Technology is a helpful tool, but it won’t provide that sense of stability. It’s a cold machine. School districts push technology over teachers. They don’t stop to think about what it will mean to children and their development.
the idea that instruction should be disrupted using technology is putting students and the country at risk. It destroys the public school curriculum that has managed to educate the masses for decades.
Early childhood teachers express concern that tech is invading preschool education. We know that free play is the heart of learning.
But programs, like Waterford Early Learning, advertise online instruction including assessment for K-2. Their Upstart program advertises, At-home, online kindergarten readiness program that gives 4- and 5-year-old children early reading, math, and science lessons.
The FBI has released a public service announcement warning educators and parents that edtech can create cybersecurity risks for students.
In April 2017, security researchers found a flaw in Schoolzilla’s data configuration settings. And in May 2017, a hacker reportedly stole 77 million user accounts from Edmodo.
Amelia Vance, the director of the Education Privacy Project at the Future of Privacy Forum, writes in an email to EdSurge that the FBI likely wanted to make sure that as the new school year starts, parents and schools are aware of potential security risks. And while she thinks it’s “great” that the FBI is bringing more attention to this issue, she wishes the public service announcement had also addressed another crucial challenge.
“Schools across the country lack funding to provide and maintain adequate security,” she writes. “Now that the FBI has focused attention on these concerns, policymakers must step up and fund impactful security programs.”
According to Vance, a better approach might involve encouraging parents to have conversations with their children’s’ school about how it keeps student data safe.
documented here how educators use Trello to manage project-based learning activities that involve group work and peer review.
Slack has been described as “ a private Twitter on steroids.” At first glance, the tool looks like a chat room—but it’s got more going on inside.
Like Twitter, Slack features hashtags that denote specific “channels” dedicated to topics, but each channel operates like its own chat room. Users can send messages to a channel or directly to one another (one-to-one), and also create private groups for focused discussions (one-to-few).
connected Trello to Slack so that he receives a notification whenever his students make edits on a Trello card. He turns to Slack to communicate directly with students and groups, often leaving feedback on assignments. “It hasn’t been effective as a way to broadcast information to the entire class,” Green admits. “But it’s become a very important tool for us to share resources for kids, and have 1-on-1 conversations with students.”
Other educators are exploring how to use Slack as a professional learning network.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are no longer fantastical prospects seen only in science fiction. Products like Amazon Echo and Siri have brought AI into many homes,
Kelly Calhoun Williams, an education analyst for the technology research firm Gartner Inc., cautions there is a clear gap between the promise of AI and the reality of AI.
Artificial intelligence is a broad term used to describe any technology that emulates human intelligence, such as by understanding complex information, drawing its own conclusions and engaging in natural dialog with people.
Machine learning is a subset of AI in which the software can learn or adapt like a human can. Essentially, it analyzes huge amounts of data and looks for patterns in order to classify information or make predictions. The addition of a feedback loop allows the software to “learn” as it goes by modifying its approach based on whether the conclusions it draws are right or wrong.
AI can process far more information than a human can, and it can perform tasks much faster and with more accuracy. Some curriculum software developers have begun harnessing these capabilities to create programs that can adapt to each student’s unique circumstances.
GoGuardian, a Los Angeles company, uses machine learning technology to improve the accuracy of its cloud-based Internet filtering and monitoring software for Chromebooks. (My note: that smells Big Brother).Instead of blocking students’ access to questionable material based on a website’s address or domain name, GoGuardian’s software uses AI to analyze the actual content of a page in real time to determine whether it’s appropriate for students. (my note: privacy)
serious privacy concerns. It requires an increased focus not only on data quality and accuracy, but also on the responsible stewardship of this information. “School leaders need to get ready for AI from a policy standpoint,” Calhoun Williams said. For instance: What steps will administrators take to secure student data and ensure the privacy of this information?
Many of these teachers started out as “teacher bloggers,” but most became Insta-famous through Teachers Pay Teachers, an online platform that allows teachers to sell classroom resources they’ve created, such as worksheets and bulletin board decor.
By promoting their Teachers Pay Teachers products on Instagram with hashtags such as #TeachersOfInstagram and #TeacherLife, as well as sharing classroom tips and snapshots, these teachers acquire tens of thousands of followers. Many even exceed the 100,000 follower mark.
The CEO of Teachers Pay Teachers, Adam Freed, told BuzzFeed News the platform “becomes a real living” for many teachers.
With an aesthetic that could be described as “Pinterest-y,” it might be surprising that Instagram seems to have overtaken Pinterest as the place teachers are sharing their designs and ideas.
“With Instagram, it’s really cool because you’re able to direct message the person right away and ask, ‘Hey how did you do this?’ or ‘I have some questions about my classroom!’” said Maloy. “I have new teachers messaging me all of the time. It’s like Pinterest, but it goes a step beyond because you have that collaboration and a way to connect with people.”
In spite of all their success, some of these teachers think about what could happen if the teacher influencer bubble bursts one day. This concern is what keeps some of them in the classroom.
School administrators have largely been supportive too, and many of the teachers said their social media work is seen as proof that they’re passionate, creative, and skilled at their jobs.
James Dixon, the CTO of Pentaho is credited with naming the concept of a data lake. He uses the following analogy:
“If you think of a datamart as a store of bottled water – cleansed and packaged and structured for easy consumption – the data lake is a large body of water in a more natural state. The contents of the data lake stream in from a source to fill the lake, and various users of the lake can come to examine, dive in, or take samples.”
A data lake holds data in an unstructured way and there is no hierarchy or organization among the individual pieces of data. It holds data in its rawest form—it’s not processed or analyzed. Additionally, a data lakes accepts and retains all data from all data sources, supports all data types and schemas (the way the data is stored in a database) are applied only when the data is ready to be used.
What is a data warehouse?
A data warehouse stores data in an organized manner with everything archived and ordered in a defined way. When a data warehouse is developed, a significant amount of effort occurs during the initial stages to analyze data sources and understand business processes.
Data lakes retain all data—structured, semi-structured and unstructured/raw data. It’s possible that some of the data in a data lake will never be used. Data lakes keep all data as well. A data warehouse only includes data that is processed (structured) and only the data that is necessary to use for reporting or to answer specific business questions.
Since a data lake lacks structure, it’s relatively easy to make changes to models and queries.
Data scientists are typically the ones who access the data in data lakes because they have the skill-set to do deep analysis.
Since data warehouses are more mature than data lakes, the security for data warehouses is also more mature.
“As administrators, our responsibilities cover many areas, including technology, which has become a necessary component of living and work,” said Curt Mould, director of digital media, innovation and strategy at Sun Prairie Area School District in Wisconsin. “The world our students are walking into is increasingly global and diverse – and technology is often the leverage point needed to bring global and diverse ideas together. In this regard, technology can be a game-changer in our schools. We need a new plan to help operationalize our work for the long-term benefit of our students.”
Basically, my response to ed tech is “It depends.” And one key consideration on which it depends is the reason given for supporting it.
ads in education periodicals, booths at conferences, and advocacy organizations are selling not only specific kinds of software but the whole idea that ed tech is de rigueur for any school that doesn’t want to risk being tagged as “twentieth century.”
Other people, particularly politicians, defend technology on the grounds that it will keep our students “competitive in the global economy.” This catch-all justification has been invoked to support other dubious policies, including highly prescriptive, one-size-fits-all national curriculum standards. It’s based on two premises: that decisions about children’s learning should be driven by economic considerations, and that people in other countries should be seen primarily as rivals to be defeated.
But the rationale that I find most disturbing—despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that it’s rarely made explicit—is the idea that technology will increase our efficiency…at teaching the same way that children have been taught for a very long time.
a deeper question: “What kinds of learning should be taking place in those schools?” If we favor an approach by which students actively construct meaning, an interactive process that involves a deep understanding of ideas and emerges from the interests and questions of the learners themselves, well, then we’d be open to the kinds of technology that truly support this kind of inquiry. Show me something that helps kids create, design, produce, construct—and I’m on board. Show me something that helps them make things collaboratively (rather than just on their own), and I’m even more interested—although it’s important to keep in mind that meaningful learning never requires technology, so even here we should object whenever we’re told that software (or a device with a screen) is essential.
more worrisome are the variants of ed tech that deal with grades and tests, making them even more destructive than they already are: putting grades online (thereby increasing their salience and their damaging effects), using computers to administer tests and score essays, and setting up “embedded” assessment that’s marketed as “competency-based.”
we shouldn’t confuse personalized learning with personal learning. The first involves adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated skills-based exercises based on students’ test scores, and it requires the purchase of software. The second involves working with each student to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests, and it requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well.
a recent review found that studies of tech-based personalized instruction “show mixed results ranging from modest impacts to no impact” – despite the fact that it’s remarkably expensive. In fact, ed tech of various kinds has made headlines lately for reasons that can’t be welcome to its proponents. According to an article in Education Week, “a host of national and regional surveys suggest that teachers are far more likely to use tech to make their own jobs easier and to supplement traditional instructional strategies than to put students in control of their own learning.” Last fall, meanwhile, OECD reportednegative outcomes when students spent a lot of time using computers, while Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes
Ed tech is increasingly making its way even into classrooms for young children. And the federal government is pushing this stuff unreservedly: Check out the U.S. Office of Education Technology’s 2016 plan recommending greater use of “embedded” assessment, which “includes ongoing gathering and sharing of data,” plus, in a development that seems inevitable in retrospect, a tech-based program to foster a “growth mindset” in children. There’s much more in that plan, too—virtually all of it, as blogger Emily Talmage points out, uncannily aligned with the wish list of the Digital Learning Council, a group consisting largely of conservative advocacy groups and foundations, and corporations with a financial interest in promoting ed tech.