Veeery interesting. Alexa now adds visuals / a screen! With the addition of 100 skills a day, where might this new platform lead?

Amazon introduces Echo Show

The description reads:

  • Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
  • With eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Jeopardy!, Allrecipes, CNN, and more

 

 

 

 

 

 



From DSC:

Now we’re seeing a major competition between the heavy-hitters to own one’s living room, kitchen, and more. Voice controlled artificial intelligence. But now, add the ability to show videos, text, graphics, and more. Play music. Control the lights and the thermostat. Communicate with others via hands-free video calls.

Hmmm….very interesting times indeed.

 

 

Developers and corporates released 4,000 new skills for the voice assistant in just the last quarter. (source)

 

…with the company adding about 100 skills per day. (source)

 

 

 

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

 

 



 

Addendum on 5/10/17:

 



 

 

New Google Earth has exciting features for teachers — from thejournal.com by Richard Chang

Excerpt:

Google has recently released a brand new version of Google Earth for both Chrome and Android. This new version has come with a slew of nifty features teachers can use for educational purposes with students in class. Following is a quick overview of the most fascinating features…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blockchain Revolution and Higher Education — from er.educause.edu by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott
The blockchain provides a rich, secure, and transparent platform on which to create a global network for higher learning. This Internet of value can help to reinvent higher education in a way the Internet of information alone could not.

Excerpt:

What will be the most important technology to change higher education? In our view, it’s not big data, the social web, MOOCs, virtual reality, or even artificial intelligence. We see these as components of something new, all enabled and transformed by an emerging technology called the blockchain.

OK, it’s not the most sonorous word ever, sounding more like a college football strategy than a transformative technology. Yet, sonorous or not, the blockchain represents nothing less than the second generation of the Internet, and it holds the potential to disrupt money, business, government, and yes, higher education.

The opportunities for innovators in higher education fall into four categories:

  • Identity and Student Records: How we identify students; protect their privacy; measure, record, and credential their accomplishments; and keep these records secure
  • New Pedagogy: How we customize teaching to each student and create new models of learning
  • Costs (Student Debt): How we value and fund education and reward students for the quality of their work
  • The Meta-University: How we design entirely new models of higher education so that former MIT President Chuck Vest’s dream can become a reality1

The blockchain may help us change the relationships among colleges and universities and, in turn, their relationship to society.

Let us explain.

 

What if there was an Internet of value — a global, distributed, highly secure platform, ledger, or database where we could store and exchange things of value and where we could trust each other without powerful intermediaries? That is the blockchain.

 

 

From DSC:
The quote…

In 2006, MIT President Emeritus Vest offered a tantalizing vision of what he called the meta-university. In the open-access movement, he saw “a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic, communally constructed framework of open materials and platforms on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced.”

…made me wonder if this is where a vision that I’m tracking called Learning from the Living [Class] Room is heading. Also, along these lines, futurist Thomas Frey believes

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider. (source)

Blockchain could be a key piece of this vision.

 

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

 

Apple Releases Education Bundle With Video, Audio Editing Tools — from campustechnology.com

Excerpt:

Apple Friday introduced its Pro Apps Bundle for Education, available for K–12 schools and higher ed institutions.

The bundle is a collection of five apps from Apple that deliver industry-level tools for video editors and musicians:

 

Also see:

 

 

 

 

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with AI, NLP, and blockchain-based technologies! [Christian]

From DSC:

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and blockchain-based technologies!

When I saw the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder what (we currently know of as) “TVs” will morph into and what functionalities they will be able to provide to us in the not-too-distant future…?

For example, the article mentions that Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element will be offering TVs that can not only access Alexa — a personal assistant from Amazon which uses artificial intelligence — but will also be able to provide access to over 7,000 apps and games via the Amazon Fire TV Store.

Some of the questions that come to my mind:

  • Why can’t there be more educationally-related games and apps available on this type of platform?
  • Why can’t the results of the assessments taken on these apps get fed into cloud-based learner profiles that capture one’s lifelong learning? (#blockchain)
  • When will potential employers start asking for access to such web-based learner profiles?
  • Will tvOS and similar operating systems expand to provide blockchain-based technologies as well as the types of functionality we get from our current set of CMSs/LMSs?
  • Will this type of setup become a major outlet for competency-based education as well as for corporate training-related programs?
  • Will augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) capabilities come with our near future “TVs”?
  • Will virtual tutoring be one of the available apps/channels?
  • Will the microphone and the wide angle, HD camera on the “TV” be able to be disconnected from the Internet for security reasons? (i.e., to be sure no hacker is eavesdropping in on their private lives)

 

Forget a streaming stick: These 4K TVs come with Amazon Fire TV inside — from techradar.com by Nick Pino

Excerpt:

The TVs will not only have access to Alexa via a microphone-equipped remote but, more importantly, will have access to the over 7,000 apps and games available on the Amazon Fire TV Store – a huge boon considering that most of these Smart TVs usually include, at max, a few dozen apps.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 


Addendums


 

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

.

