McHugh to meet with education stakeholders at Letterkenny forum

first_imgThe Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. will be in Letterkenny today (Thursday) to host the first of a series of five themed regional meetings with stakeholders in the education and skills sector.The forums, the first of which takes place in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, are an opportunity for people to get involved in discussions on the education sector to give their views on key themes and issues.The new Statement of Strategy for the Department of Education and Skills, which is the focus of the first forum, will set out the key priorities for the sector for the next three years. The meeting is an opportunity to discuss the opportunities and challenges in education and training and to share ideas and feedback with Minister McHugh and officials from his Department.Later meetings in the series will focus on a range of other priority policy areas including Higher Education, an Ghaeilge, Special Educational Needs and Future Skills and Brexit. The meetings are being planned around the country including in Dublin, Waterford and Galway.Speaking ahead of the first meeting in Letterkenny, Minister McHugh said: “These forums are a perfect opportunity for me and Department officials to engage with stakeholders across the country, to listen to ideas and get the feedback of people working and learning in the sector.“This first meeting is a real chance for a positive discussion on the overall strategic priorities for my Department and the broader education and training sector. Education and training have a vital role to play in this country’s economic, social and cultural development and it is important that we work in partnership on that. “It is essential to gauge opinion and consult with others in identifying the priority issues. I want to draw on the knowledge and experience of others involved in the system to inform the process of developing this important strategy statement.”The forum, which will be chaired by Anne McHugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB, will be attended by representatives of a range of interested bodies and organisations from the education and skills sector.McHugh to meet with education stakeholders at Letterkenny forum was last modified: February 7th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:educationforumMinister Joe McHughlast_img read more

Creating a Personalized Touring Plan in the Lines App – Part 2: Toddler Video

first_imgHave any questions about the app or video? Leave them below! Share This!Last week, I showed you how I used a Touring Plan via the Lines app with my toddlers at Walt Disney World. I asked if you would want to see how I created the personalized plan using just the app and a lot of you said yes!In addition to showing how I created my plan, I also share some general tips and tricks when creating plans in the app.I hope you find it helpful!last_img

36 new schools for Gauteng province

first_img16 January 2012Thirty-six new schools will be opened in South Africa’s Gauteng province during this year’s first term, with 13 of these expected to be ready for occupation when inland province schools open on Wednesday.Briefing the media in Olievenhoutbosch, near Centurion, on the province’s readiness for the reopening of schools this week, Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy said it was all systems go for the start of the new academic year.She said the new schools would not only help with the accommodation of new learners coming to the province, but that they would also ease the pressure in some of the overcrowded schools. Plans to beef up teaching staff are well underway.“In August last year, we distributed the vacancy list for teaching posts in our schools and all vacancies were filled. We have approved 500 additional posts for the new schools,” Creecy said.To ensure that learning and teaching start on the first day of school, Creecy said orders for Learner Teacher Support Material were placed by school principals and officials in May last year.“Admissions started on 1 August 2011 and this year, we anticipate 209 000 Grade 1 learners will begin their schooling career. We are also registering 110 000 learners in state supported Grade R facilities,” she said.Late applicationsParents who are still seeking space in schools have been advised to go to their nearest district offices where the department has set up operation centres. District officials will advise parents on the capacity of schools and help to place learners.Late applications will be handled at the special operation centres established at head office and district offices to allow principals to manage the curriculum in schools from the first day of schooling.The department also conducted an audit of furniture needs at all districts last year and a list of schools with shortages and damaged furniture was generated.“We’ve placed orders and deliveries are currently underway. We have also procured furniture for the new schools and started maintenance work at 69 schools in May 2011. Currently, work is in progress at 42 sites,” she said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Is Facebook for Business Really Coming?

first_imgjosh catone 1 Tags:#Facebook#Product Reviews#web Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img Last November, we asked you if in 6 months time Facebook would have more business contacts than LinkedIn. Over 2/3rds of you thought that LinkedIn would still be the dominant business networking tool. It hasn’t quite been six months, but a lot has changed since then, and Facebook looks poised to make a serious run at the business networking crowd.Bernard Lunn predicted on this blog in December that 2008 would be a huge year for business networking. He also said that Facebook would continue to be a major player in the consumer market, but wouldn’t make much headway among business networkers. The infrastructure for Facebook to make noise in that area, though, is starting to fall into place.From the Consumer Perspective Probably the biggest concern from a consumer perspective about using general social networks for business networking had to do with privacy. When you start adding colleagues or other business contacts, you have to be more careful about what you expose on your profile. But with the addition of new privacy controls last week, Facebook users now have more granular control over who sees what on the site.Profile information and other shared items — such as photos — can now be restricted to user-created groups of friends, to specific people, networks, or “friends-of-friends.” Users even have the option of barring specific content from specific users. Though we also noted that they are so inclusive they could potentially be overwhelming for some users, they are also a necessary step in making users feel comfortable using Facebook for professional networking.Facebook is slowly positioning itself to be a place where both casual and business networking can take place at the same time, which means that rather than maintaining two accounts — one at Facebook and one at LinkedIn or Xing — users could stay at Facebook and use the tools they grew accustomed to in college.From the Business PerspectiveThe concerns from the business side are a little more complicated for Facebook to deal with. First, there’s the issue of security. The photo lapse we reported on earlier this week may seem inconsequential for most business uses, and was apparently fixed once it was discovered, but security issues like that don’t make businesses happy about storing data on a site. Another, potentially more serious (from a business use scenario) security issue that was reported recently is a phishing technique that allows users to record some information from private Facebook groups. Though the info it is able to gather was mostly benign, it still highlights the concern that business users might have about Facebook security.It is important to note that the above concern assumes a business use case for Facebook that is slightly different than the networking going on at LinkedIn. In the above scenario, businesses would actually be utilizing the network at Facebook internally, rather than professionals merely using the site to network on their own time.However, the larger hurdle to getting businesses and professionals to adopt Facebook as a networking platform is about attention. Unlike LinkedIn or Xing or Plaxo, Facebook is not all about business. First and foremost, Facebook has been about connecting with your friends and having fun, and that will worry business users. Facebook might have potential as a great business networking platform, but it’s also a guaranteed timesink.The Infrastructure Facebook, of course, already has a huge number of business users, they’re just not using Facebook for business. The business networks on Facebook are already enormous. Microsoft’s network has 30,000 users, Google has 8,500, Well Fargo has 4,200, The US Army has 74,000, and the list goes on. Even MySpace has 407 users in its Facebook network.The trick is to get those users to start looking at Facebook as a place for work as well as a place for play, and the way to do that may be to leverage something that LinkedIn doesn’t really have: a platform full of eager developer. (Yes, LinkedIn did launch its platform last December, and it does have OpenSocial involvement, but as we’ve pointed out, so far it has been quite closed and the results have been less than stellar.)What Facebook should do, is appeal to the companies that these networks — which have grown organically as employees voluntarily joined Facebook and declared allegiance to this network or that one — to utilize Facebook for a closed corporate networking environment. Facebook should encourage platform developers to create tools aimed at enriching company networks (or create them in house if need be), and encourage companies to leverage their existing Facebook network as a corporate intranet by installing applications on it.That’s no small task, certainly, but it is plausible. It’s not the same route that LinkedIn has taken — where company networks have grown organically in much the same way that they have on Facebook. But the end result is the same: making people comfortable enough with the network to do business on it.ConclusionFacebook has a history of attacking their competitors at their strongest points. MySpace had a strong widget ecosystem, so Facebook launched their application platform which forced MySpace to scramble to do that same. MySpace has strong ties to music and film, so Facebook has recently tried to forge their own (too early to tell if it is working). LinkedIn has a strong stake in business networking, and Facebook has recently been making moves to suggest that they could be laying the groundwork to go after LinkedIn’s audience they way they’ve gone after MySpace’s.What do you think? Could Facebook ever be a place where serious business is done? Or does it pay to maintain two separate network profiles — one for work and one for play? Let us know in the comments.Update:According to Webware, Facebook quietly launched a “People You May Know” feature that is basically identical to a popular LinkedIn feature of the same name. Hmmm… Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

LPM “Magpie” Awards: Applauding Excellence, July–August 2017

first_imgThe LPM “Magpie” Awards offer a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession.The ability to influence change is a product of drive, creativity, and determination, but it also requires a unique ability to create a shared vision that others will understand, respect, support, and pursue. Each of the following recipients reflect that standard of excellence, representing the quality and spirit of leadership that makes a difference in our lives, our people, and our programs. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our latest honorees.Excellence in LeadershipGene Smith, LPC, President, Loss Prevention Foundation With almost forty years of experience, Gene Smith, LPC, has been a key leader in the industry as a loss prevention practitioner, an executive search consultant for the LP industry, and much more. In 2007, Smith became a charter member and president of the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF), the international leader in educating and certifying retail loss prevention and asset protection professionals.- Sponsor – “I consider my greatest accomplishment in loss prevention is helping to build LPF in such a manner that it is respected for its quality of content, rigor, and implementation by following high credentialing standards,” said Smith.Through his efforts, Smith has made countless contributions to the careers of retail loss prevention professionals individually and to the LP profession as a whole. In June at the 2017 NRF PROTECT conference, he was inducted into the National Retail Federation’s Loss Prevention Ring of Excellence.“To those looking to further their careers in loss prevention, I would recommend reading as much as you can about LP as well as the retail business, finding a good mentor, becoming a good mentor, and accepting the fact that it is your responsibility to educate and invest in yourself if you want to move forward in your career,” said Smith.Excellence in PartnershipsKatherine “Kat” Houston, LPQ, Director of Client Services, LPM Media Group After starting her career with the finance and audit departments at Home Depot, Houston served as the on-site program manager for Home Depot working with Verisk Crime Analytics, where she provided customer service and managed the asset protection information system (APIS) and related datashares for the company. In 2013, Houston joined LPM Media Group, where she manages client relationships involving internal communication, awareness, and training campaigns.“When building business partnerships, I believe it’s most important to find common ground or interests,” said Houston. “It makes it easy to connect with someone when you start with that as a base and can grow the conversation from there.”However, she also believes that partnerships must be built upon a commitment to the relationship. “I’ve always looked for opportunities to network and build relationships with others. I’m a huge believer in the power of networking. Whether it’s taking on extra projects for a department or volunteering for a day on a Habitat for Humanity build, it’s good to get to know people both professionally and informally. Networking isn’t always about what you can get from the network. It’s even more powerful when you can use it to help others.”Excellence in LeadershipNadine Lajeune, Format Leader, Retail Asset and Profit Protection, Sears Holdings Following international travel as an environmental consultant and then a corporate safety manager with Case Corporation, Lajeune was recruited to Sears as corporate safety and hazmat manager in 2003. As her retail career continued to flourish, she was named director of safety for Kmart in 2005, later expanding that role with Sears Holdings as director of corporate safety operations and then senior director of safety, food safety, and hazmat. Lajeune then joined the asset and profit protection team in 2014, has also picked up responsibilities over crisis management, and currently serves as format leader for retail asset and profit protection.With the diversity of her own background illustrating her message, Lajeune feels that leadership requires flexibility, vision, and the ability to bring out the best in the team as key contributors to her success.“We must be able to build on the potential of the team, but we also have to earn their trust,” said Lajeune. “We have to demonstrate both a willingness and ability to learn and grow ourselves while looking to bring it out in others. In order to rally behind your vision, the relationship with the team has to be genuine. Only then will they be willing to do what’s necessary for you, for themselves, and for the entire organization.”Nominations Are EncouragedWe want this to be your program. Those of you working as LP practitioners witness these exceptional performances on a regular and ongoing basis, and we strongly encourage you to provide us with nominees for each of the award categories. We encourage creative nominations and want the program to cast a positive light on the many tremendous contributions of the loss prevention community. Nominations can be submitted via email to excellence (at) LPportal (dot) com. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Sponsor Post: Social, Mobile and the Tip of the API Iceberg

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Editor’s note: We offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write posts and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.Back in 2008, the first generation of mobile apps were static and ran in isolation on devices. While many applications were useful and interesting, they had limited interaction with live Internet data. Likewise, early social sites were self-contained and acted as single destination sites on the Web to which users had to navigate directly.Adding backend interactions, however, changed both mobile and social experiences radically – both in the richness of the user experience and their reach.Today, almost all mobile applications call out to backend systems of some kind in order to push/pull data, offload computation or access third-party services. Applications ranging from Mobile Games to Productivity Apps continuously synchronize and pull data from the network in real time.Likewise, APIs have enabled social websites to rapidly expand reach – first by making it possible to embed social experiences into other sites, second by enabling large ecosystems of applications to enrich user experiences, and third by enabling new types of services which aggregate social data, analyze it and serve it back for reuse. Facebook’s like button and the Facebook Connect service extend Facebook’s reach widely across the Web. Likewise, Twitter’s application ecosystem is one of the major drivers of its success. In the third category, services such as Klout, PeekYou, PeopleBrowsr and others both depend on APIs provided by Facebook, Twitter and others as well as provide data services that can be reintegrated.These shifts are turning APIs into the foundation of the fastest-moving parts of the Web. However, while these APIs are the most visible to date, the phenomenon is not isolated to the top social and mobile sites or applications. APIs are beginning to emerge across many sectors and arguably becoming critical to a wide range of Web applications.Creating and managing APIs has become significantly easier with infrastructure players such as 3scale, Apigee and Mashery in the market, mobile backend services such as Stackmob, Appcelerator via Cocoafish, Parse, Cloudmine and others providing specialist mobile APIs, as well as open source code frameworks making it increasingly easy to develop and open APIs.Part of the visible “iceberg” is ProgrammableWeb’s directory of APIs which recently reached 6,000 listed APIs, adding over 1,000 APIs in just the last three months. In addition, it is generally thought that there are likely four-to-five times as many APIs available on the Web, with many companies operating private/semiprivate customer or partner ecosystems.At first blush it also appears that Web technology startups are the driving force behind API adoption, but adoption turns out to be far broader than this:In a recent analysis of the latest 1,000 APIs added to the ProgrammableWeb Directory, less than 17% of the companies launching APIs were Web technology startups (defined as less than four years old with a primarily digital service).Of the nonstartup APIs, small- and mid-sized companies still dominated, and the biggest areas were data services (21%), infrastructure (23%) and a wide range of SAAS apps respectively (24%) – the remainder of the APIs were split evenly between media, e-commerce, scientific and government APIs.In terms of mobile APIs, only 11% were designed to enable mobile experiences exclusively, but over 60% aim for both mobile and nonmobile applicability. This suggests that much more general types of data services will begin to flow both around the Web and into mobile experiences.In terms of social APIs, only around 40 of the APIs in the sample of 1,000 were tagged as having social features as their primary purpose. Here also, however, numerous other APIs in areas such as recommendation, travel and video had social themes as secondary or additional themes.Business models around APIs are also maturing, with a wide variety being applied to different sectors, as John Musser’s presentation at Gluecon recently illustrates: Diversity in business models is increasing and there is clear business value in many of the APIs being launched.The business models adopted by the 1,000 APIs in the study also applied increasingly well-defined business models: 26% providing API access as a clearly valuable extension to an existing Web-based product, 24% directly charging for API access, and 20% adding APIs as reseller and partner channels (the remaining APIs were evenly split between government, scientific and nonprofit APIs). This is a significant shift from just two years ago when the majority of APIs were still primarily free loss leaders or unsupported test services.Given these trends, it seems likely that we will continue to see the emergence of more APIs in diverse sectors and also a healthy feedback loop of new experiences and features into social mobile applications – as well as to other parts of the Web economy.Whether ProgrammableWeb’s prediction of one API per company will come true and how quickly remains to be seen, but APIs should likely be near the top of people’s technical strategy lists in the next two-to-three years.Author: Steven Willmott, CEO, 3scale3scale (Twitter: @3scale) is an API infrastructure provider that powers over 100 APIs – supporting APIs with out-of-the-box access control, rate limiting, analytics, developer community and monetization services. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Sponsors#web rww sponsor 1center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Meet Sony’s Cool New Robotic Personal Assistant

first_imgFollow the Puck Tags:#Amazon Echo#personal assistant#robotics#Sony Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Ryan Matthew Pierson When someone talks about a robotic personal assistant, the first thought that might come to mind is Sico, the gigantic rolling robot butler featured in Rocky IV. While Sony certainly has a novel concept on the idea with Xperia Agent, this personal assistant won’t be hand-delivering you a birthday cake anytime soon. Source: SonyOnce finalized, Sony hopes it will enable users to find information about things like traffic and weather, post to their social media accounts, control their home automation devices – all without ever having to look at a screen or pick up your phone. What Is It? At its core, the Xperia Agent is a voice-activated personal assistant. It listens for voice commands, provides quick answers to simple questions, and looks up information on command. Like the Amazon Echo, the Xperia Agent is a small, cylindrical device that sits on a flat surface.  Unlike the Echo, it features an automated camera mounted at its top that rotates, enabling it to see and identify people in the room. It also comes equipped with a projector that offers some visual feedback at its base. Sony hopes the Xperia Agent will enable users to free themselves from their mobile devices and carry on a more casual, natural interaction with technology in their homes. Instead of picking up your mobile phone to check the weather, you can simply ask the Xperia Agent and it will tell you what you need to know. In the future, the Xperia Agent may also connect to your home automation devices, making it a useful control point for the growing Internet of Things, and enabling users to provide a voice or even a gesture command to do things like turn off the lights or set their thermostat. Who Is This Product For? One thing is for certain, this is a clear indication that hardware developers such as Sony are taking a stab at the stationary personal assistant idea popularized by the Amazon Echo. As the product enables users to do things like post to and check their social media accounts, read and display text messages, and do things like switch lights on when someone walks into a room, the Xperia Agent would provide a useful and life-improving tool for the disabled and elderly. Potential users with limited mobility, dexterity or vision will now be able to input and receive information through voice commands or gestures from virtually anywhere in a given space, making a big difference in their lives. In addition, having a tool available that children and adults can use to look up information and ask questions with factual answers is a plus. While many currently use Siri, Cortana, or Google Now on their smartphones for this purpose, having a device listening and ready to provide an answer without your device in hand is can be useful. What We Don’t Know At this point in development, very little is finalized regarding how the Xperia Agent will connect to the Internet, or what its price point will be if and when it comes to market. Sony hasn’t even decided whether the Xperia Agent would require a connection to an Xperia smartphone or tablet to operate and we don’t yet know if this concept design is anything close to the one that will ship.   All that said, what we do know is that Sony is putting its research and development dollars into a product genre that could very well change the way we communicate with the world from our living rooms. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Sony showed off its Xperia Agent concept during Mobile World Congress this week. This robotic personal assistant sits about one foot tall, with a multitude of sensors and features that Sony hopes will raise the bar set by the popular Amazon Echo over the past year. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more