April 2019 Technology Newsletter

By: Michael Kealy

Technology, Students, and the Future

Technology is evolving at a record pace which makes me question how are we as educators going to prepare our students to live and work in a world that may look remarkably different from the world in which we grew up in?


For example, our students may enter a world in which many traditional entry level blue collar jobs no longer exist due to automation and artificial intelligence. Can you imagine a world where our students can no longer find entry level work at fast food restaurants and retail stores during their High School years? This reality is closer than you think! Fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger King are adding self ordering kiosks at a record pace. McDonald's just announced they are going to use Artificial Intelligence to make recommendations to customers at the drive thru based on day, weather, time of day, and restaurant volume. Supermarkets such as Stop and Shop and Kroger are piloting scan and go technology eliminating the need to hire, train, and pay human cashiers. In 2016, 3.5 million people worked as a cashier representing 6% of the U.S. workforce.


It doesn't stop there! Uber, Lyft, Tesla and GM are developing self driving cars and believe automated ride sharing is the future. They believe this will eliminate the need for people to "buy" cars, rather they will just summon one to take them where they want to go. This has the potential to make both livery and car salesman jobs obsolete. Truck driving jobs are also threatened as Budweiser , Amazon, and Pepsi explore the use of self driving autonomous trucks. To put this in perspective, in 2012, there were 233,900 taxi cab drivers in the U.S. and in 2016, 3.5 million people worked as a truck driver representing another 6% of the U.S. workforce.


Fed Ex just announced a same day delivery robot and Walmart just announced they are deploying robotic janitors throughout their stores. In 2016 the U.S. employed 2.3 million janitors. The construction and farming industries may also be greatly impacted by robotics and artificial intelligence.


These are just a few examples of how the market and workforce are going to change in the future.


I encourage you to watch the film below which highlights many of these advancements and ask yourself how am I preparing our students for the future?

https://youtu.be/59d3UZTUFQ0

G Suite Updates:

What’s changing:

Threading changes in Gmail conversation view

Google is launching some changes to how Gmail threads messages when you have conversation view turned on. Previously, Gmail would thread together messages when either of the two conditions below are true:

  1. A message is sent in reply to another
  2. A message has:
    1. The same sender or recipients,
    2. The same subject,
    3. And is sent within one week of an earlier message in the thread.

With this change, Google is adding the requirement that an incoming message’s Reference header, if present, must reference IDs of previous messages in order to thread (see image below for example). This means that if you receive two emails with the same subject from the same sender, these emails will not be threaded together unless one explicitly references the other.


Add Audio to Google Slides Presentations


  • Insert an audio file into Slides:
    • Insert > Audio and select from your audio files in Drive
    • Hover over the icon to see playback controls
Once the audio file is inserted, you can find more audio settings by clicking “Format options” in the toolbar. From there, you can set playback options, volume, and looping. You can also hide the audio icon, or replace it with an image of your choice.



*The ability to add an audio file into Slides is currently only available on desktop, though audio will play on all platforms.

Local Technology News:

Did You Know? All Beacon City School District Employees Get a Discount At Microsoft

Enjoy Microsoft products at a 30% discount to help you create your best work. Explore the Microsoft Home Use Program.

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