New graduates: These are the unspoken rules of the workplace no one tells you — from fastcompany.com by Anisa Purbasari Horton
Entering the workforce for the first time can be a shock to the system. Here’s what you need to know.

Excerpt:

Graduation is an exciting (and scary) time; you’re leaving a world where you know all the rules and entering into a world where what’s expected of you often isn’t so clear cut. The rules that truly matter in the workplace are often not written anywhere–they’re simply things that those who have been in it for a while consider to be obvious.

Many learn these unspoken rules through trial and error, and some do it by observing others’ mistakes. But if you’re a recent graduate, there’s no reason why you can’t get a head start on day one of your entry-level job.

 

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Chatbots were another one of the topics I mentioned at the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference last week. For those of us working within higher education, chatbots need to be on our radars!

 

 

An article from today on this:

  • Using AI Chatbots to Freeze ‘Summer Melt’ in Higher Ed — from campustechnology.com by Sri Ravipati
    Excerpt:
    Students who accept offers of admission into a college or university don’t always show up for fall enrollment — a phenomenon known as “summer melt.” It’s a problem that Georgia State University (GSU) is all too familiar with: The institution’s summer melt rates have increased from 12 percent to nearly 19 percent in recent years. With traditional methods of reaching students (i.e. snail mail, e-mail and phone calls) producing feeble results, GSU decided to try another approach: smart text messaging.

    According to a recent case study, GSU was well aware of the advantages of communicating with students via text messages, but was concerned about the additional workload that text messaging students would place on existing staff. So, the university partnered with AdmitHub, a Boston-based ed tech startup, to test out text-based intervention. AdmitHub works with higher ed institutions to create a virtual “campus coach” that embodies the collective knowledge and unique spirit of a school’s community. It integrates conversational artificial intelligence (AI) with human expertise to guide students to and through college.

 

One of the slides from my presentation on this:

 

 

 

From DSC:
Given the exponential pace of technological change that many societies throughout the globe are now on, we need some tools to help us pulse-check what’s going on in the relevant landscapes that we are trying to scan.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Below, I would like to suggest 2 methods/tools to do this.  I have used both methods for years, and I have found them to be immensely helpful in pulse-checking the landscapes. Perhaps these tools will be helpful to you — or to your students or employees — as well.  I vote for these 2 tools to be a part of all of our learning ecosystems. (And besides, they also encourage micro-learning while helping us spot emerging trends.)


 

Google Alerts

 

 

Feedly.com

 

 

 

 

KPMG & Microsoft Announce New “Blockchain Nodes” — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — KPMG International and Microsoft Corp. have announced the launch of joint Blockchain Nodes, which are designed to create and demonstrate use cases that apply blockchain technology to business propositions and processes.  The first joint Blockchain Nodes are in Frankfurt and Singapore, with future plans for a location in New York.

The KPMG and Microsoft Blockchain Nodes –innovation workspaces– will expand on a global alliance, which combines Microsoft’s technical expertise with KPMG’s deep industry and blockchain application knowledge, together with strong connections to the start-up and developer communities.

“The Blockchain Nodes will play a critical role in identifying new applications and use cases that blockchain can address,” said Eamonn Maguire, global and US leader for KPMG’s Digital Ledger Services. “They will enable us to work directly with clients to discover and test ideas based on market insights, creating and implementing prototype solutions that use this innovative technology.”

 

 

IBM Brings Machine Learning to the Private Cloud — from finance.yahoo.com
First to automate creation and training of learning analytic models at the source of high value corporate data, starting with IBM z System Mainframe

Excerpt:

ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced IBM Machine Learning, the first cognitive platform for continuously creating, training and deploying a high volume of analytic models in the private cloud at the source of vast corporate data stores.  Even using the most advanced techniques, data scientists – in shortest supply among today’s IT skills1 – might spend days or weeks developing, testing and retooling even a single analytic model one step at a time.

IBM has extracted the core machine learning technology from IBM Watson and will initially make it available where much of the world’s enterprise data resides: the z System mainframe, the operational core of global organizations where billions of daily transactions are processed by banks, retailers, insurers, transportation firms and governments.

IBM Machine Learning allows data scientists to automate the creation, training and deployment of operational analytic models that will support…

 

 

Amazon Echo and Google Home may soon be able to make voice calls — from financye.yahoo.com and Business Insider by Jeff Dunn

Excerpt:

The Amazon Echo and Google Home could be used to make and receive phone calls later this year, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal’s Ryan Knutson and Laura Stevens. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the report says that both Amazon and Google are looking to activate the feature, but that their attempts have been slowed by privacy and regulatory concerns. Amazon has reportedly been working on Echo-specific voice calls since 2015, but has been held up by “employee turnover” as well.

