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.

 

Future Today Institute's 2022 Tech and Science Trends Report is now available

The Future Today Institute’s 15th Anniversary Tech Trends Report

Excerpt:

Future Today Institute’s 2022 Tech and Science Trends Report is now available. Downloaded more than 1 million times each year, FTI’s annual Tech Trends Report is a must-read for every industry. Learn the key trends impacting finance, insurance, transportation, healthcare, sports, logistics, telecom, work, government and policy, security, privacy, education, agriculture, entertainment, music, CPG, hospitality and dining, ESGs, climate, space and more. Discover critical insights. See what strategic action you can take on the futures, today.

 

6 trends are driving the use of #metaverse tech today. These trends and technologies will continue to drive its use over the next 3 to 5 years:

1. Gaming
2. Digital Humans
3. Virtual Spaces
4. Shared Experiences
5. Tokenized Assets
6. Spatial Computing
#GartnerSYM

.

“Despite all of the hype, the adoption of #metaverse tech is nascent and fragmented.” 

.

Also relevant/see:

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Next Internet Revolution Is Not the Metaverse. It’s This — from inc.com by Nick Hobson
The metaverse is just too wacky and weird to be the next big thing. Tim Cook is betting on AR.

Excerpts:

While he might know a thing or two about radical tech, to him it’s unconvincing that the average person sufficiently understands the concept of the metaverse enough to meaningfully incorporate it into their daily life.

The metaverse is just too wacky and weird.

And, according to science, he might be on to something.

 

World’s fastest internet network upgraded to 46 Terabit/s — from inavateonthenet.net

The worlds fastest internet network upgraded to 46 Terabit/s - this picture shows telecomm cables

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Energy Sciences Network (Esnet), the fastest internet network in the US, has been upgraded to ESnet6, and now offers a bandwidth of 46 Terabits per second (Tbps).

To put this in to context, the average speed enjoyed by consumers at home is 100 or 200 Megabits per second (Mbps), ESnet6 is equivalent to 46 million Mbps.

 

This Company Aims to Become the Amazon of Lifelong Learning — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Singapore-based company Genius Group has turned some of its attention to the U.S. edtech market recently.

While some companies have seen layoffs, the Genius Group lifelong learning platform is growing among users at a rate of greater than 50 percent, they claim. Currently, it has 2.7 million students across 200 countries, according to its website.

But we decided that rather than looking to solve the problem for just some, if we could be one of the companies that was looking to solve it for all, that would be a great market opportunity for us. And at the same time, it would be something which would enable us to attract the best educators, and the best content creators from around the world as well.

[The intent was] to really tackle the full, lifelong learning journey that we’re on, and to put in place a pathway, and more importantly, a platform that would enable anyone to be able to come and take their curriculum, bring it on board, and in the same way that YouTube allows anyone to be a creator.


Also from Edsurge.com, see:


 

Radar Trends to Watch: October 2022 — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides
Developments in Machine Learning, Metaverse, Web3, and More

Excerpt:

September was a busy month. In addition to continued fascination over art generation with DALL-E and friends, and the questions they pose for intellectual property, we see interesting things happening with machine learning for low-powered processors: using attention, mechanisms, along with a new microcontroller that can run for a week on a single AA battery. In other parts of the technical universe, “platform engineering” has been proposed as an alternative to both DevOps and SRE. We’ve seen demonstrations of SQL injection-like attacks against GPT-3; and companies including Starbucks, Chipotle, and Universal Studios are offering NFT-based loyalty programs. (In addition to a Chipotle’s steak grilling demo in the Metaverse.)

Also relevant/see:

General AI News — from essentials.news

 

Also relevant/see the following post I created roughly a month ago:

In the USA, the perspectives of the ABA re: online-based learning — and their take on the pace of change — are downright worrisome.

In that posting I said:

For an industry in the 21st century whose main accreditation/governance body for law schools still won’t let more online learning occur without waivers…how can our nation expect future lawyers and law firms to be effective in an increasingly tech-enabled world?

The pace of the ABA is like that of a tortoise, while the pace of change is exponential

 

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.

 

Learning 3.0: A data-fueled, equitable future for corporate learning — from chieflearningofficer.com by Marc Ramos and Marc Zao-Sanders
Learning pedagogy, technology and practice inevitably draw on (but tend to lag behind) the developments of the web, the world’s main stage for advancement and innovation.

Excerpts:

Tomorrow could be extraordinary. Many of the crowning jewels of Web 3.0 and web3 have been designed to be open source, user-friendly and ship with APIs, such as OpenAI’s GPT3, which generates natural language to an expert human level, seemingly at will. This means that the time between the launch of cutting-edge technology and it reaching corporate learning will decrease substantially. Learning might finally advance from the back seat to a board seat. There is already a growing list of GPT3 content creation tools that will impact creators, publishers, academic and corporate education materials as well as the design process.

