TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
There are a lot of gimmicky takes on the classic QWERTY keyboard — from colorful devices that look like old-school typewriters to a foldable thing that converts into a stick. But a wearable device that can eliminate keyboards entirely? That's something else. The team at Tap Systems Inc. has invented a new wearable called Tap Strap, which essentially lets you turn the world into a giant keyboard.
East Carolina University (ECU) has become the first of 17 campuses within the University of North Carolina (UNC) system to use virtual and mixed reality to train future K–12 teachers. Students within ECU’s College of Education are currently using a virtual reality program that simulates a typical classroom environment, giving students the opportunity to practice classroom management techniques and instructional strategies.
Last spring, the College of Education launched a pilot program using Mursion, which features a classroom of virtual students that mimic real student behaviors. Mursion works by using a combination of artificial intelligence and live actors to deliver personalized simulations. The student avatars, for example, have a range of personalities, “from the first-to-raise-their-hand to the distracted shy student,” according to a report from ECU News Services.
What will the next-generation learning management system look like? Will it just be the next iteration of Blackboard, Canvas or Moodle? Malcolm Brown, executive director of the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI), said his group started researching the topic and decided that was the wrong question.
"We soon realized the thinking that prompted that question was old and in a box. We needed to step outside that box," said Brown. He recalled talking to Randy Bass, vice provost for education at Georgetown University, who said, "If you are talking about a single application, I don't want to talk any further about that."
Business incubators are booming among universities lately, with many top research institutions establishing incubators and bragging about their ability to help move innovation out of the ivory tower and into the marketplace.
But new research published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal shows that university-affiliated incubators aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when it comes to at least one key metric of innovation -- patents. Incubators’ establishment is actually associated with a decrease in average patent quality and licensing revenue across the country’s top research institutions.
With the costs for higher education consistently in the news, the University of California, Berkeley has found that leveraging students is an effective way to deliver first-rate IT services at minimal cost. We’ve also found that soliciting student input into campus IT is not only possible, but highly desirable.
Students are often the largest group of users of IT services such as student information systems, collaboration tools and learning management systems. We should not exclude such important stakeholders when they are willing providers of subject matter expertise. By involving students in assessments of campus technology needs, we can make effective decisions that benefit the entire campus.
Soon you will have internet access in the Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. Visitors will be able to tweet, chat, email and share from the Lukla-Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Base Camp with the help of free Wi-Fi offered by Nepal.
Its state-run regulator, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), announced on Wednesday that it plans to set up free W-Fi zones along the Everest base camp, a hugely popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers.
The service will operate on the “Okumura Model," which uses low-cost optical fiber cables for high-speed internet. Special cold-and-ice-resistant optical fibers will be used, and if they don't work in the high altitudes, other technologies such as micro-wave will be used.
According to a new Gartner forecast, 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide this year — an increase of 31 percent from 2016. The IT research firm expects that number to reach 20.4 billion by 2020.
Much of that connectedness will come out of the Greater China, North America and Western Europe regions, which will account for 67 percent of the overall Internet of Things (IoT) installed base in 2017, Gartner predicted. Consumers will be the largest group of IoT users, representing 63 percent of overall IoT applications in 2017, while businesses are expected to employ 3.1 billion connected things this year.
"Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses," said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner, in a statement.
Consumers may purchase more IoT devices, but businesses will spend more dollars on IoT overall, Gartner said in a news release. "In 2017, in terms of hardware spending, the use of connected things among businesses will drive $964 billion. Consumer applications will amount to $725 billion in 2017. By 2020, hardware spending from both segments will reach almost $3 trillion."