Sun screen. Bronzer. Citronella oil. Siri. . .Siri?
Nope, it’s not a new beauty product. In case you don’t know, it’s a brand-new tool students, including students taking cosmetology CE courses, are using nowadays to learn better, faster, and more conveniently.
Siri is a sophisticated app for iOS, Apple’s proprietary platform, that acts like an intelligent personal assistant accomplishing tasks by pressing into service appropriate Web services. Interacting with the user via natural language, it can do arithmetic just like a regular calculator, fetch information (such as the answer to the question, “What is cosmetology?”) like a browser, display maps, even make recommendations for the best resto in town. It’s just one of a suite of newly emerged or emerging technologies that are giving the way students learn and prepare for their careers a major makeover.
To be sure, it isn’t just iPhone or iPad-wielding srudents who are benefitting from the Siri technology. Android users also have their version of Siri, the seriously easy-to-speak-to Speaktoit. This polished, smart personal assistant does virtually everything its iOS counterpart does and then some. For instance, although it’s a native Android app, its developers have released a version that runs on Apple devices older than the iPhone 4S, a back compatibility that Siri doesn’t support.
In addition, Speaktoit can update Twitter, Foursquare, and, yes, Facebook accounts. It’s also something of an international tour guide, able to search maps other than that of the United States. Speaktoit is well named besides. In a search for weather in, say, London, it will actually read out the search result where Siri will simply spill out the result on the screen. And it does all this with a personable face (the likeness of a young woman in this case) for its interface instead of Siri’s impersonal and rather mystifying circle.
Such attention to more natural human-device interface marks the next step for education, which even now is in the midst of a quiet revolution as traditional education facilities (such as Yale University) and training providers (such as cosmetologycampus.com) scramble to convert to all-online education programs to meet the big wave of demand for online courses.
In the age of Siri and other intelligent personal assistants living in students’ mobile devices, the delivery and enhancement of educational instruction will increasingly be tailored to include smartphones and smart technology, such as Siri and Speaktoit, as important, indispensable components. In fact, cosmetologycampus.com has a history of being ahead of other cosmetology schools not only by being a provider of fully online courses, but also by having forward-looking programs that actually enable its students to access content via their mobile devices.
Don’t be surprised if the person who does your hair next time you’re in the beauty salon whips out her smartphone and asks, “Hey, Siri! Is it safe now to get a Brazilian Blowout?”