Hack Education Weekly News: Knowledge Pills and Other Ed-Tech Quackery

Hack Education Weekly News: Knowledge Pills and Other Ed-Tech Quackery

OK, I'm slightly out-of-it this week. That's what flying to England does for you, I guess. Also, I'm visiting family so jetlag plus emotional exhaustion equals a pretty sparse weekly roundup. My apologies. I was paying close enough attention to note that Nicholas Negroponte says that in 30 years time, we'll be able to injest knowledge -- through a knowledge pill or something. So just think. I won't actually have to pay attention to the news. I'll just be able to zap everything that happens in education over the course of the week directly into my digestive system which will magically then enter my brain. Whee. Can't wait. [...]

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(How) Should Startups Compensate Schools and Teachers for their Feedback?

(How) Should Startups Compensate Schools and Teachers for their Feedback?

Another day, another discovery of super-shady practices going on in the ed-tech industry. Shocking. (Not shocking.) So here's an attempt to explain to educators (and to startups too, I guess) that the common practice is, when you have an ongoing relationship with a company and you give them meaningful feedback, that you are compensated. Startup advisors get compensated. Not just with some swag. Not just with some snacks at a little party. Not just with a logo for your website. Not with a promise that maybe someday when the company IPOs you'll get a discount on buying stock. FFS. [...]

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Hack Education Weekly News: Happy 25th Anniversary, World Wide Web

Hack Education Weekly News: Happy 25th Anniversary, World Wide Web

Happy 25th anniversary to the great piece of ed-tech ever invented, the World Wide Web. But in other ed-tech news, well... Microsoft partners with Knewton. Microsoft partners with Pearson. North Carolina wants its money back because it says that its statewide implementation of Pearson's PowerSchool isn't working properly. Microsoft partners with the CK-12 Foundation. Students in a class at Harvard were told not to ask questions as the lecture material was being used in a MOOC. Ed-reform funder Reed Hastings doesn't like democratically elected school boards. And so much more bullshit. [...]

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Hack Education Weekly News: A New SAT, New Amplify Curriculum, and More from the SXSWedu Circus

Hack Education Weekly News: A New SAT, New Amplify Curriculum, and More from the SXSWedu Circus

Woohoo! SXSWedu! Wheeeee! News released in time with the event: new curriculum from Amplify! A revised SAT! Chromebooks! Analytics! Hype! And stuff. There was lots of other news too: Obama's budget for 2015; the acquisition of a couple of startups and funding for a bunch more; SRI's report on the usage of Khan Academy (note, it said "usage" not "effectiveness"); more edX consortium members; a decision in the Kansas state supreme court on school funding; and an epic spelling bee battle. [...]

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SXSWedu. This Again.

SXSWedu. This Again.

SXSWedu brings together some of the leading voices in (US) education: politicians and policy wonks (at the state and federal level), industry folks (from startups and corporations), the money people (from foundations and investment firms), educators (teachers and administrators), students, PR people, and journalists. And yet these groups mostly keep to themselves, only really mingling for pitches and press bonanzas. When they do talk to one another, it's often talking *at* one another via panels lasting 50 minutes with 10 minutes for Q&A. (The exception, I suppose: the parties.) [...]

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Hack Education Weekly News: Facebook's Online Education Plans for Rwanda

Hack Education Weekly News: Facebook's Online Education Plans for Rwanda

In this week's education news: Facebook teams up with edX to offer online education (and Facebook) to Rwanda. The Department of Education "clarifies" its privacy rules (where "clarifies" equals "punts"). Lots of startups raise money, including Edsurge, Piazza, Credible, and Skillshare. Pearson stocks fall on reports that it's still struggling with ye olde transition to digital. An Arizona state senator worries that the Common Core means that students will learn about math that uses letters in place of numbers. Glasgow University students elect Edward Snowden as their rector. And RIP to one of the greatest professors of paranormal studies that ever lived: Egon Spengler. [...]

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