Entrepreneur Education Platform GeniusU Raises $1.5M Seed Funding at $250M Valuation — from edtechreview.in ed by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Genius Group has recently announced that its EdTech arm, GeniusU Ltd, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round to support the development of its Genius Metaversity virtual learning plans.

With the fresh funding, GeniusU plans to extend its courses and programs to interactive learning environments in the metaverse, with students and faculty connecting and learning in global classrooms and virtual 3D environments. It also plans to integrate each student’s AI-based virtual assistant ‘Genie’ into the metaverse as 3D virtual assistants that accompany each student on their personalized journey and integrate its GEMs (Genius Education Merits) student credits into the metaverse. GEMs are earned by students as they learn and can be spent on products and services within GeniusU and counting towards their certifications.

 

Best Free Virtual Escape Rooms for Schools — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo
Virtual escape rooms incorporate riddles, puzzles, math, logic, and literacy skills to create an exciting adventure in education.

Excerpt:

Virtual escape rooms are a form of gamified learning that incorporates riddles, puzzles, math, logic, and literacy skills to create an exciting adventure in education. Students demonstrate their skills and knowledge in order to unlock each level, eventually earning their liberation. Some escape rooms are one-page affairs, while others weave an intricate backstory to enthrall players. Many also offer hints when an incorrect answer is given, thereby encouraging kids to persevere until success is achieved.

There’s no charge for any of these virtual escape rooms, so feel free to free yourself, for free!

Also relevant/see:

Storybird Lesson Plan — from techlearning.com by Stephanie Smith Budhai, Ph.D.
This Storybird Lesson Plan is designed to help educators utilize a digital learning platform to support teaching and learning

Excerpt:

Storybird is an attractive and easy-to-use reading and writing online edtech tool with beautiful images to inspire students as they develop their literacy skills. Storybird goes beyond reading online books, and provides an accessible platform for learners of all ages to engage in a wide variety of reading and writing genres including descriptive, creative, and persuasive writing as well as longform stories, flash fiction, poetry, and comics.

For an overview of Storybird, check out What is Storybird for Education? Best Tips and Tricks. This sample lesson plan is geared toward fiction storytelling writing instruction for elementary students.

 

The amazing opportunities of AI in the future of the educational metaverse [Darbinyan]

The amazing opportunities of AI in the future of the educational metaverse — from forbes.com by Rem Darbinyan

Excerpt:

Looking ahead, let’s go over several potential AI-backed applications of the metaverse that can empower the education industry in many ways.

Multilingual Learning Opportunities
Language differences may be a real challenge for students from different cultures as they may not be able to understand and keep up with the materials and assignments. Artificial intelligence, VR and AR technologies can enhance multilingual accessibility for learners no matter where they are in the world. Speech-to-text, text-to-speech and machine translation technologies enrich the learning process and create more immersive learning environments.

AI can process multiple languages simultaneously and provide real-time translations, enabling learners to engage with the materials in the language of their choice. With the ability to instantly transcribe speech across multiple languages, artificial intelligence removes any language barriers for students, enabling them to be potentially involved, learn and communicate in any language.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education Market size exceeded USD 1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 40% between 2021 and 2027. (source)

Along the lines of innovation within our educational learning ecosystems, see:

3 Questions for Coursera’s Betty Vandenbosch & U-M’s Lauren Atkins Budde on XR — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kiim
How might extended reality shape the future of learning?

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

[Lauren Atkins Budde] “Being able to embed quality, effective extended reality experiences into online courses is exponentially a game-changer. One of the persistent constraints of online learning, especially at scale, is how do learners get hands-on practice? How do they experience specific contexts and situations? How do they learn things that are best experienced? XR provides that opportunity for actively doing different kinds of tasks, in various environments, in ways that would otherwise not be possible. It will open up  Lauren Atkins Buddeboth how we teach online and also what we teach online.”

These courses are really exciting and cover a broad range of disciplines, which is particularly important. To choose the right subjects, we did an extensive review of insights from industry partners, learners and market research on in-demand and emerging future-of-work skills and then paired that with content opportunities where immersive learning is really a value-add and creates what our learning experience designers call “embodied learning.”

Addendum on 5/1/22:
Can the Metaverse Improve Learning? New Research Finds Some Promise — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

“The findings support a deeper understanding of how creating unique educational experiences that feel real (i.e., create a high level of presence) through immersive technology can influence learning through different affective and cognitive processes including enjoyment and interest,” Mayer and his colleagues write.

 

Why gamified learning works so well for gifted children — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

The gamification of learning can be critical for gifted children in particular, who often struggle to stay focused, engaged, and challenged in a traditional educational environment. Gamification can be so effective in gifted education because the learner forgets they are “working” and instead feels they are “playing.” It allows the gifted brain to relax into the “flow” of learning, and more effectively use their intellect for problem solving and creativity.

