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Does online learning work?

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Recent result show that to help learners reach their academic goals, parents are turning to a hybrid classroom that involves a combination of online education and private tutoring, with promising results.

The modern classroom is forever evolving, and as life becomes more demanding, so too does school and the pressure to perform well. To help learners reach their goals and to help support them academically, many parents turn to tutors, online education or a combination of both, with some promising results.

According to ThoughtCo, various studies have respectively found that students who took all their classes online or applied a “blended learning” approach outperformed their classroom-only peers.

“Online education is shifting to keep up with the demands of the classroom, and to meet the needs of learners who are looking for flexible and effective teaching to enhance and supplement their in-class lessons,” says Claudia Swartzberg, CEO of Top Dog Education.

In 2008, the New York Times reported on a study that found “Online Education Beats the Classroom, and a recent study conducted at Portland State University confirms that self-learning  (either alone or in conjunction with some classroom time) is much better than classroom time alone.

Swartzberg shares some of the key benefits of online learning:

  • Flexibility: Learning can happen any time during the day or on weekends, and students aren’t bound by a tutor’s timetable, or set scheduled lessons. This means they can learn or revise after extra-murals, on weekends, or during holidays – whenever suits them.
  • Full subject offering: Whether your child needs Maths help in grade five, or support for English in Matric, they’re covered.
  • Personalised structure: No two students are the same, which is why no two students will see the same course material. Top Dog, for one, features adaptive technology, which modifies the content, depending on how a learner performs and what they best respond to. Therefore, every student will see the right content, at the right time, at the right level of difficulty.
  • Diverse and rich content for every learning preference: Some learners prefer studying and learning by reading and summaries, others find video lessons and audio tutorials more engaging or would rather revise though mock exams and quizzes, online learning is flexible enough to accommodate these for optimum reinforcement.
  • Learning in a comfortable environment: Some learners are better able to absorb material when going through it at home in their own time, without the pressure and stress that can come from being in a classroom.

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack would have worked.

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