My thanks to a friend for causing me to further reflect on this article: “Can computers ever replace the classroom?” [Beard]


From DSC:
I’d like to thank Mr. Eric Osterberg — a fraternity brother and friend of mine — for sending me the following article. I wrote back to him. After thanking Eric for the article, I said:

Such an article makes me reflect on things — which is always a good thing for me to try to see my blindspots and/or to think about the good and bad of things. Technologies are becoming more powerful and integrated into our lives — for better at times and for worse at other times.

I’m wondering how the legal realm can assist and/or help create a positive future for societies throughout the globe…any thoughts?


Can computers ever replace the classroom? — from theguardian.com by Alex Beard
With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. 

Excerpts:

But it’s in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for the nation to lead the world in AI innovation by 2030, that the fastest progress is being made. In 2018 alone, Li told me, 60 new AI companies entered China’s private education market. Squirrel AI is part of this new generation of education start-ups. The company has already enrolled 2 million student users, opened 2,600 learning centres in 700 cities across China, and raised $150m from investors.

The supposed AI education revolution is not here yet, and it is likely that the majority of projects will collapse under the weight of their own hype.

The point, in short, is that AI doesn’t have to match the general intelligence of humans to be useful – or indeed powerful. This is both the promise of AI, and the danger it poses.

It was a reminder that Squirrel AI’s platform, like those of its competitors worldwide, doesn’t have to be better than the best human teachers – to improve people’s lives, it just needs to be good enough, at the right price, to supplement what we’ve got. The problem is that it is hard to see technology companies stopping there. For better and worse, their ambitions are bigger. “We could make a lot of geniuses,” Li told me.

 

Learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes! [Christian]

Learning ecosystems are going through massive changes!


From DSC:

Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes!

Each of us has our own learning ecosystem, and the organizations that we work for have their own learning ecosystems as well. Numerous teachers, professors, and trainers around the world are now teaching online. Their toolboxes are expanding with the addition of several new tools and some new knowledge. I believe that will be one of the silver linings from the very tough situations/times that we find ourselves in.

Expanding our teaching toolboxes


At the WMU-Cooley Law School, our learning ecosystem is also fluid and continues to morph.
This blog posting speaks to those changes.

https://info.cooley.edu/blog/learning-ecosystem-simply-defined-sources-for-learning

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Due to the impacts from the Coronavirus, this is happening today across many countries. But this vision is just beginning to develop. We haven’t seen anything yet.

 

Why is Microlearning a Good Fit for Gen Z Learners [Infographic] — from blog.commlabindia.com by Mary Silvery

Excerpts:

Microlearning is small, bite-sized information that is chunked from lengthy eLearning. It’s a training approach that caters to the short attention spans of both Gen Y and Gen Z.

Microlearning becomes a perfect fit as performance support, job-aids, or even when you want to make your corporate training a quick blend of classroom training with microlearning assets. There are various microlearning assets you can pick from—animations, infographics, GIFs, digital flashcards—and all these assets go well with mobile learning.

Now that you’ve learned the what, the what not, and the how of microlearning for corporate training, here’s a peek at how it can benefit your Gen Z learners. Have a look!

 

Future Today Institute's 2020 tech trends report

Key takeaways of this report:

  • Welcome to the Synthetic Decade.
  • You’ll soon have augmented hearing and sight.
  • A.I.-as-a-Service and Data-as-a-Service will reshape business.
  • China has created a new world order.
  • Home and office automation is nearing the mainstream.
  • Everyone alive today is being scored.
  • We’ve traded FOMO for abject fear.
  • It’s the end of forgetting.
  • Our new trust economy is being formed.

 

Amazon rolls out Alexa-powered voice shopping experience in India — from techcrunch.com by Manish Singh

Excerpt:

Amazon [on 3/12/20] rolled out an Alexa-enabled voice-powered shopping feature in India as the e-commerce giant looks for new ways to engage with customers in one of its key overseas markets.

Customers will be able to use Alexa to search for items on the e-commerce platform, add them to the cart and proceed to checkout — by tapping the in-app mic icon and saying commands such as “Alexa, show me sarees,” “Alexa, add saree to my cart” and “Alexa, go to checkout.”

 

Johns Hopkins dashboard maps global coronavirus cases — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has developed an interactive, web-based dashboard that tracks the status of COVID-19 around the world. The resource provides a visualization of the “location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries for all affected countries,” according to a university blog post.

 

CDC issues COVID-19 guidance to higher ed — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued interim guidance for higher education administrators on how to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s intended to prevent “community spread” of the virus in two ways: by telling colleges and universities how to keep students, staff and faculty safe and by providing information to academic experts who may be called upon by local health departments for help. The guidance is also intended to assist administrators in planning “for the continuity of teaching, learning and research” if COVID-19 shows up locally and to reduce the stigma attached to the illness for those who have been affected.

 

COVID-19 resources as listed out on Educause

Excerpt:

COVID-19, or Coronavirus 19, is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. This virus has been detected in the United States (CDC, COVID19 Summary). For further information concerning the source and spread of the disease, please see the WHO and CDC sites listed below.

 

An analysis of the value of the ways of learning at work — from modernworkplacelearning.com by Jane Hart

An analysis of the value of the ways of learning at work

However, I think the most interesting profile of them all is for those who are in non-salaried/freelance positions in the workplace (8%). These people still highly value learning from the daily work, but for them learning from professional networking and access to external resources and blogs and feeds is much more important to them than through internal resources and courses. Interestingly, though conferences are valued less than the average profile – which is probably due to cost and the more significant fact that they can learn more efficiently in other ways.

I believe this is the profile that is going to become more and more relevant and important as the work environment changes, where there are no jobs for life and everyone needs to take responsibility for their own learning and development.

 

Technology Trends: The evolution of machine learning and artificial intelligence in 2020 — from dqindia.com
Technology trends in the upcoming year will focus on how new age technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will advance

Excerpt:

While technology trends in the past year revolved around making machine learning and artificial intelligence accessible for everyone, this year will be about how these technologies will evolve to benefit businesses. With the beginning of 2020, Ramesh SivaSubramanian, Head of Ramco Innovation Lab, Singapore has made technology predictions. The following is a gist on each key technology trend.

 

From DSC:
Looking at these trends, is this the future we want? While some of these are positive trends, some of these ring of distrust to me…and could easily be steering toward a dystopian future, such as this one (emphasis mine):

Improving attendance and workplace access using Facial Recognition
2020 will see significant workplace adoption of facial recognition, especially for customer-centric and cybersecurity functions. Enterprises which adopt this capability, especially those with sizeable workforces, will reduce if not eliminate the tedium of keeping track of employees. It will also solve many issues related to password and access cards, saving even more time and costs.

 

 
 

Indian police are using facial recognition to identify protesters in Delhi — from fastcompany.com by Kristin Toussaint

Excerpt:

At Modi’s rally on December 22, Delhi police used Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) software—which officials there acquired in 2018 as a tool to find and identify missing children—to screen the crowd for faces that match a database of people who have attended other protests around the city, and who officials said could be disruptive.

According to the Indian Express, Delhi police have long filmed these protest events, and the department announced Monday that officials fed that footage through AFRS. Sources told the Indian news outlet that once “identifiable faces” are extracted from that footage, a dataset will point out and retain “habitual protesters” and “rowdy elements.” That dataset was put to use at Modi’s rally to keep away “miscreants who could raise slogans or banners.”

 

From DSC:
Here in the United States…are we paying attention to today’s emerging technologies and collaboratively working to create a future dream — versus a future nightmare!?!  A vendor or organization might propose a beneficial reason to use their product or technology — and it might even meet the hype at times…but then comes along other unintended uses and consequences of that technology. For example, in the article above, what started out as a technology that was supposed to be used to find/identify missing children (a benefit) was later used to identify protesters (an unintended consequence, and a nightmare in terms of such an expanded scope of use I might add)!

Along these lines, the youth of today have every right to voice their opinions and to have a role in developing or torpedoing emerging techs. What we build and put into place now will impact their lives bigtime!

 

FuturePod gathers voices from the international field of Futures and Foresight. Through a series of interviews, the founders of the field and emerging leaders share their stories, tools and experiences.

FuturePod gathers voices from the international field of Futures and Foresight. Through a series of podcast interviews, the founders of the field and emerging leaders share their stories, tools and experiences. The Futures and Foresight community comprises a remarkable and diverse group of individuals who span, academic, commercial and social interests.

 

2019 AI report tracks profound growth — from ide.mit.edu by Paula Klein

Excerpt:

Until now “we’ve been sorely lacking good data about basic questions like ‘How is the technology advancing’ and ‘What is the economic impact of AI?’ ” Brynjolfsson said. The new index, which tracks three times as many data sets as last year’s report, goes a long way toward providing answers.

  1. Education
  • At the graduate level, AI has rapidly become the most popular specialization among computer science PhD students in North America. In 2018, over 21% of graduating Computer Science PhDs specialize in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.
  • Industry is the largest consumer of AI talent. In 2018, over 60% of AI PhD graduates went to industry, up from 20% in 2004.
  • In the U.S., AI faculty leaving academia for industry continues to accelerate, with over 40 departures in 2018, up from 15 in 2012 and none in 2004.

 

In the U.S., #AI faculty leaving #academia for industry continues to accelerate, with over 40 departures in 2018, up from 15 in 2012 and none in 2004.

 

The Jobs of Tomorrow: LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report — from blog.linkedin.com by Guy Berger

Excerpt:

Here’s what you should know about this year’s emerging jobs.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to make a strong showing on our Emerging Jobs lists, which is no surprise.
  • Professionals are on the move, likely a result of factors like housing costs, political and regulatory change, or more flexibility with remote work opportunities.
  • Demand for soft skills is likely to increase as automation becomes more widespread. Skills like communication, creativity, and collaboration are all virtually impossible to automate…

Also see these reports:

Online learning is here to stay.
The multibillion-dollar e-learning industry is taking off, and it’s staffing up to prepare. LinkedIn data shows the industry is snapping up both sales and tech talent, indicating continued customer demand for these types of solutions.

 

Think you could learn Mandarin? This Kansas kindergarten classroom is Chinese-only — from by Robert Smith

Excerpts:

In a Wolf Springs Elementary School classroom with “Chinese Only Zone” signs taped to the walls, kindergarteners are learning their core subjects in the primary language of a global economic superpower located across the world.

This language-immersion class of kindergarteners is part of a new Blue Valley School District initiative to graduate high school seniors fluent in a second language, an asset school officials believe will give students a leg up as they pursue academics and careers and prepare students to participate in a global workforce.

Chinese Mandarin, a group of dialects spoken by more than 800 million people, is a tonal language in which the meaning of words can be reflected by voice pitch. Though its grammar is similar to English, words or phrases are represented by Chinese characters.

Besides the usual educational stresses, parents who put their children in the program would need to be committed to the program. Because these kindergarteners are expected to remain together in a Mandarin-speaking classroom all the way through high school, new immersion students can only enter the program in kindergarten.

While other elementary-aged students spend roughly 60 minutes studying Spanish per week, this group of kindergartens spends half of their school time each day with Pan learning math, science and social studies in Mandarin. The groups studies reading and literacy with teacher Haley Watkins in English.

 

“In under a minute we filled all of the slots. That afternoon we had hundreds of people on the waiting list.”

 

From DSC:
Wow! This is quite the K-12 cohort/immersion! Add to that type of setup tools like Cisco Webex, Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect, etc. — and not to mention what happens with virtual reality in the next decade — and this type of cohort/immersion will likely be highly effective over time.

So what will the future classrooms of the world look like? My guess is that with 5G and virtual reality on the way, there will be a lot more “connections” being made in the future…with many nations/classrooms being involved.

iStock-1154674846-purchased-11-21-19
[From my purchase of iStock #1154674846.]

 

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