Innovations In Learning & Other Tech News

Neil Henry / News, security, Tech, Tech News Leave a Comment

News and views from this week in tech. What inspired and encouraged, shocked and appalled. Here’s our top 10…

1. Learning

I’m hugely passionate about the role technology plays in education, and this week a post nicely presented the most important tech innovations that transform learning and the environments in which education can be delivered.

“Both inside and outside the classroom, the following tech innovations are having a drastic impact on the way people learn, helping to change education for the better.”

Good read: 7 tech innovations that are drastically changing the way people learn

In the coming years – if not months – I believe a couple more innovations will transform this area like no others before – the continued rise in prominence of AI and the IoT.

That said, I hope it is a long, long time before robots are teaching children how to read and write 🙂

2. Politics

Old news, but new stories emerging every week. To what lengths did Russia go to fudge the US election? Is it even open to debate any more that they actually did?

Controversial and deeply divisive as this all is, taking a step away from politics for a second, let’s consider how the “latest incident underscores how Facebook can be used to influence not only opinion but behavior as well.” That’s a scary thought.

Good read: Russia reportedly used Facebook to organize rallies in US

I’m not concerning myself with political points of persuasion here, more from a technology perspective, social media can play a huge part in influencing people, in all walks of life. But it should always be transparent, genuine and done without malice. Wishful thinking I presume.

3. Cyber Security

This tickled me… “I know it’s a little Hunger Games but I think that’s where we are in 2017. Corporate security is an afterthought.” Which comes from an interesting read on the present day situation regarding corporate data security – specifically on aspects of policy, transparency, and above all ACCOUNTABILITY.

Good read: A perfect storm of corporate idiocy

This post led me to ask 2 questions. Is there actually any accountability the higher up the ranks you go? And, if there is, do we live in a society where people in senior positions can simply pass the buck or bury their head in the sand?

4. Inequality

On the sticky subject of gender ‘gaps’ in tech professions, an interview by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg made interesting reading this week as much for her views on finding success as an individual – male or female – as for some very strong points on the issues of females being far less likely to gain top roles within the tech industry.

Good read: Men run the world and it’s not going that well

From all that is discussed, this rings true, “to be successful… is knowing you can’t do it alone… find your support group. Resilience applies to a community.”

Also worth mentioning this week, while we’re on the subject of ‘inequality’ – Google ‘segregates’ women into lower-paying jobs, stifling careers, lawsuit says.

5. Apple

I freely admit, I am not a lover of Apple products, but this is such a powerful piece and encapsulates the mood of consumers today. That every new piece of tech ‘must’ have a wow factor. Really? That’s not possible, nor a realistic or helpful expectation. We definitely are – as the article suggests – ‘missing the point.’

“The hype cycle, complete with the attendant disappointment or ‘huh, that’s cool, I guess’ reactions that follow Apple events speaks to how we misunderstand innovation.”

Good read: Expecting Revolutionary Innovation From Apple’s Reveal Event? You’re Missing the Point.

Any new piece of technology must have a purpose, a function, a niche. But they don’t all have to shift the landscape out of sight. That is the beauty of tech evolution, the process of building up to something that truly is revolutionary for people in different walks of life, when the time is right and the need for change upon us.

6. Big Data

No weekly tech roundup can be covered without some mention of the power and pre-eminence of big data. Such is it’s seemingly omnipotent scalability in an era of cloud supremacy.

Here we highlight a super article on how “the rise of data is reshaping countless roles within companies, from marketers to operations management.”

Good read: As Data And Cloud Rise, Lines Are Blurring Between Developers And Data Scientists

We have been here for a long time with big data. Many moons ago I was writing content for Oracle on the 3 V’s (Volume, Velocity, Variety)  that gave rise to its uber-status as a life-changing tech trend.

But now big data faces fresh challenges, not just from the cloud, but from other tech trends too – the IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing.

As a result the rules of engagement for developers and data scientists – who are tasked with making sense of it all – will change exponentially.

7. IoT

With a client in the Managed IT Services sector, we recently collaborated on research surrounding the significance of the IoT in changing the job market within the tech industry. With that project in mind, an article this week made excellent reading.

Good read: The next IT jobs boom? The internet of things

It states, “The IoT will shake up the IT jobs landscape, creating new demand for certain technology skills and hybrid job roles.”

Which leads me to ponder (worry!) – with a hybrid cloud, hybrid ERPs and hybrid tech roles – at what point will we lose sight of who, where, what is in control? Especially when you add robots, AI and VR to the mix.

8. IT Support

Within many IT help desks today there is a blame-game culture, which manifests through a convoluted web of different stakeholders (client, support team, developers, project managers, the list goes on) who have vastly differing roles and priorities.

This week an article resonated that can help to alleviate these role conflicts. With “three promising technologies that you can implement today to greatly improve the IT help desk experience.”

Good read: The Next-Generation IT Help Desk is Achievable Today

My only reservation would be that the technology we use within any IT support function should never override the tactile, personal, intangible benefits of person to person contact.

9. ERP

Here we go again with the move to everything becoming hybrid. “By 2020, the organizational norm will be hybrid ERP environments, where a combination of on-premises and cloud-based models will be deployed, according to PwC.”

Good read: Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own

While a hybrid approach to tech does make sense, especially at a time of rapid digital transformation, there is a real need to ensure people – not machines – keep control, accountability and legitimacy of the technologies they deploy in real-world situations.

As such, I can’t help but wonder, with the term ‘hybrid’ being used so freely, is it just a clever way of saying something can’t be defined? And if so, is that actually a good thing?

10. Off-Piste

And finally! Could you spend 8 months in complete isolation on a volcanic rock with only 7 other people?

Fusing my passion for all things technology and psychology, NASA sent 8 research subjects to a remote Hawaiian volcano for a “study designed to better understand the psychological impacts that a long-term manned mission to space would have on astronauts.”

Good read: NASA space psychology subjects ending 8 months of isolation

How fascinating, and insightful.

Until next week!

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