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Technology aids better life

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Mechanical engineering has eased our everyday activities by creating technologies that are essential for modern society.

The use of problem-solving techniques and applying them to the design and manufacturing of an object is called Mechanical Engineering. A mechanical engineer turns a concept into a real-life product with the help of creative and analytical knowledge. Mechanical engineering has an important role in manufacturing technologies, right from cars to aircraft. Many technologies would not have existed without mechanical engineering which makes it an essential subdivision of engineering.

Over the next 20 years, mechanical engineers will be summoned to create technologies that promote a clean, healthy, safe and sustainable global environment. According to a report by ASME, the vision for the year 2028 for mechanical engineers is that they will need to work together with partners all over the world to utilise innovative solutions and best practices. This will be done in order to improve the life quality of people.

Touching Lives

The report also states that professionals in the domain of mechanical engineering are likely to be at the forefront to develop groundbreaking technology for environmental remediation, power generation, farming, food production, housing, transportation, safety, security, healthcare, water resources and harvesting of renewable energy resources.

The report says that sustainable development will be a common vision in the technical community worldwide. It will involve collaborating tools that will permit mechanical engineers to help them get the collective wisdom of those already in the field. This collaboration will also catalyse the development in the domains of automation, nanotechnology, and large-scale systems. In the next 20 years, both nanotechnology and automation will take over technological development. These technologies will also be a part of all aspects of technology that affect the daily lives of people.

Being a vast discipline, mechanical engineering effectively covers everything that can move. It is so wide due to the fact that it covers areas of design and manufacturing of anything that has a moving system. It ranges from the smallest components of a system to the finished machine and equipment as a whole. There have been various innovations in the field of mechanics that have ranged from classic ‘simple’ machine to complex concepts like CNC.

Wheel, Pulleys, Airplanes, Ships, Printing Press, Motors are some of the innovations that came to life in the past and are still a part of our lives today. These inventions have made our day to day life easier and are a gift of mechanical engineering to mankind.

A recent invention created with the help of mechanical engineering is called the Acoustic Wave Separation. This unique patented technology cleans (separates) water and other liquids from contaminants. The secret behind this ground-breaking technology is acoustic waves that clear all types of foreign substances like radioactive material, hydrocarbons, bacteria, chemical additives, salt and other substances, without using any chemicals or filters. It was created with the aim to process 378541 litres a day for the oil and gas industry. The same technology can be used to clean blood during surgery and has multiple uses in the gene and cell therapy.

Another recent creation in the field of mechanical engineering is an Ultrasonic Tubular Reactor. This reactor produces Biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Biodiesel is a renewable substitute for petroleum diesel and it has a number of benefits. It increases the security of energy, improves the quality of air and environment, and has safety benefits. The invention of the Ultrasonic Tubular Reactor is path-breaking as the production of Biodiesel will prove to be beneficial in daily lives of people.

The innovations in the field of Mechanical Engineering have enabled us to perform many tasks with ease, without realising the great technology that lies behind them. The inventions have met a wide range of human needs and have helped the society at large.

posted Mar 13 by Phirum

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1. Alternative input devices. These tools are designed to allow students with disabilities to use computers and related technology easily. Some alternative input devices include touch screens, modified keyboards, and joysticks that direct a cursor through use of body parts like chins, hands, or feet. Some up-and-coming technology in this area is sip-and-puff systems, developed by companies like Microsoft, to perform computer functions through the simple process of inhaling and exhaling. On-screen keyboards are another area of input technology that is providing K-12 learners with disabilities better use of computers and mobile devices for learning.​

2. Speech-to-text options. This technology is making mainstream waves through its use in popular cell phones like the Android-platform Razr M. While it is a convenience tool for people without disabilities, speech-to-text provides a learning advantage for students who have mobility or dexterity problems, or those who are blind. It allows students to speak their thoughts without typing and even navigate the Internet. speech-to-text options can also “talk back” to students and let them know about potential errors in their work.

3. LAMP. Language Acquisition through Motor Planning, or LAMP, connects neurological and motor learning in a way that makes communication easier for students with autism and related disorders. These principles have proven especially helpful for students who do not speak or have very limited verbal skills. Paired with technology, LAMP principles empower a growing student population with autism to effectively communicate and reach higher academic achievements. LAMP is present in technology – from specially made computers to learning apps.

4. Sensory enhancers. Depending on developmental patterns, children may need to learn differently than their peers. Instead of ABCs and numbers first, a child with language delays may benefit from bright pictures or colors to learn new concepts. Sensory enhancers may include voice analyzers, augmentative communication tools, or speech synthesizers. With the rapid growth of technology in the classroom, these basic tools of assistive technology are seeing great strides.

5. Screen readers. This technology is slightly different from text-to-speech. It simply informs students of what is on a screen. A student who is blind or visually impaired can benefit from the audio interface screen readers provide. Students who otherwise struggle to glean information from a computer screen can learn more easily through technology meant to inform them.

6. Mobile learning. Tablets and smartphones in the classroom are no longer a matter of “if,” but “when, and how quickly?” Administrators and educators can tap into the convenience of mobile technology in the classroom and the potential for student learning adaptation. Over half of school administrators say there is some form of mobile technology in their classrooms and that they plan to implement more when it is financially feasible. School districts should keep in mind that the purchase of mobile devices for K-12 use is only one piece in the learning puzzle. There must be funding for teacher training and maintenance of the devices too.

7. Learning analytics. This evolving concept in K-12 classrooms is different from educational data mining. It focuses on individual students, teachers, and schools without direct implications to the government. Learning analytics are the education industry’s response to “big data” that is used in the business world for improvements and redirection of focus. Learning analytics show students what they have achieved and how their achievements match up with their peers. If implemented correctly, this technology has the potential to warn teachers early of academic issues while keeping students more accountable. Using the mobile and online technology already in place, students can better track and tailor their academic experiences.

8. Open content. The rise of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, has trickled down from college learning to K-12 education. Increasingly, K-12 educators are also coming to believe that all information on any given topic already exists. In effect, a growing number of people believe that content does not need to be re-created or purchased, and the idea has gained steam among K-12 educators specifically. Within the next three years, expect more shared content available to teachers and to students. Open textbooks, resources, and curricula are not the only benefit of an open content push; shared experiences and insights are also valuable teaching tools.

9. 3D printing. Also known as prototyping, 3D printing will allow K-12 students to create tangible models for their ideas. Many fields, like manufacturing, already make use of this technology to determine the effectiveness of ideas on a smaller, printable scale. In education, this technology will bolster creativity and innovation, along with science and math applications. The STEM Academy has already partnered with Stratasys, a leading 3D printing company, to start integration of the technology in programming classes.

10. Outdoor/environmental learning. In short, more schools are looking for ways to get students and teachers outside. We are in an era of experiential learning, so environmental education fits the bill for many students. Lessons in this field teach children an appreciation of the earth and of its resources that the human population is quickly depleting. A better, hands-on understanding of nature also helps with science comprehension and gives students practical learning experiences.

Research has also found that teaching outside, even for short stints, improves student attitudes, attendance, and overall health. In many schools, teachers have always had the freedom to take students outside if they deemed it lesson-appropriate. Look for more official outdoor-teaching policies in the coming year, though, that encourage teachers to incorporate outdoor and environmental learning in all subjects.

As you can tell, many of these technologies have the power to change dramatically the learning experiences of students with learning disabilities, impairments, and other challenges that traditional learning methods have been less able to address. It is likely that we will see more use of these ten technologies and concepts in the next few years. In another article, I will focus on five more of these technology concepts every teacher must know.

in EdTech
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Education Technology (also known as “EdTech”) refers to an area of technology devoted to the development and application of tools (including software, hardware, and processes) intended to promote education.

Put another way, “EdTech is a study and ethical practice for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

Although this developing field may sound like a specialized niche, its potential implications are far-reaching and affect many segments of the population. Read on to find out if you’re among those most likely to benefit from the advancement of EdTech, and how you can contribute to its growth.

For Educators and Educational Institutions…

The great tech minds tasked with creating the data-driven processes and applications that facilitate learning may understand solution-implementation–but they can’t stand in for educators when it comes to disseminating knowledge.

Conversely, strong educators aren’t necessarily equipped or inclined to deal with all the technology available to them and develop ways to apply it to their discipline. They will be the first to tell you that there are enough challenges in their day-to-day work without asking them to become IT experts, as well.

“If developed and applied correctly, #edtech has the potential to become industry-changing”

Services like Alma and Engrade provide one-stop solutions for teachers and schools while illustrating just how far EdTech can take us. If developed and applied correctly, educational technology has the potential to become truly industry-changing for educators–streamlining time-consuming processes (like lesson planning, reporting, and record-keeping) and simplifying communication–with even farther-reaching implications for educational institutions themselves.

EdTech Magazine cites the capacity of this technology for providing institutions with “a very clear understanding of any number of points of reference — student progress, budget performance, alumni snapshots; the list of possibilities and insights truly is limitless.”

For this reason, the future of education relies on an ongoing dialogue between educators and educational institutions, and professionals in the tech world.

The future of education relies on educators, institutions & tech professionals

For Technologists and Designers…

For tech professionals, this means a growing and ongoing need for development in the area that is able to scale as evolving devices and technology multiply avenues for information delivery. And that’s a tall order in a landscape where these elements are developing almost more quickly than they can be understood and applied to the field of education.

Not surprisingly, the current rate of EdTech development is leaving gaps. The recent Software & Information Industry Association’s 2014 K-20 vision survey revealed a“high desire for more technology integration–and need for more support–at all educational levels.”

The annual survey, which polls nearly 1,000 educators across every tier of K-20 education, was released in June during the International Society for Technology in Education’s 2014 expo and indicated that “the ideal level of technology integration is significantly higher than current levels.” EdTech Magazine highlighted several findings from the report, including the following pain points:

  • The majority of K-12 respondents do not feel “highly prepared” for online, summative assessments: 42 percent say they have adequate bandwidth, and 36 percent say they have enough devices and other hardware for students.

  • Three-quarters of K-12 respondents say technology integration is highly important, but their current levels and ideal levels of integration do not align: Only 22 percent say their schools are already highly integrated.

These findings signal a need for technological and professional development on every level of EdTech and the presence of unique career development opportunities.

For Career Seekers…

While a number of job-seekers wish to find work that is simultaneously fulfilling and profitable, the two don’t always seem to go hand in hand (just ask a teacher).

However, the dramatic increase in venture capital investment in Education Technology promises just that.

Forbes remarks, “Whereas teachers generally top out at around $80,000 (and only if they get masters/doctoral degrees), education entrepreneurs have shown that making money and doing well are not always misaligned.”

Whether you’re embarking on a new career or seeking career guidance, the promise of the growing educational technology field delivers enticing opportunities to apply your skills in an environment with true global impact.

For Everyone Else…

At the risk of over-evangelizing the importance of Education Technology, it can be said that the successful development of these tools will impact every aspect of our future. Accessible, effective solutions for superior education empower students and teachers to focus on the task of learning. They can do more with the resources they have, improving the quality of education available to young people around the globe, and better-equipping them for the future.

These are our imminent engineers, architects, and doctors–the leaders of social and political movements to come. Making sure they have the best means available in order to prepare them for these roles ensures a brighter future for all living creatures, and for the planet itself. The next generation faces no shortage of challenges–it’s our job to see that they face no shortage of support in order to overcome them.

in EdTech
+1 vote

Vineeta Garg, an educator at the SRDAV Public School in Delhi, uses virtual reality (VR) to make teaching more impactful for her students.

“VR helps me to take my students anywhere in the world – from Mount Everest to the Statue of Liberty,” she said. “My students could easily learn history by visiting stunning ancient ruins in Greece or significant war sites in Vietnam without leaving the classroom.”

Garg was one of the educators selected to attend the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) in Paris in recognition of her use of technology in education.

VR field trips

Similarly, Mohammed Fazil uses virtual reality to take his students in Bengaluru on virtual field trips. The students explore the Taj Mahal and national parks, go on underwater expeditions and then write about their experience. He also uses a Microsoft Kinect controller to get the students to play motion-sensing math games such as Jumpido.

Technology in education is also making an impact in rural areas. In a zila parishad school in the Warud village of Maharashtra, a 31-year-old schoolteacher, Amol Bhayur, has not only deployed Amazon’s Alexa, but also installed the device inside a self-designed robot to pique the curiosity of the students.

“Armed with a power bank, a mannequin, an Echo smart speaker, and a mobile hotspot in the absence of wireless internet infrastructure, Amol was now ready to debut Alexa into the classroom,” said the company’s blog. He has realised that Alexa could be a game changer for education, the blog said.

“The emergence of technology has had a profound impact on the educational landscape, especially in rural India,” said Lloyd Mathias, senior technology executive and former Asia Marketing Head of HP. “It has helped in learning. It helps students have an active engagement with the learning material. By using the internet, students can research real issues, keeping their learning contemporary and relevant. The internet or software tools can help them create virtual communities that connect them in real-time with other students and teachers,” he said.

Tech solutions for the world

India is one of the first few countries to receive grants from Google.org’s $50-million global commitment to support non-profits that are building tech-based solutions to tackle challenges in education in developing countries. “We are committed to enabling and democratising access to high quality, world-class education to everyone. Our objective is to ensure that India’s large developer and student community can equip itself with all the latest technology, and inspire them to not only build products to solve the needs of users in India, but also for the world,” said the company.

The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert programme, created to recognise global visionaries in the field of education who use technology to pave the way for their peers in the effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes, has a community of 660 educators from India.

“By leveraging the power of technology, these passionate teachers are adopting new approaches to teaching and learning, and are reinforcing critical skills in today’s youth in India,” said Manish Prakash, Country Manager – Public Sector, Healthcare and Education,Microsoft India.

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