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Amazon’s original Echo gets a much-needed upgrade

which echo should i buy echo 2

It’s been nearly two full years since the first Echo was made available to Amazon Prime subscribers. In that time, the company added six new members to the Echo family (seven if you count the Tap, which Amazon kind of, sort of does) — and in the case of the Echo Dot, did one full product refresh. Google entered the space in a big way with Home, and both Apple and Microsoft have their own takes arriving by year’s end.

The new Echo is more compact than the original. It’s also better looking, with six swappable shells designed to help it better blend in with its surroundings. The sound has been improved this time out, finally embracing the “speaker” part of the smart speaker category. Perhaps most importantly, however, it’s cheap. At $100, the new Echo is a full $80 cheaper than its predecessor — and $30 less than its closest competitor, Google Home.

Sound system

 

Image result for echo sound system amazon

In the past year, sound quality has become a much bigger priority for smart speakers. There’s the HomePod, of course, and the Google Home Max — both of which are being positioned as speakers first, with a smart assistant built in. There’s also been a recent deluge of third-party manufacturers like Sonos, Sony and Harman building their own premium systems, featuring Alexa and Google Assistant.

 

How Amazon Just Changed The $800 Billion Supermarket World

 

The new Echo is not that. The sound is definitely improved over the earlier model, but for the time being, the company seems to content to let those third parties do the heavy lifting when it comes to building audio-first systems. That, after all, would mean a marked increase in sticker price, making the standard Echo prohibitively expensive for many users.

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The addition of the 2.5-inch woofer and 0.6-inch tweeter (same as on the new Echo Plus) means the Echo’s not bad for a $99 speaker. It gets reasonably loud — I had it on a max volume for a bit in the office, and it was distracting but not deafening (sorry co-workers). It’s about the quality you’d expect from a cheap, portable Bluetooth speaker.

Undercover Echo

Rumors started circulating about a new Echo a few months back. The line was long overdue for an update, the competition was intensifying and Amazon appeared to be working its way through the last of its Echo back stock. At the time, leaks positioned the product as a HomePod competitor, a high-end device with a new design and premium audio positioned to compete against Apple’s $349 Siri speaker.

Image result

Of course, ultra-premium has never really been Amazon’s speed. The Echo’s populist approach has always been a big part of its appeal a fact the Dot’s $50 price tag really drove home. Alexa users are primarily interested in finding an affordable way to make the smart assistant a part of their home, so the new Echo splits the difference on pricing while delivering some additional hardware perks that help it stand apart from the best-selling Dot.

10 things in tech you must know today

Increased competition from Google, et al. has been a great driver for the line. The new Echo is pretty much exactly what it should be: it’s smaller, better looking and has improved audio, all while staying under $100. Space is only going to continue to heat up over the next several years, and Google is certainly giving Amazon a run for its money with an extremely capable system and far better mobile distribution.

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But the line is still synonymous with smart speakers, and Alexa gets more and more capable with each day. It’s not as affordable as the Echo Dot/Home Mini or as flashy as the HomePod/Home Max, but the new $99 Echo is going to sell like hotcakes this holiday season.

 

 

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    October 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm

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What is LMS in Education?

online, education, lms

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, Learning Management Systems (LMS) have emerged as transformative tools, revolutionizing the way we approach teaching and learning. An LMS serves as a centralized platform that facilitates the administration, documentation, tracking, and delivery of educational content. One prominent player in the realm of LMS for education is DrivEd, offering innovative solutions that cater to the diverse needs of educators and learners. To explore the vast possibilities that LMS unlocks in education, let’s delve into its purpose, target audience, and the myriad benefits it brings to the table.

Who is an LMS Made For?

Learning Management Systems are designed with a broad spectrum of users in mind, making them versatile tools that can be tailored to various educational settings. From traditional classrooms to online courses, LMS caters to educators, students, administrators, and even corporate trainers. DrivEd LMS, for instance, is crafted to meet the demands of educators seeking efficient ways to manage content, track student progress, and enhance the overall learning experience. It serves as a virtual hub where educators can seamlessly organize course materials, create assessments, and engage with students, fostering a collaborative and interactive educational environment.

As the educational landscape continues to evolve, the demands placed on educators are becoming more intricate and varied. DrivEd LMS recognizes these challenges and, in response, provides a dynamic and interactive space for educators to navigate the complexities of modern pedagogy. Whether an educator is in a traditional classroom setting, managing a virtual class, or engaged in corporate training, DrivEd LMS adapts to these diverse contexts, offering a unified solution that enhances the overall educational experience.

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Moreover, the user-centric nature of LMS, exemplified by DrivEd, is not confined to educators alone. Students, the primary beneficiaries of the educational process, find themselves in an enriched learning environment facilitated by the LMS. The platform fosters a collaborative atmosphere, where students can actively engage with course materials, participate in discussions, and benefit from personalized learning paths. Administrators, on the other hand, leverage the LMS to streamline administrative tasks, ensuring seamless coordination between different facets of the educational institution.

Why Should You Start Using an LMS?

The adoption of Learning Management Systems has become increasingly crucial in the education landscape, and for good reason. As traditional teaching methods face the challenges of modernization, LMS presents a solution that bridges the gap between conventional and contemporary learning approaches. The benefits of incorporating an LMS into educational practices are manifold.

Streamlined Content Management

One of the primary advantages of using an LMS like DrivEd is the streamlined management of educational content. Educators can effortlessly upload and organize course materials, making it easily accessible to students. This centralized repository ensures that learning resources are organized, up-to-date, and readily available, fostering a more efficient learning experience.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

LMS facilitates seamless communication between educators and students. DrivEd platform, for example, integrates features like discussion forums, messaging systems, and collaborative tools, fostering an interactive learning community. This enhanced communication is particularly valuable in the context of remote or online learning, where the traditional face-to-face interaction is replaced by virtual engagement.

Personalized Learning Paths

An LMS empowers educators to create personalized learning paths for students based on their individual needs and progress. LMS, equipped with advanced analytics, allows educators to track student performance, identify areas of improvement, and tailor educational content accordingly. This personalized approach ensures that each student receives a customized learning experience, optimizing their academic journey.

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Efficient Assessment and Feedback

Traditional assessment methods can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. LMS automates the assessment process, allowing educators to create quizzes, assignments, and exams with ease. DrivEd LMS features robust assessment tools, coupled with instant feedback mechanisms, enabling educators to evaluate student performance efficiently and provide timely feedback for continuous improvement.

What Are Learning Management Systems Used For?

Learning Management Systems find application across a spectrum of educational scenarios, each contributing to an enriched learning experience. Let’s explore the diverse uses of LMS in education.

Classroom Management

In traditional classrooms, LMS acts as a comprehensive tool for classroom management. Educators can organize and distribute course materials, manage assignments, and communicate with students efficiently. DrivEd LMS facilitates attendance tracking, grade management, and collaboration, providing educators with a centralized platform to streamline administrative tasks.

Blended Learning

Blended learning, combining traditional classroom instruction with online elements, has gained popularity in recent years. LMS plays a pivotal role in facilitating this hybrid approach. DrivEd platform supports the seamless integration of in-person and online learning components, providing educators and students with a cohesive learning experience.

Corporate Training

Learning Management Systems are not confined to traditional academic settings; they are equally valuable in corporate training environments. Companies utilize LMS to deliver training modules, track employee progress, and assess performance. DrivEd LMS offers corporate trainers a scalable and efficient solution for employee development, ensuring that training programs align with organizational goals.

Online Education

The rise of online education has been accelerated by the capabilities of Learning Management Systems. LMS serves as the backbone of online courses, enabling educators to deliver content, engage with students, and assess performance remotely. DrivEd LMS is designed to cater to the unique needs of online education, providing a user-friendly interface and robust features for a seamless virtual learning experience.

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Conclusion

In the dynamic landscape of education, Learning Management Systems have emerged as indispensable tools, redefining the way we approach teaching and learning. DrivEd LMS stands as a testament to the innovation and adaptability within this realm, offering a comprehensive solution for educators, students, and corporate trainers alike. As we embrace the era of digital education, the utilization of LMS becomes not just a choice but a necessity, empowering educators to create engaging, personalized learning experiences and preparing students for a future where technology plays a pivotal role in every facet of their lives.

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