Technology

Choosing a school which nurtures the potential of your children, is important to all parents—but perhaps more challenging for those with special needs. Depending on the challenges impeding the learning of a child (be they physical: impaired mobility, vision, hearing, or neurological, as with autism and attention deficits) the search for schools with the capacity to cater for, and even specialise in overcoming educational hurdles, can become extremely stressful.

Emerging techniques and technology can help bridge this gap, and the more ubiquitous these tools become in the educational sphere, the more diverse our choices for learning are. This is the subject of a new book entitled: ‘Is My Child Ready for School?’ by Special Educator, mother and author, Karen Seinor. The narrative is primed for supporting parents in making an informed decision about their child education, with nuance for the expansive options in special needs learning. The pitfalls to avoid and the facilities and approaches which signify a school that is open to the potential of technology in optimising learning for all children (not just those with special needs).

Karen’s research and experience offers a glimpse at the future of learning, and an effective strategy for accessing your options right now. BE Journal asked Senior to paint a picture of what this might look like, and how it could be applied.

Technology has improved learning for students with special needs in many ways but recently technology has enabled the mainstream classroom and curriculum to be more inclusive and accessible. Students with special needs are better supported in a number of ways.

For example in the school that I teach at two children have a vision impairment, both study brail with the use of a braille keyboard and they regularly Skype with their braille teacher. In the past they wouldn’t have access to this in a mainstream classroom or they may have a specialist teacher visit once a week, now they are able to have personalised instruction in their classroom on a regular basis. Children with vision impairments are also better supported in a number of ways. Through the use of iPads, learning material can be accessed so the size may be increased so that are better able to read it, or they can use audio functions to listen to the material rather than read it. This also means they don’t require a teachers aide or specialist teacher to be attached to them all the time which is positive for developing their independence but also in a social sense as they don’t appear so different to the other students and equally as capable.

Children with hearing impairment are also benefiting from the increase technology in classrooms. Teachers simply wear a headset that transmits into there hearing aid so that the student is clearly able hear instructions and information. A simple device and modification enables hearing impaired students to operate in a mainstream classroom with virtually no extra support from teachers aids.

The increasing amount of apps or programs have also optimised potential for students with special needs. There are many apps/programs that assist students to record information and present their ideas in a way that may have not been possible in the past. For example a child that may be limited orally can now use an app to share their ideas, or design tutorials, animated stories, and presentations. The teacher can then mirror this to the Apple TV and this can be shared with the class. Tools such as these are particularly powerful when they are interactive and promote social exchanges with their peers and also when they highlight the capabilities of the students.

In my opinion the greatest change that technology has created is that it has supported teachers to explore new methodologies and philosophies about how children are taught. Teachers are moving away from the old industrial mode of teaching, where one size fits all or teaching to the middle. Educators are now realising that all students should have there learning individualised, the focus is not on what we teach but how we teach. When the interests, passions and abilities of our students
drive the learning only then learning is optimised for all students.

About the book: Is My Child Ready for School? (New Holland Books, 2018) is a guide for parents on all things school. Based on current research on brain development and insights from many years of teaching, it examines many aspects of development related to learning. Whilst based on theory, there are practical and simple suggestions to help parents make the important decision about when to start school and what skills and knowledge are required. It also provides tips on selecting a school, how to make a smooth and successful transition to school and, how to support your child in their first year of learning.

About the Author: Karen Seinor has been a passionate educator for over 17 years. She has worked as both a classroom teacher and an ESL teacher and whilst she has enjoyed her many roles as a teacher, her passion lies in Kindergarten, which she taught for many years. She has a focus on education in Australia as she examines key issues through the lens of both teacher and parent.

To ensure a prosperous career in a climate of lightening innovation and constant evolution, gain a vital edge with smart forecasting and insider knowledge.

It’s hard to ignore the tide of technological advancement and its diverse applications in today’s world, and our dependance and integration of these breakthroughs is unlikely to fade in the future.

The zeitgeist of our time is driven by a movement towards intelligent technologies and so the wise who seek meaningful, expansive, and challenging roles in this future might well look at engineering as a smart career choice.

We asked leading career coach, Ray Pavri, to interpret the multi-dimensional value of engineering as a catalyst profession for conservation, science, medicine and more…

Engineers can transform the world into a better place and maintain the world to stay as a better place.

Both have relevance, but is engineering a smart career choice in 2018 and beyond?

Yes, but you must think beyond the stereotypical applications of engineering in traditional industries like mining, oil and gas, coal fired power generation and manufacturing. You’ve got to shift your attention to growing industries such as the environment including air, food & water quality and health. Engineering for an ageing population, urban infrastructure related engineering to cope with growing cities, engineering within defence within what is an ever-changing international climate and agriculture related technology innovation enforcing Australia as the food bowl of Asia. This is where the future will be, for a lot of young engineers.

Irrespective of whether it’s transforming or maintaining type of work as an engineer, if you embark on your engineering career with a genuine love of what you are doing alongside creativity, initiative, business acumen, communication skills and connectedness with others, you will do well.

A lot of engineers facing frustrations in the mid to late stages of their life have lost sight of what makes them happy, being chained to lifestyles rather than de-linking, re-calibrating and re-engaging in areas which they’d get joy out of. It is hard to make the world a better place and through that get true joy in being an engineer, if your own head space does not get better.

Take the example of Professor Ana Deletic, a one of Australia’s innovative engineers for 2017. She created a technology called “green-blue walls” for installation as small planter boxes on walls, taking up entire walls of multi-story buildings, with gravity and plant roots doing the job of percolating greywater and stormwater within urbanised areas. The phosphorus concentrations being extracted also reduce local temperatures, increase biodiversity and the amenity value of urban areas. There are many applications of this technology and it will transform the world into a better place.

Other Australian engineers who are enjoying what they are doing and excelling in their own sub-disciplines include:

Tony Lavorato (Complex Cantilevering Over Heritage Structures)
Wes Johnston (Mobile Swing-stage Gantry)
Gregory Kelly (Flooded Roads Smart Warning System)
Dr Madhu Bhaskaran (Stretchable Oxide Electronics)
Simon St Hill (Heat Recovery Power Generator)
Peter Atherton (New Clinical Waste Management)
Dr Richard Kelso (Low Drag Bicycle Helmets)
Professor Sandra Kentish (Storing CO2 in Microalgae)
Dan Copelin (Virtual Pipes)

See a full list of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers @ innovativeengineers.com.au

So how can you set yourself apart in the world of engineering?

Seek inspiration and reach out to others. Connecting with others is a sure-fire way to improve your career success.

This need not start only when you are in the work force. It should start even while you are at Uni as a group of students at the University of NSW have done. A team of engineering students from the University of NSW, physicists, lawyers, communications specialists and musicians teamed up to design a DNA scaffold that could help find a cure for HIV. This innovation earned the UNSW students the Grand Prize at Harvard’s annual BIOMOD competition.
To connect though, you need a good range of soft skills.

Too often engineers are remaining in silos rather that reaching out to others – after all engineering has day-to-day applications and for that to happen you need to connect with the full fabric of society.

It is also important for engineers to understand market context, relating what they are doing to current and future market needs. There are several engineering related Phd’s who show untapped potential driving Ubers when they could be re-shaping the world – all because of the desire to create the perfect mouse trap which no one wants.

Another imperative to make it in engineering in the modern world is to keep up with societal challenges and that means keeping up with what is in the news both here and globally. It is about keeping an eye out for the “wouldn’t it be nice if” societal needs because inherent within these needs, lie creative engineered solutions which could turn the world on its head. Australian engineers are equally placed as engineers globally to change this world we live in.

The future of engineering as a smart career choice lies in its diverse applications – industrial batteries adjoining intermittent power generation like wind and solar. Or in smart devices proliferating society and work places within the internet of things revolution. Or in driverless cars, driverless trains at mining sites and now driverless cargo ships within the broader automation revolution taking shape.

When you start to think about the application of engineering to the world’s problems, the opportunities seem endless.

Ray Pavri is Australia’s most respected career coach for degree-qualified engineers. A career professional with an MBA in Business, Ray has held senior roles with many large organisations in Australia. But his real passion is working with engineers and technical professionals at all levels of management who are stagnating in their careers.

For the past twenty years, Ray has helped over 4,000 technical professionals escape the work trap dilemma to discover more rewarding and meaningful careers. As founder of Watt Electrical News, a premier online resource within the global electrical community, and My Electrical Community, a peer-to-peer business and social network, Ray is devoted to improving the lives of technical professionals throughout Eastern Australia. Connect with the Career Coach @ jobtransitionstrategy.com

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Lume Cube, creator of The World’s Most Versatile Light, brought some of the world’s greatest athletes to Interlaken, Switzerland to step out of their comfort zones and into the night. Watch Jamie O’Brien, Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Austin Keen, Nick Jacobsen, Kalani Chapman, Kaikea Elias and more do some of the most insane adventure sports up in the Swiss Alps, all in the middle of the night with 250 LUME CUBES!

Create by Night @LumeCube, lumecube.com

Without question the most treasured possessions a photographer owns, are the images which reflect their journeys in art and exploration. Long hours in a hide, serendipitous moments, archives of time, fortuitous encounters, creative breakthroughs—photos bring stories to life and are the livelihood of artists and journalists. As such photographers take care to prioritise backups and protect their hard drives…unfortunately, sometimes this is not enough.

Drive Genius 5: A Photographers Secret Weapon

The most overlooked and common catastrophe a photographer encounters is an undetected failure to their backup drive—they were running a backup, or thought they were, but the backup drive failed months ago and they had no idea!

This is where Drive Genius by Prosoft comes in. With Drive Genius installed and Drive Pulse running in the background the software will check your drives whenever they are idle so you will be warned before ever suffering from a data loss. With cleanroom recovery prices a hard drive recovery can be anywhere from $500-$2500 depending on who you ask, and maintaining the health of your drives should prevent you from ever needing the service.

Drive Genius is built and designed to prevent a user from running into a data loss situation, and unfortunately photographers and musicians are some of Prosoft’s most popular clients.

Drive Pulse

The best part of having Drive Genius installed on your system is the built in Drive Pulse utility. Drive Pulse will scan your drives when your computer is in idle mode, this means that only when your computer is not processing information will these scans be run. You will never need to be concerned with the software slowing down any work your are doing on your system. The scans run by Drive Pulse are going to be all the tools included in the software Protect Section: Extended Physical Check, Consistency Check, Repair, Rebuild, Fix Permissions (not included in 10.10+ OS restriction) as well as checking for fragmentation status.

The scans run by Drive Pulse are the best indication to your hard drives health. The drive pulse icon which is visible in the menu bar on the top right hand corner of your screen will be black by default, but will change to yellow with a minor issue, and change to red when there is something that requires immediate attention.

The goal with Drive Pulse is that the user never needs to worry about taking care of there drives, let the software take care of them for you and just keep an eye open for any major issues.

Defragment

When it comes to photographers there are hundreds to thousands of photos being uploaded, and edited on a daily basis. All this saving and moving of files on your system is going to lead to your drives becoming fragmented, which will cause your system to noticeably slow down. The Drive Genius defragment tool is easy to use and will get your drives back working at peak performance.

Repartition

With up to thousands of photos being added on a daily basis it becomes hard to keep track of all your files, folders and projects. The new Repartition tool included in Drive Genius is the easiest to use repartition tool on the market allowing you to add, resize and move any of your partitions.

Partitioning your drive is essentially splitting the drive to be recognized as multiple drives, this helps with organization as well as helps isolate corruption to a single partition.

Clone

The Clone tool in Drive Genius will do a full system clone, including your Operating System. This makes it ideal when setting up a new computer that you want to be exactly like your old one, or when you need to swap out your internal hard drive for a newer or faster drive. Prosoft is mainly a data recovery company, so they like to put backup tools in as many of their software’s as possible and heavily stress that their customers run regular backups. Hard drives are designed to last about 3-5 years but most people, especially in businesses, will use the same hard drive for 10 years without every backing up or checking their drives.

A Suite of Security

The health of hard drive health is crucial if you are in the photography or video editing business. You can’t re-take every photo. Your data reliability needs to be 100% secure. Drive Genius automates your hard drive protection for you. The software automatically scans your hard drive for physical and logical errors, and repairs them when found. Photographers and video editors can rest assured that their hard drive is cared for when they purchase Drive Genius 5.

Prosoft’s award winning Data Rescue software is also relevant and topical for photographers. Digital photography companies come out with new personal file types often. If you are facing a data loss scenario while using a new file type, where other data recovery softwares can’t recognize the file, Data Rescue can recover your photos. Data Rescue has a feature called File IQ which can learn new file types. Show the software 5-10 examples of the new file type, and Data Rescue can search through your hard drive for the specific file type.

Software details and demo available from: prosofteng.com

Justin Katz is a Professional landscape photographer, SEO expert, and co-founder of Travelstoked. SEO for Photographers is a course developed by Katz to help freelance photographers make money whilst doing what they love most…taking photos.

This course will teach you how to set up and optimize your website, capitalize on keywords that will bring you increased traffic and revenue (even while you sleep), and build links back to your site which sends signals to Google that you are LEGIT and open for business. If you are not savvy on SEO or digital marketing strategies, Katz ensures the course is designed to provide a step-by-step guide that anyone at any skill level can master. The all-encompassing course includes 51 video lessons broken up into 8 separate chapters, you can download the slides and learn entirely at your own pace, whenever you want. Also included are a number of resource guides, downloades, and quizzes to help you master the keys to SEO.

For full details on the course and chapter topics visit: travelstoked.co