OpenStax Textbooks Teams With Blending Education, LLC to Introduce Content-Driven Microlearning

HOUSTONJan. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Blending Education, LLC today announced a partnership with OpenStax that will enhance and personalize the learning experience for students through microlearning developed from OpenStax’s free, open-source textbooks.

Blending Education, LLC, a provider of microlearning libraries and content-driven digital education services, will commence its partnership with OpenStax, a Rice University-based nonprofit organization that makes education more accessible for students, to provide greater access to quality, cost-effective course materials and advanced digital solutions.

“Microlearning is a way of delivering content in small, manageable units, and opens up new possibilities for cost-effective, personalized learning for each student. Blending Education is committed to driving student and teacher success, with OpenStax demonstrating that same commitment,” said Veronica Volz, Co-Founder of Blending Education, LLC.

“The new partnership announced today will open up opportunities for all schools, colleges and universities to benefit from the microlearning and blended learning services we provide,” added Ian F Simpson, Co-Founder of Blending Education, LLC.

Both Co-Founders expressed their joy in recent results in immersing teaching staff and students to test the effectiveness of this system. “The results have been positive, and the impact already felt in field testing this system for the past three years has proven its potency,” said Ian.

Blending Education, LLC helps educators, administrators, instructional designers and anyone else interested in teaching and learning to easily implement blended learning into their course, program, faculty or school. Their microlearning products are self-grading, mobile-responsive and save time and effort. Instructors simply upload them to their own Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in just a few steps. Students can then access these on any smartphone, tablet or computer for “anytime, anywhere” learning.

The measurement of learning outcomes, recordable data and secure analytics offers immediate, live insights into how well each student is performing, and the unique style of delivering content in short bursts aids retention and promotes self-directed learning. Microlearning provides instant feedback to students and eases the workload teachers face by automatically reporting students’ grades back to the institution’s own learning management system.

And unlike most other content-driven platforms, their microlearning products work within the school or university’s own LMS, so there is no learning curve, subscription cost, or “per-student” fees. Each microlearning product can be used and re-used freely year after year on unlimited students, resulting in an ultimate cost-savings. Keeping student data within the confines of the institutional LMS also affords educators and administrators peace of mind, knowing that it is safe and secure.

By using Blending Education’s OpenStax-based resources, schools, colleges and universities will gain affordable solutions and analytical insights that will help increase student success. Additionally, the Company will open up a wider distribution of OpenStax’s free textbooks through their promotion throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

“We look forward to seeing how our partnership with Blending Education brings affordable and powerful personalized learning technology to students in the UK and Europe,” said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax. “Our growing ecosystem of resources is helping us broaden our reach and improve access to higher education for more students.”

The Company has been aware of the incredible impact that OpenStax has had on the broader educational community recently, and the co-founders of Blending Education are pleased to be working with such an innovative company. As the company continues to grow its digital solutions, relationships with organizations such as OpenStax uniquely position Blending Education to act as a complete support system in increasing student demands and retention.

About Blending Education, LLC & OpenStax

Blending Education, LLC offers professional blended learning services and a broad catalog of digital titles in core subjects. The company acts as a strategic partner to drive student success, provide value and support to students and faculty, and create loyalty and retention while supporting the goals of academic partners.

General information on Blending Education, LLC can be obtained by visiting the Company’s website: https://blending.education

Blending Education will be exhibiting at BETT Jan. 24-27, 2018 at ExCeL, London, England. BETT is the largest Educational and EdTech Expo outside the U.S.

OpenStax is a nonprofit initiative of Rice University and is made possible by the generous support of philanthropic partners, including Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Charitable Foundation, Ann and John Doerr, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google Inc., the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, Charles Koch Foundation, Leon Lowenstein Foundation Inc., the Maxfield Foundation, Michelson 20MM Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Jumee Yhu and David E. Park III, Brian D. Patterson USA-International Foundation, and the Bill and Stephanie Sick Fund. For more information, visit http://openstax.org.

[“Source-prnewswire”]

Handset Makers To Introduce Latest Apps On Low Cost Feature Phones

Handset Makers To Introduce Latest Apps On Low-Cost Feature Phones

As per a report, Handset makers, Itel and Karbonn, are now working to develop apps for low-cost and feature phones as smartphones sales in India have slowed down a bit.

Itel, the leading feature phone brand in Africa, is already No. 2 in the overall mobile market in India in less than a year after entering the country in May. “We’re developing a chat messenger called OnChat, which works like a WhatsApp for feature phones that allow users to send and receive text messages for free, but does not allow transfer of files or pictures,” Kumar said to ET.

Domestic firm Karbonn is also looking forward to focusing on applications for rural use on its 4G VoLTE (voice over LTE) feature phone which is set to be launched by the next quarter.

Samsung is also betting big on its feature phones though the firm is not developing apps on its own. As per Samsung, apps such as Facebook Lite, Samsung Apps, GP Racing, Mortal Kombat and 11 other Java-based games are leading the most downloaded charts.

Truecaller is one of the first companies that developed an app for the feature phone. The app can now also be used on the phone that doesn’t use the internet, it informs users ID via text message before the call lands.

As per IDC data, India’s feature phone market has surprised analysts and the industry by holdings its own despite several predictions of its eventual oblivion. About 137.5 million feature phones are expected to be shipped into India in 2017, making up 53% of the overall market, up from 136.1 million that were shipped in 2016.

Due to the high usage of low-cost phones in the country, the Indian government also launched UPI service for the offline users making transactions easier by using USSD code.

[Source:-news18]

LG Will Be First to Introduce Phone with Android Nougat — But What Does That Even Mean?

LG Will Be First to Introduce Phone with Android Nougat -- But What Does That Even Mean?

LG (KRX:066570) has announced it will unveil it’s latest phone — the v20 — on September 6. And one thing at least is for certain. The phone will be the first to run the new Android Nougat operating system. But what does that mean exactly and how useful will the phone be for business communications?

The announcements of new smartphones and mobile operating systems are met with great anticipation because of the reliance on these devices. Customers want innovative features and useful applications to improve the way they communicate, work, play, shop and more. So it is not surprising that the level of expectation is that much higher with the announcement that LG’s new flagship phone will be the first to ship with the latest Android operating system inside.

As far as the V20 goes, the only thing LG has revealed is that it will build upon the “rich multimedia” experiences the V10 brought. (That phone was released lasted year.)

But Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company said in an official release: “The LG V20 upgrades and extends its predecessor’s cutting-edge multimedia features a step further, providing distinctive mobile experience and sets a new standard for premium phones for consumers.”

So any other features discussed in the media are pretty much speculation until LG makes more information available. However, Engadget has reported the V20 will have a “dual front selfie” camera, a second screen similar to the V10, and will be the first phone with a built-in 32-bit DAC (digital to analog converter).

The phone is slated for release in the third quarter of 2016, with no specific date set by LG.

What About Android Nougat?

Nougat is the latest mobile operating system from Android, and just like the previous versions it is named after a sweet treat (even though the popular choice amongst users was Nutella). Google made the developer preview available early, and it is now on version 5, which will be the last one before general availability.

During I/O 2016, Google said Android N (as it was known at the time) will focus on performance, security and productivity, features that are essential in today’s smartphones because they are increasingly becoming part of the workforce ecosystem.

Performance

Nougat has the new Vulkan 3D graphics API, which has been designed to allow developers to get better details into graphical frames. It can improve graphical performance on regular apps by 30 to 60 percent, making gamers that much happier.

A new JIT (just-in-time) compiler will be able to install apps up to 75 percent faster while reducing the compiled code size by 50 percent. This will result in improved battery life because it won’t tax the processor as much.

Security

The popularity of Android makes it a great target for hackers, and the way it is distributed makes it that much more challenging to secure. In order to address this problem, Nougat will implement a three-pronged approach: a file-based encryption, automatic software updates in the background, and media framework hardening to ensure the safety of the device when users are accessing media and media types.

Productivity

Smartphones are used to get things done. Activities can include work, play, shopping, paying bills and a host of other tasks.  With that in mind Nougat has introduced several productivity tools to help in these endeavors.

The new Direct Reply feature lets you directly reply to messages, emails and other form of communications directly from the notification bar. The reply options also include 72 new realistic Unicode 9 emoji glyphs, so you can make your point without having to say a word.

A new multi-window feature will allow users to Split Screen, so you can video conference on one side, while looking at relevant information on the other.

Last but not least is Daydream, Google’s new VR platform. Even though Google will have its own headset, the support in Android Nougat means phone makers that are Daydream-ready will be able to take advantage of the growing popularity of virtual reality.

Android Nougat will have a total of 250 new features, and phones such as the LG V20 will come ready out of the box so users can have a better experience when they communicate, work and play.

Image: LG

More in: Google

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Microsoft Will Introduce Office for iPad

microsoft office for ipad

If you’re both a Microsoft fan and an iPad user, this could be good news. Microsoft apparently plans to introduce Microsoft Office for iPad by developing a version of Office specifically for use with the device.

We should mention some clarifications here. Technically you can already use existing Office Web Apps on the iPad. The apps are available to users without a Windows operating system through Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud service.

See the video below for more details:


 



The company also has a “mobile” version of Office for iPhone, but it is only available to subscribers of Office 365, Microsoft’s virtual office software.

A New Microsoft Office for iPad

A new Microsoft Office for iPad app would apparently entail touch interface, reports The Verge. Microsoft is apparently working on touch interface for the Windows version of Office first. The company may then expand it to other devices. But there are no specifics on when the new version could be introduced.

It’s not clear whether a new Microsoft Office for iPad app would be available only to Office 365 subscribers as is the case with the Office version for iPhone.

But Microsoft is clearly trying to get people to use its products even on devices that don’t use Windows. For example, the company has announced it will roll out Remote Desktop apps for Apple and Android mobile operating systems soon.

The software giant is also pushing hard to make its operating system available on more mobile devices. The company’s presence in the mobile market remains weak. Microsoft recently approached HTC about beginning to run Windows Phone as an alternative on the company’s Android devices.

Under what circumstances would you use the Microsoft Office for iPad app in your business?

iPad Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]