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The History of the Future of Education Technology
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  • 08/04/17--05:00: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    The New York Times broke the story this week that “Justice Dept. to Take On Affirmative Action in College Admissions.” And by “take on,” that means “investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.”

    (It would be pretty great if the DOJ would investigate how legacy admissions and big donations let mediocre white applicants like Donald Trump and Jared Kushner get into Ivy League schools.)

    As the week went on the story changed slightly…

    Via NPR: “DOJ Looks Into Whether Harvard Discriminates Against Asian-Americans.” More via Buzzfeed and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “What You Need to Know About Race-Conscious Admissions in 2017.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “On Affirmative Action, Candice Jackson Said Civil-Rights Office Would Not ‘Push a Social Agenda’.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Arne Duncan criticizes Betsy DeVos on civil rights, says she hasn’t asked for his advice.” I mean…

    In other Arne news, Chalkbeat also reports that “‘I think that’s blood money’: Arne Duncan pushed charters to reject funds from Trump admin if budget cuts approved.”

    Politico reports that the Department of Education has reached a deal with the US Marshals Service to continue providing protection for Betsy DeVos. The cost for the services from her appointment through September 30: $7.78 million. In the past, Secretaries of Education have just used the department’s own force.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Federal Sex-Assault Investigations Are Being Resolved More Often. These 11 Cases Show How.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Senate Passes GI Bill Update.”

    “Republicans try to take cheap phones and broadband away from poor people,” Ars Technica reports. “The legislation filed on Friday targets Lifeline, which is a Universal Service Fund program paid for by surcharges on phone bills. If the bill passes, low-income Americans would no longer be able to use $9.25 monthly subsidies toward cellular phone service or mobile broadband. The subsidies would still be available for landline phone service.”

    More on Trump’s proposed immigration policies in the immigration section below. More on the Department of Education’s student loan forgiveness (or lack thereof) in the student loan section below.

    Japan Might Be What Equality in Education Looks Like,” says The Atlantic’s Alana Semuels.

    Via the BBC: “How Canada became an education superpower.”

    From the press release: “174 organisations worldwide call investors to cease support to American chain of schools Bridge International Academies.”

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    “The Campus-Speech Debate Spends Summer Break in Statehouses,” according to The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf.

    Via NPR: “New Florida Law Lets Residents Challenge School Textbooks.” What could possibly go wrong?

    Via EdSource: “Cal State drops intermediate algebra as requirement to take some college-level math courses.”

    The Hechinger Report reports on the HOPE Scholarship program in Georgia and asks why a huge surplus in funds isn’t being spent to help more students with financial aid.

    Via NPR: “Illinois Governor Vetoes Education Funding Plan.”

    Immigration and Education

    Via The Washington Post: “ He went to ICE to tell agents he had gotten into college. Now he and his brother have been deported.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A bill backed by President Trump and announced Wednesday aims to reduce overall legal immigration by half while putting in place a new points-based system for applicants for employment-based green cards that would privilege graduates of American universities.”

    Education in the Courts

    Via Buzzfeed: “This 8-Year-Old Transgender Girl Is Suing Her Private School For Discrimination.”

    Via The New York Times: “Harassment Suit Against a Stanford Dean Is Rejected.”

    A ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union raises interesting questions about the ownership of student data: “Exam scripts and examiner’s corrections are personal data of the exam candidate.”

    Testing, Testing…

    From the Khan Academy blog: “Khan Academy is the Official Practice Partner for AP.” This is the second major partnership the organization has made with the College Board, as Khan Academy is also its test prep site of choice for the SAT.

    Via Mindshift: “AP Computer Science Principles Attract Diverse Students With Real-World Problems.”

    “Free College”

    Rhode Island’s new state budget makes community college tuition-free for new high school graduates who enroll full-time and maintain a 2.5 or higher grade point average,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    The Business of Student Loans

    Via NPR: “New Fears For Public Service Loan Forgiveness.”

    Via The New York Times: “DeVos Abandons Plan to Allow One Company to Service Federal Student Loans.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Coding Bootcamps Won’t Save Us All,” Edsurge informs us.

    Edsurge also wants you to know that “​More Bootcamps Are Quietly Coming to a University Near You.”

    The Next Web reports that coding bootcamp Coding Dojo will no longer teach Ruby on Rails. It will teach Java instead.

    Buzzfeed’s Molly Hensley-Clancy looks at the acquisition of EDMC– the parent company of the Art Institutes chain – by The Dream Center Foundation, a network of Christian missionary centers.

    The for-profit Charlotte School of Lawsays it might get its access to federal financial aid restored.

    Via the Indianapolis Business Journal: “Legal skirmishes break out over ITT documents, data.”

    Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

    Via Edsurge: “As In-Person Bootcamps Falter, Codecademy Introduces Paid Online Options.” Codecademy, Edsurge contends, is now a competitor to Coursera and Udacity.

    Pretty sure this is the best MOOC story of the week: “Russian Underground Launches Online Courses in Card Fraud,” Infosecurity Group reports.

    Via Business Insider: “Online learning may be the future of education – we compared 4 platforms that are leading the way.” Not sure why these are the four, but there you go: Udemy, Lynda, Coursera, and Skillshare.

    Via Edsurge: “‘Not Everyone Is Built for It’: Students Offer Their Take on Virtual Schooling.”

    Meanwhile on Campus…

    As part of its back-to-school series, The New York Times looks atdeath threats and protests as professors’ statements about race and politics go viral.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “In Charlottesville, UVa Grapples With Its History and the Alt-Right.”

    “For the first time in Harvard University’s history, the majority of students accepted into the incoming freshman class are not white,” The Boston Globe reports.

    Inside Higher Ed reports thatNational University is working to create a personalized education platform that combines three of the buzziest innovations in higher education – adaptive learning, competency-based learning and predictive analytics for student retention.”

    Via The Wall Street Journal: “Urban Colleges Move Into K–12 Schools to Help Kids and Themselves.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The University of California, Irvine, announced Wednesday that most of those whose admissions offers were revoked last month will in fact be admitted. The announcement follows anger at the news that about 500 acceptances were revoked last month, leaving students scrambling to find college options. The university said that the unusually high number of revoked acceptances had no relationship to the news that about 800 more freshmen were planning to enroll in the fall than Irvine had expected.”

    School mergers are hard.

    Via KPCC: “Vaccination rates in California schools reached an all-time high last school year, but one subset of public schools still appears to be lagging behind: charter schools.”

    Accreditation and Certification

    The Michigan Department of Education is phasing out teaching endorsements in 12 subjects, including computer science.

    From the HR Department

    “A Caltech Professor Who Harassed Two Female Students Has Resigned,” Buzzfeed’s Azeen Ghorayshi reports. (And it is thanks, in no small part, to her reporting on Christian Ott in the first place.)

    Barbara Means and Jeremy Roschelle have left **SRI International **and joined Digital Promise, where they’ll create a new research center, Edsurge reports.

    Renaissance has a new CEO: Daniel Hamburger, formerly CEO of the for-profit college chain DeVry.

    Peter Oppenheim has been confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs, the first appointment confirmed to the Department of Education since DeVos became Secretary.

    Via The Seattle Times: “UW researcher Michael Katze fired after sexual-harassment investigation.” UW here is the University of Washington.

    Zuckerberg hires former Clinton pollster Joel Benenson,” Politico reports. Totally not running for President, is he.

    The Business of Job Training

    Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has an op-ed in The NYT lamenting the lack of child labor or something: “What to Do With the Kids This Summer? Put ’Em to Work.”

    Via Techcrunch: “LinkedIn is rolling out a free service to pair users with mentors.”

    Via Edsurge: “Not All Career and Technical Education Programs Are Created Equal.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?asks Jean Twenge in The Atlantic.

    Will ‘Publish or Perish’ Become ‘Clicks or Canned’?asks Edsurge.

    Has the Game Really Changed?asks Edsurge, with “Notes From the 2017 Games for Change Festival.”

    (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: “Apple iPad Sales to Schools Jump 32%, Selling 1M Tablets in Fiscal Q3 2017.”

    Via Techcrunch: “Mystery Science partners with Google to bring eclipse glasses to elementary school students.”

    From the Pearson blog: “The future of language learning: Augmented reality vs virtual reality.”

    “A New Way for Therapists to Get Inside Heads: Virtual Reality,” says The New York Times. Great.

    The Global Times reporting from China: “Schools adopt VR, among other technologies, to instill correct ideology in students.”

    VR company AltSpaceVR is shutting down.

    “The Spotify of the textbook world takes off as Bibliotech is go,” says Jisc. (Pro tip: do not compare your education product or idea with commercial tech, particularly companies with exploitative practices and/or shoddy businesses.)

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Barnes & Noble Education has joined an alliance of publishers and distributors taking steps to stop the sale of illegally copied textbooks.”

    Stephen Downes gives an update ongRSShopper in a Box.”

    “For, Training Computer Science Teachers Isn’t Really About Computer Science,” says Education Week. (Spoiler alert: it’s about learning how to teach differently.)

    Personalized learning is anything you want it to be.

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

    Via ELearning Inside: “Amazon’s Alexa: Your Next Teacher.”

    The New York Times offers advice on “How to Prepare Preschoolers for an Automated Economy.” Make them learn to code, of course.

    Edsurge has“Real Questions About Artificial Intelligence in Education.” As opposed to fake questions, I guess.

    Via Pacific Standard: “How Artificial Intelligence Could Benefit Those in Empathy-Centric Professions.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    NewSchools Venture Fund says it has $8 million in “new funding opportunities” for “creating innovative district and charter schools,” “building technology tools to better support student learning,” and “cultivating pipelines of diverse leaders in educaiton.”

    Via The Cut: “Rihanna Is Sponsoring a Bike-Share Program So Girls in Malawi Can Go to School.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    Hustle has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Social Capital, Canvas Ventures, Designer Fund, Foundation Capital, GSV Acceleration, Higher Ground Labs, Index Ventures, Kapor Capital, Matrix Partners, New Media Ventures, Omidyar Network, Salesforce Ventures, and Twilio. The messaging app has raised $11 million total. (It’s not clear to me that this is ed-tech, even though Edsurge covers the investment – failing to disclose, of course, that it shares two investors with Hustle: GSV and the Omidyar Network.)

    Sawyer has raised $6 million from Advance Venture Partners, 3311 Ventures, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Collaborative Fund, and Female Founders Fund. The company, which helps parents find classes for their children, has raised $8 million total.

    Course recommendation app Chalkboard Education has raised $235,440 in seed funding from the Jacobs FOundation.

    Elsevier has acquiredbepress. As The Scholarly Kitchen’s Roger Schonfeld writes, “Elsevier is now a major if not the foremost single player in the institutional repository landscape. If successful, and there are some risks, this acquisition will position Elsevier as an increasingly dominant player in preprints, continuing its march to adopt and coopt open access.”

    ACT has invested $10.5 million in the venture firm New Markets Venture Partners.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    Disney’s Next Movie Could Be Watching You, Too,” says Fast Company. Facial recognition to gauge audience reaction. Oh think of the ed-tech possibilities.

    Lots of ed-tech possibilities in this one too, via Bloomberg: “This app tells you when you’re depressed. Who else does it tell?”

    Via Education Week: “COPPA and Schools: The (Other) Federal Student Privacy Law, Explained.”

    Via School Transportation News: “How Predictive Analytics Can Help the School Bus Industry.”

    Via Campus Technology: “A team of researchers from New York University (NYU), University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Google estimates that victims of ransomware have paid out more than $25 million over the last two years.”

    Via The San Francisco Examiner: “Possible Russian hackers may have targeted SFSU student data.”

    More on an online class, offered by Russian hackers, on credit card fraud in the MOOC section above.

    Data and “Research”

    “The Business of Ed-Tech: July 2017 Funding Data” – my latest calculations of the amount of venture funding in ed-tech.

    Via Education Dive: “Report: Ed tech innovation a growing field for private contracting.” Oh good grief.

    “What role does research play in EdTech decision-making?” asks the WCET blog.

    Via the BBC: “Playing brain games‘of little benefit’, say experts.”

    Via Mindshift: “What Works For Getting Kids to Enjoy Reading?” (An excerpt from Daniel Willingham’s new book.)

    Via Mindshift: “Autism Symptoms are Less Obvious in Girls and May Lead to Underdiagnosis.”

    Via The 74: “Reports of bullying and violence in America’s public schools are on the decline, according to a report published Thursday by the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics.”

    Also from the NCES, a report on “Change in Number and Types of Postsecondary Institutions: 2000 to 2014.”

    Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum with more research on vouchers and “choice.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Do charter schools hurt their neighboring schools? A new study of New York City schools says no – they help.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Universities With the Highest Research-and-Development Spending Financed by Business, FY 2015.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “New study finds 13 percent of community college students lack the food and nutrition they need.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Survey of voting bloc that favored Trump finds skepticism about value of higher education.”

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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  • 08/11/17--07:00: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    The AP interviews US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who laments “she didn’t decry racism enough.”

    Via Politico: “New marching orders from Betsy DeVos’ civil rights chief have the Education Department churning through civil rights complaints. The department has closed more than 1,500 complaints of discrimination at the nation’s schools – including dismissing more than 900 outright — in the two months since Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson took steps she said were aimed at reducing a massive backlog.”

    Via Education Week: “ESSA Point Man Jason Botel to Leave Education Dept. Post, Sources Say.” Before joining the Trump administration, Botel had founded a KIPP school in Baltimore.

    Via Education Week: “E-Rate, Other Universal-Service Funds to Be Transferred to U.S. Treasury.”

    Via The New York Times: “Britain Turns to Chinese Textbooks to Improve Its Math Scores.”

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    Via The New York Times: “Daniel Loeb, a Cuomo Donor, Makes Racial Remark About Black Leader.” Loeb is the chairman of the Success Academy charter school chain.

    Via The NY Daily News: “Critics slam $669G contract for former NYC school official’s math program.” That’s Joel Rose’s School of One software.

    Via The LA Times: “Former L.A. schools food guru charged with mishandling district funds.” David Binkle, that is, LAUSD’s former food services director.

    Via The New York Times: New York governor “Cuomo to Give Colleges $7 Million for Courses in Prisons.”

    Chicago Public Schools will lay off 950 employees.

    Via The Chicago Sun Times: “Chance the Rapper pushing to #supportCPS.”

    Immigration and Education

    Via Buzzfeed: “More Chinese Students Are Coming To US High Schools To Get Into American Colleges.”

    Via The Intercept: “These Are the Technology Firms Lining Up to Build Trump’s ‘Extreme Vetting’ Program.”

    Education in the Courts

    Not really ed-tech-related, except for all those companies saying they’re “Uber for education.” Via The New York Times: “Uber Investor Sues Travis Kalanick for Fraud.”

    Not really ed-tech related, except that Vinod Khosla is a venture capitalist. (His education portfolio.) Via The Mercury News: “Court orders tech billionaire to open up Martins Beach.”

    Via Vulture: “LeVar Burton Sued for Using His Reading Rainbow Catchphrase on His Podcast.”

    Via The Verge: “Disney sued for allegedly spying on children through 42 gaming apps.”

    Via Gamasutra: “Parents take Subway Surfers devs to court over alleged misuse of kids’ data.”

    Via The Atlantic: “The JCC Bomb-Threat Suspect Had a Client.” Michael Kadar, who’s been accused of making over two hundred threats to Jewish Community Centers and schools, offered his services online: $30 to email a bomb threat to a school.

    Via The Wall Street Journal: “Judge Rejects Bankrupt Woman’s Bid to Cancel $333,423 Student Loan Bill.”

    Testing, Testing…

    The Chronicle of Higher Education reads“New Venture Will Offer Free Courses That Students Can Take for College Credit.” The courses are for AP exams, which some colleges do count for credit, I suppose and are being offered through Modern States Education Alliance, which is run by Steven Klinsky, a private equity firm.

    Via The New York Times: “More Law Schools Begin Accepting GRE Test Results.”

    The Business of Student Loans on how the student loan industry and higher ed institutions spend their lobbying dollars: “The politics behind your college and how you pay for it.”

    Trump’s Student-Loan Plan Could Be A Great Deal For Undergrads,” says Buzzfeed– as long as you’re not poor.

    Via The New York Times: “$78,000 of Debt for a Harvard Theater Degree.”

    More on student loans in the for-profit higher ed section below and the court section above.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Purdue-Kaplan online university one step closer to reality,” the Journal & Courier reports. More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Via The New York Times: “U.S. to Help Remove Debt Burden for Students Defrauded by For-Profit Chain.” That is, for the 36,000 students who attended Wilfred American Education Corporation’s beauty and secretary schools.

    Via The Atlantic: “The Future of a Once-Doomed Law School.” That’s the for-profit Charlotte School of Law, which might be “saved by Trump-era regulatory rollbacks.”

    “The Obama administration shut down Globe U, but an affiliated university bought four of its Wisconsin campuses with the backing of the Trump administration and a state regulator with a tough reputation on for-profits,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “2-Pronged Strategy Against ‘Gainful’ Rule.”

    Via Reuters: “Some U.S. coding boot camps stumble in a crowded field.”

    Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

    Via Edsurge: “Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera, Returns to MOOC Teaching With New AI Course.” More via Wired.

    Harvard will offer a new, online business analytics certificate program through 2U. Edsurge has a story about this too– no disclosure that John Katzman, one of the founders of 2U, is an Edsurge investor.

    Meanwhile on Campus…

    Via the Dallas News: “Self-published ‘Pepe the Frog’ kids’ book is conservative but not alt-right, Denton ISD admin says.” JFC, can you imagine having to send your kid to this principal’s school?!

    “Who’s Taking College Spots From Top Asian Americans?” asks ProPublica. “Privileged Whites.”

    Chalkbeat onvouchers in Indiana: “Choice for most: In nation’s largest voucher program, $16 million went to schools with anti-LGBT policies.”

    The New York Times on “mastery based learning: “A New Kind of Classroom: No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry.”

    Inside Higher Ed profiles career and technical education at Arkansas State University Newport: “Men Flock to Short-Term Career Ed.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The University of Texas at Austin has unveiled Stampede2, said to be the most powerful supercomputer at any campus in the U.S.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Marygrove College to Eliminate All Undergraduate Programs.”

    Holy shit. “Iowa State University seeks 7 percent annual tuition hike for each of next 5 years,” The Des Moines Register reports.

    Sara Goldrick-Rab recommends professors put a statement about “basic needs security” on their syllabi.

    Accreditation and Certification

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “$147,000 for a One-Year Master’s? In Journalism?” A master of science in data journalism from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. (Disclosure: I’m heading to the school in a couple of weeks for a Spencer Fellowship, which pays me, thank god.)

    The University of Maine at Presque Isle has created an online, competency-based degree aimed at adult students,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Go, School Sports Team!

    An op-ed in The LA Times: “Josh Rosen is right to question the value of student-athletes’ education.” Rosen is UCLA’s quarterback.

    Recommended viewing: Last Chance Uon Netflix. Season Two was recently released.

    Via NPR: “NCAA Will Require Athletes And Coaches To Complete Sexual Violence Education.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Big-Time Sports Programs Tighten Rules on Athletes With Sexual-Assault Records.”

    The Google Memo

    I’m putting this into its own category. It’s part an HR story, but it’s also a culture of tech story. And if you think it has nothing to do with education, I don’t even know what to say to you.

    Via Motherboard: “Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral’.”

    Via Wired: “Internal Messages Show Some Googlers Supported Fired Engineer’s Manifesto.”

    Via The Guardian’s Julie Carrie Wong: “Segregated Valley: the ugly truth about Google and diversity in tech.”

    “A Googler’s Would-Be Manifesto Reveals Tech’s Rotten Coreby Ian Bogost.

    Via Gizmodo: “Fired Google Memo Writer Took Part in Controversial, ‘Sexist’ Skit While at Harvard for Which Administration Issued Formal Apology.”

    Via Recode: “Google CEO Sundar Pichai canceled an all-hands meeting about gender controversy due to employee worries of online harassment.”

    From the HR Department

    ISTE has hiredJoseph South as its Chief Learning Officer. South previously worked at the US Department of Education and K12 Inc.

    The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s CTO, Brian Pinkerton, is leaving the company.

    “​Pearson to Lay Off 3,000 More Employees,” says Edsurge.

    The Business of Job Training

    Via the Coursera blog: “What’s Next in Employee Learning: Virtual Reality.”

    Via The New York Times: “At Walmart Academy, Training Better Managers. But With a Better Future?”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “McDonald’s brings a flexible approach and free career and college advising to its tuition assistance program, which is aimed in part at keeping employees on the job longer.”

    “In the push to expand ‘earn-while-you-learn’ programs, what lessons can the U.S. take from approaches in Germany and Switzerland?” asks Inside Higher Ed.

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    Is a Spotify approach the future of curriculum?asks Education Dive.

    Will blockchain change the face of K–12 record storage and tracking?asks Education Dive.

    Can Minecraft Camp Help Open Up The Tech World To Low-Income Kids?asks Mindshift.

    (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

    Larry Cuban on personalized learning: part 1 and part 2.

    Jen Howard on“What Happened to Google’s Effort to Scan Millions of University Library Books?”

    Via Techcrunch: “Sony wants to digitize education records using the blockchain.”

    “‘Schoolifying’ Minecraft Without Ruining It” by NPR’s Anya Kamenetz.

    The Wall Street Journal predicts“The End of Typing: The Next Billion Mobile Users Will Rely on Video and Voice.” I mean, as long as data isn’t an issue and tech companies can build voice recognition software that recognizes languages other than English and accents other than Californian.

    The Internet Archive’s Jason Scott on“Celebrating 30 Years of HyperCard.”

    The Chronicle of Higher Education on Elsevier“becoming a data company.”

    “The Culture Wars Have Come to Silicon Valley,” The New York Times pronounces, with a look at internal tussles between Facebook board members Peter Thiel and Reed Hastings.

    Peter Thiel Has Been Hedging His Bet On Donald Trump,” Buzzfeed claims.

    Phil Hill on an “LMS Revival: D2L picking up new customers and showing they can listen.”

    The Giant Inflatable Trump Chicken of Ed Techby Michael Feldstein.

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “‘Driverless’ Van Turns Out to Be Va. Tech Researcher Costumed as Car Seat.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    Wired argues thatJeff Bezos Should Put His Billions Into Libraries.” It reminded me, not of Carnegie who the article mentions, but of Gates, who initially started funding libraries – public and collective access to digital technologies – before turning to school reform and “personalized learning” efforts.

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    Tinkergarten has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding from Owl Ventures, Omidyar Network, and Reach Capital. The company has $8.3 million total.

    The private equity firm Thoma Bravo has acquiredFrontline Education.

    Impero Software has been acquired by Investment Technology Partners which paid $36.3 million.

    Barnes & Noble Education has acquiredStudent Brands, which includes the Cram and StudyMode homework help sites.

    I missed this news back in February: CheggacquiredRefMe.

    More from EdWeek’s Market Brief on ACT’s investment last week in the venture firm New Markets Venture Partners.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    NIST has changes its recommendations for passwords.

    Via Arkansas Online: “License plate readers at University of Arkansas to be delayed.”

    Via Education Week: “Risky Practices With Students’ Data Security Are Common, Survey Suggests.”

    Data and “Research”

    ProPublica has updated its “Nonprofit Explorer,” which provides financial data on tax-exempt organizations. Khan Academy, for example, had $27.9 million in revenue in 2015, and its executive compensation was $2.8 million.

    Via The Verge: “Kik has become ‘the defacto app’ for child predators, according to an investigative report.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Most competency-based education programs remain nascent, highly localized and of limited size, according a new report from Eduventures, Ellucian and the American Council on Education.”

    “How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education” – a new report from Getting Smart.

    Via Campus Technology: “Report: VR and AR to Double Each Year Through 2021.” Yeah, I’ll be watching this prediction.

    “There are 2.4 million fewer college students than there were five years ago,” says Hechinger Report, proving a map to visualize the demographic shift.

    Via Axios: “Wall Street outpaces Silicon Valley on gender equality.”

    Via Campus Technology: “This academic year, the average cost of college students’ required course materials dropped to $579, down from $602 last year and $701 in 2007–2008, according to a new report from the National Association of College Stores.”

    The Pew Research Center on the future of trust online.

    Via The New York Times: “A Few Telling Freshman Trends.”

    A report from The Century Foundation on outsourcing and ed-tech: “The Private Side of Public Higher Education.” (Here’s IHE’s coverage.)

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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  • 08/18/17--04:15: Hack Education Weekly News
  • Charlottesville and UVA

    Hundreds of white supremacistsmarched at the University of Virginia campus Friday night, carrying torches and chanting “blood and soil.” On Saturday, the Unite the Right rally met again in the streets of Charlottesville. A counter protester was killed when a white nationalist allegedly ran his car into a crowd of people.

    President Trump did not condemn the violence of the white supremacists. Instead he blamed “both sides,” later insisting that “very fine people” were marching with the neo-Nazis.

    There’s more on white nationalists on campus in the “meanwhile on campus” section below.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “As White Supremacists Wreak Havoc, a University Becomes a Crisis Center.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “As UVa’s Leaders Equivocate, Professors Shine an Ethical Light.”

    UVA’s Siva Vaidhyanathan in The New York Times: “Why the Nazis Came to Charlottesville.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “UVa Employee Suffers a Stroke After Campus Clash With White Supremacists.”

    Via The LA Times: “Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say.”

    An op-ed in The LA Times: “What UVA did wrong when white supremacists came to campus.”

    Tennessee’s former education commissioner called on Betsy DeVos to resign as the nation’s education chief Thursday because of her boss’s ambivalent response to racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia,” Chalkbeat reports.

    Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ first response – two tweets, inititally – just talked about “hate-filled rhetoric,” but she sent an email to her staff on Thursday that was more forceful. Via Chalkbeat: “In departure from Trump, Betsy DeVos calls out ‘racist bigots’ in Charlottesville.” Her note did not mention Trump. Actions, of course, speak louder than words.

    “Nazis in Charlottesville” by UVA’s Daniel Willingham.

    Via NPR: “Resources For Educators To Use In The Wake Of Charlottesville.”

    “7 Ways Teachers Can Respond to the Evil of Charlottesville, Starting Now” by Xian Franzinger Barrett.

    Tune into the Contrafabulists podcast this weekend, when Kin Lane and I will discuss the response (or lack thereof) from the tech industry, including Cloudflare, Spotify, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Google, the EFF, and others.

    (Other National) Education Politics

    “Transcript of Education Secretary DeVos’ Interview with AP” – via the AP, of course.

    “How Did ‘Copyright Piracy’ Language Get Into ESSA, the K–12 Law?” asks Education Week.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “President Trump Wednesday signed an update of the Post–9/11 GI Bill into law after the bipartisan legislation swiftly made it out of both chambers of Congress.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “In a letter sent today to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, asked for information about the work of senior counsel Robert Eitel to determine if he broke conflict-of-interest laws.” Eitel was an exec at Bridgepoint Education.

    Via Pacific Standard: “The Afterlife of Big Ideas in Education Reform.”

    More about (US) national education politics and policies in the student loan section and for-profit higher ed sections below.

    Meanwhile, in the UK: “Learndirect training contract withdrawn over standards concerns,” the BBC reports. “Learndirect, which offers apprenticeships and adult training at sites across England, is responsible for almost 73,000 trainees and employs more than 1,600 staff.”

    (Other State and Local) Education Politics

    Via The Buffalo News: “Carl Paladino’s polarizing time on [the Buffalo NY] School Board comes to an end.” “Polarizing” is a nice way of putting it, I suppose.

    Via Politico: “Following months of criticism, Eva Moskowitz distances herself from Trump.” Moskowitz is the head of the Success Academy chain of charter schools.

    Via the AP: “A new Tennessee law requiring public school districts to provide student data to charter schools faces its first tests with pushback from districts.”

    Immigration and Education

    “Five Years In, What’s Next For DACA?” asks NPR’s Claudio Sanchez.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Law Professions: ‘No Question’ DACA is Legal.”

    Education in the Courts

    From a press release issued by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York: “Individual Who Compromised Over 1,000 Email Accounts At A New York City University Pleads Guilty.”

    Via The New York Times: “Another Silicon Valley Start-Up Faces Sexual Harassment Claims.” This time, it’s SoFi, a private student loan provider.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Lawsuits From Students Accused of Sex Assault Cost Many Colleges More Than $200,000.”

    Testing, Testing…

    PARCC Inc, best known as one of the Common Core test-makers, is “moving in a new direction,” Politico reports. The new focus: “classroom tools and services geared toward school districts.”

    The Business of Student Loans

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking a proposed settlement against Aequitas Capital Management for assisting Corinthian Colleges with providing private loans to its students.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    The Charlotte School of Law has closed its doors. Story via Inside Higher Ed.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “U.S. Continues to Delay, Soften Gainful-Employment Rules.”

    Via Vice: “Trump’s ‘Forever GI Bill’ won’t stop for-profit schools from preying on vets.”

    Via Bloomberg: “This Coding School Wants Graduates to Share Their Income.” That’s the New York Code and Design Academy, which is owned by Strayer Education.

    App Academy, another bootcamp that uses income-sharing agreements in lieu of tuition, reportedly announced in an email this week that it would move from a percentage of income – 18% of graduates’ first year salary – to a flat fee: $28,000.

    Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Cumulative Growth in Number of MOOCs, 2011–17.”

    Meanwhile (Elsewhere) on Campus…

    White Nationalists Are The New Face Of Campus Free Speech,” says Buzzfeed.

    Via The New York Times: “After Charlottesville Violence, Colleges Brace for More Clashes.”

    Since the events at UVA last weekend, several universities have declined white nationalists’ requests to hold events on their campuses. These include Michigan State University, University of Florida, Louisiana State University, and Texas A&M.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “When Your Students Attend White Supremacist Rallies.”

    Via the Southern Poverty Law Center: “The Alt-Right On Campus: What Students Need To Know.”

    “Have You Experienced or Witnessed a Hate Crime or Bias Incident?” asks Education Week, which has joined the Documenting Hate project.

    An interactive from Politico: “Symbols of the Confederacy still dot the South.” This includes some 109 public schools named for Confederate icons. “Of these schools, nearly 25 percent have a student body that is primarily black.”

    Via NPR: “Ethnic Studies: A Movement Born Of A Ban.”

    Via NPR: “High-Achieving, Low-Income Students: Where Elite Colleges Are Falling Short.”

    Via Boing Boing: “School to parents: a $100 donation gets your kids to the front of the lunch line.”

    “In some districts, free summer ‘crash courses’ are trying to meet the needs of students who can’t afford to attend traditional pre-K programs,” The Atlantic reports.

    Accreditation and Certification

    Via Education Week: “Records show five more administrators in an Ohio school district could lose their state educator licenses in connection with an investigation that found student data was falsified to improve district performance ratings.”

    Via The Atlantic: “The Onerous, Arbitrary, Unaccountable World of Occupational Licensing.”

    From the HR Department

    Via The Houston Chronicle: “Texas assistant principal reassigned after writing alt-right kids’ book.”

    “The superintendent of one of the nation’s largest online charter schools is retiring amid its court battle with Ohio officials over at least $60 million in disputed funding,” the AP reports. That’s Rick Teeters, head of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

    The Business of Job Training

    Via Edsurge: “Nonprofit Bootcamps Want to Make Coding Accessible to Low-Income Learners.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Purdue University unveiled another outside-the-box move Thursday, announcing a five-year deal with one of India’s largest technology outsourcing firms, Infosys, under which the university will perform joint research and provide training and classes for the company’s employees.”

    Via Techcrunch: “UPS is developing virtual reality tech to train its drivers.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    Are pre-K ‘cram courses’ an adequate substitute for full programs?asks Education Dive.

    (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

    Me in The Baffler on“How Silicon Valley’s brand of behaviorism has entered the classroom.” Featuring ClassDojo and HeroK12.

    Via Edsurge: “Software Helps Instructors Stop Mangling Hard-to-Pronounce Student Names.”

    Via The New York Times: “Cambridge University Press Removes Academic Articles on Chinese Site.”

    Mindwire Consulting’s Michael Feldstein reports from BbWorld: “Blackboard May Be Turning Around.”

    “What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Social And Emotional Skills’?” asks Mindshift.

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

    Via MIT Technology Review: “Growing Up with Alexa.”

    Via The Atlantic: “The Value of Bringing Drones to the Classroom.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    Zuoyebang, a tutoring app owned by Baidu, has raised $150 million in Series C funding from H Capital, GGV Capital, Legend Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Mauritius Fund, and Xianghe Capital. The subsidiary has raised $210 million total.

    Lightneer has raised $5 million in seed funding from Reach Capital, Brighteye Ventures, GSV Acceleration, and IPR.VC. The educational game-maker has raised $9.04 million total.

    Curriculum maker Activate Learning has acquired curriculum maker IT’S ABOUT TIME.

    Harris School Solutions has acquiredJR3 WebSmart.

    Andrew Ng is raising a $150M AI Fund,” Techcrunch reports.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    “2017 Data Breaches Hit Half-Year Record High,” says the Identity Theft Resource Center. Breaches in education account for 11% of these.

    “Everything’s Bigger in Texas ... Including (Maybe) the Data Breaches,” says EdTech Strategies’ Doug Levin.

    Via Fox Business: “Texas schools create high-tech ID badges to track students on buses.”

    Edsurge on data interoperability.

    Via GeekWire: “Alexa goes to college: Amazon and Arizona State putting 1,600 Echo Dots in dorm rooms.” What happens to students’ data here?!

    From the Future of Privacy Forum: “Location Controls in iOS 11 Highlight the Role of Platforms.”

    Via Go To Hellman: “PubMed Lets Google Track User Searches.”

    JISC lauds the “intelligent campus,” and I have to say, touting Chinese universities’ surveillance of students is not really such a great model, folks.

    There’s more on information security (or lack thereof) in the courts section above.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports

    “Surprise, Trump’s Education Ideas Are Polarizing,” says NPR’s Anya Kamenetz, reporting on the latest Education Next poll. Support for charter schools, for example, fell by 12% from last year’s survey. (The poll data.) EdTech Strategies’ Doug Levin says that this year’s poll is “much improved.” More on the survey from Inside Higher Ed and from Politico.

    Via Education Week: “Ed-Tech Companies Should Open Algorithms to Scrutiny, Report Suggests.” The report in question– “Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking” – comes from the National Education Policy Center.

    “Are Small Colleges Doomed? Not So Fast,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Via Crunchbase: “Here Are The Top Schools Among Founders Who Raise Big Dollars.” I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the top school is Stanford.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges With the Highest Average Pay for Full Professors, 2015–16.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The percentage of student loan borrowers leaving college owing $20,000 or more doubled over about a decade, according to a report released Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Silicon Valley’s school integration paradox: More black and Hispanic students get to college – and get arrested.”

    Studies Are Usually Bunk, Study Shows,” The Wall Street Journal claims, in an attempt to support the arguments made by fired Google engineer James Damore (and undermine those challenging him).

    Science doesn’t explain tech’s diversity problem – history doesby Sarah Jeong and Rachel Becker.

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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  • 08/25/17--04:45: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    Via NPR: “In Turkey, Schools Will Stop Teaching Evolution This Fall.”

    More on Betsy DeVos’ investment in Neurocore in the upgrade/downgrade section below. More on immigration and education in the immigration section below.

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    “Daniel Loeb’s Racially Charged Post Could Be Sticking Point for Expansion of Success Academy Charter Schools,” says The Wall Street Journal. Related: a Twitter thread from Leo Casey about the various connections the Success Academy chain has to Trump and his wealth right-wing backers the Mercers.

    Via The San Francisco Chronicle: “Mystery of SF schools’ budget persists as new year starts.” Teachers cannot afford to live in San Francisco, and “23 classrooms lacked teachers six days before the students’ return.”

    Via Maine Public Radio: “ Do Laptops Help Learning? A Look At The Only Statewide School Laptop Program.” That’s the statewide laptop program in Mainethanks Seymour!– that current governor Paul LePage is eager to dismantle.

    “Over 1k student-issued iPads are unaccounted for” in a school system in West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports.

    Immigration and Education

    In the UK, “Theresa May under fire as student visa myth exposed,” The Guardian reports. “New data, published by the Office for National Statistics and based on recently created exit checks at Britain’s borders, showed just 4,600 overstayed their visa last year. Estimates for previous years had been close to 100,000.”

    Via The Nation: “Trump’s Border Security May Search Your Social Media by ‘Tone’.”

    Via Education Week: “Setback for DACA Supporters Places Program’s Fate Squarely in Trump’s Hands.”

    “Trump seriously considering ending DACA,” Axios says.

    More on court cases surrounding immigration in the section below.

    Education in the Courts

    Via The New York Times: “Tucson’s Mexican Studies Program Was a Victim of ‘Racial Animus,’ Judge Says.” More via The LA Times.

    Via The LA Times: “A lawsuit claims a Pasadena principal threatened to set immigration officers on a mother and a caretaker.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The loan servicer tasked with handling federal loan forgiveness programsovercharged borrowers and prevented them from making qualifying payments that would put them on track for loan forgiveness, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey alleged in a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday.” The company in question: FedLoan Servicing. More from Buzzfeed’s Molly Hensley-Clancy.

    Via The AP: “A Pittsburgh-area school with a history of racial tension created a culture of verbal abuse and excessive force that allowed resource officers to shock students with stun guns and body-slam them, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday.” The school: Woodland Hills High School.

    Testing, Testing…

    “What You Should Know About The New Summer SAT,” according to NPR.

    Via “Alabama State Board of Education (SBOE) member Ella Bell wants to know why we can’t force special needs children into an institution in an effort to help improve test scores in Alabama’s public schools.” Um, because of federal law and students’ civil rights?

    Via The New York Times: “Struggling Schools Improve on Test Scores, but Not All Are Safe.”

    The Business of Student Loans

    “You can now buy $400 pants with a subprime loan,” The Outline notes in an article about Affirm, which also offers private student loans (marketed particularly towards those in coding bootcamps).

    More on legal cases involving student loan servers in the courts section above; more on loan forgiveness and for-profits in the for-profit section above; more on student loan companies raising venture capital in the venture capital section below.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “As Charlotte School of Law officially announces it will shut down, the Department of Education sets out potential options for former students. Those who withdrew from the troubled program before the spring will face a tougher path to discharging federal student loans.”

    Inside Higher Ed reviewsLaw Mart: Justice, Access and For-Profit Law Schools, a new book on for-profit law schools by University of Illinois Springfield professor Riaz Tejani.

    Via The New York Times: “As Coding Boot Camps Close, the Field Faces a Reality Check.”

    More on bootcamps and EQUIP in the “business of job training” section below.

    Elsewhere on Campus…

    Inside Higher Ed reports on what’s happened to students who attended recent white nationalist / white supremacist rallies. More via Time: “Student Who Attended Charlottesville White Supremacist Rally Leaves Boston University After Backlash.”

    Via The Washington Post: “U-Va. to examine campus response to Charlottesville protests.”

    “Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Stephen Bannon Are Invited to Speak at UC-Berkeley,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

    Penn State has denied white nationalist Richard Spencer’s request to speak on campus.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How One White Nationalist Became – and Remains – a Thorn in Texas A&M’s Side.”

    The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking Confederate monuments on college campuses.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Duke University on Saturday announced that it had removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from the entrance to the university chapel. On Sunday night, the University of Texas at Austin announced it would remove statues of Lee and three other Confederate leaders from a prominent campus location. And Bowdoin College on Saturday said that it would take down a plaque honoring Jefferson Davis and college alumni who fought for the Confederacy.” More on the statue at Duke via the university’s newspaper.

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “UNC Says It Can’t Legally Remove Confederate Statue, Despite Governor’s Guidance.”

    Via The Telegraph: “Egyptian academic accused of ‘glorifying Satan’ after teaching Milton’s Paradise Lost.” The scholar in question: Dr Mona Prince, a lecturer at Suez University.

    Brandeis University was closed on Wednesday after receiving “emailed threats.”

    University of Cincinnati’s servers crashed on the first day of school, The News Record reports.

    Via The West Australian: “Mobile devices drive student suspensions.”

    Via The Dallas Morning News: “Highland Park ISD parent calls book on poverty ‘socialist, Marxist’.” The book in question, The Working Poor: Invisible in America, is used in an AP English class.

    Accreditation and Certification

    Via NPR: “Some Liberty University Grads Are Returning Their Diplomas To Protest Trump.”

    Seton Hall University announced that it’s now offering a Cybersecurity Certification. It’ll be offered through “New Horizons, a CompTIA Platinum Partner, to custom craft a ‘Boot Camp’ introduction to cybersecurity.” It’s fascinating to see long-time tech training companies like CompTIA rebrand themselves as “bootcamps.”

    Go, School Sports Team!

    Via The Washington Post: “‘The leading edge of a much larger iceberg’: New Jersey high school disbands football team.”

    Via The AP: “A Washington state high school football coach took advantage of his position when he prayed on the field after games, and he’s not entitled to immediately get his job back, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.”

    From the HR Department

    Via The Washington Post: “Graduate students won right to organize as employees, but that victory is in peril under Trump.”

    80% Of America’s Teachers Are White,” Liz Dwyer reminds us, and “ It’s not just students of color who benefit from a diverse teaching force.”

    New York "City Will Move Sidelined Teachers From Limbo to Classrooms," The NYT reports.

    The Business of Job Training

    Inside Higher Ed notes that the new GI Bill signed by President Trump “includes a $75 million program to let military veterans use federal benefits for technology courses through noncollege providers – another potential challenge to traditional higher ed.” That’s $75 million for EQUIP, which “allows a handful of boot camps and online course providers to be eligible for federal financial aid through partnerships with accredited colleges.”

    Via The Eater: “KFC’s New Employee Training Game Is a Virtual Reality Nightmare.”

    The New Stack onCoding in Prison: The Dev Shop at San Quentin.” There’s been a lot of positive press about this program, but little of it asks difficult questions about the use of prison labor. (Instead, it tends to laud the effort simply because it’s coding.) The inmates are paid $16.77 per hour – but that’s not what they actually earn, as the prison takes part of the money to pay for “room and board” among other things.

    Via MIT Technology Review: “The Myth of the Skills Gap.”

    Via Buzzfeed: “17 Alexa Skills That Don’t Need To Exist.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    Can Technology Help Prevent Improper Pell Payments?asks RealClear Education.

    Is the U.S. Education System Ready for CS for All?asks Jennifer Wong in Communication of the ACM.

    (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 Education Week: US Secretary of Education Betsy "DeVos Invested in Company Under Investigation for Misleading Claims.“ The company is Neurocore, which the National Advertising Division has formally recommended to ”stop making a wide range of advertising claims and stop promoting many of its user testimonials."

    Edsurge has a puff piece about VIPKID, which announced it had raised a huge amount of money this week: “What’s It Like Tutoring for VIPKID, the Chinese Company That Just Raised $200 Million?” (More details on the funding in the investment section below.) No disclosure in this article that Edsurge shares an investorwith VIPKID. And no critical analysis of race, imperialism, labor, and ed-tech either.

    From the press release: “Amazon Announces TenMarks Writing – New Online Curriculum for Teachers That Combines Rigor and Fun to Unlock the Writer in Every Student.” Rigor and fun! More details from EdWeek’s Market Brief.

    Via Edsurge: “​Open Up Resources Announces First Full Math Curriculum – And Its Plans for Profitability.” Open Up Resources is a non-profit – LOL – whose CEO Larry Singer used to be the managing director for Pearson’s K–12 marketing sales.

    Melinda Gates has an op-ed in The Washington Post: “I spent my career in technology. I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids.” One might say that this is deeply ironic; but then again, Melinda Gates and her husband’s push for more technology in schools was never about her kids.

    Edsurge invites readers to “Meet the 5 Education Technology Startups From Y Combinator’s Summer 2017 Class.” These are: Lambda School, Mystery Science, Nimble, Peergrade, and Py. You can tell a lot about what Silicon Valley imagine the future of education to look like – a business, obviously – based on these investments.

    Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill writes about the latest from the LMS provider Instructure, noting “culture as a competitive weapon.”

    Barnes & Noble partners with Target to take on Amazon. Walmart and Google partner to take on Amazon.

    Via Reuters: “LexisNexis, a provider of legal, regulatory and business information, said on Tuesday it had withdrawn two products from the Chinese market in March this year after it was asked to remove some content.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Facing intense criticism for caving to censors, Cambridge University Press restores access to more than 300 journal articles it had blocked in China– but the problem for publishers isn’t going away. Chinese authorities also try to block articles from another journal.”

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

    Via The AP: “Why AI visionary Andrew Ng teaches humans to teach computers.”

    Via Singularity Hub: “Why Education Is the Hardest Sector of the Economy to Automate.” But Singularity Hub does believe it’s possible nonetheless.

    Teaching Robots to Learn Teaches the Students Too,” says Campus Technology.

    “A Future of Genetically Engineered Children Is Closer Than You’d Think,” says Mother Jones. Wheeee.

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    Via Bloomberg: Bill "Gates Makes Largest Donation Since 2000 With $5 Billion Gift.“ The ”gift" goes to the Gates Foundation– 64 million Microsoft shares.

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    VIPKID has raised $200 million in Series D funding from Sequoia Capital, Tencent Holdings, Sinovation Ventures, and YP Capital. The online tutoring company has raised $325 million total.

    Prodigy Finance has raised $40 million in Series C funding from Index Ventures, AlphaCode Club, and Balderton Capital. The student loan provider has raised $52.5 million total.

    School Speciality has acquiredTriumph Learning.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    Via the BBC: “Sensor tracks who is driving in your neighbourhood.” This nifty example of racist technology comes from Flock and is backed by Y Combinator.

    Via Business Insider: “People are paying $80,000 for ‘family architects’ to fix their kids through 24/7 surveillance.”

    Via The Verge: “Transgender YouTubers had their videos grabbed to train facial recognition software.”

    Research, “Research,” and Reports

    Via Pacific Standard: “A New Report Finds Higher Education Funding Is Still Not Back to Pre-Recession Levels.”

    “What If Students Have More Confidence in Growth Mindsets Than Their Teachers?” asks Jack McDermott, marketing director for Panorama Education in Edsurge. (Edsurge and Panorama Education share several investors, although there’s no disclosure of that in this article.)

    Via Education Week: “Closing Failing Schools Doesn’t Help Most Students, Study Finds.”

    Oldest Kids In Class Do Better, Even Through College,” says NPR. I was always the youngest. Go me.

    Via Education Dive: “Cultivating emotional resilience in teachers improves the classroom for all.”

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “The Private School Market Is Overwhelmingly a Small-School Market.”

    Via EDUCAUSE: “Trend Watch 2017: Which IT Trends Is Higher Education Responding To?”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Study finds that technology spending spurs gains in colleges’ outputs – but they vary depending on the institution.”

    According to “market research,” “VR, AR, 3D Printing and Data Analytics Overtake Visual Tech Market in Education,” Campus Technology predicts.

    AR and VR poised to climb out of the ‘trough of dillusionment’ on Gartner Hype Cycle,” Boing Boing predicts.

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Education Procurement Hits Two-Year High in 2nd Quarter of 2017.”

    Via The New York Times: “Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago.”

    “According to the National Retail Federation, 60% of the $29.5 billion spent on back-to-school shopping nationwide will be spent on electronics,” says Education Dive rewriting a press release rewritten by Ed-Tech Magazine.

    It’s time for my least favorite “back-to-school” ritual: Beloit College’s “mind-set list.”

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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  • 09/01/17--04:00: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    Via The Huffington Post: “White House Quietly Removes Sexual Assault Report From Website.”

    Via Politico: “Trump and DeVos fuel a for-profit college comeback.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “For-Profit Colleges Find Few Reasons to Lobby a Friendlier Education Dept.”

    The Department of Education has selected Julian Schmoke, a former administrator at the for-profit DeVry University, to lead the its student-aid enforcement unit. (Just last year, Devry agreed to a $100 million settlement with the FTC for misleading students through deceptive advertising.) Via The Atlantic: “What a New Trump Administration Hire Could Mean for For-Profit Colleges.” “Education Dept. Appointee’s For-Profit Past Draws Flak, but It’s Complicated,” The Chronicle of Higher Education says. More from Pacific Standard and from Inside Higher Ed.

    More on Candice Jackson’s resume in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    On Hurricane Harvey: Dana Goldstein in The New York Times: “School Closings From Harvey Threaten Disruption Across Texas.” Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges Announce Closings as Harvey Pounds Texas Coast.”

    Via Edsurge: “​A Fight for Internet Access Is Brewing in Alaska.”

    Via Bookriot: “On Wednesday, August 23, the city council of Escondido, California voted, 3 to 2, to move forward with plans to hand their public library over to the private, for-profit company Library Systems and Services.”

    Immigration and Education

    Via The Guardian: “Trump order could give immigration agents a foothold in US schools.”

    Edsurge profiles the tuition-free online university University of the People, claiming it has a particular appeal to undocumented immigrants and refugees.

    Education in the Courts

    Via CNN: “The famed science enthusiast filed suit against Disney (DIS) on Thursday, claiming the media giant hoodwinked him out of more than $9 million in earnings from ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy.’”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Umair Hamid has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and was ordered to forfeit about $5.3 million for his role in an international diploma mill scheme operated by the Pakistani company Axact, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”

    Via The New York Times: “Three Chinese Women Reach U.S. Plea Deals Over College Exam Scam.” The exam: TOEFL.

    Testing, Testing…

    Via The LA Times: “California’s standardized test score results delayed indefinitely due to ‘data issue’.”

    More on testing (and fraud) in the courts section above.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “For-profit Charlotte School of Law and its parent company, InfiLaw, were under criminal investigation as they sought to negotiate restoration of federal student aid for Charlotte students, according to recently unsealed court filings from a whistle-blower lawsuit filed against the school.”

    Via The Charlotte Observer: “Under DeVos, who’s the next Charlotte School of Law?”

    “An insider’s take on the future of coding bootcampsby Darrell Silver.

    More on for-profit higher ed and its infiltration of the Trump Administration in the national politics section above. More on layoffs at coding bootcamps in the HR section below. And more on bootcamp research in the research section below.

    Meanwhile on Campus…

    Via Politico: “My Weekend at the Falwells’ South Beach Flophouse.” Inside Higher Ed has a response from Liberty University.

    And speaking of Liberty University, Anthony Scaramucci will be speaking at the school’s convocation.

    Via Education Week: “Facebook Giving Virtual-Reality Kits to Every Arkansas High School.”

    Boston University and Wheelock College enter talks to combine the institutions,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Go, School Sports Team!

    Via The New York Times: “Videos of Girls Forced to Do Splits at Cheer Camp Lead to Coach’s Firing.”

    From the HR Department

    Via Techcrunch: “In the newest sign of a shakeout in coding boot camps, Galvanize is laying off 11 percent of staffers.”

    The Business of Job Training

    “So, What IS the Future of Work?” asks Edsurge as it covers a symposium at Stanford University. Surely an elite private university MUST hold the answer! (No disclosure in this post when it mentions its investor Deborah Quazzo.)

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    Can Banning Phones in School Curb Cyberbullying?asks Education Week.

    Can This MIT Student Entrepreneurship Program Bridge the Israeli-Palestinian Divide?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

    The New York Times broke the news this week that New America ousted its Open Markets team after it praised a recent EU fine against Google: “Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant.” New America has received more than $21 million from Google. “ We Said Google Was Dangerously Powerful, Then Google Proved Us Right,” writes Open Markets’ Matt Stoller in Buzzfeed. “ Google is coming after critics in academia and journalism. It’s time to stop them,” writes Zephyr Teachout in The Washington Post. She also has a piece in The Intercept: “How I Got Fired From a D.C. Think Tank for Fighting Against the Power of Google.” “Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like – I Know Because It Happened to Me,” writes Kashmir Hill in Gizmodo. Google’s power and influence has immense implications for the future of “information” and scholarship, and if you think education (and education technology) is immune from this sort of influence, you are really not paying attention. Google gives money to many, many education organizations, including CoSN, Khan Academy, and the ALA.

    “Please let The Friendship Code and its tech-savvy girls be the new Baby-Sitters Club,” writes Techcrunch’s Devin Coldewey, although he admits he has never read any of The Baby-Sitters Club books.

    Via The AP: “Learning software in classrooms earns praise, causes debate.”

    Via Pacific Standard: “Pepe the Frog Creator Shuts Down Publication of Alt-Right Children’s Book.”

    Via Techcrunch: “Amazon adds parental consent to Alexa skills aimed at children, launches first legal kids’ skills.”

    Edsurge looks at the latest from Kahoot– “Kahoot Studio, a curated library of ready-to-play kahoot games for K–12 educators and their students” – and notes that the company, which has raised $26.5 million in venture capital is “ramping up for revenue.”

    Edsurge looks at the latest from the messaging app Remind: “Remind’s Race to Conquer the K–12 Communications Market – and Make Money.”

    Skidos offers an SDK to turn mobile games into ‘learning apps’,” says Techcrunch, really underscoring how Silicon Valley believes anything can be easily turned into “ed-tech.”

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

    Via The New York Times: “The Secret to a Good Robot Teacher.”

    Via Campus Technology: “AI Chatbot Hubert Talks to Students to Collect Course Feedback.”

    Via Education Dive: “AI, analytics transforming guidance counselors’ roles.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    Via Techcrunch: “Black Girls Code says it turned down $125,000 from Uber.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    BYJU’s has raised $40 million from Tencent Holdings. The test prep company has raised $244 million total.

    The English language learning company Magic Ears has raised $6 million in venture funding from Bob Xu ZhenEdu Fund and Yuanfudao.

    The game-based learning company Sumdog has raised $1.8 million from Nesta Impact Investments and the Scottish Investment Bank.

    Flipd has raised an undisclosed amount of money from Ryerson Futures Inc and Candice Faktor. The company, which allows teachers to reminds students turn off their phone in class, also lets them “see data that measures when students used their phones, and give incentives or rewards to the ones who stayed attentive” – which all sounds pretty terrible.

    The Advisory Board Company has sold off its education business, EAB, to Vista Equity Partners. (The private equity firm acquired PowerSchool in 2015.)

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    Via Ladders: “New app scans your face and tells companies whether you’re worth hiring.” The app is from HireVue, which boasts many schools and universities as clients.

    Via In The Black: “Curtin University has teamed with Hitachi Data Systems to create a ‘data-gathering laboratory’ that it hopes will improve the student experience.” 1600 cameras. Facial recognition software. “Except where specific consent is given, data collected is not linked to an individual,” the article reads – except that it also says facial recognition software is used to take attendance, so obviously students are compelled to hand over their personal data.

    Via Find Biometrics: “Singapore Schools to Connect Student Accounts to Fingerprints.”

    Via Edsurge: “Amazon Pushes Echo Smart Speakers on Campus.”

    Muckrock is investigatinghow schools monitor students’ online behavior.

    Via Naked Security: “Are you a student? Your personal data is there for the asking.”

    Via the EFF: “Student Privacy Tips for Teachers.” Also via the EFF: “Student Privacy Tips for Students.”

    Via The Conversation: “The rise in personalised story books and what it means for children’s privacy.”

    Via The Edmonton Journal: “MacEwan University loses $11.8 million to scammers in phishing attack.”

    Research, “Research,” and Reports

    Via New America: “Varying Degrees.” More on the report from Bryan Alexander. (And more about New America in the upgrades/downgrades section above.)

    Via Techcrunch: “Tech industry and comp-sci majors are highest earners, says LinkedIn job survey.” Highest earners among those who completed the survey, of course.

    Via The Digital Reader: “Why Textbook Publishers Are Running Scared: Survey Shows College Textbook Spending Dropped 17% Since 2007.”

    Via Campus Technology: “Student loan debt in the United States has grown 149 percent over the last decade to reach $1.4 trillion, according to a new report from Experian.”

    A report from Ithaka S+R: “Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity: Members of the Association of Research Libraries.”

    [Via The NYT](The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students): “The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students.”

    The latest K–12 Horizon Report (and my response).

    Via Campus Technology: “Wearables generated $30.5 billion this year, with smartwatches raking in roughly a third of total sales, according to a new Gartner forecast.”

    “So-called ‘coding boot camps’ are often pitched as an alternative to four-year degree programs. Yet new research suggests this is more often not the case and that such boot camp programs are increasingly acting as an auxiliary to college degrees,” write James Bowring, Louise Ann Lyon and Quinn Burke in Inside Higher Ed.

    “What I Learned From Researching Coding Bootcampsby Kyle Thayer.

    The 2017 Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools (and responses from NEA).

    Stirling University’s Ben Williamson on ClassDojo: “Fast psycho-policy & the datafication of social-emotional learning.”

    Via The Daily Beast: “Peter Thiel Funds ‘Unethical’ Offshore Herpes Vaccine Trial.” Aren’t you thrilled that venture capitalists want to experiment on education too?

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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    The Evergreen School District in Washington has told its teachers to stop using Donors Choose to raise money for classroom supplies and projects. According to KATU2, “The Washington State Auditor’s Office advised the district that a policy needs to be put in place to ensure that the money is properly handled, and that the items are designated as district property and put in the district inventory.”

    Peter Greene argues that this new policy is about control – who gets to decide what is purchased for a classroom or school. One might pick up on an unspoken message in the decree too: teachers can’t be fully trusted to make procurement decisions. The district already has a system in place to do buy things, one that supposedly checks to make sure that purchases are necessary or “appropriate,” that (tax) dollars are spent wisely, and that no ethical or legal issues arise.

    But does the district procurement process work? (Not just in this district. Anywhere.) For whom does it work? For whom does it not?

    Of course, crowdfunding sites like Donors Choose (which boasts it’s helped raise some $571 million for school projects) are just one way that educators stock their classrooms with items that district budgets don’t (or won’t or can’t) pay for. Teachers spend a fair amount of money out their own pockets to this end as well – about $470 on average, often for basic office and classroom supplies. And this occurs alongside the burden of buying classroom supplies that falls on families too – there are reports this fall that the price tag for many back-to-school lists runs from $650 (for an elementary school student) to $1500 (for a high school student). That’s a lot of money for anyone, but particularly for the over half of US public school students who are eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program, a proxy for living in poverty.

    School supplies, whether paid for by taxpayers, teachers, or parents, are an equity issue. And adding technology to the shopping list might just make things worse – and not simply because these products can be expensive.

    This weekend, New York Times reporter Natasha Singer published the latest article in her series on “Education Disrupted”: “Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues.” The story follows two teachers – Nicholas Provenzano from Gross Pointe South High School in Michigan and Kayla Delzer from Mapleton Elementary School in North Dakota – who have leveraged their social media followings to become high profile “influencers” in education technology, receiving new products for their classroom (for “free” and outside the district procurement process) in exchange for promoting them to other teachers in turn.

    None of this is entirely new– some teachers have always sought to bring supplemental materials into the classroom at their own initiative and risk, particularly when it comes to technology (computing and otherwise). But this latest version of the “entrepreneurial teacher” as described in The New York Times is deeply intertwined with Silicon Valley’s version of “the hustle”; it’s one that demands that teachers take on a second shift (a 24–7 shift even) on technology platforms in order to build their own brands; and it’s one that reinforces the notion that it should be the responsibility of individual teachers to identify, buy, and promote technology, often justified by insisting they’re “doing the best they can” for their students. (Success in raising money on Donors Choose, for example, can depend to a great extent on a teacher’s ability to leverage her or his social media presence to spread word of the crowdfunding campaign.) This acclamation of the individual education “innovator” or entrepreneur and dismissal of a collective responsibility dovetails with talk of the failure of public institutions, as well as with another popular corporate narrative: “the procurement system is broken,” as ed-tech startups are wont to say. But again, broken how and broken for whom?

    "I am in this profession for kids," these celebrity educators insist, not for money or fame. But altruism is not the same as justice.

    “My kids have access to awesome things that, as a district, we could never afford,” teacher Nick Provenzano tells The NYT in justifying his relationship with a 3D printer company. The article takes that assertion at face value; many readers probably did too. Again, we all know that school budgets are tight. But “tight” is relative; budgets are relative. And Provenzano’s school is quite affluent. Just 7% of the students at Provenzano’s school qualify for the free and reduced lunch program – the state-wide average in Michigan is 38%, and 74% of students in the neighboring Detroit Public Schools qualify. Provenzano worries his English lit students won’t have a 3D printer; teachers (and parents) just 8 miles away in Detroit still have to worry about the lead in the city’s drinking water.

    Inequality is rampant throughout public education in the United States (and yes, throughout the United States itself), and inequality affects not just how much money is allocated per student – funding is typically tied to property taxes – or how much teachers and families can afford and expect to spend in order to to supplement that. These inequalities affect what sorts of education technology appears in the classroom and how these products are used. Some students get 3D printers; some students get digital drill-and-kill. Some students get colorful beanbags to sit in; some students have to walk through metal detectors.

    Educational inequalities are historical and they are structural and they are dependent on class and race and geography. 86% of the students at Provenzano’s school are white; 80% of those at Kayla Delzer’s, the other teacher in The NYT story, are white (which is, in fairness, a reflection of the overwhelmingly whiteness of North Dakota). This stands in stark contrast to the percentage of students enrolled in public schools across the entire US who are white: less than 50%. The student-teacher ratio at Delzer’s schools is 8 to 1; it’s significantly higher– no surprise – in classrooms in Detroit, which makes it difficult to imagine how a teacher could adopt the “flexible seating” options that Delzer promotes with her social media profile.

    Neither Delzer nor Provenzano’s classrooms are representative of K–12 public schools; and yet these educators have been granted a sort of “celebrity” and speak widely – with corporate backing, as The New York Times underscores – about the future of education technology. But if their students aren’t representative of the make-up of the US student body, these two teachers both are representative of the K–12 teaching population: 82% of those who teach in public schools are white. Almost without exception, “ed-tech celebrities” are too. Furthermore, these high-profile tech-using educators teach (or once taught) in affluent schools where their students are predominantly white.

    As such, we should ask what it means when these people are selected by ed-tech companies to “brand ambassadors”? What does it reveal about how these companies imagine teaching and learning? What does it say about how these companies view “influence” and decision-making power in public schools? (Indeed, several startups and organizations have identified the procurement process itself as a business opportunity, selling consulting services to schools and districts and recommending which technology products they should buy. Who will control this process?) How are our imaginations about the future of education and education technology shaped by the narratives we see promoted by these companies and by the ambassadors they’ve chosen to speak for them? What ends up on back-to-school lists and Donors Choose lists and district procurement lists because of these narratives?

    Much of the response to The NYT article has focused on ethics: should teachers be profiting from their leveraging their profiles and positions in the classroom? Is there sufficient transparency? What rights do students have in these settings where their teachers are “brand ambassadors”? It’s their experiences and their data and their images, after all, that are being utilized for marketing and product development. These are crucial issues to address, particularly as ed-tech demands schools model themselves on the values of corporations and consumption.

    But the questions the article raises go well beyond the ethics of marketing and pay-for-play. Education technology and its influencers must be viewed through the lens of social justice – and in the loud protestations I’ve seen on Twitter defending the practices in the story, that certainly is not happening – otherwise we will continue to ignore how ed-tech serves to exacerbate inequality and re-inscribe whiteness, affluence, and the conspicuous consumption of gadgetry as signs of “innovation.”

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  • 09/08/17--03:30: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    “Americans Have Given Up on Public Schools. That’s a Mistake,” writes Erika Christakis in The Atlantic.

    One of the most important stories this past week was the Trump Administration’s announcement that it planned to end the DACA program, putting the immigration status and safety of some 800,000 people into question. There’s much more on that in the immigration section below.

    Buzzfeed reported that– as of 9pm Thursday at least – “Betsy DeVos Still Hasn’t Said Anything About Trump’s Decision To End DACA.” (Do remember, she weighed in immediately after Trump announced the US was leaving the Paris Climate Accord.) Later, via CBS: “DeVos says her ‘heart is with’ Dreamers.”

    Another huge (and awful) deal: Betsy DeVos announced this week that the Department of Education would replace Obama-era guidance on how colleges must protect students from sexual violence and respond to sexual assault claims on campus. The Department of Education offers“Highlights from Secretary DeVos’ Remarks on Title IX Enforcement.” More from Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The New York Times.

    “The Department of Justice Is Overseeing the Resegregation of American Schools,” The Nation argues.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Education Dept. Ends Partnership With CFPB.”

    Via Education Week: “Senate Panel Rejects Trump Teacher-Funding Cut, School Choice Proposals.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The White House said Friday it would delay an annual conference for historically black colleges and universities that had been scheduled for mid-September.”

    Via Ars Technica: “Senate Democrats fight FCC plan to lower America’s broadband standards.”

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    Via The New York Times: “Michigan Gambled on Charter Schools. Its Children Lost.”

    And The New York Times again: “The Resegregation of Jefferson County.”

    Also via The New York Times: “New York City Offers Free Lunch for All Public School Students.”

    Related on school lunch, via Mother Jones: “The Shocking Ways Poor Kids Have Long Been Singled Out in American Schools.”

    Via the Tennessean: “Nashville school district sends families opt-out form as student data battle with state rages on.” The districts are protesting a new law that dictates they hand over student directory data to charter school operators.

    Via Boing Boing: “British Columbia government forces Vancouver dad to end his kids’ free-range city bus rides to school.”

    Via Education Week: “Idaho has repaid the Federal Communications Commission $3.5 million to cover federal funds that went to the botched statewide school broadband contract.”

    Via KATU2: “Evergreen School District teachers told to stop using crowdfunding site Donors Choose.”

    Immigration and Education

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, through which about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children have gained the right to work and temporary protection against the risk of deportation. The administration said it will phase out the program, which was established by President Obama in 2012, after a six-month period to give Congress a chance to act on legislation that could restore the program.” More on the announcement from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    “Why ending DACA is so unprecedented,” Dara Lind writes for Vox.

    “By ending Daca, Donald Trump has declared war on a diverse America,” by Carol Anderson (author of White Rage).

    Via The Daily Beast: “The Trump Administration Now Has Tons Of DACA Data And Is Poised To Weaponize It.”

    Via Pacific Standard: “How DACA Helped Immigrants Get More Education and Higher-Paying Jobs.”

    Via Buzzfeed: “American Colleges Say They’ll Fight For DREAMers After Trump’s Decision.”

    Via The New York Times: “For Teachers Working Through DACA, a Bittersweet Start to the School Year.”

    More data on enrollment of foreign students in US colleges in the research section below.

    Education in the Courts

    Via The Hill: “Lawsuit filed to let Richard Spencer speak at Michigan State.”

    Via Ars Technica: “Comcast sues Vermont to avoid building 550 miles of new cable lines.”

    The Business of Student Loans

    Via the US News & World Report: “ Why Few Borrowers Have Pursued PSLF.” The acronym stands for “public service loan forgiveness.”

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Via Media Matters: “Newt Gingrich used Fox position to push for-profit colleges without disclosing conflict of interest.”

    There’s more research on for-profits in the research section below.

    Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “That Hilarious Tweet About an Instructor’s Big Mistake? Almost Certainly Fake.” The tweet claimed an instructor didn’t realize a class was online and was angry that no students had shown up in class.

    The University of Naples Federico II has joinededX.

    Edsurge wonders if there’s inequality in online education.

    Via Tony Bates: “Responses to the Canadian survey of online and distance learning.”

    There’s more on the accreditation of Arkansas’ new public online university in the accreditation section below.

    Meanwhile on Campus…

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Florida’s Governor Closes Public Colleges as Irma Bears Down on Peninsula.”

    Melinda Anderson talks toBeverly Daniel Tatum about the 20th anniversary of her book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.

    Via The Hechinger Report: “How slavery helped build many U.S. colleges and universities.”

    Via the BBC: “Oxford vice-chancellor criticised over homosexuality comments.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “After All but Closing, Sweet Briar Will Shift Curriculum and Pricing.”

    Inside Higher Ed looks at a change this year to Harvard’s CS50, which last year had encouraged students to watch video lectures instead of coming to class. This year: “come to class,” the instructor says.

    Accreditation and Certification

    Salesforce has filed a patent for “Digital badging for facilitating virtual recognition of an achievement.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Arkansas’s new public online university chooses national accreditor over its regional agency, raising questions about pace, prestige and the state of quality assurance.” The school, eVersity, will seek approval from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, an organization that accredits mostly for-profit institutions, rather than the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits the rest of public higher ed in Arkansas.

    Purdue Introduced 3 Year Degree Program,” says Inside Higher Ed.

    Degreed now offers skill certification– “The Degreed Skill Certification is a scientifically-backed process that combines skill evidence, data science, endorsers, and reviews by an expertise panel, which results in your final Skill Level ranking.”

    Testing, Testing…

    Via The New York Times: “Who Benefits From the Expansion of A.P. Classes?”

    Via Mashable: “Why Denver Public School Students Are Protesting for AP History.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “This Saturday’s ACT has been called off at some international testing centers. An ACT spokesman said that the action was ‘due to a verified breach of the test materials,’ and that ACT would not be commenting further on the breach.”

    Also via IHE: “ACT scores are up this year, but the scores of black and Latino students and those who did not complete recommended college preparatory courses remain far behind those of other students.”

    Via Education Week: “New Tool Alerts Teachers When Students Give Up on Tests.”

    “Innovation schools saw some of the largest gains on ISTEP in Indianapolis Public Schools,” Chalkbeat argues.

    Go, School Sports Team!

    Via The New York Times: “Football Favoritism at F.S.U.: The Price One Teacher Paid.”

    “Universities see opportunity in e-sports,” says Education Dive.

    The Business of Job Training

    Via Quartz: “A free, teacher-less university in France is schooling thousands of future-proof programmers.”

    Via Rutgers Today: “Is There a STEM Worker Shortage? Rutgers Professor Debates Issue at National Academies.”

    Google announces it is “Funding 75,000 Udacity scholarships to bridge the digital skills gap.”

    Sound the made-up-statistic klaxon because the MIT Technology Review parrots the BS claim that “65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t currently exist, underscoring the need for new skills training using hands-on and exploratory learning techniques.”

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    “XQ is taking over TV to make the case that high school hasn't changed in 100 years. But is that true?asks Chalkbeat.

    Will the Trump Era Transform the School Lunch?asks The New York Times.

    Will a Netflix Model Work for 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

    Natasha Singer shook things up with a story in The New York Times this past weekend on the ethics of “brand ambassadors” and influencer marketing in ed-tech. My response: “Inequality, ‘Brand Ambassadors,’ and the Business of Selling (to) Classrooms.”

    Via Edsurge: “Forget ‘US News’ Rankings. For Online College Programs, Google Is Kingmaker.”

    Tonight there’ll be a live TV show on the four major networks – “XQ: The Super School Project.” It’s sponsored by Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder of the venture philanthropy firm Emerson Collective and the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. It’s part of the argument that investors and entrepreneurs like to make: that high school hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.In The Washington Post, Jack Schneider writes about “The false narrative behind a glitzy live television show about school reform.”

    Quartz is publishing a series on “The Vanishing University.” The first article claims that “The college lecture is dying. Good riddance.” It’s full of examples of lecturing, but now that they’re recorded as videos somehow it’s innovation.

    “Why Picking a Major Is a Bad Idea for College Kids,” Cathy Davidson argues. She’s out with a new book, The New Education: How To Revolutionize the University To Prepare Students for a World in Flux.

    “Student Teachers Get ‘Real World’ Practice Via Virtual Reality,” says Education Week, apparently confused because VR is very much not “real.”

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF– “No need to spend money on teachers – I’ll help you learn English effectively and for free!”

    Investor Tom Vander Ark talks to investor Michael Moe about the future of AI and HR.

    “This Machine Learning-Powered Software Teaches Kids To Be Better Writers,” Fast Company claims. No, actually. I bet it doesn’t.

    Automation-proofing students requires more of schools, districts,” says Education Dive.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “IBM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Thursday that the company will spend $240 million on a joint lab with MIT focused on artificial intelligence.”

    From the Udacity blog: “ Your Exclusive Guide To Pursuing A Robotics Career.” Exclusive!

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    The Koch Brothers are teaming up with Deion Sanders to launch an anti-poverty initiative. Sanders is the founder of a charter school company that, in the words of the Dallas Morning News, “collapsed spectacularly.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    Guild Education has raised $21 million in Series B funding from Bessemer Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Harrison Metal, Social Capital, and Cowboy Ventures. The company, which helps corporations run education programs for their employees, has raised $31.5 million total.

    Labster has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Balderton Capital, David Helgason, and Northzone. The company offers “virtual science labs” and has raised $13.67 million.

    Evertrue has raised $6 million in Series B funding from Bain Capital Ventures and University Ventures. The company, which helps schools manage philanthropic giving campaigns, has raised $20.57 million total.

    Classcraft, which says it helps “gamify” the classroom, has raised $2.8 million in venture funding from Whitecap Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures, and MaRS Catalyst Fund.

    English language learning app Kings Learning has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Village Capital and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

    Tenka Labs has raised $2 million in seed funding from undisclosed investors. The company, which makes engineering kits, has raised $4.1 million total.

    Circuit Cubes has raised $2 million from undisclosed investors.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    Via The Washington Post: “Parents cite student privacy concerns with popular online education platform.” Not sure how popular Facebook and Summit Public Schools’ “personalized learning” platform is, for what it’s worth.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports

    Via the Institute for Women’s Policy Research: “Single Mothers are 3 Times More Likely to Enroll in For-Profit Colleges than Single Students without Children.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Study finds that students who deliver microaggressions are also likely to harbor racist attitudes.”

    Daniel Willingham on learning styles.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Amid concerns about visas and the political environment, some institutions are maintaining or even increasing their enrollment numbers, but many report drops, some by as much as 30 to 50 percent for new students.”

    Via the Pew Research Center: “Most Americans – especially Millennials– say libraries can help them find reliable, trustworthy information.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A new University of New Hampshire study has identified how deeply sexual assault can affect students’ academics.”

    Via Campus Technology: “2.1 million augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality headsets shipped in the second quarter of 2017, a 25.5 percent increase compared to the same period of 2016, according to a new report from International Data Corp. (IDC).”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Many college students are stressed about finances– but none more so than American students, according to the results of a new report by Sodexo.”

    Adaptive learning spending balloons to $41M since 2013,” Education Dive claims.

    The latest on venture capital and education from me: “The Business of Ed-Tech: August 2017 Funding Data.”

    Via The New York Times: “Education by the Numbers.”

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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    This talk was delivered at MIT for Justin Reich’s Comparative Media Studies class “Learning, Media, and Technology.” The full slide deck is available here.

    Thank you for inviting me to speak to your class today. I’m really honored to be here at the beginning of the semester, as I’m not-so-secretly hoping this gives me a great deal of power and influence to sow some seeds of skepticism about the promises you all often hear – perhaps not in this class, to be fair, as in your other classes, in the media, in the world at large – about education technology.

    Those promises can be pretty amazing, no doubt: that schools haven’t changed in hundreds if not thousands of years and that education technology is now poised to “revolutionize” and “disrupt”; that today, thanks to the ubiquity of computers and the Internet (that there is“ubiquity” is rarely interrogated) we can “democratize,” “unbundle,” and/or “streamline” the system; that learning will as a result be better, cheaper, faster.

    Those have always been the promises. Promises largely unfulfilled.

    It’s important – crucial even – that this class is starting with history. I’ve long argued that ignorance of this history is part of the problem with education technology today: that its promises of revolution and innovation come with little to no understanding of the past – not just the history of what technologies have been adopted (or have failed to be adopted) in the classroom before, but the history of how education itself has changed in many ways and in some, quite dramatically, with or without technological interventions. (I’d add too that this is a problem with tech more broadly – an astounding and even self-congratulatory ignorance of the history of the industries, institutions, practices folks claim they’re disrupting.)

    I should confess something here at the outset of my talk that’s perhaps a bit blasphemous. I recognize that this class is called “Learning, Media, and Technology.” But I’m really not interested in “learning” per se. There are lots of folks – your professor, for starters – who investigate technology and learning, who research technology’s effect on cognition and memory, who measure and monitor how mental processes respond to tech, and so on. That’s not what I do. That’s not what my work is about.

    It’s not that I believe “learning” doesn’t matter. And it’s not that I think “learning” doesn’t happen when using a lot of the ed-tech that gets hyped – or wait, maybe I do think that.

    Rather, I approach “learning” as a scholar of culture, of society. I see “learning” as a highly contested concept – a lot more contested than some researchers and academic disciplines (and entrepreneurs and journalists and politicians) might have you believe. What we know about knowing is not settled. It never has been. And neither neuroscience nor brain scans, for example, move us any closer to that. After all, “learning” isn’t simply about an individual’s brain or even body. “Learning” – or maybe more accurately “learnedness” – is a signal; it’s a symbol; it’s a performance. As such, it’s judged by and through and with all sorts of cultural values and expectations, not only those that we claim to be able to measure. What do you know? How do you know? Who do you know? Do you have the social capital and authority to wield what you know or to claim expertise?

    My work looks at the broader socio-political and socio-cultural aspects of ed-tech. I want us to recognize ed-tech as ideological, as a site of contested values rather than a tool that somehow “progress” demands. Indeed, that’s ideology at work right there – the idea of “progress” itself, a belief in a linear improvement, one that’s intertwined with stories of scientific and technological advancement as well as the advancement of certain enlightenment values.

    I’m interested not so much in how ed-tech (and tech more broadly) might change cognition or learning, but in how it will change culture and power and knowledge – systems and practices of knowing. I’m interested in how ed-tech (and tech more broadly) will change how we imagine education – as a process, as a practice, as an institution – and change how we value knowledge and expertise and even school itself.

    I don’t believe we live in a world in which technology is changing faster than it’s ever changed before. I don’t believe we live in a world where people adopt new technologies more rapidly than they’ve done so in the past. (That is argument for another talk, for another time.) But I do believe we live in an age where technology companies are some of the most powerful corporations in the world, where they are a major influence – and not necessarily in a positive way – on democracy and democratic institutions. (School is one of those institutions. Ideally.) These companies, along with the PR that supports them, sell us products for the future and just as importantly weave stories about the future.

    These products and stories are, to borrow a phrase from sociologist Neil Selwyn, “ideologically-freighted.” In particular, Selwyn argues that education technologies (and again, computing technologies more broadly) are entwined with the ideologies of libertarianism, neoliberalism, and new forms of capitalism – all part of what I often refer to as the “Silicon Valley narrative” (although that phrase, geographically, probably lets you folks here at MIT off the hook for your institutional and ideological complicity in all this). Collaboration. Personalization. Problem-solving. STEM. Self-directed learning. The “maker movement.” These are all examples of how ideologies are embedded in ed-tech trends and technologies – in their development and their marketing. And despite all the talk of “disruption”, these mightn’t be counter-hegemonic at all, but rather serve the dominant ideology and further one of the 21st century’s dominant industries.

    I want to talk a little bit today about technology and education technology in the 20th century – because like I said, history matters. And one of the ideological “isms” that I think we sometimes overlook in computing technologies is militarism. And I don’t just mean the role of Alan Turing and codebreakers in World War II or the role of the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency in the development of the Internet (although both of those examples – cryptography and the Internet – do underscore what I mean when I say infrastructure is ideological). C3I – command, control, communications, and intelligence. Militarism, as an ideology, privileges hierarchy, obedience, compliance, authoritarianism – it has shaped how our schools are structured; it shapes how our technologies are designed.

    The US military is the largest military in the world. That also makes it one of the largest educational organizations in the world – “learning at scale,” to borrow a phrase from this course. The military is responsible for training – basic training and ongoing training – of some 1.2 million active duty soldiers and some 800,000 reserve soldiers. That training has always been technological, because soldiers have had to learn to use a variety of machines. The military has also led the development and adoption of educational technologies.

    Take the flight simulator, for example.

    One of the earliest flight simulators – and yes, this predates the Microsoft software program by over fifty years, but postdates the Wright Brothers by only about twenty – was developed by Edwin Link. He received the patent for his device in 1931, a machine that replicated the cockpit and its instruments. The trainer would pitch and roll and dive and climb, powered by a motor and organ bellows. (Link’s family owned an organ factory.)

    Although Link’s first customers were amusement parks – the patent was titled a “Combination training device for student aviators and entertainment apparatus” – the military bought six in June of 1934, after a series of plane crashes earlier that year immediately following the US Army Air Corps’ takeover of US Air Mail service. Those accidents had revealed the pilots’ lack of training, particularly under night-time or inclement weather conditions. By the end of World War II, some 500,000 pilots had used the “Link Trainer,” and flight simulators have since become an integral part of pilot (and subsequently, astronaut) training.

    (There’s a good term paper to be written – you are writing a term paper, right? – about the history of virtual reality and the promises and presumptions it makes about simulation and learning and experiences and bodies. But mostly, I’d argue if I were writing it, that much of VR in classrooms today does not have its origins the Link Trainer as much as in the educational films that you read about in Larry Cuban’s Teachers and Machines. But I digress.)

    The military works along a different principle for organizing and disseminating knowledge than does, say, the university or the library. The military is largely interested in teaching “skills.” Or perhaps more accurately, this is how military training is largely imagined and discussed: “skills training.” (Officer training, to be fair, is slightly different.) The military is invested in those skills – and in the teaching of those skills – being standardized. All this shapes the kinds of educational software and hardware that gets developed and adopted.

    One of the challenges the military has faced, particularly in the twentieth century, is helping veterans to translate their skills into language that schools and civilian hiring managers understand. This is, of course, the origin of the GED test, which was developed during WWII as a way to assess whether those soldiers who’d dropped out of high school in order to enlist had attained high-school level skills – to demonstrate “competency” rather than rely on “seat time,” to put this in terms familiar to educational debates today. There has also been the challenge of translating skills within the military itself – say, from branch to branch – and within and across other federal agencies. New technologies, to a certain extent, have complicated things by introducing often incompatible software systems in which instruction occurs. And at the end of the day, the military demands regimentation, standardization – culturally, technologically.

    I just want to lay out an abbreviated timeline here to help situate some of my following remarks:

    I’m not suggesting here that the Web marks the origins of ed-tech. Again, you’ve read Larry Cuban’s work; you know that there’s a much longer history of teaching machines. But in the 1990s, we did witness a real explosion in not just educational software, but in educational software that functioned online.

    In January of 1999, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13111 – “Using Technology To Improve Training Opportunities for Federal Government Employees.” Here’s the opening paragraph, which I’m going to read – apologies – simply because it sounds as though it could be written today:

    Advances in technology and increased skills needs are changing the workplace at an ever increasing rate. These advances can make Federal employees more productive and provide improved service to our customers, the American taxpayers. We need to ensure that we continue to train Federal employees to take full advantage of these technological advances and to acquire the skills and learning needed to succeed in a changing workplace. A coordinated Federal effort is needed to provide flexible training opportunities to employees and to explore how Federal training programs, initiatives, and policies can better support lifelong learning through the use of learning technology.

    One of the mandates of the Executive Order was to:

    in consultation with the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, recommend standards for training software and associated services purchased by Federal agencies and contractors. These standards should be consistent with voluntary industry consensus-based commercial standards. Agencies, where appropriate, should use these standards in procurements to promote reusable training component software and thereby reduce duplication in the development of courseware.

    This call for standards – and yes, the whole idea of “standards” is deeply ideological – eventually became SCORM, the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (and one of the many acronyms that, if you work with education technology, will make people groan – and groan almost as much as a related acronym does: the LMS, the learning management system).

    Indeed, SCORM and the LMS – their purposes, their histories – are somewhat inseparable. (And I want you to consider the implications of that: that the demands of the federal government and the US military for a standardized “elearning” experience has profoundly shaped one of the foundational pieces of ed-tech that is used today by almost all colleges and increasingly even K–12 schools.)

    The SCORM standard was designed, in part, to make it possible to easily move educational content from one learning management system to another. Among the goals: reusability, interoperability, and durability of content and courses. (I’m not going to go into too much technical detail here, but I do want to recognize that this did require addressing some significant technical challenges.) SCORM had three components: content packaging, runtime communications, and course metadata. The content packaging refers to the packaging of all the resources needed to deliver a course into a single ZIP file. The runtime communications includes the runtime commands for communicating student information to and from the LMS, as well as the metadata for storing information on individual students. And the course metadata, obviously, includes things like course title, description, keywords, and so on. SCORM, as its full name implies, served to identify “sharable content objects” – that is the smallest unit in a course that contains meaningful learning content by itself – content objects that might be extracted and reused in another course. The third version of SCORM, SCORM 2004, also introduced sequencing, identifying the order in which these content objects should be presented.

    The implications of all this are fairly significant, particularly if we think about the SCORM initiative as something that’s helped, almost a decade ago, to establish and refine what’s become the infrastructure of the learning management system and other instructional software, as something that’s influenced the development as well of some of the theories of modern instructional design. (Theory is, of course, ideology. But, again, so is infrastructure.) The infrastructure of learning software shapes how we think about “content” and how we think about “skills” and how we think about “learning.” (And “we” here, to be clear, includes a broad swath of employers, schools, software makers, and the federal government – so that’s a pretty substantial “we.”)

    I will spare you the details of decades worth of debates about learning objects. It’s important to note, however, that there are decades of debate and many, many critics of the concept – Paulo Freire, for example, and his critique of the “banking model of information.” There are the critics too who argue for “authentic,” “real-world” learning, something that almost by definition learning objects – designed to move readily from software system to software system, from course to course, from content module to content module, from context to context – can never offer. I’d be remiss if I did not mention the work of open education pioneer David Wiley and what he has called the “reusability paradox,” which to summarize states that if a learning object is pedagogically useful in a specific context, it will not be useful in a different context. Furthermore, the most decontextualized learning objects are reusable in many contexts, but those are not pedagogically useful.

    But like I said at the outset, in my own line of inquiry I’m less interested in what’s “pedagogically useful” than I am in what gets proposed by industry and what becomes predominant – the predominant tech, the predominant practice, the predominant narrative, and so on.

    Learning objects have been blasted by theorists and practitioners, but they refuse to go away. Why?

    The predominant narratives today about the future of learning are all becoming deeply intertwined with artificial intelligence. We should recognize that these narratives have been influenced by decades of thinking in a certain way about information and knowledge and learning (in humans and in machines): as atomized learning objects and as atomized, standardized skills.

    There’s a long history of criticism of the idea of “intelligence” – its origins in eugenics; its use as a mechanism for race- and gender-based exclusion and sorting. It’s a history that educational psychology, deeply intertwined with the development of measurements and assessments, has not always been forthright about. Education technology, with its origins in educational psychology, is implicated in this. And now we port this history of “intelligence” – one steeped in racism and bias – onto machines.

    But we’re also porting a history of “skills” onto machines as well. This is, of course, the marketing used for Amazon’s Alexa. Developers “build” skills. They “teach” skills to the device. And it’s certainly debatable whether many of these are useful at all. But again, that’s not the only way to think about teaching machines. Whether or not something is “pedagogically useful,” here are reasons why the stories about it stick. The narrative about AI and skills is something to pay attention to – particularly alongside larger discussions about the so-called “skills gap.”

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  • 09/15/17--08:30: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos launched a “rethink schools” tour. Here are some reports from her travels:

    Via Chalkbeat: “What is Betsy DeVos’s ‘rethink school’ initiative all about? Her Wyoming speech offers clues.”

    DeVos visited my hometown of Casper, Wyoming to give this speech where she spoke at the Woods Learning Center. She was there to tout “choice,” something that she says most public school students and their families do not have. (This is part of her push for vouchers.) When I was growing up the building that now houses Woods was a school for students with special needs, including at one time, a school for deaf students. I’ve been thinking about the history of the language of “choice” and how “choice” and the lack of “choice” has been intertwined segregation and discrimination. That’s not the story that DeVos wants to tell, of course.)

    Via Chalkbeat: “Here’s what Betsy DeVos had to say in Denver about DACA, student loans and opting out of state tests.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Betsy DeVos is headed to an Indianapolis high school for students recovering from addiction.”

    “What DeVos Got Wrong in Her Speech on the ’Dear Colleague’ Letter,” Scott Schneider writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    Via The LA Times: “L.A. school board president faces felony charges over campaign contributions.” Ref Rodriguez, like most of the current members of the LAUSD school board, has strong financial backing from the charter school industry.

    More LAUSD news in the legal section below.

    Via The New York Times: “After More Than 20 Years, Newark to Regain Control of Its Schools.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “‘Common Core’ no more: New York moves to adopt revised standards with new name.”

    Via the AP: “School at Cook County Jail reported phony attendance numbers.” That’s according to an audit by the Chicago Public Schools’ inspector general of an alternative high school inside the jail.

    Via The LA Times: “ Offering free computers, a small L.A. school district enrolled Catholic school students from Bakersfield.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The University of North Carolina system Board of Governors voted 24 to 3, with one abstention, Friday to bar litigation by the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law’s Center for Civil Rights. The proposal voted on is technically a ban on all centers and institutes engaging in litigation, but the only entity that litigates is the Center for Civil Rights.” The center, as the name suggests, does legal work for civil rights and low-income groups. Do keep this in mind while conservatives try to argue that the big threat to “free speech on campus” is young leftists.

    Immigration and Education

    Via ProPublica: “Relatives of Undocumented Children Caught Up in ICE Dragnet.”

    There’s more on immigration and Trump’s move to end DACA in the legal section below.

    Education in the Courts

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “U. of California Sues Trump Administration Over DACA Decision.”

    Via The LA Times: “L.A. Unified settles lawsuits with teacher Rafe Esquith.”

    The Business of Student Loans (and the Business of Paying for School)

    SoFi: a student loan company and one of the most well-funded ed-tech companies out there sure seems swell. Via The New York Times: “‘It Was a Frat House’: Inside the Sex Scandal That Toppled SoFi’s C.E.O..”

    More on SoFi in the HR section below.

    RaiseMe, a platform that allows students to earn incremental college scholarship dollars as they attain academic and other goals in high school, is expanding its offering to community college students,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Via Buzzfeed: “Got Student Debt? Soon Your Employer Might Help With That.”

    Via Edsurge: “As Bootcamps Look for Novel Ways for Students to Pay For Their Studies, Many Try ‘Deferred Tuition’.”

    Do note how student financial aid startups are still raising venture capital (and how now, I guess, ed-tech publications cover these stories when before they insisted these weren’t ed-tech).

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to grant employees a waiver of a rule barring receipt of salary or other benefits from for-profit colleges. The proposed regulation was published in the federal register Thursday and would take effect next month without ‘adverse comment.’”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs this week backed Ashford University‘s attempt to shift its state-based eligibility for veterans’ benefits from Iowa to Arizona, likely preserving the for-profit university’s access to Post–9/11 GI Bill and active-duty military tuition benefits.”

    Delta Career Education Corporation, a privately held for-profit college company, is phasing out seven of its campuses,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    There’s more for-profit news in the HR and accreditation sections below.

    Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

    California Should Watch Arkansas Process for Creating New Online Institution,” says Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill.

    Meanwhile on Campus…

    Harvard has rescinded its appointment of Chelsea Manning as a fellow in its Institute of Politics.

    Harvard has also rescinded the acceptance of Michelle Jones to its PhD program in history. More from The Marshall Project: “In prison for more than 20 years, Michelle Jones was chosen for Harvard’s elite graduate history program – until the university decided her redemption was not enough.”

    Via The Spokesman-Review: “One student dead, three in hospital after classmate opens fire at Freeman High School.” The high school is in Spokane, Washington.

    “Who Gets Rescheduled at Berkeley,” asks Inside Higher Ed. “It’s not Milo.” (It’s Anna Tsing, an anthropology professor at UC Santa Cruz. Priorities.)

    Via The New York Times: “Bannon Will Address Berkeley, a Hotbed of Conflict Over Free Speech.”

    Via Mother Jones: “She Was a Rising Star at a Major University. Then a Lecherous Professor Made Her Life Hell.” The professor in question: Richard Aslin at the University of Rochester.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A University of Virginia working group convened after white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Va., in August has released an assessment on the university’s response and what it could have done better. It points to policies the university can pro-actively ennact, and laws that could have been enforced by university police.”

    Via David Perry: “A professor of Atmospheric Sciences stepped down (he was 70) at the University of Illinois rather than appropriately address accommodations in his classroom. His emails to the student emerged in the process, including one he BCC’d to the entire class saying disability support doesn’t belong on campus.”

    Birmingham-Southern Cuts Tuition in Half,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Via Phil Hill: “Some Ed Tech Perspective on UC’s Billion-Dollar Payroll System Fiasco.”

    Accreditation and Certification

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Terminated Accreditor Applies for Recognition.” That’s the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which accredits mostly for-profits and whose federal recognition the Obama Administration had moved to rescind.

    Educause has published an article about “The Mastery Transcript Consortium,” a group of independent schools that are “reinventing” the college transcript. (I’m skeptical that this is as powerful as folks claim until it exists equitably across schools and not only among those that already given students a leg-up in the college admissions process.)

    “A regional accreditor recently denied an Arizona community college’s bid to increase its online degree offerings, with a decision that highlights challenges colleges may face when seeking to expand their online presence,” Inside Higher Ed reports. The community college: Scottsdale Community College. The accreditor: the Higher Learning Commission.

    Via The CBC: “Toronto man ‘angry’ after learning his $8,100 master’s degree that required no exams or academic work is fake.” This “Toronto man” is Erwin Sniedzins, who runs an ed-tech company called Mount Knowledge.

    More research on certification in the research section below.

    Go, School Sports Team!

    “How does a university go about replacing a live mascot?” asks The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Steve Kolowich.

    From the HR Department

    Via The New York Times: “SoFi Board Says C.E.O. Is Out Immediately Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Laureate Education Inc. announced Thursday that effective Jan. 1, 2018, Eilif Serck-Hanssen will become the for-profit company’s new chief executive officer and Ricardo Berckemeyer will take over as the company’s president. Serck-Hanssen is replacing current CEO Douglas Becker, who will become the nonexecutive chairman of Laureate’s Board of Directors.”

    danah boyd has announced that she’ll be stepping down from running her research organization Data & Society. The new executive director: Janet Haven.

    Upgrades and Downgrades

    Apple had a thing. Its website touts the “Highlights from Apple’s keynote event.” Among the new features: facial recognition to unlock the new iPhone. I swear if I see anyone arguing this will be great for education…

    “Just What the Heck Was That XQ Super School Live Special?” asks Edsurge. John Merrow also has thoughts on the TV show.

    Inside Higher Ed writes about the messaging app Islands and wonders if it’s “the next Yik Yak.”

    According to WCET, “Developing Effective Courses Using Adaptive Learning Begins with Proper Alignment.”

    Via Getting Smart: “Virtual and Augmented Reality in Personalized Learning.”

    Tom Vander Ark lists “15 Dimensions of Personalized Learning.”

    Via Edsurge: “Questioning the Core Assumptions of Personalized Learning With Math Blogger Dan Meyer.”

    More on “personalization” in the “research” section below.

    Michael Horn profiles John Danner about his new tutoring startup Zeal: “John Danner, Education Entrepreneur, Doubles Down On Human Capital.”

    Via Engadget: “Snapchat plans to add college newspapers to its Discover section.”

    This headline doesn’t quite have the right structure to go in the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines section, although I’d wager we do know the answer to the question: “Can Techie Parents Reinvent School For Everyone - Or Just Their Rich Kids?

    This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

    Can Artificial Intelligence Help Teachers Find the Right Lesson Plans?asks Education Week.

    Will AI Be The Next Big Thing In The Classroom?asks Forbes.

    Could an App Help Teachers Recognize Their Own Biases?asks Education Week.

    (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 Ed-Tech SF

    “​Teachers Can Now Use IBM’s Watson to Search for Free Lesson Plans,” Edsurge pronounces. IBM wants us to believe that Watson is incredibly powerful – powerful enough, even, to search 1000 OER. Wowee.

    There’s more about IBM Watson (and AI in general) in the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines section, because of course.

    Speaking of bullshit, the Calling Bullshit course challenges a study that’s been in the news recently claiming that AI can identify sexual orientation based on people’s faces. More on this study in IHE.

    Wow, this story is getting a lot of play: via TES: “Machines ‘will replace teachers within 10 years’.” From iNews: “Within ten years, human teachers will be phased out, replaced by machines, says vice chancellor.”

    Via Education Dive: “Researcher: AI won’t replace teachers.”

    Via TeacherCast: “Why Teachers Will Never Be Replaced By Robots.”

    Inside Higher Ed on Robot-Proof: “Northeastern president discusses his new book on how higher education can train students for careers where technology cannot make them redundant.”

    Via Campus Technology: “ProctorU Intros AI-Based Online Proctoring”: “Machine learning allows ProctorU Auto to adapt to student behavior, improving its analysis with each exam.”

    (Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

    “Great EdTech Success Story Turns Into The Biggest Philanthropic Story of the Year,” Getting Smart argues, pointing to Curriculum Associates’ donation of its stock to the Iowa State University Foundation. Iowa State University Foundation has, in turn, sold the stock to Berkshire Partners for around $145 million.

    Via Edsurge: “Salesforce Gifts $12.2M to Expand Computer Science in S.F., Oakland Public Schools.”

    “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld” – St. Augustine

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    Absorb Software has raised $59 million from Silversmith Capital Partners to build an LMS.

    Unacademy has raised $11.5 million in Series B funding from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blume Ventures. The online education platform has raised $17.5 million total.

    MissionU has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding from FirstMark, BoxGroup, First Round Capital, John Doerr, Learn Capital, Omidyar Network, Rethink Education, and University Ventures. The “startup university” has raised $11.5 million total. (No disclosure from Edsurge in its coverage of the funding that it shares several investors with MissionU. No disclosure to that end on any of the stories it’s published on the startup – three all told. Not too shabby for a school that just opened to its first cohort.)

    Piper has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding Owl Ventures, Reach Capital, StartX, and Charles Huang. The Minecraft-based-engineering company has raised $9.75 million total.

    Vemo Education has raised $7.4 million in seed funding from University Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Route 66 Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, Haystack Partners, and Task Force X Capital. It’s a platform for incoming-sharing agreements.

    Credly has raised $4.6 million from New Markets Venture Partners. The credentialing company has raised $7.1 million total.

    Carnegie Learning has acquired Globaloria.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    The Equifax breach isn’t an ed-tech story, of course. But let’s just say that the kind of negligence that led to it – Equifax not fixing a known security flaw – is far too commonplace in education.

    Via Bill Fitzgerald: “Protecting Ourselves From the Equifax Data Breach, and Data Brokers in General.”

    “Why do big hacks happen?” asks Jathan Sadowski in The Guardian. “Blame Big Data.”

    Again, keep this in mind as schools and ed-tech feel compelled to gather more and more data.

    Via Dark Reading: “72% of Educational Institutions Lack Designated InfoSec Staff.”

    Via KTNV: “Foothill High School regains control of Twitter account after hack.” That’s an updated headline as the school’s Twitter account remained hacked – with obscene language and images posted to it – for days. Just a reminder that Twitter does not care about your school’s social media initiative. At all.

    Via The New York Times: “The Downside of Checking Kids’ Grades Constantly.”

    Research, “Research,” and Reports

    Via Politico: “How U.S. News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus.”

    Via the South China Morning Report: “China’s online education market to grow 20pc annually, bolstered by new technologies.”

    Via YourStory: “Despite drop in funding, edtech still presents a huge opportunity.”

    British girls‘logging off’ from CS: What’s the real problem?” asks Mark Guzdial.

    From Silicon Schools: “All That We’ve Learned: Five Years Working on Personalized Learning.”

    Education Elements has also released a report on personalized learning.

    Via Brookings: “Signs of digital distress: Mapping broadband availability and subscription in American neighborhoods.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Ambitious college-completion goals set by the Obama administration and the Lumina Foundation are unlikely to be met, according to a new analysis from Educational Testing Service, the standardized-assessment organization.”

    “What happens after American higher education contracts?” asks Bryan Alexander.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “More than a quarter of Americans hold a non-degree credential, with 21 percent completing a work experience program, new federal data shows. And many of these credential holders have well-paying jobs.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “Efforts to ‘raise the bar’ for becoming a teacher are running headlong into efforts to diversify the profession. Now what?”

    “Research in Translation: Cultural Limits of Self-Regulated Learning,” by Mindwires Consulting’s Michael Feldstein.

    The World Education blog on some of the latest research about private school operators, including Bridge International Academies, in Liberia.

    Via Education Dive: “29% of teens report having cheated with devices.”

    I’m cited in this Education Week story on the latest Horizon Report.

    Via Nieman Lab: “ Adding a ‘disputed’ label to fake news seems to work, a little. But for some groups, it actually backfires.” (You can bet that “fake news” is going to be one of this year’s “top ed-tech trends.”)

    A new report from the Pew Research Center: “How People Approach Facts and Information.”

    Results from an AFT-backed poll: “National Poll Finds Parents Want Safe, Welcoming, Well-Funded Neighborhood Public Schools; Overwhelmingly Support Public Schools.”

    Poll results from“The Gallup 2017 Survey of K–12 School District Superintendents.”

    Via USA Today: “Survey: Millennials hold complex views on education.”

    Via The Wall Street Journal: “Americans Losing Faith in College Degrees, Poll Finds.”

    Via Campus Technology: “Survey of Tech in Education Finds Mixed Results.” Better keep hyping it anyway…

    Icon credits: The Noun Project

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  • 09/22/17--10:20: Hack Education Weekly News
  • (National) Education Politics

    “The Trump Administration Has Revoked A Federal Directive On Campus Rape,” Buzzfeed reports. More on the decision in The New York Times.

    US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ “learning curve where higher ed is concerned is quite vertical,” quips UC president Janet Napolitano. The Chronicle of Higher Education has more on Napolitano’s remarks at a lunch at UC’s Washington Center.

    Via Education Week: “Q&A: One-on-One with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.”

    “The Department of Education rejected two recent calls to improve its monitoring of the financial health of colleges and universities– despite findings that its metrics predicted only half of institutional closures in recent years,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    More on another Department of Education announcement this week – this one regarding the department’s inspector general and a potentially crippling penalty for WGU – in the “competencies” section below.

    Via NPR on Sunday: “President Trump Set To Meet With Presidents Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities.” Via NPR on Tuesday: “Trump, And Most Black College Presidents, Absent From Annual Meeting.” Trump has appointed former NFL star Johnathan Holifield (who never attended an HBCU) to run the White House’s HBCU initiative.

    More on the politics of student loans in the student loan section below.

    “There’s a new call for Americans to embrace Chinese-style education. That’s a huge mistake,” writes Yong Zhao in an op-ed in The Washington Post.

    (State and Local) Education Politics

    Via KPCC: “Ref Rodriguez has given up the role of president of the Los Angeles Unified School Board– but is not resigning his seat on the board altogether – one week after the announcement he’d face felony charges for alleged campaign finance violations during his 2015 run for office.”

    Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan,” says ProPublica’s Anne Waldman. The plan: “Converting into private schools– and using voucher programs to thrive on the public dime.”

    Chalkbeat on Success Academies: “Private managers of public schools, charter leaders enjoy extra buffer from public-records laws.”

    Via Education Week: “Assignment asking students to role play as KKK sparks anger.”

    Via Chalkbeat: “School segregation at center of new documentary from collective founded by Ava DuVernay.”

    Education in the Courts

    Via The New York Times: “Rolling Stone Faces Revived Lawsuit Over Campus Rape Article.”

    Rachel Cohen in The Intercept: “Authorities Close In On Pro-Charter School Nonprofit For Illicit Campaign Contributions.”

    “Free College”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The California Community Colleges announced Tuesday that the Board of Governors Fee Waiver program, which provides nearly half of the system’s 2.1 million students with free tuition, would be renamed the California College Promise Grant, a name reminiscent of many free college programs.”

    The Business (and the Politics of the Business) of Student Loans

    Via The Washington Post: “Student loan companies reach $21.6 million settlement over dubious debt collection lawsuits.” More via Buzzfeed and via Reuters.

    Via NPR: “The Department Of Education Cuts Off A Student Loan Watchdog.” The watchdog: the CFPB.

    The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

    Via Buzzfeed: “The Education Department Will Allow Two Large For-Profit Colleges To Become Nonprofits.” That’s Kaplan University and the Art Institutes. More on the Kaplan news via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Lynn Universitywill buy the for-profit Digital Media Arts College. (The latter had lost its accreditation in December of last year.)

    Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

    Via Edsurge: “Peter Thiel May Finally Get His Flying Cars, Thanks to a New Udacity Nanodegree in 2018.” More predictions in Techcrunch: “Autonomous driving’s godfather and tech investors say the world is ready for flying cars.” And via the Udacity blog: “Self-Driving Cars for Everyone!” EVERYONE!

    Via The Hindu Business Line: “Pearson India set to launch K–12 online private school.”

    Meanwhile on Campus…

    “2 More Speakers Drop From Yiannopoulos’s ‘Free Speech Week’ at Berkeley,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The non-speakers: James Damore, the fired Google engineer, and Lucian Wintrich, a journalist with Gateway Pundit. Also via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Berkeley Casts Doubt on Motives of ‘Free Speech Week’ Organizers, Citing Missed Deadlines.”

    Inside Higher Ed reports that“The University of California Office of the President will pay half of the cost of security for conservative speakers at UC Berkeley this month.”

    “Who is blocking campus speakers now?” asks Inside Higher Ed. “Incidents at Harvard and Catholic Universities challenge idea that liberals are the only ones preventing ideas from being voiced on campuses.”

    “In Support of Dr. Dorothy Kimby David Perry.

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A Georgia Tech police vehicle was torched and three people were arrested during a protest this week. Anger has grown over news that officer involved in fatal shooting was never trained in responding to situations involving people with mental-health issues.” More on the shootingvia The Washington Post.

    Via The New York Times: “Cornell Fraternity Closes Indefinitely After Racially Charged Attack.”

    Via Town & Country: “The Strange World of Sorority Rush Consultants.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Dust-Up Involving Conservative Student Sparks Political Uproar in Nebraska.”

    Via NPR Code Switch: “Starting School At The University That Enslaved Her Ancestors.” Mélisande Short-Colomb starts at Georgetown.

    Via The New York Times: “Harvard Endowment Reports ‘Disappointing’ 8.1 Percent Return.” Not sure how the university is going to stay afloat.

    Speaking of Harvard, Crystal Marie Fleming writes in Vox that “Harvard has shown its commitment to diversity was always a farce.”

    “When Affirmative Action Isn’t Enough” by The New York Times’ Dana Goldstein.

    More on Harvard via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Taking Stock of the Ties That Bind Harvard’s Kennedy School and the CIA.”

    Inside Higher Ed on“Fee for Honors”: “Arizona State’s honors college fee, currently at $1,500 per year, has enabled explosive growth, leaders say. Critics worry about dissuading poor students from enrolling, but others say public institutions need new sources of revenue and ways to offer value to top students.”

    BYU now sells caffeinated soda on campus.

    “Two Christian colleges in North Carolina, Piedmont International University and John Wesley University, plan to merge next year,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

    Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

    Education Department’s inspector general labels Western Governors as a correspondence-course provider, seeks reimbursement of $713 million in aid and may broadly threaten competency-based education,” Inside HIgher Ed reports. More via Edsurge.

    Via Times of Malta: “Malta becomes first country to explore blockchain education certificates.”

    “ What is the future of accreditation– and how do microcredentials impact it?” asks Education Dive.

    Go, School Sports Team!

    Via The New York Times: “Playing Tackle Football Before 12 Is Tied to Brain Problems Later.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “Two college football players died after games last Saturday, following three off-season deaths this year, while a Harvard football player suffered a neck injury and remains paralyzed.”

    Via The Chicago Tribune: “5 Wheaton College football players face felony charges in hazing incident.”

    Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “After Faculty Outcry, UNC Will Allow Athletics Course to Be Taught Again.” The class: “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956 to the Present.”

    The Business of Job Training

    Via The Guardian: “ Tech’s push to teach coding isn’t about kids’ success – it’s about cutting wages.”

    Contests and Awards

    The MacArthur Foundation has announced its “100&Change Finalists.”

    Via Edsurge: “Here Are the 5 Finalists for the $15M XPRIZE Global Learning Challenge.” (Forbes goes with a clickbait title: “Possibly Elon Musk’s Biggest Idea Yet – Revolutionizing Education.” Elon Musk doesn’t really have any idea here. He’s just on the board of XPRIZE and helped fund it.

    Via Education Week: “Carol Dweck Wins $4 Million Prize for Research on ‘Growth Mindsets’.”

    Upgrades and Downgrades

    Via Edsurge: “Minecraft’s New Oregon Trail Experience Has Everything – Even the Dysentery.” It’s not apparent to me in the coverage whether “everything” includes Native Americans.

    Via Motherboard: “New System Knows How Hard You’re Thinking Based on Thermal Imaging.” Mmmhmmm. Sure. Okay.

    Ed Tech Products Should Make Educators More Efficient,” says EdWeek’s Matthew Lynch. The post recommends facial recognition, which is such a terrible, terrible idea.

    Edtech CEOs Seek to Change the ‘Adversarial Narrative’ With Public School Teachers,” says Edsurge. (See how much of that “adversarial narrative” you find in this week’s – or any week’s – ed-tech news.)

    College textbooks are going the way of Netflix,” Quartz predicts in part 2 of a ridiculously silly series on the future of the university.

    From the Knewton blog: “ Introducing Knewton Product Updates for Fall 2017.”

    Via Quartz: “An MIT Media Lab startup is creating beautiful wooden toys to teach children the basics of coding.” The startup is called Learning Beautiful.

    Via The Next Web: “Look no further: Universities are funding startups to ensure students succeed.”

    Via Boing Boing: “World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus, standardizes DRM with 58.4% support, EFF resigns.”

    Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

    Imagine how great universities could be without all those human teachers,” says Quartz, lauding the fantasy that robots will replace teachers.

    Artificial intelligence will transform universities,” says the World Economic Forum.

    Via IDG’s CIO magazine: “How artificial intelligence is transforming learning.”

    Via Campus Technology: “BYU Researchers Aim to Stop Robots from Eating Tables with Wikipedia.”

    Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

    ThinkCERCA has raised $10.1 million from Scott Cook, Signe Ostby, Chuck Templeton, Deborah Quazzo, Follett Knowledge Fund, Jeff Weiner, Mike Gamson, Plum Alley, and TAL Education Group. The literacy software company has raised $14.8 million total. (No disclosure on Edsurge’s coverage of the fundraising that Deborah Quazzo’s VC firm GSV is also an investor in Edsurge.) has raised $7 million in Series B funding from Wildcat Venture Partners, MassMutual Ventures, and Mohr Davidow Ventures. The student loan management startup has raised $15.15 million total.

    Packback has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from University Ventures and ICG Ventures. The company, which according to its Crunchbase profile is a “Q&A learning platform powered by a proprietary A.I. to quantify and improve critical thinking skills in college students,” has raised $4 million total.

    Another for-profit university has been acquired by a not-for-profit one. Details in the for-profit higher ed section above.

    Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

    Via Campus Technology: “Education Data Breaches Double in First Half of 2017.”

    “Why the State of Surveillance in Schools Might Lead to the Next Equifax Disaster,” according to Edsurge, with a strange selection of products that might expose students’ data – none of which share any investors with Edsurge.

    Research, “Research,” and Reports

    “Boys are not defective,” Amanda Ripley writes in The Atlantic. “Girls in the Middle East do better than boys in school by a greater margin than almost anywhere else in the world: a case study in motivation, mixed messages, and the condition of boys everywhere.”

    Via Times Higher Education: “Online courses ‘more time-consuming’ to prepare for, study says.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Brookings Institution has released survey results showing that many college students lack understanding of or support for the legal principles of the First Amendment.”

    “Rejecting Growth Mindset and Grit at Three Levels” by P. L. Thomas.

    Via Campus Technology: “Report: AI, IoT, Cyber Threats Will Shape the Internet’s Future.”

    “How Big is the LMS Market?” asks Inside Higher Ed’s Joshua Kim. Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill responds.

    Edutechnica offers its“5th Annual LMS Data Update.”

    Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Cloud Computing Market Poised to Grow in Education Sector, Report Finds.”

    The RAND Corporation has released a report on “Designing Innovative High Schools.”

    Via Education Week: “Student Research Looks at Sleep Habits After Technology Roll-Out.”

    WaPo’s Valerie Strauss covers a recent study from the Stanford History Education Group on NAEP: “The ‘nation’s report card’ says it assesses critical thinking in history– but NAEP gets an F on that score.”

    Via Inside Higher Ed: “A survey by e-textbook provider VitalSource has found that 50 percent of students who delayed buying textbooks because of high prices saw their grades suffer as a result.”

    Edsurge writes up the latest report from EducationSuperhighway on e-rate connectivity at public schools.

    From the Navitas Ventures’ website: a report on the “Global EdTech Landscape 3.0– 15,000 teams building the future of education.” We’re only at 3.0, eh?

    Private equity investors are looking for someone to take an Amazon approach to online education,” says PEHub, demonstrating that private equity investors control a lot of money but understand very little about edu.

    Research from Catarina Player-Koro, Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, and Neil Selwyn: “Selling tech to teachers: education trade shows as policy events.”

    Icon credits: The Noun Project