EdTechSR Ep 238 Chegg Extortion Revealed

Welcome to episode 238 (“Chegg Extortion Revealed”) of the EdTech Situation Room from November 10, 2021, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed a story of extortion via the “homework help” website Chegg, the freemium future of Notability for iPadOS, and the social media lessons learned because of the (relatively) recent eruption of Kilauea in Hawaii. The benefits of social media powered news reading with Twitter lists, the implications of Facebook’s name change to “Meta,” YouTube’s decision to hide “dislike” video counts, and Google’s push for more 2 step verification on accounts were also highlighted. Plummeting Chromebook sales in advance of Black Friday sales, the question of whether a Chromebook with detachable screens are better than iPads, and the broadband provisions of the recently signed infrastructure bill in the US Congress were discussed. The official renaming of Google’s smart home initiative as “Google Home,” Microsoft’s Surface Laptop SE Chromebook competitor, and media literacy challenges thanks to the proliferation of fake local news sites and disinformation campaigns about the COVID19 death toll were the last topics for this show. Geeks of the Week included “Pet Portraits” from Google Arts & Culture and “YouTube Copyright School,” which amazingly just takes 4 minutes to attend. Our show was live streamed and archived simultaneously on YouTube Live as well as our Facebook Live page via StreamYard.com, and compressed to a smaller video version (about 100MB) on AmazonS3 using Handbrake software. 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. Stay savvy and safe!


  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) – wesfryer.com/after
  8. Millions of college students use Chegg, which professors say enables cheating – and possibly blackmail (USA Today, 9 Nov 2021)
  9. Chegg Tweet by Professor Juan B. Gutiérrez
  10. Why the best iPad app for handwritten notes is going freemium (Fast Company; 1 November 2021)
  11. When Kilauea Erupted, a New Volcanic Playbook Was Written (NY Times, 9 Nov 2021)
  12. Jason’s Montana News Twitter List
  13. Facebook bets its future on the metaverse (NPR, 8 Nov 2021)
  14. Facebook’s ‘meta-existential’ pivot for survival (TechCrunch, 7 Nov 2021)
  15. [VIDEO] Update to YouTube’s Dislike Count (YouTube, 10 Nov 2021, 3 min)
  16. Google is now requiring 2-Step Verification (2SV) for many more accounts [Updated] (9 to 5 Google; 3 November 2021)
  17. Chromebook sales are plummeting ahead of Black Friday (Tech Radar; 1 November 2021)
  18. Change my mind: Detachable Chromebooks are better mobile computers than any iPad (Android Authority; 31 October 2021)
  19. Biden’s “historic” $65 billion broadband plan approved by Congress (ArsTechnica, 8 November 2021)
  20. Google Renames Smart Home Initiative, Now Officially Called Google Home (CE Pro, 25 Oct 2021)
  21. Microsoft’s new $249 Surface Laptop SE is its first true Chromebook competitor (The Verge; 9 November 2021)
  22. Right-wing operatives deploy massive network of fake local news sites to weaponize CRT (Popular Information, 8 Nov 2021) – lateral reading to WikiPedia
  23. 38% of US adults believe government is faking COVID-19 death toll (ArsTechnica, 9 Nov 2021)
  24. Jason’s Geek of the Week: Paws meet machine learning with Pet Portraits (Google Blog)
  25. Wes’ Geek of the Week: YouTube Copyright School (4.5 min)

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