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Four facts that make tablets right for the classroom

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Tablet computers have become a part of everybody’s life, largely due to the fact of their ease of use and affordability, ERNST WITTMANN, Country Manager for Southern Africa at ALCATEL ONETOUCH outlines four facts as to why they are playing a role in the classroom.

When you see how comfortable four-year olds are with touchscreen devices, it’s easy to appreciate how quickly mobile phones and tablet computers are changing the world. Over the past few years, we have seen tablet computers evolve from toys for geeks and execs into affordable everyday computers.

Now, they’re increasingly forming part of the educational landscape. They’re cost-effective (especially entry-level Android-based models), offer decent battery life, and functional and flexible enough to help learners get their work done. Here are some of the key benefits we see from tablets in the classroom:

1. Simpler IT support

The beauty of tablet computers lies in their simplicity. They are easy to use because of their intuitive touchscreen interfaces and pose a lower barrier of entry for students who are not yet familiar with computers.

Because they have fewer components than a traditional PC, they tend to be more reliable from a hardware perspective.

Provided their owners don’t “jailbreak” them to install pirated apps and other unauthorised software, tablet computers are more resistant to malware.

And since their operating systems are slimmer, lighter and less customisable, there are fewer ways for a learner to accidentally make a configuration change that renders his or her device unusable. This all translates into a lower overhead for IT support.

2. Mobile lifestyle

Today’s schoolchildren and youth are a mobile generation. Even kids from poorer homes are usually familiar with cell phones and feature phones. Tablets are a perfect fit for their lifestyle since they are personal, light, portable, and offer good battery life on a single charge.

Learners don’t need access to a computer lab to do their work because they always have their tablet computers with them. If a child is sick at home, for example, he or she may still able to do some of the day’s work from the tablet computer. As long as they have an Internet connection, children can keep learning.

3. There’s an app for that

There are millions of apps available for the most popular tablet operating systems, including a rich selection of educational apps. From maths to physics, from English to biology, schoolchildren have a wide range of content at their fingertips.

4. Personalised and interactive learning

Tablets offer schoolchildren a range of learning tools in one place and help them to engage deeply with educational content. They can record the classroom session for later review, use calculators and other tools, and do so much more on one interface. They may no longer need to, for example, buy a separate scientific calculator, take a separate camera on field trips, or carry a lot of textbooks around.

Tablets can also make educational content come to life with video, audio and gamification. Rather than simply seeing a picture of Nelson Mandela in a textbook, they can view video footage of the day he was released from prison. If they’re reading a book, they can look up a word they don’t know from a dictionary integrated into the e-reader app. This up to a richer learning experience.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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