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Saturday, November 25, 2017

How we are creating 'digital practices' | GP online - Technology

Photo: Ruth Chambers
Photo: Marc Schmid
A new programme in the West Midlands is aiming to help practices plan their use of digital technology and ensure they get the most from it. Professor Ruth Chambers and Marc Schmid explain how it works.

Photo: GP online

A common cause of frustration for anyone working in the health service is the ad hoc approach taken to delivery of care by digital means. When we talk about digital care, the focus often goes on the technology, as if simply rolling out a new tech solution will bring about the change needed.

Sadly, because the frontline workforce is frequently looked upon as an afterthought, with little investment in digital skills and training, practices are left with obsolete equipment sat in consulting rooms or solutions that place more pressure on clinicians in an already stretched health service.

It is for this reason that across the West Midlands, in collaboration with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, NHS England and external digital experts, we’ve developed a digital exemplar programme for primary care. This is based on seven key principles, underpinned by a suite of resources and training, with the aim of creating a frontline NHS environment through which innovation and access to technology can prosper.

These seven principles will in turn create the environment necessary for our network of ‘digital practices’ to thrive.

Helping ‘digital practices’ thrive 
The principles are based on ‘seven Cs’: competence, capability, capacity, confidence, creativity, communication and continuity.

Each practice on our exemplar programme will be supported in planning their use of digital technology with clear metrics in place to help them judge the value of what they wish to do. The programme will also help practices to understand the time and investment needed to undertake a new digital approach properly and the outcomes that can be achieved or strived for.

The seven Cs are:

1. Competence. This relates to any practitioner, manager, patient, carer or citizen’s ability to use or implement a range of modes of delivery of technology-enabled care services (TECS). Without the skills required to use the technology from either the clinician or the patient it is difficult to embed any form of technology.

2. Capability. Clinicians, managers and patients need to be able to adopt best practice in the use of TECS and act on advice and information. A good example is the use of Skype. For us to use Skype in the West Midlands we had to spend a considerable amount of time working with colleagues in information governance. We needed to ensure that anyone using Skype not only understood the technical aspects, but also the IG and medical indemnity process.

3. Capacity. This is one of the most important factors when developing an environment within which digital care can thrive. This isn’t just about senior staff possessing the skills in isolation – this is about changing internal processes so that staff on the frontline are given the time and confidence to innovate. There must be protected and prioritised time for initiating and participating in remote delivery of care and it should be regarded as a key part of a person’s role. There also needs to be support at a strategic level. We’re currently working with a team of national educational providers to develop a suite of online tutorials to help staff gain the skills to use digital in a cost- and time-effective manner.

4. Confidence. Practitioners and managers need to be confident that the organisational infrastructure is in place, underpinned with a code of practice that includes the reliability and validity of equipment. Patients also need to be confident that using technology is an integral part of clinical best practice and that their clinician will access and act on messages or interchanges. The use of technology must never be seen as a cheaper or short-cut treatment, but as adding value to the patient’s care.

5. Creativity. Once you begin using TECS the creativity will come from your staff. When they begin using different types of technology they will identify new opportunities. Some examples of initiatives developed by staff in the West Midlands include closed Facebook groups for patients with specific long-term condition, medication reviews using Skype.

6. Communication.There is little point innovating if we don’t share what we have achieved. We have developed a learning website and e-bulletin where we share all our documents and have been running action learning sets across for clinicians. The West Midlands programme is taking the learning from our Staffordshire programme and scaling that up across a bigger footprint.

7. Continuity. If we are serious about change and want our practices to be equipped to face the challenges of the next 10-20 years continuity is vital. Using TECs isn’t a quick fix. Some of our outputs will be realised years from now so we need to be in this for the long haul. Sharing knowledge and skills is key. We’ve run training with patients with long-term conditions and will be developing further training and support and upskilling across the voluntary sector to embed those skills across our long-term condition networks.
Read more... 

Source: GP online

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Easy to follow tips to score more in JEE Main Mathematics | ExamsWatch - Exam News

"Hello and welcome to today’s blog on numerical tips and suggestions. We didn’t mean it’s going to be about equations and formulas, It’s just your hint at understanding the focal point of today’s blog" inform

Photo:  ExamsWatch

Mainly because, we are going to share few essential tips to enhance your numerical skills for the upcoming JEE Main examination, Mathematics being the limelight of the hour.

