Largely unexamined in the large-scale shift to digital learning in education are the accompanying ethical considerations. Indeed, the issues and tradeoffs that school leaders and teachers face in using technology in schools and for education — whether free or for a fee — are more complex than they have ever been.
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Tag: conflict of interest
Natasha Singer—this time with colleague Danielle Ivory—have released another in the New York Times’ series ‘Education Disrupted.’ Like other stories in the series, it focuses on issues of conflicts of interest in education and educational technology. This issue is a cancer on the sector, enabled by and made worse by the lack of any serious interest in self-policing or self-regulation.
The increasingly common practice of public school teachers affiliating with edtech companies deserves greater scrutiny. On social media many educators proudly tout their corporate affiliations as proof of their digital learning expertise, much like NASCAR drivers wear corporate patches on their uniforms. I don’t know where we should draw the line on conflict of interest policies here, but I am convinced it is past due time to revisit those policies for a digital age.
This week, education reporters from across the nation are gathering at the 2017 Education Writers Association National Seminar (#EWA17) in Washington, DC. Among the topics they will focus on is technology in education (AKA “digital learning”). To that end, I suggest five story ideas for reporters interested in the topic, as well as an admonition to go easy on the edtech jargon.
It is time to reboot the social contract for public education in a digital age. At the same time, we must remain clear-eyed and recognize the ways in which technology also introduces new issues and potential threats. What we need are terms of service that provide every student and their family assurances that their interests remain at the fore.