We’re less than five years from this. The technology is here already. What’s missing is the data.

 

 

Matthew Ball on the metaverse: We’ve never seen a shift this enormous — protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
The leading metaverse theorist shares his thoughts on the sudden rise of the concept, its utility for the enterprise and what we still get wrong about the metaverse.

Excerpts:

What are the biggest misconceptions about the metaverse?
First, the idea that the metaverse is immersive virtual reality, such as an Oculus or Meta Quest. That’s an access device. It would be akin to saying the mobile internet is a smartphone.

We should think of the metaverse as perhaps changing the devices we use, the experiences, business models, protocols and behaviors that we enjoy online. But we’ll keep using smartphones, keyboards. We don’t need to do all video conferences or all calls in 3D. It’s supplements and complements, doesn’t replace everything.

Also relevant/see:

A former Amazon exec thinks Disney will win the metaverse — from protocol.com by

Excerpt:

This month, Ball is publishing his book, “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything.” The work explains in detail what the metaverse is all about and which shifts in tech, business and culture need to fall into place for it to come into existence.

How will the metaverse change Hollywood? In his book, Ball argues that people tend to underestimate the changes new technologies will have on media and entertainment.

  • Instead of just seeing a movie play out in 360 degrees around us, we’ll want to be part of the movie and play a more active role.
  • One way to achieve that is through games, which have long blurred the lines between storytelling and interactivity. But Ball also predicts there will be a wide range of adjacent content experiences, from virtual Tinder dates in the “Star Wars” universe to Peloton rides through your favorite movie sets.

Addendum on 7/24/22:

Neurodiversity, Inclusion And The Metaverse — from workdesign.com by Derek McCallum

Excerpt:

Innovation in virtual and augmented reality platforms and the vast opportunities connected to the metaverse are driving innovation in nearly every industry. In the workplace, future-focused companies are increasingly exploring ways to use this nascent technology to offer workers more choices and better support for neurodiverse employees.

It would be nearly impossible to list all the challenges and opportunities associated with this technology in a single article, so I’ll keep things focused on an area that is top-of-mind right now as many of us start to make our way back into the office—the workplace. The truth is, while we can use our expertise and experience to anticipate outcomes, no one truly knows what the metaverse will become and what the wide-ranging effects will be. At the moment, the possibilities are exciting and bring to mind more questions than answers. As a principal and hands-on designer in a large, diverse practice, my hope is that we will be able to collectively harness the inherent opportunities of the metaverse to support richer, more accessible human experiences across all aspects of the built environment, and that includes the workplace.


 

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

 


 

Coursera’s Global Skills Report

Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

Here are some of our top findings:

  • Digital skills are the shared language of the modern economy.
  • Women’s participation continued to rise.
  • The developing world had the highest rate of learner growth.
  • Lower levels of internet access mean lower levels of skills proficiency.
  • Courses in human skills had more learners from developed countries, while those in digital skills had more from developing ones.
  • The U.S. held steady in its overall skills proficiency ranking—yet it lost meaningful ground in core technology and data science skills.
  • Europe leads the world in skills proficiency.
  • Proficiency in technology and data science skills varies widely across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Learners used Coursera to understand the pandemic.
 

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?

 

Apple Starts Connecting the Dots for Its Next Big Thing — from nytimes.com by Tripp Mickle and Brian X. Chen
The company has enlisted Hollywood directors like Jon Favreau to help its effort to create products that blend the physical and virtual worlds.

Excerpt:

Nearly 15 years after the iPhone set off the smartphone revolution, Apple is assembling the pieces for what it hopes will become its next business-altering device: a headset that blends the digital world with the real one.

The company has enlisted Hollywood directors such as Jon Favreau to develop video content for a headset that it is expected to ship next year, according to three people familiar with that work. Mr. Favreau, an executive producer of “Prehistoric Planet” on Apple TV+, is working to bring that show’s dinosaurs to life on the headset, which looks like a pair of ski goggles and aims to offer virtual- and augmented-reality experiences, these people said.

Speaking of the future, here’s another item regarding what’s coming down the pike:

 

Radar Trends to Watch: June 2022 — from oreilly.com

Excerpt:

The explosion of large models continues. Several developments are especially noteworthy. DeepMind’s Gato model is unique in that it’s a single model that’s trained for over 600 different tasks; whether or not it’s a step towards general intelligence (the ensuing debate may be more important than the model itself), it’s an impressive achievement. Google Brain’s Imagen creates photorealistic images that are impressive, even after you’ve seen what DALL-E 2 can do. And Allen AI’s Macaw (surely an allusion to Emily Bender and Timnit Gebru’s Stochastic Parrots paper) is open source, one tenth the size of GPT-3, and claims to be more accurate. Facebook/Meta is also releasing an open source large language model, including the model’s training log, which records in detail the work required to train it.

 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian