Graphene Opening New Horizons for Research

“It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to breakthrough a sheet of graphene”, remarked by Professor James Hone, of Columbia University (Hudson 2011). The new marvel element has acquired the attention of all electronic research centers, each trying to be the first to launch the first practical device with a graphene chip, using 0% silicon.

Why people are getting crazy for graphene, is a good question to ask. The material “graphene” was named to be the element of the century, before its discoverers were given the Noble-Prize for it. The reasons being, it is 4 times stronger and more resilient than steel, probably matches the strength of a diamond. Its conductivity outshines that of silicon by a long margin, and not to mention the flexibility is of the level of rubber. All these properties in a single element are good enough to commence a revolution in the world of science. Imagine, you can take out your cell phone, expand its screen, to make it a full-size Television, then shrink it and wear it on your waist as a hand watch. This is not all, but one of the endless possibilities of the marvel material, which is just on the brink to be a part of our everyday life.

So, what’s stopping it to replace silicon completely from the electronic devices, is another good question to ask. There are always problems and limitations at the beginning and so is the case with graphene. Scientists have found that these mind-wobbling qualities of graphene dilutes when the size is shrunk to an extent that can match the size of consumer-level product. This means, whatever we have praised for graphene so far, is limited to larger size molecules of the material. When molecules are arranged in smaller patterns, the material might not look as promising. This has been identified as the only, but a significant obstacle, in the implication of graphene at a large scale. Thus, passionate researchers can join the race to find out solutions and procures that can sustain the molecular functionality of this material, even when molecules are arranged in small bits and fragments.

Samsung has been the most devoted and passionate investors for graphene research. The company has already spent over 10 billion US dollars for the research on this product. This alone explains the potential in this marvel material. Samsung researchers have come up with a new method of synthesizing graphene, which is expected to ensure the same functionality of the material for smaller molecular arrangement. This process is inspired by the multi-crystal synthesis method that has been used in the past for fabricating gold and silver, which are highly conductive in nature. However, the credibility of this process for graphene is yet to be confirmed. Thus, it can be anticipated that soon one or the other would have the solution to all problems that currently stand in the path of graphene commercialization.

The Fundamental Flaws in IQ tests

A person, who is a skilful painter, could have below statist factory command over complex Mathematics. A person with exceptional communication skills could be poor at solving logical questions. So, should we consider the person who can convince others or who can draw exceptional paintings as unintellectual? This is what our modern testing system, by the name of IQ test, does! There are only written questions related to general Math problems, word and image IQ problems. A number of scientists behind the development of this kind of IQ test expressed that these IQ tests will analyse the cognitive, reasoning, and memory skills of the person.

Variation of Human Brain Functionality

This is how they define or rather I should say they confine human intelligence. The research by Charvet, Darlington, and Finlay (2013) confirmed that the human brain is a very complex piece of machine and its behaviour cannot be accurately predicted in one situation. A person, nervous in front of a computer, can be an Einstein with a pen in hand. A person, who gets uneasy when instructions are given in English, can be at complete ease when instructions are given in his/her mother tongue. This is because a human brain functions differently in different conditions and with different areas. If the ability of solving simple IQ questions is greater than the ability to write an inspiring piece of song, then only the standing of current IQ tests can be justified.

Ceiling Effects

Dr. Silverman shed light on the concept of “ceiling effect” to discuss the limitation of IQ tests. He found in his research that a number of children (gifted child) have the ability to look at problems from a very different and broad perspective. They are able to solve complex problems, but often fail to solve the easier ones. From a neutral perspective, this is both good and bad, as those children can be considered an asset when solving complex problems related to nature, state, etc. However, when their intelligence is tested through the mirror of conventionally designed IQ test, they will probably look dumber than average children.

The Missing Part “Creativity”

A huge number of educational, psychological and management researches have been devoted to concept of merging creativity into their routine practices. The broad aspect of creativity makes it both interesting, but intricate to define and measure. A creative idea for one might sound irrational and foolish to the other. Thus, there are no definite boundaries and instruments for measuring the level of creativity of a person; however, it is agreed that every human has the element of creativity in himself/herself. So, how does the IQ test comply with this human setting? Creativity is another missing element in an IQ test, and it is possible that one of the most creative people on the planet (in terms of his/her ability to think-out-of-the-box) can have the lowest IQ score.

Thus, it is fundamentally true that the tool of IQ can only test the mathematical and reasoning skills of a person, and not his overall intelligence.

Educational Technology With Incentives

The use of educational technology and the latest apps in the classrooms has become widespread over the years, and teachers have been amenable to integrate interactive apps in their curriculum. This has changed the overall outlook of the class, making it more interactive and fun. However, if we compare these apps with other games that students play on their handsets, it can be said that’s students are more captivated by the fun and thrilling games. This is one lack in the educational games and apps, as it lack the incentive part for the learners. Harris Robin states that if these apps come with incentives, other than being an interactive learning platform, students’ motivation to use these latest educational apps would augment with little or no effort from the teacher. Here are some of the latest reforms in the technology sector pertinent to education and learning, which endeavour to fill the identified lacking

Flash Notes

Not every student likes to keep notes of their lectures, whether they have to write it on a tablet or on a piece of paper. So, here is one incentive that will motivate students to take notes of their class. The latest cell phone and tablet application of ‘Flashnotes’ allows students to sell their notes online and earn from it. The trend of online education has augmented drastically over the years, and a number are attending virtual classes. Such students often do not have a complete access to the professor’s lectures and, thus, lack in their course understanding. Thus, notes from other students give them the opportunity to read examples, connections, and other pertinent topics which were discussed in the class.

Study Blue

The motivation in learning gets better when we see other students learning the same thing as we are, and we try to make social connections with those students. This helps students in many ways, first they get an opportunity to form their learning group, and second, they are able to access others notes, materials, and exam papers. The technology of Study Blue provides the same purpose to students, but on the platform of social media. Students, when registering on Study Blue, have to provide the details of their course. After registration, they are directed towards other people and study circles, who are studying the same course as the student.

Celly

I have seen a number of students, who are enthusiast and are high spirited to bring some sort of educational and social reform in the society. However, the majority of them do not have any platform to express themselves and the maximum they could do is to make their social page or design pamphlets and stick to the walls. Teachers, when teaching leadership qualities and managerial skills, can take use of the “Celly” application, providing students with a great platform where they can reach a big audience to spread their message. People registered with this application give their cell phone number while joining a group (business, finance, sports, etc.), which is protected by the company. Users can then spread a message to all other registered users, selecting an age group or gender.