Twitter is rolling out 280-character tweets around the world — from theverge.com by Casey Newton

Excerpt:

In most of the world, the iconic 140-character tweet is now officially a thing of the past. Twitter said today that after a global test, 280-character tweets will roll out to users around the world. Longer tweets will now be the standard in every language where Twitter is available save for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, where the 140-character limit will still apply. (The company says Asian languages fit more thoughts into fewer characters; the average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters.)

In a blog post, Twitter said the expanded character limit would allow for easier expression while retaining the brevity for which the service is known. With the previous limit in place, 9 percent of tweets hit 140 characters. But during the test of expanded tweets, only 1 percent of tweets hit 280 characters, Twitter said. “More space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before,” the company said in a blog post.

 

From DSC:
As I tell students in my online-based Foundations of Information Technology course, Twitter is a key tool that I believe everyone should have as a piece of their learning ecosystems. It is a Top 10 tool in all 4 categories that Jane Hart tracks each year (2017 results are shown below):

  • Overall Top 200 Tools for Learning — #5
  • Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning — #3
  • Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning– #6
  • Top 100 Tools for Education — #9

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

The Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 (11th Annual Survey) has been compiled by Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies from the votes of 2,174 learning professionals worldwide, together with 3 sub-lists

  • Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning (PPL)
  • Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning (WPL)
  • Top 100 Tools for Education (EDU)

 

Excerpt from the Analysis page (emphasis DSC):

Here is a brief analysis of what’s on the list and what it tells us about the current state of personal learning, workplace learning and education.

Some facts

Some observations on what the Top Tools list tells us personal and professional learning
As in previous years, individuals continue to using a wide variety of:

  • networks, services and platforms for professional networking, communication and collaboration
  • web resources and courses for self-improvement and self-development
  • tools for personal productivity

All of which shows that many individuals have become highly independent, continuous modern professional learners – making their own decisions about what they need to learn and how to do it.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
When you read the article below, notice how many times these CIO’s mention that they’re tapping into streams of content

 


 

How to stay current with emerging tech: CIO tips — from enterprisersproject.com by Carla Rudder
CIOs from Target, CVS Health, GE, and others share strategies for keeping up with the latest technologies

Excerpts:

I spend a fair amount of time looking at LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m particular about what I subscribe to. I see what people are interested in, so these social networks are good sources of information.

First, I set up Google alerts on topics that are of interest to me. I can skim these daily to keep abreast of what’s happening.

On the top-down side, I employ some different tactics. For example, I love using the Flipboard app to find relevant technology new stories targeted to my preferences. Also, I enjoy reading as much as I can about management and macro trends in technology and society.

First, pick some new media and follow it regularly. Examples that come to mind are Quartz, Vox, and Slate. Then, seek a balanced perspective from traditional media like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Economist.

When I can’t get out to conferences, I watch TED Talks. In fact, I watch a lot of talks that have nothing to do with IT, but they certainly help with leadership.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Readers of this Learning Ecosystems blog will recognize the following graphic:

 

 

I have long believed that each of us needs to draw from the relevant streams of content that are constantly flowing by us — and also that we should be contributing content to those streams as well. Such content can come from blogs, websites, Twitter, LinkedIn, podcasts, YouTube channels, Google Alerts, periodicals, and via other means.

I’m a big fan of blogging and using RSS feeds along with feed aggregators such as Feedly. I also find that Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Alerts to be excellent means of tapping into — and contributing to — these streams of content. (See Jane Hart’s compilations to tap into other tools/means of learning as well.)

This perspective is echoed in the following article at the Harvard Business Review:

  • Help Employees Create Knowledge — Not Just Share It — from hbr.org by John Hagel III and John Seely Brown
    Excerpt:
    Without diminishing the value of knowledge sharing, we would suggest that the most valuable form of learning today is actually creating new knowledge. Organizations are increasingly being confronted with new and unexpected situations that go beyond the textbooks and operating manuals and require leaders to improvise on the spot, coming up with new approaches that haven’t been tried before. In the process, they develop new knowledge about what works and what doesn’t work in specific situations. We believe the old, “scalable efficiency” approach to knowledge needs to be replaced with a new, more nimble kind of “scalable learning.” To foster the latter, managers should understand five essential distinctions…

 

We need to be constantly challenging our assumptions and beliefs about what is required to achieve impact because, as the world changes, what used to work in the past may no longer work. 

— Hagel and Brown

 

So whether you are working or studying within the world of higher education, or whether you are in the corporate world, or working in a governmental office, or whether you are a student in K-12, you need to be drawing from — and contributing your voice/knowledge to — streams of content.

In fact, in my mind, that’s what Training/L&D Departments should shift their focus to, as employees are already self-motivated to build their own learning ecosystems. And in the world of higher education, that’s why I work to help students in my courses build their own online-based footprints, while encouraging them to draw from — contribute to — these streams of content. As more people are becoming freelancers and consultants, it makes even more sense to do this.

 

 

But when we recognize that the environment around us is rapidly changing, skills have a shorter and shorter half-life. While skills are still necessary for success, the focus should shift to cultivating the underlying capabilities that can accelerate learning so that new skills can be more rapidly acquired. These capabilities include curiosity, critical thinking, willingness to take risk, imagination, creativity, and social and emotional intelligence. If we can develop those learning capabilities, we should be able to rapidly evolve our skill sets in ways that keep us ahead of the game.

— Hagel and Brown

 

 

 

From DSC:
I thought the article below was a good one. But I’m not sure I arrived at the same conclusion. Rather than putting the business of leadership & development training squarely on the shoulders of team leaders, I would put it on each individual employee and inform/empower them to seek out what works best for them in fulfilling their role.  

The L&D team can work with introducing the best tools and examples of streams of content to tap into for any given role or topic.

I’m thinking here of tools like Twitter, streams of content from LinkedIn or from relevant blogs and websites. The team leaders can follow up with their team members and check in with them to see how things are going. If an employee says, “I don’t know who to connect with or follow” then perhaps the team leader can say, I’ve found these particular people, blogs, websites, streams of content from LinkedIn (or other sources) to be effective for what we do within our organization. Introduce them to communities of practice and/or to other individuals that do X, Y or Z really well.

It brings in the social element that this article discusses, but it also serves each individual’s best interests — each one of us needs to know how and where to keep learning. If it’s in their best interests to keep learning, then give them the tools and potential streams of content to tap into. Give them:

 

 

Let them own it. They’re likely creating their own learning pathways anyway. L&D become a consulting organization. L&D can consult with each group (or even individual employees) re: potential streams of content and possible/effective connections for that group (or individual).

 



Revive.  — from revive.zaglearning.com

How enterprise learning for leadership and team development is tripping up human potential, and slowly sending the L&D brand into irrelevance. This is the story of how to save it, step by radical step.

Excerpts:

Over 18 months of research with 65 one-on-one interviews, 511 managers surveyed, and 900 teams representing 8K people, we witnessed the unintentional damage: marginalized learning and development people (L&D), learners who see leadership and team development as a necessary but random and usually disappointing transaction, and executives who line-item “soft skills” training (labeled decades ago by, no surprise, a hard-skills proponent) as a tax or necessary benefit, as if it were a dental plan.

If you’re curious, it can’t help but spark a few questions:

  • How can something so strategically important be so realistically unimportant?
  • How did L&D pros, who make such a compelling psychological and organizational case for the most pivotal kind of learning, get so minimized and, in the process, drag down human potential and the social intelligence of corporate culture?
  • How are smart, passionate L&D people who are in it for the greater good—and not the big payday—getting stuck with a brand that’s as sexy as K-Mart?

The problems are systemic, and the curiosity and ambition to fix them have received as little attention as any problem in enterprise history.

