New Book: The Monsters of Education Technology 4

The fourth book in my “Monsters of Education Technology” series is out. As with the other books in the series, it’s a collection of talks I’ve given through the course of the year.

E-book versions are available for purchase via the usual online retailers: Amazon and Smashwords. Even better (as far as my royalties go, at least): you can buy from me directly via Gumroad. You can purchase the e-book there (a ZIP file that contains the MOBI, EPUB, and PDF versions) for $4.99. You can, of course, just read most of the content here on Hack Education for free.

The Monsters of Technology 4 is likely the last book in the “Monsters” series, and as I’m switching my focus to finally finishing Teaching Machines, it’ll be my last book for a while. (I will try, however, to get print books and audio books of all four books in the series finalized – probably some time in mid–2018.)

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(National) Education Politics

“Assessing Betsy DeVosRollback on Disability Rightsby Pacific Standard’s David Perry.

“The 72 OSERS Documents Rescinded by Betsy deVos” – by Liz Ditz.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The White House announced Thursday that President Trump would nominate Kenneth L. Marcus, president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, as the next head of civil rights at the Department of Education.”

Via Education Week: “The Polarizing Pick to Be Betsy DeVos’ Right-Hand Man.” (That’s Mick Zais.)

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Candice Jackson on Campus Sex Assault: ‘We’re Not Asking Schools to Step In as Courts of Law’.”

Via The New York Times: “Melania Trump, in Michigan, Urges Middle Schoolers to ‘Choose Kindness’.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Rand Paul’s New Target: Peer Review.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Sessions’ Justice Dept. Is Wading Into Another Campus Free-Speech Case.” This one involves Pierce College.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “IRS Seeks to Tax Disabled Vet’s Forgiven Loans.”

Via The New York Times: “Consumer Bureau Loses Fight to Allow More Class-Action Suits.” Challenging forced arbitration clauses has been one way the CFPB has taken on the student loan industry.

More on the Trump administration’s approach to student loans in the student loan section below.

Via Education Week: “FCC Delays, Denials Foil Rural Schools’ Broadband Plans.”

Via Techcrunch: “FTC relaxes COPPA rule so kids can issue voice searches and commands.”

The Black Alliance for Educational Options, a charter school advocacy group, announced it will cease operations at the end of the year. (Related, I think: “The Rift Among Charter Schools” by Rachel Cohen.)

Via The Guardian: “Universities deplore ‘McCarthyism’ as MP demands list of tutors lecturing on Brexit.”

Via Reuters: “Japan’s Abe vows to put education spending before budget balance.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via WBEZ: “Chicago Charter Schools Hired 163 Public School Staffers Banned For Misconduct, Including Sexual Abuse.”

Via The LA Times: “L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King on medical leave through the end of the year.”

Via The LA Times: “ His three allies on the L.A. school board want Rodriguez to take a leave. He says no.”

Via KPCC: “Charter school law is murky when it comes to the Ref Rodriguez story.”

Immigration and Education

Via The Washington Post: “As DACA winds down, 20,000 educators are in limbo.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A professor at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, said she was initially denied entry to the U.S. after the academic honorarium she was to receive from a U.S. university came under scrutiny.”

Education in the Courts

Via Current: “Former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton no longer licenses the show’s brand from the public TV station that created the program, a result of two lawsuits that concluded Friday.”

Via the Sacramento Bee: “Suicide, investigation and a lawsuit follow booze-fueled UC Davis ag school retreat.”

The Business of Student Loans

Via Buzzfeed: “A Close Ally Of Mike Pence Is Helping The Shady Student Debt Relief Industry.” (That’s Marty Obst.)

Via MarketWatch: “John Grisham’s new novel grapples with the $1.4 trillion student debt crisis.”

Via TPM: “DeVos Delays Obama-Era Student Loan Protections Amid Writing New Rules.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “U.S. Considers Partial Relief for Defrauded Student Borrowers.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Department of Education Wednesday released the names of 17 panelists and alternates who will be charged with overhauling an Obama administration regulation for protection of student borrowers through a process known as negotiated rule making.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Techcrunch: “Holberton gets backing from more industry executives as it looks to scale its software engineering school.”

There is some bootcamp acquisition news in the venture capital section below.

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

MOOCs. They’re back?

“Learning Creative Learning: It’s not a MOOC, it’s a community,” says the MIT Media Lab.

“A Proposal to Put the ‘M’ Back in MOOCs” – an op-ed by Class Central’s Dhawal Shah in Edsurge.

“Rethinking MOOCs” – an op-ed in Duke University’s newspaper The Chronicle.

“Reviving the MOOC” – an op-ed by Stephen Downes.

Edsurge profiles Dr. Chuck about his work on MOOCs with Coursera. (No disclosure in this or its Class Central article that it shares investors with these MOOC companies.)

This will be featured in “The Week in Predictions,” but I’ll note it here too. From the Coursera blog: “Building India’s Workforce for 2020.” (Like I’ve said previously, these corporate stories really do belong in “the business of job training” section below.)

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Controversy at George Washington U. Highlights Challenges of Diving Deeply Into Online Education.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Drexel Lets Controversial Professor Teach Online.” (That’s George Ciccariello-Maher.)

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via The LA Times: “White nationalist shot at protesters after Richard Spencer speech in Florida, police say.”

Via The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “ Police seeking Facebook release of Virginia Tech instructor’s activity.” The instructor is a regular poster on white supremacist websites.

The College of the Ozarks will require students take a class aimed at encouraging patriotism.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich tries to argue thatLeft-wing education cheats children.”

Via The New York Times: “High School Students Explain Why They Protest Anthems and Pledges.”

A misguided op-ed by the president of the University of Oregon: “The Misguided Student Crusade Against ‘Fascism’.”

“There is no 1st Amendment right to speak on a college campus,” says Vox.

“How Campus Racism Could Affect Black Students’ College Enrollment” by The Atlantic’s Melinda D. Anderson.

“The Chinese University of Hong Kong put in the winning bid to purchase the campus of the now-defunct Daniel Webster College,” says Inside Higher Ed.

The Memphis College of Art will close.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “2 Are Shot and Killed on Grambling State’s Campus After Fight That Began in Dorm Room.”

Harvard’s The Crimson on discrimination against women in the school’s math department.

“‘I chose abuse, because it seemed safer.’” – “Dean Dad” Matt Reed on the #RealCollege conference on food insecurity on college campuses.

Via the BBC: “Stephen Hawking PhD readers crash Cambridge University website.”

Accreditations and Certifications and Competencies

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Alabama will issue manufacturing industry certifications across its two-year college system in an effort to create a better educational pipeline to jobs in manufacturing and transportation.”

Via Campus Technology: “Southern New Hampshire U to launch Competency-Based Master’s in Online Ed.”

Testing, Testing…

Via Sixth Tone: “China Announces Radical Overhaul of College Entrance Exam.”

