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:

 



 

 

From DSC:
In terms of learning, having to be in the same physical place as others continues to not be a requirement nearly as much as it used to be. But I’m not just talking about online learning here. I’m talking about a new type of learning environment that involves both hardware and software to facilitate collaboration (and it was designed that way from day 1). These new types of setups can provide us with new opportunities and affordances that we should begin experimenting with immediately.

Check out the following products — all of which allow a person to contribute to a discussion or conversation from anywhere they can get Internet access:

When you go to those sites, you will see words and phrase such as:

  • Visual collaboration software
  • Virtual workspace
  • Develop
  • Share
  • Inspire
  • Design
  • Global teams
  • A visual collaboration solution that links locations, teams, content, and devices in an immersive, shared workspace
  • Teamwork
  • Create and brainstorm with others
  • Digital workplace platform
  • Eliminate the distance between in-office and remote employees
  • Jumpstart spontaneous brainstorms and working sessions

So using these types of software and hardware setups, I can contribute regardless of where I’m located. Remote learning — from anywhere in the world — being combined with our face-to-face based classrooms.

Also, the push for Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) continues across higher education. Such hands-on, project-learning based, student-centered approaches fit extremely well with the collaboration setups mentioned above.

Then, there’s the insight from Simon Dudley in this article:

“…video conferencing is increasingly an application within in a larger workflow…”

Lastly, if colleges and universities don’t have the funds to maintain their physical plants, look for higher education to move increasingly online — and these types of solutions could play a significant role in that environment. Plus, for working adults who need to reinvent themselves, this is an extremely efficient means of picking up some new skills and competencies.

So the growth of these types of setups — where the software and hardware work together to support worldwide collaboration — will likely create a powerful, new, emerging piece of our learning ecosystems.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Remote learning — from anywhere in the world — being combined with our face-to-face based classrooms.

 



 

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

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.
 

Developing Self-Directed Learners — from blogs.edweek.org by Tom Vander Ark and Emily Liebtag

Excerpt:

High engagement schools start from a different conception: knowledge co-creation and active production. They design a very different learner experience and support it with a student-centered culture and opportunities to improve self-regulation, initiative and persistence–all key to self-directed learning.

Why Does Self-Direction Matter?
Growth of the freelance- and gig-economy makes self-direction an imperative. But it’s also increasingly important inside organizations. David Rattray of the LA Chamber said, “Employees need to change their disposition toward employers away from work for someone else to an attitude of working for myself–agency, self-discipline, initiative, and risk-taking are all important on the job.

Many adults are working in roles where they need to be more independent and efficiently manage their own time often through a series of projects. Employers are looking for candidates that on their own are able to identify a driving question, determine a team they need to help answer that question, able to effectively work with that team, execute and manage the project–through multiple iterations with lots of feedback–and then reflect and evaluate their work. Students should be developing self-direction by learning in the same way.

Where to Start
If you’re a teacher or parent, you can ask good questions rather than provide simple answers; you can help students use a to-do list, develop a personal learning plan and a portfolio of their best work.

If you’re a principal, you can propose advisory period to promote self-direction and other success skills. You can make time in the schedule for more self-directed work. For example, Singapore American School added a makerspace with a genius hour and independent study courses to encourage to pursue self-directed learning.

 

 

 

 

Coppell ISD becomes first district to use IBM, Apple format — from bizjournals.com by Shawn Shinneman

Excerpt:

Teachers at Coppell Independent School District have become the first to use a new IBM and Apple technology platform built to aid personalized learning.

IBM Watson Element for Educators pairs IBM analytics and data tools such as cognitive computing with Apple design. It integrates student grades, interests, participation, and trends to help educators determine how a student learns best, the company says.

It also recommends learning content personalized to each student. The platform might suggest a reading assignment on astronomy for a young student who has shown an interest in space.

 

From DSC:
Technologies involved with systems like IBM’s Watson will likely bring some serious impact to the worlds of education and training & development. Such systems — and the affordances that they should be able to offer us — should not be underestimated.  The potential for powerful, customized, personalized learning could easily become a reality in K-20 as well as in the corporate training space. This is an area to keep an eye on for sure, especially with the growing influence of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.

These kinds of technology should prove helpful in suggesting modules and courses (i.e., digital learning playlists), but I think the more powerful systems will be able to drill down far more minutely than that. I think these types of systems will be able to assist with all kinds of math problems and equations as well as analyze writing examples, correct language mispronunciations, and more (perhaps this is already here…apologies if so). In other words, the systems will “learn” where students can go wrong doing a certain kind of math equation…and then suggest steps to correct things when the system spots a mistake (or provide hints at how to correct mistakes).

This road takes us down to places where we have:

  • Web-based learner profiles — including learner’s preferences, passions, interests, skills
  • Microlearning/badging/credentialing — likely using blockchain
  • Learning agents/bots to “contact” for assistance
  • Guidance for lifelong learning
  • More choice, more control

 

ibmwatson-oct2016

 

 

Also see:

  • First IBM Watson Education App for iPad Delivers Personalized Learning for K-12 Teachers and Students — from prnewswire.com
    Educators at Coppell Independent School District in Texas first to use new iPad app to tailor learning experiences to student’s interests and aptitudes
    Excerpts:
    With increasing demands on educators, teachers need tools that will enable them to better identify the individual needs of all students while designing learning experiences that engage and hold the students’ interest as they master the content. This is especially critical given that approximately one third of American students require remedial education when they enter college today, and current college attainment rates are not keeping pace with the country’s projected workforce needs1.  A view of academic and day-to-day updates in real time can help teachers provide personalized support when students need it.

    IBM Watson Element provides teachers with a holistic view of each student through a fun, easy-to-use and intuitive mobile experience that is a natural extension of their work. Teachers can get to know their students beyond their academic performance, including information about personal interests and important milestones students choose to share.  For example, teachers can input notes when a student’s highly anticipated soccer match is scheduled, when another has just been named president for the school’s World Affairs club, and when another has recently excelled following a science project that sparked a renewed interest in chemistry.The unique “spotlight” feature in Watson Element provides advanced analytics that enables deeper levels of communication between teachers about their students’ accomplishments and progress. For example, if a student is excelling academically, teachers can spotlight that student, praising their accomplishments across the school district. Or, if a student received a top award in the district art show, a teacher can spotlight the student so their other teachers know about it.
 

Imagination in the Augmented-Reality Age — from theatlantic.com by Georgia Perry
Pokémon Go may have reached the zenith of its popularity, but the game has far-reaching implications for the future of play.

Excerpt:

For young people today, however, it’s a different story. “They hardly play. If they do play it’s some TV script. Very prescribed,” Levin said. “Even if they have friends over, it’s often playing video games.”

That was before Pokémon Go, though.

The augmented-reality (AR) game that—since its release on July 6, attracted 21 million users and became one of the most successful mobile apps ever—has been praised for promoting exercise, facilitating social interactions, sparking new interest in local landmarks, and more. Education writers and experts have weighed in on its implications for teaching kids everything from social skills to geography to the point that such coverage has become cliché. And while it seems clear at this point that the game is a fad that has peaked—it’s been losing active players for over a week—one of the game’s biggest triumphs has, arguably, been the hope it’s generated about the future of play. While electronic games have traditionally caused kids to retreat to couches, here is one that did precisely the opposite.

 

 

What Pokémon Go is, however, is one of the first iterations of what will undeniably be many more AR games. If done right, some say the technology Go introduced to the world could bring back the kind of outdoor, creative, and social forms of play that used to be the mainstay of childhood. Augmented reality, it stands to reason, could revitalize the role of imagination in kids’ learning and development.

 

 

 

Point:


 

CollegeLecture-Atlantic-July2016

 

Should colleges really eliminate the college lecture? — from theatlantic.com by Christine Gross-Loh

Excerpt:

But that lack of training is not unusual; it’s the norm. Despite the increased emphasis in recent years on improving professors’ teaching skills, such training often focuses on incorporating technology or flipping the classroom, rather than on how to give a traditional college lecture. It’s also in part why the lecture—a mainstay of any introductory undergraduate course—is endangered.

But is it the college lecture itself that’s the problem—or the lecturer?

