Writing Measurable Objectives
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.
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Ed Tech News RunDown
10 Key Privacy Findings
Our first story is recently released research from Common Sense.org. The three year study on the state of Ed Tech Privacy represents 3 years of research on hundreds of ed tech related applications and services. They incorporated over 150 privacy and security related questions that are expected to be addressed in each vender’s policies. You can download the full report from their website… I’ll put the link on Edtechweeklyshow.com and in the comments if you are watching this on YouTube or Facebook. The overall results of this can be summed up like this… no bueno. Their findings indicate a significant lack of transparency and a lot of inconsistency when it comes to privacy and security policies. One of the biggest of their 10 key findings from this study is that a majority of these companies are either non-transparent or explicitly allow the onward transfer of data. Yeah, I had to look that one up.. It basically means that if they are bought out, merge, or go bankrupt… three things that happen a lot in the ed tech world… the mix of personal and non-personal data collected can be transferred and then all bets are off as to how it can be used. Ed Tech decision makers… yet another thing to be mindful of when purchasing or using free ed tech products. Check out the research and their 10 key findings when you have the chance. This is certainly important info and the ed tech community needs to get this figured out, student data is just too important not to be explicitly protected.
Microsoft’s Surface Gp
Our next story is from investorplace.com and we learn that Microsoft is continuing to make a run at Google and Apple in the education space. They are introducing the Surface Go Tablet. The Surface Go features a 10 inch screen and ways 1.5 lbs, and is equipped with an Intel processor. It comes in 64, 128, and 256GB versions with either 4GB or 8GB of ram and some models will have LTE connectivity. The price will range from $399 to $549 fully equipped. They claim to have 9 hours of battery life which should be perfect for the school day and it should be arriving in early August. The tablet will also come with a detachable keyboard which will definitely entice some to adopt the Surface Go. This also will probably be welcomed by IT staff at schools as many are comfortable working within the Microsoft framework. The exciting part about this for me is I think we are finally getting to a point where the big three… Microsoft, Google, and Apple are all really taking the education space seriously. And as our story last week about Microsoft purchasing FlipGrid and making it free to teachers shows us… They are now, perhaps again, becoming a force in education.
Data Sharing Problems
Our next story is about 3 common student data sharing problems and how they can be overcome. It is no surprise that data management is becoming a huge part of this show as we continue to struggle with how to collect, manage, share, and use data. The first issue that this story talks about is unconsolidated data streams. The problem here is that as more data is being collected, if it isn’t collected and saved in a similar fashion then you have to write individual processes and code for each stream of data. The solution is to consider using a file-sharing standard like CoSN and other organizations are creating. The second issue is that making data easier to share with teachers and other schools or districts means easier access for those who shouldn’t be able to see that data. There are some standards from vendors like IBM and McAfee that help the structure of data pathways but as we mentioned last week… there better be a data recovery plan in place too. The third issue is that students who change schools or districts may have data that is in a completely different format. There needs to be a focus on systems being interoperable. So many things to consider when it comes to data and data systems… be sure to be having these conversations as you adopt or make changes to your ed tech systems.
And Finally, a Forbes article explains that the Maker movement is inspiring the next generation of inventors. According to the article, a lot of concern about technology causing greater disconnects in society isn’t taking into account the way technology is inspiring makers to “make” the world a better place. They sight how there is a growing interest in STEM and even though only 16% of high school seniors are proficient at STEM, almost 50% of Americans identify as being a part of the maker community. There is definitely a growing market of cool maker toys and projects and the hope is this helps build that sense of community and invention that can improve the human experience. They mention a very cool company named Infento that offers kits to create multiple types “rides” for kids from tricycles to scooters. And I have recently had experience with another thing they mention in Nintendo Labo for the Switch console. My son and I actually built a cool motorcycle controller out of cardboard just this past weekend. While I admit this stuff is pretty cool I still think that “maker” shouldn’t be synonymous with ed tech or tech for that matter. We were all “makers” when we played with legos… and those are not tech. And obviously I am a huge ed tech fan but we can’t get too caught up in technology… it is a tool just like legos. The problem I have with a lot of the maker kits including the Nintendo Labo is there are no options to make whatever you want.. Unlike legos that can be made to be whatever even if it is a special kit. I need to get Ashley from Career in Stem back on to have a discussion about this because I really would love to encourage my son and give him the right tools to be inspired and then use that inspiration.
Featured Resource: UCF Objective Builder
Check out Episode 78 Where we talk more about successful A.I.
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