Learning from The Living [Class] Room

Learning from the Living [Class] Room:
A global, powerful, next generation learning platform

What does the vision entail?

  • A new, global, collaborative learning platform that offers more choice, more control to learners of all ages – 24x7 – and could become the organization that futurist Thomas Frey discusses here with Business Insider:
  • "I've been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven't heard of yet," Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.
  • A learner-centered platform that is enabled by – and reliant upon – human beings but is backed up by a powerful suite of technologies that work together in order to help people reinvent themselves quickly, conveniently, and extremely cost-effectively
  • A customizable learning environment that will offer up-to-date streams of regularly curated content (i.e., microlearning) as well as engaging learning experiences
  • Along these lines, a lifelong learner can opt to receive an RSS feed on a particular topic until they master that concept; periodic quizzes (i.e., spaced repetition) determine that mastery. Once mastered, the system will ask the learner as to whether they still want to receive that particular stream of content or not.
  • A Netflix-like interface to peruse and select plugins to extend the functionality of the core product
  • An AI-backed system of analyzing employment trends and opportunities will highlight those courses and “streams of content” that will help someone obtain the most in-demand skills
  • A system that tracks learning and, via Blockchain-based technologies, feeds all completed learning modules/courses into learners’ web-based learner profiles
  • A learning platform that provides customized, personalized recommendation lists – based upon the learner’s goals
  • A platform that delivers customized, personalized learning within a self-directed course
  • (meant for those content creators who want to deliver more sophisticated courses/modules while moving people through the relevant Zones of Proximal Development)
  • Notifications and/or inspirational quotes will be available upon request to help provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability – helping learners establish habits of continual, lifelong-based learning
  • (Potentially) An online-based marketplace, matching learners with teachers, professors, and other such Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • (Potentially) Direct access to popular job search sites
  • (Potentially) Direct access to resources that describe what other companies do/provide and descriptions of any particular company’s culture (as described by current and former employees and freelancers)
  • (Potentially) Integration with one-on-one tutoring services

Further details:

While basic courses will be accessible via mobile devices, the optimal learning experience will leverage two or more displays/devices. So while smaller smartphones, laptops, and/or desktop workstations will be used to communicate synchronously or asynchronously with other learners, the larger displays will deliver an excellent learning environment for times when there is:

  • A Subject Matter Expert (SME) giving a talk or making a presentation on any given topic
  • A need to display multiple things going on at once, such as:
    • The SME(s)
    • An application or multiple applications that the SME(s) are using
    • Content/resources that learners are submitting in real-time (think Bluescape, T1V, Prysm, other)
    • The ability to annotate on top of the application(s) and point to things w/in the app(s)
    • Media being used to support the presentation such as pictures, graphics, graphs, videos, simulations, animations, audio, links to other resources, GPS coordinates for an app such as Google Earth, other
    • Other attendees (think Google Hangouts, Skype, Polycom, or other videoconferencing tools)
    • An (optional) representation of the Personal Assistant (such as today’s Alexa, Siri, M, Google Assistant, etc.) that’s being employed via the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This new learning platform will also feature:
  • Voice-based commands to drive the system (via Natural Language Processing (NLP))
  • Language translation (using techs similar to what’s being used in Translate One2One, an earpiece powered by IBM Watson)
  • Speech-to-text capabilities to provide real-time closed captioning and transcriptions -- as well as for use w/ chatbots, messaging, inserting discussion board postings
  • Text-to-speech capabilities as an assistive technology and also for everyone to be able to be mobile while listening to what’s been typed
  • Chatbots
    • For learning how to use the system
    • For asking questions of – and addressing any issues with – the organization owning the system (credentials, payments, obtaining technical support, etc.)
    • For asking questions within a course to obtain information -- such as asking questions of a historical figure
    • As many profiles as needed per household
  • Similar to asking questions of a chatbot, we will be able to use holographic storytelling where learners can ask questions of a hologram (examples here and here)
  • The ability to use the learner's webcam to take pictures of equations in order to get instant feedback and/or links to other resources
  • Polling
  • (Optional) Machine-to-machine-based communications to automatically launch the correct profile when the system is initiated (from one’s smartphone, laptop, workstation, and/or tablet to a receiver for the system)
  • (Optional) Voice recognition to efficiently launch the desired profile
  • (Optional) Facial recognition to efficiently launch the desired profile
  • (Optional) Upon system launch, to immediately return to where the learner previously left off
  • The capability of the webcam to recognize objects and bring up relevant resources for that object
  • A built in RSS feed aggregator – or a similar technology – to enable learners to tap into the relevant “streams of content” that are constantly flowing by them
  • Social media dashboards/portals – providing quick access to multiple sources of content and whereby learners can contribute their own “streams of content”
  • A twist on the flipped classroom approach, whereby students can check out videos of equations, problems, etc. and put in their "markers" with accompanying comments throughout the videos, alerting the SMEs where they have questions, comments, and/or issues
In the future, new forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) will be integrated into this new learning environment – providing entirely new means of collaborating with one another.

Potential players:

  • Amazon – personal assistance via Alexa; enormous investments in AI and the staff to develop an AI-based platform; relaunched Inspire content repository (7/17/17)
  • Apple – personal assistance via Siri; deep pockets; huge investments being made in AR; enormous installed base with iOS and MacOS
  • Google – personal assistance via Google Assistant; language translation; highly innovative; investing heavily in AI-based applications; quickly moving to where everything they do uses some sort of AI
  • Facebook -- personal assistance via M
  • Microsoft – personal assistance via Cortana; language translation; LinkedIn (Lynda.com) and big data and AI-based HR/career employment-related systems
  • IBM Watson – cognitive computing; language translation
  • Polycom – videoconferencing
  • Blackboard – videoconferencing, application sharing, chat, interactive whiteboard
  • T1V, Prsym, and/or Bluescape – submitting content to a digital canvas/workspace
  • Samsung, Sharp, LCD, and others – for large displays with integrated microphones, speakers, webcams, etc.
  • Socratic -- to take pictures of equations in order to get instant feedback and/or links to other resources
  • USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), USC Shoah Foundation, Conscience Display -- for holographic storytelling
  • Feedly – RSS aggregator
  • _________ – for providing backchannels
  • _________ – for tools to create videocasts and interactive videos
  • _________ – for blogs, wikis, podcasts, journals
  • _________ – for quizzes/assessments
  • _________ – for discussion boards/forums
  • _________ – for creating AR, MR, and/or VR-based content


These videos were made in October 2013. I would like to especially thank Mr. Steven Niedzielski (@Marketing4pt) and Mr. Sam Beckett (@SamJohnBeck) for their assistance and some of the graphics used in making these videos.

Further random thoughts:

From May 15, 2017

From DSC:
There are now more than 12,000+ skills on Amazon’s new platform — Alexa.  I continue to wonder…what will this new platform mean/deliver to societies throughout the globe?

From this Alexa Skills Kit page:

What Is an Alexa Skill?
Alexa is Amazon’s voice service and the brain behind millions of devices including Amazon Echo. Alexa provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to create a more personalized experience. There are now more than 12,000 skills from companies like Starbucks, Uber, and Capital One as well as innovative designers and developers.

What Is the Alexa Skills Kit?
With the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), designers, developers, and brands can build engaging skills and reach millions of customers. ASK is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation, and code samples that makes it fast and easy for you to add skills to Alexa. With ASK, you can leverage Amazon’s knowledge and pioneering work in the field of voice design.

You can build and host most skills for free using Amazon Web Services (AWS).




What happens when you take the capabilities of Amazon's Alexa platform and team those up with some of the capabilities of RealizeIt (ie., an intelligent adaptive platform-as-a-service that can deliver personalized programs)?



This vision entails numerous technologies. Since I posted this vision ~5 years ago, several of the potential pieces of this vision may be coming into view.

(Addendum on March 27, 2017)


  • Lifelong, cloud-based learner profiles -- owned and controlled by the individual learners. Already we have "Learning Record Stores" -- being offered by GlassBlade, Learning Locker, Saltbox, and Watershed. Such vendors and their products/services may morph into something much bigger -- especially by using Blockchain.


  • Blockchain and the recording of new credentials that you actually took module/course XYZ and you scored ___ on it.



  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and deep learning -- which includes Natural Langage Processing (NLP) -- and the use of our voices as a key method of interfacing with our computing devices. Also, such technologies are already providing us with image/object recognition as well as recommendation engines. This is not vaporware! These deliverables and affordances are here today. And so are personal assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, Facebook's M, Microsoft's Cortana, and the growing-more-powerful by the day, Amazon's Alex platform. Also, IBM's Intelligent Workplace Solution is worth keeping a pulse-check on in this regard, as well as their push into cognitive computing: "In 5 years, the classroom will learn you."


  • AI and its assorted technologies will provide an incredible amount of personalized learning -- keeping things within someone's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).


  • Digital playlists -- something akin to Lynda.com's Learning Paths and digital playlists



  • Re: software, there will be something akin to today's "tvOS" -- as representative of a new type of a global operating system. Software (in terms of what we think of in terms of today's applications) will be available on demand on either a pay-per-use method or via a subscription model. Open source software will likely be available as well.


  • AI-based human resource systems, checking for people who have passed these particular certifications, have such and such credentials, and who have __ years experience.






This new learning platform will offer a twist on the flipped classroom approach, whereby students can check out videos of equations, problems, etc. and insert their own "markers" with accompanying comments throughout the videos, alerting the SMEs where they have questions, comments, and/or issues:

A twist on the flipped classroom