This app helps you learn a new language in virtual reality — from haptic.al by Deniz Ergürel
The educational VR app combines voice chatbot technology and speech recognition.

Excerpt:

Learning a new language can be extremely hard. It requires a lot of effort, time and dedication. A new virtual reality app aims to make this learning process much easier and even fun.

Launched in Oculus store, “Learn Languages VR by Mondly” allows people to experience lifelike conversations with virtual characters, in 28 different languages. The VR app can be downloaded for Samsung’s Gear VR headsets to get some introductory courses for free.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from Amazon fumbles earnings amidst high expectations (emphasis DSC):

Aside from AWS, Amazon Alexa-enabled devices were the top-selling products across all categories on Amazon.com throughout the holiday season and the company is reporting that Echo family sales are up over 9x compared to last season. Amazon aims to brand Alexa as a platform, something that has helped the product to gain capabilities faster than its competition. Developers and corporates released 4,000 new skills for the voice assistant in just the last quarter.

 

 

 

 

 

Alexa got 4,000 new skills in just the last quarter!

From DSC:
What are the teaching & learning ramifications of this?

By the way, I’m not saying for professors, teachers, & trainers to run for the hills (i.e., that they’ll be replaced by AI-based tools). But rather, I would like to suggest that we not only put this type of thing on our radars, but we should begin to actively experiment with such technologies to see if they might be able to help us do some heavy lifting for students learning about new topics.

 

A new $300 gadget from Mattel will make being a parent much easier — from thestreet.com by Lindsay Rittenhouse
Mattel is developing a smart baby monitor called Aristotle that is designed to grow and learn with the child.

Excerpts:

Aristotle by Nabi — the Mattel-owned unit that produces children’s tablets — will debut this summer and is developed with the help of Microsoft and Qualcomm. The system uses artificial intelligence, cognitive services and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to cater to the basic needs of children, the Barbie maker said in a statement today.

However, one of the groundbreaking features of Aristotle is that the device is designed to adapt to the child’s life as it grows. For toddlers, Aristotle will use audio and visual learning methods to teach children basic education such as the ABCs and 123s, Mattel said.

For “kids,” Aristotle can help with homework or become an entertainment system, and for “tweens” the gadget transforms into a “more sophisticated” learning device that can teach foreign languages, according to Mattel.

 

 

From DSC:
Though I’m a bit skeptical on how much such a device can lessen the enormous task of parenting, I do find the “grow with the child” approach very interesting and highly  innovative.

 

 

However, one of the groundbreaking features of Aristotle is that the device is designed to adapt to the child’s life as it grows.

 

 

 

 

Virtual reality is actually here — from computerworld.in by Bart Perkins

Excerpts:

In parallel with gaming, VR is expanding into many other areas, including these:

  • Healthcare
    Surgical Theater is working with UCLA, New York University, the Mayo Clinic and other major medical centers to use VR to help surgeons prepare for difficult operations. Virtual 3D models are constructed from MRIs, CAT scans and/or ultrasounds.
  • Mental health
    Meditation promotes mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Education
    Unimersiv is focusing on historical sites, creating a series of VR tours for the Colosseum, Acropolis, Parthenon, Stonehenge, Titanic, etc. These tours allow each site to be explored as it existed when it was built. Additional locations’ virtual sites and attractions will undoubtedly be added in the near future. The British Museum offered a Virtual Reality Weekend in August 2015. Visitors were able to explore a Bronze Age roundhouse with a flickering fire and changing levels of light while they “handled” Bronze Age relics. The American Museum of Natural History allows students anywhere in the world to take virtual tours of selected museum exhibits, and other museums will soon follow.
  • Training
    Virtual reality is an excellent tool when the task is dangerous or the equipment involved is expensive.
  • Crime reconstruction
  • Architecture
  • Collaboration
    Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality will form the basis for the next set of collaboration tools.

 

 

 

VR and education: Why we shouldn’t wait to reap the benefits – from medium.com by Josh Maldonad

Excerpts:

However, we see very little experienced-based learning in all levels of education today. Traditional learning consists of little more than oration through lectures and textbooks (and their digital equivalents). Experience-based learning is often very difficult to facilitate in the classroom. Whether it be a field trip in elementary school, or simulation exercises in med school, it can be tedious, costly and time consuming.

