While it may seem like these companies are competing in the education market simply to broaden their consumer base and give back a little, their collective strategy is much more concerning. Tech oligarchs are pushing skills like coding in education to train their own future labor force -- and pay them low wages.
"Alexa, what's 5 minus 3?" A 6-year-old boy recently asked that question in a video, which went viral on Twitter with more than 8.5 million views. He leaned over his homework as his mother hovered in the doorway. Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated assistant, delivered a quick answer: 2. "Booooy," the mother chastised her son.
Cast your mind back to the turn of last century. Experts predicted that by now classrooms would no longer feature human teachers, and holographic virtual entities would deliver lessons instead. This certainly hasn't happened. The closest we have come is group video chat via apps like FaceTime, Zoom or Google Hangouts. But this doesn't mean holograms aren't part of our lives – they're just marketed differently.
K–12 schools faced serious scrutiny in 2018 as security experts found education institutions had the weakest cybersecurity protections out of 17 vulnerable industries.
The heyday for massive open online courses was studded with hype. So much so, the New York Times even dubbed 2012 the “Year of the MOOC.” Advocates for the courses would point a finger at the unaffordability of traditional education, promising that MOOCs could offer cheaper, more innovative alternatives. But in many ways, the times have changed.
We asked 22 teachers and administrators to share their new year’s goals; here’s what they hope to accomplish in 2019.
There's no denying that the landscape of education is changing. With the advent of computers, the internet and mobile phones, there are so many technologies available today that were not present in the 1950s, or even five or ten years ago. A decade ago, the iPad didn't exist. Now you'll find them in millions of classrooms around the country.
Children with disabilities deserve the opportunity to learn, be social and participate in the same way that students without disabilities do. Many challenges remain for educators and parents when it comes to providing special-needs students with a fulfilling, involved school experience. Fortunately, assistive technology gives students with disabilities the chance to be independent and to excel in academics and sports.
For administrators looking to take the focus of edtech away from upkeep and back to learning, moving to the cloud could be the answer. In the early days of the edtech wave, superintendents saw many benefits from using digital resources in the classroom, but they also saw a large number of resources being committed to just this one aspect of education.
Will artificial intelligence make most people better off over the next decade, or will it redefine what free will means or what a human being is? A new report by the Pew Research Center has weighed in on the topic by conferring with some 979 experts, who have, in summary, predicted that networked AI "will amplify human effectiveness but also threaten human autonomy, agency and capabilities."