VR and AR: Transforming Learning and Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences — from er.educause.edu b

What if a text or work of art is no longer read, but instead, experienced? What new questions are raised when it’s possible to visit an author’s home or stroll through the streets of an ancient city? How will our interpretations of literature, art, history and archaeology change when we are no longer passive recipients but co-constructors and actors in immersive experiences? How will this challenge us to think outside our current learning paradigms? These and other questions arise when we examine the impact of immersive technologies on the humanities and the social sciences.

 

Some examples mentioned there include:

 

 

 

Microsoft joins the VR battle with Windows Mixed Reality [on 10/17/17] — from theverge.com by Tom Warren

Excerpt:

Microsoft is launching its own answer to virtual reality today, taking on HTC and Oculus in the process. Windows Mixed Reality will be available in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and headsets are now available to buy. Here’s everything you need to know about Windows Mixed Reality.

Microsoft is offering movement tracking (six degrees of freedom) without the need for traditional external sensors placed throughout a room. Windows Mixed Reality headsets have cameras and sensors to track the motion controllers.

Walmart looks to see if virtual shopping is better than the real thing — from washingtonpost.com by Abha Bhattarai

Excerpts:

…Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is setting its sights on virtual reality.  Imagine this, says Katie Finnegan, who heads Walmart’s tech incubator: You need a tent for your next camping trip. If all goes to plan, you could one day virtually swoop in to your campsite and see any given tent in action. “You could unzip it, lay down, look left and right and say, ‘Oh, this is supposed to be a two-person tent? It’s kind of tight,’ ” she said. And then you could move on to the next tent — without leaving your couch.

Here are the five ideas the Bentonville, Ark.-based company says could be making their way online:

  1. 3-D holograms at Bonobos.com, the male clothing site Walmart acquired this year for $310 million, that would make it possible for shoppers to try on virtual clothing for fit and style.
  2. At ModCloth, the women’s clothing site Walmart took over in March, customers may one day be able to take 3-D photos of themselves using their smartphones, and use those images to get an idea of how something might look on.
  3. An “interactive virtual store” for designer Rebecca Minkoff, whose items are sold at Walmart.com, would allow customers to sit in on fashion shows and shop directly from the runway.
  4. Tired of shopping online alone? If Walmart gets its way, you may soon be interacting with other shoppers and experts as you pick out items for your virtual cart.
  5. Electric outlets, stove tops and door handles can all be child safety hazards — and soon, an online tool could peek inside your home and tell you where the biggest risks are lurking.

 

 

 

Explore the surface of Mars from the comfort of your living room — from haptical.com
Google’s new project allows viewers to explore the discoveries of NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Excerpt:

NASA and Google have teamed up to build a new virtual experience that lets space enthusiasts explore the red planet without having to leave their homes. Dubbed as “Access Mars”, the new project virtually transports users, wherever they are, to Earth’s neighboring planet in the solar system.

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese School Opens Full-Function VR Classrooms — from vrfocus.com by Rebecca Hills-Duty
HTC Vive have created a system which allows 50 VR units to work together with no cross-interference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructional Design Firm Launches Digital Marketplace; Enables Innovative Universities to Offer Unbundled Alternative Credentials — from prnewswire.com
iDesign Course Market will help colleges deliver course content, accept payment, and issue digital credentials and certificates online

Excerpt:

DALLASAug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Instructional design firm, iDesign, [on 8/10/17] announced Course Market, a digital marketplace that universities can use to offer standalone courses and digital credentials in high demand fields. Course Market integrates LMS technology from Instructure and Credly’s pioneering credential platform to deliver engaging learner experiences with real value in the job market. Institutions that utilize Course Market can seamlessly enroll students in continuing education programs, accept payment, deliver content, and issue digital badges or certificates, which can be instantly uploaded and shared through social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook.

“Alternative credentials are unquestionably gaining traction among working adults looking for accelerated pathways to new schools and executive education. We view Course Market as a great tool for universities that want to expand access to learners who may otherwise be unable to take advantage of traditional degree programs,” said William Valenta, Assistant Dean of MBA and Executive Programs at University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.  “By applying Course Market’s technology and infrastructure to our existing educational offerings, the Katz school successfully enhanced access, affordability, and career relevance.”

 

 

Amazon relaunches Inspire after a year of re-tooling — from edscoop.com/ by Emily Tate
The content repository offers tens of thousands of downloadable educational resources. The “upload and share” feature is expected to follow soon.

Excerpts:

More than a year after Amazon debuted — and then suddenly retracted — its free library of open educational resources, Amazon Inspire is back.

The content repository — seen by many as Amazon’s first major attempt to edge into the competitive education technology space that tech giants like Google and Microsoft now comfortably occupy — was quietly reintroduced to educators on Monday [7/17/17] as a way to store and find tens of thousands of downloadable educational materials that teachers can use in their classrooms.

Over the last year, groups across the country have been working with Amazon to vet digital content to ensure it complies with state standards, quality indicators and, perhaps most importantly, intellectual property and copyright laws.

Similarly, if you want to teach a lesson on Romeo and Juliet, for example, you could search Inspire by grade, subject, content format and standards to begin pulling “ingredients,” or resources, off the shelves and putting them in your “grocery cart,” or your collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robots and AI are going to make social inequality even worse, says new report — from theverge.com by
Rich people are going to find it easier to adapt to automation

Excerpt:

Most economists agree that advances in robotics and AI over the next few decades are likely to lead to significant job losses. But what’s less often considered is how these changes could also impact social mobility. A new report from UK charity Sutton Trust explains the danger, noting that unless governments take action, the next wave of automation will dramatically increase inequality within societies, further entrenching the divide between rich and poor.

The are a number of reasons for this, say the report’s authors, including the ability of richer individuals to re-train for new jobs; the rising importance of “soft skills” like communication and confidence; and the reduction in the number of jobs used as “stepping stones” into professional industries.

For example, the demand for paralegals and similar professions is likely to be reduced over the coming years as artificial intelligence is trained to handle more administrative tasks. In the UK more than 350,000 paralegals, payroll managers, and bookkeepers could lose their jobs if automated systems can do the same work.

 

Re-training for new jobs will also become a crucial skill, and it’s individuals from wealthier backgrounds that are more able to do so, says the report. This can already be seen in the disparity in terms of post-graduate education, with individuals in the UK with working class or poorer backgrounds far less likely to re-train after university.

 

 

From DSC:
I can’t emphasize this enough. There are dangerous, tumultuous times ahead if we can’t figure out ways to help ALL people within the workforce reinvent themselves quickly, cost-effectively, and conveniently. Re-skilling/up-skilling ourselves is becoming increasingly important. And I’m not just talking about highly-educated people. I’m talking about people whose jobs are going to be disappearing in the near future — especially people whose stepping stones into brighter futures are going to wake up to a very different world. A very harsh world.

That’s why I’m so passionate about helping to develop a next generation learning platform. Higher education, as an industry, has some time left to figure out their part/contribution out in this new world. But the window of time could be closing, as another window of opportunity / era could be opening up for “the next Amazon.com of higher education.”

It’s up to current, traditional institutions of higher education as to how much they want to be a part of the solution. Some of the questions each institution ought to be asking are:

  1. Given our institutions mission/vision, what landscapes should we be pulse-checking?
  2. Do we have faculty/staff/members of administration looking at those landscapes that are highly applicable to our students and to their futures? How, specifically, are the insights from those employees fed into the strategic plans of our institution?
  3. What are some possible scenarios as a result of these changing landscapes? What would our response(s) be for each scenario?
  4. Are there obstacles from us innovating and being able to respond to the shifting landscapes, especially within the workforce?
  5. How do we remove those obstacles?
  6. On a scale of 0 (we don’t innovate at all) to 10 (highly innovative), where is our culture today? Where do we hope to be 5 years from now? How do we get there?

…and there are many other questions no doubt. But I don’t think we’re looking into the future nearly enough to see the massive needs — and real issues — ahead of us.

 

 

The report, which was carried out by the Boston Consulting Group and published this Wednesday [7/12/17], looks specifically at the UK, where it says some 15 million jobs are at risk of automation. But the Sutton Trust says its findings are also relevant to other developed nations, particularly the US, where social mobility is a major problem.

 

 

 

 

A new “MicroMasters” online learning program offered by major universities — from hechingerreport.org by Nichole Dobo
From Hong Kong to Holland, 14 institutions join MOOC partnership

Excerpt:

A new kind of credential has entered the crowded market for online learning.

EdX, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that provides online courses, announced last week the creation of 19 “MicroMasters” courses, a new type of online educational program. These courses are tailored master’s degree-level classes that can help students hone skills that will be immediately useful in the workplace.

“I think the MicroMasters is a big next step in the evolution of education,” Anant Agarwal, the CEO of edX and an MIT professor, said in an interview last week.

These courses – offered through 14 universities including Columbia, Arizona State University and the University of Michigan, as well as some in Australia, Europe and India – are open to anyone who wants to take them. No transcripts or prerequisites required. Students don’t even need a GED to enroll.

Anyone can learn in the MicroMasters program for free, although those who wish to receive a certificate of completion must pay a $1,000 fee. That money gives the student more than a piece of paper; it also pays for extra services, such as more attention from the instructor.

 

 

edx-micromasters-sept2016

 

Also somewhat related/see (emphasis DSC):

  • An Online Education Breakthrough? A Master’s Degree for a Mere $7,000 — from nytimes.com by Kevin Carey
    Excerpt:
    Georgia Tech rolled out its online master’s in computer science in 2014. It already had a highly selective residential master’s program that cost about the same as those of competitor colleges. Some may see online learning as experimental or inferior, something associated with downmarket for-profit colleges. But the nation’s best universities have fully embraced it. Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, U.S.C. and others have also developed online master’s degrees, for which they charge the same tuition as their residential programs.Georgia Tech decided to do something different. It charges online students the smallest amount necessary to cover its costs. That turned out to be $510 for a three-credit class. U.S.C. charges online students $5,535 for a three-credit class. (Both programs also charge small per-semester fees.)

    With one of the top 10 computer science departments in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech had a reputation to uphold. So it made the online program as much like the residential program as possible.

 

 

 

If you doubt that we are on an exponential pace of change, you need to check these articles out! [Christian]

exponentialpaceofchange-danielchristiansep2016

 

From DSC:
The articles listed in
this PDF document demonstrate the exponential pace of technological change that many nations across the globe are currently experiencing and will likely be experiencing for the foreseeable future. As we are no longer on a linear trajectory, we need to consider what this new trajectory means for how we:

  • Educate and prepare our youth in K-12
  • Educate and prepare our young men and women studying within higher education
  • Restructure/re-envision our corporate training/L&D departments
  • Equip our freelancers and others to find work
  • Help people in the workforce remain relevant/marketable/properly skilled
  • Encourage and better enable lifelong learning
  • Attempt to keep up w/ this pace of change — legally, ethically, morally, and psychologically

 

PDF file here

 

One thought that comes to mind…when we’re moving this fast, we need to be looking upwards and outwards into the horizons — constantly pulse-checking the landscapes. We can’t be looking down or be so buried in our current positions/tasks that we aren’t noticing the changes that are happening around us.

 

 

 

Algorithmia-July2016

About:

Algorithmia was born in 2013 with the goal of advancing the art of algorithm development, discovery and use. As developers ourselves we believe that given the right tools the possibilities for innovation and discovery are limitless.

Today we build what we believe to be the next era of programming: a collaborative, always live and community driven approach to making the machines that we interact with better.

The community drives the Algorithmia API. One API that exposes the collective knowledge of algorithm developers across the globe.

 

 

 

From DSC:
As I read the article below, I couldn’t help but think of Microsoft’s recent announcement to purchase LinkedIn.com (who had already acquired Lynda.com last year).  Perhaps Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn (and with it, Lynda.com) will bring big data to lifelong learning, career building, and matching job providers with job seekers (i.e., online-based marketplaces/exchanges). If Microsoft doesn’t do this, perhaps IBM’s Watson will. But this is where blockchain could come in as well…to verify that someone actually took this or that module, course, training, etc.


 

How Microcredentials are Changing the Landscape of Higher and Technical Education — from evolllution.com by Michael Netzer, Associate Provost & SVP of Academic Program Development and Outreach, American Public University System

Excerpts:

Just ten years ago, one would never have considered the portability of credentials that could follow a person from location to location, allowing potential employers to verify a job candidate’s fit for a position quickly. However, that is just what has happened, and the explosion of interest in digital badging and microcredentials is changing the landscape of higher education.

Digital badges encoded with microcredentials contain meta data that links back to the issuer, performance criteria, and verification of evidence.

Ultimately, badging offers portability of acknowledged skills and abilities that can be carried anywhere to demonstrate competency. Learners can accumulate badges across institutional platforms, and the badges can be sorted, shown, or hidden by the learner to reflect achievement in the particular skills or knowledge which the learner wishes to exhibit.

 

 

 

5 essential skills you need to keep your job in the next 10 years — from fastcompany.com by Gwen Moran
Automation may affect half of jobs. Here are five areas to develop to keep yourself employed.

Excerpts/quotes (emphasis DSC):

  1. Trendspotting
  2. Collaborating in new ways
  3. Building brands—even as employees
  4. Learning next-level technology
  5. Developing your emotional intelligence

 

  • Trendspotting
    With the workplace changing so quickly, it’s essential to develop systems to not only monitor those changes, but to distill the information and training you’ll need to keep up with them. That means staying abreast of industry developments, taking classes, attending trade events, and following thought leaders who are talking about your sector. It also means being observant about the day-to-day tasks and functions that matter and how they’re changing, separating anomalies from trends.
  • Looking for the next changes and remaining ahead of the curve in learning about them will be essential to remaining among the most marketable employees.
  • In addition, following trends and thought leadership in your own sector and ensuring that your skills are staying up to date will also play a role.
  • …remaining employable will require embracing rather than eschewing tech changes
  • Pay attention to what’s happening in the most advanced workplaces in your field and prepare. That way, you’ll be ahead of the game when the changes come to you.

 

 

From DSC:
It is great to see an article that encourages trendspotting, being aware of what’s happening in the world around us, and looking upwards/into the horizons as key skills!  Given the pace of change, this is becoming critical for people to do — otherwise, we risk being blindsided by changes — by incoming “waves” of change — that we didn’t see coming. We don’t want to be tapped on the shoulder, personally escorted to that conference room with all of the windows having cardboard on them, and then be let go…to our utter shock and dismay.

 

Laid Off Get Back On Track

Image from:
ttp://www.careerealism.com/laid-off-get-back-immediately/

 

This also means that we should be teaching more about trendspotting and futurism in K-20.

 

Further questions/thoughts:

  • Will our students be able to pivot? To reinvent themselves? To practice lifelong learning?
    .
  • Will our students have the ability to peer into the horizons and be able to ascertain potential scenarios and directions that could impact them? Will they have the problem solving skills to plan for potential plans of action to address these scenarios?
    .
  • Does each of us have an effective learning ecosystem that is robust enough — and up-to-date — that will help us adapt, learn, and grow?

 

 

 

Why can’t the “One Day University” come directly into your living room — 24×7? [Christian]

  • An idea/question from DSC:
    Looking at the article below, I wonder…“Why can’t the ‘One Day University‘ come directly into your living room — 24×7?”

 

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

 

This is why I’m so excited about the “The Living [Class] Room” vision. Because it is through that vision that people of all ages — and from all over the world — will be able to constantly learn, grow, and reinvent themselves (if need be) throughout their lifetimes. They’ll be able to access and share content, communicate and discuss/debate with one another, form communities of practice, go through digital learning playlists (like Lynda.com’s Learning Paths) and more.  All from devices that represent the convergence of the television, the telephone, and the computer (and likely converging with the types of devices that are only now coming into view, such as Microsoft’s Hololens).

 

LearningPaths-LyndaDotCom-April2016

 

You won’t just be limited to going back to college for a day — you’ll be able to do that 24×7 for as many days of the year as you want to.

Then when some sophisticated technologies are integrated into this type of platform — such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based learner profiles, algorithms, and the ability to setup exchanges for learning materials — we’ll get some things that will blow our minds in the not too distant future! Heutagogy on steroids!

 

 


 

 

Want to go back to college? You can, for a day. — from washingtonpost.com by Valerie Strauss

Excerpt:

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if you could go back to college, just for the sake of learning something new, in a field you don’t know much about, with no tests, homework or studying to worry about? And you won’t need to take the SAT or the ACT to be accepted? You can, at least for a day, with something called One Day University, the brainchild of a man named Steve Schragis, who about a decade ago brought his daughter to Bard College as a freshman and thought that he wanted to stay.

One Day University now financially partners with dozens of newspapers — including The Washington Post — and a few other organizations to bring lectures to people around the country. The vast majority of the attendees are over the age 50 and interested in continuing education, and One Day University offers them only those professors identified by college students as fascinating. As Schragis says, it doesn’t matter if you are famous; you have to be a great teacher. For example, Schragis says that since Bill Gates has never shown to be one, he can’t teach at One Day University.

We bring together these professors, usually four at at a time, to cities across the country to create “The Perfect Day of College.” Of course we leave out the homework, exams, and studying! Best if there’s real variety, both male and female profs, four different schools, four different subjects, four different styles, etc. There’s no one single way to be a great professor. We like to show multiple ways to our students.

Most popular classes are history, psychology, music, politics, and film. Least favorite are math and science.

 

 


See also:


 

 

OneDayUniversity-1-April2016

 

OneDayUniversity-2-April2016

 

 

 


Addendum:


 

 

lyndaDotcom-onAppleTV-April2016

 

We know the shelf-life of skills are getting shorter and shorter. So whether it’s to brush up on new skills or it’s to stay on top of evolving ones, Lynda.com can help you stay ahead of the latest technologies.

 

 

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