Penn students use digital platform Gather to imitate in-person office hours — from by Isaac Lee; with thanks to Professor Sue Ellen Christian for this resource

Excerpt:

As students yearn for in-person interaction and the familiarity of their school buildings, platforms like Gather are filling the void — virtually.

Gather, also known as Gather.town, simulates buildings and classrooms on campus where students, professors, and teaching assistants can interact with one another through personal avatars during office hours. Its main feature, “Interaction Distance,” launches a video call between users whose avatars are within five steps from each other in the virtual space. As the users’ avatars walk away from each other, their video and audio quality decrease, simulating an in-person interaction.

Also see:

Image shows how people can gather around at the office, in a conference room, at a university, other -- https://gather.town/

From DSC:
Now picture this in VR.

 

 

The metaverse: real world laws give rise to virtual world problems — from cityam.com by Gregor Pryor

Legal questions
Like many technological advances, from the birth of the internet to more modern-day phenomena such as the use of big data and artificial intelligence (AI), the metaverse will in some way challenge the legal status quo.

Whilst the growth and adoption of the metaverse will raise age-old legal questions, it will also generate a number of unique legal and regulatory obstacles that need to be overcome.

From DSC:
I’m posting this because this is another example of why we have to pick up the pace within the legal realm. Organizations like the American Bar Association (ABA) are going to have to pick up the pace big time. Society has been being impacted by a variety of emerging technologies such as these. And such changes are far from being over. Law schools need to assess their roles and responsibilities in this new world as well.

Addendum on 3/29/21:
Below are some more examples from Jason Tashea’s “The Justice Tech Download” e-newsletter:

  • Florida prisons buy up location data from data brokers. (Techdirt) A prison mail surveillance company keeps tabs on those on the outside, too. (VICE)
  • Police reform requires regulating surveillance tech. (Patch) (h/t Rebecca Williams) A police camera that never tires stirs unease at the US First Circuit Court of Appeals. (Courthouse News)
  • A Florida sheriff’s office was sued for using its predictive policing program to harass residents. (Techdirt)
  • A map of e-carceration in the US. (Media Justice) (h/t Upturn)
  • This is what happens when ICE asks Google for your user information. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Data shows the NYPD seized 55,000 phones in 2020, and it returned less than 35,000 of them. (Techdirt)
  • The SAFE TECH Act will make the internet less safe for sex workers. (OneZero)
  • A New York lawmaker wants to ban the use of armed robots by police. (Wired)
  • A look at the first wave of government accountability of algorithms. (AI Now Institute) The algorithmic auditing trap. (OneZero)
  • The (im)possibility of fairness: Different value systems require different mechanisms for fair decision making. (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • A new open dataset has 510 commercial legal contracts with 13,000+ labels. (Atticus Project)
  • JusticeText co-founder shares her experience building tech for public defenders. (Law360)

 

 

Travel from home: 13 virtual museums and galleries to tour — from millionmilesecrets.com by Cynthia Paez Bowman; with thanks to Tatiana Rosado Vidal for this resource


Many museums are offering virtual tours. This image portrays people walking down a long hallway, perusing various works of art.


Excerpt:

Museums, movie theaters, concerts and other events have all taken a hit since COVID-19 emerged. Luckily, the creative world has gotten — creative — and found new, alternative ways to provide virtual cultural and educational experiences during these challenging times. If you’re hankering for a little art immersion, there are a variety of virtual museum tours you can take, all from the comfort of your home. Best of all, you won’t have to navigate a sea of crowds and selfie sticks to get a closer look at a Van Gogh or Monet.

The following list of virtual museums and galleries are organized based on interest:

Virtual Art Museums
Virtual Tour for Kids
Virtual Natural History and Science
Weird Virtual Museums

 

Student Builds Volumetric 3D TV To Complete Bachelor’s Program — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

In the end, they ended up building a volumetric 3D closed-circuit TV system capable of producing live holographic imager; I’d say that’s pretty noteworthy.

From DSC:
If we can imagine it…

A picture of the Jedi Council from Star Wars

Addendum on 3/12/21:

The future of telepresence article out at Inavate EMEA -- March 2021

 

Interplay Raises $18M to Build a Lynda.com for Essential Skilled Trades — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

Plumbing is just one of many good-paying skilled trades that remain in high demand but which have largely been glossed over by the education technology industry, says Doug Donovan, co-founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. “There’s been a lot of great edtech serving the knowledge worker, such as tools like Pluralsight. But there’s a vacuum in the digital marketplace for skills for hands-on workers.”

Interplay Learning VR training for HVAC repair

 

Five free keynotes on online learning for streaming into virtual conferences — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

These are the five keynotes:

  1. Developing quality blended learning courses
  2. Digital learning and the new economy
  3. New technologies and their potential and limitations for teaching and learning
  4. Ten lessons for online learning from the Covid-19 experience (based on research findings)
  5. Online learning in the (k-12) school sector

From DSC:
Thanks Tony for sharing these keynotes and your expertise — which is drawn from so much research and experience. Thanks for giving it away — may your gift bless many. (And I thought you were going to retire…?!? Selfishly, I’m/we’re glad you didn’t!)   🙂

 
 

Jeff Bezos Wants to Go to the Moon. Then, Public Education. — from edsurge.com by Dominik Dresel

Excerpts:

Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion investment to establish a Montessori-inspired network of preschools may be shrugged off by many as the world’s richest man dabbling in another playground. Instead, we should see it for what it is: the early days of Amazon’s foray into public education.

It would be easy to think that Amazon’s rapid expansion into industry after industry is just the natural, opportunistic path of a cash-flush company seeking to invest in new, lucrative markets. But Jeff Bezos, himself a graduate of a Montessori preschool, doesn’t think in short-term opportunities.

Yet, the world has had its first taste of the disentanglement of schooling from school buildings. Even though in 20 years we will still have school buildings—much like we still have bookstores—there is little doubt that the future will see more, not less, online instruction and content delivery.

 

 

AALS Hosts First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting

AALS Hosts First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting — from am.aals.org

Excerpt:

More than 5,100 law school faculty, deans, professional staff, and sponsors gathered virtually, January 5-9 at the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting.

Over five days, the meeting included moderated panels, interactive discussions, and networking events. The programs closely reflected the most pressing issues of the day, including sessions related to the pandemic’s impact on civil rights, disability law, the economy, executive powers, eviction, voting, and workers’ rights, among other topics. There were also several sessions on how the pandemic has affected law schools, especially as it relates to online and hybrid teaching.

The theme of the meeting was “The Power of Words,” selected by 2020 AALS President Darby Dickerson, Dean and Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School.

“Words matter and how we use words matter,” Dickerson said during a welcome video introducing the meeting. “Words are powerful tools. They can inspire social movements, evoke emotions, and create allegiances. They can help and they can heal, but like many tools, words can also be wielded as weapons to hurt and hinder and to mislead and manipulate.”

 

It’s Time to Heal: 16 Trends Driving the Future of Bio and Healthcare — from a16z.com by Vineeta Agarwala, Jorge Conde, Vijay Pande, and Julie Yoo
It’s Time to Heal is a special package about engineering the future of bio and healthcare. See more at:

Also see:

5 Predictions for Digital Healthcare in 2021 — from wearable-technologies.com by Cathy Russey

Excerpts:

  1. Remote patient care and telemedicine
  2. Virtual Reality
  3. Wearables
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Advancements in Electronic Health Records (EHR)
 

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

 

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

 

 

Sundance 2021 Goes Virtual for the New Frontier VR Program — from by Emory Craig

Excerpt:

The New Frontier Program at the Sundance Film Festival has always positioned itself at the intersection of film, art, and technology. Its experimental projects in VR have been groundbreaking, from Nonny de la Peña’s ‘Hunger in Los Angeles,’ the first-ever VR documentary to be showcased at the Festival (2012) through this year’s remarkable projects, many of which focused on movement and play in VR. With the pandemic still the reality of our lives, Sundance 2021 finds itself having to transition that spirit to a virtual environment.

 

How E-Learning Content Is Evolving: 7 Trends You Need to Know About — from trainingmag.com by Tiffany Harper
Continuous, personalized learning in small bites through a storytelling approach—that sums up the future of the e-learning industry.

Excerpt:

VR and AR
Technological innovations let us play better games. The progress of VR and AR technology (virtual reality and augmented reality) is closely related to the gaming industry, but that doesn’t mean it stays there.

We can turn any space into an environment that’s ready to explore. If we learn about the universe, we can see it around us. If we learn about industrial technology, we can be virtually present in a plant. This technology is especially important for corporate learning. Instead of sending employees away to develop new skills, companies benefit with lower expenses and greater convenience.

We haven’t seen the best of virtual and augmented reality in e-learning yet. But as the trend progresses and more learners get their devices, it won’t be unusual for AR and VR to be included in every online course of the future.

 

Trends Report for 2021: Three Scenes from the Future -- from Frog Design

Trends 2021: Three Scenes from the Future — from frogdesign.com

Excerpt:

This year, we decided to lean into this unreality. For our tenth annual Trends list, we asked frogs to not only imagine the societal and technological shifts that will impact our future, but to project the future worlds these shifts will create. From perspectives on the accelerated adoption of remote work, to visions of distorted realities and changing consumer behaviors, we’re sharing different possible views of 2021 and beyond—and the products, services and experiences that will shape our future worlds.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian