6 Free Tools for Evaluating Web Accessibility — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Can you evaluate your website’s accessibility on your own?

Not necessarily. To ensure conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you’ll need to test your content regularly by using both manual and automated tools. Ideally, manual tests should be performed by human testers who have disabilities.

However, as you learn about the concepts of WCAG, you can use free tools to test your website for common barriers. If you’re a web designer or developer, online tools can be a vital resource as you incorporate the best practices of inclusive design.

Below, we’ll discuss six free tools that can help you make better design decisions.

 

Some example components of a learning ecosystem [Christian]

A learning ecosystem is composed of people, tools, technologies, content, processes, culture, strategies, and any other resource that helps one learn. Learning ecosystems can be at an individual level as well as at an organizational level.

Some example components:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) such as faculty, staff, teachers, trainers, parents, coaches, directors, and others
  • Fellow employees
  • L&D/Training professionals
  • Managers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Librarians
  • Consultants
  • Types of learning
    • Active learning
    • Adult learning
    • PreK-12 education
    • Training/corporate learning
    • Vocational learning
    • Experiential learning
    • Competency-based learning
    • Self-directed learning (i.e., heutagogy)
    • Mobile learning
    • Online learning
    • Face-to-face-based learning
    • Hybrid/blended learning
    • Hyflex-based learning
    • Game-based learning
    • XR-based learning (AR, MR, and VR)
    • Informal learning
    • Formal learning
    • Lifelong learning
    • Microlearning
    • Personalized/customized learning
    • Play-based learning
  • Cloud-based learning apps
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Peer feedback
  • Job aids/performance tools and other on-demand content
  • Websites
  • Conferences
  • Professional development
  • Professional organizations
  • Social networking
  • Social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, other
  • Communities of practice
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including ChatGPT, learning agents, learner profiles, 
  • LMS/CMS/Learning Experience Platforms
  • Tutorials
  • Videos — including on YouTube, Vimeo, other
  • Job-aids
  • E-learning-based resources
  • Books, digital textbooks, journals, and manuals
  • Enterprise social networks/tools
  • RSS feeds and blogging
  • Podcasts/vodcasts
  • Videoconferencing/audio-conferencing/virtual meetings
  • Capturing and sharing content
  • Tagging/rating/curating content
  • Decision support tools
  • Getting feedback
  • Webinars
  • In-person workshops
  • Discussion boards/forums
  • Chat/IM
  • VOIP
  • Online-based resources (periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, and others)
  • Learning spaces
  • Learning hubs
  • Learning preferences
  • Learning theories
  • Microschools
  • MOOCs
  • Open courseware
  • Portals
  • Wikis
  • Wikipedia
  • Slideshare
  • TED talks
  • …and many more components.

These people, tools, technologies, etc. are constantly morphing — as well as coming and going in and out of our lives.

 

 

Top edtech trends in 2023 and the ASU example — from news.asu.edu

Excerpt:

In spite of our tendency to break things down into tidy time frames, like a new year or academic semester, change constantly turns over the status quo. Especially in the world of technology, where disruptive innovation may evolve rapidly from the fringe to the mainstream.

“At ASU’s Enterprise Technology, we work in spaces where technology is not just revolutionizing higher education, but the world at large,” said Lev Gonick, chief information officer at Arizona State University. “We strive to be proactive, not reactive, to new paradigms changing the ways in which we work, learn and thrive.”

As referenced by the above article:

Thus, the top higher education technology trends to watch out for in 2023 include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Digital Twins, the Metaverse (including digital avatars and NFT art for use in the Metaverse and other Web3-based virtual environments), Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Cloud, Gamification, and Chatbots. These technologies will support the expansion of the Digital Transformation of higher education going forward.

Also relevant/see:

 

 

A New Generation Of Mastery-Based Learning Platforms Has Arrived — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

Excerpt:

The $330 billion corporate training market is enormous, fragmented, and complex. For years it was dominated by Learning Management Systems (LMS) and content providers, each pioneered in the early 2000s. These systems served well, but the needs of employees and organizations moved ahead.

Today companies want not only a place to find and administer learning, they want a “Learning Platform” that creates mastery. And this market, that of “Learning Delivery Platforms,” is far more complex than you think. Let me put it straight: video-based chapter by chapter courses don’t teach you much. Companies want a solution that is expert-led, engaging, includes assignments and coaching, and connects employees to experts and peers.

Well there’s a new breed of platforms focused in this area, and I call them Capability Academy systems.

These are platforms explicitly to bring together expert teachers, AI-enabled collaboration, assignments, and coaching to drive mastery. They can train thousands of people in small cohorts, offering hands-on support for technical or PowerSkills topics. And the results are striking: these vendors achieve 90% completion rates and netPromoter scores above 60 (far above traditional content libraries).

6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2023 — from cultofpedagogy.com by Jennifer Gonzalez

Excerpt:

The guide is packed with tools that can meet so many of your needs as a teacher, and many of them are already well established and widely used. But every January, we like to choose six that we think deserve a little extra attention. Most are not actually brand-new to the world, but each one has something special about it. So here we go!

6 Google Scholar Tips From Its Co-Creator — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Google Scholar can be a great tool for teachers and their students. Here’s how to get the most out of it.

Excerpt:

Anurag Acharya co-created Google Scholar in 2004. The Google engineer and former professor of computer science at the University of California at Santa Barbara was inspired to create the free search tool after being frustrated by being unable to access research articles as a student at the Kharagpur campus of the Indian Institute of Technology.

Today, Acharya is head of Google Scholar and an authority on how the scholarly search engine can best be used by teachers and their students. He offers these tips and best practices for teachers to use and share with their students.

Instructional Designer: Tools of the Trade Webinar 3/8 (from Teaching: A Path to L&D) and tools of the trade

Teaching: A Path to L&D aims to provide free guidance to teachers looking to move into the world of Learning and Development, specifically Instructional Design. Check out our website at www.teachlearndev.org for free coaching, webinars, and resources to help you on your journey!

 

GPT Takes the Bar Exam — from papers.ssrn.com by Michael James Bommarito and Daniel Martin Katz; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for his tweet on this

Excerpt from the Abstract (emphasis DSC):

While our ability to interpret these results is limited by nascent scientific understanding of LLMs and the proprietary nature of GPT, we believe that these results strongly suggest that an LLM will pass the MBE component of the Bar Exam in the near future.

LLM — Large Language Model
MBE — Multistate Bar Examination

 

ChatGPT and The Professional’s Guide to Using AI — from linkedin.com by Allie K. Miller

Excerpt:

Real Ways Professionals Can Use ChatGPT to Improve Job Performance
Let’s dive into some real examples of how professionals across sales, marketing, product management, project management, recruiting, and teaching can take advantage of this new tool and leverage it for even more impact in their careers.

Teachers and ChatGPT

  1. Help with grading and feedback on student work.
    Example prompt: “Tell me every grammar rule that’s been violated in this student’s essay: [paste in essay]”
  2. Create personalized learning materials.
    Example prompt: “Help me explain photosynthesis to a 10th grade student in a way similar to sports.”
  3. Generate lesson plans and activities.
    Example prompt: “Create an activity for 50 students that revolves around how to learn the different colors of the rainbow.” or “Generate a lesson plan for a high school English class on the theme of identity and self-discovery, suitable for a 45-minute class period.”
  4. Write fake essays several reading levels below your class, then print them out, and have your students review and edit the AI’s work to make it better.
    Example prompt: “Generate a 5th grade level short essay about Maya Angelou and her work.”
  5. Providing one-on-one support to students.
    Example prompt: “How can I best empower an introverted student in my classroom during reading time?”

From DSC:
I haven’t tried these prompts. Rather I post this because I’m excited about the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help people teach and to help people to learn.

 

How AI And 5G Could Lead The Next Phase Of The Industrial Revolution — from swisscognitive.ch

Some use cases of the convergence of AI and 5G are:

  • Metaverse: AI is a key technology that helps bring Metaverse to life and now with the addition of 5G, streaming experiences would become enjoyable and maintaining connectivity without any disruption of external factors like geographical locations would be eliminated.
  • Digital assistants in the form of chatbots and virtual avatars: Digital assistants today use AI to replicate the human brain and converse with people in human language by understanding intent. With 5G the speed at which the speech is converted to text will improve drastically.
  • Education: AI and 5G are helping bring education to students’ doorstep through virtual reality and is making this available, efficiently as in real-world classrooms. Solving queries is possible quickly without any restrictions. Betty in Archie Comics attending her classes virtually is a reality due to these technologies.
  • Healthcare: AI and 5G in healthcare are proliferating an accurate diagnosis of diseases, real-time monitoring, and quick treatment facilities. This has become possible with the right use of data- collection, transmission, and analysis.
  • Automotive: AI and 5G together is making vehicles smarter and reducing the risk of mishaps on roads by employing various data-powered safety and driving efficiency measures in vehicles.

AI Timelines: What Do Experts in Artificial Intelligence Expect for the Future? — from singularityhub.com by Dr. Max Roser

Excerpt:

What I do take away from these surveys however, is that the majority of AI experts take the prospect of very powerful AI technology seriously. It is not the case that AI researchers dismiss extremely powerful AI as mere fantasy.

The huge majority thinks that in the coming decades there is an even chance that we will see AI technology which will have a transformative impact on our world. While some have long timelines, many think it is possible that we have very little time before these technologies arrive. Across the three surveys more than half think that there is a 50% chance that a human-level AI would be developed before some point in the 2060s, a time well within the lifetime of today’s young people.

Future Of Health: Top Five Digital Health Innovations For 2023 — from forbes.com by Anita Gupta

Excerpts:

  • Connected Digital Care
  • AI In Healthcare
  • Real-World Patient Engagement In Healthcare
  • Increase Security For Digital And Health Data
  • Improving Telehealth Services

Looking ahead to 2023: AI, machine learning, RTLS and robotic process automation — from healthcareitnews.com by Bill Siwicki
These advanced technologies will do more to help provider organizations with workflow optimization, staff shortages and the patient experience in the year ahead, one expert predicts.

Three reasons why NLP will go mainstream in healthcare in 2023 — from healthcareitnews.com by Bill Siwicki
A natural language processing expert explains why he feels the technology’s kinks have been ironed out, its ROI has been proven and the timing is right for healthcare to take advantage of information-extraction tools.

13 tech predictions for 2023 — from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders
What can you expect in the world of IT next year? Business and IT leaders share their thoughts

Analysts Predictions About AI In 2023 — from forbes.com by Gil Press

Excerpts:

  • Automated software development
  • Automated content and commerce
  • Enterprise governance, risk, sustainability and security
  • Consumer interactions and experiences

Top 5 Edge AI Trends to Watch in 2023 — from nvidia.com by Amanda Saunders

Excerpt:

Until now, AI has operated almost exclusively in the cloud. But increasingly diverse streams of data are being generated around the clock from sensors at the edge. These require real-time inference, which is leading more AI deployments to move to edge computing.

For airports, stores, hospitals and more, AI brings advanced efficiency, automation and even cost reduction, which is why edge AI adoption accelerated last year.

In 2023, expect to see a similarly challenging environment, which will drive the following edge AI trends.

Digital transformation: 5 trends to watch in 2023 — from enterprisersproject.com by Ritish Reddy
As enterprises continue to digitally transform, IT leaders must look toward the future. Expect to see these trends in 2023

 

How Skills Are Disrupting Work: The Transformational Power of Fast-Growing, In-Demand Skills — from burningglassinstitute.org by Nik Dawson, Alexandra Martin, Matt Sigelman, Gad Levanon, Stephanie Blochinger, Jennifer Thornton, and Janet Chen
A “State of Skills” Report from the Burning Glass Institute, the Business-Higher Education Forum, and Wiley

On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.

Excerpt:
By analyzing hundreds of millions of recent U.S. job postings, the Burning Glass Institute and the Business–Higher Education Forum (BHEF) identified four of the fastest-growing, highest-demand emerging skill sets:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Management
  • Social Media

These four skill sets serve as a laboratory for understanding what business and education leaders can do to prepare workers and students for skills disruption. To illustrate how programs can help learners and workers acquire essential skills, this report includes profiles of recent innovations from the BHEF network.

The future belongs to those who seek to understand, anticipate, and harness the power of emerging skills, rather than maintain a posture of reaction/response.

The prospect of helping all those who are challenged by skill disruption hinges on the readiness of business and higher education to engage in understanding and planning for skill disruption over the long term.

From DSC:
“On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.” That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about the exponential pace of change. It’s hard to deal with. Our institutions of education are not used to this pace of change. Our legal system isn’t used to this pace of change. And there are other industries struggling to keep up.

Should the pace of change be an element of our design when we think about using Design Thinking to create a new lifelong learning ecosystem?

