Toyota Teams with Microsoft


Toyota has teamed up with Microsoft. Now why would a computer technology company team up with an auto manufacturing company? Well, let’s see how and why this collaboration took place. Toyota has shown an interest in data science technology and for that reason has formed a partnership with a technology company to have the designs done. This technology will make it easier for customers to understand the ease of technology. Though, this may sound counterproductive, it really is not. Toyota wants to reduce the dictatorship that technology once had.

The Goal of the Partnership

This new company formed between Microsoft and Toyota is known as Toyota Connected. The goal of the company is to make technology as simple as possible for customers. The collaboration is going so far as to prevent distractions for drivers and the complex touch screens that can be found in most vehicles. The company partnership is set out to provide a replacement by introducing the technology that is voice activated instead of hands-on. While drivers are behind the steering wheel, distractions such as what hands-on technology requires will only serve to be risky and seriously dangerous. Drivers, in most cases, have to take their eyes off the road and this is far from safe.

The Unique Features

Moreover, many motorists may be tired of trying to fumble with a device while driving. It can be a disjointed type of experience, one that requires caution – in every sense of the word. Toyota Connected is no different from other auto manufacturers. How? They are still conducting research to see if they can use their technology to link more than one car to each device and from the vehicle to the home. They are also considering features related to telematics. What is this? It is a technological feature that will learn the habits of the driver so as to anticipate the driver’s actions. The technology will even go a step further to transmit data about the driver’s health to his or her doctor or the motorist’s patterns of driving transferred to the insurance company. That will ensure that all motorists are insured. Toyota Connected will also assess whether they should directly link with motorists who are driving their Toyota vehicles in order to report conditions related to traffic and weather. Toyota should also consider providing loan information and anything else that a Toyota motorist may be interested in.

The Changes

This collaboration between Microsoft and Toyota speaks volume to the major changes that will take place in the transportation industry for several years to come. This would include manufacturing vehicles that are self-driven. With this self-driving concept, Toyota is following in the footsteps of large automakers such as:

  • Mercedes Benz
  • General Motors
  • Tesla

These self-driven vehicles will only enter highways and freeways, but it is a big step in the direction of self-sufficient and self-directed driving. Toyota is not alone. Believe it or not, Google has already embarked on the same concept by conducting tests on self-driven vehicles on actual streets in Washington State, Texas and California.

Ongoing Research

According to Toyota, their new company, Toyota Connected will support ongoing research into robots and artificial intelligence; in addition to the analysis of data from cameras and sensors in the vehicle. This will serve to provide information to develop algorithms for more efficient self-driven vehicles. One thing is sure and that is motorists would have to opt into the reporting of data in order to access it when shared by Toyota.


Digital Technology and its Impact on Learning

digital technology

These days, it is apparent that digital technology is the guiding force for learning and other things in the world. Digital technology has become so popular that it is being used in school systems and embraced by parents, teachers and students. In fact, it does make a lot of sense to adapt to this trend since it has impacted kindergarten to twelfth grade learning and beyond. Digital technology has touched most things in our modern society. Yes, mobile apps and computer programs might have a change in name occasionally, but the same principle remains. There will always be fundamental similarities to the way that the world engages people. The education system is no different. How does digital technology impact the educational institutions and the children who attend? Let’s explore.


In a world of digital technology, students have more to work with. No longer do students have to work alone, but collaboration is possible. When there is an important school project, the library may be out of reach. Students can work as a team from their computers or mobile apps without leaving their homes. Information found online can be shared from a free online dropbox account. Teachers can even ask students to upload their assignments from various online portals instead of printing and handing it in. The framework and ideas for this are limitless and it makes it much easier for everyone.

Gathering Information

In addition to the ease in sharing information, students these days have access to research capabilities on the Internet. If someone were to write a paper, there are a wide range of academic databases with electronic access to students. No longer do you really have to go to the library to peruse through thousands of books. The information is only a few clicks away. The key is for educators to show students how to conduct research in less time to get accurate information.

Learning Remotely

With the access of the Internet, learning can be done remotely. This is true in high school and colleges where it is already taking place. Remote learning, however, calls for discipline and organization. If a student is regularly late on assignments and not ahead of the educational game, then remote learning may not be the right option. However, if a student can maintain his or her grades when participating in online classes, then this is the perfect option, especially for a student who has to hold down a full time job while going to school. There are so many more benefits to online learning that students should take advantage of.

Preparing Teachers

Digital technology also helps teachers to prepare their lesson plans. From research to gathering information for addition to lessons, teachers have a whole lot of options. Almost 73 percent of educators are using mobile apps in their classrooms for student activities. Many teachers even communicate with their peers using social media. One site that gives science teachers ideas for classroom projects is Pinterest. Others are also available and accessible to educators. Technology is a teacher’s and student’s friend. The key is to make use of it.

