future

Lessons in the future: How the next decade will change higher education

There aren’t many aspects of life that have changed more since the turn of the millennium than how we educate ourselves.

For that, we have the internet to thank first and foremost. The great depths of information we now have access to via a simple flick of the finger would almost have been unfathomable just 30 years ago.

In fact, the wealth of data and statistics we can use to form opinions and drive content is so vast that there’s a legitimate concern that there’s simply too much coming in from too many unreliable sources. Fake News represents the ugly side of this brave new era of unprecedented interconnectivity and will no doubt be a major concern for universities and higher education institutions as we move into the next decade.

Source: portalsena.info

Despite the increasing prevalence of misinformation, there should be very few reasons to be fearful of those associated with higher education. Technology has empowered students to collaborate seamlessly over social media in group projects, access extensive texts from university libraries online, and submit completed essays and work digitally.

The contrast between educational institutions in the early 1990s and today is emphatic, so what can we expect to see over the next decade of technological innovations?

Working with intelligence

Source: aiexpoafrica.com

Technavio predicts the educational artificial intelligence market will have grown by almost 48% by 2022 alone, with more higher education institutions eager to implement some form of AI technology to aid learning.

However, the potential power of artificial intelligence extends way beyond the domain of learning tools. Some institutions around the world are already working on implementing AI as a means of aiding the development of individual students. University 20.35 uses artificial intelligence to interpret big data into devising each of its students’ educational trajectories – ensuring that none of its online students are left behind or left feeling unchallenged. We sat down with Dmitry Peskov, the head of University 20.35, and had some interesting thoughts. Here are a few questions we asked him:

Hello Dmitry, please tell us about your role within AI in higher education?

I am faced with the task of training professionals for the digital economy of the future. When we started dealing with this challenge, we saw that educational programs in traditional universities and the teaching methods applied therein didn’t correspond to the needs of either private companies or the state. Everything is transforming very quickly, new specializations are created, and the requirements for traditional ones are constantly expanding. We realized that we need a data-driven educational platform where everything would be personalized as much as possible through the use of AI. Hence, the University 20.35 was established as a result.

Could AI help resolve some of the big issues when it comes to education?

Source: pixabay.com

Yes. Artificial intelligence allows for a high degree of accuracy in evaluating what is important and interesting for a particular person. A student who consumes only what is interesting for them learns much better. It is safe to say that the professional career of such a person will go uphill quite rapidly since the person clearly knows what they need and how to achieve that. But the beginning of everything is an individual approach to education.

How accurate can AI be in calculating students’ pathways?

It all depends on the quality of the data that we give the AI. It can take in a lot of data, but if we want to get the most useful information from it, then, we should help it. For example, I already mentioned that the AI analyses various multimedia materials that students upload into the system. But, in order to draw practical conclusions from that data, it must relate to the educational process. Our experience shows that students quickly adapt to productive interaction with AI.

 

 

AI is also already being implemented in the form of chatbots. At Staffordshire University, Beacon is the name given to the institution’s dedicated chatbot – happily on hand to deal with any queries its students may have while in the middle of the most arduous of all-nighters ahead of a deadline. Beacon’s able to handle a wide range of inquiries and can automatically answer over 400 frequently asked questions.

Moving into the 2020s, we can expect to see much more widespread usage of chatbots, as wells as a considerable increase in the complexity of the queries that they’re capable of dealing with. When higher education institutions are often scrutinized for the accessibility of its tutors, tools like Beacon will become an industry standard.

Artificial intelligence will also play a significant role within the future of HE. Algorithmic AI programs will be capable of not only assessing the aptitude of new students based on a wealth of factors but can also deliver extensive assessments of their submissions – simultaneously checking for plagiarism as well as highlighting potential areas of concern or merit for tutors to corroborate.

Reappropriating reality

Source: pixabay.com

The value that augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) could bring to learning environments both online and offline cannot be underestimated.

In a study by the University of Maryland, it was found that students had an 8.8% better rate of recall when placed in an immersive environment rather than working with the use of flat-screen monitors – in an industry that’s driven by results, such figures could prove invaluable.

Remote augmented reality could also pave the way for a new form of assessment from tutors – especially in the world of healthcare and engineering. Students using AR glasses can effectively stream their line of sight to tutors who will be able to guide them through complex surgeries and the navigation of unfamiliar machinery – handing our visual cues along the way. Such technology is already being implemented in the engineering industry by Scope AR.

It’s fair to anticipate that students over the next ten years will experience a much more immersive learning environment to their predecessors, with tutorials and lectures conducted through VR and AR glasses. Such innovations will provide a significant boost to online university courses, too.

