Technology Moves to the Head of the 21st Century Classroom — from technologyreview.com

 

Tomorrow’s jobs will demand collaborative workers steeped in hands-on problem solving. To that end, digital learning is leveling the playing field for far-flung disadvantaged students who previously would have had no chance to be part of this new workforce, as well as boosting the skills of students and workers closer to home. Cloud, virtualization, and software-defined networking—along with consumer electronic devices—are among the many advanced technologies enabling this development.

 

Excerpt:

The potent combination of globalization and digital transformation is upending the requirements for tomorrow’s workforce, underscoring the need for programs like the VMware-powered curriculum at the LEAP school. Such digital learning initiatives shift emphasis away from rote book- and lecture-style teaching to interactive experiences focused on collaboration, personalized content, and hands-on problem solving. The ability to leverage core IT infrastructure such as virtualized servers, networking, and storage, in concert with mobile technology, enables students in remote communities from Diepsloot to rural America to participate in digital learning experiences to which they previously had no access.

New learning prototypes are critical as the accelerated pace of change disrupts traditional business models and creates new 21st century jobs that demand different skill sets. According to a World Economic report, 35 percent of core workplace skills will change between 2015 and 2020, with complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration in high demand. At the same time, the report found that 65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t currently exist, underscoring the need for new skills training using hands-on and exploratory learning techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Ed Tech Trends: The Halfway Point — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly
Four higher ed IT leaders weigh in on the current state of education technology and what’s ahead.

This article includes some perspectives shared from the following 4 IT leaders:

  • Susan Aldridge, Senior Vice President for Online Learning, Drexel University (PA); President, Drexel University Online
  • Daniel Christian, Adjunct Faculty Member, Calvin College
  • Marci Powell, CEO/President, Marci Powell & Associates; Chair Emerita and Past President, United States Distance Learning Association
  • Phil Ventimiglia, Chief Innovation Officer, Georgia State University

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

The 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts — from tutora.co.uk by Giorgio Cassella

Excerpt:

If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education.

Tools for teaching and learning, parent-teacher communication apps, lesson planning software, home-tutoring websites, revision blogs, SEN education information, professional development qualifications and more.

There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up – especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach!

So how do you know which ones are the best?

Well, as a team of people passionate about education and learning, we decided to do a bit of research to help you out.

We’ve asked some of the best and brightest in education for their opinions on the hottest EdTech of 2017. These guys are the real deal – experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco.

They’ve given us a list of 82 amazing, tried and tested tools…


From DSC:
The ones that I mentioned that Giorgio included in his excellent article were:

  • AdmitHub – Free, Expert College Admissions Advice
  • Labster – Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
  • Unimersiv – Virtual Reality Educational Experiences
  • Lifeliqe – Interactive 3D Models to Augment Classroom Learning

 


 

 

 

 

Robot Launch 2016 – Robohub Readers’ Pick round one — from robohub.org by Andra Keay

Excerpt:

For the next three weeks, Robohub readers can vote for their “Readers’ Pick” startup from the Robot Launch competition. Each week, we’ll be publishing 10 videos. Our ultimate Robohub Readers’ Favorites, along with lots of other prizes, will be announced at the end of November. Every week we’ll showcase different aspects of robotics startups and their business models: from agricultural to humanoid, from consumer to industrial and from hardware to robotics software. Make sure you vote for your favorite – below – by 18:00pm UTC, Wednesday 9 November, spread the word through social media using #robotlaunch2016 and come back next week for the next 10!

 

 

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Classroom Solutions — from education.lego.com

Excerpt:

Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in middle school. LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 grows these 21st century skills through inquiry-based and active learning.

lego-nov2016

 

 

Vex Robotics

 

vexrobotics-nov2016

 

 

No need to stare at a screen: Kickstarter robot teaches kids to code using cards — from digitaltrends.com by Luke Dormehl

 

 

 

 



Addendums:

 



 

 

The gigantic list of augmented reality use cases — from uploadvr.com by Sarah Downey

Excerpt:

This gigantic list of future AR use cases should get you reeling with the possibilities. Although most of these are future applications, they’ll arrive within the next 10 to 15 years. Let’s make this a living document: if I missed a major use of AR, comment below and I’ll add it.

Three quick notes before we start. First, let’s clarify the difference between AR and VR.

VR blocks out the real world and immerses the user in a digital experience.

If you’re putting on a headset in your living room and suddenly transported to a zombie attack scenario, that’s VR.

AR adds digital elements on top of the real world.

If you’re walking down the street in real life and a Dragonite pops up on the sidewalk, that’s AR.

AR is more focused on bridging digital and physical spaces. It accompanies you as you move through the world and augments your activities with information, whereas you typically step out of that world to immerse yourself in VR. When we talk about AR headsets, they’re big helmet-like visors now, but they’re heading toward normal-looking glasses and ultimately contact lenses.

Third, AR and VR are converging into the same thing. Our ability to tell what’s “real” and not digital will decrease as graphics get increasingly better. An AR sign outside a building could be as real and as significant as a physical one if everyone is using AR tech, everyone sees it when they walk by, and it is persistent in that location. Ultimately, we’ll have hardware that lets us switch between AR and VR modes, with less and more opacity for the context. We’re discussing AR and VR distinctly for now because they’re developing separately and on different timelines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Augmented Reality: Top 100 Influencers and Brands — from onalytica.com

topbrandsar-2016

 

 

Augmented reality is going from ‘Pokémon Go’ to the factory floor — from businessinsider.com by Matt Weinberger

Excerpt:

That data, readily available from other sources, is just the tip of the iceberg, though, Campbell says. It also overlays a graphic showing how the pieces fit together, how to disassemble it, and what other pieces of the machine that part might connect to. It combines the physical world of the machine part with the digital world of the IoT-gleaned info.

Just being able to look at a machine, and say, yes, this is the one that needs work, and this is the work that needs doing, can vastly improve the speed with which work gets done, and thus operational efficiency of the whole enterprise.

“There’s so much value in visualizing information,” Campbell says.

 

 

 

Virtual Reality Changes Global Engineering Schools — from by Ilana Kowarski
Engineering professors say virtual reality contributes to the student experience.

Excerpt:

At engineering schools throughout the world, professors are turning to virtual reality technology in the classroom.

The technology provides 3-D visuals that help engineering students improve their designs, alerting them to flaws before the building process starts.

Engineering schools are researching technologies that could transform the way people communicate and interact by – for instance – allowing people to visit one another in a virtual space if they can’t meet in person. Engineering schools are also exploring medical applications of virtual reality that could save lives, such as 3-D X-rays that allow doctors to peer inside the bodies of patients.

Some engineering schools are taking virtual reality lessons a step further and challenging students to develop new virtual reality programs.

 

 

 

 

 

Broward Students Learning Through Augmented Reality — from nbcmiami.com by Ari Odzer

Excerpt:

We hear about technology’s impact on education all the time. Usually, that means computers, new apps, or 3D printers. Now there’s a new tool that has the promise of revolution, the potential for creating a new paradigm in how students learn. It’s called augmented reality.

 

 

Augmented Reality And Kinect Create Unique Art Experience At Cleveland Museum — from forbes.com by Jennifer Hicks

 

 

 



Addendum on 11/1/16:

 



 

 

 

 

nmc-digitalliteracyreport-oct2016

 

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.

 

digitallits-nmc-oct2016

 

 

The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.

 

 

To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
collaborating,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.

 

 

Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.

 

 

Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.

 

 

 

 

For makerspaces out there, check out the Shaper Origin product! — with thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this excellent resource/find!

Excerpt:

We fuse computers with handheld tools to simplify the process of making. Shaper Origin is the world’s first smart handheld cutting tool. From intricate design work to dining room tables, Origin tackles projects of every size and complexity.

 

ShaperOrigin-August2016

 

 

 

In Memory: Seymour Papert — from media.mit.edu; with thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this resource

Excerpt:

Seymour Papert, whose ideas and inventions transformed how millions of children around the world create and learn, died Sunday, July 31, 2016 at his home in East Blue Hill, Maine. He was 88.

Papert’s career traversed a trio of influential movements: child development, artificial intelligence, and educational technologies. Based on his insights into children’s thinking and learning, Papert recognized that computers could be used not just to deliver information and instruction, but also to empower children to experiment, explore, and express themselves. The central tenet of his Constructionist theory of learning is that people build knowledge most effectively when they are actively engaged in constructing things in the world. As early as 1968, Papert introduced the idea that computer programming and debugging can provide children a way to think about their own thinking and learn about their own learning.

 

Also see:

  • AI and Computer Learning Lion Seymour Papert Dies at 88 — from fortune.com by  Barb Darrow
    Excerpt:
    Seymour Papert, the MIT professor who helped blaze the trail for artificial intelligence and computer-aided education for children at a time when no one saw the potential for using these massive machines for such purposes, died Sunday at the age of 88 in East Blue Hill, Maine.

 

“In this particular art class they were all carving soap,” he continued, “but what each student carved came from wherever fancy is bred, and the project was not done and dropped but continued for many weeks. It allowed time to think, to dream, to gaze, to get a new idea and try it and drop it or persist, time to talk, to see other people’s work and their reaction to yours — not unlike mathematics as it is for the mathematician, but quite unlike math as it is in junior high school.”

.

  • Seymour Papert, 88, Dies; Saw Education’s Future in Computers — from nytimes.com by Glenn Rifkin
    Excerpt:
    Seymour Papert, a visionary educator and mathematician who well before the advent of the personal computer foresaw children using computers as instruments for learning and enhancing creativity, died on Sunday at his home in Blue Hill, Me. He was 88.

 

 

He added, “In the past, education adapted the mind to a very restricted set of available media; in the future, it will adapt media to serve the needs and tastes of each individual mind.”

 

 

 

This is how blockchain will change your life — from medium.com by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

Excerpt:

Enter the blockchain, the first native digital medium for peer to peer value exchange. Its protocol establishes the rules — in the form of globally distributed computations and heavy duty encryption — that ensure the integrity of the data traded among billions of devices without going through a trusted third party. Trust is hard-coded into the platform. That’s why we call it the Trust Protocol. It acts as a ledger of accounts, a database, a notary, a sentry, and clearing house, all by consensus.

 

 

 

 

Blockchain technology: Redefining makerspaces — from worlds-of-learning.com by Laura Fleming

Excerpt:

My own personal fascination with blockchain technology lies in its potential for makerspaces and its role in the Maker Movement.  The blockchain by nature is decentralized (peer-to-peer), distributed and open-source…the blueprint for makerspaces.  Makerspaces both in and out of schools are about decentralizing and widening-access. This includes not only access to the spaces themselves, but also to equipment and resources.  I have written before about he potential of Open Educational Resources (OER) in a makerspace.  Blockchain technology could further open up access and use of resources, making our educational system that much more open and flexible.

Within schools, giving students credit for the skills they gain in a makerspace is always a challenge.  The blockchain offers a real possiblity for managing and processing these types of credentials. Outside of school, no standard exists for certification or credentialing in a makerspace.  You might be certified to use a tool in one makerspace, but walk into another and not be able to use that same tool there. Blockchain technology can help streamline and create a new standard for these types of certifications.

 

 

 

New platform aims to make it easier to develop for blockchain — from adigaskell.org

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Blockchain is undoubtedly one of the hottest technologies around at the moment. Whilst it has gained most of its notoriety for the Bitcoin financial technology, it also has a number of other possible applications.

For instance, John Holden and Greg Irving from the University of Cambridge use blockchain technology as a means of making clinical trial documents immutable. The pair wanted to tackle the thorny issue of ensuring that research data is untampered with, so that external people can have confidence in the results from the trials.

They highlighted the use of blockchain in cardiovascular diabetes and ethanol research via a report published on the F1000 website.

 

 

 

Bitcoin transaction initiated from fed offices, for the first time — from fee.org
Blockchain technology is maturing very quickly

Excerpt:

Some remarkable things are happening in the bitcoin/blockchain space. It’s hard to believe that just seven years ago, this technology was first revealed on an email list followed by just a handful of cypherpunks, who should be remembered by history as brilliant and dedicated innovators of a revolutionary technology. Today what they did has grabbed the attention of the world’s largest financial institutions and central banks.

