EdTech Situation Room Episode 133

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.


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
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  6. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) – blog: blog.ncce.org
  7. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.org
  8. Google I/O 2019 event in 13 minutes (Verge, 7 May 2019)
  9. “Changing from a company that helps you find answers, to a company that helps you get things done” – Sundar Pachai (2:17 of opening keynote)
  10. Google’s Sundar Pichai: Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good (New York Times; 7 May 2019)
  11. Google expands digital well-being tools to include a new ‘Focus mode,’ adds improved parental controls to Android (TechCrunch, 7 May 2019)
  12. Google announces Pixel 3a and 3a XL w/ familiar design, lower price, Snapdragon 670, more (9 to 5 Google; 7 May 2019)
  13. Comment: Google Pixel 3a at (effectively) $300 is just a stupid good value (9 to 5 Google; 8 May 2019)
  14. Google Lens adding new tools to highlight menus, split checks, translate, more (9 to 5 Google; 7 May 2019)
  15. Google Confirms It Will Automatically Delete Your Data — What You Need To Know (Forbes; 5 May 2019)
  16. Google Maps and search are getting an Incognito mode (The Verge; 7 May 2019)
  17. Google is pushing back against ad tracking in Chrome (The Verge; 7 May 2019)
  18. Google Maps AR walking directions launches today on Google Pixel smartphones (9 to 5 Google; 7 May 2019)
  19. Microsoft brings PowerToys back to let anyone improve Windows 10 for power users (The Verge; 8 May 2019)
  20. Microsoft will ship a full Linux kernel in Windows 10 (The Verge; 6 May 2019)
  21. Microsoft Office 365 Accounts Under Attack — What You Need To Know (Forbes; 2 May 2019)
  22. NASA’s InSight Detects First Likely ‘Quake’ on Mars (NASA, 23 April 2019)
  23. Ukraine election result: Volodymyr Zelensky, comedian, is new president (Vox, 21 April 2019)
  24. The productivity pit: how Slack is ruining work (Vox / Recode, 1 May 2019)
  25. Energizer’s 18,000 mAh phone-battery monster is an Indiegogo flop (The Verge; 30 April 2019)
  26. 2 Part Episode on The Daily Podcast by The New York Times: The Chinese Surveillance State Part 1 and Part 2
  27. @wfryer on Unsplash and InfoPics
  28. Trim Financial Assistant (@ask_trim)