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 and screen time, please see: For additional Educator Resources, please visit [Links to an external site].
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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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Smart Cities: Utopian Vision, Dystopian Reality // Privacy International (October 2017)

Published by Privacy International
"The smart city market is booming. National and local governments all over the world expect their cities to become more efficient, more sustainable, cleaner and safer by integrating technology, increasing data generation and centralizing data to provide better services. From large multinationals to small start-ups, companies want their slice of the multi-billion dollars per year pie of municipal budgets and long-term government contracts.

But do smart cities even exist? And are our cities actually getting smarter? Or are smart cities a mere pretext to collect and process more data? This piece examines the reality of the smart city market beyond the ‘smart’ marketing term and existing smart city initiatives. We also consider the consequences and significant concerns emerging in terms of privacy and other fundamental human rights."


To download full report, click title above or here: 


For main page where report is featured: 


For related post on Medium, see:  


Related Privacy 101s: 


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Hackers Say They've Already Broken Face ID A Week After Iphone X Release 

Hackers Say They've Already Broken Face ID A Week After Iphone X Release  | Educational Psychology & Technology | 

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The Case(s) Against "Personalized Learning" // EdWeek

The Case(s) Against "Personalized Learning" // EdWeek | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Benjamin Herold

"Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are backing it with hundreds of millions of dollars. States from Florida to Vermont have adopted supportive laws and policies. And school districts across the country are embracing this emerging education trend.

But as "personalized learning" takes root, it's also coming under greater scrutiny.


Leading researchers say their work does not support the most enthusiastic claims being made by personalized-learning supporters. Education experts are raising questions about implications for teaching and learning. Tech-industry critics are sounding alarms about Silicon Valley's growing influence over public schools. And a small but vocal coalition of parents and activists from across the political spectrum deride the term "personalized learning" as an Orwellian misnomer for replacing teachers with digital devices and data-mining software.  Such resistance is probably not surprising.


When any new educational strategy receives money and attention, questions arise. Like other efforts to improve U.S. schools, personalized learning is getting swept up in decades-long disagreements over how children learn, the proper role of teachers, and who gets to decide how public education is organized. But personalized learning also faces some unique challenges. The biggest is lack of clarity around what the term actually means.


In general, personalized-learning models seek to adapt the pace of learning and the instructional strategies being used to best fit each individual child's strengths, weaknesses, and interests. In the digital age, realizing these goals is often seen as dependent on technology—to help measure in real-time what each student knows; to develop "learner profiles"; and to help match each child with customized learning experiences and "playlists."


In practice, though, "personalized learning" is used to describe everything from supplemental software programs to whole-school redesigns. As a result, the term has become a blank slate on to which supporters and skeptics alike project their own hopes, fears, and beliefs.


To help K-12 educators and policymakers consider personalized learning from every angle, Education Week is taking a close look at the perspectives of critics like Tiffany Dunn, a veteran teacher in Kentucky's 101,000-student Jefferson County school system whose strongly held concerns broadly reflect the worries of other opponents.


"This whole thing is coming from the tech industry, which doesn't understand that what kids need is someone to love them and get excited about them," Dunn said. "I'm not aware of any research that says sticking a child in front of a computer for hours on end does them any good."


Do such arguments hold weight? How do proponents respond? What do third-party experts say? What follows is a breakdown of the three main critiques leveled against personalized learning."...



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Pedagogy and the Logic of Platforms // Chris Gilliard

Pedagogy and the Logic of Platforms // Chris Gilliard | Educational Psychology & Technology | 



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Google as a Fortune Teller: The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism // Von Shoshanna Zuboff 

Google as a Fortune Teller: The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism // Von Shoshanna Zuboff  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

Von Shoshanna Zuboff

"Google surpassed Apple as the world’s most highly valued company in January for the first time since 2010.  (Back then each company was worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500 billion.) 


While Google’s new lead lasted only a few days, the company’s success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior.  This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors.  While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency.


What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?


“Most Americans realize that there are two groups of people who are monitored regularly as they move about the country.  The first group is monitored involuntarily by a court order requiring that a tracking device be attached to their ankle. The second group includes everyone else…”


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University of California Faculty Members Object To New Email Monitoring // Inside Higher Ed

University of California Faculty Members Object To New Email Monitoring // Inside Higher Ed | Educational Psychology & Technology |

"Secret monitoring is ongoing."

Those ominous words captured the attention of many faculty members at the University of California at Berkeley's College of Natural Resources when they received an email message from a colleague on Thursday telling them that a new system to monitor computer networks had been secretly installed on all University of California campuses months ago, without letting any but a few people know about it.

"The intrusive device is capable of capturing and analyzing all network traffic to and from the Berkeley campus, and has enough local storage to save over 30 days of *all* this data ('full packet capture'). This can be presumed to include your email, all the websites you visit, all the data you receive from off campus or data you send off campus," said the email from Ethan Ligon, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics. He is one of six members of the Academic Senate-Administration Joint Committee on Campus Information Technology.

Ligon went on to say that UC system officials asked the members of the committee to keep this information to themselves. But, Ligon added, he and other tenured faculty members decided that "continued silence on our part would make us complicit in what we view as a serious violation of shared governance and a serious threat to the academic freedoms that the Berkeley campus has long cherished."

The professor provided a copy of his email to Inside Higher Ed after The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the controversy over the new monitoring.

The university system is defending the new monitoring as necessary, and says that it is not routinely reviewing anyone's email. While some faculty leaders may yet be convinced about the need for the system, many are speaking out against the secretive way that it was deployed without going through standard faculty committees that in the past have had the chance to be briefed on technology security measures.


Rachael Nava, executive vice president of the UC system, sent a letter to faculty leaders in January after some expressed concern about the new monitoring system.


Her letter (which the university released on Sunday) does not provide many details on the new security system, but said that the changes were prompted by "a serious cyber attack" against the University of California at Los Angeles that involved the records of up to 4.5 million patients who used UCLA medical systems. After UCLA informed those patients, 17 lawsuits -- all still pending -- were filed against the university, Nava's letter said. She said that those lawsuits limited what the university could say about security at UCLA and elsewhere in the system."... 

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Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy // Parent Coalition for Student Privacy 

To download, click title above. For pdf versions of individual sections, click here: 

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"Virtual Equality" // Tennessee Education Report 

"Virtual Equality" // Tennessee Education Report  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Andy Spears

"As the school year began, I wrote about how students at some MNPS high schools were forced into online classes due to a teacher shortage. This impacted students primarily at Antioch, Whites Creek, and Cane Ridge High Schools. According to my sources, it’s still going on to some degree. That is, actual teachers haven’t been found to fill many of the positions that were empty at the beginning of the year. So, the students are taking courses from Edgenuity.


Here’s what I noted about Edgenuity at the time:


Here’s a review of materials developed by Edgenuity for grades 9-12 ELA done by the Louisiana Department of Education. Here’s the short version: Edgenuity received a Tier III (the lowest) rating for the quality of the materials it provided to students for grades 9-12 ELA.


Here’s what Louisiana had to say about Edgenuity’s 6-8 math materials. Also an overall Tier III rating, but mixed reviews depending on grade level and specific learning objective.

Now, there’s a court case about whether virtual classes provide a “substantially equal” educational opportunity for students.


Education law professor Derek Black notes:


"The Tennessee Court of Appeals has taken up a fascinating issue regarding students’ access to teachers.  The problem could only arise in the brave new world of computers.  In short,  a student at a Tennessee high school had fallen behind in algebra and end-of-grade assessments were looming.  The school pulled the student  out of the class and placed the student in a computer based credit recovery program.  Apparently, this occurred with several other students.  The student claims that the school did this to help increase its standardized test scores. The disputed issue in the case seems to be a narrower one: do students have the right to access a teacher?  The plaintiff says yes.  The school’s attorney says no.


And here’s Black’s analysis of the legal issue at hand:


"The Supreme Court in  Tennessee Small School Systems v. McWherter, 851 SW2d 139 (1993), held that students have a constitutional right to “substantially equal educational opportunities.”  The underlying facts in the case involved disparities in teacher salaries across the state.  Consistent with the overwhelming social science consensus, the court indicated that “teachers, obviously, are the most important component of any education plan or system.”  Because salary disparities resulted in students having unequal access to teachers, the Court ordered the state on more than one occasion to remedy is system of funding teacher salaries across the state.


So while state statutes may not create any specific property interest in access to a teacher, the state constitution creates a right to equal educational opportunities, which teachers are the most important part of.


And that’s why the situation at these schools is so interesting. The students at Antioch, Cane Ridge, and Whites Creek didn’t sign up for or choose virtual education. They were not offered the same or similar educational opportunity as students at other MNPS high schools — that is, students at most MNPS schools were assigned to an actual teacher who appeared in-person every day to provide instruction. These students were denied that opportunity and assigned to a program of questionable quality.


Why did this happen? One factor (though certainly not the only one) is teacher salaries. Teacher pay in MNPS is simply not competitive relative to the cost of living. It’s definitely not competitive relative to similar districts around the country.

The teacher salary issue is an important one, because it is the issue that drove the Small Schools court decision. In fairness, teachers at Antioch, Cane Ridge, and Whites Creek earn the same salaries as any other Nashville teachers. However, Nashville’s inability to adequately staff schools creates substantially unequal educational opportunity across the district. In fact, the district cited lack of adequate state resources as one reason it joined Shelby County in suing over BEP (Basic Education Program) funds.


It’s difficult to argue that students who signed up for and planned to attend traditional classes and then were forced into online learning were provided educational opportunities that are “substantially equal” to their peers at schools where this did not happen. How this will be addressed remains to be seen."...


For full post, see: 

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Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair on Screen Time Concerns Related to Child Development 

"Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is a Clinical Psychologist, Consultant, Speaker, and Author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. This is a video clip is from a longer talk she gave in Framingham, MA on June 10th, 2015.


For viewers interested in additional information and research related to screen time concerns, see slides from NAACP Conference on the ESSA and Civil Rights in Education in San Jose, CA, August 19th, 2017. "Health and Safety Research Gaps in Policies and Practices Integrating Emerging Technologies for Young Children":"


To view video on YouTube:  

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#WatchOut: Smartwatches Can Easily Be Hacked, Putting Children in Harm's Way // Norwegian Consumer Council (via CCFC)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017  

A number of brands of “smartwatches” intended to help parents monitor and protect young children have major security and privacy flaws which could endanger the children wearing them. A coalition of leading U.S. child advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, asking the agency to investigate the threat these watches pose to children. 


Smartwatches for children essentially work as a wearable smartphone. Parents can communicate with their child through the mobile phone function and track the child’s location via an app. Some product listings recommend them for children as young as three years old. 


Groups sending the letter to the FTC are the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG. The advocacy groups are working with the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), which conducted research showing that watches sold in the U.S. under the brands Caref and SeTracker have significant security flaws, unreliable safety features, and policies which lack consumer privacy protections. In the EU, groups are filing complaints in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, the UK, and with other European regulators."...


To view YouTube video above, see: 


For full post above, please see:  



For related articles, see also:


Smartwatches for Kids Are At Risk of Being Hacked Says New Report 


Tens of Thousands - Or Possibly Several Hundred Thousands - of Kids Can Be Tracked Via Their Gator or Caref Watches 


How GPS Watches Can Put Children in Harm's Way: 

For more information, please see:

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Co-Opted Language: Decoding Ed Reform’s New Sales Pitch

Co-Opted Language: Decoding Ed Reform’s New Sales Pitch | Educational Psychology & Technology |

Click on title above or link at the end for original post. 


Commentary by Poetic Justice blog:
"The biggest battle we have in preserving our public schools is to recapture our profession lexicon. When you hear and read these terms, closely examine the source. This list defines the terms the way they are defined by the corporate reformers profiting from the destruction of true education. But the real meanings behind most of these terms are still good and valid.


Together let us determine to take back these terms and show the world that educators love, cherish, and truly care about the well being of the nation’s children."


Original post (link below): 

"The words used to promote “future ready” public education do not mean to reformers what they mean to you. This post is intended to pull back the curtain and expose the truth behind venture capital’s shiny promises of “personalized” tech-centered, data-driven learning. The list below features vocabulary that should be on everyone’s radar. Short definitions link to more detailed descriptions written from the point of view of the reformers-if they had to tell the truth about their plans to swap neighborhood schools for learning ecosystems. Complete list of long form definitions available here.

One-page PDF handout for sharing available here.


1:1 Devices: A program where each child has their own data-gathering device for “anywhere learning.” More

Anytime, Anywhere Learning: A push to disconnect education from “constraints” of buildings and teachers. More

Assessment Reform / Computer Adaptive Testing: Punitive end of year tests exchanged for perpetual monitoring of online learning. More

Brain Breaks: Mental safety valve for students and teachers. More

College and Career Readiness: K12 public education as redefined by post-graduation outcomes. More

Community School: Business opportunities for non-profit providers created through intentional austerity. More

Data Dashboards: Tools to reduce learning to specific, measurable outcomes. More

Deeper Learning: Education reimagined as a big, unstructured DIY project. More

Digital Badges: Tokens of achievement rewarding skill acquisition or compliance. More

ELOs-Extended/Expanded Learning Opportunities: Outsourced learning opportunities for credit. More

E-Portfolio: Cloud-based skill storage that replaces report cards and diplomas. More

Evidence-Based: Parameters private interests use to set educational “success” criteria. More

Gamified: Use of entertainment platforms to make student data capture more palatable. More

Growth: Repeated data collection over time that can be used to evaluate returns on impact investments. More

Grit/Growth Mindset/Resilience: Self-discipline promoted as a tool to deal with dysfunctional social systems. More

Hybrid/Blended: Means to promote online learning while reducing face-to-face instruction. More

Innovation / Empowerment Zones: Designation that strips districts of contractual protections while promising autonomy. More

Innovative: Unproven “solutions” that disrupt school environments. More

Lifelong Learning: Uncertain employment outlook that demands constant re-skilling and up-skilling. More

Multiple Measures: Expansion of accountability categories for students, teachers and schools under ESSA. More

Pathways: Means to direct students into targeted workforce sectors based on their aggregated data. More

Pay for Success: Service delivery redesigned to capture proof of success for impact investments. More

Performance Assessments: Promise of authentic projects replaced by canned, standards-aligned rubrics. More

“Personalized” Learning: Digital profiling whereby algorithms control student access to educational content. More

Regionalization / Consolidation: Defunding and dwindling enrollment lead to diminished local control. More

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs): Finance scheme that uses public services to generate venture capital profit. More

Competency/Mastery/Proficiency-Based Education: Education reinvented as a perpetual skills checklist. More

Student-Centered/Agency: Self-serve education model where teachers play a marginal role. More

Whole Child / Social Emotional Learning: Non-cognitive traits are added to student academic profiles. More 

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Education in the Cloud: Digital Classrooms as Data Factories 

"Digital Classrooms as Data Factories" [Part 2 of 7 in the Series: Education in the Cloud. Introduction at:]


Slides also available on SlideShare at and can be downloaded by clicking title or arrow above. 



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YouTube Is Addressing Its Massive Child Exploitation Problem

YouTube Is Addressing Its Massive Child Exploitation Problem | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Charlie Warzel

"Across YouTube, an unsettling trend has emerged: Accounts are publishing disturbing and exploitative videos aimed at and starring children in compromising, predatory, or creepy situations — and racking up millions of views.


BuzzFeed News has found a number of videos, many of which appear to originate from eastern Europe, that feature young children, often in revealing clothing, placed in vulnerable scenarios. In many instances, they're restrained with ropes or tape and sometimes crying or in visible distress. In other videos, the children are kidnapped, or made to 'play doctor' with an adult. The videos frequently include gross-out themes like injections, eating feces, or needles. Many come from YouTube 'verified' channels and have tens of millions of views. After BuzzFeed News brought these videos to the attention of YouTube, they were removed.


In recent weeks, YouTube has faced criticism after reports about unsettling animated videos and bizarre content, which were aimed at children using family-friendly characters, and some of which was not caught by YouTube Kids’ filters. All of the videos reviewed by BuzzFeed News were live-action, ostensibly set up by adults and featuring children. Taken together, they make up a vast, disturbing, and wildly popular universe of videos that — until recently — existed unmoderated by the platform."


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Teach Like They're Data: Max Ventilla's Extractive AltSchool Platform, Personalization, and Profit // Long View on Education

Teach Like They're Data: Max Ventilla's Extractive AltSchool Platform, Personalization, and Profit // Long View on Education | Educational Psychology & Technology |

"“Paradoxically, the corporate sector responsible for deindustrialization and cutting wages while receiving tax breaks that starved cities of revenue is now repositioned as beneficent donor, if not savior [of education]. The global billionaires who accumulated unfathomable wealth at the expense of most of the world’s people are now our benefactors and leaders.” – Pauline Lipman & Cristen Jenkins

“The technology always extracts. … Before computers, it was fossil fuels. The idea that you can pull free physical work out of the ground, that was a really good trick, and it resulted in all of these exponential curves. But now we’re discovering how to pull free mental work out of the ground. That’s going to be an equivalent, huge trick over the next 50 years.” – Max Ventilla


Platforms and Classrooms 

Max Ventilla, former head of personalisation at Google, has announced that his start-up, Altschool, will be closing some locations and focusing in on developing and marketing it’s software platform. Marketing itself as a site of ‘hyperpersonalisation’, AltSchool has received $175 million in venture capital as it pursues Ventilla’s for-profit dream to reshape education. According to Bloomberg, Ventilla sent a letter to parents informing them of the upcoming changes:


“Ventilla said AltSchool will only run classrooms near the main offices in San Francisco and New York. ‘We know this is tough news that will have a big impact on your family,’ Ventilla said. But the moves are needed, he wrote, given AltSchool’s ‘strategy, path to growth and finances.’ Ventilla told Bloomberg that the company had long planned to prioritize selling technology to other schools. He said it’s happening earlier than anticipated because of demand. For outside schools, the company charges about $150 to $500 annually per student for its technology, depending on the size of the institution.”

Ventilla’s platform aims to use the same kind of personalisation technology that Google, Facebook, and Netflix use to recommend results and experiences to us. A kind of “mass customisation”, this approach relies on collecting data about individual users based on our likes and clicks, and creating algorithms to use larger patterns in their massive data sets to offer us custom results which we can ‘choose’ from. As Audrey Watters argues, personalisation sounds progressive – we’ll offer you individually tailored experiences! – but it’s more about delivering ‘content’ like customised Facebook ads.

In an interview, Ventilla says that “we start with a representation of each child”, and even though “the vast majority of the learning should happen non-digitally”, the child’s habits and preferences gets converted into data, “a digital representation of the important things that relate to that child’s learning, not just their academic learning but also their non-academic learning. Everything logistic that goes into setting up the experience for them, whether it’s who has permission to pick them up or their allergy information. You name it.”


And just like Netflix matches us to TV shows, “If you have that accurate and actionable representation for each child, now you can start to personalize the whole experience for that child. You can create that kind of loop you described where because we can represent a child well, we can match them to the right experiences.”


After watching a video of what a day in their middle school looks like, I was struck by the contrasting realities of the classroom and the platform. Each class has a maximum of 24 students with two teachers and the life of the classroom looks vibrant: the teachers conference with students about their work, an expert from Stanford helps the students carry out a design project, and the space of the school looks comfortable and inviting.


Yet, the bright spaces and two teachers per class is not the business model – the platform – that Ventilla wants to sell because “teachers are expensive“.1

The flexibility that Altschool offers to wealthy parents in the expensive neighbourhoods of its lab schools in San Francisco and Brooklyn won’t  ‘scale’ when the platform is sold. In its lab schools, Altschool allows flexible pick-up and drop-off times for parents via their smart phones, and even accomodates surprise vacations to Hong Kong if they should arise. According to the New York Times, “A tablet with your child’s lesson plans would go with you, and he or she could study and work wherever you are. AltSchool’s plan, ultimately, after years of data-keeping, self-assessment and reassessment, is to take its best practices and technological innovations to the universe of public schools.”

The same NYT article contrasts Altschool with the “boot-camp model of so many of the city’s charter schools, where learning can too easily be divorced from pleasure, and fear rather than joy is the operative motivator.” But what will Altschool – the platform – look like when it is exported to public schools where the cost of teachers and space matter? Given that “AltSchool’s losses are piling up as it spends at a pace of about $40 million per year“, it’s not hard to imagine that the more desirable aspects of Altschool’s flexibility will be only be available for purchase by the wealthy.

As one example of how the implementation of the platform might carry negative consequences in public schools, consider the Altschool’s use of cameras to gather surveillance. According to Business Insider, “Cameras are also mounted at eye level for kids, so teachers can review successful lessons and ‘the steps leading up to those ‘ah-ha’ moments,’ head of school Kathleen Gibbons said. Some children use them as confessionals, sharing their secrets with the camera.”"...


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State Officials Want Review of Baltimore County School Leaders' Ties to Tech Firms // Baltimore Sun 

State Officials Want Review of Baltimore County School Leaders' Ties to Tech Firms // Baltimore Sun  | Educational Psychology & Technology | 

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Digital Classrooms as Data Factories // Wrench In The Gears 

Digital Classrooms as Data Factories // Wrench In The Gears  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

[The screenshot above is from a video entitled "Tin Can API - SCORM Could Do More" at


The video with an extended analysis of how educational data are being collected and analyzed is available on the following blogpost] 

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Disruptive Fixation: School Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism // Christo Sims

Disruptive Fixation: School Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism // Christo Sims | Educational Psychology & Technology |

"In New York City in 2009, a new kind of public school opened its doors to its inaugural class of middle schoolers. Conceived by a team of game designers and progressive educational reformers and backed by prominent philanthropic foundations, it promised to reinvent the classroom for the digital age. Ethnographer Christo Sims documented the life of the school from its planning stages to the graduation of its first eighth-grade class. Disruptive Fixation is his account of how this "school for digital kids," heralded as a model of tech-driven educational reform, reverted to a more conventional type of schooling with rote learning, an emphasis on discipline, and traditional hierarchies of authority. Troubling gender and racialized class divisions also emerged.

Sims shows how the philanthropic possibilities of new media technologies are repeatedly idealized even though actual interventions routinely fall short of the desired outcomes—often dramatically so. He traces the complex processes by which idealistic tech-reform perennially takes root, unsettles the worlds into which it intervenes, and eventually stabilizes in ways that remake and extend many of the social predicaments reformers hope to fix. Sims offers a nuanced look at the roles that powerful elites, experts, the media, and the intended beneficiaries of reform—in this case, the students and their parents—play in perpetuating the cycle.

Disruptive Fixation offers a timely examination of techno-philanthropism and the yearnings and dilemmas it seeks to address, revealing what failed interventions do manage to accomplish—and for whom. First published in 2017.

Christo Sims is assistant professor of communication and a founding member of the Studio for Ethnographic Design at the University of California, San Diego."


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Protect Your Digital Life From Harvard // Baltimore Sun

Protect Your Digital Life From Harvard // Baltimore Sun | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Brad Shear

The recent backlash over racially charged Halloween photos posted online by several Baltimore private school students reinforces the need for teens and others to understand that it’s not just their friends who may view their digital images, but the entire Internet, which includes collegesemployers and media outlets from around the world. In fact, some organizations will only accept you if you give them complete access to your accounts.


Several years ago, Maryland’s Stevenson University required a student athlete to resign from its ice hockey team after she refused to allow a university employee to monitor her private social media accounts. And in June, Harvard University revoked offers to at least 10 prospective students who made online comments that school officials deemed inappropriate."...


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"AltSchool", Backed By Zuckerberg and Other High-Profile Tech Investors, Is Scaling Back and Shutting a School as Losses Pile Up // Bloomberg 

"AltSchool", Backed By Zuckerberg and Other High-Profile Tech Investors, Is Scaling Back and Shutting a School as Losses Pile Up // Bloomberg  | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Adam Satariano (Bloomberg)

"Max Ventilla sold investors on a promise to build modern, technology-infused schools that would revolutionize education. The former Google executive convinced Mark Zuckerberg and prominent venture capitalists to commit $175 million to his startup, AltSchool. The company built at least nine grade schools in California and New York, some equipped with ceiling-mounted video cameras, an abundance of computers, custom apps, robots and 3D printers.


But five years after opening, the for-profit venture has yet to solve a basic business equation. Despite charging about $30,000 for tuition, AltSchool’s losses are piling up as it spends at a pace of about $40 million per year. The San Francisco company is now scaling back its ambitions for opening elementary schools around the U.S. and will instead close at least one location. In an interview, Ventilla said it’s all part of the plan. The startup is shifting its focus to selling technology to other schools, a business which has struggled to date but that he said has a more promising future.


In Silicon Valley fashion, Ventilla broke the news to parents with a touch of misplaced enthusiasm. He wrote an email to families in Palo Alto, California, saying the school there would close at the end of the year due to business “challenges and opportunities,” according to a copy of the message reviewed by Bloomberg. Ventilla said AltSchool will only run classrooms near the main offices in San Francisco and New York. “We know this is tough news that will have a big impact on your family,” Ventilla said. But the moves are needed, he wrote, given AltSchool’s “strategy, path to growth and finances.” 


Ventilla told Bloomberg that the company had long planned to prioritize selling technology to other schools. He said it’s happening earlier than anticipated because of demand. For outside schools, the company charges about $150 to $500 annually per student for its technology, depending on the size of the institution. AltSchool said it currently has hundreds of students at partner schools and will soon have more than a thousand. Its tools help teachers dole out assignments, keep tabs on a students’ work and make adjustments based on performance.


AltSchool has about $60 million in the bank, Ventilla said, and the ability to take on debt if needed. The strategy has always been to spend a lot of money and take on losses in order to build technology that can be sold for a handsome profit later, he said. “We’re focusing our resources on growth,” Ventilla said. “We have a lot of runway.” 


The education system is one of the few industries that has resisted technological reinvention. It’s not for a lack of capital. Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Netflix Inc.’s Reed Hastings, Inc.’s Marc Benioff and many others have poured money into reform efforts, with mixed results. Zuckerberg backed a program similar to AltSchool at Summit Public Schools, a U.S. charter school network that uses Facebook technology.


Venture investors spent $2.35 billion on education-technology startups globally last year, according to research firm CB Insights. But companies haven’t come up with a formula students will embrace or that can be deployed efficiently and profitably. The hype around online education has largely dissipated as dropout rates skyrocketed. Coursera Inc., backed by more than $200 million, cut staff last week and shook up the executive ranks, technology website Recode reported."...


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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, November 2, 2:09 PM

OK an update on a for profit VS non profit school investment.

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Researchers Shut Down AI That Invented Its Own Language // Digital Journal

Researchers Shut Down AI That Invented Its Own Language // Digital Journal | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By James Walker

"An artificial intelligence system being developed at Facebook has created its own language. It developed a system of code words to make communication more efficient. Researchers shut the system down when they realized the AI was no longer using English.


The observations made at Facebook are the latest in a long line of similar cases. In each instance, an AI being monitored by humans has diverged from its training in English to develop its own language. The resulting phrases appear to be nonsensical gibberish to humans but contain semantic meaning when interpreted by AI "agents."
Negotiating in a new language
As Fast Co. Design reports, Facebook's researchers recently noticed its new AI had given up on English. The advanced system is capable of negotiating with other AI agents so it can come to conclusions on how to proceed. The agents began to communicate using phrases that seem unintelligible at first but actually represent the task at hand.
In one exchange illustrated by the company, the two negotiating bots, named Bob and Alice, used their own language to complete their exchange. Bob started by saying "I can i i everything else," to which Alice responded "balls have zero to me to me to me…" The rest of the conversation was formed from variations of these sentences..."
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Hackers Target Nation’s Schools: Criminals Make Student Data Public In Escalating Demands For Ransom // Wall Street Journal

Hackers Target Nation’s Schools: Criminals Make Student Data Public In Escalating Demands For Ransom // Wall Street Journal | Educational Psychology & Technology |

By Tawnell D. Hobbs [Wall Street Journal]

"Hackers looking to exploit sensitive information for profit are increasingly targeting the nation’s schools, where they are finding a relatively weak system to protect a valuable asset: student data. Cyberthieves have struck more than three dozen school systems from Georgia to California so far this year, stealing paychecks and data or taking over networks to extort money. The thefts have prompted many school officials to hire cybersecurity consultants to fight back against a trend that experts say is growing fast.


The attackers have gained access to servers containing student names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, academic performance, phone numbers and medical and discipline records—in some cases releasing data in an escalating series of demands and actions. A few districts, betting that surrender would be cheaper and easier than defeating a hack, have gone against FBI advice and paid off the hackers.


“They know that cyber craziness is not our game, and they are winning,” said Laura Sprague, a spokeswoman in the Johnston Community School District in Iowa, where hackers this month publicly released student information. “These groups are targeting some of the most vulnerable people in the nation—kids.”


Cyber experts say as schools rush to ramp up the use of technology in the classroom, they haven’t done enough to protect an easily monetized trove of data on students."...


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Education In The Cloud: What Is A "Smart" City? 

The slides above are provided in Part 3 of 7 in the Series: Education in the Cloud. Introduction at: 


They can also be downloaded by clicking the title or arrow above or the following link: 

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Growing Social Media Backlash Among Young People, Survey Shows // The Guardian

Growing Social Media Backlash Among Young People, Survey Shows // The Guardian | Educational Psychology & Technology |

"Almost two-thirds of schoolchildren would not mind if social media had never been invented, a survey has indicated. The study provides evidence of a growing backlash among young people disillusioned with the negative aspects of the technology, such as online abuse and fake news.


As well as the 63% who would not care if it did not exist, even more pupils (71%) said they had taken temporary digital detoxes to escape social media.


The survey of about 5,000 students at independent and state schools in England was commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents the headteachers of independent schools around the world.


Many respondents indicated that social media was having a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing.


A total of 57% said they had received abusive comments online, 56% admitted to being on the edge of addiction and 52% said social media made them feel less confident about how they look or how interesting their life is.


While more than 60% believed friends showed a “fake version” of themselves on social media, 85% of pupils questioned denied they were guilty of that themselves.


The feedback was not all negative, with students identifying memes, filters/lenses and storytelling features, such as Snapchat Stories, among the things they like about social media.

Asked to recommend improvements, students urged less advertising (71%), less fake news (61%), more creative content (55%) and greater privacy (49%).



One in three of those surveyed said they would like to see social media provide more opportunities to earn income.

At Benenden, a private boarding school for girls in Kent, pupils recently undertook a voluntary three-day social media blackout when they handed over their phones.


The school’s headmistress, Samantha Price, said the survey results chimed with her experience of Benenden’s “phone fast”.

“In the run-up I was worried about how the girls would cope, but afterwards they were wondering what all the fuss had been about and said we should do it again but for even longer next time, which I found incredibly reassuring,” she said.


“When young people have time away from social media they see and feel the benefits: they sleep better, concentrate and therefore learn better and feel better. Of course, social media and the internet are not the enemy – there are enormous positives to them – but it is a matter of finding the right balance, and all schools should be working hard to help children to achieve that balance.”


Charlotte Robertson, the co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, said: “We speak to thousands of students on a daily basis about safe internet use and while it’s a matter of concern to see the emotional impact social media is having on young people’s health and wellbeing, it’s encouraging to see that they are also employing smart strategies such as digital detoxing to take control of their social media use.


“Social media allows us to be creative, connected, to campaign for things we believe in, to become entrepreneurs.

“It’s a platform that should be celebrated and if online abuse or fake news stops it from flourishing we all lose.


“This research is a real wake-up call for all of us working in social media to ensure that we listen to the needs of young people, who will ultimately dictate the direction in which the industry moves.” 


Chris King, HMC’s chairman and headmaster of Leicester grammar school, said: “The findings of this poll may surprise teachers and parents but it will help them understand the pressures young people feel in the digital age.


“It is fascinating to see the first indications of a rebellion against social media and reminds us that they may need help to take breaks from its constant demands.


“The respondents also had clear advice to social networks about the need to consider the quality and trustworthiness of their content.


“Schools will be able to use these insights to help pupils live comfortably and safely online and use good judgment when using social media.”


The survey, which was launched at the HMC’s annual conference in Belfast, was carried out in September among students at state-funded and independent schools in England.


Most of the responses came from students in years nine, 10 and 11."...


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What We Know About School Privatization // NPE 2017 National Conference, Oakland, 2017

Keynote Panel on School Privatization at Network for Public Education National Conference - October 14th, 2017 

For more, see:
New Orleans Charter School Problems Exposed at NAACP Hearings 

Educational Inequities in the New Orleans Charter School System: 

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Racism, Public School Sabotage: Voices From America's Affected Communities of Color // Journey for Justice Alliance  

NAACP Statement and Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on Charter School Expansion 


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

"Center for Education Reform" (analysis by Center for Media and Democracy SourceWatch page documenting ALEC funding/roots): 


Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and Grow 


Lack of Protections in Personalized Learning Software Programs Puts Privacy of Students and Families at Risk 


Educational Psychology & Technology 


School Privatization Explained  

Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look 

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Education In The Cloud: Learning EcoSystems and the Internet of Things 

Part 4 of 7 in the Series: Education in the Cloud. Introduction at: 


Slides can be downloaded by clicking on title, arrow above, or by accessing this link: 



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