EdTech Situation Room Episode 101

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!


  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.org
  8. Blackboard Announces Winners of 2018 Catalyst Awards (includes the Montana Digital Academy)
  9. Survival of the Richest (@rushkoff on Medium, 5 July 2018)
  10. VIDEO: Future of Information with danah boyd (21 July 2019 – Highlighted takeaways: Understanding the Weaponization of News Media with danah boyd (Wes’ takes)
  11. Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States (Motherboard; 17 July 2018)
  12. This Week In Tech 676: Falling Asleep As The Robots Wake Up
  13. How An Entire Nation Became Russia’s Test Lab for Cyberwar (Wired, 20 June 2018)
  14. Caliphate Podcast Series by the New York Times (speaks to the potential for radicalization of youth via Internet technologies)
  15. YouTuber Claims 15-Inch MacBook Pro With Upgraded Core i9 Chip is Severely Throttled Due to Thermal Issues (MacRumors; 17 July 2018)
  16. Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 with USB Restricted Mode (Wired, 9 July 2018)
  17. Free Online Literacy Activities for Chromebook Learners (Presentation slides by Wes from 21 July 2018)
  18. How to make YouTube five times faster if you don’t use Chrome (The Verge; 25 July 2018)
  19. Google fined a record $5 billion by the EU for Android antitrust violations (The Verge; 18 July 2018)
  20. Android has created more choice, not less (Google Blog; 18 July 2018)
  21. Google’s Chromecast is five years old today [Update: Chromecast history from Google] (Android Policy; 24 July 2018)
  22. Facebook Is Facing Its First Fine Over the Cambridge Analytica Privacy Scandal (Time; 11 July 2018)
  23. Microsoft Store employee claims a Microsoft-branded phone is launching soon (Windows Latest; 14 July 2018)
  24. Microsoft introduces a free version of Teams, going head-to-head with Slack (All About Microsoft; 12 July 2018)
  25. The PC Industry (Barely) Grew for the First Time in 6 Years (Thurrott.com; 15 July 2018)
  26. Backdoors Keep Appearing In Cisco’s Routers (Tom’s Hardware, 19 July 2018)
  27. DARPA pushes for AI that can explain its decisions (Engadget, 23 July 2018)
  28. Peggy’s Geek of the Week: Loom (Google Chrome extension for screencasting)
  29. Jasons Geeks of the Week: PSA: The Apple Magic Pad Works Well with Your Chromebook! and Reddit… not just for trolls 🙂
  30. Wes’ Geeks of the Week: DocHub (for browser-based PDF annotation / digital signing) and Documentary: This is AI (by IBM and The Discovery Channel)