Top Fears New College Students Have

new student

When you are bound for college and it is your first year, there are many fears that you may have. Undeniably and in the front of your mind is the idea of leaving your comfort zone and venturing off into an unknown world – away from home. Don’t feel bad because you are not alone. College can be an enlightening and rewarding experience as long as you remain positive and take advantage of the opportunities offered to you.

The Roommate

Yes, you may experience a nightmare with that horrible roommate, but that isn’t the end all of everything. Most colleges have resident hall assistants to provide help in solving all roommate issues. If mediation doesn’t work, you can change your roommate. You can also have a sit down with the roommate to discuss what you like and what you don’t. However, this should be done from the onset to avoid future issues.

New Friends

You may have a hard time making friends, but believe it or not, college will have some great people that you can befriend. It may be easier to join a fraternity or club so that you can feel like family. Yes, that is what most fraternities push for and it will fill the gap of you missing your own family at home. You can also find friends during the orientation period where most of the attendees are the same age group.

The Party Scene

You are going to be confronted with this issue. How you handle it will determine how well you do in school. Too much partying can create problems for you, especially with maintaining your academic scores. It would be better to avoid too much partying. Be firm about this and don’t worry about what your other college buddies might think about you.

College Papers

You may also be wondering how you are going to efficiently write your college papers and if you are smart enough to maintain a decent GPA. There is nothing that disciplined studying cannot do in that regard. If you need help, college offers tutors and writing labs. So take advantage of it. As long as you keep about a 2.0 GPA average, you should be fine.


You have to put in the time to study. You also have to be organized and manage your time well. Get to know your professors for when you need to ask for help. They will most always accommodate you and give you study tips. However, the pressure will remain on you to be an astute student. Don’t wait until the day before an exam to pick up your textbook. Study right up to the day before the exam, but give yourself at least one week of studying. You can do it.  You could also get involved in various study groups or form your own.


It is normal to feel homesick, especially during the first semester and if you have never left home for that long before. Speak to the resident assistant or go to the counseling center to speak to someone there. They can help you to feel at home. Call home when you can, but get busy. There are so many positive things that can occupy your time in college.

The Significance of Education to Individuals and Society

education importance

For everyone attending school, the grading system is important to their education. When you receive an “F,” It means that you have failed a class. For a “D” and “E,” it is only a little bit better, but not grades that a child would be proud of. This grading system is used by most educators throughout the world and it gives students an idea of their progress. It is important to their education and the standard of which to measure their achievements. In fact, grading systems are essential to literacy in general. It gives educators an idea of where the student stands in reading and writing and where they need improvement.

The Progress

Education, for that simple reason is essential to a student’s progress, which is going to be instrumental to their future. No matter what others may think, education is the key ingredient to aiding all ages in their level of learning. It makes sense to know if at your learning development level, you are truly where you are supposed to be as a student. The grading system is a welcomed indicator for most parents and educators.

The Society

Education is important to society in general because it provides well-rounded employees in positions where service is necessary to the public. People in society rely on various industries for different product and services. In order for these industries to run effectively, they need educated workers. Without education, there would be a shortage of workers and substandard service to consumers. Education also leaves no room for embarrassment of illiteracy as students try to fit suitably into society. Students with the appropriate education won’t feel alienated from society. They will have had the education and knowledge to progress and succeed in society and becoming a valued addition to the society in which they live.

Staying Abreast of Innovation

There is no way that an uneducated person can stay abreast of technological changes. Imagine the world without apps? Who created those beneficial apps? Wouldn’t it be an educated person? In fact, apps make so many people’s lives easier.

Worldwide Exposure

With education, it is possible for students to become more historically and culturally aware, in such a way that they could travel around the world and fit in as well as adjust. In many cases, the basic education is a foundation to help a student to have a desire to learn more, adapting to new languages and culture. Basic education can be built on, giving a better understanding and possibly opening other doors and educational opportunities.

Improving your Life

Education provides an outlet to searching for new information. In so doing, you know how to access avenues to improve your life. An educated individual is more apt to listen to ways to improve and develop themselves than an uneducated person would. They are more open to logic and reasoning. The uneducated person, on the other hand, may have insecurities about opening up to anyone because of the embarrassment of not having the necessary education to understand.

The Bottom Line

There is a good reason why research scientists get a higher paying salary than a nurse, for example. For the more education acquired, the salary is going to be much higher. For that reason, education is important to your bottom line.


5 Websites Every Teacher Should Use

teacher website

Being a teacher is a tough and often thankless job, but the tech world is catching onto that. While there isn’t much a web developer can do to make parents more patient and understanding, there is a lot they can do to make teachers’ lives a little easier. Just take a look at these five websites as an example. If you’re not already using them, now is the time to start.


Don’t waste time searching for infographics to pique students’ interest and appeal to the visual learners. This site lets you create and share visual data with ease. Their formats and templates are simple and customizable, and they’ve got something that can apply to almost any subject. This is also a great resource to share with your students if you’re looking for ways to help them create more data driven or visually appealing projects and presentations. While there is a fee associated with their premium membership, their free accounts are just as good at creating striking and informative material.




Whether you’re pulling up clips of Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, or Miss Frizzle, chances are that video clips from sites like YouTube or Vimeo. TeacherTube is the same idea, but it is specifically for teachers and built to help you find relevant content from around the world. You can share the videos with your students and parents, too, to help reinforce in class concepts at home and let your parents in on what exactly their kids have been learning in class.




ThingLink has a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but once you get used to it, it’s fantastic. It allows you to create interactive visuals that bring together images, videos, and content on a single interactive page. It’s a great way to create a study guide or get readings together external to a text book. It’s also an ideal tool for integrating multiple informational sources, like maps and videos. It’s great for breaking down heavier content into a more understandable framework, too. A free account will get you access for one class and 100 students.




Remind is a great tool for keeping in touch with students, parents, or both. It allows you to send out mass texts to students and parents, and you can set them up to be either one way or two way. It provides a sense of security in that the app delivers the message, rather than you doing it straight from your phone. That way, students and parents never see your number (so they can’t bother you on it) and you never see theirs (so they don’t have to worry about any potential individual harassment). It’s an easy way to get in touch with your class and make sure everyone remembers that their project is due tomorrow.

Infuse Learning


Infuse Learning is a student response system, and it’s something you really should try. You can engage in any sort of response activity with it, from figuring out which subjects your students are most interested in through a poll to creating quizzes and homework assignments. It can be accessed across devices and locations, and allows students to participate in their native language, which is great if you have any ESL students. It’s also packed with analytical tools so that you can see what is reaching kids and what isn’t.

Teaching Tricks to Make a Boring Lesson Fun


fun teach

Let’s face it: some lessons are just not going to be interesting. They’re practical. They’re 100% necessary. But they’re duller than an unsharpened pencil.


It’s easy to teach grade-school-aged kids lessons in science where you get to sprout seeds, watch a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, or flashy chemical reactions. It’s easy to get them into reading with an engaging story and fun accompanying lessons that raise lively discussions. Getting them to enjoy things like fractions, multiplication, or rote memorization of dates and places is much harder.


Here are a few things you can incorporate into your most boring lessons to help recapture their attention, and to make the most tedious lessons a bit more interesting to your kids:



  • Add Music



It’s simple, but incredibly effective. Put on the radio while the kids work quietly. It’ll help improve their focus, and add rhythm to otherwise mind-numbing and repetitive tasks like copying spelling words or number problems.


The element of rhythm can help in tasks like memorizing prime numbers or learning to work with money, where you already have a sense of rhythm in the math. Music can also help kinetic learners connect to the material when they have something to move along to. Tapping their foot along to the music can boost their concentration, and help them remember otherwise boring information.


  1. Introduce Physical Objects


Whenever possible, add physical objects to an abstract subject matter in order to bring it to a real-world tangibility, as well as to capture their senses and attention. For example, if you’re working on measurements, give the kids tape measures and have them measure objects around the classroom.


If you’re working on measuring weights or liquid volumes, bring in cups and pour out various things that they can actually drink. (Just beware of spills!) Have them weigh out how much Kool Aid is in a cup, measure the circumference of the cup itself, or figure out the ratio of water to powdered Kool Aid mix used.


Physical objects that engage the kids’ sense can be incorporated into any lesson. If you’re learning about pioneer America, bake biscuits for them to munch while you talk, or bring in examples of pioneer toys or clothing for the kids to inspect. If you’re learning about different biomes, bring in something to represent each different area. It’ll stand out in the kids’ memories when it comes time to take a test!


  1. Put Skills to Practical (and Fun) Use


Math and money-management can be intensely boring for most kids, but there are plenty of ways to make it more fun while giving them good real-world practice. Give them a responsibility and have them plan a class party.


Each student can take on a different role in the party-planning process, and they’ll have to create a budget for their supplies. There are many ways to apply math to real-world principles that will actually stick with them far more than boring math worksheets.


If they’re studying basic algebra, add food. (When in doubt, always add food!) Have them create and solve word problems based on those edible objects.