EdTechSR Ep 191 – COVID-19 and Our New Educational ‘Normal’

Welcome to episode 191 (“COVID-19 and Our New Educational ‘Normal'”) of the EdTech Situation Room from September 23, 2020, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed the likelihood of long term COVID-19 impacts on education and our society, new Apple Watch and iPad announcements from the September 15th Apple Event, and Chromebook news from HP and the Dev channel. On the subject of U.S. – China relations, the proposed restructuring of TikTok and the possibility that differences over 5G infrastructure rollouts portends a tectonic shift in international relations was discussed. Continuing observations and analysis of the looming “tech correction,” articles on Twitter and Facebook actions to censor disinformation and bad actors on their platforms, Facebook’s thread to leave the EU over proposed data regulations in Ireland, and a fantastic TED Radio Hour podcast episode highlighting issues of privacy, surveillance capitalism, subversion of democratic processes, and “the tech correction” was also discussed. On the security front, the first hospital death in Germany attributed to a ransomware attack, and the incredible impact of the Mozi botnet on global IoT traffic were highlighted. The tremendous impact of WikiPedia articles on local tourism in some countries, the exciting detection of “phosphene” in the atmosphere of Venus suggesting organic life, and the ongoing destructive effects of disinformation and socially shared conspiracy theories in countering the spread of COVID-19 were explored. Geeks of the Week included Little Alchemy 2, “The Age of AI” by YouTube Originals (hosted by Robert Downey Jr.), a 4 Part Lesson Series on “Conspiracy Theories” by Wes, and the excellent media literacy website spotthetroll.org. Tips for how to use a second monitor with your laptop and the NECC 2021 virtual conference Call for Proposals were also shared. 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 (normally) 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
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  6. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) – blog: blog.ncce.org
  7. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.orgShared Lessons & Curriculum
  8. Let’s get real. No vaccine will work as if by magic, returning us to ‘normal’ (The Guardian; 6 September 2020)
  9. Apple September 2020 event: Everything announced (Digital Trends; 15 September 2020)
  10. The plain old iPad gets a needed lift (cNet; 15 September 2020)
  11. The New 2020 Ipad Isn’t Enough For Zoom School (The Verge; 23 September 2020)
  12. Google now lets you set Gmail as the default mail app on iOS 14 (9 to 5 Google; 21 September 2020)
  13. HP Pro c645 Chromebook Enterprise launches with brand new AMD chips, Radeon graphics (About Chromebooks; 22 September 2020)
  14. Chrome OS 87 Dev Channel brings working LaCrOS and Nearby Share to Chromebooks (About Chromebooks; 20 September 2020)
  15. Chromebooks Are Getting A Revamped Screen Capture UI With Native Screen Recording (Chrome Unboxed; 14 September 2020)
  16. Chromebook vs. Windows laptop: Which should you buy? (Android Central; 17 September 2020)
  17. China Excited about TikTok proposed restructuring?
  18. 5G Is Where China and the West Finally Diverge (Atlantic, 5 Jan 2020)
  19. Twitter rolls out new security features to prevent Election Day chaos (Verge, 17 Sept 2020)
  20. Facebook deletes several fake Chinese accounts targeting Trump and Biden, in first takedown of its kind (Washington Post, 22 Sept 2020)
  21. Facebook Threatens To Pull Out Of EU If It Doesn’t Get Its Way (Vice, 21 Sept 2020)
  22. IRL Online by TED Radio Hour (from March 2020, Will be December 2020 theme of the #digiURI Media Club)
  23. First death reported following a ransomware attack on a German hospital (ZD Net, 17 Sept 2020)
  24. Mozi Botnet Accounts for Majority of IoT Traffic (Threat Post; 17 September 2020)
  25. Wikipedia edits have massive impact on tourism, say economists (The Guardian, 18 February 2020)
  26. The detection of phosphine in Venus’ clouds is a big deal – here’s how we can find out if it’s a sign of life (The Conversation, 18 Sept 2020)
  27. Russia’s space agency chief declares Venus a “Russian planet” (CBS News, 17 Sept 2020)
  28. Belief in Conspiracy Theories Is a Barrier to Controlling Spread of COVID-19 (Annenberg Public Policy Center, 21 Sept 2020)
  29. Covid hoaxes are using a loophole to stay alive—even after content is deleted (MIT Technology Review, 30 April 2020)
  30. The Social Dilemma Documentary (Netflix)
  31. Wes’ Geeks of the Week: Little Alchemy 2 and “The Age of AI” via YouTube Originals (hosted by Robert Downey Jr.) and 4 Part Lesson Series: “Conspiracy Theories” and spotthetroll.org
  32. Jason’s Geeks of the Week: How to Use a Second Monitor or Screen With Your Laptop (Wired; 18 September 2020) – NCCE 2021 Call for Proposals

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