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 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 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 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.
Welcome to episode 77 of the EdTech Situation Room from December 13, 2017, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed Google’s recent announcement to discontinue web store apps, the importance of the open web, and the upcoming net neutrality vote by the FCC. Additional topics included the prevalence of email tracking and whether or not this surveillance is something to be concerned about, the upcoming shutdown of Storify, Google Assistant coming to older Android devices, and a recent PBS Frontline Special (“Putin’s Revenge”) as well as Guardian article about the weaponization of the web by Russia. Geeks of the week included a recent article about going anonymous online with the Tor browser (Jason) and the expensive, hybrid human/digital assistant “Fin” (Wes). Please check out all our shownotes (including articles we did not have time to address in this week’s show) on http://edtechSR.com/links and follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/edtechSR for updates.