Windows 10 Preview, LG G4 Phone Both Unveiled

New technology ruled the news this week. And that technology might be of interest to small business owners too as they build stronger companies through better operating systems and mobile technology.

Microsoft and LG were among the companies with new products to show, even if they aren’t available to your business just yet. Take a look at this week’s Small Business Trends news roundup for more:

Technology Trends

Windows 10 Preview Reveals Mail and Calendar Upgrades

The launch of Windows 10 is set for later this summer, the official Windows blog reports. And excitement is building, The latest technical build preview was recently revealed, giving more of a taste of what customers can expect from Windows 10. Here are some takeaways from this sneak-peek.

New LG G4 Smartphone Upgrades Camera and Adds Luxury

LG has just unveiled its newest smartphone, the LG G4. The successor of the G3 is boasting some nice upgrades from it’s predecessor. A beefed up camera and real leather back are some of the changes customers can expect to see. In fact, one of the biggest upgrades on the LG G4 from the previous model is the phone’s 16MP camera.

Charge Your Apple Watch, iPhone and More with the NuDock Lamp

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the new Apple Watch. This anticipated wearable device has been in high demand and companies are already jumping on the Apple Watch bandwagon. MiTagg is one such company that is looking to not only cash in on the Apple Watch hype but also solve a possible frustration Apple’s new product presents.

Can the Samsung Galaxy S5 Let Hackers Steal Your Fingerprint?

Your fingerprint is unique to you. The fingerprint scanner for added security on your smartphone makes sense, right? Unfortunately, it looks like that added security might be more of a liability. Researchers claim a flaw found in certain Android devices could let hackers clone your fingerprint authentication and use it for additional cyberattacks and potential theft.

New Samsung Gear VR Looks Like Something Out of Sci-Fi

Samsung’s Gear VR headset, compatible with both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, is now available for pre-order on Best Buy’s website. By attaching one of the two mobile devices to the front of the headset, a user can be immersed into a dramatic panoramic virtual reality to experience not just games but also video and images too. The revamped Gear VR is priced at $249.

Google’s Own Wireless Service is Officially Launching with Project Fi

The rumors are true. Google is launching its own wireless service called Project Fi. The new service was announced recently, and the company says its goal is to create a fast and easy wireless experience. Not everyone will be able to jump onto the new service right away, however. Currently, Project Fi is invite-only and can only be accessed by those owning a Nexus 6 smartphone.

Online Marketing

Google for Retail is Now Ready for Business

For a small business, it can be intimidating trying to compete with larger companies. Since your brand isn’t as recognizable as others, it can be easy to get lost. That’s why Google is furthering its efforts to help small businesses attract new customers online with the launch of Google for Retail.

Uh Oh. Facebook Is Restricting Data on Other Platforms

If your small business has a presence on Facebook, and it certainly ought to, you should know about a pending policy change set for this week. On April 30, Facebook will no longer allow third-party apps to export your data — including your Facebook contacts, profile photos and messages — into other applications.

How Handmade eCommerce Sites Gain From Etsy’s Growth

Etsy went public recently. The popular website for buying and selling arts and crafts has made a huge impact on the market. Still, the IPO met with some skepticism when first announced, with key concerns stemming from Etsy’s unprofitable growth. The forecast for Etsy’s longterm profitability is hazy as well.

Economy

Small Businesses Feel Aftershocks of Baltimore Riots

Baltimore businesses are dealing with riots, looting and violence — as well as a citywide curfew imposed on April 28 — following civil unrest stemming from the suspicious death of a 25-year-old black man while in police custody. Because of the curfew, enforced within the city between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., restaurants and other businesses need to close earlier than usual.

Employment

CEO Uses His Own Salary to Raise Employee Wages to $70,000

Many companies have raised their minimum wages in recent years in order to compete for better talent. But one company is taking that concept to a whole new level. Dan Price, founder of Gravity Payments, recently announced to his employees that the company is raising its minimum annual salary to $70,000.