Also see:

Synthesis dot com


Addendum on 4/27/22:

Homeschooling our gifted children: The power of artful questions — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Examples of artful questions for learning:

  • Why do you think that might have happened?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • What did you notice about that?
  • What would you suggest we do instead?
  • That’s a good point. How can you reconcile these two things?
  • Do you have an idea for how we could make this better?

From DSC:
Perhaps we should post those types of questions up on the walls of many board rooms and conference rooms around the nation…or have it be a slide in a presentation…or…

 

Fun Math Games For Kids To Play At Home — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

Games in math learning can encourage students to explore these concepts, from number concepts, such as counting sequence, one-to-one correspondence, and computation strategies to number combinations, patterns, place value and other essential math concepts. They also offer students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of mathematics and reasoning. The teacher should provide repeated opportunities for students to play games and then allow mathematical ideas to emerge as students notice new models, relationships and strategies.

 

Gamifying Workplace Learning the Right Way, with Karl Kapp -- by Amit Garg

Gamifying Workplace Learning the Right Way, with Karl Kapp — from upsidelearning.com by Amit Garg
In this podcast, Amit Garg, a business leader focused on building impactful workplace learning solutions, speaks with L&D experts from across the globe. Together, they explore topics aimed at enabling L&D professionals to stay ahead and go beyond the ordinary. If you are constantly intrigued by how workplace learning can be leveraged to help people develop in an organization, this podcast is for you.

 

Now we just need a “Likewise TV” for learning-related resources! [Christian]

Likewise TV Brings Curation to Streaming — from lifewire.com by Cesar Aroldo-Cadenas
And it’s available on iOS, Android, and some smart TVs

All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

Entertainment startup Likewise has launched a new recommendations hub that pulls from all the different streaming platforms to give you personalized picks.

Likewise TV is a streaming hub powered by machine learning, people from the Likewise community, and other streaming services. The service aims to do away with mindlessly scrolling through a menu, looking for something to watch, or jumping from one app to another by providing a single location for recommendations.

Note that Likewise TV is purely an aggregator.


Also see:

Likewise TV -- All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

 


From DSC:
Now we need this type of AI-based recommendation engine, aggregator, and service for learning-related resources!

I realize that we have a long ways to go here — as a friend/former colleague of mine just reminded me that these recommendation engines often miss the mark. I’m just hoping that a recommendation engine like this could ingest our cloud-based learner profiles and our current goals and then present some promising learning-related possibilities for us. Especially if the following graphic is or will be the case in the future:


Learning from the living class room


Also relevant/see:

From DSC:
Some interesting/noteworthy features:

  • “The 32- inch display has Wi-Fi capabilities to supports multiple streaming services, can stream smartphone content, and comes with a removable SlimFit Cam.”
  • The M8 has Wi-Fi connectivity for its native streaming apps so you won’t have to connect to a computer to watch something on Netflix. And its Far Field Voice mic can be used w/ the Always On feature to control devices like Amazon Alexa with your voice, even if the monitor is off.
  • “You can also connect devices to the monitor via the SmartThings Hub, which can be tracked with the official SmartThings app.”

I wonder how what we call the TV (or television) will continue to morph in the future.


Addendum on 3/31/22 from DSC:
Perhaps people will co-create their learning playlists…as is now possible with Spotify’s “Blend” feature:

Today’s Blend update allows you to share your personal Spotify playlists with your entire group chat—up to 10 users. You can manually invite these friends and family members to join you from in the app, then Spotify will create a playlist for you all to listen to using a mixture of everyone’s music preferences. Spotify will also create a special share card that everyone in the group can use to save and share the created playlist in the future.


 

How Virtual Reality Can Be More Accessible with WalkinVR — from equalentry.com by Meryl Evans

Excerpt:

In another scenario, you can’t reach up high. Or maybe you can’t hold the virtual reality controllers or press the buttons.

WalkinVR Driver  fills in the gap. It’s a free driver that enhances virtual reality to work with the person’s abilities and preferences. One option is the Xbox Controller Move , which allows you to connect a standard Xbox video game controller to the game.

Also relevant/see:

Which Types of Colleges Have the Most Undergraduates With Disabilities? — from chronicle.com

Excerpt:

Here’s a sector-by-sector look at the percentage of undergraduates who reported a disability to the campus’s office of disability services, or a similar office, in the academic years 2016-17 to 2019-20. Undergraduate students with disabilities are those who reported that they had one or more of the following conditions: a specific learning disability, a visual impairment, a hearing difficulty or deafness, a speech impairment, an orthopedic impairment, or another health impairment. The diversity and related offices provide these students with such services as note-takers and American Sign Language interpreters.

Addendum later on 3/17/22:

Assistive technology personalizes the learning environment — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

We talk a lot about personalized learning and how it can benefit learners by providing them with more detailed instruction catered to their needs. It helps them overcome learning challenges and achieve their educational goals.

We’ve also discussed assistive technologies – technologies designed to aid students with learning difficulties and other disabilities, understand and retain knowledge to improve their learning outcomes. The two can go hand-in-hand, as assistive technology can help all students receive a more personalized learning experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that AT is used in the classroom and its personalized learning.

 

Tapping the Potential of Learning Through Play in STEAM Programs — from techlearning.com by Ray Bendici
Encouraging purposeful play through tools such as LEGO Education to engage students and improve STEAM learning outcomes

Excerpt:

We know children thrive through play, but did you know that learning through play is a powerful research-backed strategy to boost student engagement in the classroom?

“When students are playing, they’re unlocking their natural curiosity and finding their joy in learning,” said Dr. Jenny Nash, Head of Education Impact, US, for LEGO Education, during a recent virtual Tech & Learning roundtable discussion. “And when students learn in a purposeful, hands-on way it builds their confidence, and lessons can really become more motivating and meaningful. Purposeful play is rooted in pedagogical approaches, such as project-based learning, and it’s really known to increase student learning outcomes.”

 

This Hilarious AR App Teaches Kids Financial Responsibility — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

Excerpts:

Adventures with Zeee Bucks is a mobile AR experience that is designed to help youngsters sharpen their financial skills by earning and saving Zeee bucks, and even help them save real money.

You can download the app today for free on the iOS and Android stores.

 

You Sleuth = The game of Clue + Augmented Reality (AR)

You Sleuth is a family-friendly outdoor game that requires a moderate amount of walking. You can play by yourself or with a group of friends or family. If you are looking for something new that will stimulate your mind while sneaking in a little exercise and fresh air then register today. Read the rest of the FAQ for more details about how You Sleuth works.


From DSC:
What might this look/work like for learning-related applications? Also, if you are studying to be an actor or actress, might there be some new opportunities for you here!? If you are a writer, might there be some new sorts of collaborations opening up here? As the next version of the internet is developed, what new affordances/opportunities might exist in this area?


 

How I use Minecraft to help kids with autism — from ted.com by Stuart Duncan; with thanks to Dr. Kate Christian for this resource

Description:

The internet can be an ugly place, but you won’t find bullies or trolls on Stuart Duncan’s Minecraft server, AutCraft. Designed for children with autism and their families, AutCraft creates a safe online environment for play and self-expression for kids who sometimes behave a bit differently than their peers (and who might be singled out elsewhere). Learn more about one of the best places on the internet with this heartwarming talk.

 

Below are two excerpted snapshots from Stuart’s presentation:

Stuart Duncan speaking at TEDX York U

These are the words autistic students used to describe their experience with Stuart's Minecraft server

 

Exploring Virtual Reality [VR] learning experiences in the classroom — from blog.neolms.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

With the start of a new year, it is always a great time to explore new ideas or try some new methods that may be a bit different from what we have traditionally done. I always think it is a great opportunity to stretch ourselves professionally, especially after a break or during the spring months.

Finding ways to boost student engagement is important, and what I have found is that by using tools like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), we can immerse students in unique and personalized learning experiences. The use of augmented and virtual reality has increased in K-12 and Higher Ed, especially during the past two years, as educators have sought new ways to facilitate learning and give students the chance to connect more with the content. The use of these technologies is increasing in the workplace, as well.

With all of these technologies, we now have endless opportunities to take learning beyond what has been a confined classroom “space” and access the entire world with the right devices.

 

The Trends Driving Educational Technology’s Expansion and Growth — from realclearmarkets.com by Rick Amato; with thanks to Michael Moe for this resource

Excerpt:

According to the EdTech Market: Global Industry Analysis, Trends, Market Size, and Forecasts up to 2027 report from ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global educational technology market was valued at around $85 Billion in 2021 and is expected to reach approx $218 billion in 2027, growing with a CAGR of around 17% during the forecast period from 2021-2027. When a tech sector is expected to more than double its size over the next few years, it means the rest of us need to pay attention.

 

10 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Arts and Culture — from ditchthattextbook.com

Excerpt:

Google Arts and Culture is a massive collection of videos and images of cultural artifacts from over 2,000 museums around the world. But virtually visiting art exhibits is just one of the many things you can do with Google Arts and Culture. From virtually displaying life-sized art inside your house to playing in a blob opera, Google Arts and Culture runs an impressive gamut of ways to explore culture from your own home or classroom.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian