A Record Year Amid a Pandemic: US Edtech Raises $2.2 Billion in 2020 — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpts:

In 2020, U.S. education technology startups raised over $2.2 billion in venture and private equity capital across 130 deals, according to the EdSurge edtech funding database. That’s a nearly 30 percent increase from the $1.7 billion invested in 2019, which was spread across 105 deals.


Largest US Edtech Funding Deals in 2020


 

 
 

From DSC:
After seeing the following two items, I wondered…should more professors, teachers, and staff members be on Substack?

DC: Should more professors, teachers, staff members, & trainers be on Substack?


Heather Cox Richardson Offers a Break From the Media Maelstrom. It’s Working. — from nytimes.com by Ben Smith
She is the breakout star of the newsletter platform Substack, doing the opposite of most media as she calmly situates the news of the day in the long sweep of American history.

Excerpt:

Last Wednesday, I broke the news to Heather Cox Richardson that she was the most successful individual author of a paid publication on the breakout newsletter platform Substack.

Early that morning, she had posted that day’s installment of “Letters From an American” to Facebook, quickly garnering more than 50,000 reactions and then, at 2:14 a.m., she emailed it to about 350,000 people.

The news of her ranking seemed to startle Dr. Richardson, who in her day job is a professor of 19th century American history at Boston College. The Substack leader board, a subject of fascination among media insiders, is a long way from her life on a Maine peninsula — particularly as the pandemic has ended her commute — that seems drawn from the era she studies.

Is Substack the Media Future We Want? — from newyorker.com by Anna Wiener
The newsletter service is a software company that, by mimicking some of the functions of newsrooms, has made itself difficult to categorize.

Excerpt:

…Substack, a service that enables writers to draft, edit, and send e-mail newsletters to subscribers. Writers can choose whether subscriptions are free or paid; the minimum charge for paid subscriptions is five dollars a month or thirty dollars a year, and Substack takes ten percent of all revenue.

 

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future [Roettgers]

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future [Roettgers]

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers

The lockdowns this year have transformed our homes into offices, schools, concert halls, movie theaters and gyms. Our homes are working harder for us, but so is our technology. The device that is working the hardest is perhaps the TV—becoming our lifeline to a far more virtual world.

Addendums:

The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses

The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpt:

This was the year that more people learned what a MOOC is.

As millions suddenly found themselves with free time on their hands during the pandemic, many turned to online courses—especially, to free courses known as MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. This phenomenon was compounded by media worldwide compiling lists of “free things to do during lockdown,” which tended to include MOOCs.

Within two months, Class Central had received over 10 million visits and sent over six million clicks to MOOC providers. These learners also turned out to be more engaged than usual. In April 2020, MOOC providers Coursera, edX and FutureLearn attracted as many new users in a single month as they did in the entirety of 2019.

.

From DSC:
The pieces continue to come together…

Learning from the living class room

...team-based content creation and delivery will dominate in the future (at least for the masses). It will offer engaging, personalized learning and the AI-based systems will be constantly scanning for the required/sought-after skills and competencies. The systems will then present a listing of items that will help people obtain those skills and competencies.

#AI #LearningProfiles #Cloud #LearningFromTheLivingClassRoom #LearningEcosystems #LearningSpaces #21stCentury #24x7x365 #Reinvent #Surviving #StayingRelevant #LifeLongLearning and many more tags/categories are applicable here.

 

How E-Learning Content Is Evolving: 7 Trends You Need to Know About — from trainingmag.com by Tiffany Harper
Continuous, personalized learning in small bites through a storytelling approach—that sums up the future of the e-learning industry.

Excerpt:

VR and AR
Technological innovations let us play better games. The progress of VR and AR technology (virtual reality and augmented reality) is closely related to the gaming industry, but that doesn’t mean it stays there.

We can turn any space into an environment that’s ready to explore. If we learn about the universe, we can see it around us. If we learn about industrial technology, we can be virtually present in a plant. This technology is especially important for corporate learning. Instead of sending employees away to develop new skills, companies benefit with lower expenses and greater convenience.

We haven’t seen the best of virtual and augmented reality in e-learning yet. But as the trend progresses and more learners get their devices, it won’t be unusual for AR and VR to be included in every online course of the future.

 

Social strikes back — from a16z.com
Social Strikes Back is a series exploring the next generation of social networks and how they’re shaping the future of consumer tech. See more at a16z.com/social-strikes-back.

Excerpt:

Until recently, it was commonly accepted that “social” was done. The market had been fully saturated, the thinking went, dominated by the holy trinity of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Turns out, rumors of social’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Not only are we seeing the rise of innovative new social networks—from the earshare of Clubhouse to the seamless interactivity of cloud gaming—but having a social component has become a powerful acquisition and retention tool for every consumer product, across education, shopping, fitness, food, entertainment, and more. In this series, we reveal what new social looks like, the forces that are driving it, and how to build it.

