Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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Are these tech gadgets on your Christmas wish list?

Well, it’s hard to believe that another holiday season is upon us. Though it seems like the festivities are lasting longer each year. Yuletides and carols before Thanksgiving tend to stretch things out a full 6 weeks, and before long we may be starting before Halloween. Notwithstanding the longer holiday shopping season, now we’re finally entering the homestretch. It’s down to almost 2 weeks before the big day. So, if you haven’t done anything yet, now’s the time to check your wish list for some of the coolest tech gadgets on the market in 2014.




This year you can’t go wrong with anything to do with smartphones, tablets, wearable tech, home theater, gaming, car tech, or robots. Let’s take a quick look at some of the major items in these categories to see what everyone is purchasing for Christmas 2014.

iPhone 6: With all the great features that make iPhone what it is, the iPhone 6 is even better: it’s faster, smaller, has Retina HD Display, a better camera, new & improved iOS, and much more. iPhone 6 has 3 contract options, starting at $199 with 16GB of memory, $299 for 64GB, and $399 for 128GB. Anyone will love an iPhone 6 in their stocking this year!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S: So if you’re not impressed with Apple, try a Samsung. This tablet, which comes in 8.4 and 10.5 inch sizes is getting a lot of rave reviews for its outstanding screen quality, horse power, and battery life. And it comes just in time to show off the best of Samsung’s software and hardware capabilities. Can be had on Amazon for $369!

Pebble Steel: Pending the release of the Apple Watch, the best in wearable technology right now is the Pebble Steel. It’s iOS and Android-compatible, has good battery life, a crisp display, is waterproof, and is available on Amazon for $199.




Chromecast: With the rise of on-demand streaming video services like Netflix and Amazon, your computer today basically doubles as a TV. Google has gone a step further by offering a ‘smart TV on a stick’. Chromecast is a small HDMI dongle that plugs directly into your TV and connects to your Wi-Fi. Once this happens it becomes a media streaming adapter that directs all of your favorite streaming content from your phone or tablet to your TV. It’s on the cheap for only $35.

Sony PlayStation 4: According to CNET, PlayStation 4’s outstanding graphics, smart interface, blazing fast performance, and near-perfect controller all are features that give it an edge over Xbox as both consoles enter their second year. $400 won’t be a problem for the top of the line gaming experience on the market today.

Pioneer’s flagship NEX receiver: Car technology is changing very fast as we’ve all heard about the imminence of driverless cars. Obviously that will be luxury item for many at the beginning, but in the meantime why not upgrade your driving experience? With Pioneer’s AVIC 8000NEX’s full-stack multimedia and navigation receivers you can turn your car into an internet-enabled infotainment system. The system is compatible with Apple new CarPlay interface for iPhone. It’s not cheap at $910. But for many who are on the road a lot, it’ll be well worth the price to take streaming with them.




Ollie the indoor Robot: For the kid in all of us, Ollie is the answer! It’s the latest in connected indoor robots from the makers of the acclaimed Sphero ball. Ollie goes up to 14mph and does all kinds of tricks, like spin, drift, turn, flip and tumble. It does all of this via Bluetooth using your Android or iOS device, and is easily customizable to share your trick moves and combinations with friends. Hours of fun for only $100!

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.