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How To Craft The Perfect PPC Landing Page



The Importance Of Landing Pages For Conversions

Imagine you’re online, looking for something, and you see an interesting ad. You click on it and end up on an outdated page. Would you stay? Probably not. That’s where a well-designed landing page comes into play. A landing page is like the first impression a potential customer has of your business. It’s a separate web page, different from your homepage, made specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. What is its main goal? To turn visitors into leads or customers.

Landing pages are essential for increasing conversions due to their targeted approach. Unlike the homepage, which serves a general audience, PPC landing pages are designed with a specific goal in mind. Moreover, they are distraction-free, eliminating any elements that may divert visitors from converting. Lastly, their performance can be accurately measured since they are linked to specific campaigns.

When it comes to LMS providers, landing pages are a game changer. Let’s say you’re launching a campaign to promote a new feature in your LMS. By creating a landing page that showcases the feature, explains its advantages, and includes testimonials, you can encourage visitors to take action, like signing up for a free trial or demo. What’s more, different landing pages can cater to different audience segments: K-12 schools, universities, and corporate training departments. Plus, optimizing landing pages for search engines with relevant keywords, quality content, and compelling CTAs can drive more targeted traffic to your site. Let’s explore the most important aspects of a successful landing page and see how you can turn those clicks into customers effortlessly.

Key Elements Of A High-Converting Landing Page

Attractive Headlines

A high-converting landing page relies on a compelling headline. This headline acts as the first impression, drawing in visitors and encouraging them to delve deeper. You want to keep it simple, direct, and closely tied to your page’s content. Focus on addressing a particular issue or showcasing a major benefit that speaks to your audience. Rather than a generic “Welcome to Our Page,” consider a headline such as “Transform Your Business with Our Software.” By incorporating dynamic, action-driven language like “transform,” you can spark curiosity and motivate readers to explore your site further.

Effective Use Of Images And Videos

The strategic use of images and videos plays a crucial role. High-quality, relevant images have the power to grab attention and visually tell your story. So, opt for images that resonate with your target audience and showcase the advantages of your product. For instance, if your business revolves around LMSs, displaying images of people enjoying online lessons can establish a connection with your site visitors. Now, videos keep visitors engaged for longer durations and convey more information in a shorter timeframe. A well-crafted explainer video can effectively demonstrate your product’s value better than text alone. Additionally, it adds a human touch to your brand, showcasing the real people behind the scenes. Nevertheless, remember to keep videos brief and focused and ensure they load quickly.

Strong CTAs

Your call to action (CTA) is essentially what guides your website visitors on the next steps to take, such as “Sign Up Now” or “Get Your Free Trial.” Your CTA must be crystal clear and compelling. You want it to grab attention on the page, so consider using vibrant colors and bold fonts. The language you choose is also key. Phrases like “Download Now” or “Join Today” are direct, motivating visitors to act promptly. Placement is another critical aspect. Ideally, your main CTA should be visible without scrolling. Lastly, the context surrounding your CTA is important. Make sure it complements the overall message of the PPC landing page and supports the visitor’s journey. For example, if your landing page discusses the advantages of a product, the CTA should smoothly lead them toward starting a free trial or making a purchase.

Social Proof

Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to take action when they see that others have already done so. For instance, when you notice that hundreds of people have purchased a product and left positive reviews, you’re more likely to believe it’s worth your money. This is exactly what social proof accomplishes on a landing page. It reassures visitors that others have had a good experience, reducing any doubts they may have. There are various ways to integrate social proof into your landing page. Testimonials from satisfied customers, real quotes and photos from actual people, case studies, and many other ways offer a detailed look at how your offering has helped others achieve their goals. Another effective method is showcasing the number of users, downloads, or subscribers. When visitors see that your service is popular, it adds credibility.

A/B Testing And Optimization

Importance Of Continuous Testing

Staying ahead of the curve requires consistent A/B testing to understand changing user preferences, market trends, and competitor strategies. By doing these tests regularly, you can determine which elements on your landing page, such as headlines, images, or call-to-action buttons, are most effective in engaging your audience. What resonates with users today may not be the same tomorrow, so ongoing testing helps you adapt to changing behaviors and expectations. This approach is also essential for maintaining high engagement and conversion rates. And making minor adjustments, like changing button colors or tweaking headlines, can go a long way toward improving performance. Overall, without continuous testing, you risk missing out on valuable insights.

How To Do A/B Testing

When it comes to A/B testing, the process involves comparing two different versions of a webpage to see which one works better at achieving a specific goal. This goal could be anything from getting visitors to sign up, make a purchase, or engage with content. To do this effectively, you first need to have a clear goal in mind. Once you’ve done that, you create two variations of the landing page with one key element changed, like the headline, CTA button color, or layout. You’ll need a tool like Google Optimize to help you run the test and accurately measure the results. Make sure only one element is different between the versions while everything else remains the same. This way, you can attribute any performance differences to that specific change. After running the test for a sufficient amount of time to gather reliable data, analyze the results to see which version performed better. Then, all you have to do is implement the winning version to optimize your landing page for better results.

Results And Improvements

Imagine having two versions of your landing page: A and B. Version A might feature a simple headline while B takes a more engaging approach. Both versions are launched, and data is collected to identify the superior performer. The beauty of A/B testing lies in the ability to receive immediate feedback on user preferences. Perhaps version B’s headline resulted in a 20% boost in conversions. So, based on that, you adapt swiftly and make the necessary changes. Sometimes minor adjustments, like altering button colors or placement, can bring surprising results. As you continue to be equipped with data, you continue refining your PPC landing page, enhancing its efficiency and user experience.

Conclusion

By putting effort into a well-crafted PPC landing page, you increase the likelihood of turning visitors into customers. The key is to make a great first impression with clear, engaging content, appealing visuals, and a user-friendly experience that can significantly improve your conversion rates. In essence, a landing page that is tailored to your target audience’s preferences helps build credibility and trust. It’s not just about having a website; it’s about optimizing it to work efficiently towards your business objectives.



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5 home remedies for eczema you must try!


Are you suffering from eczema? Here are some effective home remedies that will help you soothe the symptoms of the condition.

Monsoon season is here and our skin needs extra attention, especially those with skin conditions like eczema. It is a chronic condition that causes dry, inflamed, and itchy skin. While the symptoms of eczema can flare up during any time of the season, the monsoon weather makes it even harder. It usually happens because the skin barrier is weakened during this season. While the best way to deal with it is by seeking professional help, some home remedies for eczema may help soothe the symptoms. Plus, they are easy on the pocket but big on the results.

What is eczema?

Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a common chronic skin disorder which can result in recurring infections if left untreated. It makes your skin dry, itchy, and inflamed. It appears as red, scaly patches or bumps, and it can flare up sometimes, according to a study published in the StatPearls Journal. Eczema is not contagious and there is not a cure, but there are home remedies that can help you manage the itchiness and discomfort. It is especially common in young children but can affect people of all ages.

What are the causes of eczema?

The exact cause of eczema is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as explained by dermatologist Dr DM Mahajan. Common causes include:

1. Genetics

If you have a family history of eczema, you are more likely to develop it. People with eczema also tend to have a weakened skin barrier, which makes it harder to retain moisture and protect itself from irritants.

2. Other factors

Factors like soaps, detergents, pollen, pet dander, microbial infections such as bacteria, viruses, and climate can trigger or exacerbate eczema.

Also Read

Want to get rid of leg acne? These 6 home remedies are worth a try!
a woman with a skin rash
Some home remedies can soothe the symptoms of eczema. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the symptoms of eczema?

As per the Journal of American Medical Association, symptoms can vary widely, but typically include:

  • Dry and sensitive skin
  • Intense itching, which may get worse at night
  • Red or brownish-grey patches
  • Small, raised bumps that may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked, or scaly skin

Also Read: Everything you need to know about eczema

5 best home remedies for eczema

Symptoms of eczema can be managed with some home remedies, including:

1. Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is derived from the leaves of aloe plants. It contains antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects. Aloe vera gel has long been used to treat a wide range of ailments, such as lichen planus, oesophagitis, sunburn or radiation-related dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis, found a study published in the Journal of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

Method:

  • Gently apply aloe vera gel to your affected area.
  • Massage until it gets dissolved into the skin.

Aloe vera gel can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, especially in individuals with sensitive skin

Side effects: Aloe vera gel can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, especially in individuals with sensitive skin. Thus, it is advisable to do a patch test before applying on the skin.

2. Coconut oil

Coconut oil has been used as a moisturiser for ages by people in the tropical region. It acts as an emollient and anti-inflammatory properties which may help manage atopic dermatitis symptoms, according to a study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Gently massage the coconut oil in the affected area.
  • Massage it until it gets completely dissolved.

Side effects: Coconut oil can cause allergic reactions in some people, especially those with tree nut allergies. However, more research is needed to prove the claim. Also, it is always advisable to do a patch test before applying coconut oil on the skin.

3. Colloidal oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oatmeal mixed with a lotion, cream or other skincare products. It is used topically to treat a variety of skin problems. Colloidal oatmeal can also be a good remedy for eczema. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Drugs of Dermatology indicated that a colloidal oat cream performed better than a regular moisturiser for eczema patients. The group who got 1 percent colloidal oat cream experienced a 51 percent improvement in the severity of their eczema symptoms.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of oatmeal powder
  • 1 tablespoon of rose water

Method:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Gently apply the mixture to the affected area.
  • Leave it for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash it off with running water.

Side effects: Oatmeal can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some cases, especially in people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It is best to check with your doctor and do a patch test before adding it to your skincare routine.

Also Read: My mom says using oatmeal can treat skin allergies and more

4. Honey

Honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory substance that has been used to treat wounds for generations, as found in a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. It is also believed that honey can help to soothe your skin from eczema symptoms. However, more research is needed to prove the claim.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of yoghurt

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Gently apply the mixture to the skin.
  • Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash it off with running water.

Side effects: Honey is safe to use but can cause irritation if you have sensitive skin. It is important to do a patch test before applying it to the skin.

5. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree leaves. People use this oil to treat skin conditions such as eczema. According to a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, the oil contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing effects. However, it is unknown whether it has a direct effect on reducing eczema symptoms or not.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil in a cotton ball.
  • Gently apply the tea tree oil to the affected area.
  • Let it sit for the skin.

Side effects: Tea tree oil can cause skin irritation or interact with medications like blood thinners and diabetes medications. Always, consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating it in your skincare routine.

Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil may help you soothe the symptoms of eczema. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Keep this in mind!

Honey, coconut oil, colloidal oatmeal, and tea tree oil are all effective home remedies for eczema. While they may alleviate itching, dryness, and irritation, they will not treat eczema. If the symptoms worsen, contact your doctor immediately. Also, consult with your doctor before using any of the home remedies for eczema mentioned above.



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The Stages Of Learning: A Fresh Perspective


Flipping The Script On Traditional Learning Models

Learning is a complex, dynamic process that has intrigued educators and researchers for decades. While several well-known models of learning exist, this article introduces a fresh perspective that expands on traditional views. We’ll explore a four-stage learning cycle that not only simplifies the learning process but also acknowledges the adaptability of human learners.

The Four Stages Of The Learning Cycle

Let’s break down the learning process into four key stages:

1. Absorption

This is where the journey begins. Learners take in new information through various means: reading, listening, observing, or experiencing. It’s like being a sponge, soaking up knowledge from the world around us. The key here is openness to new ideas and experiences.

2. Analysis

Once information is absorbed, the brain gets to work. Learners process the new information, comparing it with what they already know. They might ask questions like “How does this fit with what I already understand?” or “What does this mean for me?” This stage is all about making connections and finding meaning.

3. Action

The third stage is where learning becomes visible. Learners apply their new knowledge or skills in some way. This could be writing about a new concept, solving a problem, or changing a behavior. The action stage is where abstract ideas become concrete reality.

4. Alternatives

This not-so-apparent fourth stage is where human adaptability shines. When faced with obstacles or when traditional methods fall short, learners show a remarkable tendency to adapt and adopt any means necessary to achieve their learning objectives. This stage recognizes that learning isn’t always linear and that innovative approaches often emerge from challenges.

The Flexibility Of The Learning Cycle

One key advantage of this four-stage model is its flexibility. Unlike some theories that insist all stages must be completed in a specific order, this model recognizes that learning can occur in various sequences and that stages can overlap or repeat.

For example, a learner might cycle between absorption and analysis several times before moving on to action. Or they might jump straight into action, then step back to absorb and analyze the results. The “alternatives” stage can come into play at any point when learners face obstacles or seek more efficient ways to achieve their goals.

Comparing With Kolb’s Learning Cycle

Our model shares some similarities with David Kolb’s well-known “learning cycle,” but offers a more flexible and adaptive approach:

  • Our “absorption” stage combines elements of Kolb’s “concrete experience” and “reflective observation.”
  • The “analysis” stage is similar to Kolb’s “abstract conceptualization.”
  • Our “action” stage corresponds to Kolb’s “active experimentation.”
  • The “alternatives” stage is a unique addition that acknowledges the nonlinear nature of real-world learning.

Motivation And The ARCS Model

Motivation plays a crucial role in the learning process, especially in the newly introduced “alternatives” stage. The ARCS model (attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction) provides a valuable framework for understanding how motivation interacts with our learning cycle:

  1. Attention
    In the “absorption” stage, capturing and maintaining the learner’s attention is crucial for effective information intake.
  2. Relevance
    During the “analysis” stage, learners are more engaged when they can see the relevance of the material to their goals or interests.
  3. Confidence
    As learners move into the “action” stage, building confidence in their ability to apply new knowledge or skills is key.
  4. Satisfaction
    This element is particularly important in the “alternatives” stage. When learners successfully adapt their approach or find innovative solutions, the resulting satisfaction reinforces their learning and motivates further exploration.

The “alternatives” stage heavily relies on all four ARCS elements. Attention to the problem at hand, recognition of its relevance, confidence to try new approaches, and satisfaction from overcoming obstacles all contribute to the learner’s ability to adapt and find alternative paths to their learning goals.

Embracing The Full Learning Cycle

Understanding these four stages of learning can help both educators and learners create more effective and engaging learning experiences. By recognizing the processes of absorption, analysis, action, and alternatives, we can design learning environments that:

  • Provide rich, attention-grabbing information (absorption)
  • Encourage critical thinking and connection-making (analysis)
  • Offer opportunities for practical application (action)
  • Allow for flexibility and creative problem-solving (alternatives)

Remember, learning is a personal journey. While this model provides a useful framework, the most important thing is to find approaches that work best for you or your students. Whether you prefer a structured process or a more fluid one, the key is to stay curious, reflective, and willing to adapt your approach when faced with challenges.

By embracing all four stages of the learning cycle and considering the motivational aspects highlighted by the ARCS model, we can create learning experiences that are not only effective but also engaging and adaptable to individual needs and circumstances.


eBook Release: Apposite Learning Solutions

Apposite Learning Solutions

Apposite is a trusted strategic learning services partner to organizations that are committed to empowering their employees and creating a learning culture that is aligned with business outcomes.



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How AI And Machine Learning Are Shaping Education



AI and Machine Learning In Education: Personalization, Support, And Ethics

Imagine stepping into a classroom ten years from now. The air hums with quiet energy, and students sit engrossed in their lessons, each interacting with personalized learning tools that adjust to their individual needs. This scene isn’t just a glimpse into science fiction—it’s a potential future shaped by the rapid advancements of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in education.

In recent decades, technology has transformed how we teach and learn. From the days of chalkboards to digital whiteboards, classrooms have evolved alongside computers and the internet. Now, AI is poised to usher in a new era of education where personalized learning experiences are not just a luxury but a standard.

The Evolution Of Educational Technology

Education has always been at the forefront of technological innovation. Decades ago, the introduction of computers revolutionized how information was accessed and shared in classrooms. Today, online platforms offer courses from universities worldwide, accessible to anyone with an internet connection. These advancements paved the way for AI and Machine Learning to make their mark. Unlike traditional software, which follows predefined instructions, AI learns from data. It adapts and improves its responses over time, mimicking human intelligence but with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

AI And Machine Learning: The Game Changers

AI isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a technology that’s already reshaping education in profound ways. Imagine a student using an online learning platform that adjusts its lessons based on how well the student understands the material. This adaptive learning software uses algorithms to analyze a student’s progress and tailor future lessons to address their strengths and weaknesses. In classrooms, AI-powered tutoring systems act as virtual teachers, providing personalized support to students. These systems can identify where a student is struggling and offer additional explanations or exercises to reinforce learning. For educators, AI streamlines administrative tasks, such as grading assignments and managing student records, freeing up time for more personalized interactions with students.

Benefits Of AI And Machine Learning In Education

Personalized Learning

One of the most significant benefits of AI and Machine Learning in education is their ability to personalize learning experiences. No two students learn exactly alike, yet traditional classrooms often teach with a one-size-fits-all approach. AI changes this by adapting content and pacing to match each student’s learning style and pace. Imagine a math lesson where each student receives practice problems tailored to their current level of understanding. If a student grasps a concept quickly, AI can provide more challenging problems to keep them engaged. Conversely, if a student struggles with a concept, AI can offer additional explanations and simpler problems until they master the material.

This personalized approach not only increases engagement but also improves learning outcomes. Students feel more motivated when they see their progress in real time and receive immediate feedback on their work. For educators, AI provides valuable insights into each student’s learning journey, enabling targeted interventions to support struggling students and challenge high achievers.

AI In Assessment And Evaluation

AI plays a crucial role in transforming how assessments and evaluations are conducted in education. Traditionally, grading assignments and exams has been a time-consuming task for teachers. With AI, automated grading systems can analyze and evaluate student responses quickly and accurately. This not only saves teachers time but also provides students with faster feedback on their work. Formative assessments, which track student progress throughout a course, benefit greatly from AI. By continuously analyzing student performance data, AI can identify areas where students are struggling and intervene with additional support. This real-time feedback helps teachers adjust their teaching strategies to better meet the needs of their students, ensuring that no one gets left behind.

However, it’s important to consider the limitations of AI in assessment. While AI excels at grading objective tasks like multiple-choice questions, it may struggle with subjective assessments that require human judgment, such as essays or creative projects. Maintaining a balance between AI-driven assessments and human evaluation ensures that students receive fair and comprehensive feedback.

Enhancing Teacher Capabilities

Contrary to fears of AI replacing teachers, its true potential lies in enhancing their capabilities. AI serves as a valuable assistant to educators, helping them manage administrative tasks and providing personalized support to students. In lesson planning, AI-powered tools can suggest teaching materials and resources tailored to specific learning objectives. These tools analyze vast amounts of educational content and recommend the most relevant and effective resources for teachers to use in their classrooms. For classroom management, AI offers solutions that streamline routine tasks, such as taking attendance or organizing schedules. This automation allows teachers to focus more on teaching and interacting with students, fostering a more engaging and productive learning environment.

Professional development is another area where AI proves beneficial to teachers. AI-driven platforms offer personalized training programs based on each teacher’s strengths and areas for improvement. These programs can include modules on new teaching methods, educational trends, and technology integration, empowering teachers to continuously enhance their skills and adapt to changing educational landscapes.

While AI supports teachers in many aspects of their work, it’s essential to recognize the irreplaceable role of human educators. Teachers provide emotional support, encouragement, and mentorship to students—qualities that AI cannot replicate. By leveraging AI as a tool rather than a replacement, educators can maximize their impact in the classroom and nurture students’ critical thinking and social-emotional skills.

AI-Powered Future Learning Environments

Looking ahead, AI holds promise for creating more dynamic and immersive learning environments. Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies, powered by AI algorithms, offer students opportunities to explore complex concepts through simulations and virtual field trips. These experiences make learning more interactive and engaging, bridging the gap between theory and real-world application.

Gamification is another area where AI enhances learning experiences. By incorporating game-like elements such as challenges, rewards, and competitions into educational activities, AI motivates students to actively participate and collaborate. Games designed with AI algorithms can adapt difficulty levels based on students’ performance, ensuring that learning remains challenging yet achievable.

Collaborative learning platforms supported by AI facilitate peer-to-peer interaction and group projects. AI algorithms analyze students’ strengths and preferences to form balanced teams, promoting effective communication and teamwork skills. These platforms encourage collaborative problem-solving and knowledge sharing among students, preparing them for future careers that require teamwork and collaboration.

Ethical And Societal Implications

As AI and Machine Learning become more integrated into education, it raises important ethical and societal considerations. One concern is bias in AI algorithms, which may unintentionally reflect societal biases in areas such as race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Addressing bias requires ongoing scrutiny and refinement of AI algorithms to ensure fairness and equity in educational outcomes.

Data security is another critical issue. AI systems rely on vast amounts of student data to personalize learning experiences and assessments. Protecting this data from unauthorized access and misuse is paramount to maintaining trust and safeguarding student privacy. Educators and policymakers must implement robust data protection measures and adhere to ethical guidelines when collecting and utilizing student data.

The role of policymakers is crucial in shaping the responsible integration of AI in education. Regulations and guidelines should be developed to govern the use of AI in classrooms, ensuring transparency, accountability, and ethical use of AI technologies. Collaboration between educators, technologists, policymakers, and stakeholders is essential to establish best practices and mitigate potential risks associated with AI in education.

The Road Ahead

The future of learning is being shaped by AI and Machine Learning technologies that offer unprecedented opportunities to personalize education, enhance teaching capabilities, and create dynamic learning environments. While AI presents immense potential to transform education for the better, it also poses challenges that must be addressed thoughtfully and ethically.

As we look to the future, it is essential to strike a balance between harnessing the benefits of AI and safeguarding against potential risks. By leveraging AI as a tool to support educators, personalize learning experiences, and foster collaborative and inclusive learning environments, we can empower students to thrive in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.

In navigating this journey, educators, policymakers, and stakeholders must work together to ensure that AI in education is implemented responsibly, ethically, and with the best interests of students at heart. By doing so, we can pave the way for a future where every student has access to personalized, high-quality education that prepares them for success in the 21st century and beyond.

Future Trends

As AI algorithms continue to advance, the future of education holds exciting possibilities. Emerging technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and predictive analytics are poised to further enhance personalized learning experiences. Imagine AI-powered virtual assistants that can converse with students in natural language; they would provide instant tutoring and guidance tailored to individual needs. Additionally, predictive analytics can anticipate students’ learning gaps and proactively suggest interventions, ensuring timely support and maximizing learning outcomes.

Global Impact

AI has the potential to democratize education on a global scale. In regions with limited access to qualified teachers or educational resources, AI-powered platforms can provide personalized learning experiences that adapt to local contexts and languages. This accessibility empowers students worldwide to access high-quality education, regardless of their geographical location or socioeconomic background. By bridging educational gaps and fostering lifelong learning opportunities, AI contributes to a more equitable and inclusive global society.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the integration of AI and Machine Learning into education represents a transformative shift toward personalized, adaptive, and inclusive learning environments. From personalized tutoring systems to immersive Virtual Reality experiences, AI technologies are reshaping how students learn, teachers teach, and educational outcomes are measured.

While AI offers unprecedented opportunities to enhance education, it is crucial to navigate its implementation thoughtfully and responsibly. Addressing ethical considerations such as bias in algorithms and data privacy concerns ensures that AI benefits all students equitably. Moreover, fostering collaboration among educators, policymakers, and technologists is essential to establishing guidelines. Additionally, coming up with best practices can help uphold ethical standards and maximize the positive impact of AI in education.

In this journey towards an AI-enhanced education system, continuous dialogue, research, and adaptation will be key. Together, we can shape a future where education is not only accessible and personalized but also transformative and empowering for generations to come.



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Meta’s Ad-Free Subscription Doesn’t Comply with DMA


This is bad news for Meta’s ad-free subscription. The program was initially launched in the European Union in November, and the entire purpose for why it was offered may be in jeopardy.

Background on the Subscriptions

When Meta first introduced an ad-free subscription option, they made it clear that this was to satisfy regulators in the European Union who challenged Meta’s use of data collection for ad targeting.

Meta said that this option would give users in those countries options:

1. Use Facebook and Instagram for free and allow your data to be used for ad targeting.

OR

2. Pay a monthly subscription fee to use the apps without ads, and your data won’t be used for targeting.

This screenshot comes straight from Meta

Ad-Free Subscription

I considered it odd at the time (and it seems even more so now) that Meta didn’t seem to get this cleared with regulators before offering the option. Instead, it appeared to be something that their own legal counsel said should suffice.

EU Commission Ruling

The EU Commission recently ruled that this approach fails to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). In other words, an ad-free subscription was a complete waste of time.

Meta doesn’t make more money from these subscriptions since it mostly replaces the money that would have been earned from advertising. In 2023, the average value of a user in Europe was $6.30 per month (below is by quarter). The subscription price, after a cut, is now very close to that value.

Meta Ad Revenue

And long-term, removing paying customers from the targeting pool won’t be good for advertising performance.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Will Meta continue to push a paid ad-free option if it doesn’t solve this issue in the EU? And what will they do next to satisfy regulators?



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The Top Driving Forces Of Career Development



The Top 2 Reasons Why Employees Love To Learn

A better salary, higher status, more control—I’m sure they all factor into an employee’s drive to pursue career development opportunities, but they’re not the driving forces. In the words of American track athlete and nine-time gold medalist, Carl Lewis, “It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” It’s not enough to give 100% of your talent and ability at work every day if your only motivation is what you might achieve by the time you hit retirement. And if it is, you’re running towards disappointment and burnout.

If you want your employees to remain engaged, committed, and motivated learners for the long haul, there have to be daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly checkpoints that affirm and add to the benefits of their learning journey. When the process of learning produces tangible benefits that employees can capitalize on immediately and use as fuel to advance their careers, they are inspired to pursue even bigger development goals. This way, companies are poised to maximize their growth too. So what are those driving forces?

The Top 2 Driving Forces Of Career Development

1. Purpose

8 in 10 people say learning adds purpose to their work. Employees who engage in learning programs that feel valuable and relevant to their interests and goals can see a direct correlation between their personal development and the achievement of broader company objectives. This alignment helps individuals to understand their role in the larger picture, imbuing their daily tasks with greater significance and meaning. It transforms routine work into a stepping stone for career advancement and personal fulfillment within the context of the company’s vision and mission.

Employees who find purpose in their work are more likely to remain loyal to their organization. They feel a sense of ownership and pride in their contributions, which motivates them to go above and beyond their job descriptions. This sense of purpose also fosters a positive work environment where individuals are driven by a common goal, leading to increased collaboration and innovation. Moreover, employees with a strong sense of purpose are more resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks, viewing them as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles.

2. Connection

7 in 10 people say learning improves their sense of connection to their organization. When an organization invests in its workforce’s personal and professional growth, it fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. That kind of culture often breeds a collaborative learning environment that breaks down outdated corporate silos and encourages teamwork. As employees interact and learn with their peers, they build relationships and a sense of belonging to a larger community. Shared growth creates a powerful bond. This social aspect of learning enhances their emotional connection to the organization, making them feel more integral to its ecosystem.

Employees who feel connected to their organization are more likely to be engaged and productive. They are not just working for a paycheck but are contributing to something bigger than themselves. This connection leads to higher job satisfaction and retention rates. Moreover, a strong sense of community within the workplace can lead to more effective communication and problem-solving, as employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and collaborating on projects. This environment of trust and mutual respect can further enhance innovation and efficiency within the organization.

Conclusion

Ultimately, while external rewards like salary and status are important, they are not the primary drivers of sustained employee motivation and engagement. Purpose and connection are the true driving forces that keep employees motivated to learn, grow, and contribute to their organization. By focusing on these intrinsic motivators, companies can create a more dynamic, committed, and innovative workforce. Employees who feel valued and connected are not only more productive but also become ambassadors for the company’s culture and values, further strengthening the organization’s reputation and success in the long term.



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Unilever to cut a third of office jobs in Europe


By

Reuters

Published



Jul 13, 2024

Unilever plans to cut a third of all office roles in Europe by the end of 2025 as a part of a push by the CEO to revive growth at the consumer goods giant. 

Reuters

The company, whose shareholders include billionaire activist investor and board member Nelson Peltz, has already been trying to streamline its business. CEO Hein Schumacher, who took over last year, laid out plans in October to win back investor confidence after it had underperformed in the past few years.

Unilever told senior executives on Wednesday that as many as 3,200 roles would be cut in Europe by the end of 2025, according to details of a company-wide call.

“We are now, over the next few weeks, starting the consultation process with employees who may be impacted by the proposed changes,” a Unilever spokesperson said in an email.

The Financial Times first reported the details.

The cuts are part of a productivity programme announced in March, which included as many as 7,500 layoffs.

“The expected net impact in roles in Europe between now and the end of 2025 is in the range of 3,000 to 3,200 roles,” Constantina Tribou, chief human resources officer, said during the video call.

“These measures mean the biggest job cuts in Unilever for decades,” Hermann Soggeberg, the head of Unilever’s European Works Council said in a letter to staff seen by Reuters. He said it was a misnomer to call the cuts a “Productivity Programme” as people who had worked and been productive were now set to lose their livelihoods.

Unilever has already taken steps to shake up its business as part of its plans to revitalise growth. In March, it announced it would spin off its ice cream business, home to popular brands such as Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s.

“From a shareholder’s point of view, a turnaround was clearly required at an underperforming business, the presence of an activist on the shareholder register is typically an obvious indicator of that,” Jack Martin, a portfolio manager at Oberon Investments, said.

“The ice cream business sale was the first step but moves to streamline the workforce in the coming months speak to the further work that is required to deliver value to shareholders.”

© Thomson Reuters 2024 All rights reserved.



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Cucinelli stock slide hints at tough results season for luxury


By

Bloomberg

Published



Jul 13, 2024

Markets’ downbeat reaction to Brunello Cucinelli SpA’s solid second-quarter earnings is an ominous sign for Europe’s luxury goods companies, which likely face a tough slog this results season to placate investors’ concerns for the sector. 

Brunello Cucinelli

Shares in the Italian cashmere house fell as much as 2.3% on Friday, even though its earnings met expectations and it highlighted “very promising” orders for its fall-winter collection. But the lack of a guidance upgrade was enough to disappoint investors, who are attuned to the risk of waning demand for the highest-value items. 

“The expectations’ bar is relatively higher for absolute luxury names like Hermes and relatively lower for turnaround stories like Burberry or Kering,” Stifel analyst Rogerio Fujimori said. 

“Brunello Cucinelli sales performance in the second quarter was rock solid, but full-year consensus estimates are unlikely to change materially, hence the muted share price reaction this morning,” Fujimori added.

The concerns are reflected in analysts’ forecasts, with profit estimates for the sector falling faster than for the broader European market.

Cucinelli, like France’s Hermes International SCA, has benefited from its exposure to the uber-wealthy, who tend to be less sensitive to any downturns in the economy. The stock has held up relatively well this year, with a 4.4% gain, while some peers like LVMH which have fallen. The MSCI Europe Textiles Apparel & Luxury Goods Index has dropped 13% from a peak hit earlier in the year.

“They have been reporting stronger results than peers recently, helped possibly by the “quiet luxury” trend,” Morningstar analyst Jelena Sokolova said of Cucinelli. A “slowdown for them means more subdued demand for others should continue.”

One of the main challenges for luxury firms is the pullback in Chinese demand following a post-pandemic spending boom. That’s forced some high-end labels to slash prices in China to shift unsold inventory, with brands owned by the likes of Kering SA, LVMH and Burberry Group Plc all resorting to discounting.

Next up to report are Burberry and Richemont, which are due the coming week. Analysts have already flagged the likelihood of a lackluster second-quarter reporting season. Bryan Garnier analysts, for instance, reckon first-half profits will be impacted from China’s worsening backdrop, and predict mid-range brands such as Swatch will bear the brunt.  

LVMH — owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Givenchy — has seen its price target cut by several brokers on the prospect of muted second-quarter growth. Its shares are down almost 2% this year. 

“The sector has been de-rating in the last couple of months and is now trading at more compelling levels,” JPMorgan analyst Chiara Battistini said in a note. “However, with an uninspiring first-half reporting ahead and still earnings cuts to come, we do not see a catalyst short term to turn more constructive, for now.”



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Easy Roasted Zucchini – Spend With Pennies


This oven roasted zucchini recipe brings out the natural sweetness and tenderness of the zucchini.

Light and lemony-seasoned strips of zucchini strips are oven roasted until they’re tender with crispy edges. Perfect for healthy snacking.

bowl of Easy Roasted Zucchini with lemon slices
  • Adding garlic and thyme makes it savory with a hint of lemon.
  • Cooking at the right temperature makes them perfectly golden and tender.
  • Only a few minutes in the oven makes them so quick and convenient.
  • They are a zesty and herb-infused side dish that pairs perfectly with most mains.
oil lemon seasoning garlic zucchini salt and pepper with labels to make Easy Roasted Zucchini

Ingredients For Roasted Zucchini

Zucchini: Look for zucchini squash (sometimes named summer squash) that are firm and free of soft spots or tears in the skin. If you have one, a mandolin helps make perfectly uniform strips. If using larger garden zucchini with a tougher skin, the skin can be peeled before cutting.

Seasonings: Punch up the zucchini seasonings with extra garlic, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, or a homemade Italian seasoning.

Variations

  • Add other veggies like quartered mushrooms, chunks of red onions, carrot coins, or potatoes to the bowl in Step 2.
  • Add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese or feta near the end of the cooking time.
  • Omit the thyme and add other fresh herbs like basil, dill, cilantro, or parsley.

How to Roast Zucchini

Oven roasted zucchini is a light and flavorful snack or side that’s ready in minutes.

  1. Slice zucchini (recipe below).
  2. Toss zucchini spears with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Arrange in a single layer and bake.

Ways to Serve Roasted Zucchini

Serve with a tasty ranch, or honey mustard dip, or serve roasted zucchini as a healthy side to grilled chicken, fish, or steak.

plated Easy Roasted Zucchini with a spoon

Storing Leftover Zucchini

Keep leftover roasted zucchini fries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them under the broiler or in an air fryer.

Zucchini can be frozen, but once thawed, they will not be as firm. But you can add them to an egg roll in a bowl or a veggie stir fry.

More Zucchini Recipes

Did you enjoy this Easy Roasted Zucchini Recipe? Leave a comment and rating below.

bowl of Easy Roasted Zucchini with lemon slices

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Easy Roasted Zucchini

Easy roasted zucchini makes a tender herb infused side dish with a hint of tanginess.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

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  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment.

  • Wash zucchini and cut into fries. Zest and juice the lemon.

  • In a large bowl toss together the zucchini, olive oil, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Spread in an even layer on the baking tray.

  • Bake until tender and slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, gently toss, and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Leftovers will keep an airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Calories: 279 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 464mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2105IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
easy Easy Roasted Zucchini in a bowl with lemon
low carb Easy Roasted Zucchini with writing
bowl of Easy Roasted Zucchini and lemon with writing
Easy Roasted Zucchini in a bowl with lemon slices and close up photo with a title



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Lululemon accused of greenwashing environmental goals, impact


By

Bloomberg

Published



Jul 13, 2024

Lululemon Athletica Inc. tricks consumers into believing the brand is sustainable and environmentally-friendly through its Be Planet marketing campaign, despite increasing its greenhouse gas emissions, a proposed class action filed Friday alleged.

Lululemon

“The apparel industry is a major contributor to the environmental crisis, and as one of the largest apparel companies in the world, Lululemon has a significant and growing climate and environmental footprint,” the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida said. “Its actions and products directly cause harm to the environment and the deterioration of the planet’s health—the opposite of its Be Planet promises and representations.”

Lululemon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The athleisure company unveiled its Be Planet Impact Agenda outlining a long-term strategy to curb its environmental impact in October 2020. Part of the plan’s promises included ensuring at least 75% of the company’s products contained sustainable materials and reducing fresh water use by 2025.

The Be Planet campaign makes reasonable consumers think Lululemon is a “planet-friendly” company that is contributing to improving the environment when it isn’t, the complaint says.

According to the company’s own 2022 impact report, Lululemon’s scope 3 emissions, indirect emissions that happen in a company’s supply chain, have grown to 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. The 2022 emissions are nearly double the company’s 2020 scope 3 emissions. The complaint said that emissions are on track to increase even more as the company tries to double its revenue by 2026.

Lululemon has already more than doubled its revenue between 2018 to 2022 to $8.1 billion. According to its first quarter 2024 fiscal results, the company operates more than 700 stores and is aiming to meet its 2026 goal by doubling men’s and e-commerce revenues.

The complaint said Lululemon uses pictures or rivers, forests, and nature on its website and marketing to “reinforce and perpetuate” a misleading impression that the company is environmentally-friendly to consumers it knows will pay a premium price for sustainable products.

Lead plaintiff Amandeep Gyani brings claims under Florida consumer protections laws and seeks to represent nationwide and state classes of consumers who have purchased any Lululemon branded product since October 2020. Gyani also brings a claim for unjust enrichment and seeks damages.

The lawsuit follows increased scrutiny of the fast-fashion industry’s climate impact.

Democratic lawmakers recently launched a caucus to examine textile recycling and the use of sustainable fibers, while environmentally-conscious clothing brands like Patagonia and Everlane have pushed for emissions disclosure regulations.

The case is assigned to Judge Beth Bloom.

Gyani is represented by Gold Law PA and Eggnatz Pascucci.

The case is Gyani v. Lululemon Athletica Inc., S.D. Fla., No. 1:24-cv-22651, complaint filed 7/12/24.



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