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The History of the Future of Education Technology
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  • 03/09/18--03:30: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National) Education Politics


    Via The LA Times: “Betsy DeVos’ visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School prompts complaints from some students.” Here’s the readout from the Department of Education. “Why DeVos’s Parkland Visit Failed,” according to The Atlantic.

    There’s lots more from Betsy DeVos’s talk at SXSWedu in the conferences section below.

    No mention of DeVos in this WaPo story about her brother though.

    Via Politico: “The Trump administration has removed documents from an Education Department website aimed at transgender students, including those intended to help students fight for access to bathrooms of their choice.”

    Via The Washington Post: “The U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general is cautioning Congress against provisions in the House Republican higher education bill that would repeal regulations holding colleges and universities accountable for the use of federal student aid.”

    And there’s more about the Department of Education and financial aid in the financial aid section below.

    Via Buzzfeed: “A Top Trump Administration Civil Rights Official Says Peter Thiel Backed Her For The Job.” That would be Candice Jackson. In addition to the anti-First Amendment supporter Thiel, Jackson also name-dropped her connections to David Horowitz, a long-time advocate for silencing left-learning professors on campus, in order to get her job.

    “What If America Didn’t Have Public Schools?” asks Julie Halpert in The Atlantic.

    Via Edsurge: “Office of Edtech Wants Help Making Sense of All Those Higher Ed Providers.”

    Via The Daily Beast: “The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes.” That would be Oracle, who also bankrolls plenty in education and ed-tech too.

    Via Education Week: “After Parkland Shooting, Sen. Rubio Questions Obama-Era Guidance on School Arrests.” And I am not even linking to the National Review article promoting this racist crap. But it is the worst “take” on school shootings.

    Via the AP: “The National Rifle Association has given more than $7 million in grants to hundreds of U.S. schools in recent years, according to an Associated Press analysis, but few have shown any indication that they’ll follow the lead of businesses that are cutting ties with the group following last month’s massacre at a Florida high school.”

    Via Apple Insider: “Jamf’s ‘innovation pod’ aims to offer iPad-based education to students in Haiti.” An “innovation pod” is actually a private classroom in a shipping container. Excellent re-branding.

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    Via The Atlantic: “The Ripple Effect of the West Virginia Teachers’ Victory.” More on West Virginia’s teachers via NPR. Via The New York Times: “‘I Live Paycheck to Paycheck’: A West Virginia Teacher Explains Why She’s on Strike.” (Note how teachers have their physical activity tracked as part of their health insurance benefits package.)

    Via The LA Times: “Oklahoma comes closer to joining West Virginia in a major teacher strike.” More from KTUL in Tulsa.

    Elsewhere in OK: “Oklahoma police department fires guns into textbooks to see if they can stop bullets. Really.”

    Via The New York Times: “Anatomy of a School Lockdown: A Threat, Then the Anxious Wait.”

    Via The Boston Globe: “For charter schools across the state, the news has been relentlessly bad in recent months: A Western Massachusetts principal fired after a drug arrest. A Dorchester school placed on probation amid allegations of financial mismanagement. Multiple unionization efforts. A record-breaking campaign finance penalty. Black students in Malden punished simply for wearing braided-hair extensions.”

    I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I am sorry. But Wakanda would not have charter schools.

    Via The Washington Post: “Florida legislature backs new gun restrictions after Parkland school shooting.” Governor Rick Scott has still not said whether he will sign the legislation.

    NYC has a new schools chancellor: Richard Carranza, who currently heads the Houston school district. Chalkbeat, on last week’s superintendent brouhaha– : “The big loser in the Carvalho chaos, according to New York City papers: Bill de Blasio.” Also via Chalkbeat: “NYC knew about discrimination lawsuit involving Carranza, but say accusations are ‘completely false’.”

    “N.Y. drama takes two big prospects out of discussion for L.A. schools job,” says The LA Times.

    Via Chalkbeat: “Top school choice group advising Puerto Rico on controversial efforts to expand charters and vouchers.”

    Via NPR: “Charity Honoring Philando Castile Pays All Lunch Debts In St. Paul School System.”

    Via Wired: “Washington State Enacts Net Neutrality Law, in Clash With FCC.”

    Via The Oregonian: “Oregon won’t allow 529 tax breaks for K–12 private school.”

    Ball State University will take over control of the public school district in Muncie, Indiana.

    Via WSBT: “Indiana teen becomes superintendent of fake school corporation.” The 13-year-old created a fake school district and successfully registered it with the state department of education. Think of the money he could make soliciting ed-tech deals!

    Education in the Courts


    Via The New York Times: “Ex-Leader of Baltimore County Schools, a Tech Booster, Pleads Guilty to Perjury.” That’s Dallas Dance.

    Via The Verge: “Lawsuit against VC says he ‘groped and fondled multiple women’ for over a decade.” That’s Lucio Lanza.

    Via The New York Times: “Top Volleyball Coach Raped Teenage Athletes, Lawsuit Alleges.” That’s Rick Butler, who coached for USA Volleyball.

    Via The Register Guard: “Academy of Arts and Academics Principal Mike Fisher, who committed suicide Feb. 1, had sexually abused a student starting when she was 14 years old and continued having sex with her into adulthood, according to documents received by The Register-Guard.”

    “The Trump administration just failed to stop a climate lawsuit brought by 21 kids,” The Chicago Tribune reports.

    Via Ars Technica: “Judge bars student from violent games after alleged shooting threat.”

    Via The Chicago Tribune: “Pearson Family Members Foundation sues University of Chicago, aiming to revoke $100M gift.”

    Immigration and Education


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A federal district judge in Maryland on Monday upheld the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers temporary protection against deportation and provides the right to work to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers. The ruling has no immediate practical effect, as federal judges in California and New York previously ordered nationwide temporary injunctions barring the Trump administration from ending the program as planned.”

    DACA Lives, but for How Long?asks Inside Higher Ed.

    The Business of Financial Aid


    Via Washington Post: “Education Dept.’s mishandling of student debt relief claims creating headaches for applicants.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


    Via Bloomberg: “Conflicts of Interest Seen as For-Profit Schools Eye Nonprofit Status.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “On Its 2nd Try, Grand Canyon U. Gets the Green Light to Become a Nonprofit.”

    Via The Conversation: “Purdue-Kaplan deal blurs lines between for-profit and public colleges.” There’s more on the new Kaplan in the accreditation section below.

    Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)


    Via Edsurge: “​In Move Towards More Online Degrees, Coursera Introduces Its First Bachelor’s.” “Coursera and other purveyors of massive open online courses supposedly signaled the end of traditional credentials and, as some told it, universities. Now the company is betting big on both,” says Inside Higher Ed. Vive la MOOC révolution.

    Coursera More than Doubles Number of Degrees on Its Platform,” says Campus Technology.

    Via Chalkbeat: “A tiny Indiana district is banking on virtual education to survive. But at what cost?”

    Inside Higher Ed reports that there’s “confusion over distance education rules”: “Colleges seek guidance about looming federal requirement for online colleges to tell students whether academic programs meet licensing requirements in their home states.”

    “Orphan MOOCs and the Digital Dark Ages” by Jeffrey Pomerantz in Hybrid Pedagogy.

    There’s more research on race and gender discrimination in online ed in the research section below.

    Speaking of online education, this from earlier in the year. Via The New York Times Magazine: “What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.”

    Via Buzzfeed: “ How PragerU Is Winning The Right-Wing Culture War Without Donald Trump.” It’s a “university” not a university, but hey. When has that ever stopped anyone?

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    The New York Times on“How the Parkland Students Got So Good at Social Media” – a really important corrective, I’d argue, to that “digital native” silliness.

    Lisa Miller in New York Magazine: “War Room” – “The teenage strategy sessions that built an anti-gun movement out of the trauma of Parkland in one week.”

    The New York Times on school resource officers.

    A Stanford student group, Stanford Students Against Addictive Devices, is protesting Apple for its role in “smartphone addiction.” Perhaps protest Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab?

    Via The Huffington Post: “Florida Public School Teacher Has A White Nationalist Podcast.” One white supremacist Florida public school teacher now no longer has a job.

    Via The Washington Post: “‘Nazis go home!’ Fights break out at Michigan State as protesters, white supremacists converge for Richard Spencer speech.”

    Christina Hoff Sommers’ speech was briefly interrupted at Lewis & Clark College, prompting at least one NYT op-ed writer to write something ridiculous (and wrong) in response.

    University of California president Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday that she wants the system to explore ways to guarantee admission to academically eligible students in the state’s community colleges,” says Inside Higher Ed.

    Via Buzzfeed: “University Puts Physicist Lawrence Krauss On Paid Leave While It Investigates Sexual Harassment Allegations.” That’s Arizona State University.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “In a Fight Against Depression, UCLA Relies on Technology.”

    Whose University Is It Anyway?asks Ron Srigley in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

    Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies


    Via Pacific Standard: “Purdue University Gets the Final Approval on Its Plan to Convert Kaplan Into a Non-Profit College.” More via Inside Higher Ed,

    George Mason University’s Tyler Cowen offers“A Radical Solution to the Overuse of Occupational Licensing.”

    There’s more licensing and certification news in the MOOC section above.

    Testing


    Via Chalkbeat: “Indiana’s new ILEARN test is expected to be shorter than ISTEP.”

    “One Standardized Tests Provider Looks to Gaming and Personalized Learning to Innovate Exams” – Edsurge on ETS.

    Memos from HR


    Diane Auer Jones will join the Department of Education as senior adviser to the assistant secretary for postsecondary education, a post she held under George W. Bush.

    Katrina Stevens, formerly of Edsurge and the Department of Education, will join the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as its new director of Learning Sciences.

    Via The Iowa City Press-Citizen: “ACT to cut 100 jobs companywide.” Right after making some big VC investments too.

    Via The New York Times: “Harvard Professor Resigns Amid Allegations of Sexual Harassment.” That’s government professor Jorge I. Domínguez.

    There are sexual harassment allegations in several sections. Because education is certainly not immune from power and exploitation and violence.

    Via The Wall Street Journal: “Richard Buery, a New York City deputy mayor who tried to build bridges between the district and charter schools, will leave to take a senior post this month at KIPP, a national charter-school network.”

    The Business of Job Training


    Watch how the narratives about “the future of education” are crafted. Via The Wall Street Journal: “Why an Honors Student Wants to Skip College and Go to Trade School.”

    Conferences and Events


    Lots of marketing and PR from SXSWedu: Edsurge on nudges and behavioral economics. Edsurge on teachers leaving the classroom to join tech companies. Edsurge on mindfulness in public schools. Edsurge on the business of OER. Edsurge on "reality-based education.“ Edsurge on the ethics of ed-tech companies paying teachers. Edsurge on”Words to Never Use If You Want to Build a Diverse Edtech Company."

    Highlights from some of the featured speakers:

    Via Edsurge: “Betsy DeVos at SXSW EDU: ‘What Students Really Need Won’t Originate in Washington’.”

    Via WaPo’s Valerie Strauss: “Betsy DeVos used Shutterstock picture to attack U.S. schools. Teachers aren’t having it.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: danah boyd on the Dangers of Weaponized Critical Thinking.“ Edsurge also weighs in on boyd’s SXSWedu keynote: ”danah boyd: How Critical Thinking and Media Literacy Efforts Are ‘Backfiring’ Today."

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Are AI-Powered Chatbot Tutors the Future of Textbooks?asks Edsurge.

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    Not pigeons, but hey… Via The Washington Post: “The Silicon Valley elite’s latest status symbol: Chickens.”

    “‘Blockchain’ is meaningless,” says The Verge’s Adrianne Jeffries. Which means it’s perfect for marketers to use in promoting their various education technology projects.

    Via The Guardian: “Facebook asks users: should we allow men to ask children for sexual images?” Thank goodness neither Facebook nor its founder have expressed any interest in bringing these questionable ethics and business practices to education. PHEW, RIGHT?

    “To get rural kids online, Microsoft wants to put Internet access on school buses,” The Washington Post reports.

    Via The Verge: “Lego will sell its first sustainable pieces later this year.”

    Via Laughing Squid: “Text-to-Teach Children’s Book Responds With Demonic Screeching When Battery Is Low.”

    Your Kid’s Phone Is Not Like a Cigarette,” Anya Kamenetz writes in a NYT op-ed.

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    “Assessing the dangers of AI applications in education” by Tony Bates.

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    Via The 74: “Harvard-MITPersonalized Learning Program to Help Early Readers Gets $30M From Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.” More via Education Dive.

    Via Chalkbeat: “Walton gives Indianapolis Public Schools$1.7 million to increase principal power.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    Degreed has raised $42 million from Jump Capital, Founders Circle Capital, and Owl Ventures. The skills identification company has raised $76.2 million total.

    The language learning app ELSA has raised $3.2 million from Monk’s Hill Ventures. The company has raised $3.3 million total.

    GradTouch has raised ~$1.3 million from NPIF Maven Equity Finance to help “18–24 year olds transition from university life into a young professional.”

    Tarena International has acquired the K–12 robotics company Wuhan Haoxiaozi Robot Technology (a.k.a. Rtec).

    Springboard Education has acquiredKids’ Adventures.

    Asteria Education has acquired the test prep company ECS Learning Systems.

    The Stepping Stones Group has acquiredCobb Pediatric Therapy Services.

    The Verge reports thatFormer Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announces new investment fund focused on job creation.” And, yup, he’s going to focus on education. FML.

    In other education VC news, Edsurge points to“The Newest U.S. Education Technology Venture Fund? Look to Japan.” That would be Edulab Capital Partners.

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    From the University of Arizona press office: Sudha Ram’s Smart Campus research tracks students’ social interactions and daily routines via their CatCard usage– and leverages that information to make predictions about freshman retention.“ This one’s for all those who whine that liberal colleges are the biggest threat to free speech on campus. I’d say that ”smart campus" projects are much much more dangerous.

    Via Willamette Week: “Portland State University Researchers May Have Violated Federal Law by Using the Personal Data of Thousands of Portland-Area K–12 Students.”

    According to Education Dive, “App shows how Internet of Things benefits colleges, students.” I’d say that “app shows how little colleges and the companies they partner with for various education technologies respect student privacy or sovereignty.”

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The 2018 Trends Report.”

    Research from ProPublica: the “Trump Town” project – “Tracking White House Staffers, Cabinet Members and Political Appointees Across the Government.” Look up the Department of Education folks. It’s fun.

    “There Is No ‘Epidemic of Mass School Shootings’” says Eric Levitz in the New York Magazine.

    Via NPR: “Here’s How To Prevent The Next School Shooting, Experts Say.”

    “The screen time debate is pitting parents against each other,” says The Verge.

    Via NPR: “More Than Half Of Transgender Teachers Surveyed Tell NPR They Are Harassed At Work.”

    Via CItyLab: “The Problem With America’s New National Broadband Map.”

    Via Times Higher Ed (republished in Inside Higher Ed): “One in three students globally is enrolled in private higher education institutions, according to research that reveals the huge growth and wide reach of private providers.”

    Inside Higher Ed reports on a Foreign Policy report: “China Intensifying Oversight of U.S. Student Groups.”

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Survey Finds Girls’ Isolation, Vulnerability Rise With Heavy Social Media Use.”

    Inside Higher Ed reports on a new study from the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, finding “Race and Gender Bias in Online Courses.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    “To What Extent and Under Which Circumstances Are Growth Mind-Sets Important to Academic Achievement? Two Meta-Analyses” from researchers Victoria F. Sisk, Alexander P. Burgoyne, Jingze Sun, Jennifer L. Butler, and Brooke N. Macnamara. Spoiler alert: weak effects.

    Via Edsurge: “Why Professors Doubt Education Research.” Perhaps because education (technology) journalists write up some pretty silly stories based on the so-called findings? I’m just spitballing here…

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


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  • 03/16/18--05:15: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National) Education Politics


    Via The New York Times: “National School Walkout: Thousands Protest Against Gun Violence Across the U.S.” From The Atlantic: “The Student Walkout Against Gun Violence, in Photos.” NPR on the students who protested on Capitol Hill. ESPN turns to a real expert here: “Shaquille O’Neal says more cops is answer to school shootings.” WaPo’s Valerie Strauss asks, “ What legal rights do students really have to protest during the school day?” Robert Pondiscio writes in The 74 that “Civil Disobedience Means Facing Consequences. School-Sanctioned Walkouts Rob Students of That Lesson.” I am not sure that’s not what civil disobedience means, and the students most likely to experience gun violence are probably those least in a position to protest it (or at least, they are quite likely to suffer the most from “consequences”). But damn, the authoritarian streak in education reform is sure alive and well when it comes to the topic of school discipline, isn’t it.

    There are more stories about how individual schools responded to the students’ walkout in the “meanwhile on campus” section below.

    Via The New York Times: “Trump Finds Unlikely Culprit in School Shootings: Obama Discipline Policies.” I don’t think blaming Obama is “unlikely” at all with this administration or its racist supporters.

    Via NPR: “Trump’s Plan To Secure Schools Calls For Arming Teachers, Improving Background Checks.”

    The US Secretary of Education appeared on 60 Minutes this past weekend. And… well… I’m sure you’ve heard by now.

    The Department of Education tried to clarify some of the gaffs DeVos made in the interview, and wow, the media loved this story: Buzzfeed. Chalkbeat. NPR. “DeVos Digs Herself Deeper,” says The Atlantic’s Alia Wong. Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith on DeVos: “The Worst Government Possible, on Purpose.”

    From the Department of Education’s press office: Betsy DeVos’s remarks to the American Enterprise Institute World Forum. Sound the “factory model of education” klaxon!

    Via The Intercept’s Rachel Cohen: “Betsy DeVos Is Now Fighting the Union at the Education Department.”

    Via Politico: “DeVos defies White House in dismantling Education budget office.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Education Dept. Stops Providing Details on Resolved Title IX Cases.”

    More on the Department of Education and for-profit higher ed in the for-profit higher ed section below.

    The Department of Education’s Chief Privacy Officer Kathleen Styles has been “reassigned,” Education Week reports. Although the news initially suggested the position would remain unfilled, it appears as though Angela Arrington will be the interim CPO at the department.

    From the Department of Education press release: “Secretary DeVos Issues Full Forgiveness of HBCU Hurricane Relief Loans.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A bipartisan group of 30 attorneys general signed on to a letter Thursday opposing House legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act over a provision that would bar states from regulating student loan servicers.”

    More on the politics of student loans in the financial aid section below.

    The** Department of Education** has selected the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education to manage its #GoOpen campaign.

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    Via NPR: “Oklahoma Teachers Consider Strike.”

    Lots more labor-related news in the HR section below.

    Via The Washington Post: “ Why Florida school superintendents oppose new gun law Gov. Scott just signed.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Time Runs Out on Ball State School Takeover Plan.”

    Via The Washington Post: “ It was hailed as the national model for school reform. Then the scandals hit.” “It” in the headline is the DC Public Schools.

    Immigration and Education


    Via The Outline: “ICE is detaining teenagers when they turn 18.”

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump Administration might limit the number of visas available to Chinese students. More via Inside Higher Ed.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “‘Please Don’t Deport Our Professor’: Augsburg U. Frets Over One of Its Own.”

    Via The Wall Street Journal: “Visas Issued to Foreign Students Fall, Partly Due to Trump Immigration Policy.”

    Education in the Courts


    Via The Pacific Standard: “Prosecutors Will Seek the Death Penalty for the Accused Florida High School Shooter.”

    The Business of Financial Aid


    Via The Washington Post: “Education Dept. opens door for student loan companies to ignore state authority.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the real reason that students do not complete the FAFSA is that it is too complicated:

    This isn’t really financial aid per se, but it’s part of the larger suite of financial products that schools (and the companies they partner with) push. Via Inside Higher Ed: “Wells Fargo’s deals with colleges are scrutinized for being costly to account holders. A senator wants answers, but the bank’s backers on campus say it’s sometimes the best option to help students – and institutional budgets.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


    “Negotiators appointed to revise the federal gainful-employment rule failed to reach consensus Thursday, leaving it up to the Department of Education to issue its own version of regulations for career education programs,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    From the Department of Education press release: “Secretary DeVos Extends Closed School Discharge to More Charlotte School of Law Students.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Ashford Seeks to Become a Nonprofit.” Ashford is a for-profit university run by Bridgepoint Education.

    Via KSLA: “Delta Tech students searching for answers after graduation canceled.” The school recently announced that it would end its attempts to regain accreditation after the Department of Education withdrew recognition for the for-profit in 2016.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “A Sector in Flux: How For-Profit Higher Ed Has Shifted.”

    Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)


    Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try To Be An OPM: Conversion of for-profits and MOOCs.”

    There’s some Udacity-related MOOC news in the job training section below.

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    There are more details about Tuesday’s school walkout protesting gun violence in the national politics section above.

    Via The San Jose Mercury News: “Students at Concord’s Mt. Diablo High break through gate in gun protest.” Concord, California, that is, where the front gates were locked in order to keep students on campus.

    There was also a lockout at all the schools in my hometown of Casper, Wyoming following a threat made by a student. The lockout prevented students from leaving schools to participate in the National Walkout Day protest.

    Via MLive: “Grand Blanc school locks doors to avoid student walkout over gun violence.” That’s Grand Blanc High School in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

    Via The New York Times: “Teacher’s Gun Is Accidentally Fired During Public Safety Class, Injuring 3.” The incident occurred at Seaside High School in Seaside, California.

    NPR visits Aztec High School in New Mexico where a school shooting occurred in December: “After A Deadly Shooting, School Moves On But The Trauma Remains.”

    Damn. “Strange” is an understatement in this subhead. Via KGW.com: “A strange message that went out over the loudspeakers at Woodland Primary School Tuesday scared kids and confused parents.”

    Via Mic: “Richard Spencer suspending the rest of his college tour because ‘antifa is winning’.”

    At least six people died on Thursday when a new pedestrian bridge at Florida International Universitycollapsed.

    Cooper Union unveils plan to cut undergraduate tuition back down to zero in 10 years,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    NPR on “risk” and playgrounds.

    I thought that teens weren’t into driving, but according to The New York Times, there’s “A Problem for High Schools: More Cars, and Nowhere to Park Them.”

    Go, School Sports Team!


    “New report calls out NCAA for saying that black athletes graduate at higher rates than other black students, when that’s not true at the top conferences,” says Inside Higher Ed.

    Memos from HR


    Former Secretary of Education (and now, venture capitalist) Arne Duncan has joinedTurnItIn’s board of directors.

    David Harris is stepping down from his role at The Mind Trust. More from Chalkbeat on the organization’s role in charter schools and education reform in Indianapolis.

    USA Today’s education reporter Greg Toppo is moving toInside Higher Ed, where he will become its senior editor.

    “Why America’s Teachers Haven’t Been Getting Raises,” according to The Atlantic.

    University staff strikes continue in the UK. Via the BBC: “University strikers reject pension deal.”

    There’s more labor union-related news in the national politics and in the state and local politics sections above.

    The Business of Job Training


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Online education provider Udacity quietly drops money-back pledge for those who can’t find a job after finishing their studies.”

    Via Techcrunch: “WeWork expands its Flatiron School education business fo London with £1M in scholarships.”

    Via Wired: “Tech Companies Try to Retrain the Workers They’re Displacing.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Perhaps this should go in the “reports” section. Perhaps it should go in the “robots” section. But when you give it a title like this, CoSN, I feel I have no choice but to stick it here. “Artificial Intelligence: Could emerging technologies ‘humanize’ teaching & learning?asks CoSN.

    Will these four technology trends change education in India?asks Livemint.

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    YouTube, the Great Radicalizer” by Zeynep Tufekci. (This is so important to consider, as Tufekci noted on Twitter, in light of Google’s domination of the K–12 computing market.)

    At SXSW, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that it would start adding Wikipedia content to conspiracy-theory videos. Apparently Wikipedia received no “heads up” about this plan. Because relying on the free labor of others is precisely how this whole game works, I guess.

    Via The MIT Technology Review: “A startup is pitching a mind-uploading service that is ‘100 percent fatal’.” It’s called Nectome, just so you have a little heads-up when the YC-backed company pivots to “job training” or something.

    Techcrunch has details on another new YC Startup: “YC-backed Playbook wants students to make plans online, hang out offline.”

    “America is about to become a Toys ‘R’ Us graveyard,” says The Outline.

    UC Berkeley plans to shut down the server that runs the Chronozoom Big History project.

    Edsurge on Degress Compass, a course recommendation engine from Austin Peay University: “How a ‘Netflix’ Model For Advising Lost Its Luster.” Sponsored by Salesforce“which had no influence on the thoughts and opinions expressed in this story.”

    Edsurge on the “Five Dangers of Data-Informed Student Nudging.” Just five! Sponsored by Salesforce“which had no influence on the thoughts and opinions expressed in this story.”

    Edsurge onReagan Early College High School in Austin, Texas: “With Limited Options, a Struggling Campus Prepares Students for Life After High School.” Sponsored by Salesforce“which had no influence on the thoughts and opinions expressed in this story.”

    More sponsored content on Edsurge – this one, on “middle school obsessions,” sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. And this one too, also sponsored by CZI, on a science research program. “Personalized learning” – it’s simply the best idea that money can buy (that isn’t already being paid for by Salesforce, I guess).

    Via Edsurge: “VR Could Bring a New Era of Immersive Learning. But Ethical and Technical Challenges Remain.”

    More on VR from Edsurge: “The 10 Best VR Apps for Classrooms Using Merge VR’s New Merge Cube.” Not sponsored content? Really?

    Mindwires Consulting’s MIchael Feldstein offers an update on his company’s “Empirical Educator Project.”

    “How to Ungradeby UMW’s Jesse Stommel.

    Lisa Petrides, Douglas Levin, and Eddie Watson introduce The CARE Framework for OER. (Lumen Learning's David Wiley responds, with more words than the original post.)

    You can now learn Klingon on Duolingo, Techcrunch reports.

    More Techcrunch churnalism: “This eQuoo app games you into learning useful psychological skills.”

    The Wall Street Journal weighs in on laptop bans.

    Fitbit Ace is the company’s first fitness band for kids,” says The Verge. The tracker comes in purple or blue. No mention of privacy issues, because you won’t get invited to the next launch event if you’re too critical.

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    Via Wired: “Med Students Are Getting Terrible Training in Robotic Surgery.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Education ‘Moonshot’ on Horizon From Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    17zuoye has raised $200 million in Series E funding from Toutiao. The “homework help” company has now raised some $335 million, making it one of the most well-funded, privately held education companies in the world.

    Yogome has raised $26.9 million in Series B funding from Exceed Capital Partners, Seaya Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Variv Capital. The educational game-maker has raised $36.5 million total.

    Kiddom has raised $15 million from Owl Ventures and Khosla Ventures. The K–12 learning management company has raised $21.5 million total.

    Ponddy Education has raised $6 million for its language learning software from Chenco Holding Company, Osnaburge Ventures LLC, and the MIC Ponddy AR Fund.

    Saturday Kids, a coding bootcamp for children, has raised $1 million from Potato Productions.

    Will UdacityIPO?

    Edsurge’s Tony Wan interviewsTed Dintersmith, a partner at Charles River Ventures, at “what school could be.” (Here’s a look at CRV’s investment portfolio for a glimpse at what the firm imagines school should be.)

    Edtech Digest’s Victor Rivero interviewsTory Patteron, a partner at Owl Ventures on how the firm is “Betting 185 Million Dollars on EdTech.” (Here’s a look at Owl Ventures’ investment portfolio for a glimpse at where the money’s going.)

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    “There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopiawrite David Golumbia and Chris Gilliard (and this section of the Hack Education Weekly News is here to prove it).

    Via the Magnolia Reporter: “Magnolia School District buying advanced camera surveillance technology for MHS, MJHS.” Local law enforcement will be able to “tap into the system.”

    Via The Intercept: “Amazon Partnership with British Police Alarms Privacy Advocates.” Enjoy those Alexa in the classroom!

    Via The Verge: “University of Arizonatracks student ID cards to detect who might drop out.”

    Via The Register: “Privacy activists have called for more transparency and parental control over web monitoring in British schools after a survey indicated that almost half track their students online.”

    Here’s how Snapchat surveilled the students who walked out of school on Tuesday.

    Via Willamette Week: “Portland State University Researchers Cancel Presentation of a Research Project That May Have Used Federally-Protected Student Data Without Permission.” More via OPB.

    Via The Verge: “Peter Thiel’s data company Palantir will develop a new intelligence platform for the US Army.”

    Via the Tallahassee Democrat: “50,000 Leon students, teachers may be impacted by Virtual School data breach.” That’s the Florida Virtual School, to be clear.

    Via Remaking the University: “The Outsourcing of Payroll Data by the University of California and Why We Should Worry.” I’m not going to spoil it by telling you who has the contract for this project. But OMFG.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    A new report from the Network for Public Education: “Online Learning: What Every Parent Should Know.”

    “Where did venture capitalists go to college?” asks Techcrunch. You’ll never guess…

    The UK Higher Education Policy Institute predicts, “University place demand to grow by 300,000 by 2030.”

    From the NCES: “Changes in Bullying Victimization and Hate-Related Words at School Since 2007.” The data says bullying is down, but do note: the data comes from the years 2007 through 2015.

    Via Pacific Standard: “College Students Report Decreased Confidence in Free Speech Protections in a New Poll.”

    Stanford University professor Larry Cuban asks, “Whatever Happened to Direct Instruction? (Part 1)”

    NPR on“Rethinking How Students With Dyslexia Are Taught To Read.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “When Chicago cut down on suspensions, students saw test scores and attendance rise, study finds.”

    “How the ‘industrial era schools’ myth is a barrier to helping education today” by Sherman Dorn.

    School Segregation Is Not a Myth,” writes Will Stancil in The Atlantic.

    RIP


    From Cambridge University: “Professor Stephen Hawking 1942 - 2018.”

    (A reminder, from Teen Vogue: “Saying Stephen Hawking Is ‘Free’ From His Wheelchair Is Ableist.”)

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


    0 0
  • 03/23/18--04:00: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National) Education Politics


    US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was on Capitol Hill this week, making the case for her department’s budget. (Her remarks.) Lawmakers had questions on “guns, schools and money.” Via The Washington Post: “Congress rejects much of Betsy DeVos’s agenda in spending bill.”

    “These Programs Would See Funding Increases in the New Congressional Spending Deal,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Adam Harris. Soon to be The Atlantic’s Adam Harris. (Congrats on the new gig.)

    From the SPARC press release: “Congress Funds $5 Million Open Textbook Grant Program in 2018 Spending Bill.” It’s being positioned here as the first time Congress has funded open textbooks, but it’s not the federal government’s first commitment to OER.

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “First Ed-Tech Trade Mission by U.S. Government Will Travel to Latin America.” To Peru and Colombia, specifically.

    University strikes continue in the UK. “Embracing the Dinosaur of Solidarity” by Liz Morrish.

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    Via The NYT’s Dana Goldstein: “Their Pay Has Stood Still. Now Oklahoma Teachers Could Be the Next to Walk.”

    Via The New York Times: “Jersey City Teachers Go on Strike Over Health Insurance.”

    Via The Intercept: “Chinese Corporation Alibaba Joins Group Ghostwriting American Laws.” That’s ALEC.

    Via The Guardian: “‘Not welcome here’: Amazon faces growing resistance to its second home.”

    Via Edsurge: “#MontessoriSoWhite? Why the Diverse Charter School Model Is Being Gentrified.” Sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. (Wait. What? A lot of people would say that charter schools represent segregation not “diversity.”)

    For example, this story from the School Library Journal: “Charter Schools, Segregation, and School Library Access.”

    Via The New York Times: “Why Are Black Students Punished So Often? Minnesota Confronts a National Quandary.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “New York City charter leader Eva Moskowitz says Betsy DeVos is not ‘ready for prime time’.”

    Immigration and Education


    Via The Hechinger Report: “Most immigrants outpace Americans when it comes to education – with one big exception.” Spoiler alert: Latinos.

    Education in the Courts


    Via the Pensacola News Journal: “An Ohio businessman convicted of defrauding Newpoint charter schools out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds is scheduled for sentencing Friday, according to court records.”

    There’s more on legal battles involving student loan companies in the business of financial aid section below. And there’s more on legal battles involving student athletes in the “sports team” section below.

    The Business of Financial Aid


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Four plaintiffs who attended Corinthian Colleges programs are suing Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education in U.S. district court over a plan to award partial relief of student loan debt to borrowers defrauded or misled by their institutions.”

    Via The Washington Post: “Student loan servicing group sues D.C. over licensing and disclosure law.” That is, The Student Loan Servicing Alliance.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


    “The Mysterious Deal to Take DeVry University Private” by David Halperin.

    There’s more legal wrangling regarding for-profits and student loans in the financial aid section above.

    Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)


    Online education is an engine of racial inequality,” Christopher Newfield and Cameron Sublett argue in Inside Higher Ed.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Analysis of Georgia Tech’s MOOC-inspired online master’s in computer science suggests that institutions can successfully deliver high-quality, low-cost degrees to students at scale.”

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    “More than 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine,” The Washington Post finds. “Many are never the same.”

    Via Buzzfeed: “What It’s Like For School Shooting Survivors To Watch The Parkland Protests.”

    Via Education Week: “Two Students Injured, Teen Shooter Dead in Maryland High School.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Austin Bombing Suspect’s Former College Is Aiding Investigation.” And folks are looking at blog posts the student wrote for class.

    Via The Atlantic: “An Inside Look at Juvenile Detention.”

    “This university doesn’t want any more History or English majors,” writes The Outline. “This university” is the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.

    Via The New York Times: “Stanford History Event Was ‘Too White and Too Male,’ Organizer Admits.”

    After some hand-wringing from the usual suspects, historian Sherman Dorn reminds us that “Christina Sommers is not the typical target of attempts to suppress speech on campuses.”

    Via the Journal & Courier: “Breaking the university’s weeks-long silence after being hit by fake news – breathless and jabbing reports that Purdue was pushing writing standards that banned the word ‘man’ on campus – Purdue’s provost on Monday finally publicly defended a university resource used by millions nationwide each year.” But “changes are coming” to the university’s writing center, the administration has threatened.

    Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies


    From the press release: “IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Open Badges 2.0 Certifications.”

    Go, School Sports Team!


    “The NCAA Is Facing a Crossroads,” says The Atlantic.

    “A Fair Wage for Elite Athletes? How About $750,000?” suggests The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Donald De La Haye started making YouTube videos long before he joined the University of Central Florida’s football team. His online antics, like poking fun at Colin Kaepernick and chucking a football on a makeshift Slip-n-Slide, eventually earned him more than a half a million followers – but they also cost him a full athletic scholarship.”

    Memos from HR


    Ramona Pierson, the founder of Declara, is now the head of learning products at Amazon (according to LinkedIn, at least).

    Thomas Bailey, founding director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, has been selected as president of Teachers College,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Via NPR: “The Fight Over Teacher Salaries: A Look At The Numbers.”

    There’s more news about labor issues in the local/state/national politics sections above.

    ProPublica looks at age discrimination at IBM, worth considering I think as part of a larger industry worship of youth and “innovation”: “Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM.”

    The Business of Job Training


    Via CNBC: “Amazon’s cloud is looking at building a corporate training service.” (Perhaps this is what Candace Thille is up to at Amazon? See also the HR section above for news of another prominent ed-tech figure who’s joined Amazon.)

    Via The New York Times: “Karlie Kloss Teaches Teenage Girls How to Code.”

    “Rethinking the Goal of Childhood Education” – a Q&A with WeWork co-founder Rebekah Neumann in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (the magazine, not the goop) on how we need to make kindergarteners into entrepreneurs. (Apparently, Neumann and Paltrow are cousins?)

    Contests and Awards


    Andrea Zafirakou has won the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.

    Via Campus Technology: “Recipients of 2018 McGraw Prize in Education Revealed.” I’ll save you a click: Arthur Graesser, a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis; Timothy Renick, a senior vice president for student success at Georgia State University; and Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code.

    Via Devex: “New $75,000 prize boosts tech solutions to education challenges.” Winners will get to pilot their “solutions” in schools in South Africa. Because technology imperialism.

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Does tech designed to personalize learning actually benefit students?asks Marketplace.

    Is US on verge of a higher education trade deficit?asks Education Dive.

    Can a New Approach to Information Literacy Reduce Digital Polarization?asks Edsurge. (Sorry, Caulfield. It’s the law.)

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    Lots of news this week about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. I’ll save most of the links for my newsletter tomorrow. But here are some education-related stories:

    Via Education Week: “Privacy Experts Assess Potential K–12 Fallout From Facebook’s Crisis of Trust.”

    “For Some Students, #DeleteFacebook Is Not Really an Option,” says Edsurge. I’m sure Edsurge’s sponsor, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, will be pleased with this angle.

    Via The Outline: “David Carroll was fighting Cambridge Analytica before it was cool.” Carroll is a at professor Parsons School of Design. More on Carroll’s work in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    “It’s Time to Regulate the Internet,” says Franklin Foer in The Atlantic.

    Apple is holding an education-themed press event next week and The Verge tells readers“What to expect from Apple’s education event.”

    “How Should Colleges Approach Student Success When Different Definitions Abound?” asks Edsurge– part of its new guide on student success. “The guide is sponsored by Salesforce.org, which had no influence on this story.” “Collaborative Higher Ed Partnerships Are the Key to Student Success,” says Edsurge– part of its new guide on student success. “The guide is sponsored by Salesforce.org, which had no influence on this story.”

    Via Edsurge: “Sir Ken Robinson’s Next Act: You Are the System and You Can Change Education.”

    It’s the “The Third Education Revolution,” according to Jeffrey Selingo in The Atlantic. The first: high school for everyone. The second: college for everyone. The third: lifelong learning. Hope y’all love school.

    Techcrunch says that “EdTech is having a renaissance, powered by the emerging world.” My favorite part of this article, I think, is where it boasts about how stable Ethiopia is these days. It’s almost as if technology writers never really think about imperialism and pay no attention to global news, only to PR.

    Via Edsurge: “The 8 Education Technology Startups From Y Combinator’s Latest Batch.”

    OER, CARE, Stewardship, and the Commons” by “Econproph” Jim Luke. (David Wiley also writes again about the CARE Framework.)

    Via Business Insider: “The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children.”

    No, YouTube is not a library– and why it matters” by Sarah T. Roberts.

    According to NPR, OK Go is getting into the education curriculum business, with lessons based on their popular videos.

    Via Gizmodo: “Child Pornography That Researchers Found in the Blockchain Could Threaten Bitcoin’s Very Existence.”

    NPR asks whose bones made up those old classroom skeletons.

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    Via Techcrunch: “This tortoise shows kids that robot abuse is bad.” “Robot abuse”?!

    Via VOA News: “New AI Technology Lets Students Evaluate Professors by ‘Chatting’.” Oh excellent. Take something that’s incredibly biasedstudents’ evaluations of instructors – and add AI. What could go wrong?

    Via Campus Technology: “AI Hive Mind Chooses Clean Water Over Education as Top World Priority.”

    “Hey, Alexa, What Are You Teaching Our Kids?” asks Mindshift.

    Via Bryan Alexander: “Robots, buyouts, and spinoffs: four short stories for the future of education and technology.”

    “How Real-World Learning Could Help People Compete With Machines” – The Chronicle of Higher Education on Joseph E. Aoun’s new book Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    Via The Nation: “How Charles Koch Is Helping Neo-Confederates Teach College Students.”

    Via The Washington Post: “George Mason lands $5 million Koch Foundation donation for Department of Economics.”

    Via The New York Times: “Google Pledges $300 Million to Clean Up False News.”

    Via Poynter: “Poynter receives $3 million from Google to lead program teaching teens to tell fact from fiction online.”

    Via Scholastic: “James Patterson will personally donate $2 million to teachers to build classroom libraries this year.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    CommonBond has raised $50 million in Series D funding from August Capital, Thomas Glocer, Nyca Partners, Vikram Pandit, Fifth Third Capital, Neuberger Berman Group, First Republic Bank, and Columbia Seligman Investments. The student loan company has raised $803.6 million total.

    Kahoot has raised $17 million in Series B funding from Northzone, Creandum, Microsoft Ventures, Eilert Giertsen Hanoa, and Date Invest AS. The quiz app has raised $43.5 million total.

    Technology Will Save Us has raised $4.2 million in Series A funding from Initial Capital, Backed VC, SaatchInvest, All Bright, Unltd-inc, Leaf VC, Chris Lee, Martin McCourt, and Jonathan Howell. The company, which makes programmable toys, has raised $7.8 million total.

    Admissions company INTCAS has raised $2.8 million from unnamed investors.

    Developing Experts has raised $467,000 from Anglia Capital Group. The tutoring training company has raised about $1 million total.

    Language learning app Extempore has raised $420,000 from Syndicate Fund.

    Renaissance Learning has acquiredMyON from the private equity firm Francisco Partners.

    Via Edsurge: “Global Investors Launch New Edtech Funds: Exceed Capital and HighGrade Ventures.”

    Chinese Companies Are Buying Up Cash-Strapped U.S. Colleges,” according to Bloomberg.

    Responses to venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith’s new book from WaPo’s Valerie Strauss, Wrench in the Gears’ Alison McDowell.

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    Via Gizmodo: “Schools Are Spending Millions on High-Tech Surveillance of Kids.”

    Via PogoWasRight.org: “Parent raises privacy concerns about Mathletics.”

    Via ProPublica: “How Health and Education Journalists Can Turn Privacy Laws to Their Advantage.”

    Commentary from Frank LoMonte in Education Week: “Student Privacy Laws Have Been Distorted (And That’s a Problem).”

    “10 definitions of datafication (in education)” by Ben Williamson.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    Via Chalkbeat: “An integration dilemma: School choice is pushing wealthy families to gentrify neighborhoods but avoid local schools.”

    From the American Enterprise Institute: “Do Impacts on Test Scores Even Matter? Lessons from Long-Run Outcomes in School Choice Research.”

    “Americans are rejecting the ‘homeschool myth’,” according to Business Insider, “and experts say the misunderstood education might be better than public or charter schools.” “Experts” here is really just Benjamin Bloom’s research on tutoring from the 1980s.

    How Teachers Taught: Patterns of Instruction, 1890–2010by historian Larry Cuban.

    Via The New York Times: “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “MLA data show foreign language study is on the decline, but it’s unclear what comes first: institutional disinvestment in language programs or waning student interest. In any case, some campuses – generally those making investments in programs – are bucking the trend.”

    The latest report from the Pew Research Center: “The Science People See on Social Media.”

    Via The Atlantic’s Ed Yong: “What We Learn From 50 Years of Kids Drawing Scientists.”

    Via Wired: “Sociologists Examine Hackathons and See Exploitation.”

    Former FB advertising exec Antonio García Martínez writes in Wired about “The Noisy Fallacies of Psychographic Targeting.” I’m hoping to find some time in the next day or so to write more about ed-tech psychographic targeting, behaviorism, “social emotional learning,” and learning analytics. Stay tuned…

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


    0 0
  • 03/30/18--04:40: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National and Global) Education Politics


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The budget bill President Trump signed Friday fixes a technical problem for private scholarship providers that rely on federal student aid data to help students pay for college.”

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “$1.1 Billion Federal Block Grant Makes Ed-Tech Training Higher Priority Than Software, Devices.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Professors Targeted in Iranian Cyberattack.” Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U.S. Discovery of Iranian Cyberattack Doesn’t Seem to Alarm Universities.”

    There’s more on student loans in the “financial aid” section below.

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio says he has changed his mind about philosophers, he tweeted. Amazing what reading a book will do for you.

    This, on school shootings, absolutely gutted me.

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    Via Chalkbeat: “Memphis school segregation worse than 50 years ago.”

    Via The Deseret News: “Utah governor signs law legalizing ‘free-range parenting’.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Over 40 percent of Newark students could attend charter schools within five years. Here’s how.”

    Via The Miami Herald: “Teachers can’t afford Miamirents. The county has a plan: Let them live at school.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “New York City students can now pass Spanish exam on path to graduation.”

    Education in the Courts


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Obama administration’s Education Department failed to consider key evidence when it reviewed and ultimately terminated its recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools in 2016, a federal judge ruled late Friday.” That’s late last Friday, for what it’s worth.

    Via Chalkbeat: “Case challenging teacher tenure in New York will go on, despite union’s objections.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “California Supreme Court has determined public colleges in the state must warn and shield their students from potential violent acts. Experts say the ruling could have nationwide implications.”

    There’s more about Larry Nassar, Michigan State, and sexual harassment and assault in the “sports team” section below.

    The Business of Financial Aid


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “High Default Rates at New York For-Profit Colleges.”

    Via NPR: “Dept. Of Education Fail: Teachers Lose Grants, Forced To Repay Thousands In Loans.”

    Via Bloomberg: “Student Debt Is a Harsh Math Lesson for U.S. Graduates.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


    Strayer is “bucking the trend,” says Inside Higher Ed. “Strayer restarts its campus expansion amid growing enrollment, federal deregulation and increased demand for skilled workers.”

    There’s more for-profit news in the “financial aid” section below and in the “courts” section above.

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    Edsurge profilesWayfinding Academy, a new non-profit 2-year (and as of now, unaccredited) college in Oregon.

    “This Silicon Valley High School Is the Ultimate Incubator,” says Wired. That’s d.tech.

    Via The Guardian: “Open University plans major cuts to number of staff and courses.”

    Via The Washington Post: “After backlash over plan to cut 13 humanities majors, U-Wisconsin campus drawing up second proposal.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Hobart and William Smith Investigates Claims That Its President Plagiarized Dissertation.”

    The Chronicle of Higher Education onMississippi Valley State University: “They Wanted Desegregation. They Settled for Money, and It’s About to Run Out.”

    Via Wired: “An Alternate Reality Game That Takes Freshman Orientation to a New Level.” That’s at the University of Chicago.

    Via The New York Times: “At Columbia, Revisiting the Revolutionary Students of 1968.”

    The Wall Street Journal saysU.S. Colleges Are Separating Into Winners and Losers.”

    Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies


    There’s some research on credentialing in the “research” section below. And there’s news about legal challenges around accreditation in the “courts” section above.

    Go, School Sports Team!


    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Former Dean Who Oversaw Nassar at Michigan State Is Arrested.”

    Via The Atlantic: “The Problems at Michigan State Went Far Beyond Larry Nassar.”

    Via NPR: “Report: Michigan State Spent $500,000 To Keep Tabs On Nassar Victims, Journalists.”

    Memos from HR


    Patrick Methvin will head the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s postsecondary work.

    Via The Washington Post: “Howard University fires six employees after investigation into misappropriated funding.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Edinboro President, Who Boasted of His Ability to Circumvent Faculty Resistance, Will Resign.”

    Via The Guardian: “Toby Young quits New Schools Network, citing media pressure.”

    Edsurge offers“A Word of Caution Before Hiring a Director of Personalized Learning.” The story was “made publicly available with support from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which had no influence over the content in this story.”

    There are labor-related court cases in the “courts” section above.

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    From the Google blog: “Chromebook tablets for versatile learning.” Repeating the PR, Edsurge and Techcrunch.

    Speaking of Google, Wired reports that “Children’s YouTube is still churning out blood, suicide and cannibalism.”

    Also via Wired: “Companies Are Cashing in on Reality TV for Tots.”

    Apple held one of its big media events this week, this one focused on education. Cue the “hot takes.” Cue the repetition of corporate messaging. Via Wired: “How Apple Lost Its Place in the Classroom.” Via The New York Times: “Apple Unveils New iPad to Catch Google in the Classroom.” Via The Verge: “Apple is ready to fight Google’s Chromebooks with cheaper iPads.” Also via The Verge: “Apple’s new iPad with Pencil support is just $299 for schools.” Via Edsurge: “Apple’s Strongest Case to Reclaim the Education Market Is Not the New iPad.” No one mentioned privacy as a key selling point of Apple versus Google. Weird. It’s almost like those in ed-tech don’t ever think about that issue.

    Via Wired: “Why Some Schools Pay More Than Others When Buying From Apple.”

    Via Techcrunch: “Comparing Apple, Google and Microsoft’s education plays.”

    From the press release: “Microsoft Education and Open Up Resources announce partnership to deliver top rated math curriculum.”

    The Hechinger Report profiles Siembra, an app that encourages first generation students to go to college.

    Via Mindshift: “Why It’s Time to Rethink School Science Fairs.”

    Via the AP: “Self-taught rocket scientist blasts off into California sky.”

    Via The Verge: “The Oregon Trail handheld game is a really fun nostalgia gadget.” I mean, I guess…

    Via The San Francisco Chronicle: “Bonanza for schools as SF crypto king Ripple gives $29M to DonorsChoose.org.” Via Edsurge: “Inside the $29M DonorsChoose Gift That’s Making Teachers Very Happy.” More via Chalkbeat. Disappointingly little mention in any of these stories about the shady history of cryptocurrency, including Ripple’s own history.

    Speaking of blockchain scamminess, David Gerard writes about the latest application of blockchain to education: “Woolf University: college courses literally on the Ethereum blockchain.”

    The Business of Job Training


    Udacity held a big PR event this week. These sorts of things are great – the tech press shows up and writes your marketing copy for you. Here’s Edsurge: “Udacity VP of Learning: ‘We Never Start Anything Out of Academic Interest’.” Here’s Techcrunch: “Udacity introduces real robots and virtual words to help students build skills.” Here’s Techcrunch again: “Udacity debuts a dedicated School of AI with three new nanodegrees.”

    Coding Bootcamps Cross the Chasm,” according to Edsurge, which applies the “Hype Cycle” to the future of the business.

    Apple event PR (and there’s much more in the “upgrade” section):

    Via The Verge: “Apple is creating a center in Chicago where teachers can train to code.”

    Via Techcrunch: “Apple’s learn-to-code app Swift Playgrounds adds AR lessons.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Can Big Data Change a Wicked School Truancy Problem?asks Edsurge.

    Can the Right Nudge Help Low-income Kids Go Beyond High School?asks Mindshift.

    Are K–12 data systems ready for AI?asks eSchool News.

    Are You Flipping the Wrong Way?asks Inside Higher Ed.

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    There’s more robot news in the job training section above.

    “How Could Artificial Intelligence Shape the Future of Higher Education?” asks Edsurge.

    Drones help connect the dots on math, coding concepts,” says Education Dive.

    Via George Veletsianos: “Bots, AI, & Education” – updates 2 and 3 on his book project.

    Via Campus Technology: “Cornell Researchers Use AI to Understand Students’ Math Struggles.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    There’s some Gates Foundation HR news in the “HR” section above. And I guess the DonorsChoose news could be construed “philanthropy” (but I prefer to think of it as PR).

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    Job training company BetterUp has raised $26 million from Lightspeed Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Freestyle Capital, and DFJ Growth. It’s raised $38.9 million total.

    ClassWallet has raised $735,000 from Florida Founders. The company has raised $4.8 million total.

    Permission Click has raised an undisclosed amount of money from an undisclosed inventor. The company has raised about $1.4 million total.

    Eupheus Learning has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Sixth Sense Ventures.

    Watermark has raised an undisclosed amount of money from TCV (which will take a controlling stake in the company), Quad Partners, and Exceed Capital Partners. Watermark is the company made up from the merger of Tk20, Taskstream, and Livetext.

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    Ben Williamson on“Learning from psychographic personality profiling.”

    Via Edsurge: “Three Reasons Academic Advisors Should Be a Go-To Resource for Student Success Efforts.” “This article is part of a Guide exploring innovations in student success, which is sponsored by Salesforce.org.” Also via Edsurge: “How Data Can Highlight the Human Touch in Student Advising.” Unlike other recent stories sponsored by Salesforce, this one is clearly marked “sponsored content” on the home page. Perhaps because it was written by Salesforce.

    Apologies for linking to Reason: “University of Virginia Hires ‘Social Sentinel’ to Monitor Students’ Social Media Posts.”

    From Geek Dad: “Jiobit Follows the Kids When You Cannot.”

    Someone is watching you,” says Purdue President Mitch Daniels. Indeed.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    Via Wired: “A Brief History of Screen Panic.”

    According to a report from Quality Matters and Eduventures (as covered by Campus Technology), “Adaptive Learning, Learning Analytics Are Most Wanted Tech for Online Programs.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Attainment Increases With Nondegree Credentials.”

    “The University of Texas System releases a new breakdown of student earnings, an alternative – produced with U.S. Census Bureau – to a prohibited federal database,” Inside Higher Ed reports. Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “A New Tool Breaks Down Earnings Potential for Different Majors. Here’s What You Need to Know.”

    Via Education Week: “Personalized Learning Pilot Program Reports Gains in Literacy Scores.”

    Via Fortune: “1 in 5 University Students Used Loan Money for Cryptocurrency Investments.” I’m not sure that’s actually true, but it makes for a nice headline, I guess.

    Via Wired: “Teen Driving by the Numbers.”

    Via Futurism: “The Typical Hoverboard Injury Happens to Exactly Who You’d Think: 11-Year-Old White Boys.”

    As part of my research for my book (proposal), I’m looking for the papers – correspondences, letters, diaries, and so on – of Norman Crowder. Can you help?

    RIP


    The New York Times obituary: “Linda Brown, Symbol of Landmark Desegregation Case, Dies at 75.”

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


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    As many of you know, I’m working on a book proposal for Teaching Machines, a project I’ve had on the back burner for far too long now that is finally starting to come to a boil.

    What do you think are the best existing works of history of the field of education technology?

    Here are some titles that quickly come to mind – because I can read their titles on my bookshelf. (It’s worth noting, I suppose, that these are mostly quite dated, and they’re all by men. And I am not endorsing these as “the best.”)

    • Larry Cuban, Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 (1986)
    • Brian Dear, The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture (2017)
    • Bill Ferster, Teaching Machines (2014)
    • Bob Johnstone, Never Mind the Laptops: Kids, Computers, and the Transformation of Learning (2003)
    • David Noble, Digital Diploma Mills (2001)
    • Wilbur Schramm, Bold Experiment: The Story of Educational Television in American Samoa (1981)
    • Paul Saettler, The Evolution of American Educational Technology (1990)
    • ---, A History of Instructional Technology (1967)

    I must be missing a ton here, so if you have suggestions (particularly books by authors of color or white women and particularly histories of ed-tech outside the US), I’d love to hear them. (And I will try to keep this article updated with new titles.)


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  • 04/06/18--06:10: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National) Education Politics


    In the long list of things the POTUS doesn’t “get,” we can add this (via The Atlantic): “Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Community Colleges.”

    Via The Washington Post: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asked whether leakers could be prosecuted, internal report shows.”

    New America on“The Department of Deregulation: DeVos’ New Regulatory Agenda to Roll Back Protections for Students.”

    Via Buzzfeed: “17 Colleges Fell Short On Campus Safety, But The Education Department Didn’t Tell The Schools.”

    There’s some accreditation news out of the Department of Education in the accreditation section below.

    Via Education Week: “FCC Chair Moves to Block E-Rate Funds for Companies Deemed ‘Security Risk’.”

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    From The New York Times’ Dana Goldstein: “Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky Walk Out: ‘It Really Is a Wildfire’.”

    Via NPR: “Oklahoma’s Teachers Continue Walkout As Lawmakers Vote On More Education Funds.”

    There are a few more stories about teachers’ strikes in the HR section below.

    Via Chalkbeat: “In Betsy DeVos’ home state, a program that steers public dollars to private school students is under fire from the governor.” That’s Michigan, for what it’s worth. Add those are vouchers.

    Via Detroit Free Press: “More Michigan schools are failing: Most are charters.”

    Via The New York Times, a profile on the Indiana charter chain Excel Schools: “A Chance for Dropouts, Young and Old, to Go Back to School.”

    Via Edsurge: “Data is Good – But Not Enough – to Improve Education, Says Baltimore City Public Schools CEO.” This is my shocked face.

    Immigration and Education


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The State Department is proposing to ask additional questions of visa applicants regarding their social media usage.”

    There’s more visa-related news in the for-profit section below.

    “Free College”


    New Jersey Moves Toward Free Community College,” says The Wall Street Journal.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Missouri Has Free Tuition… for Its Legislators.”

    College Affordability and the Business of Financial Aid


    Via The New York Times: “Even With Scholarships, Students Often Need Extra Financial Help.”

    Via The New York Times: “Middle-Class Families Increasingly Look to Community Colleges.”

    Via The New York Times: “An International Final Four: Which Country Handles Student Debt Best?”

    There’s more data on debt in the data and research section below.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Via Republic Report: “Grassley Attacks ACICS-Approved For-Profit Colleges As ‘Visa Mills’.” That’s Senator Chuck Grassley.

    There’s some ACICS accreditation news in the accreditation section below.

    Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)

    “The MOOC is not dead, but maybe it should be,” says Rolin Moe.

    Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Online Program Management: Spring 2018 view of the market landscape.”

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    The first byline (I think) from The Atlantic’s Adam Harris: “How the Howard University Protests Hint at the Future of Campus Politics.” More on how the school is responding to student protests by Harris’s former employer, The Chronicle of Higher Education. And more in The New York Times.

    Via The Chicago Tribune: “Video captures University of Chicago police officer shooting student near campus; charges filed against student.”

    Via NPR: “Parkland Students Return To School Skeptical Of Clear Backpacks.”

    Via NPR: “Professors Are Targets In Online Culture Wars; Some Fight Back.”

    Inside Higher Ed looks at how the North Dakota University System is “Blocking Child Porn on Campus.”

    Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a signed order Tuesday that she was restoring the federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the for-profit accreditor that had waged a fight for reinstatement since the Obama administration withdrew its recognition in 2016.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    “Students Want Faster Degrees,” The Chronicle of Higher Education argues. “Colleges Are Responding.”

    Testing


    Chalkbeat on NAEP: “The national test of students’ progress has gone digital. A state leader is raising questions about what that means.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “GMAT Drops 30 Minutes From Test.”

    Via The New York Times: “For the ACT and the SAT, Pencils No Longer Required, but Sometimes Necessary.”

    A hate-read from Jacobin that claims it’s making “The Progressive Case for the SAT.” Trigger warning: FdB.

    Via Chalkbeat: “Here’s the list of Tennessee school districts choosing to test younger students online this year.” Sorry. You’re going to have to click for the list.

    Via The New York Times: “Law Schools Debate a Contentious Testing Alternative.”

    Go, School Sports Team!


    Via ESPN: “The Arizona Board of Regents will vote this week whether to add language to men’s basketball coach Sean Miller’s contract that would require him to return $1 million if he’s charged with a crime or found guilty of major NCAA violations.” He’d still earn $3.1 million.

    Labor Issues and Other Memos from HR


    “Why is the media – including the liberal media – supporting these teachers’ strikes?” asks Corey Robin.

    Via The Atlantic: “The Larger Concerns Behind the Teachers’ Strikes.”

    Via Edsurge (which also ran a number of stories this week to promote an event in whichyou can get a “gig”): “The Data Tells All: Teacher Salaries Have Been Declining For Years.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Rochester Professor at Center of Harassment Controversy Will Return to Teaching.”

    Via The New York Times: “Homework Therapists’ Job: Help Solve Math Problems, and Emotional Ones.” “Homework therapist.” Well, I guess I need to keep an eye on how the tutoring industry rebrands itself what with all the investment dollars it’s receiving.

    The Business of Job Training


    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges Enter Competition With Coding Boot Camps.”

    Via Edsurge: “Leif, a fintech investment group, is giving $10 million to support future students at the online coding bootcamp Thinkful.” Warning: income sharing agreements.

    Via the AP: “Wyoming begins path to computer science courses in schools.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Does Ready Player One reveal the future of VR?asks Edsurge.

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    Via Edsurge: “Padlet’s Price Update Riles Teachers, Raises Questions About Sustainability of Freemium Models.”

    TenMarks joins the ed-tech dead pool. Edsurge has the story. “After Amazon’s TenMarks shuts down, what then for K–12 schools and Amazon?” asks GeekWire’s Frank Catalano.

    Via Edsurge: “Still in the K–12 Jungle: Amazon Partners With Edhesive to Bring CS Education to Schools.”

    Via the Google blog: “Rolling Study Halls: turning bus time into learning time.” The Verge covers the blog post: “Google is equipping more rural school buses with Wi-Fi and Chromebooks.”

    Via Techcrunch: “What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility.”

    Via The Verge: “Teachers weigh in on Apple’s push for more iPads in school.”

    “Schools won’t like how difficult the new iPad is to repair,” says The Verge.

    “A Response to Larry Berger’s ‘Confession’ on Personalized Learning” by New Classrooms’ Joel Rose.

    Here’s a lede for you: “Once upon a time, the classrooms had four walls, dusty chalkboards and uncomfortable desks in straight little rows. Students were silent, repeated what they were told and limited by their past experiences.” I’m not sure when this was or where this was. And now there’s VR and I guess that changes everything.

    Via The MIT Technology Review: “MIT severs ties to company promoting fatal brain uploading.”

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    “Now you can use your Echo to call the kids for dinner,” Techcrunch wants you to know. Because nothing says “disruptive innovation” like not hollering at your children.

    Via The New York Times: “Schools Offering Drone Programs, but Learning to Fly Is Just the Start.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    Chan Zuckerberg Initiative sponsors content on Edsurge. This week, the sponsorship includes an article on self directed learning, an article on profiling students, an article on a “failing school” in Baltimore.

    Salesforce also sponsors content on Edsurge. This week’s sponsored stories include several articles on student success: 1, 2.

    Via Techcrunch: “Mission Bit, a nonprofit organization that teaches high school students computer science, has received a $1 million five-year grant from the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.”

    Via Education Week: “Tech Giants Announce New Funding for 1-to–1 Devices, Computer Science Education.” The giants in question – and to be clear these aren’t necessarily “philanthropic” efforts but I’m not sure where to put them – are Verizon Innovative Learning and Amazon.

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    3DBear has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from LearnStart (Learn Capital) and Rethink Education. The 3D modeling company has raised $2.8 million total.

    New Mountain Learning has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the private equity firm CIP Capital.

    Really Good Stuff, a subsidiary of Excelligence Learning Corporation, has acquiredSteve Spangler Science.

    Corwin has acquiredCognition Education Group.

    Via Techcrunch: “Utah education technology unicorn Pluralsight files for IPO.” More from Edsurge.

    Pearson’s Annual Report (2017)– my favorite part is how the numbers that are showcased on this web page are all green, even though they’re downward trending. I guessing putting them in red would be too obvious.

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    Via The New York Times: “Facebook Says Cambridge Analytica Harvested Data of Up to 87 Million Users.”

    “Protecting Student Privacy in a Time of Uncertainty” by Summit Public Schools’ Diane Tavenner. (Reminder that Facebook built the Summit Learning Platform.)

    Via The Washington Post: “Facebook and the very real problem of keeping student data private.”

    Via The Atlantic: “‘Free-Range’ Parenting’s Unfair Double Standard.”

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    My ongoing funding research: “The Business of Ed-Tech: March 2018 Funding Data.”

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Procuring digital learning tools and technology to help educate students with special needs are two of 10 ‘hotspots’ in government contracting for 2018, according to an analysis of bids and RFPs conducted by GovWin+Onvia from Deltek.”

    From the NCES, a look at “the homework gap”: “Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom.” Education Week talks about the study: “Students’ Home Internet, Computer Access: 10 Numbers to Know.”

    Edsurge writes a headline that almost goes in the Betteridge section: “Is Technology Bad for the Teenage Brain? (Yes, No and It’s Complicated.)”

    Inside Higher Ed on a new survey of KIPP alumni: “A new survey of thousands of college students – most of them low income, minority and first generation – suggests that colleges and universities should emulate historically black colleges and universities’ efforts to make students feel they belong on campus.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “How are Indiana charter schools doing? 9 things to know from the state’s first study.”

    A study finds it cannot reproduce the “reproducibility crisis.”

    Via Campus Technology: “Online Ed Leaders Agree Top 2 Indicators of Program Quality Are Student Success Rates, Student Evaluations.” Considering what we know about student evaluations and bias, this seems like a very very bad thing to agree on.

    Via The Outline: “So-called ‘intellectuals’ can’t let go of ‘The Bell Curve’.”

    From the Urban Institute: “Debt in America: An Interactive Map.”

    A new report from the WI Hope Lab: “Still hungry and homeless in college.” The amazing Sara Goldrick-Rab talked about the study on NPR.

    A hate-read from The Next Web: “Researchers are using VR to help teachers understand autism.”

    Via Education Week: “Virtual Reality and Children: ‘We Just Don’t Know That Much,’ Report Finds.”

    Some history from Stanford’s Larry Cuban: “Progressivism in Schools: the Field Trip.”

    From the GAO: “Discipline Disparities for Black Students, Boys, and Students with Disabilities.”

    Via The New York Times: “An Expert’s View: Sir Ken Robinson.” What makes Robinson an expert?

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


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  • 04/13/18--03:20: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National) Education Politics


    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress this week about privacy, data, monopoly power, and regulations. I’ll have more to say about this in my newsletter tomorrow. But for now, here are a couple of education-related stories: one from Education Week and from Edsurge.

    And there’s more Facebook-related news in several of the sections below.

    Via NPR: “Justice Dept. Investigating Early-Decision Admissions At Elite Colleges.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    Via People: “Oklahoma Mom ‘Embarrassed’ After Her Daughter Checks Out Textbook Once Used By Blake Shelton.” The singer was once a student in Ada, Oklahoma and checked out the reading textbook in 1982.

    Teacher strike stories are in the “labor and management” section below.

    Via Chalkbeat’s Colorado news desk: “$35 million for school safety will go toward training, but not hiring, of school resource officers.”

    Via The Verge: “Facebook-backed lawmakers are pushing to gut privacy law.” Privacy law in Illinois, that is.

    Via The Seattle Times: “Seattle School Board selects first Native American superintendent in city history.” Her name: Denise Juneau.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The governor of Virginia has approved a bill requiring all public higher education institutions in the state to take steps to adopt open educational resources– freely accessible and openly copyrighted educational materials.”

    Via NPR: “California’s Higher Ed Diversity Problem.”

    Immigration and Education


    Via ProPublica: “Teen Who Faced Deportation After He Informed on MS–13 Gets Temporary Reprieve.”

    Via The Washington Post: “ICE is moving to deport a veteran after Mattis assured that would not happen.” This part about a government-created “fake university” caught my eye:

    Xilong Zhu, 27, who came from China in 2009 to attend college in the United States, enlisted in the Army and was caught in an immigration dragnet involving a fake university set up by the Department of Homeland Security to catch brokers of fraudulent student visas.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday that immigrant students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status are not eligible for lower in-state tuition rates.”

    Education in the Courts


    Via The Washington Post: “Student loan servicer asks court to settle spat between Education Dept. and Connecticut over licensing dispute.” The servicer in question: the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

    Via Splinter: “Stoneman Douglas Teacher Who Pushed for Guns in Schools Arrested for Leaving His Gun in a Bathroom.”

    Via KMOV, news from Montville High in Montville, Connecticut: “Substitute teacher arrested for starting ‘fight club’ in classroom.”

    Via Buzzfeed: “ A Lawsuit Says This Private Religious High School Protected An Accused Rapist.” The school: Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan, whose most famous alumnus is probably Betsy DeVos.

    “Publishers Wiley, Cengage, Pearson and McGraw-Hill Education have won a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against a seller of fake textbooks,” Inside Higher Ed reports. The seller: Book Dog Books.

    Via The Washington Post: “Howard student sues school amid financial aid scandal.” The student in question: Tyrone Hankerson Jr, of meme fame.

    There’s more legal news in the “immigration” section above.

    The Business of Financial Aid


    Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons this week announced that it would eliminate student loans with scholarships for all students who qualify for financial aid,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    There’s more financial aid news in the “research” section below and in the “courts” section above.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


    More on the accreditation of for-profits in the accreditation section below.

    Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)


    The Chronicle of Higher Education looks atWestern Governors University and its “mentor-based model.”

    Via KPVI: “Idaho Department of Education Offering Online Pre-K.”

    From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “ Virtual charter high school serving 2000 students closing in June.” That’s Graduation Achievement Charter High School.

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “In Wake of Sit-In, Howard Faculty Members Vote No Confidence in President.” More on the protests via NPR.

    Still more Howard news, via The Washington Post: “Howard University reveals that fired employees misappropriated $369,000.”

    The Guardian looks at the relationship between the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and elite universities, including Harvard and MIT.

    Via the Times Higher Education (and reprinted by Inside Higher Ed): “China Tries Private University Model.” That’s at Westlake University in Hangzhou.

    Mount Ida will close, and its campus will be part of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    Via The Atlantic: “When a College Employee Shoots a Student.”

    Via the BBC: “All 500 teachers of Millcreek School District near Erie got a 16in (41cm) bat in the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school attack in February.” A baseball bat, to be clear.

    Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies


    ACICS, a flashpoint for debate over accountability of the for-profit sector, has another chance at federal recognition. But some higher ed observers see tough odds for its long-term survival,” says Inside Higher Ed.

    Testing


    NAEPNAEPNAEPNAEP!

    Education Next on“Interpreting the 2017 NAEP Reading and Math Results.”

    Just remember: “interpretations” of “the nation’s report card” are often “confirmations” of people’s education politics.

    “Did computer testing muddle this year’s NAEP results?” asks Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum. “Testing group says no; others are unconvinced.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “A decade of stagnation: What you should know about today’s NAEP results.”

    The Secretary of Education issued a press statement on the NAEP results.

    Via Chalkbeat: “Two years after massive testing snafus, Tennessee will test more students online than ever.”

    Via MIT Technology Review: “DNA tests for IQ are coming, but it might not be smart to take one.”

    Go, School Sports Team!


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The faculty union at Eastern Michigan University is blasting administrators there for cutting four sports while football – a money- and game-losing program – remains intact.”

    Labor and Management


    Via Politico: “Teachers Are Going on Strike in Trump’s America.”

    This story– “Oklahoma Teachers Continue Strike” – is from last weekend, and as I type up these notes while listening to the radio, it sounds like the strike might be over.

    Via NPR: “Walkouts And Teacher Pay: How Did We Get Here?”

    Via NPR: “Arizona Teachers ‘Walk-In’ To Protest Low Pay And Low Funding.”

    Via The Washington Post: “Strike avoided: Teachers at California online charter schools reach landmark union agreement with K12 Inc.” More via The Atlantic and via NPR.

    The Guardian headline says, “Secret rightwing strategy to discredit teacher strikes,” but it’s not that secret. The State Policy Network has a plan to counter union activism with anti-union PR.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Union Organizer at Penn State’s Grad School Cites University’s ‘Veiled Threat’ to Foreign Students.”

    The Business of Job Training


    Via Chalkbeat: “Newark looks to build school-to-work ‘pipeline’ by boosting vocational education.”

    Via Campus Technology: “NYC Data Science Academy Launches Online Bootcamp.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Can AI Help Students – and Colleges – Determine the Best Fit?asks Edsurge.

    Apple and Microsoft Now Offer $100 Styluses. But Do Schools Need – or Want – Them?asks Edsurge.

    Can a For-Profit, Venture-Backed Company Keep OER Free – and Be Financially Sustainable?asks Edsurge.

    Can a ‘Family of Bots’ Reshape College Teaching?asks Edsurge.

    Do Online Courses Really Save Money?asks Edsurge.

    Can Artificial Intelligence Make Teaching More Personal?asks The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” And a big thank you for the editors who consistently run with this sort of ridiculous headline and make writing this section such a joy.)

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    Chris Gilliard onHow Ed Tech Is Exploiting Students.” (Note: there’s a response to this article by Georgia Tech professor Ashok Goel, who builds teaching chat-bots, in the “robots” section below. Edsurge also interviewed Goel this week. That story’s in the “Betteridge’s Law” section.)

    Edsurge’s coverage of Top Hat’s OER news is also in the Betteridge’s Law section above.

    Via Techcrunch: “Tencent and education startup Age of Learning bring popular English-learning app ABCmouse to China.”

    Via The Verge: “YouTube will reportedly release a kids’ app curated by humans.”

    Via Reveal: “When virtual reality feels real, so does the sexual harassment.”

    The Chronicle of Higher Education lists“Pros and Cons of Virtual Reality in the Classroom.”

    Via US PIRG: “‘You might want to tell your instructors about this:’ students as sales reps?” “This” in this headline is a product from Cengage, which markets directly to students asking them to push the product to their teachers.

    Stanford’s Larry Cuban on“Whatever Happened to Ebonics?”

    Via The Verge: “Duolingo overhauled its fluency system to make it harder for advanced users.”

    From the Scratch Team’s Medium blog: “3 Things To Know About Scratch 3.0.”

    Via Edsurge: “Transcription and Accessibility – New Partnerships from Microsoft and Amazon.”

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    A letter to the editor in The Chronicle of Higher Editor asserts thatAI Project at Georgia Tech Does Not Exploit Students.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How A.I. Is Infiltrating Every Corner of the Campus.”

    The Chronicle of Higher Education also wants you to know that you can major in “drones.”

    Techcrunch says thatRobo Wunderkind wants to build the Lego Mindstorms for everyone.” (Why is Lego Mindstorms not the Lego Minstorms for everyone?)

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    Via The Washington Post: “Billionaire offered $25 million to high school alma mater. What he wanted in return was too much for the district.” The billionaire in question: Stephen A. Schwarzman. The school: Abington High School in Abington, Pennsylvania. Imagine that: strings attached when someone gives you money.

    “Philanthropic” sponsored content on Edsurge, paid for by Salesforce.org and by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    School administration software-maker Connexeo has raised $110 million from Great Hill Partners.

    Edovo has raised $9 million from Kapor Capital, Ekistic Ventures, Lumina Foundation, SustainVC, Impact Engine, Evolve Foundation, IDP Foundation, and Series Change Investment. The company sells a tablet for use in prison. Here’s how Techcrunch describes it:

    Edovo works with facilities to bring in secure wireless networks and tablets that access Edovo’s educational platform. The incentive-based learning program covers a variety of areas, including literacy, college course work, cognitive behavioral therapy and vocational training. Upon completion of certain lessons, incarcerated individuals can receive certificates and entertainment options. They can also use Edovo to stay in touch with their loved ones.

    Ed-tech as surveillance and punishment and behavioral management. It’s not just for schools. Anyway. Edovo, which describes itself as “the most innovative carceral technology solution on the market,” has raised $12.3 million total.

    Holberton School has raised $8 million from daphni, Trinity Ventures, and the Omidyar Network. The coding bootcamp has raised $12.5 million total.

    BookNook has raised $2 million from Better Ventures, the Urban Innovation Fund, Reach Capital, Impact Engine, Kapor Capital, Redhouse Education, and Edovate Capital. The reading software-maker has raised $3.2 million total.

    The big “business of ed-tech” news of the week: Edmodo has been acquired by Chinese game-maker NetDragon. NetDragon will pay $137.5 million for the company – but of that just $15 million is cash; the rest is equity in NetDragon. Edmodo had raised some $77.5 million in venture capital according to Crunchbase ($100 million according to Edsurge). Either way, it’s not a good look, and not a good ending. As The Financial Times puts it, “EdTech fails to pay, again.”

    Coding bootcamp Thinkful has acquired coding bootcamp Bloc.

    Credly has acquiredPearson’s badge platform, Acclaim.

    Campus Labs has acquiredChalk & Wire.

    Reuters looks atSpringer Nature’s upcoming IPO.

    It’s not venture capital, but it’s funding news. I guess. Techcrunch reports that “Sesame Street turns to Kickstarter to fund autism book.”

    More business news from Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Moody’s Downgrades Blackboard Debt, Focuses On Learn Ultra Delivery.”

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    Via The Washington Post: “The new lesson plan for elementary school: Surviving the Internet.”

    Via Edscoop: “Personal information of 1 million potential college applicants ‘exposed inadvertently’.” The data in question was from Target Direct Marketing.

    Via the Windsor Star: “‘Personal and private’ info of Essex school students stolen from teacher’s home.”

    Via MIT Technology Review: “YouTube may be illegally collecting kids’ data.” Indeed. “Over 20 advocacy groups complain to FTC that YouTube is violating children’s privacy law,” Techcrunch reports.

    The Verge asks, “How much VR user data is Oculus giving to Facebook?”

    Via Education Week: “Schools Choose Not to Delete Facebook Despite Data-Privacy Worries.”

    Schools prove soft targets for hackers,” says The Hechinger Report.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    The Atlantic versus "learning styles."

    Via The New York Times: “Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds”: “Thirty-one percent of Americans, and 41 percent of millennials, believe that two million or fewer Jews were killed in the Holocaust; the actual number is around six million. Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “For Students in Debt, Bitcoin on Their Minds.” The Chronicle of Higher Education responds, “No, Students Probably Aren’t Blowing Their Student Loans on Bitcoin.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “New Study on Income-Driven Repayment Plans.”

    “The U.S. could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to a report published Wednesday by the Association of American Medical Colleges,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    From Science Alert: “ Evidence Shows Students Still Learn More Effectively From Print Textbooks Than Screens.”

    Edsurge looks at a report called “Making Digital Learning Work,” but as it’s gone – once again – with a headline in the form of a question, that story is in the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines section above. More on the report via Bryan Alexander.

    Pew Research onBots in the Twittersphere.”

    Education Next on“Studying a Large-Scale Voucher Program in Colombia.”

    Via Gizmodo: “Teen Monitoring Apps Don’t Work and Just Make Teens Hate Their Parents, Study Finds.” I wonder what “studies” say about these apps at school and how they make teens feel about teachers and principals?

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Why Researchers Shouldn’t Share All Their Data.”

    From the press release: “Facebook Launches New Initiative to Help Scholars Assess Social Media’s Impact on Elections.” Financial backers: the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    Education Week on a new Gallup poll: “Teachers on Tech: Good for Student Learning, Bad for Student Health.”

    Via PBS News Hour: “Millions of U.S. adults live in education deserts, far from colleges and fast internet.”

    Survey finds more teachers are clicking on marketing emails. Congrats, everyone. Good work.

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


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  • 04/16/18--02:40: AERA, In Absentia
  • Sadly, I'm not at AERA today, even though I was supposed to be part of a really excellent panel, "Whither Equity in the '21st-Century School'? Critical Perspectives on Education and Technology," with some of my favorite educators and scholars.

    The panel organizer, Ethan Chang, was nice enough to let me record a video of my 10 minute spiel, and I am embedding it below:

    Here is (roughly) what I had planned to say today. I am really sorry I am not there.

    My apologies for not being there in person today. I’m on a reporting trip for a story I’m currently working on. It’s actually a story associated with the paper I proposed for this panel – so I do have a good excuse for my absence. Also I’ll get paid for that story. Lines on my CV don’t pay the bills.

    I’m recording this a few days early but by the time of this panel, I’ll be at the ASU-GSV Summit. It’s an event I’ve never attended before – one that I’ve been quite loathe to go to, in part because of the reports I hear back about some of the shadiest and most destructive elements in education business and politics. Here’s how the event’s sponsor GSV, the venture capital firm Global Silicon Valley, describes it:

    The Summit continues to bring together the most impactful people from diverse constituencies – entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators, policymakers, philanthropists, and university and district leaders – to create partnerships, explore solutions, and shape the future of learning.

    I can’t help but notice that students and parents and communities are not mentioned among those constituencies. Also absent from that list (and relevant to our purposes here, no doubt): “education researchers.” Indeed, every year (and this is its ninth), the ASU-GSV Summit seems to coincide with AERA. I don’t think this is an insignificant or even an unintentional scheduling gaffe. If nothing else, it taps into a powerful cultural trope, one that’s particularly resonant among Silicon Valley and education reform types: that education experts and expertise aren’t to be trusted, that research is less important than politics, that the “peer review” that matters isn’t the academic version. Rather that “review” in the ASU-GSV framework is a kind of networking or power brokering – it’s who you know, not what you know; it’s not how you wield your research as much as it’s how you wield your relationships. That’s not to say relationships don’t matter in academia. They do. But these networks are significantly less powerful.

    But as people in Silicon Valley like to say, venture capitalists don’t invest in ideas, they invest in people.

    Now, I believe that that saying overstates its case a lot. Clearly, ideas do matter. Ideology matters. Metaphors matter. The way in which one talks about education matters – the notion that it’s broken, for example, or that it needs to be fixed through market-based mechanisms. Ideas shape the products that entrepreneurs build and the policies that reformers promote. Investors might select certain people as entrepreneurs or back certain officials as reformers, but that’s because they share ideas. More importantly, I’d argue, they share networks.

    I am currently wrapping up my year as a Spencer Fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism, and my proposed project involves an exploration how these networks work, how education technology investors work in particular – where and how they come up with their ideas, how their influence spreads. I’m interested in the shape of the network (who’s in it), the money (where’s the funding going), the power (how do investors and investments influence policy), and the associated narratives about the future. “The Ed-Tech Mafia,” I sometimes call this – a nod to “The PayPal Mafia,” those early employees and executives at PayPal who’ve gone on to shape recent Silicon Valley history and business and politics (as investors or entrepreneurs). Reid Hoffman (the founder of LinkedIn). Elon Musk (the founder of Tesla and SpaceX). Peter Thiel (vampire and enemy of the free press). Chad Hurley (the founder of YouTube). Pierre Omidyar (the founder of eBay) and so on.

    Venture capitalists are important, increasingly so as Silicon Valley technologies play a more and more powerful role in our personal lives and in our political (and education) system. But when I use the word “investors,” I also mean the influence of philanthropists. And it’s worth pointing out that several of the philanthropies founded by tech executives are not the classic “family foundation,” they’re venture capital firms – some are non-profit and some are for-profit. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, for example – founded by Facebook’s founder – is a venture capital firm. It’s often talked about like it’s a philanthropy. But it’s a company. The Emerson Collective – founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple’s co-founder – is a venture capital firm. As LLCs, they have fewer requirements for transparency than do foundations about where their money goes. You can see, for example, on the Gates Foundation website, who’s received its education grants, dating all the way back to 1994. (I’m guessing that includes many many people in the room right now.) But we don’t really know where CZIs dollars are going. The organization has promised to spend billions in the coming decade on “personalized learning.” Last time I checked, “personalized learning” is an idea, and not a person; but who gets that money is still worth considering. How that idea takes shape and takes hold in people and in policies is important.

    So, here’s an example of how these investor networks operate – and this is what I’m trying to investigate in more detail while I’m at the ASU-GSV Summit. One of GSV’s co-founders is Deborah Quazzo. She is one of the most active investors in ed-tech. She was briefly on the Chicago Public Schools board – that is, until a Chicago Tribune story found that since her appointment, the district had tripled its spending on companies in her investment portfolio. GSV’s investments include Dreambox Learning, Coursera, ClassDojo, and Edsurge. (Edsurge is a really important node here as its investors include almost every firm who’s actively investing in ed-tech in Silicon Valley, as well as the major philanthropies and venture philanthropies like Gates and CZI. And as such, it is clear the publication promotes certain narratives about the future of schools. Ideas do matter.) Another co-founder of GSV is, of course, Michael Moe. Moe has a long, long history in education financing. When he worked at Merrill Lynch in the 1990s, for example, he helped the school management company Edison Schools prepare for its initial public offering.

    Edison Schools is another one of those interesting nodes in the ed-tech network. And I mention this one because the privatization and financialization of education – an idea – has a lengthy history. These networks are well established, even as Silicon Valley prefers to associate itself with “the new.” Edison was co-founded by Chris Whittle, whose other companies include Channel One, the advertising-filled TV news provider for schools. Edison Schools’ founding partners include Chester Finn and John Chubb. The President of its LearnNow division was Jim Shelton, who from Edison went on to work as a Program Director at the Gates Foundation. He then worked as Assistant Secretary of Education at the Obama Department of Ed. (An aside: Arne Duncan is also a venture capitalist now; he works for the Emerson Collective.) After the Department of Education, Shelton went to work at 2U, an online program management company co-founded by John Katzman who previously founded the Princeton Review – another key node, another investor (surprise, surprise) in Edsurge. Shelton is now the head of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s education program.

    CZI has also hired Bror Saxburg, formerly the chief learning officer at Kaplan (owned by Graham Holdings, once the owner of The Washington Post and – yup – an investor in Edsurge) as its Chief Learning Officer. It’s also hired Katrina Stevens, who worked at the Department of Education under Jim Shelton and who worked at Edsurge, as its director of learning sciences. I believe these folks are all at ASU-GSV and not at AERA.

    A “director of learning sciences” in the business of ed-tech needn’t be interested in the research as much as she need navigate and perhaps even propitiate the investor network.

    And that’s where one future – a dystopian one, I’d argue – of education technology lies: in a place where scholarship and research can be ignored unless it explicitly endorses the ideas and the politics and the “impactful people” and the networks of capital.


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  • 04/20/18--04:55: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

    (National) Education Politics


    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Department of Education has approved the first program under its Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) initiative.”

    StraighterLine, an unaccredited online course provider, will partner with Brookhaven College in Texas to offer a joint associate degree to students this August. Students will complete more than 50 percent of their course work online through the StraighterLine platform.

    The US Senate confirmed Carlos G. Muñiz as the Education Department’s General Counsel. Here’s the official statement from Betsy DeVos.

    More news from the Department of Education in the student loan section below.

    FCC Delays Are Keeping Broadband From Rural School Kids,” says Wired.

    Via Education Week: “Democratic FCC Commissioner, Advocate For Net Neutrality and Lifeline, Resigns.”

    (State and Local) Education Politics


    Via The New York Times: “Maryland Schools May Tell Children When It’s Time to Log Off.”

    Via NPR: “Kentucky Governor Claims Kids Were Assaulted While Teachers Absent From Classroom.” Later…: “Kentucky Governor Apologizes For Comments On Teachers’ Strike.” (It wasn’t really much of an apology.)

    Via NPR: “Arizona Governor Agrees To 20 Percent Raise For Protesting Teachers.”

    There’s a lot more about teachers and labor issues in the “labor and management” section below.

    Via Chalkbeat: “Colorado Democrats overwhelmingly reject Democrats for Education Reform at state assembly.”

    Via NPR: “Wyoming District To Decide On Teachers Carrying Guns.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Antwan Wilson being paid $60,000 to consult for Denver Public Schools.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Internal memo offers candid postmortem of charter fight in Massachusetts.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Tennessee lawmakers call for McQueen’s resignation, scrapping TNReady over more testing failures.”

    Education in the Courts


    Via The Journal Sentinel: “Marquette’s discipline of conservative professor gains national spotlight as it hits high court.”

    Via The AP: “Georgia’s Top Court Won’t Hear Appeals for 2 Convicted in Cheating Case.”

    Via The New York Times: “Sandy Hook Parents Sue Alex Jones for Defamation.”

    “Free College”


    Apple should open a university that’s free for everyone,” says Wired. Nope. We should demand corporations pay more taxes so that public education is adequately funded.

    The Business of Financial Aid


    From the Department of Education press release: “U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Team Up to Simplify Student Loan Discharge Process for Disabled Veterans.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


    There’s coding bootcamp news in the venture capital section below.

    Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”)


    “How Liberty University Built a Billion-Dollar Empire Online” by Alec MacGillis. (And some follow-up from Tressie McMillan Cottom.)

    Meanwhile on Campus…


    Via The New York Times: “25-Year-Old Textbooks and Holes in the Ceiling: Inside America’s Public Schools.”

    Via inside Higher Ed: “The Pros and Cons of Purdue‘s 7-Year Freeze.“ In other Purdue news, ”Purdue University President Mitch Daniels weighed in the PROSPER Act – House Republicans’ plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act – Tuesday, offering praise for several of the bill’s reforms,” says Inside Higher Ed.

    Via The Washington Post: “‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman to speak at Howard’s commencement.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Thanks to Beyoncé, All Eyes Are on Black Colleges. A Historian Says They Should Capitalize on the Hype.”

    The New York Times looks atschool dress codes (and gender).

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of Maryland Removes ‘Misogynistic’ Guidelines for TAs.”

    The New York Times on a fire at Cornell in 1967: “Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Swedish University Ordered to Refund Tuition Over Quality Concerns.” The university in question: Mälardalen University.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Nassar Victim Says Michigan State’s Interim President Pressured Her to Accept a Cash Payoff.”

    “When Disadvantaged Students Overlook Elite Collegesby The Atlantic’s Adam Harris.

    Via NPR: “100 Top Colleges Vow To Enroll More Low-Income Students.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Chinese Communist Party Cells Pop Up at U.S. Universities.”

    Testing


    Via Chalkbeat: “TNReady is back online, and technical problems are back too.”

    There’s more about testing in Tennessee in the state politics section above.

    Via Jacobin: “The Socialist Case Against the SAT.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “ABA Panel Seeks to End LSAT Requirement.”

    Via The Washington Post: “Teacher in trouble for making pancakes for kids taking standardized test.”

    Go, School Sports Team!


    There’s more on Nassar and Michigan State in the “meanwhile on campus” section above.

    Labor and Management


    Via The Intercept: “Politicized by Trump, Teachers Threaten to Shake Up Red-State Politics.”

    Via The Denver Post: “Colorado teachers stage rally at statehouse to lobby for higher pay.”

    Via NBC Los Angeles: “LAUSD School Workers Vote to Authorize Strike.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Who Doesn’t Get Overtime Pay? Online Instructors, for One.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Furor Over Professor Who Called Barbara Bush Racist.”

    “5 Thoughts on the Teacher Strikesfrom Rick Hess.

    Via NPR: “Why More Than A Million Teachers Can’t Use Social Security.”

    Via Techcrunch: “Former DreamWorks exec Shawn Dennis joins GoldieBlox as president.”

    The Business of Job Training


    Via Techcrunch: “Grasshopper, a learn-to-code app from Google’s Area 120 incubator, goes live.”

    Via Edsurge: “Google and Udacity Offering 5,000 Scholarships for Nanodegree Programs.”

    Contests and Conferences


    Here are some of the dispatches from the ASU+GSV Summit. (And I should have my write-up done by today or tomorrow). From Edsurge: “This Year’s ASU+GSV Summit Is Hard to Describe. Here’s Our Best Attempt.” Also from Edsurge: “Angela Duckworth Says Grit Is Not Enough. She’s Building Tools to Boost Student Character.” From GeekWire: “For investors, the future of education technology is now the workplace.” From the ASU website: “Panelists discuss future of personalized learning.” Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “ACT, Arizona State University Partner on Ed-Tech Research, Product Development Institute.” Via EdScoop: “Edtech and industry leaders say they’re stuck if they can’t scale.” Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Ed-Tech Vendors Asked to ‘Pledge’ Efforts Around Interoperability.” Via Edsurge: “What’s Next for Pearson? (Not Buying Your Education Startup.)” Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “George W. Bush Defends Legacy of No Child Left Behind at Education Business Conference.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


    Do you need a blockchain?asks Techcrunch.

    (Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

    Upgrades and Downgrades


    Via The Verge: “OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world – then it all went wrong.” (A good thread on Twitter in response.)

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “ISTE Unveils Plans to Match Ed-Tech Companies With Educators for Feedback on Apps.” Teachers will not be compensated for this work.

    Via Edsurge: “Amazon’s Recent Account Closures Have Affected College Students Too.”

    Via The Washington Post: “Battle over college course material is a textbook example of technological change.”

    Via Technode: “Tsinghua University is using the cloud to make it rain in the classroom.” “Make it rain” here is a reference to an analytics app. I guess it could also be a reference to the money to be made off of collecting, analyzing, and selling student data.

    Robots and Other Education Science Fiction


    Via Wired: “Ex-Google Executive Opens a School for AI, With China’s Help.”

    From the Amazon press release: “Now Anyone Can Create Their Own Personalized Alexa Skill in Just Minutes.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform


    The New Schools Venture Fund announces the latest cohort of “new, innovative [charter] schools.”

    Via Variety: “Beyonce Follows Coachella Triumph by Announcing $100,000 in Scholarships for Historically Black Colleges.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Walton memo recommends charter advocates do more to persuade Democrats and appease unions.”

    Content, sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, on Edsurge: this and this and this and this.

    Content, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, on Edsurge: this.

    Venture Capital and the Business of Education


    Embibe has raised $180 million from Reliance. The company “provides personalized educational feedback services for students,” and according to Crunchbase has raised $184 million total.

    Edmentum has raised $25 million in debt financing from New Mountain Finance Corporation and Tennenbaum Capital Partners. The company, formerly known as PLATO Learning, is owned by Thomas Bravo.

    Aula, which Edsurge says is “akin to Slack,” has raised $4.2 million from Project A, Brighteye Ventures, Sunstone, and Nordic Makers.

    Teachable has raised $4 million from Accomplice Ventures and Naval Ravikant. The online education company has raised $12.5 million total.

    Language-learning startup Lingumi has raised $1.7 million from ADV.

    General Assembly has been acquired by the Adecco Group for $412.5 million. (Some thoughts from Anil Dash.)

    Key Data Systems has acquiredProgress Testing.

    Paxen Publishing has bought the adult education assets of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

    PowerSchool and PeopleAdmin will merge.

    Pluralsight files for an IPO. More via Crunchbase.

    Related, via The New York Times: “Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Prepare for an I.P.O. Wave.”

    Data, Surveillance, and Information Security


    Via Education Week: “Thousands of Android Mobile Apps Improperly Track Children, Study Says.” Via The Verge: “Report finds more than half of Android apps for children are in violation of COPPA.”

    Via Bloomberg: “Palantir Knows Everything About You.” (Related: the Peter Thiel Ed-Tech Network.)

    Via Wired: “The Young and the Reckless – A gang of teen hackers snatched the keys to Microsoft’s videogame empire. Then they went too far.”

    Via Motherboard: “Students Are Using VPNs to Play ‘Fortnite’ on School Wi-Fi.”

    Via The MIT Technology Review: “Bill Gates and Masayoshi Son are backing a plan to have video cameras watch every inch of Earth from space.”

    Via Techcrunch: “Login With Facebook data hijacked by JavaScript trackers.” Good thing no one in education uses … Oh.

    Via The Verge: “Verizon‘s new parental control app lets parents track their kids’ locations.”

    Precision education

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “College Consultants’ Client Information Was Exposed on Web Servers.” That’s CollegePlannerPro.

    Via Education Week: “Teens Worry About Online Privacy: Q&A With Researcher Claire Fontaine.”

    Research, “Research,” and Reports


    “The Future of College Looks Like the Future of Retail,” says Jeff Selingo. Gonna be so great for Black students if it looks like Starbucks, eh? Gonna be so great for teaching and research if it’s staffed with low-paid, precarious workers.

    Education Week’s latest survey on what principals believe about the future of technology prompts a series of stories: one arguing that“Principals Warm Up to Computer Science, Despite Obstacles,” one on“Why Principals Are Embracing Personalized Learning,” one pointing out that“School Principals Overwhelmingly Concerned About Children’s Screen Time.” In other words, principals have pretty incoherent beliefs about ed-tech.

    Via Pew Research: “The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World.”

    Wrench in the Gears’ Allison McDowell traces the business and politics of ed-tech in North Dakota.

    Techcrunch examines what venture capitalists studied in college.

    Via Edsurge: “New Report Sheds Light on Higher Ed’s Innovation Challenges.”

    Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Comparing the First Ten Years of Blackboard and Instructure in LMS Market.” (Psst. Phil. I’d love to see a comparison between Pluralsight and Lynda.com.)

    Via Campus Technology: “Report: It’s Time for Ed Tech to Tackle the Adult Learner.” The report comes from the Department of Education and Luminary Labs. Ed-tech has always addressed this, particularly since so much of its roots are in military training, but hey.

    “The NYT Says We’re Forgetting About the Holocaust. History suggests otherwise,” says Slate’s Rebecca Onion.

    Via Chalkbeat: “One big upside of career and tech programs? They push more kids to graduate.”

    “Why collective action is the wrong approach for developing personalized learning teachers,” says the Clayton Christensen Institute. It’s interesting that the phrase “collective action” was used here, which in my mind implies teachers’ unions; this article actually says that teachers shouldn’t even collaborate.

    Research from S. Trenholm, B. Hajek, C.L. Robinson, M. Chinnappan, A. Albrecht, and H. Ashman: “Investigating undergraduate mathematics learners’ cognitive engagement with recorded lecture videos.”

    Via Campus Technology: “Study Finds Flipped Classroom Model Does Not Improve Grades in Health Science Course.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How Are Black Colleges Doing? Better Than You Think, Study Finds.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Facebook Says It Will Help Academics Use Its Data. Here’s How That’s Supposed to Work.”

    Via Education Week: “Pearson Tested ‘Social-Psychological’ Messages in Learning Software, With Mixed Results.” Gizmodo also picked up the story: “Pearson Embedded a ‘Social-Psychological’ Experiment in Students’ Educational Software [Updated].” From MIT’s Justin Reich: “Five Answers About EdTech Experiments: A Response to Benjamin Herold.”

    Via Education Dive: “America ‘still a nation at risk,’ education experts say.” Honestly, you’re not much of an expert if you think A Nation at Risk was much more than a highly politicized narrative criticizing the state of public education to make a specific political point – that is, a “study” with a predetermined outcome and one based on flawed statistics. And we wonder why no one trusts “experts.”

    Icon credits: The Noun Project


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    Yes, I went to ASU+GSV – my first time at the event in the event’s nine year history. It was everything y’all said it would be. Truly.

    I was there on a reporting trip, as part of the research I’m doing as a Spencer Fellow. I’m also working on a magazine article that’ll come out this fall on education technology and venture capital. Some of the questions I’ve wanted answered: how do VCs “know things” about ed-tech? Who do they listen to, what stories do they hear, and what stories do they tell in turn? VCs often speak of having an “investment thesis” – a strategy for why they fund certain companies. But I’m curious how one forms that thesis in education.

    I don’t want to write too much that will take away from the article I’m writing, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t make a couple of observations about the theses that get formed at a place like ASU+GSV.

    The agenda of the Summit was certainly designed so that some sessions appealed to investors and entrepreneurs while others were aimed at the educators in attendance. (And those were mostly administrators and administrative staff, I’d say, rather than classroom teachers.) Many people told me beforehand that “investors don’t go to sessions.” Investors go to the event for private meetings. They go to play golf. “All the buzz is outside,” I overheard one entrepreneur say to another. Fair enough. There were a couple of sessions that were well-attended by investors, which I duly noted (including one lead by “one of the all time great entrepreneurs in the education space,” as GSV’s Michael Moe described him – someone who has, by my calculations, lost investors millions and millions of dollars).

    As I listened to the stories told from the various stages – in sessions and in keynotes – I also started to think about the ways in which educators (particularly administrators) and not just VCs were being prompted by the event to develop a certain “investment thesis.”

    This happens all the time, of course, and not just at “business of education” conferences. Remember, if you will, the insistence from the University of Virginia Board of Visitors that school was missing the “coming MOOC tsunami” based on columns they’d read in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Stories about the future of education – particularly a future that is a more market-oriented, technological endeavor – are ubiquitous. They are relayed by influential storytellers.

    And they are full of inaccuracies and misinformation.

    At ASU+GSV, I heard plenty of invocations about “digital natives” and “learning styles.” “Society is evolving at a faster and faster rate.” “Technology is moving faster than it’s ever moved before.” There was all the usual talk of job-stealing robots and the “jobs that don’t exist yet.”

    Lest you think the speakers just repeat sorts of these made-up stories and statistics, I suppose it’s worth noting that Angela Duckworth did point out in her keynote that the “10,000 rule,” popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, is not quite true. But by and large, the kinds of pithy claims you find in the kind of non-fiction books that Gladwell writes and the kind that they sell at airports seems to have been accepted as Scripture. When it comes to education research, unassailable truth is to be found in Benjamin Bloom’s decades-old work – taxonomies and two sigmas. “We know it works.” “We know it matters.” Bloom says so.

    I heard someone say that learning math is different than any other subject because math is made of “building blocks.” I heard someone claim that kids learn everything from YouTube these days so they don’t need what’s taught in school.

    I heard the CEO of edX claim the phrase “data science” didn’t exist a decade ago. (Wikipedia actually traces it back to 1997.)

    I heard the former CEO of Kaplan say “hundreds if not thousands of colleges will close in the coming years.”

    I heard three different people repeat that old Arthur C. Clarke adage that “any teacher who can be replaced by a machine should be.”

    I heard someone from Facebook relay the ol’ “founded in a Harvard dorm room” tale and then contend that “education is at our core. It’s at the true foundation of what the platform was invented for.”

    I heard an Australian entrepreneur tell a packed room that “up ‘til two years ago, Australia didn’t do anything related to ed-tech.“ I couldn’t decide if I wanted to scream at him ”Have you ever heard of the Methodist Ladies’ College?” (The Melbourne school was the site, over 25 years ago, of the first one-to-one laptop program ever.) Or “Guess which country the most popular LMS in the world, first developed in the late 1990s, came from?

    I wanted to do a lot of screaming at the event, I confess.

    But I didn’t want to just scream at the investors and entrepreneurs about the misinformation they heard and they spread. I wanted to scream at all those reporters and all those pundits who uncritically repeat these stories too and at all those educators who readily take it all in.