Via The New York Times: “Asian Test-Prep Centers Offer Parents Exactly What They Want: ‘Results’.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Donor Revokes $6 Million Pledge to Louisville Athletics.”

There’s a sports-related headline better suited for the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines in that section.

From the HR Department

Duke University’s Kieran Healy posts his cover letter to a rather wild job announcement from MIT Media Lab.

Via Politico: “Kevin Chavous is joining K12 Inc., the nation’s largest virtual charter school management company, as president of academics, policy, and schools. Chavous is a founding board member of the American Federation for Children, the school choice advocacy group formerly chaired by Betsy DeVos.”

Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, announced he’d be stepping down from the position in January.

The Business of Job Training

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The growing number of jobs in the computing field far outpaces how many students are earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science and similar fields, according to a lengthy new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.”

Contests and Awards

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “A virtual reality platform that allows students to simulate hands-on orthopedic surgical training won the top prize in the EdSim Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is The NCAA Equipped To Handle Scandals?asks 1A.

Is Free Speech In A ‘State Of Emergency’?asks 1A.

Has Strunk and White Struck Out of Writing Instruction?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

“Top Charter Networks Turning Attention to Curriculum,” says Michael Petrilli. And in Edsurge, Amber Oliver and Michael Horn write, “Without the Right Curriculum, Personalized Learning Is Just Another Fad.” (Note: the focus on curriculum is something that the Gates Foundation says that, with its latest pivot, it plans to fund.)

More on the Gates Foundation changes [in Education Week](With Latest Education Investments, Gates Pivots Again) and in Chalkbeat and on my personal blog.

Via Mic: “On Thursday, Pearson, an education publishing company, apologized for publishing a nursing textbook section that contained racist material about treating patients from different cultural backgrounds who have acute and chronic pain.”

Via Campus Technology: “Unizin Partners with edX, Cengage.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “African Ed-Tech Incubator’s First Class of Companies Step Into Market.”

Via the AP: “Fisher-Price recalls 65,000 baby seats due to fire hazard.”

Via Techcrunch: “HelloFresh co-founder is working on a prepared meal service for kids.”

Also via Techcrunch: “Pair Eyewear, the Warby Parker for kids, launches today.”

(No. These last two stories aren’t about “ed-tech” per se. But do watch how ed-tech is consumer tech and as such expects a certain amount of parental affluence.)

Neuroeducation Will Lead to Big Breakthroughs in Learning,” says Singularity Hub.

And here’s a “big breakthrough,” featured in Edsurge: BrainCo. “This Company Wants to Gather Student Brainwave Data to Measure ‘Engagement’,” Edsurge writes. Edsurge seems skeptical that this is “a thing,” but that doesn’t stop it from taking the company’s money to advertise a job opening. Ed-tech ethics.

Speaking of ed-tech ethics, here’s a Techcrunch headline: “GitHub’s scandalized ex-CEO returns with Chatterbug.” That’s Tom Preston-Werner who resigned from GitHub after an investigation into sexual harassment claims at the company. Now he’s launching a new company – and of course it’s ed-tech. Chatterbug is a language learning startup. Wheee.

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

Via Disruptor Daily: “AI in Education: 10 Companies to Watch in 2018.”

Via Getting Smart: “Artificial Intelligence in Education: Where It’s At, Where It’s Headed.”

“Chirons will lead us out of the AI Technopanic,” says Pearson, “and you can be a chiron.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

Via Politico: “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Ford Foundation are investing $1.5 million to bolster ‘student-centered learning’ through a competitive grant program that will award up to $150,000 to 10 school districts or communities of schools.”

Via Vice: “Mark Zuckerberg has bigger plans than the White House.”

Via Techcrunch: “Zuckerberg’s CZI donates to struggling towns near Facebook.”

There’s more on the Gates Foundation in the upgrades section above.

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

Brainly has raised $14 million in Series B funding from General Catalyst, Point Nine Capital, Runa Capital, Naspers, and Kulczyk Investments. The company, which Techcrunch calls “Quora for kids,” has raised $38.5 million total.

Again, the next two investments aren’t ed-tech per se, but as I note in the upgrades section above, it’s important to track on the ways in which kids are seen as a target market for tech companies:

Reserve has raised $12 million in Series C funding from Accel Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Mission Holdings. The company, which markets credit cards to college students, has raised $26.35 million total. (Deserve does not use FICO scores to determine “credit worthiness.” It uses “machine learning.”)

Current has raised $5 million in Series A funding from QED Capital and Cota Capital. The debit card (for teens) company has raised $8.6 million total.

Sex education startup O.School has raised $800,000 in funding from Cyan Banister, The House Fund, and XFactor Ventures.

Fuel Education, a subsidiary of K12 Inc, has acquired the literacy platform Big Universe.

WeWork has acquired the coding bootcamp Flatiron School (on the heels of the latter’s run-in with the NY Attorney General.)

Chegg has acquired Cogeon for $15 million.

Another education IPO – the second of the year. This time it’s English language learning site RISE Education Cayman.

Venture capitalist firm Reach Capital is trying to raise a new $75 million fund. Here’s a list of its investments and the people involved in the investment company (which was spun out of NewSchools Venture Fund).

The Financial Times reports that Charles Schwab was in talks to buy student loan provider SoFi.

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

Hackers Target Nation’s Schools,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Via The Times of India: “The education department has decided to take student attendance online in Gurgaon schools to deal with the growing menace of proxy attendance where students represent their friends when they are absent.”

The Atlantic asks “How Much Does the Government Really Need to Know About College Students in America?”

Via The Washington Post: “Education Department warns of new hacker threat as ’Dark Overlord’ claims credit for attacks on school districts.”

Via The Independent: “Professor shames entire class by publishing students’ browsing history.”

Online Trackers Help Promote Better Sleep in Indiana U Staff Study,” says Campus Technology.

Via Business Insider: “Sweep of educational apps finds some fall short on privacy.”

From Doug Levin: “A research project – in six parts – designed to shed light on select state and school district website security and privacy practices.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Liberia’s Experiment with Privatizing Education” – a working paper by the University of Maryland’s Steven Klees.

Seed funding slows in Silicon Valley,” says Reuters.

Via NPR: “Majority Of White Americans Say They Believe Whites Face Discrimination.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Tuition and fees increased by a few percentage points across the board, and aid failed to keep pace, annual College Board report shows.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “State-Funded Student Aid Holds Steady.”

Via NPR: “Teachers Report Stressed, Anxious Students In The ‘Age Of Trump’.”

Technology overuse may be the new digital divide,” says The Hechinger Report’s Jill Barshay.

“Higher Education, Digital Divides, and a Balkanized Internet” by Bryan Alexander.

Via Politico: “ The One Simple Way to Help Poor Kids Stay in School.” Spoiler alert: one-on-one instruction.

Via Reveal News: “Hidden figures: How Silicon Valley keeps diversity data secret.”

Via Edsurge: “How to Improve Brain Function and Reverse Poverty’s Impact on Student Learning.” Spoiler alert: it’s not by addressing poverty. Oh no. It’s with some “mindset” bullshit. (And probably some product that measures brain function too.)

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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(National) Education Politics

From the White House Press Office: “President Donald J. Trump Proclaims October 15 through October 21, 2017, as National Character Counts Week.” The irony.

“The U.S. Senate’s education committee on a party-line vote Wednesday advanced the nomination of Carlos Muñiz for general counsel at the Department of Education,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday announced a proposed settlement with a website whose ‘military-friendly’ rankings of colleges and universities allegedly promoted institutions that paid to be included.” The website: Victory Media.

Also via Inside Higher Ed: “The Federal Trade Commission and a group of states last week announced a coordinated law-enforcement action against deceptive student loan debt-relief scams. The crackdown so far has featured new cases and a judgment against scammers who allegedly used deception and false promises to reel in more than $95 million in illegal fees in recent years.”

Via the BBC: “Tuition fee rise to £9,295 in Wales is scrapped.”

Via The Hechinger Report: “India tries coding camps, craft centers and all-girls schools to fight illiteracy.”

Via The New York Times: “To Inspire Young Communists, China Turns to ‘Red Army’ Schools.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via WBEZ: “CPS Secretly Overhauled Special Education At Students’ Expense.” CPS, for those not up on their edu acronyms, is the Chicago Public Schools.

Via The Los Angeles Times: “New law puts California on path to offering first year free at community colleges.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Eva Moskowitz looks back at her turn away from district schools, as she plans for 100 schools of her own.” Moskowitz is the founder of the Success Academy charter school chain.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Bill Would Bar U. of Wisconsin Employees From Working at Planned Parenthood.”

Calling him an “unexpected ally” of Betsy DeVos, The Atlantic reports that “Jerry Brown, California’s Democratic governor, has vetoed a bill that would’ve codified into law Obama-era guidance on Title IX.”

Via The LA Times: “ What Ref Rodriguez’s latest legal problems mean for the charter school movement.” The story notes that the LAUSD school board member does have support from Netflix’s Reed Hastings who has contributed $75,000 to his legal defense fund.

New York City libraries have announced they plan to forgive the late fees of all children aged 17 and under in a one-time amnesty event,” The AP reports.

Via CBS Minnesota: “Philando Fundraising Campaign Clears All St. Paul School Lunch Debt.”

Via Edsurge: “The Makings (and Misgivings) of a Statewide Effort to Personalize Learning in Massachusetts.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Decline of the Midwest’s Public Universities Threatens to Wreck Its Most Vibrant Economies.”

Bryan Alexander posits “One path forward for public higher education: ending in-state tuition discounts.”

Immigration and Education

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A federal judge in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday blocking the implementation of a new iteration of the Trump administration’s travel ban. The ban, which was scheduled to fully go into effect today, would block all would-be travelers from North Korea and Syria, in addition to prohibiting all immigrant travel and imposing various restrictions on certain types of nonimmigrant travel for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen.”

Education in the Courts

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Attorneys general in 18 states have sued the U.S. Department of Education over the Trump administration’s move to pause enforcement of the so-called gainful-employment rule, which applies to vocational programs at nonprofit colleges and to all programs at for-profit institutions.” More via Buzzfeed.

Via CNET: “Verizon to pay $17M to resolve FCC, Justice E-Rate probes.”

“Free College”

There’s more about free college plans in the state politics section above.

The Business of Student Loans

Via Reuters: “SoFi withdraws U.S. banking application, citing leadership change.” “Leadership change” is really a nice way of putting a series of sexual harassment scandals. Anyway, looks like we’re back to referring to SoFi as a “student loan provider” and not some other new-fangled fin-tech darling. (SoFi is the ed-tech company that has raised the most venture capital. Pay attention.)

More research on student loans in the research section below. And more on crackdowns on those who try to scam students into repayment plans in the politics section above. And more on who’s buying student loan companies in the “business of ed-tech” section below.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Edsurge: “Woz U? Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Launches Online School to Teach Software Development.” I suppose I could put this in “the business of job training” section, but as Woz U has partnered with the for-profit Southern Careers Institute, it probably should remain here in this section despite the glowing press it received from tech publications about how this venture is going to unlock tech careers. The school is listed in this 2015 story by Inside Higher Ed on for-profits “where more than half of federal student loan borrowers had not made a single dollar of progress in paying down their loans seven years after they became due.” Good job, Woz. And good job, tech journalists, on checking into the background of this for-profit and not just rewriting the press release. Oh wait… LOL.

Via The NY Daily News: “Flatiron coding school to pay $375G for operating without a license, making false claims about its graduates.” More from Ars Technica and MarketWatch.

“Who’s Holding Coding Bootcamp Accountability Accountable?” asks Edsurge. (I believe the answer is “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.”)

Via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “EDMC completes sale of schools to Dream Center.”

More on legal actions surrounding for-profits in the courts section above.

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

Via The GW Hatchet: “Oversight of online learning programs lacking in some schools, report finds.” The report was undertaken by the George Washington University Faculty Senate.

Via the edX blog: “edX le da la bienvenida a la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba.”

There’s more edX news in the HR section below.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via NPR: “White Nationalist Richard Spencer Met By Protesters At University Of Florida.” More on the event via Inside Higher Ed.

Penn grad student says she’s under fire on campus and off for using a teaching technique that involves specifically calling on students from underrepresented groups,” Inside Higher Ed reports. More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Pro-Trump Protesters Shout Down Democrat’s Speech at Whittier College.”

Via The New York Times: “‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Removed From School in Mississippi.”

Via The Washington Post: “ N.J. students walk out of high school to protest teacher’s ‘speak American’ comments.”

“The Lure of the Lazy River” – The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Jack Stripling on LSU’s new recreation center.

Via The Clarion-Ledger: “A predominately black public school in Mississippi named after Confederate President Jefferson Davis will be stripped of that moniker next year and replaced with that of another president whose character students, parents and teachers have said is more fitting – Barack Obama.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “When Colleges Use Their Own Students to Catch Drug Dealers.”

Accreditation and Certification

“A Kayak for Credentials” – Inside Higher Ed on Credential Engine’s plans for a big database on post-secondary credentials.

WGU Is Not Off the Hook,” says Mindwires Consulting’s Michael Feldstein, referring to the recent Department of Education report on the school’s status as a correspondence school (rather than a distance education provider).

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is offering some students the option to be awarded tamper-free digital degree certificates when they graduate, in partnership with Learning Machine. Selected students can now choose to download a digital version of their degree certificate to their smartphones when they graduate, in addition to receiving a paper diploma.” Because I can’t tell you how many times I have needed to prove I have a college degree but I didn’t have a digital copy of my diploma on my iPhone. So glad someone has solved this problem.

Testing, Testing…

More testing problems in Tennessee. Via The Tennessean: “Thousands of TNReady tests scored incorrectly.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “In UNC Case, No Watchdog for Major Academic Fraud.” Also via The Chronicle: “Where the Buck Stopped in the UNC Fraud Scandal (Hint: Not at the Top).”

From the HR Department

EdX has a new COO and president: Adam Medros, formerly of TripAdvisor.

More MOOC job changes: Techcrunch reports that “Coursera’s chief product officer just left to become a VC.” That’s Tom Willerer, who will join Venrock.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches New Leadership Team,” according to EdWeek’s Market Brief.

Changes too at another textbook company as Doug Levin, the CEO of McGraw Hill Education announced he’s stepping down.

Leonard Medlock, formerly the head of Edsurge’s Concierge product, has moved onto another startup. It’s one of a number of departures from Edsurge recently: Mary Jo Madda is now at Google. And Allison Dulin Salisbury has become president of Entangled Studios.

Grad students at the University of Chicago have voted to unionize.

The Business of Job Training

Once upon a time, Coursera updates went in the MOOC section. Most MOOC news these days more accurately fits here under “job training.” From the Coursera blog: “New on Coursera: start-to-finish learning paths for starting a new career.”

Via Education Week: “CSforAll Announces Computer Science Pledges from Over 170 Organizations.”

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Is blockchain the answer to higher ed’s cybersecurity problems?asks eCampus News.

“​Ohio State Will Give Incoming Students iPads. But Do Tablet Programs Work?asks Edsurge.

Is the Five-Paragraph Essay Dead?asks Edsurge.

Should College Professors Give ‘Tech Breaks’ In Class?asks NPR.

(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

Two different opinions on WIkipedia: “How Social Media Endangers Knowledge” by Hossein Derakhshan in Wired. And “Once Reviled in Education, Wikipedia Now Embraced By Many Professors” by Jeffrey Young in Edsurge.

Internet Archive Hopes to Help Libraries Make Available Books Once Thought Trapped By Copyright,” writes Jen Howard.

Sprint Rolls Out Effort to Boost Student Connectivity, Tech Access,” says EdWeek’s Market Brief.

Edsurge has two stories on the Network for Public Education’s conference: “Public Educators Share Fallout on Personalized Learning, Privatization and Edtech” by Sydney Johnson and “Why Our Obsession With Edtech and Workforce Prep Concerns Parents and Public Educators” by Tina Nazerian.

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

Via MIT Technology Review: “Andrew Ng Has a Chatbot That Can Help with Depression.” After fixing education, I guess these folks are on to now automating mental health care. Whee.

“Teachers Are Finding Innovative Ways to Use Robots in Class,” claims Education Week.

AI-driven tool produces high quality online learning for global company in days not months,” claims Donald Clark.

George Veletsianos asks us to “Imagine a future in which technologies teach humans.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

“Our Education Efforts Are Evolving,” says Bill Gates. He told the Council of the Great City Schools that the Gates Foundation would spend some $1.7 billion in U.S. public education in the next five years. Some of the details of this spending:

First, although we will no longer invest directly in new initiatives based on teacher evaluations and ratings, we will continue to gather data on the impact of these systems and encourage the use of these systems to improve instruction at the local level.

Second, we will focus on locally-driven solutions identified by networks of schools, and support their efforts to use data-driven continuous learning and evidence-based interventions to improve student achievement.

Third, we are increasing our commitment to develop curricula and professional development aligned to state standards.

Fourth, we will continue to support the development of high-quality charter schools.

Coverage of Gates’ announcements via Chalkbeat and WaPo’s Valerie Strauss. (It’s noteworthy, I think, that “personalized learning” is not mentioned in Gates’ remarks.)

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

The venture capital firm Owl Ventures has raised a $185 million fund to invest in ed-tech. No details on who its investors are. Here’s what we know about what Owl Ventures’ network (including investments and people involved) looks like.

Coding bootcamp Galvanize has raised $7 million in Series C funding from University Ventures and ABS Capital Partners. The company, which laid off 11% of its workforce this summer, has raised over $102.4 million total.

BridgeU has raised $5.3 million in Series A funding from Octopus Ventures, Downing Ventures, and Fresco Capital. The career guidance company has raised $8.2 million total.

Fluent City has raised $3 million “to revolutionize language learning,” says Techcrunch. Participating in the funding round: New Ground Ventures, WorldQuant Ventures, ZG Ventures, John Katzman, Nick Hammerschlag, Matthew Hanson, and Lerner Investments. The company has raised $8 million total.

Student loan servicing Nelnet has acquired Great Lakes Educational Loan Services for $150 million.

It’s not ed-tech, but I’ll make note of it anyway. Facebook has acquired tbh, a 2-month-old app that’s purportedly popular with teens. Facebook paid “under $100 million” for it, says Business Insider. (Wonder how Facebook knew that the app was so popular? It tracks the usage of rivals’ apps through its VPN project.)

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via the BBC: “Child safety smartwatches ‘easy’ to hack, watchdog says.”

Via The Kansas City Star: “Easy-to-get hacking device puts KU professors’ information in student’s hands.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Institute for Higher Education Policy on Wednesday issued a set of recommendations on the nuts and bolts of creating a federal postsecondary student-level data system.” Does the Gates Foundation have another $100 million to invest in education data infrastructure?

Via The Hechinger Report: “Who is keeping student data safe in the era of digital learning?” Trick question.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via Chalkbeat: “The $100 million question: Did Newark’s school reforms work? New study finds big declines, then progress.” That $100 million is, of course, the money Mark Zuckerberg gave to help distract folks from an unflattering biopic.

Via WCET: “New Survey Tracks Online and Distance Education in Canada.”

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens,” says NPR’s Anya Kamenetz (who’s also written a book on the topic).

According to this press release, Technavio says that the global competency-based education spending market will grow by 18% between 2017 and 2021. This fortune-teller will charge you about $1000 to read its “market research.”

Professors’ Productivity Declines With Age, Right? Maybe Not,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education on a study out of UC Boulder.

The latest Pew Research Center report asks “experts” about “The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: "Half of all black students who took out federal student loans defaulted in 12 years, according to two analyses of new federal data on student borrowers. More via Buzzfeed.

Parent Notifications Have Become the Norm in K–12 Market,” EdWeek’s Market Brief claims.

The New York Times on psychology’s “replicability crisis: “When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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(National) Education Politics

“What Ivanka Trump Knows about Ed-Tech” by me. Thoughts from other “experts” in Inside Higher Ed. Also by me: “The Ivanka Trump Ed-Tech Industry Network.”

“Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort,” says CNN. Congrats to everyone who argued that Pokémon Go was the future of education. You have really done your part to extend civic values.

Via The New York Times: “U.S. Will Withdraw From Unesco, Citing Its ‘Anti-Israel Bias’.” UNESCO is the UN’s educational and cultural organization.

Via the AP: “The Department of Veterans Affairs abruptly dropped plans Wednesday to suspend an ethics law barring employees from receiving benefits from for-profit colleges. The move comes after criticism from government watchdogs who warned of financial entanglements with private companies vying for millions in GI Bill tuition.”

Via Edsurge: “Betsy DeVos Visits Bay Area Public School for a Lesson in Personalized Learning.”

Via The Huffington Post: “Roy Moore Once Compared Preschool To Nazi-Style Indoctrination.” Roy Moore has just been elected Alabama’s new Senator.

Inside Higher Ed on “The New, Improved IPEDS.” IPEDS is the government’s database tracking post-secondary education statistics, including enrollments and graduations.

Via NPR: “After 3 Years Under ISIS, Mosul’s Children Go Back To School.”

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via NPR: “The Monumental Task Of Reopening Puerto Rico’s Schools.”

Via Education Week: “One of the nation’s largest online charter schools said it will close within four months, in the middle of the school year, if Ohio’s efforts to recoup $60 million or more in disputed funding aren’t halted.”

Via Education Week: “Florida Virtual School Will Accept 20,000 Puerto Rican Students.” Do Puerto Rican students have Internet and electricity back yet?

Via EdSource: “Virtual charter academies in California must refund nearly $2 million to state.”

Via Chalkbeat: “A 1998 agreement that put the New York City police in charge of school safety has never been revised – until now.”

Via NPR: “What’s Changed In South Carolina Schools Since Violent Student Arrest.”

Immigration and Education

“Losing My Legal Status In This Country Feels Like A Cruel Joke” by Buzzfeed contributor and DACA recipient Jason Koh.

Education in the Courts

Via Education Week: “A Maine teacher who pleaded guilty to shoplifting a $14.99 blouse after winning the $1 million Global Teacher Prize is accused of violating her conditions of release by stealing a $28 dog leash.”

Via Edsurge: “Major Publishers Dismiss Lawsuit Against Follett Corporation.” Publishers dropped the lawsuit, more accurately, which claimed that Follett was selling counterfeit copies of textbooks.

The Business of Student Loans

Via Bloomberg: “Black Americans Twice as Likely as Whites to Default on Student Debt.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via The Washington Post: “A hiccup in Purdue’s acquisition of for-profit Kaplan University.” Via The Journal & Courier: “Purdue disputes claims Kaplan deal leaves taxpayers on hook.”

Via Mother Jones: “Betsy DeVos Champions For-Profit Schools That Are Deceiving Taxpayers and Vulnerable Students.”

Via ProPublica: “For-Profit Schools Reward Students for Referrals and Facebook Endorsements.”

There’s more news on for-profits in the national politics section above.

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

MOOCs are dead, according to Udacity’s VP. The Economic Times of India reports that “Udacity to focus on individual student projects.” Never one to let a good MOOC story pass them by, Edsurge repeats the story. “MOOCs Are ”Dead.“ What’s Next? Uh-oh,” writes John Warner in IHE.

Also via Edsurge: “MIT Moves Beyond the MOOC to Court Companies, Professional Learners.”

More news about online education and virtual charter schools in California, Florida, and Ohio in the state news section above.

Meanwhile on Campus…

“How the School-to-Prison Pipeline Works” by Mariame Kaba in Teen Vogue.

This story from Buzzfeed’s Molly Hensley-Clancy is… something: “Meet The ‘Young Saints’ Of Bethel Who Go To College To Perform Miracles.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Inside an ‘Unprecedented’ Increase in Campus White-Supremacist Recruiting.”

Via The Wisconsin State Journal: “University of Wisconsin officials announce plan to merge Colleges with four-year campuses.”

Via The Washington Post: “‘In the event of a nuclear attack’: U-Hawaii’s curious email to students and staff.”

Via The New York Times: “Yale Endowment, Often a Pacesetter, Is a Laggard This Time.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Drexel Puts Professor on Leave After Tweet About Las Vegas Draws Conservative Ire.” It’s so important to watch how the whole “free speech” thing on campus plays out – that is, whose “free speech” gets defended.

Also via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Purdue’s President Says Free-Speech Policy Forces Him to Defend Faculty Critic.”

Also via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “What Berkeley‘s $800,000 Did – and Didn’t – Buy During ’Free Speech Week’.”

Via The Journal Sentinel: “The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday passed a policy pushed by Republican state lawmakers to punish students on UW campuses who repeatedly disrupt campus speakers with opposing views.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “An assistant professor of history at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas has apologized for blaming President Trump for the recent shooting massacre in the city after a student secretly recorded her comments and shared them with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.” The White House wants an investigation.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Campus Carry in Spotlight After Police Officer’s Death.”

Via The Hollywood Reporter: “USC Rejects Harvey Weinstein’s $5M Women’s Program Donation.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “How the CIA secretly exploits higher education.”

Boston University and Wheelock College have reached a deal on their merger.

Via Edsurge: “​Inside the Incubators: The Anatomy of a University Innovation Team.”

“The History of School Lunchesby Malcolm Harris.

Accreditation and Certification

Via The New York Times: “Some Charter Schools Can Certify Their Own Teachers, Board Says.” I look forward to this logic being applied to doctors.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Quality Assurance Commons for Higher & Postsecondary Education is a new group that is exploring alternative approaches to accreditation in higher education. With funding from the Lumina Foundation and through the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, the QA Commons last week announced a pilot project to assess higher education programs at 14 institutions around the country.”

Via Forbes: “How Blockchain Can Stamp Out China’s Fake Diplomas.”

Testing, Testing…

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Pearson is fighting to halt a decision by the state of Iowa to award a $31 million testing contract to the American Institutes for Research, arguing that the scoring of bids was riddled with ‘preferential treatment and bias.’”

Via The Fayette Tribune: “All West Virginia high school juniors will begin taking the SAT as the statewide summative assessment in spring 2018, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced earlier this month. The College Board was selected as the successful bidder following a competitive review process for the high school assessment.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Collegiate Athletic Association will not punish the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after it created fake courses in which students were given credit despite never attending classes, and no faculty members ever taught them.” Sham courses. Sham oversight from the NCAA.

Via Deadspin: “How UNH Turned A Quiet Benefactor Into A Football-Marketing Prop.”

Via MS News Now: “O’Bannon football players suspended from team for taking a knee during national anthem.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Albright College Athlete Is Dismissed From Team for Kneeling During National Anthem.”

Via The New York Times: “An N.C.A.A. for Esports? Rivals Angle to Govern Campus Video Gaming.”

Via The Atlantic: “Towns are weighing the practicality of artificial fields against the potential health risks for the kids who play on them.”

From the HR Department

I missed this news earlier this year. Coddy Johnson, hired last year as the COO of AltSchool, is back at the video game company Activision. “He was granted $15 million in stock options and performance-linked restricted shares that vest over four years, as well as a $2.2 million ‘contract inducement’ to come back,” Bloomberg reports.

The Business of Job Training

Via The New York Times: “Google Unveils Job Training Initiative With $1 Billion Pledge.”

Contests and Awards

The MacArthur Foundation announced its new “geniuses.” Among the recipients of the fellowship: education writer Nikole Hannah-Jones.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Can VR be a tool for inspiring empathy in higher ed?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

Amazon is donating $10 million to (You can see a list of all’s investors here.)

Via Education Week: “Questions Linger Over Companies’ $300 Million Computer Science Pledge.”

It’s 2017 and many critics agree that social media is full of trolls and harassers, that it helps subvert democracies here and abroad, but hey: “To Teach Digital Citizenship Effectively, Educators Say It’s Time to Unblock Social Media,” says Edsurge.

And of course, there’s an app for that. Via Techcrunch: “Kudos wants to be a gentle introduction to social media sharing for kids.”

Via Spectrum News: “Despite dearth of data, firms sell brain training as autism antidote.” US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is an investor in one of these companies: Neurocore.

Edsurge on the Injini ed-tech accelerator in South Africa: “Why the World’s Youngest Continent Got an Edtech Accelerator.” The accelerator was founded by former State Secretary for Education Michael Gove’s policy advisor Jamie Martin.

Via Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Unizin Membership Now Set As Annual Fee Of Up To $427.5k.”

Via LinkedIn: “Instructure is Utah’s newest $Billion Company.”

Via the Microsoft press release: “Introducing Education Resources, a source of Open Educational Resources within Office 365.”

Elsewhere in proprietary OER, via Inside Higher Ed: “Cengage will offer open educational resources, curated and adapted to include proprietary assessment tools, from $25 per student for general education courses.”

Also via Inside Higher Ed: “ResearchGate, a popular tool used by scholars to share their work, is taking down many researchers’ work, apparently in response to demands from publishers.”

TNW claims that “Socratic is morphing into a distraction-free ‘Snapchat for homework’.”

Baruch College’s video-based feedback tool Vocat is now open source.

“Why Do the Boy Scouts Want to Include Girls?” asks The Atlantic.

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

Via Techcrunch: “Mattel releases biologically inspired foldable robot bugs.”

“New AI tool helps teachers tackle math,” eSchool News claims. The tool in question: IBM’s Teacher Advisor with Watson 1.0.

10 Disruptions That Will Revolutionize Education,” according to Education Week. The list includes AI, of course.

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

Via The New York Times: “Eli Broad, Patron of Los Angeles, to Step Down From His Philanthropy.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

Andela has raised $40 million in Series C funding from GV (Google Ventures), Spark Capital, Salesforce Ventures, CRE Venture Capital, TLcom Capital Partners, VentureSouq, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, DBL Partners, and Amplo. The African coding bootcamp has raised $81 million total.

Knowbox has raised $30 million in Series B funding from Bertelsmann Asia Investment Fund, TAL Education Group, Baidu Ventures, and New World Strategic Investment. The Chinese “homework help” company has raised $55.7 million total.

Neverware has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding from Google Ventures. The company, which helps schools refurbish old computers by installing the Chrome OS, has raised $14 million total.

Shaw Academy has raised $1.46 million in crowdfunding for its MOOC platform. Someone should inform them that MOOCs are dead.

Qualified and Upswing have raised $75,000 from Village Capital, “which runs peer-selected startup competitions across the globe.”

Venture capital firm Educapital has closed a $53 million fund to invest in education companies. Investors include Bpifrance, Hachette Livre, and Education for the Many.

Apollo Global Management has acquired West Corporation, maker of SchoolMessenger, for $5.2 billion.

Volaris Group has acquired Edumate.

I won’t include this in my calculations of ed-tech funding – despite all the proclamations that AR and VR are the future of education. Magic Leap – a wealthy vaporware company that claims it’s building something amazing with AR – is trying to raise $1 billion in funding. The company has raised $2.88 billion total – and has nothing to show for it.

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

Filter Bubbles and Privacy, and the Myth of the Privacy Settingby Bill Fitzgerald.

Via The Verge: “Google’s Home Mini needed a software patch to stop some of them from recording everything.”

Similar news about Microsoft products. Via MakeUseOf: “Cortana Is Listening Into Your Skype Conversations.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Historians Blame Lack of Support for Slow Technology Uptake.”

Via The New York Times Magazine: “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?”

“Do You Know the Edtech Adoption Rules in Your State? SETDA’s New Guide May Help,” says Edsurge.

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Demands From K–12 Schools for Contracts Surging at State, Local Level.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Small increases in course loads can increase the odds that students will stick with college and eventually graduate, particularly part-time students. That’s the central finding of a new report from Civitas Learning, a student success company with a focus on predictive analytics.”

Via Bloomberg: “The Fraternity Paradox: Lower GPA, Higher Incomes.”

Via the Pew Research Center: “Online Harassment 2017.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

from Hack Education

What Ivanka Trump Knows about Ed-Tech

Inside Higher Ed asked a group of “experts” “what should Ivanka Trump read in order to learn about education technology?” I submitted an answer but it was not what they were looking for. So I’m publishing my thoughts (or 500 words, at least) here.

Perhaps the better question is: what should Ivanka Trump not read in order to learn about education technology. It’s clear from her op-ed in The New York Post that she is quite familiar with the slogans and statistics that organizations like promote. She seems familiar too with the kinds of arguments readily found in tech and ed-tech industry publications and press releases: that computing is inevitable, and progress demands it. We have all heard these stories about the future: new technologies will make education more efficient, more accessible, more scalable; students’ education will become more “personalized”; and/or it will be increasingly oriented towards the demands of the technology industry and a “new economy” – “training” as Trump repeats five times in her op-ed.

“Learning” is only mentioned once. Lots of other words that might be used to describe the purpose of school – higher education or otherwise – are also missing from Trump’s essay. Curiosity. Civics. Citizenship. Scholarship. Research. The liberal arts. We can probably tell a lot already about her reading list by their absence, because again, this reflects the monomaniacal focus on framing education as about “skills” and jobs – a focus shared by the Trump administration and by the educational marketing and storytelling emanating from the tech industry.

Trump contends the White House will push for computer science to alter “not just what we teach, but how we teach.” This would require a shift not only in the curriculum but in the process, the pedagogy. But other than the repeated invocation of “training,” there’s no real sense of what a new pedagogical direction might involve – unless, that is, you read her call for more “problem solving” as some sort of twenty-first century update to “project-based learning.” But I don’t think Ivanka Trump has read much John Dewey.

Problem-solving, Trump suggests, is not being taught in schools today. Of course it is, but in her formulation – one that’s been repeated by former Obama administration officials recently as well – computer science is touted as “the universal language of problem solving.” This implies that all problems are technical problems; all problems are engineering problems. There are no problems of ethics, beauty, or justice – or rather, ethics, beauty, and justice are now subsumed under the realm of “code.” To see coding as a “universal language” also subsumes the needs to communities – scholarly and otherwise – to the needs of the tech industry, to the demands of global capital.

Trump has clearly read enough and knows enough already to recognize education technology is a perfect vehicle for Silicon Valley ideology. And there’s not much about much of that ideology – steeped in individualism and libertarianism – that she or her father oppose.

I’ve also written about Ivanka Trump’s ed-tech industry network – what we know about her ed-tech investments and the people who’ve also invested in the same (and same types of) companies. To claim that she’s uninformed about all this seems to be to be wildly naive.

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Hack Education Weekly News

(National) Education Politics

Ivanka Trump with an op-ed in The New York Post: “Why we need to start teaching tech in Kindergarten.” (Spoiler alert: because five-year-olds need coding skills so they can get jobs. Lazy children.)

The Huffington Post filed Twitter’s response to Ivanka Trump’s announcement under “comedy.” Or maybe her announcement itself was comedy?

Related, via Salon: “Silicon Valley’s $300M donation to STEM education is not what it seems.”

Via Politico: “DeVos’ security detail could cost up to $6.54M over the next year.”

Via The Washington Post: “DeVos rejects invitation to meet with former for-profit college students.”

“The White House on Monday announced that it would nominate Mitchell “Mick” Zais as deputy secretary of education,” Inside Higher Ed reports. “Trump Taps Common-Core Foe Mick Zais for No. 2 Post at Ed. Dept.” is how Education Week describes the news.

Via Buzzfeed: “The Justice Department Is Investigating Harvard’s Admissions Practices.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Inside the Free-Speech Case That Caught Jeff Sessions’ Eye.” It’s a case from Georgia Gwinnett College.

Via The Seattle Times: “Glitch fixed, federal online student-aid application form is back online.”

Andy Smarick worries that conservatives are divided over education reform.

(State and Local) Education Politics

Via Politico: “About 40 percent of Puerto Rico’s 1,113 public schools are accounted for, meaning the condition of most schools is unknown. Almost all of Puerto Rico’s schools remain without electricity or running water. Just 22 schools with running water and basic supplies will start holding informal classes today in an attempt to kickstart recovery.”

Via The Washington Post: “D.C. says charter school board violated city law in vote on expanding charters.”

Education in the Courts

Via Politico: “The Kansas Supreme Court rejected the state’s school funding system in a ruling issued Monday that found it runs afoul of the state’s constitution by failing to adequately and equitably fund its school districts.”

Via The Intercept: “Conservative Provocateur James O’Keefe’s Group Hit With Restraining Order, Blocking Latest Sting.” The case involves the Michigan affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

More on lawsuits in the student loan section below.

“Free College”

“How to Pay for Free Community College,” according to Inside Higher Ed.

NPR on New York’s “free college” program: “‘Biggest-Ever Free College’ Program Reaches 6 Percent Of New York Students.”

The Business of Student Loans

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Post-Recession Borrowers Struggle to Repay Loans.”

Via the AP: “A new federal lawsuit by Pennsylvania’s attorney general says the nation’s largest student loan company engaged in abusive practices that have cost borrowers billions of dollars.” The largest student loan company is Navient.

More Navient news in “the business of ed-tech” section below. And there’s more on for-profits and student loans in the research section below.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via ProPublica: “For-Profit Schools Get State Dollars For Dropouts Who Rarely Drop In.” This story looks at EdisonLearning, formerly Edison Schools.

There’s more on for-profits and student loans in the research section below. And there’s more on for-profits and the Trump administration in the national politics section above.

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”

Via Politico: Western Governors University, “the nation’s leading provider of competency-based education – which the Education Department’s independent watchdog last month said violated federal student aid rules – is expanding into North Carolina.”

Academy Coinbitcoin for online education or something.

In the future, you might want to look for most MOOC-related news in the “business of job training” section below.

Meanwhile on Campus…

“Alt-Right: How the Breitbart Machine Laundered Racist Hateby Joe Bernstein in Buzzfeed. Do keep this in mind, universities, when you insist that Milo deserves a platform to speak on your campus.

“Death at a Penn State Fraternityby The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan.

White supremacist Richard Spencer will speak at the University of Florida, which says it will spend $500,000 on security for the event.

Via Jezebel: “FBI Arrests White Man Who Threatened to Murder Howard University Students.”

“According to my observations, the standard Seattle Nazi is a white male under 30 who either works in the tech industry or is going to school to work in the tech industry” – from David Lewis’ story in The Stranger about white nationalists in Seattle. Good thing Seattle isn’t the center of computer science or computer science education!

Via NPR: “How Schools Are Dealing With Students’ Right To Protest.” More on student athletes protests in the sports section below.

Via The Baltimore Sun: “Pumpkin spice scent prompts Baltimore school evacuation.”

The Atlantic on the decision of the Las Vegas School District to keep schools open on Monday: “Returning to Class the Morning After a Massacre.”

Grace University will close at the end of the school year.

Via The LA Times: “At UCLA, a dorm floor dedicated to first-generation students.”

Via EdScoop: “USC launches edtech research center focused on underrepresented youth.”

University of Wisconsin System to Migrate From D2L Brightspace to Canvas LMS” by Mindwires Consulting’s Phil Hill.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Ohio State University and Apple on Wednesday announced a collaboration that will start a digital learning effort at the university that Apple and university officials said may represent the company’s most ambitious program in higher education.”

Via Education Week: “In hurricanes’ aftermath, technology eases return to school.” (The narrative structure of these sorts of articles is always the same: crisis occurs; tech will save the day. Let’s not worry that there are many people who do not have access to electricity, let alone Internet, let alone digital devices.)

Accreditation and Certification

Via Edsurge: “More Colleges Are Offering Microcredentials – And Developing Them The Way Businesses Make New Products.”

Related? Via The New York Post: “CUNY professor allegedly sold fake medical certificates.”

Testing, Testing…

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “AIR Poised to Win Three State Testing Contracts Worth At Least $84 Million.”

Via Education Week: “Vendor wins $43M contract for Indiana’s ISTEP replacement.” Again, this vendor is AIR.

Washington University in St. Louis will accept the GRE (not just the LSAT) for law school admissions.

More testing news is framed by Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, below.

Go, School Sports Team!

Via The Courier-Journal: “Rick Pitino raked in 98% of the cash from University of Louisville’s current Adidas deal.” That deal is worth $160 million. Pitino was suspended recently for his involvement in a corruption scandal. You do the math.

Via The Washington Post: “Texas high school coach boots football players for anthem protest.”

Via Raw Story: “Christian school boots black players off football team for protesting during anthem.”

From the HR Department

Albemarle County Public Schools’ superintendent Pam Moran – truly one of the great school administrators – has announced that she plans to retire in June.

Via The Nation: “This University Suggested International Students Could Be Reported to ICE if They Unionized.” “This university” is Washington University in St. Louis.

Another USC med school scandal. Via The LA Times: “ USC medical school dean out amid revelations of sexual harassment claim, $135,000 settlement with researcher.”

Via the AP: “The superintendent of a suburban Cleveland school district who was caught on video at a high school football game pulling down the pants of the school board vice president has been suspended.”

The Business of Job Training

“Questioning the Unquestionable: Schools and the Economyby Larry Cuban.

Via the edX blog: “Higher Education Needs a Re-think to Train Tomorrow’s Workforce.”

“How can institutions build students’ 21st century workforce skills? Send them abroad,” says Education Dive.

Via Techcrunch: “OpenClassrooms and Capgemini team up and launch an online apprenticeship program.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Salesforce, the world’s largest customer relationship management platform, has announced a new classroom-ready training scheme called Trailhead for Students.” The new software is supposed to get students ready for “the Salesforce economy,” whatever the hell that means.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

“‘Eton for all’: will robot teachers mean everyone gets an elite education?asks The New Statesman.

Can a 20-Minute Test Tell Employers What a College Degree Cannot?asks The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Is Homework Compatible With Personalized Learning?asks Edsurge.

No State Will Measure Social-Emotional Learning Under ESSA. Will That Slow Its Momentum?asks Education Week.

​Can Online Teaching Work at Liberal-Arts Colleges?asks Edsurge.

Do Medical Schools Still Need Books?asks Inside Higher Ed. Shrug. Guess not.

Will education publications stop using this formulation in their headlines?

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

Google had a big media to-do this week. Were there any education updates? Not sure. This story probably fits better under the surveillance section below. Via Ars Technica: “Google unveils a $249 smart camera that decides what’s worth photographing.”

This, from Edsurge, is pretty awful: “Why Edtech Executives Are Keeping a Close Eye on Preschool Demographics.” It ties in to Ivanka Trump’s interest in the PreK market, no doubt – see the top story above. (She’s an investor in a company that targets that group.) So follow that narrative and network of financial relationships… But this article also underscores how everyone’s a market to ed-tech and how responsiveness to demographic shifts do not involve structural change but rather product development.

More potential markets! Via Curbed: “School buses: A massive mass transit system in need of a tech upgrade.”

Via Techcrunch: “A list of everything Magic Leap has released so far.” Useful for when you hear ed-tech evangelists swoon about how this company is going to revolutionize education.

“Why Flipped Learning Is Still Going Strong 10 Years Later,” according to Edsurge.

Via Edsurge: “NYC Keeps Its Edtech Accelerator Revving With New Funders and Markets.” Although plenty of other ed-tech accelerators have failed, this one – the “NYU Steinhardt Edtech Accelerator powered by StartEd” – is being bankrolled in part with funding from Rethink Education and Southern New Hampshire University.

Via Techcrunch: “Kahoot launches premium version aimed at corporate training market.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Publisher Elsevier has announced the launch of ScienceDirect Topics, an information platform that has been compared to Wikipedia.”

Via FT: “The secret lives of children and their phones.”

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will offer a scholarship “to ‘cut through’ unequal access to opportunity.” It’s only available to KIPP graduates so put a little asterisk next to this notion of equality.

“Too Many People Dream of a Charmed Life in Academia,” says Bloomberg.

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

Mattel and Google: a double standard for AI toys?” by Nicholas Carr.

There’s more about Mattel’s robots and privacy in the privacy section below.

Via The Post and Courier: “Coming soon to some S.C. classrooms: An army of robots to help autistic students learn social skills.”

Via Ed-Tech Magazine: “AI Is on the Upswing in Optimizing K–12 Education.”

Via MIT Technology Review: “Colleges Are Marketing Drone Pilot Courses, but the Career Opportunities Are Murky.”

Campus Technology with the latest robot predictions (a.k.a. market research press release): “AI, Merging of Digital and Physical Worlds Among Top 10 Tech Trends for 2018.”

The latest Pew Research report addresses the future of automation. More in the research section below. And, of course, there are robot stories in the Betteridge’s Law of Headlines section.

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

The LMS Moodle has raised $6 million in its first ever round of venture funding. The investor was Education For The Many.

Workbench Platform has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Brown Advisory. The project-based learning startup has raised $2.95 million total.

Biba has raised $1.3 million in seed funding – or rather, it did so back in September, but I’d miss the news. Investors in the company were Greg Zeschuk, Jason Kapalka, and Leonite Capital. The company makes AR games that supposedly encourage playground activities.

Curiscope has raised $1 million in seed funding from LocalGlobe, Ascension Ventures, Force Over Mass, Richard Fearn, and ustwo Adventure. The company makes AR / VR education content (on t-shirts).

Student loan provider Navient will acquire student loan provider Earnest for $155 million.

Campus Management Corp has acquired the following tools from Hobsons: ApplyYourself, AppReview, Connect, Radius, and Retain CRM.

The second education IPO of the year: RYB Education, a Chinese private preschool company. Wait, I sense a theme in this week’s stories about profiting from preschoolers, don’t you?

My latest report on ed-tech and venture capital is in the research section below.

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via The Washington Post: “Actually, every single Yahoo account got hacked in 2013.”

Via The New York Times: “Mattel Pulls Aristotle Children’s Device After Privacy Concerns.”

I’m not even sure how to describe this story, and the headline doesn’t really do justice to it: “‘Dark Overlord’ Hackers Text Death Threats to Students, Then Dump Voicemails From Victims.”

Via Alternet: “How Hackers Held an Entire School District Hostage.”

Via Motherboard: “Replacing Social Security Numbers Is Harder Than You Think.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Getting Faculty Members to Embrace Student Data.” Also via The Chronicle: “How 2 Professors Used Data to Improve Their Courses.” Keep playing that data drumbeat.

There’s more about privacy and robots in the robots section above.

Research, “Research,” and Reports

My latest report on ed-tech and venture capital: “The Business of Ed-Tech: September 2017 Funding Data.”

Via Edsurge: “Watch That Hand: Why Videos May Not Be the Best Medium for Knowledge Retention.” My favorite thing about this was that, just the day before, Edsurge had touted how “flipped learning” is still a big thing – story linked above – but neither piece recognize one another. It’s like the left hand has no clue what the right hand is up to.

Via the AP: “Students who attended for-profit colleges were twice as likely or more to default on their loans than students who attended public schools, according to a federal study published Thursday.”

Via Education Week: “RAND Researchers Make It Clear: Personalized Learning Is Difficult to Do.”

Via Campus Technology: “Report: VR and AR Headsets to See 50% Growth Every Year Through 2021.”

More predictions from Campus Technology: “IT Spending to Top $3.65 Trillion in 2018.”

Via Education Week: “To Ban or Not to Ban? Technology, Education, and the Media.”

Via The Guardian: “Growing social media backlash among young people, survey shows.”

The latest Pew Research Center report: “Automation in Everyday Life.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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