Where VR is really winning in education is in subject matter retention. The first of several surveys that we’ve done was based on a VR field trip through the circulatory system with high-school age children. We saw an increase of nearly 80% in subject matter retention from a group that used VR, compared against a control group that was provided the same subject matter via text and image. (I’ll expand on the details of this experiment, and some research initiatives we’re working on in another blog post).

http://uploadvr.com/chinese-vr-education-study/

Example apps in healthcare:

  • Emergency response and Triage Decision making
  • Nursing fundamentals, safety and communication procedures
  • Anesthesiology: patient monitoring and dosage delivery

 

 

Residential design and virtual reality: a better way to build a home? — from connectedlife.style

Excerpt:

The old phrase of ‘needing to see it to believe it’ is a powerful mantra across all aspects of residential design. Architecture, interior design and property development are all highly visual trades that require buy-in from both those working on the project and the client. As such, making sure everyone is sold on a coherent vision is vital to ensure that everything goes smoothly and no one is left dissatisfied when the project is completed.

 

 

 

Google Translate: Updated
For those travelers out there, you might want to know about Google Translate’s ability to read in an image of one language, and provide you with a translation of that language/signage/label/etc.

Also see:

 

From this page, here are some of the visual translation products:

 

 

Now HoloLens lets you check your mail in a wall-sized mixed reality version of Outlook — from pcworld.com by Ian Paul
Now you can check your email or make a calendar appointment without removing Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.

hololens multiple flat apps

You now can pin multiple 2D apps in virtual space,
and Microsoft’s HoloLens will remember where they are.

 

 

VR in Education: What’s Already Happening in the Classroom — from arvrmagazine.com by Susanne Krause
“Engagement was off the charts”  | Connecting to the world and creating new ones using virtual reality

Excerpt:

It’s a way for educators to bring their students to places that would be out of reach otherwise. Google Expeditions, the VR mode of Google Street View and Nearpod’s virtual field trips are among the most popular experiences teachers explore with their students. “Some of our students have never really left the bubbles of their own town”, says Jaime Donally, creator of the #ARVRinEDU chat on Twitter. “Virtual reality is a relatively inexpensive way to show them the world.”

 

 

How augmented reality is transforming building management — from ibm.com
IBM People for Smarter Cities presents “Dublin lab – Cognitive Buildings”

In the video below, a facilities manager is using a mobile device to scan a QR code on a wall, behind which is a critical piece of HVAC equipment. With one scan, we can view data on the asset’s performance and health, location data for the asset. This data is being pulled by the IoT Platform from the asset itself, TRIRIGA, and any other useful sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

But the best experiences, VR acolytes agree, are still yet to come. Resh Sidhu leads VR development for Framestore, the high-end visual effects house that won an Oscar for the movie Gravity, and has since expanded into creating VR content. With hardware finally delivering on its promise, she believes it is now up to creatives to explore the possibilities.

 

 

HTC Brings VR Center to Paris; Vive Exhibit at Nobel Museum — from vrscout.com by Jonathan Nafarrete

Excerpt:

There’s so much more to VR than just gaming. Which is probably why HTC has been exploring entirely new ways to bring VR to art, education and culture — starting with museums around the world.

HTC recently collaborated with TIME-LIFE on “Remembering Pearl Harbor,” a VR experience commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack with exhibitions at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City and the Newsuem in Washington D.C. Last month, Vive also collaborated with the Royal Academy of Arts in London on the world’s first 3-D printed VR art exhibit.

Now HTC Vive has revealed the launch of a new VR center at La Geode, part of Paris’ Science and Industry Museum, as well as a partnership with the Nobel Museum for a first-of-its-kind VR exhibit showcasing the contributions of Nobel laureates.

 

 

 

The SIIA CODiE Awards for 2016 — with thanks to Neha Jaiswal from uCertify for this resource; uCertify, as you will see, did quite well

Since 1986, the SIIA CODiE Awards have recognized more than 1,000 software and information companies for achieving excellence. The CODiE Awards remain the only peer-recognized program in the content, education, and software industries so each CODiE Award win serves as incredible market validation for a product’s innovation, vision, and overall industry impact.

 

SIIA-CODiE-Awards-for-2016

 

 

Connecting the education community with research on learning — from digitalpromise.org

Excerpt:

When designing a program or product, many education leaders and ed-tech developers want to start with the best knowledge available on how students learn. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Although thousands of academic articles are published every year, busy education leaders and product developers often don’t know where to start, or don’t have time to sift through and find studies that are relevant to their work. As pressure mounts for “evidence-based” practices and “research-based” products, many in the education community are frustrated, and want an easier way to find information that will help them deliver stronger programs and products — and results. We need better tools to help make research more accessible for everyday work in education.

The Digital Promise Research Map meets this need by connecting education leaders and product developers with research from thousands of articles in education and the learning sciences, along with easy-to-understand summaries on some of the most relevant findings in key research topics.

 

Also see:

DigitalPromise-ResearchMapJune2016

 

 

DigitalPromise-ChordView-June2016

 

DigitalPromise-NetworkView-June2016

 

DigitalPromise-NetworkView2-June2016

 

 

Questions from DSC:

  • Which jobs/positions are being impacted by new forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI)?
  • What new jobs/positions will be created by these new forms of HCI?
  • Will it be necessary for instructional technologists, instructional designers, teachers, professors, trainers, coaches, learning space designers, and others to pulse check this landscape?  Will that be enough? 
  • Or will such individuals need to dive much deeper than that in order to build the necessary skillsets, understandings, and knowledgebases to meet the new/changing expectations for their job positions?
  • How many will say, “No thanks, that’s not for me” — causing organizations to create new positions that do dive deeply in this area?
  • Will colleges and universities build and offer more courses involving HCI?
  • Will Career Services Departments get up to speed in order to help students carve out careers involving new forms of HCI?
  • How will languages and language translation be impacted by voice recognition software?
  • Will new devices be introduced to our classrooms in the future?
  • In the corporate space, how will training departments handle these new needs and opportunities?  How will learning & development groups be impacted? How will they respond in order to help the workforce get/be prepared to take advantage of these sorts of technologies? What does it mean for these staffs personally? Do they need to invest in learning more about these advancements?

As an example of what I’m trying to get at here, who all might be involved with an effort like Echo Dot?  What types of positions created it? Who all could benefit from it?  What other platforms could these technologies be integrated into?  Besides the home, where else might we find these types of devices?



WhatIsEchoDot-June2016

Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses the same far-field voice recognition as Amazon Echo. Dot has a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers over Bluetooth or with the included audio cable. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly.

Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, you can set a different wake word for each—you can pick “Amazon”, “Alexa” or “Echo” as the wake word.

 

 

Or how might students learn about the myriad of technologies involved with IBM’s Watson?  What courses are out there today that address this type of thing?  Are more courses in the works that will address this type of thing? In which areas (Computer Science, User Experience Design, Interaction Design, other)?

 

WhatIsIBMWatson-June2016

 

 

Lots of questions…but few answers at this point. Still, given the increasing pace of technological change, it’s important that we think about this type of thing and become more responsive, nimble, and adaptive in our organizations and in our careers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine what learning could look like w/ the same concepts found in Skreens!


From DSC:
Imagine what learning could look like w/ the same concepts found in the
Skreens kickstarter campaign?  Where you can use your mobile device to direct what you are seeing and interacting with on the larger screen?  Hmmm… very interesting indeed! With applications not only in the home (and on the road), but also in the active classroom, the boardroom, and the training room.


See
Skreens.com
&
Learning from the Living [Class] Room


 

DanielChristian-AVariationOnTheSkreensTheme-9-29-15

 

 

Skreens-Sept2015Kickstarter

 

Skreens2-Sept2015Kickstarter

 

 

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

From DSC:
Some of the phrases and concepts that come to my mind:

  • tvOS-based apps
  • Virtual field trips while chatting or videoconferencing with fellow learners about that experience
  • Virtual tutoring
  • Global learning for K-12, higher ed, the corporate world
  • Web-based collaborations and communications
  • Ubiquitous learning
  • Transmedia
  • Analytics / data mining / web-based learner profiles
  • Communities of practice
  • Lifelong learning
  • 24×7 access
  • Reinvent
  • Staying relevant
  • More choice. More control.
  • Participation.
  • MOOCs — or what they will continue to morph into
  • Second screens
  • Mobile learning — and the ability to quickly tie into your learning networks
  • Ability to contact teachers, professors, trainers, specialists, librarians, tutors and more
  • Language translation
  • Informal and formal learning, blended learning, active learning, self-directed learning
  • The continued convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer
  • Cloud-based apps for learning
  • Flipping the classroom
  • Homeschooling
  • Streams of content
  • …and more!

 

 

 

 

Addendum:

Check out this picture from Meet the winners of #RobotLaunch2015

Packed house at WilmerHale for the Robot Launch 2015 judging – although 2/3rds of the participants were attending and pitching remotely via video and web conferencing.

 

IBM Expands Watson Platform for Next Generation of Builders; Extends Industry’s Largest Portfolio of Cognitive APIs — from ibm.com

– New APIs Broaden Watson’s Language, Vision and Speech Capabilities
– Developer Tools Simplify Combining APIs and Data
– Upcoming Platform Innovations Previewed including Industry Data Sets & Robotics Integration
– New Watson Hub to Open in San Francisco

Excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO – 24 Sep 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today expanded the industry’s largest and most diverse set of cognitive APIs, technologies and tools for developers who are creating products, services and applications embedded with Watson.

The announcement was made by IBM during its forum on cognitive computing and Artificial Intelligence, where the company announced a new Watson location in San Francisco. IBM also previewed new platform innovations and research projects that will extend its industry-leading cognitive portfolio.

 

 

Excerpts from IBM Watson Ecosystem Partners in Market Building Businesses:

Student Career Counseling: Carney Labs is an education technology company that provides a platform embedded with Watson language capabilities to help schools learn about a student’s personality characteristics in order to build them a career roadmap. The Commonwealth of Virginia adopted a policy for all high schools in the state to leverage this app to use with students entering their freshman year.

Knowledge Management: Bloomfire  is a cloud-based knowledge network platform that helps employees within a company easily find the information they need to do their jobs. By scanning posts within the platform and automatically creating tags via the Watson data insights API, employees at companies including Whole Foods, Dun & Bradstreet and Etsy spend less time searching for information and more time doing meaningful work to improve company performance.

Research & Development: Inno360, an enterprise research and innovation management platform provider, is embedding a powerful combination of 7 Watson APIs for language and data insights into its SaaS platform to transform the way its clients, including Fortune 50 companies, conduct research and process big data. Inno360 is able to provide its clients advanced analysis of their R&D data to resolve product issues quickly and bring new products to market more rapidly.

Talent Sourcing and Matching: UnitesUs is a cloud based hiring & recruitment platform utilizing cognitive computing and big data analysis to match prospective employees to hiring organizations based on personality, company cultural fit, and core qualifications. By analyzing the personalities of job candidates leveraging Watson language capabilities and characterizing a company’s work environment, UnitesUs uses proprietary, automated matching algorithms to help companies, including imaging and electronics company Ricoh USA and fitness gym chain 24 Hour Fitness, make better hiring decisions.

 

 

ibmwatson-sept2015

 

The skills agenda: Preparing students for the future — from Google and The Economist Intelligence Unit

Excerpt:

As technology becomes more pervasive, traditional trades disappear and the world of work becomes more globalised, the skills considered to be valuable for the future are shifting.

Problem solving, team working, and communication (a trifecta commonly known as “21st century skills”) are the most-needed skills in the workplace, according to our recent surveys of business executives, students and teachers. Digital literacy and creativity— and the latter’s close relative, entrepreneurship—are expected to grow more important in the next three years.

 

 

 

 

Addendum on 4/23/15:

The college degrees ad skills employers most want in 2015 — from forbes.com by Susan Adams

Excerpt:

The hiring picture keeps getting better for college graduates. According to a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers are planning to hire 9.6% more graduates for their U.S. operations than they did from the class of 2014. That’s a one percent hike from the 8.6% gain a year ago and a significant jump from 2013, when employers said they would boost hiring by just 2.1% over the previous year.

The NACE survey also asked employers to rate the skills they most value in new hires. Companies want candidates who can think critically, solve problems, work in a team, maintain a professional demeanor and demonstrate a strong work ethic. Here is the ranking in order of importance:

 

desired skills

 
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