The Connected Life at Home — from Cisco

The connected life at home -- from Cisco



From DSC:

How will these types of technologies affect what we can do with K-12 education/higher education/workplace training and development? I’d say they will open up a world of new applications and opportunities for those who are ready to innovate; and these types of technologies will move the “Forthcoming Walmart of Education” along.

Above item from:

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Computer ties human as they square off on ‘Jeopardy!’ — from


IBM's Watson computer is competing against former champs Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter on "Jeopardy!" this week.

.From DSC:
To be clear, I celebrate what the LORD has created and given to us in our amazingly-complex minds! I do not subscribe to the idea that robots are better than humans or that technologies are to be glorified and that technologies will save the world — not at all. (In fact, I have some concerns about the havoc that could easily occur if certain technologies wound up in the wrong hands — with those who have no fear of the LORD and who have massive amounts of pride…with hearts of stone.)

Getting back to my point…
The phenomenon that Christensen, Horn, and Johnson describe in Disrupting Class continues to play out in higher education/K-12. The innovations are mainly happening outside the face-to-face T&L environments.

Also see:

Behavior Learning Engine from

Along these lines, check out:
‘Jeopardy’ champs take on IBM’s Watson

“This is huge; this isn’t just about answering questions,” says computational linguistics expert George Luger of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, who was not part of IBM’s team. “Everything before this was just a run-up to computers as true personal assistants.”

The Ultimate Study Guide: Wolfram Alpha Launches “Course Assistant” Apps — from ReadWriteWeb by Audrey Watters

The computational knowledge engine Wolfram|Alpha is launching the first three of a series of new “course assistant” apps today. These apps, available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, are designed to take advantage of the Wolfram|Alpha technology in the service of supporting some of the most popular courses in high school and college.

The idea is to be able to quickly access the pertinent capabilities of Wolfram|Alpha relevant for specific subject areas. Currently, these subject areas are Algebra, Calculus, and Music Theory. But the company says it plans to add apps for other subjects – “for every major course, from elementary school to graduate school,” – including those fields outside math and science.

From DSC:
Notice the term engine (in bold maroon above).
This is the type of sophisticated programming that will increasingly be baked into future learning products — as the software seeks to learn more about each learner while providing each learner with a more customized learning experience…pushing them, but aiming to encourage — not discourage — them. I can see an opt-in program where each of us can build a cloud/web-based learner profile — and allow such an engine to be “fed” that data.

How will technologies like AirPlay affect education? I suggest 24x7x365 access on any device may be one way. By Daniel S. Christian at Learning Ecosystems blog-- 1-17-11.


Addendum on 1-20-11:
The future of the TV is online
— from
Your television’s going to get connected, says Matt Warman

Towards a new-digital learning ecosystem based on autonomic Web services — from IEEEXplore Digital Library (emphasis below from DSC)

With the latest advances in information and communication technologies, learners can now engage in continuous and rich learning-sessions that characterize today’s digital learning ecosystems. In these ecosystems, learning resources are pervasive and dynamic. A key challenge is to develop a scalable learning system that addresses the inherent complexity of learning sessions and cater for the specific needs and requirements of individual learners. In this paper, we adopt autonomic Web services to capture disparate learning resources and build an autonomic digital learning ecosystem that reconfigures itself in response to changes in the environment such as learners’ profiles, resource availabilities, and type of instructional material. The use of autonomic Web services permits to abstract the learning resources into distributed and uniformly structured objects and to record learners’ attributes into a packaged profile. These Web services sense the learning context and coach learners in their pursuit of constructive instructional sessions. A service-oriented architecture is proposed to connect learning resources, learners’ profiles, and contextual indicators. A prototype is, also, illustrated in the paper to show the feasibility of the proposed solutions.

Also see:

The Pivot to Digital Learning: 40 Predictions — from Tom Vander Ark, Partner, Revolution Learning — via EdNet Insights

From DSC:
That posting includes predictions for changes that we’ll see in the next 1, 5 and 10 years…with some excerpts below:

3. Lingering budget woes will cause several districts and charter networks, particularly in California, to flip to a blended model, with a shift to online or computer-based instruction for a portion of the day to boost learning and operating productivity.

9. The instant feedback from content-embedded assessment, especially learning games, simulations, virtual environments, and MMOs (massively multiplayer online games), will be widely used in formal and informal learning and will build persistence and time on task.

10. Adaptive content will result in more time on task (in some cases, two times the productive learning time over the course of a year), and better targeted learning experiences will boost achievement, particularly among low-income and minority students.

11. Comprehensive learner profiles will gather keystroke data from learning platforms, content-embedded applications, as well as after-school, summer school, tutoring, and test prep providers. Students and families will manage privacy using Facebook-like profiles.

12. Most learning platforms will feature a smart recommendation engine, like iTunes Genius, that will build recommended learning playlists for students.

18. All U.S. students will have access to online courses for Advanced Placement, high-level STEM courses, and any foreign language (this should happen next year, but it will take us five years to get out of our own way).

23. Second-generation online learning will replace courseware with adaptive components in a digital content library (objects, lessons, units, and sequences).

27. Most high school students will do most of their learning online and will attend a blended school.

28. More than one-third of all learning professionals will be in roles that do not exist today; more than 10% will be in organizations that do not exist today.

29. The higher ed funding bubble will burst, and free and low-cost higher education alternatives will displace a significant portion of third tier higher education (emphasis DSC).

37. There will be several DIY High options—online high schools with an engaging and intuitive merit badge sequence that will allow students to take ownership of and direct their own learning. They will still benefit from adult assessment, guidance, and mentorship but in a more student-directed fashion.

Emerging Interactive Ed. Tech: Classmate Assist and Wayang Outpost – Sensors, AI, and Context Awareness for Learning -and Teaching — by Lynn Marentette (emphasis below from DSC)

I’ve been following developments in intelligent tutoring systems for a while, and find it interesting to see how researchers are combining artificial intelligence, learning theory, affective computing, and sensor networks to create applications that might prove to be useful and effective.

The advantage of using intelligent tutoring applications in some cases is that it provides students with additional support and feedback the moment it is needed, something that is difficult for teachers to provide to students in large classrooms. With the increase in use of smartphones and other mobile devices such as the iPad, there is a good chance that this sort of technology will be used to support learning anywhere, anytime.

Although most intelligent tutoring systems are geared for 1-1 computing, I think there are some components that could be tweaked and then transfered to create intelligent “tutoring” systems for collaborative learning. Students like game-based learning, and what could be more fun than playing AND learning with a partner or group of peers? (I plan to revisit the research in this area in an upcoming post.)

Below I’ve highlighted two “intelligent” tutoring systems that incorporate the use of sensors in one form or another to generate information about student learning in a way that simulates what good teachers do every day. The ClassroomAssist application was developed by researchers at Intel, in collaboration with several universities. The Wayang Outpost application was developed by researchers at UMASS, and is aligned with the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

We need to be constantly checking and praying about the state of our hearts.


The State of the Heart

From DSC:
My conscience prompts me to write this…as my recent posting on developing and using web-based learner profiles was not meant to try and ultimately recreate the human brain.  I don’t think that’s possible. Rather, I was hoping that we could use such methods and breakthroughs to promote the personalization, customization, and engagement levels of the learning materials and experiences that we are able to offer each other.

But the posting got me to reflecting on a variety of technological advancements…and I couldn’t help but wonder about the motivations at play sometimes here.

That is, things can begin innocently enough and with excellent intentions.  For example, with stem-cell research, such research can offer understanding on how stem cells might be able to help treat debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, traumatic spinal injury, or be used for positively affecting other clinical and therapeutic applications. And that’s great! Excellent!

But the problem for me in many of these endeavors lies in the hearts of mankind. Because, who knows where things could go from there…

Will we one day find ourselves being able to create fellow human beings? If so, who determines what those fellow human beings are like? Will we be able to program a robot to continually learn? If so, how will such devices be used by individuals? Corporations? Governments? Nations?

I know…it sounds rather bizarre and far-fetched. But with the rate of technological advancements, I just think we need to take a pulse check on the motivations involved. I’m suspect that the motivations of many folks out there are not in mankind’s ultimate best interest…plus…sometimes these individuals and organizations just don’t have the heart.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them;
I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

P.S. from DSC:
I need to say that my heart is in constant need of attention as well;
I don’t claim to be perfect…but I also don’t claim to want to play God.


IQNOMY is an S.a.a.S. (Software as a Service) solution which enables any website to adapt itself to each individual visitor in next to no time.

As a result of the emergence of new media, the distance between institutions and individuals is getting ever smaller. Individuals have gained more and more power and are increasingly using this to demand personal attention and recognition. For companies and organizations, the difficulties associated with holding on to today’s critical consumer are therefore growing.

For a long time now, simply supplying information has not been enough. Customers and consumers are looking for an experience that is presented at the right moment and within the right context. We call this Real-time Interaction Marketing. Central to this discipline is the fact that you as an organization are able to get to know and understand your customers and that you actively learn to support them in discovering new and relevant information. This form of personal and direct one-to-one marketing will play an increasingly important role in commercial markets in the future.

