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COVID-19 SPECIAL COVID-19’S AFFECT ON THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR by: Kaleen Chen Just like in other industries, the pandemic has caused some changes in the technology sector. The need to stay home has resulted in higher demand for communication platforms and tech products and services since work and school has shifted to online. New advancements are developing since people try to make the online experience safer and more efficient. Here are examples of how the tech industry has been impacted due to COVID-19. CYBERSECURITY : Since more people are working virtually, cybersecurity will become of more importance. Security software industries will focus on making safer platforms and networks. There will likely be a focus on improving cloud-based security and recovery tools as well as better communication methods. behavioural analytics, which provides data on user’s interactions on applications. Websites will likely become more developed due to the need for online security. Services will become more safe and reliable since companies will need their data to be protected and backed-up. BUSINESS CHANGES AND MARKET DEMAND: As a result of social distancing, tech companies’ usual business development events and in-person interactions have either lessened or been canceled. This shift in practice may negatively impact business partnerships and delay the production process. This has had a significant impact on companies that have international stakeholders. However, social distancing has resulted in a higher demand in communication platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc for work, healthcare checkups, school etc which benefit companies in the telecommunication sector. 5G TECHNOLOGY : The development of 5G technology may be accelerated as more and more people stay home and need faster access to data and networks. Due to the need to stay home, more healthcare appointments have switched to being online and IT professionals are working on implementing 5G technology to the telehealth industry. For example, in China, some hospitals are utilizing 5G networks to connect patients with doctors which help decrease in-person appointments and lower the risk of transmitting illnesses. The higher quality and bandwidth of 5G allows doctors to see more accurate photos of patients as well as being able to connect with more people at the same time.


ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES DURING COVID At first thought, the pandemic seems to have a positive impact on the environment. People are staying home, which means less greenhouse gas emissions due to halting production and less travel. As everything shifts to being remote, there is less need for transportation such as public transit, cars, buses, airplanes etc. Environmental noise has decreased significantly as a result of less human activity and beaches have become cleaner. However, this is only a temporary effect and COVID-19 has negatively affected the environment in other aspects. Carbon emissions seem to only dramatically decrease early on in the pandemic. As lockdown protocols ease, greenhouse gas emissions are going back up again. According to National Geographic, carbon emissions decreased by 17% from 2019 in April, but in June, it was only 5% lower and although some parts of the world are slowly going back to its pre-pandemic state, others have not. People fear that carbon emissions will surpass pre-pandemic levels by producing more items since companies will try to make up for lost time. Another concern for the future is the drop in the number of people utilizing public transportation like BART and transit since people are afraid of contracting COVID and want to remain a safe distance from others. A surge of waste has also come from deforestation. There has been less regulations during the pandemic. The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, for example, has experienced a rise in the amount of people, especially miners and ranchers, who are taking over the land to exploit its resources. According to National Geographic, “64 percent more land was cleared in April 2020 than in the same month last year—even though 2019 was the biggest year for deforestation in more than a decade.� While the beginning of the pandemic saw lower greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of COVID-19 have resulted in more waste and there are concerns for the effects after the pandemic such as higher carbon emissions from lower public transportation use and fossil fuel and fracking industries.

There is also a concern that the fossil fuel, plastics, and fracking industries might come out of the pandemic at an advantage since governments, especially the United States, assent to these companies' requests for financial assistance. CAs a result of COVID-19, there has been a decline in recycling and an increase in waste. Employers working at recycling programs have been told to go home during the pandemic to stay safe and as a result, many recycling programs have come to a halt. Increase of waste results from an increase of online shopping and take-out which contains a lot of packaging that is not environment friendly. Medical waste has also increased due to hospitals treating more and more patients. The use of face masks has increased and some of them end up in places they should not be. The strings of the face masks will oftentimes get caught on animals or into the ocean.


Education During COVID by: Madeline Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools and universities switched to online learning and remote work to help contain the spread of the virus. The wide range of new applications and platforms are invaluable for the continuation and success of the students to remote learning. Providing students, faculty, and staff with the access and training to use these technological systems is a critical step to switch from going to school to learning at home. As everyone switches to technological uses, society is progressively incorporating technology into their daily lives. However, tech-equity issues emerged especially in low income communities. Lack of education was already a major problem before the pandemic; however, it has become even more of a struggle now. What was once an equalizer by giving everyone a similar start in life, has become one of the major contributors to creating inequality for those who face deficits in early learning and development. As of right now, roughly 15 million children live in poverty, and roughly 30% of them do not finish high school and live to be persistently poor (Low-Income). They end up not having the knowledge required to improve both their living conditions and those of their future children. Schools in low-income communities also have much fewer resources and lower graduation rates than their wealthier counterparts. While successfully completing high school is a norm for privileged students, it is considered a blessing for others. Numerous students in low-income communities struggle to obtain a rich and rigorous education due to lack of resources and awareness about educational opportunities. Now that everything has turned into the digital world, less funded schools are at a larger disadvantage trying to provide the educational resources needed to switch to an online environment, such as laptops.

Tammy Guerrero, the founder of Spark4Learning states, “Lack of experiences, resources, and opportunities will limit their range of knowledge and even their ability to process that which they are learning”. Resources are extremely limited in low-income communities, such as computers, primary sources for history classes, and computer programs. However, Guerrero depicts that with an increased funding of resources, students will be able to explore their desired career interests and obtain visual activities that will build creativity, connections, and skills that are valuable for networking—especially in their future careers. When there is a lack of funding, it prevents many students from receiving the materials they need to learn. Correspondingly, based on a true story, “Freedom Writers” depicts a teacher, Erin Gruwell, who was assigned to teach l ow-performing students at a school deemed incapable of learning, where a majority of them were involved in gangs and violent acts. However, she creates an educational impact and sheds light on her students with resources and reading materials. From this, all 150 of her students ended up graduating from high school, and some went on to attend college.


While resources are not everything to a child’s education, it is one of the most necessary steps that allow students to advance their skills and grasp onto the concepts faster, increasing the chance of obtaining wealth. It is of paramount importance that students are exposed to realistic scenarios that they could encounter in their future careers. Furthermore, in a journal article, “Effects of School Resources on Performances”, Eric Hanushek depicts multiple studies of the relationship between school resources and student achievement. In one of the studies, it demonstrates a 27% increase in success for students who have access to resources and utilizes them regularly (Hanushek). If more students gain access to these opportunities and resources, they will become more prepared for the future; thus, increasing the chances of receiving a higher earning job. Lack of resources is a prominent issue in today’s society, but with more funds, it can give low income students a successful future. Students from low-income communities face numerous hardships especially in their education. Society as a whole needs to work together in order to address the issues that are present in these communities. Tofa McCormick, the founder of EOSchools, builds up a sense of belonging amongst students and breaks down the barriers that exist among these individuals. He addresses solutions for how low-income students can have a higher chance of succeeding in school. McCormick states, “Funding is a necessity in order for successful education to continue, especially for low income students during the pandemic.”

During these unprecedented times, it is of utmost importance that we use this time to focus on the needs of the students rather than having them fall more behind in their studies. Programs need to come together and understand the changing environment and adjust to those future needs rather than addressing the past needs. Furthermore, if more programs do collaborate together and create an organization with an abundant amount of resources, it can be one of the leading factors to breaking the barriers to education; thus, leading to a more prosperous future.

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CreAItivity Zine: Vol 1  

The creAItivity Review is a digital zine that aims to promote the accessibility of artificial intelligence and shed light on the various ind...

CreAItivity Zine: Vol 1  

The creAItivity Review is a digital zine that aims to promote the accessibility of artificial intelligence and shed light on the various ind...

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