Opinion

HoloLens Hands-on: Microsoft Leapfrogs Apple in Innovation

Although the holographic headset I played with wasn’t nearly as sleek as what was shown on stage at Microsoft's press event (we test drove a clunky dev kit), HoloLens could transform everything from education and entertainment to home improvement and medicine. And I’m sure I’m missing some possibilities here. Here’s a recap of my time with HoloLens, and my take on where it could go.

Coding the Future: Training Tomorrow's Programmers Today

Programming isn't key because it teaches modern skills, it's important because it teaches computational thinking, a mindset that helps enhance critical thinking and prepare the children of today for learning and iterating their skills in the future. Programming isn't just for K-12 school children, however. The need for programmers across the world has never been so acute. In the United States alone, it's estimated that more than 1 million programming jobs will go unfilled by the year 2021.

Boost R&D by easing repatriation rules

A compromise that lets companies repatriate funds at a low tax rate, provided they spent at least half of these funds on research and development, would accomplish the mutual goals of freeing up foreign earnings and boosting research, while not contributing to the federal debt-to-GDP ratio.

How do I help my child make the best use of technology?

The first step is to find out why they are using technology and what skills are being reinforced or practiced. Technology should be used to help students, not as something they should rely on too heavily. Chances are teachers are having students use technology to aid learning and growth. By becoming better informed about their children's curricula and how technology plays a part, parents will understand how to help achieve those objectives.

Net neutrality: what it is and how it affects us all

Net neutrality is a polarizing topic for many. With the amount of recent public debate over the concept and current FCC proposed regulations around it, many small businesses and IT decision-makers are confused by what this means for them.

Necessity's Child

The idea that invention is necessity’s child implicitly suggests that only the spur of extreme adverse consequences breeds creativity. And yet our thinking about innovation incentive policy focuses on bestowing non-necessitous benefits.  No one ever says reward is the parent of invention, but innovation policy is almost exclusively a debate about what kind of legal “carrot” would best promote invention.

Innovation Has No Value Without Entrepreneurship

It's absolutely critical that leaders understand this: An innovation has no value until an ambitious entrepreneur builds a business model around it and turns it into a product or service that customers will buy. If you can't turn an innovative idea into something that creates a customer, it's worthless.

Fareed Zakaria: American innovation is in trouble

U.S. companies are also getting older. Litan notes that “the proportion of U.S. companies considered mature, meaning at least 16 years old, rose from 23 percent of all firms in 1992 to 34 percent in 2011.” The problem with this trend is that, historically, older firms are more risk-averse, rigid and incrementally innovative than young ones.

3 Tech Trend Predictions for 2015

Seeing over 800+ startup ideas over the course of the year as we do at Nest, we are very aware of the most prominent and immediate problems that entrepreneurs are trying to solve. Through them, we are able to see the future! We are also able to tell which problems investment can solve. With this in mind, here are the areas in which I believe there will be massive change in 2015:

The Best College Majors for Business Success: STEM

STEM advocates argue that the rigor of a STEM education better prepares students for the skills that are most in demand in a modern economy. Still, sometimes students resist this, thinking that with a STEM education they will be "locked into" a job in a laboratory, without the opportunity to advance into broader endeavors.

Fixing What Ails The U.S. Patent System: A Modest Proposal

It’s time to overhaul the broken, ineffective U.S. patent system so that it actually promotes innovation and doesn’t inhibit it. Under current law, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues patents with overly broad claims, that last too long, and require too much effort to understand.

Putting Scientists on Pedestals May Discourage Students From STEM Fields

(bigthink.com) - Perhaps educators need to strike a balance, telling the struggles with the successes of collaborative study. Teachers can still engage their students with exiting personalities from science, just make sure they're real, and not over-inflated.

Firms must build cultures to stimulate innovation

(InvestmentNews) - “Innovation requires tremendous bursts of creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and endeavors that carry out inspired ideas,” said George Kinder, who many call the father of holistic planning. Creating a culture that fosters innovation requires impassioned people who are willing and able to stand up to criticism — usually harsh criticism.

Why science education matters

(lohud.com) - A Mercy College professor explains the importance of science education in the early grades, and offers ideas for engaging students.

For the US connected classroom, a leap forward

(C|Net) - Broadband will be the key platform that will allow the widespread use of amazing innovation around educational content that many talented teachers and entrepreneurs are already developing and using. Some of these technologies enable distance learning, giving students in rural communities access to specialized or advanced classes not available in their hometowns. Others use cutting-edge software and data analytics to personalize learning while multiplying teachers' impact.

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