Posts with «education» label

Apple opens its Detroit Developer Academy to 100 students

Apple has opened its Developer Academy in Detroit, first announced early this year as part of its Racial Equity and Justice initiative. The project, done in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), has welcomed its first 100 students aged 18 to 60 for a 10-month "comprehensive app development and entrepreneurial training" program, Apple wrote in a newsroom post

The custom-designed space is located in the First National Building in downtown Detroit. Apple noted that enrollment is free and that students don't need any previous coding experience. "Students in this year's class bring a breadth of personal, professional and academic experience to the program," it said. 

The Academy will run two courses. The first is a 30-day introductory program, and the main, 10-month course teaches iOS app development and associated fields, such as design and marketing. Technically, it actually opened a bit earlier this fall for a four-week basic coding course run for a "smaller cohort of community partners," Apple said. The academy expects roughly 1,000 people to complete the courses annually. 

Amazon will pay full college tuition for some warehouse workers

Amazon is acting on its promise to improve its treatment of employees, but not necessarily in the way you'd expect. The online shopping giant has pledged to pay full college tuition for its operations (effectively, warehouse) workers in the US beginning in January. The company didn't reveal the full criteria required, but some staff are eligible if they've been with Amazon for just three months.

The firm will also cover high school diplomas, GEDs and English as a Second Language certifications. And no, workers won't have to wait until they've finished a semester to get compensation. Amazon said it would pay tuition and other fees in advance, and would offer annual funds as long as people remain employees.

Staff will also have access to a trio of new "tuition-free" skill programs that will help train for positions in Amazon Web Services, IT support (such as Amazon Robotics) and user experience design. Not surprisingly, Amazon is using pay as an incentive — those on the IT track can make another $10,000 per year, the company claimed.

The incentives for Amazon are clear. This will help it not only recruit more workers for its office roles, but attract and retain workers who were either wary of working for Amazon or want assurances of upward career mobility once their schooling is done. Amazon might lose some of those tuition recipients to other companies, but that could be a small price to pay if it leads to more internal candidates and a more stable workforce.

This won't satisfy many of Amazon's critics. Politicians and labor rights activists have blasted Amazon over tough workplace quotas, constant employee monitoring and higher injury rates at automated facilities, among other issues. There are also allegations Amazon has interfered with unionization votes that could improve conditions and pay. Free education while you work is only useful so long as you're happy with the work itself, and this plan won't change much.

There's also the question of Amazon's outsized influence. The company said it was the "largest job creator" in the US, with 400,000 people having joined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paid tuition could give Amazon influence much like that of the military, where people sometimes sign up to defray education costs. As welcome as many might find the gesture, it could give Amazon more clout in society than regulators might like.

EA dips back into college football with Campus Legends event in Madden NFL 22

Electronic Arts is dipping back into college football with a limited-time mode in Madden NFL 22. The Campus Legends mode features ten school teams, including rosters filled with college football icons, as well as current and former NFL stars who are alumni of those squads.

The event is available through the Superstar KO multiplayer mode. The college teams are Clemson University, University of Miami, Louisiana State University, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, University of Southern California (USC), University of Oregon, University of Nebraska and Michigan State University.

The NEW Campus Legends event is now live, ft. 🔟 historic programs to challenge your friends with! 💥

Rivalry Happens Here ➡️ https://t.co/dwNfYLZxIO#Madden22pic.twitter.com/WKLin2AKAy

— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) August 31, 2021

EA notes Madden 22 is now the first game since 2013 to include a college football experience. The publisher announced earlier this year that it's bringing back the College Football series. The next game in the no-longer-dormant franchise is likely years away though, so college football modes in Madden might have to do the trick for now.

To mark the release of the mode, former college and NFL stars Vince Young and Reggie Bush will play against each other as their respective alma maters (University of Texas and USC). The pair faced off in the Rose Bowl in 2006, and they'll return to the Rose Bowl Stadium to repeat the matchup in Madden 22. You can watch the showdown tonight starting at 7PM ET on the NFL YouTube or Madden NFL Twitch channels.

You have a few weeks to check out Campus Legends. The mode will be available until September 27th.

Zoom's new Focus mode hides people who might distract you

Zoom has unveiled a new feature called Focus Mode designed to keep students from distracting each in virtual classrooms. When activated, it allows the teacher to see all the students, but each student can only see the teacher or host. That way, a teacher could activate it during lectures to minimize distractions and then turn it on for class discussions. 

On top of seeing the teacher, students will also see their own video and any presentations, along with the names of other students and emoji reactions. With the setting turned off, students can see all the other students and their reactions, as shown below. 

Zoom

The app appears to be available on any Zoom desktop client, presumably including free versions. That could also make it useful for family gatherings, small business meetings and other situations where you might need to keep distractions to a minimum (or provide space for people less comfortable with showing their face on camera). If you want to make the setting mandatory for all users in your account, you can lock it. 

The feature arrives as the new school year approaches with the threat of COVID-19 and particularly the Delta version potentially keeping students out of schools. On top of the Focus mode, Zoom also detailed some back-to-school tips to make distance learning work better, with suggestions like checking your internet connection, creating a learning space and learning about lighting and other app features. 

Apple's digital student IDs are coming to Canada and more US schools

With the start of a new school year quickly approaching, Apple is once again expanding the availability of its contactless student IDs. Following an initial rollout in 2018 and subsequent expansions since, the software is making its way to Canada for the first time.

In 2021, the University of New Brunswick and Sheridan College outside of Toronto will allow students to add their ID cards to Apple Wallet and use their iPhones and Apple Watches to access facilities and pay for food and other items and services across campus. In the US, “many more” schools, including Auburn University, Northern Arizona University, University of Maine and New Mexico State University, will adopt the software this fall.

It will likely take many more years before every school offers digital student ID cards, but the technology is clearly becoming more ubiquitous. In April, Apple said it saw more students use their mobile IDs to make purchases and access campus facilities than their plastic counterparts for the first time since it launched the software. In the fall, the University of Alabama, one of the early adopters of the tech, will exclusively issue mobile IDs to students with the necessary hardware, marking a first for the platform.

Intel's AI degree program expands to 18 additional community colleges in 11 states

Following an online pilot in the fall of 2020 with Maricopa County Community College District, Intel is expanding its AI for Workforce Program to include 18 additional schools in 11 states, including California, New Mexico and Michigan. With the expansion, more than 800,000 students can take part in a curriculum designed by the company, at the end of which they can earn a certificate or associate degree in artificial intelligence.

The program includes courses on data collection, computer vision, model training, coding and AI ethics. In addition to designing the curriculum, Intel has provided training and technical advice to the college faculty involved in the program. Dell is also helping with technical and infrastructure expertise.

According to Carlos Contreras, senior director of AI and digital readiness at Intel, the program consists of four parts. In the initial “Awareness” section, a teacher introduces students to some of the “possibilities” and “issues” around AI, with an emphasis on class discussion. The following two parts involve a lot of hands-on learning while students are gradually introduced to the technical skills they need to become proficient in the field. The final part of the program, “Capstone,” sees students asked to create and present projects that use AI to impact society.

For Intel, the company says working with community colleges offers a chance to “democratize AI technology.” Citing data from the American Association of Community Colleges, the company notes they attract people from various backgrounds and walks of life. But as with most programs of this type, it’s also an opportunity for the company to find candidates in a demanding field. It’s no accident then Intel plans to expand the program to include 50 more schools by 2022.

Introducing Engadget’s 2021 back-to-school gift guide!

We know you may not be ready to go back to school just yet — but being prepared for the inevitable return can’t hurt. In between beach days and summer barbecues, it’s worth starting to think about all the things you’ll need for the new school year, because no one enjoys scrambling for supplies at the last minute.

We hope our annual back-to-school gift guide can help students everywhere figure out what they need well before they return to campus in the fall. Since tech is kind of our thing, we have a number of laptop recommendations suitable for all kinds of students (and all budgets) along with picks for dorm room essentials, studying supplies and helpful gadgets that come in under $50. And for those of you with little ones, our staffers share their favorite educational toys for kids in case you want to add something new to your repertoire.

We know going back to school this year is going to feel different; it may even make you feel anxious for various reasons. But we hope our product recommendations can ease at least one source of stress. Figuring out which tools you need to be your best academic self, and which gadgets you want to invest in to make your time at school easier (and maybe a bit more fun).

The best student discounts we found for 2021

They say your college years are the best of your life. But they tend to leave out the part where you’re scrounging every dollar for textbooks, food and (if you’re lucky) the occasional weekend outing with friends. Money is tight when you’re a student, and that financial stress can be compounded by the reality of having to stay on top of your studies.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s student discounts. Many companies offer their products and services for less to those struggling through lectures, writing research papers and studying for finals. We’ve compiled a list of the best student discounts you can get on useful services, along with some things you’ll enjoy in your down time. Just keep in mind that most of these deals require you to prove your status as a student either by signing up with your .edu email address or providing some form of student identification.

Shopping

Amazon Prime Student

If you’re not piggy-backing off of your parents’ Amazon Prime account, you can have the subscription for less while you’re in school. College students can get Prime Student for $6.50 per month or $60 per year, and it includes the same perks as a standard Prime membership including free two-day shipping, free same-day delivery in select areas, and access to the entire Prime Video library. Amazon also currently offers a six-month free trial, so you’ll pay even less during your first year.

Buy Prime Student at Amazon - $60/year

Best Buy

While it doesn’t offer a specific student discount, Best Buy has Student Deals that you can sign up to receive. Aside from proving your student status, the only requirement is for you to be a My Best Buy member and that program is free to sign up for. We actually recommend that most people sign up for My Best Buy because some items, especially during site-wide sales, will be even cheaper for members. All student deals will appear in the Member Offers page in your account.

Sign up for Student Deals at Best Buy

Apple

Apple offers some deals to students and educators. This year in particular, Apple is throwing in a free pair of AirPods when you buy select Macs or iPads for college. You’ll get AirPods with the regular wired charging case free, or you can upgrade to AirPods with the wireless charging case for $40 more. Alternatively, you can get the AirPods Pro for $90 more. Apple knows how popular AirPods are and it clearly wants to sweeten the deal for students who have been thinking about getting a new computer before heading off to college.

The AirPods promotion also includes Apple education pricing on Macs and iPads. There isn’t a flat percentage rate across all products; the discounts are device dependent. For example, right now students can get a new MacBook Air M1 starting at $899, which is $100 less than the normal starting price (Amazon's matching this price, too). The 13-inch MacBook Pro also starts off $100 cheaper and the new iPad Pros start at $749, or $50 cheaper than normal. These are decent savings if you must have a brand new Apple product, but those with tighter budgets should also consider Apple’s refurbishment program.

Shop Apple’s back-to-school promos

Samsung

Samsung offers up to 10 percent off most of its products to students and educators. The Galaxy manufacturer also has some decent offers like a "speed and storage" bundle that includes two Samsung drives for under $300. We’d recommend stretching that 10 percent discount as much as possible by using it on big-ticket items like a Samsung laptop or a Galaxy smartphone if you need one. Otherwise, Samsung has solid accessories like the Galaxy SmartTag and the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Shop Samsung’s back-to-school promos

Microsoft

Microsoft also provides students and educators with up to 10 percent off its gadgets, including the already affordable Surface Go 2 and the Surface Headphones 2. And Microsoft’s online store doesn’t only sell Surface devices — you can also find Windows PCs from Lenovo, HP, Acer and others there at discounted prices.

Shop Microsoft’s back-to-school promos

Streaming

Spotify

Spotify Premium’s student plan gives you a lot for only $5 per month. Besides access to millions of songs, it also includes Hulu’s ad-supported plan and Showtime’s ad-free service. You’d spend roughly $27 per month if you paid for all three separately at their full prices, making this student offer one of the best you can get.

Buy Spotify Premium Student - $5/month

Pandora

Pandora also offers students its Premium membership for $5 per month. Pandora’s offering doesn’t include any additional services, but you do get an ad-free experience, personalized music, unlimited skips and unlimited offline play.

Buy Pandora Premium Student- $5/month

Apple Music

Apple also slashes 50 percent off its Apple Music subscription for students, bringing it down to $5 per month. The offer is available for up to 48 months so you can enjoy the rate for the entirety of your college experience. What’s more, the company bundles Apple TV+ in this student offer, so you can watch Apple originals like The Morning Show and See.

Buy Apple Music Student membership - $5/month

Tidal

Tidal provides student discounts on both of its streaming services: Premium and Hi-Fi. Premium drops to $5 per month, down from $10, while Hi-Fi costs $10 per month, down from $20. This year, the company is offering a three-month free trial of either of its services to any new user through the end of August. Tidal is still often overshadowed by Spotify and Apple Music, but these discounts are a good way to give it a try without spending too much money.

Buy Tidal Student starting at $10/month

Hulu

College students can sign up for Hulu’s ad-supported plan for only $2 per month. That’s $4 less than the normal price and a great deal considering all of the content that Hulu has to offer (think The Handmaid’s Tale, Grey’s Anatomy, Rick & Morty and more). Sure you have to deal with commercials, but it’s a small price to pay to binge-watch shows like Brooklyn Nine Nine, which can provide a much-needed laugh when you’re drowning in coursework.

Buy Hulu (ad-supported) - $2/month

YouTube

If you’re already spending a lot of time watching YouTube, you may have a better experience with YouTube Premium. The Student plan knocks nearly 50 percent off the price so you’ll pay $7 per month for ad-free video viewing, background play, video downloads and access to YouTube Premium Music. The latter is YouTube’s attempt at a Spotify/Apple Music competitor, but it has a long way to go before it can really hold a candle to those services. However, if you listen to most of your music via YouTube already, Premium could be your one-stop-shop for music and video streaming.

Buy YouTube Premium Student - $7/month

Headspace

Being a student is stressful even in the best of times, but now it’s even more difficult to concentrate and find peace. Headspace is just one of many meditation and mindfulness apps available that can help with that, but it stands apart with a great student discount: $10 for the entire year, or $60 less than a normal annual membership. In addition to a large library of meditation lessons and routines to follow, Headspace recently added SleepCasts, a collection of soothing voices reading bedtime stories to help you fall asleep, as well as “mindful” workout routines.

Buy Headspace Student plan - $10/year

Tools

Adobe Creative Cloud

You’re probably using Adobe products if you’re studying anything to do with digital art or design. Adobe CC is the industry standard in this space but the entire suite of programs is quite expensive at $53 per month. Thankfully, Adobe has education pricing for students that drops the entire creative suite to $20 per month for the first year. That includes the big programs like Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC along with Lightroom CC, Premiere Pro CC, Adobe XD and more.

After your first year, the monthly cost increases to $30 per month. While not ideal, it’s still more affordable for students than it is for industry professionals. If you’re not tied to Adobe programs, you can also consider Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher apps from Serif ($50 each for the Mac or Windows versions), which compete with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Buy Adobe CC - $20/month

Ableton Live

Whether or not you’re studying music production, students can get 40 percent off Ableton Live Standard or Suite for as long as they are enrolled full-time. That brings Live 11 Standard down to $269 and Suite down to $449 — great discounts on some of the best music software available right now.

Buy Ableton Live starting at $269

Microsoft 365

Many students have to use Microsoft 365 tools on a regular basis. If your college or university doesn’t provide you with an account, you can still get Microsoft 365 for free by taking advantage of the company’s student and educator discount. This gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and even Microsoft Teams free of charge, which is a great deal considering an annual subscription costs $100.

Get Microsoft 365

Ulysses

Spending all day and night writing papers is even more frustrating when you don’t have all your writing organized in one place. Ulysses is a popular writing app for mac/iOS that can be used for note taking as well as thesis writing, with features like auto-save and auto-backup, word-count writing goals, markup, plain text support and DropBox integration. Normally, Ulysses costs $40 per year but students can get it for only $11 every six months, or $22 per year. There isn’t a direct alternative for Windows users, but you do have options including Scrivener (a one-time student price of $41.65), IA Writer (a $20 one-time price) and FocusWriter (free and open-source).

Buy Ulysses - $22/year

Evernote

Evernote can be an indispensable tool if you like to keep all of your thoughts in one place — everything from class notes to web clippings to to-do lists. Students can get half off one year of Evernote Premium, which brings the price down to $4 per month or $48 for the year. Premium is the way to go if you’re investing in Evernote because it syncs your notes across unlimited devices, gives you offline access, lets you annotate PDFs and search saved documents.

Buy Evernote Premium (1 year) - $4/month

Squarespace Student plan

Whether you’re itching to get a jump-start on your portfolio or just want an online space for to show off your work, Squarespace is a good option as it gives students a 50 percent discount on any of its annual plans. The most affordable option will cost $72 for the year, which is half the normal yearly price of $144. Squarespace is one of many website builders out there, but it’s particularly popular with creative professionals. Its customizable templates make it easy to build a website and make it look exactly how you want it. Plus, you can upgrade down the line to add things like website analytics, custom JavaScript and CSS and e-commerce.

Buy Squarespace starting at $72/year

News

It’s always been important to keep up with the news, but it’s never been more important than it is now. Yes, it’s daunting sometimes and we don’t expect (or encourage) you to inhale every breaking-news headline as it’s published. However, it’s crucial to know what’s going on in the country and the world as a whole. Here are some reputable news organizations that offer student discounts on their monthly or annual subscription plans.

The Atlantic: Starts at $25 per year for digital-only access.

The New York Times: $4 every four weeks for a base subscription.

The Washington Post: $5 every four weeks for digital-only access.

The Wall Street Journal: Starting at $4 per month for the Student Digital Pack.

Get up to 25 courses on how to code in different languages

Learning to program isn’t a straightforward process, and it certainly can’t be mastered overnight. There are multiple different coding languages, each of which has its own use cases. From data science to game design, the applications and types of programming in use today are as varied as the ways you can study them.

So how should one go about studying programming? A great way to test the waters is by learning a few languages and practicing your knowledge with hands-on projects, which you can showcase in a portfolio. The 2021 Ultimate Learn to Code Training will help you get started, and you can get three courses right now for free.

The 2021 Learn to Code Training comes gives you the chance to choose from bundles with three, five, ten, fifteen or twenty-five courses. The base version features three one-hour courses on CSS, JavaScript and HTML packed with 52 lectures. These beginner-friendly lessons will cover the foundational skills you need to start writing your own lines of code. Once you have the basics down, you’re free to explore the rest of the bundles depending on the kinds of programs you’re interested in creating.

For instance, the five-course option focuses on game design with an emphasis on Python and creating games in Unity. Not only will you get an introduction to artificial intelligence and machine learning with Python, but you’ll also put your skills to the test by creating your own Legend of Zelda and Portal clones.

The 10- and 15-course bundles focus on app and web design. In the ten-course bundle, you’ll learn how Java is used in web and Android development. The lessons also cover data analysis and machine learning. Meanwhile, the 15-course bundle offers several of the same courses as the previous selection. However, it also includes courses that lean more heavily toward data science using R and Matplotlib.

Finally, the 25-course bundle pulls together every class in the previous bundles. With lifetime access to all classes and materials, you can study everything at your own pace and use your newfound knowledge to make your own interesting programs, practice toward mastery and eventually land a professional programming job of your own.

You can get each version of The 2021 Ultimate Learn to Code Training on sale now, with bundles containing three courses (free), five ($3), 10 ($8), 15 ($10) and 25 courses (for $15).

Prices subject to change.

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Hacking the Classroom

With so many students attending class virtually these days, how can you give kids — or adults — some hands on experience with electronics projects? [Ben Finio] says you can by moving your lab to the virtual world using — of all things — Tinkercad. [Ben] should know something about a classroom since he is a lecturer at Cornell.

Of course, you could do this trick with any online simulator, but Tinkercad is nice because it is easy to use, looks real, and doesn’t cost the students a dime. [Ben] mentions there are some scenarios where it is especially useful like large classes or online classes. There are probably some cases where it doesn’t make sense, like teaching RF design, for example. Even then, maybe you just need a different tool.

It would be something else if Tinkercad would add some features to support this use case. Imagine an instructor being able to peek at a student’s circuit or modify it without having to screen share to the whole class. Or perhaps provide a connector to connect one student’s outputs to another student’s inputs.

We couldn’t help but think you could do some more hardcore electronics using our favorite Falstad simulator. It doesn’t have the realistic look, but it can simulate a lot of interesting circuits. After all, we’ve long been a fan of project-based learning.

Hack a Day 09 Apr 03:00