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first_imgHowever, as former UK minister for universities David Willetts declared in a speech at the conference, education is thankfully not going down the online monopoly route that we have seen with Facebook and social media. After social security, health and education account for the two largest items in UK government expenditure – and figures are likely similar elsewhere.Technology has the potential to be transformational in both cases. With healthcare, it is not just through the use of technology to make administration more efficient – with mixed success so far in the UK, which still lacks seamless access to medical records between doctors, hospitals and clinics. Excitingly, technology is also emerging in areas such as the use of artificial intelligence to better diagnose medical imagery. The metrics for success are clear in healthcare, although data protection remains a concern.‘Edtech’ – the trendy term for technology applied to education – has the potential to radically change education in both developed and emerging countries. To what extent it will eventually do so is perhaps less obvious than in healthcare.The EdTechX Europe 2018 summit, held last week in London, was full of exciting start-up companies led by dynamic management teams that saw themselves as providing transformational businesses. Oxford University, UKOxford and Cambridge, at the apex of the UK’s higher education system, offer courses that are expensive to create with individual or small group tuition together with lectures. The collegiate system also means there are physical limits to how many new places can be created.On the other hand, MOOCs offered by such entities may address the issue of disseminating information and teaching – but online courses cannot reproduce the university experience, or indeed the prestige of being admitted to such institutions.Yet there must be alternatives that can utilise the almost-free resource of online courses together with some minimal campus teaching that would not result in students facing large debts at the end of three years. The technology for such offerings is there already but, so far, there has not been a synthesis of online and campus teaching that produces radically cheaper but acceptable alternatives with mass appeal.Edtech has immense potential, but the path to success requires much more than just technology.center_img Could online courses replace university teaching?Online university courses have been around for a number of years, and free massive open online courses (MOOCs) are available from eminent institutions such as Harvard, MIT and Microsoft. At EdTechX entrepreneurs were offering new variations on this theme, including the creation of at least one new online university.Teacher-less teaching?Technology is also arriving in the classroom throughout developed countries. However, some of the initiatives on show at EdTechX suggested that innovation was likely to be far more transformational for isolated communities in poor countries. For example, distributing tablets to provide access to specifically designed courses without school teacher involvement is likely to have far more of an impact than tweaking teaching aids in the developed world.One presentation, for example, related to the Global Learning XPRIZE, a global competition with a $15m (€12.8m) prize purse provided by Tesla founder Elon Musk. It challenges teams around the world to develop open-source and scalable software to enable children with limited education access to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within 15 months. Field testing of five finalists is already underway in villages in Tanzania.At the other extreme, initiatives such as EtonX are subsidiaries of well-known institutions that leveraging their credibility to attract a worldwide audience.For investors, there is a cornucopia of opportunities in edtech, but deciding what is likely to be a winner may be much more difficult than in healthcare.With healthcare, it is clear that a technological solution that, for example, substantially improves detection of breast cancer from scans would have immediate applications and relevance, and the technology with the best performance would likely be the most successful.Edtech offerings are more problematic. There are many competing offerings in the same space without necessarily any differentiator in terms of quality – and, in many cases, they may be competing with free offerings from highly regarded institutions.  Challenging the traditionalThe rise of online learning opportunities does raise the issue of how traditional universities should be structured in response. David Willetts argued that, unless they are able to meet the demand for more places, universities will be increasingly sidelined as educational institutions while remaining as research entities.last_img read more

first_imgCASH prizes were on Monday evening awarded to the riders of the recently completed first round of the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club’s (GMR&SC) National Race of Champions round one.During a brief ceremony at the newly opened Windjammer Banquet Hall, all the riders were the recipients of $50 000 compliments of a sponsor.The riders were Rovario Tucker and Kevin Persaud of the senior class and Paul Yearwood, Shem Chattersingh, Dowayne Caesar, and Raphael Fraser of the street class division.Speaking at the presentation, GMR&SC president Rameez Mohamed contended that “this 50 000 will extend throughout the remaining rounds of the National Race of Champions. We have confirmed a yearly sponsor that will ensure that it continues”.Meanwhile, the car racers of Sunday’s meet were also awarded trophies.The club also announced plans to continue running of its newly instituted street car class, which features a number of road legal cars.GMR&SC vice-president Shairaz Roshandin commented on it by saying, “Moving forward, we need to ensure that all the street car competitors have the right gear. For the next event, we are encouraging these guys to get their suits at least. We saw them turn up with helmets and that is heartening.”The club will now shift its focus to the first of its Drag race meets set for March 15.last_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 5, 2017 at 12:25 am Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34 The last time Syracuse played Wisconsin, it lost the two-game series by a combined score of 11-0 in the span of 12 hours. That was nine years ago, in the program’s second and third games ever. This weekend, Syracuse gets another shot at the team that rudely welcomed it into Division I.“If (the Syracuse) football team were to play Alabama, it’d be one of those things,” said Orange head coach Paul Flanagan. “(Wisconsin) just has that depth, and we’re a little bit banged up right now. But you know what, for us, this is awesome.”A perennial Frozen Four contender, Wisconsin (4-0-0) has won four NCAA championships, third most all time. The Badgers lost in the championship game last year, but were recently ranked No. 1 by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine. The Orange signed a two-year deal with the Badgers, so the team will travel to LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wisconsin, next season. Yet, SU’s full focus remains trained on this weekend. After the Orange went winless against Bemidji State on opening weekend, Syracuse (0-1-1) is looking forward to its home debut at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Friday at 4 p.m.This week, the Orange has fixated on the chance to play the role of underdog, playing David to Wisconsin the Goliath. For goaltender Abbey Miller, there’s “bitterness” from playing with and against some of the Wisconsin team growing up in Minnesota, she said, and she believes the Badgers will overlook the Orange this weekend.“They probably have the nicest women’s facility in the country,” Miller said. “I think them coming into our rink, they’re probably going to underestimate us quite a bit and kind of look over us. So, I think it’ll be a good opportunity for us to get a win and hopefully get ranked.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn their 18-year history, the Badgers have never had a losing season and Flanagan credits the consistent competitiveness to the Badgers’ recruiting and, in turn, depth. UW’s fourth line isn’t much worse than its first, if at all, he said. Wisconsin’s depth will be tested against SU, because multiple Badgers won’t travel to Syracuse due to commitments with either the United States’ or Canadian national teams.These pieces pile up and, though Syracuse might appear disadvantaged, junior defender Allie Munroe sees the Orange as prepared as it’s ever been.“There’s a good opportunity to knock off the No. 1 team,” Munroe said, “so everyone’s excited.”As for how the Orange plans to take down the top team in the country, Munroe says that Syracuse will try to disrupt Wisconsin’s winning culture, and “shake them up a bit.”“You want teams to come in here, not just so that we can watch them, so that we can compete against them,” Flanagan said. “It’s going to make us better. I know our kids will be up for it. … It’s going to be a good weekend.” Commentslast_img read more