Educational Psychology & Technology
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Educational Psychology & Technology
This curated collection includes news, resources, and research related to Educational Psychology and/or Technology. The page also serves as a research tool to organize online content. The grey funnel shaped icon at the top allows for searching by keyword. For research more specific to tech, screen time and health/safety concerns, please see:, to learn about the next wave of privatization involving technology intersections with "Pay For Success" and "Social Impact Bonds", see, and for additional Educator Resources, please visit [Links to an external site].
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Rescooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD from Screen Time and Tech Safety Research!

Health and Safety Research Gaps in Policies and Practices Integrating Emerging Technologies for Young Children 

Links are as follows in order of the slides: 


The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America's Schools 


Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair
Clinical Psychologist and Research Associate at Harvard Medical School 


Video link may be viewed at: 


Carter B, Rees P, Hale L, Bhattacharjee D, Paradkar MS. Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Oct 31. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2341. [Epub ahead of print] 


Screen Time Hurts More Than Kids' Eyes 


New Media Consortium / Consortium for School Networking Horizon Report 


"American Revolution 2.0: How Education Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the U.S. Economy" 


"Preschool is Good For Children But It's Expensive So Utah Is Offering It Online" m/local/education/preschool-is- good-for-poor-kids-but-its- expensive-so-utah-is-offering-it- online/2015/10/09/27665e52- 5e1d-11e5-b38e- 06883aacba64_story.html  


Philanthropy Roundtable's: "Blended Learning: Wise Givers Guide to Supporting Tech-Assisted Learning" (Formerly chaired by B. DeVos)  


CyberCharters Have Overwhelming Negative Impact 


Ma, J., van den Heuvel, M., Maguire, J., Parkin, P., Birken, C. (2017). Is handheld screen time use associated with language delay in infants? Presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, San Francisco, CA.  


Jonathan Rochelle’s GSV/ASU PRIMETIME Keynote Speech pitching Google Cardboard for children in schools as proxy for actual field trips: 


Scientists Urge Google to Stop Untested Microwave Radiation of Children's Eyes and Brains with Virtual Reality Devices in Schools //  Asus product manual 


Telecom Industry Liability and Insurance Information 


National Association for Children and Safe Technology - iPad Information 


For infant/pregnancy related safety precautions, please visit 


194 Signatories (physicians, scientists, educators) on Joint Statement on Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation 


Article screenshot from France: "Portables. L'embrouille des ondes electromagnetiques


Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Policy 


"Show The Fine Print" 


Scientist petition calls for greater protective measures for children and pregnant women, cites need for precautionary health warnings, stronger regulation of electromagnetic fields, creation of EMF free zones, and media disclosures of experts’ financial relationships with industry when citing their opinions regarding the safety of EMF-emitting technologies. Published in European Journal of Oncology 


International Agency for Research on Cancer Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans (2011)


For more on source of funding research, see: and 


Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council // Public Testimony


"Until now, radiation from cell towers has not been considered a risk to children, but a recent study raises new questions about possible long-term, harmful effects." 


For further reading, please see Captured Agency report published by Harvard’s Center for Ethics  or 


Updates/posts/safety information on Virtual Reality: 


Environmental Health Trust Virtual Reality Radiation Absorption Slides 


Healthy Kids in a Digital World: 


National Association for Children and Safe Technology 


Doctors’ Letters on Wifi in Schools// 154 page compilation 


Insurance and Liability Disclaimers/Information from Telecom Companies 


Most of the documents and articles embedded within the presentation above are searchable/accessible on the following page:

Document above is a pdf with live links. They are provided above for easier access. To download the original file, please click on title or arrow above. It is a large file so may take several minutes.  

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Outsourcing the Classroom to Ed Tech & Machine Learning: Why Parents and Teachers Should Resist // Leonie Haimson, Audrey Watters, Peter Greene; 2018 Network for Public Education National Conference 

To download, click on title or arrow above. 


"Originally presented by Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters at the October 2018 NPE Conference, this powerpoint provides a comprehensive overview of ed tech that can be used in teacher and/or parent/teacher presentations." 



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Kids Shouldn’t Have to Sacrifice Privacy for Education [Op-Ed] // The New York Times

Kids Shouldn’t Have to Sacrifice Privacy for Education [Op-Ed] // The New York Times | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Dipayan Ghosh and Jim Steyer 

"This year, the media has exposed — and the government, including through guidance issued by the F.B.I. has begun to address — a string of harms to individual privacy by the technology sector’s leading firms. But policymakers must intervene specifically to protect the most precious and vulnerable people in our society: children. Their behavioral data is continuously suctioned up by technology firms through tablets, smartphones and computers and is at risk of being misused.


For many American children, going to school means handing over personal data. The Summit “personalized learning” educational tool — a platform for online lessons and assessments that was developed by a charter school network with the help of Facebook engineers and is backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — has been criticized for asking parents to consent to sharing their children’s personal data, including their names, internet activity and grades. Google has vastly expanded its reach into America’s schools as more than half of students use its Gmail and Docs apps, and a majority of mobile devices shipped to schools are Chromebooks. Should the tremendous amounts of data underlying the operation of these kinds of services get into the wrong hands, our children’s futures could be at stake.


Concerns over illegitimate sharing of and access to student data have been raised by parent groups, consumer watchdogs, and privacy advocates, many of whom have begun public awareness campaigns and legal battles. They’re rightly worried, for example, about the fairness of college admissions processes that rely on student data profiles shared by personalized learning companies. Similarly, parents are concerned about the dispensation of financial awards including scholarships that are influenced by data that children have provided in surveys. In some cases the information doesn’t include just things like grades and test scores but also covers categories like race, religion, address and whether they have “impairments” like H.I.V. or depression.


In 2014, inBloom, a nonprofit that offered to warehouse and manage student data for public school districts, announced that it would shut down, after parents objected to 400 categories of information, including children’s reasons for absences and sensitive family relationships, being included in its database.


Beyond the collection of our children’s education-related data, we don’t want industry behemoths to profile our children and target them with advertisements and shady content. We don’t want children to fear that anything they say or do online could be used against them someday. And we don’t want technology companies to compete for our children’s attention just so that they can claim their loyalties when they come of age to join a social media network, choose an email provider or purchase their first cellphones. It is not just about the protection of data; it is a matter of letting children learn and grow without concern about how their early preferences, talents and habits could shape the opportunities they have in the future. But laws in the United States offer students very little digital privacy or security protection against the wiles of the industry.


Wherever the rules are muddy for the industry, we should make them resoundingly clear in such a way that protects our children and, implicitly, our national interest. If we have learned anything about Silicon Valley this year, it is that we cannot sit back and wait for the industry to voluntarily act on behalf of children; our government must intervene before more harm comes to them.


Tech companies should not be permitted to collect data on children and profile them using their personal data without a parent or guardian’s meaningful consent to the data collection. In an educational setting, in which children might be denied the ability to participate in certain learning activities if their parents object, meaningful consent is a often simply not possible. They should not be allowed to market products to a child based on inferences about the child’s behaviors, preferences, beliefs or interests, and they should not be allowed to sell or share a child’s personal data to a third party under any circumstances."...


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What is Data Exploitation? // Privacy International

To view video on YouTube, see:


For questions related to the potential for Data Exploitation with "Smart Cities" projects, see: 

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A Failure to “Do No Harm”: India’s Aadhaar Biometric ID Program and its Inability to Protect Privacy in Relation to Measures in Europe and the U.S. // Dixon (2016), Journal of Technology Science

A Failure to “Do No Harm”: India’s Aadhaar Biometric ID Program and its Inability to Protect Privacy in Relation to Measures in Europe and the U.S. // Dixon (2016), Journal of Technology Science | Educational Psychology & Technology |

"It is important that digital biometric identity systems be used by governments with a Do No Harm mandate, and the establishment of regulatory, enforcement and restorative frameworks ensuring data protection and privacy needs to transpire prior to the implementation of technological programs and services. However, when, and where large government bureaucracies are involved, the proper planning and execution of public service programs very often result in ungainly outcomes, and are often qualitatively not guaranteeable. Several important factors, such as the strength of the political and legal systems, may affect such cases as the implementation of a national digital identity system. Digital identity policy development, as well as technical deployment of biometric technologies and enrollment processes, may all differ markedly, and could depend in some part at least, on the overall economic development of the country in question, or political jurisdiction, among other factors. This article focuses on the Republic of India’s national digital biometric identity system, the Aadhaar, for its development, data protection and privacy policies, and impact. Two additional political jurisdictions, the European Union, and the United States are also situationally analyzed as they may be germane to data protection and privacy policies originated to safeguard biometric identities. Since biometrics are foundational elements in modern digital identity systems, expression of data protection policies that orient and direct how biometrics are to be utilized as unique identifiers are the focus of this analysis. As more of the world’s economies create and elaborate capacities, capabilities and functionalities within their respective digital ambits, it is not enough to simply install suitable digital identity technologies; much, much more - is durably required. For example, both vigorous and descriptive means of data protection should be well situated within any jurisdictionally relevant deployment area, prior to in-field deployment of digital identity technologies. Toxic mixes of knowledge insufficiencies, institutional naïveté, political tomfoolery, cloddish logical constructs, and bureaucratic expediency must never overrun fundamental protections for human autonomy, civil liberties, data protection, and privacy."...


For full article, please see: 


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"What is Summit and why should parents and students be concerned about its use?" // Parent Coalition for Student Privacy 

Available for download here: 


Linked from the following post on student protest of online platform: 

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The Structural Consequences of Big Data-Driven Education // Elana Zeide 

The Structural Consequences of Big Data-Driven Education // Elana Zeide  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

Educators and commenters who evaluate big data-driven learning environments focus on specific questions: whether automated education platforms improve learning outcomes, invade student privacy, and promote equality. This article puts aside separate unresolved—and perhaps unresolvable—issues regarding the concrete effects of specific technologies. It instead examines how big data-driven tools alter the structure of schools’ pedagogical decision-making, and, in doing so, change fundamental aspects of America’s education enterprise. Technological mediation and data-driven decision-making have a particularly significant impact in learning environments because the education process primarily consists of dynamic information exchange. In this overview, I highlight three significant structural shifts that accompany school reliance on data-driven instructional platforms that perform core school functions: teaching, assessment, and credentialing.

First, virtual learning environments create information technology infrastructures featuring constant data collection, continuous algorithmic assessment, and possibly infinite record retention. This undermines the traditional intellectual privacy and safety of classrooms. Second, these systems displace pedagogical decision-making from educators serving public interests to private, often for-profit, technology providers. They constrain teachers’ academic autonomy, obscure student evaluation, and reduce parents’ and students’ ability to participate or challenge education decision-making. Third, big data-driven tools define what ‘counts’ as education by mapping the concepts, creating the content, determining the metrics, and setting desired learning outcomes of instruction. These shifts cede important decision-making to private entities without public scrutiny or pedagogical examination. In contrast to the public and heated debates that accompany textbook choices, schools often adopt education technologies ad hoc. Given education’s crucial impact on individual and collective success, educators and policymakers must consider the implications of data-driven education proactively and explicitly.


Keywords: big data; personalized learning; competency-based education; smart tutors; learning analytics; MOOCs

Suggested Citation:

Zeide, Elana, The Structural Consequences of Big Data-Driven Education (June 23, 2017). Big Data, Vol 5, No. 2 (2017): 164-172. Available at SSRN:" 


Shortlink to download:


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Disrupted Childhood: The Cost of Persuasive Design // 5Rights

Disrupted Childhood: The Cost of Persuasive Design // 5Rights | Educational Psychology & Technology | 

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Students protest Zuckerberg-backed digital learning program and ask him: ‘What gives you this right?’ // Washington Post

Students protest Zuckerberg-backed digital learning program and ask him: ‘What gives you this right?’ // Washington Post | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Valerie Strauss

"Students at a New York high school have protested in recent weeks an online education program developed with engineers working for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the latest challenge to the growing “personalized learning” movement in U.S. education.


More than 100 students from Brooklyn’s Secondary School for Journalism left campus during school hours last week and this week. Protest leaders sent a letter to Zuckerberg questioning his support for the Summit Learning Platform, which is being used in some 380 schools in a number of states and the District of Columbia.


The students said they weren’t learning on the platform and are concerned about the privacy of personal information collected on it. Their demonstration was the latest in a number of states, including one in a Connecticut school district, where officials ended their collaboration with Summit.


The free platform, which offers online lessons and assessments, was developed by a network of 11 charter schools in California and Washington known collectively as Summit Public Schools, and Facebook engineers helped develop the software. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, back the learning platform with engineering support through their for-profit Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The Summit website says the platform is a “personalized, research-backed approach” to teaching and learning.


“Personalized learning” — one of the reform models being promoted by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, philanthropists and businesses — is the latest form of what used to be known as “differentiated learning,” or, simply, learning specific to the student. Today, online programs allow students to move at their own pace.


Though there is no consensus definition of “personalized learning,” and though it seems to make intuitive sense to enable students to move at their own pace, in practice, this has amounted to computer-based learning programs of varying quality that require kids to sit in front of screens for a good part of the school day.


Kelly Hernandez, 17, a senior at the Secondary School for Journalism, said she helped organize the protest because students felt their complaints about Summit were not being heard. She said students began using it at the beginning of the school year without background information.


“We weren’t asked for an opinion about whether we would want to do Summit Learning,” she said. “ ‘Just use the computer. Here’s your name and password. Enjoy.’ ”


Akila Robinson, 17, another protest leader at the school, said she had problems logging on to Summit for two months and couldn’t get help. Another student, she said, had the same sign-on information.


School officials declined to comment on the protest or issues with Summit.


After the protest, school officials told students the program would no longer be used for juniors and seniors, but that ninth- and 10th-graders would continue using it.


Hernandez and Robinson sent a letter to Zuckerberg, which says in part (see the letter in full below):

"Unfortunately we didn’t have a good experience using the program, which requires hours of classroom time sitting in front of computers. Not all students would receive computers, the assignments are boring, and it’s too easy to pass and even cheat on the assessments. Students feel as if they are not learning anything and that the program isn’t preparing them for the Regents exams they need to pass to graduate. Most importantly, the entire program eliminates much of the human interaction, teacher support, and discussion and debate with our peers that we need in order to improve our critical thinking.


Unlike the claims made in your promotional materials, we students find that we are learning very little to nothing. It’s severely damaged our education, and that’s why we walked out in protest. . . .

Another issue that raises flags to us is all our personal information the Summit program collects without our knowledge or consent. We were never informed about this by Summit or anyone at our school, but recently learned that Summit is collecting our names, student ID numbers, email addresses, our attendance, disability, suspension and expulsion records, our race, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status, our date of birth, teacher observations of our behavior, our grade promotion or retention status, our test scores and grades, our college admissions, our homework, and our extracurricular activities. Summit also says on its website that they plan to track us after graduation through college and beyond. Summit collects too much of our personal information, and discloses this to 19 other corporations.


What gives you this right, and why weren’t we asked about this before you and Summit invaded our privacy in this way?"...



For full letter and story, please see: 

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What You Need to Know About California’s New Data Privacy Law // Harvard Business Review

What You Need to Know About California’s New Data Privacy Law // Harvard Business Review | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Dipayan Ghosh 

"Late last month, California passed a sweeping consumer privacy lawthat might force significant changes on companies that deal in personal data — and especially those operating in the digital space. The law’s passage comes on the heels of a few days of intense negotiation among privacy advocates, technology startups, network providers, Silicon Valley internet companies, and others. Those discussions have resulted in what many are describing as a landmark policy constituting the most stringent data protection regime in the United States.


Much of the political impetus behind the law’s passage came from some major privacy scandals that have come to light in recent months, including the Cambridge Analytica incident involving Facebook user data. This and other news drove public support for a privacy ballot initiative that would have instituted an even stricter data protection regime on companies that deal in consumer data if the state’s residents voted to pass it in November. But after intense negotiation, especially from leading internet companies and internet service providers, the backers of the ballot initiative agreed to drop the initiative and instead support the passage of the law.


The new law — the California Consumer Privacy Act, A.B. 375 — affords California residents an array of new rights, starting with the right to be informed about what kinds of personal data companies have collected and why it was collected. Among other novel protections, the law stipulates that consumers have the right to request the deletion of personal information, opt out of the sale of personal information, and access the personal information in a “readily useable format” that enables its transfer to third parties without hindrance.


The law notably establishes a broad definition of “personal information,” drawing in categories of data including a consumer’s personal identifiers, geolocation, biometric data, internet browsing history, psychometric data, and inferences a company might make about the consumer. The protections over this data are to be enforced by the state’s attorney general, though consumers will maintain a private right of action should companies fail to maintain reasonable security practices, resulting in unauthorized access to the personal data. (The data breach protection applies to a set of personal data that is narrower than that protected in the more general privacy protections.)


Perhaps the primary issue that firms are contending with is that the law’s requirements could threaten established business models throughout the digital sector. For instance, companies that generate revenue from targeted advertising over internet platforms — such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google — must, as the law is currently written, allow California residents to delete their data or bring it with them to alternative service providers. This restriction could extend to internet service providers such as AT&T and Verizon, which collect broadband activity data (web browsing data) and could attempt to use it to generate behavioral profiles to enable digital advertising. These measures might significantly cut into the profits these firms currently enjoy, or force adjustments to their revenue-growth strategies. They could also further impact any businesses that advertise on digital platforms, as the service they are purchasing — highly targeted advertising — might become less precise as a result of the new protections afforded to individual consumers."...


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'It's Like Amazon, But for Preschool' // Hack Education 

'It's Like Amazon, But for Preschool' // Hack Education  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Audrey Watters
"A year ago, the richest man in the world asked Twitter for suggestions on how he should most efficiently and charitably spend his wealth. And today, Jeff Bezos unveiled a few details about his plans – other than funding space travel, that is. His new philanthropic effort, The Day 1 Fund, will finance two initiatives: the Families Fund will work with existing organizations to address homelessness and hunger; and the Academies fund “will launch an operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.”


“We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon,” Bezos wrote in a note posted to Twitter. “Most important among these will be genuine intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.”


The child will be the customer.


Bezos then went on to cite a phrase that is so often misquoted and misattributed in those shiny, happy motivational PowerPoint slides – you know the ones – that people like to post to social media: “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” W. B. Yeats never said this, for the record, but words get so easily twisted, history so easily co-opted.


The assurance that “the child will be the customer” underscores the belief – shared by many in and out of education reform and education technology – that education is simply a transaction: an individual’s decision-making in a “marketplace of ideas.” (There is no community, no public responsibility, no larger civic impulse for early childhood education here. It’s all about private schools offering private, individual benefits.)


This idea that “the child will be the customer” is, of course, also a nod to “personalized learning” as well, as is the invocation of a “Montessori-inspired” model. As the customer, the child will be tracked and analyzed, her preferences noted so as to make better recommendations to up-sell her on the most suitable products. And if nothing else, Montessori education in the United States is full of product recommendations.


There’s another piece to all this, not mentioned in Bezos’s note about building a chain of preschools that “use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon”: Amazon’s own labor practices. The online retail giant is a notoriously terrible place to work – the pay, particularly in the warehouses, is so low that many employees receive government assistance. The working conditions are dangerous and dehumanizing. “Amazon has patented a system that would put workers in a cage, on top of a robot,” read the headline in last week’s Seattle Times. And it’s not so great for the white collar workers either. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk,” one employee in books marketing told The New York Times back in 2015.


The majority of the early childhood educators in the US are already very poorly paid; many preschools have incredibly high turnover rates. As research has demonstrated that preschool has a lasting positive effect on children’s educational attainment, there have been efforts to “raise the standards,” demanding for example that preschools be staffed by more qualified teachers. But that demand for more training and certification hasn’t brought with it better pay or benefits. The median pay for preschool teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is less than $30,000 a year. Even those with Bachelor’s degrees earn only about $14.70 an hour, about half of the average wages for all those with the same level of education.


This is a field in which a third of employees already qualify for government assistance. And now Jeff Bezos, a man whose own workers also rely on these same anti-poverty programs, wants to step in – not as a taxpayer, oh no, but as a philanthropist. Honestly, he could have a more positive impact here by just giving those workers a raise. (Or, you know, by paying taxes.)

Bezos is not alone in eyeing the early education “market,” which has received quite a bit of attention from ed-tech investors in recent years. So far this year, three companies have raised venture capital to help people run preschools and childcare facilities in their homes: Wonderschool, WeeCare, and Procare Software. Last year, VCs poured millions into similar sorts of companies, including Tinkergarten, Sawyer, and Kinedu. Investors in these startups include some of the “big money” names in Silicon Valley: Omidyar Network, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Andreessen Horowitz, among others. (One of these companies, WeeCare, says it’s also planning to train and license childcare providers, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the micro-certificate, online education, nanodegree folks also jump on this bandwagon. “Uber for Education” or something.)


Ostensibly, there’s no shortage of potential “customers” for these private preschool software startups – the demand for childcare is high, and many families live in what the Center for American Progress has called “child care deserts,” that is places where there are no options for affordable, high-quality early childhood education.


But are private preschool chains really the path we want to pursue, particularly if we believe that access to excellent early childhood education is so incredibly crucial? Can the gig economy and the algorithm ever provide high quality preschool? For all the flaws in the public school system, it’s important to remember: there is no accountability in billionaires’ educational philanthropy.


And, as W. B. Yeats famously never said, charity is no substitute for justice."


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Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over “Forfeiture of Our Values” in China // The Intercept

By Ryan Gallagher [Selected quotes]

"A senior Google research scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China.

Jack Poulson worked for Google’s research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company’s search systems.


In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed revealed that that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August  31.  


He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company’s employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his “ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments,” he said.  Poulson, who was previously an assistant professor at Stanford University’s department of mathematics, said he believed that the China plan had violated Google’s artificial intelligence principles, which state that the company will not design or deploy technologies "whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights."...


..."The company has ignored dozens of questions from journalists about the plan and it has stonewalled leading human rights groups, who say that the censored search engine could result in the company “directly contributing to, or [becoming] complicit in, human rights violations.” 

(Google also did not respond to an inquiry for this story.)...


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Is AI Riding a One-Trick Pony? // James Somers, MIT Technology Review 

Is AI Riding a One-Trick Pony? // James Somers, MIT Technology Review  | Educational Psychology & Technology |
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Don't Do It, Gavin Newsom // Inside Higher Ed Blog [quote below from exit interview w/Gov. Brown published in Politico 1/6/19]

Don't Do It, Gavin Newsom // Inside Higher Ed Blog [quote below from exit interview w/Gov. Brown published in Politico 1/6/19] | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By John Warner

"Governor Newsom, please don't spend $10 million on a system that tracks students from kindergarten all the way into the work force."...


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AI Experts Issue Warning Against Facial Scanning 

AI Experts Issue Warning Against Facial Scanning  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Sam Biddle

"Facial Recognition has quickly shifted from techno-novelty to fact of life for many, with millions around the world at least willing to put up with their faces scanned by software at the airport, their iPhones, or Facebook’s server farms. But researchers at New York University’s AI Now Institute have issued a strong warning against not only ubiquitous facial recognition, but its more sinister cousin: so-called affect recognition, technology that claims it can find hidden meaning in the shape of your nose, the contours of your mouth, and the way you smile. If that sounds like something dredged up from the 19th century, that’s because it sort of is.


AI Now’s 2018 report is a 56-page record of how “artificial intelligence” — an umbrella term that includes a myriad of both scientific attempts to simulate human judgment and marketing nonsense — continues to spread without oversight, regulation, or meaningful ethical scrutiny. The report covers a wide expanse of uses and abuses, including instances of racial discrimination, police surveillance, and how trade secrecy laws can hide biased code from an AI-surveilled public. But AI Now, which was established last year to grapple with the social implications of artificial intelligence, expresses in the document particular dread over affect recognition, “a subclass of facial recognition that claims to detect things such as personality, inner feelings, mental health, and ‘worker engagement’ based on images or video of faces.” The thought of your boss watching you through a camera that uses machine learning to constantly assess your mental state is bad enough, while the prospect of police using “affect recognition” to deduce your future criminality based on “micro-expressions” is exponentially worse."...


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AI Now Report 2018 // AI Now Institute 

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The Ethics of Virtual Reality Technology: Social Hazards and Public Policy Recommendations // Spiegel (2018) Science and Engineering Ethics

The Ethics of Virtual Reality Technology: Social Hazards and Public Policy Recommendations // Spiegel (2018) Science and Engineering Ethics | Educational Psychology & Technology |


"This article explores four major areas of moral concern regarding virtual reality (VR) technologies. First, VR poses potential mental health risks, including Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder. Second, VR technology raises serious concerns related to personal neglect of users’ own actual bodies and real physical environments. Third, VR technologies may be used to record personal data which could be deployed in ways that threaten personal privacy and present a danger related to manipulation of users’ beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Finally, there are other moral and social risks associated with the way VR blurs the distinction between the real and illusory. These concerns regarding VR naturally raise questions about public policy. The article makes several recommendations for legal regulations of VR that together address each of the above concerns. It is argued that these regulations would not seriously threaten personal liberty but rather would protect and enhance the autonomy of VR consumers." 

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Educator Toolkit for Teacher and Student Privacy // Parent Coalition for Student Privacy 

Educator Toolkit for Teacher and Student Privacy // Parent Coalition for Student Privacy  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

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Beyond Knowledge Ventriloquism and Echo Chambers: Raising the Quality of the Debate in Teacher Education // Teachers College Record 

Beyond Knowledge Ventriloquism and Echo Chambers: Raising the Quality of the Debate in Teacher Education // Teachers College Record  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Kenneth Zeichner and  Hilary G. Conklin 

Background/Context: For over two decades, there has been a steady call for deregulating U.S. teacher education, closing down allegedly poor quality college and university programs, and creating greater market competition. In response to this call to disrupt the dominance of colleges and universities in teacher education, and because of the policies and funding allocations of the U.S. Education Department and private foundation funding, non-university providers of teacher education have proliferated in certain areas of the country. A critical aspect of the current call for greater deregulation and market competition in teacher education has been the declaration that university teacher education has failed. While there is no dispute about the need for improvements in the dominant college and university system of teacher education, it is also important to critically evaluate the warrants for the value of programs that critics claim should replace college and university programs.


Purpose: The focus of this paper is to illustrate how research has been misrepresented to support policies and programs that would simultaneously reduce the role of colleges and universities in preparing U.S. teachers and support the expansion of the role of non-university providers. We also examine the print news media’s role in uncritically reproducing a narrative of failure about university teacher education and promoting the success of new non-university programs—attention that has served to inflate the public perception of these organizations and programs beyond what is warranted by the available evidence.


Research Design: Four cases are presented that illustrate the efforts to manufacture a narrative of the failure of colleges and universities in preparing teachers, and to construct a narrative of success for the non-university programs that have been funded to replace them. The authors use the concepts of echo chambers and knowledge ventriloquism to show how this process operates.


Conclusions/Recommendations: Following the presentation of the cases, specific recommendations are offered for raising the quality of the debates about the future of U.S. teacher education. These include greater transparency in the process of reform, better communication between researchers and stakeholders, using research that has been vetted to inform the debates, and genuinely exploring different policy options for teacher education.


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Health Research Gaps in the Marketing and Promotion of Emerging Educational Technologies // (Marachi, 2018) Presented at the Digital Media and Developing Minds Conference, New York 

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How Hackers are Getting Inside Our Kids' Classrooms // Channel 7 News Australia

How Hackers are Getting Inside Our Kids' Classrooms // Channel 7 News Australia | Educational Psychology & Technology |

"Internet-connected classrooms have transformed the way our children learn, but it’s also given rise to a dangerous new threat. It’s been revealed that school Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to hackers able to access devices used by students, meaning they can get hold of photos of children or even make contact with them.


It can take just minutes for a hacker to identify a school’s public Wi-Fi network and potentially access photographs, videos, homework or digital contacts. In one case, a hacker got into a school’s Wi-Fi and was talking with a Year 6 student on his iPad.


“It was only the fact that the teacher was very alert and picked it up really quickly and shut it down,” cyber security expert Sorin Toma said. In another school, a hacker changed a link so students were logging onto a site on the Dark Web.


“It is very easy for predators to access the wireless network and get information about children and even access to children,” Mr Toma said."...


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Brooklyn Students Hold Walkout in Protest of Facebook-Designed Summit Online Program // New York Post

Brooklyn Students Hold Walkout in Protest of Facebook-Designed Summit Online Program // New York Post | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Susan Edelman

"Brooklyn teens are protesting their high school’s adoption of an online program spawned by Facebook, saying it forces them to stare at computers for hours and “teach ourselves.”


Nearly 100 students walked out of classes at the Secondary School for Journalism in Park Slope last week in revolt against “Summit Learning,” a web-based curriculum designed by Facebook engineers, and bankrolled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Amy Chan.


“It’s annoying to just sit there staring at one screen for so long,” said freshman Mitchel Storman, 14, who spends close to five hours a day on Summit classes in algebra, biology, English, world history, and physics. “You have to teach yourself.”


Summit stresses “personalized learning” and “self-direction.” Students work at their own pace. Teachers “facilitate.” Each kid is supposed to get 10 to 15 minutes of one-on-one “mentoring” each week. Mitchel said his teachers sometimes give brief lessons, but then students have to work on laptops connected to the Internet.

“The distractions are very tempting,” he said. “I have seen lots of students playing games instead of working.”


Kids can re-take tests until they pass — and look up the answers, he added: “Students can easily cheat on quizzes since they can just copy and paste the question into Google.”


Two other Department of Education schools have started using Summit Learning: M.S. 88 Peter Rouget in Park Slope, and the Academy for College Preparation and Career Exploration in Flatbush.

 But the Park Slope students raised awareness of it Monday with a raucous hour-long demonstration.


Last summer, Summit trained 9th and 10th grade teachers, paying for four nights in a Newark, N.J, hotel plus meals.  But senior Kelly Hernandez, 17, who organized the walkout, said her Environmental Science teacher wasn’t trained, leaving kids adrift.


“It was bad enough that we were lost, the teachers were lost,” Kelly said. “We have done absolutely nothing in that class.”


Senior Akila Robinson said she couldn’t even log onto Summit for nearly two months, while other classmates can’t or won’t use it. “The whole day, all we do is sit there.”  Despite doing no work, Akila’s report card shows she received a passing 70 for the first marking period.


A teacher who requested anonymity said Summit glitches include system crashes, poor wifi in the old John Jay HS building, and a lack of laptops.


What’s worse, the teacher added, many students hate it. “It’s a lot of reading on the computer, and that’s not good for the eyes. Kids complain. Some kids refuse to do it.”


David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor, said the online system “fits the Facebook business model,” but came into city schools with little input or review.


“It’s educational experimentation on our kids,” he said. At a school meeting last week, SSJ parents also voiced concerns about privacy in light of recent Facebook data breaches. Summit collects a wealth of information on each student, from age, ethnicity, and extracurricular activities, to grades, test scores and disciplinary penalties. It insists the data is safe.


The DOE said late Saturday the school will immediately drop the Summit program in 11th and 12th grades. Administrators will ” continue to be in communication with students, staff, and parents about the new strategies over the next few weeks,” said spokeswoman Danielle Filson.


Officials also confirmed that another school, the Bronx Writing Academy, has already dumped the Summit program."...


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This story is also published on NYC Public School Parents page with a link to a pdf document related to the Summit online platform 




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Privacy Rights Clearinghouse // Data Breaches

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse // Data Breaches | Educational Psychology & Technology | 

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Parents question [Summit] online learning program in McPherson schools' redesign // Hutchinson News 

Parents question [Summit] online learning program in McPherson schools' redesign // Hutchinson News  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Jason Beets and Mindy Kepfield

"Parents are upset with a new learning program in McPherson USD 418 they say has their students struggling and has directed children to websites with links to sexually-suggestive content.


The new program, Summit Learning, utilizes an online platform, similar to a textbook, designed to allow students to learn at their own pace. Eisenhower Elementary and McPherson Middle School adopted the platform this year as part of the district’s school redesign program.


Superintendent Gordon Mohn said Summit Learning was endorsed by schools who have used it, and that the USD 418 adopted the platform to personalize education.


Sexual content

Mike Berger, among more than 100 people at this week’s school board meeting, said Summit Learning directed his son to read an article on the website of The Daily Mail, a British tabloid. The site contained links to other content that Berger described as pornographic.


“You will see ads, articles, and pictures of a sexual nature all over this website,” Berger said during Monday night’s board meeting at Lincoln Elementary School. “Thankfully, my wife was there and saw one of the headlines and quickly shut the computer down. It sickens me to think what my son could have seen if she wasn’t sitting right there beside him.”


In an email to the McPherson Sentinel, Berger stated the website contained links to articles and photos that were sexual in nature as well as a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle, with the caption ‘Dan Bilzerian and semi-nude girls shoot pumpkins for Halloween.’”

In an interview, Mohn agreed that the material was sexual in nature and was inappropriate for school-age children.


Berger said the district shouldn’t allow Summit to direct students to articles with these kinds of links.


“There is a huge difference between a child surfing for information, on his own, on the internet, and a student following a link in an assignment that has been assigned by the Summit Learning curriculum,” he said. “If a textbook provided inappropriate content of this nature, we would immediately remove it from the district. Why should these standards be any different for Summit? This should have been figured out prior to going live. Implementing a new curriculum should not be an urgent matter, over the well-being of our children.”


Mohn told a reporter that teachers are currently printing off material, rather than referring students to external websites, while district officials attempt to resolve the problem. They currently are discussing the matter with information technology staff from the Kansas Department of Education and two companies that filter internet content for the school district.


Nicholas Kim, senior director with Summit Learning, said in an email to the Sentinel that Summit’s platform includes thousands of links to materials online that are vetted by educators. He said these links are regularly reviewed and updated by the curriculum team. However, he said that websites and ads could change quickly.


“If there’s an online resource that’s no longer appropriate, we take action immediately to remove that link from the platform, he said. “As educators who operate our own schools, we take very seriously any situations that cause offense to students or their families.”


Crying students

Many parents expressed deep dissatisfaction with Summit Learning, which has caused some students to struggle with their schoolwork.


Lara Vanderhoof said her eighth-grade daughter is frustrated that she has not yet successfully passed a content assessment test and can’t find out what she is doing wrong.


“She is in tears about her schoolwork,” Vanderhoof said. “This is a child who has enjoyed school even though schoolwork comes hard to her.”


Robin Werth said her son, who has dyslexia, is also deeply frustrated with his schoolwork on the platform.


“My eighth grader absolutely loves school. Last year, he cried on snow days because he wasn’t going,” she said. “Now, he cries almost every morning when he has to go to school. He said, ‘Mom, this has got to be a home day, I can’t stand this Summit Learning, I feel stupid.’ He is a very smart child. He has dyslexia, so school is hard for him. Everything that I have learned on Summit Learning is that it’s not good for students with learning disabilities.”


Werth said she is considering whether to send her son to another school.


“He asked me, ‘Mom, if I have to do this for much longer, can I go to another school? What other school has to do this?’” she said. “It’s bad when my Facebook feed pops up an ad for online schools because I have googled other school districts so much today.”


Losing students

When a speaker asked how many parents were considering homeschooling their children or moving them to another school, many people raised their hands. In an interview, Mohn said it concerns him that the district has lost several students following the adoption of the Summit Learning platform.


Jennifer Pickerell, the parent of a child in the McPherson school district, said parents have been unable to receive answers about Summit Learning in one-on-one meetings with district officials.

“You as board members are elected officials who are supposed to represent us,” she said. “You should know the answer to our questions. If you don’t know the answer to our questions, you aren’t doing your job.”


In an interview, Mohn said he understood that parents are frustrated.


“For me, it was obvious that we haven’t been successful in providing parents with the information they need,” he said. “We have made an effort, but it was not at a level that was needed.”

Dartyle Salmans, another parent of a child in the McPherson school district, summarized the view of many parents at the meeting.


“I was informed at one point that McPherson had the best education around, not if they have Summit,” she said.


Mohn said he plans to create an evaluation committee of teachers, community members, and parents, lead by an independent chair from outside McPherson, to evaluate the Summit Learning platform."...


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After One-Third of North Dakota Schools Get Hacked By Foreign Entities, State Superintendent Addresses Attack With Cyber Security Standards // Grand Forks Herald

After One-Third of North Dakota Schools Get Hacked By Foreign Entities, State Superintendent Addresses Attack With Cyber Security Standards // Grand Forks Herald | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Austin Howard

Bismarch — The North Dakota Information Technology Department said there were malware attacks on one-third of North Dakota schools in February 2018. The hackers behind the attacks were from different international locations including North Korea and the malware was downloaded from multiple access points."...


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Apple Device Enrollment Exposes Businesses and Schools to Hacks // Venture Beat

Apple Device Enrollment Exposes Businesses and Schools to Hacks // Venture Beat | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Jeremy Horowitz

"Apple’s business and scholastic device management service, the Device Enrollment Program (DEP), suffers from a significant security hole that could impact organizations yet has remained unpatched for months after its discovery. Duo Security published its findings today after reporting the issue to Apple on May 16, and believes it affects every customer using the DEP service.


Duo’s report claims that DEP’s weak authentication enables attackers to use nothing more than an Apple serial number to link a device to an organization’s mobile device management server, which could then share existing DEP profile information — including phone numbers and email addresses — with the attacker.


According to Duo, DEP thereby exposes organizations to the potential of both “rogue devices” and social engineering attacks leveraging acquired details to gain further access to a network."...


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