EdTech Situation Room Episode 103

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.


  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.org
  8. A University Is Putting 2,300 Echo Dots in Student Living Spaces and What Could Go Wrong? (Gizmodo, 15 Aug 2018)
  9. Resources on Privacy Issues for Smart Assistants in the Classroom: Common Sense Media Privacy (@cs_privacy) Bill Fitzgerald (@funnymonkey) and Susan Bearden (@s_bearden)
  10. 2018 MacBook Pro Owners Experiencing Crackling Audio (PC Magazine; 10 August 2018)
  11. HP, Dell, Microsoft Stay A Step Ahead Of The MacBook Pro: Three Metrics (Forbes, 12 Aug 2018)
  12. Chromebooks May Include Dual Boot Feature to Load Windows 10 (PC Magazine; 13 August 2018)
  13. Platforms Are Not Publishers (Jeff Jarvis, The Atlantic; 10 August 2018)
  14. Twitter suspends Alex Jones for urging people to keep “battle rifles” ready (ARStechnica, 15 Aug 2018)
  15. Are Targeted Ads Stalking You? Here’s How to Make Them Stop. (NYTimes, 15 Aug 2018)
  16. Free FoxIt Reader software (for PDFs)
  17. Inside Twitter’s Struggle Over What Gets Banned (New York Times; 10 August 2018)
  18. Hackers could hijack devices using a laptop’s USB-C charger (TechRadar; 9 August 2018)
  19. Russian Military Spy Software is on Hundreds of Thousands of Home Routers (DefenseOne, 13 Aug 2018)
  20. Hackers account for 90% of login attempts at online retailers (Quartz, 18 July 2018)
  21. Your smart air conditioner could help bring down the power grid (CNET, 14 Aug 2018)
  22. How to Install Fortnite on Android (PC Magazine; 14 August 2018)
  23. Google tracks your movements, like it or not (AP, 13 Aug 2018)
  24. Jason’s Geek of the Week: Timer Tab
  25. Wes’ Geeks of the Week: Documenting Hate: Charlottesville (PBS) and This Photo Of A Solar Coronal Mass Ejection Is Beyond Comprehension (Digg, 13 Aug 2018)