Tag Archives: education

Polish Universities about to utilize blockchain technology

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Billon Group - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding
Source: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/billon-group

In a partnership with OPTeam, which delivers software for academic entities, Billon Digital Solutions is introducing blockchain into polish universities. The company wants to completely replace the current way of storing students’ data by creating a blockchain ledger for polish universities. This ledger will consist of every document that relates to a particular student and aims to reduce the risk of forging them. It is easy to use because to save a paper in such a form, a member of the academic staff needs only several seconds, and any person can validate it in no time from any place in the world. A crucial factor that is worth paying attention to is that the system will store documents in their entirety. So not like so far, only cryptographic references to them. It is a significant step forward because it may allow storing, for example, the whole books, on blockchain in the future. The software already has its first user, the University of Technology in Kielce. The entity uses the technology to issue students’ diplomas, and so far, both students and academic staff are satisfied with its features.

Who would have imagined several years ago, when blockchain took its first step, it would be introduced even in such fossilized structures as the polish education system. It shows us how the future is unpredictable and orders us to pay close attention to new emerging technologies. Maybe in a few years, we will use blockchain on all levels of the education system.




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AI in the Education System

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AI in the Education System

Nowadays technology and education go hand in hand. The usage of such simple tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and many others have been crucial for delivering knowledge in the current times. Even though some educational institutions are still figuring out how to work with it, we would be lost without all the new and amazing technology available today.

It is great to see that companies like Microsoft are working hard on improving AI for educational institutions. Students will benefit from this technology by using it on a daily basis and it will maximize their preparedness for the future. Also, teachers could be relieved from some of the tedious tasks that are time consuming and give more attention to their students.  Overall, there are some innovative ideas on how to use AI to improve schooling.


But there is one important issue that all these great companies should pay more attention to: the increasing educational gap in the education system. While some are moving forward at an incredible pace, others are being left far behind.

We all know the importance of going to a good school and getting a good diploma to get a well-paid job.  For those of us who are fortunate enough to attend great schools, life will be much easier overall. But there is a great number of pupils who do not have this privilege. There have been numerous studies on how COVID has impacted the educational system. The low-income families and economically weak countries are among the victims that are struggling the most.


How can we use AI to narrow the gap between educational institutions and put everybody on equal footing?

Considering the vast amount of knowledge and finances that the big tech companies possess, I wonder if they could get more involved in the matter. It is likely that this wouldn’t be a top priority for any of them. But I think it is worth keeping in mind that poor education can be a devastating blow not only for the global economy but also the global community.

Now, I am not implying the progress should stop. On the contrary “full speed ahead”, give us more flexibility while studying online and for when we return to the classrooms. I just hope that the significant number of less fortunate will not be left behind.

Down below I have attached two links on the situation in UK and USA. But keep in mind that this is an issue for many other countries.






Duolingo – the best machine learning startup to work for in 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutesDuolingo is starting the year off strong. They have been named one of the top startups to work for, in the growing field of machine learning. These and many other insights are from a Crunchbase Pro analysis completed using Glassdoor data to rank the best machine learning startups to work for in 2020. Why is Duolingo a unique company?

Duolingo logo
Source: https://www.duolingo.com/

Duolingo AI Research

Duolingo AI Research is one of Duolingo’s fastest-growing teams. They are using real-world data to develop new hypotheses about language and learning, test them empirically, and ship products based on their research. Duolingo has revolutionized language learning for more than 300 million people around the world. They keep on bringing creative, interdisciplinary ideas on how to deliver a high-quality education to anyone, anywhere, through AI.


Duolingo AI team logo
Source: https://research.duolingo.com/


Tools and data from Duolingo

Duolingo use AI to adapt longer learning content to learners’ level. The startup is regularly releasing their internal tools to the public so everyone can read more about their research innovations. One of them is CEFR Checker. This tool determines whether texts are appropriate for beginner, intermediate, or advanced learners of English or Spanish. It works by analyzing vocabulary and highlighting words by their reading proficiency level according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Duolingo uses interactive tools like this one to help people revise content (e.g., Podcasts and Stories) for particular levels.

The Duolingo CEFR Checker: an AI tool for adapting learning content
Source: https://making.duolingo.com/the-duolingo-cefr-checker-an-ai-tool-for-adapting-learning-content

The Duolingo CEFR Checker: an AI tool for adapting learning content
Source: https://making.duolingo.com/the-duolingo-cefr-checker-an-ai-tool-for-adapting-learning-content


Duolingo is also committed to sharing data and findings with the broader research community. SLAM Shared Task is an example project. It contains data for the 2018 Shared Task on Second Language Acquisition Modeling (SLAM). This corpus contains 7 million words produced by learners of English, Spanish, and French. It includes user demographics, morph-syntactic metadata, response times, and longitudinal errors for 6k+ users over 30 days.


Why people should consider working at Duolingo?

The language-learning app Duolingo is valued at $1.5 billion after a $30 million investment by Alphabet’s CapitalG. Bookings growth has risen from $1 million to $100 million in less than three years for the most downloaded and top-grossing education app worldwide. What is more, Pittsburgh’s first venture capital-funded $1 billion start-up plans to increase staff by 50% with the new funding. Duolingo has been adding user and revenue at an impressive pace, continuing to solidify its position as the No. 1 way to learn a language globally.


Why people should consider working in the machine learning field?

Demand reminds high for technical professionals with machine learning expertise. According to Indeed, Machine Learning Engineer job openings grew 344% between 2015 to 2018 and have an average base salary of $146,085 according to their Best Jobs In The U.S. Study.

It can be safely stated that Duolingo is developing very dynamically. There is also no doubt that the rapid growth of a startup also means the development of its employees.

Would you choose to join Pittsburgh’s unicorn if you had such a chance? What do you think about Duolingo’s contribution to the development of the education sector?



[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2020/12/29/the-best-machine-learning-startups-to-work-for-in-2020-based-on-glassdoor/#71505e744886

[2] http://blog.indeed.com/2019/03/14/best-jobs-2019/

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/03/google-funded-duolingo-first-1-billion-start-up-from-pittsburgh.html

[4] https://making.duolingo.com/the-duolingo-cefr-checker-an-ai-tool-for-adapting-learning-content

[5] https://making.duolingo.com/how-machine-learning-helps-duolingo-prioritize-course-improvements

[6] https://cefr.duolingo.com/

[7] https://research.duolingo.com/

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Is Minecraft going to revolutionise education?

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Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania minecraft classroom

Remind Yourself about lessons in Your primary or secondary school. Some of them were presumably boring and even if they took place only once a week, You did not want to participate in them at all. Such a phenomenon occurs because how the information is delivered, for instance, boring lectures, during which no one except a teacher is permitted to say anything. Nowadays it became very difficult to make young students interested in a subject with traditional teaching methods. That’s why more and more apps and educational platforms are being developed to help teachers to make their lessons impressing.

Following the trend of a growing number of interactive tools, which help to teach, Microsoft decided to get into the market introducing “Minecraft: Education Edition”. Most of today’s children know what Minecraft is and probably have played it. For those, who don’t know it, Minecraft is a computer game, with infinite possibilities to discover the world by building things and completing achievements. More and more teachers around the world start using this method.  All of them could easily introduce this approach on their lessons because there are special guides and scenarios of classes on the Internet and also everyone can consult a professional mentor, who will help to implement Minecraft Edu in real life.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania minecraft education

“It is better to build it and understand it than write it on paper and understand it”

Some people would probably doubt if Minecraft is appropriate for every school subject, but the idea is admired by teachers of various subjects, from all around the world. On the website of Minecraft: Education Edition there are special materials for teachers uploaded. Subject kits for Language Arts, Science, History and Culture, Computer Science, Math, Art and Design can be found there.

It has been proven that children, whose teacher implemented Minecraft Edu, tend to learn more efficient, but on the other hand, such way of learning cannot be introduced in every case. The first and main reason is that in some countries, schools have not enough money to provide their students with such facilities as computer labs and they cannot require children to have their laptops. Secondly, would old teachers, who have been teaching traditionally for all of their lives introduce such an innovative method? Probably most of them would not do that. Finally, teachers and parents are not always able to monitor how much time do children spend in front of the screen, so if this was neglected, young students could be exposed to “screen addiction”.






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Is technology killing education?

Reading Time: 3 minutesWe all believe or want to believe that technology development is something good. It shows we’re moving forward, we’re getting better, we’re pushing the limits. But does it always make sense? Do we always need to introduce more gadgets and software to all fields? Is it always justified with thorough thinking and planning?

I doubt that.

I want to raise a taboo subject of technology in education (and in classrooms in general). More and more schools are facing this problem, including Kozminski University.

smartphones in the classrom

Source: www.bostonglobe.com

The first thing you notice when you enter the classroom is that literally 90% of students do not pay attention to the teacher, but do pay attention to their smartphones, tablets and laptops. What is the point of going to a class if all you do is scrolling Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat? And why do teachers never react?

It is said that problems with attention can be blamed on technology. You can argue and say we’re a generation of multitasking, but guess what? Researches show multitasking is actually impossible and what you do is more of a “task-switching”.

My point is not criticizing students for not paying attention in a class. I’m guilty myself! Moreover, being addicted to social media is not something my generation chose. It’s rather something we inherited from previous generations and are forced to live in.



Source: www.someecards.com

Let’s look at the problem from a different perspective. Why would someone pay attention to the full-of-text PowerPoint slides that he knows he’ll receive before the exam? Slides that can be read at home in 1 hour? Of course, there are teachers who try to make their classes more interesting and engaging, but even in spite of those efforts, PowerPoint in killing education. There’s no point in making notes when they’re already made and sent to you. Not to mention taking notes with a pen and paper, which happens to be the best way to learn.

Another taboo is cheating. We’re in Poland where cheating is, unfortunately, socially accepted. Teachers pretend they don’t see that, but smartphones and access to the Internet make cheating easier than ever before. With practically no reaction and no penalties, the value of your diploma is getting low. It is also said that with easy access to academic information, any academic writing is no longer original. Is that what we wanted?

Of course, there are amazing companies that help people learn (like Brainly, Skillshare, Khan Academy, Lynda, Codeacademy and many many others), knowledge is now more accessible than ever before. But is school really teaching us how to learn? Or just how to pass the exams?

Some people say technology is making us stupid and it’s hard not to agree with that. Others will list trends that are changing education for better and you can’t argue with that either. Technology is getting better every day and we probably should be excited about it, but are we actually ready for it? Maybe it’s time to stop for a moment and think not only about how we can implement technology at schools, but also how we can reduce its negative influence. After all, education is our future.


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What is the future of our education system?

Reading Time: 2 minutesmooc-cartoon


All of us, at some point have heard of MOOC, pronounced mook, or better yet, participated in MOOCs. For the less fortunate, here is what it is. MOOC – Massive open online course. Continue reading

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