Transforming the classroom with augmented learning — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Forbes documented the many ways that augmented reality (AR) has come to life in recent years. They list several award-winning apps that use AR. A few are:

  • The “Gatwick Airport Passenger” App, which helps passengers navigate the airport;
  • The “Dulux Visualizer” App, which  lets you virtually scan and paint your room any color you choose;
  • “Envisioned by the Mine” App, which lets you put 3D images of any type of accessory or furnishing in your home that Lowe’s offers;
  • “Sephora Virtual Artist”, which allows you to “put makeup on” without actually touching brush to face;
  • “Accuvein”, which doctors and nurses use to scan a patient’s vein network (it reduces escalations by 45%);
  • And, of course, there are apps like the “BIC DrawyBook App” just for fun.

But what about the classroom? Can we see a future in transforming the classroom with augmented learning?

From DSC:
Along the lines of developing creativity with edtech…

I saw another item recently about Book Creator, something that’s made this blog before. I love that type of tool because it promotes creativity, unleashes a student’s imagination, promotes their artwork and writing/storytelling and their musical or acting abilities, and it develops skills in design and developing multimedia-based artifacts. For teachers, it could be a nice project-based learning exercise. 

I asked our youngest daughter if she would like to use it…we’ll see. You can get a free account that allows you to publish up to 40 books. (Plus there is pricing for schools and districts.)

And who knows…? This type of thing might just produce the next J.K. Rowling or a J.J. Abrams.

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

 

AI voice actors sound more human than ever —and they’re ready to hire— from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao
A new wave of startups are using deep learning to build synthetic voice actors for digital assistants, video-game characters, and corporate videos.

Excerpt:

The company blog post drips with the enthusiasm of a ’90s US infomercial. WellSaid Labs describes what clients can expect from its “eight new digital voice actors!” Tobin is “energetic and insightful.” Paige is “poised and expressive.” Ava is “polished, self-assured, and professional.”

Each one is based on a real voice actor, whose likeness (with consent) has been preserved using AI. Companies can now license these voices to say whatever they need. They simply feed some text into the voice engine, and out will spool a crisp audio clip of a natural-sounding performance.

But the rise of hyperrealistic fake voices isn’t consequence-free. Human voice actors, in particular, have been left to wonder what this means for their livelihoods.

And below are a couple of somewhat related items:

Amazon’s latest voice interoperability move undermines Google — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
With a new toolkit, Amazon is making it easier to build devices that run multiple voice assistants — weakening one of Google’s key arguments against licensing the Google Assistant for such scenarios.

People should be able to pick whatever assistant they prefer for any given task, simply by invoking different words, Rubenson said. “We think it’s critical that customers have choice and flexibility,” he said. “Each will have their own strengths and capabilities.”

Protocol Next Up — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
Defining the future of tech and entertainment with Janko Roettgers.

Voice is becoming a true developer ecosystem. Amazon now has more than 900,000 registered Alexa developers, who collectively have built over 130,000 Alexa skills. And those skills are starting to show up in more and more places: “We now have hundreds of physical products” with Alexa built in, Alexa Voice Service & Alexa Skills VP Aaron Rubenson told me this week.

 

In each episode of this podcast, Eric Mazur and Robyn Brinks Lockwood answer a frequently asked question about flipping instruction in higher education.

Flipping Higher Ed | FAQs with Eric Mazur and Robyn Brinks Lockwood — from BAM Radio Network

Description:

The COVID-19 pandemic forced higher education faculty around the world to stop and rethink how to teach their courses. For many, this was the first time they had given any serious thought to the science and art of teaching. The pandemic created a new universe of educators who are new to Flipped Learning and want to learn more about how to do it well. In each episode of this podcast, Eric Mazur and Robyn Brinks Lockwood answer a frequently asked question about flipping instruction in higher education.

 

So this is what my new Streaming TV studio looks like – I call it ‘Keynote Television’ — from futuristgerd.com by Gerd Leonhard

Excerpt:

Many of you have asked me how I do my online keynotes, specifically my green screens, lights, virtual backgrounds etc. So here are some pictures and below is a short video from Twitter but the bottom line is… it’s complicated and took me some 6 months to learn it all:)). But well worth it: Keynote Television rocks!

Gerd Leonhard's studio where he makes what he calls Keynote Television

From DSC:
I was one of those people who asked Gerd if he would tell teachers, professors, trainers, IDs, and others how he does what he does. Thanks Gerd for sharing this information! May it be a blessing to many!

 

From DSC:
While checking out an edition of innovation & tech today, the following sites caught me eye.

LearnWorlds looks intriguing to me. It will be interesting to see how teachers, professors, trainers, instructional designers, artists, coaches, and more make their living in the future. I’m pulse-checking the area of learning platforms and posting items re: it so that we can stay informed on these trends.

Learn Worlds dot com -- create and sell online courses from your own website

Learn Worlds dot com -- create and sell online courses from your own website

Also from LearnWorlds:

 


Also see:

Thinkific’s powerful, all-in-one platform makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love.

thinkific.com -- an online learning platform

 

HyFlex Learning from an Undergraduate Student’s Perspective: Positives and Pitfalls — from hyflexlearning.org by Ashley Peterson

Excerpt:

HyFlex learning: the learning method none of us expected, nor was quite ready for. On March 12, 2020, my school, the University of St. Thomas, announced that we would be transitioning to online learning for a few weeks – maybe even longer. That following fall semester was when HyFlex learning kicked into high gear, giving us students control over choosing the learning modality that worked for our needs. Though HyFlex learning came as a surprise, sometimes the least expected things are the most worthwhile. With over a year of online/HyFlex learning under my belt, I am now reflecting on the positives and the pitfalls of the time spent inside and outside the classroom as a college student.

Also see:

 

Could VR Stadiums Be The Future Of Live Esports? — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick
Virtex wants to revolutionize the way we view live esports by replicating the IRL stadium experience in VR.

Virtex wants to revolutionize the way we view live esports by replicating the IRL stadium experience in VR.

Also see:

  • Augmented, Virtual Realties Hold Promise for Government — from govtech.com
    Excerpts:
    From firefighting and social services to increased accessibility, public-sector agencies are using virtual and augmented reality to improve how staff train to interact with citizens — and it’s only the beginning.

    From field operations to personnel training to service delivery, “there are a lot of opportunities to improve government through these immersive experiences,” she said. While state and local governments are still in the early stages of AR and VR adoption, a number of emerging use cases suggest the technology’s potential power.
 

Better Questions in the Classroom Lead Students to Think Harder—and Learn Deeper — from edsurge.com by Staci Bradbury and Rebekah Berlin

Excerpt:

The takeaway here is that teachers should ask questions and design tasks that require students to engage in effortful thinking. This “teacher action,” as we like to call it, is one of the ways in which Deans for Impact has operationalized the vast body of research about how people learn in a way that teachers can use.

Also see:

Before providing evidence to support that claim, a quick recap of our organizational journey. Two years ago, we launched the Learning by Scientific Design (LbSD) Network to begin the vital—albeit challenging—work of redesigning how teachers are prepared. This effort is informed by principles of learning science and taking place in what is now a network of 10 educator-preparation programs across the country. More than 70 faculty are working with us to change the arc of experiences that teacher-candidates receive as they prepare to become teachers.

 

Global EdTech Funding 2021 – Half Year Update — from holoniq.com
A record half year in EdTech funding with 568 rounds raising $10B of investment as, ready or not, the world turns to technology to support learning and education delivery.

Global EdTech Funding 2021 - Half Year Update -- from HolonIQ.com

 

A LIFETIME OF LEARNING — from continuum.uw.edu

Excerpts:

The 60-year curriculum is the modern approach to a lifetime of learning. Getting a degree, getting a job and never setting foot in a classroom again are not today’s reality.

A discussion paper from the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in the next 10 to 15 years, the need for new tech skills will accelerate. We will also need people who will develop, innovate and adapt those technologies. The paper asserts that, right now, 80% of the workforce doesn’t have the skills for most of the jobs that will be available in the next five to 10 years.

The 60-year curriculum. Lifetime learning is now a requirement.

From DSC:
It would be good to integrate more vocational types of pathways/items in here as well.

 
 

Combining Online Courses With In-Person Supports, ‘Hybrid Colleges’ Unite — from by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Over the past decade, brick-and-mortar outposts have popped up across the U.S. to offer students who take online college courses a physical space to study and interact. In Denver, there’s a suite in an office complex. In Austin, there’s an airy hall that resembles a co-working facility. In Philadelphia, there’s room in a modern high-rise.

Calling themselves “hybrid colleges,” these mini campus centers have set big goals for themselves, such as bringing college within reach for people historically left out of higher education.

Now, more than a dozen of these nonprofits are strengthening their bonds and committing to shared goals by creating the Hybrid College Network.

Also see:

The Hybrid College Network -- two people studying/working together

 

Planning for a blended future: A research-driven guide for educators — from everylearnereverywhere.org by Every Learner Everywhere in partnership with Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)

Excerpt:

The purpose of this guide
This resource is a collaboration among the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advances (DETA), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the Every Learner Everywhere Network. It is designed to serve as a resource for educators — faculty, instructors, instructional staff, instructional improvement staff, instructional designers, learning experience designers and developers, technological support staff, and other stakeholders — to guide strategic planning for blended learning courses and programs.

Therefore, blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning. Students feel they are successful when they actually learn and that does not always equate to grade and course completion.

Blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning.

KEY IDEAS

  1. Designing courses to meaningfully integrate the different environments and temporal cadence (online and onsite, live and overtime) while incorporating an active learning approach can improve student outcomes in blended and hybrid courses.
  2. Faculty must become guides for students and their engagement by intentionally and strategically using a variety of modalities to scaffold learning.
  3. By designing and scaffolding blended courses effectively, faculty can avoid the common pitfall of course and-a-half-syndrome, which occurs when the online portion of a course is tacked on, creating busywork for students.
 

Teaching: Why an Active-Learning Evangelist Is Sold on Online Teaching — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpts:

Now, says Mazur, the results are in and he’s convinced: online teaching is better. Not in all circumstances, to be sure. But in his applied-physics courses, students showed larger learning gains and felt more supported than students had in in-person classes. In fact, they appear to have learned so much more effectively in this new format that he wonders if it’s “almost unethical,” to return to the classroom this fall.

“I have never been able to offer a course of the quality that I’m offering now,” he says. “I am convinced that there is no way I could do anything close to what I’m doing in person. Online teaching is better than in person.”

One benefit of this setup, says Mazur, is that students go at their own pace. He has thought a lot about how classroom-based work, even when it is student-led, is hostage to the clock and the instructor. Not every group works at the same pace, yet everyone has to wait until others are ready, or rush ahead when they fall behind. When groups set their own pace, it gives them the space to work through problems or get help as needed. The value of self-paced learning is also evident outside of class, says Mazur, who built more asynchronous work into his online course.

“I have never seen students work this hard for my course,” he says. “Never. And so consistently.”

Also see:

A snapshot of Eric Mazur's physics class from Canvas.

But he’s so convinced of how valuable this model is that he asked Harvard to allow him to keep teaching online this fall. 

Also relevant/see:

 

Student Experiences Learning with Technology in the Pandemic — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

However, as most institutions pivoted to remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, we also pivoted to conduct a special fall 2020 study to gain insights on the student experience during what has been an exceptional time of disruption. In this report, we share results from the study related to student experiences with technology in the for-credit courses they were taking in fall 2020 in which they felt they were learning the most. Specifically, we asked students to think about their best course—the one in which they learned the most—and tell us about the learning environments and modalities of those courses, as well as instructors’ uses of technology in, the organizational and design features of, and the most and least effective uses of technology they experienced in those courses.1

Steps You Can Take
Institutional leaders should consider the following steps as they continue to respond to the most immediate needs of students and plan for a post-pandemic future.

  • Invest in the design, development, and implementation of hybrid course models and the people who support them.
  • Connect faculty with instructional designers and instructional technologists.
  • Put students at the center of your teaching.

The best student experiences were the ones that were focused on student learning experiences and did so from a position of empathy, care, and flexibility. If we learn one thing from higher education’s pandemic year it’s that higher education needs to invest in promoting caring, student-centered, and adaptive pedagogies.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian