From DSC:
Here’s a brief example of what teaching & learning could like in the metaverse. I realize this is just one example, and there will likely be a variety of options and formats…but it’s an interesting thought experiment.

 

From DSC:
These ideas are specially meant for you entrepreneurs and vendors out there! Including such vendors and products such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect, and others!

This idea could also be profitable and fun for CMS/LMS vendors and products such as Instructure/Canvas, Blackboard Learn, D2L, Google Classroom and others!


How might we take engagement within an online-based learning environment to an entirely different level? Well, check out these ideas!

What if learning could feature more personality? Be more fun? Have shades of game shows even!? Yet at the same time, if you are a learner who ventures into the ideas that I’m about to suggest, you had better be ready to back up and explain your perspective/position!

Here’s what I’m getting at. You know when you are messaging you can insert some fun motion graphics into your message?

 

Well, what about if we could select from a bank of very short video clips during a live/synchronous discussion — or during an asynchronous-based discussion board posting — that contained a famous movie clip/message? Then, if you choose to do that, you are then required to explain your perspective/position.  

 

Video What the video could mean
“Beam me up Scotty! There’s no intelligent life down here.” This is ridiculous. No one’s making any sense here. 
“You meddling kids.”
 From various bad guys on Scooby-Doo.
 You’re messing with me. I don’t agree with your perspective, and here’s why.
“That does not compute.”
Spock from Star Trek. 
I don’t agree with your answer. That doesn’t make any sense and here’s why.
“You can’t handle the truth.”
Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.”
Are you sure you want to know the truth about this topic? Can you handle such a truth? This is about to get real in here.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda. Star Wars
 Take action on something; do something.
“I’ll be back.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger in various films.
I’m stepping away from my desk…but I’ll be back soon.
or
You may have one this round, but I’ll be back for another round.

Learners within a learning community could use entertainment and have some fun while also having to backup their position/perspective! Talk about engagement! Shooooot.

And/or…learners could be like DJ’s at radio stations — and, on the fly, select from a bank of songs, audio-based noises and sounds!

The danger here is that humor can sometimes backfire and/or offend someone. So we would need to watch the content that’s available to choose from within the repositories of media. We would want to do some serious beta testing here to make sure things stay on the fun, entertaining, and educational sides of things.

Such an approach could introduce opportunities for creativity and for honing one’s ability to think on one’s feet. Also, learners could work on their communication skills as well as their ability to debate or persuade, or to practice some critical thinking.

While more gameshow-like on the surface, if you use such media, you have to explain why you used that media.

 
 

28 Website Accessibility Terms to Know in 2022 — from blog.hubspot.com by Jamie Juviler

Excerpt:

No matter the type of website you run or the industry that you’re in, prioritizing web accessibility is key to your success.

To ensure your website meets today’s standards for web accessibility, you’ll first need to understand the terminology. Accessibility is a big, dense area with a lot of jargon, acronyms, and codes — enough to steer a new website owner away from the topic altogether.

That’s why we’ve put together this glossary of 28 essential web accessibility terms any website owners should be aware of. By knowing the language, you’ll find it much easier to adopt accessibility principles on your own site and better serve visitors with disabilities.

Addendum on 12/31/21:

Accessibility awareness is on the rise, but is it turning into action? — from techcrunch.com by Joe Devon

Excerpts:

Harris Poll reveals that more than half of American adults increased their online activities because of the pandemic. That number grows to 60% for people with disabilities.

The increase in online activities does not mean that everyone is able to achieve their goals. So, what kind of impact is the crisis having on accessibility? Are organizations finally getting the message on the importance of accessibility?

With that, here are the key results from the Alexa top 100 website testing:

    • Out of the websites tested, 62% were accessible to screen readers, up from 40% in 2020.
    • Every single page passed for having the valid document “lang” attribute.
    • Only 11% of websites tested had errors in input field labels.
    • The most common error was the use of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications specification)
    • The second most common error was color contrast.

From DSC:
That last article linked to:

 

Quality Matters > Higher Education News > December 2021

Throughout the year, we — along with members of our amazing community — share resources to help all of us deliver on our online promise. Here are some of the most popular items from 2021 for you to use and share:

 

Virtual law firms see 38% jump in recruitment — from personneltoday.com by Adam McCulloch

Excerpt:

In late 2020, 1,355 lawyers worked for such virtual firms, a number that has risen to 1,875 by autumn of 2021. In 2019, 1,272 worked for such firms.

Also see:

 

ELC 070: Conversation Design for the Voice User Interface — from theelearningcoach.com (ELC) by Connie Malamed
A Conversation with Myra Roldan

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Do you wonder what learning experience designers will be doing in the future? I think one area where we will need to upskill is in conversation design. Think of the possibilities that chatbots and voice interfaces will provide for accessing information for learning and for support in the flow of work. In this episode, I speak with Myra Roldan about conversation design for the voice user interface (VUI). We discuss what makes an effective conversation and the technologies for getting started with voice user interface design.

 

The Humanities May Be Declining at Universities — But They’re Thriving on Zoom — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Throughout the pandemic, versions of this close-reading conversation have taken place week after week. Organized through new nonprofits and small startups including the Catherine Project, Night School Bar and Premise, they bring together adults who want to spend their free time talking to strangers about literature and philosophy.

It sounds at first like an ambitious book club—except for the fact that many of these seminars are organized and led by college professors, some so eager to participate that they do it for free.

“Mostly it’s a way for them to do a kind of teaching they can’t do at their regular jobs,” explains Zena Hitz, founder of the Catherine Project and a tutor (faculty member) at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

From DSC:
I’ve often thought that online-based learning may be the thing that saves the liberal arts (i.e., available throughout one’s lifetime and would be far less expensive). It would be ironic though, as many liberal arts institutions have not been proponents of online-based learning.

 

Cisco and Google join forces to transform the future of hybrid work — from blog.webex.com by Kedar Ganta

Cisco and Google join forces to transform the future of hybrid work

Excerpts:

Webex [on 12/7/21] announced the public preview of its native meeting experience for Glass Enterprise Edition 2 (Glass), a lightweight eye wearable device with a transparent display developed by Google. Webex Expert on Demand on Glass provides an immersive collaboration experience that supports natural voice commands, gestures on touchpad, and head movements to accomplish routine tasks.

 

 

VRJAM -- the metaverse platform for music

The VRJAM metaverse platform is coming to transform the world of live entertainment 

VRJAM, the UK’s leading creator of live music experiences in virtual reality, today teased the launch of the VRJAM platform, a revolutionary new metaverse events platform and NFT creation solution. 

To bring the VRJAM metaverse platform to life, VRJAM has partnered with market leading NFT software developer Enjin.io to launch a rich virtual reality world that offers a host of new solutions for artists to render and monetize their music and live shows in amazing new ways using NFT’s, blockchain and immersive technology.  

The VRJAM platform promises to open up completely new ways for both fans and artist to experience live music events and represents the next step in the evolution of live music. 

Ownership of this virtual world will be shared by a guild of globally recognised artists and record labels who will cooperate to create value and define new possibilities for music inside the metaverse. 

VRJAM’s metaverse platform offers solutions for true live performance using technology that is years ahead of other similar platforms. It provides unsurpassed user experience and offers fans, artists and labels an array of unique features:

VRJAM's metaverse -- a vivid virtual world built for music

At the heart of the VRJAM metaverse platform is a blockchain based trading and finance system, VRJAM Coin. This revolutionary new cryptocurrency will create ways for both artists and fans to earn money inside the metaverse and promises to create entirely new business models for artists, venues and labels at a time when their traditional ways of making money have been turned upside down by the Covid 19 pandemic. 

The VRJAM cryptocurrency is backed by investment from 5 of the world’s leading blockchain specialist investment and venture capital firms, demonstrating the exciting potential of VRJAM’s tech.

The VRJAM platform is scheduled to go live in early 2022, follow on social media to stay up to date.


From DSC:
Hmmmmm….might this type of thing spill over into the worlds of teaching and learning? More direct-to-consumer (learner) types of offerings? Will this open up the doors for new methods of earning a living or for  those interested in building a teaching & learning-based brand?

Alternatively, will this impact what actors, actresses, and comedians will be able to do?


Addendum on 12/2/21:


 

We Need to Make Schools Human Again. That Means Treating Teachers With Respect. – from edsurge.com by Jennifer Yoo-Brannon

Excerpts:

The first thing I noticed when we returned to school after remote learning was that my conversations with teachers got real deep real fast.

But we are not just educators, of course. We are mothers of multiple school-aged children, parents of special needs students who need a high level of support, individuals with anxiety disorders exacerbated by the worldwide anxiety of the pandemic. We are human too. While we transform our schools into welcoming spaces for students, we must also make them a human place to work for educators as well. We can’t forget that we saw each other’s humanity—shared a universal human experience—and then return to business as usual. We must make schools human again.

Avoid toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how bad a situation is, we should all have a positive mindset about it. Toxic positivity isn’t optimism. Toxic positivity rejects or refuses to acknowledge how difficult things can be. This message is for administrators in particular.

From DSC:
When I read this…

In other words, the question is not “How do we get teachers to participate in professional development?” but rather, “How can we create a context in which everyone will want to engage in professional learning?” To feel human in our workplace, we all need to feel like we have choices and teachers need to feel trusted and empowered to make those choices.

…I’m thinking to myself…isn’t this the same for our students?

 
 
 

Mental Canvas will unleash some serious creativity!

Cehck out what you can do with Mental Canvas! The app seamlessly combines 2D and 3D!

 

Also see:

Mental Canvas: App for drawing in 3D  — from microsoft.com in Germany; Google translated the excerpt below:

When I first saw Mental Canvas in action, I was instantly impressed. Drawings are created in 3D in the app. You can even fly through your own sketches and comics. Mental Canvas offers teachers completely new possibilities to design blackboard pictures, to illustrate content and to try out creative things. The tutorials and examples immediately make you want to draw in three dimensions. Mental Canvas is currently available as a free download. In this blog article you will get to know the app.

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

Passion-based learning initiatives include Genius Hour and 20time, both inspired by Google’s program that lets employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their choosing to spark innovation.

Giving all students the option to explore their interests can be challenging on a large scale. To overcome this hurdle and make the process easier for teachers, Sonora Elementary uses a new peer-to-peer learning platform called Tract, which is a collection of video content organized into self-directed learning paths.

tract.app allows students to be creative and practice their storytelling and multimedia skills

From DSC:
I love the type of tool/app like Tract — as students can work on a variety of skills:

  • multimedia development
  • music
  • acting
  • writing/composing
  • digital storytelling
  • …and more

Such projects/tools can unleash a great deal of creativity, engagement, and positive energy. Learning becomes more relevant, enjoyable, and interesting when we can provide more choice and control to our students.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian