Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Top 200 tools for learning - Jane Hart's collation for 2017

The annual top 200 tools for learning now available. As usual, a good resource for educators of the types of digital tools available to assist with learning. There is a brief analysis  with details of the participants who provided the data and this year's shifts.

On my part, I use this yearly post to update myself on the various tools available. Especially to check out the ones I have not encountered and to evaluate them for relevance to the learning needs of the various programmes at Ara.

Familiar and 'tried and true' tools make up the first 50 on the list. The first 'new' entry arrives at 55 with Typeform, a forms and survey tool. I will try this out the next time I need to do a short survey and compare it to my usual go to survey tool - Survey Monkey.

Most of the new entries appear after 100. The ones I will check out are Wisemapping for mindmapping, tableau for interactive data visualisation (free trial but payment beyond),  Quizizz a free quizz generator, smartup for microlearning and ENTiTi (paid app) for generating AR and VR content.

Some familiar names have now come up into the rankings - including Pebblepad for eportfolios, office lens and google keep.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

INAP conference 2017 DAY 2

iNAP day 2

Begins with keynote by Professor Dr. Michael Gessler from the Institute of Training in Germany,  on collaboration between companies and schools in the German dual Apprenticeship system. Began with overview as to the importance of nomenclature. VET should use its own structure so it is now always seen as a lesser alternative to university. Higher VET should have its own way of accreditation. Summarised the various ways to define Apprenticeship: informal, time served, competence based, standards based, dual sequential, dual alternance, dual integration, trial alternance. Provided history of European apprenticeship to unpack the reasons for the many ways apprenticeship is structured and the evolution of the dual system which began in Germany in 1964. Dual system relies on cooperation between industry and the vocational school. However, cooperation has never been prevalent and relationship between school and industry has been industry holding more power. Research has focussed on outcomes I.e. Assessments but important to improve the process of training instead. Shared current work on codifying the concept of collaboration. Continuum between coordination, cooperation and co construction. Details in International journal for research in VET vol 4, issue 2 for article. 

Workshop streams begin and I attend the stream on Apprenticeship and universities.

Dr. Michael Barrett, James Eustace and team from IT Sligo and SOLAs, on lessons learned from the implementation of Ireland's first degree level Apprenticeships using the BA (Hons) (level 8) in Insurance Practice. Overview of Irish context, rationale for the new apprenticeship and the details of implementation. Plans to increase number of 'new' apprenticeships, which are not craft based, to increase range of industries and range of occupations and range of learners beyond traditional profiles. So, industry led, at levels 5 to 10, 2 to 4 years and flexible on line delivery to support mostly workplace based learning. For the insurance practice, students have one day at work to be participating in the online classes. Programme runs across 3 semesters a year, with one semester over the traditional summer 'break'. Detailed how the collaboration across insurance institute, employers, education provider and apprentices. National governance and the social partners' involvement are key to the programme's development and continuance. Also relationships with industry, employers, government agencies looking after apprenticeships and providers. 

Yuen Sui Ping on her current PhD study at the University of Siegen, on Measuring experience-knowledge as a factor for 'industry 4.0' (industrial internet of things). Detailed expert systems, need for explicit and tacit knowledge and overview of current research. Rationale for the need of new types of skills which are interdisciplinary, high level cognitive and relational. Current project seeks to find out what constitutes human knowledge and what human cognitive processes cannot be replaced. reiterated Burch four stage model of competence from novice to expert and mastery. Explicit knowledge is describable and tacit is difficult to capture, usually intuition, common sense etc. method is to have 20 candidates who are novices to expert to perform a set tasks, 3 times on 3 different days. Task completion is observed, timed, and the candidate is asked to verbalise the task.  

After lunch, a plenary panel discussion led by Diana Jones on developments in Latin America (Maria Victoria Fazio), England (Thomas Bewick), Germany (Michael Gessler) and Continental Europe (Antje Barabasch). 
Mario Victoria Fazio is from the Inter American Development Bank with Apprenticeships in the 21st century. Set up the context whereby there is high unemployment, difficult school to work transitions, there is a technical and socio emotional skills gap and there is low productivity in firms. Solutions tend to be short term. Apprenticeship seen to be better due to longer term commitment. Defined apprenticeship as requiring contract, structured training, on and off job training and ends with certification. Not all of these present in LA countries and systems are very small. Ended up with a toolkit of 10 core elements to support implementation of apprenticeship. Align with country strategy, engage employers, set structure, fund and incentivise, develop curricula, deliver, assess, certify, promote and ensure quality. Shared case study on setting up new programme in Bahamas. 