 

 

Amazon unveils Chime, looks to reinvent the conference call with new Skype and GoToMeeting competitor — from geekwire.com by John Cook

Excerpt:

Amazon is looking to transform just about every industry.

Now, the Seattle tech juggernaut wants to reinvent how you conduct meetings and conference calls.

Amazon Web Services today unveiled Chime, a new service that it says takes the “frustration out of meetings” by delivering video, voice, chat, and screen sharing. Instead of forcing participants to call one another on a dedicated line, Amazon Chime automatically calls all participants at the start of a meeting, so “joining a meeting is as easy as clicking a button in the app, no PIN required,” the company said in a press release. Chime also shows a visual roster of participants, and allows participants to pinpoint who exactly on the call is creating annoying background noise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
The following article reminded me of a vision that I’ve had for the last few years…

  • How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
    At the College of Business at the University of Illinois, video operations don’t come in one size. Here’s how the institution is handling studio setup for MOOCs, online courses, guest speakers and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of online learning, why only build a production studio that’s meant to support online courses only? Let’s take it a step further and design a space that can address the content development for online learning as well as for blended learning — which can include the flipped classroom type of approach.

To do so, colleges and universities need to build something akin to what the National University of Singapore has done. I would like to see institutions create large enough facilities in order to house multiple types of recording studios in each one of them. Each facility would feature:

  • One room that has a lightboard and a mobile whiteboard in it — let the faculty member choose which surface that they want to use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A recording booth with a nice, powerful, large iMac that has ScreenFlow on it. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with a PC and Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic, or similar tools. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with an iPad tablet and apps loaded on it such as Explain Everything:

 

 

  • A large recording studio that is similar to what’s described in the article — a room that incorporates a full-width green screen, with video monitors, a tablet, a podium, several cameras, high-end mics and more.  Or, if the budget allows for it, a really high end broadcasting/recording studio like what Harvard Business school is using:

 

 

 

 

 


 

A piece of this facility could look and act like the Sound Lab at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

 

 

 


 

 

 

CES 2017: Intel’s VR visions — from jwtintelligence.com by Shepherd Laughlin
The company showed off advances in volumetric capture, VR live streaming, and “merged reality.”

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Live-streaming 360-degree video was another area of focus for Intel. Guests were able to watch a live basketball game being broadcast from Indianapolis, Indiana, choosing from multiple points of view as the action moved up and down the court. Intel “will be among the first technology providers to enable the live sports experience on multiple VR devices,” the company stated.

After taking a 3D scan of the room, Project Alloy can substitute virtual objects where physical objects stand.

 

From DSC:
If viewers of a live basketball game can choose from multiple points of view, why can’t remote learners do this as well with a face-to-face classroom that’s taking place at a university or college?  Learning from the Living [Class] Room.

 

 

 

From CES 2017: Introducing DAQRI’s Smart Glasses™

Excerpt:

Data visualization, guided work instructions, remote expert — for use in a variety of industries: medical, aviation and aerospace, architecture and AEC, lean manufacturing, engineering, and construction.

 

 

 

Third-party Microsoft HoloLens-based mixed reality headsets coming soon, prices to start at $299 — from bgr.in by Deepali Moray
Microsoft has partnered with companies including Dell and Acer which will release their own HoloLens compatible devices.

Excerpt:

The company said that it is teaming up with the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and Acer, which will release headsets based on the HoloLens technology. “These new head-mounted displays will be the first consumer offerings utilizing the Mixed Reality capabilities of Windows 10 Creators Update,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. Microsoft’s partner companies for taking the HoloLens technology forward include Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and 3 Glasses. Headsets by these manufacturers will work the same way as the original HoloLens but carry the design and branding of their respective companies. While the HoloLens developer edition costs a whopping $2999 (approximately Rs 2,00,000), the third-party headsets will be priced starting $299 (approximately Rs 20,000).

 

 

Verto Studio 3D App Makes 3D Modeling on HoloLens Easy — from winbuzzer.com by Luke Jones
The upcoming Verto Studio 3D application allows users to create 3D models and interact with them when wearing HoloLens. It is the first software of its kind for mixed reality.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:
How is The Immersive Experience Delivered?

Tethered Headset VR – The user can participate in a VR experience by using a computer with a tethered VR headset (also known as a Head Mounted Display – HMD) like Facebook’s Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, or the HTC Vive. The user has the ability to move freely and interact in the VR environment while using a handheld controller to emulate VR hands. But, the user has a limited area in which to move about because they are tethered to a computer.