  • Once thought to be a fad, MOOCs showed staying power in 2016 — from educationdive.com
    Dive Brief:

    • EdSurge profiles the growth of massive online open courses in 2016, which attracted more than 58 million students in over 700 colleges and universities last year.
    • The top three MOOC providers — Coursera, Udacity and EdX — collectively grossed more than $100 million last year, as much of the content provided on these platforms shifted from free to paywall guarded materials.
    • Many MOOCs have moved to offering credentialing programs or nanodegree offerings to increase their value in industrial marketplaces.
 

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.

 

 

 

 

10 Incredible Uses of Virtual Reality — from fortune.com by Rose Leadem
It’s not just for video games.

Excerpt:

Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, architecture to manufacturing.

Psychologists and other medical professionals are using VR to heighten traditional therapy methods and find effective solutions for treatments of PTSD, anxiety and social disorders. Doctors are employing VR to train medical students in surgery, treat patients’ pains and even help paraplegics regain body functions.

In business, a variety of industries are benefiting from VR. Carmakers are creating safer vehicles, architects are constructing stronger buildings and even travel agencies are using it to simplify vacation planning.

Check out these 10 amazing uses of VR.

 

 

Visit the U.K. Prime Minister’s Home in This Virtual 10 Downing Street Experience — from uploadvr.com by

Excerpt:

Google has unveiled a new interactive online exhibit that take users on a tour of 10 Downing street in London — home of the U.K. Prime Minister.

The building has served as home to countless British political leaders, from Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher through to Tony Blair and — as of a few months ago — Theresa May. But, as you’d expect in today’s security-conscious age, gaining access to the residence isn’t easy; the street itself is gated off from the public. This is why the 10 Downing Street exhibit may capture the imagination of politics aficionados and history buffs from around the world.

The tour features 360-degree views of the various rooms, punctuated by photos and audio and video clips.

 

 

 

Microsoft’s HoloLens Now Helps Elevator Technicians Work Smarter — from uploadvr.com by Charles Singletary

Excerpt:

In a slightly more grounded environment, the HoloLens is being used to assist technicians in elevator repairs.

Traversal via elevator is such a regular part of our lifestyles, its importance is rarely recognized…until they’re not working as they should be. ThyssenKrupp AG, one of the largest suppliers for elevators, recognizes how essential they are as well as how the simplest malfunctions can deter the lives of millions. Announced on their blog, Microsoft is partnering with Thyssenkrupp to equip 24,000 of their technicians with HoloLens.

 

 

ms-hololens-thyssenkrupp-sept2016

Insert from DSC re: the above piece re: HoloLens:

Will technical communicators need to augment their skillsets? It appears so.

 

 

 

 

Phiona: A Virtual Reality Portrait of ‘Queen of Katwe’ — from abcnews.com by Angel Canales and Adam Rivera

 

vr-queenofkatwe-2016

 

 

Get a front-row seat in Harvard’s largest class, thanks to virtual reality — from medium.freecodecamp.com by Dhawal Shah

harvard-cs50-sep2016

Intro video here: This is CS50 2016

 

 

The future of mobile video is virtual reality — from techcrunch.com by Mike Wadhera

Excerpt:

But in a world where no moment is too small to record with a mobile sensor, and one in which time spent in virtual reality keeps going up, interesting parallels start to emerge with our smartphones and headsets.

Let’s look at how the future could play out in the real world by observing three key drivers: VR video adoption, mobile-video user needs and the smartphone camera rising tide.

 

 

Now, a virtual reality programme to improve social skills in autistic kids — from cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com by
The VR training platform creates a safe place for participants to practice social situations without the intense fear of consequence.

Excerpt:

“Individuals with autism may become overwhelmed and anxious in social situations,” research clinician Dr Nyaz Didehbani said.

“The virtual reality training platform creates a safe place for participants to practice social situations without the intense fear of consequence,” said Didehbani.

The participants who completed the training demonstrated improved social cognition skills and reported better relationships, researchers said.

 

 

 


Also see:


 

 

 

 

LinkedIn announced several things yesterday (9/22/16). Below are some links to these announcements:


Introducing LinkedIn Learning, a Better Way to Develop Skills and Talent — from learning.linkedin.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Today, we are thrilled to announce the launch of LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform enabling individuals and organizations to achieve their objectives and aspirations. Our goal is to help people discover and develop the skills they need through a personalized, data-driven learning experience.

LinkedIn Learning combines the industry-leading content from Lynda.com with LinkedIn’s professional data and network. With more than 450 million member profiles and billions of engagements, we have a unique view of how jobs, industries, organizations and skills evolve over time. From this, we can identify the skills you need and deliver expert-led courses to help you obtain those skills. We’re taking the guesswork out of learning.

The pressure on individuals and organizations to adapt to change has never been greater. The skills that got you to where you are today are not the skills to prepare you for tomorrow. In fact, the shelf-life of skills is less than five years, and many of today’s fastest growing job categories didn’t even exist five years ago.

To tackle these challenges, LinkedIn Learning is built on three core pillars:

Data-driven personalization: We get the right course in front of you at the right time. Using the intelligence that comes with our network, LinkedIn Learning creates personalized recommendations, so learners can efficiently discover which courses are most relevant to their goals or job function. Organizations can use LinkedIn insights to customize multi-course Learning Paths to meet their specific needs. We also provide robust analytics and reporting to help you measure learning effectiveness.

 

linkedinlearning-announced-9-22-16

 

 

LinkedIn’s first big move since the $26.2 billion Microsoft acquisition is basically a ‘school’ for getting a better job — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

Today, LinkedIn has launched LinkedIn Learning — its first major product launch since the news last June that Microsoft would be snapping up the social network for $26.2 billion in a deal that has yet to close.

LinkedIn Learning takes the online skills training classes the company got in its 2015 acquisition of Lynda.com for $1.5 billion.

The idea, says LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, is to help its 433 million-plus members get the skills they need to stay relevant in a world that’s increasingly reliant on digital skills.

 

 

 

LinkedIn’s New Learning Platform to Recommend Lynda Courses for Professionals — from edsurge.com by Marguerite McNeal

Excerpt:

Companies will also be able to create their own “learning paths”—bundles of courses around a particular topic—to train employees. A chief learning officer, for instance, might compile a package of courses in product management and ask 10 employees to complete the assignments over the course of a few months.

LinkedIn is also targeting higher-education institutions with the new offering. It is marketing the solution as a professional development tool that can help faculty learn how to use classroom tools such as Moodle, Adobe Captivate and learning management systems.

 

“Increasingly predictions of tech displacing workers are coming to fruition,” he added. “The idea that you can study a skill once and have a job for the rest of your life—those days are over.”

 

 

 

LinkedIn Learning for higher education

 

 

 

Accelerating LinkedIn’s Vision Through Innovation — from slideshare.net

linkeinlearning-sept2016

 

linkeinlearning2-sept2016

 

 

LinkedIn adding new training features, news feeds and ‘bots’ — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

LinkedIn is also adding more personalized features to its news feed, where members can see articles and announcements posted by their professional contacts. A new “Interest Feed” will offer a collection of articles, posts and opinion pieces on major news events or current issues.

 

 

 

 

 

WEF-August2016-Blockchain

 

The future of financial infrastructure: An ambitious look at how blockchain can reshape financial services — from weforum.org

Key findings include:

  • Distributed ledger technology (blockchain) has the potential to drive simplicity and efficiency by establishing new financial services infrastructure and processes
  • Distributed ledger technology will form the foundation of next generation financial services infrastructure in conjunction with other existing and emerging technologies
  • Similar to technological advances in the past, new financial services infrastructure will transform and question traditional orthodoxies in today’s business models
  • The most impactful distributed ledger technology applications will require deep collaboration between incumbents, innovators, and regulators, adding complexity and delaying implementation

The report is centered on use cases, considering how distributed ledger technology could benefit each scenario. How will blockchain transform the future of financial services?

 

 

 

Ernst & Young’s report anticipates blockchain to reach critical mass in 3-5 years — from coinspeaker.com by Tatsiana Yablonskaya
Ernst and Young explains that financial industry is far from being the only one that can benefit from the blockchain technology.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Ernst & Young, leading consulting firm, one of the “Big Four” audit firms and the third largest professional services firm in the world, has made some predictions about the future of the blockchain technology and its significance in various industry sectors in the recent report.

The attention of multiple financial companies has been focused on the blockchain lately. This unique technology is well adaptable to the increasing requirements of secure bookkeeping and automation in various industries.

The EY report predicts that blockchain will reach critical mass in financial services in 3-5 years, with other industries following quickly. “One reason the blockchain reaction is racing toward critical mass faster than previous disruptive technologies is that it is arriving in the midst of the digital transformation already sweeping through most sectors of the global economy. Consequently, despite the obstacles still to be overcome, businesspeople and governments are preconditioned to recognize blockchain’s potential. Tech companies have already established much of the digital infrastructure required to realize blockchain business visions.”

 

 


From DSC:
Applying this technology towards the world of learning…

I wonder how blockchain might impact credentialing for lifelong learning, and will it be integrated into services available via tvOS-based applications?  This type of cloud-based offering/service could likely be a piece of our future learning ecosystems. Innovative, forward-thinking institutions should put this on their radar now, and start working on such efforts.

 

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


 

 
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