Welcome to episode 103 of the EdTech Situation Room from August 15, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed universities deploying smart assistants in student dorms to answer questions, the privacy concerns of smart assistants in educational contexts, and the shortcomings of the latest MacBook Pro laptops relative to Windows-based competitors. Rumors of dual-booting Chromebooks (also booting to Windows), whether or not social media platforms are “publishers,” and strategies to stop or avoid “stalking ads” on social media were also addressed. Social media / fake news controversies over the temporary (7 day) banning of Alex Jones / InfoWars on Twitter, hacker threats to home routers (VPNfilter) and IoT devices, the advent of Fortnite on ALL Android devices (but not via the Google Play Store), and Google’s location tracking of users who turn off location services rounded out the news articles addressed in this show. Geeks of the Week included the Timer Tab app (ad-free), an incredible photo of our sun during a “Coronal Mass Ejection” with the earth shown to scale, and the recent PBS documentary, “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville.” Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can at 10 pm Eastern / 9 pm Central / 8 pm Mountain / 7 pm Pacific or 3 am UTC.
Welcome to episode 102 of the EdTech Situation Room from August 8, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed an update to this summer’s MacBook Pro Throttling Controversy, the upcoming death of Flash functionality in 2020, and the importance of being wary when you see pop-up ads to “update flash” and other software on your computer. The recent decisions by Apple, YouTube/Google and Facebook to ban / take down websites and media channels of Alex Jones / InfoWars was also addressed, along with Facebook’s takedown of suspected Russian network pages. Jason shared a shout-out to the helpful updating software “Ninite” for Windows, and Wes shared a shout out to his school’s “Digital Citizenship Conversations” website as well. The perils of digital voting was discussed, along with the ongoing controversy over 3D printable guns. Amy Webb’s recent prediction that “smartphones will be gone in 10 years” and other trends identified through her “Future Today Institute.” The recent news that voice-based phone calls are finally in decline in Britain, Logitech’s purchase of Blue Microphones, a cautionary tale for users of free VPN services whose data is sold to advertisers, and an eye opening Guardian article about Russian hacking forums were also highlighted in the show. Google’s required use of physical identity keys for two step verification and the perils of using SMS as well as app-based verification methods for two step authentication was explored as well. Geeks of the week included Promevo (by Jason) and Explorables (by Wes). Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR to stay up to date about upcoming shows, and share feedback with us about the show on Twitter or via a comment on our website.
Welcome to episode 101 of the EdTech Situation Room from July 25, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed automation and the technological trajectory of our society, potentially toward dystopia, informed by Douglass Rushkoff’s “Survival of the Richest” article shared in early July. This led to discussions about the weaponization of news via social media, as highlighted by danah boyd in a recent lecture in Detroit available on YouTube, recent revelations about voting machine vulnerabilities to hackers via remote access, and the cautionary tale provided by Ukraine in recent years on Russian hackers’ capabilities to bring a society’s institutions to a standstill via cyberwarfare. On the less depressing technology news front, Jason and Wes discussed the recent hoopla of Apple throttling MacBook Pro laptops revealed by a user on YouTube, and Apple’s release of an iOS version which provides better support for privacy and travelers passing through customs inspections where equipment may be used to copy iPhone data via USB tools. On the Google front, Jason discussed identified speed issues with web browsers and the YouTube website, the recent EU fine of Google for anti-trust legal violations, the opinion that Android has (positively) created more choice in the global smartphone market, and an update on Google’s Chromecast technology which celebrated its 5th birthday. Facebook’s legal challenges and potential fines in Great Britain over Brexit, rumors of a Microsoft-branded smartphone, updates to Microsoft Teams software, slow growth in the PC industry, and the continued revelation of more backdoors in Cisco routers (5 at this point) rounded out this episode’s topics. Geeks of the Week included Loom, a Chrome extension for screencasting, the Apple Magic Pad running on Chrome, Reddit (it’s not just for trolls), DocHub (for PDF annotation and digital signing) and the new documentary “This is AI” by IBM and Discovery. Please follow us on @edtechSR for updates and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can for our show!
Welcome to episode 100 of the EdTech Situation Room from July 11, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed recent announcements from the 2018 ISTE Conference in Chicago, Microsoft’s new Surface Go budget laptop, and the opening of Pandora’s Box for 3D printed guns. Security articles discussed included the worst cybersecurity breaches of 2018 (so far), the importance of never using a USB from an unknown source (including North Korea summit officials), and the potential danger of discarding a used USB flash drive. Google Chrome articles included the launch of the CTL rugged Chromebook, and Neverware’s “Bring Your Old Device” tour, which included an ISTE vendor hall appearance at the Google booth. On the Amazon front, Jason reminded us to look forward to Amazon Prime Day on July 16th, and to consider why Amazon continues to sell lots of tablets in an otherwise lackluster market. Twitter’s recent efforts to delete fake accounts in advance of 2018 midterm elections in the United States was also highlighted. Geeks of the week included a recent episode of the Wired Educator podcast, Wes’ shared podcast subscriptions from PocketCasts, The Scratch Team’s “Getting Unstuck” campaign for 25 days of creative coding, and the recommendation to restart your router to defeat variants of the “VPNfilter” malware outbreak and also optimize your bandwidth performance. Please follow us on Twitter at @edtechSR for updates and for live join links during our Wednesday night shows. Please reach out to us on Twitter if you enjoy the show and let us know you’re listening!
Welcome to episode 99 of the EdTech Situation Room from June 19, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed advice for attendees of the upcoming 2018 ISTE Conference, the AI robot debater from IBM, Facebook and social media privacy settings, and poor home wifi router security. Wes shared a weekly dose of cyberattack doom and gloom (shout out to NPR Fresh Air and their recent interview with author David E. Sanger) and highlighted Apple’s decision to make it harder for border customs officials to quickly copy data off of traveler’s iPhones. Microsoft’s announced purchase of Flipgrid, the demise of freemium platforms Padlet and Tenmarks, and the emergence of “Minecraft Story Mode” remote control game/story videos on Netflix were also highlighted. Jason shared an update on the ZigZag Podcast mentioned last week, and also highlighted two Android apps: Android Messages (now includes a desktop version) and Datally to gain more insight into your smartphone use habits. (Or perhaps addictions). Geeks of the Week included the Adobe Spark App’s port to Android OS, and the “Caliphate Podcast” series from the New York Times. A shout out to Peggy George, the PhotoMyne app, and the Classroom 2.0 Live Bucket List Google Sheet of apps and websites from last Saturday’s show rounded out this 99th episode of EdTechSR. We will NOT have a show next week, but may squeeze in a July 4th show on a day other than Wednesday that week. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter for updates. Stay safe and stay saavy, friends!
Welcome to episode 98 of the EdTech Situation Room from June 13, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed “the day net neutrality died” (and what it means for schools now,) the coming tidal wave of giant media company mergers, and exciting developments in the world of ChromeOS. Jason unveiled his new Google PixelBook laptop, and 72 hours into ownership reports it’s the highest end laptop he’s ever owned. Additional topics included rumors of redesigned Surfacebooks by Microsoft, and Microsoft Office’s new “Fluent” design perhaps influenced by Google. On the Apple front, exciting announcements from WWDC18 including FaceTime for Groups and AppleTV Aerials recorded by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station were highlighted. Additionally, the potential impact of Apple making the “substrate” level of MacOS and iOS compatible was discussed, as highlighted in the WWDC 2018 keynote. Final articles discussed included one about Elon Musk and his noteable entrepreneurial work in so many areas, and charges that the FCC fabricated tales of DDOS attacks during its open commenting period on net neutrality. Geeks of the week included the ZigZag Podcast from Manoush Zomorodi, Saturday’s “Open Mic” show on Classroom 2.0 Live, upcoming “Make Media Camp” workshops, and Jive Voice, a VOiP Cloud-hosted Phone System. Check out all our links on http://edtechsr.com/links for these and all other referenced resources from the show. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates and remember to subscribe with PocketCasts, Stitcher, on YouTube, or wherever you prefer to aggregate your favorite podcasts!
Welcome to episode 97 of the EdTech Situation Room from June 6, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) welcomed special guest Michael J. Crawford (@mjcraw). Topics discussed included Mary Meeker’s essential 2018 Internet Trends report and new microcontrols for iOS announced at WWDC 2018 available to developers to potentially exercise more control over user screentime. The value of limiting the length of shared video as well as the availability of those videos for others to watch and interact with them was also discussed. EdSpace Live (www.edspace.live) is Michael’s current product focusing on these questions and potentials. Instagram’s announced launch of a long form video platform to compete with YouTube, and Microsoft’s recently released book “Transforming Education” challenging K12 school leaders to be more thoughtful, deliberate, and intentional in their deployment of technologies in the classroom were also highlighted. Michael shared a shout out to Angela Maiers’ article “Tactical Serendipity” as it relates to the value of teachers being connected and collaborating with each other. New revelations about the VPNFilter router vulnerability which potentially affects half a million routers worldwide, and the FBI is recommendation to reboot your router, was also discussed. Jason provided commentary about a recent article highlighting the privacy differences between the FireFox and Chrome browsers, and Wes recommended an article giving specific instructions about changing default privacy settings on social networks including Facebook. Check out all our links on http://edtechsr.com/links for these and all other referenced resources from the show. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates and remember to subscribe with PocketCasts, Stitcher, on YouTube, or wherever you prefer to aggregate your favorite podcasts!
Welcome to episode 96 of the EdTech Situation Room from May 30, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) welcomed special guest Dave Quinn (@EduQuinn) to discuss Amazon Alexa’s latest (and improbable) privacy snafu, Facebook marketing videos to restore public trust, Redit’s ascendency over Facebook to become the number three most popular website in the United States, and the much anticipated release of the Acer Chromebook Spin 13. Additional topics included Europe’s GDPR (General Data Privacy Regulation), Apple’s new patent on an “ultra-flexible ‘living hinge’ laptop design,” the newly refreshed Google News app and it’s “full coverage” feature, and the value of Google’s Custom Search Engines. In the course of conversations Dave also mentioned the excellent work Mike Caulfield (@holden) has done on information literacy and web literacy focusing on “4 Moves,” and a shoutout to Nevada STEM educator Brian Crosby (@bcrosby) for his awesome balloon project “High Hopes” (@HighHopesSTEM). Geeks of the week included the Netflix original movie “Into the Inferno” by Werner Herzog, the 1st Inspired Learning Convention, Hummingbird Robotics Kits, and the value of pre-purchasing GoGo InFlight WiFi credits. Check out all our links on http://edtechsr.com/links for these and all other referenced resources from the show. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates and remember to subscribe with PocketCasts, Stitcher, on YouTube, or wherever you prefer to aggregate your favorite podcasts!
Welcome to episode 95 of the EdTech Situation Room from May 16, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed the recent vote in the U.S. Senate to preserve net neutrality, Android-related updates from Google promoting more frequent security patches by smartphone manufacturers / OEMs, and the forthcoming Oneplus 6 Smartphone. The U.S. President’s reversal of a trade ban on ZTE smartphones in the United States, updates to Gmail, Google Drive, and Google News, and imminently expected announcements about new Chromebooks rounded out the Android and Google-focused news articles in the show. Computer security firm Kaspersky’s decision to relocate from Russia to Switzerland amidst continued concerns over its integrity, NASA’s plan to send a drone helicopter to Mars, and the recent Toronto Declaration calling on algorithms to respect human rights were also discussed headlines. Under the title of “Technology Correction,” the release of over 3500 advertisements funded by Russians to influence the 2016 US Presidential election were discussed, along with articles highlighting how over fifty percent of those ads focused on race and many ads targeted U.S. teens. Cambridge Analytica, which has been in the news constantly in the Facebook / Russian election influence story, declared bankruptcy but has apparently reformed as the company Emerdata. Wes shared his pessimism that these kinds of election psyops are going to continue unabated in the upcoming mid-term and regular term elections in the United States. Microsoft’s work on a $400 tablet to compete with the iPad rounded out the discussed tech news. Geeks of the week included “The Most Useful Podcast in the World” by Popular Mechanics (from Jason), and two from Wes: a YouTube video of Sylvia Martinez INTED2018 Keynote Speech, “The Maker Movement” and the July 15-20, 2018 Summer Institute in Digital Literacy. Check out our shownotes for links to all these articles and referenced resources, and please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates. Stay safe and stay savvy!
Welcome to episode 94 of the EdTech Situation Room from May 9, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week newly minted Ph.D. Dr. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Dr. Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed lots of news from the Google IO developer’s conference, as well as news from the Microsoft Build Conference. The continued march of artificial intelligence is evident in the forthcoming release of Google Duplex, which was demonstrated at Google IO and allows your Google Assistant to make phone calls to real people and book appointments for things like haircuts and restaurant reservations. Google’s new Android P operating system will focus on wellness and greater awareness of screentime to promote healthy living. They also discussed Facebook’s “Sauron Alert” feature for employees, now called “Security Watchdog,” which is not available publicly but warns when someone is using content or personal information in unauthorized ways on the platform. Microsoft’s announcements for WindowsOS features which integrate with both Android phones as well as iPhones were discussed, as well as their efforts to bring machine learning benefits to all their applications. The use of AI technologies to potentially open up access to the Vatican’s Secret Library was highlighted, along with an older article (September 2017) from “The Conversation” about how software licensing restrictions affecting objects we purchase for our homes is bringing a property rights / intellectual property rights situation into our lives which is regressive and feudal in nature. Geeks of the week included open source software for DVD ripping (Handbrake) and YouTube video downloading (y2mate), as well as software for identifying and installing optimal Windows OS drivers on older computer systems (Snappy Driver Installer). Check out our shownotes for links to all referenced resources, and links to articles we didn’t have time to discuss in this week’s show on edtechSR.com/links. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us live weekly on Wednesday nights at 10 pm Eastern / 9 pm Central / 8 pm Mountain / 7 pm Pacific.