Non-Tethered Headset VR/AR – These devices are headsets and computers built into one system, so users are free of any cables limiting their movement. These devices use AR to deliver a 360° immersive experience. Much like with Oculus Rift and Vive, the user would be able to move around in the AR environment as well as interact and manipulate objects. A great example of this headset is Microsoft’s HoloLens, which delivers an AR experience to the user through just a headset.

Mobile Device Inserted into a Headgear – To experience VR, the user inserts their mobile device into a Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear 360°, or any other type of mobile device headgear, along with headphones if they choose. This form of VR doesn’t require the user to be tethered to a computer and most VR experiences can be 360° photos, videos, and interactive scenarios.

Mobile VR – The user can access VR without any type of headgear simply by using a mobile device and headphones (optional). They can still have many of the same experiences that they would through Google Cardboard or any other type of mobile device headgear. Although they don’t get the full immersion that they would with headgear, they would still be able to experience VR. Currently, this version of the VR experience seems to be the most popular because it only requires a mobile device. Apps like Pokémon Go and Snapchat’s animated selfie lens only require a mobile device and have a huge number of users.

Desktop VR – Using just a desktop computer, the user can access 360° photos and videos, as well as other VR and AR experiences, by using the trackpad or computer mouse to move their field of view and become immersed in the VR scenario.

New VR – Non-mobile and non-headset platforms like Leap Motion use depth sensors to create a VR image of one’s hands on a desktop computer; they emulate hand gestures in real time. This technology could be used for anything from teaching assembly in a manufacturing plant to learning a step-by-step process to medical training.

VR/AR Solutions

  • Oculus Rift – www.oculus.com
  • HTC Vive – htcvive.com
  • Playstation VR – playstation.com
  • Samsung VR Gear – www.samsung.com
  • Google Daydream – https://vr.google.com/daydream/
  • Leap Motion – www.leapmotion.com
  • Magic Leap – www.magicleap.com
  • Most mobile devices

 

Goggles that are worn, while they are “Oh Myyy” awesome, will not be the final destination of VR/AR. We will want to engage and respond, without wearing a large device over our eyes. Pokémon Go was a good early predictor of how non-goggled experiences will soar.

Elliott Masie

 

 

 

Top 8 VR & AR predictions for 2017 — from haptic.al by Christine Hart

Excerpt:

Education will go virtual
Similar to VR for brand engagement, we’ve seen major potential for delivering hands-on training and distance education in a virtual environment. If VR can take a class on a tour of Mars, the current trickle of educational VR could turn into a flood in 2017.

 

 

 

 

Published on Dec 26, 2016
Top 10 Virtual Reality Predictions For 2017 In vTime. Its been an amazing year for VR and AR. New VR and AR headsets, ground breaking content and lots more. 2017 promises to be amazing as well. Here’s our top 10 virtual reality predictions for the coming year. Filmed in vTime with vCast. Sorry about the audio quality. We used mics on Rift and Vive which are very good on other platforms. We’ve reported this to vTime.

 

 


Addendums


 

  • 5 top Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology trends for 2017 — from marxentlabs.com by Joe Bardi
    Excerpt:
    So what’s in store for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in 2017? We asked Marxent’s talented team of computer vision experts, 3D artists and engineers to help us suss out what the year ahead will hold. Here are their predictions for the top Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology trends for 2017.

 

AR becomes the killer app for smartphones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual reality is actually here — from computerworld.in by Bart Perkins

Excerpts:

In parallel with gaming, VR is expanding into many other areas, including these:

  • Healthcare
    Surgical Theater is working with UCLA, New York University, the Mayo Clinic and other major medical centers to use VR to help surgeons prepare for difficult operations. Virtual 3D models are constructed from MRIs, CAT scans and/or ultrasounds.
  • Mental health
    Meditation promotes mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Education
    Unimersiv is focusing on historical sites, creating a series of VR tours for the Colosseum, Acropolis, Parthenon, Stonehenge, Titanic, etc. These tours allow each site to be explored as it existed when it was built. Additional locations’ virtual sites and attractions will undoubtedly be added in the near future. The British Museum offered a Virtual Reality Weekend in August 2015. Visitors were able to explore a Bronze Age roundhouse with a flickering fire and changing levels of light while they “handled” Bronze Age relics. The American Museum of Natural History allows students anywhere in the world to take virtual tours of selected museum exhibits, and other museums will soon follow.
  • Training
    Virtual reality is an excellent tool when the task is dangerous or the equipment involved is expensive.
  • Crime reconstruction
  • Architecture
  • Collaboration
    Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality will form the basis for the next set of collaboration tools.

 

 

 

VR and education: Why we shouldn’t wait to reap the benefits – from medium.com by Josh Maldonad

Excerpts:

However, we see very little experienced-based learning in all levels of education today. Traditional learning consists of little more than oration through lectures and textbooks (and their digital equivalents). Experience-based learning is often very difficult to facilitate in the classroom. Whether it be a field trip in elementary school, or simulation exercises in med school, it can be tedious, costly and time consuming.

Where VR is really winning in education is in subject matter retention. The first of several surveys that we’ve done was based on a VR field trip through the circulatory system with high-school age children. We saw an increase of nearly 80% in subject matter retention from a group that used VR, compared against a control group that was provided the same subject matter via text and image. (I’ll expand on the details of this experiment, and some research initiatives we’re working on in another blog post).

http://uploadvr.com/chinese-vr-education-study/

Example apps in healthcare:

  • Emergency response and Triage Decision making
  • Nursing fundamentals, safety and communication procedures
  • Anesthesiology: patient monitoring and dosage delivery

 

 

Residential design and virtual reality: a better way to build a home? — from connectedlife.style

Excerpt:

The old phrase of ‘needing to see it to believe it’ is a powerful mantra across all aspects of residential design. Architecture, interior design and property development are all highly visual trades that require buy-in from both those working on the project and the client. As such, making sure everyone is sold on a coherent vision is vital to ensure that everything goes smoothly and no one is left dissatisfied when the project is completed.

 

 

 

Google Translate: Updated
For those travelers out there, you might want to know about Google Translate’s ability to read in an image of one language, and provide you with a translation of that language/signage/label/etc.

Also see:

 

From this page, here are some of the visual translation products:

 

 

Now HoloLens lets you check your mail in a wall-sized mixed reality version of Outlook — from pcworld.com by Ian Paul
Now you can check your email or make a calendar appointment without removing Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.

hololens multiple flat apps

You now can pin multiple 2D apps in virtual space,
and Microsoft’s HoloLens will remember where they are.

 

 

VR in Education: What’s Already Happening in the Classroom — from arvrmagazine.com by Susanne Krause
“Engagement was off the charts”  | Connecting to the world and creating new ones using virtual reality

Excerpt:

It’s a way for educators to bring their students to places that would be out of reach otherwise. Google Expeditions, the VR mode of Google Street View and Nearpod’s virtual field trips are among the most popular experiences teachers explore with their students. “Some of our students have never really left the bubbles of their own town”, says Jaime Donally, creator of the #ARVRinEDU chat on Twitter. “Virtual reality is a relatively inexpensive way to show them the world.”

 

 

How augmented reality is transforming building management — from ibm.com
IBM People for Smarter Cities presents “Dublin lab – Cognitive Buildings”

In the video below, a facilities manager is using a mobile device to scan a QR code on a wall, behind which is a critical piece of HVAC equipment. With one scan, we can view data on the asset’s performance and health, location data for the asset. This data is being pulled by the IoT Platform from the asset itself, TRIRIGA, and any other useful sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

But the best experiences, VR acolytes agree, are still yet to come. Resh Sidhu leads VR development for Framestore, the high-end visual effects house that won an Oscar for the movie Gravity, and has since expanded into creating VR content. With hardware finally delivering on its promise, she believes it is now up to creatives to explore the possibilities.

 

 

HTC Brings VR Center to Paris; Vive Exhibit at Nobel Museum — from vrscout.com by Jonathan Nafarrete

Excerpt:

There’s so much more to VR than just gaming. Which is probably why HTC has been exploring entirely new ways to bring VR to art, education and culture — starting with museums around the world.

HTC recently collaborated with TIME-LIFE on “Remembering Pearl Harbor,” a VR experience commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack with exhibitions at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City and the Newsuem in Washington D.C. Last month, Vive also collaborated with the Royal Academy of Arts in London on the world’s first 3-D printed VR art exhibit.

Now HTC Vive has revealed the launch of a new VR center at La Geode, part of Paris’ Science and Industry Museum, as well as a partnership with the Nobel Museum for a first-of-its-kind VR exhibit showcasing the contributions of Nobel laureates.

 

 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the sharp interface out at Adobe (see image below), I’ve often thought that there should exist a similar interface and a similar database for educators, trainers, and learners to use — but the database would address a far greater breadth of topics to teach and/or learn about.  You could even select beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels (grade levels might work here as well).

Perhaps this is where artificial intelligence will come in…not sure.

 

 

 

 

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.
 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems