Microsoft Education offers a free tutoring service to help students with their math problems — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In today’s post I want to bring to your attention this interesting math resource from Microsoft Education called Tutoring Experts. As its name indicates, Tutoring Experts allows students to seek help with their math problems from tutors that are available 24/7.

Also see:

Get instant math help from expert tutors.

From DSC:
One wonders if there aren’t some opportunities here for more online-based tutoring services. Perhaps graduates from schools of education will move more towards this type of thing…

Perhaps the online-based materials in the future will have a question mark “?” icon that instantly connects to that service’s teachers, professors, trainers, pastors, and/or other SMEs. Or perhaps this type of thing is already there…I’m not sure.

 

From DSC:
Videoconferencing vendors out there:

  • Have you done any focus group tests — especially within education — with audio-based or digital video-based versions of emoticons?
    .
  • So instead of clicking on an emoticon as feedback, one could also have some sound effects or movie clips to choose from as well!
    .

To the videoconferencing vendors out there -- could you give us what DJ's have access to?

I’m thinking here of things like DJ’s might have at their disposal. For example, someone tells a bad joke and you hear the drummer in the background:

Or a team loses the spelling-bee word, and hears:

Or a professor wants to get the classes attention as they start their 6pm class:

I realize this could backfire big time…so it would have to be an optional feature that a teacher, professor, trainer, pastor, or a presenter could turn on and off. (Could be fun for podcasters too!)

It seems to me that this could take
engagement to a whole new level!

 

From DSC:
For me the Socratic method is still a question mark, in terms of effectiveness. (I suppose it depends on who is yielding the tool and how it’s being utilized/implemented.)

But you have one student — often standing up and/or in the spotlight — who is being drilled on something. That student could be calm and collected, and their cognitive processing could actually get a boost from the adrenaline.

But there are other students who dread being called upon in such a public — sometimes competitive — setting. Their cognitive processing could shut down or become greatly diminished.

Also, the professor is working with one student at a time — hopefully the other students are trying to address each subsequent question, but some students may tune out once they know it’s not their turn in the spotlight.

So I was wondering…could the Socratic method be used with each student at the same time? Could a polling-like tool be used in real-time to guide the discussion?

For example, a professor could start out with a pre-created poll and ask the question of all students. Then they could glance through the responses and even scan for some keywords (using their voice to drive the system and/or using a Ctrl+F / Command+F type of thing).

Then in real-time / on-the-fly, could the professor use their voice to create another poll/question — again for each student to answer — based on one of the responses? Again, each student must answer the follow up question(s).

Are there any vendors out there working on something like this? Or have you tested the effectiveness of something like this?

Vendors: Can you help us create a voice-driven interface to offer the Socratic method to everyone to see if and how it would work? (Like a Mentimeter type of product on steroids…er, rather, using an AI-driven backend.)

Teachers, trainers, pastors, presenters could also benefit from something like this — as it could engage numerous people at once.

#Participation #Engagement #Assessment #Reasoning #CriticalThinking #CommunicationSkills #ThinkingOnOnesFeet #OnlineLearning #Face-to-Face #BlendedLearning #HybridLearning

Could such a method be used in language-related classes as well? In online-based tutoring?

 

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!

 

 

The 12/31/20 EIEIO from Michael Moe 

The 12/31/20 EIEIO from Michael Moe 

Excerpts:

The 10 Megatrends Shaping Our World

  1. Knowledge Economy
  2. Global Silicon Valley 
  3. Digitization
  4. Smart Everything
  5. HomeWork
    The Office has become optional but the Zoom Room has become essential. 88% of companies encouraged or required employees to work from home during the pandemic. A near term problem that is rapidly being solved is that only 1 in 4 people are set up currently to work efficiently from home but 99% of employees say they like that option. Overall, due to reducing commutes, office distractions etc., productivity on average rose for most knowledge workers up to 20% greater.It is expected that many knowledge workers will continue to work from home even post the pandemic.
  6. Winner Take All
  7. Data King
  8. Sustainability
  9. Everything is a Subscription
  10. Mission Corp

 

 

Employees choose hybrid: A look into the workforce of the future -- from Cisco

Employees choose hybrid: A look into the workforce of the future — from news-blogs.cisco.com by Cisco

Excerpt:

To better understand the evolving expectations of employers and workplaces in a post-pandemic environment, Cisco surveyed more than 14,000 office-based employees across 14 markets in Asia Pacific and captured the findings in a newly launched Workforce of the Future report.

In this article, we share perspectives from four influential thought leaders on the future of work and how organizations in Asia Pacific can leverage technology to support the workforce of the future.

Workforce of the future survey from Cisco -- from 14 Asia Pacific markets

 

Top 5 legal technology stories of 2020 — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpts:

  1. The unprecedented transition to remote work
  2. Videoconferencing became the norm
  3. #Barpocalypse
  4. Legal tech wealth
  5. Utah and Arizona allow nonlawyer ownership of law firms
 

Online learning and law schools during the pandemic — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

Pre-Covid, law schools and especially law accrediting agencies in North America have been pretty conservative in the past with regard to online or more accurately distance learning (see Online education and the professional associations: the case of law, for more details on the situation in 2018).

We can then fairly safely assume that most of these schools would have had no or little prior experience of online learning before March of this year. So it is interesting that 89% of students in law schools in the USA responding to a Thomson Reuters survey reported that during Covid-19 they were taking classes entirely online.

However, for me the most interesting results are in the graph below:

Preferences for permanent changes
Preferences for permanent changes with law schools

It seems clear that at least some level of online instruction will continue in the future, and that online learning will become widespread for at least some types of classes.

Given that there was almost no online learning in law schools in the USA pre-Covid 19, this is a significant conclusion.

From DSC:
I appreciate Tony writing about this topic. He’s correct in saying the ABA and the legal education field — along with the entire legal realm — was behind the 8 ball in terms of online learning (and I would add the use of emerging technologies in general). In fact, I’d say that the ABA was essentially twenty years behind in terms of getting on board the online learning train. It still has a ways to go…but the pressure is on the ABA to get with the times. Our society requires that they do so. The pace of change has been changing for a decade or more now. They can no longer walk on the race track and hope to not get in the way of a world that’s traveling at 180 mph.

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

Make no mistake, if the ABA — and the legal field in general — continues at their previous pace, we all will pay the price. Consider but a few areas that are already having an impact on our society:

  •  #AI #blockchain  #XR #AR #MR #VR #robotics #bots #algorithms #ethics #BigData #learningagents #legaltech #NLP #emergingtechnologies

Along with other tags that apply here:

  • #stayingrelevant #reinvent #vision #leadership #strategy #A2J (Access to Justice) 
 

The Future of Hybrid Learning — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
HyFlex pioneer Dr. Brian Beatty discusses what’s working and what’s not in hybrid learning, and what’s to come

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

When designing his own classes these days, Beatty tends to think about the asynchronous vs. synchronous experience rather than online vs. in-person. 

Beatty says instructors should attempt to create a reasonably good asynchronous version of a course but don’t need to build the perfect version. Instructors then need to block out time to respond to forum posts and other online components of the class the same way online students need to schedule time to work. He advises a mindset of, “I’m learning how to teach differently, and I’m reserving this time for that. So maybe I’m not going to be part of that committee.”

From DSC:
The teaching toolboxes throughout the continuum (PreK-12, higher ed, vocational programs, other alternatives to higher ed, corporate training & development) have been enhanced and expanded greatly during 2020. The ramifications of these larger toolboxes will benefit many for years to come. They should allows us to pivot and adapt much more quickly — while providing a greater array of teaching techniques/tools to choose from.

Enhancing our teaching toolboxes

 

 

24 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2021 — from linkedin.com by Scott Olster

Excerpt:

The remote classroom will get a much-needed upgrade

One key idea: making it easy for students to “sit” together at tables of two to eight learners, while an instructor’s lesson unfolds. Students can confer with table-mates without being heard by the larger group. Meanwhile, the instructor can explain things to all the tables at once, while still being able to visit specific tables to make sure everything is on track. Avida says educators prefer this model to the rigid constraints of other vendors’ breakout rooms, which were built to suit corporate needs.

Meanwhile, leading business-video players such as Zoom, Cisco’s WebEx, and Microsoft Teams are likely to move quickly to address the needs of the education market in 2021, too. (Microsoft also owns LinkedIn.) But Avida says Engageli has been filing lots of patents to protect its ideas, adding that its single-minded focus on education may help it move faster than other rivals for whom education is only a niche market. — George Anders

 

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.
 

Cisco to Acquire Best-in-Class Audience Interaction Company, Slido — from blogs.cisco.com

Excerpt:

At Cisco, our goal is to deliver Webex experiences that are 10X better than in-person interactions and an important part of that is making these experiences inclusive and equal for all. We are making sure everyone is included and part of the conversation, whether working from their dining table or in an office building.

Today, I’m pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire privately-held Slido s.r.o., a technology company that provides a best-in-class audience interaction platform. Slido technology enables higher levels of user engagement — before, during and after meetings and events. The Slido technology will be part of the Cisco Webex platform and enhance Cisco’s ability to offer new levels of inclusive audience engagement across both in-person and virtual experiences.

Soon, meeting owners will be able to:

    • Create engaging and dynamic participant experiences with dynamic Q&As and polls using graphic visual representations to express the results clearly.
    • Get real-time critical insights and understanding before, during and after meetings and events, from all-hands and townhalls to conferences and training sessions.
    • Obtain inclusive feedback so every voice is heard.
    • Give presenters the confidence that they are connecting in a meaningful way with their audience.

Also see:

Slido to be acquired by Cisco to help transform virtual meetings — from blog.sli.do

 

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis -- from technologyreview.com by Eileen Guo

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis — from technologyreview.com by Eileen Guo

Excerpts:

An unprecedented, imperfect moratorium
Before the pandemic, an average of 3.6 million Americans lost their homes to evictions every year, according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. By the end of 2020, this number could increase exponentially, with one report from the Aspen Institute estimating that, without further federal aid, between 30 to 40 million people may be at risk of eviction in the next several months. The financial hardship exacerbated by covid-19 has left many in a precarious situation.

.

Legal aid attorneys chart course for 2021 after spike in demand

Legal aid attorneys chart course for 2021 after spike in demand — from law360.com by Justin Wise

Excerpts: (emphasis DSC)

The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it caused sparked a massive spike in demand for legal aid services from America’s most marginalized communities, leaving a field already under-resourced facing even greater strain in 2020.

At the same time, many organizations had to close their offices in the spring and significantly reduce in-person communication with clients to comply with health guidelines. It all amounted to a “pretty crushing” year in which attorneys transitioned to a primarily remote operation with new channels including a COVID-19 legal intake line, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Executive Director Laura Tuggle said.

Tuggle said 3 in 4 of the calls on the SLLS hotline are from people seeking assistance on matters relating to housing and evictions. Overall, the group has had a 300% increase in eviction cases this year. It also had a 600% increase in unemployment assistance cases in the first few months of the pandemic.

“The most pressing legal need America faces as we enter 2021 is the tsunami of potential evictions that threaten the millions of people who have lost jobs during the pandemic,” LSC Executive Director Ronald Flagg said, pointing to a study showing that evictions can cause increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

 

 

Addendum on 12/9/20:

 

5 things we’ve learned about virtual school in 2020 — from npr.org by Anya Kamenetz

Excerpts:

  1. The digital divide is still big and complex.
  2. Relationships are everything when it comes to keeping kids engaged remotely.
  3. Digital teaching can be good, even great with the right support for teachers. But that’s far from the norm.
  4. Hybrid models are extremely challenging.
  5. Some kids are not learning much online. They’ll be playing catch-up in years to come.
 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 
© 2020 | Daniel Christian