Zoom product updates showcase the art of the possible for hybrid work — from diginomica.com by Derek du Preez
Zoom’s annual conference – Zoomtopia – kicked off with a number of impressive product updates that highlight how we should be thinking about the future of hybrid work.

Excerpt:

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan kicked off the collaboration vendor’s annual conference – Zoomtopia – with a swathe of product updates that effectively showcase how we should be thinking about the future of hybrid work.

What’s clear is that Zoom is thinking well beyond its video call roots and is creating a platform that’s an effective place for people to get work done. Upcoming integrations with the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox are just part of this.

Features such as being able to continuously access and collaborate on content in a meeting, whether that be chats or files, whilst also having call transcriptions instantly accessible within the Zoom client after a call is completed, and having access to Zoom Whiteboard to create visual presentations – and being able to do this wherever you are – gives you an idea of how the vendor is thinking about making remote work as seamless and productive as possible.

From DSC:
The intense competition between vendors like Zoom, Cisco, Microsoft, and others will only benefit all of us in the longer term. Here’s to innovation! Online learning may never be the same again. For that matter, learning may never be the same again.

 

Fintropolis is an educational Minecraft world that teaching middle schoolers finance — from pixelkin.org

Excerpt:

Two years ago, Ally Financial, a financial services company, hired four interns from Historically Black Colleges and Universities through their Moguls in the Making program to promote financial literacy in younger students. The four college students, Erin Martin (Alabama A&M), Earl Perry and Keishon Smith (Florida A&M), and DeMari Tyner (North Carolina A&T) designed Fintropolis, a world in Minecraft, available now for free in Minecraft and Minecraft: Education Edition.

Also see:

Learn about life-boosting financial skills, including careers & jobs, taxes, budgeting, savings, credit, identity protection and investing.

 

OPM + MOOC = OPX. 244 University Partnerships in the first half of 2021 — from HolonIQ

OPX has well and truly arrived. 2U’s acquisition of EdX. Coursera’s IPO. SEEK’s 50% stake in FutureLearn and their ownership of OES. UpGrad’s rumored $4B valuation. Shorelight Live. Minerva’s OPM pivot. The list goes on, and meanwhile 244 University Partnerships were forged in the first half 2021.

 

 

How to Add a Signature in Word on a PC or Mac — from businessinsider.com by Melanie Weir

Excerpt:

  • You can add a signature to a Microsoft Word document in several ways, depending on the computer you’re using.
  • You can upload a physical signature using a scanner or a cell phone, add additional text like your job title, and then save it to be reused later.

 

 
 

From DSC:
One of our daughters — who just graduated from college with a degree in Early Education — told me about a fun tool for classroom management. It’s called ClassroomScreen.com. I just thought I’d pass it along in case you want to try it out!

“Support your class activities, stimulate engagement and help your students get to work by using the intuitive tools of Classroomscreen.”

A fun tool for classroom management: Roll the dice, a calendar, stopwatch, clock, & more!

She also mentioned:

  • Slides.go — Free Google Slides and PowerPoint templates to boost your presentations
  • Teacher TikTok — elementary teacher, classroom resources
 

The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready? — from Microsoft

“Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work. Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work.”

Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft

This graphic lists the 7 trends out at a new report from Microsoft re: the future of work and the trends that they are seeing.

 

Also see:

 

 

Leveraging EdTech: brilliant tools for student voice — from global-edtech.com by Cecilia Astolfi
Cecilia Astolfi provides three very useful tips for any teachers wishing to promote student voice in the classroom

There are three tools I recommend in order to enhance the ability of students to express their views in a constructive and valuable manner.

Best Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Teachers — from by Luke Edwards
You may be amazed to see how much you can get out of Microsoft PowerPoint as a teacher

Excerpt:

5. Create Instagram Stories in PowerPoint
Another social media app that has great traction with students is Instagram, specifically the Stories feature that allows you to share images or videos from the day, which are wiped for a fresh set each day.

Imagine doing this in class? Perhaps the students could carry on a story you were studying in class. Maybe they could tell the tale of a comet as it travels through space. The options are huge and it’s easy to do using this PowerPoint template as a starting point.

6 kids games that make math learning engaging and entertaining — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

BBC School Radio Maths is an excellent educational resource we learned from MakeUseOf‘ s list of 10 Cool Math Games for Kids. School Radio Maths offers a wide variety of educational games to help kids develop their math skills. Kids will get to grapple with various numeracy challenges that involves a higher degree of mental skills. The games are entertaining enough to keep pupils motivated and focused on the learning task at hand.

6 strategies to help you improve your math skills — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:
As a child, did you love math back in the elementary? Now that you are an adult, do you feel awkward with your Mathematic’s skills? Let’s admit it – not everyone is great at Math. Some find it fun, brilliant, stimulating others find it too difficult to comprehend.

However, the stigma associated with math learning is not always true especially knowing that Math is omnipresent and is being used in almost every facet of our life. The purpose of this post is to share with you  some of the ways to help you  strengthen your Math skills.

This map lets you fly along the path of a drop of water from any place in the U.S. — from fastcompany.com by Adele Peters
Click on any spot or enter an address, and it will show where the water is likely to flow. Good for both learning how pollution and plastic spreads, but also for an aerial visual ride of the country’s waterways.
Also see: river-runner.samlearner.com/

This image portrays a map of the United States.

Hands-On with the Lego Snapchat Augmented Reality Experience That Lets You Build With Friends Remotely — from next.reality.news by Adario Strange

Excerpt:

The world of Lego is timeless primarily because everyone, regardless of age or background, can build a wide variety of amazing things with the simple component blocks from the classic toymaker.

But now that Snapchat has brought that dynamic to augmented reality via the Rebuild the World Snapchat Lens the possibilities are truly endless.

Snap Spectacles Early Prototype, Volkswagen Drives into AR, Inside Lego Snapchat, & Instagram Updates AR — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Best Apps To Learn The Korean Language — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

Korean, one of the popular Asian languages for non-native speakers, is the official language of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

This is an increasingly important language globally considering South Korea’s powerful economy, geopolitical importance, and growing presence in Asian pop culture; perhaps one reason for garnering a surprising amount of interest in people worldwide to learn the Korean language.

5 Places to Sell Your Artwork Online — from hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Selling art online is making a comeback. Artists have been selling their work on the Internet but as of late, there’s an increase in online art sales. You can of course build your own website to share your art, run your own marketing and promotional exercise via social media and other channels but you will probably gain more exposure with the following websites . Time to get your beautiful art out there.

12 good edtech tools to use in your distance education — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Looking for some educational websites to help you with the management of your online (and also face-to-face) classroom teaching? The list below has you covered. It features a collection of  some popular web tools you can use to perform a wide variety of educational tasks. These include: creating interactive video lessons, collect formative assessments and provide real-time feedback to students, enhance students learning through the use of digital games and flashcards, create online classes and share assignments and learning resources with students, organize students into appropriate learning groups and many more. Links to these websites are under the visual.

 

You’ll Soon be Able to Use Your Apple Watch Without Touching the Screen — from wsj.com by Katie Deighton
Companies like Apple and Spotify are making it easier for people with disabilities to use their products. Accessibility advocates hope more follow suit

AssistiveTouch, a new feature coming to the Apple Watch, will let users operate the device without having to touch the screen or controls.

AssistiveTouch, a new feature coming to the Apple Watch, will let users operate the device without having to touch the screen or controls. It was designed with people who have upper-body limb differences in mind.

PHOTO: APPLE INC.

Excerpt:

Later this year, Apple Inc. will introduce features that allow users to control an iPad with their eyes, and its smartwatch with gestures like a pinch or a fist clench.

The company announced the moves this week as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 20, an event established in 2011. Other big tech players revealed initiatives and commitments of their own, from automatic podcast transcriptions by Spotify Technology S.A to the updated design of a specific virtual block in Microsoft Corp.’s “Minecraft” to make it more visible to colorblind players.

 

7 good apps for learning spelling — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

We have curated for you this collection of carefully vetted apps to use with your kids, students and anyone else keen on learning and improving their spelling skills. The apps provide guided practice, interactive games, lessons, quizzes, puzzles, and several other materials to make learning spelling a fun and engaging task. We invite you to check them out and share with us if you have other suggestions to add to the list.

From DSC:
If you or someone you know is having significant issues with spelling, you/they may want to do some investigative work around:

Also, Microsoft’s Immersive Reader might come in handy.

 

 

Reimagining the Future of Accessible Education with AI (Part I) — from blogs.microsoft.com by Heather Dowdy

Reimagining the Future of Accessible Education with AI (Part 2) — from blogs.microsoft.com by Heather Dowdy
[During Feb 2021], the Microsoft AI for Accessibility program [called] for project proposals that advance AI-powered innovations in education that will empower people with disabilities. Through a two-part series, we are highlighting projects we are supporting.

And an excerpt from Brad Smith’s (4/28/21) posting:

That’s why today we’re announcing the next phase of our accessibility journey, a new technology-led five-year commitment to create and open doors to bigger opportunities for people with disabilities. This new initiative will bring together every corner of Microsoft’s business with a focus on three priorities: Spurring the development of more accessible technology across our industry and the economy; using this technology to create opportunities for more people with disabilities to enter the workforce; and building a workplace that is more inclusive for people with disabilities.

 

10 takeaways from Big Tech’s big earnings — from protocol.com by David Pierce
What Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon earnings say about the state of tech.

 

 

Doubling down on accessibility: Microsoft’s next steps to expand accessibility in technology, the workforce and workplace — from Brad Smith, President of Microsoft

Excerpt:

Accessibility by design
Today, we are announcing a variety of new “accessible by design” features and advances in Microsoft 365, enabling more than 200 million people to build, edit and share documents. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies, we aim to make more content accessible and as simple and automatic as spell check is today. For example:

  • A new background accessibility checker will provide a prompt to fix accessibility issues in content across the core Office apps and Outlook will nudge users to correct accessibility issues.
  • AI in Microsoft Word will detect and convert to heading styles crucial for blind and low-vision readers.
  • A new Excel navigation pane designed for screen readers will help people easily discover and navigate objects in a spreadsheet.
  • We’re expanding Immersive Reader, used by 35 million people every month, to help with the comprehension of PowerPoint slides and notes.
  • In Teams, high-contrast mode can be used to access shared content using PowerPoint Live  which will reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity with Dark Mode in Word.
  • New LinkedIn features that include auto-captioning for LinkedIn Live broadcasts, captions for enterprise content and dark mode later this year.

More than 1 billion people around the world live with a disability, and at some point, most of us likely will face some type of temporary, situational or permanent disability. The practical impacts are huge. 

Addendum on 5/6/21:

 

 7 Things You Didn’t Know PowerPoint Could Do That Will Make Your Next Presentation POP! — from Dr. Echo Rivera; posted 4/20/21

Excerpt:

I’m going to show you more than 7 Powerpoint features, but I’ve broken them down into 7 categories.

Here are those seven categories:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Photo Editing
  3. Interactivity
  4. Animations
  5. Custom Visuals
  6. Data Visualization
  7. Saving Time
 

Clicking this image will take you to the 2021 Tech Trends Report -- from the Future Today Institute

14th Annual Edition | 2021 Tech Trends Report — from the Future Today Institute

Our 2021 Tech Trends Report is designed to help you confront deep uncertainty, adapt and thrive. For this year’s edition, the magnitude of new signals required us to create 12 separate volumes, and each report focuses on a cluster of related trends. In total, we’ve analyzed  nearly 500 technology and science trends across multiple industry sectors. In each volume, we discuss the disruptive forces, opportunities and strategies that will drive your organization in the near future.

Now, more than ever, your organization should examine the potential near and long-term impact of tech trends. You must factor the trends in this report into your strategic thinking for the coming year, and adjust your planning, operations and business models accordingly. But we hope you will make time for creative exploration. From chaos, a new world will come.

Some example items noted in this report:

  • Natural language processing is an area experiencing high interest, investment, and growth.
  • + No-code or low-code systems are unlocking new use cases for businesses.
  • Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud’s low-code and no-code offerings will trickle down to everyday people, allowing them to create their own artificial intelligence applications and deploy them as easily as they could a website.
  • The race is on to capture AI cloudshare—and to become the most trusted provider of AI on remote servers.
  • COVID-19 accelerated the use of AI in drug discovery last year. The first trial of an AI-discovered drug is underway in Japan.
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian