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What is Voice Recognition Technology and Its Benefits

Voice Assistants are around us for quite some time but once it was introduced into the smart phones, voice assistants have gained much more popularity. 

From Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa to Microsoft’s Cortana and less known Samsung’s Bixby – all the way, people got more interested in Voice AI (Artificial Intelligence). 

The trend of voice assistants is growing as only last year it was reported that over 1 million people in the US alone use voice assistants. 

What is Voice Recognition?

Voice recognition refers to the ability of a specific device to receive and interpret spoken directives – simply said, voice recognition technology can interact and respond to human’s commands.

Voice recognition originated on PCs but with integration in smartphones and its rising popularity, it became more accessible within the use of home devices. This way, the technology became available in our kitchens, living rooms etc. 

Source: totalvoicetech.com

The interest in voice recognition is continually growing as many people use it nowadays – this is the reason why businesses consider the utilization of voice recognition technology. 

Today, we distinguish two types of voice recognition:

  • Text-Dependent –  depends on the specific set of words the person says – you need step-up authentication and identity verification and in order to be activated, the user has to say the necessary phrase. 
  • Text Independent – does not depend on a specific text yet relies on conversation speech. The authentication does not require for the user to say a set of required phrases. 
Source: bayometric.com

Brief History 

The first time the voice speech recognition was documented was in 1952, when Bell Laboratories designed the ‘Audrey’ system – it was a system that recognized digits spoken by a single voice.

IBM developed ‘Shoebox’ in the early 1960s, which could recognize and respond to 16 English words including the digits from 0 to 9 – it was referred to as the ‘forerunner of today’s voice recognition systems’.

Following years brought technology advances and fast processors which led to the development and more common use of software like Dragon Dictate.

Throughout the time, voice speech processing technology has steadily progressed all the way up to 2011, when Apple decided to launch Siri

Since then, voice recognition is in the constant uprise and with Google’s Voice Search, Amazon’s Alexa following, it became widely accepted.

Source: wired.com

How does Voice Recognition Work?

Speech recognition and voice recognition are not the same thing. 

Speech recognition recognizes only the words and focuses on translation of verbal from to a text one. 

Voice recognition ensures for the voice to be recognized and to identify an individual user’s voice.  

Voice recognition is able to authenticate the speaker by analyzing the patterns and sequences of a person’s voice hence capable to identify the specific person. 

Such approach ensures safety as all the inputs will be authorized solely by your own voice and no others.

Source: geeky-gadgets.com

Benefits of Voice Recognition Technology

Voice recognition technology is already the trend – businesses should consider to explore such innovations as there are numerous benefits they can get if they include it to their own strategies:

Generate Personalization

Everything is about personalization’ 

The best way to add more personalization to your services is to enable your customers to easily and quickly present their needs – this can be accomplished by voice recognition technology.  

For example, today’s market consists of customers who are digitally literate or e.g. Millenials who are considered the digital generation – voice recognition technology would bring a personal touch for their needs and may be a winner for them.  

Those personal conversations can be developed with Voice AI which may provide better connection between the company and the individuals.

Source: voicerecognition.com.au

Generates More Time

Talking is faster than typing! 

Voice recognition technology is being built-in to more devices and gadgets in order to make life easier as voice inputs are far more efficient than typing. 

Voice recognition technology is improving each day and as per The University of Stanford, it has improved to the extent where it is able to be much faster and more accurate with text outputs (e.g. dictation on a mobile device etc.) than a person could be when typing on a keyboard. 

If such technology is implemented, businesses can streamline administration processes and mitigate the burden of typing and other similar tasks while enabling employees to focus on more complex aspects of the job. 

Source: usabilitygeek.com

Boosts Productivity Levels

When talking about workplaces, voice recognition can provide support and assistance with task-management duties such as setting up conference calls, scheduling meetings or setting up reminders, like with Amazon’s Alexa, for example. Such an approach enables companies to streamline the process for everyone leading to improved productivity and efficiency. 

With the development of voice recognition, it is now possible to acquire relevant information upon a voice instruction or request data for any specific project – all these activities can now take less time than it would usually do if we did it manually.

Translational capabilities enable people who speak different languages to communicate – the technology has the capability to translate the content into the target language which helps to remove the language barriers within daily business operations. 

Source: business.com

Makes You Accessible to Everyone

As voice technology requires only voice, it is a great option for people with motorical disabilities or difficulties to communicate much easier to your business. 

Such technology brings power to people who originally could have accessed it either at slow pace or not at all.

In addition, using voice recognition software can significantly help people with other kinds of disabilities like arthritis or hand tremors which can worsen if typing too much during the day. 

Reach Multiple Users At Once 

With Voice AI, it is possible to reach different customers all at once, unlike earlier when a customer support officer could only talk to a single person at the time.

Such technology enables businesses to increase the number of customers and deal with multiple questions or concerns more efficiently. 

Voice technology is continually improving and becoming more and more sophisticated thus companies invest more in exploring different ways on how to implement it and increase their reach as well as improve their business results. 

In the next year, it will certainly grow even more and a majority of companies will depend on it for their marketing. 

Source: freepik.com

Enables Hand Free Work

Whatever you do and whichever job you perform, task completion can be done more easily with voice recognition.

Dealing with a client, writing down notes after a customer call or sending a message to your colleague about the latest meeting etc. – all these tasks take a lot of time if done manually.

The Voice AI can facilitate work processes in a useful manner as you don’t have to use other materials – all client’s information and all notes or questions will be recorded automatically and accurately. 

FINAL

Voice recognition technology is a trend that a lot of people and companies want to embrace – it can provide benefits not only to households but also to businesses as well. 

As voice searches and voice assistants become increasingly popular, businesses started to consider if they should use such technology in their communication strategy. 

The evolution and improvement is still ongoing but keep in mind that voice technology has slowly proved its advantage to having voice assistance within your everyday life. 

How Can Industry 4.0 Help Companies Affected by the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses around the world to change their strategies to survive the ‘new normal’.  

Businesses that are already online experienced growth amidst the crisis, like SaaS and MicroSaaS companies that further increased demands for online, on-demand and cloud-based products and services

Other businesses had to quickly shift online to preserve progression, part of them not having enough preparations and acuity but certain industries cannot survive just on remote operations.

What is Industry 4.0?

Even before the pandemic, Industry 4.0 was a field of great interest to many manufacturers as they looked in-depth into how Industry 4.0 technology can help them transition back to profitable operations.

Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, involving transformative technology such as smart factories with connective machines and intelligent robots.

The First Industrial Revolution happened in the 1770s where manufacturing moved from manual to machine, from farms to factories, all using steam and water power.

The Second Industrial Revolution happened a hundred years later when electricity became available. It gave us automation, assembly lines, and factories’ real image as we know them today.

The arrival of computers started the Third Industrial Revolution, where factories were automated and boosted blue-collar jobs. 

This Fourth Industrial Revolution (4.0) now involves a network of technologies that can communicate and connect, learn from each other, diagnose and troubleshoot issues on their own, or alert human analysts.

Some practical applications are predictive maintenance, interconnected supply or logistic chains, intelligent robots, autonomous devices and systems.

Source: halvorsen.blog

Industry 4.0 and Its Relevance in the New Normal

Industry 4.0 is the age of smart connected machines and connected robots so we need to rethink our businesses, upgrade our skills and divert our investments into preparing and shifting towards these new technologies. 

Organizations that do not prepare for this will not be as efficient and effective. 

Here is a look at Industry 4.0 and how it can help businesses bounce back from challenging times so they can cope with whatever the future brings.

Boost in Smart Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 focuses on improving conventional production, industrial platforms and manufacturing processes with new technologies

A survey by Plex Systems—a company that sells smart manufacturing platforms—reviewed global companies to learn about their success using Industry 4.0 applications. The findings showed that smart manufacturing options were adopted by just 24% of respondents. However, 22% launched pilots to test the worthiness of the technical solutions they were adapting.

HFS Research analysts have polled businesses to determine which innovations attracted their interest the most. The results showed many choices, such as automation, smart analytics, and cloud computing, offering immediate cost savings.

Researchers found that spending on products in those categories is likely to increase, while investments on products that take more time to produce revenues may decrease or remain unchanged in the coming months.

Source: business.uconn.edu

Industry 4.0 Technologies for Remote Areas

Advanced emerging technologies provide telemedicine systems for proper infection prevention and control. These technologies identify patient abnormalities and notify medical personnel immediately during an emergency. 

These technologies make the remote health monitoring system more efficient. Sensors are used to detect physiological data providing valuable information to patients and physicians. 

Advanced technologies are implemented to create greater exposure and creative solutions for COVID-19 patients, even in remote areas. In schooling for example, digital technology supports distance  and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

IoT Minimizing Supply Chain Stress

The coronavirus pandemic quickly exposed supply chain problems leaving many unprepared businesses to catch up.

Those who switched to online purchases also encountered delays, while eCommerce companies saw enormous traffic jumps at the same time.

In March 2020, ACI Worldwide statistics showed a 74% growth in eCommerce transactions for most retail sectors as compared to the month in 2019.

Many people reported shipping delays, especially as regional and national lockdowns complicated matters. Shipment firms issued updates on service suspensions in affected countries, but slowdowns continued even though respective nations of the sender and receiver did not cease shipping and acceptance.

Technology that increases the supply chain’s visibility will help consumers survive in pandemic aftermath and future hardships.

You could initially overlook the effect on end-use components, but COVID-19 also affected them. Computer chips are an example. Their cleanrooms need 1000% higher cleanliness than hospital operating rooms.

Obtaining computer chips’ chemicals also poses problems. Many chemicals must remain in temperature-controlled environments to avoid reactions during transit.

Source: mckinsey.com

Future of Industry 4.0 and HealthCare

Industry 4.0 innovations will apply in the future to store our health care system’s critical data that can be used for another similar pandemic like COVID-19. Specialists will soon adopt this development, especially doctors and professionals affecting COVID-19 and other parallel pandemics or epidemics.

It can be used to streamline all medical instruments, equipment, and processes. The medical industry will evolve in the future and adapt to emerging technology to build a smart healthcare system. 

So, and so the software platform systems need to be updated to the latest. This revolution offers groundbreaking innovation to reduce the COVID-19 virus.

Source: www2.deloitte.com

Smart Analytics to Boost Businesses

Companies may be even more interested in analytical methods to direct their decision-making. Some acted right away in going forward with such investments. Sisense surveyed U.S. data professionals to learn how they depend on business intelligence and data analytics after COVID-19.

According to the findings, 49% of those surveyed were more relevant than before the pandemic while most industrial and manufacturing respondents expected to retain analytics investment.

That’s good news, particularly when many businesses face the reality of making cutbacks to keep alive in some places.

The possibilities of using smart analytics are infinite. For example, an operating platform may display increased vibrational activity or temperature in a given machine, indicating it may need prompt service to avoid a breakdown.

Companies could also evaluate data at the departmental or shift level, keep up-to-date with overall efficiency, or which new processes are working well against those requiring modification.

Enterprises supporting Industry 4.0 can also apply analytics to help them deal with COVID-19 issues. Real-time platforms may provide alerts on shortages or demand spikes, providing business warnings to mitigate future disasters.

Source: smart-analytics.com

Ramping up Robotics Investments

Industrial robots can improve performance, streamline processes, and run continuously without interruption. All of these benefits are especially attractive when businesses are recovering.

Robots may become core elements of business adoption processes. Some countries have surpassed the worst of their coronavirus outbreaks, but there is still a risk of labor shortages when exposed persons need self-quarantine. 

Other diseases—such as seasonal flu—may also affect plant development. Robotic equipment eliminates these impacts, allowing businesses to fulfill their needs.

Companies may want to pursue opportunities for robotics slowly and wait to see results before they escalate. That’s why Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) companies will find plenty of opportunities to expand their presence in the post-COVID-19 marketplace. 

RaaS service providers manage computer repairs and maintenance and generally encourage their customers to invest in more items as their needs require.

Source: createdigital.org.au

Utilizing Corporate Environments

Decentralization and dual-use are essential to the post-pandemic economy. When customers can live anywhere, many would opt to have a bigger, cheaper home where they can live and work. 

For the first time, two big real estate applications have announced a reversal of urbanization. Businesses can continue with remote working and other new normal conditions. 

Virtual reality and augmented reality will also experience rapid change as companies seek more advanced, remote, and collaborative tools. 

Holographic displays and interactive, collaborative spaces will be made possible by telepresence technology would increase even more as well.

Digital transformations in telecommunication must be in place to support this new demand. 

Source: slideshare.net

Conclusion

Industry 4.0 offers an automatic solution for different manufacturing sectors and related areas. It consists of various manufacturing and digital information technology for processing, storing, analyzing, etc. to minimize the risks, speed up development and ensure growth.

By implementing these innovations, people can work from home and businesses can continue operating with more experience to cope better with future challenges.

How Technology Helps the Manufacturing Processes

Humans from the very beginning of the world have made use of manufacturing processes to dictate their survival to nature as the fittest beings for evolution. 

Starting from the manufacturing of basic hand tools for hunting and cutting to the modern-day manufacturing of ‘everything’, humans have made their mark in the world through constantly innovating for a better future. The need for betterment is majorly fueled by consumer demand that acts as a catalyst to initiate the entire process.

To satisfy this demand, manufacturing processes need to be constantly updated in terms of process technology, material supply chain and communication between the producer and the consumer to develop a product that is readily accepted and integrated into the community. 

Source: inventionland.com

The industrial revolution can be rightly attributed as the starting point of modern manufacturing, but with more recent advances in digitization and IoT through Industry 4.0, the overall concept of manufacturing has taken a new leap.

These modern digital technologies help increase productivity and profitability by streamlining complex processes at a better pace than non-digitized technologies. 

The benefits of integrating technology into manufacturing processes are:

  • Quality of the product increases at all phases of production, rather than only the final stage.
  • Overall efficiency of the plant increases leading to a decrease in material wastage.
  • Improved means of communication between the production and engineering teams, and sales teams.
Source: themanufacturer.com

Technology helps refine procedures for manufacturing processes, which in turn assists in understanding the flow of work and, thus, define time and resource-consuming phases. Quality control and assurance are built into processes to ensure the product meets the specified qualification criteria from a consumer’s perspective.

Wastage of material is also decreased when streamlined procedures are followed for production. This owes to the accuracy of the product obtained in terms of dimensions and finishing. Errors in production are minimized and so does the time consumption of each process. Therefore, production goals are attained at a better pace and improved accuracy.

Communication among the teams is improved by employing communication manager software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which helps in cross-communication between different functions of an organization. In case of any latent issue, an immediate call for assistance helps mitigate downtime and necessary measures can be taken before the matter escalates.  Furthermore, diagnostic capabilities guarantee remote dealing with any problem that may occur.

Source: www3.swipeclock.com

Manufacturing industries like the die casting industry have immensely been facilitated by digitization. Real-time predictive analysis is carried out at each step of the process with the help of the supplied sensors. The sensors are installed within a process cell and record data to look out for anomalies, unsatisfactory performance, and any unwanted circumstances that can lead to a decreased efficiency. Overall forecasting of productivity and profitability trends are attained by the real-time analysis using sensors.

In addition to improved productivity, energy consumption is also reduced by technological means. A green environment is achieved by monitoring and adjusting processes in an energy-intensive industry.

Digitization of manufacturing processes not only assists in better productivity but also improves the efficiency of the packaging and transportation procedures. The state of the product is known to the manufacturer from the manufacturing processes in real-time, and the product can be sent through to the sales teams.

Source: datacore.com

Integrating modern technologies into manufacturing processes leads to increased productivity and thus, increased profit. Adopting these technologies also help in attaining better accuracy of a product due to standardized procedures.

The popularity of modern technologies is not surprising owing to the benefits they offer. With a significant decrease in error, increased efficiencies and downtime, resources are better utilized in other integral areas of the business to promote its growth and development.

How to Incorporate Social Media in Classrooms

Today, social media is the centerpoint of most people’s lives and impacts the way we live, work and recently, the way we learn. 

As per the research from Center for Lifelong Learning (C3L), Universitat Oldenburg, Germany more and more teachers incorporate social media into their classrooms not only to engage students but also to support their educational development. No matter if we like it, social media forms the way how students learn and interact nowadays. 

Social media is here to stay for a long time so instead of complaining, it would be wise to leverage it as a learning tool. 

The Role of Social Media as a Learning Tool

Although some people have negative opinions about social media, using social media for learning purposes is NOT about how many likes your post has. 

Social media, used in a classroom, can be guided and cultivated to provide better learning results and critical awareness. It can also allow students more freedom to connect and collaborate outside of the classroom and experience the globally connected world before they enter the workforce.

Social media platforms can be active learning tools where students take place in learning in their own specific way rather than assimilating information.  Social media can shape and present information in a meaningful way and since students are mainly accustomed to social media, it makes the process even more exciting than learning by traditional tools. 

Even more, sharing information with other students promotes deeper engagement between students plus it can be a strong motivator as students can put more effort to their work knowing that it will be interacted through social media. 

Source: ankilpandey.in

Types of Social Media Tools

There are various social media platforms yet here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Google Docs and other collaborative document tools to store and edit data
  • Blogs with a comment features to share and discuss details
  • Skype to engage more with each other as well as materials
  • Facebook to create groups and share information internally 
  • Twitter and hashtags to encourage open forum and debates
  • Pinterest for sharing ideas or inspiration etc. 
  • Youtube to create course presentations
  • Linkedin and other social networks to build connection
  • etc.

Ways to Implement Social Media to
Classroom Activities

Google Apps – stay connected anywhere

Google offers a wide variety of helpful tools from Google Docs to Google Classroom which has been extensively used for lectures and classes during the Corona pandemic. 

Teachers can create your own Google Classroom where you can have video meetings, create and manage your classes, assignments and grades as well. You can add materials to your Google Drive and create surveys with help of Google Forms for a direct and real-time feedback. 

Students can track their classwork and submit assignments online while sharing resources and interact in class stream via email. Google Docs is a great tool as students can learn to utilise various features it offers from formatting options up to share, comment and tag option among many others. Students can also use Google Slides to make presentations or Google Sheets to create data tables or make charts. 

The students research different topics and share their findings with the class via Google Hangouts or other tools and further engage in a collaborative learning process. 

Source: digitaltrends.com

Blog – leverage the power of blogging

Writing blog posts gives students an opportunity to use and produce digital content – there are different blog platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Tumblr or Medium where teachers can create a class blog. 

Setting up a blog is simple and secure – only invited students can see the content. Explain to your students what a blog is and how to get people to follow it and encourage them to find their interests they would like to write about.

Then, explain the elements of research and writing authentic, plagiarism free blogs. It does not have to be always curricular stuff but you can also encourage their creative writing abilities. Give them to actively read and comment on each other’s blogs. 

By giving the writing assignments as blogs, you can create an environment around it – you can give points for comments and discussions, giving feedback and more. 

Such blogging practice encourages research and develops creative abilities with students. The subject syllabus and any tasks and resources can also be shared on a blog as a central location where blog as a semester assignment can improve students’ writing and critical thinking. 

Source: creatingreadersandwriters.blogspot.com

Skype – use video conferencing to teach your students 

Skype is the most known tool for people of all ages but it is not just for use with friends or work mates. Teachers have been using Skype to connect with their students as well as to connect the students with others around the globe, aka ‘pen pals’ in the digital age. 

You can also use Skype for larger group projects – for example, matching students that attend the same subject can bring a whole new dimension when studying history or science. The teacher can hold a lesson over Skype and share their screen for students to understand better. 

As social platforms make the world a smaller place, you can contribute by inviting a guest lecturer who would provide a real life perspective on their own field of expertise – that way, students can ask questions they’re interested in and catch a glimpse of some processes related to the guest’s knowledge. 

Even more, you can try connecting with other classrooms from across the world and enable students to experience how it looks like to have a class outside your country. 

Source: blog.skype.com

Facebook – create a classroom group

Facebook is another social media platform which can be used in your classroom. 

Teachers can create a Facebook group for your class as groups have privacy settings and are a safe place to share information online. Be careful before you take this step; you have to make sure that every single student in your class has access to a smartphone, tablet, or a computer. It is mandatory for teachers to also talk to the parents since some of them might not approve their children to have Facebook profiles.

As younger generations love to document every part of their lives, the teacher can take an advantage of this and share photos of class activities or field trips. 

There are many more options to try out like Facebook polls where you can easily create polls,  class materials for students or post events like field trips with all the relevant details while students can sync their calendars with Facebook. 

You can also share educational content, videos and articles from reliable sources related to the topic studied in class. The great thing is that those documents or links are only accessible to the Facebook group.

There are always more ideas on how teachers can use Facebook as an active learning tool – from Facebook Live to stream live lectures, hosting discussions up to creating an official classroom Facebook profile and post updates that all students and parents can see. 

Source: jairusworld.blogspot.com

Twitter – use it as a class message board

Twitter can be great as a learning tool – if all yoru students have phones with Internet access, it would be great to organize a Twitter discussion during the class – you can come up with a hashtag together which will be related to the discussion and students can do an online research and tweet a post within 15 minutes. 

The 280 character limit for Twitter will make students think how to communicate concisely and effectively which can be a beneficial skill to develop for later. 

Twitter can help teachers with reminders for assignments or sharing helpful resources for students who can later create discussions around a certain hashtag they’ve created themselves. There are so many education hashtags that students can use and analyze what has been trending lately. 

The teacher can ask students to tweet a summary of a book or just set a question for students to answer via this platform. 

Another interesting idea is to get celebrities’ tweets and check them for grammar or spelling errors and have them retweet the celebs’ message minus the errors. 

Twitter can definitely implement a fun aspect within learning and it is also excellent to stay in touch with both your students and parents via sharing about your class updates. 

Source: blogs.denverpost.com

Pinterest – for student collaboration

Pinterest can be helpful for both teachers to organize resources and students to create studying boards. 

You can create a class-specific Pinterest board and save pins relevant to lessons – you can create boards as per a subject and sub-topic boards for weekly lessons. Pinterest can also be useful for students to pin websites, books or videos to a board that will later help them when it’s time to write. 

Your students can divide boards as per related topics and follow each other’s collections and later, you can choose together the best resources and make a presentation for the class. For example, you can ask students to choose the most inspiring historical buildings or monuments within your city, collect the facts and create Pinterest boards where they will present as projects for history class. 

Another great use of Pinterest is for career tips – you can create a board full of career resources, job statistics or resume tips which will help them to get ready to tackle the future job hunt. 

Source: pinterest.com

Youtube – create your channel

Teachers can use YouTube to create a channel for their class, publish their own educational videos, Vlogs and podcasts. 

You can get your students to watch educational videos on a certain topic or listen to informative discussions in class related to the subject topic. YouTube can revive the idea for students to engage with each other and learn something new or pick up knowledge throughout the whole process. 

One of the examples is TED Talks – it offers a plethora of lectures from experts as well as educational organizations like BBC’s Open University which has its own YouTube channel containing high quality content. 

If you don’t have time to maintain a YouTube channel or a podcast, you can find some interesting and relevant content and share it regularly with students and keep the knowledge flow – you can even play it in class and afterwards organize a discussion about it. 

Source: thereadingbuddies.blogspot.com

Linkedin – build networks

Linkedin is today’s number 1 business network but it can be used in class as well. Many companies, including schools and universities, are present on Linkedin and there is a large number of official Linkedin groups focused toward smaller niches like colleges, degree programs, etc. which can align with some of your students’ interests. 

It is much better to teach your students how to start networking before their job hunt – if they participate in Linkedin now while students, they will have a solid network by the time they graduate or start a job search. 

This way, they will learn basic principles of conduct on Linkedin, have access to a network of other students, graduates or faculties all over the country and get introduced to other benefits like webinars, lectures or events dedicated to a certain topic which is of interest to the students. 

You can never know when a fellow colleague or a former professor may be able to help you with your life and career so it’s important to learn the process of networking to be ready for later challenges. 

Source: evenea.pl

Instagram or Flickr – make projects more fun with photos

It has always been easier to remember when seeing photos or graphics. When it comes to images, Instagram or Flickr can be a great source for a photo-based lesson or a project. 

Students can use Instagram for a photo essay or to present a series of photos while storytelling. Instagram is different from other social media as it can allow students to practice digital storytelling.  

Ideas on how to use Instagram are many – for example, if you organize a school trip, assign your students with random hashtags (#nature, #sightseeing, #beach etc.) and ask them to take photos. The hashtags will motivate them to take specific types of photos which you can review later and choose the best ones. Students can create class related Instagram accounts and make their photo essays which will be posted on the Instagram or Flickr profile. 

Such projects will make your students realize the potential of social media and how to use them in a meaningful way. If you notice that a certain method does not give proper results, try something different. 

Social media has a huge potential, just make sure to use it properly for educational purposes. 

Source: lynda.com

Benefits of Social Media in Classroom

Social media and technology are integral parts of our daily lives and implementing these into the classroom feels more natural than ever before. 

None of social media is the same – all platforms have their own different ways to be used in a classroom and it can represent a more direct communication tool for students, teachers and parents. 

Social media enables more e-learning opportunities as well since online classes have become ‘a new normal’ today – it can train and prepare students to work remotely which is an important lesson where social media can help. 

Social media triggers more collaboration in students’ work and helps students to recognize real-world applications of social media. 

Replacing traditional learning methods with social media in your classes can broaden students’ creative expression and engage them to work more in the class. 

As we live in the technology world, it would be wise to introduce the students to proper usage of social media and prepare them for later when they grow to join the workforce. 

Source: teachthought.com

Final Word

First of all, monitor how students use social media during class as these platforms can easily become a distraction. Also, check with your school about the policy regarding the usage of social media in class. Educate your students and explain how important social media can be as an educational tool. 

Students already use social media on their own and they usually try to mimic the things they see, many of which are not the best examples. 

As a teacher, your duty is to set a responsible example for your students. Educate them on risks of social media and guide them to use it to learn new things and build their good reputation. 

It is crucial to understand the impact of social media in education prior to using it and if used with care, social media can positively influence the way each person learns in the classroom. 

How Will Coronavirus Impact the World’s Logistics and Supply Chains

Disruptions happen, but pandemic outbreaks are somewhat different – the epidemic affects access to staff, decreases productivity and changes people’s behaviour being their shopping habits and spending. 

Global transport and supply chain companies continue to feel the impact of the epidemic facing labor shortages and regulatory uncertainty. While companies prepare contingency plans, logistics and supply chains have to deal with this rapidly changing situation. 

Although it’s difficult to predict the exact consequences, the impact across the global supply chain is already felt and includes supply shortages, reduced labor capacities, travel restrictions, limitations in capacity for established supply networks, reduced consumers’ purchases and more. 

Based on the impact ratings within each aspect, it is clear that the overall impact on supply, transportation and logistics is severe. 

Leading supply chain and logistics businesses utilize an enhanced risk management processes which include continuously measuring key risk indicators, preparing scenarios for anticipated uncertainties and focusing on unforseen disruptions.

What are some of the impacts that we have seen in freight and logistics industries:

Affected industrial operations

During the epidemic, some government authorities prescribed the additional pandemic prevention measures which businesses must meet in order to continue operating. 

Some of these measures include setting up a prevention protocol, provision of protective equipment (masks, gloves, disinfectants), carrying out routine temperature controls and disinfection, social distancing and many more. 

The trouble with the time needed to perform these requests and the lack of clarity with the approval process already has a massive impact on manufacturers who want to resume operations. 

The cuts at foreign manufacturing plants have led to slow or temporarily locked imports where port delays are greatly due to reduced workforce.

Source: freightwaves.com

On the other hand, demand in medication, medical supplies and equipment and cleaning supplies have drastically increased so distributors are struggling to fulfill extra large orders from the related institutions thus straining the supply and logistics providers. 

Some industry experts are concerned that businesses will be more cautious in their spending after the outbreak resulting in cut outs on business travels and transportation services being limo or ride-sharing services. 

A bright spot for ride-share services is that once the situation begins to normalize and cities start to reopen, it is possible that the public will be reluctant to use the public transportation system –  it may lead to the increased demand for alternate transportation services like taxi and ride-hailing services. 

‘Force Majeure’ clause

The Coronavirus has given a new relevance to the legal term ‘force majeure’.

Besides the world’s economy temporarily being shut down due to the pandemic, companies that work with suppliers in China face legal ‘force majeure’ clauses that will be put into effect in case of non-performance protecting the suppliers from legal and financial liability. 

‘Force majeure’ is a French term literally meaning ‘greater force’ – it refers to unexpected external circumstances (natural disasters or human disasters like armed conflicts etc.) preventing one party from fulfilling its obligations. 

Epidemics are occasionally listed as ‘force majeure’ events though authorities are somewhat  inexperienced when deciding whether a specific disease fits the description. However, the coronavirus effects on the worldwide economy can be compared to those of any other large-scale natural disasters. 

There is another non-legal term ‘price majeure’ used as a joke among traders about some buyers that use such clauses as an excuse to walk away from a contract when prices move against their favour. 

As per some legal experts, although these certificates carry a significant weight, they do not exclude further negotiations. 

Work and supply congestion and shortage

Pandemic situation and the quarantine have led to work and supply shortages.

Various citywide restrictions like quarantines, temperature controls and vehicle inspections or disinfection have prevented the ability of workers to reach their workplaces causing a massive labour shortage. 

Source: news.yahoo.com

As many companies foster work-from-home recently due to Coronavirus, the transportation industry (e.g. taxi services) could experience a rush of bankruptcies as the revenues dry up.  

Due to such a situation, the work process takes a hit and results in huge delays or significantly reduced production and services. 

Travel restrictions and labour shortage caused backlogs in many worldwide ports while at the same time, iron and steel mills and mines struggled to move their key resources like zinc, copper etc. from their refineries to supply raw material.  

Manufacturers and supply chains are still struggling to reach the efficient work process as the congestion and shortages affect not only the time needed to perform the work but also the capacities for the same work to be done. 

Traffic delays aggravate the shortage

As the pandemic has spread, cross border traffic between many countries has been severely disrupted. Export and other goods have been delayed at the borders while some trucks at the largest worldwide border crossings waited for several days. 

As soon as the situation with Coronavirus became more than serious, the various authorities began to quarantine all citizens entering the country for at least 14 days to reduce the number of travellers. 

Source: straitstimes.com

Cross border truck drivers were not included in some areas and the deliveries were possible but with advance notice. Truck drivers were being asked to stay in their trucks at loading/unloading sites and to switch from paper to electronic methods for record deliveries and pickups, as per some trucking transportation companies and freight brokers. 

All these developments have led to delays and a rapid increase in the price of truck journeys. 

Limited freight capacity 

More than 50% of airfreight capacity have been cancelled along with other freight channels (air, rail, road etc.) which could lead to a 300-400% increase in air freight rates as per The Load Star

Regarding rail transport, the capacity problems have also affected this type of transport as well nevertheless this option is twice as fast as ocean shipping. Many train routes have been cancelled with containers left to wait for the better days. 

Source: container-mag.com

The difficulty of transporting freight by trucks leads to the reduced visibility of arrival times to any destination. 

As per National Limousine Association, companies dealing with ground transportation have experienced 90% decline in revenue.

Load demand in April decreased compared to the prior month within all major load categories –  for example specialty trailers and refrigerated demand are in better position when compared to dry van and flatbed loads. However, less idle traffic also lowers fuel consumption and costs for trucking companies. 

Industry experts are somewhat optimistic that freight volumes and rates may rebound as some countries try to ease lockdown restrictions and gradually reopen their economies. 

Affected overseas supply chains

The pandemic outbreak also had a massive impact on industrial production and global supply chains extending beyond China’s borders. 

No matter which industry you operate within, Covid-19 has led to a supply shortage caused by the outbreak – for example, the automotive sector has witnessed a supply shortage and some major car manufacturers (Hyundai, Kia Motors, Nissan etc.) had to temporarily suspend operations while seeking supplies from alternative markets.  Pharmaceutical industry was also hit hard as China had to retain some supplies of materials for certain medicines thus exported less to their other markets (USA, India etc.).

Domestic goods are also pretty slow to leave ports causing the production cuts. Distributors are challenged to balance the flow of goods from suppliers with the demand of the customers. 

Shipping companies have utilized empty runs of their ships. Empty runs refer to the situation where a shipowner cancels a planned stop in a particular port (or the entire route) due to a low demand. According to Sea Intelligence Maritime Consulting, the shipping companies cancelled approximately 54 departures for the trade between Asia and Europe by March 2020. 

Although some measures have been loosened, it is still to expect a delay of three to four weeks for arrival of containers, as per some shippers.  

Source: freightwaves.com

How to prepare for disruption?

As per Koray Köse, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, there are some steps for supply and logistics companies to take to prepare for the impact on their value chain.  

Short term actions include developing programs for countries affected by the virus for supply chain disruption monitoring and response as well as potential supply chain exposure from tier 1 and below. Businesses should determine how customers’ spending may fluctuate and secure that all inventory is within the reach and outside the affected areas. Companies should consult legal and HR departments to understand any financial implications in case of failed supply and provide instructions for employees in the affected areas.  

Source: pei.com

Midterm actions should focus on balancing supply and demand and building up the strategic stock as well as review (or development) of the company’s overall risk management strategy. Internal shareholders and strategic suppliers can help to establish a consistent risk management approach in case of any potential material or manufacturing capacity shortages. 

Long term actions are all about predicting the next ‘when’ – conducting a scenario and developing action plans, developing alternative sources, working on strategic supplies where internal capacities (alternative inventory, sources, case reserves etc.) aren’t adequate to mitigate major disruption. The solution is being prepared as it can open new opportunities in case of any similar disruption. 

What’s Next

The global focus has shifted the priorities for all businesses on a global scale – being aware of the risks will be critical for all businesses moving forward and will help with developing the corporate strategies. Companies need to adjust and pivot their own production and business strategies to remain operational. 

It still remains difficult to predict the outbreak economic impact on the worldwide businesses and industries as some countries have implemented drastic measures to contain the pandemic outbreak. 

Considering the ongoing situation and the massive operational and financial impact within several industries, it may take several months or more to assess the impact. 

Using the correct data sets and forecasting tools will be crucial to businesses while navigating the current market and developing future strategic decisions.

How can Technology and AI help fight Coronavirus better?

The spread of coronavirus shows no sign of ending soon. 

Many countries have been affected by the virus but at the moment, there is no vaccine to treat it. As Coronavirus continues to spread, the most important task is to contain the outbreak as much as possible. 

Amidst the global pandemic, technology can be used to help and save lives.

How can technology and AI (artificial intelligence) help people in the fight against COVID19?

AI to Track Coronavirus Outbreaks

AI (Artificial Intelligence) can help us to track Coronavirus outbreaks. 
Today, we can track data via the live dashboard – it pulls data from the World Health Organization (WHO) to better locate possible outbreaks and provide safety measures to minimize the spread.

Source: John Hopkins University

A Canadian health monitoring company BlueDot uses AI to scrap foreign news reports, forums and announcements from public health officials to protect people around the world from infectious diseases. BlueDot’s early-warn system uses AI (ML or Machine Learning and NLP or Natural Language Processing) to track and analyze data which helps them to understand when to notify about the spread

Speed matters the most in a pandemic situation and AI can spot the outbreaks quickly and intervene to keep them to a minimum. AI surveillance uses tons of posts about Coronavirus to get more accurate data and predict how fast the outbreaks may be. 

More and more countries have started deploying AI surveillance to monitor and track citizens to achieve a wide range of purposes. Although it raises serious questions about the future of privacy, AI surveillance has proven a useful tool to monitor and respond to the global outbreak such as Coronavirus. 

AI and Wearables to Track People 

Some countries, like China, use AI and ML based tools to detect Coronavirus cases – not only detect but also to track people that have been put to quarantine or self-isolation. 

Face recognition can help with detecting people’s faces, especially with people who have been diagnosed with the virus and if, in any case, cannot be located. 

Many applications have also been developed to help people track if they’ve been in places as the confirmed virus patients. 

Source: austincountynewsonlne.com

Wearable technology is another great way that may help to fight the virus – it enables healthcare professionals to monitor vital signs with patients without physical contact. 

Some hospitals in China have used a continuous temperature sensor to help reduce the spread of the virus – the sensor is applied to the patient and sends real-time information to the health institution. 

Wearables have proven beneficial and can be used to monitor heart and respiratory rates among patients.  

Source:rateittoday.com

Drones Assistance

Drones’ assistance have become essential in minimizing the spread – people use drones to carry out tasks like spraying disinfectant, dispersing public gatherings or tracking people in quarantine.

Usually lighter drones are used for detection and monitoring while some types of drones can also be used for food and face masks delivery which helps prevent the virus spread.  

Souce: wetalkuav.com

Drones can be upgraded for Aerial Thermography – usage of drones equipped with thermal camera scanners to detect temperatures of people in a crowd where they can identify persons with the highest body temperature.

Source: thedronegirl.com

Robots and Tech Tools for Contactless Communication

Robots have become more important than ever during the pandemic outbreak as it’s extremely difficult for medical staff to remain safe while providing treatment to patients. 

Shortage of medical workers has become a top problem as they are in direct contact with the patients and can get infected by the virus. 

Using robots can minimize the exposure of medical staff to the infected patients – the fewer people in contact with infected patients, the better. 

Robots can help perform tasks such as delivering food and medicines and cleaning the patients’ rooms enabling contactless assistance and preventing further spread. 

Source: news.panasonic.com

Healthcare applications can provide real-time consultations – patients that suffer from symptoms similar to Coronavirus can consult a doctor via a video call instead of coming into close contact with patients. 

Virtual consultations can provide doctors with a person’s current state along with healthcare data like blood pressure, heart rate, etc. 

Source: smarthealth.nl

In China, Ecommerce giants have gone further and deployed robots to deliver food to prevent the spread of the virus. Contactless delivery systems try to minimize the human contact resulting in decreased spread of the virus itself. Autonomous vehicles can carry up to 100kg of goods and deliver 3-4 rounds per trip. 

Self-driving robots can be used for disinfection of hospitals, for example, UVD robots release concentrated UV-C light which has a germicidal effect and can kill bacteria and airborne viruses on the surface. 

One of the most popular robotic ‘disinfectants’ is developed by Blue Ocean Robotics that uses ultraviolet light to kill viruses and germs. 

Source: blue-ocean-robotics.com

Thermal Imaging Cameras to Detect Temperature

Although Coronavirus is a current danger, people still need to work and travel if necessary. 

Many thermal screening cameras have been installed at airports across many countries – they use thermal imaging equipment to detect a person’s body temperature if above normal range and react accordingly without spreading panic.

Thermal cameras create images using infrared radiation – the heat sensors record the heat of people’s bodies and display 2D images with temperature levels.

Thermal sensors can scan the large crowd of people and instantly pinpoint the ones with high temperatures or fever as opposed to checking everyone’s temperature and creating massive delays. 

Source: gizmodo.com

As already mentioned, another great usage of thermal cameras is called Aerial Thermography which includes an unmanned aerial device (drone) and an infrared camera scanning. 

Drones show higher safety levels as they can complete the task with less or no contact and they can be obtained at affordable costs.

Such data can be sent to health institutions so that the treatments can start immediately and have the biggest effect. 

AI to Help Develop Medicine

Coronavirus is similar to EBola and SARS as they’re RNA viruses which means they are responsive to mutation and more complex to develop vaccines.

Source: blockbox.io

Many companies have already deployed their resources in attempts to develop medicines – Google’s DeepMind has used its AlphaFold system to release structure predictions associated with the virus. Although these haven’t been experimentally proven, they hope it will lead to better understanding how the virus functions

Baidu Research has opened its LinearFold algorithm for free to the scientific community and epidemic prevention centres so that all research on Covid19 structure can be continuously expedited – the algorithm takes only 27 seconds to recognize and solve the RNA structure of Covid19 which is over 100 times faster than classic algorithms. 

The most important thing for these algorithms is access to data so it’s vital to release all details crucial for any algorithm searching for a cure. 

Tech Tools Provide Online Education Programs

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many schools and universities are closed while schooling is organized via online education programs.

Simple technology tools and apps enable many educational institutions to organize pre-recorded classes or live streaming where teachers can hold their classes with help of a whiteboard or PowerPoint presentation thus continuing the school year. 

In Serbia, school and university programs have been adopted via national TV channels or digital channels so that it is accessible to everyone.

Source: politika.rs

A great number of online teaching and educational platforms also provide their services for free during the outbreak helping students not to be so much affected by Coronavirus.

The crisis evoked by Coronavirus triggered an increased demand for online education, courses and content. 

AI to Fight Fake Information

Global pandemic affected the world population and it’s been noticed that some social media networks started posting misleading content related to Coronavirus and its prevention – from the origin of the virus to various claims about miracle cures. 

Spreading panic in a pandemic situation is extremely dangerous and an increased number of fake news can just make the situation worse. 

Source: blo88er.com

AI can be used to analyze words or word patterns to try to spotlight fake stories. 

For example, Facebook uses AI to address the issue by quickly learning behaviour through pattern recognition – power of AI can detect false stories on the Internet with great accuracy. 

That is the reason why the biggest internet and social media companies put extra effort to detect fake information and filter information that can be sent over their networks. 

AI to Help Production of Face Masks

As the Coronavirus outbreak rapidly spread in some countries, lack of medical equipment has become a common issue within many health institutions worldwide. 

Lack of masks, gloves, protective scrubs etc. is a huge problem and we need to address it if we intend to keep our medical workers healthy and minimize the spread of virus with those who are the first in the frontline. 

Source: sonoviatech.com

One of the companies that contribute to the issue of shortage of medical products is Sonovia, an Israeli startup that works on producing fabrics that will be immune to the virus until we develop vaccines. The most important thing is that they use technology that can cover fabrics with antivirus without using any chemicals. 

In Serbia, a Facebook group ‘Vizionari Srbije’ was established on 20 March 2020 by a group of enthusiasts with a goal to help their citizens at risk of getting infected by Coronavirus. The first project was to create 3D printed safety face visors to protect healthcare professionals and medical staff from direct transmission of the virus. The project achieved a huge response – the group created visors for more than 22.000 people and still counting. 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vizionarisrbije

Final Word

As the Coronavirus crisis is growing, we can see how some of the technologies can be helpful in the fight against infectious diseases in the future. 

Technology can be our ally and help save lives, but let us not forget that humanity and solidarity among people enable the same technology to show its full potential and keep us together during the outbreak. 

I believe technology still needs time before being able to stop such disease outbreaks so we need to invest in it proactively. The human experts and technology are the best combination for the future times.