Concerns about the lecture derive from anecdotal impressions as well as research data, including one meta analysis of 225 studies looking at the effectiveness of traditional lectures versus active learning in undergraduate STEM courses. That analysis indicated that lecturing increased failure rates by 55 percent; active learning—meaning teaching methods that are more interactive than traditional lectures—resulted in better grades and a 36 percent drop in class failure rates. High grades and low failure rates were most pronounced in small classes that relied on active teaching, supporting the theory that more students might receive STEM degrees if active learning took the place of traditional lecturing.

Still, although proponents of the movement to move away from the lecture cite data on its ineffectiveness, the debate has failed to take into account the fact that academics are rarely, if ever, formally trained in public speaking.

Many people think riveting lecturers are naturally gifted, but public-speaking skills can be, and are, taught. The art of rhetoric was practiced and taught for millennia, beginning in ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago; oratory skills were a social asset in antiquity, a way to persuade, influence, and participate in civic life.

 


Counterpoint:


 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 1 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

Today’s The Atlantic contains an article entitled “Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture?” that has really inspired me to write, in a way that the pending deadline on my book has not. Ordinarily I just ignore pieces like this except for maybe a tweet or two about them. But this time, I feel like this article has so many factually incorrect claims, glosses over so much research, and has such potential to spread bad ideas to a very wide audience that I felt the need to address its points one at a time. This is Part 1 of that response.

The article opens with a lament that, actually, I agree with completely: New Ph.D.’s do often lack the training in pedagogy that they need to be successful in their work. This training should include all forms of pedagogy, including lecture, and it should expose new instructors to the full range of pedagogies that are out there, as well as the research that informs their effectiveness (the concept of “evidence”: hold on to this idea) and the skill of selecting a combination of teaching methods that best suits the learning environment they are tasked with creating. Many universities are wising up to this need for training, but more need to get on board.

However from here, things start to go downhill…

And here, we find the lede that was buried by the headline: The whole problem with lecture is that we’re not well-trained enough in how to give great lectures. Training, insofar as it occurs at all, is focused on all these “modern” pedagogies and on technology. If we devoted as much training time to lecture as we did to the other stuff, then we’d see better results with lecturing. That is the claim as I understand it. It makes sense; but it’s wrong, and I’ll be explaining why as we go.

 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 2 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

But this time, with this article, I felt that I needed to respond — because of how thoroughly wrong it is on basic and easily-checked facts, because I’m tired of my colleagues in higher ed making teaching decisions based on their own interests rather than students’, possibly because it’s getting near the end of the summer and I’m getting punchy. Whatever the reasons, here was Part 1 of the response in which we found (by actually checking the articles to which the original linked) that many of the claims about “eliminating lecture” in the first 1/4 of the article were flat-out wrong.

This is yet another instance of one of the worst things about this Atlantic article: The stubborn insistence that teaching in any way other than pure lecture is the same thing as “eliminating lecture”.

 

But keep this in mind: The discussion about active learning and lecture is not about what’s “new” or “traditional”, “modern” or “outdated”. It is, or at least ought to be, about what works best for student learning.

 

Here we have a meta-analysis of 225 existing studies that cuts across a wide spectrum of institutional types, student demographics, and instructional styles and shows a profound impact by active learning techniques on student learning and achievement.

 

I’m not sure what your reaction will be when you read that PNAS study [here]. But I will go out on a limb and say that any college or university professor who gives half of a damn about the well-being of his or her students will read that study, and then stop and at least think for a moment about whether his or her teaching in the classroom is part of the problem or part of the solution.

 

 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 3 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

Our students need a learning environment that is supported by an instructor but which does not depend on the instructor bringing his or her “A” game to every class meeting. This is what active learning provides. It is what lecturing most definitely does not provide, and “more training” won’t change this.

 

 

 

How might these enhancements to Siri and tvOS 10 impact education/training/learning-related offerings & applications? [Christian]

From DSC:
I read the article mentioned below.  It made me wonder how 3 of the 4 main highlights that Fred mentioned (that are coming to Siri with tvOS 10) might impact education/training/learning-related applications and offerings made possible via tvOS & Apple TV:

  1. Live broadcasts
  2. Topic-based searches
  3. The ability to search YouTube via Siri

The article prompted me to wonder:

  • Will educators and trainers be able to offer live lectures and training (globally) that can be recorded and later searched via Siri? 
  • What if second screen devices could help learners collaborate and participate in active learning while watching what’s being presented on the main display/”TV?”
  • What if learning taken this way could be recorded on one’s web-based profile, a profile that is based upon blockchain-based technologies and maintained via appropriate/proven organizations of learning? (A profile that’s optionally made available to services from Microsoft/LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com and/or to a service based upon IBM’s Watson, and/or to some other online-based marketplace/exchange for matching open jobs to potential employees.)
  • Or what if you could earn a badge or prove a competency via this manner?

Hmmm…things could get very interesting…and very powerful.

More choice. More control. Over one’s entire lifetime.

Heutagogy on steroids.

Micro-learning.

Perhaps this is a piece of the future for MOOCs…

 

MoreChoiceMoreControl-DSC

 

 

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

 

 

StreamsOfContent-DSC

 

 


 

Apple TV gets new Siri features in tvOS 10 — from iphonefaq.org by Fred Straker

Excerpt:

The forthcoming update to Apple TV continues to bring fresh surprises for owners of Apple’s set top box. Many improvements are coming to tvOS 10, including single-sign-on support and an upgrade to Siri’s capabilities. Siri has already opened new doors thanks to the bundled Siri Remote, which simplifies many functions on the Apple TV interface. Four main highlights are coming to Siri with tvOS 10, which is expected to launch this fall.

 


 

Addendum on 7/17/16:

CBS News Launches New Apple TV App Designed Exclusively for tvOS — from macrumors.com

Excerpt:

CBS today announced the launch of an all-new Apple TV app that will center around the network’s always-on, 24-hour “CBSN” streaming network and has been designed exclusively for tvOS. In addition to the live stream of CBSN, the app curates news stories and video playlists for each user based on previously watched videos.

The new app will also take advantage of the 4th generation Apple TV’s deep Siri integration, allowing users to tell Apple’s personal assistant that they want to “Watch CBS News” to immediately start a full-screen broadcast of CBSN. While the stream is playing, users can interact with other parts of the app to browse related videos, bookmark some to watch later, and begin subscribing to specific playlists and topics.

 

 

 

 

Will “class be in session” soon on tools like Prysm & Bluescape? If so, there will be some serious global interaction, collaboration, & participation here! [Christian]

From DSC:
Below are some questions and thoughts that are going through my mind:

  • Will “class be in session” soon on tools like Prysm & Bluescape?
  • Will this type of setup be the next platform that we’ll use to meet our need to be lifelong learners? That is, will what we know of today as Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS) morph into this type of setup?
  • Via platforms/operating systems like tvOS, will our connected TVs turn into much more collaborative devices, allowing us to contribute content with learners from all over the globe?
  • Prysm is already available on mobile devices and what we consider a television continues to morph
  • Will second and third screens be used in such setups? What functionality will be assigned to the main/larger screens? To the mobile devices?
  • Will colleges and universities innovate into such setups?  Or will organizations like LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com lead in this space? Or will it be a bit of both?
  • How will training, learning and development groups leverage these tools/technologies?
  • Are there some opportunities for homeschoolers here?

Along these lines, are are some videos/images/links for you:

 

 

PrysmVisualWorkspace-June2016

 

PrysmVisualWorkspace2-June2016

 

BlueScape-2016

 

BlueScape-2015

 

 



 

 

DSC-LyndaDotComOnAppleTV-June2016

 

 

 

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

 



 

Also see:

kitchenstories-AppleTV-May2016

 

 

 

 


 

Also see:

 


Prysm Adds Enterprise-Wide Collaboration with Microsoft Applications — from ravepubs.com by Gary Kayye

Excerpt:

To enhance the Prysm Visual Workplace, Prysm today announced an integration with Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Office 365. Using the OneDrive for Business API from Microsoft, Prysm has made it easy for customers to connect Prysm to their existing OneDrive for Business environments to make it a seamless experience for end users to access, search for, and sync with content from OneDrive for Business. Within a Prysm Visual Workplace project, users may now access, work within and download content from Office 365 using Prysm’s built-in web capabilities.

 


 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems