EdTech Situation Room Episode 160

Welcome to episode 160 of the EdTech Situation Room from January 1, 2020, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) kicked off the first show of the new year by discussing Audrey Waters’ (@audreywatters) marathon post “The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade,” and Dean Shareski’s (@shareski) post “I Don’t Think I’m an EdTech Guy Anymore.” On the security front, recent Amazon Ring “hack incidents” revealed to be caused by reuse of compromised passwords and a good article from USAToday highlighting the dangerous cleverness of bank account phishers were highlighted. The fruits of the latest “Public Domain Day,” the use of the machine learning powered (and creepy) website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com to create profile photos for fake right wing Facebook profiles attempting to manipulate U.S. voters, and an educational technology startup capitalizing on the invasive surveillance potential of the iPhone for college students skipping classes (SpotterEDU) were also discussed. On the topic of “weird drone stuff” which points the importance of coding and computational thinking for students in schools today, articles about ongoing sightings of mysterious drone formations in eastern Colorado / western Nebraska, and a bizarre drone jamming incident by rural Chinese farmers attempting to foil an organized crime effort to spread swine fever / a pathogen via drone aircraft were also highlighted. Our show was live streamed and archived simultaneously on YouTube Live as well as our Facebook Live page via StreamYard.com. 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. All shownotes are available on http://edtechSR.com/links.


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
  3. Audio podcast feed (Subscribe with iTunes or Stitcher)
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  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. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.orgWes’ Media and Digital Literacy Curriculum / Classroom Website
  8. The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade (Hack Education @audreywatters, 31 December 2019)
  9. I Don’t Think I’m an EdTech Guy Anymore (Dean Shareski @shareski, 30 December 2019)
  10. This School Banned iPads, Going Back to Regular Textbooks—But What Does the Science Say? (blog of Jenn Ryan, July 2019)
  11. Man sues Ring after creep hacked device, taunted kids – Amazon blames userID & password re-use for Ring camera incident / “hack” (NY Post, 29 Dec 2019)
  12. Colleges are turning students’ phones into surveillance machines, tracking the locations of hundreds of thousands (Washington Post, 24 Dec 2019)
  13. ‘Weird and concerning’: Mystery drone sightings continue in Colorado, into Nebraska (Stars & Stripes, 28 Dec 2019) – Full Coverage by Google News
  14. China flight systems jammed by pig farm’s African swine fever defences (South China Morning Post, 20 Dec 2019)
  15. Don’t fall for this phish attempt from fraudsters (USA Today; 1 January 2020)
  16. Happy Public Domain Day!  (BoingBoing; 30 December 2019)
  17. ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com uses AI to generate endless fake faces (Verge, 15 Feb 2019) and now www.whichfaceisreal.com
  18. Fake Faces: People Who Do Not Exist Invade Facebook To Influence 2020 Elections – Part 1 (LeadStories, 12 Dec 2019)
  19. Senate passes new limits on robocalls, sending legislation to Trump (Washington Post, 19 Dec 2019)
  20. What to expect from phones in 2020: Foldable, 5G, killer cameras (cNet; 1 January 2020)
  21. Wes’ Geek of the Week: [PODCAST] “The Cure for Hate” by @tristanharris@HumaneTech_ interviewing @mcaleer@LifeAfterHate
  22. Jason’s Geeks of the Week: Swappa and Gazelle

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