Gone are the days…..

eLearning has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The emergence of new technologies being rolled out and an incredible rate and the new wave of superfast broadband internet has completely changed the landscape of eLearning.

With this comes new expectations.

Real-time collaboration is becoming more and more sought after as a cheap and effective way of delivering classes and tutorials and other learning.

The internet has come into a golden age with the rolling out of fast broadband and with it the expansion of possibilities. This is key for the delivery of eLearning.

The old days of eLearning through the post which would mean days or even weeks between feedback from teachers and lecturers are gone.

“The general population’s willingness to search for and act on information, as well as interact with others 106-chat_logoin authentic ways–regardless of location–has begun to carry over to real-time collaboration and online learning. ”

http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/elearning-future-no-longer-five-years-away

This type of learning is not just for traditional colleges and schools. Even though the likes of ‘Open University’ have been around a long time, the new advancements in eLearning will completely change the way they do things and for the better.

Examples of real-time collaboration tools: chat rooms, skype, social media, bootcamp

Advertisements

Change a coming (3D print)

Image“As applications of the technology expand and prices drop, the first big implication is that more goods will be manufactured at or close to their point of purchase or consumption. This might even mean household-level production of some things. (You’ll pay for raw materials and the IP—the software files for any designs you can’t find free on the web.) Short of that, many goods that have relied on the scale efficiencies of large, centralized plants will be produced locally. Even if the per-unit production cost is higher, it will be more than offset by the elimination of shipping and of buffer inventories. Whereas cars today are made by just a few hundred factories around the world, they might one day be made in every metropolitan area. Parts could be made at dealerships and repair shops, and assembly plants could eliminate the need for supply chain management by making components as needed.”

source:  Richard A. D’Aveni     http://hbr.org/2013/03/3-d-printing-will-change-the-world/

This will have implications for big manufacturing business and other sectors such as retail.

The likes of China who in recent years have become the biggest holder of outsourcing contracts will have a big problem on their hands.

With issues like this, come the other inevitable problems relating to national economies and the Global economy as a whole.

What will this mean for Capitalism????

The Cloud

ImageOne definite trend in technology is the move to cloud based computing/storage. This move is already in full swing with the likes of music applications and graphics suites such as adobe having already made to move to online subscription based cloud accessible applications

It is only inevitable that eLearning applications, if they have not already done so, will soon follow.

“There is an increasing demand for inexpensive, high quality, global training. Currently, business is transitioning from costly in-person training routines to eLearning programs. In the coming years, any stigmas attached to online learning will be abolished. Instead, cloud-based technology will streamline corporate training procedures and open doors to customized learning options for small and medium sized businesses”   source:  Jeffrey Roth http://interactyx.com/social-learning-blog/cloud-based-technologies-and-the-future-of-elearning/

My Assumptions (What I have heard)

From what I have learned or heard over the last couple of years (no research), the possibilities of 3D printing are endless!

The emergence of this technology could eventually bring about the biggest change in World society ever.

It could spell the end for capitalism as we know it, or from the threat of this could be the dawn of a more strict and authoritarian society.

But maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Once someone owns a 3D printer, which are relatively cheap, one can just download the plans or blueprints from the net and print themselves anything from a house to an automobile or even a gun.

Nasa have already printed engine parts which could be used in space missions and are already in the process of building a purpose built printer which they will they will deposit on the International Space Station (ISS) which will allow the astronauts on the station to print spare parts or special custom built tools for specific jobs for maintenance of the station or any visiting vessel. This will dramatically cut costs of Space based research.

Even more exciting, is what it means for space exploration and colonisation of the likes of Mars.

The first artificially printed burgar was recently created using actual cloned cells from a cow. This could lead to a fix for world hunger.

As I have said many times in this post, the possibilities are endless and we are at the cusp or dramatic change. Lets hope it is for the best!!

The Job.1

This blog is part of an assignment I am doing for my 4th year, 1st semester, Digital Culture Module on my Multimedia degree.

The assignment is in 2 parts.

1.  Create a blog to research and discuss a topic that falls under the category of ‘Emerging Technology’. The Digital Age is upon us and it looks like it is here to stay. at least until ‘Quantum computing’ arrives, if it arrives.

2.  Based on my research, I must prepare a PodCast. The Podcast must be 120 seconds long with professional quality audio and with option of using an animation or video.

For my topic, I have chosen 3D printing. And what it means for the future

Wishful thinking

If you have ever read anything or heard Ray Kurzweil or other similar Futurists words, they have some radical ideas about the future of humanity.

Some claim that in a few years, in the 2040’s there will be a phenomenon known as the singularity (a phrase borrowed from the world of theoretical physics).

It claims that technology is advancing at such a rate, exponentially, that we will get to a point, a tipping point if you will, that a number of things may happen. Either we will merge completely with technology (this has already began) or that technology will become the overlord of humanity, whacky I know.

Or another possibility, which Kurzweil was really hoping for, Transhumanism would become a reality.

Transhumanism is the theory that we will eventually be able, when technology has advanced enough, to download or personality, or memories or being into a supercomputer and live indefinitely in a virtual digital world as avatar, creating our own reality and doing whatever we like.

Wonderful ideas but maybe a little bit to out there.

But one thing I have come to realise as I have gotten older, is that with all the misguided and underutilised ability of the human race, we have got great minds and some of the things which we have thought to be impossible have become a reality through the imagination of the human mind. Science fiction has often become science fact.

When it comes to eLearning, which might seem a bit mundane after the crazy theories I have just outlined, there is also some amazing possibilities on the horizon.

One theory is that we will be able to automatically, instantaneously learn a new language or a new skill (matrix style) by simply looking at a computer screen.

Ok so this is not what this blog is about but it all fits in with the idea that the landscape of the future can sometimes be impossible to imagine.

But we will have a go

3D Printing

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing[1] is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.[2] 3D printing is also considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

The Job

digital_culture_album_artworkThis blog is part of an assignment I am doing for my 4th year, 1st semester, Digital Culture Module on my Multimedia degree.

The assignment is in 2 parts.

1.  Create a blog to research and discuss a topic that falls under the category of ‘Digital Culture’. The Digital Age is upon us and it looks like it is here to stay. at least until ‘Quantum computing’ arrives, if it arrives.

2.  Based on my research, I must prepare a presentation. Not your typical power point presentation but a ‘Pecha Kucha‘ style presentation in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The slide changes whether you have said your piece or not. This will be very stressful for me as I am not the most confident public speaker but I can see how this will be beneficial for someone like myself. We all need to learn how to sell ourselves.