On Deck With Tech

Your Weekly Technology Newsletter-Vol. 8

New Age Pen Pals

By Hunter Long

Sixth hour students in Mrs. Hale’s English lV class are getting to experience a new kind of pen pal. A previous student of Mrs. Hale’s has acquired a teaching job at Dawson Elementary School near Austin, Texas. Her and a class of her 4th Grade students came into contact with Mrs. Hale via Twitter and discussed the possibility of a pen pal partnership. The project grew from there and now each member of the 6th Hour English lV class is partnered with a writing pal from Texas. A thing that makes these students unique is that nearly all of them are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish, some are English only, and one is Spanish speaking only. Also, a significant amount of students at Dawson Elementary are a family of immigrants from Mexico. This creates an amazing dynamic between two groups of students that couldn’t be more different. Despite these differences, last Tuesday, the students got to finally meet across Google Hangouts and all social barriers fell, inviting in new friendships and relationships for all students involved. The pen pal project will expand until after Christmas break and because of its current success, both teachers have agreed it may go even longer than they thought before. The 4th grade students get to express their love for writing and share pieces of their life while the High School class gets to read and respond at a more dynamic level of writing. There are some very cool things going on with technology at Platte County High School right now and this is among the list!

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Top 3 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

By Brett Truax

AI and Advanced Machine Learning -Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) are composed of many technologies and techniques (e.g., deep learning, neural networks, natural-language processing [NLP]). The more advanced techniques move beyond traditional rule-based algorithms to create systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. This is what makes smart machines appear "intelligent." "Applied AI and advanced machine learning give rise to a spectrum of intelligent implementations, include human bots and integrated technology.

Intelligent Apps- Intelligent apps such as VPAs perform some of the functions of a human assistant, making everyday tasks easier (by prioritizing emails, for example), and its users more effective (by highlighting the most important content and interactions). Other intelligent apps such as virtual customer assistants (VCAs) are more specialized for tasks in areas such as sales and customer service. As such, these intelligent apps have the potential to transform the nature of work and structure of the workplace.

"Over the next 10 years, virtually every app, application and service will incorporate some level of AI,". "This will form a long-term trend that will continually evolve and expand the application of AI and machine learning for apps and services." "These implementations will be delivered as a new class of obviously intelligent apps and things as well as provide embedded intelligence for a wide range of mesh devices and existing software and service solutions."

Intelligent Things -Intelligent things refer to physical things that go beyond the execution of rigid programming models to exploit applied AI and machine learning to deliver advanced behaviors and interact more naturally with their surroundings and with people. As intelligent things, such as drones, autonomous vehicles and smart appliances, permeate the environment, Gartner anticipates a shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a collaborative intelligent things model.

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NVIDIA vs. AMD Graphics Cards

By Ethan Bartlett

Nvidia and AMD are the two primary producers of graphics cards in the United States, and both have cards for Budget, Midrange, and high end computers. However, stats aren't all that matter with graphics cards because different games are geared towards different processors.



NVidia GeForce 950 Ti- Cheapest Nvidia card coming in at $139 and can run most games at decent settings with 60 frames per second (fps), partially because of the fact that more games are optimized for the GeForce Drivers


Radeon RX 470: Slightly more expensive than the NVidia coming in at $192, but also slightly stronger but the AMD Catalyst driver engine does not have as many games optimized towards it.


Nvidia Geforce 970: A good midrange card made by Nvidia that can run most games at a solid 60fps on relatively high setting this GPU comes in at roughly $300 this card has a considerably higher price than the 950 but is considerably stronger to show for it

AMD Radeon RX 480: A considerably cheaper card than the 970, the 480 costs about $269 but can not run games at the same fps, however unlike the 970 the 480 is VR compatible, meaning you can use the Oculus Rift on this card and it can still run most games a max settings at a few frames above 30 fps.

High end:

Nvidia Geforce 980ti: the 980 Ti is a high end graphics card that can run just about any game on max settings at 60fps and is VR ready, however this card costs $686 making it an expensive graphics card.

XFX R9-FURY-4QFA RADEON R9 FURY X 4GB HBM Liquid Cooled: can run just about any game at 60fps, is fully VR Compatible and water cooled. The Card however costs $ 477