Key issues in teaching and learning 2017 — from Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)

Excerpt:

Since 2011, ELI has surveyed the higher education teaching and learning community to identify its key issues. The community is wide in scope: we solicit input from all those participating in the support of the teaching and learning mission, including professionals from the IT organization, the center for teaching and learning, the library, and the dean’s and provost’s offices.

 

 

 

This Mobile VR Crane Simulator Showcases the Future of Industrial Training — from roadtovr.com by Dominic Brennan

 

 

Description from an Inside VR & AR newsletter:

The Mobile Crane Simulator combines an Oculus headset with a modular rig to greatly reduce the cost of training. The system, from Industrial Training International and Serious Labs, Inc, will debut at the ConExpo Event this March in Las Vegas. The designers chose the Oculus for its comfort and portability, but the set-up supports OpenVR, allowing it to potentially also work on the Vive. (The “mobile” in the device’s name refers to a type of crane, rather than to mobile VR.) – ROAD TO VR

 

 

No hype, just fact: What artificial intelligence is – in simple business terms — from zdnet.com by Michael Krigsman
AI has become one of the great, meaningless buzzwords of our time. In this video, the Chief Data Scientist of Dun and Bradstreet explains AI in clear business terms.

Excerpt:

How do terms like machine learning, AI, and cognitive computing relate to one another?
They’re not synonymous. So, cognitive computing is very different than machine learning, and I will call both of them a type of AI. Just to try and describe those three. So, I would say artificial intelligence is all of that stuff I just described. It’s a collection of things designed to either mimic behavior, mimic thinking, behave intelligently, behave rationally, behave empathetically. Those are the systems and processes that are in the collection of soup that we call artificial intelligence.

Cognitive computing is primarily an IBM term. It’s a phenomenal approach to curating massive amounts of information that can be ingested into what’s called the cognitive stack. And then to be able to create connections among all of the ingested material, so that the user can discover a particular problem, or a particular question can be explored that hasn’t been anticipated.

Machine learning is almost the opposite of that. Where you have a goal function, you have something very specific that you try and define in the data. And, the machine learning will look at lots of disparate data, and try to create proximity to this goal function ? basically try to find what you told it to look for. Typically, you do that by either training the system, or by watching it behave, and turning knobs and buttons, so there’s unsupervised, supervised learning. And that’s very, very different than cognitive computing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robots will take jobs, but not as fast as some fear, new report says — from nytimes.com by Steve Lohr

 

Excerpt:

The robots are coming, but the march of automation will displace jobs more gradually than some alarming forecasts suggest.

A measured pace is likely because what is technically possible is only one factor in determining how quickly new technology is adopted, according to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute. Other crucial ingredients include economics, labor markets, regulations and social attitudes.

The report, which was released Thursday, breaks jobs down by work tasks — more than 2,000 activities across 800 occupations, from stock clerk to company boss. The institute, the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, concludes that many tasks can be automated and that most jobs have activities ripe for automation. But the near-term impact, the report says, will be to transform work more than to eliminate jobs.

 

So while further automation is inevitable, McKinsey’s research suggests that it will be a relentless advance rather than an economic tidal wave.

 

 

Harnessing automation for a future that works — from mckinsey.com by James Manyika, Michael Chui, Mehdi Miremadi, Jacques Bughin, Katy George, Paul Willmott, and Martin Dewhurst
Automation is happening, and it will bring substantial benefits to businesses and economies worldwide, but it won’t arrive overnight. A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds realizing automation’s full potential requires people and technology to work hand in hand.

Excerpt:

Recent developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have put us on the cusp of a new automation age. Robots and computers can not only perform a range of routine physical work activities better and more cheaply than humans, but they are also increasingly capable of accomplishing activities that include cognitive capabilities once considered too difficult to automate successfully, such as making tacit judgments, sensing emotion, or even driving. Automation will change the daily work activities of everyone, from miners and landscapers to commercial bankers, fashion designers, welders, and CEOs. But how quickly will these automation technologies become a reality in the workplace? And what will their impact be on employment and productivity in the global economy?

The McKinsey Global Institute has been conducting an ongoing research program on automation technologies and their potential effects. A new MGI report, A future that works: Automation, employment, and productivity, highlights several key findings.

