Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2020 –from forbes.com by Daniel Newman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A faster WiFi for a faster world: Although WiFi 6 and 5G are completely different technologies, both will be bringing us much faster processing and wireless connection speeds in 2020. 5G and WiFi 6 working in concert will create the perfect end-to-end combination of ultra-fast connectivity for home and office. Expect download speeds up to 3x faster than were achievable with WiFi 5, but that isn’t the best measure of the new standard’s value. The real value of WiFi 6 will be its ability to extend faster data speeds to far more devices than WiFi 5 was able to manage.

 

Bigscreen TV launches with 50+ channels of video content — from vrscout.com by Allison Hollender

Excerpts:

Bigscreen, an immersive social platform that allows you to access your computer in VR, aims to continue revolutionizing the TV viewing experience with Bigscreen TV — a VR streaming experience that opens up access to over 50 major television providers.


“With Bigscreen, users can watch a Netflix show or a Twitch stream in an IMAX-like virtual movie theater,” Bigscreen reports. This means users from around the world can gather together to watch big championship games or their favorite shows with their friends as though they are together on the same couch.

 

How might immersive techs like those found in BigScreen TV impact teaching and learning related experiences?

 

From DSC:
Interesting…how might technologies and vendors like Bigscreen TV impact learning-related experiences? Hmmm….time will tell.

 

How WiFi 6 is about to revolutionize the Internet of Things — from interestingengineering.com by John Loeffler
While 5G tends to get all the press nowadays, WiFi 6 is going to have as big an impact behind the scenes by powering a next phase of the Internet of Things.

Excerpt:

So what’s such a big deal about these new standards? The difference between WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 is much like the jump from mobile’s 4G LTE networks to the new 5G networks rolling out this year and next.

The primary improvements will be in speed, connection strength, a wider spectrum of channels to operate in, and simultaneous streams. This means that there will be more room for each connection at an access point, allowing more devices to connect with less loss of bandwidth than current standards; these connections will be 37% faster than WiFi 5; and the ability of a WiFi 6 network to handle different data streams at the same time.

All of this adds up to a significant jump in speed over WiFi 5, allowing for up to 10 to 12 gigabytes per second of data transfer per connection, which opens up a whole new world of connected devices both at home, at work, and everywhere else in our lives.

 

 

Reflections on “Clay Shirky on Mega-Universities and Scale” [Christian]

Clay Shirky on Mega-Universities and Scale — from philonedtech.com by Clay Shirky
[This was a guest post by Clay Shirky that grew out of a conversation that Clay and Phil had about IPEDS enrollment data. Most of the graphs are provided by Phil.]

Excerpts:

Were half a dozen institutions to dominate the online learning landscape with no end to their expansion, or shift what Americans seek in a college degree, that would indeed be one of the greatest transformations in the history of American higher education. The available data, however, casts doubt on that idea.

Though much of the conversation around mega-universities is speculative, we already know what a mega-university actually looks like, one much larger than any university today. It looks like the University of Phoenix, or rather it looked like Phoenix at the beginning of this decade, when it had 470,000 students, the majority of whom took some or all of their classes online. Phoenix back then was six times the size of the next-largest school, Kaplan, with 78,000 students, and nearly five times the size of any university operating today.

From that high-water mark, Phoenix has lost an average of 40,000 students every year of this decade.

 

From DSC:
First of all, I greatly appreciate both Clay’s and Phil’s thought leadership and their respective contributions to education and learning through the years. I value their perspectives and their work.  Clay and Phil offer up a great article here — one worth your time to read.  

The article made me reflect on what I’ve been building upon and tracking for the last decade — a next generation ***PLATFORM*** that I believe will represent a powerful piece of a global learning ecosystem. I call this vision, “Learning from the Living [Class] Room.” Though the artificial intelligence-backed platform that I’m envisioning doesn’t yet fully exist — this new era and type of learning-based platform ARE coming. The emerging signs, technologies, trends — and “fingerprints”of it, if you will — are beginning to develop all over the place.

Such a platform will:

  • Be aimed at the lifelong learner.
  • Offer up major opportunities to stay relevant and up-to-date with one’s skills.
  • Offer access to the program offerings from many organizations — including the mega-universities, but also, from many other organizations that are not nearly as large as the mega-universities.
  • Be reliant upon human teachers, professors, trainers, subject matter experts, but will be backed up by powerful AI-based technologies/tools. For example, AI-based tools will pulse-check the open job descriptions and the needs of business and present the top ___ areas to go into (how long those areas/jobs last is anyone’s guess, given the exponential pace of technological change).

Below are some quotes that I want to comment on:

Not nothing, but not the kind of environment that will produce an educational Amazon either, especially since the top 30 actually shrank by 0.2% a year.

 

Instead of an “Amazon vs. the rest” dynamic, online education is turning into something much more widely adopted, where the biggest schools are simply the upper end of a continuum, not so different from their competitors, and not worth treating as members of a separate category.

 

Since the founding of William and Mary, the country’s second college, higher education in the U.S. hasn’t been a winner-take-all market, and it isn’t one today. We are not entering a world where the largest university operates at outsized scale, we’re leaving that world; 

 

From DSC:
I don’t see us leaving that world at all…but that’s not my main reflection here. Instead, I’m not focusing on how large the mega-universities will become. When I speak of a forthcoming Walmart of Education or Amazon of Education, what I have in mind is a platform…not one particular organization.

Consider that the vast majority of Amazon’s revenues come from products that other organizations produce. They are a platform, if you will. And in the world of platforms (i.e., software), it IS a winner take all market. 

Bill Gates reflects on this as well in this recent article from The Verge:

“In the software world, particularly for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets.

So it’s all about a forthcoming platform — or platforms. (It could be more than one platform. Consider Apple. Consider Microsoft. Consider Google. Consider Facebook.)

But then the question becomes…would a large amount of universities (and other types of organizations) be willing to offer up their courses on a platform? Well, consider what’s ALREADY happening with FutureLearn:

Finally…one more excerpt from Clay’s article:

Eventually the new ideas lose their power to shock, and end up being widely copied. Institutional transformation starts as heresy and ends as a section in the faculty handbook. 

From DSC:
This is a great point. Reminds me of this tweet from Fred Steube (and I added a piece about Western Telegraph):

 

Some things to reflect upon…for sure.

 

Cisco and American Well are teaming up to let you talk to your doctor from your TV — from cnbc.com by Christina Farr

Key points:

  • Cisco and American Well are working on bringing virtual medical visits to homes across the country.
  • Traditionally, virtual medical visits are conducted via laptops and smartphones.
  • But the television set might be more accessible, especially for older Americans.
 

The World’s First Full in VR Semester Course Taught by Survios CTO — from medium.com by Rahel Demant

Excerpt:

VR First is excited to announce its strategic partnership with Axon Park?—?the world’s first educational campus in VR. To kick things off, they are running a full semester course taught in VR. Launching this fall, the course will teach expert-level Unreal Engine VR development, taught remotely by Survios CTO and Co-Founder Alex Silkin with support from the Unreal Engine team.

To enable Axon Park’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through immersive education, VR First has signed a strategic partnership with Axon Park, an organization which maintains the largest network of VR lab enabled universities and science parks internationally. Together, Axon Park and VR First are announcing a needs-based scholarship program that will provide students with low cost or free access to VR hardware and resources through their partner network of 850 universities. With their expertise in VR/AR workforce education and regional tech cluster facilities, VR First is the international distribution partner for Axon Park training solutions to universities, businesses and governments.

 

 

Also see:

Axon Park -- in fall 2019, delivering the world’s first full in VR semester course

 

 

 

 Also see:

Microsoft is building a virtual assistant for work. Google is building one for everything else — from qz.com by Dave Gershgorn

Excerpts:

In the early days of virtual personal assistants, the goal was to create a multipurpose digital buddy—always there, ready to take on any task. Now, tech companies are realizing that doing it all is too much, and instead doubling down on what they know best.

Since the company has a deep understanding of how organizations work, Microsoft is focusing on managing your workday with voice, rearranging meetings and turning the dials on the behemoth of bureaucracy in concert with your phone.

 

Voice is the next major platform, and being first to it is an opportunity to make the category as popular as Apple made touchscreens. To dominate even one aspect of voice technology is to tap into the next iteration of how humans use computers.

 

 

From DSC:
What affordances might these developments provide for our future learning spaces?

Will faculty members’ voices be recognized to:

  • Sign onto the LMS?
  • Dim the lights?
  • Turn on the projector(s) and/or display(s)?
  • Other?

Will students be able to send the contents of their mobile devices to particular displays via their voices?

Will voice be mixed in with augmented reality (i.e., the students and their devices can “see” which device to send their content to)?

Hmmm…time will tell.

 

 
 

9 amazing uses for VR and AR in college classrooms — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
Immersive technologies can help students understand theoretical concepts more easily, prepare them for careers through simulated experiences and keep them engaged in learning.

