What does the ‘metaverse’ mean for education? — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
Experts warn educators to think twice before jumping on new technologies

Excerpt:

Sometime in the past year or two, you’ve likely heard the word “metaverse.” It’s the future, the next big frontier of the internet, if you ask technology CEOs or researchers.

While the term has become the latest buzzword in education circles, what it means for teaching and learning largely remains to be seen. Experts say much of what we see marketed as the metaverse from education technology companies isn’t actually the metaverse.

In a true metaverse experience, your digital identity travels between the physical and virtual worlds, Platt said. With the help of blockchain technology, that identity — your preferences, your achievements, your educational records, other elements of who you are — is maintained across platforms and applications.

 

7 Technologies that are Changing Healthcare — from digitalsalutem.com by João Bocas

In this article we are going to talk about the seven technologies that are changing healthcare:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Blockchain
  3. Virtual Reality
  4. Robots
  5. Mapping technologies
  6. Big Data
  7. Neurotechnology

This startup 3D prints tiny homes from recyclable plastics — from interestingengineering.com by Nergis Firtina; with thanks to Laura Goodrich for this resource

A 3D printed house by Azure

Satellite Billboards Are a Dystopian Future We Don’t Need — from gizmodo.com by George Dvorsky; with thanks to Laura Goodrich for this resource
Brightly lit ads in orbit are technologically and economically viable, say Russian scientists. But can we not?

Artist’s conception of a cubesat ad showing the Olympic rings. Image: Shamil Biktimirov/Skoltech

South Korea to Provide Blockchain-based Digital Identities to Citizens by 2024 — from blockchain.news by Annie Li; with thanks to Laura Goodrich for this resource

Excerpt:

South Korea plans to provide digital identities encrypted by blockchain with smartphones to citizens in 2024 to facilitate its economic development., Bloomberg reported Monday.

The South Korean government stated that with the expansion of the digital economy, the ID embedded in the smartphone is an indispensable emerging technology to support the development of data.

From DSC:
Interesting to see blockchain show up in the first item above on healthcare and also on this item coming out of South Korea for digital identities.

The Bruce Willis Deepfake Is Everyone’s Problem — from wired.com by Will Bedingfield; with thanks to Stephen Downes for this resource
There’s a fight brewing over how Hollywood stars can protect their identities. But it’s not just actors who should be paying attention.

Excerpts:

Yet the question of “who owns Bruce Willis,” as Levy put it, isn’t only a concern for the Hollywood star and his representatives. It concerns actors unions across the world, fighting against contracts that exploit their members’ naivety about AI. And, for some experts, it’s a question that implicates everyone, portending a wilder, dystopian future—one in which identities are bought, sold, and seized.

“This is relevant not just to AI contracts [for synthetic performances], but any contract involving rights to one’s likeness and voice,” says Danielle S. Van Lier, assistant general counsel, intellectual property and contracts at SAG-AFTRA. “We have been seeing contracts that now include ‘simulation rights’ to performers’ images, voices, and performances. These contract terms are buried deep in the boilerplate of performance agreements in traditional media.”


Addendum on 10/26/22:


 

New Mexico College Publishes Report to Advance a National Learning and Employment Record for Skills-based Credentialing and Hiring — from prnewswire.com by Central New Mexico Community College

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.Oct. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In the current job market, applicants are usually asked to provide a broad résumé that lists the basics of their qualifications including college degrees and past work experience. It’s an outdated and inefficient system and one that Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) is now helping to improve.

Thanks to a grant from Walmart, CNM produced a comprehensive report that researches several independent efforts underway in order to build a model for creating a national Learner and Employment Records (LER) infrastructure. An LER enables the exchange of skills-based digital records that facilitate more efficient pathways from learning to earning.

An LER is more efficient and secure for both employers and job-seekers because it uses blockchain technology to provide security, trust, and transparency.

From DSC:
I still am learning about how secure blockchain-based applications are — or aren’t. But this idea of a Learner and Employment Record — which I’ve referred to on this blog as a “cloud-based learner profile” — seems to hold a lot of potential as we move into the future. Especially when the focus is increasingly on which skills a position needs and which skills an individual has.

I have used the term cloud-based learner profiles instead of LERs but the idea is the same

 

Infographic -- 21st-Century Skills That Every Learner Needs

From DSC:
The Ultimate List of 21-Century Skills – 2022 that’s on that page lists fifty skills. Whew! That’s a lot of skills. I doubt anyone will have them all. But the posting/infographic has a lot of fodder for further reflection and growth.

 

HSF embraces the metaverse with new digital law course for students — from legalcheek.com by Thomas Connelly

Excerpt:

The global law firm has launched a series of free workshops exploring how lawyers help clients navigate novel legal and regulatory issues relating to techy-topics including the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

From DSC:
This kind of thing needs to happen in law schools across many countries.

 

California Moves Forward to Allow Vital Records to be Issued on Blockchain — from coindesk.com by Jesse Hamilton
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law [last] week that establishes a blockchain option for delivering individuals’ records, such as birth and marriage certificates


Speaking of blockchain, these next two resources comes from Roberto Ferraro’s weekly enewsletter:

Blockchain 101 – A Visual Demo — from andersbrownworth.com

Blockchain 101 – Part 2 – Public / Private Keys and Signing

 

Top 5 Developments in Web 3.0 We Will See in the Next Five Years — from intelligenthq.com

Excerpt:

Today, websites have turned highly engaging, and the internet is full of exciting experiences. Yet, web 3.0 is coming with noteworthy trends and things to look out for.

Here are the top 5 developments in web 3.0 expected in the coming five years.
.

 

European telco giants collaborate on 5G-powered holographic videocalls — from inavateonthenet.net

Excerpt:

Some of Europe’s biggest telecoms operators have joined forces for a pilot project that aims to make holographic calls as simple and straightforward as a phone call.

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone are working with holographic presence company Matsuko to develop an easy-to-use platform for immersive 3D experiences that could transform communications and the virtual events market

Advances in connectivity, thanks to 5G and edge computing technology, allow smooth and natural movement of holograms and make the possibility of easy-to-access holographic calls a reality.
.

Top XR Vendors Majoring in Education for 2022 — from xrtoday.com

Excerpt:

Few things are more important than delivering the right education to individuals around the globe. Whether enlightening a new generation of young students, or empowering professionals in a complex business environment, learning is the key to building a better future.

In recent years, we’ve discovered just how powerful technology can be in delivering information to those who need it most. The cloud has paved the way for a new era of collaborative remote learning, while AI tools and automated systems are assisting educators in their tasks. XR has the potential to be one of the most disruptive new technologies in the educational space.

With Extended Reality technology, training professionals can deliver incredible experiences to students all over the globe, without the risks or resource requirements of traditional education. Today, we’re looking at just some of the major vendors leading the way to a future of immersive learning.

 

From DSC:
I need to learn a lot more about the benefits and the threats/downsides of blockchain-based technologies. Here are two different takes on whether blockchain should be implemented or not — though the second one may be a prime example of the first article (a scam, hyping a tech up for investment purposes, other):

1) ‘Blockchain is bunk’: Crypto critics find their voice — from protocol.com by Benjamin Pimentel
John Stark, founding chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, is joining other experts in a major gathering of crypto skeptics.

Excerpts:

More than 20 years later, Stark is speaking out against what he considers a new wave of fraud. But this time he’s also taking aim at the technology that he says the scammers are using: cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

There are so many aspects to it, whether you’re talking about bitcoin and the greater fool theory, or the externalities of ransomware and drug dealing and human sex trafficking, or the financial systemic risk created by cryptocurrency or the real bluster, hype and nonsensical belief in blockchain. There’s so many reasons to be skeptical of cryptocurrency.

Seven or eight years ago, I was willing to entertain the thought that this might be something someday. But I’m just done with that. Because there came a point in my research, my writing and my experience, where I just felt like it’s really shameless.

From my perspective, I think the magnificence of this conference is that it’s the first in history to really present these experts who are going to come together for the first time in a way that presents every angle. Because it’s a multifaceted situation. There are hundreds of cryptocurrency conferences, and they are all these lovefests where everyone just sits around and talks about how great it is, because they’re all getting rich from it.

I don’t mean to sound cynical, but that’s the truth. That’s the reality. So it’s a bit of an antidote for that illness, which plagues the space right now.

 

2) The Biggest Change to our Financial System in 50 Years is Happening in November… — from medium.com by Richard Knight
International Payments are moving to the blockchain (ISO 20022)

Excerpt:

Many cryptocurrency investors are looking to reap massive returns as the 50-year-old international payments system moves onto the blockchain beginning in November 2022.

This is part of what is known as ISO 20022, a single standardization approach to be used by all financial standards initiatives. The new standardization is set to officially begin in November 2022 and be fully implemented by November 2025.

There are many cryptocurrencies that will be integrated into this new financial system, referred to as ISO 20022 compliment cryptocurrencies and there is much speculation these cryptocurrencies will soar in price once the standard is implemented.

 


Also relevant/see:


 

Radar Trends to Watch: September 2022 Developments in AI, Privacy, Biology, and More — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides

Excerpt:

It’s hardly news to talk about the AI developments of the last month. DALL-E is increasingly popular, and being used in production. Google has built a robot that incorporates a large language model so that it can respond to verbal requests. And we’ve seen a plausible argument that natural language models can be made to reflect human values, without raising the question of consciousness or sentience.

For the first time in a long time we’re talking about the Internet of Things. We’ve got a lot of robots, and Chicago is attempting to make a “smart city” that doesn’t facilitate surveillance. We’re also seeing a lot in biology. Can we make a real neural network from cultured neurons? The big question for biologists is how long it will take for any of their research to make it out of the lab.

 

How will the Metaverse Influence Business and Legal Processes? — from jdsupra.com

Excerpt:

While some will be hesitant to use the metaverse and adoption is difficult to predict, it is not going away and will undoubtedly affect internal processes, business dealings, case strategy, and more. Organizations should start thinking about the possibilities now to be better prepared for future challenges. Below are some predictions on how the metaverse will influence operations, strategy, and investments across different areas of the enterprise.

Lawyers & the Metaverse — from joetechnologist.com by Elizabeth Beattie and Joseph Raczynski

Excerpt:

In a new Q&A interview, Thomson Reuters’ technologist and futurist Joseph Raczynski offers his insight about the Metaverse and how it will impact the legal industry.

I have likely spoken to thousands of lawyers over the last several years. They are extraordinarily bright, but with one limiting factor — their dedication to their craft. This means that they do not have the time to lift their heads to see what is coming. All these emerging technologies will impact their practices in some way, as well as the business of law. At a minimum, lawyers need the opportunity to focus on the big four: AI, blockchain, workflow, and the grab bag of general emerging technology. There are a multitude of places to learn about these things, but I would include some of the classics such as Google Alerts, Twitter threads on these topics, and magazines like Wired, which should be a staple for everyone.

These legal issues should be on college business officers’ radars — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
A panel at the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ annual meeting covered legal questions spanning many offices on campus.

Let’s not presume that virtual hearings are the best solution in family law — from canadianlawyermag.com by John Silvester

Excerpts:

Proponents argue that virtual hearings are less expensive for clients, leading to enhanced access to justice for those who cannot afford to pay for their lawyers to travel to a courthouse and then sit and wait for hearings to commence. Sounds reasonable, right?

Not so fast.

Virtual hearings are advantageous in some scenarios, but there are at least three reasons why moving to an almost entirely virtual legal world may prove problematic.

LawNext Podcast: CALI Executive Director John Mayer on Using Tech to Advance Legal Education and Access to Justice — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi and John Mayer

Excerpt:

In this episode of LawNext, Mayer joins host Bob Ambrogi to discuss the history and mission of CALI and to share his thoughts on the use of technology to enhance legal education. They also talk about how and why A2J Author was developed and how it is used by courts and legal services organizations to help those who are without legal representation. Mayer also shares his thoughts on the future of innovation in law and on the future of CALI.

Louisiana Approves Virtual Custody Services and Proposes Virtual Currency Business Licensing Rules — from natlawreview.com by Moorari Shah and A.J. S. Dhaliwal

Excerpt:

Recently, the Louisiana lawmakers and regulators have taken steps to legalize operations in the state involving virtual currencies. On June 15, the Louisiana governor signed a bill that, effective August 1, 2022, will allow financial institutions and trust companies to provide virtual currency custody services to their customers as long as they satisfy certain requirements on risk-management and compliance. On June 20, the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) published proposed rules on licensing and regulation of virtual currency businesses in the state pursuant to the Louisiana Virtual Currency Business Act, which went into effect on August 1, 2020.

 

I think we’ve run out of time to effectively practice law in the United States of America [Christian]


From DSC:
Given:

  • the accelerating pace of change that’s been occurring over the last decade or more
  • the current setup of the legal field within the U.S. — and who can practice law
  • the number of emerging technologies now on the landscapes out there

…I think we’ve run out of time to effectively practice law in the U.S. — at least in terms of dealing with emerging technologies. Consider the following items/reflections.


Inside one of the nation’s few hybrid J.D. programs — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Shannon Gardner, Syracuse law school’s associate dean for online education, talks about the program’s inaugural graduates and how it has evolved.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In May, Syracuse University’s law school graduated its first class of students earning a Juris Doctor degree through a hybrid program, called JDinteractive, or JDi. The 45 class members were part of almost 200 Syracuse students who received a J.D. this year, according to a university announcement.

The private nonprofit, located in upstate New York, won approval from the American Bar Association in 2018 to offer the three-year hybrid program.

The ABA strictly limits distance education, requiring a waiver for colleges that wish to offer more than one-third of their credits online. To date, the ABA has only approved distance education J.D. programs at about a dozen schools, including Syracuse.

Many folks realize this is the future of legal education — not that it will replace traditional programs. It is one route to pursue a legal education that is here to stay. I did not see it as pressure, and I think, by all accounts, we have definitely proven that it is and can be a success.

Shannon Gardner, associate dean for online education  


From DSC:
It was March 2018. I just started working as a Director of Instructional Services at a law school. I had been involved with online-based learning since 2001.

I was absolutely shocked at how far behind law schools were in terms of offering 100% online-based programs. I was dismayed to find out that 20+ years after such undergraduate programs were made available — and whose effectiveness had been proven time and again — that there were no 100%-online based Juris Doctor (JD) programs in the U.S. (The JD degree is what you have to have to practice law in the U.S. Some folks go on to take further courses after obtaining that degree — that’s when Masters of Law programs like LLM programs kick in.)

Why was this I asked? Much of the answer lies with the extremely tight control that is exercised by the American Bar Association (ABA). They essentially lay down the rules for how much of a law student’s training can be online (normally not more than a third of one’s credit hours, by the way).

Did I say it’s 2022? And let me say the name of that organization again — the American Bar Association (ABA).

Graphic by Daniel S. Christian

Not to scare you (too much), but this is the organization that is supposed to be in charge of developing lawyers who are already having to deal with issues and legal concerns arising from the following technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), algorithms, bots, and the like
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) and/or the Internet of Everything (IoE)
  • Extended Reality (XR) — Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Holographic communications
  • Big data
  • High-end robotics
  • The Metaverse
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • NFTs
  • Web3
  • Blockchain
  • …and the like

I don’t think there’s enough time for the ABA — and then law schools — to reinvent themselves. We no longer have that luxury. (And most existing/practicing lawyers don’t have the time to get up the steep learning curves involved here — in addition to their current responsibilities.)

The other option is to use teams of specialists, That’s our best hope. If the use of what’s called nonlawyers* doesn’t increase greatly, the U.S. has little hope of dealing with legal matters that are already arising from such emerging technologies. 

So let’s hope the legal field catches up with the pace of change that’s been accelerating for years now. If not, we’re in trouble.

* Nonlawyers — not a very complimentary term…
I hope they come up with something else.
Some use the term Paralegals.
I’m sure there are other terms as well. 


From DSC:
There is hope though. As Gabe Teninbaum just posted the resource below (out on Twitter). I just think the lack of responsiveness from the ABA has caught up with us. We’ve run out of time for doing “business as usual.”

Law students want more distance education classes, according to ABA findings — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

A recent survey of 1,394 students in their third year of law school found that 68.65% wanted the ability to earn more distance education credits than what their schools offered.


 


Ways that artificial intelligence is revolutionizing education — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

I was speaking with an aging schoolteacher who believes that AI is destroying education. They challenged me to come up with 26 ways that artificial intelligence (AI) is improving education, and instead, I came up with. They’re right here.


AI Startup Speeds Healthcare Innovations To Save Lives — from by Geri Stengel

Excerpt:

This project was a light-bulb moment for her. The financial industry had Bloomberg to analyze content and data to help investors uncover opportunities and minimize risk, and pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies needed something similar.



 

Metaverse, NFTs, Web3 And Virtual Land In The Sandbox — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So, what does Borget – undeniably one of the pioneers of the concept – think the metaverse actually is?

“For us, metaverse is really this myriad of worlds,” he tells me during our recent webinar conversation, “that users can experience through an avatar that becomes a 3D representation of themselves.”

These avatars are the key to unlocking “all sorts of new experiences … more creative, more immersive, unlike what we’ve seen before with traditional virtual worlds, where users can already socialize … here, what’s important is the ability of users to truly own their own identity, own their own belongings, digital assets, virtual land, houses … and are able to move that identity from one world to another without being constrained.”

“There will be millions of virtual worlds, places where users can take their avatars,” Borget continues. “What’s important is this ability to move from one to another while … keeping all their content they create in one and using it in others.”


Also see:

Metaverse Opportunities, risks and policy implications — from europarl.europa.eu by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)
Metaverse Opportunities, risks and policy implications

Summary:

One of the most talked about concepts in modern technology, the metaverse can be described as an immersive and constant virtual 3D world where people interact by means of an avatar to carry out a wide range of activities. Such activities can range from leisure and gaming to professional and commercial interactions, financial transactions or even health interventions such as surgery. While the exact scope and impact of the metaverse on society and on the economy is still unknown, it can already be seen that the metaverse will open up a range of opportunities but also a number of risks in a variety of policy areas.

Major tech companies are scaling up their metaverse activities, including through mergers and acquisitions. This has given impetus to a debate on how merger regulations and antitrust law should apply. Business in the metaverse is expected to be underpinned largely by cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, raising issues of ownership, misuse, interoperability and portability. Furthermore, the huge volume of data used in the metaverse raises a number of data protection and cybersecurity issues (e.g. how to collect user consent or protect avatars against identity theft).

There is considerable scope for a wide range of illegal and harmful behaviours and practices in the metaverse environment. This makes it essential to consider how to attribute responsibility, inter alia, for fighting illegal and harmful practices and misleading advertising practices, and for protecting intellectual property rights. Moreover, digital immersion in the metaverse can have severe negative impacts on health, especially for vulnerable groups, such as minors, who may require special protection. Finally, the accessibility and inclusiveness of the metaverse remain areas where progress has still to be made in order to create an environment of equal opportunities.


Also see the following from the Legal Talk Network — with Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell

  • Metavisting the Metaverse – Dennis and Tom plunge into the metaverse—its trends, current tech, and possibilities for the future.
  • The Wild World of NFTs – Dennis and Tom dive into these unique digital objects (art, video, and much more) and outline the issues surrounding their current hype and value in the real world.

 

Denis Kennedy and Tom Mighell -- run the Legal Talk Network podcast

 


 

From DSC:
An AI-backed platform will constantly search all job postings and present the most desired skills in the marketplace and then how to get those skills. The providers will be individuals, organizations, training providers, traditional institutions of higher education, vendors and more.

Depending upon what happens with blockchain — and if a much more energy-efficient/environmentally-friendly solution can be implemented — blockchain may be a part of that equation.

 

Will Learning Move into the Metaverse? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Pamela Hogle

Excerpt:

In its 2022 Tech Trends report, the Future Today Institute predicts that, “The future of work will become more digitally immersive as companies deploy virtual meeting platforms, digital experiences, and mixed reality worlds.”

Learning leaders are likely to spearhead the integration of their organizations’ workers into a metaverse, whether by providing training in using the tools that make a metaverse possible or through developing training and performance support resources that learners will use in an immersive environment.

Advantages of moving some workplace collaboration and learning into a metaverse include ease of scaling and globalization. The Tech Trends report mentions personalization at scale and easy multilingual translation as advantages of “synthetic media”—algorithmically generated digital content, which could proliferate in metaverses.

Also see:

Future Institute Today -- Tech Trends 2022


Also from learningsolutionsmag.com, see:

Manage Diverse Learning Ecosystems with Federated Governance

Excerpt:

So, over time, the L&D departments eventually go back to calling their own shots.

What does this mean for the learning ecosystem? If each L&D team chooses its own learning platforms, maintenance and support will be a nightmare. Each L&D department may be happy with the autonomy but learners have no patience for navigating multiple LMSs or going to several systems to get their training records.

Creating common infrastructure among dispersed groups
Here you have the problem: How can groups that have no accountability to each other share a common infrastructure?

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian