Helvetica, the world’s most famous typeface, gets a makeover — from fastcompany.com by Mark Wilson
Helvetica is one of the most popular typefaces on the planet. Here’s why Monotype decided to remake it.

Excerpt:

Helvetica Now is the product of two dozen type designers, and when you see everything it can do, you’ll see why. First and foremost, Helvetica Now offers three separate “masters” (or three separate Helvetica variations) for various use cases. Its “Micro” version is for small screens. “Display” is for signage. And “Text” is for more standard sizes in written materials. Each of these options will cause the letters to be both drawn and spaced differently.

 

Also see:

Bauhaus architecture and design from A to Z

Bauhaus architecture and design from A to Z — from dezeen.com by Tom Ravenscroft

Excerpt:

To conclude our Bauhaus 100 series, celebrating the centenary of the hugely influential design school, we round out everything you need to know about the Bauhaus, from A to Z.

 

 

 

7 Things You Should Know About Accessibility Policy — from library.educause.edu

Excerpt:

Websites from the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) of the California State University, Penn State, the University of Virginia, and the Web Accessibility Initiative feature rich content related to IT accessibility policies. A California State University memorandum outlines specific responsibilities and reporting guidelines in support of CSU’s Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations. Cornell University developed a multiyear “Disability Access Management Strategic Plan.” Specific examples of accessibility policies focused on electronic communication and information technology can be found at Penn State, Purdue University, Yale University, and the University of Wisconsin– Madison. Having entered into a voluntary agreement with the National Federation of the Blind to improve accessibility, Wichita State University offers substantial accessibility-related resources for its community, including specific standards for ensuring accessibility in face-to face instruction.

 

 

The 10+ best real-world examples of augmented reality — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpt:

Augmented reality (AR) can add value, solve problems and enhance the user experience in nearly every industry. Businesses are catching on and increasing investments to drive the growth of augmented reality, which makes it a crucial part of the tech economy.

 

As referenced by Bernard in his above article:

 

 

From DSC:
Along these lines, I really appreciate the “translate” feature within Twitter. It helps open up whole new avenues of learning for me from people across the globe. A very cool, practical, positive, beneficial feature/tool!!!

 

 

For a next gen learning platform: A Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities / educationally-related “apps” [Christian]

From DSC:
In a next generation learning system, it would be sharp/beneficial to have a Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities that you could turn on and off (at will) — as one component of your learning ecosystem that could feature a setup located in your living room or office.

For example, put a Netflix-like interface to the apps out at eduappcenter.com (i.e., using a rolling interface at first, then going to a static page/listing of apps…again…similar to Netflix).

 

A Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities / educationally-related apps

 

 

 

From DSC:
I have often reflected on differentiation or what some call personalized learning and/or customized learning. How does a busy teacher, instructor, professor, or trainer achieve this, realistically?

It’s very difficult and time-consuming to do for sure. But it also requires a team of specialists to achieve such a holy grail of learning — as one person can’t know it all. That is, one educator doesn’t have the necessary time, skills, or knowledge to address so many different learning needs and levels!

  • Think of different cognitive capabilities — from students that have special learning needs and challenges to gifted students
  • Or learners that have different physical capabilities or restrictions
  • Or learners that have different backgrounds and/or levels of prior knowledge
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Educators  and trainers have so many things on their plates that it’s very difficult to come up with _X_ lesson plans/agendas/personalized approaches, etc.  On the other side of the table, how do students from a vast array of backgrounds and cognitive skill levels get the main points of a chapter or piece of text? How can they self-select the level of difficulty and/or start at a “basics” level and work one’s way up to harder/more detailed levels if they can cognitively handle that level of detail/complexity? Conversely, how do I as a learner get the boiled down version of a piece of text?

Well… just as with the flipped classroom approach, I’d like to suggest that we flip things a bit and enlist teams of specialists at the publishers to fulfill this need. Move things to the content creation end — not so much at the delivery end of things. Publishers’ teams could play a significant, hugely helpful role in providing customized learning to learners.

Some of the ways that this could happen:

Use an HTML like language when writing a textbook, such as:

<MainPoint> The text for the main point here. </MainPoint>

<SubPoint1>The text for the subpoint 1 here.</SubPoint1>

<DetailsSubPoint1>More detailed information for subpoint 1 here.</DetailsSubPoint1>

<SubPoint2>The text for the subpoint 2 here.</SubPoint2>

<DetailsSubPoint2>More detailed information for subpoint 2 here.</DetailsSubPoint2>

<SubPoint3>The text for the subpoint 3 here.</SubPoint3>

<DetailsSubPoint3>More detailed information for subpoint 3 here.</DetailsSubPoint1>

<SummaryOfMainPoints>A list of the main points that a learner should walk away with.</SummaryOfMainPoints>

<BasicsOfMainPoints>Here is a listing of the main points, but put in alternative words and more basic ways of expressing those main points. </BasicsOfMainPoints>

<Conclusion> The text for the concluding comments here.</Conclusion>

 

<BasicsOfMainPoints> could be called <AlternativeExplanations>
Bottom line: This tag would be to put things forth using very straightforward terms.

Another tag would be to address how this topic/chapter is relevant:
<RealWorldApplication>This short paragraph should illustrate real world examples

of this particular topic. Why does this topic matter? How is it relevant?</RealWorldApplication>

 

On the students’ end, they could use an app that works with such tags to allow a learner to quickly see/review the different layers. That is:

  • Show me just the main points
  • Then add on the sub points
  • Then fill in the details
    OR
  • Just give me the basics via an alternative ways of expressing these things. I won’t remember all the details. Put things using easy-to-understand wording/ideas.

 

It’s like the layers of a Microsoft HoloLens app of the human anatomy:

 

Or it’s like different layers of a chapter of a “textbook” — so a learner could quickly collapse/expand the text as needed:

 

This approach could be helpful at all kinds of learning levels. For example, it could be very helpful for law school students to obtain outlines for cases or for chapters of information. Similarly, it could be helpful for dental or medical school students to get the main points as well as detailed information.

Also, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows, the system could check a learner’s cloud-based learner profile to see their reading level or prior knowledge, any IEP’s on file, their learning preferences (audio, video, animations, etc.), etc. to further provide a personalized/customized learning experience. 

To recap:

  • “Textbooks” continue to be created by teams of specialists, but add specialists with knowledge of students with special needs as well as for gifted students. For example, a team could have experts within the field of Special Education to help create one of the overlays/or filters/lenses — i.e., to reword things. If the text was talking about how to hit a backhand or a forehand, the alternative text layer could be summed up to say that tennis is a sport…and that a sport is something people play. On the other end of the spectrum, the text could dive deeply into the various grips a person could use to hit a forehand or backhand.
  • This puts the power of offering differentiation at the point of content creation/development (differentiation could also be provided for at the delivery end, but again, time and expertise are likely not going to be there)
  • Publishers create “overlays” or various layers that can be turned on or off by the learners
  • Can see whole chapters or can see main ideas, topic sentences, and/or details. Like HTML tags for web pages.
  • Can instantly collapse chapters to main ideas/outlines.

 

 

Skype chats are coming to Alexa devices — from engadget.com by Richard Lawlor
Voice controlled internet calls to or from any device with Amazon’s system in it.

Excerpt:

Aside from all of the Alexa-connected hardware, there’s one more big development coming for Amazon’s technology: integration with Skype. Microsoft and Amazon said that voice and video calls via the service will come to Alexa devices (including Microsoft’s Xbox One) with calls that you can start and control just by voice.

 

 

Amazon Hardware Event 2018
From techcrunch.com

 

Echo HomePod? Amazon wants you to build your own — by Brian Heater
One of the bigger surprises at today’s big Amazon event was something the company didn’t announce. After a couple of years of speculation that the company was working on its own version of the Home…

 

 

The long list of new Alexa devices Amazon announced at its hardware event — by Everyone’s favorite trillion-dollar retailer hosted a private event today where they continued to…

 

Amazon introduces APL, a new design language for building Alexa skills for devices with screensAlong with the launch of the all-new Echo Show, the Alexa-powered device with a screen, Amazon also introduced a new design language for developers who want to build voice skills that include multimedia…

Excerpt:

Called Alexa Presentation Language, or APL, developers will be able to build voice-based apps that also include things like images, graphics, slideshows and video, and easily customize them for different device types – including not only the Echo Show, but other Alexa-enabled devices like Fire TV, Fire Tablet, and the small screen of the Alexa alarm clock, the Echo Spot.

 

From DSC:
This is a great move by Amazon — as NLP and our voices become increasingly important in how we “drive” and utilize our computing devices.

 

 

Amazon launches an Echo Wall Clock, because Alexa is gonna be everywhere — by Sarah Perez

 

 

Amazon’s new Echo lineup targets Google, Apple and Sonos — from engadget.com by Nicole Lee
Alexa, dominate the industry.

The business plan from here is clear: Companies pay a premium to be activated when users pose questions related to their products and services. “How do you cook an egg?” could pull up a Food Network tutorial; “How far is Morocco?” could enable the Expedia app.
Also see how Alexa might be a key piece of smart classrooms in the future:
 

Microsoft’s AI-powered Sketch2Code builds websites and apps from drawings — from alphr.com by Bobby Hellard
Microsoft Released on GitHub, Microsoft’s AI-powered developer tool can shave hours off web and app building

Excerpt:

Microsoft has developed an AI-powered web design tool capable of turning sketches of websites into functional HTML code.

Called Sketch2Code, Microsoft AI’s senior product manager Tara Shankar Jana explained that the tool aims to “empower every developer and every organisation to do more with AI”. It was born out of the “intrinsic” problem of sending a picture of a wireframe or app designs from whiteboard or paper to a designer to create HTML prototypes.

 

 

 

 

 

Adobe Announces the 2019 Release of Adobe Captivate, Introducing Virtual Reality for eLearning Design — from theblog.adobe.com

Excerpt:

  • Immersive learning with VR experiences: Design learning scenarios that your learners can experience in Virtual Reality using VR headsets. Import 360° media assets and add hotspots, quizzes and other interactive elements to engage your learners with near real-life scenarios
  • Interactive videos: Liven up demos and training videos by making them interactive with the new Adobe Captivate. Create your own or bring in existing YouTube videos, add questions at specific points and conduct knowledge checks to aid learner remediation
  • Fluid Boxes 2.0: Explore the building blocks of Smart eLearning design with intelligent containers that use white space optimally. Objects placed in Fluid Boxes get aligned automatically so that learners always get fully responsive experience regardless of their device or browser.
  • 360° learning experiences: Augment the learning landscape with 360° images and videos and convert them into interactive eLearning material with customizable overlay items such as information blurbs, audio content & quizzes.

 

 

Blippar unveils indoor visual positioning system to anchor AR — from martechtoday.com by Barry Levine
Employing machine vision to recognize mapped objects, the company says it can determine which way a user is looking and can calculate positioning down to a centimeter.

A Blippar visualization of AR using its new indoor visual positioning system

 

The Storyteller’s Guide to the Virtual Reality Audience — from medium.com by Katy Newton

Excerpt:

To even scratch the surface of these questions, we need to better understand the audience’s experience in VR — not just their experience of the technology, but the way that they understand story and their role within it.

 

 

Hospital introducing HoloLens augmented reality into the operating room — from medgadget.com

Excerpt:

HoloLens technology is being paired with Microsoft’s Surface Hub, a kind of digital whiteboard. The idea is that the surgical team can gather together around a Surface Hub to review patient information, discuss the details of a procedure, and select what information should be readily accessible during surgery. During the procedure, a surgeon wearing a HoloLens would be able to review a CT or MRI scan, access other data in the electronic medical records, and to be able to manipulate these so as to get a clear picture of what is being worked on and what needs to be done.

 

 

Raleigh Fire Department invests in virtual reality to enrich training — from vrfocus.com by Nikholai Koolon
New system allows department personnel to learn new skills through immersive experiences.

Excerpt:

The VR solution allows emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to dive into a rich and detailed environment which allows them to pinpoint portions of the body to dissect. This then allows them then see each part of the body in great detail along with viewing it from any angle. The goal is to allow for users to gain the experience to diagnose injuries from a variety of vantage points all where working within an virtual environment capable of displaying countless scenarios.

 

 

For another emerging technology, see:

Someday this tiny spider bot could perform surgery inside your body — from fastcompany.com by Jesus Diaz
The experimental robots could also fix airplane engines and find disaster victims.

Excerpt:

A team of Harvard University researchers recently achieved a major breakthrough in robotics, engineering a tiny spider robot using tech that could one day work inside your body to repair tissues or destroy tumors. Their work could not only change medicine–by eliminating invasive surgeries–but could also have an impact on everything from how industrial machines are maintained to how disaster victims are rescued.

Until now, most advanced, small-scale robots followed a certain model: They tend to be built at the centimeter scale and have only one degree of freedom, which means they can only perform one movement. Not so with this new ‘bot, developed by scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Boston University. It’s built at the millimeter scale, and because it’s made of flexible materials–easily moved by pneumatic and hydraulic power–the critter has an unprecedented 18 degrees of freedom.

 


Plus some items from a few weeks ago


 

After almost a decade and billions in outside investment, Magic Leap’s first product is finally on sale for $2,295. Here’s what it’s like. — from

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

I liked that it gave a new perspective to the video clip I’d watched: It threw the actual game up on the wall alongside the kind of information a basketball fan would want, including 3-D renderings and stats. Today, you might turn to your phone for that information. With Magic Leap, you wouldn’t have to.

Abovitz also said that intelligent assistants will play a big role in Magic Leap’s future. I didn’t get to test one, but Abovitz says he’s working with a team in Los Angeles that’s developing high-definition people that will appear to Magic Leap users and assist with tasks. Think Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, but instead of speaking to your phone, you’d be speaking to a realistic-looking human through Magic Leap. Or you might be speaking to an avatar of someone real.

“You might need a doctor who can come to you,” Abovitz said. “AI that appears in front of you can give you eye contact and empathy.”

 

And I loved the idea of being able to place a digital TV screen anywhere I wanted.

 

 

Magic Leap One Available For Purchase, Starting At $2,295 — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

December of last year U.S. startup Magic Leap unveiled its long-awaited mixed reality headset, a secretive device five years and $2.44B USD in the making.

This morning that same headset, now referred to as the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, became available for purchase in the U.S. On sale to creators at a hefty starting price of $2,275, the computer spatial device utilizes synthetic lightfields to capture natural lightwaves and superimpose interactive, 3D content over the real-world.

 

 

 

Magic Leap One First Hands-On Impressions for HoloLens Developers — from magic-leap.reality.news

Excerpt:

After spending about an hour with the headset running through set up and poking around its UI and a couple of the launch day apps, I thought it would be helpful to share a quick list of some of my first impressions as someone who’s spent a lot of time with a HoloLens over the past couple years and try to start answering many of the burning questions I’ve had about the device.

 

 

World Campus researches effectiveness of VR headsets and video in online classes — from news.psu.edu

Excerpt:

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State instructional designers are researching whether using virtual reality and 360-degree video can help students in online classes learn more effectively.

Designers worked with professors in the College of Nursing to incorporate 360-degree video into Nursing 352, a class on Advanced Health Assessment. Students in the class, offered online through Penn State World Campus, were offered free VR headsets to use with their smartphones to create a more immersive experience while watching the video, which shows safety and health hazards in a patient’s home.

Bill Egan, the lead designer for the Penn State World Campus RN to BSN nursing program, said students in the class were surveyed as part of a study approved by the Institutional Review Board and overwhelmingly said that they enjoyed the videos and thought they provided educational value. Eighty percent of the students said they would like to see more immersive content such as 360-degree videos in their online courses, he said.

 

 

7 Practical Problems with VR for eLearning — from learnupon.com

Excerpt:

In this post, we run through some practical stumbling blocks that prevent VR training from being feasible for most.

There are quite a number of practical considerations which prevent VR from totally overhauling the corporate training world. Some are obvious, whilst others only become apparent after using the technology a number of times. It’s important to be made aware of these limitations so that a large investment isn’t made in tech that isn’t really practical for corporate training.

 

Augmented reality – the next big thing for HR? — from hrdconnect.com
Augmented reality (AR) could have a huge impact on HR, transforming long-established processes into engaging and exciting something. What will this look like? How can we shape this into our everyday working lives?

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

AR also has the potential to revolutionise our work lives, changing the way we think about office spaces and equipment forever.

Most of us still commute to an office every day, which can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. AR has the potential to turn any space into your own customisable workspace, complete with digital notes, folders and files – even a digital photo of your loved ones. This would give you access to all the information and tools that you would typically find in an office, but wherever and whenever you need them.

And instead of working on a flat, stationary, two-dimensional screen, your workspace would be a customisable three-dimensional space, where objects and information are manipulated with gestures rather than hardware. All you would need is an AR headset.

AR could also transform the way we advertise brands and share information. Imagine if your organisation had an AR stand at a conference – how engaging would that be for potential customers? How much more interesting and fun would meetings be if we used AR to present information instead of slides on a projector?

AR could transform the on-boarding experience into something fun and interactive – imagine taking an AR tour of your office, where information about key places, company history or your new colleagues pops into view as you go from place to place. 

 

 

RETINA Are Bringing Augmented Reality To Air Traffic Control Towers — from vrfocus.com by Nikholai Koolonavi

Excerpt:

A new project is aiming to make it easier for staff in airport control towers to visualize information to help make their job easier by leveraging augmented reality (AR) technology. The project, dubbed RETINA, is looking to modernise Europe’s air traffic management for safer, smarter and even smoother air travel.

 

 

 

25 skills LinkedIn says are most likely to get you hired in 2018 — and the online courses to get them — from businessinsider.com by Mara Leighton

Excerpt:

With the introduction of far-reaching and robust technology, the job market has experienced its own exponential growth, adaptation, and semi-metamorphosis. So much so that it can be difficult to guess what skills employer’s are looking for and what makes your résumé — and not another — stand out to recruiters.

Thankfully, LinkedIn created a 2018 “roadmap”— a list of hard and soft skills that companies need the most.

LinkedIn used data from their 500+ million members to identify the skills companies are currently working the hardest to fill. They grouped the skills members add to their profiles into several dozen categories (for example, “Android” and “iOS” into the “Mobile Development” category). Then, the company looked at all of the hiring and recruiting activity that happened on LinkedIn between January 1 and September 1 (billions of data points) and extrapolated the skill categories that belonged to members who were “more likely to start a new role within a company and receive interest from companies.”

LinkedIn then coupled those specific skills with related jobs and their average US salaries — all of which you can find below, alongside courses you can take (for free or for much less than the cost of a degree) to support claims of aptitude and stay ahead of the curve.

The online-learning options we included — LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, and edX— are among the most popular and inexpensive.

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

Three AI and machine learning predictions for 2019 — from forbes.com by Daniel Newman

Excerpt:

What could we potentially see next year? New and innovative uses for machine learning? Further evolution of human and machine interaction? The rise of AI assistants? Let’s dig deeper into AI and machine learning predictions for the coming months.

 

2019 will be a year of development for the AI assistant, showing us just how powerful and useful these tools are. It will be in more places than your home and your pocket too. Companies such as Kia and Hyundai are planning to include AI assistants in their vehicles starting in 2019. Sign me up for a new car! I’m sure that Google, Apple, and Amazon will continue to make advancements to their AI assistants making our lives even easier.

 

 

DeepMind AI matches health experts at spotting eye diseases — from endgadget.com by Nick Summers

Excerpt:

DeepMind has successfully developed a system that can analyze retinal scans and spot symptoms of sight-threatening eye diseases. Today, the AI division — owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet — published “early results” of a research project with the UK’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. They show that the company’s algorithms can quickly examine optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans and make diagnoses with the same accuracy as human clinicians. In addition, the system can show its workings, allowing eye care professionals to scrutinize the final assessment.

 

 

Microsoft and Amazon launch Alexa-Cortana public preview for Echo speakers and Windows 10 PCs — from venturebeat.com by Khari Johnson

Excerpt:

Microsoft and Amazon will bring Alexa and Cortana to all Echo speakers and Windows 10 users in the U.S. [on 8/15/18]. As part of a partnership between the Seattle-area tech giants, you can say “Hey Cortana, open Alexa” to Windows 10 PCs and “Alexa, open Cortana” to a range of Echo smart speakers.

The public preview bringing the most popular AI assistant on PCs together with the smart speaker with the largest U.S. market share will be available to most people today but will be rolled out to all users in the country over the course of the next week, a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Each of the assistants brings unique features to the table. Cortana, for example, can schedule a meeting with Outlook, create location-based reminders, or draw on LinkedIn to tell you about people in your next meeting. And Alexa has more than 40,000 voice apps or skills made to tackle a broad range of use cases.

 

 

What Alexa can and cannot do on a PC — from venturebeat.com by Khari Johnson

Excerpt:

Whatever happened to the days of Alexa just being known as a black cylindrical speaker? Since the introduction of the first Echo in fall 2014, Amazon’s AI assistant has been embedded in a number of places, including car infotainment systems, Alexa smartphone apps, wireless headphones, Echo Show and Fire tablets, Fire TV Cube for TV control, the Echo Look with an AI-powered fashion assistant, and, in recent weeks, personal computers.

Select computers from HP, Acer, and others now make Alexa available to work seamlessly alongside Microsoft’s Cortana well ahead of the Alexa-Cortana partnership for Echo speakers and Windows 10 devices, a project that still has no launch date.

 

 

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