From DSC:
These ideas are specially meant for you entrepreneurs and vendors out there! Including such vendors and products such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect, and others!

This idea could also be profitable and fun for CMS/LMS vendors and products such as Instructure/Canvas, Blackboard Learn, D2L, Google Classroom and others!


How might we take engagement within an online-based learning environment to an entirely different level? Well, check out these ideas!

What if learning could feature more personality? Be more fun? Have shades of game shows even!? Yet at the same time, if you are a learner who ventures into the ideas that I’m about to suggest, you had better be ready to back up and explain your perspective/position!

Here’s what I’m getting at. You know when you are messaging you can insert some fun motion graphics into your message?

 

Well, what about if we could select from a bank of very short video clips during a live/synchronous discussion — or during an asynchronous-based discussion board posting — that contained a famous movie clip/message? Then, if you choose to do that, you are then required to explain your perspective/position.  

 

Video What the video could mean
“Beam me up Scotty! There’s no intelligent life down here.” This is ridiculous. No one’s making any sense here. 
“You meddling kids.”
 From various bad guys on Scooby-Doo.
 You’re messing with me. I don’t agree with your perspective, and here’s why.
“That does not compute.”
Spock from Star Trek. 
I don’t agree with your answer. That doesn’t make any sense and here’s why.
“You can’t handle the truth.”
Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.”
Are you sure you want to know the truth about this topic? Can you handle such a truth? This is about to get real in here.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda. Star Wars
 Take action on something; do something.
“I’ll be back.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger in various films.
I’m stepping away from my desk…but I’ll be back soon.
or
You may have one this round, but I’ll be back for another round.

Learners within a learning community could use entertainment and have some fun while also having to backup their position/perspective! Talk about engagement! Shooooot.

And/or…learners could be like DJ’s at radio stations — and, on the fly, select from a bank of songs, audio-based noises and sounds!

The danger here is that humor can sometimes backfire and/or offend someone. So we would need to watch the content that’s available to choose from within the repositories of media. We would want to do some serious beta testing here to make sure things stay on the fun, entertaining, and educational sides of things.

Such an approach could introduce opportunities for creativity and for honing one’s ability to think on one’s feet. Also, learners could work on their communication skills as well as their ability to debate or persuade, or to practice some critical thinking.

While more gameshow-like on the surface, if you use such media, you have to explain why you used that media.

 

28 Website Accessibility Terms to Know in 2022 — from blog.hubspot.com by Jamie Juviler

Excerpt:

No matter the type of website you run or the industry that you’re in, prioritizing web accessibility is key to your success.

To ensure your website meets today’s standards for web accessibility, you’ll first need to understand the terminology. Accessibility is a big, dense area with a lot of jargon, acronyms, and codes — enough to steer a new website owner away from the topic altogether.

That’s why we’ve put together this glossary of 28 essential web accessibility terms any website owners should be aware of. By knowing the language, you’ll find it much easier to adopt accessibility principles on your own site and better serve visitors with disabilities.

Addendum on 12/31/21:

Accessibility awareness is on the rise, but is it turning into action? — from techcrunch.com by Joe Devon

Excerpts:

Harris Poll reveals that more than half of American adults increased their online activities because of the pandemic. That number grows to 60% for people with disabilities.

The increase in online activities does not mean that everyone is able to achieve their goals. So, what kind of impact is the crisis having on accessibility? Are organizations finally getting the message on the importance of accessibility?

With that, here are the key results from the Alexa top 100 website testing:

    • Out of the websites tested, 62% were accessible to screen readers, up from 40% in 2020.
    • Every single page passed for having the valid document “lang” attribute.
    • Only 11% of websites tested had errors in input field labels.
    • The most common error was the use of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications specification)
    • The second most common error was color contrast.

From DSC:
That last article linked to:

 

From DSC:
As the article below clearly relays, MOOCs did NOT fail! In the last decade, they have reached 220 million learners worldwide!

I don’t know the total number of graduates from the Ivy League — throughout all of the relevant institutions’ histories — but I would bet you that MOOCs have reached far more learners. And MOOCs did so in less than a decade. 

And you’re going to tell me MOOCs have been a failure?!!!! Are you being serious!?!?!  You can talk about completion rates all that you want to (and that misses the point, as some people sign up for MOOCs without ever intending to finish the entire course). As with other things, people get out of something what they put into that thing.


A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021 — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpts:

Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.

Originally, MOOC providers relied on universities to create courses. But that dependence is declining as more and more of the courses are created by companies every year. These corporate partners in course creation include tech giants Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

…the majority of the new courses launched on Coursera in 2021 are not from universities anymore.

These mass online courses were born without a business model. Yet within a decade, MOOCs went from no revenue to bringing in well over a half a billion dollars annually.

 

hoopla digital streaming service -- borrow books, music, movies, and more. Very cool service.

hoopla digital is a digital streaming service for library users to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows using portable devices like smartphones and tablets.

From DSC:
I downloaded this app yesterday and borrowed a classical Christmas album on the spot. Our local library gives us 10 items per month:

  • Books are available for 21 days
  • Videos are available for 72 hours
  • Music titles are available for 7 days

NOTE: hoopla is available on desktops, phones, tablets, Alexa devices, Rokus, Apple TVs, Fire TVs, and Android TVs.

 

See the Appvent calendar from ICT Evangelist

Excerpt from this posting:

Welcome to day 21 of the 2021 Appvent Calendar. It’s been so much fun sharing all of these amazing tools each day across the month so far. With Google featuring twice already on the calendar, it’s great to share again the awe and wonder of human history in the arts and within our cultures with the sharing of this amazing free app. Thanks to Gustavo Calderón De Anda for suggesting it!

Also see:

  • 14 measurement apps for teaching math & science — from teachthought and Glenda Stewart-Smith
    Glenda Stewart-Smith of Surrey School District #36 in Canada, along with TeachThought staff, helped put together this collection of iPhone and iPad apps that offer all of these measuring abilities and more.
 
 

If the vision of the “Web3” comes to fruition, how might these developments impact the future of lifelong learning? [Christian]

The next age of the internet could suck power away from Big Tech while living on the same backbone as cryptocurrencies. Here’s what to know about Web3. — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

  • Web3 is the next generation of the internet and will exist on the blockchain.
  • It will be decentralized, meaning it won’t be controlled entities like Facebook or Google.
  • Twitter, GameStop, Reddit, and VC firm a16z are all putting resources into building Web3.

One aspect of the metaverse is that users will hopefully be able to go virtually from platform to platform with one single account — just like we will in Web3. 

And NFTs, one-of-a-kind tokens representing your ownership of a virtual good, could be more easily bought and sold with cryptocurrencies within a space like Web3. 


From DSC:
How might “Web3” translate into the future of lifelong learning? Here’s one vision/possibility:

There could be several entities and services feeding one's cloud-based learner profile

Each person would have a learner profile/account that could seamlessly log into multiple education/training providers’ platforms and services. The results of that learning could be stored in one’s cloud-based learner profile. This type of next-generation learning platform would still need subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, and other team members. But the focus would be on building skills — skills that an artificial intelligence-backed interface would demonstrate are currently being requested by the modern workplace.  This constantly-being-updated list of skills could then link to the learning-related experiences and resources that people could choose from in order to develop those skills.

The following vision/graphic also comes to my mind:

Learning from the living class room


 

VRJAM -- the metaverse platform for music

The VRJAM metaverse platform is coming to transform the world of live entertainment 

VRJAM, the UK’s leading creator of live music experiences in virtual reality, today teased the launch of the VRJAM platform, a revolutionary new metaverse events platform and NFT creation solution. 

To bring the VRJAM metaverse platform to life, VRJAM has partnered with market leading NFT software developer Enjin.io to launch a rich virtual reality world that offers a host of new solutions for artists to render and monetize their music and live shows in amazing new ways using NFT’s, blockchain and immersive technology.  

The VRJAM platform promises to open up completely new ways for both fans and artist to experience live music events and represents the next step in the evolution of live music. 

Ownership of this virtual world will be shared by a guild of globally recognised artists and record labels who will cooperate to create value and define new possibilities for music inside the metaverse. 

VRJAM’s metaverse platform offers solutions for true live performance using technology that is years ahead of other similar platforms. It provides unsurpassed user experience and offers fans, artists and labels an array of unique features:

VRJAM's metaverse -- a vivid virtual world built for music

At the heart of the VRJAM metaverse platform is a blockchain based trading and finance system, VRJAM Coin. This revolutionary new cryptocurrency will create ways for both artists and fans to earn money inside the metaverse and promises to create entirely new business models for artists, venues and labels at a time when their traditional ways of making money have been turned upside down by the Covid 19 pandemic. 

The VRJAM cryptocurrency is backed by investment from 5 of the world’s leading blockchain specialist investment and venture capital firms, demonstrating the exciting potential of VRJAM’s tech.

The VRJAM platform is scheduled to go live in early 2022, follow on social media to stay up to date.


From DSC:
Hmmmmm….might this type of thing spill over into the worlds of teaching and learning? More direct-to-consumer (learner) types of offerings? Will this open up the doors for new methods of earning a living or for  those interested in building a teaching & learning-based brand?

Alternatively, will this impact what actors, actresses, and comedians will be able to do?


Addendum on 12/2/21:


 

EduMAX 2021 recap: Together for student success around the globe — from blog.adobe.com by Sebastian Distefano

Excerpt:

University CIOs, deans, provosts, faculty and staff from more than 100 institutions convened online for the Adobe EduMAX 2021 conference, where academic leaders shared how they are transforming teaching and learning practices across their campuses. Key discussion points included:

  • How digital literacy increases engagement to bring faculty and students together, whether they are in-person, online or in a hybrid environment.
  • How digital literacy closes the skills gap in higher education and industry by fostering critical essential skills that employers value.
  • How faculty can integrate digital literacy across the curriculum for all students.
 
 

Planning for the Classroom of the Future — from campustechnology.com by Doug Smith
The right combination of technology and training will ensure your learning spaces can adapt to ever-changing modes of instruction. Here are key considerations for future-proofing classrooms, supporting faculty and surviving the next pandemic.

 

 

From DSC:
I was reading about a Ph.D. who was currently doing some research into the science of learning. This person had been teaching in a School of Education for years, but just (relatively) recently embarked on a Ph.D. During this person’s research, they came across a lot more information regarding the science of learning.

If this was true with someone who had been in education for years (and I can relate to that as well), it made me wonder:

  • How can we better get the word out to our learners re: how they can maximize their Return On Investment (ROI) from their studying time and efforts…?

Then I thought, why couldn’t we put these tips directly into our banners on our CMS’s and LMS’s and/or link our banners to some other web pages/resources that provide such best practices and tips for our learners!?!  This could occur within the corporate training world as well.

Examples:

Let's put best practices on studying directly within our LMSs banners!

Or we could link to resources regarding best practices in studying!

Along these lines, we should have 11×17 (or larger) posters like this plastered in every hallway of every learning space out there:

 

We should plaster these types of posters throughout our learning spaces!!!

 

Can MasterClass teach you everything? — from newyorker.com by Tad Friend

Can MasterClass teach you everything?

Malala Yousafzai on set. Though the site’s C.E.O., David Rogier, says, “Learning is uncomfortable,” the shoots are lavish. Photograph by Lewis Khan for The New Yorker

Excerpt:

When MasterClass launched, in 2015, it offered three courses: Dustin Hoffman on acting, James Patterson on writing, and Serena Williams on tennis. Today, there are a hundred and thirty, in categories from business to wellness. During the pandemic lockdown, demand was up as much as tenfold from the previous year; last fall, when the site had a back-to-school promotion, selling an annual subscription for a dollar instead of a hundred and eighty dollars, two hundred thousand college students signed up in a day. MasterClass will double in size this year, to six hundred employees, as it launches in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. It’s a Silicon Valley investor’s dream, a rolling juggernaut of flywheels and network effects dedicated to helping you, as the instructor Garry Kasparov puts it, “upgrade your software.”

 

8 ways to keep learning and developing new skills while at home — from babbel.com by Alice Austin
Being stuck inside doesn’t have to mean an end to personal development. Here’s how to keep learning new things while staying at home.

Excerpt:

Free Code Camp has been assembling a long list of courses that span multiple disciplines, from Data Science and Business to Personal Development and Art. They’re all Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and they allow you to take university-created online classes through providers such as Coursera or Udacity.

So that class you missed out your first time going to college? Now would be the time to go back and really enjoy it.

There are tons of online tutorials on YouTube and many apps that can help you hone your skills. Yousician is an app that provides video tutorials to learn piano, guitar, bass and ukulele. There are other apps that specialize in one area, like Flowkey for piano, or SingTrue for vocals. Whatever instrument you have lying around, there are definitely resources out there for you to improve your skills.

 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian