9 New Game-Changing Technologies to Expect in 2015



Perfect for business professionals operating on the go, this lightweight, flexible smartwatch takes the power of the iPhone and puts it right on the wrists of wearers. With rumors that Microsoft, Apple and Google have all been working on their own watches to work with their respective smartphones, we’re bound to see some of that hard work in the next year. Word is, Apple has hired a number of fashion executives in recent months, including former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, who joined the tech company this year to work on “special projects,” one of which is the rumored iWatch, according to Snap Fulfil.


Compact Projection

Travel presentations will be transformed in 2015, thanks to the world’s smallest projector. The tiny keychain projector eliminates the need for heavy equipment or the expense of having to pay for projection equipment to be delivered. This Sekonix DLP Keychain Projector works with smartphones, tablets and personal computers through a USB connection, as reported by Forbes. Not only can compact projection transform the business world, it can also truly innovate our educational system if it is provided in classrooms around the country.

More Than Avengers: 13 Top Black Marvel Characters Of All Time


Luke Cage

Luke Cage, wrongly convicted and unjustly imprisoned, was altered in a failed prison experiment that granted him bulletproof skin and superhuman strength. With his street smarts, and unending determination to do right, he fights for the common man. He also has a wife and child, showing his nature as a family man.


James Rhodes (Iron Patriot)

James Rhodes is Tony Stark’s personal pilot and one of the playboy’s oldest friends. Rhodes has often donned the Iron Man armor when the burden has been too much for his friend, but has also established his own identity as the Iron Patriot.

6 Major Black ‘Star Trek’ Characters Who Were Scene Stealers

Star Trek is a science-fiction franchise spanning comics, books, film and television. These are some of the main Blerd figures from the Star Trek saga.


Nyota Uhura

Nyota Uhura is a character in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, the first six Star Trek films, the 2009 film Star Trek, and its 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.

In 2266, Uhura (played originally by Nichelle Nichols and later by Zoe Saldana) began her Starfleet career as a communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise with the rank of lieutenant in the command division.

In the following years of that vessel’s historic five-year mission, she was transferred to the operations division where she proved to be a proficient technician and was considered by Captain Kirk to be a capable and reliable bridge officer, manning the helm, navigation and main science station when the need arose.


Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, which aired from 1987 to 1994 and was the basis of four Star Trek movies, Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge is the chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise.

In Star Trek: First Contact, La Forge (portrayed by LeVar Burton) and the Enterprise-E travel back in time to the 21st century to stop the Borg from preventing mankind’s first warp space flight. The inventor of the warp drive is a financially motivated, white alcoholic named Zefram Cochrane who lives in Bozeman, Montana. La Forge has to hold his hand to get him to launch the Phoenix and make “first contact” with the Vulcans.

13 Blacks Influencing Technology In a Major Way Today

As the number of Black people working in technology increases, we continue to see more rise to the upper echelons of the tech world. Here is a list of 13 Blacks influencing technology today, according to Business Insider.


Condoleezza Rice, Board of Directors, Dropbox

Earlier this month, online storage startup Dropbox added Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.

As the former secretary of state and an adviser to the National Security Agency, having someone like Rice as a liaison to Washington, D.C., could be very helpful to Dropbox.

At the same time, though, her history as an official in the Bush Administration is stirring up controversy. Protests on social media say she is a controversial figure after revelations of widespread wiretapping on US citizens during her time in office, as reported by BBC News.

Dropbox has raised over $1 billion to date and employs 698 people.


Ade Olonoh, CEO, Formspring

Ade Olonoh is the co-founder and CEO of Formspring, a social network that helped people find out more about each other.

Prior to founding Formspring, Olonoh founded online form building Formstack. Formspring has taken $14.3 million in funding and has about 12 employees. In 2013, Spring.me acquired Formspring’s assets and rebranded it.


Sheldon Gilbert, Founder and CEO, Proclivity

Sheldon Gilbert is the founder and chief executive of Proclivity Media, a company that specializes in digital advertising technologies.

Founded six years ago, Proclivity uses a retailer’s e-commerce data to best predict and match companies with ad placements that will bring in the most sales.

Proclivity has raised $8.82 million in funding and has eight employees.

15 Greatest Black Female Superheroes (Who Aren’t Storm)

Black, female superheroes are plentiful with brawn, sass and class that comes alive far beyond the comic book pages. Here is the list of the 15 Greatest Black Female Superheroes, according to io9.


Monica Rambeau (codename: Spectrum)

Monica Rambeau was a lieutenant in the New Orleans Harbor patrol of the Coast Guard when she was bombarded with rays from space, which gave her the ability to turn into any form of energy and shoot energy at people.

She is the first of a few peace officers to appear on this list — Black women characters were heavily associated with law enforcement or the sciences.

Monica is a favorite hero for many because of her assertive, no-nonsense demeanor. She has a long history in comics including a stint as the leader of the Avengers.


Anissa & Jennifer Pierce (codenames: Thunder & Lightning respectively)

Anissa & Jennifer Pierce are the daughters of famous hero Jefferson Pierce (codename: Black Lightning), who really did not want his daughters to follow in his footsteps. He made them promise to graduate from college before they used their powers to become heroes.

Even though they’re sisters, their powers could not be more different. Anissa controls her density to the point of making herself invulnerable and creating shockwaves by stomping her feet or clapping her hands. Jennifer, meanwhile, can turn herself into a being of sentient energy allowing herself to fly and shoot powerful bolts of electricity.


Amanda Waller (codename: N/A)

Amanda Waller fought her way out of the Cabrini Green Projects after the murders of her husband and daughter. She has a titanium will and a cunning political mind; she chose to get into politics to change the world. With her “by any means” attitude she quickly rose through the ranks and transitioned into the shadow government. She is known as The Wall, and while it might have started as a fatphobic joke, it stuck and became a point of pride because there is no one, literally no one (even Batman), who can work around or through Waller when she puts her mind to it.

12 Amazing Teaching Techniques That Can Be Used to Close the Education Gap

In order to inspire and invest children in education, teaching techniques must engage students creatively as well as constructively. This article highlights techniques written about by Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, exploring how creative teaching techniques can close the educational gap that many students face.


Assumption Busting

An assumption is an unquestioned, assumed truth. Assumption busting is particularly effective when one is stuck in current thinking paradigms or has run out of ideas. Everyone makes assumptions about the world around us, which, in creative situations, can prevent seeing or generating possibilities. Deliberately seeking out and addressing previously unquestioned assumptions stimulates creative thinking.

Have students list assumptions associated with a task or problem. Then ask them under what conditions are these assumptions untrue, and continue the process of examination as old assumptions are challenged and new ones are created.



Brainstorming, a useful tool to develop creative solutions to a problem, is a lateral thinking process by which students are asked to develop ideas or thoughts that may seem crazy or shocking at first. Participants can then change and improve them into original and useful ideas. Brainstorming can help define an issue, diagnose a problem or possible solutions and form resistance to proposed solutions.

Keep students focused on the problem, but be sure that no one criticizes or evaluates ideas during the session, even if they are clearly impractical, as criticism dampens creativity in the initial stages of a brainstorming session. The idea is to generate possibilities.

9 Strategies That Can Be Used to Close the Achievement Gap

Enhanced Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is at the forefront of closing the achievement gap, which disproportionately affects low-income Blacks and other minorities. In order to address their needs, teachers, staff and faculty must consider students’ diversity to be an asset by including diversity in the curriculum and being sensitive to each student’s culture. They should also work to increase their own cultural competence to better understand and capitalize on students’ culture, abilities, resilience and effort.


Comprehensive Support for Students

Comprehensive support for children includes understanding and helping to improve the external factors that affect a child’s performance in school. It is important to screen children early for medical/social services and work with medical, social services and community agencies. Educators must identify students who need additional instructional support and support students via mentors, tutoring, peer support networks and role models.

5 Ways to Get Black Kids Excited About STEM

Knowledge of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) can open up a wide array of doors for Black youths. By getting them interested early, they will perform better in school and potentially develop a love and aptitude for math and science. Here are five ways to get Black kids excited about STEM, according to Ebony Magazine. 


Connect to after-school STEM programs happening at your child’s school or in your local community center. 

Classroom lessons, plus the increasing time dedicated to prepare for high-stakes tests, rarely give curious students a chance to do the science and engineering activities that captivate their interests in these subjects. Academic extra-curricular activities such as Robotics Competition Teams, Science and Math Clubs, as well as Scouting Programs sponsored by civic organizations, are ideal outlets for youths interested in STEM. These programs and clubs host activities that reinforce classroom lessons, foster critical thinking and allow students to interact with mentors and other science-engaged students.

12 of the Most Accomplished Black People in Technology

Although Blacks are underrepresented in tech careers, this list of the most influential Blacks in tech highlights men and women who are making it big in the field, according to Business Insiders’ article Important Blacks in Tech.

Denise Young Smith, Head of Human Resources, Apple

In February 2014, Apple appointed Denise Young Smith to lead its worldwide human resources division. Smith replaced Joel Podolny, who now focuses on Apple University full time. Smith previously led Apple’s human resources division for its retail operations. Apple is currently valued at $471.5 billion and employs more than 10,000 people.


David Steward, Co-founder and Chairman, World Wide Technology

David Steward co-founded World Wide Technology, one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in the country, back in 1990. WWT is a systems integration company that helps large and private companies plan and deploy relevant IT products and solutions. Today, WWT has an annual revenue of $6 billion and more than 2,400 employees worldwide.

8 Mind-Blowing Energy Innovations That Will Make Electric Bills a Thing of the Past

Transforming the way humans interact with their environment and ultimately impact it is the key to a healthy future. Here are eight innovative energy solutions, according to Tree Hugger.

Massive Wind Turbines

This might not seem like a big deal. After all, wind turbines have been getting bigger and bigger for decades. But it’s very cool that we’re able to build these massive beasts (it’s no easy feat of engineering), and since wind turbines are all about the surface area covered by the rotor blades, their size matters exponentially. Especially offshore where half the battle is just getting the equipment out there, it’d be almost as hard to install 2-megawatt turbines as 6-MW ones, so we might as well go for the big ones and get more clean energy out of the effort.

blerds robot solar

Robots That Install Solar Panels

Robots are extremely helpful and expedite repetitive tasks that require a high level of precision. So if we’re going to build massive solar power farms — either photovoltaic or thermal — we can reduce costs and do it faster with the help of our robotic friends. We can even have robots wash the panels and mirrors!