One wonders what this type of tech will do for online-based learning, &/or hybrid/blended learning, &/or hyflex-based learning in the future [Christian]

From DSC:
It will be interesting to see — post Covid19 — how vendors and their platforms continue to develop to allow for even greater degrees of web-based collaboration. I recently saw this item re: what Google is doing with their Project Starline. Very interesting indeed. Google is trying to make it so that the other person feels like they are in the same space with you.

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Time will tell what occurs in this space...but one does wonder what this type of technology will do for online-based learning, and/or hybrid/blended learning, and/or hyflex-based learning in the future…?

 

Doubling down on accessibility: Microsoft’s next steps to expand accessibility in technology, the workforce and workplace — from Brad Smith, President of Microsoft

Excerpt:

Accessibility by design
Today, we are announcing a variety of new “accessible by design” features and advances in Microsoft 365, enabling more than 200 million people to build, edit and share documents. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies, we aim to make more content accessible and as simple and automatic as spell check is today. For example:

  • A new background accessibility checker will provide a prompt to fix accessibility issues in content across the core Office apps and Outlook will nudge users to correct accessibility issues.
  • AI in Microsoft Word will detect and convert to heading styles crucial for blind and low-vision readers.
  • A new Excel navigation pane designed for screen readers will help people easily discover and navigate objects in a spreadsheet.
  • We’re expanding Immersive Reader, used by 35 million people every month, to help with the comprehension of PowerPoint slides and notes.
  • In Teams, high-contrast mode can be used to access shared content using PowerPoint Live  which will reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity with Dark Mode in Word.
  • New LinkedIn features that include auto-captioning for LinkedIn Live broadcasts, captions for enterprise content and dark mode later this year.

More than 1 billion people around the world live with a disability, and at some point, most of us likely will face some type of temporary, situational or permanent disability. The practical impacts are huge. 

Addendum on 5/6/21:

 

Improving Digital Inclusion & Accessibility for Those With Learning Disabilities — from inclusionhub.com by Meredith Kreisa
Learning disabilities must be taken into account during the digital design process to ensure digital inclusion and accessibility for the community. This comprehensive guide outlines common learning disabilities, associated difficulties, accessibility barriers and best practices, and more.

“Learning shouldn’t be something only those without disabilities get to do,” explains Seren Davies, a full stack software engineer and accessibility advocate who is dyslexic. “It should be for everyone. By thinking about digital accessibility, we are making sure that everyone who wants to learn can.”

“Learning disability” is a broad term used to describe several specific diagnoses. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorder, and oral/written language disorder and specific reading comprehension deficit are among the most prevalent.

An image of a barrier being torn down -- revealing a human mind behind it. This signifies the need to tear down any existing barriers that might hinder someone's learning experience.

 

DC: Yet another reason for Universal Design for Learning’s multiple means of presentation/media:

Encourage faculty to presume students are under-connected. Asynchronous, low-bandwidth approaches help give students more flexibility in accessing course content in the face of connectivity challenges.

— as excerpted from campustechnology.com’s article entitled, “4 Ways Institutions Can Meet Students’ Connectivity and Technology Needs

 

 

When the Animated Bunny in the TV Show Listens for Kids’ Answers — and Answers Back — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Yet when this rabbit asks the audience, say, how to make a substance in a bottle less goopy, she’s actually listening for their answers. Or rather, an artificially intelligent tool is listening. And based on what it hears from a viewer, it tailors how the rabbit replies.

“Elinor can understand the child’s response and then make a contingent response to that,” says Mark Warschauer, professor of education at the University of California at Irvine and director of its Digital Learning Lab.

AI is coming to early childhood education. Researchers like Warschauer are studying whether and how conversational agent technology—the kind that powers smart speakers such as Alexa and Siri—can enhance the learning benefits young kids receive from hearing stories read aloud and from watching videos.

From DSC:
Looking at the above excerpt…what does this mean for elearning developers, learning engineers, learning experience designers, instructional designers, trainers, and more? It seems that, for such folks, learning how to use several new tools is showing up on the horizon.

 

From DSC:
I was reviewing an edition of Dr. Barbara Honeycutt’s Lecture Breakers Weekly, where she wrote:

After an experiential activity, discussion, reading, or lecture, give students time to write the one idea they took away from the experience. What is their one takeaway? What’s the main idea they learned? What do they remember?

This can be written as a reflective blog post or journal entry, or students might post it on a discussion board so they can share their ideas with their colleagues. Or, they can create an audio clip (podcast), video, or drawing to explain their One Takeaway.

From DSC:
This made me think of tools like VoiceThread — where you can leave a voice/audio message, an audio/video-based message, a text-based entry/response, and/or attach other kinds of graphics and files.

That is, a multimedia-based exit ticket. It seems to me that this could work in online- as well as blended-based learning environments.


Addendum on 2/7/21:

How to Edit Live Photos to Make Videos, GIFs & More! — from jonathanwylie.com


 

Exciting new tools for designers, January 2021 — from by Carrie Cousins

Excerpt:

The new year is often packed with resolutions. Make the most of those goals and resolve to design better, faster, and more efficiently with some of these new tools and resources.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

 

From DSC:
I was thinking about projecting images, animation, videos, etc. from a device onto a wall for all in the room to see.

  • Will more walls of the future be like one of those billboards (that presents two or three different images) and could change surfaces?

One side of the surface would be more traditional (i.e., a sheet wall type of surface). The other side of the surface would be designed to be excellent for projecting images onto it and/or for use by Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and/or Virtual Reality (VR).

Along these lines, here’s another item related to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI):

Mercedes-Benz debuts dashboard that’s one giant touchscreen — from futurism.com

 

Could AI-based techs be used to develop a “table of contents” for the key points within lectures, lessons, training sessions, sermons, & podcasts? [Christian]

From DSC:
As we move into 2021, the blistering pace of emerging technologies will likely continue. Technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including technologies related to voice recognition
  • Blockchain
  • Augment Reality (AR)/Mixed Reality (MR)/Virtual Reality (VR) and/or other forms of Extended Reality (XR)
  • Robotics
  • Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) / The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Drones
  • …and other things will likely make their way into how we do many things (for better or for worse).

Along the positive lines of this topic, I’ve been reflecting upon how we might be able to use AI in our learning experiences.

For example, when teaching in face-to-face-based classrooms — and when a lecture recording app like Panopto is being used — could teachers/professors/trainers audibly “insert” main points along the way? Similar to something like we do with Siri, Alexa, and other personal assistants (“Heh Siri, _____ or “Alexa, _____).

Like an audible version of HTML -- using the spoken word to insert the main points of a presentation or lecture

(Image purchased from iStockphoto)

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Pretend a lecture, lesson, or a training session is moving right along. Then the professor, teacher, or trainer says:

  • “Heh Smart Classroom, Begin Main Point.”
  • Then speaks one of the main points.
  • Then says, “Heh Smart Classroom, End Main Point.”

Like a verbal version of an HTML tag.

After the recording is done, the AI could locate and call out those “main points” — and create a table of contents for that lecture, lesson, training session, or presentation.

(Alternatively, one could insert a chime/bell/some other sound that the AI scans through later to build the table of contents.)

In the digital realm — say when recording something via Zoom, Cisco Webex, Teams, or another application — the same thing could apply. 

Wouldn’t this be great for quickly scanning podcasts for the main points? Or for quickly scanning presentations and webinars for the main points?

Anyway, interesting times lie ahead!

 

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

From DSC:
Who needs to be discussing/debating “The Social Dilemma” movie? Whether one agrees with the perspectives put forth therein or not, the discussion boards out there should be lighting up in the undergraduate areas of Computer Science (especially Programming), Engineering, Business, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Philosophy, Religion, Political Science, Sociology, and perhaps other disciplines as well. 

To those starting out the relevant careers here…just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Ask yourself not whether something CAN be developed, but *whether it SHOULD be developed* and what the potential implications of a technology/invention/etc. might be. I’m not aiming to take a position here. Rather, I’m trying to promote some serious reflection for those developing our new, emerging technologies and our new products/services out there.

Who needs to be discussing/debating The Social Dilemna movie?

 

 

NVIDIA Virtual Meetings AI Tech — from theawesomer.com
With the increased need for video calls these days, those with low-bandwidth connections may experience poor video quality. This tech being developed at NVIDIA dramatically reduces bandwidth needs by sending a fixed image, then using an AI-controlled avatar to track and replicate their facial movements in real-time.

 

From DSC:
Put yourself in the place of the conscientious/thorough learner. If you come into a course on Canvas & see Quizzes, Assignments, Discussion Boards, as well as other items listed on the Course Navigation Bar — in addition to the Modules selection — you might find yourself going to check many of those selections Every. Single. Day.

Graphically speaking:

Let's stop the FOMO and make it easy to find the content and the to-do's

(DSC purchased this image from Getty Images)

From DSC:
By the way, this is why RSS feeds and feed aggregators were implemented. Have updates/content flow to the person, instead of the person wasting time trying to find what’s been updated on 100+ websites.

 

Reflections on some nice ideas from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt [Lecture Breakers Weekly!]

Per this week’s Lecture Breakers Weekly! from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt:

Break up your online lectures with the Watch Party! Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Pre-record your mini-lecture or find a video you want to use for your lesson. 
  • Instead of asking students to watch the video on their own, play it during your synchronous/live class time.
  • Explain to your students that they are watching the video all at the same time and that you will be facilitating the chat and answering their questions as they watch the video together. It’s a watch party!
  • Option: Take the conversation out of Zoom or your LMS. Create a hashtag for your course on Twitter and invite other experts, colleagues, or friends to join the conversation.

Instead of presenting during the synchronous class time, you can now focus completely on managing the chat, prompting discussion, and responding to students’ questions and ideas in real-time. And be sure to record and save the chat for students who couldn’t attend the live session or want to review it later.

From DSC:
This is one of the kind of things that I envisioned with Learning from the living class[room] — a next-generation, global learning platform.

Learners could be watching a presentation/presenter, but communicating in real-time with other learners. Perhaps it will be a tvOS-based app or something similar. But TV as we know it is changing, right? It continues to become more interactive and on-demand all the time. Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, relevant/timely, affordable, accessible, up-to-date learning.

Also, you have TEAM-BASED learning. 

Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, up-to-date learning.

 

 

Editorial: Spaces is only a small part of Apple’s enormous AR/VR puzzle — from uploadvr.com by Jeremy Horwitz

Excerpt:

A demonstration of Spaces’ latest tech shows a cartoony teacher offering whiteboard presentations with accompanying lip and body synchronization — a gentle evolution of existing VR avatar technology. You could easily imagine the 3D model replaced with one of Apple’s current Memoji avatars, enabling an iPad- or iPhone-toting teacher to offer a presentation to a virtual class over Zoom.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian