Posts Under: ETIN

Where is Ed Tech Headed? Follow the Robots out of the Toy Aisle and into the Classroom

Walking into giant ed tech expos like those at FETC or TCEA, you might think you had mistakenly landed at a consumer electronics or toy show. Giant display screens, walking robots, virtual reality experiences, blinking blocks and wall-climbing robotic cars share the exhibit floor with more mundane tools like digital libraries, security software and math games. 


SIIA’s TechChats: 2017 Company CODiE Winner | Lifetime Achievement Award – Todd Brekhus, President of myON

SIIA’s TechChats provides a look into some of the most successful executives in our industry. Hear how many of them got to where they are today, what is shaping their businesses and the industry today, and special advice they would give to others trying to grow a successful company.


FTC Enforcement of COPPA Shows that Current Law is Working

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) signaled they are serious about enforcing current law with the announcement of the $650,000 fine and 20-year consent decree settling a complaint brought against toy maker, VTech, for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). VTech will pay the fine and is required to not violate COPPA.  It also must implement a comprehensive data security program subject to independent audits for 20 years. The FTC found that VTech, through its internet-connected toys, collected personal information from children under 13 without providing appropriate notice nor obtaining proper consent from the child’s parent. VTech, according to the complaint, did not use reasonable security measures required by COPPA despite stating they do in the available privacy policy. The toy maker suffered a major security breach in 2015 where hackers accessed unencrypted parent and child personal information, including photos and chat logs. ...


My Winning Experience at the Education Business Forum

This week's guest blogger is Steve Ward, CEO and Founder of  Future N Focus Dream Catcher Enterprises. Dream Catcher software was as finalist is the 2017 Education Business Forum Innovation Showcase and won the Most Likely to Succeed category. Read here about Steve's experiences during EBF and their value to him and his company.


Google Announces Billion Dollar Investment in Career Tech Ed

The 21st Century job landscape so far has been characterized by the rise in high-tech jobs to support the digital landscape.  The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there are currently over six million job openings in the United States due to the lack of applicants that possess necessary technical skills.  With the increase in this type of job availability and the advent of automation, supporting career and technical education are becoming more important than ever. Just last week, Google announced its new initiative called “Grow with Google” where it will spend $1 billion in grants to nonprofits who will train American workers and also help to grow American businesses.  This announcement came in Pittsburgh, historic for its center as a manufacturing hub, showing its evolution into a major tech hub in the rust belt. The billion dollars in grants will mainly support high-tech jobs in an effort to train workers to meet the skill requirements necessar ...


Budget Blast: House Budget Adds but Taketh Away

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor-HHS-Education passed their appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). The proposed bill would cut the federal education budget down to $66B – a reduction of $2.4B from FY17. While certainly better than President Trump’s $9.2B proposed cut, the FY18 House Proposal would make some dramatic changes. Not included in this proposal is the President’s $1B public school choice program (FOCUS) or the $250M in state grants for private school choice. In fact, the Education and Innovation Research program which was the vehicle for the private school choice grants is eliminated entirely.  The bulk of the cut comes from the elimination of ESSA’s Title II program. A $2B program, Title II provides funding support for educator professional development, class size reduction, and educator recruitment and mentoring. This chart from the NEA shows the state-by-state impact of Title II elimination.  Ano ...


SIIA Supports Fully Funding IDEA

In 1975, Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which mandated that schools provide special education services to students with disabilities. In exchange for requiring the provision of these services, the federal government committed to footing 40 percent of the costs. Since IDEA’s implementation though, the federal government has yet to fully fund this commitment. SIIA joined with 40 other national organizations in supporting legislation to commit Congress to closing the IDEA funding gap. more