It might be hard to spend a day without using a technological device, as these tools offer the desired convenience during our day to day activities. Likewise, at school, students need to break the tedious studying process, and the use of these modern devices can easily make them achieve this desired break.
As entertainment tools, technological devices can be used to ensure the utmost convenience when learning. Therefore, college and university students need to consider the following education gears and gadgets, as they enhance learning and play. As a parent, the guide below will help you choose the right device for your young ones.
Laptops and Tablets
The recent tech advancements have seen incredible growth in online education. Therefore, it is right to say that most learning in the coming months will be web-based. As a result, investing in laptops or tablets will offer your kid the convenience they need to access the course materials and enjoy their free time through the available entertainment features. When purchasing school laptops and tablet, it is essential to consider the following features:
To enjoy the maximum speed, go for laptops and tablets fitted with the latest 10th gen Intel i5 or i7 processors. The device should also have over 8 GB of ram and 128 GB Solid State Drive. Avoid purchasing HDD laptops because, even though their cost is relatively low, they are extremely slow compared to SSD counterparts.
This is mainly affected by screen and overall machine size. Desktop and all-in-one computers are good for in-house use. They are powerful, and they ideally fit application as workstations. However, their portability issues make them a rare choice for those seeking computers for use in school. Therefore, ensure the student or essay helper gets a device that they can carry to class with ease.
Screen Size and Resolution
Small screen laptops are easily portable. However, if you want a big screen, a desktop will be perfect for you, as it’s fixed. For resolution, go for a device that has over 1080p.
There are multiple options available for purchase, depending on your budget. So, if you are looking for a mid-budget laptop, be ready to spend about $500. However, it’s worth noting that with such a budget, you will be required to forgo some features such as:
- Battery life
- Webcam quality
- Mouse and typing experience
Besides, you can look for traditional laptops that are worth the $500 price. For students looking for flexible gadgets, it is important to check the 2-in-1 tablets, which offer both laptops and tablets features.
Fortunately, you can easily get a good smartphone even with a considerably low budget. For instance, even though many flagship phones go for over $1000, you can easily get a top phone with a budget of less than $450. Such phones also come with incredible features, including:
- High-resolution camera
- Superb software
- Auto-transcribing app
Around the said budget, you can also get a 5g phone that’s ideally worth the cost. The best thing to note is that the gadgets you get here offer premium security features, good battery life, incredible performance, and exceptional screen resolution.
Their main advantage is the incredibly fitted features that can help bolster your concentration in relatively noisy places. Therefore, you will be in a position to read with minimal disturbances, thanks to:
- The incredibly incorporated noise-cancellation features;
- The top-notch build quality making them super convenient
- Their high compatibility with multiple devices
Cost and convenience here are the main factors to consider. For instance, Evernote and MS’s OneNote offer this convenience at a price that ideally fits under your budget. Evernote is compatible with all devices, and it has a free basic package. Here, you will have up to 60mbs storage capacity for text and photo uploading every month.
Evernote premium is available at highly affordable monthly subscriptions. For annual subscriptions, you access the service at half its price. With the package, you will have over 10 GB of uploads monthly. Besides, you can use the app on every device. Finally, it is worth noting that these apps support:
- Audio recordings
These technological devices and apps offer students the utmost convenience in their studies. However, choosing the right device is highly important as the tool provides the desired value for money for all parties. Therefore, you can use the guide above to know some of the essential features that you ought to consider during the purchase of each educational tool.
Source: George Thompson. Georg is a stellar writer and a prominent journalist. His research studies in writing have helped thousands of students achieve better results. He shares valuable insights on writing that resonate with the readers. His articles garner a striking number of views, likes, and shares, and she finds this recognition as his biggest career achievement so far.
A first look at Coursera’s S-1 filing
After TechCrunch broke the news yesterday that Coursera was planning to file its S-1 today, the edtech company officially dropped the document Friday evening.
Coursera was last valued at $2.4 billion by the private markets, when it most recently raised a Series F round in October 2020 that was worth $130 million.
Coursera’s S-1 filing offers a glimpse into the finances of how an edtech company, accelerated by the pandemic, performed over the past year. It paints a picture of growth, albeit one that came at steep expense.
In 2020, Coursera saw $293.5 million in revenue. That’s a roughly 59% increase from the year prior when the company recorded $184.4 million in top line. During that same period, Coursera posted a net loss of nearly $67 million, up 46% from the previous year’s $46.7 million net deficit.
Notably the company had roughly the same non-cash, share-based compensation expenses in both years. And even if we allow the company to judge its profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis, Coursera’s losses still rose from 2019 to 2020, expanding from $26.9 million to $39.8 million.
To understand the difference between net losses and adjusted losses it’s worth unpacking the EBITDA acronym. Standing for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, EBITDA strips out some non-operating costs to give investors a possible better picture of the continuing health of a business, without getting caught up in accounting nuance. Adjusted EBITDA takes the concept one step further, also removing the non-cash cost of share-based compensation, and in an even more cheeky move, in this case also deducts “payroll tax expense related to stock-based activities” as well.
For our purposes, even when we grade Coursera’s profitability on a very polite curve it still winds up generating stiff losses. Indeed, the company’s adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue — a way of determining profitability in contrast to revenue — barely improved from a 2019 result of -15% to -14% in 2020.
Hungarian coding school, Codecool, receives another round of €7 million investment
Two years after its Series B round, Budapest-based Codecool has just received another investment of €7 million to open a new campus in 2021, adding to their existing 5 campuses spread across Budapest, Miskolc, Krakow, Warsaw and Bucharest in the CEE region. The funding round was led by Integral Venture Partners, and earlier investors Lead Ventures and PortfoLion Capital Partners.
In the EU there were about 825,000 vacant positions in the IT sector in 2020, based on data provided by the European Commission. More than half (58%) of the businesses in the sector claimed that it was challenging for them to find IT professionals with the right skills. Labour shortage in the tech industry may jeopardise the competitiveness of businesses, and therefore, overall economic development, as well.
A solution to this problem is to improve and support alternative IT training programmes, besides traditional university courses. The opportunities created by demand for new forms of education have already been recognised by investors, too. Based on an analysis by Dealroom, the value of new capital investments in EdTech increased by 94% in 2020, reaching $13 billion (around €10.9 billion).
Now Codecool, with its €12.5 million capital raised so far in total, matches up with investments of top European actors in the IT education market (Ironhack: €22 million, Le Wagon: €16 million). Plus, over 1000 of their graduates from Hungary, Poland and Romania work already in tech across Europe.
“The investment enables us to continue our European expansion. We’re planning to enter two new markets this year – we consider Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria. Our target is to operate more than ten Codecool campuses by 2025,” said CEO of Codecool József Boda. “Expansion, however, does not only mean increasing the number of our schools. Further developing our corporate re- and upskilling courses are also in our focus. Our experience shows that executives are increasingly open to train or reskill their existing employees, as it is often time-consuming and costly to find new experts with appropriate skills on the labour market.”
“Codecool’s 12-month, intensive, practice-oriented programming course is a unique proposition, there is no other course like this at competitors on the local market at the moment. The method is proven: 98% of the more than 1.000 Codecool graduates have already landed an IT job”, highlighted Ábel Galácz, CEO of Lead Ventures, operator of MOL and MFB invest (Hungarian Development Bank), and founder of Enter Tomorrow venture capital fund.
Last year, the achievements of Codecool were also recognised by a top IT foru. The Amsterdam-based The Next Web listed Codecool among the 20 most exciting European companies on its Tech5 list, consisting of the most promising scale-up companies.
Coursera is planning to file to go public tomorrow
Coursera, an online education platform that has seen its business grow amid the coronavirus pandemic, is planning to file paperwork tomorrow for its initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter say. The company has been talking to underwriters since last year, but tomorrow could mark its first legal step in the process to IPO.
The Mountain View-based business, founded in 2012, was last valued at $2.4 billion in the private markets, during a Series F fundraising event in July 2020. Bloomberg pegs Coursera’s latest valuation at $5 billion.
The latest financing event brought its cash balance to $300 million, right around the money that Chegg had before it went public. Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda did confirm then that the company is eyeing an eventual IPO.
Coursera has had a busy pandemic. Similar to Udemy, another massive open online course provider planning to go public, Coursera added an enterprise arm to its business. It launched Coursera for Campus to help colleges bring on online courses (credit optional) with built-in exams; more than 3,700 schools across the world are using the software. It is unclear how much money this operation has brought in, but we know that Udemy for Business is nearing $200 million in annual recurring revenue. In February, the company announced that it has received B Corp. certification, which means that it hits high standards for social and environmental performance. It also converted to a public benefit corporation.
GSV, a venture capital firm that exclusively backs edtech companies, had its largest position of its first fund in Coursera. GSV announced a $180 million Fund II yesterday.
It makes sense that edtech companies want to go public while the markets remain hot and remote education continues to be a central way that instruction is delivered. Other companies from the sector that have gone public in recent weeks include Nerdy and Skillsoft, two companies that used a SPAC to make their public debuts. Once – and if – Coursera does go public, it will join these newbies as well as the long-time edtech public companies including 2U, Chegg, and K12 Inc, and Zovio Solutions.
Coursera declined to comment.
Update: The previous version of this story stated that Skillshare has gone public. This is incorrect. Skillsoft has gone public. An update to reflect this change has been made.
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Google Workspace for Education (and other updates you need to know!) – SULS099
The post Google Workspace for Education (and other updates you need to know!) – SULS099 appeared first on Shake Up Learning.
Google just made some HUGE announcements about your favorite Google products, including Google Classroom and officially renaming G Suite as Google Workspace for Education.
I’m breaking it all down so you understand what’s coming, and how it affects you and your students.
During “Learning with Google,” a free online learning event for educators, Google shared a lot of updates to our favorite Google products.
We have updates to Google Classroom, Google Meet, Chromebooks, and even Google Forms!
Some of these updates are here, and many are coming later in 2021.
Details are in the podcast and the blog post below.
Listen to this article.
Thank you to Rose Ann Behson, a graduate of the Google Certified Educator Level 1 Academy for sharing this testimonial:
“Passed 1st time with time to spare! Thanks so much! I felt totally prepared after this course. Now on to Level 2….I already purchased the training! ”
Learn more: GetGoogleCertified.com
Quick Tip (Mute ALL in Google Meet)
Did you know you can mute ALL the participants in your Google Meet?
Watch this quick video to learn how!
Google Workspace for Education (and other updates you need to know!)
G Suite for Education is now officially Google Workspace for Education. (I wish they would quit renaming it!)
What is Google Workspace for Education?
I have a Google Doc that outlines the basics of what Google Workspace for Education is, what it includes, and more.
Google Workspace for Education is available in many different editions, including free and paid options.
- Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals: a suite of tools that can help you increase opportunities for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, all while supporting the learning objectives that you have for your students. These tools are free, ad-free, reliable, and secure. They are already used by millions of students in schools around the world. Of course, free is great, but the best thing is that these tools are relevant to students, easy to use, and open doors to many new ways to learn.
- Google Workspace for Education Standard: a paid upgrade that includes everything in Education Fundamentals plus advanced security and analytics.
- Teaching and Learning Upgrade: a paid upgrade that includes everything in Education Fundamentals plus advanced video communication, enriched class experiences, and tools to drive academy integrity.
- Google Workspace for Education Plus (formerly G Suite for Education Enterprise): a paid upgrade that includes everything in Education Fundamentals plus advanced security and analytics, enhanced teaching tools, and more.
Changes to Google Drive Storage
Unlimited storage is going away. The new storage model will provide schools and universities with a baseline of 100TB of pooled cloud storage shared across all of your users. This policy will go into effect across all Google Workspace for Education editions for existing customers in July 2022 and will be effective for new customers signing up in 2022
Files created or edited in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard.
- Only files created or edited after June 1, 2021 will count against your quota.
- Files uploaded or last edited before June 1, 2021 will not count against your quota.
Google Classroom Updates
Google Classroom was originally built to simplify blended learning, but it has now become a more robust learning management system. Below are the details on the Google Classroom updates coming in 2021.
It’s important to note that most of these updates are based on feedback from teachers like you!
- Add-Ons (available soon): Soon, for teachers using Google Workspace for Education Plus or Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Classroom add-ons will let them choose their favorite EdTech tools and content from a marketplace and assign it to students directly inside Classroom — all without extra log-ins. Admins will also be able to install add-ons for teachers in their domains.
- Track student engagement (coming later this year): To give teachers visibility into which students are engaged and which are falling behind, Google is launching student engagement tracking. Educators will be able to see relevant stats about how students interact with Classroom, such as which students submitted an assignment or commented on a post on a particular day.
- Offline (coming later this year): Google is updating the Classroom Android app to work offline or with intermittent connections. Students will be able to start their work offline, review assignments, open Drive attachments, and write assignments in Google Docs — all without an internet connection.
- Submit better pictures of homework (coming later this year): With an increase in the number of images uploaded to Classroom — especially from students taking photos of paper assignments, Google is making it easier to attach and submit photos in the Classroom Android app and for teachers to review. Students will be able to combine photos into a single document, crop or rotate images, and adjust the lighting.
- Improved grading on mobile (coming later this year): More teachers are using mobile devices to give feedback on the go. Google is improving how you use Classroom to grade on Android, including the ability to switch between student submissions, grade while viewing an assignment, and share feedback.
- Rich text formatting (coming soon): Teachers and students (on web, iOS and Android) will soon be able to customize Classroom assignments and posts using rich text formatting — including bold, italics, underline and bullets.
- Originality reports in new languages (coming soon): Originality reports help students turn in their best work, while making it easy for instructors to detect potential plagiarism. Soon they’ll be available in 15 languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Finnish, German, Korean and Danish, Malay, and Hindi.
- CS First integration (now available): CS First is Google’s free, introductory computer science curriculum. You can now import student rosters from Classroom into a new CS First class and students can sign in using a Google account.
- Set up classes in advance with SIS roster syncing (coming later this year): Provisioning classes for an entire school system can be time-consuming. Later this year, admins using Education Plus will be able to create classes and populate and sync rosters directly to Classroom from their Student Information System (SIS).
- Streamline grade entry (coming later this year): Grade Export, which is available to eligible Skyward and Infinite Campus customers, is coming to Aspen SIS. This will allow teachers to track grades and push them from Classroom’s Gradebook to their SIS, eliminating the need to put grades in two places.
- Google Admins:
- Get deeper insights with Classroom audit logs (coming soon): With audit logs, admins can get to the root of Classroom-related issues and pinpoint instigating events, such as who removed a student from a class or archived a class on a specific date. Classroom audit information will soon be available directly in the Admin Console.
- Analyze Classroom activity logs (coming soon): Admins using Education Standard or Education Plus can soon get deeper insights about Classroom adoption and engagement. Admins will be able to easily schedule exports of Classroom audit logs to BigQuery, where they can get adoption and engagement insights. Google is also building a customizable Data Studio template to help admins visualize Classroom data.
Google Meet Updates
- Mute All (rolling out now): The ability to mute everyone on a call and end a call for everyone attending. This is rolling out soon and will come to education customers first.
- Emoji reactions (by August): Students will be able to more easily engage and express themselves with emoji reactions in Meet.
- Meeting transcripts (later this year): Teachers will be able to receive meeting transcripts, share transcripts with students, review what was discussed during class or maintain a record for future reference.
- End Meeting for Everyone: Teachers will soon have the option to end meetings for everyone on the call, preventing students from staying on after the teacher has left — including in breakout rooms.
- Moderation Controls on Mobile (coming this year): In the coming months, educators using tablets or mobile phones to teach will also have access to key moderation controls, like who can join their meetings or use the chat or share their screen, directly from their iOS or Android devices.
- Classroom and Meet will work together even better (later this year): Every meeting created from Classroom is going to be even safer by default.
- When meetings are generated from Classroom, students won’t be able to join before the teacher.
- Meet will also know who’s on the Classroom roster, so only students and teachers in the class will be able to join.
- And every teacher in Classroom will be a meeting host by default, so if there are multiple teachers, they’ll be able to share the load of managing the class.
- And later this year, meetings that aren’t started from Classroom will also support multiple hosts, making it easier to partner with others helping facilitate the class.
- Related: How to Integrate Google Classroom and Google Meet
- Policies for who can join your school’s video calls (coming this year): In the coming months, Google be launching new settings in the Admin console so school leaders can set policies for who can join their school’s video calls, and whether people from their school can join video calls from other schools.
- Google Meet Audit Log (now available): The Google Meet audit log is also now available in the Admin console. In the coming months, Google will be adding more information to these logs — like an external participant’s email address — so admins can better understand how people are using Meet at their school. For educators with Education Standard or Education Plus licenses, they are also making improvements to the investigation tool. Admins can now access Meet logs in the investigation tool, so they can identify, triage and take action on security and privacy issues. And later this year, admins will be able to end any meeting within their school from the investigation tool as well.
- Google Meet on low bandwidth improvements (coming): Because unreliable internet connections can make remote teaching and learning more challenging, they are also improving Meet to work better if you have low bandwidth.
- Improved performance on Chromebooks: Google has also made significant improvements to the performance of Meet on Chromebooks. These include audio, video and reliability optimizations, better performance while multitasking and more. The improvements will make it easier for educators and students to choose a feature like grid view, where they can see images of other Meet attendees without affecting the performance of other apps. So if students are taking notes in a Google Doc while in a Meet, or running a Kahoot! game at the same time, they’ll be able to see everyone. (By the way, they are also improving how Zoom works on Chromebooks.)
- Schedule breakout rooms in Google Calendar (coming): They are also making additional improvements for educators with Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus licenses. Rolling out over the next few months, educators will be able to set up breakout rooms ahead of time in Google Calendar. This will make it easier for teachers to prepare for differentiated learning, be thoughtful about group dynamics and avoid losing valuable time setting up breakout rooms during class.
- Screen recorder (coming in March): Chrome OS will come with a built in screen recording tool (coming in the latest Chromebook update in March). With this tool, teachers and students can record lessons and reports in the classroom and at home.
- 40 new Chromebooks (coming in 2021): Many of them include convertible Chromebooks that function like a laptop and a tablet, and come with a stylus, touchscreen, and dual-cameras for students to take notes, edit videos, create podcasts, draw, publish digital books and record screencasts. Every new Chromebook is equipped to deliver exceptional Google Meet and Zoom experiences — right out of the box. Google is designing devices that can better support students with limited access to the internet, or in countries with strong mobile broadband networks. These devices, called Always Connected devices, have an LTE connectivity option that allows you to connect via your preferred cellular network.
- New accessibility features (coming soon): Making education products that work for all students, also means creating accessibility features. And it turns out these features are helpful to everyone — including people with disabilities. ChromeVox, a full-featured screen reader, has new features including improved tutorials, the ability to search ChromeVox menus, and smooth voice switching that automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the text.
- Google Admins:
- Chrome Education Upgrade unlocks access to Google Admin Console, making it possible for schools to centrally manage massive fleets of Chromebooks. Now, there are over 500 Chrome policies in Google Admin Console, including new ones like Zero Touch Enrollment, which make it easier to deploy and manage Chromebooks at scale — even remotely.
- The Chromebook Resource Guide is now available to help you find the right Chromebook for whatever you’re looking for — whether it’s in-class learning, virtual learning, or devices for faculty and staff.
Google Forms Updates
(Sorry, this one didn’t make it into the podcast, but definitely worth mentioning here.)
- Save draft responses (coming in 2021): Google also announced that we will soon be able to save draft responses in a Google Form and submit it later. (Yay! We’ve been wanting this a long time!)
What updates are you most excited about? Please share in the comments!
Google A to Z: The Google Glossary for Teachers
Want to Learn More About Using Google Tools in the Classroom?
Learn more about all the Google tools available for teachers and students in Google from A to Z: The Google Glossary for Teachers!
Technology doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with the Google from A to Z 40-page handy reference guide in your back pocket.
If your school has “Gone Google,” then chances are you are aware of some of the most popular productivity tools, such as Docs, Slides, and Gmail. But Google offers so much more!
There are so many fun and engaging tools that you may not know about, and no matter what digital devices you use to support teaching and learning, you will find valuable tools to add to your teacher toolbox in this handy supplement.
Think of this as your Google dictionary–a glossary of Google tools and programs just for teachers and students!
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The post Google Workspace for Education (and other updates you need to know!) – SULS099 appeared first on Shake Up Learning.
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