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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Free eBook - Adopting Blended Learning in Your Organization | CommLab India

The eBook titled Blending Classroom Training with E-learning”, that guides you on what it takes to create a well-thought out blended learning strategy for your organization, with the focus on making employees proficient in what they need to do, quickly and smartly. 

Download the eBook now!
 
Blended learning has many advantages. It maximizes the use of different media for effective learning and saves lots of time in scheduling training programs. Reaches more employees located in remote areas as well. Makes employees take ownership of their learning and encourages it to be a continual process.

However, blending one training delivery method with another has to be done so that efforts complement each other instead of duplicating. How can this be done? Can there be a scientific strategy that can be evolved to create a perfect blended learning solution?

CommLab India writes in the preface, "Currently, we may be primarily using classroom training to train employees. This method may  not  be  adequate,  given  the  dynamic  changes  in  the  business  environment  and  changing business needs.
Instead, we need to explore solutions that will expedite the time taken for employees to get proficient in their jobs. Digital learning solutions are a viable option." 

However:

  • On what basis does one decide what goes into classrooms and what goes digital?  
  • What are the different digital training delivery options for a given training need?  
  • How  can  organizations  decide  which  is  the  best  delivery  option  for  a  particular training need?
This  eBook  will  act  as  a  handy  toolkit  for  L&D  managers  to  create  a  blended  learning strategy.  The objective being to help employees excel in their performance, in the most efficient  manner  and  in  the  shortest  possible  time;  which,  in  turn,  helps  organizations achieve their business goals. 
Download the eBook now!

Additional resources 
How to Blend Instructor-Led Training With E-learning? 
Download this kit to understand the best way to blend the best of ILT and eLearning, with ideal delivery formats and arrive at the best possible learning solution for your organization. 

Source: CommLab India


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Connected Learning: the new, socially-interactive approach to online training | TrainingZone - Training

Photo: Nic Pillow
Nic Pillow, CEO - Rhizome Live Ltd notes, "New online approach - Connected Learning - can provide even greater interaction, engagement, and training success than does the smallest of classes."

Photo: spainter_vfx/iStock

Online elearning has been hugely successful in allowing training to be delivered cost-effectively to very large audiences. However, training that’s purely online often results in a reduced experience and quality of learning compared to interactive classroom training.

By contrast, we have found that a new online approach - Connected Learning - can provide even greater interaction, engagement, and training success than does the smallest of classes.

A new educational technique  
Connected Learning was pioneered by Jonathan Worth in Phonar - an award-winning university photography course. From an inauspicious start with 9 students in the back-room of a cinema, within 3 years:
Learn by talking
The guiding principle is that people often learn best by talking to each other. In classroom training it’s the group discussions - or even the coffee breaks - that bring at least as much value as any presentation.

Similarly with Connected Learning: the focus is not on presenting content, but on fostering discussions between participants. Significant time is devoted to getting everyone talking to anyone and everyone else.
 
What engages a participant is not just contributing whenever they want but in getting replies to what they have contributed. Whether a response challenges or builds on their comment, it prompts them to think much more deeply about it. They also realise that their contribution has influenced the conversation.

Interaction that scales  
In conventional training, the level of interaction is inevitably limited because a trainer can only answer one question at a time. But with Connected Learning we found that the larger the audience, the richer the experience for any individual: there are more discussions for them to join, and a broader range of differing perspectives.

Text-based discussion  
It’s clearly not feasible to have multiple participants speaking aloud at the same time. Discussions therefore need to be in written text, as in group messaging or social media. We have found it best to use a dedicated discussion tool integrated with a messaging platform that’s already well used by the audience; but a stand-alone system or ad-hoc tools are also perfectly viable.
Read more...

Source: TrainingZone


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Another year on the cutting edge | Harvard Gazette - Editor's Pick

"Harvard-backed HUBweek to showcase creative thinking in arts, medicine, science starting Oct. 10" inform Rachel Traughber, Harvard Correspondent

A Harvard Art Museums visitor takes in the projections of the magic lantern in the "Philosophy Chamber" exhibit.
Photo: R. Leopoldina Torres; © President and Fellows of Harvard College

This fall, Harvard will help lead the third annual HUBweek festival celebrating the region’s commitment to innovation in the arts and sciences. The University, along with The Boston Globe, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital, is a founding supporter of the weeklong festival.

With its world-renowned universities, hospitals, and arts organizations, Greater Boston has long been a draw for creative thinkers.

“HUBweek offers an opportunity to showcase Boston to the wider world,” said Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber. “Harvard embraces the creative forces that enable innovation and discovery in Boston, Cambridge, and beyond. We are excited to participate once again in this unique collaboration.”

The festival will begin Oct. 10 and feature symposia, lectures, and interactive events examining a wide range of topics.

A session created by the Center for Research on Computation and Society at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Harvard Business School will focus on digital health, precision medicine, technology, and management. The symposium, “Building the Future of Health Technology,” will present a series of talks by researchers, and will invite attendees to participate in a health care case study led by HBS faculty.

“The case study offers guests a unique opportunity to understand how the business and technical pieces of innovation in health care go hand in hand,” said the center’s director, Margo Seltzer, the Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science at SEAS.

Innovation is at the core of Harvard’s i-lab, which will open its doors for a startup showcase featuring current and alumni ventures, as well as a speaker event highlighting the importance of storytelling in a successful business launch.

“Success in business is often made or broken by an entrepreneur’s ability to clearly articulate their ideas in a compelling way that connects to his or her audience,” said Jodi Goldstein, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Managing Director of the i-lab. “Developing your personal brand and original story is absolutely essential, and we are very excited to share strategies for doing so with our guests.”

On Oct. 13, Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) Project Zero will launch its yearlong 50th anniversary by hosting a special Askwith Forum.

Project Zero is an HGSE research center that focuses on arts and learning. This forum will explore major shifts over the past five decades in ideas about creativity and intelligence, and the implications of these changes for schools and society. Scheduled speakers include Harvard President Drew Faust, HGSE Dean James E. Ryan, and Project Zero co-founders Howard Gardner and David Perkins...

All Harvard-hosted HUBweek events are free and open to the public. For more on the festival, click here.
Read more...

Source: Harvard Gazette 


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Textbooks in the digital world | The Conversation US

Photo: Kui Xie 
Photo: Nicole Luthy
"Textbooks were once a major piece ofducational infrastructure. But as digital content expands, a new kind of 'textbook' is improving the quality of K-12 instruction" reports Kui Xi, Cyphert Distinguished Professor of Learning Technologies; Director of The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning, The Ohio State University and Nicole Luthy, Director of Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, The Ohio State University.

A science textbook used in Hardin County schools in 2012 still listed Pluto as a full-fledged planet – six years after it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.
AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner

For decades, textbooks were seen as the foundation for instruction in American schools. These discipline-specific tomes were a fundamental part of the educational infrastructure, assigned to students for each subject and carried in heavy backpacks every day – from home to school and back again.

The experience of students is much different today.

As a scholar of learning technologies and a director for outreach and engagement at Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology, we’ve seen how technological advances and an increase in digital curriculum materials have hastened the move away from textbooks.

Does all of this technology spell the end of traditional textbooks? And if so, is that actually a good thing for students and teachers?

Standards and the decline of textbooks 
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education released “A Nation at Risk,” which put a spotlight on school quality and accountability for student achievement. By the mid-1990s, the academic standards movement had picked up steam, spurred by “Goals 2000,” the Educate America Act of 1994. In response, states and local communities drafted guidelines to indicate what students should know at each grade level.

With these guidelines, educators and policymakers began to question teachers’ reliance on textbooks. Education organizations examined textbooks not only for their accuracy and quality, but for their alignment to academic standards. Where once student success was marked by the end-of-chapter test for whatever textbook each school happened to use, success was now measured by how well students met standardized grade-level learning objectives. Different textbooks might produce different levels of knowledge and understanding from students, but the new standards were common across an entire state.

Increased access to digital content 
With the rise of the internet and the proliferation of online content, teachers have found new sources to support student learning.

Recent studies report that student-computer ratios in most U.S. schools have reached 5:1 (five students per computer), with almost all teachers having access to at least one computer in their classroom. One-to-one laptop programs, which provide every student with a computing device, have spread across multiple states.

To support these initiatives, schools have access to a wealth of free and premium content designed specifically for a K-12 curriculum. Most textbook publishing companies have launched digital platforms; in fact, several have transformed their core identities from traditional textbook publishers to learning science companies or digital education companies.

Much of this digitized content has blurred the definition of a “book.” Digital lessons can present information through dynamic, interactive features like simulations and videos. Digital textbooks can also provide support features that just aren’t possible in a print textbook: students can highlight text, search for content, change the font size or use text-to-speech audio.

Teachers are also looking outside the world of K-12 education to support their lessons. Content freely available on the internet (including digital collections by the Smithsonian, Library of Congress and NASA) has created new opportunities for teaching and learning. Teachers can make classes more dynamic, more accurate and more customizable to meet the personalized learning needs of individual students.

Challenges in the digital world 
But it’s not all good news. Schools are also confronting new challenges brought on by digital content.

Textbooks are relatively easy to use. The same is not necessarily true for digital resources, which might require technological expertise – on the part of the teacher or an in-school specialist – to implement well. Moreover, teachers’ beliefs about technology integration are still barriers for adopting digital content in classrooms.
Read more...

Source: The Conversation US


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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Suggested Books of the Week 25

Check these books out below by Willem Witteveen, has been a researcher into the Great Pyramid for decades, Fred Lang, has been teaching in both the traditional bricks and mortar classroom, LaRon A. Scott, assistant professor with the School of Education and Colleen A. Thoma , nationally recognized leader in the area of self-determination and transition planning.

Photo: GraphicStock.com

The Great Pyramid of Giza: A Modern View on Ancient Knowledge

The Great Pyramid of Giza: 
A Modern View on Ancient Knowledge
After extensive research Dutch researcher Willem Witteveen connects data from his own findings with that of other researchers, resulting in groundbreaking conclusions about the true function of the Great Pyramid and its place in history. The Greek mathematician Pythagoras stated: “All is number.” The American prophet Edgar Cayce claimed: “Sound is the medicine of the future,” and the late Egyptian wisdomkeeper Abd ‘el Hakim Awyan always said: “It is all about sound.” Willem Witteveen proves that all these men were right and that what we now regard as groundbreaking and new often originated in ancient Egypt, well before the first Egyptian dynasties. This book is divided into five main parts, four of which relate to the four earthly elements Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

The fifth part relates to the element or quintessence called Aether. Within this circle all processes on Earth and beyond take place, and the element Aether represents the divine world and is the carrier of all information. 
Read more...

How to Teach in a Virtual Classroom 


Place bookstore
using our online order form.
How to Teach in a Virtual Classroom is a practical guide for anyone teaching in a virtual classroom. The concepts and ideas presented will dramatically elevate an instructor’s teaching skills in this unique environment. These best practices enable you to fine-tune your teaching skills so that you will become comfortable and confident teaching in a virtual classroom environment. Learning institutions will learn what support systems need to be installed to maintain this new revenue stream. A list of instructional best practices will provide you with an easy reference guide as you navigate your instructional duties of teaching virtual classes. Ground-breaking research was conducted by the author with both instructors and students around the world who either have taught or have taken virtual classroom courses.
  • How to create a virtual classroom
  • Enhance your instructor skills for the virtual classroom
  • The critical support systems required
  • Tips that will greatly enhance an instructor’s skills in the virtual classroom
  • A list of instructional best practices 
Read more...

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using our online order form.
Universal Design for Distance Education: A Guide for Online Course Development   

Universal Design for Distance Education: A Framework for Delivering Online Courses was developed to introduce novice and seasoned profes­sionals who wish to embark on distance education course and program design to a framework known as universal design for learning. One of the main goals of this book is to highlight the model we developed for designing an online course and provide a roadmap for professionals seeking to design individual courses or who wish to build distance education programs.

Each chapter focuses on distance education, and how universal design can be applied to a specific aspect of the design and delivery of distance education courses and programs. Universal Design for Distance Education: A Framework for Deliver­ing Online Courses will help audiences improve the design and delivery of distance education coursework. We hope that this book will serve as a “how-to” for building effective distance education courses and programs.
Read more...


Source: Ancient Origins and XanEdu


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New e-book: A President's Perspective | XanEdu

Photo: Jeff Drabant
Place bookstore
using our online order form.
XanEdu is pleased to announce the publication
of a unique e-book, 'A President's Perspective', a digital textbook on the topic of adminstration within higher education by Dr. Jay Gogue (Immediate Past President of Auburn University), inform Jeff Drabant, Higher Education Marketing Manager at XanEdu, Inc..

Price and ordering information is here.
About the Book
A President’s Perspective, featuring Dr. Jay Gogue, immediate past president of Auburn University, offers practical insights into the challenges of the university presidency drawn from his long career in administration.

This digital textbook covers all the fundamental areas of higher education administration. In addition to Gogue’s observations, each chapter of the textbook also includes commentary from veteran administrators Gretchen Bataille and Robert Moulton, who served as consultants for the project.

Additional commentary from other high-level administrators at institutions across the country appears throughout the text.
A President’s Perspective is designed to serve as the principal text for higher education administration courses or as a supplementary source tailored to specific subject areas.
The first of its kind—this digital text is a practical guide to the realities of administration.

This e-book is designed to be used in whole or in part; faculty may choose individual chapters for their classes or even elements of the individual chapters. Elements of the text are easily adaptable for use in leadership programs and seminars as well. A President’s Perspective is a cost-effective learning tool and is priced well below the cost of a standard textbook.

More about the book, including a video sample, can be found on online at www.presidentiallearning.org

 

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Governance
Chapter 3: Faculty
Chapter 4: Town and Gown Relations
Chapter 5: Diversity
Chapter 6: Student Affairs
Chapter 7: Athletics
Chapter 8: Risk Compliance
Chapter 9: Governmental Relations
Chapter 10: Advancement
Chapter 11: Presidential Notes

Read more...

About the Author

Photo: Jay Gogue

Dr. Jay Gogue is the featured lecturer for this course.

Gogue was president of Auburn University from 2007 until his retirement in 2017. Before returning to his alma mater, he was president of the University of Houston and chancellor of the University of Houston system, and president of New Mexico State University. Earlier in his career as an administrator, he was vice president for research and vice president/vice provost for agriculture and natural resources at Clemson University and provost at Utah State University.

Read more...

Enjoy your reading! 

Source: XanEdu


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Breaking the barriers of education with virtual classrooms | BrainCert Academy

Virtual classrooms stand poised to transform the way individuals and educational institutions go about content delivery. With the sustained interest displayed by tech developers and stakeholders alike, it is expected that in the not so distant future virtual classrooms would be the standard for worldwide content delivery.


"Gone are the days when a simple board meeting required the physical presence of all involved parties" summarizes BrainCert Academy.

A feat that is not only stressful to the participants but in most cases potentiates a drop in productivity, since they have to navigate from their distinct geographical locations to the venue of such events.

Welcome to the future where scheduled online classrooms, events and meetings are organized with the full participation of all relevant parties regardless of their geographical locations through the use of online virtual classrooms.

Even before the advent of such virtual communications tech, traditional methods of simultaneous global interaction such as conference calls and online streaming channels afforded organizations (and groups) the opportunity to interact with individuals in remote locations. The problem was that these routes of communication were most at times laced with inefficiencies. Virtual communication tech, improves on this traditional model by ridding the system of these inefficiencies and incorporating accessory tech features that allow for an endless possibility of uses. Perhaps the most applicable and widespread use of such virtual communications technology is its use in the scheduling of online virtual classrooms.

Virtual Classrooms 
A virtual classroom is a real-time simulation of an online learning environment. In such an environment (which could be web or software based), participants are fully immersed and communicate seamlessly with the teacher/instructor and other students, in the same way as they would in real life.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading
 

5 Tips to Deliver Effective Live Training Through Virtual Classrooms by BrainCert Academy.

Source: BrainCert Academy (Blog)


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Know the Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning | Edgy Labs (blog)

AI is defined by many terms that crop up everywhere and are often used interchangeably. Read through to better know the difference between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning.


Photo: Ktsdesign | shutterstock.com
Photo: Zayan Guedim
"Artificial Intelligence is, locally, a computer algorithm tasked with solving input problems based on accessible data and operational parameters, with respect to the amount of computational power available to the algorithm. More generally, AI is the name given to machine intelligence." inform Zayan Guedim, Author at Edgy Labs.

With the vast field of AI are specific concepts like machine learning and deep learning.

In the same way as Russian Matryoshka dolls where the small doll is nested inside the bigger one, each of the three segments (Deep Learning, ML and AI) is a subset of the other. Advances in these three technologies are already revolutionizing many aspects of modern life, and although very much related, they are not the same.

In this post, we’ll begin with the biggest doll “AI” and work our way down to the smallest.
 
Know the Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning:
Read more... 

Source: Edgy Labs (blog)


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The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence | New York Times - Sunday Review

Photo: Kai-Fu Lee
"It’s not robot overlords. It’s economic inequality and a new global order" notes Kai-Fu Lee, chairman and chief executive of Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital firm, and the president of its Artificial Intelligence Institute.

Photo: Rune Fisker

Too often the answer to this question resembles the plot of a sci-fi thriller. People worry that developments in A.I. will bring about the “singularity” — that point in history when A.I. surpasses human intelligence, leading to an unimaginable revolution in human affairs. Or they wonder whether instead of our controlling artificial intelligence, it will control us, turning us, in effect, into cyborgs.

These are interesting issues to contemplate, but they are not pressing. They concern situations that may not arise for hundreds of years, if ever. At the moment, there is no known path from our best A.I. tools (like the Google computer program that recently beat the world’s best player of the game of Go) to “general” A.I. — self-aware computer programs that can engage in common-sense reasoning, attain knowledge in multiple domains, feel, express and understand emotions and so on.

This doesn’t mean we have nothing to worry about. On the contrary, the A.I. products that now exist are improving faster than most people realize and promise to radically transform our world, not always for the better. They are only tools, not a competing form of intelligence. But they will reshape what work means and how wealth is created, leading to unprecedented economic inequalities and even altering the global balance of power.

It is imperative that we turn our attention to these imminent challenges.

What is artificial intelligence today? Roughly speaking, it’s technology that takes in huge amounts of information from a specific domain (say, loan repayment histories) and uses it to make a decision in a specific case (whether to give an individual a loan) in the service of a specified goal (maximizing profits for the lender). Think of a spreadsheet on steroids, trained on big data. These tools can outperform human beings at a given task.

This kind of A.I. is spreading to thousands of domains (not just loans), and as it does, it will eliminate many jobs. Bank tellers, customer service representatives, telemarketers, stock and bond traders, even paralegals and radiologists will gradually be replaced by such software. Over time this technology will come to control semiautonomous and autonomous hardware like self-driving cars and robots, displacing factory workers, construction workers, drivers, delivery workers and many others.

Unlike the Industrial Revolution and the computer revolution, the A.I. revolution is not taking certain jobs (artisans, personal assistants who use paper and typewriters) and replacing them with other jobs (assembly-line workers, personal assistants conversant with computers). Instead, it is poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of jobs — mostly lower-paying jobs, but some higher-paying ones, too.

This transformation will result in enormous profits for the companies that develop A.I., as well as for the companies that adopt it. Imagine how much money a company like Uber would make if it used only robot drivers. Imagine the profits if Apple could manufacture its products without human labor. Imagine the gains to a loan company that could issue 30 million loans a year with virtually no human involvement. (As it happens, my venture capital firm has invested in just such a loan company.)

We are thus facing two developments that do not sit easily together: enormous wealth concentrated in relatively few hands and enormous numbers of people out of work. What is to be done?
Read more...

Source: New York Times


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Is Artificial Intelligence Overhyped in 2017? by Quora, Contributor | HuffPost

AI over-hyped in 2017? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.




Answer by Joanne Chen, Partner at Foundation Capital, on Quora:

To quote Bill Gates “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

In short, over the next ten years, I don’t believe AI will be overhyped. However, in 2017, will all of our jobs be automated away by bots? Unlikely. I believe the technology has incredible potential and will permeate across all aspects of our lives. But today, my sense is that many people don’t understand what the state of AI is, and thus contribute to hype.

So what can AI do today?

Artificial intelligence, a concept dating back to the 50s, is simply the notion that a machine can performance tasks that require human intelligence. But AI today is not what the science fiction movies portray it to be. What we can do today falls in the realm of narrow AI (vs general intelligence), which is the idea that machines can perform very specific tasks in a constrained environment. With narrow AI, there are a variety of techniques that you may have heard of. I’ll use examples to illustrate differences.

Let’s say you want to figure out my age (which is 31).

1) Functional programming: what we commonly know as programming, a way to tell a computer to do something in a deterministic fashion. I tell my computer that to compute my age, it needs to solve AGE = today’s date – birth date. Then I give it my birth date (Dec 4, 1985). There is 0% chance the computer will get my age wrong.

2) Machine learning: an application of AI where we give machines data and let them learn for themselves to probabilitically predict an outcome. The machine improves its ability to predict with experience and more relevant data. So take age for example. What if I had 1,000 data sets of people’s ages and song preferences? Song preference is highly correlated with generation. For example, Led Zeppelin and The Doors fans are mostly 40+ and Selena Gomez fans are generally younger than 25. Then I could ask the computer given that I love the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys, how old does it think I am? The computer then looks at these correlations and compares it with a list of my favorite songs to predict my age within x% probability. This is a very simple example of using machine learning..

3) Deep Learning: is a type of machine learning emerged in the last few years, and talked widely about in the media when Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo program defeated South Korean Master Lee Se-dol in the board game Go.

Deep learning goes a step further than ML in that it enables the machine to learn purely by providing examples. In contrast, ML requires programmers to tell the computer what it should look for. As a result, deep learning functions much more like the human brain. This especially works well with applications like image recognition.
Read more...

Source: HuffPost


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