Green Business

Fashion Revolution Calls for More Ethical, Sustainable Manufacturing

There’s a revolution happening within the fashion industry. And big brands and high-profile designers aren’t the ones leading the way. Instead it’s a series of startups and independent designers with quality, sustainably, and ethical manufacturing on their minds. Fashion Revolution Day, which started last year, is a special day set aside for these goals.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Persona Offers a Unique Pizzeria Experience

Opening a pizzeria isn’t exactly a novel idea for a business. You can find restaurants that serve pizza nearly anywhere. But one thing you can’t find too often is a pizzeria run by an Italian trained Pizzaiolo and a classically trained chef. That is, unless you are near Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria.

Small Business Operations

Twitter Chat Looks at EMV Chip Card Revolution

EMV chip cards are coming as a replacement for traditional magnetic strip cards.

Brody from Steelcase is a One Person Work Pod

Most offices today use some kind of cubicle or open office system. That means workers often sit next to, across from, or are otherwise surrounded by their coworkers. While this may be an effective use of space, it isn’t always conducive to high worker productivity.

Startup

Now You Can Hire a Professional Bridesmaid

Weddings are mainly considered to be happy occasions. But they can also be incredibly stressful, particularly for the brides. As a six-time bridesmaid, Jen Glantz knew the stressful nature of weddings quite well. So she turned it into a business opportunity, granting the ability to hire a bridesmaid.

Taxes

5 Payroll Filings That Will Keep Your Business in Tax Compliance

So you’ve expanded your small business, you’ve hired a few people and are generating an inkling of revenue. You need to put a payroll system in place, whether you have one employee or 50. Amazingly, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that about three-quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll. And most of these are small business owners like yourself.

Image: Microsoft

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Windows 10 Preview, LG G4 Phone Both Unveiled

New technology ruled the news this week. And that technology might be of interest to small business owners too as they build stronger companies through better operating systems and mobile technology.

Microsoft and LG were among the companies with new products to show, even if they aren’t available to your business just yet. Take a look at this week’s Small Business Trends news roundup for more:

Technology Trends

Windows 10 Preview Reveals Mail and Calendar Upgrades

The launch of Windows 10 is set for later this summer, the official Windows blog reports. And excitement is building, The latest technical build preview was recently revealed, giving more of a taste of what customers can expect from Windows 10. Here are some takeaways from this sneak-peek.

New LG G4 Smartphone Upgrades Camera and Adds Luxury

LG has just unveiled its newest smartphone, the LG G4. The successor of the G3 is boasting some nice upgrades from it’s predecessor. A beefed up camera and real leather back are some of the changes customers can expect to see. In fact, one of the biggest upgrades on the LG G4 from the previous model is the phone’s 16MP camera.

Charge Your Apple Watch, iPhone and More with the NuDock Lamp

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the new Apple Watch. This anticipated wearable device has been in high demand and companies are already jumping on the Apple Watch bandwagon. MiTagg is one such company that is looking to not only cash in on the Apple Watch hype but also solve a possible frustration Apple’s new product presents.

Can the Samsung Galaxy S5 Let Hackers Steal Your Fingerprint?

Your fingerprint is unique to you. The fingerprint scanner for added security on your smartphone makes sense, right? Unfortunately, it looks like that added security might be more of a liability. Researchers claim a flaw found in certain Android devices could let hackers clone your fingerprint authentication and use it for additional cyberattacks and potential theft.

New Samsung Gear VR Looks Like Something Out of Sci-Fi

Samsung’s Gear VR headset, compatible with both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, is now available for pre-order on Best Buy’s website. By attaching one of the two mobile devices to the front of the headset, a user can be immersed into a dramatic panoramic virtual reality to experience not just games but also video and images too. The revamped Gear VR is priced at $249.

Google’s Own Wireless Service is Officially Launching with Project Fi

The rumors are true. Google is launching its own wireless service called Project Fi. The new service was announced recently, and the company says its goal is to create a fast and easy wireless experience. Not everyone will be able to jump onto the new service right away, however. Currently, Project Fi is invite-only and can only be accessed by those owning a Nexus 6 smartphone.

Online Marketing

Google for Retail is Now Ready for Business

For a small business, it can be intimidating trying to compete with larger companies. Since your brand isn’t as recognizable as others, it can be easy to get lost. That’s why Google is furthering its efforts to help small businesses attract new customers online with the launch of Google for Retail.

Uh Oh. Facebook Is Restricting Data on Other Platforms

If your small business has a presence on Facebook, and it certainly ought to, you should know about a pending policy change set for this week. On April 30, Facebook will no longer allow third-party apps to export your data — including your Facebook contacts, profile photos and messages — into other applications.

How Handmade eCommerce Sites Gain From Etsy’s Growth

Etsy went public recently. The popular website for buying and selling arts and crafts has made a huge impact on the market. Still, the IPO met with some skepticism when first announced, with key concerns stemming from Etsy’s unprofitable growth. The forecast for Etsy’s longterm profitability is hazy as well.

Economy

Small Businesses Feel Aftershocks of Baltimore Riots

Baltimore businesses are dealing with riots, looting and violence — as well as a citywide curfew imposed on April 28 — following civil unrest stemming from the suspicious death of a 25-year-old black man while in police custody. Because of the curfew, enforced within the city between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., restaurants and other businesses need to close earlier than usual.

Employment

CEO Uses His Own Salary to Raise Employee Wages to $70,000

Many companies have raised their minimum wages in recent years in order to compete for better talent. But one company is taking that concept to a whole new level. Dan Price, founder of Gravity Payments, recently announced to his employees that the company is raising its minimum annual salary to $70,000.

Green Business

Fashion Revolution Calls for More Ethical, Sustainable Manufacturing

There’s a revolution happening within the fashion industry. And big brands and high-profile designers aren’t the ones leading the way. Instead it’s a series of startups and independent designers with quality, sustainably, and ethical manufacturing on their minds. Fashion Revolution Day, which started last year, is a special day set aside for these goals.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Persona Offers a Unique Pizzeria Experience

Opening a pizzeria isn’t exactly a novel idea for a business. You can find restaurants that serve pizza nearly anywhere. But one thing you can’t find too often is a pizzeria run by an Italian trained Pizzaiolo and a classically trained chef. That is, unless you are near Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria.

Small Business Operations

Twitter Chat Looks at EMV Chip Card Revolution

EMV chip cards are coming as a replacement for traditional magnetic strip cards.

Brody from Steelcase is a One Person Work Pod

Most offices today use some kind of cubicle or open office system. That means workers often sit next to, across from, or are otherwise surrounded by their coworkers. While this may be an effective use of space, it isn’t always conducive to high worker productivity.

Startup

Now You Can Hire a Professional Bridesmaid

Weddings are mainly considered to be happy occasions. But they can also be incredibly stressful, particularly for the brides. As a six-time bridesmaid, Jen Glantz knew the stressful nature of weddings quite well. So she turned it into a business opportunity, granting the ability to hire a bridesmaid.

Taxes

5 Payroll Filings That Will Keep Your Business in Tax Compliance

So you’ve expanded your small business, you’ve hired a few people and are generating an inkling of revenue. You need to put a payroll system in place, whether you have one employee or 50. Amazingly, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that about three-quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll. And most of these are small business owners like yourself.

Image: Microsoft

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

A Recognizable Character Could Help Both Universal and Nintendo (Watch)

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If you’re heading to any Universal theme parks over the next few years, you might see a familiar face. Mario, the popular plumber from many Nintendo video games, is headed to Universal theme parks in Orlando, Osaka and Los Angeles.

Universal and Nintendo first announced their partnership over a year ago. But the two popular brands just released a teaser outlining plans for the new theme park attractions. Though the tealer didn’t reveal many specifics, it’s a safe bet that Mario will be a major centerpiece of the new park area. He’s a recognizable face that could draw in visitors and get people excited about the new attractions.

However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be other Nintendo characters or themes mixed in. This partnership also creates a unique opportunity for Nintendo to get more attention for some of its lesser known games. So if the two companies can come up with a way to draw people in using recognizable characters and themes, and then introduce exciting new themes as well, this could be a big win for both sides.

Benefits of Leveraging Brand Recognition

And while your small business likely isn’t partnering with any major theme parks in the near future, the same concept can apply. Using the brand recognition already earned by themes or characters can be a major draw for people. And sometimes, they can even help you introduce new items as well.

Salvation Army Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Videos

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One Part Educator, One Part Techie: Why Today’s Teachers Have to Be Both

teachers and educational technology

The last two decades have seen the education sector move at lightning speed especially in the area of educational technology.

Fifteen to twenty years ago, technology in education was a debatable subject. Everyone had his or her own views about the impact technology would have on the way we learn. There were, of course, both positives and negatives associated with use of technology in education. But gradually, as technology became embraced by educational institutions, those who resisted its application started to appreciate it.

These days, teachers and educational technology are intertwined. New technology hits the market every day, completely revolutionizing the way teaching is approached in schools. Today, there are hundreds of tools that teachers can use to connect with students, communicate with parents, colleagues and administrators. As a teacher, being technologically savvy is no longer an option. Education is advancing with technology and as the younger generation adapts, so must educators and parents in order to maintain a strong, relevant connection.

Below are some of the reasons why a technologically savvy teacher is a must today.

Improved Efficiency and Effectiveness for Students

Data usage by teachers in education is growing. For instance, streaming video and multimedia are increasingly used by teachers in their curriculum. Teachers are called upon to understand how their usage video and multimedia affects networks and how to communicate those needs to IT staff.

To meet these needs, bandwidth may need to be increased and virtual local area networks (VLANs) need to be set up quickly. And IT staff need to be able to monitor performance and manage service levels for teachers and students.

Likewise, as needs grow, the costs of delivering IT can grow. School districts and educational institutions are moving to cloud-based environments. These enable scalable networks. And the cloud opens up and broadens teaching capabilities for teachers and learning capacities for students, such as with opening up more distance learning. Through the cloud, teachers can pool work and resources. By spending less time, money and effort on IT, and by leveraging cloud resources, educational institutions and teachers can focus more on students and creating a better learning environment.

Improved Learning and Teacher to Student Connection

Many young people construct a social identity on the Internet. To better understand their way of thinking as a teacher, you need to be on their home turf, using the same technology they use, accessing social media, listening to their music — understanding how they live by experiencing it. You need to identify where they’re spending their time (favorite social networks Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube come to mind), and use their functionality as a way to inspire teaching methods. This way, you’ll have an edgier appeal to technology-oriented students.

For instance, many teachers are using a flipped classroom – a practice in which students watch lecture videos as homework, and the discussion is carried out the following day during class with the teacher’s guidance. This approach has consequently resulted in better student performance. Students have the opportunity to learn at their own pace, and use class time for clarification and interaction.

Online cloud collaboration tools, such Google Drive, Dropbox and more, allow students and teachers to share notes and assignments online, edit them in real time, and project them on a screen. These tools eliminate the need for some students to go to a classroom as everything is done online from class discussions, to submitting assignments and grading.

Improved Teacher-Parent Communication

The way in which teachers communicate with parents has also changed dramatically over the last decade. Long gone are the days of telephone calls and voice messages. The fastest way to reach an educator is via email. The importance of report cards has even given way to technology, as grades are now entered online by teachers and can be accessed by parents in real-time, 24/7.

Parents and students now also have access via the Internet or even apps in some cases to every single grade, tardiness, absence, and more. Apps like Edmodo allow parents to log in and see what’s going on.

Enhanced Teacher to Teacher Collaboration

The way teachers communicate with each other to share ideas and offer support has also evolved with technology. They can now share videos, lesson plans, and images instantly, as well as discuss their ideas online as they go.

Teachers can also instantly communicate and connect with their colleagues across the world, refine their lesson plans and find the latest new information on a particular subject to provide their students with the best education possible. There are even tools such as Teachers Pay Teachers which permits teachers to sell their own classroom materials and buy high-quality materials from other teachers.

Educators are now required to do an online portfolio for their practicum, among other online activities, to obtain their education degrees. Some teachers even go back to school or take supplemental courses to keep up with the ever-changing “industry standard” for the modern-day classroom and its technologically demanding student.

It is important for teachers to be open to new ways of doing things. On an almost a weekly basis, new technologies become available that can completely transform the way teachers work and teach.

A good teacher is one that maintains an avid interest in new technologies, with the aim of improving the effectiveness of their teaching methods to better reach their students.

Teacher Image via Shutterstock

More in: Sponsored

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