Welcome to episode 133 of the EdTech Situation Room from May 8, 2019, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed lots of news from this week’s Google I/O Conference. Topics included Google’s renewed focus on user privacy, shift in focus from search and answers to productivity, improved digital well-being tools, the mid-range price Pixel 3A smartphone, and the amazing “Google Lens” text to speech as well as translation capabilities. On the Microsoft front, the return of “PowerToys” to Windows10 and forthcoming support for Linux were discussed. Additional topics included NASA’s robotic detection of an earthquake on Mars, the election of a well known comedian (with no prior political experience) to the presidency in Ukraine thanks in part to social media, and the productivity drag of business communication apps like Slack. The failure of Energizer’s 18K mAh smartphone was also highlighted. Geeks of the week included a two part episode on the Chinese Surveillance State from the New York Times “The Daily” podcast, freely licensed photos from Wes and many other photographers on UnSplash, and the personal finance automation service, “Trim.” Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can (normally) 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.
Welcome to episode 119 of the EdTech Situation Room from December 26, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed copyright and intellectual property issues on the Teachers Pay Teachers (@tptdotcom) website, YouTube creator backlash amidst other “trust issues” with Google, and the challenges of radicalization and “outlier content” on YouTube based on its attention-maximizing algorithms. Continuing warnings from U.S. security officials to avoid Huawei smartphones and telecommunications gear because of the Chinese government’s hacking threat, the four variations of recommended 2 step verification for account security, and the promise of podcasting for the “slow democracy movement” were also highlighted and explored. Amazing recent space photos of the planet Jupiter, China’s ongoing space exploration milestones on the moon, disclosure challenges for Instagram creators for paid advertising, and the power of Fortnite as a social media hangout were other topics addressed in the show. The advent of autonomous / AI powered databases by Oracle and the upcoming release of HTML 5 compliant Scratch 3.0 software rounded out the show. Geeks of the week included a wonderful (and inexpensive) sketch journal from Michael’s (via Jason) and the printed photo book service of Motif for Apple Photos users (via Wes). Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can (normally) 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.
Welcome to episode 110 of the EdTech Situation Room from October 10, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) and special guest Jun Kim (@mpstechnology) discussed the past week’s technology news through an educational lens. Co-host Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) was on special assignment. Topics highlighted in this week’s show included the alleged hack of computer hardware by Chinese authorities affecting major tech companies including Apple and Amazon, which is very controversial and has been firmly denied by technology companies as well as government agencies. The dangers of connecting to open WiFi in public spaces, ways to avoid phishing scams in email, and the benefits of using password managers as well as a VPN or cell phone access point / phone tethering were also discussed. Robocalls on the rise, Google’s changes to third party data access for Gmail, the prospect of Google enforcing restrictive limitations on data sharing around the world because of country-specific laws, and Google’s Certification program for IT professionals were also discussed by Jun and Wes. Briefly highlighted articles at the end of the show included the Google Pixel 3 and it’s touted capability to screen phone calls using an AI voice agent and Facebook’s challenges in moderating content worldwide. Geeks of the week included the COSN toolkit on protecting student data and FlowCrypt for sending encrypted email within Gmail. Check out edtechSR.com/links for all shownotes, including those listed below. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can (normally) at 10 pm Eastern / 9 pm Central / 8 pm Mountain / 7 pm Pacific or 3 am UTC. Note we will be starting earlier than usual occasionally to accommodate guest schedules in upcoming weeks, so please check Twitter for those updates.
Welcome to episode 103 of the EdTech Situation Room from August 15, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed universities deploying smart assistants in student dorms to answer questions, the privacy concerns of smart assistants in educational contexts, and the shortcomings of the latest MacBook Pro laptops relative to Windows-based competitors. Rumors of dual-booting Chromebooks (also booting to Windows), whether or not social media platforms are “publishers,” and strategies to stop or avoid “stalking ads” on social media were also addressed. Social media / fake news controversies over the temporary (7 day) banning of Alex Jones / InfoWars on Twitter, hacker threats to home routers (VPNfilter) and IoT devices, the advent of Fortnite on ALL Android devices (but not via the Google Play Store), and Google’s location tracking of users who turn off location services rounded out the news articles addressed in this show. Geeks of the Week included the Timer Tab app (ad-free), an incredible photo of our sun during a “Coronal Mass Ejection” with the earth shown to scale, and the recent PBS documentary, “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville.” 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.
Welcome to episode 101 of the EdTech Situation Room from July 25, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed automation and the technological trajectory of our society, potentially toward dystopia, informed by Douglass Rushkoff’s “Survival of the Richest” article shared in early July. This led to discussions about the weaponization of news via social media, as highlighted by danah boyd in a recent lecture in Detroit available on YouTube, recent revelations about voting machine vulnerabilities to hackers via remote access, and the cautionary tale provided by Ukraine in recent years on Russian hackers’ capabilities to bring a society’s institutions to a standstill via cyberwarfare. On the less depressing technology news front, Jason and Wes discussed the recent hoopla of Apple throttling MacBook Pro laptops revealed by a user on YouTube, and Apple’s release of an iOS version which provides better support for privacy and travelers passing through customs inspections where equipment may be used to copy iPhone data via USB tools. On the Google front, Jason discussed identified speed issues with web browsers and the YouTube website, the recent EU fine of Google for anti-trust legal violations, the opinion that Android has (positively) created more choice in the global smartphone market, and an update on Google’s Chromecast technology which celebrated its 5th birthday. Facebook’s legal challenges and potential fines in Great Britain over Brexit, rumors of a Microsoft-branded smartphone, updates to Microsoft Teams software, slow growth in the PC industry, and the continued revelation of more backdoors in Cisco routers (5 at this point) rounded out this episode’s topics. Geeks of the Week included Loom, a Chrome extension for screencasting, the Apple Magic Pad running on Chrome, Reddit (it’s not just for trolls), DocHub (for PDF annotation and digital signing) and the new documentary “This is AI” by IBM and Discovery. Please follow us on @edtechSR for updates and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can for our show!
Welcome to episode 99 of the EdTech Situation Room from June 19, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed advice for attendees of the upcoming 2018 ISTE Conference, the AI robot debater from IBM, Facebook and social media privacy settings, and poor home wifi router security. Wes shared a weekly dose of cyberattack doom and gloom (shout out to NPR Fresh Air and their recent interview with author David E. Sanger) and highlighted Apple’s decision to make it harder for border customs officials to quickly copy data off of traveler’s iPhones. Microsoft’s announced purchase of Flipgrid, the demise of freemium platforms Padlet and Tenmarks, and the emergence of “Minecraft Story Mode” remote control game/story videos on Netflix were also highlighted. Jason shared an update on the ZigZag Podcast mentioned last week, and also highlighted two Android apps: Android Messages (now includes a desktop version) and Datally to gain more insight into your smartphone use habits. (Or perhaps addictions). Geeks of the Week included the Adobe Spark App’s port to Android OS, and the “Caliphate Podcast” series from the New York Times. A shout out to Peggy George, the PhotoMyne app, and the Classroom 2.0 Live Bucket List Google Sheet of apps and websites from last Saturday’s show rounded out this 99th episode of EdTechSR. We will NOT have a show next week, but may squeeze in a July 4th show on a day other than Wednesday that week. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter for updates. Stay safe and stay saavy, friends!
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 87 of the EdTech Situation Room from February 28, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed news from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, net neutrality debate in the U.S. Congress, the forthcoming freemium option in Microsoft Teams, and new Chromebooks from Lenovo. Additional topics included Facebook’s facial recognition features, outlier conspiracy theories focusing on the recent Florida school shooting fueled by social media, and YouTube’s reinvigorated policing of videos required to adhere to community guidelines. Challenges for Android OS security, a possible replacement of Android OS by Google (with Flutter), and the prevalence of “credential stuffing” with online accounts rounded out the show’s main topics. Geeks of the week included a new Google MOOC focusing on AI and machine learning, compatibility of Mac Magic trackpads with Chromebooks, and the free Google Docs Add-On “OrangeSlice: Teacher Rubric.” Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates on our show. Thanks for viewing / listening!
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 85 of the EdTech Situation Room from February 7, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) discussed Chrome blocking autoplay videos, Smartwatch privacy issues, amazing LIDAR discoveries in Guatemalan jungles, work by the Center for Humane Technology, and changing norms with Smartphone memory capacity. Additional topics included Apple’s HomePod release and Apple’s AI lag behind Google and Amazon, new smart glasses from Intel, Best Buy discontinuing CD sales, expected impacts of 5G cellular wireless, and recommendations for home mesh routers. Geeks of the week included the Common Voice Project by Mozilla (from Wes) and “Android Lite” apps for situations with poor connectivity (Jason). Note we will NOT have a show next week on February 14th / Valentine’s Day, but will return on our regular schedule February 21st, Check out all our shownotes (including articles we did not have time to discuss this week) on http://edtechSR.com – Stay safe and stay savvy, friends!