Investment continues to flow to ed tech, with $803 million injected during the first six months of the year, according to the industry news website EdSurge. But half of that went to just six companies, including the celebrity tutorial provider MasterClass, the online learning platform Udemy and the school and college review site Niche.
From the outside, the ed-tech sector may appear as if “there’s a bonanza and it’s like the dot-com boom again and everybody’s printing money,” said Michael Hansen, CEO of the K-12 and higher education digital learning provider Cengage. “That is not the case.”
Even if they want to buy more ed-tech tools, meanwhile, schools and colleges are short on cash. Expenses for measures to deal with Covid-19 are up, while budgets are expected to be down.
Analysts and industry insiders now expect a wave of acquisitions as already-dominant brands like these seek to corner even more of the market by snatching up smaller players that provide services they don’t.
Tech-based contact tracing could put schools in murky privacy territory
- A white paper from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) suggests the use of contact tracing technology by schools could erode student privacy and may not be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Despite the pandemic, schools still must conform to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other laws governing student privacy. Districts can disclose information to public health officials, for example, but information can’t be released to the general public without written consent from parents.
The Safely Reopen Schools mobile app is one tool available for automating contact tracing. The idea is that if two mobile phones are close enough to connect via Bluetooth, the phone owners are close enough to transmit the virus. The app includes daily health check-ins and educational notifications, but no personal information is exchanged between the phones, and the app won’t disclose who tested positive.
Colleges are also using apps to help trace and track students’ exposure to coronavirus. In August, 20,000 participants from the University of Alabama at Birmingham were asked to test the GuideSafe mobile app, which will alert them if they’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The app determines the proximity of two people through cell phone signal strength. If someone reports they contracted the virus, an alert will be sent to anyone who has been within six feet of them for at least 15 minutes over the previous two weeks.
Critics of the technology claim these apps aren’t actually capable of contract tracing and could undermine manual efforts to do so.
more on ed tech in this IMS blog
5 Trends Shaping K12 Ed Tech
- Chromebooks. (versus iPADs)
- Blended learning
- Single sign-on and interoperability
- Wireless and cloud-based multimedia
more on tech trends in education in this IMS blog
The death of the digital native: four provocations from Digifest speaker, Dr Donna Lanclos
educators need to figure out what they need to do. Are you trying to have a conversation? Are you simply trying to transmit information? Or are you, in fact, trying to have students create something?
Answer those pedagogical questions first and then – and only then – will you be able to connect people to the kinds of technologies that can do that thing.
The ‘digital native’ is a generational metaphor. It’s a linguistic metaphor. It’s a ridiculous metaphor. It’s the notion that there is a particular generation of people who are fundamentally unknowable and incomprehensible.
There are policy implications: if your university philosophy is grounded in assumptions around digital natives, education and technology, you’re presupposing you don’t have to teach the students how to use tech for their education. And, furthermore, it will never be possible to teach that faculty how to use that technology, either on their own behalf or for their students.
A very different paradigm is ‘visitor and resident‘. Instead of talking about these essentialised categories of native and immigrant, we should be talking about modes of behaviour because, in fact, some people do an awful lot of stuff with technology in some parts of their lives and then not so much in other parts.
How much of your university practice is behind closed doors? This is traditional, of course, gatekeeping our institutions of higher education, keeping the gates in the walled campuses closed. So much of the pedagogy as well as the content of the university is locked away. That has implications not just for potential students but also from a policy perspective – if part of the problem in higher education policy is of non-university people not understanding the work of the university, being open would have really great potential to mitigate that lack of understanding.
I would like to see our universities modelling themselves more closely on what we should be looking for in society generally: networked, open, transparent, providing the opportunity for people to create things that they wouldn’t create all by themselves.
I understand the rationale for gatekeeping, I just don’t think that there’s as much potential with a gatekept system as there is with an open one.
There are two huge problems with the notion of “student expectations”: firstly, the sense that, with the UK’s new fee model, students’ ideas of what higher education should be now weigh much more heavily in the institutions’ educational planning. Secondly, institutions in part think their role is to make their students “employable” because some politician somewhere has said the university is there to get them jobs.
Students coming into higher education don’t know much about what higher education can be. So if we allow student expectations to set the standard for what we should be doing, we create an amazingly low bar.
The point of any educational system is not to provide citizens with jobs. That’s the role of the economy.
Universities are not vocational
Institutions can approach educational technology in two very different ways. They can have a learning technology division that is basically in charge of acquiring and maintaining educational technology. Or they can provide spaces to develop pedagogy and then think about the role of technology within that pedagogy.
Educational Technology and Faculty Development in Higher Education
The Potential of Mobile Devices for Teaching and Learning
Despite the near ubiquity of student laptops and smartphones, in-class BYOD is still an emerging practice.
——–Call for Papers ICEduTech 2015 (last call): submissions until 2 October 2015 ————-
International Conference on Educational Technologies 2015
30 November-2 December 2015, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
* Keynote Speakers (confirmed):
Professor Piet Kommers, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Professor Pedro Isaías, Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University), Portugal
* Conference Scope
The Educational Technologies 2015 conference (ICEduTech) is the scientific conference addressing the real topics as seen by teachers, students, parents and school leaders. Both scientists, professionals and institutional leaders are invited to be informed by experts, sharpen the understanding what education needs and how to achieve it.
The conference covers six main areas: Education in Context, Education as Professional Field, Curricular Evolution, Learner Orientation, Integrating Educational Technologies and International Higher Education. These broad areas are divided into more detailed areas, for more information please check http://www.icedutech-conf.org/call-for-papers
* Paper Submission
This is a blind peer-reviewed conference. Authors are invited to submit their papers in English through the conference submission system by October 2, 2015. Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously.
* Important Dates:
– Submission Deadline (last call): 2 October 2015
– Notification to Authors (last call): 26 October 2015
– Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration (last call): Until 6 November 2015
– Late Registration (last call): After 6 November 2015
* Paper Publication
The papers will be published in book and electronic format with ISBN, will be made available through the Digital Library available at http://www.iadisportal.org/digital-library/showsearch.
The conference proceedings will be submitted for indexing to INSPEC, EI Compendex, Thomson ISI, ISTP and other indexing services.
Selected papers of best papers will be extended in order to be included in a Special Issue of JICES (http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=jices), entitled “The Impact of Smart Technology on Users and Society”. This journal is indexed by Scopus and other selected indexes.
Extended versions of best papers will also be invited for publication in journals, in an international book and in other selected and indexed publications.
* Conference Contact:
Web site: http://www.icedutech-conf.org/
* Organized by: International Association for Development of the Information Society
Co-Organized by: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina and UNISINOS
Key Trends Accelerating Educational Technology Adoption in European Schools
“Growing Ubiquity of Social Media” and “Rethinking the Roles of Teacher” as fast trends accelerating the adoption of educational technology in European schools over the next one to two years.