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education

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10 very cool augmented reality apps (that aren't design or shopping tools)

Augmented reality is having a moment on Android. Thanks to ARCore, which now works on more than a dozen device models—Google says that's more than 100 million individual devices—we've seen a ton of new applications that insert virtual objects into our real surroundings. A lot of them are shopping and interior design apps, which makes sense—AR's ability to make items appear in your home is a great way to see what a couch looks like in your living room without actually lugging it in there. But AR can do so much more. Here are 10 augmented reality apps that are useful, fascinating, or just plain cool.

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Viewsonic announces the education-focused NMP660 Chromebox for $349, coming in April

Chrome OS is all the rage in education these days. It's ideal for classroom use, with sandboxed security, low-cost and durable hardware options, and plenty of management tools. Viewsonic is no stranger to the education market, either, with its wireless ViewBoard classroom displays. And now it's pushing out a Chromebox to accompany that display, the new $349 NMP660 which will be available in April. 

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[Update: Now available] Lenovo announces three new education-focused Chromebooks

Chromebooks don't have as much power as the average Windows laptop, but they don't need it. These devices can do everything most computer users need and then some. The lower price point is nice, too. Lenovo's latest Chromebooks run the gamut from mid-range to bargain-basement, and all of them have a focus on education.

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Dell announces rugged Chromebook 5000 Series for use in classrooms

If there's one area Chromebooks are consistently crushing the competition, it's in the educational market. According to IDC figures from 2016, Chromebooks made up 49% of school computers. Dell's 5000 Series is the company's latest attempt to cash in on that lucrative market, with a rugged design perfect for use in education.

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Acer announces new Chromebox, two new Chromebooks

It appears to be new Chromebook season, as Acer has announced the Chromebook Spin 11 (pictured), Chromebook 11 C732, and Chromebox CXI3. All three are priced near the budget end of the price spectrum, with the latter two intended specifically for education and enterprise markets. The newly-announced models are run by 8th generation (Apollo Lake) Intel processors. As with all new Chrome OS devices, the trio support Google Play, allowing them to run Android apps.

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[你好] Duolingo adds Chinese (Mandarin) to its list of languages

You don't have to be a genius to work out that China is going to be an increasingly significant nation in the coming years, culturally and economically. More than one billion people already speak Chinese, and that's sure to continue rising. It's been one of the most requested languages over at Duolingo, which is ready to launch Mandarin Chinese in its mobile apps and on the web.

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Google partners with Udacity to offer 50,000 new scholarships for aspiring developers

Grow with Google is the company's educational initiative offering free training and tools to help kickstart the careers of budding developers across the United States. The platform has several partners with which Google works to create learning programs and provide support. One such partner is Udacity, which offers free and paid online courses for a range of different technical disciplines.

Together, Google and Udacity are offering 50,000 new scholarships in the US. They will specifically target Android and mobile web developers with a view to training them up and getting them into work. The courses are intended to prepare students for Google's Associate Android Developer and Mobile Web Specialist developer certifications.

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Google creates coffee making sim to test VR learning

Most VR experiences so far have been games and 360-degree videos, but Google is exploring the idea that VR can be a way to learn real life skills. The skill it chose to use as a test of this hypothesis is making coffee. So of course, it created a coffee making simulator in VR. The result was surprisingly supportive of VR learning.

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Sony's KOOV wants to teach your kids programming through robotics... via an Indiegogo campaign

Yesterday Sony Global Education launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding project for its newest educational initiative. Meet KOOV a programming and robotics kit for children. Think Legos meets robots (which is already a thing) but with better software and simpler hardware. With these tools, your kids can pick up programming fundamentals at a much earlier age. Perhaps little Suzy might be the next Wozniak or Stallman. Probably with less facial hair, though. 

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Google launches 'Be Internet Awesome' program to help kids be smart online

Some people use the anonymity afforded by the internet to be jerks. Meanwhile, other people share too much personal information or get taken in by fake news. Google is looking to help the next generation be better at using the internet than we are, and it's doing it with the "Be Internet Awesome" campaign. It's a program that includes resources for parents and educators, and some games for kids. Well, they're educational games, but that still counts.

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