Education & You: On the syllabus for 2018

Buses are parked at First Student school bus transportation in Hempfield on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

Updated 13 hours ago

The new year is off to a cold start, with hundreds of school delays and closings across the region. How has this impacted your first week back to school and work after the holidays? Tell us your story or send us other tips and feedback: [email protected] or 724-850-2867.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

1. School districts ave tough decision when temperatures plummet—and stay there

2. Schools in Allegheny, Westmoreland turn to digital career planning

3. New York governor calls for food pantries at public colleges

INSIDE THE CLASSROOM

First-grade teacher Debbie Walker, of Montour Elementary School, was browsing Pinterest when she came across a low-tech activity to help her students get excited about reading: Flashlight Fridays.

Every Friday, the first-graders spend a few minutes with a good book and read by flashlight. Walker says giving students the freedom to choose a comfortable spot in the room during the activity–at their desks, under a table or snuggled in a book boat–motivates them to focus.

WHY IT MATTERS

Here are the education stories of 2017 that stuck with TribLIVE Education Team reporters. Look for updates as we follow these stories into 2018.

Have an angle you think we should explore? Tell us: [email protected] or 724-850-2867.

1. EARLY ED: Early childhood education prep key to future success

Numerous studies have shown that preschool preparation is key to future success in a student’s academic career and beyond. While some school districts—like Derry Area in Westmoreland County—are finding ways to support their youngest learners,other parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties still lack access to quality preschool.

And in the City of Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto has plans for implementing universal pre-kindergarten in city schools.

2. K-12: Western Pennsylvania school districts experiment with later start times

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended later start times for schools since 2014. In the last few months, an increasing number of schools in the Greater Pittsburgh area—including those with start times as early as 7 a.m.—have started to take another look at that research.

Several districts, including Hampton and North Allegheny, are expected to move forward with reviewing policies in January.

3. K-12: Wave of threats rattle Western Pa. schools early in year

At least five districts in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties experienced or investigated rumors of violent threats targeting students or school buildings in the first seven weeks of the 2017-18 school year.

Though administrators and law enforcement do their best to keep students safe, challenges like social media can make it difficult to make a call on whether to close schools or increase security, and how to communicate concerns or threats to community members.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Don White (R-Indiana) is advocating for legislation that would allow teachers to carry concealed firearms in schools. This, he said, would give school districts more ways to keep students safe.

The bill has been sitting in the House Education Committee since June 2017.

4. K-12: Pittsburgh Public Schools to ban out-of-school suspensions before third grade

Pittsburgh Public Schools became the first school district in Pennsylvania to prohibit principals from suspending students in second grade or younger in December 2017.

Effective next September, the out-of-school suspension ban will apply only to students in preschool through second grade cited for nonviolent, “minor disciplinary infractions,” such as repeatedly showing up late, violating the school’s dress code or disrupting class.

5. K-12: The new state plan for education and changes to testing, school ratings

The Pennsylvania Department of Education released the proposed the new state plan for education in August, but it has yet to be approved by the federal Department of Education.

Long-term goals under the new plan include reducing the number of students who fail to graduate, increasing the number of students who achieve proficiency on PSSA and Keystone Exams and supporting English Language Learners in growth towards achieving English proficiency.

The state Department of Education also announced the development of the Future Ready PA Index, a new school report card that measures academic growth, school climate, graduation rates and readiness for opportunities after high school. The proposed tool would not give schools a letter grade or a numerical score.

Changes to the PSSA exam under the new plan could make the testing period shorter in 2018. While the testing overhaul received high marks from some parents and educators, others say the effect is likely to be limited.

6. HIGHER ED: Tuition-free California University program helps seniors get ahead

The 60+CAP program at California University of Pennsylvania offers free tuition to any Pennsylvania resident 60 or older, allowing some older adults to sharpen their job skills in a rapidly changing economy.

7. HIGHER ED: GI Bill a ‘cash cow’ for some Pennsylvania schools

Though the Post-9/11 GI Bill has helped some veterans at local colleges and universities continue their educations, the program has become a ‘cash cow’ for some Pennsylvania schools.

8. LOCAL: How lead in the water impacts Pittsburgh’s youngest residents

Pittsburgh’s water has a lead problem. The city’s youngest residents are especially vulnerable to the neurotoxin, which can damage the brain and lead to development, learning, hearing and speech problems.

