FBI Security Warning
In this episode, Kristy and Ricky talk about the ed tech news of the week including the FBI’s most recent Public Service Announcement regarding the security concerns surrounding ed tech.
Ed Tech News RunDown
FBI Issues Ed Tech Security Warning
A story from EdScoop explains that the FBI has issued a public service announcement encouraging awareness of cyberthreats involving education technologies. “The announcement warns parents, students and teachers of the potential exploitation of information stored on these technologies, which include personalized learning experiences, tracking academics, disciplinary issues, student information systems and classroom management programs.” They referenced a lot of frightening things that this data could be used for like social engineering… essentially using personal knowledge to gain access to more knowledge, bullying, or other ways to target children. My assumption here is that the FBI is seeing these things beginning to happen and is concerned with how this type of information could become a huge problem. As we have mentioned in several stories on this show, being aware of what data is being collected of students and knowing what the privacy policies are of ed tech companies your schools are using is extremely important. And If you weren’t concerned before, hopefully this PSA will help get you to the level of concern you need to be to make sure you are aware of what data is being collected and how it is being used and protected.
4 Ways to Create a Strong 3-D Printing Program
Ed Tech Magazine gives us 4 steps to creating a strong 3-D printing program. 3-D printing has been a popular concept and been added to a lot of schools to help bolster STEM programs. But how many of these 3-D printers are now sitting dormant or not being used in a truly effective way? Well hopefully these 4 steps can help make the best out of your current or future 3-D printing programs. 1st step is to create a unique vision using education standards… a program with no vision is destined to fail. 2nd step is to build a team of enthusiastic teachers… we know teachers are bogged down as it is so they need to be enthusiastic about it to put the time and effort in to make it successful. 3rd step is to start small.. While it is great to have big goals you should make sure to start with small projects that can be completed and help build momentum. And finally, develop a project management system… with the different steps required to go from design to printing and the possibility of multiple synchronous projects it is important to have a system to manage them.
Put The Education Back in Ed Tech
An article by the Tech Advocate explains how ed tech companies need to put the ed back in ed tech. This article addresses something that we also regularly talk about here at Ed Tech weekly… not getting caught up in the shiny tech part of ed tech. This article explains a few ways we they can make sure to focus more on the education side of the technology. FIrst is to add teachers onto the team early. This can benefit the company in a variety of ways including making sure the focus is on education and presentation. Next, they mention the importance of identifying real problems in the classroom. While some things are nice to have and may garner some interest, to make a worthy ed tech company you need to address real problems and this is again where having teachers on board can help. Finally they advise to offer more streamlined programs. I think this is something we all can relate to as it would be nice to have a unified experience with the different programs we use. I recently switched to using google keep and tasks to be more inline with my email and calendar usage and it is awesome to have all of it in one place.
Long Term Effects of Ed Tech
Another article from the Tech Advocate explains the long term effects of using ed tech. As ed tech is becoming a bigger part of the education world more data is being collected and parsed. There have been a few early findings when it comes to the effects of ed tech on our students and this article highlights 3 of them. The first effect is increased motivation and self-esteem. The immediate feedback available in ed tech helps students achieve success in a much quicker and less stressful way. The second effect is that more learning is possible in a shorter time period because of the personalized learning possible with ed tech. Students are more likely to advance through concepts they already know allowing them to spend time increasing their knowledge base. The third effect isn’t quite as positive and it is something that we have known about screen time for quite awhile… it reduces attention span. And while this list of effects is pretty limited and mostly positive, is the negative effect on attention span enough to outweigh the other good effects? Only time will tell and we need to continue to pay attention as we collect more data and use it to decide how much ed tech is beneficial and how we can maximize those benefits for students.
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