Tuesday, August 30, 2016

42 US Free Coding School!

"42 US" may not be your typical school name, however it certainly isn't your typical school. An Ars Technica article expresses how this school operates and how it sets it apart from other coding schools. 42 US is a school located in Fremont, California and it selects students  based off an online logic test.  Other than this this logic test nothing else is required, not even a college or high school diploma. Even better, 42 US is a completely no cost school.

Students that are accepted into 42 US do not need any type of coding experience. They may learn the coding basics at this school and all work is completed within the 42 US computer lab. They also have an option to reside in the  dorms at no cost. What sets 42 US apart from other schools is the way it teaches its students. They do not have a professor lecturing the students in the front of the classroom, rather, they provide short videos and peer to peer learning.

Photo: Cyrus Farivar

The above picture is a tip you will find at 42 US. It is a great tip because it encourages self-learning. Students at 42 US are required to solve problems on their own,as they made be required to do  someday in the workforce. However, sometimes students do get stuck and they cannot figure out a solution to a problem. 42 US encourages a peer to ask another peer for assistance . This is  a great learning method because it teaches the students how to work together, a skill which coders must possess.

In addition to learning all the skills of simply, "coding", the ability to self-learn is also a skill. Learning how to self-learn is not as easy as learning to code. There is no tutorial or textbook on how to do so. Being able to self-learn takes practice and 42 US provides intensive practice to its students. Every great worker must have the ability to self learn, and to not have that ability before entering the workforce would make working much more difficult.

42 US is a premier coding school, yet it is  free of charge. It teaches coding, while at the same time teaching students how to cooperate and self learn. Both of which are very valuable skills to possess within the work field. Simply their educational philosophy  is a producer of great, productive workers and a leader of revolutionary teaching methods to other schools as well.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Virtual Reality for Education!

Any Star Trek fans reading??? Well, NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd, a leading company in implementing Virtual Reality for Education sure has one cool lair designed replicating the USS Enterprise. As a Star Trek fan myself, this excites me!!


Photo: NetDragon Websoft

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg Article reported on the topic of virtual reality and it's possible entrance into education, especially in China. It explained that many parents in China wanted to "give their kids an edge", which as an immigrant from Hong Kong, I could testify towards. We're interested in using Virtual Reality to acquire this so called advantage. This would make China a perfect testing site for this product. NetDragon wants to perform a variety of tracking tests which could help the release of these products. For example, tracking the pupil activity of the children using these products in the classroom. The program also hopes to be able to evaluate human behavior while using digital products to detect diseases within a person. In terms of education, they hope that virtual reality will be a useful resource in detecting interests in children from a young age as well as their learning abilities.

Yes, there are unlimited benefits involving the implementation of Virtual Reality in education. However, Virtual Reality also has many negatives to the program. An issue which was mentioned in the  Bloomberg Article  a few times is piracy. As of now, many tech giants have a plethora  of knowledge for every person that touches technology. For example, a search engine such as Google basically knows the ins and out of your entire life. From your browsing history to your purchase history, Google collects data about every aspect of your life. That's how they tailor all their ads towards your areas of interest. The issue with Virtual Reality and NetDragon's tracking (such as human behavior and pupil activity) is that it takes knowing a person to another level. Before, it was only knowledge of your personal life, now it has escalated to  knowledge of your entire body. Obviously, if this valuable information is used responsibly, it should not be an issue. However, the determining usage will come down to trust, and parents in China sure feel that the rewards of a good quality education outweigh the risks.

Personally, I 've had multiple chances to try virtual reality. It sure is an exhilarating experience, but I do admit that sometimes I feel dizzy from using a VR device. However, in my case, the fun outweighs the dizziness. If you want to try a VR device, you can easily find tech stores such as Microsoft or Best Buy and sometimes they do VR demos at no cost. If you want to buy a VR device, the budget  ranges from $10- $800. I  recommend the Google Cardboard if you just want to experience Virtual Reality. It is  very affordable, while still providing a modest experience. If you haven't tried out Virtual Reality, I really recommend it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"The Web's Most Extensive Mathematics Resource"- Wolfram Mathworld

For many  high school and college students, the turning of August means school is right around the corner. A fairly common subject, such as Mathematics always has summer work. I was searching the web for helpful sites that will provide great information regarding mathematics. I wanted a site that could help younger children and  first year college students. When a certain site claims to be the most extensive for information on a subject, it may not always be believable, so I browsed around Wolfram's site and it sure was extensive.

In the picture above, you can see on the right that there are the broad subjects of math such as algebra or calculus and analysis. Then if you click on calculus and analysis, you reach a folder page with many different subcategories. After reaching this page, click on calculus and you will find even more subcategories such as integrals or continuity. A good example of an explanation page is the jump discontinuity page (picture below). A good explanation alongside a graph is provided.
Wolfram not  only gives explanations every single math theory, it also has "Recreational Mathematics". This really is the category which applies math to everyday living. For example, kids that play baseball may find a baseball numerology page interesting. 

Wolfram MathWorld is definitely what they claim to be, an "...extensive mathematics resource. " However, I believe that it is much more than simply that. Not only does the site apply math to the world it also  bring fun to the subject. You'll find an "extensive" collection of game theories such as bowling here, for those interested! 

P.S. The bowling site gets really in depth and I dare y'all to look at it. Kudos if you can understand all of it!