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How can Gamified Tech Increase Reading Proficiency by Over 80%?

Technology permeates every sphere of our life and has made several of our daily tasks easier. From professional life to housework and play sessions, technology has transformed everything a great deal. And now, it’s on its way to transforming education.

Have you ever wondered how you can make education fun for your child? Or are you thinking of learning a new skill in a fun way? Well, here comes gamified education or learning.

What is Technological Gamification of Education?

Gamification simply means applying game designs and gaming principles in a non-game context. It is not some new concept and is prevalent in contexts like digital marketing, productivity tools, etc. However, it has gained immense popularity in the field of education.

Gamification makes boring concepts interesting. The primary objective of gamified education is to help learn complex concepts while having fun. They do so by implementing various levels, goals, peer competition, teamwork, point-scoring, etc.

Gamification is a methodology to increase motivation in both children and adults. It can be technical and non-technical. Technological gamification focuses on using apps and educational games on computers and tablets.

Impact of Gamification in Education

A recent study found that challenge-based gamification can improve students’ performance by 35%. Combining traditional learning methods with gamification can further improve the statistics.

Gamification triggers real, powerful human emotions like happiness, intrigue, excitement, and accomplishment. Another important reason for successful gamification in education is the addictive feature of video games.

Moreover, everyone loves playing games, and when the same addictive features are applied to support learning, we get similar results. Gamification further helps in:

  • Our decreasing attention span poses numerous problems. Gamification gives learners small chunks of data to process. As a result, it helps them stay focused and retain more information.
  • Game elements like immediate feedback and badges keep learners motivated and engaged. Social interactions through games have numerous benefits, including delaying dementia in the elderly population.
  • Receiving positive feedback for completing challenging tasks activates the brain’s pleasure circuits. Plus, it results in a long-lasting affinity for the subject.

How can you Implement Gamification in Education?

Gamification has several benefits, as discussed above. Hence, teachers must build gamified classrooms so that students can reap the most benefits from the lectures. Educators can follow the below-given points for creating an effective classroom:

  • Points-based system: Give points to students for well-structured answers, which will help them move up the ranks.
  • Create competition: Organize friendly competitions within the classrooms or with other classes. The winner can receive rewards like fewer homework tasks, extended break time, etc.
  • Learning badges: Give colorful learning badges when students reach a certain level.
  • Gaming elements: You can use all or some of the gaming elements, which include narrative, immediate feedback, fun, increasing challenges, leveling up, social connection, player control, and progress indicators.

Takeaway

Whether children or adults, everyone can enjoy learning through gamification. Moreover, teachers can easily grab learners’ attention to teach complex concepts. Hence, every educator must adopt it to make their lectures fun.

Signs Your Company is Ready for an ERP

Running a business is not a cakewalk, there is always a new challenge to overcome, milestones to achieve, and decisions to make. While setting up a business, you can use as much help as you can get. In some cases, implementing a robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can synchronize your business workflow, making things easier for you.

What is an ERP system? An ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning system, helps combine all of your company’s important operations into a single comprehensive solution. This results in more simplified operations and information that is readily kept and disseminated within the organization. Let’s look at some of the signs that may indicate your business needs an ERP system.

1.   No Automation and Streamlining

A company is only as successful in the market as the operations that it relies on. When a company depends significantly on out-of-date legacy systems, its growth might suffer. Manual activities can be a long drawn process and are more prone to human mistakes. ERP systems can assist in automating or streamlining these operations in order to save money and increase efficiency.

2.   Struggling to Meet Consumer Demand

Do you struggle with inventory management and tracking? When your company’s activities expand, inventory control becomes more difficult if you continue to use manual procedures and stand-alone software to maintain inventory and handle purchase requisition.

An Erp software can not only make this easier for you, but it can also help you expand effectively. It can check and make note of if you have the right amount of merchandise on hand to keep your business running smoothly.

3.   You Use Multiple Software

Many firms run the risk of investing in a variety of systems and applications to improve the efficiency of their operations. But, this strategy might have the reverse consequence of generating silos throughout the organization.

When staff has access to the entire, centralized system, tracking, recording, and processing of information become more efficient. There is less chance of duplicating information with a centralized ERP system, and all the information is provided in real-time. This implies that personnel in the finance department have access to the same data as shelf stackers.

4.   Difficulty in Accessing Important Information

Manually updating spreadsheets and software may be time-consuming, and the organization might suffer greatly. Employees may quickly receive access to the critical company data they require with a contemporary ERP system.

This data is available in real-time from any place and on any internet-enabled device. Managers can gain from getting a comprehensive perspective of corporate activities at all times, which can lead to greater leadership. Customers may also benefit from these features as well since sales personnel can check a customer’s transaction history with the press of a button.

Conclusion

Determining or fixing problems after they have occurred can result in a waste of time, money, and resources. Businesses should take a proactive approach to problem-solving by detecting potential concerns as soon as feasible. ERP systems may assist firms in functioning more successfully by providing the tools required to keep businesses on track.

Technology Mistakes People Make When Moving Locations

Moving locations is a humongous task and is always accompanied by a large number of responsibilities. Most of the jobs that one needs to do while moving are usually done in a haste, no matter how many months of planning you have had prior to your big day.

One of the biggest oversights that people make is to forget to make technological arrangements. Internet connection has become one of the basic amenities in people’s lives. It is important to make sure your new moving location has proper networks. One often needs to involve construction workers to set up a new satellite in case you are moving to a remote locality.

Here are some of the ways to void such a technological mistake while moving:

Use a Checklist

Project management is impossible to undertake without a detailed checklist in hand. If you are someone who is usually engaged in works that do not handle large-scale movement, it is very easy for you to overlook such things.

Making a checklist of all things essential is a must. Remember, making just the list is not enough. It must also contain every minute detail about each activity. Every detail about your technology requirement should make it to the list. That is how you can ensure that you do not miss out on any aspect of your technological resettlement in your new location.

Move Your Own Network

It might be a good idea to make arrangements to move your own network rather than depending on a completely new network vendor in your new location. Sometimes, acquiring a different network in a new place might take weeks, and it is simply not worth pausing your work.

Research Thoroughly

Do thorough research before hiring your IT guy. For technological resettlement, you will need to hire someone who works in IT. However, most IT professionals have their own biases when it comes to technological management. That is why it is advisable that you do your research and find someone whose preferences are going to match with what you need. Discuss what your technical requirements are and where your focus is at work. This will make it easy for him to work through the details and ensure a smooth transition for all your technological resettlements.

Notify Your Network Company

Make sure to inform your network company before the big move. While sticking to the same network is naturally more convenient, it is still better to make prior arrangements. However, one cannot expect to get the same services of a network from two completely different geographical areas.

That is why it might be a good idea to give your mobile network, wifi service provider, and cable vendors a heads-up a few days before moving. Discuss with them what plans will work for you and whether their networks can pick up the same speed from different geographical locations.

Conclusion

These are some aspects that will make your technological resettlement while switching locations efficient. Remember, it is always better to take extra precaution and be ready rather than find yourself in a situation where your technology fails you.

Breaking Down The Latest Gov Checklist On Avoiding Cyber Attacks

During times of crisis, cyber security threats prove to be one of the biggest concerns that companies have to face. The government of the United States, anticipating heightened threats to cyber security, has issued a checklist.

Here are some preventive measures prescribed by the administration that will ensure your enterprise runs in a smooth and secure manner. These preventive measures will certainly prove useful to companies and make them more efficient and authentic in their function.

Multi-factor verification

Multiple steps authentication should be mandatory before anyone is allowed to log into the company’s system. This will keep attackers at bay and make it more difficult for them to hack into the system.

Security Tool

Investing and implementing advanced security tools in the company’s system will make it easy for the owner to take notice of any new threat within the system.

Data Back-up

In case of cyber attacks, important data stored in your system becomes vulnerable and might even get lost. That is why it is advisable for companies to preserve a backup of every important piece of data in a doubly secured, different computer. This makes retrieval of important data possible, even if the company system gets compromised due to cyber attacks.

Consult Cybersecurity Professionals

Every company should hire their own cybersecurity professional and have them screen their systems periodically to catch any potential threat lurking in the corner.

Practice Emergency Drills

Exercises and drills should be practiced regularly so that your company is ready to act on short notice in case of a real attack. This will cut down the time your data is exposed to the attackers.

Data Encryption

Despite every precaution, it may not be possible to resist a cyber-attack effectively. In that case, it is advisable to encrypt all your data so that it cannot be accessed even if it gets stolen. This will buy you extra time to shut down your system in case of an attack.

Workshops on Cyberattacks

Hold workshops and seminars that will break down and explain signs of cyber security threats to your employees. Educate them on all the tactics that cyber attackers might use to breach the system through their phones and emails. Make sure all unusual activities are reported immediately.

Build secured products

All your intellectual properties should come with a built-in security system so that they are able to safeguard themselves from any external threat.

Exclusivity

Make projects and software exclusively accessible to only those employees who are working on them.

Authenticate Software Codes

Make sure software developers use codes whose origins are known to them. This prevents any kind of vulnerability within the system and allows the developers to rapidly correct it in case of any threat.

Conclusion

These are some of the preventive measures that companies can employ to secure their systems against any potential threats. It will also ensure the longevity of their software and the effectiveness of the data they produce.

Security Features To Look For In Your Accounting Software

Having accounting software is greatly beneficial these days on several accounts. However, it is not enough to simply have it in use. It is also crucial to have the necessary security features. A single breach can lead to innumerable damage in terms of data and information.

Security measures are required both on-premise as well as on the cloud. Robust protection on all fronts can ensure that the data is completely safe.

Implementing security measures may seem expensive and intimidating. However, the loss from any breach can be much greater. So, here are some essential security features that are absolute must-haves.

1.   Perimeter Firewalls

Perimeter firewalls are an absolute must for any software service. Usually, firewalls consist of some essential features, such as analyzing a packet’s source and its destination. Depending on the strength of the firewall employed, other factors are examined as well. A robust firewall stops breaches from the very get-go and allows for the safe passage of approved entries only.

2.   Internal Firewalls

Most organizations, however, do take care of perimeter firewalls. What they do forget about are internal firewalls. They are just as important.

Humans always stand the chance of making mistakes, and internal breaches are far more common than we usually imagine. To prevent the leakage of sensitive or privileged information, it is necessary to have iron-clad inner firewalls as well.

3.   Event Logging Tracking

To ensure that your accounts are secure and stable throughout, you can implement event logging trackers into your security system. With this, the organization can keep track of the breach attempts made.

This can also help recognize potential threats and prevent future breaches from the same sources. Having this feature also helps meet security standards.

4.   Encryption of Stored Data

Other than the data that is being utilized actively, you must take adequate steps to safeguard the data that has been stored in your cloud software.

This can also help provide more security for more confidential data that needs increased security. Selective encryption of certain data can help manage accessibility among employees as well.

5.   Physical Security Measures

Do not miss out on the physical security aspect of your accounting software as well. Although it is rare, access to physical components can severely compromise your data. There can be several layers to physical security.

Ensure all stakeholders have passwords at all stages of their physical devices, especially ones at the immediate workplace. Other security measures include identity-related security controls and CCTV monitoring.

Conclusion

With the advancement of technology, there are privileges but also increased risks. To make sure with these advancements and ensure that your data is secure at all times, you have to optimize your security measures as well.

The above points are some of the essential security measures that all accounting software must-have. Therefore, make sure to integrate them as soon as possible.

How (And How Often) To Update Your Router’s Firmware

Updating your router from time to time is of the utmost importance. However, more often than not, most people tend to not bother with it. Not only does updating the router help increase the connectivity speed, but it also keeps the devices connected to it secure.

How Often to Update Your Router’s Firmware?

Some routers automatically check for updates and subsequently send them. If not, ideally, your router firmware should be updated at least once in five years. In case there are many devices connected to it on a regular basis, every three years is also a good time to check up on your router firmware.

If you want to check your router for updates, here are the steps.

  1. Go to the Settings of your router.
  2. Select the “Advanced” option.
  3. Go to “Administration”.
  4. Click on the update firmware or update router button.

How to Update Your Router’s Firmware?

Updating your router from time to time, whether prompted automatically or done manually, is crucial. The following are the steps to update your router’s firmware.

Step 1: Firstly, you will have to find the IP address for your router. In most cases, you can find it on the bottom portion of the router itself. You can also find it in the “Network Status” tab (for Windows) and the “Network” tab under “System Preferences” (for Mac).

Step 2: Connect to the router with the help of ethernet so that you can access the configuration tools of the router.

Step 3: Enter the IP address of your router in your browser. This will open your configuration page where you can provide your router login information. There are many default login options that you can try if you cannot remember any specific router login information.

Step 4: Go to the “Update Router” or “Firmware” page. The location of this page might differ from one manufacturer to another. You can look for instructions in the router packaging box or find them on the “Utilities” page.

Step 5: Press the “Check Now” button on the update page. This will help you look for an update, if any, for your router firmware. You can also look for firmware updates on the website of your router manufacturer.

Step 6: Download the firmware files required for the update. They are usually downloaded in a zip file format.

Step 7: Extract the files and upload them to your router by going to the update firmware page from before.

Step 8: Once the file is uploaded, the update will begin. It will take a few minutes, after which the router will reset itself. During this process, you will most likely not get a connection to the router.

Endnotes

Clearly, updating your router is no hassle at all!

With a few simple steps, you can ensure increased speed and security for yourself and anyone else who might use your router. With the increased use of the internet, it is important everyone stays safe with proper firmware protection.

Signs your device may be mining crypto without your knowledge

The sudden growth in cryptocurrencies attracted many cybercriminals. They keep inventing new methods to steal cryptos, and crypto-jacking is one of them.

Cryptojacking is the illegal use of your devices to mine cryptocurrencies. They can hack into any device, from computers to mobile phones. Hackers use your resources to illegally mine cryptos and then transfer those into their wallets. Learn more about crypto-jacking and protect yourself against cyberscams

Ways to detect crypto-jacking

The hackers mine cryptos using your device’s power, which reduces your device’s performance and racks up a huge electricity bill. Below are some indications to determine if you’re being crypto-jacked:

  • Slowed down devices: A decrease in the performance of your device is the first sign of crypto-jacking. A crypto-jacked device works harder than it should, and hence, runs slow.
  • Exceptionally high CPU usage: Check your task manager or activity monitor to detect any spike in the CPU usage. A high CPU speed even when everything is closed is a sign of malware running behind the scenes.
  • Overheated fan or battery: Cryptojacking consumes a lot of resources putting additional pressure on the device’s hardware components. Another sign of crypto-jacking is if your device’s fan or battery is overheated more often.
  • Monitor your browser: Cryptojackers can create tiny pop-up browser windows that can easily go unnoticed. They usually hide it behind your start button or toolbar to keep your resources at work even when you have closed your browser.
  • Increased cloud bills: Hackers are good at phishing your cloud login credentials. They can then put those resources to use for illegal mining, resulting in increased bills.

Tips to avoid crypto-jacking

Cryptojacking is a popular cybercrime mainly because it poses fewer risks than traditional hacking methods. Cybercriminals can easily obtain ready-made software online and deploy it on your device. It goes unnoticed for a long time and when discovered it’s difficult to trace it back to the hacker. Hence, it’s important to remember the following to avoid being crypto-jacked:

  • Education and training: Educate your employees on all the signs of crypto-jacking. Also, train your IT team to detect crypto-jacking and then take relevant steps quickly.
  • Keep an eye on trends: Inform yourself about the changing trends in cryptocurrency. Be aware of new forms of cyber attacks to take better precautions.
  • Leverage ad-blockers and anti-crypto mining extensions: Cryptojacking scripts are most often embedded in web browsers and ads. These will help you by identifying and blocking any possible threat.
  • Timely scans: Perform regular malware scans to detect any crypto-jacking happening in the background.

Takeaway

Cryptojacking is a relatively new form of cyberattack and it’s worth reading about. It has the potential of harming your business earnings and may pose a threat to your privacy as well. Whether you are interested in cryptocurrency or not, you can still become its victim.

As the saying goes, “precaution is better than cure,” it’s always better to adopt tactics to save yourself from any potential cyber threat.

Blogs, Communities, and Forums to Learn About Tech for Non-Profits

The Tech in the new age will take your organization to another level. The world is ready for innovations to change the way it has been working till now. So essentially, it becomes imperative for non-profit organizations to look for solutions to streamline their work process and make their organization’s work seamless. Now let’s look at a few blogs, communities, and forums that can assist non-profit organizations in their tech endeavor.

1.   TechSoup Forum

TechSoup collaborated with 63 of the world’s greatest civil society groups to use technology to better people’s lives.

Partners in the TechSoup Global Network administer various technological capacity-building projects that assist communities in practically every area of the world. Each network partner customizes its program to meet the requirements of its community and shares experiences with other network partners to better assist communities across the globe.

The TechSoup Forum is dedicated to continuing its great effect and developing next-generation programs and services to help people navigate an increasingly digital environment. It allows tech experts from all around the world to connect and assist non-profits with any tech-related questions.

2.   The Agitator/ Donor Voice

The Agitator was developed by a group of nonprofit strategists and fundraisers who were tired of the existing quo. They noticed firms using guiding principles in ways that were not yielding results and decided to take action. As the name implies, its material poses complex issues and pushes the charity sector to reconsider its approach to fundraising. The stuff they provide will encourage you to do just that.

Each piece is pretty unique, but this site has some brilliant jewels. The authors are not just fundraising specialists, but their writings are also literary and amusing. For example, one of our favorite blogs is on data hygiene, where they approach the issue by writing a screenplay for an old-school PSA. And it’s not a case of flair above substance; their viewpoints are supported by evidence and carefully vetted.

3.   Scope

. The Scope is an open community in which anybody may freely browse the forum, and it has accomplished incredible things to date. It fosters encouraging and accessible surroundings in which members can establish trust and achieve more together. Finally, the Scope community strives to guarantee that no one is left out by providing support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Scope is an English and Welsh disability equality nonprofit that works to ensure that all disabled persons have access to equality and justice. It was founded in 1952 by three parents and one social worker. Their primary purpose was to secure that disadvantaged children got equal access to school.

4.   NTEN Connect Blog

The NTEN Connect post is a community-sourced magazine that provides first-hand advice from nonprofit technology experts. They also offer a diversity of viewpoints so that you might benefit from the experiences of others. For example, community members can comment on items on the NTEN Connect Blog, and professionals from the charity technology and NTEN affiliate communities can submit material and share knowledge with others.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, nonprofits do outstanding jobs. From the healthcare system to individuals in developing countries, the mission of these NGOs is limitless. They make sure people have access to mental care support services wherever and whenever they need it.

Some of the most regarded experts maintain their blogs to share best practices, question the current status quo, and even provide levity to help people fundraise more effectively. If you haven’t already taken advantage of their kindness and wisdom, now is the time.

Irreplaceable Things on Your Computer Right Now

Backups are essential since your computer’s hard disk may fail tomorrow or a software flaw could destroy your information. However, you are not required to back up all of the files on your computer. This would only waste space and make backups take longer to complete.

The most fundamental backup rule is that any significant data should reside in two or more physical places at the same time. You can’t make a backup and then remove the original. If you do, it is no longer a backup. You still have only one duplicate of your data; you’ve merely relocated it.

Now, you know that you need a backup but you may be confused with what files need a backup on your computer. Hence, we are here with a list of items that should always have a backup.

Backup for Files and Folders

Let’s look at the most important thing on your computer first- files and folders. Whether they contain pictures, videos, or office documents, some folders are just too important to not have a backup.

Documents

The Documents folder is where you may keep personal data and folders. It’s an essential option for backup because it’s likely to include your Word documents, receipt PDFs, and other associated data.

However, many software developers disregard the folder’s primary purpose and instead utilize it to store mobile data. Overwatch, for example, maintains log data, settings, and recorded video clips here.

As a result, you may wish to go through your Documents folder and exclude app-related files if you don’t need them. Generally, however, everything within Documents should be backed up.

Downloads

By default, downloaded files are saved in the Downloads folder. Most online browsers, as well as many media download utilities, save downloads to this folder by default.

While you may want to first wipe away large downloads that you no longer require, backing up this folder is a good idea. You never know when you’ll need a program installation or a PDF you saved months ago.

Desktop

Many individuals, at least temporarily, keep files on their desktops. It’s easy to overlook the importance of backing up this folder, but you should. By doing this, you won’t lose anything that you inadvertently left on the desktop.

Music, Videos, and Pictures

These three places are provided by Windows for storing personal media files. You should absolutely back up whatever you have here because it is most likely critical.

These folders are used by several media programs to store local files (such as iTunes keeping library files in the iTunes subfolder). While backing up these items isn’t required, it may be useful if you don’t want to re-download anything.

Projects and Important Files

If you perform creative work (for example, programming, photography, video editing, or writing), you should always back up your data, especially any ongoing work.

Make a point of backing up all of them. To keep track of them, store them in common areas (such as Documents or Pictures) rather than establishing folders in odd places that you’re most likely to overlook.

Besides work and projects, there are other files and documents that are equally important and need backup. Tax records and paperwork, rental and lease information, company invoices, bank and credit card statements are examples.

Conclusion

You now understand which folders in Windows should be backed up. The most significant items are those that are irreplaceable, such as personal papers, images, and game save data. You do not need to back up system files that Windows will replace during a fresh installation.

Wondering Who Started “Cybersecurity Awareness Month”?

Nowadays it seems like every other day holds some sort of significance, especially since the past decade. Although we rarely pay attention to many of these months and occasions, cybersecurity awareness month is one of the most important one observed in October and here’s why.

First, the significance of approved cybersecurity practices in different sectors- for example, the government sector- cannot be overstated. Cyberattacks and the subsequent data loss can have irreversible consequences for national security and the country’s economy. While your business looks to be less vulnerable, the impact of cyber attacks on federal agencies is greater than that on private enterprises.

Not a day goes by without some kind of cybercrime in the headlines. According to the most recent figures, cybercrime events now cost the globe more than $1 trillion, or more than 1% of global GDP. This figure underscores the rising need for verified, trusted, and certified cybersecurity solutions in every industry, particularly sensitive areas like the US Federal government. But, do you ever wonder who realized the importance of cybersecurity and felt the need to create awareness for the same?

Who Launched it?

In October 2004, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established Cybersecurity Awareness Month as a comprehensive effort to assist all Americans stay safer and more comfortable online.

When Cybersecurity Awareness Month originally started, the focus was on tips like upgrading your security software twice a year to match similar efforts surrounding replacing batteries in smoke detectors during daylight savings time.

The Evolving Themes, Significance, and Reach

Since the adoption of the awareness month, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security have worked together to expand its scope and participation. The month’s effort has evolved to encompass a plethora of industry partners that engage their customers, workers, the broader population in awareness, and also college campuses, NGOs among other groups.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano started Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2009 at a Washington, D.C. event to become the highest-ranking state official to take part in the month’s events. In the years afterwards, top government officials from DHS, the White House, and other agencies have frequently attended gatherings around the country.

Beginning in 2011, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security established the notion of weekly themes throughout the month. This concept was inspired by comments from stakeholders who suggested that the many components of cybersecurity be clearly described, making it simpler for other groups to align with certain themes. Education, cybercrime, law enforcement, mobility, vital infrastructure, and small and medium-sized enterprises have been among the topics covered.

Do Your Part- #BeCyberSmart

The NCSA and DHS collaboration on Cybersecurity Awareness Month is one of many successful public-private collaborations that are essential to cybersecurity.

The 2021 theme for the awareness month aims to empower every individual and organization to protect their cyberspace and make it secure and safe for the greater good. The theme- do your part #BeCyberSmart- is not just for the citizens of America or any particular country, but the world at large.

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