Locating the source of the lead can be difficult. Last month, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority told the Tribune-Review it will start using Allegheny County Health Department data to prioritize lead line replacements at homes with children.

But the depth of lead problems at school buildings across the Greater Pittsburgh region is still unclear.

9. LOCAL: Pittsburgh’s bid for Amazon HQ2 is submitted; now the wait

Pittsburgh is one of many cities across the countries interested in scoring the Amazon HQ2 bid, which promises to bring 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment to the region.

Among Pittsburgh’s biggest advantages is the city’s large number of university graduates, officials have said.

We’ll be watching to see how Pittsburgh and other cities like Detroit, which touted proximity to Carnegie Mellon University in its pitch, fare. But even if Pittsburgh doesn’t win the bid, the city’s interest in attracting tech companies is likely to have an impact in K-12 and higher education as schools strive to prepare students for jobs in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—fields.

10. NATIONAL: Greater Pittsburgh demonstrators to lawmakers: Save DACA

Demonstrators turned out to lawmakers’ offices in Pittsburgh and D.C. following the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for childhood Arrivals Program, known as DACA, in September.

Calls to preserve the program, which grants protection to individuals who arrived in the country as children and do not have legal status, also came from local leaders in higher education.

According to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, Pennsylvania is home to 5,889 DACA recipients. The program was started in 2012 under the Obama administration, but never offered participants any clear path to citizenship. Congress has yet to act on a solution.

[“Source-triblive”]

‘Made in India’ iPhone SE 2 to Launch in Early 2018: Report

'Made in India' iPhone SE 2 to Launch in Early 2018: Report

Apple at its earnings call earlier this month revealed that the iPhone SE had a big hand in the double digit growth in iPhone sales in India this last quarter. Now, a fresh report claims Apple is preparing to launch the iPhone SE’s successor in early 2018, corroborating a much earlier report. The new model, said to be called the iPhone SE 2, will reportedly be manufactured by Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) Wistron at its Bengaluru factory that already produces the original iPhone SE.

As per a fresh supply-chain report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple will launch the iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of next year. The reported launch schedule appears to be in line with the original iPhone SE that was debuted in March last year. Further, the new low-end iPhone model is reportedly already in the initial stages of production at Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. The facility was established for assembling iPhone SE models earlier this year, allowing Apple to enjoy reduced tariffs by adhering to the Make in India and thereby reduce prices on the smartphone.

The local manufacturing process is already helping Apple maintain an affordable price of the iPhone SE in India. This trend would continue with its refresh version. According to the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) policy, foreign companies producing goods in the country need to source 30 percent of their components locally. Therefore, the iPhone SE 2 is likely to be marketed as a new “Made in India” iPhone by the Cupertino company.

The report adds that the iPhone SE 2 will be targeted at markets like Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia, apart from India. It is also said to cost roughly $450 (roughly Rs. 29,200) – which if true would be significantly cheaper than the original iPhone SE’s launch price.

If we believe some recent reports, the second-generation iPhone SE will have Apple’s A10 Fusion chip that was debuted on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year, coupled with 2GB of RAM as well as 32GB and 128GB storage options. The iPhone SE 2 is also rumoured to have a 12-megapixel rear camera sensor, a 5-megapixel front camera, and a 1700mAh battery. Moreover, the display of the new iPhone SE model is likely to be identical to its predecessor that has a 4-inch panel.

Apple can be expected to announce the iPhone SE model in March, if going by last year’s launch. Meanwhile, we can expect a series of rumours and leaks pointing towards the new hardware.

source:-gadgets.ndtv

Volvo XC40 Unveiled; Will Launch In India In 2018

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Volvo has showcased the much anticipated XC40 and well, it’s as close to the concept that was showcased before. The XC40 is the smallest and the most affordable XC model in the Swedish carmaker’s line-up and will go on sale in the international markets later this year or latest by early 2018. India, however, will get the new XC40 SUV sooner than expected and the car will launched in the first half of 2018.

Volvo
Volvo Cars
XC60

V90 Cross Country

S90

XC90

V40
S60 Cross Country

S60

V40 Cross Country

S80
Also Read: Volvo XC40: All You Need To Know

“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up.

2018 volvo xc40
(The 2018 Volvo XC40 previews more 40 series models that will come from the company)

The XC40 sits below the recently introduced new-gen Volvo XC60 in the company’s model line-up and will share a host of styling cues and features with its older sibling. However, it’s based on a completely different platform than its elder cousins. Unlike the XC90 and XC60 which are based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the all-new Volvo XC40 is built on the company’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which the company shares with its Chinese parent company Geely.
Though not on the same platform, the XC40 will borrow a host of features from both the XC60 and the XC90. Some of the safety features on offer in the Volvo XC40 will be run-off protection and mitigation, cross-traffic alert, auto-brakes, 360 degree camera and a semi-autonomous pilot assist system as well. It comes with a 5-seater cabin layout which has been designed in line with the current Volvo models. So, you’ll get Volvo’s signature vertical touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard, three-spoke multi-functional steering wheel, comfortable upholstery wrapped in premium leather and more.

2018 volvo xc40 interior
(The 2018 XC40’s interior is inspired from the Volvo’s bigger models)

From the start of production, the XC40 will be available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain. Further powertrain options, including a hybridised as well as a pure electric version, will be added later. The XC40 will also be the first Volvo model to be available with Volvo’s new 3-cylinder engine.

2018 volvo xc40
(The new Volvo XC40 is based on the new modular CMA platform)

Volvo claims that the XC40 offers a clutter-free cabin designed with multiple smart and functional storage compartments. For instance, the car’s door pockets have been designed so that they can even hold an average size laptop, tablet, and a couple of bottles. Volvo has moving speakers from the door and developing a world-first, air-ventilated dashboard-mounted subwoofer. The centre console will also feature a smartphone holder, a trash bin, compartment for tissues and more. The XC40 will go up against the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1.

[“Source-auto.ndtv”]

After Galaxy Note 8, Samsung plans to launch a foldable Galaxy Note phone in 2018: Report

Samsung plans to launch a foldable Galaxy Note next year

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8 – the phablet that succeeds last year’s Note 7 in India on Tuesday at a price tag of Rs 67,990. Soon after the launch of the new flagship device by the South Korean smartphone maker, rumours are that the company has started working on its next Galaxy device. No it not note Note 9, instead the South Koran smartphone maker is gearing up to announce a phone with bendable display. Going by the rumours floating on the internet, Samsung is reportedly planning to launch the foldable phone by mid-next year i.e 2018. This bit of information comes from Samsung mobile chief executive — DJ Koh. Although, Samsung is yet to confirm the making of the phone.

DJ Koh reportedly said that the foldable smartphone that Samsung is planning to bring in 2018 will be launched under its Galaxy Note brand. He further adds that Samsung is targeting 2018 for the launch of a phone with bendable display. But then there are several hurdles, he notes. Koh didn’t explain the hurdles though.

But Koh did say that if the hurdle rises, chances are that the company may push the launch date. The reports claim that Samsung will launch the phone with bendable display – name of which is still unknown by mid next year. It further highlights that the foldable smartphone is expected to enter production during the fourth quarter of 2017. Koh didn’t reveal any further details about the bendable phone as of now.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launched at Rs 67,900: Specs, features and everything to know

Samsung’s aim to launch a bendable phone is nothing new. There have been a lot of rumours circulating on the same for a long time now. Some previously leaked reports suggest that Samsung’s upcoming foldable smartphone will probably be called – Galaxy X. This foldable phone was first spotted in a patent filing last year. The app showed that the phone will boast a sleek design. Some reports also claimed that the foldable phone can be — “folded or unfolded semi automatically.”

Reports are also such that the foldable phone or the Galaxy X is expected to come with artificial intelligence-enabled speaker, which Samsung may announce very soon. This upcoming speaker by Samsung is said to counter Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod.

Meanwhile Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Note 8 in India. The phablet succeeds the Note 7 and comes with a stylus — the S Pen. In India, the Galaxy Note 8 will be available for buying starting from September 21 — with pre-orders beginning from today — both online and offline in Midnight Black and Maple Gold colour options. The phablet will be available exclusively via Samsung’s own store and Amazon India. The Galaxy Note 8 comes with 6.3-inch infinity display and dual rear cameras. The phone runs on the Android Nougat OS and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor.

[“Source-indiatoday”]