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Gov. Jerry Brown calls for less testing | Washington Post

Gov. Jerry Brown calls for less testing | Washington Post | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

California’s Jerry Brown, who has gone further than any other governor in blasting modern test-based school reform, said Wednesday that he wants to reduce the number of standardized tests students take, give more authority to local school boards and design a system to measure education performance that is less test-centric than the one now in use.


Brown, in his State of the State 2012 address Wednesday, expanded on sentiments he expressed last October in a message explaining that he was vetoing an education bill because it relied too heavily on standardized tests for high-stakes accountability purposes.


Wednesday he said students take too many standardized tests, and that the results are given too late for teachers to get much use out of them. He also said that state and federal governments have too much power when it comes to making decisions about education and that he wants to return some to local school boards.

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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Introducing this work

Introducing this work | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

For the purposes of this Scoop.it site, the history of human interaction with information may be divided into 4 eras. The first (spoken) era ended with the invention of writing around 3000-4000 BC. The second era ended with the invention of the printing press in 1440. The third era ended, and the fourth began, with the invention of the Internet (depending how one defines its operational beginning) somewhere between 1969 and 1982. We now exist early, but decidedly, in the fourth era.

 

All readers may not agree with this interpretation of the history of information, especially with the division and numbering of the eras. That is not the main point. Rather, it is that humankind is presently existing in an era distinctly different from the one that preceded it -- that in fact, this new era is accompanied with, and characterized by, a new - and quite different - information landscape. This new Internet information landscape will challenge, disrupt, and overpower the print-oriented one that came before it. It will not completely obliterate that which preceded it, but it will render it to a subsidiary, rather than primary, level of influence.

 

Just as the printing press altered humanity's relationship with information, thereby resulting in massive restructuring of political, religious, economic, social, educational, cultural, scientific, and other realms of life; so too will the advance of digital technology occasion analogous transformations in the corresponding universe of present and future human activity.

 

This site will concern itself primarily with how K-20 education in the US, and the people who comprise its constituencies, may be affected by this transformative movement from one era to the next. All ideas considered here appear, to me at least, to impact the learning enterprise in some way. Accordingly, this work looks at the present and the future through a lens that is predominantly, but far from entirely, a digital one. -JL

 

Opinions expressed, scooped, or copied in this Scoop.it topic are my own and should in no way be understood to reflect those of my employer.

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Margaret Waage's comment, June 20, 2013 7:43 AM
Jim - I like your perspective. Great subject matter here!
Margaret Waage's comment, June 20, 2013 7:46 AM
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Azania Nduli-AmaZulu UbuntuPsychology.ORG's curator insight, July 8, 2013 6:24 PM

Beautiful!

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Your Own Personal Google

Your Own Personal Google | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"...for an institution that’s been accused of antisocial tendencies, Google has learned a lot about people in 17 years, both in aggregate and about you as an individual. During the keynote, Pichai announced a few services and products intended to launch this year that brought the power of applying machine learning to human beings into stark relief. The coolest and most cinematic offerings were around the Google assistant, a “conversational” interface that powers everything from Google’s far-out improvements in voice search, to messaging, to Google Home, the company’s answer to Amazon Echo.

 

"Google’s ability to fulfill and even anticipate your needs has made its services incredible. Yet while the Google assistant and Google Home are both eager to take your relationship to the next level, it’s the information Google tracks that makes the magic. In order for Google Home to inform you that a flight is delayed, reschedule dinner reservations, and inform your friend, it needs access to your mail, calendar, and messaging. It has to dig through them and weave ties between one information stack and another. In other words, it’s not the individual products but how they all connect."

 

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

Insightful overview of the potential impacts (both planned and unplanned) of Google assistant and Google Home. Video is Google's, showing how the 2 services (assistant and Home) might work in the near future.

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Need to remember something? Better draw it, study finds

Need to remember something? Better draw it, study finds | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that drawing pictures of information that needs to be remembered is a strong and reliable strategy to enhance memory.
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Nancy Jones's curator insight, May 30, 9:47 AM
Yet another argument for sketch noting, even if you think you cannot draw. A deeper learning occurs as you create the visuals.
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The Horrifying Reality of the Academic Job Market

The Horrifying Reality of the Academic Job Market | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Adjunct professors have the honor of being the most highly educated workers who are paid poverty wages. The American higher education system rests on their backs. They are telling us their stories.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Putting Work in Its Place

At some point in your life, someone has probably told you to “follow your dreams.” Maybe you’ve said it to someone else. It’s the quintessential inspirational advice. We tell our kids to follow their dreams from a young age. We say it in songs and commencement speeches, hand letter it for posters and journal covers. Most of the time it’s empty advice, designed to trigger emotion but not action.

