As American classrooms gain more and more technology we begin to run into the problem of teachers not having enough training to use this technology correctly or to full potential. In Education Week’s, Technology Counts 2017 Survey it became apparent that teachers in high-poverty school districts are receiving less technology training than teachers from wealthier schools. Google, Digital Promise and EdTechTeam have teamed up to curb this issue. They began a program in July that provides 6.5 Million dollars to 50 different school district with a focus on informing teachers on how to better use devices in the classroom. These different districts all reside in 5 different states (Alabama, California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas). We hope that this creates the ability for people in high-poverty school districts to receive better instruction and produce better than they have in the past.
As we move further and further into the future technology keeps developing. Technology is used to increase productivity in most businesses today. The original thought is that the more technology you have the greater the productivity of your workers will be but this is starting to cause problems for some businesses. In most companies employees are outnumbered 4 to 1 by technological devices. These include switches, routers, hubs or firewalls, desktop or laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, factory controllers, printers and multi function fax, copy and print devices. Now this may not seem very much but this can cause major problems for the IT departments of many businesses. With this many devices IT departments have started to require more people and more money to work. This also requires them to receive more training as the have to be prepared to see all sorts of different devices with all sorts of issues.
What can we do to resolve this issue? A solution that has some potential is RPA’s or Robotic Process automation. RPA’s would be able to run the basic tedious tasks that would take the time out of most IT departments day. It can evaluate most of the issues in most devices and act upon them. This will save businesses time and money in the future.
Members of the OEA or Oakland Education Association went on strike the week of Feb. 21st. The demands of the strike were an 11% increase on total salaries, a delay on school closures, and smaller class sizes. The strike lasted 5 days with many conversations happening between the OEA and the Oakland school district. Before the strike the school district said that the best they could do was a 7% increase on salary with a one time 1.5 percent bonus. With the school district failing to meet or comprise with the unions demands it left the 86 schools and 36,000 students out of school for a whole week. With the pressures of getting these children back to class the OEA secured a deal which they felt was fair. Salaries would be raised by 11% plus a 3% bonus once the new contracts were ratified. Along side of this it opened up additional spots for counselors and medical personnel, as well as reducing the size of high school classes by 1 person by the 2019-2020 school year. This is one of many times this school year that a major city’s teaching work force has gone on strike to secure raises and has done so successfully. These city’s include Oakland, Los Angeles, and Denver. Along with these city’s states such as West Virginia and Kentucky have payed attention to teachers needs this year.
On Monday, March 5th, iCAD, an artificial intelligence company, developed a partnership with Karolinska. This partnership expands on an existing agreement between the two companies that will be able to provide AI assistance to scan mammography images. This program shows promise in developing an individualized way to scan for the potential to develop breast cancer in the future.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in all women. The key to stopping and treating breast cancer depends on how early you can catch it. This makes screening and early detection a major key to preventing breast cancer. The model that is being produced by this partnership shows promise in providing individualized screening for each person. Turning the current model of age based screening on its head. Instead replacing this with a means of risk related screening. They accomplish this based off of mammography images. Per Hall, professor and senior physician at the Karolinska Institutet says that, “Most current risk models are population-based and focus on lifetime or long-term risk. Our research using the iCAD AI technology has shown that by simply using the information available in the mammogram images, we can more accurately stratify women based on short-term risk. Understanding short-term risk will open the door to new paradigms in both the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.” We can expect to see this form of detection soon under the name ProFound AI.