Explore Revit models in VR with Unity Reflect — from by Nick Davis
Unity Reflect makes it easy to bring Building Information Modeling (BIM) data into virtual reality (VR). Learn how you can use the Unity Reflect VR Viewer to conduct immersive design reviews with Autodesk Revit models.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The value of VR in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is well documented. It provides an unrivaled medium for gathering rich feedback, catching design flaws, and reducing the need for physical mockups. Studies have shown construction professionals are twice as likely to spot design errors when reviewing designs in VR versus PCs.

Today, 60% of AR and VR content is powered by Unity. Unity’s AEC customers use VR for a wide range of use cases, from conducting immersive walkthroughs that help their clients catch errors pre-construction and save hundreds of thousands of dollars on individual projects, to creating immersive training programs that lead to safer job sites.

 

From DSC:
If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex in your school, consider implementing the idea below.
I’d like to thank Mr. Steve Grant and Mr. Nelson Miller from the WMU-Cooley Law School for their work in implementing/recommending this approach.

If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex, you can use it to share content to displays, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If the professor starts a Cisco Webex Meeting Center session using their own personal room, the students can then join that meeting via their devices. (To eliminate noise and confusion — as well as to reduce bandwidth — the students should mute their microphones and choose not to send the video from their webcams.)

If you were doing a think-pair-share, for example, and you really liked what a certain pair of students had going on, one of the students could share their work with the rest of the class. By doing so, whatever was going on on that student’s device could be displayed by any projectors in the room, as well as on any other devices that were connected to the Cisco Webex Meeting Room.

“So you could project any student’s work as students proceed with in-class exercises. Projecting student work adds another level of accountability, excitement, and concentration to in-class exercises.” 

*********

Also, using the Cisco Webex Meeting Center in your face-to-face classroom not only opens up that sort of collaboration channel, but, via the chat feature, it can also open up a running backchannel to draw out your more introverted students, or those students who have questions but don’t want to have the spotlight thrown on them. 

*********

 

DC: Precursor to a next gen learning platform…? Another piece is falling into place.

 

Active Learning on the Uptick?— from LinkedIn.com by Carrie O’Donnell

Excerpt:

The evidence is overwhelming that employing active learning strategies leads to deeper learning, increased retention and higher performance. In fact, the EDCAUSE Horizon Report: 2019 Higher Education Edition states 73 percent of universities surveyed indicate active learning classrooms are in the planning process or being implemented in 2020.

Active learning is an instructional approach that puts the student in the center of the learning. This teaching methodology actively engages the learner and is a contrast with the traditional lecture-based approaches where the instructor does most of the talking and students are passive. Some of the many strategies that instructors use to promote active learning include group discussions, peer instruction, problem-solving, case studies, role playing, journal writing and structured learning groups.

Several trends we’ve seen on campuses across the country bode well for active learning:

 

Redefining Norms Critical to Sustained Relevance in the Changing Postsecondary Environment — from evolllution.com by Hunt Lambert
Sticking to the status quo will end in disaster for most postsecondary institutions. To stay relevant, institutions have to rethink all aspects of the higher education product, from programming to student support to organizational models.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Higher education has existed for over a millennium in an effectively unchanged state, but the impetus to transform has arrived. Fast-changing labor demands, evolving learner expectations and transformed market realities are forcing college and university leaders to rethink the traditional postsecondary model and find ways to serve the growing numbers of lifelong learners. This idea has been broadly articulated as the 60-Year Curriculum (60YC), and executing on this vision demands a fundamental change in how higher education institutions must operate to serve students. In this interview, Hunt Lambert expands on the 60YC vision and shares his insights into how the organizational models of postsecondary institutions need to evolve to adapt to this approach.

The 60YC proposes that higher education providers, who happen to be best in the world at knowledge creation and dissemination through well-designed curriculum, expand that curricula concept from the current two-year AA, four-year BA, two-year master’s and seven-year PhD learning models into a 60-year model inclusive of 15- to 75-year-old learners and, most likely, beyond.

 

 

XR for Teaching and Learning — from educause

Key Findings

  • XR technologies are being used to achieve learning goals across domains.
  • Effective pedagogical uses of XR technologies fall into one of three large categories: (1) Supporting skills-based and competency-based teaching and learning, such as nursing education, where students gain practice by repeating tasks. (2) Expanding the range of activities with which a learner can gain hands-on experience—for example, by enabling the user to interact with electrons and electromagnetic fields. In this way, XR enables some subjects traditionally taught as abstract knowledge, using flat media such as illustrations or videos, to be taught as skills-based. (3) Experimenting by providing new functionality and enabling new forms of interaction. For example, by using simulations of materials or tools not easily available in the physical world, learners can explore the bounds of what is possible in both their discipline and with the XR technology itself.
  • Integration of XR into curricula faces two major challenges: time and skills.
  • The adoption of XR in teaching has two major requirements: the technology must fit into instructors’ existing practices, and the cost cannot be significantly higher than that of the alternatives already in use.
  • The effectiveness of XR technologies for achieving learning goals is influenced by several factors: fidelity, ease of use, novelty, time-on-task, and the spirit of experimentation.

XR for Teaching and Learning

 

The Research is in: 2019 Education Research Highlights — edutopia.org by Youki Terada
Does doodling boost learning? Do attendance awards work? Do boys and girls process math the same way? Here’s a look at the big questions that researchers tackled this year.

Excerpt:

Every year brings new insights—and cautionary tales—about what works in education. 2019 is no different, as we learned that doodling may do more harm than good when it comes to remembering information. Attendance awards don’t work and can actually increase absences. And while we’ve known that school discipline tends to disproportionately harm students of color, a new study reveals a key reason why: Compared with their peers, black students tend to receive fewer warnings for misbehavior before being punished.

CUT THE ARTS AT YOUR OWN RISK, RESEARCHERS WARN
As arts programs continue to face the budget ax, a handful of new studies suggest that’s a grave mistake. The arts provide cognitive, academic, behavioral, and social benefits that go far beyond simply learning how to play music or perform scenes in a play.

In a major new study from Rice University involving 10,000 students in third through eighth grades, researchers determined that expanding a school’s arts programs improved writing scores, increased the students’ compassion for others, and reduced disciplinary infractions. The benefits of such programs may be especially pronounced for students who come from low-income families, according to a 10-year study of 30,000 students released in 2019.

Unexpectedly, another recent study found that artistic commitment—think of a budding violinist or passionate young thespian—can boost executive function skills like focus and working memory, linking the arts to a set of overlooked skills that are highly correlated to success in both academics and life.

Failing to identify and support students with learning disabilities early can have dire, long-term consequences. In a comprehensive 2019 analysis, researchers highlighted the need to provide interventions that align with critical phases of early brain development. In one startling example, reading interventions for children with learning disabilities were found to be twice as effective if delivered by the second grade instead of third grade.

 

Learning for a Living — from MIT Sloan Mgmt Review by Gianpiero Petriglieri

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Calls for learning have long been common at corporate retreats, professional conferences, and similar gatherings. But with the furious pace of change that technology has brought to business and society, they have become more urgent. Leaders in every sector seem to agree: Learning is an imperative, not a cliché. Without it, careers derail and companies fail. Talented people flock to employers that promise to invest in their development whether they will stay at the company or not.

If we are after transformative learning, what we need is a familiar yet open frame — a playground of sorts that magnifies our habits and the culture that breeds them so that we can examine both, and imagine and try new ways of being.

A boot camp must replicate workplace constraints to help us master ways of navigating them more efficiently. Whether it’s a course on, say, reaping insights from data analytics or a training session on giving respectful feedback, the space supports practice and improvement. A playground must remove most constraints to promote experimentation. Providing some distance from day-to-day reality allows us to get real in a deeper sense. A boot camp amplifies and exploits the shame of learning, helping us learn how not to be found wanting. A playground exposes and challenges that shame, helping us realize that if we were less anxious, it might be easier to claim what we want and discover how to get it.


From DSC:

A heads up. The way they use the word bootcamp is different from the way I’ve heard that word used these last 5-7 years. I think of bootcamps as more along the lines of a 10-12 week, intensive course — often involving programming. I don’t see them as internal training courses. But this article uses the word bootcamp in that way.

 

AI and smart campuses are among higher ed tech to watch in 2020 — from edtechmagazine.com by Adam Stone
Early adopters tap emerging tools to achieve cost savings and improve learning outcomes.

Excerpt:

In parallel with the rise of municipal smart cities, higher education continues to push toward the smart campus, a vision of a digitally interconnected learning space in which data and devices combine to enhance the student experience. Colleges need to get smart to stay competitive.

Below is an excerpt from Deloitte’s report — Smart campus: The next-generation connected campus — which the above article links to.

Innovations used in smart banking, smart retail, smart digital workplaces, and smart venues like hospitals and stadiums could be extended to higher education campuses. These smart environments are enabling an easy and seamless experience by leveraging the most advanced and next-generation technologies available to them. And more importantly, they continually
modernize and adjust their practices to meet the needs of their constituents. To stay sustainable and relevant, institutions should employ technology and analytics-based insights to enhance the well-being of the communities in which they are rooted.

 

Rants and rAVes — Episode 919: Gary Kayye’s Take on UCC Interoperability and the Future of Videoconferencing — from ravepubs.com by Gary Kayye

The recent news of video interoperability between Cisco, Zoom and Microsoft has generated a lot of industry buzz. If you’re interested, listen to rAVe Founder, Gary Kayye’s take on where he thinks all of this is headed and why we need to pay attention to the upcoming ISE show in Amsterdam in February 2020.

Also see:

As video conferencing solutions proliferate, remote working continues to rise and the number of inter-company video conferences increases, a lack of system interoperability has become a major pain point for many users.

All this frustration could soon become a thing of the past, as Microsoft and Cisco announced this week that video interoperability will be available between Microsoft Teams and Webex Meetings and devices. What’s more, Microsoft has also announced it will support interoperability with Zoom.  For the end user, this means that all these platforms will work together seamlessly. It’s a move that makes strong business sense for both Microsoft and Cisco and safeguards against any potential new disruptors.

Also see:

 

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.]

 

Amazon’s new Fire TV Blaster works with Echo to control your TV, soundbar, cable box and more — from techcrunch.com by Sarah Perez

Excerpt:

Amazon already offers Alexa voice control to TV owners through its Fire TV devices, by way of a voice remote or by pairing an Echo device with a Fire TV, for hands-free voice commands. Now, it’s introducing a new device, the Fire TV Blaster, which extends that same hands-free voice control to your TV itself and other TV devices — like your soundbar, cable box, or A/V Receiver.

That means you’ll be able to say things like “Alexa, turn off the TV,” or “Alexa, switch to HDMI 1 on TV.” You can also control the volume and the playback.

And if you have other TV devices, you can control them hands-free as well, by saying things like “Alexa, turn up the soundbar volume,” or “Alexa tune to ESPN on cable.”

 

From DSC:
How might such Natural Language Processing (NLP) / voice recognition technologies impact future learning experiences and learning spaces? Will we enjoy more hands-free navigation around some cloud-based learning-related content? Will faculty members be able to use their voice to do the things that a Crestron Media Controller does today?

Parenthetically…when will we be able to speak to our routers (to shut off the kids’ internet connections/devices for example) and/or speak to our thermostats (to set the temperature(s) quickly for the remainder of the day)?

 

 

Six Examples of Augmented Reality in Performance Support — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Jeff Batt

Excerpt:

What do you think of when you hear the words “performance support”? We may all have our interpretation, but for me, performance support gives the learner instruction on how to perform actions while on the job and in the moment they need it. That has AR written all over it.

AR in performance support puts learning content in the context of what the learner is seeing. It enhances the real world, and it guides the learner through steps they need to take in the real world and even allows them to explore content they cannot easily access otherwise.

That has enormous potential for the learning and development space and gets me super excited about using AR. In this article, I’ll explore some possible scenarios for using AR in your performance support materials.

 

Active Learning Spaces: Lessons Learned in the United States — from educause by Stan Aalderink

“Active learning spaces are more than classrooms outfitted with technical gadgets; they offer extensive pedagogical opportunities to meet the needs of contemporary students through active learning and to help students develop relevant skills.”

Excerpts:

Lesson 1: Put Students at the Center
Lesson 2: Use Active Learning Spaces to Facilitate Impactful Pedagogy
Lesson 3: Incorporate Technology to Continually Enhance Active Learning Spaces
Lesson 4: Supervise and Train Educators for Optimal Use of Each Space
Lesson 5: Secure Institution-wide Support
Lesson 6: Cross-Institutional Cooperation Pays Off

 

 

Launch of NUVU Innovation School in Scotland — from cambridge.nuvustudio.com by Saba Ghole

Excerpt:

NuVu Innovation School, which officially opened its doors on October 10, provides a unique learning environment designed around creativity, innovation and enterprise. The new school is designed to face up to the challenge of a fast-moving jobs market and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

 

 

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