Australian Court Rules That Yes, AI Can Be an Inventor — from gizmodo.com by Shoshana Wodinsky
The overturned ruling bucks the trend we’ve previously seen in the US and UK.

Excerpt:

In what can only be considered a triumph for all robot-kind, this week, a federal court has ruled that an artificially intelligent machine can, in fact, be an inventor—a decision that came after a year’s worth of legal battles across the globe.

The ruling came on the heels of a years-long quest by University of Surrey law professor Ryan Abbot, who started putting out patent applications in 17 different countries across the globe earlier this year.

 

Amazon Contractors Are Revolting, Here Are Their Demands — from interestingengineering.com by Loukia Papadopoulos
Two major delivery partners announced they chose to shut down rather than keep sating Amazon’s draconian demands.

Excerpt:

The firms essentially offered Amazon an ultimatum to either agree to a set of conditions that they said would improve driver safety, or they would shut down — well, Amazon is their only client. Amazon refused, and the two companies actually followed through with their ultimatum.

From DSC:
Our son, who is college age, worked at an Amazon distribution center last summer. He is typically a healthy person. But his back and knees did not do well over the summer. After just a few weeks of having to meet an aggressive (and constant) quota of items being shipped, pains and issues started appearing. I don’t know how some of their employees keep up the pace that they are required to maintain…hour after hour after hour after hour…day after day, month after month.

Also see:

Amazon is destroying millions of unsold goods, from smart TVs to laptops — from fastcompany.com by Lucy Wishart
An Amazon warehouse exposé in the UK underscores a larger problem with how goods are treated as disposable.

Excerpt:

A recent undercover investigation in an Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland, reported the disposal of more than 130,000 “new or lightly used” objects in a single week in just that one location. Public outrage was clear. Questions were asked about how Amazon could be so wasteful and why weren’t the usable objects sent to those in need?

 

 

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

 

No, it doesn’t need to be a Zoom — from wired.com by Chris Stokel-Walker
We’re wasting hours of our lives on inefficient video calls. Here’s how to decide when you should jump on a Zoom – and when not to

Excerpt:

Academic research has pinpointed four reasons why we’re growing sick of video calls. For one thing, we’re engaged in an unnaturally large amount of eye contact, which can prove exhausting, according to Jeremy Bailenson professor at Stanford University and founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. We’re also stressed out by being confronted with our own face for hours on end (even if you can’t stop staring at it). Bailenson compares it to be followed around with a mirror all day.

From DSC:
What comes to my mind here is that videoconferencing — and meeting in general — requires mental work — and thus energy. Why? Because, as I mentioned in this posting, we are constantly processing auditory and visual channels. 

 

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?
What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

Transcript here.

 

From DSC:
So having to process auditory and visual information hour after hour takes major energy! And some presentations/presenters require a lot more energy than others.

Having to process auditory and visual information hour after hour takes major energy!

 

watching a presentation by Steve Jobs requires a lot less auditory and visual processing

 

AI cannot be recognised as an inventor, US rules — from bbc.com

An artificial intelligence system has been refused the right to two patents in the US, after a ruling only “natural persons” could be inventors.

 
 

Leveraging EdTech: brilliant tools for student voice — from global-edtech.com by Cecilia Astolfi
Cecilia Astolfi provides three very useful tips for any teachers wishing to promote student voice in the classroom

There are three tools I recommend in order to enhance the ability of students to express their views in a constructive and valuable manner.

Best Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Teachers — from by Luke Edwards
You may be amazed to see how much you can get out of Microsoft PowerPoint as a teacher

Excerpt:

5. Create Instagram Stories in PowerPoint
Another social media app that has great traction with students is Instagram, specifically the Stories feature that allows you to share images or videos from the day, which are wiped for a fresh set each day.

Imagine doing this in class? Perhaps the students could carry on a story you were studying in class. Maybe they could tell the tale of a comet as it travels through space. The options are huge and it’s easy to do using this PowerPoint template as a starting point.

6 kids games that make math learning engaging and entertaining — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

BBC School Radio Maths is an excellent educational resource we learned from MakeUseOf‘ s list of 10 Cool Math Games for Kids. School Radio Maths offers a wide variety of educational games to help kids develop their math skills. Kids will get to grapple with various numeracy challenges that involves a higher degree of mental skills. The games are entertaining enough to keep pupils motivated and focused on the learning task at hand.

6 strategies to help you improve your math skills — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:
As a child, did you love math back in the elementary? Now that you are an adult, do you feel awkward with your Mathematic’s skills? Let’s admit it – not everyone is great at Math. Some find it fun, brilliant, stimulating others find it too difficult to comprehend.

However, the stigma associated with math learning is not always true especially knowing that Math is omnipresent and is being used in almost every facet of our life. The purpose of this post is to share with you  some of the ways to help you  strengthen your Math skills.

This map lets you fly along the path of a drop of water from any place in the U.S. — from fastcompany.com by Adele Peters
Click on any spot or enter an address, and it will show where the water is likely to flow. Good for both learning how pollution and plastic spreads, but also for an aerial visual ride of the country’s waterways.
Also see: river-runner.samlearner.com/

This image portrays a map of the United States.

Hands-On with the Lego Snapchat Augmented Reality Experience That Lets You Build With Friends Remotely — from next.reality.news by Adario Strange

Excerpt:

The world of Lego is timeless primarily because everyone, regardless of age or background, can build a wide variety of amazing things with the simple component blocks from the classic toymaker.

But now that Snapchat has brought that dynamic to augmented reality via the Rebuild the World Snapchat Lens the possibilities are truly endless.

Snap Spectacles Early Prototype, Volkswagen Drives into AR, Inside Lego Snapchat, & Instagram Updates AR — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Best Apps To Learn The Korean Language — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

Korean, one of the popular Asian languages for non-native speakers, is the official language of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

This is an increasingly important language globally considering South Korea’s powerful economy, geopolitical importance, and growing presence in Asian pop culture; perhaps one reason for garnering a surprising amount of interest in people worldwide to learn the Korean language.

5 Places to Sell Your Artwork Online — from hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Selling art online is making a comeback. Artists have been selling their work on the Internet but as of late, there’s an increase in online art sales. You can of course build your own website to share your art, run your own marketing and promotional exercise via social media and other channels but you will probably gain more exposure with the following websites . Time to get your beautiful art out there.

12 good edtech tools to use in your distance education — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Looking for some educational websites to help you with the management of your online (and also face-to-face) classroom teaching? The list below has you covered. It features a collection of  some popular web tools you can use to perform a wide variety of educational tasks. These include: creating interactive video lessons, collect formative assessments and provide real-time feedback to students, enhance students learning through the use of digital games and flashcards, create online classes and share assignments and learning resources with students, organize students into appropriate learning groups and many more. Links to these websites are under the visual.

 

Part I: How do I measure accessibility maturity and compliance? — from abilitynet.org.uk by Alistair McNaught

When you ask adults to recall their most memorable and enjoyable learning experiences it nearly always comes back to relationships – a fun teacher, an inspiring lecturer, a lively community. Such human interactions neatly illustrate the difference between maturity and compliance.

A “mature relationship” sounds a lot more attractive than a “compliant” one. Yet many institutions are offering compliance to disabled learners rather than mature relationships.

The lenses we use are:

  1. Main driver – Where is energy being expended and what is measured as success?
  2. Responsibility – Who are the actors. Do they have sufficient authority?
  3. Model of disability – Is the perception “users with issues” or “systems and content with barriers”?
  4. Focus of effort – Is accessibility a “task and finish” project or a long-term quality improvement?
  5. Skills and expertise – What is the focus of training? Who gets it? Is it considered important?
  6. Digital accessibility in policies – Digital accessibility is a vital equality issue. Is it visible in policies?
  7. Culture – Is the focus on minimising risk? Or maximising user experience? Does accessibility straitjacket online learning? Or encourage innovation and experimentation?
  8. User’s digital experience – How consistent is the user experience? How well designed?

Part II: Accessibility maturity in education — from abilitynet.org.uk by Alistair McNaught

Excerpt:

In this article we explore the “Drivers” lens. What is driving your change? The need to be compliant and tick off the boxes? Or a desire to be digitally inclusive, ensuring every student can be as confident, independent and productive as possible?

Part III: Broaden accessibility responsibility beyond learning teams — from abilitynet.org.uk by Alistair McNaught

Excerpt:

At the upper levels of maturity, the confidence and competence of a wide body of staff will mean the organisation moves beyond micromanagement of accessibility. Accessibility may be mandatory but a wide range of templates will be available. Even better, many staff will have enough understanding to create their own accessible content and courses without needing a template. At this level, the following lines of evidence will be available:

  • A senior sponsor will be responsible for digital accessibility across the organisation.
  • Any cross-organisation steering group will be hosted by senior staff, meeting regularly and evidencing positive outcomes.
  • Digital accessibility will be a standing item in self-assessment reviews or quality assurance processes, and appropriate training will be in place to make this meaningful (see the later lens in the final blog coming soon in the series, on skills and expertise!).
  • Students will be actively involved in accessibility developments.

Part IV: Coming soon.


Learn about the Accessibility Maturity Model for Higher and Further Education that AbilityNet and McNaught Consultancy have developed based on Alistair McNaught’s existing model. See here and here.

Some example snapshots:

A virtuous circle of digital accessibility -- positively impacts teaching and learningLenses for self-reflection -- 1 Lenses for self-reflection - 2 Lenses for self reflection - 3

 
 

109 New University Partnerships with OPMs, Bootcamps and Pathways in Q1 2021 — from holoniq.com
Universities around the world are accelerating their adoption of Academic Public-Private Partnerships.

Excerpt:

Based on the rate of partnership growth in Q1, 2021 may deliver over 400 new academic partnerships if growth continues at the same rate.


Based on the rate of partnership growth in Q1, 2021 may deliver over 400 new academic partnerships if growth continues at the same rate.


Other key points:

  • The US led the development and growth of the OPM model, now we are seeing an acceleration in adoption of OPM partnerships in international markets across Australia, Asia and Europe
  • Bootcamp Partnerships are powering Universities with immersive, short-format programs in technology and new domains in business. Expert curriculum, deep industry relationships and hiring pathways are driving very fast growth in campus-based and online programs.
  • We expect the Global OPX Market to grow at 19% CAGR, reaching $13.3B by 2025.
 

A couple of items from the May 2021 Inavate edition:

A very sharp learning space right here!

Sharp learning space full of AV equipment at Southampton University, UK

 

 

A lack of devices but a heroic effort by teachers — from global-edtech.com by Dorothy Lepkowska
EDUCATE webinar hears how countries coped with the Covid school shutdown

Excerpts:

As in many countries, including the UK, schools and students in Portugal were hindered by a lack of devices, Huge Fonseca, an EdTech innovator, told the webinar.  He said teachers were “superheroes” and did what they could to connect with pupils, including distributing work on bicycles.

He said: “In Portugal there is a lack of devices and a lack of teacher training. The profession is among the oldest in Europe, and half of teachers are more than 50 years old. There is no government support to develop them, and if you leave teachers without learning new skills for 20 years or more then it is hard for them to adapt. We need more young people to go into teaching.”

In Uruguay, more coherence was needed between the distribution of technology and teacher training.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, there was a roll-out of technology but little training for teachers.

In Zambia, however, the pandemic offered an opportunity for project-based learning to address some of the problems faced by communities.

She said the pandemic had shone a light on the heroic work of teachers and there was a “shift in perceptions about teachers, and the importance of face-to-face teaching as a valued part of civil society”.

Also see:

 

This is an abstract picture of a person's head made of connections peering sideways -- it links to Artificial intelligence and the future of national security from ASU

Artificial intelligence and the future of national security — from news.asu.edu

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence is a “world-altering” technology that represents “the most powerful tools in generations for expanding knowledge, increasing prosperity and enriching the human experience” and will be a source of enormous power for the companies and countries that harness them, according to the recently released Final Report of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

This is not hyperbole or a fantastical version of AI’s potential impact. This is the assessment of a group of leading technologists and national security professionals charged with offering recommendations to Congress on how to ensure American leadership in AI for national security and defense. Concerningly, the group concluded that the U.S. is not currently prepared to defend American interests or compete in the era of AI.

Also see:

EU Set to Ban Surveillance, Start Fines Under New AI Rules — from bloomberg.com by Natalia Drozdiak

Excerpt:

The European Union is poised to ban artificial intelligence systems used for mass surveillance or for ranking social behavior, while companies developing AI could face fines as high as 4% of global revenue if they fail to comply with new rules governing the software applications.

Also see:

Wrongfully arrested man sues Detroit police over false facial recognition match — from washingtonpost.com by Drew Harwell
The case could fuel criticism of police investigators’ use of a controversial technology that has been shown to perform worse on people of color

Excerpts:

A Michigan man has sued Detroit police after he was wrongfully arrested and falsely identified as a shoplifting suspect by the department’s facial recognition software in one of the first lawsuits of its kind to call into question the controversial technology’s risk of throwing innocent people in jail.

Robert Williams, a 43-year-old father in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, was arrested last year on charges he’d taken watches from a Shinola store after police investigators used a facial recognition search of the store’s surveillance-camera footage that identified him as the thief.

Prosecutors dropped the case less than two weeks later, arguing that officers had relied on insufficient evidence. Police Chief James Craig later apologized for what he called “shoddy” investigative work. Williams, who said he had been driving home from work when the 2018 theft had occurred, was interrogated by detectives and held in custody for 30 hours before his release.

Williams’s attorneys did not make him available for comment Tuesday. But Williams wrote in The Washington Post last year that the episode had left him deeply shaken, in part because his young daughters had watched him get handcuffed in his driveway and put into a police car after returning home from work.

“How does one explain to two little girls that a computer got it wrong, but the police listened to it anyway?” he wrote. “As any other black man would be, I had to consider what could happen if I asked too many questions or displayed my anger openly — even though I knew I had done nothing wrong.”

Addendum on 4/20/21:

 

AI in education: Features already adopted by companies, universities, and schools — from belitsoft.com by Dmitry Baraishuk

Excerpt:

AI use cases in education include such kinds of applications as: Artificial Intelligence in training, learning and development, AI in higher education and Artificial Intelligence in K-12 education. We’ve gathered and outlined real-life examples of AI in education for each of these three application areas. If you’re an L&D or HR pro, you will find insightful the section “AI in talent management and in Learning and development.” College and university leaders will discover helpful tools to significantly improve their educational process in the section “AI in Higher Education.” For school leaders, we’ve prepared the section “Artificial intelligence in K-12 education.”

Screenshot of a software app showing what an interface might look like for creating a personalized learning journey for someone. You can select from industries, roles, employees, and more.

This screenshot of an app shows what type of skills-related information could be earned, tracked, gathered and displayed.

Addendum on 4/23/21:

 

Over 27,000 students share how colleges and universities could improve digital learning — from jisc.ac.uk

Excerpt:

A Jisc survey of 27,069 higher and further education students reveals that most are pleased with their digital learning, but areas such as wellbeing, mental health and staff digital skills need more attention.

Between October and December 2020, 21,697 higher education (HE) students and 5,372 in further education (FE) took part in Jisc’s digital experience insights student survey. The surveys seek to support the sector in adapting and responding to the changing situation as a result of COVID–19 policies.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian