• The world of technology changes minute by minute and it is seemingly the younger generation who are keeping up the best. The use of tablets is common in everyday life for most of us and gradually this is filtering through into education. For those who have already integrated the technology into their schools the advantages are clear.

    Here are some of the benefits to using tablets

    Developing computer skills

    Children as young as two or three can operate a tablet, the younger generations are exposed to technology, smart phones and computers from an early age and continually throughout their lives. A couple of years ago coding was introduced as part of the curriculum in both primary and secondary schools in an attempt to improve computer literacy alongside other more ‘traditional’ skills such as reading and maths.  Building on these skills with the help of a tablet and allowing children to explore the creativity they provide is a great way to prepare them for the future.

    All round interactivity

    Gone are the days of a notepad and pen and remembering to take your camera with you on a school trip. Using a tablet makes experiences much more visual by letting you take pictures in the moment, adding notes there and then and bringing everything together with much more creativity for you then to easily share.

    Access to more learning resources

    Whilst there is an argument against children relying on the internet to complete their work it does also have it’s advantages of allowing them to keep up to date with the ever-changing world and accessing an endless learning resource. Using a tablet does also allow teachers to quickly and easily share information without the need for multiple textbooks and pages of photocopied handouts. We all have memories of walking to school with our rucksacks stuffed full of books, homework, calculators and whatever else you used to find hiding in your school bag but this could all be replaced by one single and very portable tablet.

    There is still a debate as to whether tablets create a distraction and there are concerns relating to the initial cost of purchasing and the implications for teachers having to change their teaching methods amongst other issues. With any change there are pros and cons and an allowance needed for time to adapt and improvements to be made.


    Get in touch if you would like to know more about how we can support your school with our Classmate 4 solution, a flexible educational and everyday use mini notebook and tablet.

  • The world of technology moves at an alarming rate, almost as soon as one product is launched another is waiting in the wings to update it. As a society we have become used to relying on technology and are hungry for any advancements that will make our lives easier or more automated. Yet again we are set to see more trends emerge in 2018, some will stick around and some will no doubt disappear without a trace. Here are a few to watch out for.

    SMART MOVES

    From phones to watches to cars, everything is ‘Smart’ now, continually gathering data and connecting up your life between devices. This is set to increase and within our home is probably the place we are likely to see the most development. We already have the three main players, Google, Apple and Amazon, providing voice-enabled personal assistants that can do anything from tell you a joke, turn up the heating and play you music. Even tasks as diverse as home security or feeding your dog have all been made easier with the aid of Smart technology controlled by your phone. There is even a yoga mat which tells you when your alignment is wrong and gives you feedback on how to correct your pose. The possibilities are endless!

    ROBOT WARS

    The advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been incredible over the last few years with computers now able to take on more and more human tasks and robots being used within customer facing roles. AI isn’t just used for the development of robots to assist with typically human jobs, it can also be used for specialist data monitoring, identifying patterns and analysing to give reports in a fraction of the time a person would take.

    TRAVEL TECH

    As the world becomes smaller people spend a lot more time travelling so using technology to make this easier and quicker is definitely a good thing. Free wifi is now expected in places such as airports and the use of a smartphone to navigate to a destination, provide traffic alerts or information on services in foreign countries is something most of us couldn’t live without now.

    Portable gadgets that are hand luggage friendly have also become popular and even include GPS trackers to help locate lost luggage. For the over-worked business executive or frazzled parent on a long journey there isn’t much time to relax but with the help of technology there is some respite. From apps that let you watch your favourite TV programmes to a number of meditative apps that provide a range of exercises to help you unwind.

    For the ultimate in travel technology it is predicted that by 2021 driverless cars will be on the UK roads and it was recently announced that driverless lorries could also soon be speeding down the motorway. With significant government backing and funding for job training and research the next technology revolution could be on our roads not long from now.

     

    Looks like 2018 could be another exciting year in the world of technology.

  • 21 November 2017

    Cyber Security of the Future

    Cyber security

    With advances in technology cyber security is always one of those issues at the forefront for businesses who are constantly having to review their processes, technologies, networks, systems and data storage. There are an increasing number of ways that cyber criminals can target your business including malware, ransomware, viruses or spyware, all of which are usually intended to either cause damage or exploit information from individuals and organisations.

    Next generation security

    Technology will only develop further, as will the ways in which cyber criminals try to break through security, so the UK Government have launched a £20m initiative to work with the experts of tomorrow. The Cyber Discovery Programme is aimed at 14 to 18 year olds with the goal of building interest within the cyber security industry and ultimately avoiding the future potential skills gap.

    Hacker clubs

    One way the government are trying to encourage the next generation is by using ‘Hacker Clubs’ which the young people can enrol on. Progression for the best performers will be through a more comprehensive curriculum that will introduce them to the world of cyber security. This programme will cover things like digital forensics, programming and the ethics of hacking. It is hoped that by providing a mix of online challenges, real-world technical situations and classroom learning the young people will not only learn but gain an interest with the hope they will want to progress. As part of the project mentors will also set up additional clubs for those that want to develop their skills further.

    Why is cyber security important?

    The world we live in is constantly changing and the way we live in it has become much more connected and interactive. Technology is now a significant part of our lives and very much integrated in the way we operate day to day which can leave us vulnerable when something fails.

    Although we now have some of the best cyber security measures in place, attacks seem to be happening more frequently which is possibly as a result of increasing reliability on technology. Thankfully there is significant investment in the cyber security industry and the government’s new Cyber Discovery Programme is a great step forward to help us tackle this problem in the future. Find out more about the programme here or read the BBC’s article on it’s launch.



  • GDPR Data image

    Current data protection guidelines are based on a Data Protection Act (DPA) introduced in 1998. Nearly 20 years on there have been significant advances in technology resulting in changes to the way individuals and organisations communicate and share information.

    The new GDPR, which will be introduced on 25th May 2018, addresses these changes giving a more relevant and consistent legal framework, in addition to a better unified approach for EU member states and will be relevant for any company that has a responsibility for data protection.


    It has also been confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU should not have any impact on the implementation of the GDPR, a question that has caused some uncertainty, organisations should continue with their plans to enable compliance.


    Extensive and detailed information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website. In partnership with ESET we have also put together a useful summary document showing the 12 steps your organisation can take now to prepare, which is available to download from our website along with a more detailed and concise guide.


    Organisations are frequently operating internationally now so consistency of data protection, laws and rights, are crucial for both businesses and individuals. With the rapid and continuing growth of the digital economy it is more important than ever to standardise and put in place sufficient safeguards in relation to data protection.

    Who does GDPR apply to?


    The GDPR will apply to ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’, definitions currently used which will generally remain the same, for example, the controller defines how and why personal data is processed and the processor takes actions on their behalf. If you are currently required to adhere to the DPA then it is likely the GDPR will also apply.

    Under the new GDPR specific legal obligations will start to apply if you are a processor and you will be required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities. A new requirement of the GDPR will mean greater legal liability for processors in the event of a breach. From a controller’s perspective the obligation is also increased to ensure that all processor contracts are fully compliant with the GDPR.


    The GDPR applies to organisations operating within the EU but also to those outside the EU offering goods or services to those individuals within it.


    What information has to comply with GDPR?

    The definition of personal data becomes much more detailed under the new regulations and will include, for example, an IP address. This has been introduced to incorporate the advancements in technology and the way in which information about people is now collected. Any organisation currently storing HR records, customer lists or contact details etc. will be affected by GDPR and should ensure compliance.

    Encryption

    New guidance was recently issued for the use of encryption software, and whilst it doesn’t state an organisation must encrypt data, there is a responsibility to protect and ensure any personal details you hold or gather are secure. Loss or theft of sensitive information is much more likely to occur if no encryption procedure is in place.

  • 03 October 2017

    5 STAR PHOTOCOPYING SERVICE

    Photocopier display

    We expect so much from our photocopiers now and with everyone being extra busy at work you need to know that you have the most relevant machine for your business. If anything goes wrong you need to be sure it will be fixed as quickly as possible by engineers who know what they are doing. At Gemini, we cover all aspects of multi-functional photocopying so you are in safe hands.

    What are the top 3 things you should consider when looking for a new copier?

    Functions

    Not every business needs all the bells and whistles on their photocopier, but some do, so make sure you are clear about what will work for you. In addition to the basics there are options for booklet making, banner printing, scanning and data storage (for a paperless office). These are all great added extras that can be built into your machine spec and could offer a really useful multifunctional piece of equipment.

    Copier speed and volume are also features to consider, both of which are linked; a faster device generally has a larger copy volume. If you only have a small number of users then a low to mid-volume copier would probably work sufficiently, however if your copier needs to handle a high number of print jobs on a daily basis, or is used by a lot of people, then a high volume machine would be more cost effective and efficient.

    Compatibility

    One of the most common requirements for copies now that deal with digital document production is how it integrates with your network. Once connected the opportunities increase, enabling networked and remote printing, scanning directly to your desktop or email and secure printing. Business networks can be complicated with varying technologies so it’s important to make sure the hardware is compatible.

    Service and warranty

    Each business has their own needs so it’s essential your photocopier, service and warranty plan matches these requirements, and also make sure that training is provided so you know how to use your machine most efficiently. In most cases a speedy fix to any problems is always imperative, a broken photocopier can cause chaos in a busy office. Remote monitoring, automated toner supply and a quick response when onsite visits are needed, are a few ways that will help solve problems quickly.

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