EdTech Situation Room Episode 78

Welcome to episode 78 of the EdTech Situation Room from December 20, 2017, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) revived a Neiffer classroom holiday tradition: the “Airing of Grievances” (#edtech focused) inspired by “The Holiday of Festivus” and the 1997 Seinfeld episode, “The Strike.” In addition to sharing technology grievances, Jason and Wes discussed the remarkable backstory to the Mirai botnet attacks revealed in an Alaska courtroom last week. Other security related topics included the U.S. government’s fingering of North Korea for the WannaCry ransomware attack, China’s livestreaming servers for public surveillance cameras, and DARPA’s “unhackable” computer currently under development at the University of Michigan. Apple related topics included recent reports that the iPhone is designed to slow down with age, tips on how to increase iPhone performance, and a predication that Apple will allow developers to create universal apps in 2018 which run on both iOS and MacOS devices. Google articles included the expected launch in February of Google Chrome’s built-in ad blocker and the updated function of Google Sites (the new version) to permit embedding and Javascript. Tears were shed for the death of AOL’s instant messenger platform. Geeks of the week included the “Broadcast Voice Messages” feature of Google Home, the 2017 documentary “Unacknowledged” by Dr. Steven Greer (@DrStevenGreer), and the 6 year anniversary price ($1) for the Nova Launcher for Android. Note next week’s “2017 EdTech Year in Review” show will start an hour earlier for east coast guests and livestream fans. Please join us, and follow @edtechSR on Twitter for updates.


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
  3. Audio podcast feed (Subscribe with iTunes or Stitcher)
  4. Video version on YouTube
  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. Holiday of Festivus (English WikiPedia)
  9. The Strike, from Seinfeld (1997) – Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/watch/807635
  10. Thanks Eric Curts for the podcast shoutout!
  11. How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet (Wired, 13 Dec 2017)
  12. Mirai (malware) – English WikiPedia
  13. Trump administration blames North Korea for WannaCry ransomware attack (Denver Post, 19 Dec 2017)
  14. Words Of Praise But No Forgiveness For Hacker Who Stopped North Korean Cyberattack (BuzzFeed News, 19 Dec 2017)
  15. China surveillance streaming platform shut down amid privacy concerns (Reuters, 20 Dec 2017)
  16. Unhackable computer under development with $3.6M DARPA grant (University of Michigan News, 19 Dec 2017)
  17. iPhones start slowing down after a year of use, and that’s way too soon ( The Verge; 20 December 2017)
  18. How to: Check iPhone battery health, DIY replace, and speed up performance (9 to 5 Mac, 20 December 2017)
  19. Apple might combine iOS and Mac apps next year (The Verge, 20 December 2017)
  20. Google Chrome’s built-in ad blocker targeting disruptive experiences launching February 15th (9 to 5 Google, 19 December 2017)
  21. Embed HTML and JavaScript in the new Google Sites (GSuite Updates from Google, 5 Dec 2017)
  22. Google Teacher Tribe Podcast
  23. GSFE Admins Google+ Community and Podcast
  24. uBlock Origin for Chrome (block ads)
  25. YouTube Tips and Tricks (Nov 2017)
  26. YouTube TV delays Apple TV and Roku apps until early 2018 (The Verge, 19 December 2017)
  27. So long, AIM, we’ll miss you (The Verge, 15 December 2017)
  28. Wes’ Geek of the Week #1 – Google Home feature: Broadcast Voice Messages
  29. Wes’ Geek of the Week #2 – Documentary Movie “Unacknowledged” by Dr. Steven Greer (@DrStevenGreer) – Wes’ most retweeted post of 2017 Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program (NYTimes, 16 Dec 2017)
  30. Jason’s Geek of the Week: Nova Launcher turns 6 years old, drops Prime to just 99¢ to celebrate