I’ve been on planes a lot lately – flying from coast to coast. While there are inconveniences to air travel, the upside for me is that I use these long haul flights as a chance to catch up on my long-form reading list. While it may seem quaint or old fashioned to some (when accessing WiFi and on-demand videos seem de rigueur), it has been part of my travel routine for too many years to casually cast it aside.
I think a lot about the future of technology and its potential impacts on students and the K-12 education system (intended and unintended). Lately, my explorations into this topic have led me in some unexpected directions.
In the last week (thanks to my air travel), I’ve read a number of extended analytical pieces worth noting, including:
- The Limits of Education Purpose Limitations by Elana Zeide (which – among other things – calls for educator communities to promulgate ethical principles to guide student data use);
- Code Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age by Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson, and Dana Page (which paints a picture of the pros, cons, and ethical challenges facing increasingly automated decision making);
- “I’ve Got Nothing to Hide” and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel Solove (which systematically debunks one of the most common arguments people use in discounting the impact of surveillance);
- Lawful Hacking: Using Existing Vulnerabilities for Wiretapping on the Internet by Steven Bellovin, Matt Blaze, Sandy Clark, and Susan Landau (which considers the ethics of law enforcement use of software exploits and their obligation to disclose them to vendors); and,
- Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow (which exposes the predatory behavior of publishers/distributors and other intermediaries, undercutting the interests and freedoms of both content creators and users).
While not every piece speaks directly to K-12 education issues at present, they all speak to the wider milieu from which our conceptions of public education and consumer technology are derived. And, given the scope of privacy and security issues dominating the news (with experts now arguing that we’ve lost control of our personal data, allegations of nation states weaponizing informatics, and ISPs clawing back consumer privacy protections), we ignore the implications of these ethical dilemmas on schools and students not at our own risk but at their own risk. Indeed, (in the vein of Dr. Suess’s Lorax) who speaks for the students?
Yet again this week, I’ve needed to update my post on the W-2 phishing scam victimizing school districts across the country. And, for those getting hyped by blockchain in education, my take on some of the magical thinking underlying the promise of blockchain for education.
Otherwise, here’s what caught my eye – news, tools, and reports about education, public policy, technology, and innovation – including a little bit about why. No endorsements; no sponsored content; no apologies for my eclectic tastes.
A Thinking Person’s Guide to EdTech News (2017 Week 12 Edition)
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