Armen Pischdotchian
IBM, Academic Tech Mentor, Watson Services

The material in this guide is primarily for faculty teaching courses related to Software Engineering with an emphasize on artificial intelligence. This guide provides an introduction to Watson services on IBM Cloud and shares corresponding labs that you can use in your classroom with your students.

Read this guide to learn more and find introductory videos, tutorials, corresponding labs and exercises you can use in your classroom.

This educator guide helps you to:

  • Understand the importance of developing skills around the IBM Watson services.
  • Obtain a basic understanding of IBM’s Watson services on IBM Cloud.
  • Find classroom assets, labs, training, workshops and other resources (including cloud platform access) to use in your classroom. Please note all these resources are FREE.

This guide will prepare your students to build cognitive systems that augment human intelligence. This guide also contains assets you can use in your classroom to build cognitive systems that comprise understanding vision and understanding language.

How can faculty incorporate Watson into academics?

  • Add Watson enabled cognitive services to your existing course using this guide
  • Create a new Watson course using this guide
  • Schedule IBM-led hands-on workshops. Email faculty, name, university, field, course name, number of students and other relevant details to schedule.
  • Conduct a student Watson hackathon, Watson challenge, Watson competition, etc.
  • Create a Watson lab for student skills development, project creation and innovation

While this guide can be used independently, it is beneficial to complete the IBM Cloud Educator Guide beforehand.

With Watson, you have the AI platform for business. Uncover insights, engage in new ways, make decisions with more confidence, and do your best work with Watson, today. Watson can understand all forms of data, interact naturally with people, and learn and reason, at scale.

Understand: with Watson, you can analyze and interpret all of your data, including unstructured text, images, audio, and video.

Reason: with Watson, you can provide personalized recommendations by understanding a user’s personality, tone, and emotion.

Learn: with Watson, you can utilize machine learning to grow the subject matter expertise in your apps and systems.

Interact: with Watson, you can create chatbots that can engage in dialog.

Getting started with Watson

  • Watson: How it works.
  • Watson in health sciences video
  • The future of Watson video
  • The Power of Thinking Big: IBM Research’s 5 in 5

  • The above videos and articles hopefully have given you a fair idea of what it means to work with Watson. The following videos begin with an introduction to IBM Cloud, IBM’s premier platform as a service (PaaS) where all services reside followed by specific videos of some of the Watson cognitive services that you may use in the classroom.

  • Intro tour of IBM Cloud
  • IBM Cloud developer experience – How-tos

  • …..and now, off to Watson land. The following is not an exhaustive listing of all of the services, new ones are always added and older ones deprecated. Safe to say, the following are here to stay for the time being and are considered flagship services. It helps to see the APIs in action at first, hence, when you and your students embark on actually working with them, it would look rather familiar.

  • Watson Visual Recognition demo video
  • Working with Watson Conversation service: Intents video
  • Working with Watson Conversation service: Entities video
  • Working with Watson Conversation service: Dialog video
  • IBM Watson, Twilio & Node.JS: Making a Twilio Chatbot powered by Watson Conversation-Icecream Sundae video
  • Working with Watson Discovery service video
  • Build four powerful Discovery News queries in under five minutes video
  • Watson Natural Language Understanding Technical Deep Dive video
  • Free online courses

    IBM Watson Sandbox

    • Access the sandbox and get an easy intro experience
    • Free access
    • Play with several Watson APIs, including Conversation, Discovery, Natural Language Understanding, Visual Recognition, Tone Analyzer and so forth.
    Go to website

    • Access the Big Data University courses and browse through numerous online free courses. Learn about programming languages, Data Science, Neural Networks and much more. What’s great, upon completion you will obtain a badge and post it to your LinkedIn or Twitter account.

    Node-Red visual programming tool tutorial

    • Beginner through intermediate level
    • Free online course
    • 10 hours
    • This lecture will introduce you to some examples of Node-RED, both to give you a sense of its capabilities and to introduce its basic concepts. By the end of this lecture you should have a high-level understanding of Node-RED, its programming model and some simple pre-built nodes as well as an insight into the origins and best usage of Node-RED.
    Go to website

    IBM Cloud Essentials

    • Beginner level
    • Free registration. Free course.
    • 10 hours
    • Learn the basics of Cloud computing, cloud architecture, and how to maximize the value of cloud development; The components and features of IBM Cloud, such as organizations, spaces, boilerplates, and services; How to quickly deploy and modify a boilerplate application in Node.js by using the IBM Cloud web interface
    Go to website

    IBM Certified Application Developer on Cloud

Before you begin with the labs

As with all software labs there these pesky downloads that we call pre-requisites. Naturally, getting an IBM Cloud account is foremost and thereafter, you will need to download certain run time engines and other tools in order for you and your students to complete the labs. The labs in the adjacent three tabs: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced have direct links to Github repositories where you will find packaged code that you can fork to your repository or download to your local system. Most packages accompany a PDF detailing how to complete the exercises and some of the labs include a video to further enhance your understanding of the APIs. The idea is to use each lab as blueprint or a template to then build other domain-specific chatbots and gain insights specific to your or your pupil’s interests.

Get IBM Cloud platform access and setup environment

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Step 1: Secure a IBM Cloud Trial Account

  • Register for free IBM Cloud trial
  • Check your email and look for an email from IBM Cloud (check spam as well). Click the verification link. You will now have 30 day IBM Cloud trial access

Step 2: Create Organization and Space

  • After signing into IBM Cloud, create an Organization (email you provided at the time of registration) and a Space (dev)

Step 3: Ensure you’re in Region “US South” under your account setting

  • Clicking on your profile in the top far right corner should look something like this screenshot. If you see “Sydney” in the Region, click on the dropdown and change it to “US South”

Step 4: Explore IBM Cloud

  • Explore IBM Cloud catalog, services, dashboard, documents, etc

Step 5: Request IBM Cloud promocodes: 6 months for students and 12 months for faculty

Download necessary software pre-requisites

Estimated time: 1 hour

Some of the workshops in the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced sections require that you download certain software, such as node.js or cURL, plus creating an account with the Weather Company. Please begin with this document that resides on Github, as do all other workshops.

Please click here and download (not just view on the Gitbub page) the prerequisites document.