Instagram introduces ‘poll’ stickers and other creative tools in Stories

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Instagram has introduced a Poll Sticker in its Stories offering to further boost engagement on a feature that is already being used by 250 million users daily. Polls can be added to Stories just like any other sticker — by dragging and dropping it on the post. Once you pull the sticker, you can customize the two-option poll. It could be a simple Yes-No poll or any other options you wish to offer your followers. People viewing the Story can tap and vote, and view the poll results in real-time — similar to Twitter Polls.

Announcing the new feature on its blog, Instagram stated, “Whether you’re trying to plan tomorrow’s outfit, choosing which class to take or figuring out where to go for dinner, now it’s easy to share a two-option poll right in your story. After you’ve taken a photo or video for your story, select the “poll” sticker and place it anywhere you’d like — you can write out your own question and even customize the poll choices.”

Instagram Stories PollIf you wish to view the results of your poll, you can swipe up to open the viewers list for that part of your Story. It will throw up the number of votes received by each option as well as handles of those who voted in the poll. You can also check who voted for which option. “That way, you’ll be able to compare votes from the friends and followers whose opinions you trust most. And just like your story, your poll and its results will disappear after 24 hours,” Instagram added. ALSO READ: Instagram launches new tools and Kindness stickers for ‘Wellbeing’ of its users

Instagram-Stories-ToolsAlong with Polls, the photo-sharing platform has also introduced two new tools in the form of a a color picker for text, and brushes and an alignment tool for text and stickers. This will help users make their posts more “creative” reckons the Facebook-owned app. When you choose a color for your text or drawing tool, you’ll see a new eyedropper icon in the bottom left. You can select a color from your photo/video and apply it to the text.

The new tools are available on the updated Instagram app on Android and iOS. However, iOS gets an additional “alignment” that will allow users to ensure that their text and stickers are placed at the center of their picture-posts. It is not clear when Instagram will roll out this tool on Android. ALSO READ: Instagram Stories turns one: Here’s everything you need to know

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Tech Giants and Diplomatic Crises: This Week’s Top 7 Education Stories

The Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg points and smiles while wearing a cap at gown at Harvard's commencement

If Sullivan High School had a motto, it would be “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Its immigrant population now numbers close to 300—45 percent of the school’s 641 students—and many are refugees new to this country. This academic year alone, the Rogers Park school has welcomed a staggering 89 refugees—nearly three times as many as last year and far more than at any other high school in the city. The recent surge, fueled in part by an influx of Syrians, has turned the school into a global melting pot, with 38 countries and more than 35 languages represented. … How Sullivan got to this point is a fascinating story of a school that not long ago was struggling for survival.

In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose, and fundamental approaches to learning.

The involvement by some of the wealthiest and most influential titans of the 21st century amounts to a singular experiment in education, with millions of students serving as de facto beta testers for their ideas. Some tech leaders believe that applying an engineering mind-set can improve just about any system, and that their business acumen qualifies them to rethink American education.

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How Will the Qatari Diplomatic Crisis Affect Higher Education?

John Elmes | Times Higher Education

The ongoing diplomatic crisis in Qatar will cause “irreparable reputational damage” to the Gulf as a location for university branch campuses, according to an expert on the region.

Qatar has transformed itself as a global education hub in recent years, hosting overseas outposts of 12 international universities, but faces mounting uncertainty after four Arab states—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain—cut diplomatic ties. They have also moved to isolate Qatar by land, sea, and air, accusing it of funding terrorist groups.

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Is This the Turning Point for Detroit’s Schools?

Erin Einhorn | Chalkbeat

Detroit schools have been buzzing these last two weeks with what feels like a fresh start. A new superintendent—Nikolai Vitti—has landed in the city and started his job as the first new leader of what is officially a new district. …

But spend a morning in a Detroit classroom and it quickly becomes clear exactly how much will have to change in this city before it looks anything like the “mecca” that Vitti imagines.

The Educational Crusade For News Literacy

Issie Lapowsky | Wired

Checkology is the latest creation of the News Literacy Project, a non-profit founded by the former Los Angeles Times reporter Alan Miller. Since 2009, the tiny eight-person non-profit has been working one on one with schools to craft a curriculum that teaches students how to be more savvy news consumers. Last year, in an effort to scale its impact, the team bundled those courses into an online portal called Checkology, and almost instantly, demand for the platform spiked.

“Fake news is nothing new, and its impact on the national conversation is nothing new, but public awareness is very high right now,” says Peter Adams, who leads educational initiatives for News Literacy Project. Now, Checkology is being used by some 6,300 public- and private-school teachers serving 947,000 students in all 50 states and 52 countries.

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The International-School Surge

Alan Wechsler | The Atlantic

The origins of today’s international schools can be traced to 1924, but they’ve grown exponentially in the past 20 years. Originally created to ensure that expatriates and diplomats could get a “western” education for their children while working in far-flung countries, international schools have found a new purpose: educating the children of wealthy locals so those kids can compete for spots in western colleges—and, eventually, positions at multinational companies.

This dramatic change means increased opportunities for American teachers abroad—and, potentially, increased competition in the U.S. from a new demographic of English-fluent and cosmopolitan young people from all over the world.

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How Income Inequality Stacks up at Stanford

Claire Wang | The Stanford Daily

As of 2013, more [Stanford] students come from the top 1 percent than the bottom 50 percent of the income scale. This statistic is true for the so-called Ivy-Plus colleges in general, which include the eight Ivy League schools as well as Stanford,  University of Chicago, MIT, and Duke.

Amid a host of efforts to make Stanford more socioeconomically inclusive, why does the University’s student body remain so dramatically skewed toward the rich? Despite the expansion of financial aid in recent years, as well as reports of increases in students represented in the lower income quartiles, the lines tracing change in Stanford’s socioeconomic makeup remain remarkably flat. Ultimately, these trends have major implications for promoting social and economic mobility.

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Facebook News Feed Tweaked to Show More Authentic, Timely Stories

Facebook News Feed Tweaked to Show More Authentic, Timely Stories

Facebook News Feed Tweaked to Show More Authentic, Timely Stories
In a bid to display more relevant stories on its News Feed, Facebook has rolled out fresh changes with new signals to “better identify and rank authentic content”.

The changes will also have a new real-time prediction algorithm to spot stories that might be relevant to you faster.

According to a report in The Next Web on Wednesday, Facebook’s new signals tap one of its core values – authentic communication – to bring stories to your News Feed that have a higher chance of resonating, and not those considered “misleading, sensational, or spammy”.

Facebook considers signals like your proximity to the person or page posting, or likes, comments and shares to rank content.

To do this, “Facebook first attempts to identify pages known for posting spam or trying to game the algorithm through means it deems inappropriate, like asking for likes, shares, or comments. This data is then used to train a model to continually identify these types of posts in an attempt to keep them out of your News Feed,” the report said.
If some posts are hidden, that indicates that such content is not meant for a particular user, contrary to the authentic content which will appear higher in your News Feed.

Facebook is also trying to be faster at spotting authentic content and making it appear on the user’s News Feed. This update notes how universal signals change in real time.

ALSO SEEFacebook Mulling Over Ways to Curb Fake News

“For example, if an article from The Washington Post (a page you subscribe to) is generating a lot of buzz, the algorithm will deem this important and place it higher in your feed, quicker,” the report added.

Tags: Facebook, Fake News, Social

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Instagram Stories Live Video Feature Rolling Out to Users Worldwide: Here’s How it Works

Instagram Stories Live Video Feature Rolling Out to Users Worldwide: Here's How it Works

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It will work for users with Instagram version 10 and above
  • The live video feature shows up in Stories
  • It has been rolled out to users globally

After releasing it in November and making it available only to users in the US, Instagram has now introduced live broadcasting on Instagram Stories for users worldwide. The Live video feature will work in the same way as Facebook Live, and will allow users to go live for its followers to see real-time feed via the social app.

Live video on Instagram Stories is rolling out globally for all users with version 10.0 and above across platforms. The new Live button shows up on Instagram Stories, which appears when you swipe right on the home page. The Live Button now sits at the extreme left in Instagram Stories section, followed by the Normal, Boomerang, and Hands-free mode. Hit the Start live video button and the app will start looking for a proper connection. Once it is satisfied with the connectivity, a countdown starts to warn you to get ready for the live video. As the live video starts, followers are notified of the development so that they could come and watch the live broadcast. The number of people watching your live video is also shown on the screen.

Unlike Facebook, the live video does not get saved on Instagram, and disappears as soon as you finish with the broadcast. There’s also an option to comment on the live video, and the user can even pin it to the top for everyone to see. The user can alternatively even disable comments if need be. You can switch cameras from rear to front mid-recording, and can even see the time since you started recording by tapping on the Live button on the top-left edge.

Instagram has also added a new section in Explore called ‘Top Live’ that shows you all the people that are live currently with the most popular ones getting the top spot.

Tags: Instagram, Instagram Stories, Apps, Android, Apple, Social, Instagram Live Video
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