Tom Bewick, President of the Transalantic Apprenticeship exchange forum, shared experiences on the development of apprenticeship from scratch in England. Provided overview of last decade in England including large increase in apprenticeship numbers. Case study of creative industries sector. At beginning,  no tradition of apprenticeship. Began with development of creative arts pathways to help understand industry skill needs, test different approaches and make apprenticeship something special. 

Antje Barabasch shared the European experience. Detailed one of the first projects completed by the European Alliance for Apprenticeship. Looked in the governance policies of several countries Spain, Portugal, Latvia etc. Spain expressed interest in setting up experience. Italy investigating options. Portugal and Latvia has few apprentices mainly school based. Sweden working on improving of current system but has developed an apprenticeship for adults. 

Michael Gessler representing the European consortium of VET researchers, presented a quick review of the various ways Apprenticeship is constituted. Summarised 2015 Riga agreement for VET. 

Discussion followed around:
Need to define what is apprenticeship? YES. and panel members provided rationale and requirements.
What kinds of assessment matrix should be adopted? Check Onefile, a fully online system for employers and apprentices, which connects competency standards to evidence, used in England. European approach is to ensure teachers provided with good understanding of role of assessments and quality standards. Assessment is a key only if you don't trust the system. A good system should support assessments for feedback, not just for certifications. 

Last round of workshops focused on trends and patterns across countries.
I attend the following:

Bai Bin on a qualitative research of Apprenticeship competency training in school based Master studio. Cooperation between school and workplace does not work well, therefore difficult to find good workplaces for apprentices. Introduced concept of master studios, as the employment of expert practitioners in school based workshops to teach. A way to provide model practice to novices. Masters are still working in industry and come into studio at selected times to demonstrate and teach. Study on what tasks should be selected, the learning scenario and curriculum. Interviewed masters and students to find out their perceptions. Also collected evidence from studio observations and blogs. Important are work task selection, ill defined working tasks, complex scenarios and the organisation of the work. Also Apprentices learn work process, the teaching style and characteristics of master is important and need to integrate learning at school to master studio sessions.

Liu Yuting with a qualitative research on cultivation of Apprenticeship in traditional arts and crafts. Presented background and rationale. Important to retain traditional crafts. Exampled by carved lacquer craft which has a 1,400 years history but only small number of master practitioners. Long engagement with the work and learning through deliberate practice required to learn the complex skill. Interviewed practitioner and analysed others via video, journals on craft practice. Explained various skill components used in carving. Established master took 1 1/2 years to learn skills and then 2 hours a day across 20 years to refine. Skills learnt through imitation of master, routine training and socio cultural learning. Draws up characteristics of deliberate practice as time, personalised learning, reflection, high goals, feedback opportunities.  

All in a good opportunity to catch up on developments in various other countries. 

International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship-conference 2017 - DAY 1

In Washington DC for the biannual International Network of Innovative Apprenticeship (INAP) conference. The theme is Modern Apprenticeship: widening their scopes, sustaining their quality. The conference is held at the US Bureau of Statistics and organised by the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship, Siemens Foundation, Urban Institute and the Swiss Embassy. An opening reception is held on the evening of 1/10. As always, good to meet familiar faces and meet new researchers. 

The opening session is chaired by Robert I. Lerman. Greetings and opening remarks come from Professor Philipp Gonon.

First keynote is with Dr. Omar Arias from the World Bank, who speaks on the topic - Skills policies in a fast-changing world of work. Provided a high level overview, of relevance to Apprenticeships.Covered 3 mega trends - globalisation, shifting trade patterns and demographic shifts. Implications for skills demand and follow on to skills policies and programs. Mega trends exponential change increased by technological (ICT) breakthroughs. Brings costs of processes down, income from manufacturing employment has peaked and a concern for developing countries as they now are unable to raise national productivity and wages. Increasing urbanisation increases need for Services, shifting skills from technical to social / relational. So, increase in high skilled occupations with intensive non routine cognitive and interpersonal skills and decrease in low skilled occupations with non routine manual skills. Middle skills with intensive routine cognitive and manual skills especially challenged. Therefore, multiplicity of skills required including basic cognitive, social emotional and technical skills. Recommends training systems are market / employer driven, tailor needs to clientele / learner population, adopt task based approach to training, have mainstream active learning practices e.g. Apprenticeship, internships etc. and be results and evidence based to make decision. 

Workshops then begin. The first has 3 streams. I attend the stream on Apprenticeship and universities: substitutes or complements.

First up, Thomas Deissinger from the University of Konstanz in Germany, on VET and universities in the German context - substitutes or complements? A problem analysis. Provided an overview of the German VET context, then the structural relationships between Vocational and academic and discussion. Explained how the dual system (Apprenticeship) works. In essence, allows for students to move from Vocational to work or Vocational to entry into the academic. Slight shift in numbers over last decade with an increase in higher ed. 2.8 million in 2015 and 2.3 million in dual and full time VET. Summarised the challenges to try to balance employers demands for high quality entrants and young people's expectations for occupations with high wages and opportunities. Introduced the concept of vocational academies or dual universities which are an option post upper secondary education which also includes universities, polytechnics or applied universities and university of education. 4 meanings of tertairisation of VET - Vocational full time schools, hybrid qualifications, new Batchelor courses in HE and HE Institutes copying the VET dual model. Dual universities often envisaged as a 'premium Apprenticeship '.  

Followed by, Warren Guest from Holmesglen TAFE completing his studies in conjunction with Mike Brown at La Trobe University in Melbourne on  - Pastoral care within a college setting: customising individual Apprenticeship support towards lifting participation and completion rates. Detailed study carried out to increase apprenticeship completion. Started with an overview of the Australian system for the international audience. Rationalised project objectives. Piloted a centre to support apprenticeship (ASC) offering liaison between the various agencies and support networks, players. 183 case studies examined  and interviewed 6 ASC staff to find out what it was about ASC works best. Support from ASC included elements of pastoral care usually solved by referrals to other agencies,  mentoring was to assist with advice as to what to do after Apprenticeship, assistance with academic skills and financial assistance. Vocational background of ASC deemed to be major advantage in helping to resolve issues and assist with eventual completion. 

After lunch, the second round of workshop run. I stay in the workshop stream I present in. The theme is occupational standards and assessing competence.

First up, Douglas Haynes and team from the Institute of Technology in Dublin on Innovative Assessment and its implication for Apprenticeship. Changed assessment type in one module. Provided background of the development of core practical skills using project based learning. Objective to shift summative assessment to being more transparent and collaborative. Students self assessed their own work then peer assessed to negotiate final mark. Context in electronic engineering. Wanted to improve student and teacher relationship, improve feedback, improve clarity of assessment, improve self evaluation and assessment skills, and increase student confidence. Found better student and teacher relationship, assessments were clearer, self evaluation and confidence similar. feedback valued more in traditional assessments which may be because of students were in first year and more dependent on teacher judgement. 

I present examples and interim findings from our eassessment for learning project. Revolving around the affordances of efeedback, range of feedback and learning possibilities and need to ensure students and tutors confidence not only in digital literacy but also in learning through using digital tools and platforms. 

Then Professor Ursel Hauschildt from University of Bremen, working with Helen Brown, with competence measurement and development in South Africa: exploring the determinants heterogeneity. Reports on major conclusions of data analysis on COMET. Provided statistics on number of test takers, their trades, genders and completion rates. Explained how competency graphs are constituted. Reported on learners' perceptions on being tested. Despite many learners unable to complete tasks, most supported the tests, they were interested and motivated and enjoyed the challenging test. Discussed the wide range of results coming from the 12 sites and the challenges presented by the SA contexts. Teacher tests reveal wide gap between top and bottom teachers and will need to be addressed to assist forward movement,

Followed by Professor Ralph Dreher from the University of Zeeland, on work process oriented content of VET - a concept facing the development of industry 4. Worked on understanding industry's perspective on what is the future of industry in the context of the internet of things? Provided examples of totally automatic systems, replacing skilled workers. High qualifications work now has changed to becoming the optimisers - requiring knowledge of production process and programming knowledge. Therefore, need to combine the vocational with the academic. Framed using curriculum focused on higher skills (Spottl / Dreher, 2009) - moving from craftsmanship to industrialisation and automation with increase from imitation to science, action and design orientation. From being able to do to understanding and reflection. From unconscious incompetence to unconcious competence. Need to shift teachers as well. And there is the challenge of trying to understand how to understand unconscious competence. How to develop tacit knowledge, giving the possibility to verbalise and codify tacit knowledge. 

Last stream of workshops and I attend the stream on Innovative teaching and learning.

Dr. John Gaal presents on tweaking success: developing a pre-Apprenticeship program for at risk high school students. Provided US background and present opportunities to encourage apprenticeship in Missouri. Case studies on Bayless Floor Layers mAp focused on bringing apprenticeship into the secondary school system, Ferg-Flor advanced manufacturing based in 6 states, BUD lite to bring women and minorities into construction trades.  Detailed evolution, development and logistical plans with the original Bayless programme since 2004 and scaling to other states. Summarised learnings as identify best practice, focus on something workable first, do your research, turn back if it does not work, and establish trusting relationships. 

Then, Aine Doherty from the Institute of Technology at Sligo, Ireland, on using reflective online diary entry to enhance teaching and learning in online Apprenticeship: pedagogical perspectives. The three year programme BA in insurance practice through Apprenticeship. One day a week online learning using Adobe Connect and Moodle. standard BA curriculum followed and third semester over the summer is on the insurance specific learning. Summarised the challenges and recommendations on experiences as online teachers. Connected reflective practice to students own learning, analysed students postings to improve teaching approaches and enable more holistic assessments (diaries worth 20% for summative assessment). 

Bettina Siecke from the University of Applied Science in Düsseldorf presents on heterogeneity as a challenge in assistant nurse training: which strategies do teachers use? Introduced the topic and context on the German health sector. Skill shortage due to aging population requires a broadening of skill and easing entry in assistant nursing - into dual Apprenticeship and through full time Vocational schools and schools of health and social sector. Regular nurse training system summarised. Comparatively, assistant nurse training is for 1 -2 years and content and learner profile is more diverse. Small study with 4 interviews across 5 teachers. Reported on results.  

The conference then travels across to the Swiss Embassy for more presentations and conference dinner. 

We begin the evening with a welcome from Dr. Simon Marti head of science, technology and higher education from the Swiss Embassy. Provides an overview of Swiss and US cooperation on Apprenticeship along with context, system and funding on apprenticeship. 

Professor. Philipp Gonon from the University of Zurich provides an overview on recent trends in Switzerland: skills policies in a fast changing world of work. Presented on expansion, quality and hybridisation through a longitudinal, historical report on the longevity of the Swiss VET system. 

Dr. Robert Lerman follows with the trends in the U.S. Apprenticeship. discussed the different US system where apprenticeship numbers are low, when compared to other similar countries like U.K., Australia and Canada. Presented on some of the multiple reasons for this. Need to recognise more than just academic skills to include occupational and employability skills. Recent and present governments support expansion of apprenticeship. Need 9 elements to sustain apprenticeship, effective branding, incentivise to set up apprenticeship, develop credible occupational standards, make Apprenticeship easy to create, funding for off job classes and quality education, counselling, screening and support of apprentices, certification body to issue credentials and research, credible assessments and train the trainers. Proposed how some of these elements can be achieved. 

Brent Parton deputy director of centre for education and skills - New America, presents on US Youth Apprenticeship and Colorado startup. Provided quick overview of New America and its vision and mission. Presented study on why youth apprenticeship has not become mainstream in US. Included case study on initiative in Colorado. Found public open to Apprenticeship but systems are fragmented and not well known. However, need to keep at it has many advantages for apprenticeship. Presented examples although most relatively small and much still needs to be done regarding support systems and policies. 

Each provides their perspective. Dinner is pizza from A wood fired oven on the Embassy grounds.

A busy, productive but long day. Good networking with a range of researchers working on similar challenges. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ako Aotearoa 2016 annual report - resource for tertiary education research in NZ

Annual reports are perhaps not the most enervating of reads. However, Ako Aotearoa's 2016 annual report is more than just a bland overview of Ako Aotearoa activities and financial reporting for last year.

Caveat: I have received funding from Ako Aotearoa for several projects and have small mention in report as part of Ako Aotearoa Excellence in Tertiary Teaching selection panel.

It is a 'one stop shop' summarising some of the recent Ako Aotearoa funded projects - both the Nationally (usually $100,000 plus) and hub funded projects (around $10,000). The report begins with a Highlights section consisting summaries of 12 recently completed projects – both National and Hub funded.

Then, the report moves through to the reporting of the strategic themes which guide their work. The 'flavour' of the unique NZ tertiary system, with it's emphasis on biculturalism is captured well.
Of most use are the summaries of strategic direction and projects which align to each theme.
There is good information on Maori / Pasifika projects and the fostering and acting on the learner voice. These projects presently focus on building capability with student 'union' and associations to allow them to be able to better represent the needs of tertiary students. 

There are also summaries of submissions – especially to the recently completed Productivity commission report on new models of tertiary education. Ako Aotearoa supporting the need to ensure tertiary teachers are supported in their professional development as teachers.

The various national and regional projects were then summarised along with international linkages.

So, overall, not just an annual report but a good resource for anyone keen to find out more about the NZ tertiary educations system beyond statistics and policy statements. The report celebrates the uniqueness of NZ tertiary education as being more than just the learning of occupational skills but a contribution to the nation's social fabric and the building of a bi-cultural national ethos. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Transition to technology / AI driven world

I have been following with some interest, the reports over the last couple of weeks coming out of Asia on collisions between US Navy ships and other vessels.

As a consequence of the latest collision a couple of weeks ago, the fourth accident this year, the UN Navy relieved its commander of the 7th Fleet.

Today online had an interesting article on how the collisions may be an outcome of an over-reliance on technology. The article surmises this over-reliance on technology, may be have led to a decline in basic seamanship and other competencies.

One of the seminal readings on workplace on workplace learning is an article by Edwin Hutchins on ‘learning to navigate'.

Hutchins, E. (1996). Learning to navigate. In S. Chaiklin & Lave, J. (Eds). Understanding practice: perspectives on activity and context (pp.35-63). Cambridge, Mass: Cambridge University Press. also see his book - Cognition in the Wild.
An overview and more up-to date (2002) analysis and discussion on distributed cognition is provided by Karasavvidis.

In short, the article presents how the knowledge and expertise required to run complex machinery, organisations, processes etc. are shared amongst workers. The context for Pea’s study was a naval ship. The 'technology' 20 plus years ago, still required sailors to manually trace the ship's trajectory on nautical maps. Each seaman added a task / piece of knowledge and the collection of all of these activities ensured the ship reached its destination safely.

Of note, in Hutchin's work, and also the work of Pea, is the notion of 'distributed intelligence'. See the seminal readings for these:

Hutchins, E., & Klausen, T. (1998). Distributed cognition in an airline cockpit. In Y. Engestrom & D. Middleton, Cognition and communication at work (pp. 15-34).. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Pea, R.D. (1993). Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education. In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations (pp. 47-87). New York: Cambridge University Press.

When we add Artificial intelligence into the mix, the need for greater levels of understanding amongst the 'users' of the information being generated, takes on a whole different connotation. In short, the human 'overseers' will require some way to 'see the BIG picture'. Otherwise, decisions made by humans and AI, within already complex systems, become even more complicated. Especially given two recent examples for caution: AI robots are sexist / racist given their programmers tend to come from perspectives of privilege (often WASP) and 'killer robot' warfare is closer than we think.

Therefore, education for all humans, requires a BIG picture focus. The ability to be skilled in occupational tasks will also require an understanding of WHY the task is required, WHERE the task fits into the larger scheme of things and understanding of the implications if any parts of the whole, become compromised plus HOW to correct, re-develop, re-configure etc. if something does go wrong, in a timely manner. Simulations will need to ensure these big picture focuses are embedded to provide for authentic learning by novices and others requiring upgrading or updating. There is therefore also a need for learners to understand HOW AI may work and the algorithms underlying decision making. The human brain, may make decisions which are going to differ, due to the individualised nature of human learning. Hence, we not not only need to be empathetic to the needs of others when we work in teams etc. but also be aware of what AI brings into our work processes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Disobedient Teaching - reflections on book

While away, catching up with my aged parents, I read the book ‘Disobedient teaching’ by Welby Ings. I read the book while awaiting my connecting flight from Melbourne to Singapore. The long flight across, provided me with some reflecting time. Over the last few days, I dipped in and out of the book, to better savour the many messages, woven through the narrative.

I have had the privilege of listening to several presentations provided by Welby over the years. Most have been whilst at AkoAotearoa Academy symposiums, a gathering of tertiary educators who have been recognised through an excellence in tertiary teaching award. Welby was the first winner of the Prime Ministers Supreme award in 2002. Welby’s presentations are always looked forward to, as he is a storyteller par excellence. He never fails to connect to my emotions as he talks about a topic, usually around the need to be a teacher, who is true to one’s self.

In 2007, when I attended at the first symposium, I was rather overwhelmed to be in such illustrious company. In hindsight, I was afflicted strongly by ‘the imposter’ syndrome. I was wondering where I fitted in as almost all the other academy members were university professors. Welby encouraged me with his gentle welcome, to be myself. In particular, he was a good listener and empathised with new members to the academy.

I have been looking forward to reading Welby’s book and needed to do the book justice by setting outside some dedicated time to read it. The book is written in a very accessible style, filled with stories to illustrate the recommendations made through the book. There are also techniques sprinkled through the book, of how to teach creatively, bravely and disobediently.The book is a clarion call to educators - to not be bowed by pressures from administrators, politicians and ministries. Instead to hold to the principles of good teaching and to uphold the prime objectives of being teachers. In short, to ensure learners' needs are advanced and the learners' voices are not subsumed.

I think all teachers who are any good, who care for their students and want to help them learn, should read this book. Teaching is, and always will be, about relationships. Not about how to ensure students only ‘pass a test’ but to help students learn more about themselves. How to help learners go about learning and becoming who they want to become.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Reading - recommendations via Good Reads

I have always been a voracious reader. At school, I averaged a book a day, albeit short fiction titles e.g. Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew etc. Weekly, I visited each of the three libraries within 3 km of my home and I still remember the day, when I turned 15 and I could borrow ‘adult’ literature on my ‘youth’ library card. Meanwhile, I worked my way through my neighbour’s book case. They were both school teachers and their library featured best sellers of the time – Michener, Uris, LeCarre along with a good collection of Agatha Christies. Like many readers, I began with no real planning, just whatever came to hand. As with Oliver Sacks, reading through childhood, gave me a perspective on the world outside of my sheltered upbringing. Also, as with Barrack Obama, books allow us to attain empathy for others who are unlike ourselves. 

For the past 16 years, my reading has centred around books, papers and journals pertinent to my studies and research. Hence, fiction reading has all but vanished apart from the odd science fiction / space opera over term breaks. In an effort to maintain a better work-life balance I now try to borrow one or two non-fiction titles each month from the local library which are not related to work / research. These books are aligned to my other interests – botany, geology, astronomy, travel (especially cycle touring a la Dervla Murphy and backpacking / mountaineering) etc.

Last year, I finally succumbed and signed up for goodreads, which is owned by Amazon - meaning the recommendations need to be taken with some awareness of marketing ploys. However,  I do like the ‘recommendations’. I find many to be useful and now have a rather large list of ‘want to read’ books archived for follow up. Through the goodreads recommendations, I have been able to find a wider range of books within related topics, expanding my reading repertoire beyond the usual weekly browse of the local library shelves. My ‘recreational’ reading has thus become more ‘focused’. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. Browsing library shelves is a great way to widen ones’ horizon. The movement to ebooks has dampened some of the opportunities to browse as search engines stick to the patterns intuited from your previous searches. In a way, Goodreads is similar but at least the process is overt and one has a choice to move away from the recommended books predicated on the list of books one has read or wants to read.

Monday, August 21, 2017

AI powered humans

Here is a recent article from the BBC on how AI assists with the development of new drugs for humans. I am not sure if I would find the concept reported to be acceptable. However, I am one who also,  since I have a good sense of direction, find GPS a pain. The report focuses on how AI can eb used to bring researchers together with AI to create pharmaceuticals faster. The process is referred to as Benevolent AI. This Ai sifts through the digital literature across a range of disciplines which specialists researchers may not have the mental capacity to become familiar with. So the AI is able to form some conclusions / synthesis the outcomes from chemical libraries, medical databases and scientific papers to find likely new compounds or procedures to be developed by drug companies or researchers. 

Related to the above is recent reports on the use of microchips in workplaces to provide employees with access to company resources. Again, possible need to think through the implications of this occuring in educaiton.

Some interesting predictions including humans being banned from driving as self-drive cars are safer. A computer becoming your boss, who is able to hire and fire you based on analytics collected of your work. The internet of things allowing you to talk to the room, your fridge, the TV etc. - although it is important to keep in mind that advances in voice recognition still has some way to go - see this video circulating around now for some years - of two Scots men trying to get a voice activated lift (elevator) which seems to only understand American accents, to work. 

Other predictions include Avatars replacing dead actors in movies (already happening); continuous health monitoring of individuals; and pilotless planes within 10 years.

Another recent article from the Melbourne Age, extols the rise of automation, saving workers at least 2 hours a day of doing mundane / repetitive work in jobs of bank telling, retailing. Based on recent report on Australian work and the automation advantage. These jobs are seen to then become safer, more satisfying and more valuable as humans are able to do the more interesting and creative aspects of these jobs. So, food for thought here and another call for 'occupational identity' to become fluid. The days of saying ' I am a/n xx' based on the work we do, may be coming to an end.