 
 

“Tech predictions for 2023 and beyond” — from allthingsdistributed.com by Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer at Amazon

Excerpts:

  • Prediction 1: Cloud technologies will redefine sports as we know them
  • Prediction 2: Simulated worlds will reinvent the way we experiment
  • Prediction 3: A surge of innovation in smart energy
  • Prediction 4: The upcoming supply chain transformation
  • Prediction 5: Custom silicon goes mainstream
 

From DSC:
I was watching a sermon the other day, and I’m always amazed when the pastor doesn’t need to read their notes (or hardly ever refers to them). And they can still do this in a much longer sermon too. Not me man.

It got me wondering about the idea of having a teleprompter on our future Augmented Reality (AR) glasses and/or on our Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.  Or perhaps such functionality will be provided on our mobile devices as well (i.e., our smartphones, tablets, laptops, other) via cloud-based applications.

One could see one’s presentation, sermon, main points for the meeting, what charges are being brought against the defendant, etc. and the system would know to scroll down as you said the words (via Natural Language Processing (NLP)).  If you went off script, the system would stop scrolling and you might need to scroll down manually or just begin where you left off.

For that matter, I suppose a faculty member could turn on and off a feed for an AI-based stream of content on where a topic is in the textbook. Or a CEO or University President could get prompted to refer to a particular section of the Strategic Plan. Hmmm…I don’t know…it might be too much cognitive load/overload…I’d have to try it out.

And/or perhaps this is a feature in our future videoconferencing applications.

But I just wanted to throw these ideas out there in case someone wanted to run with one or more of them.

Along these lines, see:

.

Is a teleprompter a feature in our future Augmented Reality (AR) glasses?

Is a teleprompter a feature in our future Augmented Reality (AR) glasses?

 

How to Do Screen Recording with Just Your Browser — from Hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Do you know you can perform screen recording without using any native tool provided by your operating system or any 3rd party screen recording app?

Here’s an awesome screen recording tool by Google that you need to know about if you haven’t already. And all you need is your Google Chrome browser.

To start, go to the Google Admin Toolbox website and click on Screen Recorder.

Speaking of applications and tools, also see:

xrai.glass

 

Welcome To Day One Of #Appvent22 — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson

What is Book Creator? Tips & Tricks — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Book Creator is a free tool that allows users to create multimedia ebooks

Excerpt:

Book Creator is a free education tool designed to enable students to engage with class material in a direct and active way by creating multimedia ebooks with a variety of functions.

 Available as a web app on Chromebooks, laptops, and tablets, and also as a standalone iPad app, Book Creator is a digital resource that helps students explore their creative sides while learning.

The tool lends itself well to active learning and collaborative projects of all kinds, and is appropriate for various subjects and age groups.

 

From DSC:
I received an email the other day re: a TytoCare Exam Kit. It said (with some emphasis added by me):

With a TytoCare Exam Kit connected to Spectrum Health’s 24/7 Virtual Urgent Care, you and your family can have peace of mind and a quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment plan whenever you need it without having to leave your home.

Your TytoCare Exam Kit will allow your provider to listen to your lungs, look inside your ears or throat, check your temperature, and more during a virtual visit.

Why TytoCare?

    • Convenience – With a TytoCare Exam Kit and our 24/7/365 On-Demand Virtual Urgent Care there is no drive, no waiting room, no waiting for an appointment.
    • Peace of Mind – Stop debating about whether symptoms are serious enough to do something about them.
    • Savings – Without the cost of gas or taking off work, you get the reliable exams and diagnosis you need. With a Virtual Urgent Care visit you’ll never pay more than $50. That’s cheaper than an in-person urgent care visit, but the same level of care.

From DSC:
It made me reflect on what #telehealth has morphed into these days. Then it made me wonder (again), what #telelegal might become in the next few years…? Hmmm. I hope the legal field can learn from the healthcare industry. It could likely bring more access to justice (#A2J), increased productivity (for several of the parties involved), as well as convenience, peace of mind, and cost savings.


 

 

10 Must Read Books for Learning Designers — from linkedin.com by Amit Garg

Excerpt:

From the 45+ #books that I’ve read in last 2 years here are my top 10 recommendations for #learningdesigners or anyone in #learninganddevelopment

Speaking of recommended books (but from a more technical perspective this time), also see:

10 must-read tech books for 2023 — from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders (Editorial Team)
Get new thinking on the technologies of tomorrow – from AI to cloud and edge – and the related challenges for leaders

10 must-read tech books for 2023 -- from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders

 

A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing — from technologyreview.com by Will Douglas Heaven
Online videos are a vast and untapped source of training data—and OpenAI says it has a new way to use it.

Excerpt:

OpenAI has built the best Minecraft-playing bot yet by making it watch 70,000 hours of video of people playing the popular computer game. It showcases a powerful new technique that could be used to train machines to carry out a wide range of tasks by binging on sites like YouTube, a vast and untapped source of training data.

The Minecraft AI learned to perform complicated sequences of keyboard and mouse clicks to complete tasks in the game, such as chopping down trees and crafting tools. It’s the first bot that can craft so-called diamond tools, a task that typically takes good human players 20 minutes of high-speed clicking—or around 24,000 actions.

The result is a breakthrough for a technique known as imitation learning, in which neural networks are trained to perform tasks by watching humans do them.

The team’s approach, called Video Pre-Training (VPT), gets around the bottleneck in imitation learning by training another neural network to label videos automatically.

Speak lands investment from OpenAI to expand its language learning platform — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers

Excerpts:

“Most language learning software can help with the beginning part of learning basic vocabulary and grammar, but gaining any degree of fluency requires speaking out loud in an interactive environment,” Zwick told TechCrunch in an email interview. “To date, the only way people can get that sort of practice is through human tutors, which can also be expensive, difficult and intimidating.”

Speak’s solution is a collection of interactive speaking experiences that allow learners to practice conversing in English. Through the platform, users can hold open-ended conversations with an “AI tutor” on a range of topics while receiving feedback on their pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.

It’s one of the top education apps in Korea on the iOS App Store, with over 15 million lessons started annually, 100,000 active subscribers and “double-digit million” annual recurring revenue.

 

 

Is AI Generated Art Really Coming for Your Job? — from edugeekjournal.com by Matt Crosslin

Excerpt:

So, is this a cool development that will become a fun tool for many of us to play around with in the future? Sure. Will people use this in their work? Possibly. Will it disrupt artists across the board? Unlikely. There might be a few places where really generic artwork is the norm and the people that were paid very little to crank them out will be paid very little to input prompts. Look, PhotoShop and asset libraries made creating company logos very, very easy a long time ago. But people still don’t want to take the 30 minutes it takes to put one together, because thinking through all the options is not their thing. You still have to think through those options to enter an AI prompt. And people just want to leave that part to the artists. The same thing was true about the printing press. Hundreds of years of innovation has taught us that the hard part of the creation of art is the human coming up with the ideas, not the tools that create the art.

A quick comment from DSC:
Possibly, at least in some cases. But I’ve seen enough home-grown, poorly-designed graphics and logos to make me wonder if that will be the case.

 

How to Teach With Deep Fake Technology — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Despite the scary headlines, deep fake technology can be a powerful teaching tool

Excerpt:

The very concept of teaching with deep fake technology may be unsettling to some. After all, deep fake technology, which utilizes AI and machine learning and can alter videos and animate photographs in a manner that appears realistic, has frequently been covered in a negative light. The technology can be used to violate privacy and create fake videos of real people.

However, while these potential abuses of the technology are real and concerning that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to the technology’s potential when using it responsibly, says Jaime Donally, a well-known immersive learning expert.

From DSC:
I’m still not sure about this one…but I’ll try to be open to the possibilities here.

 

Educators Are Taking Action in AI Education to Make Future-Ready Communities — from edsurge.com by Annie Ning

Excerpt:

AI Explorations and Their Practical Use in School Environments is an ISTE initiative funded by General Motors. The program provides professional learning opportunities for educators, with the goal of preparing all students for careers with AI.

Recently, we spoke with three more participants of the AI Explorations program to learn about its ongoing impact in K-12 classrooms. Here, they share how the program is helping their districts implement AI curriculum with an eye toward equity in the classroom.

 

Stealth Legal AI Startup Harvey Raises $5M in Round Led By OpenAI — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A hitherto stealth legal AI startup emerged from the shadows today with news via TechCrunch that it has raised $5 million in funding led by the startup fund of OpenAI, the company that developed advanced neural network AI systems such as GPT-3 and DALL-E 2.

The startup, called Harvey, will build on the GPT-3 technology to enable lawyers to create legal documents or perform legal research by providing simple instructions using natural language.

The company was founded by Winston Weinberg, formerly an associate at law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and Gabriel Pereyra, formerly a research scientist at DeepMind and most recently a machine learning engineer at Meta AI.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian