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‘Oscars of Science’ award goes to Stanford physicist Aron Wall | Science - San Francisco Chronicle

Aron Wall, a Stanford University physicist who studies black-hole thermodynamics, believes there was a beginning of time, a singular moment of creation like the Big Bang, inform Peter Fimrite, Reporter at San Francisco Chronicle.
Physicist Aron Wall studies black and worm holes and space-time.
Photo: Nicole Egley Wall
It is a much-debated theory that essentially hinges on a question that many a gum-chewing 12-year-old has asked of parents: “If the universe had a beginning, what existed before that?”
Wall’s answer to this fundamental question — which also forces one to puzzle over the definition of nothingness — is what has made him popular in the religious community and a bit unusual for a scientist...
He will be given his award along with 20 other winners of the Breakthrough Prize, during a televised ceremony Nov. 4 at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in Mountain View. The prizes, touted as the “Oscars of Science,” honor world-changing discoveries in life sciences, physics and mathematics.
Wall is the only Bay Area resident to win a prize for the coming year.
Xiaowei Zhuang, who got her doctorate degree from UC Berkeley and conducted her postdoctoral research at Stanford, won a $3 million Breakthrough award for scientific discovery. Zhuang, now a Harvard University professor and optical imaging investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, won in the life sciences category for discovering hidden structures in cells and developing super-resolution imaging.Read more... 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Even Digital Natives Need to Learn 'Common-Sense' Tech Skills | Education Week

Today's elementary school students have grown up with devices, but they still need guidance and structure around tech use, writes Natalie Makulski, computer and STEM teacher at two elementary schools in Clarenceville School District in Livonia, Mich.

Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable
Teachers often overestimate students' ability to use technology. Students constantly have their devices in their hands to play games, interact with friends, watch YouTube videos, and complete homework assignments. Because they spend so much time with devices, students are thought to be technologically savvy. These interactions can be beneficial and help promote 21st-century learning skills, but they do not make students technology experts.

I teach computer classes at two elementary schools. This month, all students are learning how to wrap up a mouse cord instead of just throwing it in the box, making a huge, tangled mess. They're also learning about the consequences of spilling food and drinks on the keyboard...

Another misconception about using technology in the classroom is the idea that all teachers need to provide all students the same type of technology. Technology should be viewed like ice cream: Not all students are going to like the same flavor, and not all students are going to be engaged with the same technology.

When selecting a tool to use in the classroom, the teacher should always focus on its purpose.

Source: Education Week

Digital natives need to work on face-to-face skills | Business -

Digital natives need to work on face-to-face communication skills, says Hays.

Digital natives are natural online communicators, but recruiting experts Hays warns that for many it’s come at the expense of face-to-face communication skills.

According to the recruiter, employers are increasingly vetting candidates’ skills in this area.

“Digital natives have grown up using the internet and mobile phones, and while they can quickly grasp the latest online communication tools, face-to-face communication has been the cost,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

A recent study found that globally, 65% of Gen Z and Millennials communicate with others more digitally than in person.


Independence tests should ask more of seniors | Health - Medical Xpress

UCR psychology researcher says the bar is too low for "functional independence" in older adults, and should be aligned with skills younger adults must conquer. 

Photo: Pexels
The Activities of Daily Living, or ADL, questionnaire is a standard used by healthcare professionals to decide what services older adults need to remain independent. These activities include eating and bathing. The Instrumental Activities of Daily Life, or IADL, questionnaire is a stepped-up standard that also considers basic skills such as managing money and preparing meals.

But in her recent paper, "Adaptation for Growth Via Learning New Skills as a Means to Long-Term Functional Independence in Older Adulthood: Insights From Emerging Adulthood," Wu argues low expectations set by ADL and IADL questionnaires may be contributing to cognitive decline in healthy older adults...

Wu said younger people have to learn new skills and adapt, including to get and keep their jobs.

"Having a high bar for functional independence for younger adults in terms of learning, growing, and adapting means that they are more likely to achieve long-term functional independence," she said.

Additional resources
Courtney Nguyen et al, Adaptation for Growth Via Learning New Skills as a Means to Long-Term Functional Independence in Older Adulthood: Insights From Emerging Adulthood, The Gerontologist (2018).  
DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny128

Source: Medical Xpress

Adult education program gives students a chance to flourish | Biddeford Journal Tribune

CLASS initiative available at 11 locations in York County, as Biddeford Journal Tribune reports.

CLASS adult education programs are available at 11 locations in York County. The centers for adult education offer everything from high school equivalency tests to English language learning, ciitizenship preparation, mathematics and writing refreshers, digital literacy and access to online courses. 
Opportunity is knocking for those looking to continue and enhance their education through CLASS, the Consortium for Learning and Student Success.

CLASS is a program that has been running for the past five years and it confers with southern Maine adult education locations including Biddeford; York; Saco; Old Orchard Beach; Kittery; Marshwood; Massabesic; Noble; Sanford; Wells; and Ogunquit. The program is an initiative of the Maine Department of Education, and according to program coordinator Joann Sueltenfuss, it’s the hub for these adult education locations in York County.  

Sueltenfuss said that CLASS is a good program for those looking to continue or return to education because of how the program runs and what it offers. The centers for adult education offer programs such as the high school diploma and HiSet (high school equivalency test); ELL (English language learners) classes for new Mainers; Civics/Citizenship preparation; mathematics and writing refreshers; digital literacy and access to online courses...

The adult education programs are not only meaningful for students, but also for teachers that are a part of this program, such as Smithwick.

“Every morning just saying hello is like a song to hear representatives from all over the world,” Smithwiock said. “I don’t feel like I’m working, I feel like I’m on the receiving end.”

The process of returning to education relies on having the resources available for those seeking assistance to pursue better education and work opportunities.

Source: Biddeford Journal Tribune 

Complete your college degree through SIU’s off-campus program at NAS Pensacola | SIU News

Christi Mathis, Strategist at Southern Illinois University notes, Off-campus learning is on-target for many adult learners these days.

Kayliym Islam teaches in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s off-campus Workforce Education and Development program at NAS Pensacola.
Photos: providedFor people who are already working, these programs allow them to meet their educational and career advancement goals while still handling their daily work and life obligations. 

Off-campus learning suits busy schedules
Southern Illinois University Carbondale launched its first off-campus degree program in 1973 and today offers students the chance to earn their degrees at any one of 32 military and non-military locations – including Naval Air Station Pensacola – located in 13 states. Earlier this year, for the first time ever, all 12 people who graduated at NAS Pensacola were active-duty military personnel. With a new instructor at the helm, a new session began this week and enrollment is already underway for the next class session.

As a veteran himself, Kayliym Islam is pleased to have the opportunity to “give back to those who serve” while helping all of his students strive to achieve their educational and career goals...

Blended program offered at Pensacola
SIU’s Extended Campus offers a hybrid Workforce Education and Development program at NAS Pensacola. It incorporates a combination of online coursework and seated weekend classes and is designed to be completed by working adults in about two years.

Source: SIU News

These are the four adult-learning styles – Which one are you? | Learning - Study International News

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how we learn. Each of us has our own unique strengths and weaknesses. Different methods work better with different people,according to Study International News.

There are four distinct learning types. Which one are you: 
Photo: Solis Images/Shutterstock
Appreciating the value of tailored learning methods, researchers Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed a study in the 1980s to figure out the main types of adult learners.

Through a crafter questionnaire, the pair were able to identify four distinct styles in which adults learn and retain information.

Figuring out which category you fall into can help you make better use of your revision time and tailor your learning to suit you.

Which one are you?
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Photo: Pexels
The 5 top universities in China by Study International Staff.  

"It’s well-known that China hosts the world’s biggest pool of outbound international students, with the Chinese Ministry of Education recording 608,400 learners leaving to study overseas on 2017 – a record number for the country."

Source: Study International News

People who grow up with books have better math and digital communication skills | Fast Company

Large in-home libraries have benefits beyond the obvious, explains Michael Grothaus, novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter represented worldwide by Marjacq Scripts Ltd
Photo: Christin Hume/Unsplash
That’s according to a new study by Australian National University, Pacific Standard reports. In the study, researchers looked at 31 countries and the average household’s book-buying habits and found that the more books a home contained the better math, literacy, and digital communication skills children had when they reached adulthood.

In the study, participants stated how many books were in their house when they were children, ranging from “less than 10” to “more than 500.” It turns out those who said they had 80 or more books had much higher literacy skills (as could be expected), but also higher numerical and IT skills. And having more than 80 books was even better, as people who reported that they had 150 or 300 books scored even higher on math, literacy, and IT skills than did people who reported having 80 books (however, these improvements plateaued after the 350-book-mark).

Source: Fast Company

MSU Music celebrates the work of Richard Strauss | Campus - MSUToday

The Michigan State University College of Music is proud to present an evening of works by the last of the German romantics, Richard Strauss.

Photo: MSUTodayThis first concert of the 2018-19 West Circle Series features Strauss — a daring composer and conductor — who was born into a musical household in 1864. Following in his father’s footsteps, young Strauss dedicated his life to music, and at the age of 18 had already composed over 140 works including various vocal, chamber and orchestral works. Two years later he made his conducting debut with the Meiningen Orchestra with his premiere piece “Suite for 13 Winds.”

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium, and will feature MSU faculty artists and students.

Source: MSUToday

Musician wants to make sure Cape Breton traditional music continues |

“Remember now, we’re the Prime Brook Philharmonic.” according to Elizabeth Patterson, Reporter/Editor at Cape Breton Post.

Fiddler Dwayne Cote, left, gives Joan Roach of Glace Bay a few pointers on hand position during Cote’s “Fiddle From Scratch” sessions being held at the Brooks Haven Seniors Recreation Centre in Prime Brook this week, as part of Celtic Colours International Festival.
Photo: Elizabeth PattersonFiddler Dwayne Cote may be smiling as he speaks to eight people who have never picked up a violin before but he’s not joking. They’re students of his “Fiddle From Scratch” sessions being held at the Brooks Haven Seniors Recreation Centre in Prime Brook this week, part of the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Generally acknowledged as one of Cape Breton’s top players, Cote, 48, is on a mission. He wants to make sure Cape Bretoners keep loving, appreciating and playing Cape Breton fiddle music. He and his wife Lisa White Cote have developed the sessions to make learning how to play as easy as possible. The sessions began several years ago near St. Peters but have since moved to Prime Brook, since they live there now.

For a mere 35 bucks, anyone can take part. Cote even supplies the instruments so first-timers can get a feel for it before buying anything. According to first-time player Joan Roach from Glace Bay, it’s money well-spent.

“I’ve never played it before,” she said after completing the lesson. “I just thought it would be a neat thing to try. I love it.”

During the class, Cote patiently explains how to hold the instrument and bow. Within an hour, everyone in the class is playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in unison. Considering the violin is not the easiest instrument to learn, the accomplishment is startling but never tell Cote it can’t be done...

Cote has been performing professionally since he was 13 years old. While he’s best known as a Cape Breton traditional fiddler, he’s also a Celtic guitarist (in addition to the fiddle workshops, he also teaches guitar workshops during Celtic Colours), as well as a composer. 
Among his accolades, he won the 2011 East Coast Music Award for best jazz recording for his work done with Duane Andrews, an album that saw Cote compared to the legendary Stephane Grappelli. He occasionally plays classical violin as well.


West Sussex Music offers a chance to learn an instrument in a safe and creative environment | Music - West Sussex County Times

West Sussex Music has announced a new initiative that will offer children the opportunity to learn an instrument alongside friends and peers in a fun, group environment. 

Photo: West Sussex Music

To be held on Saturday mornings, the Key2Music beginner classes will run at West Sussex Music’s five Music Centres in Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham and Worthing. 
Kids can learn instruments such as the bassoon, brass, cello, clarinet, double bass, flute, oboe, saxophone, viola, and violin, for as little as £60 per term, which includes Music Centre membership. 
Low cost instrument hire can be added for £20 per term. 
“At West Sussex Music, we know that learning to play an instrument boosts attainment, promotes well-being and enhances self-esteem,” says Adam Barker, West Sussex Music’s assistant head. “And we know from our ensembles that children improve faster and achieve far more if they regularly practise as a group. 
 “These Key2Music beginner classes will provide a safe, social and creative outlet for musical self-expression, and all in a very affordable way.”...
Key to West Sussex Music’s unique offer, its ensembles not only bring children together through a shared love of music but also offer a clear progression route through the Music Centres, on to the West Sussex Youth Orchestras and Choirs and beyond that to Junior Conservatoires and national ensembles. 
Whatever the choice of instrument, level of competence or age, there is a suitable ensemble or band to be found, whether it’s a percussion ensemble, string orchestra, wind band, choir or guitar group. Read more... 
Source: West Sussex County Times

Review: With ‘Tao,’ Philharmonic Dives Deeper Into Andriessen | Music - New York Times

Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic notes, In writing his 1996 work “Tao,” the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen says he made no attempt “to relate to what is known as ‘music from the Far East’ or, even worse, ‘world music.’”
David Robertson leads the New York Philharmonic on Wednesday at David Geffen Hall.
Photo: Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times.I can understand his reluctance. There have probably been too many glib generalizations about what Asian music is, and too many attempts to appropriate it.
Still, listening to the New York Philharmonic’s performance of “Tao” on Wednesday at David Geffen Hall, with David Robertson conducting, it was hard not to hear the piercing, high-pitched chords and tart melodic fragments of this 18-minute work as evocative of Asian styles and sonorities. And the scoring for “Tao” does include two traditional Japanese instruments; in the second half, four female vocalists sing settings of Chinese and Japanese texts...
Clipped melodies, like bits of chant, keep breaking through. Eventually the lower strings provide depth and grounding, fortified by snarling brass. Whatever narratives or cultural traditions the music evokes in you, the pungent, precise harmonies are the result of the acute ear this composer brings to all his music, as we are learning from the Philharmonic’s two-week series “The Art of Andriessen.”
About halfway through “Tao,” the vocal quartet — here the excellent Synergy Vocals — enters, singing an excerpt from the sixth century B.C. “Tao Te Ching,” the message of which is stated in the first line: “When one is out of life, one is in death.” The second text, Kotaro Takamura’s 1930 poem “Knife-Whetter,” describes in poignant detail how a craftsman finds purpose by honing a skill.Around this point a piano soloist (here Tomoko Mukaiyama) enters, playing fitful strands of steely high chords. Ms. Mukaiyama also performed in the premiere of the work, which was conceived for her multiple talents.Read more... 

Source: New York Times 

Faculty Distinguished Lecture Explores the Use of Mathematical Modeling in the Dosing of Antibiotics | Meredith College News

Photo: Cammey Cole ManningProfessor of Mathematics Cammey Cole Manning presented her research titled “Mathematical Modeling of Antibiotics: Should the Dose be the Same for Everyone?” at Meredith College’s 2018 Faculty Distinguished Lecture, held on October 9 in Jones Auditorium.

Photo: Meredith College News
During the 57th installment of the lecture series, Manning explored how mathematical modeling could be used in determining the dosing of antibiotics. In particular, she looked at whether the same dose of the antibiotic ertapenem should be given to everyone.

She opened her talk with a visual of how things might appear the same, but in reality, they differ in many ways, showing the importance of truly defining a problem before developing the model. Manning had three students demonstrate filling jars of various sizes with the same number of M&M’s, showing that the same number and type of M&M’s will fill each jar differently.

“Defining the size of the jar is a really important part of the process. For problems such as this one, it is important to know the size of the jar we are talking about, what type of M&M’s we are using, and what is meant by filling the jar. This is all part of defining the problem and making assumptions.”

A type of mathematical model, known as a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model, was used to answer the question of whether everyone should receive the same dose of antibiotics. 

Manning studied the distribution of the antibiotic, ertapenem, in men and women with varying body mass indexes (BMI), following a typical dose, which was based on a normal weight, normal height male...

About Cammey Cole Manning
Cammey Cole Manning is a professor of mathematics and head of Meredith’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. She has been actively involved with the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI), particularly in mentoring and planning professional development programs and workshops for undergraduates, graduate students, and early-career individuals. She continues to be active in research, most recently publishing in the Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering journal.

Manning earned her B.S. in mathematics and computer science at Duke University and completed her Ph.D. in applied mathematics with a concentration in computational mathematics at North Carolina State University.

Source: Meredith College News

What Can I do with a Degree in Maths? | CareersPortal

Countless opportunities for maths graduates, summarizes CareersPortal.
What Can I do with a Degree in Maths?
Photo: CareersPortalIf you have an aptitude for numerical reasoning and enjoy working out complex equations you may find yourself considering a course heavily based in Maths. Engineering, computers, science, accounting, actuarial studies, statistics will all give you enough maths to satisfy your hunger for problem solving.

But what if you took the plunge and studied an exclusive maths degree; what then?

What could you possibly do with a degree in maths?

Just about anything!

Careers chosen by mathematicians fall loosely into three categories 
1. Careers directly related to maths. These include all forms of teaching and academic work. There are positions in industry or Civil Service which involve using mathematical, statistical, and computing knowledge which are acquired through studying maths. Positions in IT and in finance demand a strong mathematical knowledge.

2. Careers that involve thinking logically and quantitatively. Typical examples include actuarial, accounting, banking etc.

3. Wide career pool open to graduates of many disciplines – as previously stated, maths graduates develop a specialised skills set that often gives them an advantage over competition from other disciplines. Maths graduates have highly developed numerical and logical thinking skills, and the ability to analyse difficult problems. A degree in maths provides the analytical skills and methods of decision making that are necessary in just about any work place.

Source: CareersPortal

4 Engineering Schools preparing students for the global market | University - Study International News

“There’s nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.” – Bill NyeIt’s not always clear which degree will land you on the best path to your dream career, says Study International Staff.
Photo: University of Melbourne
Talk of a complex and competitive graduate market can easily cast a shadow over student positivity, but rest assured that your degree still stands as the ultimate currency when it comes to finding a job.

You don’t have to look far to uncover the long-lasting demand for engineering expertise. As a concept conceived way back in ancient times and a profession expected to thrive long into the future, universities across the globe are refining qualified graduates to meet burgeoning demand in engineering.

With tuition fees placing incredible strain on weary student bank accounts, prospective learners want to be sure their investment will pay off. The College and Salary Report from PayScale highlights the future earning power for a range of higher degrees, based on approximately 2.3 million surveys from graduates across 2,700 colleges and universities...

But the scientific and techy minds among you will be pleased to know that engineering dominated PayScale’s high-earning Top 20, landing most of the top 35 positions along with other STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Read more... 

Source: Study International News

Risk Management and Risk Analytics, Master of Science | St John's University News

The 30-credit Master of Science in Risk Management and Risk Analytics program prepares graduates to thrive in professional positions in the insurance industry, inform St John's University News.

Photo: The School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (SRM)
The curriculum provides students with the tools to identify, analyze, and manage risks, with particular focus on commercial risks that are traditionally insured, including property, liability, and human resource exposures...

The M.S. in Risk Management and Risk Analytics will prepare graduates to:
  • Understand the process of how to identify, measure, and manage risk
  • Understand how to mitigate and finance loss exposures using alternative risk management techniques
  • Understand insurance products and corporate risk management strategies
  • Understand decision making for the operation of insurance and related financial service sector firms
  • Demonstrate skill producing quality independent research using advanced statistical and simulation tools
For additional information on the Master of Science in Risk Management and Risk Analytics, please contact the faculty program director:
Ping Wang, Associate Professor
School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science
101 Astor Place, 223

Please see a list of our School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science faculty.

Source: St John's University News

Hendrix Professors Collaborate on Statistics Study Guide | Hendrix College Events and News

Three Hendrix College psychology professors have collaborated to write an online study guide as a companion to the new edition of a statistics textbook by a fourth colleague, Dr. Chris Spatz ’62, professor emeritus of psychology, as Hendrix College Events and News reports.

  Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions
The Study Guide for Exploring Statistics: Tales of Distributions (12th edition) is available for purchase in six-month access increments. 

Its authors — Dr. Lindsay Kennedy, Dr. Jennifer Peszka, and Dr. LeslieZorwick — have 38 combined years of experience teaching undergraduate statistics using Exploring Statistics, and have focused extra attention on the topics that tend to challenge students the most...

Spatz’s textbook has long been praised as intuitive and easy to navigate, and is used by numerous undergraduate psychology departments across the country. The 12th edition of Exploring Statistics acknowledges that the practice of statistics is in a state of transition, while remaining grounded in the well-tested foundation of the previous editions.  

“We wanted to build on the solid approach Chris has taken,” said Peszka, the Charles Prentiss Hough Odyssey Professor of Psychology. “By spending additional time on difficult topics in an online, mobile-friendly format, we hope this guide will help students learn the material more easily.” 

The study guide is available for purchase at
Read more... 

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. 
To learn more, visit

Source: Hendrix College Events and News

Statistics Are Useful, But Not In The Way Popular Media Suggest | American Council on Science and Health

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
“Data science” is hot right now. The number of undergraduate degrees in statistics has tripled in the past decade, and as a statistics professor, I can tell you that it isn’t because freshmen love statistics, by ACSH Staff

Photo: Shutterstock
Way back in 2009, economist Hal Varian of Google dubbed statistician the “next sexy job.” Since then, statistician, data scientist and actuary have topped various “best jobs” lists. Not to mention the enthusiastic press coverage of industry applications: Machine learning! Big data! AI! Deep learning!

But is it good advice? I’m going to voice an unpopular opinion for the sake of starting a conversation. Stats is indeed useful, but not in the way that the popular media – and all those online data science degree programs – seem to suggest.

So where do I sign up?
Five years ago there was no such thing as a data science degree, and now the list runs for pages and pages. And that’s not counting the traditional statistics programs, or programs in related subjects like computer science or operations research. LinkedIn’s sidebar strongly feels I should consider an online master’s degree in data analytics, from several different places.

The proliferation of these programs speaks to the inadequacy of many people’s undergraduate educations in terms of statistics and data competency. Although stats majors have tripled, there were only 3,000 last year, compared to 370,000 business degrees and 117,000 psych degrees. More of these students should certainly give statistics (or one of the newer data science degrees) a hard look, given that a bachelor’s degree is borderline compulsory these days.

But I worry that the premise behind the appeal of these degrees – especially at the master’s level – is the idea that the technology alone can solve problems. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Statistics is a tool for understanding data, but cannot by itself understand anything. Probably the biggest mistake people make when applying statistical or machine learning methods is not recognizing that the data being analyzed is insufficient to answer the relevant question. A degree that teaches you only about the hottest predictive analytics technology, like deep learning, is a bit like learning how to drive without knowing the first thing about how to navigate.
Read more... 

Source: American Council on Science and Health

In Slovenia This Project Lets Kid-Experts Teach Adults How To Use Technology | Education - Forbes

Photo: Nina AngelovskaI met Tjasa Sobocan, the Project Manager of Simbioza (Slovenian NGO) during my fellowship in Chicago in April. She was my roommate and we lived together for a month at our host’s house in Evanston, according to Nina Angelovska, writes about e-commerce, marketing, entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

Senior woman and her grandson (8-9) using digital tablet.
Photo: Getty
When someone would ask her “What do you do?”, her answer would go like this “We teach older people digital skills by engaging young volunteers.” I was curious to learn more as at the time I was working on an E-commerce Analysis Report and found out that my country, Macedonia was at ranked at the bottom, having no or very low digital skills compared to other EU countries (Eurostat). Today 43% of Europeans do not have basic digital skills (European Commission) and having a digitally skilled nation is crucial for driving competitiveness and fostering inclusive society. I knew what the project was in general but it was just until a month ago when I became aware of its huge impact when I asked Tjasa to send me their report so that I can find a way to implement it in my country. I read the 70 pages report in one breath and was amazed by the idea, the execution and the impact it had for Slovenia.

The first line in the introduction part of their report says “Slovenia is connected, Simbioza broke all records!” The project puts the older people with no or low digital skills in a room with young people who are willing to teach basic digital skills on volunteering bases. During a five-day workshop, the young volunteers are teaching the older participants how to get online, how to use email, how to use social media, how to e-banking etc.  The main goal is to create educational opportunities for social inclusion through intergenerational cooperation and promote lifelong learning. Simbioza team believe everybody should have the right to access and use smart technology for daily life, so their workshops for seniors are free of charge. They help seniors overcome the fear for the unknown, as they didn’t have the chance to be introduced with technology before. In the past 8 years over 35.000 participants attended their digital skills workshops. They say Intergenerational cooperation proved to be the richest dialogue of the future.
I asked Tjasa few questions to share their story.

Source: Forbes

Why fast casual brands are embracing digital training with open arms | Fast Casual

Judy Mottl, experienced editor, reporter and blogger writes, Paper-based employee training manuals and binders are quickly disappearing as staff training is going digital.
Fast casual brands are embracing digital training for a slew of reasons and was a focal topic during the 2018 Fast Casual Executive Summit.
Photo: Fast Casual Fast casual employee and leadership training is going digital in a big way. Those clunky heavy binders and paper-based guides are swiftly being replaced by smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs.

The list of reasons why, according to both global and emerging restaurant brands, is long — digital learning is saving money, time, travel requirements while proving to be more useful, relevant and engaging for those being trained.

Whether it's learning how to slice cold cuts and wrap the sub at a Jersey Mike's, gaining greater customer insight at Rise Biscuits Donuts, driving customer engagement at Holler & Dash or skills certification within a Chipotle Mexican Grill digital learning is reinventing staff training from the kitchen to the dining area to the corporate leadership ranks.

It affords greater accessibility to gaining knowledge and improving skills and simply meets the needs of today's young workforce as people learn differently than they did 10 to 12 years ago...

Blair and Chissler shared training insight along with Tom Ferguson Jr., founder of Rise Biscuits Donuts, and Keith Hertling, senior vice president leadership coaching and culture at Jersey Mike's, in a panel session Monday during the three-day Fast Casual Executive Summit that kicked off Sunday evening at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington.

The summit, run by Fast Casual's parent company, Networld Media Group, draws restaurant executives interested in learning and networking via interactive sessions. The session was moderated by Peter McLaughlin, head of customer success for PlayerLync which sponsored the panel. PlayerLync is learning software that helps operational teams deliver rewarding customer experiences.
Why digital is grabbing big traction 
Enhancing and delivering an exceptional customer experience is a big focus in employee training for the fast casual industry as the experience is on par, in terms of value and importance, with quality food.

Source: Fast Casual


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