When the Animated Bunny in the TV Show Listens for Kids’ Answers — and Answers Back — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Yet when this rabbit asks the audience, say, how to make a substance in a bottle less goopy, she’s actually listening for their answers. Or rather, an artificially intelligent tool is listening. And based on what it hears from a viewer, it tailors how the rabbit replies.

“Elinor can understand the child’s response and then make a contingent response to that,” says Mark Warschauer, professor of education at the University of California at Irvine and director of its Digital Learning Lab.

AI is coming to early childhood education. Researchers like Warschauer are studying whether and how conversational agent technology—the kind that powers smart speakers such as Alexa and Siri—can enhance the learning benefits young kids receive from hearing stories read aloud and from watching videos.

From DSC:
Looking at the above excerpt…what does this mean for elearning developers, learning engineers, learning experience designers, instructional designers, trainers, and more? It seems that, for such folks, learning how to use several new tools is showing up on the horizon.

 

From DSC:
I was reviewing an edition of Dr. Barbara Honeycutt’s Lecture Breakers Weekly, where she wrote:

After an experiential activity, discussion, reading, or lecture, give students time to write the one idea they took away from the experience. What is their one takeaway? What’s the main idea they learned? What do they remember?

This can be written as a reflective blog post or journal entry, or students might post it on a discussion board so they can share their ideas with their colleagues. Or, they can create an audio clip (podcast), video, or drawing to explain their One Takeaway.

From DSC:
This made me think of tools like VoiceThread — where you can leave a voice/audio message, an audio/video-based message, a text-based entry/response, and/or attach other kinds of graphics and files.

That is, a multimedia-based exit ticket. It seems to me that this could work in online- as well as blended-based learning environments.


Addendum on 2/7/21:

How to Edit Live Photos to Make Videos, GIFs & More! — from jonathanwylie.com


 

Exciting new tools for designers, January 2021 — from by Carrie Cousins

Excerpt:

The new year is often packed with resolutions. Make the most of those goals and resolve to design better, faster, and more efficiently with some of these new tools and resources.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

 

From DSC:
I was thinking about projecting images, animation, videos, etc. from a device onto a wall for all in the room to see.

  • Will more walls of the future be like one of those billboards (that presents two or three different images) and could change surfaces?

One side of the surface would be more traditional (i.e., a sheet wall type of surface). The other side of the surface would be designed to be excellent for projecting images onto it and/or for use by Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and/or Virtual Reality (VR).

Along these lines, here’s another item related to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI):

Mercedes-Benz debuts dashboard that’s one giant touchscreen — from futurism.com

 

Could AI-based techs be used to develop a “table of contents” for the key points within lectures, lessons, training sessions, sermons, & podcasts? [Christian]

From DSC:
As we move into 2021, the blistering pace of emerging technologies will likely continue. Technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including technologies related to voice recognition
  • Blockchain
  • Augment Reality (AR)/Mixed Reality (MR)/Virtual Reality (VR) and/or other forms of Extended Reality (XR)
  • Robotics
  • Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) / The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Drones
  • …and other things will likely make their way into how we do many things (for better or for worse).

Along the positive lines of this topic, I’ve been reflecting upon how we might be able to use AI in our learning experiences.

For example, when teaching in face-to-face-based classrooms — and when a lecture recording app like Panopto is being used — could teachers/professors/trainers audibly “insert” main points along the way? Similar to something like we do with Siri, Alexa, and other personal assistants (“Heh Siri, _____ or “Alexa, _____).

Like an audible version of HTML -- using the spoken word to insert the main points of a presentation or lecture

(Image purchased from iStockphoto)

.

Pretend a lecture, lesson, or a training session is moving right along. Then the professor, teacher, or trainer says:

  • “Heh Smart Classroom, Begin Main Point.”
  • Then speaks one of the main points.
  • Then says, “Heh Smart Classroom, End Main Point.”

Like a verbal version of an HTML tag.

After the recording is done, the AI could locate and call out those “main points” — and create a table of contents for that lecture, lesson, training session, or presentation.

(Alternatively, one could insert a chime/bell/some other sound that the AI scans through later to build the table of contents.)

In the digital realm — say when recording something via Zoom, Cisco Webex, Teams, or another application — the same thing could apply. 

Wouldn’t this be great for quickly scanning podcasts for the main points? Or for quickly scanning presentations and webinars for the main points?

Anyway, interesting times lie ahead!

 

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

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?

 

 

NVIDIA Virtual Meetings AI Tech — from theawesomer.com
With the increased need for video calls these days, those with low-bandwidth connections may experience poor video quality. This tech being developed at NVIDIA dramatically reduces bandwidth needs by sending a fixed image, then using an AI-controlled avatar to track and replicate their facial movements in real-time.

 

From DSC:
Put yourself in the place of the conscientious/thorough learner. If you come into a course on Canvas & see Quizzes, Assignments, Discussion Boards, as well as other items listed on the Course Navigation Bar — in addition to the Modules selection — you might find yourself going to check many of those selections Every. Single. Day.

Graphically speaking:

Let's stop the FOMO and make it easy to find the content and the to-do's

(DSC purchased this image from Getty Images)

From DSC:
By the way, this is why RSS feeds and feed aggregators were implemented. Have updates/content flow to the person, instead of the person wasting time trying to find what’s been updated on 100+ websites.

 

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.

 

 

Editorial: Spaces is only a small part of Apple’s enormous AR/VR puzzle — from uploadvr.com by Jeremy Horwitz

Excerpt:

A demonstration of Spaces’ latest tech shows a cartoony teacher offering whiteboard presentations with accompanying lip and body synchronization — a gentle evolution of existing VR avatar technology. You could easily imagine the 3D model replaced with one of Apple’s current Memoji avatars, enabling an iPad- or iPhone-toting teacher to offer a presentation to a virtual class over Zoom.

 

Best Content Awards 2020 — from elearninfo247.com by Craig Weiss

Excerpts:

Judging Areas

  • Video
  • Animation
  • Audio Quality
  • One that is very important, but way too many vendors lacked it…ADA508 or similar (depending on the country, but most countries have it) support.
  • Usefulness
  • Interactivity (Quality and Usability)
  • Engagement
  • Scenarios (if applicable)
  • Description
  • Objectives

What was excluded

  • Assessments

And now… the awards.

 

How to use Microsoft Word’s new ‘Transcribe’ tool — from thenextweb.com by Rachel Kaser; with thanks to Tim Holt for publishing this on his blog

Here is how to use Microsoft's new Transcribe feature in Word

Excerpt:

At the moment, the Transcribe tool is only available on the online version of Word, and only to Microsoft 365 subscribers. There are plans to bring it to Word mobile at some point in the future. It also only supports English, but that’s also likely to change.

So how do you actually use the Transcribe tool? Here’s how.

 

Back-to-School Help for Students Without Internet — from by James K. Willcox
For millions of families, broadband access is a challenge. These resources can help bridge that digital divide.

Excerpt:

“If it wasn’t glaringly clear before, the pandemic has confirmed the vital importance of a broadband internet connection—one that is reliable, affordable, and in some cases, simply available,” says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel in Consumers Reports’ Washington, D.C., office. “Unfortunately, far too many Americans lack access or are unable to afford broadband.”

A new state-by-state report on America’s K-12 students by Common Sense and Boston Consulting finds that almost 16 million students and 10 percent of teachers lack adequate internet or computing devices at home. Minority households are among the most affected. Though 18 percent of white homes lack broadband, the figure rises to 26 percent for Latinx homes and 30 percent for Black homes. The percentage is even higher among Native American households.

From DSC:
Though this solid article lists some very helpful resources, we have to do much better than this as a nation! It’s not right. 

My thanks to James McQueen for this resource.

 

From DSC:
After reading
Jeff Young’s article re: learning engineering and seeing the Nudge application from Duke University...it once again occurred to me that we really need a standard for loading questions into a memory-refreshing application. Just like HyperText Markup Language (HTML) made the World Wide Web so successful and impactful, we need an easy-to-use standard for dumping questions into a personalized database of questions for each cloud-based learner profile.

After taking a module, you would be asked if you wanted to be reminded of / quizzed upon the key ideas presented therein. You would then receive periodic quizzes on those items. You can choose to opt-out of that learning module’s content at any time.

Such an application would help reduce the impact of the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. This type of standard/feature would really help students and people in:

  • law schools, dental schools, medical schools, and seminaries
  • vocational programs
  • traditional undergraduate and graduate programs
  • K-12 systems
  • Homeschooling-based situations
  • Places of worship
  • Communities of practice — as well as lifelong learners

A person could invoke a quiz at any point, but would be quizzed at least once a day. If you missed a day, those questions would not be taken out of the pool of questions to ask you. If you got a question right, the time interval would be lengthened before you were asked that question again. But questions that you struggled with would be asked more frequently. This would also help interleave questions and aid in recall. Such spaced repetition would cause struggle from time to time, aiding in deeper learning.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian