Collin Gosselin doesn't soften his words when he reflects back on his time on reality TV.
The former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star opened up about why he feels growing up in front of cameras broke his family — and whether he would like to mend his relationship with mom Kate.
"I want to believe it was because of TV and what being in the public eye does to a family. I think it tore us apart," Collin, who was a minor at the time of filming, told Entertainment Tonight. "It gave us less time to actually be together as a family [and] more time to be in the public eye."
The Gosselin sextuplets became household names when TLC (formerly Discovery Health) chronicled their birth and the first decade of their childhood on TV.
As the children grew older, viewers also saw the unraveling of the marriage between Jon and Kate. The pair — who are also parents to 22-year-old twins Mady and Cara — separated and divorced in 2009, after which the series ran under the name Kate Plus 8 until 2017.
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Collin, 18, is now living with Jon, 45. The teen said his relationship with his mom changed after he was sent to a live-in learning facility to address his behavior issues.
"After being there, I didn't have a relationship with her," Collin said of Kate, 47. "Even before [being] there, I don't think we had much of a relationship and I think that just kept tearing it even more down."
He added, "It's unfortunate that we didn't have a relationship. I think every son wants to have a relationship with their mom. But I'm doing very well."
When asked if he would still welcome a relationship with Kate, Collin said, "Yes, it would be ideal."
Jon was granted full custody of Collin in December 2018 when Kate and her legal team did not show up to a hearing.
This past May, Entertainment Tonight reported that Hannah, another sextuplet, also lives with Jon and Collin.
Hannah told ET she still has a relationship with her mom: "My relationship with my mom is pretty stable. Like, we text each other and call each other on a [sic] average basis."
The remaining four Gosselin sextuplets — Leah, Joel, Alexis and Aaden — live with their mother.
In addressing members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, once said, “Earth’s actors change earth’s scenes;...” (“Message to The Mother Church for 1902,” p. 17).
“Indeed they do!” I thought, when recently pondering decisions of world leaders that have had harsh knock-on effects for the whole human family.
But it also came to me to read those words in the context of Mrs. Eddy’s message. What a wake-up call! Her words don’t point a finger at what others do but at what spiritual thinkers could and should do. The entire passage says: “Many sleep who should keep themselves awake and waken the world. Earth’s actors change earth’s scenes; and the curtain of human life should be lifted on reality, on that which outweighs time; on duty done and life perfected, wherein joy is real and fadeless.”
It’s heartening to realize that we each contribute to changing earth’s scenes for the better if we are willing to awaken to what’s spiritually real. When that curtain is lifted, what is revealed is truly wondrous – an endlessly good God governing all creation equitably, and God’s creation, man, including each one of us, being the glorification and expression of that divine all-goodness.
Where the limits of our human life seem so defining, the unlimited reality of Spirit, God, is there, uplifting the human experience. Spirit’s presence is evidenced wherever kindness, justice, and so on shine through individual and collective thinking and action. This is especially true where the physical senses’ report of what’s real is yielding to a recognition of what Christian Science reveals as our purely spiritual reality.
This yielding to reality occurs when we hear the Christ message voicing divine Truth, God, which Christ Jesus so clearly heard, and with such healing impact. While the consistency with which Jesus perceived and proved Truth was unique, the idea of Truth is universally and ceaselessly conveyed by Christ. Heeding the Christ message uplifts us to behold life in Spirit, God, in whom we “live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
The awakening to this reality is a shift in thought, but not an abstract mental activity. Jesus proved the power of anchoring conviction and action in God’s unbounded goodness, healing physical and mental ills and transforming sinners.
In several instances, including his own resurrection, Jesus also lifted the “curtain” of mortal belief – the belief that we live in matter, subject to mortality – to reveal that Life is God, immortal spiritual good. We catch glorious glimpses of this immortality of God’s nature as we focus on what is true. Then the recognition of our higher nature as God’s reflection dawns in thought. This increasingly undermines a false, mortal sense of existence through each healing that results from awakening to the divine reality of our lives.
This truth of Life also exposes as a lie any lethargy that would keep us from seeing how divinity embraces and uplifts, elevating thinking and action. A lackluster life has neither existence nor the authority to stop us exercising our God-given ability to see the higher view of reality that Christ reveals. It’s God alone who truly exists and asserts authority.
Thinking and acting from this spiritually elevated view of what’s true is also what’s needed in regard to issues that feel far removed from our perceived personal sphere of influence. From her proven grasp of the boundless scope of divine Truth and Christ-healing, Mrs. Eddy concluded, “Right thoughts and deeds are the sovereign remedies for all earth’s woe” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 283).
In particular, when those “right thoughts and deeds” result in restoration of physical and mental health, we recognize the universal applicability of the spiritual truths we have grasped and demonstrated.
Many of earth’s scenes require a healing response to secure humanity’s progress Spiritward, which in turn sheds light on practical solutions. Lives that lift the curtain on divine reality are key to that response. And in increasingly living such lives, we progress toward “duty done and life perfected” with its reward: unfading spiritual joy.
Adapted from an editorial published in the Nov. 21, 2022, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.
After his father died of Covid last fall, Donkan Martinez was overwhelmed by grief and turned to an unlikely outlet: virtual reality.
The 24-year-old found himself wading into an emerging field of virtual mental health care, via a service called Innerworld, which offers peer-led mental health support through its app. The idea is to bring the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, into the metaverse and enable users to interact with others as anonymous avatars through voice- and text-based chat.
CBT aims to help patients change unhealthy thinking or behavioral patterns by developing relevant skills and coping strategies. The American Psychological Association describes it as a form of treatment that helps people “learn to be their own therapists.”
Innerworld, however, gives everyday users the opportunity to deliver support to one another. Its founder, Noah Robinson, emphasizes that the service should not replace professional treatment. Upon registering, Innerworld users must acknowledge that they understand the app is not therapy.
“It’s not therapy and we can’t provide crisis intervention,” Robinson said. “Our goal with Innerworld is to be a longer-term place that people can come to help them prevent themselves from getting to the point of being in crisis. Or we have people who are hospitalized who come out and are looking for additional support.”
Upon entering Innerworld, users can choose from a variety of settings that emulate environments like hiking trails or libraries. From there, they can engage with other avatars or browse a list of peer-led events, such as group meditation sessions, addiction support groups and workshops on navigating social anxiety. Martinez said that once, he joined a game in which users guessed what others were drawing.
The efficacy of Innerworld’s approach is still being studied — the company hopes to publish early data from a small, internal trial that showed decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms among a group of 127 participants. A $206,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health is helping Innerworld fund its research.
Gathering robust, long-term data is crucial to evaluating this or any similar program, said Barbara Rothbaum, a psychologist at the Emory University School of Medicine. Rothbaum published a paper on the use of VR to treat a fear of heights in 1995.
“As far as virtual reality, most of the applications now have used a real therapist,” she said.
Indeed, most therapeutic uses of VR so far have centered on clinician-led exposure therapy for conditions like arachnophobia and claustrophobia, as well as for social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, Rothbaum added, “I do think [VR] could be useful for self-help, but the programs that have been tested haven’t been developed for that.”
Skip Rizzo, director of medical virtual reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, said he first recognized VR’s potential for mental health uses in the 1990s. Rizzo helped pioneer the use of VR to treat PTSD among members of the military. A 2005 report documented the case of a Vietnam war veteran treated with VR therapy who experienced a 34% decrease in clinician-rated PTSD.
Rizzo said he sees the potential of Innerworld — as long as the app continues to make clear that it is not clinician-run.
“People that are worried about stigma around whatever the problem is that they have, or they’re ashamed, they might not want to admit to another person directly that they’re having these issues,” Rizzo said. “But they might be more likely to in an avatar-based world where they can preserve their anonymity but still interact with people.”
Martinez said he and other users he's met on Innerworld felt they weren’t getting the empathy they needed in the real world.
“My real friends don’t know that I’m very emotional. I’m very conservative with my emotions with my real friends,” he said. “I’m able to open up in Innerworld because I know I’m not going to be judged. I’m not going to be attacked.”
Robinson said he was motivated to create Innerworld after finding solace in an online community in his own life. When he was 13, he said, he became depressed after realizing he was gay, and he turned to the online game RuneScape. The anonymity made him more comfortable exploring parts of himself he was afraid to face in the real world. Robinson said he eventually came out to his online friends.
Innerworld is not the only program attempting to use VR to help people access mental health support.
In his own work, Rizzo is piloting a clinician-facilitated VR project that offers social support to Ukrainian refugees. Refugees who have relocated to Bucharest, Romania, can enter a virtual version of a town square in Kyiv, where they can speak with fellow refugees as anonymous avatars.
A startup called BehaVR, meanwhile, launched its app, called First Resort, last week. The VR app guides users through “chapters” on skills that would be taught in CBT sessions.
Risa Weisberg, a professor at the Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine, is BehaVR's chief clinical officer. She said that because people’s brains process VR experiences in the same way they would a real-life experience, “you don’t experience the interventions as something that you’re memorizing or hearing; you experience them as something that’s happening to you.”
Weisberg thinks that’s why VR exposure therapy has yielded results in the past.
VR’s reach could grow to 64 million people in the U.S. this year, according to a 2021 estimate by eMarketer. Weisberg said that expansion is occurring at a time when more people are seeking mental health care, but also as many are finding it inaccessible due to high costs.
“All that comes together at the same time to make the next few years really ripe for getting mental health techniques and interventions in VR,” she said. “I think we’re going to see a huge uptick in this.”
Rizzo said his main concern about Innerworld, however, is that people who need professional help might try to substitute the app instead. Rothbaum, meanwhile, said randomized clinical trials will be needed to determine whether these types of programs really work.
Sylvester Stallone admitted that he was worried filming his new Paramount+ reality show would be embarrassing "every day."
The 76-year-old actor is starring in an upcoming family reality series alongside his wife Jennifer Flavin, 54, and daughters Sophia, 26, Sistine, 24, and Scarlet, 20, that was created by the producers of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
"I’d think, ‘Why do I need to do this crap, seriously?'" Stallone told ET Canada in an interview published on Thursday.
He continued, "So you had to set parameters. No one’s coming into the bathroom and watching you brush your teeth."
SYLVESTER STALLONE FILMS ‘TULSA KING’ PARAMOUNT SERIES IN NEW YORK
"You have to stay in this room," the "Rocky" star added. "And it worked out."
Stallone went on to say that "99 percent" of the show was for "my daughters to explore their lives, to see it, chronicle it and I'll manifest myself here and there."
"I want to get real with my daughters," he noted. "I actually want to have footage of that."
The "Tulsa King" actor explained that though filming the series was "uncharted waters" for him, he found it "interesting" to give fans a look at his home life.
"I would love to have seen stars, growing up, seeing stars like, ‘Oh, here’s Brando at home making eggs and goofing around.' That’s interesting," he said.
"They’re actually human. They don’t walk around with sunglasses and people putting makeup on all day and learning lines. They really do silly, repetitive, goofy things that we all do in life. That kind of thing."
Stallone praised "The Osbournes", the MTV reality show that followed the family life of Black Sabbath founder Ozzy Osbourne, for its authenticity.
"I think the first one that really hit it right was Ozzy Osbourne," he said. "He just didn’t care. ‘My dog craps on the floor, I’m not some superstar’."
Last month, Stallone announced the reality show in a video that he shared on his brother Frank's Instagram page. In the clip, he said, "It's done by Bunim-Murray, who were the force behind the Kardashians and it's a very, very strong line-up."
"This is going to be incredible," he added. "I am in a reality show, I'm popping in and out."
Stallone said that he was motivated to participate in the show because he wanted to spend time with his family. "And what's better?" he said. "When you have to deal with each other all day long and it's going to be on film. I'll be there forever in one form or another with the family."
Earlier this month, Stallone told The Hollywood Reporter that his biggest regret was not spending more time with his family due to his busy career. "That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do the reality show that I’ve been taking a lot of s**t for," he explained.
The actor told the outlet that the unscripted series was going to be "the ultimate home movie."
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Stallone also revealed that his brief split from Flavin will be included in the show. In August, the former model filed for divorce from the actor after 25 years of marriage. However, the pair announced that they had reconciled at the end of September.
"Of course it’s part of the show," he said. "It’s the John Lennon thing: ‘Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.’ Hopefully, you’re involved with people who understand the foibles of life and the fragility of it and how rare a real good relationship is."
"Sometimes I put the work ahead of [my family], and that is a tragic mistake which won’t happen again."
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Marjorie Taylor Greene wanted everyone to know she was trying to be helpful.
As Republicans feuded this month over who should lead their razor-thin House majority, the Georgia congresswoman stopped before a crowd of reporters at the U.S. Capitol and urged conservatives to unify behind her choice for speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). If they refused, Greene warned, the House gavel - that all-important prize needed to subpoena Hunter Biden and anyone else she and the GOP want to haul before the committees they will soon control - could fall in the wrong hands. Like, Democratic hands. Or even Liz Cheney's hands. (Yes, it could happen, she insisted on a right-wing podcast.)
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"I will not allow that to happen," Greene told the reporters, her tone suggesting potential danger.
"Has McCarthy promised you'll be seated on committees next Congress?" one asked, a reference to the current Congress having stripped Greene of committee assignments because before her election to the House she had - among other things - questioned that a plane had hit the Pentagon on 9/11 and appeared to endorse social media posts about executing top Democrats.
"Of course I'm going to be seated on committees!" the congresswoman said, her tone suddenly brightening. "Isn't it silly for anyone to think I'm not going to be?"
The midterms have left Greene in unfamiliar territory. House Republicans are back in power for the first time since she arrived in Washington, but just barely. Many Republicans have blamed her wing of the party - the election-denying, unabashed Trumpists - for dragging down what they had expected to be huge gains for the GOP. And yet the narrowness of the new Republican majority means that McCarthy can't afford to alienate too many members if he wants to win the gavel when Congress convenes Jan. 3.
That has created an opening for Greene, who spent her first term on Washington's fringe, to attach herself to McCarthy and make her play for more influence, even as prominent Republicans are trying to nudge the party away from her political North Star, former president Donald Trump.
A spokesman for Greene did not respond to written requests for an interview. When asked at a news conference to assess why so many Trump-endorsed candidates lost the midterms, Greene cited "varying factors," none of which included the former president.
"No, he didn't hurt anybody, not at all," she said. "Remember, I talk to a lot of people. I don't talk to a lot of, like, political Republicans. Most of my friends, family and everybody I talk to back home are, like, regular people. They love President Trump."
And what about those Republicans who are buzzing about Ron DeSantis for president?
Greene steered clear of parroting Trump's barbs against the Florida governor (Trump has dubbed him "Ron DeSanctimonious"). Instead, the congresswoman described DeSantis, who shares Greene's desire to ban hormone treatments and surgeries for transgender kids, as an "incredible" governor who shouldn't deprive Florida residents of his services.
For Greene, it was a rare moment where she showed she has come to understand the art of Washington-speak, saying she's pro-DeSantis but also that she's sticking with her guy. She's not out on a limb, exactly; Trump remains popular with the GOP base, even if his shtick has worn thin with independent voters and moderates. Still, the post-midterms fallout has suggested that MAGA die-hards such as Greene may have to figure out - perhaps sooner than they had thought - how to thrive in a post-Trump Republican Party.
Greene rose in GOP politics spouting the conspiracy-minded grievances that defined the Trump era, to the chagrin of some in her party. When she was a candidate, fellow Republicans described her past comments about Black voters, Muslims and Democratic donor George Soros as "disgusting," "appalling" and "bigoted." Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) once called Greene "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs," referencing a 2017 video in which she reportedly said that Trump's presidency was "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to take down a "global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles." Her colleagues also chided her after she spoke at a conference organized by Nick Fuentes, the white nationalist whose exact dinner with Trump and Ye - the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who has a history of making antisemitic remarks - exposed the former president to an outpouring of criticism. (On Tuesday, after a journalist tweeted that there was "no public evidence" of her denouncing Fuentes, Greene responded: "Of course I denounce Nick Fuentes and his racists antisemitic ideology. I can't comprehend why the media is obsessed with him.")
Before 11 Republicans joined the House Democrats to remove Greene from her committees, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to take a swipe at her, saying conspiracy theories were a "cancer" on the party. "Somebody who's suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.'s airplane is not living in reality," McConnell said. Her critics were not necessarily reassured when in a floor speech ahead of her punishment, Greene expressed regret for some of her past social media commentary, saying QAnon content she had seen online led her "to believe things that weren't true." QAnon is an extremist ideology that the FBI has deemed a domestic terrorism threat.
Greene is still living in a version of reality where Trump was cheated out of the presidency. "I'll say it over and over, I believe they elected him in 2020," she told reporters at the Capitol recently, repeating a claim that has been debunked over and over. (After the midterms Greene also told a conservative network that Kari Lake, a Republican Trump ally who lost the Arizona gubernatorial race, "should be governor of Arizona. I truly believe there's election fraud there.")
Her unceasing allegiance to Trump, which she voices to more than 2 million followers on Twitter and other social media platforms, has propelled her rise as the right-wing celebrity and fundraising powerhouse known as "MTG" even after she was sidelined in her official duties as a legislator. And her infamy outside the MAGA bubble has not threatened her electorally like it has some of her allies - namely Rep. Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), who lost his seat to a fellow Republican, and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who just barely survived a challenge from a Democrat. In November, Greene easily trounced a Democrat who raised more money than any congressional challenger in the country, though she received fewer votes in her district than two other Republicans on the ballot, Gov. Brian Kemp and Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Her fans aren't asking her to change, and the walls outside her Capitol Hill office are decorated with letters of support - a shrine to how much Greene believes she is doing right ("We need more people like you in our government," one person wrote).
And yet the absence of a "red wave" in the midterms, and the potential influence of moderate Republicans in the next Congress, raises a question: If certain key voters are tiring of Trump, does that diminish Greene's value to the party?
"What kind of question is that?" Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said as he left the House floor recently. "Man, you guys ask the wrong questions. We value every Republican. Everybody has value in our movement."
"She's now more valuable than ever," said John Fredericks, a conservative radio host and MAGA booster. "If you cave to the mob and the left, she will call you out. It keeps those in party leadership who don't really believe in our movement on their toes."
Other Republicans were more reticent. As he arrived at the House on a exact afternoon, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who has tangled with Greene in the past, demurred when asked about the congresswoman's value to the party. "I don't know if I want the drama," Crenshaw said, and kept walking.
Another Republican House member said the GOP would continue to "do great harm to good candidates" if it "follows in her crazy conspiracy theory path."
"Doubling down on QAnon and Trumpism is a recipe for disaster," said the member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from party leaders. "We had the weakest president since Jimmy Carter and the highest inflation rate in 40 years, and we couldn't get an overwhelming majority to deliver on Republican promises. It doesn't bode well for '24 or retaining the seats we barely won."
As McCarthy emerged from a Republican caucus meeting and celebrated his nomination as speaker at a news conference, Greene lingered a few yards away with an aide, waiting for her moment.
It was early evening, and most of the other lawmakers had departed. As soon as McCarthy was done, the congresswoman strode across the marble corridor to the microphone stand and faced the pack of reporters and cameras. Behind her was a backdrop of five American flags.
"Everybody," she said, "I'm excited that we got through our elections today. I'm very excited for the results."
Her sunny, measured tone surprised some reporters more accustomed to her rhetorical bomb-throwing. But C-SPAN MTG is more mild-mannered than "War Room" MTG, as she demonstrated that same week during appearances on former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon's podcast, where she spoke with familiar contempt about the mainstream media, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Hunter Biden, among others.
"All these people who don't care about our country?" Greene told Bannon. "They need to get the hell out."
She also shared what committee assignment she had her eye on when the new Congress meets next year.
"I'm going to be on the Oversight Committee, and we're going to do investigations into that little laptop," she told Bannon, referring to Hunter Biden's infamous computer, adding, "So you guys can buckle up, get ready, and we're going for a ride because that's what's happening in January."
As she made her rounds, Greene let it be known that she had the ear of important Republicans other than Trump. She said that Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), who won the Republican caucus's nomination to become House majority leader, had committed to investigating Pelosi's handling of Jan. 6, 2021, and the Justice Department's "treatment" of those arrested for the attack on the Capitol.
Not everyone on Team MAGA agreed with Greene's decision to back McCarthy, whom some Republicans have criticized for not directing his political operation to donate more money to GOP candidates. Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), a close Greene ally, was among 31 Republicans who backed another candidate's unsuccessful bid for speaker. Although Gaetz called Greene "a tremendous warrior for our movement" who's "going to be a terrific member of our oversight regime," he questioned her judgment when it came to McCarthy.
"At first opportunity he will zap her faster than you can say 'Jewish space laser,' " Gaetz said, a snarky reference to Greene having once suggested in a social media post that California forest fires may have been caused by a laser under the control of the Rothschild banking family.
The idea of Greene forming an alliance with McCarthy in exchange for a committee assignment struck other conservatives as decidedly un-MTG.
"Her brand in the party is 'I'm uncompromising, I don't do deals,' and then she turns around and she makes a deal to benefit herself personally," said Fredericks, the radio host. "You can't sell one game to your base and then turn around and play a different game that benefits you. It took a large piece of her credibility away."
As she departed the Capitol on a exact afternoon, the congresswoman was in full C-SPAN MTG mode as a group of reporters moved in.
Did she still want to impeach President Biden?
"I very much agree with Kevin McCarthy," she replied. "Impeachment should not be political, so I think what we're going to do is proving everything through investigations with evidence."
Reflecting on the power struggle in her party, she said the best way to "work out problems and disagreements is through discussion and communication."
"Republicans," she said, once again showing her aptitude for Washington-speak, must "unite together and do a good job working for the American people."
"The American people," the congresswoman said, "are really sick and tired of drama in Washington."
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When you live through a time of great change, you cannot help but notice how that change comes about. You notice the building blocks – who does the innovating and what tools they use. Technology is never far from the innovation stage. Fire, the wheel, steam, electricity, and the Internet have all pushed the boundaries of the human experience. And when crises arrive, we turn to these technologies to steer us through.
During the pandemic, technologies – most of them native to the intelligent cloud – empowered governments to keep citizens informed, allowed drug companies to roll out vaccines with phenomenal speed, helped businesses to continue operations, and kept citizens safe and connected.
But for now, let’s consider what technology did for education. During the pandemic it paved the way to distance learning. Microsoft was a witness to the deployment of collaborative tools on a massive scale in the UAE and throughout the region as schools, education authorities and colleges grappled with the moment and came out on top. Hundreds of thousands of students and professors remained connected. And in a region where future skills are a hot policy topic, learning continued unabated.
The pandemic, while an accelerator of digital transformation in education, was not a one-shot source of inspiration. In 2021, as part of a post-pandemic strategy, GEMS Education invested heavily in its cloud capabilities. Right now, across the GCC and beyond, higher-education institutions are looking to the next generation of classroom experiences. And mixed reality – a technology that overlays digital constructs on real-world environments in real time – has become the ultimate teacher’s assistant.
Imagine being able to look at, and manipulate, an internal-combustion engine or a human chest cavity while learning about them for the first time. Imagine being able to take a stroll along Orion’s Belt or through a lower intestine. Imagine watching historical events unfold around you, instead
of in the dusty pages of a book. All of these, and more, are potential use cases for mixed reality in the education sector.
Imagine the leaps forward we can make in student engagement and knowledge retention. On second thought, there is no need to imagine. We have data. Studies have shown a 22 per cent improvement in test scores when students are given access to immersive technology. And this can be attributed to the 35 per cent increase we see in student engagement and knowledge retention when using these technologies.
Mixed reality has the potential to break down emotional barriers by giving new angles on subject matter. While memorizing textbooks and listening to face-to-face lectures have always been enjoyable for some, legacy classroom experiences have famously left many others behind.
For engagement in the classrooms of old, schools and colleges had to rely too much on the personality of the professor, too many of whom were understandably unable to meet the criteria of “stage magician/stand-up comic”. With mixed reality, the material itself comes alive, and the lecturer becomes a steward of the experience, and yet empowered by it. Engaged students ask more questions, so the teacher has a more rewarding work experience and goes further in challenging students to learn more and ask yet more questions.
This is a circle of improvement that is reflected in the figures. Microsoft recently launched HoloLens 2 in the UAE. When we develop our mixed-reality headset, we look for ways to Boost on it and so we turn to our own research.
In our study, we found that mixed-reality experiences mean educators can reduce training time by 30 per cent and instruction hours by 15 per cent. Educators’ annual hours also fall by 15 per cent. Education providers see their average operating costs drop by 10 per cent, resulting in savings of $15,000 (Dh55,000) per educator.
Microsoft recently attended GESS 2022 in Dubai. We saw the excitement around mixed-reality use cases. We are living through something of a talent crisis in the region, where quality jobs exist but employers cannot find the skillsets to fit. We can draw a line to the lack of interest, at college age or earlier, in STEM subjects. Mixed reality makes classrooms come alive and lays the groundwork for voluntary commitments to STEM careers. The tools are there and can be supplemented with other immersive devices and a range of innovative cloud-native solutions from Edutech providers.
No matter at what scale you view the issue – UAE, GCC, Middle East, or global – society needs talent. We cannot rest on this issue. If our communities are going to close capability gaps and live up to their potential, we must empower our young people so they can live up to theirs. Modern classroom experiences fuelled by mixed reality can prepare them for ambition, innovation, and achievement.
- The writer is Education Director, Microsoft UAE
BLACKPINK are set to star in a new reality show chronicling their preparation for their latest album, ‘Born Pink’.
BLACKPINK teased the new project through a visual released yesterday (December 1). It revealed that ‘B.P.M.’ is an acronym for ‘Born Pink Memories’ and took viewers through a file cabinet filled with film rolls and photos of the group promoting their second studio album.
The video ended by noting that the project, the nature of which was unclear in the teaser, would be “coming soon”.
In a statement to South Korean press earlier today (December 2), YG Entertainment announced that B.P.M. is the title of the girl group’s newest reality show. B.P.M. will feature behind-the-scenes footage of the preparations and promotional activities leading up to the release of ‘Born Pink’.
“BLACKPINK will show off a natural, entirely different side of their charms from when they’re performing on stage,” the agency said of the group’s forthcoming reality show, as translated by Soompi. Further details about B.P.M., including a premiere date and the platform(s) where it will be released, have yet to be released at the time of writing.
The forthcoming project is the group’s first reality show since 24/365 with BLACKPINK in 2020. That series, currently available for streaming on YouTube, featured behind-the-scenes content of their preparations for ‘How You Like That’ and ‘Ice Cream’, as well as moments from the members’ daily lives.
In other BLACKPINK news, the girl group are among the top K-pop artists on Spotify and Shazam this year. According to data from Apple, member Lisa topped the list of 25 K-pop songs that were Shazamed the most this year with her solo track ‘Money’, while BLACKPINK’s ‘Pink Venom’ was fifth on the list.
Spotify, meanwhile, shared a list of the top 50 K-pop songs with the most streams this year as part of the Wrapped 2022 launch. Data from the music streaming platform showed that ‘Pink Venom’ was the third most-streamed K-pop song on Spotify, while ‘Money’ was the fourth.
Meghan Markle has addressed some of the rumours, which first circulated when she moved to the US in 2020, that she’ll be starring in a reality TV show.
During the season finale of her podcast Archetypes, the 41-year-old spoke to Andy Cohen about his reality series franchise, The Real Housewives. Cohen described the franchise “one of the most feminist shows on TV,” prompting Meghan to shared her thoughts on it and note how viewers once encouraged Cohen to cast the royal.
“When you talk about representation it is no small number of women on this show,” she said. “We are talking hundreds, literally over 200 women around the world, as part of this franchise. And apparently, at some point, people thought Andy should maybe add one more to the mix.”
Cohen recalled how he responded to fans who wanted Meghan on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2020, right after she and husband Prince Harry announced that they’d be stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family. At the time, Cohen also commented on the couple’s announcement post on Instagram and jokingly invited them to join the show, as reported by People.
“It had to of bubbled up to you somewhere that you moved to the states and everyone is like: ‘Oh, she should join the Beverly Hills housewives,’” the Watch What Happens Live host said to Meghan. “And I’m like: ‘She ain’t joining the Beverly Hills housewives everybody. That’s not happening. She’s Meghan Markle.’”
Meghan laughed at Cohen’s comment, noting that she “never heard” of this rumour. He then said he was “glad” that she didn’t know of this rumour and that he “never tried” to get her on the reality show. The duchess then poked fun at the idea of starring in a reality series.
“You mean really that this is my audition for The Real Housewives of Montecito,” she joked, referring to the city in California that she lives in. “Is this the moment?”
Cohen continued the bit, saying: “You don’t have to audition. We’ll build the show around you, how about that?”
Meghan laughed before emphasising that there “will be no reality show” about her life and that she “never heard” about fans wanting her on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Although Meghan said that she won’t be doing reality TV, she has opened up about some other projects that she’s been working on. In August, Meghan addressed some of the speculation surrounding her upcoming documentary series about her and Harry during an interview with The Cut. The series will reportedly be released on Netflix in December.
Speaking to the publication, she once again shut down rumours of a reality show and explained the big difference between a historical documentary and a reality docuseries: “The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story.”
If you were looking forward to Craig Federighi walking up on stage at WWDC 2023 and introducing realityOS, you may be in for a disappointing moment.
As reported by Bloomberg, the company could introduce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as next year, but it has apparently changed the name of the operating system that will power it. According to Mark Gurman, Apple has replaced realityOS with…xrOS.
The company plans to introduce the headset as early as next year, along with a dedicated operating system and app store for third-party software, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Internally, the company recently changed the name of the operating system to “xrOS” from “realityOS,” said the people, who asked not to be identified because the project is still under wraps.
According to the report, the mixed-reality headset will take apps like Messages and Maps, which are featured across most of Apple’s other products, and create new experiences in mixed-reality for users to enjoy.
The mixed-reality operating system will offer new versions of core apps — like Messages and Maps — and will work with a software development kit that third parties can use to create their own apps and games, Bloomberg News has reported. The headset and its accompanying operating system and apps are developed within what the company calls its Technology Development Group, or TDG, a secretive unit led by executive Mike Rockwell. The operating system has been overseen by Geoff Stahl, a senior engineering manager and nearly 24-year Apple veteran who has led work on gaming and graphics software.
The headset could even feature a VR version of FaceTime, taking on similar experiences to Meta’s Workrooms app that lets users attend a virtual meeting together.
Recent job listings revealed that Apple is looking to create its own 3D-based “mixed-reality world.” People with knowledge of the company’s plans have said the device will offer virtual collaboration tools and a VR version of FaceTime, rivaling services like Zoom and Meta’s Horizon Workrooms. Apple recently enlisted the head of engineering for its iWork productivity apps, Notes app and Apple News to work on the headset.
Meta recently launched the Meta Quest Pro to lukewarm reviews. While the hardware was impressive, the experience seemingly fell apart when it came to the software. With Apple potentially only months away from launching its own headset, which could cost as high as $3000, Meta is surely trying to get in the game as much as possible before the bigger tech giant unveils its headset to the world.