Blog

Discover many ways to virtually visit Santa this year

While your kids may be unable to sit on Santa’s lap this year, there are many ways to virtually visit him this holiday season.

You can schedule a cameo or personalized message that will be sent to your child. You can schedule a live video call with Santa via JingleRing. It allows you to have up to four other people join the call.

If you’re looking to add a little more pizazz to your virtual Santa call, Santa The Experience has you covered … “In addition to a five-minute video chat with Santa, an elf named Pickles will take you on a virtual tour of the North Pole where you’ll see Santa’s home, reindeer, mail room, and toy factory. You’ll even get to say hi to Mrs. Claus … The entire virtual event will last around 12 minutes, and it’s sure to be a stand-out experience.”

Peruse all 11 options to connect with Santa this year at Mashable.

Mobile apps give the blind and visually impaired a new sense of freedom

“Over the last decade, mobile apps have evolved from silly fart programs and mindless games to services that make a massive difference in people’s lives. Accessibility jumped to the forefront roughly two and a half years ago, when giants such as Microsoft and Apple made it a priority. These apps don’t just offer superficial user interface improvements but incorporate sophisticated tech such as AI and voice recognition to provide tangible benefits like having your mail read to you.”

Read the entire article at CNET and check out the 25 best apps for the visually impaired (2020 Edition) at www.everydaysight.com.

More people with bachelor’s degrees go back to school to learn skilled trades

‘A lot of other people also have invested time and money getting four-year degrees only to return for career and technical education in fields ranging from firefighting to automation to nursing, in which jobs are relatively plentiful and salaries and benefits comparatively good, but which require faster and far less costly certificates and associate degrees.”

“When they do start on the route to bachelor’s degrees, a third of students change their majors at least once and more than half take longer than four years to graduate, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Some of the rest drop out. Even among those who manage to finish, more than 40 percent of recent graduates aged 22 to 27 are underemployed, meaning that they’re working in jobs that don’t require their degree, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports.”

Read more about it at The Hechinger Report.

Look ma, no headphones!

A new futuristic audio technology from @novetosystems puts music in your head — no headphones required. This “sound beaming” technology sound follows you around without others hearing it.

“The lack of headphones means it’s possible to hear other sounds in the room clearly … The technology uses a 3-D sensing module and locates and tracks the ear position sending audio via ultrasonic waves to create sound pockets by the user’s ears. Sound can be heard in stereo or a spatial 3-D mode that creates 360 degree sound around the listener.”

Read more about it at AP News.

Extracurriculars can play a vital role during the pandemic

Edutopia shares how some schools are dedicating time to extracurricular activities during the pandemic so that middle and high school students can experience a sense of normalcy and social connection.

“But now that educators have a semester of emergency remote teaching under their belts—and many are returning in person in some form—schools are increasingly trying to improve opportunities for students to engage in school life amid the new circumstances.

From baking clubs to school newspapers, educators are reimagining how to run extracurriculars in virtual settings or have them comply with Covid-19 protocols in person. For students—and educators—these activities have provided a sense of connection and normalcy during a time when many feel isolated and stressed.”

Read more about it at Edutopia.

Zoom lifts its 40-minute limit on free meetings for Thanksgiving! But Zoom is one of the many apps that you can use to make video calls. Find out which video calling app will you help you connect with your family over the holidays. Read more about it at The Verge.

Veterans Community Project refuses to let any Veteran fall through the cracks

In honor of Veterans Day, we’d like to salute Veterans Community Project for their part in providing housing and offering walk-in support services to everyone who took the oath to serve America. Based in Kansas City, MO, Veterans Community Project provides a Veterans Outreach Center along with a VCP Village, “a specialized community of tiny homes combined with wrap-around, onsite services to get homeless Veterans off the street and transition them to permanent housing.”

Americans pay $32,400 for Internet over a lifetime

According to PC Magazine, “Paying for an internet connection can get expensive. You likely have a limited number of options to choose from based on where you live, and the available companies probably package services together and incorporate all kinds of hidden fees. It can pay to have the fastest internet available, but what are you paying over the course of, say, your entire life?

According to Reviews.org, the average global lifetime cost for internet is $18,584.96—but that’s nowhere close to what US residents pay to connect. You can expect to pay about $32,400 for internet over your lifetime, which is $6,266.16 more than the next-most-expensive country, Japan.”