Excerpt:

Immersive reality is bumping us into the deep end, virtually speaking. Colleges and universities large and small are launching new labs and centers dedicated to research on the topics of augmented reality, virtual reality and 360-degree imaging. The first academic conference held completely in virtual reality recently returned for its second year, hosted on Twitch by Lethbridge College in Alberta and Centennial College in Toronto. Majors in VR and AR have begun popping up in higher education across the United States, including programs at the Savannah School of Design (GA), Shenandoah University (VA) and Drexel University Westphal (PA). Educause experts have most recently positioned the timing for broad adoption of these technologies in education at the two-year to three-year horizon. And Gartner has predicted that by the year 2021, 60 percent of higher education institutions in the United States will “intentionally” be using VR to create simulations and put students into immersive environments.

If you haven’t already acquired your own headset or applied for a grant from your institution to test out AR or VR for instruction, it’s time. We’ve done a scan of some of the most interesting projects currently taking place in American classrooms to help you imagine the virtual possibilities.

 


 

 

8 industrial IoT trends of 2019 that cannot be ignored — from datafloq.com

Excerpt:

From manufacturing to the retail sector, the infinite applications of the industrial internet of things are disrupting business processes, thereby improving operational efficiency and business competitiveness. The trend of employing IoT-powered systems for supply chain management, smart monitoring, remote diagnosis, production integration, inventory management, and predictive maintenance is catching up as companies take bold steps to address a myriad of business problems.

No wonder, the global technology spend on IoT is expected to reach USD 1.2 trillion by 2022. The growth of this segment will be driven by firms deploying IIoT solutions and giant tech organizations who are developing these innovative solutions.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, we have enlisted a few trends that will dominate the industrial IoT sphere.

 

5. 5G Will Drive Real-Time IIoT Applications
5G deployments are digitizing the industrial domain and changing the way enterprises manage their business operations. Industries, namely transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, energy and utilities, agriculture, retail, media, and financial services will benefit from the low latency and high data transfer speed of 5G mobile networks.

 

Virtual reality helping those with developmental disabilities — from kivitv.com by Matt Sizemore
How VR is making autistic individuals more independent

Excerpts:

EAGLE, IDAHO — If you think modern day virtual reality is just for gaming, think again. New technology is helping those with developmental disabilities do more than ever before, and much of that can be found right in their own backyard.

“I see unlimited potential inside of their minds. I see us being able to unlock a certain person who can achieve things that we never thought could be done, and all of this could happen off of just exposing them to virtual reality,” said Smythe.

VR1 and the Autism XR Institute are constantly creating tools and ideas to help kids and adults with autism live a more independent life through virtual reality.

 

Also see:

Making a final wish comes true: Hospice expanding virtual reality therapy — from galioninquirer.com by Russell Kent

Excerpt:

ASHLAND — Hospice of North Central Ohio is extending its virtual reality therapy (VRT) in an effort to help Richland County hospice and palliative patients fulfill their last wishes, thanks to a $7,000 grant from the Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation Fund of The Richland County Foundation.

VRT uses video technology to generate realistic 360-degree, photographic or animated three-dimensional images, accompanied by sounds from the actual environment. When donning the headset and headphones, viewers are surrounded by visuals and sounds that give the impression of being physically present in the environment. Virtual reality therapy treatment allows patients to relive memories, return to places of emotional significance, or experience something or somewhere that they desire.

 

From DSC:
Re: the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision of a next gen learning platform

 

Learning from the Living Class Room

 

…wouldn’t it be cool if you could use your voice to ask your smart/connected “TV” type of device:

“Show me the test questions for Torts I from WMU-Cooley Law School. Cooley could then charge $0.99 for these questions.”

Then, the system knows how you did on answering those questions. The ones you got right, you don’t get asked to review as often as the ones you got wrong. As you get a question right more often, the less you are asked to answer it.

You sign up for such streams of content — and the system assesses you periodically. This helps a person keep certain topics/information fresh in their memory. This type of learning method would be incredibly helpful for students trying to pass the Bar or other types of large/summative tests — especially when a student has to be able to recall information that they learned over the last 3-5 years.

Come to think of it…this method could help all of us in learning new disciplines/topics throughout our lifetimes. Sign up for the streams of content that you want to learn more about…and drop the (no-longer relevant) subscriptions as needed..

 

We need to tap into streams of content in our next gen learning platform

 

The Common Sense Census: Inside the 21st-Century Classroom

21st century classroom - excerpt from infographic

Excerpt:

Technology has become an integral part of classroom learning, and students of all ages have access to digital media and devices at school. The Common Sense Census: Inside the 21st-Century Classroom explores how K–12 educators have adapted to these critical shifts in schools and society. From the benefits of teaching lifelong digital citizenship skills to the challenges of preparing students to critically evaluate online information, educators across the country share their perspectives on what it’s like to teach in today’s fast-changing digital world.

 

 

Microsoft debuts Ideas in Word, a grammar and style suggestions tool powered by AI — from venturebeat.com by Kyle Wiggers; with thanks to Mr. Jack Du Mez for his posting on this over on LinkedIn

Excerpt:

The first day of Microsoft’s Build developer conference is typically chock-full of news, and this year was no exception. During a keynote headlined by CEO Satya Nadella, the Seattle company took the wraps off a slew of updates to Microsoft 365, its lineup of productivity-focused, cloud-hosted software and subscription services. Among the highlights were a new AI-powered grammar and style checker in Word Online, dubbed Ideas in Word, and dynamic email messages in Outlook Mobile.

Ideas in Word builds on Editor, an AI-powered proofreader for Office 365 that was announced in July 2016 and replaced the Spelling & Grammar pane in Office 2016 later that year. Ideas in Words similarly taps natural language processing and machine learning to deliver intelligent, contextually aware suggestions that could improve a document’s readability. For instance, it’ll recommend ways to make phrases more concise, clear, and inclusive, and when it comes across a particularly tricky snippet, it’ll put forward synonyms and alternative phrasings.

 

Also see:

 

 

How the internet of things will change your life — from uk.rs-online.com

 

‘Internet of Things’ is transforming health care, Geneia president says — from unionleader.com by Kim Haas

 

What are the issues with Fog Computing? — from yourtechdiet.com by Brian Curtis

Advantages:

• It reduces the amount of data transferred to the cloud by having an edge location.
• Supports mobility and improves system response time.
• It minimizes network latency and conserves network bandwidth.
• Data can be processed with no bandwidth availability.
• Acts like an intermediate b/w IOT devices and Cloud computing infrastructure.

Disadvantages:

• It has some wireless security issues and privacy concerns.
• Authentication issues and trusted certificates concern

Fog computing helps in building some of the Smart Hi-Tech Cities, Buildings, Vehicle networks and Software Defined Networks (SDN).

 

Smart building complexity is creating dangerous new hacking opportunities — from techradar.com by Ian Heritage
Complex IoT environments can spell bad news for IT professionals

 

How 5G will fast track the internet of things — from .inkstonenews.com by Zheping Huang

Excerpt:

In Hangzhou, police officers are notified of major car accidents soon after they happen, traffic lights automatically adjust to changes in the volume of vehicles on the road and, in emergencies, fire trucks and ambulances are not stopped by a single red light until they arrive at the scene.

The city in eastern China’s Zhejiang province is one of the country’s major tech hubs. Its smart infrastructure powers the City Brain project, a cloud computing and AI-driven urban traffic-management system. It covers a total area of 162 square miles – that’s seven times the size of Manhattan.

When 5G mobile services start to roll out worldwide next year, smart cities such as Hangzhou will get even smarter as next-generation wireless technology helps industries realize the full potential of the internet of things (IoT).

“5G, from the beginning of its infrastructure design, has the internet of things in mind,” said Cui Kai, a Beijing-based IoT analyst with research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

The stakes are high for industries around the world, as global spending on IoT is forecast to exceed $1 trillion in 2022, up from an estimated $745 billion this year, according to IDC.

 

With peak data rates up to 20 times faster than 4G, 5G will serve as “the connective tissue” for IoT, autonomous cars, smart cities and new mobile applications – providing the backbone for the industrial internet, according to a Deloitte report.

 

 

How the Internet of Things (IoT) can change the face of your business — from yourtechdiet.com by Brian Curtis

What is an IoT platform?
IOT platform is the support software which connects hardware, data networks and access points to other parts, i.e. to end-user application. Moreover, the IOT platform helps to automate their environment. So you can consider it as a middleware solution between data and the user.

Here are the five reasons why your business needs IoT.

  • Helps to know your customer better
  • Strengthen business operations
  • IoT can help to automate the jobs so your resource can work on what’s more required for your business.
  • Supply-chain analytics- IOT can manage your inventory so that you can save tons of time.

 

 

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