Flexible collaboration

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Another innovation that will prove to be music to the ears of online university students is the implementation of flexible collaboration tools.

In the near future, we will see both AR and VR play key roles in providing more immersive collaboration to students working on team projects and to those learning from home.

Students can also be excited for the wider implementation of more immersive meeting tools like Cisco’s Webex. “Teachers are also using Webex in classrooms to create real-time, synchronous collaborative learning opportunities on 1:1 devices. On top of whiteboarding and exchanging assignment files, they can chat with individual students who may be facing unique challenges. These important conversations can continue after the school bell rings,” explains Drew Lane, Executive Director of Information & Communications Technologies at Shawnee Mission School District.

The prospect of flexible digital collaboration will enable a much more immersive learning experience for students in Higher Education and will help to make tutorials for remote learners much more impactful in the future.

Keeping things real

With so much exciting technological developments swishing around the educational landscape, it’s important to keep grounded and understand that there will be fresh challenges that universities will have to face too. One of the most significant being the rise of fake news.

A Stanford study, published in late 2016, consisting of 7,804 students found that 82% of respondents were unable to tell the difference between a real news story and an advert labeled ‘sponsored content.’

Fortunately, the foundations for combatting fake news has already been set in Scandinavia, where Finland’s policy of providing media literacy education to children has resulted in the nation being considered the most literate in the world when it comes to interpreting news stories.

Finland is top of the class for media literacy in 2018, according to findings from the Sofia Open Society Institute, Bulgaria. Image: World Economic Forum

“Finland’s government considers the strong public education system as the main tool to resist information warfare against the country,” said Marin Lessenski, Programme Director for European Policies at the Open Society Institute, Sofia.

Misinformation has the potential to undermine the performance of students across the world. The problem of fake news has already been identified by many large social media platforms, and moving into the next decade we will see much more preventative measures being taken in classrooms to help the coming generations of students to better understand the credibility of the information they digest. To learn even more about artificial intelligence in education you could check out Techslang.

Six Must-Have Smart Home Technology Gadgets That Will Leave You Spellbound in

It’s the year 2019 and smart home systems and devices are as important, and innovative, as ever. Today, smart home systems don’t just involve telling Alexa to play your favorite songs; in fact,  smart devices actually have the ability to vacuum your dining too, cook your food, and turn off your bedroom lights right before you go to sleep.

These devices add convenience to your life, not only during light tasks such as ordering food or calling a family member, but they can also manage more serious tasks such as acting as a full-force home security system when you’re not around. Smart home devices aren’t just installed for fun, they’re actually quite useful. 

So, what exactly is a smart device? Well, a smart home system refers to a command center that manages individual products, such as Google Assistant or Alexa, while a smart device is an individual product that is managed by the system.

Nobody would’ve thought that they’d be looking for high-tech gadgets for their homes, but, it’s 2019, and there are a lot of options for you to explore, so you can check it out on GadgetLounge. Now that we have the technicalities out of the way, here are the six best smart home devices that are a must-have in 2019:

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Img source: expertreviews.co.uk

Amazon Echo is currently the best smart speaker available. Not only is this device affordable at $99.99, but it’ll cater to all your needs, too. The speaker is compatible with Alexa and has the capability to send messages, make phone calls, play your music, answer questions, and set reminders and alarms for you with statements such as “It’s 8 am, it’s time to go to work”. 

It even has the potential to connect to other smart devices, allowing you to use the Amazon Echo as a bridge between you and your garden’s watering system. The speaker has noise cancellation features and 360-degree audio to ensure the sound can be heard from anywhere. With the Amazon Echo, you can complete a variety of tasks from the comfort of your sofa.

Philips Hue

Img source: philips.com

This smart device allows you to control the color of your lights, as well as their intensity, with brightening and dimming options on-command. Through these features, you can create color-coordinated moods, for instance, choosing the “calm” mood on the app for your bedroom and syncing it up with matching music. 

Additionally, you can set alarms that are coordinated and, according to that, wake up to, for example, a bright yellow room in the morning. The Phillips Hue bulbs are compatible with the majority of smart home systems, making them extremely flexible options. If colors aren’t your thing, you can always opt for Philips Hue White.

TP-Link HS200

Img source: slickdeals.net

While smart lights, such as Philips Hue bulbs are quite easy to use, they can’t do their magic if someone flips down the light switch, making them impossible to work until and unless you physically flip the switchbacks.

To create a true experience of convenience, you should consider purchasing the TP-Link HS200, smart light switches which can actually be controlled your smart home or phone, regardless of whether the light switch is down or up. The app, called Kasa, can be used to create actions and scenes. For example, a phrase such as making food downstairs would switch off all the lights upstairs.

It is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but you can also use it with other smart home systems, such as Wink and Apple HomeKit.

Ecobee4

Img source: cnet.com

The Ecobee4 is an extremely versatile device that not only controls your house’s air temperature through voice commands but also acts as an Amazon speaker, giving it the ability to do everything the Google Assistant or Alexa can do, including controlling other devices and perform simple commands, such as playing music.

It can be seamlessly integrated with other apps and smart home systems, such as Apple HomeKit and Alexa. Additionally, it can also control the room you’re currently in instead of the room it’s installed in.

Netgear Arlo Q

Img source: zdnet.com

While the smart home devices listed above are mainly used for entertainment or convenience purposes, the NetGear Arlo Q is a great device for your home’s security. With its strong technical features, the device can produce and record high-quality images and video, even in pitch-black darkness.

Perfect Bake Pro

Img source: amazon.com

It is perhaps the most innovative of the bunch where, by inputting the quantity of the ingredients you have, the device comes up with recipes you can make with those ingredients. So, the next time you’re hungry at midnight and don’t know what to make from 2 cups of cheese, a cup of pasta, and half a cup of milk, the device will do it for you.

The recipe can be autoscaled for the number of people or the number of ingredients you currently have or even come up with a shopping list for the recipes you want to create. Perhaps the best part of the device, the bowl can be used to measure the ingredients as they are poured in with the device indicating when you should stop adding the ingredients.

Devices listed above can definitely add oomph to your house and make life much more convenient and comfortable.

What other smart devices are a must-have in 2019? Sound off in the comments below!

 

Does the Use of Computer/Technology Benefit the Educational Process?

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The educational world does not stand still and undergoes constant changes. In the informatization era, young people can use digital tools, bringing the learning experience to a new qualitative level. At the same time, not all schools and universities are equipped well enough to teach students in a progressive way. Some of them experience financial problems, shortage of tech-savvy professors, and continue using obsolete approaches.

Importance of introducing technology in a class provokes burning debates and attracts academic community’s lively attention. This article prepared by Pro-Papers experts shows how innovations can benefit the educational process.

Personalization

With the Internet and computers, everyone receives the opportunity to study at one’s own pace and choose the most suitable information channels. There are countless scientific websites with useful articles which may complement course materials from textbooks and concepts considered in lecture halls. If a person does not like to read, one may listen to audio-books or watch educational videos. There are many time management and learning apps helping students to schedule their actions, memorize important rules and facts through playing exciting games.

Remote education gains popularity. Learners may study wherever and whenever they want, which is beneficial for working people and those who do not want education to hinder family affairs. Innovations make it possible for everyone to satisfy one’s academic needs without sacrificing other life areas.

Img source: digitallearning.eletsonline.com

Instant access to information

You know how it happened before. A person had to buy books, visit a library or consult an expert to conduct research or find an answer to a certain question. Today, all necessary data is on students’ fingertips. Several mouse clicks are enough to find studies of the most prominent world scientists. Just say “Okay, Google”, and boundless universe of knowledge will open in front of you.

Using the Internet in class allows professors to teach students searching and sorting information, analyzing different facts and events comprehensively, distinguishing between credible and unreliable sources, skipping useless details and focusing on the most important ones.

Comfortable learning environment

Polls show that students like the idea of having more technology in a class. Gadgets have become an indispensable part of their lives. Young people walk, play, sleep with them. Everyone has a personal computer at home. It is quite reasonable to use innovations for educational purposes.

Textbooks and chalk blackboards are usually associated with boredom, the heavy burden of academic responsibilities, unpleasant work that should be done to avoid punishment. At the same time, gadgets are perceived as students’ friends, tools for entertainment, and communication. Professors may take advantage of this positive image and make learning comfortable for young people.

Img source: medium.com

Blended learning

People supporting on-campus and online education argue which format is better. But is it worth dwelling on only one of these options if they may be combined? For example, practical lessons may be held in a class, while theoretical lectures – remotely. It is clear that students should receive hands-on experience conducting experiments in labs. But it does not make sense to travel to the other end of a city to listen to professors’ explanations and take notes. This well may be done via Skype.

Blended learning will help educational institutions save money, which is naturally spent on maintaining lecture halls and libraries in a good state, issuing paper textbooks. Learners will be able to stay at home, download all course materials in an electronic format and submit ready assignments via e-mail, which will cut paper costs.

Taking into account on-campus practical classes, young people will not be deprived of live communication, the opportunity to share their emotions and hang out with classmates.

Preparing for adult life

As technology development is not going to stop, learners are sure to use digital resources at the workplace after graduation. All employers require applicants for vacancies to have experience in using office programs, searching for information via browsers, sending emails. Also, companies have internal electronic tools (specialized programs, accounting systems, databases) which young people should master quickly.

It is professors’ responsibility to prepare students for living in a modern world full of different textual, audio and video content. Tech-savvy students can count on good job offers and rapid career growth. Using computers and gadgets in a class, they may prepare for competition on the labor market, increase not only digital literacy level but also develop soft skills, learn to approach information critically and find necessary data independently.

Img source: thetechedvocate.org

Professors’ support

In the past, it was impossible to ask for help after a bell rang and a lecturer left a classroom. A student had to wait for the next lesson to clarify all questions which emerged while doing homework. This stretched educational process in time and made it less effective.

Modern teachers are active users of social networks and instant messengers. Even old-school professors have emails, can communicate with learners and give recommendations online. Some educators prepare video lectures, upload additional learning materials to university databases, publish electronic curricula.

Smart-boards and desks help to ensure collaborative work of the whole class, track each learner’s activity, notice and correct mistakes right away and not after young people submit their control paper.

More freedom for creativity

Teachers spend much energy on checking students’ homework and control papers. If a test was passed by one class, a teacher has to read 20-30 papers. If there are several classes, such work becomes very exhaustive. Without routine and monotonous operations, educators will have more time to study educational trends, develop individualized curricula, invent creative teaching approaches.

That is why many exams are taken on computers today. Also, there is an essay checking software. Of course, the electronic program cannot assess the beauty of narration or relevance of ideas described in a text, but it can find grammar and punctuation mistakes, determine whether formatting rules were met.

Demonstrativeness

Experts claim that virtual reality headsets will be used in all educational institutions soon. These devices provide hands-on experience without risks, spending money on purchasing lab equipment and traveling to distant places.

What Does the Future Hold for Dwayne Johnson’s Career?

If you are an avid follower and fan of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, you might be wondering what does the future hold for his career. You might also ask yourself whether Shazam will make some kind of shift in The Rock’s career.

The Connection Between Shazam and Dwayne Johnson

Shazam, the 2019 American superhero film, was released at the beginning of this month and became a huge success for the Worlds of DC. The Warner Brothers claimed that Shazam is another box office triumph with a $158 million worldwide opening. The studio also achieved huge success with Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
Consequently, Warner Brothers are releasing a sequel and Shazam 2 is coming. However, some big changes might happen in the DC Universe, the Fast and the Furious franchise, as well as, in Dwayne Johnson’s career.

When it comes to the sequel, many fans and the executives are wondering how long will they have the child actors from the hit film. Likewise, many fans are wondering how will Shazam 2 proceed with the villains.

What Does the Future Hold for Dwayne Johnson’s Career?

Dwayne Johnson became a huge acting superstar when he signed up to play the DC comics villain Black Adam several years ago. Black Adam is an important part of the entire DC universe. In fact, he has gone against many major heroes and was a member of the Justice Society of America.

Img source: screenrant.com

It was first planned that Dwayne Johnson will appear in a solo Black Adam film, which would lead up to Shazam. Nevertheless, the executives decided to go with Shazam first. Even though it was believed that Black Adam will be part of Shazam, this was not the case. However, this doesn’t mean that The Rock and his production company Seven Bucks were put on the sidelines. In fact, Dwayne Johnson was a producer of Shazam.

As the sequel is in plans, we are all looking forward to seeing when will Johnson step into the costume of Black Adam. The Rock claimed that Black Adam is coming and that filming will take place next year.

Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Shaw, the Fast and Furious spin-off film, will be released in August this year. If the film is well accepted, we can all expect that Warner Brothers will implement the Black Adam character in more than just the one sequel and spin-off film. This might mean a career change for The Rock.

Moreover, there are a number of other upcoming projects for Dwayne Johnson, including a Jumanji sequel, Jungle Cruise, San Andreas 2, and Doc Savage. Besides these films, Dwayne also has his television shows including the hit HBO series “Ballers” and “The Titan Games” for NBC.

In addition, he has his television shows including the hit HBO series Ballers and The Titan Games for NBC.

Some of Dwayne Jonson movies have been a huge success, such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and GI Joe: Retaliation, yet some of them have done well only overseas, such as Hercules, Skyscraper, and Rampage. Thus, the upcoming Hobbs and Shaw film are highly anticipated for what it will do at the box office.

The Fast and Furious Franchise Future

I love tight fits. Wait.. never mind. New @hobbsandshaw trailer drops in 48hrs. I think you’ll like it. #HobbsAndShaw @sevenbucksprod

109.9k Likes, 1,127 Comments – @therock on Instagram: “I love tight fits. Wait.. never mind. New @hobbsandshaw trailer drops in 48hrs. I think you’ll…”

The future of the Fast and Furious franchise is in doubt as the Furious 8 didn’t go well with the critics. It has been said that the plot is predictable and hollow. However, there are two more Fast and Furious films yet to come. If Universal decided to cut production budgets for this franchise, it might mean that Johnson’s payday will be affected, as well as, his career decisions.
Therefore, if Warner Brothers and DC offer Dwayne Johnson to play Black Adam, which might be a crucial turnout for Johnson’s career. Moreover, it seems like Dwayne has been changing his physical appearance into a smaller, leaner frame. It might mean that he is going to play different characters as his career is going to progress into his 50s.

Dwayne Johnson has signed a number of projects for the upcoming five years, which means that he won’t have any financial difficulties for the rest of his life. His production company, Seven Bucks, is becoming a film and publicity powerhouse, which means an additional income for Johnson.

Img source: sevenbucks.com

So, we might see him in the Black Adam characters and he is likely to become a centerpiece of their film universe. Or, he might stop the physics-defying cars and onset drama and enter a new phase of his franchise career.

Whatever he chooses to do, there will always be executives and producers who will love to work with Dwayne Johnson.

Reasons why cryptocurrencies are here to stay

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Years from now, who would think about us using 4G or 5G that we will need to rely on in order to perform money transfers and transactions in our daily lives? Starting from paying for our commute to work to ordering clothes online. The Blockchain is one such technology, that will soon transform the way industries work. Before we look at the reasons cryptocurrencies are the future, let’s first take a look at what are cryptocurrencies and what is the Blockchain technology.

What is Blockchain?

The blockchain is a technological creation, that forms “chains of blocks”, under the DLT (distributed ledger technology). Each of the blocks contains data from various transactions, which are all secured and verified. They serve as the base of the technology in which cryptocurrencies act as assets. Potential applications include transferring funds, settling trades, voting, and other things.

What are  Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are resources that work in the Blockchain technology, known as the medium of exchange for the digitalized era. One of the most popular currency is Bitcoin. All of the transactions are decentralized, and there is no involvement of banks or governments. It is an advanced technology, which is expected to be accepted by people all around the world.

Here are the reasons why cryptocurrencies are the future:

Img source: steemit.com

1. It prevents scams and hacks – one of the best advantages of these currencies is that it will prevent payment scams. When needed, the data will be acceptable to all users, which leads to transparency. Blockchain has a shared ledger which no one can tamper with. Information will be shared in real time, and the ledger will be updated when all the involving parties agree on it. This can reduce the chances of fraud, as well as reduce the time and costs needed for specific transactions.

2. More employment opportunities – the job market in the crypto world is expected to grow. Today, there are several places where people can get training in this technology. However, as the demand becomes higher, the supply also increases. Some of the jobs that might be available are cryptocurrency traders, full-stack bitcoin developers, blockchain solution architects, and so on.

3. Blockchain in financial institutions – now that some financial institutions are aware of the disruptiveness of Blockchain, it is expected that it will reach a critical mass by the year 2020. This technology allow to speed up the whole process by implementing cross-border payments, it can also help with commercial transactions and agreements by using “smart contracts”.

4. It is easy to use and it is secure – it is already easy to use this technology, and it is expected o be even easier. For example, when property transfers are secured by blockchain technology, we will no longer need to rely on a third party to verify them.

Img source: namecoinnews.com

5. Transactions are fast and private – bitcoin can do up to seven transactions each second, thanks to its Lightning network. This means that the application will be able to perform millions of transaction per second. It will most certainly help with the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

6. Investment is easier – by tracing the bitcoin exchange rates. There are various companies that offer bitcoin exchange rates. Companies like Areatak Global offer people the chance to see updated lists in real time, and it is also free of charge. So, if you are interested in what the exchange rates are, make sure to check the lists.

Conclusion

One of the most important features of cryptocurrencies is that YOU own it. There is no other electronic cash system today in which your account will be entirely yours — for example, PayPal. If the company decides that your account is being misused (for any reason), they have the power to freeze your account. With cryptocurrencies, only you will own the key to your account and only you will be able to access your funds. No one will be able to take your money from you, and that is one of the most beautiful things about cryptocurrencies.