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Education Tech Helps English Learners Advance

Through educational technology in teaching english, teachers and administrators have found new ways to support English language learners (ELL). The continuous search for ways to level the playing field for English language learners received a great boost from Google’s G Suite for Education and Microsoft’s OneNote.

Ed Tech for Language Learning

Education technology refers to the area of technology devoted to the development and application of software, hardware, and processes intended to promote education. It facilitates learning and the improvement of performance through the creation, use, and management of appropriate technological resources and processes.

Education technology has introduced a new way of learning that facilitates language learning. It is a common experience for ELL students to struggle as they assimilate to the new language, needing constant support from the teachers. Teachers help build the foundation skills for ELL students so they could grasp basic concepts in writing, reading, and speaking. Teachers use classic techniques like essay writing but are now incorporating digital media as an essential ELL classroom tool. The use of different instructional media allows teachers to concentrate on teaching while allowing students to access the learning process.

The use of technological tools, such as interactive notebooks with learning tools, specifically supports ELL students, making possible improvements in student engagement. Providing students with computers and tablets to practice their language learning increases their ability to acquire a new language. Their access to digital notebooks enabled them to integrate prior knowledge to in-depth learning experience. Educational technology can personalize learning for these students and allow them to learn the new language at their own pace.

In many ELL classrooms, students rely on tablets and computers to interact with various platforms. Students use different technological tools to display their knowledge of the new language.

Scope of Ed Tech

The scope of education has been significantly made broad by digital media. Educational technology boosts creativity, reading skills and metacognition. Students are able to collaborate on projects and engage with available technology to support them.  Access to various technological tools, such as the cloud, make classroom presentations easy and convenient. Students can be more engaged when they share their creations with their classmates.

Boredom sets in when students feel the monotony of rote learning processes such as reading and answering questions. Monotony breaks when they use apps or online programs for reading comprehension. Installing different apps, such as Stackup, which can monitor reading, to school computers allow teachers to monitor the students’ progress. Other tech tools that can help ELL student improve their learning of a new language include StoryJumper, Read Naturally, Scientific Learning Fast for Word, MindPlay, and more.

The availability of various technological tools allows teachers to create more interactive lessons that will track the reading progress of the ELL students.  The consistent use of tech educational tools in the classroom is a bold move and will be the future of teaching new languages to the students.  This helps students with various learning preferences and paces of learning adapt to the use of technology while learning English.

Electric Car Batteries as Home Power Storage Batteries Getting Close to Fruition

Electric car battery of an electric vehicle can get its energy from the power grid. It is also capable of sending the stored energy back into the electrical power grid as a component of a smart electric grid instead of being simply a consumer of energy.

The Car as Storage

On the average, consumers use an electric car for only about an hour a day. In effect, it stands idle for the rest of the day, which could be effectively used as temporary battery storage. The electricity stored in the vehicle battery could be sent to the power grid during the period of increased energy demand.  The stored energy in your electric vehicle could even power your home during the peak hours of energy use. This is the idea behind the Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology that is currently tested by the U.S. Department of Defense and various technology and energy companies.

The Vehicle-to-Grid technology aims to regulate the frequency of the electric supply, reduce the cost of electricity purchased during peak times, and increase the power output of the grid. Electric car batteries store electricity when they are not in use. The technology will make it possible to transfer back the energy to the grid during the car’s idle times.

Separate Studies on Electric Car Battery, Opposing Views

The concept for this new technology is the offshoot of two separate studies conducted on the subject by Dr. Kotub Uddin at the University of Warwick and by Dr. Mattieu Dubarry at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute. One study suggested that pumping energy back from the electric car battery into the grid could damage the car batteries. The other one suggested that pumping back energy into the grid has the potential to improve battery life.  The two scientists were able to show that their seemingly contradictory studies point to the same outcome – pumping back energy into the grid stabilizes energy supply.

The two authors agreed that to make the new technology economically viable, it requires the optimization of V2G technology between the requirements of the electric vehicle owner and the capability of the electric grid. It requires a balanced approach between the vehicle owners and the grid system.

There are obstacles ahead prior to perfecting and adoption of the technology. It is necessary to convince electric vehicle manufacturers that the use of EV batteries to store energy will not diminish the performance of the vehicle or the miles traveled. The EV manufacturers need assurance also that the electric grids would be willing to pay for the features.

The testing phase of the technology by the Defense Department found support in California where the electric utility company Edison International partners with them and the State of California in determining the viability of the concept.

A separate project led by the Electric Power Research Institute, together with regional transmission organizations and EV manufacturers, is conducting an Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform software system to test the viability of the technology. The VGI technology, a cloud-based translation system, will enable utility companies to communicate with vehicles produced by different EV manufacturers.

On the part of the EV manufacturers, they have developed communications standards that are unique for their respective vehicles. The next step will be the development of a standardized utility interface that will act as a universal translator that will allow utility companies to communicate with all EVs.

It is still a long way to go before V2G becomes an integral part of the electric grid system, however, researchers are taking steps towards that goal.

Bisnow and Dreamit Host UrbanTech Summit

Over one million people globally move to urban areas weekly. According to projections, the urban share of the world population is expected to grow from 3.9 billion in 2015 to 6.4 billion by 2050. This rapid growth of urbanization is putting tension on transportation, infrastructure, water, energy, as well as impacting health. As a result, a new segment has emerged in the marketplace, referred to as Urban Tech that will have a growing Bold Impact on society.

The UrbanTech Summit put Tampa Bay on the map for forward thinking business and bold action. Guests and attendees were inspired and motivated by the range of knowledge presented and the high caliber of the speakers present.

In response to these trends, on December 5 Bisnow and Dreamit, presented a CRE (Commercial Real Estate) and UrbanTech Summit focused on the future of urbanization with the help of some of the leading companies and leaders of the urban tech movement. More than 250 of Tampa Bay’s top real estate investors and business leaders attended the event at the Waterside Marriott, which was covered by Media Partner Bold Business.

Jeff Vinik, Chairman of Tampa Bay Lightning and Partner Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP) presented a fabulous speech about the future of Tampa Bay, importance of block chain, and the announcement of a new $25M Venture Capital Fund, which will be the largest in Florida.  SPP is leading the Water Street Project (second largest of its kind in the U.S.) which is undertaking the $3 billion dollar 53 acre revitalization project in downtown Tampa. This project will nearly double the number of housing units in downtown Tampa with an estimated 23,000 people living, working and visiting the Water Street area daily.

Dan Doctoroff, Chairman and CEO of Sidewalk Labs an Alphabet company, was the Keynote Speaker. Doctoroff, along with David Gilford from Intersection spoke about Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto Canada. They are designing and reimaging the modern city plan to improve quality of life. His speech discussed the Toronto plan in depth and also the importance of the Water Street project.

In addition to Vinik and Doctoroff, there were a number of panels emphasizing aspects of the commercial real estate industry, from customer relations software to the announced launch of a new trading platform called Brokers+Engineers (which is transforming the the Triple Net Lease market), to new meters and sensors that assist management understand their tenants’ behaviors and needs, in order to improve efficiency and profits.

urban technology statistics infographic

Bisnow is well-known for their real estate conferences, once again put on a first-class operation. Bisnow partnered hosting the conference with Dreamit, a top ten innovation incubator, that offers startups with market ready products and opportunity to prepare for growth, as well as access to capital investors and mentors.

Seven of Dreamit’s inaugural class of UrbanTech companies were at the Summit live on the main stage. Dreamit presenters were as follows: Lotik, creators of a wireless point-of-use water meter; cityzenith gathers city data from a variety of sources and incorporates it into actionable information; Flower Turbines, LLC offers small, silent wind turbines appropriate for urban implementation Ecomedes is a powerful platform that connects buyers with sustainable manufacturers of building products; Knowify brings contracting time keeping, purchasing and record keeping into the 21st century; GiFly offers electric bikes with an innovative product and ownership model; and Raxar which offers integrated management, inventory inspection and maintenance for commercial enterprises.

The UrbanTech Summit put Tampa Bay on the map for forward thinking business and bold action. Guests and attendees were inspired and motivated by the range of knowledge presented and the high caliber of the speakers present. It was a great day that points to a bright future for the entire Tampa Bay region of Florida. Further interviews and stories will be published in the weeks to come in Bold Business.