 

"These days, “follow your dreams” has sister phrases like “do what you love” and “quit your day job.” If you listen for these mantras, they’ll lead you to an entire genre of storytelling in creative industries, particularly in web design. The stories come in different forms: essays, marketing campaigns, conference talks, interviews. They’re usually formulaic, involving someone turning a personal experience into motivational advice for a wide audience. They are treated as gospel.

"For someone who knows they want a career change, is in the position to make one, and just needs to take a few steps to get there, motivational advice works. Personal testimony can be transformative. Finding a tribe of like-minded people who put a lot on the line to pursue their passions may be just the push someone needs to move forward.

 

"But where does that leave the people who don’t have a calling or enough resources? To drop everything and do what you love, you need a safety net, flexibility, and a passion that also happens to be a marketable skill. It’s a beautiful thing when someone turns the fire in their belly into a fulfilling career, but the stories we tell about creativity don’t apply to everyone.
It’s time we examine the messages we’re sending about creative fulfillment and explore new ways to talk about our work."

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What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

"Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was working as a project manager for a think tank. He had read an article about the radical proposal to unconditionally guarantee citizens an income and spent a few years casually researching the idea. Straub had heard Werner was a good speaker on the topic, and that night in 2009 he was indeed excellent at connecting with the audience, a sold-out house of 200. “It was a very intense evening; people were paying attention,” Straub recalled.

"Werner posed a pair of simple questions to the crowd: What do you really want to do with your life? Are you doing what you really want to do? Whatever the answers, he suggested basic income was the means to achieve those goals. The idea is as simple as it is radical: Rather than concern itself with managing myriad social welfare and unemployment insurance programs, the government would instead regularly cut a no-strings-attached check to each citizen. No conditions. No questions. Everyone, rich or poor, employed or out of work would get the same amount of money. This arrangement would provide a path toward a new way of living: If people no longer had to worry about making ends meet, they could pursue the lives they want to live."

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How to Set up Students to Succeed in Online Learning (EdSurge News)

How to Set up Students to Succeed in Online Learning (EdSurge News) | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

“When more than 40 percent of first-time, full-time students will not graduate within six years, it’s clear we must find better ways to help students succeed,” writes Arizona State University CTO Adrian Sannier. To help, last year, ASU and edX launched the Global Freshman Academy, a series of online classes to help students get "college-ready." Sannier shares his high hopes for GFA’s latest course, the formidable college algebra—and what he’s learned about online instruction."

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Google Doesn’t Owe Oracle a Cent for Using Java in Android, Jury Finds

Google Doesn’t Owe Oracle a Cent for Using Java in Android, Jury Finds | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
GOOGLE’S USE OF the Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android operating system is legal, a federal jury found today in a verdict that could have major implications for the future of software development.

The case, which has dragged on for six years, could have cost Google as much as $9 billion in damages had it lost. But the decision affects more than just Google. The case is important because it helps clarify the copyright rules around what programmers can borrow for their own work. Programmers routinely borrow APIs from existing products either to ensure compatibility between products or simply to make it easier to learn a new product. An Oracle victory could have seriously curtailed that practice, hindering the creation of new software.
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Routine, Ritual, and School Community

Routine, Ritual, and School Community | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"...how do we, as educational leaders, get that buy-in, that commitment to create a strong sense of community within our district, school, or classroom? This post will illustrate the connection between culture, climate, and community, and will provide examples of ways that school and classroom leaders have built a sense of community through the use of routines."

Jim Lerman's insight:

Good advice on how to develop authentic community in classroom and school.

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The World’s Biggest Industry Just Got Served — NewCo Shift — Medium

The World's Biggest Industry Just Got Served - NewCo Shift - Medium

"Late last week the FDA finally announced a new food labeling regime, and it takes aim squarely at a new public enemy #1: Sugar.

 

"We live in an age of data. Food labels are a window into the data ecosystem that comprises the food industry, and that window just got a bit more transparent. Kudos to the FDA, and to the food industry itself, which fought the regulations tooth and nail, but in the end, capitulated to the reality of the facts on the ground. The new leaders of the food industry will be those who do more than simply bend to a new labeling regime, but instead focus on innovation and transparency to earn the newly informed public’s business by creating the next generation of healthier and more sustainable food products."

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A Tiny Robot That Can Fly and, Amazingly, Rest

A Tiny Robot That Can Fly and, Amazingly, Rest | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"The RoboBee has landed. Well, actually, it has perched, which is even more impressive.

"The RoboBee is an insect-size robot that weighs less than four thousandths of an ounce. And it flies, which is a giant achievement for such a tiny machine.

"Until recently, however, it didn’t perch, and perching is the next frontier for tiny flying machines because robots, like birds, bats and insects, can keep going longer if they conserve energy by resting....

 

"RoboBee scientists came up with an elegant and, necessarily, lightweight solution involving an adhesive patch on the top of the robot. The trick, which allows the robot to detach from a perch easily, is that the patch is designed for a particular kind of stickiness — electrostatic adhesion."

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Elite Math Competitions Struggle to Diversify Their Talent Pool

Interest in elite high school math competitions has grown in recent years, and in light of last summer's U.S. win at the International Math Olympiad—the first for an American team in more than two decades—the trend is likely to continue.
But will such contests, which are overwhelmingly dominated by Asian and white students from middle-class and affluent families, become any more diverse?
Many social and cultural factors play roles in determining which promising students get on the path toward international math recognition. But efforts are in place to expose more black, Hispanic, and low-income students to advanced math, in the hope that the demographic pool of high-level contenders will eventually begin to shift and become less insular.
Jim Lerman's insight:

Excellent article

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What happens when a college recruits black students others consider too risky? - The Hechinger Report

What happens when a college recruits black students others consider too risky? - The Hechinger Report | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"...a growing group of colleges and universities think that the calculation for who is “at risk” is fundamentally wrong. They not only accept students often turned away by other four-year universities, but also aggressively recruit them, believing that their academic potential has been vastly underrated.

 

"Rutgers University-Newark in New Jersey has a graduation rate for black students that is far above the national average. But instead of offering out-sized athletic scholarships or perks to potential out-of-state students, the university is doubling down on a bid for students who are often ignored — low-income, urban, public high school graduates with mediocre test scores.
Rutgers offers free tuition for low- and moderate-income Newark residents and local transfer students, regardless of their GPAs and test scores. Its newly minted honors program doesn’t consider SAT scores for admissions. It has put emotional and financial supports in place. Course offerings have been enhanced."

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The Rise of Small Farm Robots — Food is the New Internet — Medium

The Rise of Small Farm Robots - Food is the New Internet - Medium
For decades, farm machinery has targeted industrial-sized farmers, underpinning the “get big or get out” ag model of consolidation. Now, the miniaturization of farm machinery may be the ag-tech counter-trend that actually encourages smaller, more diverse farms.

 

"When we think about the future in ten years, we’re going to see smaller machines rather than big ones,” said Rowbot’s founder Kent Cavender-Bares in a recent conversation of This Week in Startups podcast. The 64-row corn planters that crawl across the Heartland today are so large and expensive that they only make sense for the most gargantuan, and debt-worthy, farmers. They’re so heavy they compact the soil. And they don’t work if you decide to plant a rye, sorghum or anything besides corn. In contrast, Rowbot is small enough to get between the rows of corn, dropping fertilizer in microdoses, when the crop needs it. Much less fertilizer gets wasted and runs off the field to contaminate the water supply. These are things a big tractor simply cannot do. “Let’s say we just wanted to mix corn and soybeans on the same field. Today you can’t do that easily at scale.”

 

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Apple’s Secret AI Technology: Meet Vocal IQ the self learning technology that is a part of Siri2. — Medium

Apple’s Secret AI Technology: Meet Vocal IQ the self learning technology that is a part of Siri2. — Medium | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"There is a narrative that Apple has not understood AI very well. I assert this is based upon not understanding a number of remarkable acquisitions. It started with Siri, Emotient and Perceptio, VocalIQ and perhaps a number of not yet disclosed AI acquisitions. Some of the technology is quite unique, for example Emotient’s technology [1] will read the movement of the 43 muscles in your face and decode emotional intent to aid machines to understand you better. This technology is rather critically important to machine learning and everything Apple will do with AI....

 

"Apple has entered into a new era. Steve Jobs saw this in the twlight of his life and made sure the company had a firm foothold into the future. This future will be lead by Viv, Alexa, Google Home, Facebook M and 100s of companies that no one has yet heard of toiling in garages around the world quite like Apple did in 1975."

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US Men Now Likelier to Live with Parents than with a Partner

US Men Now Likelier to Live with Parents than with a Partner | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

This graph came up in my Twitter feed today. Seems very interesting to me. A couple of obvious trends:

 

1. Great rise in marriage and cohabitation from 1940-1960

2. Great decline in marriage and cohabitation from 1960-2010

 

The graph doesn't address men who are living neither at parents' homes or married or cohabiting (MoC). In 2000, for example, about 27% were at home and about 38% were MoC. Where were the other 35%  who were unaccounted for (living single, homeless, incarcerated, in the service, at school, etc.)? In 1940, this unaccounted for number was 20%. In 2015 it was about 37% - almost double.

 

I'm guessing economic cycles have a lot to do with this, as do post WWII cultural and political trends, and women's evolving attitudes toward gender equality (in terms of, at least, sex, marriage, money, and power).

 

Anyone else care to venture some thoughts?

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Google is building its own consumer Android phone

Google is building its own consumer Android phone | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
We've spent a lot of time this past year wondering if and when Google would bite the bullet and just build its own Android phone for consumers to take on the iPhone directly — there have been hints and leaks, but nothing real. And in true Google fashion, the reveal was nothing like what we expected — the company announced today that it's moving the ambitious Project Ara modular smartphone team out of the ATAP research lab and into its own proper unit within Google, under new hardware chief (and former Motorola president) Rick Osterloh. And a consumer Ara phone is coming in 2017 as well, which marks the first time Google has ever built its own phone hardware — the company's Nexus phones have been built by partners like Huawei, LG, and HTC.

Google showed off a working prototype version of Ara today, which lets you live-swap hardware modules like cameras and speakers onto a base frame which contains the core phone components — you can even say, "Okay, Google, eject the camera" to release modules, which is pretty cool. It has six modular slots — each one is generic, so you can put any module in any slot, and they're all linked up through new open standard called Unipro that can push 11.9 gigabits of data in both directions. (There's a bunch more details in this Wired piece from notable Verge expat David Pierce, which you should read.)
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How to Build a Happier Brain

How to Build a Happier Brain | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
According to Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, a member of U.C. Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center's advisory board, and author of the book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative, which can make us feel stressed and unhappy even though there are a lot of positive things in our lives. True, life can be hard, and legitimately terrible sometimes. Hanson’s book (a sort of self-help manual grounded in research on learning and brain structure) doesn’t suggest that we avoid dwelling on negative experiences altogether—that would be impossible. Instead, he advocates training our brains to appreciate positive experiences when we do have them, by taking the time to focus on them and install them in the brain.
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Inside Detroit's Failing Public Schools :: Video (4:26)

Inside Detroit's Failing Public Schools :: Video (4:26) | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Detroit Public Schools are in crisis. Dropout rates are twice the national average, schools are routinely failing health inspections, and the district is more than three and a half billion dollars in debt. In this short video, Atlantic associate editor Alia Wong traces the history of Detroit Public Schools—from a model for urban education at the turn of the century to a failing, debt-ridden system today. How did the school district decline so dramatically?
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Advice for the recent graduate — Medium

Advice for the recent graduate — Medium | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Here are 5 things you can do right now that will make your life better and won’t cost you much:
Jim Lerman's insight:

Good advice

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Q & A with Edorble CEO Gabe Baker | PeacheyPublications.com

Q & A with Edorble CEO Gabe Baker | PeacheyPublications.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
I’ve long been interested in the potential of 3D virtual worlds for online education so I was delighted when I first found Edorble. I had my own 3D virtual classroom set up within about 5 minutes and was ready to start inviting students and trainee teachers. I think Edorble has huge potential for education, so I was really delighted when Gabe Baker – CEO of Edorble agreed to be interviewed.

What’s your elevator pitch?
We want to make online classes and meetings more personal, playful, and powerful. We do this with Edorble, a private 3D world that is purpose-built for online education and collaboration. Online, it can be difficult to have a sense of togetherness and to do simple things like break into small groups, raise hands, or watch videos and content together. We make all of that, and more, easy in Edorble.
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Educational Leadership:Creating Caring Schools:Creating a School Community

Educational Leadership:Creating Caring Schools:Creating a School Community | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
A growing body of research confirms the benefits of building a sense of community in school. Students in schools with a strong sense of community are more likely to be academically motivated (Solomon, Battistich, Watson, Schaps, & Lewis, 2000); to act ethically and altruistically (Schaps, Battistich, & Solomon, 1997); to develop social and emotional competencies (Solomon et al., 2000); and to avoid a number of problem behaviors, including drug use and violence (Resnick et al., 1997).


"These benefits are often lasting. Researchers have found that the positive effects of certain community-building programs for elementary schools persist through middle and high school. During middle school, for example, students from elementary schools that had implemented the Developmental Studies Center's Child Development Project—a program that emphasizes community building—were found to outperform middle school students from comparison elementary schools on academic outcomes (higher grade-point averages and achievement test scores), teacher ratings of behavior (better academic engagement, respectful behavior, and social skills), and self-reported misbehavior (less misconduct in school and fewer delinquent acts) (Battistich, 2001). A study that assessed the enduring effects of the Seattle Social Development Project—another elementary school program—on former participants at age 18 found lower rates of violent behavior, heavy drinking, and sexual activity, as well as higher academic motivation and achievement, for program participants relative to comparison group students (Hawkins, Catalano, Kosterman, Abbot, & Hill, 1999)."

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Nneze Akwiwu: The First Female President Of Nigeria

Nneze Akwiwu: The First Female President Of Nigeria | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
A chance conversation gives Nneze Akwiwu a chance to study in the United States.

Nneze Akwiwu is currently a senior Biology major at Spelman College. She thinks of herself as a bubbly, outgoing and very family oriented individual. She has plans of becoming the first female president of Nigeria.
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A Handwritten Card, Signed and Sealed by the Latest Technology

A Handwritten Card, Signed and Sealed by the Latest Technology | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Communication today is faster and more ephemeral than ever. We fire off emails, skip the punctuation in our texts, and watch our photos and messages vanish in seconds on Snapchat.

Digital tools have made communicating with others easier but not necessarily more thoughtful, and this bothered Sonny Caberwal, an entrepreneur. “We’re in a rush to make everything disappear,” he said.

Receiving a physical, handwritten thank-you note or letter these days feels special, but it also requires some work. “You have to assemble all the pieces,” Mr. Caberwal said — including paper, a pen, the recipient’s address, an envelope and a stamp — and then the note has to be written and mailed, all of which is time-consuming. He wanted to enable people to do that more easily, by harnessing technology to create a product that still felt very personal and worth keeping.

His company, Bond, harks back to a time of fountain pens, creamy sheets of writing paper and wax-sealed envelopes. Mr. Caberwal, founder and chief executive of the New York City start-up, describes it as “the opposite of Snapchat.” Bond was started in 2013, and has about 50 full-time employees and several high-profile backers, like Gary D. Cohn, the president of Goldman Sachs, and the rapper Nasir Jones (known as Nas).
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Teach with the Force: 15 Resources | Shelly Terrell :: Tech Learning

Teach with the Force: 15 Resources | Shelly Terrell :: Tech Learning | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Below, I have collected over 10 posts full of ideas from how to manage your classroom like a Jedi to teaching math with Star Wars infographics. You will find posters, lesson plans, and activities to help engage your learners and maybe seem like a Jedi teacher.
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The Oracle-Google Case Will Decide the Future of Software

The Oracle-Google Case Will Decide the Future of Software | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
THE LEGAL BATTLE between Oracle and Google is about to come to an end. And nothing less is as stake than the future of programming. Today lawyers for both companies are set to make their closing arguments in the fight over whether Google’s use of the Java application programming interface (API)—an arcane but critically important part of the Android mobile operating system—was legal. Regardless of how the jury rules, the case has already had a permanent effect on the way developers build software.

For a case with such potentially great impact on the tech industry, it can be tough to follow. It’s dragged on for years, and the details, both technical and legal, can get deeply esoteric. But for anyone who cares about the future of business or technology, it’s a vital case to understand. So we’ll do our best to make sense of it for you.
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