From DSC:
Why aren’t we further along with lecture recording within K-12 classrooms?

That is, I as a parent — or much better yet, our kids themselves who are still in K-12 — should be able to go online and access whatever talks/lectures/presentations were given on a particular day. When our daughter is sick and misses several days, wouldn’t it be great for her to be able to go out and see what she missed? Even if we had the time and/or the energy to do so (which we don’t), my wife and I can’t present this content to her very well. We would likely explain things differently — and perhaps incorrectly — thus, potentially muddying the waters and causing more confusion for our daughter.

There should be entry level recording studios — such as the One Button Studio from Penn State University — in each K-12 school for teachers to record their presentations. At the end of each day, the teacher could put a checkbox next to what he/she was able to cover that day. (No rushing intended here — as education is enough of a run-away train often times!) That material would then be made visible/available on that day as links on an online-based calendar. Administrators should pay teachers extra money in the summer times to record these presentations.

Also, students could use these studios to practice their presentation and communication skills. The process is quick and easy:





I’d like to see an option — ideally via a brief voice-driven Q&A at the start of each session — that would ask the person where they wanted to put the recording when it was done: To a thumb drive, to a previously assigned storage area out on the cloud/Internet, or to both destinations?

Providing automatically generated close captioning would be a great feature here as well, especially for English as a Second Language (ESL) students.




Workplace learning trends 2018 — from


The beginning of a year is a great time to take stock of the year gone by and plan for the year ahead. In this blog post, we will have a quick glimpse of what we believe would be some of the key trends in workplace learning this year.





Also see:

Learning Experience Design Trends For 2018 — from & by
8 Ways Things are Changing for Practitioners

Here are the trends I’ve been seeing, reading and hearing about.

  1. Integrating Learning with Work
  2. From Instructional Designer to Learning Experience Designer
  3. ADDIE Who?
  4. Embracing Design Thinking
  5. Increased Awareness of Universal Design
  6. Working Out Loud Circles
  7. Seeing the Value in Metrics
  8. Openness to All Types of Learning Experiences




How a Flipped Syllabus, Twitter and YouTube Made This Professor Teacher of the Year — from by Bruce Anderson


A few years after John Boyer began teaching world geography at Virginia Tech, a survey revealed that 58 percent of college-aged Americans could not locate Japan on a map. Sixty-nine percent could not find the United Kingdom.

Boyer raced ahead undaunted. He loved the scope and implications of his subject. “The great thing about geography is . . . everything happens somewhere,” he explains. “Geography is the somewhere.”

Boyer is now a senior instructor and researcher at Virginia Tech. He took over World Regions, an entry-level geography class, while he was working on a master’s degree nearly 20 years ago. The class then had 50 students. Now the course is offered each semester and a whopping 3,000 students take it in any given school year.

What has made it so popular? Innovative pedagogy, for starters. Boyer uses a “flipped syllabus” in which students’ final grades are based on the points they’ve earned—not lost—throughout the semester. His legendary assignments range from reviewing films to tweeting on behalf of world leaders (more on that below). Mostly, Boyer himself has made the class a rite of passage for undergraduates, who typically find him funny, passionate, and consummately engaging. Boyer even created a comic alter ego called the Plaid Avenger, who has narrated textbooks and podcasts but is now largely retired—though Boyer still sports his famous plaid jackets and drives a plaid Scion.



Given the disparity in knowledge levels as well as the disparity in what they like to do in terms of work, whether that be watching international film or writing papers, I wanted to increase the flexibility of what the students could do to achieve a grade in this class.



Tell us about the Twitter World Leaders.
You can choose to be a true, real world leader. Of course, they’re fake accounts and we make sure everyone knows you’re the fake Donald Trump or the fake Angela Merkel of Germany. Once you take on that role, you will tweet as the world leader for the entire semester, and you have to tweet two to three times a day. And it’s not silly stuff. What is the chancellor of Germany working on right now? What other world leaders is Angela Merkel meeting with? What’s going on in Germany or the EEU?




2018 Tech Trends for Journalism & Media Report + the 2017 Tech Trends Annual Report that I missed from the Future Today Institute


2018 Tech Trends For Journalism Report — from the Future Today Institute

Key Takeaways

  • 2018 marks the beginning of the end of smartphones in the world’s largest economies. What’s coming next are conversational interfaces with zero-UIs. This will radically change the media landscape, and now is the best time to start thinking through future scenarios.
  • In 2018, a critical mass of emerging technologies will converge finding advanced uses beyond initial testing and applied research. That’s a signal worth paying attention to. News organizations should devote attention to emerging trends in voice interfaces, the decentralization of content, mixed reality, new types of search, and hardware (such as CubeSats and smart cameras).
  • Journalists need to understand what artificial intelligence is, what it is not, and what it means for the future of news. AI research has advanced enough that it is now a core component of our work at FTI. You will see the AI ecosystem represented in many of the trends in this report, and it is vitally important that all decision-makers within news organizations familiarize themselves with the current and emerging AI landscapes. We have included an AI Primer For Journalists in our Trend Report this year to aid in that effort.
  • Decentralization emerged as a key theme for 2018. Among the companies and organizations FTI covers, we discovered a new emphasis on restricted peer-to-peer networks to detect harassment, share resources and connect with sources. There is also a push by some democratic governments around the world to divide internet access and to restrict certain content, effectively creating dozens of “splinternets.”
  • Consolidation is also a key theme for 2018. News brands, broadcast spectrum, and artificial intelligence startups will continue to be merged with and acquired by relatively few corporations. Pending legislation and policy in the U.S., E.U. and in parts of Asia could further concentrate the power among a small cadre of information and technology organizations in the year ahead.
  • To understand the future of news, you must pay attention to the future of many industries and research areas in the coming year. When journalists think about the future, they should broaden the usual scope to consider developments from myriad other fields also participating in the knowledge economy. Technology begets technology. We are witnessing an explosion in slow motion.

Those in the news ecosystem should factor the trends in this report into their strategic thinking for the coming year, and adjust their planning, operations and business models accordingly.




2017 Tech Trends Annual Report — from the Future Today Institute; this is the first I’ve seen this solid report


This year’s report has 159 trends.
This is mostly due to the fact that 2016 was the year that many areas of science and technology finally started to converge. As a result we’re seeing a sort of slow-motion explosion––we will undoubtedly look back on the last part of this decade as a pivotal moment in our history on this planet.

Our 2017 Trend Report reveals strategic opportunities and challenges for your organization in the coming year. The Future Today Institute’s annual Trend Report prepares leaders and organizations for the year ahead, so that you are better positioned to see emerging technology and adjust your strategy accordingly. Use our report to identify near-future business disruption and competitive threats while simultaneously finding new collaborators and partners. Most importantly, use our report as a jumping off point for deeper strategic planning.




Also see:

Emerging eLearning Tools and Platforms Improve Results — from

  • Augmented and virtual reality offer ways to immerse learners in experiences that can aid training in processes and procedures, provide realistic simulations to deepen empathy and build communication skills, or provide in-the-workflow support for skilled technicians performing complex procedures.
  • Badges and other digital credentials provide new ways to assess and validate employees’ skills and mark their eLearning achievements, even if their learning takes place informally or outside of the corporate framework.
  • Chatbots are proving an excellent tool for spaced learning, review of course materials, guiding new hires through onboarding, and supporting new managers with coaching and tips.
  • Content curation enables L&D professionals to provide information and educational materials from trusted sources that can deepen learners’ knowledge and help them build skills.
  • eBooks, a relative newcomer to the eLearning arena, offer rich features for portable on-demand content that learners can explore, review, and revisit as needed.
  • Interactive videos provide branching scenarios, quiz learners on newly introduced concepts and terms, offer prompts for small-group discussions, and do much more to engage learners.
  • Podcasts can turn drive time into productive time, allowing learners to enjoy a story built around eLearning content.
  • Smartphone apps, available wherever learners take their phones or tablets, can be designed to offer product support, info for sales personnel, up-to-date information for repair technicians, and games and drills for teaching and reviewing content; the possibilities are limited only by designers’ imagination.
  • Social platforms like Slack, Yammer, or Instagram facilitate collaboration, sharing of ideas, networking, and social learning. Adopting social learning platforms encourages learners to develop their skills and contribute to their communities of practice, whether inside their companies or more broadly.
  • xAPI turns any experience into a learning experience. Adding xAPI capability to any suitable tool or platform means you can record learner activity and progress in a learning record store (LRS) and track it.



DevLearn Attendees Learn How to ‘Think Like a Futurist’ — from


How does all of this relate to eLearning? Again, Webb anticipated the question. Her response gave hope to some—and terrified others. She presented three possible future scenarios:

  • Everyone in the learning arena learns to recognize weak signals; they work with technologists to refine artificial intelligence to instill values. Future machines learn not only to identify correct and incorrect answers; they also learn right and wrong. Webb said that she gives this optimistic scenario a 25 percent chance of occurring.
  • Everyone present is inspired by her talk but they, and the rest of the learning world, do nothing. Artificial intelligence continues to develop as it has in the past, learning to identify correct answers but lacking values. Webb’s prediction is that this pragmatic optimistic scenario has a 50 percent chance of occurring.
  • Learning and artificial intelligence continue to develop on separate tracks. Future artificial intelligence and machine learning projects incorporate real biases that affect what and how people learn and how knowledge is transferred. Webb said that she gives this catastrophic scenario a 25 percent chance of occurring.

In an attempt to end on a strong positive note, Webb said that “the future hasn’t happened yet—we think” and encouraged attendees to take action. “To build the future of learning that you want, listen to weak signals now.”







From DSC and Adobe — for faculty members and teachers out there:

Do your students an enormous favor by assigning them a digital communications project. Such a project could include images, infographics, illustrations, animations, videos, websites, blogs (with RSS feeds), podcasts, videocasts, mobile apps and more. Such outlets offer powerful means of communicating and demonstrating knowledge of a particular topic.

As Adobe mentions, when you teach your students how to create these types of media projects, you prepare them to be flexible and effective digital communicators.  I would also add that these new forms and tools can be highly engaging, while at the same time, they can foster students’ creativity. Building new media literacy skills will pay off big time for your students. It will land them jobs. It will help them communicate to a global audience. Students can build upon these skills to powerfully communicate numerous kinds of messages in the future. They can be their own radio station. They can be their own TV station.

For more information, see this page out at



From DSC:
This is where we may need more team-based approaches…because one person may not be able to create and grade/assess such assignments.



From DSC:
The following graphic from “The Future of Work and Learning 1: The Professional Ecosystem” by Jane Hart is a wonderful picture of a learning ecosystem:



Note that such an ecosystem involves people, tools, processes and more — and is constantly changing. As Jane comments:

But the point to make very clear is that a PES is not a prescribed entity – so everyone’s PES will be different. It is also not a fixed entity – organisational elements will change as the individual changes jobs, and personal elements will change as the individual adds (or removes) external people, content and tools in order to maintain an ecosystem that best fits their needs.

Jane also mentions the concept of flows of new ideas and resources. I call these streams of content, and we need to both contribute items to these streams as well as take things from them.




So while Jane and I are on the same page on the vast majority  of these concepts (and I would add Harold Jarche to this picture as well, whom Jane mentions with his Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) process), Jane broadens the scope of what I normally refer to as a learning ecosystem when she mentions, “it isn’t just about learning, but just as much about doing a job.”

Anyway, thanks Jane for your posting here.




Where are all the Kidcasts? — from by Stephanie Hayes
Kids learn from podcasts, so why aren’t adults making more for them?


The obvious follow-up question is why? Podcasts for kids seem like such a no-brainer. Podcasts could offer a solution to kids overdosing on dreaded “screentime,” a way to entertain and educate kids without fear of burning their retinas or letting their imaginations go to ruin. Plus, they could fit seamlessly into existing routines, filling long car trips or down-time before bed.

“One argument we’ve heard is that kids won’t sit through podcasts if they’re not being engaged visually,” said Molly Bloom, one of the producers of the children’s podcast Brains On!, echoing a sentiment I heard many times while researching this article. “But kids are used to hearing stories all the time.”


Microlearning: The e-Learning method taking off around the world — from by Catherine Knowles


Technology is disrupting traditional learning bringing new methods and tools into educational institutions and businesses.

Microlearning, for instance, has displayed great potential for growth, according to Association Learning + Technology 2016 – a report published by Tagoras and sponsored by YM Learning.

The report looks at the use of technology to enable and enhance learning in the continuing education and professional development market and provides insight into how the role technology plays in learning has and will evolve.


In fact, among five emerging types of learning (microlearning, massive open online courses (MOOCs), flipped classes, gamified learning, and microcredentials), microlearning shows the highest rate of adoption – and arguably the greatest potential for growth.




Podcasting is perfect for people with big ideas. Here’s how to do it — from by Todd Landman
Surprisingly few academics have learned how to podcast – but it’s a great way to reach a wider audience


In the face of conflict in the Middle East, the flow of refugees to Europe and the violence associated with Islamic State and other militants, there has never been a more important time to talk about human rights. And talk about them is what I do – not in a lecture hall or at conferences with academics, but in a podcast series. Let me explain why.

I have worked as a political scientist for 25 years, focusing on human rights problems such as the struggle for citizenship rights in Latin America and the relationship between inequality and human rights violations.

I am part of a wide network of people dedicated to producing sound evidence on human rights, and my work has been communicated through articles, books and reports. But I am limited in my ability to reach the people I would most like to engage and influence – those who do not have an academic understanding of human rights but might benefit from finding out about it.

There is a new breed of academic who understands this and is committed to bridging the gap between academia and the real world. Many blog, actively seek media coverage of their research and appear on radio and television to shed light on the issues of the day.



From DSC:
Some of the tools that Landman mentioned were:


  • A MacBook Pro and its free audio editing software GarageBand (for Mac OS X and for iOS)
  • A lapel mic used with his iPhone




Some other tools to consider:



From DSC:
The above articles point to the idea — and the need — of creating “streams of content” — something that I wish more professors, teachers, staff, administrators, trainers, and instructional designers would create. Blogs, podcasts, and the use of Twitter come to my mind. Such channels could really help build others’ learning ecosystems.

Many professors and academics — folks who have so much information to share with the world — often produce works just for other academics in their discipline to review/check out. Such bubbles don’t have the impact that would occur if professors created streams of content for members of society to check out and learn from. Such mechanisms would also hopefully strip away some of the more academic sounding language and would get to the point.








Also see:



Imagine what learning could look like w/ the same concepts found in Skreens!

From DSC:
Imagine what learning could look like w/ the same concepts found in the
Skreens kickstarter campaign?  Where you can use your mobile device to direct what you are seeing and interacting with on the larger screen?  Hmmm… very interesting indeed! With applications not only in the home (and on the road), but also in the active classroom, the boardroom, and the training room.

Learning from the Living [Class] Room










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

From DSC:
Some of the phrases and concepts that come to my mind:

  • tvOS-based apps
  • Virtual field trips while chatting or videoconferencing with fellow learners about that experience
  • Virtual tutoring
  • Global learning for K-12, higher ed, the corporate world
  • Web-based collaborations and communications
  • Ubiquitous learning
  • Transmedia
  • Analytics / data mining / web-based learner profiles
  • Communities of practice
  • Lifelong learning
  • 24×7 access
  • Reinvent
  • Staying relevant
  • More choice. More control.
  • Participation.
  • MOOCs — or what they will continue to morph into
  • Second screens
  • Mobile learning — and the ability to quickly tie into your learning networks
  • Ability to contact teachers, professors, trainers, specialists, librarians, tutors and more
  • Language translation
  • Informal and formal learning, blended learning, active learning, self-directed learning
  • The continued convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer
  • Cloud-based apps for learning
  • Flipping the classroom
  • Homeschooling
  • Streams of content
  • …and more!






Check out this picture from Meet the winners of #RobotLaunch2015

Packed house at WilmerHale for the Robot Launch 2015 judging – although 2/3rds of the participants were attending and pitching remotely via video and web conferencing.


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