Welcome to the 2016 EdTech Year in Review, the final episode of the EdTech Situation Room for the year! Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach), Eric Langhorst (@elanghorst) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed many of the most notable topics and technology news stories from year as they relate to schools, education and teaching. These included fake news during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, artificial intelligence and Google’s new “AI First” strategies, cybersecurity, screentime, 3D printing, and the struggles of Apple with the new MacBook Pro. Geeks of the Week included inexpensive world phones / global GSM phones (Jason), the Photo Scan app from Google (Eric), and the book “Raising the Floor” by Andy Stern (Wes). Check out our shownotes on https://edtechsr.com/links for all referenced articles and resources from the show. Please fill out our listener survey on http://wfryer.me/edtechsr to let us know where you’re tuning in from and what you’ve liked from our shows. Follow us on Twitter @edtechSR to stay up to date on upcoming shows in 2017!
Jason’s Geek of the Week: Travel with Cheap SIM Cards to Europe! Bring a “world phone” or a “global GSM phone.” Or, if you are on Sprint or AT&T, see if you can get your phone “unlocked” from your carrier. We used this one and this one. Find a cell phone store near where you are staying. Buy a pre-paid SIM. Ask for help using it.
Welcome to episode 22 of the EdTech Situation Room from September 14, 2016, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) had a special show. Rather than discuss a variety of recent technology news headlines, episode 22 focused exclusively on Dr. Nicholas Kardaras’ August 31, 2016 article for TIME Magazine, “Screens In Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax.” The article highlights many of the key points in Kardaras’ newly published book, “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance.” Jason and Wes highlighted several of the valid points from the article regarding screentime, the powerful physiological influence of digital screens, and digital addictions. They also acknowledged misdirected educational technology movements, like the interactive whiteboard craze of the 2000’s and the race for educational technology companies to move standardized student assessments onto digital screens. Jason and Wes took issue, however, with Kardaras’ assertion that students in schools are better served with completely screen-free learning experiences. Referencing Neil Postman, John Seely Brown and other authors, they discussed how part of our obligation as educators it to prepare students to navigate the maze of digital distractions and information flows which characterize our modern age. Wes discussed the transformative benefits which digital technology can bring in differentiating reading experiences for students, and highlighted the example of his wife’s 3rd and 4th grade classroom in Oklahoma City which serves homeless students and families. Shelly Fryer (@sfryer) has taught in a 1:1 iPad classroom for the past 3 years, and uses apps like News-O-Matic to provide developmentally appropriate reading articles for students. Her students also use their technology tools to make and create, showing and sharing their learning and their developing skills. Jason took on the question, “If everything Kardaras’ argues is true, then what for schools?” He pointed out we can’t “un-invent” digital screens, so it’s important to help students become more saavy, intentional, and constructive users of digital screens to support learning and healthy living. Geeks of the week included amazing and affordable headphones from Monoprice (via Jason) and the free coding app for young kids, PBS Scratch Jr (from Wes). Check out past episode shownotes on https://edtechsr.com/links and be sure to follow @edtechSR for updates on Twitter http://twitter.com/edtechsr as well as on Facebook. If you listen to the show, please submit our listener survey using the shortened link http://wfryer.me/edtechsr which forwards to a Google Form. Your feedback and suggestions on the show are appreciated!