Education technology experts Melissa Loble and Ryan Lufkin discussed how the latest tools and services impact educators and learners. On August 22, 2023, they shared insights to open CanvasConnect, Instructure’s EdTech conference. They explained how schools worldwide changed due to the pandemic and AI bots.
Most students have returned to class, but the old systems haven’t. Schools acknowledge the challenges posed by global innovations like ChatGPT, so they’ve been adjusting their systems accordingly. Checking Lufkin and Loble’s lessons helps students prepare as they enter a new school year. Meanwhile, parents can see how these changes will impact their children.
This article will discuss what the Instructure leaders discussed about tech in education. Later, I will explain how you can learn more about these trends.
Let us start with a brief introduction of CanvasConnect’s speakers. Ryan Lufkin is the Vice President of Global Strategy of Instructure, and Melissa Loble is the company’s Chief Customer Experience Officer.
Instructure is a tech firm specializing in learner management systems, a software that helps teachers and administrators organize student tasks and track their progress. Its CanvasConnect event started with a few words from Ms. Melissa Loble.
She provided an overview of what Mr. Lufkin will explain in the upcoming talk. Loble acknowledged active learning is the standard for most schools, but it has transformed.
Institutions put students in the center of learning instead of encouraging active learning. They achieve this goal by letting learners earn credentials or digital badges while learning.
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Major companies accept these certifications, assuring students their efforts will help them reach their preferred careers. Later, the Chief Customer Experience Officer shifted her focus toward teachers.
She said teachers are testing how to recreate the classroom learning experience in a virtual environment. Specifically, she cited the virtual reality game Second Life as an example.
After all, metaverse and virtual reality developments develop despite the public focusing more on ChatGPT. However, countries must implement new regulations for online data and a global digital economy.
Loble transitioned the stage to Mr. Ryan Lufkin, Instructure’s Vice President of Global Strategy, who shared more details about the former’s insights. He shared these changes that tech in education tackles:
Students grew up in a world dominated by technology. Lufkin illustrated his point by explaining how a kid tried to read a magazine by swiping on it like a touchscreen.
In response, schools must ensure their lessons suit these children. More importantly, tech in education helps the next generation prepare for their digital future.
Modern businesses rely on several electronic devices and software. For example, most call center agencies use Salesforce, and most offices demand a basic understanding of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The pandemic also showed the world that unforeseen events can upend their way of life. Moreover, calamities like the sudden wildfires in Hawaii and Canada remind us constantly.
The latest tech in education can help us continue the learning process despite these disasters. For example, students may take quizzes and continue lectures as they stay at home.
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Nevertheless, Lufkin acknowledges the challenges of adopting these innovations. Hence, he recommended changing how we measure learning.
Specifically, he suggested explaining to students why they must learn subjects to prevent them from using AI tools as shortcuts. They must also learn critical thinking because ChatGPT and similar programs usually don’t share sources.
That will ensure they can research correct, reliable information and avoid fake sources. Lastly, he recommends embracing AI bots for instructional purposes by training educators and incorporating them into the curriculum.
EdTech experts Ryan Lufkin and Melissa Loble discussed the latest tech trends in education. They said it is time for educators and administrators to incorporate digital innovations into their teaching and learning processes.
These will facilitate learning and help students prepare for a tech-dominated world. However, they acknowledge that keeping up with these trends can be difficult.
Nevertheless, the world must do its best to prepare the next generation. Fortunately, you can learn more about these trends on Inquirer Tech. For example, here are articles about learning and teaching with ChatGPT.
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Partnership Includes Chance for Students to Win Free Trip to Microsoft Headquarters on Sept. 29
HOUSTON, Aug. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Code Ninjas, the world leader in kids' coding education, is excited to announce the launch of the Prodigy Program, a pioneering enrichment education initiative and their first partner in the program, Microsoft MakeCode. As part of the launch of the new program, seven lucky Code Ninjas student will have the chance to embark on an all-expense-paid trip to Seattle, Washington, and enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the renowned Microsoft Headquarters (AKA Minecraft HQ!) on September 29th.
The Prodigy Program is a first-of-its-kind in the field of enrichment education and provides a unique opportunity for the students at Code Ninjas, known as Ninjas, to delve behind the scenes of the world's leading technology and gaming companies. This program not only equips these Ninjas with robust coding skills but also offers an in-depth understanding of the real-world tech industry. As part of the launch, Code Ninjas will grant the lucky winners an extraordinary chance to explore Microsoft's Garage, a hub of innovation where tech professionals collaborate on cutting-edge projects, along with visiting Microsoft's Company Store and Visitor Center and enjoying lunch at the Commons. Ninjas will meet the Microsoft Minecraft team, engage in conversations with other tech professionals including the XBOX, Bing and AI teams.
"Our partnership with Microsoft MakeCode underscores our commitment to providing our Ninjas with the best resources and experiences," said Navin Gurnaney, CEO of Code Ninjas. "We aim to inspire and prepare our Ninjas for the tech-driven world of tomorrow."
As the inaugural partner, Microsoft MakeCode will expose Prodigy Program participants to an enriching curriculum covering various subjects from game design to hardware programming. The curriculum ensures that the Ninjas are not only equipped with the technical skills needed to excel but also gain first-hand insight into the workings of a global tech giant.
"Partnering with Code Ninjas on the Prodigy Program perfectly aligns with our mission to empower the next generation of technology creators and innovators," said Jaqueline Russell, Program Manager of Microsoft MakeCode. "We're eager to see what these young minds will create and contribute to the world of technology."
Applications for the Prodigy Program are now open, and selections will be made by the individual Code Ninjas centers across the nation. All eligible winners must be full-time, active students of Code Ninjas by August 31, 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Prodigy Program application page at https://forms.codeninjas.com/prodigy.
At Code Ninjas kids learn how to code in a fun, safe, and social learning environment where gaming is celebrated, and STEM is cool. Code Ninjas offers kids the opportunity to dive into fun, challenging, and rewarding projects and activities that will engage them with knowledge and bring out skill sets they never knew they had. Everything about Code Ninjas is built around fun, which keeps kids coming back. The curriculum is self-paced, but not self-taught; kids get immediate help and encouragement from Code Senseis™ and fellow students as they advance from white to black belt, on the nine-belt program that makes up CREATE. Younger kids are able to take part in Code Ninjas JR, and all ages are able to take part in summer camps instilling the problem solving and critical thinking skills into our leaders of the future.
About Code Ninjas
Code Ninjas is the world's largest and fastest-growing kids' coding franchise with tens of thousands of students at nearly 400 locations in 3 countries. Its game-based curriculum fuels creativity, and critical thinking skills, and prepares children for success and fun in the tech-driven world.
About Microsoft MakeCode
Microsoft MakeCode brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels.
Media Contact: Julianne Stevenson, Fishman Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 945-1300
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SOURCE Code Ninjas
Google, Facebook, TikTok and other Big Tech companies operating in Europe are facing one of the most far-reaching efforts to clean up what people encounter online.
The first phase of the European Union’s groundbreaking new digital rules will take effect this week. The Digital Services Act is part of suite of tech-focused regulations crafted by the 27-nation bloc — long a global leader in cracking down on tech giants.
The DSA, which the biggest platforms must start following Friday, is designed to keep users safe online and stop the spread of harmful content that’s either illegal or violates a platform’s terms of service, such as promotion of genocide or anorexia. It also looks to protect Europeans’ fundamental rights like privacy and free speech.
Some online platforms, which could face billions in fines if they don’t comply, have already started making changes.
Here’s a look at what’s happening this week:
WHICH PLATFORMS ARE AFFECTED?
So far, 19. They include eight social media platforms: Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat.
There are five online marketplaces: Amazon, Booking.com, China’s Alibaba AliExpress and Germany’s Zalando.
Mobile app stores Google Play and Apple’s App Store are subject, as are Google’s Search and Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Google Maps and Wikipedia round out the list.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER ONLINE COMPANIES?
The EU’s list is based on numbers submitted by the platforms. Those with 45 million or more users — or 10% of the EU’s population — will face the DSA’s highest level of regulation.
Brussels insiders, however, have pointed to some notable omissions from the EU’s list, like eBay, Airbnb, Netflix and even PornHub. The list isn’t definitive, and it’s possible other platforms may be added later on.
Any business providing digital services to Europeans will eventually have to comply with the DSA. They will face fewer obligations than the biggest platforms, however, and have another six months before they must fall in line.
Citing uncertainty over the new rules, Meta Platforms has held off launching its Twitter rival, Threads, in the EU.
Platforms have started rolling out new ways for European users to flag illegal online content and dodgy products, which companies will be obligated to take down quickly and objectively.
Amazon opened a new channel for reporting suspected illegal products and is providing more information about third-party merchants.
TikTok gave users an “additional reporting option” for content, including advertising, that they believe is illegal. Categories such as hate speech and harassment, suicide and self-harm, misinformation or frauds and scams, will help them pinpoint the problem.
Then, a “new dedicated team of moderators and legal specialists” will determine whether flagged content either violates its policies or is unlawful and should be taken down, according to the app from Chinese parent company ByteDance.
TikTok says the reason for a takedown will explained to the person who posted the material and the one who flagged it, and decisions can be appealed.
TikTok users can turn off systems that recommend videos based on what a user has previously viewed. Such systems have been blamed for leading social media users to increasingly extreme posts. If personalized recommendations are turned off, TikTok’s feeds will instead suggest videos to European users based on what’s popular in their area and around the world.
The DSA prohibits targeting vulnerable categories of people, including children, with ads.
Snapchat said advertisers won’t be able to use personalization and optimization tools for teens in the EU and U.K. Snapchat users who are 18 and older also would get more transparency and control over ads they see, including “details and insight” on why they’re shown specific ads.
TikTok made similar changes, stopping users 13 to 17 from getting personalized ads “based on their activities on or off TikTok.”
IS THERE PUSHBACK?
Zalando, a German online fashion retailer, has filed a legal challenge over its inclusion on the DSA’s list of the largest online platforms, arguing that it’s being treated unfairly.
Nevertheless, Zalando is launching content flagging systems for its website even though there’s little risk of illegal material showing up among its highly curated collection of clothes, bags and shoes.
The company has supported the DSA, said Aurelie Caulier, Zalando’s head of public affairs for the EU.
“It will bring loads of positive changes” for consumers, she said. But “generally, Zalando doesn’t have systemic risk (that other platforms pose). So that’s why we don’t think we fit in that category.”
Amazon has filed a similar case with a top EU court.
WHAT HAPPENS IF COMPANIES DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES?
Officials have warned tech companies that violations could bring fines worth up to 6% of their global revenue — which could amount to billions — or even a ban from the EU. But don’t expect penalties to come right away for individual breaches, such as failing to take down a specific video promoting hate speech.
Instead, the DSA is more about whether tech companies have the right processes in place to reduce the harm that their algorithm-based recommendation systems can inflict on users. Essentially, they’ll have to let the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm and top digital enforcer, look under the hood to see how their algorithms work.
EU officials “are concerned with user behavior on the one hand, like bullying and spreading illegal content, but they’re also concerned about the way that platforms work and how they contribute to the negative effects,” said Sally Broughton Micova, an associate professor at the University of East Anglia.
That includes looking at how the platforms work with digital advertising systems, which could be used to profile users for harmful material like disinformation, or how their livestreaming systems function, which could be used to instantly spread terrorist content, said Broughton Micova, who’s also academic co-director at the Centre on Regulation in Europe, a Brussels-based think tank.
Under the rules, the biggest platforms will have to identify and assess potential systemic risks and whether they’re doing enough to reduce them. These risk assessments are due by the end of August and then they will be independently audited.
The audits are expected to be the main tool to verify compliance — though the EU’s plan has faced criticism for lacking details that leave it unclear how the process will work.
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD?
Europe’s changes could have global impact. Wikipedia is tweaking some policies and modifying its terms of service to provide more information on “problematic users and content.” Those alterations won’t be limited to Europe, said the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the community-powered encyclopedia.
It’s going to be hard for tech companies to limit DSA-related changes, said Broughton Micova, adding that digital ad networks aren’t isolated to Europe and that social media influencers can have global reach.
The regulations are “dealing with multichannel networks that operate globally. So there is going to be a ripple effect once you have kind of mitigations that get taken into place,” she said.
AP videojournalist Sylvain Plazy contributed from Brussels.
Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Microsoft renewed the Education Transformation Agreement in Pakistan with a magnanimous launch announcing 100,000 free Technology certifications for University Students across Pakistan.
Under the umbrella of this academic alliance, the goal is to enable the next generation of computer science/IT experts on state of art technologies including Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Business Applications, Office Automation / Productivity tools etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Rana Tanveer said such partnerships with companies like Microsoft empower the students to use their creativity in addressing real societal problems using modern technology.
Microsoft and HEC collaboration reimagines the education landscape, empowers the next generation of students and bridges the gap between knowledge and employability.
A study earlier this year asserted China has a “stunning lead” in essential technologies. And it wasn’t the first time this claim has been made.
But are these claims based in reality? When assessing the global impact and reach of American companies like Amazon, Apple, OpenAI, Boeing, Moderna, Microsoft and Google, it’s not immediately clear the United States is lagging in technological innovation.
But the challenge is understanding exactly how to measure a “technology competition” or “strategic competition.” Typically, competitions involve scores, winners and losers. But how does one keep score in technology competition? Is it the number of patents, academic publications, leading educational institutions, or multibillion-dollar companies? Or is the appropriate scoring system a more complex mixture of these, and other, factors?
The competition between the U.S. and China is a multi-dimensional contest involving technological, economic, military, and political elements. To accurately assess the U.S.’s standing in this competition, we need to shift our focus from measures (raw numerical data) to metrics, which offer meaningful interpretations of these numbers. This pivot illuminates the contrasts between a free-market economy and a state-driven one.
To determine who’s winning a technology competition, it’s tempting to rely on conventional markers of scientific progress, such as scientific citations or patents, because they are objective and quantifiable. But doing so risks ignoring other factors with major implications for the outcome of a U.S.-China technology competition.
These metrics require more sophisticated measurement, interpretation, and analysis, which capture variation in quality, context, implementation and impact. If the U.S. focuses merely on trying to surpass China on individual measures of technological progress it will likely achieve empty victories yet fail to advance its national security interests.
Take, for example, attempts to measure U.S. and Chinese progress in the field of artificial intelligence. China’s has a large number of AI scientific articles and patents, suggesting Beijing’s global leadership in this area.
However, the U.S maintains a strong foothold in advanced AI developments, with organizations like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Alphabet leading in large language model creation and diffusion. These organizations are part of a broader innovation ecosystem that allows new technologies to thrive and be widely adopted throughout the global economy. U.S. tech unicorns — start-ups valued over a billion dollars — and the venture capital firms that back them signal both financial success and significant technological advancement.
In this thriving open market, a product of the U.S.’s commitment to an open society and the free exchange of ideas, metrics like commercial success, technology adoption and real-world impact become more telling than raw measures. These metrics, in the context of the strategic competition with China, underline the U.S.’s penchant for turning research into impactful, scalable innovations.
Focusing on metrics instead of measures will allow DoD officials to correctly view the development of emerging technology as a means to achieving specific policy or military ends. For example, as the DoD invests to develop technology within its 14 Critical Technology Areas, metrics should be developed to track progress toward filling specific operational demands.
Shifting the focus to metrics will also offer a more accurate picture of U.S.-China technological competition and capture critical U.S. strengths. While China boasts a population over four times that of the U.S. and a rapidly growing economy, by focusing on metrics, the U.S. can leverage its advantages. Features inherent to the U.S innovation system — robust IP protection, the prospect of high returns to innovation and strong government-university-industry linkages — stimulate creativity, encourage innovation, and foster entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, the U.S. strives, though imperfectly, to offer opportunities to everyone who desires them, eschewing artificial barriers and quotas and avoiding intellectual conformity. This commitment fuels a dynamic, diverse workforce that is a wellspring of ingenuity and innovation.
Focusing on these distinctively American characteristics would move the perspective from a strictly measure-based competition, where quantity can overshadow quality, to a nuanced, metrics-based view that links means to ends. This shift would allow the U.S. to leverage its strengths, uphold its core values, and lay the groundwork for navigating and succeeding in this strategic competition.
Jon Schmid is a political scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corp.
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Microsoft revamped its bid to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard on Tuesday to appease British competition regulators, who are the last major hurdle to closing one of the biggest deals in tech history.
The Competition and Markets Authority said it has opened a new preliminary investigation into the updated transaction with a deadline for a decision due on Oct. 18.
Xbox maker Microsoft has been on a quest to acquire Activision, maker of the popular Call of Duty game franchise since announcing the $69 billion deal in January 2022.
The blockbuster deal has secured approvals from antitrust authorities covering 40 countries, including the European Union.
But it has been held up in Britain, where authorities moved to block it earlier this year over worries about competition being stifled in the emerging cloud gaming market, where players can avoid buying pricey consoles and stream games to their tablets or phones.
Under the restructured deal, Microsoft will sell the cloud streaming rights for all current and new Activision games released over the next 15 years to French game studio Ubisoft Entertainment, Microsoft President Brad Smith said in blog post.
Citi analyst Tyler Radke assigned a Sell rating to Zoom Video Communications (ZM – Research Report) today and set a price target of $66.00. The company’s shares closed yesterday at $67.27.
Radke covers the Technology sector, focusing on stocks such as Salesforce, Zoom Video Communications, and Microsoft. According to TipRanks, Radke has an average return of 2.2% and a 46.50% success rate on recommended stocks.
Zoom Video Communications has an analyst consensus of Hold, with a price target consensus of $82.50.
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ZM market cap is currently $20.02B and has a P/E ratio of 150.90.
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Founded in 2011, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. is a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform that connects people through videotelephony and online chat services. Its video-first communications platform is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations.
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