Posts Under: Education

35 awards given for education industry innovation and excellence | Congrats 2017 CODiE Award Winners!

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, yesterday announced the winners of the 2017 CODiE Awards in education technology. The announcement was made during an awards celebration at the Education Impact Symposium in San Francisco to an audience of over 200 attendees. 35 awards were given for products and services deployed specifically for the education technology market. The program was also streamed to a global web audience. 

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AI Spotlight: Using Predictive Analytics, Civitas Learning Helps Improve Graduation and Retention Rates for At-Risk Students

It is no secret that the cost of postsecondary education is high. Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree can cost an individual anywhere from $80,000 to $160,000 depending on the college or university – and that’s for students who graduate in four years. Unfortunately, less than half of students graduate in four years, and two more years of education only brings graduation rates up to 60%. For those students who do not finish their program of study, they leave an institution with no verifiable skills or credentials but have incurred significant debt – leaving them in a worse position to succeed than if they had chosen not to attend college. For universities, graduation rates matter too. Prospective students rely heavily on data like four-year graduation rates and year-to-year retention rates in their decision-making and state funding and continued participation in federal student financial aid programs for institutions depend on positive graduation and retention rates.&n ...

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Budget Blast: Trump FY18 Budget Proposal Would Gut Education & Skills Training

On Wednesday, the Washington Post obtained a leaked version of President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 education budget proposal. Set to be officially released next week, the proposal would, among other items, significantly reduce investments in skills training and adult basic literacy and eliminate ed tech investments under ESSA’s Title IV. The proposal would shift some of those funds to new investments in school choice, including expanding charting schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. more

Continued Misunderstandings of the Student Privacy Pledge

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has filed suit against Google for violation of the K-12 School Service Provider Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy.  The suit will work its way through the legal system and a judgement made based on its merit, but it is important to point out that the suit contains some important misunderstandings about the student privacy pledge. The complaint alleges that Google violated the student privacy pledge because it collected information about students who are using general purpose services. The pledge, however, only applies to applications, services, or web sites “designed and marketed for use in United States elementary and secondary educational institutions.” In addition, the complaint suggests that the pledge is violated because Google uses layered privacy policies (for its general purpose services and a more restrictive policy for its educational services) and educational websites related to its privacy policies (google.com/e ...

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DeVos Hearing Lacking Education Technology

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, faced a tough lineup of Senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday evening. The heated, partisan questioning primarily focused on DeVos’ beliefs on school choice/privatization, accountability, and civil rights and her financial contributions to education reform groups. Unfortunately, education technology was not a topic addressed directly by DeVos or by any of the Committee’s members.

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New Instructional Materials Adoption Toolkit

The instructional materials marketplace has changed markedly over the last few years. More school districts are shifting from physical textbooks to digital and online resources and increasingly are utilizing openly licensed resources [or open educational resources (OER)] to supplement commercially developed materials. In addition, commercial materials developers have even begun to incorporate OER within their own content and have started to curate OER for schools.

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SIIA and FPF Respond to Ill-Informed Student Privacy Pledge Reaction

Several years ago, SIIA and the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) worked together with a number of Ed Tech companies to develop a Student Privacy Pledge, a voluntary effort by the industry to commit to good privacy practices regarding their collection and use student data.  President Obama endorsed the pledge and it has been instrumental in guiding the development of state student privacy legislation toward protecting privacy while fostering the use of student information for fulfilling the educational needs of students.  Recently, we marked the milestone of 300 companies signing on to the pledge.  This week, however, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued an attack on the pledge as containing loopholes in its fine print. Specifically, EFF takes issue with the definition of “student personal information” in the Pledge and the fact that the pledge only covers “school service providers.” These concerns are largely unfounded and ill-informed ...

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A Misguided Criticism of E-Rate Misses Real Need: Educator PD

A recent article in Politico claims that the federal E-Rate program produced no gains in student SAT results in North Carolina public high schools. With this assertion, the author concludes that federal programs supporting school connectivity nationwide should be eliminated, or at least halted until investments can demonstrate a stronger relationship with student outcomes. But the article’s underlying study doesn’t support such a sweeping conclusion, and the author fails to recognize the key role played by professional development for teachers in improving classroom learning through technology. more

FCC Exempts Emergency Mass Communications in School from TCPA

In a ruling earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) clarified that automated calls and texts to wireless phone numbers by a school are exempt from restrictions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The ruling was an extension of the TCPA “emergency purpose” exemption to schools and utility companies. The updated rule provides a critical exemption for schools using mass communication technology, such as emergency text message systems, to contact students and parents. Prior to the ruling, it was unclear when a school needed to obtain prior written consent for automated communications. In this ruling, automated calls and text messages sent by a school to student family wireless phones under the “emergency purpose” exemption do not require prior express consent but must be limited to just situations “affecting the health and safety of the consumers.” Additionally, the FCC provided clarification that a parent&rs ...

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