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August 3rd, 2020 at 9:44 am

New global data reveal education technology’s impact on learning

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The use of technology in education has become a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. As students return to the classroom, school systems must carefully consider the longer-term role of technology.

The promise of technology in the classroom is great: enabling personalized, mastery-based learning; saving teacher time; and equipping students with the digital skills they will need for 21st-century careers. Indeed, controlled pilot studies have shown meaningful improvements in student outcomes through personalized blended learning.1 During this time of school shutdowns and remote learning, education technology has become a lifeline for the continuation of learning.

As school systems begin to prepare for a return to the classroom, many are asking whether education technology should play a greater role in student learning beyond the immediate crisis and what that might look like. To help inform the answer to that question, this article analyzes one important data set: the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), published in December 2019 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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August 3rd, 2020 at 9:39 am

This is now the world’s greatest threat – and it’s not coronavirus

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An environmental worker stands near an excavator amid waste at Tianziling landfill in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China August 7, 2019.

Affluence is the biggest threat to our world, according to a new scientific report.

True sustainability will only be achieved through drastic lifestyle changes, it argues.

The World Economic Forum has called for a great reset of capitalism in the wake of the pandemic.

A detailed analysis of environmental research has revealed the greatest threat to the world: affluence.

That’s one of the main conclusions of a team of scientists from Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, who have warned that tackling overconsumption has to become a priority. Their report, titled Scientists’ Warning on Affluence, explains that true sustainability calls for significant lifestyle changes, rather than hoping that more efficient use of resources will be enough.

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August 2nd, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Meet the teenage ‘beauty boys’ coming for the cosmetics industry

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Gen-Z boys online are chipping away at the taboo against men wearing makeup – with or without the makeup industry’s help

In March of 2019, 17-year-old Elliot Ceretti walked into his local convenience store with a couple of friends. He had been re-watching the 10th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and one of the show’s drag queens, Aquaria, had inspired an unfamiliar but exciting longing in Ceretti.

He loaded his basket with the cheapest makeup products he could find, and a glue stick to glue down his brows. When he got home that night, he waited until his mother and sister were asleep and locked himself in the bathroom, applying makeup like he had seen on the show. That night, he brought Ella Souflee, his drag persona, to life for the first time.

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August 2nd, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Banks in the US can now offer crypto custody services, regulator says

 

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is letting all nationally chartered banks in the U.S. provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.

In a public letter dated July 22, Senior Deputy Comptroller and Senior Counsel Jonathan Gould wrote that any national bank can hold onto the unique cryptographic keys for a cryptocurrency wallet, clearing the way for national banks to hold digital assets for their clients.

The letter marks a major development for the crypto industry. Previously, custody was the province of specialist firms, such as Coinbase, which typically needed a state license, such as a trust charter, to offer the service to large investors. Now, large, regulated financial companies that already provide similar safekeeping services for stock certificates and the like could enter the fray.

The letter, which appears to be addressed to an unidentified bank or similar entity, notes that banks “may offer more secure storage services compared to existing options,” and that both consumers and investment advisors may wish to use regulated custodians to ensure they don’t lose their private keys, and therefore, access to their funds.

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August 2nd, 2020 at 12:09 pm

The Boring Company: Elon Musk shares stunning station image and bus details

 

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The Boring Company founder Elon Musk shared the image with the caption “coming soon.”

The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunnel-digging venture, is getting ready to unveil its first public tunnel.

On Wednesday, Musk shared a new image with his 37 million Twitter followers. The new concept render appears to show one of the three stations planned for the Las Vegas Convention Center project. The two tunnels are designed to take 4,400 attendees per hour in one of two directions over a distance of nearly a mile. The work is part of a planned redevelopment of the center, and the tunnels are expected to be ready for the annual Consumer Electronics Show early next year.

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August 1st, 2020 at 10:56 am

Why you need to plan for failure as much as you do success

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Many champion a company’s ability to overcome failure. But how often do you recognize the need to build failure into your business plan?

There’s rarely a straight path from Point A to Point B, as any business owner will tell you. Creating a strong, marketable app might take three iterations and a major pivot between the second and third. Becoming the industry leader in customer service likely came on the back of a near-miss PR disaster, when a renewed focus boosted the team’s work.

What’s often missing in this discussion, of course, is the space needed to make those kinds of mistakes. For small-business owners, especially those getting started or struggling to get by, having enough in savings can be the difference between having to close or having another six months, year, or more to keep pursuing their goals.

According to a 2018 study, nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling an item or borrowing money. Even before a pandemic, a looming recession, and rental housing crisis highlighted the problem. In a tight financial spot, how can entrepreneurs avoid the worst while positioning themselves for the best?

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August 1st, 2020 at 10:53 am

Why College is never coming back

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 Here’s some great news: one of America’s most broken industries is finally being exposed as a sham. And make no mistake, the end of college as we know it is a great thing.

It’s great for families, who’ll save money and take on less debt putting kids through school. It’s great for kids, who’ll no longer be lured into the socialist indoctrination centers that many American campuses have become. And as I’ll show you, it’s great for investors, who stand to make a killing on the companies that’ll disrupt college for good.

But Stephen, how can you be against education?! I love learning, but I hate what college has become. As recently as 1980, you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10,000. These days, it’ll cost you $40,000 at a minimum, $140,000 for a private school, or well over $250,000 for a top school.

College costs have ballooned beyond all reason. They’ve risen even faster than healthcare costs, which is really saying something. Kids are burying themselves in debt—$1.6 trillion at last count—in order to attend college.

When I wrote about this last year, I had little hope things would change anytime soon. Why? It’s a tough sell to convince an 18-year-old kid not to attend the four-year party all his friends are going to, especially when the US government is financing it through student loans.

But a Lightning Bolt of Disruption Just Fried the Business Model of College.

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August 1st, 2020 at 10:48 am

This chart predicts which colleges will survive the Coronavirus

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Universities are an expensive operation with a relatively inflexible cost structure, and it’s forcing many schools to make poor choices

Our fumbling, incompetent response to the pandemic continues. In six weeks, a key component of our society is in line to become the next vector of contagion: higher education. Right now, half of colleges and universities plan to offer in-person classes, something resembling a normal college experience, this fall. This cannot happen. In-person classes should be minimal, ideally none.

The economic circumstances for many of these schools are dire, and administrators will need imagination — and taxpayer dollars — to avoid burning the village to save it. Per current plans, hundreds of colleges will perish.

There is a dangerous conflation of the discussion about K-12 and university reopenings. The two are starkly different. There are strong reasons to reopen K-12, and there are stronger reasons to keep universities shuttered. University leadership needs to evolve from denial (“It’s business as usual”) and past bargaining (“We’ll have a hybrid model with some classes in person”) to citizenship (“We are the warriors against this virus, not its enablers”).

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July 31st, 2020 at 10:42 am

U.S. airlines face end of business travel as they knew it

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Impact of virus threatens industry’s engine of sales, profit

Road warriors turn to video conferences while CEOs eye budgets.

U.S. passenger totals plummeted more than 95% at the peak of the pandemic-related travel collapse.

U.S. airlines hammered by the catastrophic loss of passengers during the pandemic are confronting a once-unthinkable scenario: that this crisis will obliterate much of the corporate flying they’ve relied on for decades to prop up profits.

“It is likely that business travel will never return to pre-Covid levels,” said Adam Pilarski, senior vice president at Avitas, an aviation consultant. “It is one of those unfortunate cases where the industry will be permanently impaired and what we lost now is gone, never to come back.”

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July 31st, 2020 at 10:37 am

Elon Musk claims his Neuralink chip will allow you to stream music directly to your brain

Brain-computer interface could also give people ‘enhanced abilities’

Elon Musk‘s mysterious Neuralink startup is working on a brain-computer interface that will allow wearers to stream music directly to their brain, the technology entrepreneur has claimed.

Mr Musk, who also heads SpaceX and Tesla, is set to reveal new information about the mysterious startup next month but has been slowly releasing details over Twitter in recent days.

Responding to computer scientist Austin Howard, Mr Musk confirmed that Neuralink’s technology would allow people to “listen to music directly from our chips.”

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July 31st, 2020 at 10:33 am

Hope Probe: UAE spacecraft blasts off in first ever mission to Mars

Mission had been delayed twice due to bad weather

The United Arab Emirates has launched its first mission to Mars, the first of three missions to the Red Planet to take place this month.

The Hope Probe launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center for seven-month voyage, facing off bad weather which caused the mission to be delayed twice.

The mission originally intended to leave Earth on 14 July.

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July 30th, 2020 at 8:26 am

KFC is working with a Russian 3D bioprinting firm to try to make lab-produced chicken nuggets

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The restaurant chain says it’s the meat of the future

KFC is trying to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets, part of its “restaurant of the future” concept, the company announced. The chicken restaurant chain will work with Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to develop bioprinting technology that will “print” chicken meat, using chicken cells and plant material.

KFC plans to provide the bioprinting firm with ingredients like breading and spices “to achieve the signature KFC taste” and will seek to replicate the taste and texture of genuine chicken.

It’s worth noting that the bioprinting process KFC describes uses animal material, so any nuggets it produced wouldn’t be vegetarian. KFC does offer a vegetarian option at some of its restaurants; last year it became the first US fast-food chain to test out Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken product, which it plans to roll out to more of its locations this summer.

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