History teachers found it troublesome to have students interested in their daily lessons as text telling the stories of ancient heroes, civilisations and worlds absent are hard to imagine. Photographs and creative illustrations only inform but fail to create an immersive atmosphere. But virtual reality — mostly intended by developers for entertainment purposes — may just evolve the way education for history and other subjects happen inside the classroom.
Taking students into ancient Egypt using VR technology can help them understand their lessons better by having them see in first person what happened during the time. Physics lessons would expand from paper and calculator to games where students must resolve several problems that could mean the failure of a rocket to take off or the fictional ultimate destruction of a city.
The only downside for this would be limited data; it is never easy to create fully illustrated lessons overnight. Designing and making a realistic world could be simplified — but the technology to do so still does not exist in the real world.
But the emotional feeling of play-acting or being one of the characters in ancient history — as one would in a game — is an amazing educational-game changer. With more developers focused on these types of educational materials, education itself may level up in just a few years.
Reports of Russian meddling through cyber influence and several hacking attacks suggest the country’s intelligence forces may have helped place US President-Elect Donald Trump in his current position. The President-Elect refuses to believe the suggestion despite overwhelming evidence that the attacks did not originate from China.
According to House Intelligence Committee Democratic officer Adam Schiff, Russia is probably behind the hacking attacks. He said that it was not China nor it was a “400-pound guy in New Jersey or anyone else” and strongly suggested it was the Russians behind it. Working with two Republican and Democratic leaders in the committee, they have secured strong evidence that suggests Russian activity had taken place.
According to Republican Senator John McCain — working with the Democrats — said the activity may have likely affected the elections but it is not restricted to only furthering Trump’s influence.
US Intelligence uncovered Russian hacker activity to exploit Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton’s damaging emails that had reduced her campaign influence and may have been Russia’s bid to disillusion the United States with its political process. The CIA reports that Russian hacking had helped Trump to ultimately win the US election.
In an interview, US President-Elect Donald Trump did not believe the statement. He said Russia’s involvement in the matter was non-existent and he won “fair and square.”
Before the Flood starring Leonardo DiCaprio shows him travelling the entire world showing the effects of climate change all over the world.
The documentary — which had lackluster publication — first debuted in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. On October 21, the documentary opened in theaters.
National Geographic had secured the rights of the film and released it on YouTube for free viewing. The video was also embedded on Twitter, Facebook, Hulu and the website of National Geographic itself.
The filmmakers’ intentions are clear that it is a message to all people that climate change issues are real and they are having adverse effects that could lead to humanity’s extinction.
DiCaprio said of the film:
“We cannot afford, at this critical moment in time, to have leaders in office that do not believe in the modern science of climate change,” he said. “We need to galvanize the world community to put in office people who are not only believers in the science, but are going to take rapid action immediately. And that’s why we wanted this film to come out before the next election, because as we’ve cited in this film, the United States is the largest contributor to this issue. We need to set the example for the rest of the world to follow.”
Without teachers in impoverished areas including sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the UN’s universal education goal still lacks 69 million teachers to achieve its goal.
According to UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics published during the World Teacher’s Day on October 5, the international community has a shortage of 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers to achieve the said goal.
About 263m children worldwide are out of school. An estimated 25 million are unlikely to ever receive any form of education. Only about 14% of young adults finish their studies in impoverished countries.
In sub-Saharan Africa – the region with the fastest growing school-age population – more than 70% of countries face teacher shortages in primary schools, while 90% do not have enough secondary teachers, according to the data. In order to meet sustainable development goal four, which specifically calls for more qualified teachers and more teacher training in developing countries, roughly 17 million primary and secondary teachers will need to be recruited and trained in sub-Saharan Africa within the next 14 years.
South Asia faces the second largest teacher shortage, with an additional 15 million teachers – 11 million at secondary level – needed by 2030.
Two years after Malaysian Airlines MH17 flew over Eastern Ukraine and fell into uncharted territory, an international team of prosecutors will look into the findings of MH17 investigators and release their findings this Wednesday.
Earlier reports from the Dutch Safety Board indicated that a Russian-made Buk missile had hit the plane. The board did not indicate who fired the rocket.
Prosecutors from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine will be part of the Joint International Team.
Due to the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and further violence in the region, the United States and the European Union had widened sanctions against Russia’s clandestine activities.
Political analysts are quite surprised with the announcement. According to BBC’s Anna Holigan, the motives of the criminal investigators who are about to release the information this week are still unclear. The meeting would open the door against suspects who may be involved in the situation and give them a window to clear their names.
News networks indicated that families of the victims remain frustrated as prosecutors and investigators still could not say who was responsible for the atrocious airline disaster.
The widespread use of contraceptive pills for women had contributed to the reduction of ovarian cancer deaths worldwide. The reduction of hormone replacement therapy had also helped reduce the symptoms of menopause according to studies.
According to Italian scientists who published their study in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology, the use of contraceptive piils for five years or so protects women when they grow older as it removes the risk presented by hormone therapy during a woman’s middle age of 50.
Deaths from ovarian cancer dropped by 10% in the 28 countries of the EU between 2002 and 2012, according to the study. There are substantial variations in the size of the drop between countries. In the UK, the fall was 22%; in Denmark and Sweden it was 24%; but in Hungary, just 0.6%.
Death rates fell in the United States by 16% and in Canada by 8%. In Australia and New Zealand it went down by 12%.
The protective impact of taking the pill is experienced decades later. More than 40% of the over 4,000 deaths year in the UK are in women aged over 75. Women began taking the pill in the 1960s in the UK.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund sees its first few withdrawals for the first time in decades.
Norway’s Oil Fund, which amounts to $890bn (£682bn), has seen some relatively small withdrawals.
Despite the small amount withdrawn, Norwegian investment officials and concerned political figures debate on the future of the fund. It has been used beyond the time intended.
“This fund is meant to last generations and yet we are tapping it already — many, many years before we were meant to. If we keep on spending as we are and the fund can’t earn decent returns then we could end up eating into it,” says one of Norway’s leading businessman, who did not want to be named.
Fund was made through surpluses from Norway’s Petroleum Industry
The Oil Fund was made out of Norway’s surplus in the petroleum industry for a time. It had also become one of the world’s largest investors in different trades and serves as a buffer for Norway’s possible future economic troubles particularly interest rates affecting future returns.
BI Norwegian Business School Professor Espen Henriksen said the withdrawals should be seen dramatically. However, he argues that low oil prices in the world and lower expected return of profit for investors may affect the future of the fund directly.
Higher government spending is also affecting the life of fund. Norway’s government is allowed to spend up to 4 per cent of the fund each year in its budget. Due to the profit of oil and gas with the former being generated through production tax and state company dividends, the fund may see lower income than it usually has.
UK’s architectural design education is weaker according to leading designers.
Speaking during the Brexit design summit, Michael Mariott, a well-known industrial designer, said that the British educational system is incapable of handling the situation as is.
“Funding is being stripped and there are less facilities,” he added, saying that UK students were being forced to study overseas, where facilities are better.
“I had a young English guy working for me,” Marriott said. “He looked at a couple of British universities and for a quarter of the price he’s gone to Amsterdam to study in way better facilities that are beyond anything we have in this country.”
Architect Amanda Levete agreed, saying she had to employ architects trained overseas because they are better than home-grown ones.
“The reason that so many of the young architects we employ come from outside of the UK is because the architectural education in Europe is frankly better,” she said.
Half of Levete’s 50 employees are from overseas.
“Conceptually the architectural education here is very strong, but technically it’s very weak,” she added. “So architects who have been educated outside of the UK are kind of office-ready.”
The UK vote to leave the European Union could exclude the UK from the Erasmus student exchange programme, and make it harder for UK studios to hire EU staff.
Fears about a possible nuclear war and environmental destruction are waning among teenagers across Europe. Money troubles had kept most teenagers awake at night.
According to a 28-year study, teenagers from the 80s said the issues that kept them awake at night included climate change and the threat of global conflict. Today, 92% of teenagers are troubled about money, personal accidents, bullying and terrorist attacks. This is in stark contrast to the nuclear threat and environmental destruction worries from more than two decades ago.
Lead author Dr Nanette Danielsson, of Karlstad University in Sweden, said:
“Many adolescents have sleep disturbances, and this is associated with adverse consequences.
“Sleep disturbance was strongly associated with worry for the family’s financial situation, followed by worry about illness or accidents.
“Relationships between sleep disturbance and worry for environmental destruction and nuclear war were weaker.
“Concerns closely tied to one’s personal life, as well as current political threats, may have stronger associations with sleep disturbance than global threats due to a closer proximity to one’s own life situation.”
Between 1988 and 2011, more than 20,000 Swedish teenagers were asked to complete a questionnaire about living conditions and their health. Sleep disturbance was reported by 24 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys.
Upon voting exit, it would seem businesses and investors have lost confidence in the economy and the UK’s current stature.
According to research from YouGov at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, pessimism had increased about 25% the week before the referendum to 49%. This would mean companies and investors are pulling back or scaling down their activities in the United Kingdom.
Scott Corfe, director at the CEBR, said that the figures indicated a “significant shock reaction” among UK businesses following the vote last month.
“Businesses are clearly spooked by the referendum result and they’ve reined in their intentions for capital spending. They’ve reined in their expectations for exports and domestic sales growth.
“And business confidence is a leading indicator for where the economy is heading over the coming quarters. What it suggests is that the economy is in for quite a significant slowdown over the next three to six months.”
As the pound took a beating after the initial Brexit shock, global markets are also destabilising. Japan’s Yen had increased after investors sought safety with the pound’s devaluation.
As uncertainty looms over the United Kingdom, several figures see positivity in the ‘brave new world.’
Former Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund Ashoka Mody believes the Remain campaign’s message to stay echoes much about establishment of certain parties’ interests that they are left to defend such.
Mody said the idea of new deals and the deliberate reduction of value for re-negotiating terms are flaws in a system that could open new doors of possibilities for the country.