World of active learning in higher ed — from universitybusiness.com by Sherrie Negrea
Formal and informal learning spaces transforming campuses internationally

Excerpts:

Active learning spaces are cropping up at campuses on nearly every continent as schools transform lecture halls, classrooms and informal study areas into collaborative technology hubs. While many international campuses have just started to create active learning spaces, others have been developing them for more than a decade.

As the trend in active learning classrooms has accelerated internationally, colleges in the U.S. can learn from the cutting-edge classroom design and technology that countries such as Australia and Hong Kong have built.

“There are good examples that are coming out from all over the world using different kinds of space design and different types of teaching,” says D. Christopher Brooks, director of research at Educause, who has conducted research on active learning spaces in the United States and China.

 

“If the students are engaged and motivated and enjoying their learning, they’re more likely to have improved learning outcomes,” says Neil Morris, director of digital learning at the University of Leeds. “And the evidence suggests that these spaces improve their engagement, motivation and enjoyment.”

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
How do we best help folks impacted by these changes reinvent themselves? And to what? What adjustments to our educational systems do we need to make in order to help people stay marketable and employed?

Given the pace of change and the need for lifelong learning, we need to practice some serious design thinking on our new reality.

 


 

The amount of retail space closing in 2018 is on pace to break a record — from cnbc.com by Lauren Thomas

  • Bon-Ton’s more than 200 stores encompass roughly 24 million square feet.
  • CoStar Group has calculated already more than 90 million square feet of retail space (including Bon-Ton) is set to close in 2018.
  • That’s easily on track to surpass a record 105 million square feet of space shuttered in 2017.

 


 

 

 

Transforming the Postsecondary Professional Education Experience — from by Mary Grush & Thomas Finholt

Excerpt:

So, among other factors currently influencing change, those are the predominate ones. I’ll sum it up this way: The tried-and-true residential model has worked so far, but a number of factors are forcing transformation: emerging technologies, new expectations about when learning will occur in a student’s lifespan, and the introduction of a whole new population of students that had never been imagined before.

Grush: What are your latest efforts or experiments in new professional education offerings that you see as part of this transformation? When did you make a start and what impacts do you see so far?
Finholt: The biggest transformation for us to date has been our entry into the MOOC space. That movement began with a few small trials, but it’s now rapidly expanding and may include, ultimately, full degree offerings. I would describe our period of experimentation with MOOCs to have started in 2013, gaining especially significant momentum in the past two years. Over the next couple of years, our efforts will expand even more dramatically, if we elect to offer fully online degrees. As a measure of the magnitude of impact of MOOCs so far, one of our MOOC specializations in the Python programming language is among the most popular offerings on Coursera — I believe that it has reached more than a million learners at this point. A significant fraction of those learners have opted to sit for an exam to get a certificate in Python programming.

 

 

One is, as announced at the March 6th Coursera meeting, that we have joined in a partnership with Coursera and the University of Michigan’s Office of Academic Innovation to design and get approved, a brand-new online master’s degree in Applied Data Science. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Mary and Thomas’ solid article reminds me of a graphic I put together a while back:

 

 

 

 

“The process of obtaining postgraduate credentials is becoming something that one works on over the entire span of one’s career… Working professionals will have an array of punctuated intervals, if you will — periods of time when they work intensively to update their credentials.” (source)

 

 

 

 

Students are being prepared for jobs that no longer exist. Here’s how that could change. — from nbcnews.com by Sarah Gonser, The Hechinger Report
As automation disrupts the labor market and good middle-class jobs disappear, schools are struggling to equip students with future-proof skills.

Excerpts:

In many ways, the future of Lowell, once the largest textile manufacturing hub in the United States, is tied to the success of students like Ben Lara. Like many cities across America, Lowell is struggling to find its economic footing as millions of blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, construction and transportation disappear, subject to offshoring and automation.

The jobs that once kept the city prosperous are being replaced by skilled jobs in service sectors such as health care, finance and information technology — positions that require more education than just a high-school diploma, thus squeezing out many of those blue-collar, traditionally middle-class workers.

 

As emerging technologies rapidly and thoroughly transform the workplace, some experts predict that by 2030 400 million to 800 million people worldwide could be displaced and need to find new jobs. The ability to adapt and quickly acquire new skills will become a necessity for survival.

 

 

“We’re preparing kids for these jobs of tomorrow, but we really don’t even know what they are,” said Amy McLeod, the school’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. “It’s almost like we’re doing this with blinders on. … We’re doing all we can to give them the finite skills, the computer languages, the programming, but technology is expanding so rapidly, we almost can’t keep up.”

 

 

 

For students like Amber, who would rather do just about anything but go to school, the Pathways program serves another function: It makes learning engaging, maybe even fun, and possibly keeps her in school and on track to graduate.

“I think we’re turning kids off to learning in this country by putting them in rows and giving them multiple-choice tests — the compliance model,” McLeod said. “But my hope is that in the pathways courses, we’re teaching them to love learning. And they’re learning about options in the field — there’s plenty of options for kids to try here.”

 

 

 

A Sneak Peek into Augmented Reality’s Influence on SEO — from semrush.com by Pradeep Chopra

Excerpt:

AR is here to influence how businesses are going to promote their products/services and also how they optimize for search rankings. It is important to note, AR will impact Search Engine Optimization.

Local SEO Becomes More Critical
Augmented reality makes it possible for users to scan their mobile devices and get information on the businesses in their area. The data includes everything from images to ratings to reviews. AR apps have the capability to provide users with location-specific offers and deals – all in a theatrical AR format.

Apps like Yelp and Wikitude are already providing geo-location based AR experiences.

So, if you were to scan a location with your camera, you would be able to see the details of that business along with its latest reviews, ratings, and offers. This will simplify the experience for those searching from a specific geo-location. You must, therefore, ensure and maintain the quality and freshness of your local listings.

Here are some key aspects that you must take care of…

 

 

 

A new JPEG format for virtual reality, drones and self-driving cars — from actu.epfl.ch
The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), an international committee headed by an EPFL professor, has just unveiled JPEG XS. With this new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images can be sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS will have applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing.

Excerpt:

Why do virtual reality headsets make users nauseous? One reason is latency, or the almost imperceptible amount of time it takes for a display image to change in response to a user’s head movement. However, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) has just introduced a new image compression standard that could resolve this problem. This working group is headed by Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor in EPFL’s School of Engineering (STI).

With JPEG XS, images and videos maintain an extremely high level of quality thanks to a compression process that is simpler and faster – and thus more energy efficient. The compressed files end up being larger, but that’s not a problem thanks to broadband networks such as Wi-Fi and 5G: the aim is to stream the files instead of storing them in smartphones or other devices with limited memory.

This means that you could use your smartphone, tablet or computer to project a high-definition movie or a video game onto a large-screen display almost instantaneously. No cables would be required, and the image quality would be extremely high.

 

 

JPEG XS is a new VR video streaming format optimized for 5G and Wi-Fi — from venturebeat.com by Jeremy Horwitz

Excerpt:

Best known for its eponymous and ubiquitous photo standard, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) has announced JPEG XS, a new video compression standard designed to stream lossless videos, VR content, and games over wireless networks. Intriguingly, JPEG XS is said to work on current computers with only software updates, while smaller devices will require “next generation” hardware.

Unlike rival video standards, JPEG XS doesn’t attempt maximum compression by using extra processing power or time. It instead presumes that the device will be used on a high-bandwidth 5G cellular or Wi-Fi network and focuses on delivering ultra low latency and superior energy efficiency.

 

 

 

Apple’s In-Depth Work on a Next-Gen Mixed Reality Headset is Simply Mind Boggling in Scope — from patentlyapple.com

Excerpt:

In April 2017 Patently Apple posted a report titled “NASA’s Mission Operations Innovation Lead is now a Senior Manager on Apple’s AR Glasses Team.” A year ago we also posted a report titled “Apple’s Augmented Reality Team is bringing in more Specialists to work on their Future Platform.” Apple has certainly gathered a world class team of experts to develop a whole range of next-gen AR/VR and Mixed Reality headsets, smartglasses and more. Earlier today we posted a report titled “Apple Advances their Head Mounted Display Project by adding a new GUI, an External Camera, Gaming & more.” While Apple has been updating some of the features of this headset, we’re still stuck with a 2008 patent image a headset concept that is somewhat outdated.

 

 

Augmented Reality Kit: Quick Start Guide — from cgcookie.com by Jonathan Gonzalez

Excerpt:

Augmented Reality is an exciting new way to develop games and apps that support the use of 3d objects in real world space. If you’ve ever played Pokemon Go then you’re familiar with what Augmented Reality (AR) is. Other popular apps have been sprouting up to take use of AR capabilities for more practical purposes such as Ikea’s catalog, pick your furniture and see how it looks in your place. Regardless of how you use AR for development there are three main resources we can use to develop for various AR capable hardware.

 

 

 

Travel to Mars and learn about the Curiosity Rover in VR  — from unimersiv.com

 

 

 

 

 

Per Catie Chase from BestColleges.com:

As you know, online education is rapidly expanding. At BestColleges.com we believe it’s important to evaluate the latest trends in distance education and measure the impact to both students and academic institutions. This is an industry that evolves quickly and these results offer relevant, current insights we are excited to learn from and share with the online learning community.

To keep up with these trends, we surveyed 1,800 online students and university administrators and published two reports based on our findings:

  • 2018 Online Education Trends Report – Synthesizing all of the data we gathered in our study, this academic report provides a holistic look at the current state of online education and offers predictions for where it’s headed.
  • The Student’s Guide to Online Education – Most students we spoke with wished they’d known more about online education and how to choose a quality online program prior to enrolling. We built this guide as a launching point for prospective students to gain that knowledge and make informed decisions on their education.

 

In an effort to develop a broader understanding of how common perceptions of online education are changing, we added several questions for both students and school administrators to the study this year. A majority of students (79%) felt that online learning is either “better than” or “equal to” on-campus learning. They felt their employers (61%), future employers (61%), and the general public (58%) also had a similarly positive perception of online learning.

 

 

From DSC:
It is highly likely that in the very near future, the question won’t even be asked anymore what employers think of online-based learning and whether they will hire someone that’s taken a significant portion of their coursework online. They won’t have a choice. This is especially true if and when more advanced technologies and capabilities get further baked into online-based learning — i.e., truly personalized/customized learning (which most faculty members — including myself — and teachers can’t deliver), virtual reality, artificial intelligence, chatbots, personal digital assistants, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and more. 

The better question could become:

To what extent will campus-based learning be impacted when truly personalized/customized learning is offered via online-based means?

My guess?  There will continue to be a significant amount of people who want to learn in a physical campus-based setting — and that’s great! But the growth of online learning will grow even more (a lot more) if truly personalized learning occurs via online-based means.

 


 

99% of administrators found that demand for online education has increased or stayed the same over the past few years. Almost 40% of respondents plan to increase their online program budgets in the next year.

 


 

This year, 34% of schools reported that their online students are younger than in previous years, falling into the “traditional” college age range of 18-25, and even younger as high school students take college courses before graduating. Several schools noted that recent high school graduates are entering the workforce while also pursuing a college education.

 


 

 

 

 

Predictions 2018: Technology, Media, and Telecommunications –from deloitte.com

The technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications ecosystem remains as fascinating as ever in 2018. Will augmented reality become mainstream? How will machine learning affect the enterprise? What’s the future of the smartphone? Deloitte Global invites you to read the latest Predictions report, designed to provide insight into transformation and growth opportunities over the next one to five years.

 

 

 

 

 
 

From MIT Technology Review on 4-2-2018

*Only* 14 percent of the world has to worry about robots taking their jobs. Yay?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a major report analyzing the impact of automation on jobs in 32 countries.

Clashing views: In 2016, the OECD said only 9 percent of US and worldwide jobs face a “high degree of automobility.” That was a contradiction of one of the most widely cited reports on jobs and automation, by Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, who in 2013 said that 47 percent of US jobs were at high risk of being consumed by automation.

What’s new: The OECD’s latest report says that across the countries analyzed, 14 percent of jobs are highly automatable, meaning they have over a 70 percent likelihood of automation. In the US, the study concludes that 10 percent of jobs will likely be lost to automation. An additional 32 percent of global jobs will be transformed and require significant worker retraining.

The big “but”: As the gap between the OECD report and Frey and Osborne’s estimates illustrate, predictions like these aren’t known for their accuracy. In fact, when we compiled all of the studies we could on the subject, we found there are about as many predictions as there are experts.

 


Also see:



Automation, skills use and training
— from oecd-ilibrary.org by Ljubica Nedelkoska and Glenda Quintini

Excerpts:

Here are the study’s key findings.
Across the 32 countries, close to one in two jobs are likely to be significantly affected by automation, based on the tasks they involve. But the degree of risk varies.

The variance in automatability across countries is large: 33% of all jobs in Slovakia are highly automatable, while this is only the case with 6% of the jobs in Norway.

The cross-country variation in automatability, contrary to expectations, is better explained by the differences in the organisation of job tasks within economic sectors, than by the differences in the sectoral structure of economies.

There are upside and downside risks to the figures obtained in this paper. On the upside, it is important to keep in mind that these estimates refer to technological possibilities, abstracting from the speed of diffusion and likelihood of adoption of such technologies….But there are risks on the downside too. First, the estimates are based on the fact that, given the current state of knowledge, tasks related to social intelligence, cognitive intelligence and perception and manipulation cannot be automated. However, progress is being made very rapidly, particularly in the latter two categories.

Most importantly, the risk of automation is not distributed equally among workers. Automation is found to mainly affect jobs in the manufacturing industry and agriculture, although a number of service sectors, such as postal and courier services, land transport and food services are also found to be highly automatable.

Overall, despite recurrent arguments that automation may start to adversely affect selected highly skilled occupations, this prediction is not supported by the Frey and Osborne (2013) framework of engineering bottlenecks used in this study. If anything, Artificial Intelligence puts more low-skilled jobs at risk than previous waves of technological progress…

A striking novel finding is that the risk of automation is the highest among teenage jobs. The relationship between automation and age is U-shaped, but the peak in automatability among youth jobs is far more pronounced than the peak among senior workers.


This unequal distribution of the risk of automation raises the stakes involved in policies to prepare workers for the new job requirements. In this context, adult learning is a crucial policy instrument for the re-training and up-skilling of workers whose jobs are being affected by technology. Unfortunately, evidence from this study suggests that a lot needs to be done to facilitate participation by the groups most affected by automation.

An analysis of German data suggests that training is used to move to jobs at lower risk of automation.

 

 

Record numbers of college students are seeking treatment for depression and anxiety — but schools can’t keep up — from impactlab.net by Thomas Frey

Excerpt:

Spigner is one of a rapidly growing number of college students seeking mental health treatment on campuses facing an unprecedented demand for counseling services. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of students visiting counseling centers increased by about 30% on average, while enrollment grew by less than 6%, the Center for Collegiate Mental Health found in a 2015 report. Students seeking help are increasingly likely to have attempted suicide or engaged in self-harm, the center found. In spring 2017, nearly 40% of college students said they had felt so depressed in the prior year that it was difficult for them to function, and 61% of students said they had “felt overwhelming anxiety” in the same time period, according to an American College Health Association survey of more than 63,000 students at 92 schools.)

But most counseling centers are working with limited resources. The average university has one professional counselor for every 1,737 students — fewer than the minimum of one therapist for every 1,000 to 1,500 students recommended by the International Association of Counseling Services. Some counselors say they are experiencing “battle fatigue” and are overwhelmed by the increase in students asking for help. “It’s a very different job than it was 10 years ago,” says Lisa Adams Somerlot, president of the American College Counseling Association and director of counseling at the University of West Georgia.

As colleges try to meet the growing demand, some students are slipping through the cracks due to long waits for treatment and a lasting stigma associated with mental health issues. Even if students ask for and receive help, not all cases can be treated on campus. Many private-sector treatment programs are stepping in to fill that gap, at least for families who can afford steep fees that may rise above $10,000 and may not be covered by health insurance. But especially in rural areas, where options for off-campus care are limited, universities are feeling pressure to do more.

 

 

 

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