JEE Main 2018 is indeed an important examination for all determined engineers and architects, in the making. Qualifying this exam opens the gateway of many prestigious Engineering and Architectural programs in various NITs, Centrally Funded Technical Institutions and other engineering institutions. 

And for those hopeful of gaining admissions into IITs & ISM, JEE Advanced is the second examination to qualify after JEE Main.

Now, the exam pattern for JEE Main 2018 is quite simple and easy to understand. And this is where you should pay attention if you want to excel and score your best in this exam. Excelling in the Mathematics section can prove to be advantageous for you.

Why Mathematics section?  Because this is one section where you either score full marks for a correct answer or just loose it all. At the end of every Mathematical equation or formulae, there will be a definite answer. You don’t have to sit and write explanations or descriptive answers in here. And that is your edge. Even in case of applying to real-life situations, if you know the basic fundamentals of any math problem, then the correct answer is just moments away. And with strategical preparation, you can be sure of getting the right answer- and voila 4 marks for that!

It is important to know that JEE Main 2018 is held for two papers. Paper 1 will be for B.E./ B.Tech., and Paper 2 for B. Arch./ B. Planning. And if you are looking for admissions in either of the streams mentioned above, then both papers can be attempted. And an interesting detail about this exam is that Mathematics is a common subject in both the papers. So, that’s one less subject if you are taking both the exams and also improving your chances at excelling as well.

The other subjects are Physics, Chemistry in Paper 1 and Aptitude and Drawing Test in Paper 2. Paper 1 is of 360 marks and 30 questions is reserved for Mathematics which are of 4 marks each. Now they are basically objective type questions. There will be deduction of 1 and ¼  mark for every incorrect answer in Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Tips to Score More in JEE Main Mathematics
Mathematics is usually the kind of subject, requiring maximum practice because of its applications and uses. So more the practice, more will be your satisfaction. And now, we have a few good tips that will facilitate you for getting better scores in JEE Main Mathematics...

...Follow these strategies and you are good to go for JEE Main 2018!

Source: ExamsWatch 

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South Africa: New science learning app targets teenage girls in Johannesburg | IT News Africa

Photo: Fundisiwe Maseko
Fundisiwe Maseko, Research Assistant at Council For The Build Environment reports, "The I Am Science initiative launched by Goethe-Institut is in line with movements such as #BlackGirlMagic, the initiative aims to work against race and gender biases that young girls and women face daily."

Photo: IT News Africa

The initiative is aimed at early high school girls in disadvantaged urban areas and combines science activities; video, and digital learning

Women make up only 30% of science researchers worldwide and that figure is even lower when it comes to black women pursuing a career in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector. Unequal access to education and gender stereotypes still prevent girls from being curious about science. For many girls in South Africa the world of science remains an impenetrable space.

The project is rolled out in a two-week programme at different schools. By creating entertaining and accessible science videos, presented by girls, the project hopes to increase curiosity in science and shift perceptions about girls in science. As American activist Marian Wright Edelman said, “You can’t be what you can’t see”.

For the past two months, I Am Science has implemented programmes at three Gauteng schools. 
Short, professional videos of girls from Soweto, Tembisa and Alex doing exciting, hands-on science activities have been uploaded to YouTube as well as turned into video quizzes and published on local learning app Levelup. The app allows teen users to earn digital tokens for submitting correct answers, which are redeemable for airtime and data.

This is the first project in South Africa to co-create peer-to-peer, educational, science video content with girls. It is implemented by the Goethe-Institut with support from the GIZ and financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

When asked what she thought about science after completing the programme, grade 10 Fons Luminus Secondary School pupil, Tsakane Nxumalo said, “Science is everywhere!”
Read more... 

Source: IT News Africa

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Friday, November 24, 2017

How to tailor your e-learning programmes to suit different learning styles | Virtual College

Summary: The type of learning style people respond to can vary dramatically, so companies should be looking to tailor and personalise their approach to e-learning accordingly.

Photo: Patrick Hebbert
"When developing an e-learning solution for your business, it's likely that your instinct will be to opt for an approach that broadly caters to the needs of the greatest number of learners, with material that delivers effective learning for the whole organisation" notes Patrick Hebbert, Bid Writer at Virtual College.

Photo: Virtual College

However, you'll quickly realise that this is much easier said than done. In reality, creating a truly universal learning and development programme is complicated by the fact that different people have different approaches to learning, meaning that what works well for one individual won't necessarily lead to the same level of engagement for another.

For compliance and training managers, this can be a challenge to account for, but the flexible nature of e-learning means that it is possible to tailor your strategy to meet everyone's needs. By considering how different personality types absorb information, you produce a bespoke solution that combines a variety of materials - from text-based information to videos, downloadable resources and bitesize content - that can cater to each of these styles.

In doing so, you can ultimately achieve much better results than you would by trying to impose a one-size-fits-all approach.

Active vs passive learning
One of the most significant differences between different types of learner is the division that exists between those who prefer to learn actively, and those who prefer a more passive approach.

Passive learners tend to respond better to being provided with material to read over and process in their own time, or to be briefed on what they need to know in a non-interactive lecture-style format. Activer learners, on the other hand, like to go hands-on with the material, to take part in discussions and illustrative exercises, and to learn through collaboration and conversation.

Most research indicates that active learning methods tend to be more effective for a greater percentage of people, but preferences for both styles do exist and should be accounted for when developing a bespoke solution that meets everyone's needs...

How bespoke e-learning can deliver the best of all worlds 
Trying to account for all of these differences can feel like an impossible task, but by investing in a high-quality bespoke e-learning solution, it is possible to deliver a multifaceted training approach that caters to the needs of every learner.

Source: Virtual College 

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Is e-learning replacing face-to-face training? | BusinessCloud

Photo: Samantha Caine
Samantha Caine, client services director at Business Linked Teams, says the future is in a blended approach.

E-learning is a valuable tool.
Photo: BusinessCloud

The question of whether e-learning is replacing face-to-face training is one of the burning questions of the moment in corporate training departments around the world.

Organisations are looking for ways to maximise the effectiveness of their training while reducing costs.

Samantha Caine, client services director at Business Linked Teams, says e-learning can help firms address the challenge of rolling out desired behaviours and skillsets consistently across global workforces.

“Organisations need an approach that can overcome language barriers and cultural differences and help them deliver their global business objectives,” she told BusinessCloud.

“What they don’t need are unproven approaches that lean too heavily on new ideas, or old approaches that are no longer effective in today’s global marketplace.

“It’s possible to train sales teams and future leaders of global organisations with e-learning and the rationale for pursuing this path is clear.

“Firstly, training departments are increasingly challenged by the business to deliver development programmes that are more efficient in terms of both from cost of the training and the cost of the employee time for each training participant.

“Secondly, there is a strong demand from workforces for training that effectively embraces the technology that they have in their hands. The training must reflect the ways in which workforces have become accustomed to using this technology, taking in short, sharp inputs of information in a ‘just in time’ manner.

“Thirdly, online solutions have plenty of appeal for organisations rolling out technical training. It’s true that some processes can be learnt better online, especially where there are only ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways of doing things.”
Read more... 

Source: BusinessCloud

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Pakistani university offers free education for transgender community | Arab News - World

"A leading university in Pakistan is offering free education for the transgender community, in a bid to promote inclusion and opportunity for the marginalized group" continues Arab News.

Photo: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU)

“Our university education system is based on distance learning, so they can get the education without coming to classrooms, and avoid possible taboos attached to them,” Dr. Shahid Siddiqui, vice chancellor of the Islamabad-based Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), told Arab News.

Through this free education program, the AIOU will try to “return their self-respect and dignity.”

The Forum for Dignity Initiatives (FDI), a Pakistani NGO working for the rights of gender and sexual minorities, lauded the decision.

“This is a positive, welcome and much-needed step by the AIOU,” Uzma Yaqoob, founder and executive director of FDI, told Arab News, adding that the transgender community was never given such an opportunity before in Pakistan.

“The transgender community has a great desire to acquire and complete their education. I’m sure they’ll make use of this offer.”
Read more... 

Source: Arab News

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COLUMN: 'Do you know about the internet?' | Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - Lifestyles

Photo: Cherie Dargan
"I’m a recently retired community college instructor who taught online for 15 years, helped pioneer computer classrooms for teaching writing and piloted a class showing education students how to integrate technology into their lesson plans" says Cherie Dargan, retired Hawkeye Community College communications professor.

My husband, Mike, managed technology for two public libraries, began using social media almost a decade ago and manages a blog.

But our geek credentials were not apparent when we visited a local store to look for a new office chair. The young man helping us saw we were not happy with the selection.

“We have more models online,” he said. Then he hesitated, looked at me dubiously and said, “Do you know about the internet?”

I took a breath.

“I’m a retired college teacher,” I said. “I manage four websites and a blog. Mike would have gone to Amazon to pick out a chair, but I thought it would be nice to go into a brick-and-mortar store instead. 

So, yes, I DO know about the internet!”

My husband sighed and we left. He ordered a nice chair from Amazon.

I find the major downside of being retired is being seen as “old.” Businesses would do well to encourage young workers to not assume everyone older than 50 is lacking in technology skills.

According to a May Pew internet report, almost 70 percent of seniors use the internet, and half of older Americans have internet access at home. In addition, 40 percent have smartphones. Another 30 percent use an iPad or Android tablet, and almost one in five have an e-reader. Overall, seniors ages 65-69 who are college educated and more affluent are more likely to be technology users.

In fact, many of today’s seniors were pioneers of technology use in the workplace.

Early on, I wrote a grant for my own Gateway laptop and wheeled it from classroom to classroom in a two-wheeled cart. I hooked up cables to a device to switch the image on my laptop to the television in the classroom to show my PowerPoint presentation, announcements or class agendas.

I taught on the Iowa Communications Network, Iowa’s innovative distance learning telecommunications system that connects hundreds of classrooms using fiber optic cable.
Read more... 

Source: Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

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Samsung to build new lab for machine learning research | Digital Journal - Technology

Photo: James Walker
"Samsung's announced a new research centre to focus on developing artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company's current AI capabilities are perceived to be behind its rivals, a weakness Samsung is working hard to address" inform James Walker, Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Technology news. 


Samsung made the announcement in a Korean press release this week. The company told Reuters it will be operating the research lab as a joint venture between two of its businesses. Samsung's mobile and consumer electronics arms will both use the facility to help develop new technologies.

Samsung's use of AI was fairly limited until earlier this year. The launch of the company's Bixby digital assistant marked Samsung's intentions to gain a position in consumer AI, an increasingly competitive segment of the technology market. Although Bixby hasn't surpassed rivals such as Siri and Google Assistant, Samsung's set a rapid development pace and is already talking about its ambitions for the platform. 

The new AI research centre will help Samsung to gain expertise in AI as it expands Bixby and its other products. AI's becoming an important component of smartphones that's used to power apps, improve security and boost performance. Some recent handsets have begun to include dedicated AI co-processor chips, a trend Samsung could jump on with next year's Galaxy S9. 

The company's already acknowledged rumours that AI will be a major selling point of its next-generation mobile products. The Galaxy S9 is currently shaping up to be an iterative enhancement of this year's S8, with much of Samsung's development concentrated on a new software experience. Proactive assistance and AI-powered convenience features will account for several of the new capabilities, requiring research that may be undertaken at the lab. 

Source: Digital Journal

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Budget 2017 debrief: what Philip Hammond’s speech means for higher education | Times Higher Education (THE)

Photo: Diana Beech
Diana Beech, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Higher Education Policy Institute, on an HE-light Budget that nonetheless has some implications for university staff and students.

Photo: Times Higher Education

Never has a recent Budget been more anticipated by those in the UK higher education sector than yesterday’s Autumn Budget 2017. After a summer of uncertainty surrounding tuition fees, the sustainability of student loans and the future of UK research funding, it is fair to say that the sector had been looking to chancellor Philip Hammond to provide some clarity on the state of play for UK universities.

Yet, the chancellor failed to deliver. Despite much speculation that we might finally learn the scope and aims of the higher education review promised by prime minister Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference in October, the Autumn Budget gave only slight nods to our universities and their students.

Mr Hammond began by acknowledging universities and research institutes as being “at the forefront of a technological revolution”. However, the excitement was short-lived. In his speech, he ultimately failed to deliver any “big bang” announcements on future funding for UK research – presumably since the government is making us wait for further developments on its industrial strategy, due to be released over the coming weeks.

The Budget’s accompanying “Red Book” at least contains more information on the government’s long-term support for science and innovation, both in terms of finance and talent. As well as confirming additional spending on research and development over the coming years, taking the total direct spending to £12.5 billion per year by 2021-22, it also provides clarity on the future status of so-called international talent in the UK.

Specifically, the government has pledged to change immigration rules to make it easier for highly skilled international students to apply for work in the UK after completing their degrees and to reduce the red tape in hiring international researchers. This approach would allow the UK’s research councils and other sector bodies to sponsor individual scientists and researchers during the immigration process.

Most notably, the chancellor made no mention of tuition fees or changes to the current student finance system in his Budget speech – something that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn subsequently seized on as being an “injustice”. For now, at least, students will have to make do with the current tuition fee freezes and the higher student loan repayment threshold, both announced in October.

The only beneficiaries of the Budget are those who have already graduated. The chancellor promised young people up to the age of 30 the opportunity to purchase “millennial” railcards and he offered assurances that they would not risk overpaying their student loans. However, the railcard is of use only for off-peak travel, while the latter probably seems like a distant dream to most students. 
Read more... 

Source: Times Higher Education (THE) (blog)

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For Digital Success, Look Beyond STEM Skills, Computer Scientists Urge | Forbes

Photo: Joe McKendrick
"We want products and solutions and technologies that appeal to the dancer and the linguist, not just the engineer. So we have to bring them in" argues Joe McKendrick, author, independent researcher and speaker exploring innovation, information technology trends and markets.  
It takes many minds to run a digital business.
Photo: Joe McKendrick

Organizations seeking to get ahead in the digital game and fend off disruption will need to be creative with technology – and this is going to require a diversity of skills and viewpoints beyond traditional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) expertise. Even some leading computer engineers state that it's going to take more than technology skills to move things forward.

Some of these computer scientists shared their observations on the digital skills gap at a panel discussion at the recent CA World confab in Las Vegas. Otto Berkes, chief technology officer for CA Technologies and moderator, asked about the skills needed for today's and tomorrow's digital businesses. STEM skills development needs to be introduced and encouraged earlier in children's education, the panelists agreed. However, success in the digital economy requires more than ramping up STEM capabilities -- it requires participation from people with a variety of backgrounds, skillsets, and perspectives. (Note: the panel discussion portion starts at the 60-minute mark in the recording.)

"We over-rotate on finding and developing STEM only as the solution," said Debra Danielson, distinguished engineer and senior VP for CA Technologies. "I think as we evolve, we're going to be bringing in more people who don't need to have that deep analytical coding technologist-type capabilities. Because they're going to be focused on the no-code, low-code on driving AI to solve business problems. We want products and solutions and technologies that appeal to the dancer and the linguist, not just the engineer. So we have to bring them in." 

There's a strong business case to be made for diversity as well. “If you were to try and solve one of your top technical or business challenges you could stick some white middle-aged men with aerospace engineering degrees in a room, and we would definitely find an answer,” said Howard Abrams, distinguished engineer and senior VP of engineering at CA Technologies. “Not necessarily the right one, not necessarily the best one, but we will find an answer quickly.”

Rather than confine innovation the way it has always been, “what you really need to do is get people with diverse opinions in a room with diverse education and skills in a room to brainstorm, and figure out how to best solve the problem and be creative," said Abrams. "If you're gonna get diverse skills and interests and backgrounds that ultimately means diverse people need to be in that room. That's a key challenge.”

Diversity is a real business enabler -- "it's not a fashion statement it's how you get the best outcome,” Berker agreed. “We have to make sure that we're really developing you multidisciplinary cross-disciplinary problem solvers you know for next-generation challenges."

Source: Forbes 

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