 

So, what’s the big switch? Learning for leadership and team development doesn’t belong with L&D. It belongs squarely with the team leader, the person who is 70% of the variance in her team’s engagement. Learning belongs fundamentally, not loosely, where it’s always in context and relevant: the leader and her team.

 

 

 

From DSC:
In reviewing the item below, I wondered:

How should students — as well as Career Services Groups/Departments within institutions of higher education — respond to the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in peoples’ job searches?

My take on it? Each student needs to have a solid online-based footprint — such as offering one’s own streams of content via a WordPress-based blog, one’s Twitter account, and one’s LinkedIn account. That is, each student has to be out there digitally, not just physically. (Though I suspect having face-to-face conversations and interactions will always be an incredibly powerful means of obtaining jobs as well. But if this trend picks up steam, one’s online-based footprint becomes all the more important to finding work.)

 




How AI is changing your job hunt
 — from by Jennifer Alsever

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The solution appeared in the form of artificial intelligence software from a young company called Interviewed. It speeds the vetting process by providing online simulations of what applicants might do on their first day as an employee. The software does much more than grade multiple-choice questions. It can capture not only so-called book knowledge but also more intangible human qualities. It uses natural-language processing and machine learning to construct a psychological profile that predicts whether a person will fit a company’s culture. That includes assessing which words he or she favors—a penchant for using “please” and “thank you,” for example, shows empathy and a possible disposition for working with customers—and measuring how well the applicant can juggle conversations and still pay attention to detail. “We can look at 4,000 candidates and within a few days whittle it down to the top 2% to 3%,” claims Freedman, whose company now employs 45 people. “Forty-eight hours later, we’ve hired someone.” It’s not perfect, he says, but it’s faster and better than the human way.

It isn’t just startups using such software; corporate behemoths are implementing it too. Artificial intelligence has come to hiring.

Predictive algorithms and machine learning are fast emerging as tools to identify the best candidates.

 

 



Addendum on 6/7/17:

 

 

 



Addendum on 6/15/17:

  • Want a job? It may be time to have a chat with a bot — from sfchronicle.com by Nicholas Cheng
    Excerpt:
    “The future is AI-based recruitment,” Mya CEO Eyal Grayevsky said. Candidates who were being interviewed through a chat couldn’t tell that they were talking to a bot, he added — even though the company isn’t trying to pass its bot off as human.

    A 2015 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research surveyed 300,000 people and found that those who were hired by a machine, using algorithms to match them to a job, stayed in their jobs 15 percent longer than those who were hired by human recruiters.

    A report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that more than half of human resources jobs may be lost to automation, though it did not give a time period for that shift.

    “Recruiting jobs will definitely go away,” said John Sullivan, who teaches management at San Francisco State University.

 

 

Amazon Opening Store That Will Eliminate Checkout — and Lines — from bloomberg.com by Jing Cao
At Amazon Seattle location items get charged to Prime account | New technology combines artificial intelligence and sensors

Excerpt:

Amazon.com Inc. unveiled technology that will let shoppers grab groceries without having to scan and pay for them — in one stroke eliminating the checkout line.

The company is testing the new system at what it’s calling an Amazon Go store in Seattle, which will open to the public early next year. Customers will be able to scan their phones at the entrance using a new Amazon Go mobile app. Then the technology will track what items they pick up or even return to the shelves and add them to a virtual shopping cart in real time, according a video Amazon posted on YouTube. Once the customers exit the store, they’ll be charged on their Amazon account automatically.

 

 

 

Amazon Introduces ‘Amazon Go’ Retail Stores, No Checkout, No Lines — from investors.com

Excerpt:

Online retail king Amazon.com (AMZN) is taking dead aim at the physical-store world Monday, introducing Amazon Go, a retail convenience store format it is developing that will use computer vision and deep-learning algorithms to let shoppers just pick up what they want and exit the store without any checkout procedure.

Shoppers will merely need to tap the Amazon Go app on their smartphones, and their virtual shopping carts will automatically tabulate what they owe, and deduct that amount from their Amazon accounts, sending you a receipt. It’s what the company has deemed “just walk out technology,” which it said is based on the same technology used in self-driving cars. It’s certain to up the ante in the company’s competition with Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and the other retail leaders.

 

 

Google DeepMind Makes AI Training Platform Publicly Available — from bloomberg.com by Jeremy Kahn
Company is increasingly embracing open-source initiatives | Move comes after rival Musk’s OpenAI made its robot gym public

Excerpt:

Alphabet Inc.’s artificial intelligence division Google DeepMind is making the maze-like game platform it uses for many of its experiments available to other researchers and the general public.

DeepMind is putting the entire source code for its training environment — which it previously called Labyrinth and has now renamed as DeepMind Lab — on the open-source depository GitHub, the company said Monday. Anyone will be able to download the code and customize it to help train their own artificial intelligence systems. They will also be able to create new game levels for DeepMind Lab and upload these to GitHub.

 

Related:
Alphabet DeepMind is inviting developers into the digital world where its AI learns to explore — from qz.com by Dave Gershgorn

 

 

 

After Retail Stumble, Beacons Shine From Banks to Sports Arenas — from bloomberg.com by Olga Kharif
Shipments of the devices expected to grow to 500 million

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Beacon technology, which was practically left for dead after failing to deliver on its promise to revolutionize the retail industry, is making a comeback.

Beacons are puck-size gadgets that can send helpful tips, coupons and other information to people’s smartphones through Bluetooth. They’re now being used in everything from bank branches and sports arenas to resorts, airports and fast-food restaurants. In the latest sign of the resurgence, Mobile Majority, an advertising startup, said on Monday that it was buying Gimbal Inc., a beacon maker it bills as the largest independent source of location data other than Google and Apple Inc.

Several recent developments have sparked the latest boom. Companies like Google parent Alphabet Inc. are making it possible for people to use the feature without downloading any apps, which had been a major barrier to adoption, said Patrick Connolly, an analyst at ABI. Introduced this year, Google Nearby Notifications lets developers tie an app or a website to a beacon to send messages to consumers even when they have no app installed.

But in June, Cupertino, California-based Mist Systems began shipping a software-based product that simplified the process. Instead of placing 10 beacons on walls and ceilings, for example, management using Mist can install one device every 2,000 feet (610 meters), then designate various points on a digital floor plan as virtual beacons, which can be moved with a click of a mouse.

 

 

Google’s Hand-Fed AI Now Gives Answers, Not Just Search Results — from wired.com by Cade Metz

Excerpt:

Ask the Google search app “What is the fastest bird on Earth?,” and it will tell you.

“Peregrine falcon,” the phone says. “According to YouTube, the peregrine falcon has a maximum recorded airspeed of 389 kilometers per hour.”

That’s the right answer, but it doesn’t come from some master database inside Google. When you ask the question, Google’s search engine pinpoints a YouTube video describing the five fastest birds on the planet and then extracts just the information you’re looking for. It doesn’t mention those other four birds. And it responds in similar fashion if you ask, say, “How many days are there in Hanukkah?” or “How long is Totem?” The search engine knows that Totem is a Cirque de Soleil show, and that it lasts two-and-a-half hours, including a thirty-minute intermission.

Google answers these questions with the help from deep neural networks, a form of artificial intelligence rapidly remaking not just Google’s search engine but the entire company and, well, the other giants of the internet, from Facebook to Microsoft. Deep neutral nets are pattern recognition systems that can learn to perform specific tasks by analyzing vast amounts of data. In this case, they’ve learned to take a long sentence or paragraph from a relevant page on the web and extract the upshot—the information you’re looking for.

 

 

Deep Learning in Production at Facebook — from re-work.co by Katie Pollitt

Excerpt:

Facebook is powered by machine learning and AI. From advertising relevance, news feed and search ranking to computer vision, face recognition, and speech recognition, they run ML models at massive scale, computing trillions of predictions every day.

At the 2016 Deep Learning Summit in Boston, Andrew Tulloch, Research Engineer at Facebook, talked about some of the tools and tricks Facebook use for scaling both the training and deployment of some of their deep learning models at Facebook. He also covered some useful libraries that they’d open-sourced for production-oriented deep learning applications. Tulloch’s session can be watched in full below.

 

 

The Artificial Intelligence Gold Rush — from foresightr.com by Mark Vickers
Big companies, venture capital firms and governments are all banking on AI

Excerpt:

Let’s start with some of the brand-name organizations laying down big bucks on artificial intelligence.

  • Amazon: Sells the successful Echo home speaker, which comes with the personal assistant Alexa.
  • Alphabet (Google): Uses deep learning technology to power Internet searches and developed AlphaGo, an AI that beat the world champion in the game of Go.
  • Apple: Developed the popular virtual assistant Siri and is working on other phone-related AI applications, such as facial recognition.
  • Baidu: Wants to use AI to improve search, recognize images of objects and respond to natural language queries.
  • Boeing: Works with Carnegie Mellon University to develop machine learning capable of helping it design and build planes more efficiently.
  • Facebook: Wants to create the “best AI lab in the world.” Has its personal assistant, M, and focuses heavily on facial recognition.
    IBM: Created the Jeopardy-winning Watson AI and is leveraging its data analysis and natural language capabilities in the healthcare industry.
  • Intel: Has made acquisitions to help it build specialized chips and software to handle deep learning.
  • Microsoft: Works on chatbot technology and acquired SwiftKey, which predicts what users will type next.
  • Nokia: Has introduced various machine learning capabilities to its portfolio of customer-experience software.
    Nvidia: Builds computer chips customized for deep learning.
  • Salesforce: Took first place at the Stanford Question Answering Dataset, a test of machine learning and comprehension, and has developed the Einstein model that learns from data.
  • Shell: Launched a virtual assistant to answer customer questions.
  • Tesla Motors: Continues to work on self-driving automobile technologies.
  • Twitter: Created an AI-development team called Cortex and acquired several AI startups.

 

 

 

IBM Watson and Education in the Cognitive Era — from i-programmer.info by Nikos Vaggalis

Excerpt:

IBM’s seemingly ubiquitous Watson is now infiltrating education, through AI powered software that ‘reads’ the needs of individual  students in order to engage them through tailored learning approaches.

This is not to be taken lightly, as it opens the door to a new breed of technologies that will spearhead the education or re-education of the workforce of the future.

As outlined in the 2030 report, despite robots or AI displacing a big chunk of the workforce, they will also play a major role in creating job opportunities as never before.In such a competitive landscape, workers of all kinds, white or blue collar to begin with, should come readied with new, versatile and contemporary skills.

The point is, the very AI that will leave someone jobless, will also help him to re-adapt into a new job’s requirements.It will also prepare the new generations through the use of such optimal methodologies that will once more give meaning to the aging  and counter-productive schooling system which has the  students’ skills disengaged from the needs of the industry and which still segregates students into ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Might it be that ‘bad’ students become just like that due to the system’s inability to stimulate their interest?

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
The other day I had posted some ideas in regards to how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality are coming together to offer some wonderful new possibilities for learning (see: “From DSC: Amazing possibilities coming together w/ augmented reality used in conjunction w/ machine learning! For example, consider these ideas.”) Here is one of the graphics from that posting:

 

horticulturalapp-danielchristian

These affordances are just now starting to be uncovered as machines are increasingly able to ascertain patterns, things, objects…even people (which calls for a separate posting at some point).

But mainly, for today, I wanted to highlight an excellent comment/reply from Nikos Andriotis @ Talent LMS who gave me permission to highlight his solid reflections and ideas:

 

nikosandriotisidea-oct2016

 

 

From DSC:
Excellent reflection/idea Nikos — that would represent some serious personalized, customized learning!

Nikos’ innovative reflections also made me think about his ideas in light of their interaction or impact with web-based learner profiles, credentialing, badging, and lifelong learning.  What’s especially noteworthy here is that the innovations (that impact learning) continue to occur mainly in the online and blended learning spaces.

How might the ramifications of these innovations impact institutions who are pretty much doing face-to-face only (in terms of their course delivery mechanisms and pedagogies)?

Given:

  • That Microsoft purchased LinkedIn and can amass a database of skills and open jobs (playing a cloud-based matchmaker)
  • Everyday microlearning is key to staying relevant (RSS feeds and tapping into “streams of content” are important here, and so is the use of Twitter)
  • 65% of today’s students will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet (per Microsoft & The Future Laboratory in 2016)

 

futureproofyourself-msfuturelab-2016

  • The exponential pace of technological change
  • The increasing level of experimentation with blockchain (credentialing)
  • …and more

…what do the futures look like for those colleges and universities that operate only in the face-to-face space and who are not innovating enough?

 

 

 

From DSC:
Twitter is a tool that you should consider putting in your toolbox — or in your students’ toolboxes. Consider how it was used here –> This Henry VIII Twitter Account Is The Best Way To Learn About Brexit | @KngHnryVIII tells it like it is (and like how it was in the 1500s).

 

TwitterandKingHenryVIII-June2016

 

Microlearning: The e-Learning method taking off around the world — from educators.co.nz by Catherine Knowles

Excerpt:

Technology is disrupting traditional learning bringing new methods and tools into educational institutions and businesses.

Microlearning, for instance, has displayed great potential for growth, according to Association Learning + Technology 2016 – a report published by Tagoras and sponsored by YM Learning.

The report looks at the use of technology to enable and enhance learning in the continuing education and professional development market and provides insight into how the role technology plays in learning has and will evolve.

 

In fact, among five emerging types of learning (microlearning, massive open online courses (MOOCs), flipped classes, gamified learning, and microcredentials), microlearning shows the highest rate of adoption – and arguably the greatest potential for growth.

 

 

 

Podcasting is perfect for people with big ideas. Here’s how to do it — from by Todd Landman
Surprisingly few academics have learned how to podcast – but it’s a great way to reach a wider audience

Excerpt:

In the face of conflict in the Middle East, the flow of refugees to Europe and the violence associated with Islamic State and other militants, there has never been a more important time to talk about human rights. And talk about them is what I do – not in a lecture hall or at conferences with academics, but in a podcast series. Let me explain why.

I have worked as a political scientist for 25 years, focusing on human rights problems such as the struggle for citizenship rights in Latin America and the relationship between inequality and human rights violations.

I am part of a wide network of people dedicated to producing sound evidence on human rights, and my work has been communicated through articles, books and reports. But I am limited in my ability to reach the people I would most like to engage and influence – those who do not have an academic understanding of human rights but might benefit from finding out about it.

There is a new breed of academic who understands this and is committed to bridging the gap between academia and the real world. Many blog, actively seek media coverage of their research and appear on radio and television to shed light on the issues of the day.

 

 

From DSC:
Some of the tools that Landman mentioned were:

e-camm-for-skype-jan2016

  • A MacBook Pro and its free audio editing software GarageBand (for Mac OS X and for iOS)
  • A lapel mic used with his iPhone

 

garageband-jan2016

 

Some other tools to consider:

 

 

From DSC:
The above articles point to the idea — and the need — of creating “streams of content” — something that I wish more professors, teachers, staff, administrators, trainers, and instructional designers would create. Blogs, podcasts, and the use of Twitter come to my mind. Such channels could really help build others’ learning ecosystems.

Many professors and academics — folks who have so much information to share with the world — often produce works just for other academics in their discipline to review/check out. Such bubbles don’t have the impact that would occur if professors created streams of content for members of society to check out and learn from. Such mechanisms would also hopefully strip away some of the more academic sounding language and would get to the point.

 

 

streams-of-content-blue-overlay

 

 

 

 

Also see:

podcastscratch-june2015

 

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