Talk show host Lilly Singh on Tuesday blasted vaccine tourism and other means rich people use to get inoculated. But the “A Little Late” comedian saved some needling for a celebrity who wielded her wealth to game the college admissions system. (Watch the video below.)
Singh imagined how actress Lori Loughlin ― who served a two-month sentence after she and husband Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 to have their two daughters fraudulently admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits ― might exploit the vaccine restrictions.
“People with money are always trying to make the system work in their favor,” Singh said. “In fact, I’m not gonna lie, as soon as I heard this news, I was like, ‘All right, Lori Loughlin, come on out.’ Because you already know she was in prison just photoshopping her daughters to look like they’re nurses in between their team crew practice.”
The “Full House” star and Giannulli, who is still doing time, staged rowing photos for their daughters to appear more legitimate as crew prospects when they had never competed in the sport.
Four more suspected coronavirus symptoms were discovered in a recent study.
The new symptoms come on top of the official three that experts say people should be aware of.
Included in the study is one never-before highlighted sign you could have the virus, The Mirror reports.
As things stand, the three main symptoms of Covid-19 are a new and continuous cough, fever, and loss of a sense of taste and smell.
Anyone with one of these three warning signs is urged to book a test and self-isolate immediately.
However, despite the findings of the new study, the free NHS test is not available to anyone experiencing any other symptom associated with the virus.
The emergence of new variants in the UK – including the Kent strain, the South African variant, and the Bristol variation of the original coronavirus – has led experts to closely monitor changes in how the virus attacks and spreads.
Researchers from two different studies say there could now be 16 symptoms in total, including the official three and some suspected ones too.
Experts say these are the lesser-known symptoms of coronavirus we should all be aware of – suggesting you may need to isolate even if you don’t have one of of the official three.
Scientists believe one reason the virus has spread so rapidly around the UK and the rest of the world – killing more than 2million people – is because one in three people are estimated to be asymptomatic.
But other symptoms connected to the deadly bug are similar to other seasonal illnesses, which could lead people to mistake Covid-19 infection for something less sinister.
A new study this week identified four key symptoms commonly reported by people with coronavirus.
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One of the four – the chills – is a new finding and had not previously been identified in ongoing symptom tracking research in the UK.
The new study involving more than one million people in England revealed the chills, a loss of appetite, and muscle ache were all linked with contracting Covid-19.
The study found that the more symptoms people showed, the more likely they were to test positive for the virus.
However around 60% of those with Covid-19 did not report any signs they had caught the bug in the week leading up to taking a test.
The researchers estimated that if everyone who had the three official symptoms were tested, it would only pick up around half of all symptomatic infections.
But they claimed if the additional four symptoms they had identified were included, an estimated three-quarters of symptomatic infections could be picked up.
The study also found age differences in the likelihood of certain symptoms – which you can read more about in our full explainer below.
All but the chills had previously been highlighted in an earlier Zoe Covid Symptom Study.
The Zoe researchers found the most commonly reported six outside of the three official symptoms are: headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pains, diarrhoea, skin rash, and confusion and delirium in elderly people.
Researchers in the leading UK study, working with epidemiologists at King’s College London, are also keeping a close eye on ‘Covid tongue’.
The study tracks the symptoms of more than 4million people globally, and the UK app users’ entries have been used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to predict case numbers across the UK.
The researchers have been warning people with Covid still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official Public Health England (PHE) list – such as skin rashes.
They have also recently provided a list of early warning signs, and published a study in the British Medical Journal about the six most common clusters of Covid symptoms, which you can also read more about below.
Three official NHS symptoms
1. New, continuous cough
The NHS says ‘continuous’ means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.
The persistent cough symptom is more often reported by adults aged between 18-65 than by the elderly or children, the Zoe Covid app study of a sample of 4,182 individuals with positive test results found.
According to the Imperial study, children were less likely to report the cough or fever compared with adults.
2. High fever
This early warning sign is usually one of the first key symptoms to appear – and disappears fastest, researchers say.
The NHS says a fever means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back. The health service advises you do not need to measure your temperature.
However in both children and adults, a temperature 38C is considered to be a fever.
To determine whether a child has a fever, you should check whether they feel hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, and whether they feel sweaty, or look or feel unwell.
According to the Zoe Covid app researchers,40% of all age groups reported having a fever in the first seven days, and this is why this symptom – along with the loss of smell and persistent cough – is still among the key ones to be aware of.
3. Loss of senses of taste and smell
This is also known as ‘anosmia.’ Many people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have noted this classic symptom lasting for weeks or months even after a very mild infection.
The NHS says you should get a test if you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Some ‘Long Covid’ sufferers have described a ‘rotting’ smell.
Loss of taste or sense of smell symptoms can be experienced in other conditions such as a cold or sinus infection.
However experts say a sudden loss of both senses is rare even with a blocked nose or sinuses.
The striking Covid symptom has been known to occur without any blocked nose at all, and is a key sign you should get a test.
The symptoms of loss of taste and smell are more often reported by adults aged between 18-65 than by the elderly or children, the Zoe Covid app study found.
This age group tends to report more loss of smell (55%) than the elderly or kids (65-plus 26% and under-18s 21%).
They say it is important to point out that same age groups may be more capable of noticing and reporting loss of smell or taste, so it can be important to test for these changes.
Symptoms officially recognised in the US
Headache and fatigue have been described as the ‘dark horse’ of Covid symptoms.
According to the latest study from the Imperial React programme, headaches were most often reported in children aged five to 17 with Covid.
And Zoe Covid app researchers say headaches were among the most common symptoms reported before a positive test.
But only 3% experienced headaches and fatigue alone.
Only 1% of the app users who said they had experienced headache or fatigue went on to test positive for the virus.
But the researchers did find that across all age groups that did go on to test positive, headache (82%) was the most commonly reported early symptom.
Only 9% of Covid-positive adults aged 18 – 65 didn’t experience headache or fatigue.
5. Fatigue and severe fatigue
After headaches, fatigue was the second most commonly reported symptom, with 72% of Covid-positive people experiencing it.
A key concern about these symptoms is that tiredness – like headaches- is a relatively common and benign everyday condition for many people.
Covid sufferers have described fatigue that leaves even young, fit and healthy people bed-ridden.
Both headaches and fatigue can be triggered by a variety of causes – from a lack of sleep, to stress, or other commonplace illnesses like a cold.
A variety of viruses are known to trigger debilitating post-viral fatigue, the NHS says.
That’s why those symptoms alone may not trigger people to get a test without other hallmark signs present, the Zoe researchers said.
Chronic fatigue has also been listed as a key ongoing problem for ‘Long Covid’ sufferers, research has found.
6. Sore throat
A sore throat is more often reported by adults aged between 18-65 than by the elderly or children, the Zoe Covid study found.
However this symptom is another tricky one to assess – as it is common in many illnesses and allergies – especially in winter when colds and flus are circulating, and kids are being struck down with throat infections.
The study noted the symptom in more than half (52.6%) of people who tested positive.
Interestingly, it most often set in later in their symptoms experience.
More than 91% had noticed a sore throat by the end of the first week of their symptoms, compared to three-quarters in the first three days.
7. Unusual muscle aches
According to the Imperial React programme study, muscle aches were mostly reported in people aged between 18 and 54.
United States officials updated the country’s guidelines late last year to include body pains.
The CDC added muscle or body aches to its list of official symptoms known to appear two to 14 days after exposure.
New York University researchers found a link between sore muscles and serious Covid-19 cases during an analysis of 53 patients in Wenzhou, China.
Zoe Covid study researchers found ‘unusual’ muscle aches – as in not caused by any particular activity like exercise – were experienced by nearly half of Covid-positive participants.
The NHS notes many people may actually experience joint and muscle aches after Covid because unwell people are often unable to move around and exercise easily.
People have told the health service the most common problems after being unwell include shoulder and back problems, and odd or altered feelings such as numbness, and pins and needles or weakness in the arms or legs.
The NHS says most of these problems come after hospitalisation, and should improve quickly.
A study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, analysed data 204 patients with Covid-19 in China’s Hubei province and found nearly 50 per cent had diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
The Zoe Covid Study researchers found 32% of participants reported experiencing diarrhoea, with more than three-quarters of those noting within the first week of symptoms.
Dr Diana Gall explained to the Express : “Digestion problems and changes in bowel habits – particularly looser stools and making more frequent trips to the toilet – are sometimes the first signs that you’re coming down with something, not just with this coronavirus.
“However, diarrhoea has been reported as an early symptom in patients who have later tested positive for Covid-19.”
9. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is most common among adults aged between 18-65, the Zoe Covid app researchers found.
A total 39% reported the symptom, compared to 34% of over 65s, and 23% of under-18s.
Andy Hardwick, 51, from Essex, last year described the sensation: “You don’t want to talk. You get shortness of breath if you move around. You don’t want to lift your head off the pillow.”
“It does come in waves. You will feel a slight relief sometimes and then it will go.”
The Zoe Covid app study differentiates between shortness of breath and severe shortness of breath, as some sufferers go to hospital struggling to breathe at all.
Oxygen or ventilation support in ICU is required for the most severe Covid cases.
Reported but not official symptoms
According to the Imperial College React programme study, chills were linked with testing positive across all age groups.
Health experts say chills often accompany a fever.
But the study said any of the four symptoms it highlighted – including chills, ither alone or in combination with other signs, were associated with infection with Covid-19.
The findings were based on swab tests and questionnaires collected between June 2020 and January 2021 as part of the Imperial College London-led React study.
The more symptoms people showed the more likely they were to test positive but around 60% of those with the virus did not report any signs in the week leading up to taking a test, the research warned.
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The study has not been peer-reviewed yet, but Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React programme at Imperial, said: “These new findings suggest many people with Covid-19 won’t be getting tested – and therefore won’t be self-isolating – because their symptoms don’t match those used in current public health guidance to help identify infected people.
“We understand that there is a need for clear testing criteria, and that including lots of symptoms which are commonly found in other illnesses like seasonal flu could risk people self-isolating unnecessarily.
“I hope that our findings on the most informative symptoms mean that the testing programme can take advantage of the most up-to-date evidence, helping to identify more infected people.”
11. Skin rash and ‘Covid fingers and toes’
A nurse in West Suffolk told recently how her 17-month-old toddler with Covid developed red spots all over his face and body.
Researchers have linked a variety of rashes with coronavirus – including ‘Covid fingers and toes.’
These types were noted by the Zoe Covid app and King’s College researchers among 8.8% of people in their study who tested positive for Covid-19.
They decided to investigate further with a survey of 12,000 people with skin rashes and suspected or confirmed Covid.
The team particularly sought images from people of colour who have traditionally been under-represented in dermatological research, finding 17% of respondents testing positive for coronavirus reported a rash as the first symptom of the disease.
One in five people who reported a rash and were confirmed as being infected with coronavirus said the rash was their only symptom.
Here are the rash types the researchers have warned to keep an eye out for:
Hive-type rash (urticaria): Sudden appearance of raised bumps on the skin which come and go quite quickly over hours and are usually very itchy. It can involve any part of the body, and often starts with intense itching of the palms or soles, and can cause swelling of the lips and eyelids. These rashes can present quite early on in the infection, but can also last a long time afterwards.
‘Prickly heat’ or chickenpox-type rash (erythemato-papular or erythemato-vesicular rash): Areas of small, itchy red bumps that can occur anywhere on the body, but particularly the elbows and knees as well as the back of the hands and feet. The rash can persist for days or weeks.
Covid fingers and toes (chilblains): Reddish and purplish bumps on the fingers or toes, which may be sore but not usually itchy. This type of rash is most specific to COVID-19, is more common in younger people with the disease, and tends to present later on.
Prof Spector also warned recently he was seeing more rashes associated with Covid cases.
The King’s College epidemiologist warned of the symptom, which is not on the PHE list.
A rash on skin and discolouration of fingers or toes are all listed as less common symptoms of the virus by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A rash is also associated with Kawasaki Disease , which mainly affects children.
Children rarely fall severely ill with Covid.
But they are believed to be key asymptomatic spreaders – a facgtor which eventually prompted the closure of schools once again in England’s third lockdown.
Scientists are still investigating the suspected link between Covid and this extremely rare inflammatory illness.
It has killed a small number of children around the world during the pandemic, including in the UK.
Children with Kawasaki present with body rashes, along with other symptoms
The NHS advises parents to watch out for:
swollen glands in the neck
dry, cracked lips
red fingers or toes
12. Loss of appetite
A loss of appetite or skipping meals are key symptoms to watch out for, experts say.
According to the Imperial React programme study, a loss of appetite was reported more in 18-54 year olds and those aged 55 and over than other age groups with coronavirus.
Children were also less likely to report appetite loss compared with adults.
The Zoe Covid app study found nearly half (41%) of people who tested positive reported they had stopped feeling hungry, or were disinterested in eating.
Racing blogger Stephen Power, who believes he contracted the disease while at Cheltenham Festival last year, described the feeling.
The Londoner said: “I’ve been in bed with a nasty fever, headache, mild cough & back pain for nearly four days now, I’m completely exhausted and have no urge to move or eat.”
13. Confusion or delirium
This is a really important symptom to watch out for in vulnerable elderly people, the Zoe Covid Symptom Study researchers say.
Those over 65 reported being confused, disorientated and having severe shortness of breath more often than all other other groups.
Overall these symptoms are less common in those aged 18-65.
The prevalence of this symptom among the elderly and frail has led the PHE to add it to its list.
The discovery of delirium as a probable symptom first emerged from a study of Covid-19 patient admissions to St Thomas’ Hospital, London.
The study found many of the patients presenting with confusion or delirium had no difference in fever or cough.
However the elderly patients did tend to present with fatigue and shortness of breath.
Delirium also usually affects patients who require ventilator support, and is caused by a build-up of carbon dioxide in the body.
What exactly is delirium? The NHS says it is as defined as:
According to online UK health directory Patient Info author Dr Mary Lowth, patients with moderate COVID-19 are more breathless and tend to have an increased heart rate, particularly if they are moving around.
Patients with severe disease are very breathless and may be unable to breathe at a comfortable rate when they move even slightly.
Breathing may be faster than usual, and they may struggle to finish sentences because their oxygen levels have fallen so low.
14. Chest pains
The NHS 111 advice service describes chest pains as like a ‘tight band or heavy weight in or around the chest.’
Experts say this symptom can accompany a feeling or a shortness of breath in Covid cases.
Seven in twenty 18 to 65-year-olds reported chest pain, the Zoe Covid app researchers found.
At presents, NHS 111 advises people calling about chest pain to get a Covid test only if they are also experiencing a fever or cough.
15. Hoarse voice
One-third of Covid-positive people in the Zoe Covid Symptoms study noted a hoarse voice.
Nearly nine in ten reported the symptom by the end of the first week, suggesting it develops after a few days.
Experts say other symptoms of viral illness, like a sore throat and coughing can cause hoarseness.
It can also be affected by a change to your ability to breathe or swallow.
16. Abdominal pain
As noted above, nearly 50 per cent in a study in China’s Hubei province experienced gastro symptoms -including abdominal pain.
According to the Zoe Covid app researchers, around a quarter of participants experienced this symptom, with around three quarters noting it within the first week.
Other suspected symptoms
An expert has just recently warned the public to watch out for so-called ‘Covid tongue.’
Symptom study trackers are keeping an eye on the number of people reporting what could be a new symptom.
Professor Tim Spector posted a picture of a Covid-19 sufferer’s red tongue on Twitter as an example.
The epidemiologist at King’s College London said in recent weeks he was seeing increasing numbers of ‘Covid tongue’ and ‘strange mouth ulcers’.
These can be a difficult symptoms to ascertain.
The Zoe Covid Symptoms study is presently monitoring the condition treating it as a suspected symptom, as it is anecdotal at this stage.
Certain diseases that affect the immune system can affect the tongue, causing changes including pain, discolouration, swelling or a strange texture.
Other problems can stem from underlying health conditions, smoking, and unhealthy diet or poor mouth hygiene.
Mouth ulcers are also very common and can be caused by a range of things, including consuming too-hot food or drink, vitamin deficiencies, or stress.
They can also be provoked by some medicines, or hormonal changes.
A buzzing sensation
Some Covid-positive people have described a a ‘buzzing’ or ‘fizzing’ sensation that runs through the body.
While it has not been listed as an official symptom, experts have speculated that the sensation which can also present with other viruses could be the sign your body is fighting off an infection.
Dr Daniel Griffin, chief of infectious disease at ProHealth Care Associates in the US, has suggested the feeling may be part of an auto-immune response to a patients’ nervous system.
“Clearly it’s been identified, but we’re just not sure yet how widespread it is,” he told the New York Post.
He said the ‘zombie-like’ feeling was also often experienced by people after they leave ICU or come off ventilators.
Dr Vipul Shah, Clinical Director at telehealth service Pack Health, said such a sensation is also linked to fevers.
“If people aren’t used to having fevers, maybe their skin really does feel like an electric sensation,” he said.
Any other less common symptoms to watch out for?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has compiled a list of less common symptoms.
Most are already described in detail in the list above, and one is an official symptom in the UK.
The WHO warns people to watch out for the following ‘less common’ symptoms noted worldwide, including: Aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin and discolouration of fingers or toes.
The six Covid symptom clusters
Zoe Covid Symptom Study app researchers and King’s College London epidemiologists identified six common clusters of symptoms which could help people feeling unsure.
The researchers were able to identify the clusters most commonly linked with mild and severe cases of the illness.
The study found that cluster 4, 5, or 6 symptoms tended to be older and frailer and were more likely to be overweight.
The sufferers who experienced those symptom clusters tended to have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or lung disease than those with type 1, 2, or 3 symptoms.
Nearly half of the patients in the most severe cluster required hospital support.
The study was published in the respected British Medical Journal, and highlighted how most patients who went on to need respiratory support had experienced symptoms about 13 days before they ended up in hospital.
Here are the clusters they identified:
1. ‘Flu-like’ with no fever
Headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, cough, sore throat, chest pain, no fever.
2. ‘Flu-like’ with fever
Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever, loss of appetite.
Headache, loss of smell, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, sore throat, chest pain, no cough.
4. Severe level one, fatigue
Headache, loss of smell, cough, fever, hoarseness, chest pain, fatigue.
(Reuters) – The former co-chairman of a major New York law firm has been suspended from practicing law for two years after pleading guilty and spending time in prison over his role in the U.S. college admissions scandal.
Gordon Caplan, who had been co-chairman at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, avoided disbarment despite his efforts to avoid “getting caught,” according to a Thursday decision by a New York appellate court imposing the suspension.
The suspension is retroactive to November 2019, when Caplan was initially suspended after pleading guilty. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Caplan is among 57 people charged by federal prosecutors in Boston over a scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with California consultant William “Rick” Singer to fraudulently secure their children’s admission to colleges.
Singer has admitted to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to falsely portray college applicants as athletic recruits.
Thirty parents have pleaded guilty, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
Caplan, 54, pleaded guilty in 2019 to paying $75,000 to rig his daughter’s ACT exam, by having an associate of Singer’s pose as a proctor and correct the daughter’s wrong answers. He served one month in prison.
Though New York automatically disbars lawyers convicted of state felonies or “essentially similar” crimes, Caplan was allowed to argue his federal crime did not meet that standard.
The five-judge appeals panel said was it clear Caplan’s focus had been “not on the immorality and illegality of his actions but on not getting caught, and he continued with the scheme despite numerous opportunities to walk away.”
But the court said Caplan has since displayed “palpable” shame, including through testimony that his time in prison was “horrific” and his crimes were due to “hubris.”
“I destroyed my life,” he said.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot
BOSTON (Reuters) – A former senior executive at private equity firm TPG Capital pleaded guilty on Wednesday to participating in a vast U.S. college admissions fraud scheme by paying $50,000 to rig his son’s college entrance exam results.
Bill McGlashan, 57, appeared virtually before a federal judge in Boston to plead guilty to a wire fraud charge under a deal with prosecutors that calls for him to serve three months in prison and pay a $250,000 fine.
But his plea is conditional. Under a deal with prosecutors, McGlashan, the former managing partner of TPG Growth and co-founder of The Rise Fund, could withdraw his plea if he succeeds in appealing a judge’s decision to not throw out that charge.
Prosecutors also agreed to drop charges that he conspired to pay $250,000 to bribe a University of Southern California official and have his son admitted to the school as a fake football recruit.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton scheduled his sentencing for May 12.
McGlashan is one of 57 people charged in the college admissions scandal, in which prosecutors said parents conspired with California college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer to secure their children’s college admissions fraudulently.
Singer pleaded guilty in March 2019 to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of students to colleges as fake athletic recruits.
Thirty parents have pleaded guilty, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence, and “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, who was sentenced to two months in prison.
Prosecutors said that McGlashan paid Singer $50,000 to bribe a corrupt test administrator in West Hollywood to allow an associate to proctor his son’s ACT exam and secretly correct his answers.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O’Connell said McGlashan and Singer also discussed making similar cheating accommodations for his two younger children.
Reporting by Nate Raymond, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien
(Reuters) – A former senior executive at private equity firm TPG Capital has agreed to plead guilty to paying $50,000 to rig his son’s college entrance exam results and participating in a vast U.S. college admissions fraud scheme.
Bill McGlashan, the former managing partner of TPG Growth and co-founder of The Rise Fund, agreed to a three-month prison sentence and $250,000 fine in exchange for admitting to a wire fraud charge, federal prosecutors in Boston said on Friday.
A plea hearing has yet to be scheduled.
McGlashan is one of 57 people charged in the U.S. college admissions scandal, in which prosecutors said parents conspired with California college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer to secure their children’s college admissions fraudulently.
The parents include “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence, and “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, who was sentenced to two months in prison.
Singer pleaded guilty in March 2019 to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of students to colleges as fake athletic recruits.
Prosecutors said that McGlashan, 57, had agreed to plead guilty to paying Singer $50,000 to bribe a corrupt test administrator to allow an associate to proctor his son’s ACT exam and secretly correct his answers.
Prosecutors had also originally charged McGlashan in March 2019 with conspiring to pay $250,000 in order to bribe a University of Southern California official and have his son admitted to the school as a fake football recruit.
He had denied those allegations. His decision to plead guilty to the exam-related offense will make him the 30th parent to plead guilty in the case.
His plea agreement includes a clause that will allow him to appeal a judge’s earlier rejection of his argument that the test scores cannot legally constitute “property” for purposes of charging him with wire fraud.
Should he prevail, he can withdraw his plea. His lawyers had no comment
Education is the backbone of a thriving society. Civilizations have focused on the transfer of knowledge since the beginning of time. As educators are always looking for new ways to transfer knowledge more effectively, quickly, and easily, they have turned to virtual reality.
Life in the digital era offers an opportunity to enable learning using technology. Virtual technology has the potential to transform how educational content gets delivered. It is already making great strides across the globe.
If you want to know about the achievements made and the challenges that remain, this post is just for you. It sheds light on what you can adopt and the challenges that you will encounter when you go virtual. Let’s dive in.
Virtual Reality Achievements in Education
Firstly, we will cover the good. There is a lot that you can learn from the achievements made by virtual reality in the field of education.
1. Virtual Tools for Real-World Learning
The virtual tools that are available today allow for real-world learning. It means that students from across the globe can come together using VR to solve real-world issues. Many universities are collaborating in different countries to create a more inclusive environment.
One of the ways virtual tools are being used is for offering language learning. Today, students can learn English virtually from just about any part of the world. It is possible to use virtual tools to create the perfect learning environment no matter where students might be.
Since people are more likely to remember something they experienced as opposed to reading, hearing, or seeing it, according to the Cone of Experience, virtual reality can help boost retention.
The theory was proven correct by a study conducted by Penn State University. It was found that students who utilized immersive virtual reality were able to accomplish tasks much faster as compared to students that relied on traditional computer programs.
2. An Improved Online Classroom
Diving deeper into the achievements made by virtual reality in education, another notable achievement that is observable is an improved online classroom. This has been mostly possible due to the use of an avatar.
Social VR applications help tackle the monotony of online courses. They allow remote students to feel connected. Online coursework can rely on such applications to expand the curricula and boost engagement. It shows just how far virtual reality has come.
The problem in the past has been that students fail to build memories during online classes. The classes might seem like nothing more than data being fed in the dullest way possible. However, virtual reality can provide students with plenty of opportunities to socialize using interesting avatars.
3. Virtual Field Trips
A great achievement made by virtual reality is that it allows for virtual field trips to be taken by classrooms. Some of the biggest universities are offering VR field trips to students for them to experience something new.
The best thing about virtual field trips is that once they have been developed, they can be distributed on a massive scale. Discovery Education has offered millions of students the opportunity to take a virtual field trip aboard an airship.
Similarly, Google Expeditions offers thousands of educational tours to help teach students through immersive-media.
A study conducted by researchers at Stanford looked at the impact of VR field trips and found that participants that had explored virtual space were able to form a deeper cognitive association with science-based content and had an easier time retaining and recall cause and effects.
4. Art Education
One of the biggest achievements made by virtual reality has been in art education. Today, museums across the globe have gone global. This provides art enthusiasts with the chance to visit virtual galleries and look at paintings virtually.
For instance, the Kremer Museum offers students the chance to look at 74 paintings of Flemish and Dutch Old Masters. The museum experience has come to virtual reality so that everyone can see paintings just like how they would in real life.
Finally, virtual reality is also connecting tutors with students in ways never imagined before. Pupils that require extra instruction can receive the help they need using Oculus headsets. Thus, they will be able to study for the SAT, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and so on.
Tutors can hold virtual classrooms and bring students together. They can draw on a virtual blackboard and more. Virtual tutoring allows students to get the help they need to excel in subjects that they might be struggling with without hassle. It shows just how far online education has come.
Challenges Faced By Virtual Reality Education
Although virtual reality in education has brought with it many achievements, certain challenges need to be addressed.
1. Developing More Content
One of the biggest challenges faced by virtual reality in education is the lack of content. The fact is that developing more content can be very expensive, and not every educational institute has the means to hire a software development company to help them produce content.
Since pre-undergraduate education does not have huge funds, it can be difficult to get startups involved. This is why it is important to get investors and businesses involved to fund the development of more content.
2. Availability of VR Headsets
Although many students can afford to purchase a VR headset, there are still some students that do not have the money to buy a VR headset. This prevents them from taking advantage of VR-based learning. The challenge that needs to be handled is providing VR headsets to every student.
Cyber-sickness is a real thing that many people do not even consider. It is similar to motion sickness and can prevent students from learning. The good news is that cyber-sickness is diminishing as technology improves.
However, to ensure that students acclimate to the sensation, more investment is needed. Educators have to work together with companies to create the perfect VR classroom.
There is no denying that virtual reality can play a big role in the future of education. From offering virtual-reality tools to virtual tutoring, it offers amazing potential. However, certain challenges need to be addressed, such as the need for more content, cost and availability of VR headsets, and cyber-sickness.
The world of education is no stranger to controversy. Every year, you’ll find a splashy headline about how different school districts teach different versions of history from verydifferent history textbooks. Or you’ll encounter one special interest group or another objecting to teachers covering topics ranging from sex education to the theory of evolution. In the end, educators never stop trying to advance students’ knowledge no matter what resistance they encounter.
And in recent years, there’s one particular topic that has become something of a lightning rod for educators everywhere: climate change. Between fossil fuel industry attempts to control the narrative surrounding the settled science on the subject and political interests intervening in curricula to impart their own views, it’s a sensitive topic to be sure. And it’s also one of the most complex scientific concepts to teach because it’s based on data that’s still unfolding in real-time.
The good news is, there’s a range of technologies that teachers can use to teach students about climate change that cut through the noise and make the topic a whole lot easier to grasp. Here’s a look at a few of the most useful and innovative tech-focused approaches to take.
Turn Students on to Climate Science Podcasts
One of the big challenges that teachers face when covering climate change is that there aren’t many definitive texts on the subject for a school-age audience. Most general science textbooks cover the topic in passing or without delving too deeply into the science behind the current climate predictions. Well, there’s a great way for teachers to get around that lack of materials and engage kids using a format they’re already comfortable with.
They should encourage students to subscribe and listen tohigh-quality podcasts on the subject. Not only are the facts and science about climate change covered in-depth on many of them, but they do so in a way that’s easy to digest. It’s also a format that the students can use at their own pace, allowing them to research information they’re presented with to build a better overall understanding of the subject. Teachers can follow up on them by hosting discussion forums for their students to compare and contrast the merits of the information they’ve absorbed.
Teach the Basics of Climate Data Analysis
For some students, leaping from their conventional understanding of weather patterns to a system-wide understanding of Earth’s climate isn’t easy. And in fact, much of the climate science disinformation students may be exposed to exploits that vulnerability byconflating short-term weather with long-term climate patterns. But by teaching students what types of data climate scientists base their modeling on and how they use them, it is possible to help disentangle the two topics.
A good place to begin is to set up an outdoor weather station with a companion app, which educators can explore in-depth atWeatherStationAdvisor.com. They can then begin a long-term class project to collect and compare the local weather data withdata sets available from NOAA to track how the historical patterns diverge from present-day data points. That will not only help to increase student understanding of the time scale climate science relies on as well as teach them useful data analytics and visualization skills. A perfect win-win.
Access Satellite Data with Eyes on the Earth
One of the reasons that our understanding of the Earth’s climate has increased in recent decades is thanks to a fleet of scientific instruments orbiting the planet aboard satellites. And teachers can use NASA’sEyes on the Earth app to introduce students to the current and historical information those satellites have collected. This will give them the ability to see a visual representation of the impact they’re having on the planet, measured by a variety of metrics.
Using the platform, teachers can introduce the concept and necessity of carbon emissions control, as well as underscore the vulnerability of coastal areas to continuing sea-level rise. And because the platform is fed with new satellite data in real-time, it’s useful for teachers to use for benchmarks against other data collected from ground stations. Even better, the system is always getting new features as NASA continues to launch climate-focused equipment into orbit at regular intervals.
A Complex and Controversial Subject Made Clear
Using these tech-focused teaching methods and tools, teachers can give their students more than just a passing understanding of climate science. They can also arm them with reliable data sources and the ability to analyze them with their own science-based critical thinking skills.
At a time when they may be confronted by conflicting claims about climate change in their everyday lives, there’s no better outcome for teachers to pursue. And with some luck, their determined efforts will pay off in a new generation of climate-conscious students and a better and healthier world for everyone.
I teach high school. But I’m not a teacher. I’m a tech professional who believes in transforming education. This is a story about where high school education might go.
The High School Entrepreneur
Six years ago I was asked to create an entrepreneurship curriculum for high school juniors and seniors. I had been interested in the idea of exposing young people to the principles of entrepreneurship for years, I guess for as long as I’ve been an entrepreneur.
Two years before that, in the summer of 2013, I created a six-week crash course and invited students from local Los Angeles high schools to participate. I convinced 10 amazing kids in grades 9 through 12 to trust me to lead them on an experiment in education. In truth, it was the parents that I had to convince; most of the students were fired up from the get-go.
I had no formal educator training. And truth be told, I was a pretty bad student when I was in high school. But I was passionate about the idea of teaching. I had been an entrepreneur for nearly 20 years and I knew I had knowledge and experience to share. I just didn’t know how to do it.
If there’s one thing about being an entrepreneur, it’s knowing how to figure things out when there is no instruction manual — finding a way to get things done that you know in your heart can be done even when you don’t know how. That’s the joy of entrepreneurship. And I very much wanted to share that joy with young students.
To understand why I had this motivation, this passion, I need to provide some context, about my own high school experience. I graduated from an elite private school in Los Angeles called Brentwood in 1992. I struggled hard. Not for lack of trying, but because I just didn’t learn the way that kids are generally taught.
In hindsight, I realize I was an entrepreneur even back then — when being entrepreneurial meant you were lazy, unfocused, and in many ways, un-smart. I wasn’t any of those things, but I sure felt like it. In my mind, I was broken. Everyone around me was getting good grades, planning for college at Stanford, at Columbia, at USC, at NYU, at all these great schools that I knew would never accept me.
I did go to college, to Arizona State University, which turned out to be perfect. But it took me years to appreciate that. The fact that I applied to 12 colleges and got into 1 caused me to feel pretty bad about myself, although I guess it relieved me of the stress so many of my friends endured trying to choose from the multitude of acceptance letters they received.
The point is, high school didn’t work for me, scholastically. Now I know that’s not because I was dumb or unmotivated. It was because I’m an entrepreneur. I think differently. I learn differently. I don’t follow a prescribed path. I find my own way. And back then, high school wasn’t designed to work for people like me. Even now, with all the charter schools, special programs, unique teaching methodologies, and all the work administrators have done to make education inclusive and effective for everyone regardless of learning style, education is still in a broken state. There are too many students ending up feeling like I felt — whether they make it to college or not.
This was my inspiration. I wanted to create a class that spoke to the students who thought they weren’t smart — a course that awoke and empowered the entrepreneurial spirit that drives so many young people. So I just did it, and my students loved it.
I shared the idea with Brentwood administrators and they helped me recruit a few students that summer. And 18 months later, they asked me to re-create my six-week seminar as a semester-long course and teach it to juniors and seniors in the fall of 2015.
Applying an Entrepreneurial Mindset to Teaching
In six years teaching entrepreneurship at Brentwood, I’ve asked students to trust me. I’ve asked them to step out of their comfort zones. And I’ve taken them down a path that is nearly blind for them. That’s part of the philosophy of entrepreneurship. I encouraged them to be curious, to be dogged, to test, and fail, to ask dumb questions, and give wrong answers. I taught them to think differently; to be entrepreneurial. And while the experiences I observed in my students were magical, what inspired me was what I learned. Teaching entrepreneurship has led me to think entrepreneurially about teaching.
To that end, I have come to three important realizations about educating:
Great Teachers can Come from Anywhere
Students are Hungry for Practical Courses
Virtual Learning Works
Great Teachers can Come from Anywhere
As I shared, I’m not a teacher, and I wasn’t trained to be a teacher. Truthfully I wasn’t trained to be anything. But I’ve always been good at sharing my own experience with others and distilling complicated topics into bite-sized digestible chunks. Turns out, that’s a very effective way to teach young people about entrepreneurship and business. In my experience, many professionals, in business, or any field where they are experts, tend to have these skills.
And I’ve also found that most people have a desire to give back, to help young people, and to share their experiences with others. These are characteristics of great teachers of course, and I hypothesize that many such professionals would be open and interested in teaching a course in their given area of expertise.
If this turns out to be true, as it was for me, that means there is a huge pool of potentially amazing educators that have never imagined the possibility of being teachers. This alone addresses one of the biggest challenges in education, staffing. The pool of trained and experienced teachers is limited, and contracting. They are typically overworked, under-appreciated, and grossly underpaid.
This creates a gaping hole in our education system. Too many students, not enough teachers. And when it comes to teaching students practical skills like entrepreneurship, design, engineering, marketing, business, sciences, wellness, and so many more topics, why not call upon the experts in these fields to do the work rather than put more load on our most scarce and critical resource of common core educators.
Students are Hungry for Practical Courses
The demand for my entrepreneurship course at Brentwood is overwhelming. We’ve had to limit acceptance and develop an application process to ensure the most eligible students get access to the class. The most common point of feedback I hear from students is how useful they feel this work is.
However, from the very first day of class, many of my students feel flipped upside down and turned around. They are so accustomed to the educational machine that teaches students to listen to lectures, memorize information, and regurgitate it on tests and essays. Of course, I’m generalizing to be sure — high school education is much more nuanced.
It’s no secret that the best students, the students that excel in the business of high school are the ones that work the system the best. I was not that student. I yearned for practical courses that could teach me how to survive post-school life. That’s not to say I didn’t learn anything in school. Of course, I did. But I wasn’t able to connect the dots until way later.
I didn’t realize that I was learning how to learn and that it would be up to me to put that knowledge into practice to gain the life and work skills I needed to succeed beyond high school. Teaching young people about entrepreneurship and about a million other topics that can help them survive and thrive in life is more than just a responsible thing to do, it’s something that students are beginning to demand.
Virtual Learning Works
In March 2020 the high school education system was thrust into a new paradigm. Teachers and administrators were forced to change everything they had been doing for the last hundred years and learn how to deliver class online. With almost no time to prepare, educators mobilized and began teaching virtually. Some schools did this better than others.
Brentwood had the luxury of money and resources to develop a plan and execute it in short order. They spent their nights and weekends training teachers, creating processes, implementing software, and preparing students for the new world of distance learning.
The public school my 5th-grade children go to fared much worse. They did their best, but their best wasn’t nearly sufficient. Students were lost. Teachers were overwhelmed. Systems broke down. And parents were left holding the bag. We had to hire a freelance teacher to work with our kids 3 days a week just to keep them on track as to not fall so far behind this year that they would never make it back.
I suspect a lot of families that could afford it did the same. But for the millions of families that didn’t have the financial wherewithal to privately employ a trained educator, the preverbal bag burst wide open filling their lives with stress and anxiety.
This COVID experience has taught us that a) virtual learning can work, and b) virtual learning is not simple. To do it well requires preparation, resources, and a dedicated focus that most schools cannot spare.
The High School Extension
Therein lies the big opportunity. Online learning, both virtually and on-demand, is the platform to deliver practical, useful, and desperately needed courses to a global population of high school students. And staffing these programs can be accomplished by tapping a huge pool of talented and incredibly passionate experts that we adults work with every day.
That’s my idea. An online extension program delivered globally by a great school locally. To some extent, this is being done by startups like Udemy, Skillshare, and Udacity. But maybe, the better solution is to do it in conjunction with traditional schools. They bring the students and we bring the courses. And together, we produce stronger, more prepared, and more equipped future professionals.
How and Why it Works
To quote Jim Collins and his Good to Great philosophy, that sure sounds like a BHAG, a big, hairy, audacious goal. So let’s break it down into bite-sized chunks. There are many great high schools out there; both private and public. They have honed a curriculum that sets students up to be accepted into great colleges and has equally impressive careers. But sadly these schools are the exception, not the rule. And many of these institutions, particularly the private ones, are inaccessible to a large population of students, in the U.S. and certainly abroad.
I frequently hear private school administrators say they want to reach more kids. They wish they could deliver their educational platform to less fortunate young people that either can’t afford or don’t live close enough to attend. In their hearts, I believe they mean what they say. But running a great educational institution takes resources and money. This is partly why private school tuition has risen to an average of more than 30 thousand dollars annually in this country. How then can they afford to reach more students?
Virtual Schooling is Cost-Effective
Two of the biggest expenses for traditional high school is facility and insurance. Both of these costs are nearly eliminated in a virtual school environment. Online classroom technology is largely commoditized and universally understood. Schools will need to do work to refactor and optimize classes for online environments and to create a new curriculum, but these are fixed costs that can also be shared between institutions.
The bottom line is running a virtual school, whether with on-demand classes or with live teachers is significantly cheaper than traditional schools.
Expert Teachers are Affordable
Virtual schooling won’t make trained educators obsolete. Instead it could create opportunities for teachers to make more money doing less work. The idea is to supplement a traditional teaching staff with on-demand experts that work part-time or perhaps only teach one class per semester.
This model may also give traditional teachers a chance to work from home and explore other interests, both professional and personal. In both cases, virtual teachers are less expensive hour-for-hour but such people can make more per hour than they might otherwise make.
Families Will Pay a Fair Price
Very few families can afford $30/k per year, but many more can afford $5k/year. With tuition in that range, many more students can attend elite educational institutions. Most parents want the best education they can afford and they want to create as many opportunities for their kids as possible. Today those goals are limited for many families. Opening up more curricula, with better teachers and less administration is likely to be something parents and students rush to adopt.
Students are Motivated by Interest
It’s no secret that students get excited when they’re interested in what they’re doing. Most adults can recollect a particular class or teacher growing up that inspired them. But it’s also true that most adults remember many more courses that bored them to death. Lack of motivation in school is not due to intelligence or wherewithal, it’s almost exclusively driven by interest. And not all students are the same.
This is one of the biggest challenges with organized education. For the public school system to work, many things need to be standardized. The fact that we have a “common core” is in and of itself a significant limiter of opportunity for young people. Students need to be given the freedom to explore their interests. Virtual education can offer students significantly more course selection. More selection means more interest. More interest means more engagement. And that will lead to more successful students going on to do more great things, sooner.
So that’s my BHAG. I pitched the idea to Brentwood School in Los Angeles this year. But as I’ve learned, education transforms slowly. Sometimes the best you can do is plant the seed — it takes time to grow. Incidentally, if you’re interested, here was my pitch deck. I’d love to build this platform, with Brentwood, or another school, or maybe it’s many schools. And I’m not the only one thinking this way. Many people are working to transform high school education.
I hope that sharing this with more people, more frequently, will eventually lead to some innovation and transformation. I hope it sparked something for you too.
This year has been a year of change, and that’s putting it lightly. It’s been a year of change, especially for children who are in school. Some of these children are used to having IEPs and special attention while they’re in the classrooms — but suddenly, their classrooms are in their houses, on their computers.
With more and more schooling moving online, it must remain accessible, just as it would have if education were in the classroom. However, there isn’t a ton of knowledge about accessibility requirements alongside online learning.
Probably because there’s never been an event that forced children who require accessibility accommodations into only having a computer to learn from.
But What Is Accessibility?
Accessibility is the act of being inclusive. Everyone should be able to have access to everything, with accommodations as needed. Some accessibility accommodations that you see every day are things like captioning, Braille restroom signs, and wheelchair ramps.
Accessibility for the web is a bit different. To make websites more easily accessible, you have to take into account things like website design, site colors, pop-ups, disorganized content, and more. This is, however, becoming more prevalent in education as COVID is making online education required across the country and around the world. If school websites and educational portals have not been designed — or redesigned — with web accessibility in mind, they are essentially ignoring an entire population of students.
How AI Can Make Education Accessible
Artificial Intelligence enables computers to act “human.” Most recently, a company called Otter.ai has taken AI one step further and partnered with Zoom to do so.
Otter Live Notes is a system that can be enabled on Zoom to allow collaborative note-taking, the ability to sync audio, text, and photos together. This program also allows for things like word clouds to be created, and best of all, captioning in real-time. The best part of this tool is that it constantly learns and betters its captioning capabilities, to provide flawless real-time captioning.
If Otter Live Notes is enabled, your Zoom call can be transcribed in real-time and visibly to every member of the room. It’s also available cross-platform, no matter the device or the operating system.
The AI functionality mirrors the AI movement in the medical field, which has improved patient care in a variety of ways. Not only has it begun eliminating human error, but improved AI has also allowed computer operations to become, by contrast, “more human.” This has opened doors to make healthcare, and by extension education, more accessible for those with hearing loss, visual disabilities, and more.
The Kindle is such a good example because there are so many customizable options — from font type to font size, page color, and more. All of those changes can help make reading accessible to someone with dyslexia or visual impairment. The latest Kindles can even be adjusted to use audiobooks alongside the written word.
This is important because something as simple as font size can dictate whether someone with dyslexia can read what is in front of them.
Another tool, the Livescribe Pen, addresses dysgraphia. Dysgraphia often goes hand-in-hand with dyslexia, and primarily affects the ability to write text. This pen records while you write, and using special paper, you can upload what you’ve written to online software that will turn your handwriting into typewritten text.
Furthermore, if you need to listen to the lecture you were writing about, your pen also records audio. That recording will upload as well, and you can listen to it as you go through your notes.
Dragon Speech Recognition:
Dragon Speech Recognition software is a dictation software, great for students who have trouble reading or writing, or speaking publicly. Dragon can successfully record your spoken words with 3x the speed seen in other software and can even be set up for specific uses such as practicing a speech.
What Do Smartphones Offer?
Smartphones are mass-produced, which means that a lot of them have very similar features — this is especially true when it comes to accessibility features. Many smartphones feature similar settings to make them accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities, from visual, auditory, or muscular.
This also means that they’re affordable. If the smartphone does not come with a built-in accessibility function, it can be found in the app store, more likely than not.
TTY means “Text Telephone”, while TDD means “Telecommunication Device for the Deaf”. TTY is the most common of the two terms. This is a special device that lets people who are hearing impaired, deaf, or speech impaired communicate via the telephone. This device is required on both ends to work properly.
And if you do not have a TTY device, you can use a Telecommunications Relay Service or TRS. These services are often free, and are often available year-round, twenty-four hours a day. Essentially TTY or TRS display spoken words as captions, making telecommunications accessible.
What is a Text Reader?
A text reader is something that reads the information on your screen aloud. Most computers have one built-in, under Accessibility, and so do most cellphones. With this option on, everything is read aloud by a synthetic voice. This is great for anyone with visual impairment, or dyslexia.
How Does A Cellphone Help With Education?
There are many applications out there that offer educational value. From transcription apps to narration apps, to video calls, and more. Some applications allow you to turn spoken words into notes, and so much more.
Technology Is Moving Education Forward
When it comes to technological advancements and accessibility, technology has made it possible for accessibility to be widespread. Certainly, some applications and software are expensive, but not all.
Cellphones are the most accessible piece of equipment for anyone, with or without a disability, and almost everyone has a cellphone. Computers have so many applications, free or otherwise, that provide accessibility as well.
Technology is moving education forward, in a good way, especially with the pandemic pressuring education to become more accessible to students who are suddenly displaced. The best part is that many students have a good grasp of using the technology at their fingertips.