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With the third most wins in NCAA hockey history, Jack Parker makes a tempting role model. It would be natural for an apprentice to want to mimic his every gesture and tic and keep a copy of his drills book in a locked vault. Yet the real secret to coaching greatness, says Parker, who announced his retirement on March 12 after 40 years at the helm, is not trying to be Jack Parker: it’s learning to be you.
That’s the insight Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97) passed to John Hynes, who played for him 20 years ago and now coaches the farm team of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
“You have to coach to your personality,” says Hynes (SED’97). “At BU, you were going to be coached aggressively. You were going to have to be able to handle Coach Parker’s intensity. He recruited players who would respond to that type of personality.” Today, Hynes, who was among those who had been mentioned as a possible successor to Parker, does the same.
“There’s always a recipe that everyone can follow” as a coach in terms of practice routines and tactics, Hynes says. “But it comes down to certain ingredients and the personality of the coach.”
Parker’s final season ended last Saturday, when his team lost the Hockey East championship to the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His career wins total 897. But the Parker legacy is greater than the tally of his triumphs. It includes seeding the ranks of professional and college hockey with about 40 coaches, assistant coaches, and officials who once skated for him as Terriers.
David Quinn (CAS’89), one of the most highly regarded of Parker’s coaching progeny, takes over as BU’s head coach next season. Quinn has been a coach at BU, Northeastern, and the University of Nebraska Omaha, and has coached the U.S. National Under-17 team, the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters, and most recently, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.
Quinn, who was one of Parker’s assistant coaches during the 2008–2009 season that culminated in a national title for the team, says he realized during that apprenticeship how much his coaching philosophy relied on Parker’s, particularly his demand for accountability from his players.
Many who played for Parker echo that sentiment, saying he branded their lives and careers with lessons learned on the bench and on the ice. One of those lessons—surprising from a coach who wasn’t shy about combating referees he disagreed with—was, don’t be seduced by your own wins record.
Parker always thought he could learn from others, Hynes says. “I’ve had four or five conversations with Coach Parker a year” since entering coaching. “There are times when he’ll look to pick your brain. He’ll ask, ‘Did you see the last BU game?’ He’ll give you a call, ask, ‘What’s your team doing?’”
Kenny Rausch (SMG’95), manager of youth ice hockey for USA Hockey, the sport’s national governing body, borrowed two of Parker’s patented phrases when he coached boys’ hockey camps and U.S. teams at the Junior World Cup: “Those who play well will be rewarded with further play” and “This is a simple game complicated by many.” Such phrases were among the tools Parker used to gain “complete control of the bench when he coached, and I try to do the same,” says Rausch.
BU women’s hockey head coach Brian Durocher (SED’78), who played in goal for Parker and has indicated his interest in coaching a men’s team, has affectionately recalled his coach as “kind of the ayatollah—it was his way or the highway. Sometimes it’s a situation that’s 5 to 1—he still thinks we should be winning 6 to 1. I can’t maintain my intensity as long as him.” (Parker has likewise praised Durocher, saying he became a great coach because he “knew enough that he had to be himself.…Patience is a virtue that he has in spades and I don’t have a lot of.”)
Rausch saw a hint of Parker’s influence on the sport in the fact that speculation about his replacement included 10 people who played for the man. In addition to Quinn, Hynes, Rausch, and Durocher, others mentioned as possible candidates were Colorado Avalanche head coach Joseph Sacco (CAS’91) and Mike Sullivan (SMG’90), New York Rangers assistant coach.
These men reveled in Parker’s gruff personality and came to love him, in the verb’s literal sense. “I really liked his intensity,” Sacco says. “BU was and still is a close-knit group as far as the alumni and such, and that’s because of Jack. You always feel welcomed back.”
“Other than my father, he is the man who has had the greatest influence on my life,” says Rausch. “He gave me a chance as a walk-on and also gave me my first coaching job. I would not be in the position I am today without him.”
While his current and past players and fans will miss Parker—who remains at BU as a special assistant to President Robert A. Brown—Rausch says there’s one community that won’t mourn the departure of a man who was not shy, or quiet, about disputing officials’ calls.
“That loud cheer you might have just heard was from every college hockey ref who no longer has to listen to him!”
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Nvidia just opened the floodgates to GeForce Now, their cloud streaming service that promises to democratize PC gaming on ultra settings for everyone.
In theory, GeForce now allows everyone to play the best PC games on the highest possible quality, the highest possible settings, regardlesss of their platform of choice. Would you like Witcher 3 with everything dialed up to ultra settings running at a smooth 60FPS on a cheap Chromebook? Easy-peasy! At least, theoretically.
In practice, though, not everything is rosy. Read on to find out why.The game streaming market is getting crowded
Right after Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, Nvidia is the next company to provide online game streaming service. It is obvious that many companies want a piece of the pie, since gaming is a huge $100 billion industry. Microsoft’s XBox and Sony’s Playstation have also entered the game streaming market in 2023.GeForce Now plans and pricing
Most game streaming services only provide the hardware and streaming technology. They still require you to pay for the games, even though you have previously purchased it.
GeForce Now doesn’t.
Unlike its competitors, GeForce Now doesn’t sell games (at least, for now): it allows you to stream (some of) the games you bought from stores like Steam and uPlay from nVidia’s servers, without having to install them on your own hardware.
GeForce Now opened for the general public with two plans:
Free, but with a 1-hour limit per gaming session and waiting in queues for a free slot.
$4.99 for a year, paid per month, with “priority access” (zero waiting in queues) and up to 6-hours per gaming session. And RTX support for ray-tracing on top, for the titles that support it.
Note that those plans are temporary and expected to change.Download and install GeForce Now
Follow the steps to create an account from scratch, or use the Nvidia account you might already have (like the one you might be using with GeForce Experience) to log in to GeForce Now.
Visit GeForce Now’s download page and download the service’s client for your platform. There are options for Windows PC, Mac OS, Nvidia Shield, and Android devices.
Note that we tested the service on a typical PC since it’s suggested you use a cabled network connection (as in “Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi”) for optimal results.
Install the client and agree to the notice regarding data collection. Although we don’t know the full extent of the data Nvidia collects, it’s realistic for such a service to need information on our geographical region, connection speeds, CPU and GPU performance, and available RAM. Video streaming can’t work with a “one size fits all” approach.
Enter your account’s details in the window that pops up. Although you can also log-in with a Facebook or Google account, we already had an Nvidia account for use with GeForce Experience, so we used that.Let’s play
You can start typing directly in the search bar, at the top of the window, the title of a game you’d like to add to the service. Remember, you can only add games you already own in other stores.
GeForce Now will analyze your network capabilities to offer the best experience possible by finding the server closest to you and auto-adjust its settings.
A quick connection doesn’t guarantee an optimal experience: if you’re away from Nvidia’s server’s, as GeForce Now will inform you, “you may experience stutter or high latency.” Unfortunately, the only solution is to move next door to one of Nvidia’s servers, or wait for the service to expand more.
When you connect to the service, you’ll meet an empty virtual desktop. Think of it as a second, virtual PC of yours. You’ll have to log-in there, too, into the shop’s client from where you bought the game you’re trying to run.
The free tier of the service will have you re-install any game you want to play, but the process is almost instant.
After the (remote and painless) installation completes, the game will appear on your screen.Final Notes
The first service of its kind to truly achieve what it promises, GeForce Now feels both like a slice out of our gaming future, but also as a beta.
Depending on the time of day and the network conditions, latency can skyrocket. When I first tried it, I thought it would be a constant problem because of my distance from Nvidia’s servers (I live in Greece), but the situation improved later to the point of being almost indistinguishable from the game running locally. And then it worsened, again.
It offers a limited selection of games (but genuinely massive compared to its competitors) and doesn’t allow you to install unsupported titles (although, from a technological standpoint, it could).
It presents a strange mix of titles, missing new and popular ones (like Red Dead Redemption 2) and classics (like all Deus Ex titles). It’s not guaranteed you’ll be able to play all your favorite games through it.
Even if, no, it doesn’t run Crysis.
OK’s real life started at around 10, when he got his first computer – a Commodore 128. Since then, he’s been melting keycaps by typing 24/7, trying to spread The Word Of Tech to anyone interested enough to listen. Or, rather, read.
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Tech Buyer’s Guide: Pocket MP3 Players
Sony E Series WalkmanThe PopSci Pick: Sony E Series Walkman
Even more than Microsoft, Sony has been seen as the biggest loser in the MP3-player wars, its dominance in portable music devices since the original tape-based Walkman having been obliterated by the runaway success of the iPod. Late to the game, the electronics giant made players that were more concerned with forcing Sony’s proprietary formats on buyers than delivering a good user experience.
Apple iPod NanoThe Splurge: Apple iPod Nano
You’ll pay a premium for an iPod Nano, but at least the latest generation of Nano packs a couple major new features, along with a growth spurt for its display (from 2 to 2.2 inches), a boon for those willing to squint at video. It’s the first iPod to offer an FM tuner, long a standard feature of most competitors, and it comes with a built-in video camera. Although its 640×480-pixel video quality can’t compete with footage from a dedicated camcorder, the Nano’s video-recording capabilities will make you think twice before buying a pocket-sized video camera like the Flip.The Bargain: SanDisk Sansa+ Clip
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible on an MP3 player without sacrificing a screen, as Apple’s Shuffle requires, the SanDisk Sansa+ is the low-cost choice. Like the Shuffle, it’s ultra-compact (0.9 ounce) and includes a belt clip, but it still manages to squeeze in a one-inch display, along with a slot for microSD memory cards to increase storage. It also packs an FM tuner, as well as the ability to record voice memos. It doesn’t play videos and view images (not that you’d want to on a screen that small), but the Sansa+ will play your music files for dirt-cheap.
SanDisk Sansa+ ClipBuying Advice: Stats That Matter
• Storage: It wasn’t that long ago that MP3-player manufacturers were trying to put the 1.8-inch hard drive with the biggest capacity in their devices. (Remember when there was a 320-gigabyte iPod?) But those hard drives resulted in bulkier players that drew more power and were susceptible to skipping and damage from drops. At the same time, flash memory was increasing in storage size as well as becoming more affordable.
The result? Now most MP3 players are flash-memory devices, ranging from two gigabytes at the low end to 64 gigabytes for the priciest version of the iPod Touch. Obviously, you can take fewer songs along with you, but you’ll be taking a smaller device. If you still need to have thousands and thousands of songs on your person, Apple offers a “classic” iPod with a 160-gigabyte hard drive.
• Size: MP3 players come in three basic sizes: small, smaller and smallest. Those sizes happen to coincide with Apple’s iPod lineup (in descending order) of Touch, Nano and Shuffle. A player with a screen size of 3 inches or slightly larger, like an iPod Touch or Microsoft’s Zune HD, will still fit in your pocket while providing the biggest display on which to view video and digital images. If you’re looking for a slimmer fit, a Nano-size player will have a screen size of 2 to 2.2 inches—still big enough to watch clips, though with more squinting required—while shedding some ounces and inches. The tiniest players are generally the cheapest, with a minuscule display (except in the case of the Shuffle, which has no screen at all) to show basic track information. But they’re svelte enough to clip onto your belt.Features to Look For
• Audio file formats differ among players once you get beyond the ubiquitous MP3 format. As you can imagine, only iPods can play AAC files purchased from the iTunes Store that are protected by digital-rights management (DRM). Unprotected AACs—the default format for ripping tracks from your CDs to iTunes—are supported by many players, even Microsoft’s Zune HD.
On the other hand, Apple’s iPods do not support Windows Media Audio (WMA) tracks, either with DRM or without, but many other players do. If you use lossless audio formats, which compress files less to preserve more audio data, look for a player that is compatible with AAC Lossless (available through the iTunes Music Store), FLAC or WMA Lossless formats.
• Video file formats are a similar bag. Most players can handle MPEG-4, the most popular standard for compressing video. Based on MPEG-4, the H.264 codec is used for iTunes videos, which are layered with DRM, making them playable only by iPods. Microsoft pushes its Windows Media Video (WMV) format through the Zune Marketplace, although it isn’t supported by iPods. If you have a lot of DivX files—an alternative format based on MPEG-4—on your computer, there are a few players that will play them. Note that even if your video files are high-definition, the screens on MP3 players are too small to display all the pixels that the files contain.
• A radio tuner might seem old-school, but you may eventually tire of the music on your player or just want to dial in a little NPR. Some devices will even let you record the station to which you’re listening to the device’s storage for future playback. The Zune HD is the first player that comes with support for all-digital HD radio, which means it will only be a matter of time before other players come with this feature as well.
• Bluetooth helps you get rid of one of the most irritating side effects of the MP3-player revolution: tangled headphone cords. A player that provides Bluetooth stereo support (look for the A2DP profile) lets you listen with wireless headphones up to a range of approximately 30 feet. Better still, some players will also let you pair Bluetooth headphones to a cellphone so you can send and receive calls from your player without digging in your pocket for your phone.What You Can Skip
• Ogg Vorbis is a niche format that’s mainly championed by those who appreciate its open-standard status. Most consumers will be ripping or buying MP3 files (or AAC files, if they’re using iTunes software) to transfer to their player, so don’t worry about file formats you’ve never heard of that pad out a spec sheet but won’t make a difference in how you use your device.
The Art of the Game of War
There’s a sequence in the game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” that you don’t have to play if you don’t want to. I haven’t finished the entire game yet. My Xbox broke while I was working through it, and I haven’t had time to get it repaired. But I did get to this sequence, or level, and I was anticipating it. The game doesn’t offer a specific warning about its content, but you do get a warning before you start playing the game from the beginning that something is coming you might want to skip, especially if you’re a sensitive viewer.[Image credit: mandiberg]
In the first person shooter sequence, your character is an intelligence agent who has infiltrated a terrorist group. In the scene in question, you take part in a terrorist attack. You and a bunch of characters controlled by the computer enter an airport in Russia and start shooting. For the first few minutes, there is no resistance. You are shooting unarmed civilians. People scream and run away. People run up the escalator the wrong way. People fall and die. There’s a lot of blood.
It is, without a doubt, the most disturbing moment I’ve ever encountered in a video game. What’s most interesting, though, is that the scene is completely integral to the plot. If your character didn’t participate in this mission, the events that occur next would never happen.
How do you play such a level? What’s the moral imperative in video games? In some ways, there is none. These aren’t real people, obviously. It’s all just computer generated imagery on a screen. I could kill a million people in a video game. Would it be mass murder? Genocide? No, because nothing really happened.
Would I feel like I’m committing murder? That’s another question, and that depends on the game itself.
The first time I played through the CoD: MW2 level, I tried to avoid killing anyone. It’s possible for the first half of the level, but eventually security arrives, and in order to progress, you have to defeat the armed guards. It felt treasonous, almost, because I knew that my character is an undercover agent, and so the guards are really on my side. But you can’t continue the game without killing the opposition, and so that’s what I did.
The second time I played through the level, I killed everyone I could. I shot women in the head. I walked up to people lying on the floor, begging for mercy, and I shot them in the chest until they stopped moving. I used guns, grenades and knives. I tried to kill more people than the computer-controlled characters next to me.
I tried to enjoy the killing, but I couldn’t. It was very disturbing. I tried to embrace it, but the quality of the graphics, the voice acting and even the story itself all created a world that was just real enough to give me pause. I felt bad about killing innocent civilians in an airport terror attack, even though there was no killing, no civilians and no airport. It was all on screen, and it was all in my head.
That’s art. That is exactly what art is supposed to do. I started thinking about this when Ars Technica’s gaming writer, Ben Kuchera, tweeted that Call of Duty is as much art as Ico, a somewhat more abstract and fantastic video game title. Video games are often disparaged in the art world. Roger Ebert famously landed in hot water recently by penning a story claiming that video games can never be art. He has since made a qualified retraction of his original statement, but nonetheless, it seems that video games still get beaten down and taken to task in a way that traditional, more widely accepted artwork does not.
First, let me define my terms. I believe “art” is any creation that exists purely (or primarily) to elicit an emotional response. Any creation; any emotional response. This is a broad definition (if you didn’t realize, ), and this leaves the category wide open so that a wide range of things can be considered “art.” That’s fine with me. I would much rather argue about whether something is good art, or, even better, whether it’s successful art, than argue about whether it is art at all.
I have no interest in arguing about whether or not video games are, in fact, pieces of art. Some of them are, some are not. I think that the game itself has to elicit a human emotion for the game to be considered art. I don’t mean the act of winning the game, I mean the game itself. So, in my view, Tetris is not a work of art. It’s a fantastic game, one of the best ever created and a personal favorite (I am a Tetris demigod), but the happiness I get from Tetris, or any emotional response, comes from my own skill and success in playing the game. A game like “Call of Duty,” or “Bioshock,” or even “Guitar Hero” elicits a deeper emotional response that comes from being able to relate to the game. If the first two are more obvious, I would say “Guitar Hero” elevates itself to the level of art first because you are literally playing music, and music has always been considered art, but second because the game tries to help us imagine ourselves as skilled, successful musicians. Load up any Guitar Hero video on YouTube and tell me the kid playing complicated, 5-star riffs doesn’t envision himself a skilled musician. I’m not saying he’s right, I’m just saying that’s art.
While I was thinking about this article, a new controversy came up. Electronics Arts will release a new “Medal of Honor” title, another war-based first person shooter, set in today’s conflict zones. Though the story mode will have the player acting as an allied forces soldier, someone on our side, in other words, there is also a multiplayer mode. As Ars Technica quotes EA Games reps as saying: “if someone’s the cop, someone’s gotta be the robber.” To that end, half the players in a multiplayer round will be trying to kill the guys on ‘our side.’ Those opponents could play as “Taliban” soldiers. This has parents groups up in arms in the UK.
Why is it that parents groups always seem to come down on the side of censorship? Why do so-called parents groups try to get the government to mandate what my children can watch, so that my own entertainment has to be reduced to the level of what’s acceptable for my child?
In any case, there are two major flaws to this argument. First, nobody is actually becoming the Taliban. Just because you pick up a joystick and look through the virtual eyes of a Taliban fighter, that doesn’t mean you have anything in common with our enemies in Afghanistan. In a way, these parents groups are not only proving my original thesis that video games are in fact artwork, they are in fact showing just how successful the artwork has become. If the representation wasn’t so powerful, and if the games did not produce a real emotional response, would parents care? Would parents care if their children played games where they could act like a family of small frogs trying to cross a busy highway and getting killed by passing trucks? Of course not, because that was not a successful piece of artwork. But the more powerful representation elicits a more powerful emotional response. Art doesn’t make everyone happy; it isn’t supposed to.
Second, this unfortunately shows video games’ place at the bottom of artistic hierarchy. At the Academy Awards this year, the Best Supporting Actor award went to an actor who played an especially vicious and frightening Nazi. Did any parent group step up and say that Christoph Waltz should not have been allowed to portray a Nazi? Should we blacklist any actor who appears as a Taliban fighter in a movie? Or a soldier in the Burmese army? A serial killer? Not only are these actors not condemned, but the more they frighten us, the more they draw forth a real response from their audience and turn their audience into ersatz victims of their crimes, the more we appreciate their performance.
You can’t have it both ways. You cannot claim that video games do not deserve the same protection and respect as other forms of art, then claim that the emotional response they trigger in their audience is too powerful and needs to be banned. You can’t celebrate an actor’s performance as a murderer or an enemy combatant, then turn around and denigrate the same types of characters in video games.
If you don’t like a video game, or a movie or an exhibit of oil paintings strewn with elephant dung, don’t go to see them. If you’ve played the game, argue about its successes and failures, how it made you feel and how you reacted to that feeling. We’re far past the point where there’s a question about whether video games are a form of art.
blog / Online Learning Predicting the Next Big Thing: 7 Edtech Trends that Will Dominate 2023
The global edtech market was valued at $123.40 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow by 13.6% from 2023 to 2030. So it is safe to say that the edtech industry is growing at a high velocity. As the industry grows quickly and navigates sudden shifts and technological disruptions, it is essential for stakeholders to interpret the needs of the learners. In doing so, they can find innovative solutions to bridge educational gaps and improve learning outcomes. The GSV Emeritus India Summit 2023 was one such mega event that bought all the stakeholders of education technology industry together. As the educational leaders discussed sustainable growth to drive better results in the edtech sphere, we were trendspotting. And we curated the following edtech trends 2023 at the summit that will set the path and pace of the learning market this year.1. Hybrid Education Will be the Next Normal
Before the pandemic, online learning was a mere choice or even a privilege. However, during the pandemic, it became a necessity for students and professionals. As people gradually adapt to the latest technologies, hybrid education will become the next normal. Vivian Wu, Managing Partner, Ventures Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, at the GSV Emeritus India Summit 2023 explained, “Now is the ideal time to bring personalized education with hybrid learning.” She also suggested that integrating technology in education will foster long-term innovation and enhance personalized learning outcomes. This begs the question, is offline education than on its last leg. Abhishek Maheshwari, CEO of Aakash Educational Services, explains this dilemma as he said, “while the difference between offline and online learning is very prominent at the moment, a hybrid model will soon become the norm.” Essentially, both online and offline education, as we know it, will change and converge to attain the best synergies.2. 2023 is the Year of ChatGPT
ChatGPT has taken the world by storm in the last few months. Nearly every industry is trying its hand at ChatGPT to improve its efficiency. The same holds true for the edtech space for personalized learning. Mike Malefakis, President of University Partners at Emeritus predicted, “2023 would be called the year of ChatGPT. Some of the smartest people in the world are already using it, so we embrace it instead of fearing it.” ChatGPT could help school students with reading, writing, basic syntax exercises, and solving mathematics or physics problems. Additionally, it can help improve research skills by providing the latest on research topics. ChatGPT might also help improve critical thinking skills. It could enable learners to analyze and interpret the information presented to the chúng tôi a language learning model, it can be trained to provide domain-specific learning. This includes the development of programming skills, project management, report writing, and problem-solving skills.
ALSO READ: How to Use ChatGPT in Effective Ways for Your Career3. Immersive Tech and AI Will Change the Edtech Landscape
Technologies like AI and immersive tech are gradually eliminating the one-size fits all conventional modes of teaching and promoting adaptive learning. Immersive technologies like Metaverse, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) offer an enhanced simulated learning experience. This is especially true in the fields of science or tech. They provide additional learning elements and reduce distraction. Sandhya Devanathan, Vice President, Meta India, informed at the GSV Emeritus India Summit, “750 million users globally have used AR effects on our platform.” When these technologies will be implemented to their full potential in education, it will be path-breaking.
ALSO READ: How is Adaptive Learning Improving Education in the Digital World?4. Micro Degrees Instead of Monolithic Structure of Education
Learning models and outcomes have significantly evolved over the years, and edtech trends 2023 further substantiate the same. However, in many countries, the education style is still largely monolithic. Learners enter at the school level and finish their higher education. Taking a break or changing your career path requires having to start over. This makes the existing education systems extremely rigid. Affordability and access are also critical issues with the monolithic structure. Anant Agarwal, Chief Platform Officer of 2U and Founder of edX proposed a brilliant idea to remedy to improve the learning model in India at the GSV Emeritus Summit. He suggested a LEGO structure, similar to LEGO blocks where each level of education provides micro degrees certification or credentials. Moreover, one can simultaneously pursue other courses, thus reducing the dropout rate.5. Technology Should Support Teachers, Not Replace Them
With changing edtech trends 2023, a lot of people in the education industry fear that they will lose their jobs to technology in the next few years. However, that is far from the truth. Technology will only play a supporting role when it comes to imparting education. Teachers will continue to be the lead chúng tôi understand this better, let’s go through the role of artificial intelligence in online learning. One of the most important elements for online learning to be effective is smooth interaction between teachers and students. It impacts the overall learning outcome. However, with excess usage of technology, students might limit their ability to learn independently. Hence, teachers can ensure controlled usage of technology for learning. In fact, AI can support teachers by automating routine tasks and creating personalized, adaptive assessments for each student.Social interaction between teachers and learners is also a prominent factor that makes the role of teachers irreplaceable. Lack of face-to-face academic social interactions can have a negative impact on learning outcomes and self-regulation. On the contrary, interactive learning boosts academic motivation for online learning.6. Indian Education Will Become a Brand of Its Own 7. Skilling Will Happen at Scale and Includes Leaders
We are living in a fast-paced competitive world where new technologies are being introduced almost every day, trends are evolving, manual jobs are becoming obsolete, and new tech jobs are on the rise. Thus, while technology has eased its way into our lives, it has given rise to uncertainty. Hence, it is essential for us to keep learning and constantly upskill ourselves.
Jawahir Morarji, the Managing Director of Enterprise at Emeritus and Eruditus, aptly describes the importance of upskilling for leaders by stating, “When a person stops learning, they start falling behind.” Hence, we must learn new skills in such uncertain times to adapt to rising jobs. He believes that jobs are bound to transform, and those who learn to adapt will never lack opportunities. The 2023 Workplace Learning Report published by LinkedIn states that job skill sets have evolved by 25% from 2024, and it will reach 50% by 2027. Hence, the need for upskilling is at an all-time high. The top 10 skills that most companies require are:
TeamworkStart Your Upskilling Journey Now with Emeritus
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I sometimes find myself amazed at just how some people approach public relations. Public relations or PR is all about one thing: enhancing a company’s reputation.
Consumers don’t expect companies or people to be perfect but they do expect them to own up to problems right away and offer a remedy, not excuses for what has gone wrong. Sure, the threat of legal action often looms large in slowing corporate responsiveness, but leniency can be received from the affected parties when a remedy and sincere apology are offered.
But it is often the little things that mess up PR or at least takes the wind out of its sails. Whether you consider yourself a journalist, writer or blogger, there are certain things you want to get from businesses when considering running their story or using it as a springboard for a fresh discussion.
Specifically, any one of the following points can spell the difference between a company winning or losing the PR battle:
Generalized Release — Sharing news via a press release is still an important way for getting the word out. So why do some companies send out their news without taking the time to address that information to an actual person and adding a personalized note? Never assume that your news will get read or shared if you’re too lazy to connect with key influencers. Anything less is considered spam.
Belittling the Competition — Competitiveness is to be admired, but it shouldn’t happen at the expense of putting down a competing product. Consumers are much more sophisticated than what you suppose and are looking for solid, factual information. If you have something to say about your competitor’s product offering, then do so by explaining how your product lasts longer or performs better under certain conditions. Brand loyal consumers don’t take kindly to having their favorite products bashed and won’t make the switch if you make them feel stupid for buying a competing product.
Say What?! — Clarity, brevity and common sense are attributes of any good news story. Your news wins if you make your points succinctly, but you’ll lose if you’re long winded, off topic or offer news that is not clearly defined.
As companies work to build up their reputation it makes sense to elicit feedback from a dispassionate third party first to see if a proposed PR campaign is strong. An idea hatched in the bowels of the corporate marketing department may make sense to the PR wonks, but do lasting damage if ill-conceived or presented without proper care.
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