60 beautiful examples of websites with full-blown video backgrounds — from hongkiat.com by Nancy Young

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From DSC:
Yes, you read that right. Video-based backgrounds — motion pictures. Another great example of the convergence that’s been happening with the TV, the telephone, and the computer.

 

 

Apple TV needs apps — from money.cnn.com by Adrian Covert
If there was ever a time for Apple to open up its Apple TV platform to third-party apps, that time is [today] at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

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apple tv

 

 

Microsoft unveils Xbox One: the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system — from microsoft.com

Excerpt:

REDMOND, Wash. — May 21, 2013 — A new vision for the future comes to life today as Microsoft Corp. unveils Xbox One , the all-in-one gaming and entertainment system created for today and the next generation. At Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the company showcased how Xbox One puts you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype.

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”

With Xbox One, games push the boundaries of realism, and TV obeys your commands. Say “Xbox On” to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements all using the most natural interface — your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like.

 

From DSC:
Here’s the item I find particularly interesting (emphasis DSC):

  • Skype for Xbox One.
    Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.

 

The connected TVs are here… interactive programming & native apps will follow— from venturebeat.com by Habib Kairouz

 

The connected TVs are here… interactive programming & native apps will follow
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Excerpt:

Innovative devices have always fueled new application ecosystems. The software industry was enabled by the WinTel PC platform; and hundreds of thousands of websites were built once the PCs became “connected.” In the last few years, we have witnessed the same trend in mobile; more than 700,000 apps have been created for Web-enabled phones. We’ll soon see connected TVs fueling a similar ecosystem of interactive programming and native apps. With nearly a quarter of all U.S. households currently using connected TVs (according to eMarketer), we have reached the tipping point of mass adoption.

As opposed to the disastrous impact the Internet had on the print industry, I see the innovation of the connected TV market as a tremendous, yet accretive, evolution as opposed to a threat. Here’s why:

My reflections on “MOOCs of Hazard” – a well-thought out, balanced article by Andrew Delbanco


From DSC: Below are my reflections on MOOCs of Hazard — from newrepublic.com by Andrew Delbanco — who asks:  Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well…


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While I’m not sure that I agree with the idea that online education will dampen the college experience — and while I could point to some amazing capabilities that online education brings to the table in terms of true global exchanges — I’ll instead focus my comments on the following items:

 

1) Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are recent experiments — ones that will continue to change/morph into something else.
They are half-baked at best, but they should not be taken lightly. Christensen, Horn, Johnson are spot on with their theories of disruption here, especially as they relate to innovations occurring within the virtual/digital realm.  For example, the technologies behind IBM’s Watson could be mixed into the list of ingredients that will be used to develop MOOCs in the future.  It would be a very powerful, effective MOOC indeed if you could get the following parties/functionalities to the table:

  • IBM — to provide Watson like auto-curation/filtering capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, as well as data mining/learning analytics expertise, joined by
  • Several highly-creative firms from the film/media/novel/storytelling industry, who would be further joined by
  • Experts from Human Computer Interaction (HCI)/user interface/user experience design teams, who would be further joined by
  • Programmers and interaction specialists from educational gaming endeavors (and from those who can design simulations), joined by
  • Instructional designers, joined by
  • The appropriate Subject Matter Experts who can be reached by the students as necessary, joined by
  • Those skilled in research and library services, joined by
  • Legal experts to assist with copyright issues, joined by
  • Other specialists in mobile learning,  3D, web development, database administration, animation, graphic design, musicians, etc.

It won’t be long before this type of powerful team gets pulled together — from some organizations(s) with deep pockets — and the content is interacted with and presented to us within our living rooms via connected/Smart TVs and via second screen devices/applications.

2) The benefits of MOOCs
  • For colleges/universities:
    • MOOCs offer some serious marketing horsepower (rather than sound pedagogical tools, at this point in time at least)
    • They are forcing higher ed to become much more innovative
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They move us closer to team-based content creation and delivery
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  • For students:
    • They offer a much less expensive option to go exploring disciplines for themselves…to see if they enjoy (and/or are gifted in) topic A, B or C
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They provide a chance to see what it’s like to learn about something in a digital/virtual manner

3)  The drawbacks of MOOCs:
  • MOOCs are not nearly the same thing as what has come to be known as “online learning” — at least in the higher ed industry. MOOCs do not yet offer what more “traditional” (can I say that?) online learning provides: Far more support and pedagogical/instructional design, instructor presence and dialog, student academic support services, advising, more student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction, etc.
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  • MOOCs are like drinking from a firehose — there are too many blogs/RSS feeds, twitter feeds, websites, and other resources to review.

4) It would be wise for all of us to be involved with such experiments and have at least a subset of one’s college or university become much more nimble/responsive.

 

Also see:

Dual screen: The evolution of the second screen — from blog.brightcove.com by Albert Lai

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Educational Gamification
In a previous post, we asked readers to suggest their ideas for dual screen applications. One of the more intriguing responses was the suggestion to create companion educational games to accompany associated video content.

In a dual screen experience, as video content is displayed on the television, the application can engage the viewer with relevant and education activities, from content reinforcement to spelling to trivia to memory “games.” One can imagine an interactive amalgamation of Dora the Explorer, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, and Schoolhouse Rock!

 

 

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The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

Addendum on 4/8/13:

WatchitooClassroom-April2013

 

 

Also see:

Watchitoo, Pearson LearningStudio offer real-time HD video chat option for online courses — from thejournal.com by Caitlin Moriarity

Excerpt:

Watchitoo and Pearson eCollege have teamed up to add an integrated collaboration solution, including real-time video chat, to the Pearson LearningStudio SaaS online education platform.

A history of media streaming and the future of connected TV — from guardian.co.uk by Alex Zambelli
We’re close to broadly available HD streaming which could trigger mass adoption of connected TV. 

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internet streaming real shockwave flash netflix

 

 

A precursor to…

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

From DSC:
Below are some reflections after seeing these items:

Image1

 

 

  • Watson supercomputer goes to college, Revenge Of The Nerds style antics imminentnot an exemplary article from geekosystem.com, but the underlying topic has enormous implications
    Excerpt:
    …the team developing Watson is sending the computer to college, where it will bone up on coursework in English and math.

    While the original Watson will be staying put at the IBM research center it calls home, the hardware to run the program is being installed at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, where researchers and grad students will be spend the next three years teaching Watson all they can while also hoping to learn more about how the software learns and make it more effective.

 

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Watson-MOOCs-NewTypesCollaboration-DChristian-2-14-13

 

From DSC:
The current set of MOOCs are very powerful, but, like a bush that needs pruning, they can become unwieldy and hard to control.  Not only do the current set of MOOCs help me to see the importance of instructional design, but trying to drink from the firehose often presents problems (i.e. wading through thousands of tweets, hundreds of blog posts, etc.).  How can we still provide openness and yet provide people with better methods/tools for setting their desired level of drinking from this firehose? Tags are helpful, but for most people, they are not doing enough to filter/curate the content at this point.

Enter the technologies being developed in IBM’s Watson, Apple’s SIRI, or in Knewton’s product lines. End-user controllable setting might include:

  • Full throttle — like current form of MOOCs — thousands of tweets, hundreds of blog posts, etc.
  • IBM Watson-enabled curation/filtering only — each individual adjusts how many items they want to see in the various portions of the interface (see above); these settings control how many items and/or streams of content get presented to you

The ideas involving learning agents, artificial intelligence, intelligent tutoring, intelligent systems and more seem to get roped in here…hmm…just thinking out loud and sharing potentially-useful ideas.

 

From DSC — with a special thanks to Mr. Michael Haan, Technology Integration Specialist at Calvin College, for this resource
Now we’re talking! The Mondopad from InFocus is starting to morph into what I thought the “chalkboard of the future” might look like. Now I’d like to see:

  • An entire wall offer this sort of functionality
  • More content from publishers flow into this sort of setup — i.e the kind of content that leverages the interactivity and flexibility that these sorts of technologies now make available
  • The ability of students and employees to transmit their content up to these devices/walls — have it be scanned for viruses — and then moved into a viewing area (with an option for folks to download that file if they want to)

 

InfocusMondoPad2-Feb2013

 

Key features:

  • Multi-touch high definition 55 inch display (From DSC: A 70″ version is also available I believe)
  • Flexible and expandable with built-in Windows PC
  • Digital interactive whiteboard and document annotation
  • Business-class video conferencing
  • Share, view and control from your tablet or smartphone
  • Full copy of Microsoft® Office ensures file compatibility

 

Also see the information out at Precision Data Products:

 

MondoPad-Feb2013

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