In this episode, Ricky and Kristy talk about the ed tech news of the week and discuss the 2 year anniversary of the Ed Tech Weekly show.
Listen to the Show:
Ed Tech News Run Down:
Ed Tech Spying –
Edweek.org brings us a story about a privacy watchdog that is raising alarms about ed tech spying. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who has previously filed a complaint against Google to the FTC in 2015, released a report titled “Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy”. This report, and it is important to stress that is is a report… as it is based on unscientific survey results, basically highlights some themes of concerns with ed tech and privacy. Chief among them is that 80% of parents surveyed said they didn’t receive clear disclosure about technology from their children’s schools. Some other themes were inadequate privacy policies of ed tech companies, hurdles to opting out of technology, and inadequate training about privacy-conscious technology use. This is certainly a major topic that needs to be addressed regardless of the scientific validity of the survey. Most concerning to me was that over half of the web-based software applications used in schools don’t support adequate encryption… student data is not something to be messing around with, check out this article and start making privacy a bigger priority than you already are.
Ed Tech and Immigrants: Challenges Faced –
An eSchool News article explains the ed tech challenges faced by immigrant students. The article and infographic found within it focuses primarily on hispanic immigrants. According to the article only 35% of this population have broadband access and 20% of the parents don’t go online at all. These numbers alone indicate that the hispanic immigrant population faces a challenge that few demographics in this country face. Access and equity is a huge component of technology integration.
March Madness and Ed Tech? –
Ed Surge asks if your ed tech product is a refrigerator or a washing machine. A confusing question to ask about ed tech… or is it? The question is born of something called an adoption curve which has been brought up more in the ed tech world when it comes to personalized learning and how quickly it is adopted in the traditional school environment. The comparison to refrigerators and washing machines is apt when considering the reasons their adoption rates differed. Refrigerators quickly gained market saturation while washing machines took much longer. The reasoning is that refrigerators where a plug in and go scenario but with washing machines you needed different electrical outlets and plumbing added. In the ed tech world, this simply means does your product fit in the existing ecosystem and thus make it easy to adopt or does it take a lot of extra infrastructure changes to gain adoption. While this is certainly important for ed tech companies to look at it is also something that should be considered with any ed tech purchases.
Charter School Innovates Assessment Building –
An E-school News article talks about a common dilemma in the ed tech world… The emotional difficulty of innovating with ed tech. Teachers often find themselves in a position of being asked to change their practice using tools they themselves aren’t comfortable with. It can be difficult to try new things, especially when teachers have to give up control while doing so. Rob Evans, an expert in this area, explains that the anxiety of trying new things in an environment where there is little tolerance for error is not that big of a surprise… and, in fact, should be expected. He also explains that one of the ways you can combat this is by supporting faculty and explaining why the changes are being made and being realistic about the challenges. Rob wrote a book titled Understanding the Human Side of School Change which may be something to check out if you are an administrator dealing with these types of changes.
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