In this episode, Ricky discusses the Ed Tech news of the week including a new education tablet from Microsoft and shares a free objectives builder tool created by the University of Central Florida.
Ed Tech News RunDown
Is Ed Tech Keeping Our Kids Safe?
A blog post on Ozy.com asks if Ed Tech is failing to keep our kids safe. This has been and will continue to be a very hot topic in the ed tech world and I think this is 4 shows in a row now where we have had a story on this subject. It’s easy to believe that the “little” guys in the ed tech world are the ones who are not doing well with security and safety but this article references identity thefts from FAFSA being hacked, if you aren’t in the higher ed world that is the Free Aplication for Federal Student Aid website. Soo yes… big companies are also vulnerable and perhaps more so since hacking them often provides a much bigger payday for hackers. They also reference a survey we talked about that found half of the 100 most used ed tech apps allow some sort of public sharing of children’s data. There is also the revelation that the majority of ed tech platforms that use ads, and their actually aren’t that many of them that do thankfully but those few don’t actively filter their content. Popular ed tech platforms like ClassDojo and CodeMonkey do take privacy seriously and consult with top privacy experts. But far too many aren’t taking it seriously or aren’t being transparent about how they protect and store data. Even those that are only collecting emails and a password still possess valuable data to many hackers. Phishing scams work against adults so protecting the students emails and educating them on security is extremely important.
Strategic Wi-Fi at Schools
An Ed Tech Magazine article talks about how higher ed it leaders are getting more strategic about campus wireless coverage. In Episode 90 we talked about this with the new AX wireless protocol that should be available in the next year or so. It always is a frustrating problem when figuring out how to improve a network with limited funds and this article asserts that upgrading the entire system may be the way to go. They reference a couple higher ed institutions who did just that. Clarke University standardized on a single vendor and replaced everything with brand of switches and access points. Their contention is the inefficiency of their network coupled with adding Access points that were mismatched ended up being a more time and money killing effort than simply ripping everything out room by room and replacing it with matching, high performing equipment. They don’t mention if a study was done on the 5 year cost of completely replacing versus fixing and adding as needed but we can assume they thought the new and matching system was a better value. There are some more technical pieces to this article if this is your jam but the jist of it is they believe strategic planning for a new system is more efficient and effective than the costly inefficiency of patched systems. I mean if you have the money to do it then I think it is a no-brainer but definitely do some cost analysis to see what is best.
6 Ed Tech Tools to try in 2018… did you?
In our next story we are referencing a podcast called the Cult of Pedagogy… which is an awesome name for a podcast… and an episode they did early this year on 6 Ed Tech tools to try in 2018. And while this is an older podcast I thought it might be interesting to see if you have tried them, and if I had as well, and if not then we still have some time before 2018 is over to try them for the next school year. First on the list is FlipGrid and we talked about that recently becoming free through Microsoft so hopefully you’ve at least checked it out. The next 5 are Insertlearning, which helps you turn web pages into a lesson, Book Creator which allows students of any age to create, publish, and share online books, NewsEumed, which has an incredible collection of primary sources… Autodraw, which is a tool that has AI guess what you are drawing, and finally Sway, which is a Microsoft web app that allows you to make presentations that feel like a modern website. So, have you tried any of these tools? Tweet @4techteachers or email us at [email protected] and tell us how you feel about them and how you use them. And give cult of pedagogy a listen and check their website out at www.cultofpedagogy.com It has some cool ways to access some helpful information.
Ed Tech Pizza
And our final story, an edtech magazine article explains how to bake professional development into your education pizza. This article has all the fixings you need to create a fulfilling ed tech program. Oh the puns are working today… for this article anyway as even their section titles get in on the pun. Section 1 is that professional development is the foundation you Knead…. K n e a d. This has to be written by a dad… only dads have this kind of pun power and are shameless enough to wield it. If you enjoy a good pun or an ok pizza/ed tech program analogy then definitely check this one out… it delivers… yes I did. And I’m really sad Kristy isn’t here to grown. Let’s get to the content here which is worth your time. So Professional development should be the foundation, not an afterthought when it comes to ed tech, digital training resources for extra support should included, and finally set up an expert to come in and try to tie it all together. We at Ed Tech Weekly love this concept and I think most agree this is a good way to build an ed tech program but funding can be an issue so, as we have mentioned before, see if you can get the ed tech company you are working with to bake these things in… as one would a pizza. Professional development, quality and continuous, is required to truly have a successful ed tech initiative.
Featured Resource: 1 Password
Check out Episode 78 Where we talk more about successful A.I.
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