Hack Education Projects for 2013

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It’s that time of year. Review what I’ve done. Think about what I want to do next. Make note of what remains undone and incomplete before I take on new projects in the new year.

Here, in no particular order, are the projects I have on my plate for the upcoming months:

Ed-Tech Guide

I’ve been (more or less) quietly working away at a guide to support “the Audrey tests” — that is, what every educator should know about the tech industry and what every edu-entrepreneur/engineer should know about education. I plan to continue pulling together articles to feature in it, as well as writing more content.

Ed-Tech TOS

Following the recent hullaballoo over changes to Instagram’s Terms of Service, I asked on Twitter if educators had been prompted to revisit and review the TOS for the various ed-tech tools they use. The response: nope. Ouch. But I think this is an incredibly important issue: who owns your data? who owns your students’ data? what rights are you signing away? what licenses are you granting companies for your user-generated content when you click that "I agree" button? So I plan to contribute to the Terms of Service; Didn’t Read project and help add information and a little clarity about various ed-tech companies’ terms.

Education History Book Group

I talked a lot in 2012 about how we ignore education history, and to that end Bud Hunt and I have discussed having an #eduhistory book group where we work our way through various historical texts. We still need to set a date to hold our first Google Hangout (or whatever tool we decide on) where we’ll discuss the Committee of Ten Report.

Ed-Tech Crunchbase

Recently I tweeted that I’d like to see more better data (read: open data and an API) regarding ed-tech companies’ and venture capitalists’ funding — an education version of Crunchbase, if you will. I wrote a post back in October where I started to detail some VCs’ portfolios, but a blog post isn’t the right place to keep this info up-to-date. I’m also interested to see how this funding might connect to the politics of ed-tech — lobbying efforts, ALEC, and the like. And it only seems right that non-profits like the Gates Foundation be included here too. (This would be a pretty massive undertaking though, so I think I’d rather write about a project like this than actually, ya know, build it.)

Long-Form Writing

Since there’s plenty of (ed-)tech churnalism out there already — the simple copy-and-pasting of companies’ press releases that fills most of the tech-blogosphere — and more than enough link-baity-list posts — “Top 422 iPad Apps to Use In Your Classroom Today!” — I plan to continue my focus on writing longer, more in-depth, (hopefully!) more thoughtful pieces here on Hack Education. (At the moment, I only have one outlet for whom I freelance regularly — Inside Higher Ed. I’d like to find another publication, one that’s more “mainstream” — that is, neither specifically “tech” or “ed.” But then again, I'd love to just focus on Hack Education.)

A Book

I’m gonna write a book in 2013. Really. I feel like this year might be my last chance before the robots replace us writers.

Image credits: theilr



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