And why? It’s clear this innovation is not going away. It’s simply a better method for exchanging value globally. It is a technology that will influence—if not define—the future of payments and money. It is already disrupting the status quo in more ways than even the best experts can track, especially in emerging markets.

 

Four of us blockchainers actually visited Janet Yellen [Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System] in her office.

 

 

 

 

BlockchainEcosystem-July2016

 

 

 

 

Can IBM really make a business out of blockchain? — from fortune.com by Jeff Roberts

Excerpt:

One of the loudest evangelists is IBM, which has been touting the potential of blockchain—a technology that can allow companies to create quick, tamper-proof ledgers—to transform everything from finance to trading to insurance.

On Tuesday, IBM announced the formal launch of a so-called “Bluemix Garage” in New York, where developers can experiment with financial-tech software and explore new forms of blockchain innovation.

It’s a fine idea and one that could serve IBM’s long-term strategic interests. Namely, if developers flock to IBM’s platform, the company will be well-positioned to grab a big share of the “blockchain-as-a-service” market—a still nascent industry dedicated to helping firms navigate the world of ledgers, smart contracts, and all that other good stuff.

 

 

 

 

MusicOnBlockchain-July2016

Excerpt:

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), or ‘blockchain’, has started to receive increasing media attention and investment from several sectors including governments, financial services and the creative industries. The potential application in relation to music is of particular interest, as it appears to offer solutions to problems artists have highlighted for decades – around transparency, the sharing of value and the relationships with intermediaries that sit between the artist and fan, the central and most important relationship in music.

If blockchain technology can help the commercial and contractual relationships in music keep pace with technology and the communication between artists and fans then it could be truly revolutionary.

 

 

 

Pink Floyd: Blockchain technology in music could be ‘truly revolutionary’ — from ibtimes.co.uk by Ian Allison
A research team at Middlesex University has released their ‘Music on the blockchain’ report.

Excerpt:

According to the report, there are four main areas where blockchain could transform the music industries:

  • A single, networked database for music copyright information, rather than the many, not-quite-complete databases maintained at present;
  • fast, frictionless royalty payments, whereas payments can currently take years;
  • transparency through the value chain, allowing musicians and their managers to see exactly how much money they are owed, as opposed to a culture of non-disclosure agreements and “black boxes”; and
  • access to alternative sources of capital, with smart contracts – contracts implemented via software – potentially transforming crowdfunding and leading to the establishment of ‘artist accelerators’ on the model of tech start-ups.

 

 

 

Using blockchain to re-imagine learning — from medium.com by Ben Blair, co-founder of Teachur

Excerpt:

In her recent blog, KnowledgeWorks Senior Director of Strategic Foresight Katherine Prince lists six challenges that K-12 education faces. I’m not going to go all panacea on you, but let me illustrate how blockchain technology could address at least one of those issues and gesture to how it could play an important — if not central — part in addressing all six.

 

 

Now you can build your own Amazon Echo at home—and Amazon couldn’t be happier — from qz.com by Michael Coren

Excerpt:

Amazon’s $180 Echo and the new Google Home (due out later this year) promise voice-activated assistants that order groceries, check calendars and perform sundry tasks of your everyday life. Now, with a little initiative and some online instructions, you can build the devices yourself for a fraction of the cost. And that’s just fine with the tech giants.

At this weekend’s Bay Area Maker Faire, Arduino, an open-source electronics manufacturer, announced new hardware “boards”—bundles of microprocessors, sensors, and ports—that will ship with voice and gesture capabilities, along with wifi and bluetooth connectivity. By plugging them into the free voice-recognition services offered by Google’s Cloud Speech API and Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, anyone can access world-class natural language processing power, and tap into the benefits those companies are touting. Amazon has even released its own blueprint and code repository to build a $60 version of its Echo using Raspberry Pi, another piece of open-source hardware.

 

From DSC:
Perhaps this type of endeavor could find its way into some project-based learning out there, as well as in:

  • Some Computer Science-related courses
  • Some Engineering-related courses
  • User Experience Design bootcamps
  • Makerspaces
  • Programs targeted at gifted students
  • Other…??

 

 

 

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