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.
Welcome to episode 93 of the EdTech Situation Room from May 2, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed the predictable demise of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference and its newly announced dating website, and the announced merger of TMobile and Sprint in the United States to turbocharge the build-out of 5G cellular networks. Additional topics included the demise of TodaysMeet because of the EU’s GDPR, Google’s proliferating task management apps, new features in Windows10’s latest update, Apple’s decision to kill AirPort wifi routers, and slower than expected iPhoneX sales by Apple. Final topics included the continuing march of CRISPR to revolutionize animal genetics and our food chain, along with a shocking use of confidential DNA information to arrest the suspected “Golden State Killer.” 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.
Welcome to episode 92 of the EdTech Situation Room from April 25, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed new national standards for online courses in the USA, a strange case of liability for an ewaste recycler, exciting updates for Gmail from Google, and several other tidbits of Google news. These included the movie editor in Google Photos, controversy at Google over proposed AI contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, and a strange Gmail spam issue which modified email headers so new messages showed up as “sent mail.” Forthcoming updates to the YouTube Kids app featuring human-moderated channels and a new Google Tasks update rounded out the Google focused news updates. On the Apple front, Tim Cook’s announcement that MacOS and iOS will NOT be merging was mentioned, along with sizable reported profits from the iOS port of the game Fortnite. A few thoughts about SmugMug’s recent purchase of Flickr from Verizon were shared. Security hacks including hotel door locks and home wifi routers by Russian agents were also discussed. It was great to have Jason back after a multi-week hiatus as he completed his dissertation, which he’s scheduled to defend in early May. Follow the show on Twitter @edtechSR for updates and please try and join us live on Wednesday evenings if you can on YouTube Live. Thanks for watching / listening!
Welcome to episode 91 of the EdTech Situation Room from April 4, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week special guests Alice Barr (@alicebarr) and Cheryl Oakes (@cheryloakes50) along with host Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed the accessibility Chrome extension Plazma, the “Teach Wonder” robotics and PD program from Wonder Workshop, and Ripple’s amazing fund of all DonorsChoose classroom projects recently. Additional topics included iOS 11.3’s battery problems, Apple’s new hire to improve Siri’s AI abilities, favorite uses of smart assistants (Madame A and the Google Home Mini), and new DNS projects speeding up Internet access and improving security. New developments in the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica story were also highlighted. Geeks of the week included BusyKid, ClaroRead Chrome Extension, and 12 Augmented Reality Tools for Schools. Follow us on Twitter on @edtechSR for updates!
Welcome to episode 90 of the EdTech Situation Room from March 28, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week special guest Felix Jacomino (@FelixJacomino) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed a gripping tale of iPhone10 survival on the SheiKra Roller Coaster in Busch Gardens, Apple’s Education Event in Chicago on Tuesday, digital citizenship themes surrounding the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica hoopla as well as Florida school shootings, and the upcoming closure of WikiSpaces. Additional topics included some amazing, recent biotech headlines about protein engineering and the discovery of a new human organ, YouTube’s decision to use WikiPedia links to fight online conspiracy theories, and Google’s launch of a ChromeOS tablet. Geeks of the week included Sketchnoting apps ProCreate (iOS) and ArtFlow (Android) and Branded URL Shortening Service thetinyLINQ.com. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates. Refer to the podcast shownotes for links to all our referenced articles and resources. Next week tune in 2 hours early on Wednesday for a conversation with special guests Alice Barr (@alicebarr) and Cheryl Oakes (@cheryloakes50).
Welcome to episode 89 of the EdTech Situation Room from March 22, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week special guest Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed the transition of iPadPalooza into LearningFest, Virtual Reality at SxSW 2018 and in the classroom, and the upcoming Apple Education Event in Chicago on March 27th. Additional topics included Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and the response of Mark Zuckerberg to allegations his social media platform has become “a weapon” posing an existential threat to democracies worldwide. Geeks of the week included the forthcoming movie, “Ready Player One,” and a new Cadillac ad, “Future Cars.” Check our shownotes for links to these and additional referenced articles and websites.
Welcome to episode 88 of the EdTech Situation Room from March 13, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week special guest Jennifer Carey (@TheJenCarey) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed the admirable way Florida teens have used social media to advocate for political change following the Parkland school shooting, how we can help curb trolling and harassment on Twitter by reporting it when we see it, and how YouTube seems coded to be a radicalizing influence through its recommendation engine. Social media analysis continued with discussion about a recent Wired article highlighting how Russia’s “abuse” of Facebook during the 2016 elections essentially constituted an adept use of the platform as it’s been designed to serve advertisers through micro-targeting, and the ways “the smartphone has become the new bogeyman” for many parents decrying the ills of social media much like parents blaming television watching in the 1980s. The need for expanded digital citizenship conversations at school to include “digital hygiene” including a focus on password managers and two-step verification was discussed, as well as the solution to a recent mystery involving laughing Amazon Alexa smart assistants. A discussion about Apple’s emphasis on privacy but lagging innovation with artificial intelligence and Siri rounded out the discussion, including rumors of a new (and less expensive) MacBook Air laptop coming in the second quarter. Geeks of the week included a discounted laser cutter from Glowforge, Gaggle’s Safety Management service, Slack for team messaging, the new Google Sites, and amazing augmented reality examples from the New York Times featuring Olympic athletes. Check out our full list of links on edtechsr.com/links, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for show updates @edtechSR. Next week special guest Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) will join Wes at our regular show time (9 pm central on Wednesday) as Jason Neiffer continues to hunker down and finish his dissertation this month. Please share feedback by reaching out on Twitter or leaving a comment on our website at edtechsr.com.
Welcome to episode 87 of the EdTech Situation Room from February 28, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed news from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, net neutrality debate in the U.S. Congress, the forthcoming freemium option in Microsoft Teams, and new Chromebooks from Lenovo. Additional topics included Facebook’s facial recognition features, outlier conspiracy theories focusing on the recent Florida school shooting fueled by social media, and YouTube’s reinvigorated policing of videos required to adhere to community guidelines. Challenges for Android OS security, a possible replacement of Android OS by Google (with Flutter), and the prevalence of “credential stuffing” with online accounts rounded out the show’s main topics. Geeks of the week included a new Google MOOC focusing on AI and machine learning, compatibility of Mac Magic trackpads with Chromebooks, and the free Google Docs Add-On “OrangeSlice: Teacher Rubric.” Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates on our show. Thanks for viewing / listening!
Welcome to episode 86 of the EdTech Situation Room from February 21, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed Apple’s HomePod and the generally negative reviews it hass received in the technology press, Chrome news including PWAs (progressive web apps), and social media’s dark side revealed through the Parkland, Florida, school shooting incident. Additional topics included the need for ethics in artificial intelligence (AI), a recent historical look at AI’s ascendency at Google, and Facebook’s role in the Russia probe / election hack over time. Geeks of the week included Reply, by Google and Textra SMS (from Jason) and Twitter Moments (from Wes). Subscribe to @edtechSR on Twitter for updates.