Is Ed Tech a Problem of Privilege?
In this episode, Ricky and Kristy talk about the ed tech news of the week and discuss whether ed tech is a problem of privilege. Kristy also unveils her tech tip of the week!
Ed Tech News RunDown
Edgenuity Brings us UpSmart for Personalized Learning
From Nibletz.com, we get a preview to the upcoming FETC(Future of Educational Conference) that gives us some insight into a new product from ed tech company Edgenuity. Edgenuity has been around for 20 years and one of the things they strongly believe is that there is no “one size fits all” solution in education. Their newest Newest Product is called UpSmart and it remains true to their beliefs by being adaptable for different classrooms. UpSmart has an adaptive learning engine and after a lesson, teachers can choose a topic and as their students go through it, UpSmart will indicate which students need more help grasping the concept and will help those who don’t move forward. I’ve reached out to them to see if we could gain access to explore a little further but this seems like a good way to incorporate personalized learning while still maintaining a strong teacher present for teaching and remediation.
Ed Tech is a Problem of Privilege
In this opinion article from EdSurge.com, the author Paul France makes some powerful statements about personalized learning. Having begun his teaching career in Silicon Valley, he saw personalized learning, powered by Ed Tech, as the answer education was waiting for. After three years in Silicon Valley, he now sees this as misguided, emphasizing three points. First, personalized learning doesn’t necessitate technology use. Even with technology, it is “simply a more sophisticated version of an industrialized model for education, moving kids through a customizable assembly line, adding quizzes, games, and videos at different rates and in different orders.”
Microsoft and PowerSchools Play Nicely
Geekwire.com tells us that Microsoft and ed tech company PowerSchools are playing nicely together. They will both be helping each other out in this partnership. PowerSchools will be using Microsoft’s cloud service Azure to help run its classroom management interface. At the same time, Microsoft’s Office360 suite of apps will be a part of PowerSchools interface. This partnership is not surprising as since Satya Nadella has taken over at Microsoft, i think he did so around 2014, he has been pushing to make Microsoft products more readily available. This is certainly a strategic play as Google’s free education suite of apps is only gaining in popularity at school districts.
Rural Districts and Accessibility
Ed Tech Magazine brings us 4 K-12 tech trends to watch in 2018. First, Learning Analytics Tools Provide Real-Time Feedback, to allow teachers to use real time data to intervene early, and monitor, student learning. Second, VR in the Classroom Grows More Feasible. Tools have become more available to make VR attainable for more classrooms, although I still think it has a ways to go to become used by the majority of classrooms. The article shares that “as long as teachers consider the learning goals that immersive experiences help them achieve, VR can serve as an exceptional way to help illustrate a topic.” Number three, and here’s a big surprise, 3. STEAM (Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Math) Will Continue to Rise. This will include makerspaces and the redefining of the school librarian job description. Lastly, 4. Digital Citizenship Remains a Priority. In the day of fake news, teaching students these skills will remain a priority, but shift away from what not to do on the internet.
Check out Episode 56, Which gives some great Grant Writing tips to help Ed Tech not be a problem of privilege.
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