adplus-dvertising
Connect with us

Tech

'Final Fantasy XIV' PS5 beta starts on April 13th – Yahoo News Canada

Published

 on


Local Journalism Initiative

Mandatory masks for teachers and high school students gets mixed reaction in north

After months of lobbying by teachers unions for increased public health measures in schools, B.C.’s education minister made masks mandatory for middle and high school students, and kindergarten-to-grade 12 teachers. “We want students, their families, and staff to feel confident with the safety measures in place – that’s why we’re making these updates,” announced Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside this afternoon. Instead of removing masks upon entering their classroom, middle and high school students will now have to stay masked until seated at their desks. “It isn’t going to be a huge shift,” said Prince George District Acting Superintendent Cindy Heitman. “The only difference, really, for our students and staff is that they have to wear their masks within their learning groups.” Students will not need to wear a mask when at a workstation, if separated by a barrier, or while eating. “If they have to get up and move to sharpen a pencil or get something, they’ll have to put their masks on,” said Heitman. “So, we’ll have to do some more education around reminding students to wear their masks when they leave their workspace.” Whiteside, joined by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, also released more detailed guidelines around activities in schools, including instructing masks be worn during singing, that strenuous physical activities be done outdoors, and musical equipment be sterilized between players. Previously, middle and high school students had to wear a mask in all high traffic areas, such as hallways, outside classrooms, on buses, and in situations where physical distancing wasn’t possible, but were allowed to remove their masks within their learning groups. For elementary school students, wearing masks indoors remains a personal choice, Whiteside said. To date, school districts have been funded to purchase 3.9 million in masks for students and staff. As well, the federal government provided B.C. a $242.4 million one-time payment for schools during the 2020/21 school year, with an additional $112 million from the provincial government to school districts and independent schools to cover COVID-19-related costs. Rapid response teams allocated a total of $900,000, will work in each health authority to improve the speed of school exposure investigations. After months of lobbying the Ministry of Education for increased safety measures in schools for teachers, B.C. Teachers Federation President Teri Mooring welcomed today’s changes but said they didn’t go far enough, and continued asking for reduced class sizes, improved ventilation in schools, and prioritized vaccinations for teachers, among other things. Locally, the Prince George District Teachers Association (PGDTA) did not respond to requests for a comment by press time, but a representative previously stated that public health measures “were not sufficient to feel safe in schools,” according to a public letter to Henry from the association tweeted on Dec. 16. “It was a bit shocking when I read what (PGDTA) put out,” said Tabitha Krauskopf, a Prince George district elementary school teacher. “The schools are safe. People are respectful. Families are really supportive. They keep their kids home; they follow Northern Health guidelines.” Both the BC Teachers Federation and the PGDTA have petitioned for mandatory masks in all areas of school. “I have kids in my class who wear them. I have kids who don’t,” said Krauskopf. “That’s up to their parents to make that call.” Krausknopf worries about the impact on students who see their teachers masked all the time. “Any teacher is going to tell you that you have to build relationships with kids to help them learn,” she said. “I do think having adults wear a mask does impede that.” Both teachers unions have also called for a 50 per cent reduction of class density to increase physical distancing. Every teacher would welcome reduced class sizes, says Krauskopf, citing improved academic performance with smaller student-to-teacher ratios, but her split class of 21 grade 1 and 2 students is manageable. “I have my students in rows; we have space,” she said. “Even if you limit class sizes, if you’re looking at an elementary school, they’re never going to be exposure free.” Schools have had some exposures because they are a reflection of what is happening in the communities, said Henry. “We’ve had very little spread within the school setting, particularly within the classrooms.” In the PG school district, since early October, a total of 34 staff, visitors, or students in a school building have tested positive for COVID-19, said Heitman. “We have 15,000 staff and students and have only had 34 exposure notifications,” Heitman said. “Something’s working in our plans.” For Krauskopf, her workplace feels safe. “The role of the union is to protect their members, but I really feel that my role as a teacher is to look after my students,” she said. “I don’t feel that I am in harm’s way, and my students, we need to look after their mental health.” Fran@thegoatnews.ca / @FranYanor Fran Yanor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Rocky Mountain Goat

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

300x250x1

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

OpenAI Looks to Escape Copyright Lawsuit Over Open Source Code

Published

 on

OpenAI Inc., the viral generative artificial intelligence company that’s drawn major investment from Microsoft Corp., moved to dismiss a wide-ranging lawsuit brought by open-source software developers claiming that the company’s “Copilot” AI program was trained with and reproduced their code without authorization.

OpenAI, which was sued alongside Microsoft and Github Inc.—companies that helped develop Copilot—said in court documents filed on Thursday that the complaint had major procedural problems and relied mostly on unspecific allegations.

OpenAI is the company behind other popular AI programs like the image-generating DALL-E and the chatbot ChatGPT; this month it received a $10 billion investment …

728x90x4

Source link

300x250x1
Continue Reading

Tech

Electronic Arts Spotlights Accessibility Features In Motive’s All-New ‘Dead Space’ Revival – Forbes

Published

 on

In a blog post published this week, video game captain of industry Electronic Arts (referred to as EA henceforth) outlined several of the accessibility features included in Motive’s popular horror title Dead Space. The Redwood City-based EA’s announcement coincided with the release of the updated game late this week.

As noted on the game’s website, the story of Dead Space revolves around “the dark secrets behind the events aboard the USG Ishimura through the final logs of the ill-fated crew and your encounters with the few survivors that remain.” The new version of the game, available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, is a remake of the classic version with what the developer calls “jaw-dropping visual fidelity, suspenseful atmospheric audio, and improvements to gameplay.”

Dead Space is a classic that changed how horror games were perceived when it was released,” said lead senior experience designer Christian Cimon in a statement included in the post. “[It] made sense to revive that game and share it with a whole new generation. But the game came out 15 years ago, when accessibility features were less common. Things like subtitles, menu narration, control-remapping, and the like are pretty much expected now [by the disability community], so we wanted to make sure the remake aligns with today’s highest standards.”

EA notes Motive has made Dead Space more accessible and inclusive by building in a number of “customization options with some fine-grained control.” Amongst many others, they include colorblind settings, control customization, and aim assistance. There’s also the ability to have screen reader-like narration of menus, as well as options to reduce motion effects, enable subtitles for dialogue, and display content warnings in anticipation of more gruesome moments.

300x250x1

There’s a video demoing accessibility in Dead Space on its YouTube channel.

All told, Motive is acutely aware that supporting accessibility is an evergreen endeavor that never finishes. The company is committed to making Dead Space even more inclusive going forward, with Cimon astutely noting the inclusivity ultimately benefits gamers yet also helps the business too. Accessibility features, he said, help the game feel more accessible and approachable by making it appealing to the widest possible swath of potential players. Ergo, more players means more business for the development studio to pour into future innovations.

As the axiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“[Working on accessibility is] about addressing and removing barriers that come between our players and games,” said EA’s program lead for game accessibility Morgan Baker in the post. “Accessibility improves experiences for people of all abilities and backgrounds, allowing for better products and ensuring that more players can have an enjoyable experience. And the work done by the Dead Space team shows that increasing accessibility continues to be a priority for us.”

For Baker, it’s heartening to see Motive so committed to accessibility.

“It’s so motivating to see a studio like Motive so invested in providing players more choices around how they consume horror content,” Baker said. “It’s inspiring. And we hope to see more studios consider the same. Because ultimately, when we can all play games, we all win.”

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Samsung Galaxy S23 series German pricing leaks

Published

 on

Just a few days ago we got some detailed pricing info for the Galaxy S23 series in Germany and Spain, WinFuture is here with some more finalized sums for the German market.

Based on the latest info, the entry-level Galaxy S23 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will start at €949 while the 256GB S23 model will go for €1,009. These sums are €10 less than the alleged Spanish pricing.

Galaxy S23+ will start at €1,199 in its 8/256GB trim while the 8/512GB model will go for €1,319. The 8/256GB Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at €1,399 while the 12/512GB model will go for €1,579.

300x250x1
Germany
Galaxy S23 Galaxy S23+ Galaxy S23 Ultra
8/128 GB €949 N/A N/A
8/256 GB €1,009 €1,199 €1,399
8/512 GB N/A €1,319 N/A
12/512 GB N/A N/A €1,579

A closer comparison to the S22 series pricing reveals Samsung will be charging a €100 premium on the entry-level S23 and S23+ models. The base model S23 Ultra gets €50 price increase though the new model should arrive with 256GB storage instead of 128GB on its predecessor. The top-dog 12/512GB Galaxy S23 will be a cool €130 costlier this time around. Pre-orders from Samsung.com are expected to get the storage upgrade promos.

Source (in German)

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending