EdTech Situation Room Episode 79

Welcome to episode 79 of the EdTech Situation Room from December 27, 2017, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach), Beth Holland (@brholland) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed “The 2017 EdTech Year in Review.” The first discussion topic was the misinterpretation of “research” in educational technology and how it leads to editorials about banning technology in classrooms. Secondly, the line between “creepy surveillance” (by social media companies for advertising as well as governmental mass surveillance) and helpful artificial intelligence / algorithm powered information filtering was explored, but definitely not definitively resolved since many of the recent disclosures related to data mining and privacy have multiple facets of benefit and trade offs which make “black and white” conclusions difficult. The third topic of the show was the ways in which Google and Microsoft faced off in educational technology circles in 2017, from the Chromebook to Windows 10 S, to Google Docs and Microsoft 365 (including OneNote). Several additional topics were included in the show planning document (linked in our shownotes) but not addressed because of time limitations. Geeks of the week included $20 Amazon Fire Tablets, ways to view and correct information Twitter has collected and analyzed about your personal account, and great MakerEd / STEM gifts for young people in your life: Makedo and Bloxels. Don’t miss our referenced links, resources, articles and books in our shownotes, as well as the articles and topics we didn’t discuss on our special show planning Google Doc. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter for updates, and tune in next week for our first “regular” show of 2018. Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, and Happy New Year to everyone!


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
  3. Audio podcast feed (Subscribe with iTunes or Stitcher)
  4. Video version on YouTube
  5. Check out our video podcast feed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel (episodes also in this YouTube playlist)
  6. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) – blog: blog.ncce.org
  7. Beth Holland (@brholland) – blog: brholland.com
  8. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.org
  9. France Moves To Ban Students From Using Cellphones In Schools (NPR, 12 Dec 2017)
  10. Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting (NYTimes, 22 Nov 2017)
  11. Great example of an academic not only publishing in academic journals but also on his blog: Larry Cuban (@CubanLarry) “Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice”
  12. Larry Cuban’s seminal book: “Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom” (2003)
  13. New book coming from Larry Cuban: “The Flight of the Butterfly or the Path of a Bullet: Using Technology to Transform Teaching and Learning”
  14. Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better (Bryk, Gomez, Grunow, LeMahieu, 2015)
  15. 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle (SAMR Model, Dr. Ruben Puentedura)
  16. How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better (“Common Language of Pedagogy” is key and “Professionalization of the Sector” / constant sharing and transparency)
  17. Research Says Screen Time Can Be Good For You (article referencing idea of instructive mediation)
  18. What Research Says…Or Does It? (ATLIS video interview with Beth Holland)
  19. Media mentor as new job for educators (New America Foundation, Oct 2016)
  20. German government wants ‘backdoor’ access to every digital device (The Local – Germany, 1 Dec 2017)
  21. Weapons of Mass Surveillance (BBC World Service, 17 June 2017)
  22. Did Mexico Drop $5 Million On This ‘Unlimited’ Uber-Stealth Spy Tech? (Forbes, 25 Sep 2017)
  23. They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy (Robert Scheer, 2016)
  24. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft Battle for K-12 Market, and Loyalties of Educators (EdWeek, 8 May 2017)
  25. Office 365 vs. Google apps for Education – which one is best? (Skooler, 14 February 2017)
  26. Tech directors battle it out: Office 365 or G Suite? (EdScoop, 28 June 2017)
  27. How Google Has Not Taken Over the Higher Ed Classroom (Inside Higher Ed, 14 May 2017)
  28. Battle of the Classrooms: Apple, Google, Microsoft Vie for K-12 Market (EdSurge, 22 February 2017)
  29. Works Cited / Bibliographic tools to check out: Paper by ReadCube (Beth), Paper Pile (Jason) and Zotero
  30. Jason’s Geek of the Week: Grab a 2015 Fire Tablet for $20 bucks, then put the Google Play Store on it.
  31. Wes’ Geek of the Week: Take charge of your Twitter Data
  32. Beth’s Geek of the Week: Favorite gifts for kids – Makedo and Bloxels

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