Meet Me in the Metaverse — from a16z.com by Jonathan Lai

Excerpts:

There are many competing visions for how we’ll build the Metaverse: a persistent, infinitely-scaling virtual space with its own economy and identity system.

New social modalities will emerge in the Metaverse. Advances in cloud streaming and AI will enable new forms of engagement with friends—for example, the ability to pop into a persistent virtual world and discover new people and experiences together, entirely unplanned.

Live, Social, and Shoppable: The Future of Video — from a16z.com by Connie Chan

Excerpt:

Now, we’re about to enter a whole new era of video-first products that extend far beyond entertainment and gaming. If phase one of video was a laid-back experience, video 2.0 will be far more interactive and participatory, with users engaging with the platform, giving direct feedback on the content, and fundamentally shaping the experience in real time.

Also see:

Edtech’s Answer to Remote Learning Burnout — from a16z.com by Anne Lee Skates and Connie Chan

Excerpt:

While previous generations of edtech largely focused on in-school content distribution, more recently founders have turned their attention to after-school and out-of-school education. There’s a lot left to build. We believe post-COVID online education will differ from the past in key ways.

The old and new models of education -- post-COVID online education will differ from the past in key ways.

 

From DSC:
In the future (or is it already here!?), I wonder…will we see more 5K runs/races/walks, as well as marathons and half-marathons be done virtually?

If a secured network/solution could be leveraged, such machine-to-machine communications would be interesting. Each time a runner/walker gets to the 5K mark, their machine submits their time to a Global Time Keeping System. Who knows, maybe this will run on a blockchain-type of environment.

 

Virtual 5Ks and Virtual Marathons -- perhaps blockchain based over a secure network to allow M2M communications.

 

From DSC:
Now I just need to get *some type of exercise!* Geez.


And speaking of emerging technologies, also see:


Addendum on 12/19/20:

#CYBATHLON2020GlobalEdition winners of the functional electrical stimulation bike race (with interview) — from robohub.org by Daniel Carrillo-Zapata

#CYBATHLON2020GlobalEdition winners of the functional electrical stimulation bike race (with interview)

Addendum on 1/15/21:

 

The Dice Q3 Tech Job Report | Tech Hiring and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The Dice Q3 Tech Job Report Tech Hiring and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The Dice Q3 Tech Job Report: Tech Hiring and COVID-19: What You Need to Know — from techhub.dice.com
The report, issued quarterly by Dice, provides exclusive statistics and analysis on the tech hiring landscape, including top cities and states, top employers and the most sought-after skills and occupations.

From DSC:
One can quickly see how valuable this information would be as a data feed into an AI-based, next-generation learning platform.

The platform would connect the marketable skills with the courses, websites, blogs, RSS feeds/streams of content, etc. that would help a learner quickly and affordably build such in-demand skills. Given the shortening half-lives of many kinds of information, such a service is needed desperately…especially now with the impact of the Coronavirus.

Also relevant: See how ISTE built its upcoming virtual event!

 

From DSC:
Who needs to be discussing/debating “The Social Dilemma” movie? Whether one agrees with the perspectives put forth therein or not, the discussion boards out there should be lighting up in the undergraduate areas of Computer Science (especially Programming), Engineering, Business, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Philosophy, Religion, Political Science, Sociology, and perhaps other disciplines as well. 

To those starting out the relevant careers here…just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Ask yourself not whether something CAN be developed, but *whether it SHOULD be developed* and what the potential implications of a technology/invention/etc. might be. I’m not aiming to take a position here. Rather, I’m trying to promote some serious reflection for those developing our new, emerging technologies and our new products/services out there.

Who needs to be discussing/debating The Social Dilemna movie?

 

 
 

From DSC: What if each learner/ person/ student could have a lifelong, cloud-based “tribute” site? [Christian]


From DSC: What if each learner/person/student could have a lifelong, cloud-based “tribute” site?

What if you could hire a career coach to sift through the tributes to find common themes?


From DSC:
I recently asked friends and family to help me celebrate a significant birthday for my wife by creating a tribute for her — using a service called Tribute.co. It was a fun, meaningful, relational experience — it opened the doors to some great communications.

Check out tribute.co -- what if each learner could have a lifelong, cloud-based tribute?

Here’s a video that describes what a Tribute is (from the company of that same name).

So I put out potential suggestions for what I hoped that we could relay to my wife, and people contributed their videos. Then a person at Tribute edited the videos to come up with a highlight reel. They also presented to my wife all of the videos, not just the highlight reel.

That got me to wonder, “What if each learner had a cloud-based, lifelong tribute site that parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, coaches, musical directors, pastors, friends, and others could leave encouraging and instructive messages on? Or when they note something that might be of use later on in terms of career selection, they could “jot it down.” For example:

  • [First-grade teacher] “I noticed Anne that when we did the art projects, you were enthralled with any sort of creative endeavor or project. We almost lost you in another world!”
  • [Family member] “Tony, I’ve noticed ____. Here’s something to consider for your future pathways. Would you be interested in exploring _____ — such as if we signed you up for some lessons in that area?”
  • [Eight grade teacher] “Eloise, I saw that your engagement level skyrocket when we studied ____, especially when you did the project on ___.”
  • [Basketball coach] “Chan, I appreciated your hard work in practice today. Keep up the good work and you will be a super player! You are fast, strong, and seem to have a competitive spirit about you. Consider making a workout chart and charting out the workouts that you do each day. Monitor your progress over time. As of today, here are some apps to do just that: ___.
  • [Pastor] “So glad Amanda that you were able to join us on our youth group visit to ___. I appreciated your end-of-the-day reflections on the experiences of the day. I also appreciated your hard work helping others.”
  • [Friend] “It was great horsing around on Garageband with you today Zach. I look forward to diving into iMovie next with you. Let’s create a movie for each other. You seem to have a very creative side to you.”
  • [High school CS Teacher] “Keep up the good work programming Jeremy! I hope that you will consider going into some type of job that uses critical thinking, mathematics, problem-solving — perhaps it will be programming, perhaps it will be engineering, or something else.”
  • [College professor/advisor] “You mentioned that you hate college to me the last two times we met. You don’t seem happy studying ___. Have you considered ____?”
  • [Tennis coach] Remember to bend those knees…get low. Keep your eyes on the seams of the ball.”

The idea behind such a service would be to offer encouragement, feedback, (if carefully put) constructive criticism, a message that “I’m on your team”…and/or…”Here’s what I see in you.”


Additional functionality/options


  • Contributors:
    • Like Twitter imposes a limit on characters, there could be options to impose a time limit on the length of a video, ability to add more than one video, and/or set a limit on how many videos someone can upload
    • If submitting a written piece, the option would be there to limit the number of characters and/or the word count.
  • From learners themselves (to their own tribute)
    • No time limit, no word count or character limit
    • Would act like a multimedia-based diary/journal of learning
    • Option to select whether might be worth re-listening to for career selection purposes.
 

How Do You Make Zoom Breakout Rooms Less Boring? — from edsurgey.com by Bonni Stachowiak (Columnist)

Excerpt:

My first recommendation was to keep the breakout room time-frames short. If we allocate too much time, some groups will be done with the exercise with lots of time left, which can lead to social awkwardness. My preference is to have a few, shorter breakouts instead of one long one.

The second recommendation I had was around making the students’ work more visible when they are in the breakout rooms—through the use of an editable, shared document of some kind.

 

For New Orleans–based firm, architecture is a tool for design justice — from autodesk.com by Redshift Video

Excerpt:

When Bryan C. Lee Jr. was a boy, his family moved from Sicily to Trenton, NJ, and he was struck by not only the vastly different physical environment but also the ways different physical spaces affect people. It’s a concept that he explores today at Colloqate Design, an architecture and design-justice firm that focuses on civic, communal, and cultural spaces through the lens of racial justice.

 

Thanks to Jane Hart for the below diagram of a learning technology ecosystem! This diagram is accessible out at Jane’s recent posting entitled, “Back to Basics: 10 lessons for virtual L&D for 2021.

 

From DSC:
Notice how these tools, vendors, business relationships, etc. can — and do — morph over time. It’s not a static system…but an ever-changing system.

 

Reflections on some nice ideas from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt [Lecture Breakers Weekly!]

Per this week’s Lecture Breakers Weekly! from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt:

Break up your online lectures with the Watch Party! Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Pre-record your mini-lecture or find a video you want to use for your lesson. 
  • Instead of asking students to watch the video on their own, play it during your synchronous/live class time.
  • Explain to your students that they are watching the video all at the same time and that you will be facilitating the chat and answering their questions as they watch the video together. It’s a watch party!
  • Option: Take the conversation out of Zoom or your LMS. Create a hashtag for your course on Twitter and invite other experts, colleagues, or friends to join the conversation.

Instead of presenting during the synchronous class time, you can now focus completely on managing the chat, prompting discussion, and responding to students’ questions and ideas in real-time. And be sure to record and save the chat for students who couldn’t attend the live session or want to review it later.

From DSC:
This is one of the kind of things that I envisioned with Learning from the living class[room] — a next-generation, global learning platform.

Learners could be watching a presentation/presenter, but communicating in real-time with other learners. Perhaps it will be a tvOS-based app or something similar. But TV as we know it is changing, right? It continues to become more interactive and on-demand all the time. Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, relevant/timely, affordable, accessible, up-to-date learning.

Also, you have TEAM-BASED learning. 

Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, up-to-date learning.

 

 
© 2020 | Daniel Christian