Hack Education Weekly News

Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education.

(National and Global) Education Politics

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

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

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

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

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

This, on school shootings, absolutely gutted me.

(State and Local) Education Politics

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

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

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

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

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

Education in the Courts

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

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

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

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

The Business of Financial Aid

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

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

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

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

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

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

Meanwhile on Campus…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

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

Go, School Sports Team!

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

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

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

Memos from HR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upgrades and Downgrades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Business of Job Training

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

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

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

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

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

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

Robots and Other Education Science Fiction

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

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

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

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

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

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Education Reform

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

Venture Capital and the Business of Education

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

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

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

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

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

Data, Surveillance, and Information Security

Ben Williamson on “Learning from psychographic personality profiling.”

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

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

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

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

Research, “Research,” and Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

Via Wired: “Teen Driving by the Numbers.”

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

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

RIP

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

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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