step for well-endowed ransomware groups that are seeking to scale up their attacks.

Excerpt:

In the perpetual battle between cybercriminals and defenders, the latter have always had one largely unchallenged advantage: The use of AI and machine learning allows them to automate a lot of what they do, especially around detecting and responding to attacks. This leg-up hasn’t been nearly enough to keep ransomware at bay, but it has still been far more than what cybercriminals have ever been able to muster in terms of AI and automation.

That’s because deploying AI-powered ransomware would require AI expertise. And the ransomware gangs don’t have it. At least not yet.

But given the wealth accumulated by a number of ransomware gangs in recent years, it may not be long before attackers do bring aboard AI experts of their own, prominent cybersecurity authority Mikko Hyppönen said.

Also re: AI, see:

Nuance partners with The Academy to launch The AI Collaborative — from artificialintelligence-news.com by Ryan Daws

Excerpt:

Nuance has partnered with The Health Management Academy (The Academy) to launch The AI Collaborative, an industry group focused on advancing healthcare using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Nuance became a household name for creating the speech engine recognition engine behind Siri. In recent years, the company has put a strong focus on AI solutions for healthcare and is now a full-service partner of 77 percent of US hospitals and is trusted by over 500,000 physicians daily.

Inflection AI, led by LinkedIn and DeepMind co-founders, raises $225M to transform computer-human interactions — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers

Excerpts:

Inflection AI, the machine learning startup headed by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and founding DeepMind member Mustafa Suleyman, has secured $225 million in equity financing, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“[Programming languages, mice, and other interfaces] are ways we simplify our ideas and reduce their complexity and in some ways their creativity and their uniqueness in order to get a machine to do something,” Suleyman told the publication. “It feels like we’re on the cusp of being able to generate language to pretty much human-level performance. It opens up a whole new suite of things that we can do in the product space.”

 

Inside Microsoft’s new Inclusive Tech Lab — from engadget.com by C. Low; with thanks to Nick Floro on Twitter for some of these resources
“An embassy for people with disabilities.”

Increasing our Focus on Inclusive Technology — from mblogs.microsoft.com by Dave Dame

Excerpt:

In recent years, tied to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, teams from across Microsoft have launched several products and features to make technology more inclusive and accessible. [On May 10, 2022], as part of the 12th annual Microsoft Ability Summit, we celebrate a new and expanded Inclusive Tech Lab, powerful new software features, and are unveiling Microsoft adaptive accessories designed to give people with disabilities greater access to technology.

Microsoft’s Latest Hardware Is More Accessible and Customizable — from wired.com by Brenda Stolyar
The wireless system—a mouse, a button, and a hub—is designed to increase productivity for those with limited mobility.

Excerpt:

Microsoft if expanding its lineup of accessibility hardware. During its annual Ability Summit—an event dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility—the company showed attendees some new PC hardware it has developed for users with limited mobility. Available later this year, the wireless system will consist of an adaptive mouse, a programmable button, and a hub to handle the connection to a Windows PC. Users set up the devices to trigger various keystrokes, shortcuts, and sequences. These new input devices can be used with existing accessories, and they can be further customized with 3D-printed add-ons. There are no price details yet.

Along these lines, also see:

  • 14 Equity Considerations for Ed Tech — from campustechnology.com by Reed Dickson
    Is the education technology in your online course equitable and inclusive of all learners? Here are key equity questions to ask when considering the pedagogical experience of an e-learning tool.
 
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian