Best Wireless Keyboard and Mouse for Teachers 2021 — from techlearning.com by Luke Edwards
The best wireless keyboard and mouse for teachers can give freedom to move without losing ease of input

The following don’t focus much on Apple’s products, but you can also see:

 

A Judge Rules Apple Must Make It Easier To Shop Outside The App Store — from npr.org by Bobby Allyn
Judge Rules Apple Must Change Its Tightly Controlled App Store | The ruling follows a three-week trial in which Epic, the maker of the hit video game Fortnite, argued Apple’s App Store policies are an abuse of power and hurt developers.

Excerpt:

A federal judge ordered Apple on Friday to crack open the tightly controlled App Store and “steer” people using apps to payment methods other than Apple’s own processor, which usually collects a 30% commission on app purchases.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is the most significant strike yet against Apple’s commission, something critics call “the Apple tax.” It could force the tech giant to revamp its entire business model for apps on iPhones and iPads.

Also see:

Factbox-Apple vs Epic case: heated arguments, dramatic calls — from reuters.com
A U.S. judge on Friday issued a ruling in Fortnite creator Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc’s App Store, striking down some of Apple’s restrictions on how developers can collect payments in apps.

Apple can no longer force developers to use in-app purchasing, judge rules — from cnbc.com by Kif Leswing
The trial took place in Oakland, California, in May, and included both company CEOs testifying in open court.

  • Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Friday handed down a decision in a closely watched trial between Apple and Epic Games.
  • Rogers issued an injunction that said Apple will no longer be allowed to prohibit developers from providing links or other communications that direct users away from Apple in-app purchasing.
  • Rogers said Apple was not a monopolist and “success is not illegal.”

Tech Stocks Are Jumping as Judge Forces Changes to Apple’s App Store — from
A slew of tech stocks are rallying after a Northern California judge ruled that Apple must allow developers who distribute their apps via its store to bypass the company’s payment systems—a move that could alter which companies collect billions of dollars now paid to Apple. The decision arrives after a legal fight that began roughly a year ago.  

 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 

The Hardware and Materials Innovations Enabling Consumer Augmented Reality — from luxresearchinc.com by Vladimir Roznyatovskiy

Excerpt:

Consumer mass-market augmented reality (AR) products and applications could become a fourth wave of modern technological progress, following the PC and smartphone in transformative impact on nearly all aspects of life and business.

However, making widespread consumer AR a reality will require significant innovations in optical components, light engines, and cameras and sensors to reduce size and weight while improving performance. These advances will create significant opportunities for materials and hardware developers. It will be five years to seven years before these efforts translate into viable mass-market devices, but once they do, the opportunities for consumer insights and engagement will be tremendous and a significant source of competitive differentiation.

 
 

Apple’s latest accessibility features are for those with limb and vocal differences — from techcrunch.com by Devin Coldewey

Excerpt:

Apple announced a batch of accessibility features at WWDC 2021 that cover a wide variety of needs, among them a few for people who can’t touch or speak to their devices in the ordinary way. With Assistive Touch, Sound Control and other improvements, these folks have new options for interacting with an iPhone or Apple Watch.

 

Tips To Use Virtual Training For User Education & Immersive Site Tours — from elearningindustry.com by Stephanie Ivec
While virtual reality safety and equipment training have been around the longest, more and more organizations are seeing the benefits of virtual reality for new uses, like the site tours and user education.

Excerpt:

Software tools or systems, surgical devices, and even board games commonly require end user training or customer education in order for the customer to get the most out of the item they’ve purchased. Over the years, user education and training has evolved from lengthy user manuals to online videos to fully immersive experiences. Virtual and augmented reality videos are an engaging way to make customers feel more comfortable with a new product, procedure, or system.

Addendum on 6/11/21:

  • Assessing Extended Reality’s Potential — from avnetwork.com by Margot Douaihy
    VR and AR still mystify some integrators, but advocates say the potential of extended reality (XR) solutions is staggering.

VR costs continue to decrease as processing power increases. Tethered and wireless HMDs (head-mounted displays) are becoming more compact and easier to use. From the HTC Vive Pro 2 to Oculus Quest 2, there are solutions for various budgets. VR is no longer cost-prohibitive.

The AR ecosystem is evolving, too. Apple’s ARKit and free AR mobile apps like Adobe Aero are inviting more people into the content creation space.

It’s a different calculus for adoption in commercial sectors, however. Return on investment and utilization throughout the product lifecycle are primary concerns.

 

You’ll Soon be Able to Use Your Apple Watch Without Touching the Screen — from wsj.com by Katie Deighton
Companies like Apple and Spotify are making it easier for people with disabilities to use their products. Accessibility advocates hope more follow suit

AssistiveTouch, a new feature coming to the Apple Watch, will let users operate the device without having to touch the screen or controls.

AssistiveTouch, a new feature coming to the Apple Watch, will let users operate the device without having to touch the screen or controls. It was designed with people who have upper-body limb differences in mind.

PHOTO: APPLE INC.

Excerpt:

Later this year, Apple Inc. will introduce features that allow users to control an iPad with their eyes, and its smartwatch with gestures like a pinch or a fist clench.

The company announced the moves this week as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 20, an event established in 2011. Other big tech players revealed initiatives and commitments of their own, from automatic podcast transcriptions by Spotify Technology S.A to the updated design of a specific virtual block in Microsoft Corp.’s “Minecraft” to make it more visible to colorblind players.

 

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is today!
Help us celebrate the tenth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is is Thursday, May 20th 2021

Also see:

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is Thursday, May 20, 2021

Also see:

Professional Development for Digital Accessibility: A Needs Assessment — from qualitymatters.org

As the EdTech article, “Improving Accessibility for Students and Faculty with Disabilities,” points out, the approach to accommodations for many institutions is still reactive instead of proactive.

So what can institutions do to become more proactive in their approach to digital accessibility? A 2019 survey of Higher Education Quality Matters Coordinators conducted by Barbara Frey, D.Ed., Point Park University, and Rae Mancilla, Ed.D., the University of Pittsburgh, identified the need for more professional development on the topic. Now, in the final white paper from their three-part series on digital accessibility, Drs. Frey and Mancilla provide a summary and analysis of the survey data on digital accessibility professional development needs.

Highlights include:

    • The key training areas that course developers can focus on to help faculty
    • How administrators can address common barriers to participation in digital accessibility training
    • How faculty can contribute to a meaningful accessibility training curriculum

Also see:

 

10 takeaways from Big Tech’s big earnings — from protocol.com by David Pierce
What Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon earnings say about the state of tech.

 

 

AirTags Are the Perfectly Boring, Functional Future of AR — from wired.com by Lauren Goode
Apple’s new location-aware widgets point to the company’s possible larger ambitions for augmented reality.

Excerpts:

APPLE’S AIRTAGS HAVE found their way to market. The long-rumored competitor to Tile—a tiny Bluetooth tag you attach to frequently lost items—was unveiled today during Apple’s spring hardware announcement.

This latter feature points to another emerging platform for Apple: augmented reality. While the company didn’t explicitly say AirTags will be used in AR apps, immersive computing experts point out that the AirTags technology is using ARKit, Apple’s software framework for AR, and that tying digital information to nearby physical objects is an important step in the evolution of this tech.

Instead of seeing a flat, 2D image on your iPhone of where the keys are buried in the couch, a virtual arrow would be layered on top of the view through your phone’s camera, guiding you to the exact location of your keys as you move closer.

 

Design full rooms in AR with the IKEA Studio app — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Use the IKEA Studio app to design a room -- this image pictures a floating blue couch in a living room

Excerpt:

Whereas the IKEA Place app—released back in 2017 alongside the launch of Apple’s ARKit—allows you to place single pieces of AR furniture and decorations throughout your real-world environment, IKEA Studio lets you furnish entire rooms. Developed by IKEA’s own Copenhagen-based studio SPACE10, this iOS-exclusive app works by capturing 3D room plans and measurements using the LiDAR sensors featured on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Put simply, this new technology generates a mesh scale capable of identifying surfaces, objects, and the geometry of your real-world environment, resulting in more realistic AR experiences.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook: AR Is “Critically Important” For The Company’s Future — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

Excerpts:

When the subject of AR and it’s potential came up, Cook said “You and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear.”

In Cook’s opinion, AR will change the way we communicate with our friends, colleagues, and family. It’ll reshape communication in fields such as health, education, gaming, and retail. “I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with use of the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future,” said Cook.

Also see:

Woman using Augmented Reality to further learn about something.

And it is not enough to try to use existing VR/XR applications and tailor them to educational scenarios. These tools can and should be created with pedagogy, student experience, and learning outcomes as the priority.

 

Clicking this image will take you to the 2021 Tech Trends Report -- from the Future Today Institute

14th Annual Edition | 2021 Tech Trends Report — from the Future Today Institute

Our 2021 Tech Trends Report is designed to help you confront deep uncertainty, adapt and thrive. For this year’s edition, the magnitude of new signals required us to create 12 separate volumes, and each report focuses on a cluster of related trends. In total, we’ve analyzed  nearly 500 technology and science trends across multiple industry sectors. In each volume, we discuss the disruptive forces, opportunities and strategies that will drive your organization in the near future.

Now, more than ever, your organization should examine the potential near and long-term impact of tech trends. You must factor the trends in this report into your strategic thinking for the coming year, and adjust your planning, operations and business models accordingly. But we hope you will make time for creative exploration. From chaos, a new world will come.

Some example items noted in this report:

  • Natural language processing is an area experiencing high interest, investment, and growth.
  • + No-code or low-code systems are unlocking new use cases for businesses.
  • Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud’s low-code and no-code offerings will trickle down to everyday people, allowing them to create their own artificial intelligence applications and deploy them as easily as they could a website.
  • The race is on to capture AI cloudshare—and to become the most trusted provider of AI on remote servers.
  • COVID-19 accelerated the use of AI in drug discovery last year. The first trial of an AI-discovered drug is underway in Japan.
 

20 of the best free science apps for iPad & iOS — from teachthought.com by TeachThought Staff

Excerpt:

The ease-of-use and engagement factor of an iPad can really liven up a lesson.

Combine that with an app’s ability to simulate reality in br, such as chemical reactions, and you have a tool that is both safe and fun for your students.

Below, we’ve gathered 20 of the best free science apps currently available for iPhone/iPad/iOS. Note, many of the science apps below have in-app purchases but are free to download and use. The main criteria here was that it’s a science app and is worth using/teaching and learning with without making any additional purchases.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian