Since 2016, multiple news reports document that K-12 students are being charged with and convicted of crimes for hacking their schools. In other cases, these incidents have led to students being expelled. Are schools and the police over-reacting to student hacking of schools? Are our current laws and school policies appropriate? It may be time for a hard look at these questions.
Posts in category Policy
There are a range of potential cybersecurity threats facing K-12 schools. Thanks to my invited participation in a National Governors Association cybersecurity summit, I’ve documented my current thinking on the cybersecurity in K-12 education, why it is an important issue, and what should be done about it. Ultimately, if we can’t generate the political will to address these issues head on, states and the federal government have no business pursuing school reform and improvement strategies dependent on technology.
While it’s common for a federal agency to switch policy directions after a change in leadership, FCC Chairmain Pai’s decision to rescind a data-based public report on E-rate modernization is a highly unusual decision that – at the very least – looks awful. Indeed, to expunge the public record is clearly a political move.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today that he will step down next month and leave the Commission. From the perspective of K-12 schools, the importance of his contributions to E-rate modernization are hard to overstate. Indeed (and with all due respect to friends and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education), the adoption of revisions and enhancements to the E-rate under Chairman Wheeler’s tenure may very well be the lasting legacy of the Obama Administration with respect to education. With Wheeler’s departure and based on what we can surmise, the E-rate under a Republican FCC shaped by PEOTUS Trump will likely face a new set of challenges.
Federal support for the effective use of technology for teaching, learning, and improved school operations – driven primarily by executive actions at the White House and via politically-appointed leadership at the U.S. Department of Education – could get halted, shifted or eliminated on the first day of a Trump administration.
What does the Trump Administration mean for educational technology advocates? There is a lot we don’t know, but one thing we can expect is new leadership and a new agenda at the FCC. One issue to watch: efforts to rein in the universal service fee, which could put pressure on E-rate funding and related efforts to close the ‘homework gap.’
New U.S. Department of Education guidance offers insights into how the new state block grant program will operate under ESSA, including its educational technology provisions. While the guidance is (debatably) human-readable and targeted primarily to state department of education lawyers and staff, this post offers advice on the three issues you need to consider as you slog through its 47 pages.
The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), perhaps the signature 1:1 laptop program in the nation, has generated controversy and struggled with results. It is now at risk of being brought to an end. One contributing factor: despite a 10+ year statewide track record of implementation, there is a lack of high-quality research on the program’s effectiveness in contributing to student learning. It’s a missed opportunity.
In 1996, the first federal program dedicated to ensuring universal access to information and communications technology for improved teaching and learning in the nation’s schools was launched. This post (light on analysis, heavy on the archiving of primary source material) is one for the wonks: a historical record of federal education programs and funding intended to ‘help every child in every school utilize technology to achieve high standards.’