The thinking LMS — from by — Steve Kolowich

If Facebook can use analytics to revolutionize advertising in the Web era, McQuaig suggested, colleges can use the same principles to revolutionize online learning.

The trick, she said, is individualization. Facebook lets users customize their experiences with the site by creating profiles and curating the flow of information coming through their “news feeds.” In the same motion, the users volunteer loads of information about themselves.

Unlike analog forms of student profiling — such as surveys, which are only as effective as the students’ ability to diagnose their own learning needs — Phoenix’s Learning Genome Project will be designed to infer details about students from how they behave in the online classroom, McQuaig said. If students grasp content more quickly when they learn it from a video than when they have to read a text, the system will feed them more videos. If a student is bad at interpreting graphs, the system will recognize that and present information accordingly — or connect the student with another Phoenix student who is better at graph-reading. The idea is to take the model of personal attention now only possible in the smallest classrooms and with the most responsive professors, make it even more perceptive and precise, and scale it to the largest student body in higher education.

“[Each student] comes to us with a set of learning modality preferences,” McQuaig said. The online learning platform Phoenix wants to build, she said, “reject[s] the one-size-fits-all model of presenting content online.” In the age of online education and the personal Web, the standardized curriculum is marked for extinction, McQuaig said; data analytics are going to kill it.

Like Netflix, new college software seeks to personalize recommendations — from by Marc Parry

Anaheim, Calif. —Amazon. Netflix. Google. All personalize recommendations based on what they know about users.

A new project, unveiled at the Educause conference here today, plans to provide college students a similar experience on academic Web sites.

It’s called Sherpa, like the guides who lead climbers up Mount Everest. The goal of the software, developed by the South Orange County Community College District, is to mine data about students to guide them to courses, information, and services.

That’s a change from what students experience starting and finishing classes on the Blackboard course-management system, said Robert S. Bramucci, South Orange’s vice chancellor for technology and learning services.

From DSC:
I was reading a white paper from Tegrity today (see below graphics). It mentioned that the next frontier for lecture capture technologies is focused on developing more personalized learning experiences.




—  A brief aside from DSC:
Reminds me of some of the functionality found in Livescribe’s echo smartpen.


The ability to integrate lecture capture platforms with Learning Management Systems (LMS’s) can help to automate the authentication and authorization needed to ensure learners get to review what they are allowed to review. Integration hooks provided by lecture capture and LMS vendors are viable as methods of ensuring a baseline approach to secure access. Yet most lecture capture systems do not know who the viewer is (as the LMS does the authentication and authorization); they only know that the stream is permitted to play and that students of the course are watching.

This sets the stage for the next transformation of lecture capture solutions – into platforms that can understand not just who their users are, but also what those users need to do and how their experience can be personalized and enhanced.

The coming shift will bring creation of custom learning environments that cater to the individual student by offering personal context-sensitivity, the ability to draw on the knowledge of peers and instructors, and the ability to better manage and monitor each individual learner’s behaviors and customize their experience to their individual needs. Among the major effects of this shift:

  • Democratization of the content creation process as learners themselves contribute to or otherwise use lecture capture tools to learn from or teach others
  • Faster learning by enabling learners to access information more quickly through bookmarks – and placing efficiencies within the platform to streamline teaching and learning
  • Changing impact on educators, who can rely on lecture capture feedback loops based on features like bookmarking to enable them to adjust content and teaching styles to suit learner needs
  • Use of presence and the fact that a system can know a learner to automate and make more efficient the act of finding peers or instructors for further learning interactions
  • Greater ability to deliver content and offer customized features via mobile devices

This white paper focuses on the evolution of lecture capture as a tool for creating a coherent environment for learner-centered instruction, showing the possibilities for improved efficiencies and better learning outcomes.

From DSC:
The integration of a lecture capture system w/ an LMS got me to thinking…what if each person in the world had a constantly-updated, adaptive, web-based learner profile that detailed their current age, current and past places of residence, language(s), hobbies, interests, courses taken, major(s), minor(s), last grade completed, which RSS feeds they subscribe to, which sources of educational content they prefer, etc. Given permission by the student, a vendor’s tool could then query the database and look for particular fields…plugging that  content into their own application for greater context and engagement.

So if a 3rd grader in India loved horses, the math problems could utilize that information to make the problems more engaging to that person.

Hmmm…along these lines, I think I’ll set up some Google alerts to include:

  • Multi-agent systems
  • Adaptive learning systems
  • Artificial intelligence education
  • Distributed e-learning systems
  • Semantic web education
  • Learning agents
  • Intelligent tutoring
  • Online tutoring

The next few years should be veeeerrrryyy interesting. Fasten your seatbelts!

© 2022 | Daniel Christian