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TECH TIPS

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~ March 2008 ~


A Tech Look Into the Future

Wonder what the future holds for technology.   Here are some predictions by futurist that are likely to impact volunteering.

  • Two years to biometric security.  Finger prints, hand geometry, the iris, voice, and facial features are a growing number of identity verification systems that will be in widespread use by 2010.
  • Protecting privacy a growing concern.  A wireless device used in a morning run or cameras the size of a button can be used to stalk someone.  Engineers are working to build devices to ward off the intrusion into one’s privacy.
  • Decision by robot.  Technology has increased the complexity of life and thus the opportunity for human error increases.  Work is already being done by electronic teams of networks, robots with artificial intelligence, and non-carbon life forms making decisions about finances, health, education, and even politics.
  • Virtual education the norm by 2015.  About 10% of higher education is now conducted online.  It is about 30% of business training, but will soon exceed 50%.  About 100 million Americans take continuing education on the Internet, meaning there is a growing market for and experience with online learning.
  • Literacy with a new definition.  The wide spread use of voice recognition software is likely to lead to a new definition of literacy.  It could mean the shift in teaching from reading, writing, math, to creativity, imagination, and critical thinking.

The Futurist, November – December 2007


Date Base??? Which One???

The listserv for coordinators and managers of volunteer programs, CYBERVPM, quite often has questions about which volunteer database is the best.  And the advice flows forth.  An intrepid writer for VT found good information that gets to the basics of selecting a database for a volunteer program.  Written by Laura Quinn for the Web site “Tech Soup” it outlines all the considerations:  What is a database?  How to plan for a database?  Up keep of a database.  These are all topics covered in the article.  There are examples of how databases are used in specific cases and a list of other articles to help in the decision making process. 

To read this article visit http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/databases/page7129.cfm.

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