 

 



Also related/see:

This Japanese Company Is Replacing Its Staff With Artificial Intelligence — from fortune.com by Kevin Lui

Excerpt:

The year of AI has well and truly begun, it seems. An insurance company in Japan announced that it will lay off more than 30 employees and replace them with an artificial intelligence system.  The technology will be based on IBM’s Watson Explorer, which is described as having “cognitive technology that can think like a human,” reports the Guardian. Japan’s Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance said the new system will take over from its human counterparts by calculating policy payouts. The company said it hopes the AI will be 30% more productive and aims to see investment costs recouped within two years. Fukoku Mutual Life said it expects the $1.73 million smart system—which costs around $129,000 each year to maintain—to save the company about $1.21 million each year. The 34 staff members will officially be replaced in March.

 


Also from “The Internet of Everything” report in 2016 by BI Intelligence:

 

 


 

A Darker Theme in Obama’s Farewell: Automation Can Divide Us — from nytimes.com by Claire Cain Miller

Excerpt:

Underneath the nostalgia and hope in President Obama’s farewell address Tuesday night was a darker theme: the struggle to help the people on the losing end of technological change.

“The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas,” Mr. Obama said. “It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good, middle-class jobs obsolete.”


Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy — from whitehouse.gov by Kristin Lee

Summary:
[On 12/20/16], the White House released a new report on the ways that artificial intelligence will transform our economy over the coming years and decades.

 Although it is difficult to predict these economic effects precisely, the report suggests that policymakers should prepare for five primary economic effects:

    Positive contributions to aggregate productivity growth;
Changes in the skills demanded by the job market, including greater demand for higher-level technical skills;
Uneven distribution of impact, across sectors, wage levels, education levels, job types, and locations;
Churning of the job market as some jobs disappear while others are created; and
The loss of jobs for some workers in the short-run, and possibly longer depending on policy responses.


 

Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change — from economist.com by
It is easy to say that people need to keep learning throughout their careers. The practicalities are daunting.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

WHEN education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart. That fundamental insight seized reformers in the Industrial Revolution, heralding state-funded universal schooling. Later, automation in factories and offices called forth a surge in college graduates. The combination of education and innovation, spread over decades, led to a remarkable flowering of prosperity.

Today robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution. This time, however, working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers.

Unfortunately, as our special report in this issue sets out, the lifelong learning that exists today mainly benefits high achievers—and is therefore more likely to exacerbate inequality than diminish it. If 21st-century economies are not to create a massive underclass, policymakers urgently need to work out how to help all their citizens learn while they earn. So far, their ambition has fallen pitifully short.

At the same time on-the-job training is shrinking. In America and Britain it has fallen by roughly half in the past two decades. Self-employment is spreading, leaving more people to take responsibility for their own skills. Taking time out later in life to pursue a formal qualification is an option, but it costs money and most colleges are geared towards youngsters.

 

The classic model of education—a burst at the start and top-ups through company training—is breaking down. One reason is the need for new, and constantly updated, skills.

 

 

 

Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative — from economist.com
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment, says Andrew Palmer. The faint outlines of such a system are now emerging

Excerpt:

A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening. Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades. “Germany is often lauded for its apprenticeships, but the economy has failed to adapt to the knowledge economy,” says Andreas Schleicher, head of the education directorate of the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. “Vocational training has a role, but training someone early to do one thing all their lives is not the answer to lifelong learning.”

To remain competitive, and to give low- and high-skilled workers alike the best chance of success, economies need to offer training and career-focused education throughout people’s working lives. This special report will chart some of the efforts being made to connect education and employment in new ways, both by smoothing entry into the labour force and by enabling people to learn new skills throughout their careers. Many of these initiatives are still embryonic, but they offer a glimpse into the future and a guide to the problems raised by lifelong reskilling.

 

 

Individuals, too, increasingly seem to accept the need for continuous rebooting.

 

 

 

From DSC:
First, some items regarding the enormous emphasis being put towards the use of robotics and automation:

  • $18.867 billion paid to acquire 50 robotics companies in 2016 — from robohub.org by Frank Tobe
    Excerpt:
    2016 was a banner year for acquisitions of companies involved in robotics and automation: 50 sold; 11 for amounts over $500 million; five were over a billion. 30 of the 50 companies disclosed transaction amounts which totaled up to a colossal $18.867 billion!
    .
  • 2017: The year people are forced to learn new skills… or join the Lost Generation — from enterpriseirregulars.com by Phil Fersht
    Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
    Let’s cut to the chase – there have never been times as uncertain as these in the world of business. There is no written rule-book to follow when it comes to career survival. The “Future of Work” is about making ourselves employable in a workforce where the priority of business leaders is to invest in automation and digital technology, more than training and developing their own workforces. As our soon-to-be-released State of Operations and Outsourcing 2017 study, conducted in conjunction with KPMG across 454 major enterprise buyers globally, shows a dramatic shift in priorities from senior managers (SVPs and above), where 43% are earmarking significant investment in robotic automation of processes, compared with only 28% placing a similar emphasis on training and change management. In fact, the same number of senior managers are as focused on cognitive computing as their own people… yes, folks, this is the singularity of enterprise operations, where cognitive computing now equals employees’ brains when it comes to investment!

    My deep-seated fear for today’s workforce is that we’re in danger of becoming this “Lost Generation” of workers if we persist in relying on what we already know, versus avoiding learning new skills that business leaders now need. We have to become students again, put our egos aside, and broaden our capabilities to avoid the quicksand of legacy executives no longer worth employing.

 

 

 

Below are some other resources along these lines:

 

From DSC:
Given that these trends continue (i.e., to outsource work to software and to robots), what will the ramifications be for:

  • Society at large? Will enough people have enough income to purchase the products/services made by the robots and the software?
  • Will there be major civil unrest / instability? Will crime rates shoot through the roof as peoples’ desperation and frustration escalate?
  • How we should change our curricula within K-12?
  • How should we change our curricular within higher education?
  • How should corporate training & development departments/groups respond to these trends?
  • Is there some new criteria that we need to use (or increase the usage of) in selecting C-level executives?

People don’t want to hear about it. But if the only thing that the C-level suites out there care about is maximizing profits and minimizing costs — REGARDLESS of what happens to humankind — then we are likely going to be creating a very dangerous future. Capitalism will have gone awry. (By the way, the C-level suite is probably making their decisions based upon how their performance is judged by Wall Street and by shareholders. So I can’t really put all the blame on them. Perhaps the enemy is ourselves…?) 

Bottom line: We need to be careful which technologies we implement — and how they are implemented. We need to create a dream in our futures, not a nightmare. We need people at the helms who care about their fellow humankind, and who use the power of these technologies responsibly.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.
 

The freelance economy: Top trends to watch in 2017 — from blog.linkedin.com

Excerpt:

Freelancers now account for nearly 35% of the U.S. workforce and the trend is only picking up speed with more professionals opting to create their own jobs in lieu of more traditional full-time employment.

As we head into the new year, we want to shed a bit more light on this burgeoning sector of the workforce. What kind of location, industry and demographic trends are surfacing among the freelance professionals of 2016? You might not know, for example, that a whopping 40% of our freelancers are concentrated in just four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York. Or that more senior men are most likely to take the leap into freelancing.

The time is ripe to be a freelancer in America so we’re revealing insider insights like these to help you learn more about this trending profession. Check out the report below – gleaned from a survey of more than 9,500 of our ProFinder professionals – to see what we discovered.

 

From DSC:
Besides the workforce moving towards the increased use of freelancers, the pace of change has moved from being more linear in nature to more of an exponential trajectory.

 

 

 

Some important questions, therefore, to ask are: 

  • Are our students ready to enter this type of workplace? 
  • Can they pivot quickly?
  • Do they know how to learn and are they ready to be lifelong learners? (Do they like learning enough to continue to pursue it? Peoples’ overall quality of life would be much higher if they enjoyed learning, rather than be forced to do so in order to keep the bread and butter on their tables.)
  • Are they able to communicate in a variety of ways?
  • How are their customer service skills coming along?
  • How are their problem-solving skills coming along?
  • Do they know how to maintain their businesses’ books and do their taxes?
  • Are they digitally literate and do they have an appreciation for the pluses and minuses of technology?

I sure hope so…but I have my serious doubts. That said, many institutions/organizations representing K-12 and higher education are not doing a great job of innovating either. Though there certainly exists some strong pockets of innovation in some of our institutions out there — and the ability to pivot — taken as a whole, our institutions and organizations haven’t been as responsive, nimble, and innovative as our students need them to be.

After all, we are trying to prepare students for their futures (with the externality effect being that we, too, will also be better prepared for that future).

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems