Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.
(National) Education Politics
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The Education Dept. Wants to Hold Colleges Accountable by Reporting Graduates’ Earnings. One Problem: The Data Aren’t All There.”
News about the update to FAFSA is in “the business of financial aid” section below.
Via Education Week: “Congress Considering $95 Million for Study of Technology’s Effects on Children.”
(State and Local) Education Politics
Via Chalkbeat: “Carranza aims to speed up anti-bias training for educators, calling it a ‘cornerstone’ of school improvement.” (Richard Carranza is the new head of the NYC school system.)
Via The New York Times: “Three years after the city launched an investigation into whether certain ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools were providing an adequate education in secular subjects, it revealed on Thursday that it had made little progress. In a letter to the state’s Education Department seeking guidance, Richard A. Carranza, New York City schools chancellor, acknowledged that investigators had managed to visit only half the schools involved.”
Education in the Courts
Via NPR: “Lunch Lady Larceny? Cafeteria Workers Allegedly Stole Half A Million Dollars.”
Via the AP: “Mississippi’s Supreme Court says a state lawsuit against Google alleging violations of student privacy should stay in a northeast Mississippi court.”
While not directly education-related, it is worth keeping an eye – both eyes, honestly – on the FCC’s attempts to roll back consumer protections and Internet subsidies for low-income families communities. Via The Verge: “Court halts FCC plan to revoke low-income internet subsidies on tribal lands.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “New York U.’s School of Medicine Goes Tuition-Free.”
The Business of Financial Aid
Via The Washington Post: “Going mobile: The government’s most crucial financial aid form.” One huge problem with the new mobile version of the FAFSA: you can’t use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on it. And that makes the mobile app pretty useless, IMHO.
The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed
“The Future Of For-Profit Colleges” – Tressie McMillan Cottom (and others) on 1A.
The future, in part, seems to involve renaming for-profits so they’re no longer as closely associated with a tainted brand, as we can see in this story about the “rechristened Altierus Career College” in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“Education Department’s decision to drop gainful-employment rule will mean lowest-performing programs keep $5.3 billion over next decade,” Inside Higher Ed reports.
Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)
“OPMs are a Subset of a Bigger Market,” says Michael Feldstein.
Meanwhile on Campus…
Via The Atlantic: “The Fate of Black Colleges Post-Omarosa.” Related, I guess: “In her new book, controversial former aide to President Trump offers views on education secretary and support for black colleges,” Inside Higher Ed tells us. That would be Omarosa Manigault Newman, of course. We are in the worst reality TV show ever when (if) we find ourselves rooting for her villainy and treachery.
Via The New York Times: “Transgender Girl, 12, Is Violently Threatened After Facebook Post by Classmate’s Parent.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Akron Will Phase Out 80 Degree Programs and Open New Esports Facilities.”
Yes, Guns Are Ed-Tech (and It’s So F*cked Up that I Had to Make This a Category)
Via The New York Times: “Back-to-School Shopping for Districts: Armed Guards, Cameras and Metal Detectors.”
Via The New York Times: “U.S. Wants Students to Learn Bleeding-Control Methods to Prepare for School Shootings.”
Go, School Sports Team!
Via The Washington Post: “Maryland places DJ Durkin on administrative leave amid reports of football program’s toxic culture.”
There’s more sports-related news in the “meanwhile on campus” section above.
The Business of Job Training
“Facebook is going back to college,” writes venture capitalist Ryan Craig. The story is actually a plug for Pathstream (not currently in his investment portfolio), which “supports the delivery of career-critical software skill training in VR/AR and digital marketing at colleges and universities.”
“Richard Russell Stole a Plane in Seattle and Crashed It. How’d He Learn to Fly?” asks The New York Times. (Spoiler alert: video games.)
This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines
“Can Competency-Based Education Demonstrate Mastery Across a Lifetime?” asks Edsurge.
“Is The LMS A Distraction In EdTech Futurology?” asks Moodle News.
(Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)
Upgrades and Downgrades
Shocking, I know, but back-to-school means a lot of seasonal downloads for various education apps. So I’m not sure why this is news, via Edsurge: “More Popular Than Gmail, Facebook and Instagram: The Education App That Hit #1 on the iOS Chart.” (The app in question: Remind.)
More important than the popularity of the ed-tech above is the scarcity of the ed-tech in this story, via The Washington Post: “EpiPen shortage raises alarm for parents as kids head back to school.”
Via Edsurge: “Behind the Scenes of TED-Ed’s Wildly Popular YouTube Channel for Students.”
Via Techcrunch: “Messenger Kids rolls out passphrases so kids can initiate friend requests themselves.”
Do not tell the connectivists, but apparently – according to Edsurge at least – “Education’s Latest Secret Trend” is “Networking.” (Actually the article is just a promotion for three books penned by people close to Edsurge.)
Mike Caulfield wrote this week that “QAnon and Pinterest Is Just the Beginning,” and I can’t help but think about how popular Pinterest is among teachers and what conspiracy theories they might be pinning as they look for ideas to decorate their bulletin boards.
Via The New York Times: “This Company Keeps Lies About Sandy Hook on the Web.” “This company” is Wordpress.com.
Speaking of blogs, Harvard announced it will no longer host blogs.harvard.edu. Here’s Dave Winer’s take. Mike Caulfield responds with “A Provocation for the Open Pedagogy Community,” asking if institutional or corporate hosting has more longevity.
“Blockchain Gains Currency in Higher Ed,” according to Inside Higher Ed. (I’d love to know if any of these initiatives address cryptocurrency’s connection to anti-Semitism and the alt-right.)
Via Phil Hill and O’Neil Spicer: “D2L Fusion 2018: Product improvements and potential signs of addressing challenges.”
Robots and Other Education Science Fiction
Via the IBM press release: “How Watson Education, Scholastic and Edmodo are using AI to close the learning gap.” I seem to recall a story just the other week in which someone called Watson "a piece of shit." But hey. PR gonna PR.
“Children are susceptible to peer pressure from robots,” says The Verge. (So are adults, to be fair.)
Via Techcrunch: “This happy robot helps kids with autism.”
Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Teaching.”
(Venture) “Philanthropy” and the Business of Education Reform
Sponsored content on Edsurge, sponsored by Macmillan Learning and by First Lego League.
Venture Capital and the Business of Education
Quiz maker Quizizz has raised $3 million from Prime Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and GSF.
Concourse Global has raised $2 million from Third Kind Venture Capital, LearnStart, Colle Capital Partners, A-Star-Education Holdings, and Jay Varkey for its college counseling service.
Nuada has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Luna Ventures for its “adaptive” worksheet software.
LittleBits has acquired DIY.co.
Data, Surveillance, and Information Security
“Here’s What Happens When We Allow Facial Recognition Technology in Our Schools,” says the ACLU.
Research, “Research,” and Reports
Educause has published the 2018 Horizon Report for Higher Education. (And I’ve updated my Horizon Report History project with this new data.)
“Digital Devices in the Classroom Can Hinder Long-Term Retention,” says Edsurge.
Via Chalkbeat: “New data show how few black and Hispanic students benefit from New York City’s specialized high school diversity program.”
“Twitter Is Funding Research Into Online Civility. Here’s How One Project Will Work” – as described by Edsurge.
Well this is depressing, via the AirBnB press release: “Teacher Hosts Earned $160 Million Last Year on Airbnb.”
Icon credits: The Noun Project