Student Data Privacy – It’s a Big Deal


This week I head to DC for the Student Privacy Boot Camp for Edtech Companies. This event, co-hosted by Rethink Education and the Future of Privacy Forum is timely. Over the past several weeks, student data privacy has again been in the news as a software engineer and dad from the Silicon Valley took some time to reveal that many of the applications his children use in school could be easily hacked to capture student information.
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Screen Time Rules in My House

Kid Laptop

Not all screen time is the same. At least I hope not. At least that’s what I tell myself when I sit down to my computer in the morning and strap myself in for ten to twelve hours of emailing, video-conferencing, video editing, and various other forms of copy writing; interspersed, of course, with the occasional youtube video of a guy smashing his testicles in a skateboarding accident, courtesy of my younger brothers.
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School Profile – The Met Sacramento


The following is a profile I wrote with the collaboration of the great folks at The Met Sacramento as a part of the work I do as lead educator with Hapara.

Ther2014-11-22 14.25.16e are many paths to adulthood, and this is something that is well understood by the young adults that belong to The Met, a Big Picture High School, in Sacramento, California. Big Picture Learning is an association of schools in the United States that are committed to the personalization of learning in a unique and creative way.

Read more at the Hapara blog

Things That Edtech Makes Better (and Worse)

via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr

Education technology in the twenty first century has made some remarkable progress. The ubiquity of software tools with cloud-based computing, the significant drop in price of powerful computing devices, and the explosion of easily accessible content represent more significant quantum leaps than say the VHS did over 16mm film.

via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr

via Grégoire Lannoy on Flickr

This new edtech is beginning to change what education looks like. There is more independent learning that happens. Have your kids ever watched a Youtube video to get inspired for an art project? Try searching Rainbow Loom. We all have access to creative tools that can make whatever we do look like the work of skilled artists. Ever mistake a friend’s Instagram post for an advertisement? And we can more easily connect all that we do to the people that matter to us, whether we have met them in person or not. Continue reading

What Really Moves the Needle for Underprivileged Students.


As you might have guessed, the Hapara Team members are education data nerds. Recently, +Dan Leighton, TD Admin from Cottenham College in Cambridge, England, shared with us this meta analysis of meta analyses. That’s right, a meta-meta analysis. Makes me shiver just to write that.

Snapshot from EEF Meta-Meta Analysis.

The image here is a static link to the EEF website. The site author’s explain,

The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit is an accessible summary of educational research which provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

The Toolkit currently covers 34 topics, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost.

Read the rest at the Hapara blog

16 Things to Consider When Going Google One to One


world_bridge1. Ask Why?
There are millions of connected educators around the world who would be delighted to answer that question for you. You must answer it for your own education context. Best not to try doing so alone. Which leads to…
2. Engage a Diverse Array of Stakeholders from the Beginning.
Moving teachers and students to a digital workflow, and considering all of the associated infrastructure and cultural changes that come along with this switch, is a big deal. Bring in student and parent voices. And lift the voices of the classroom educators as facilitators whenever possible.
3. Identify and Communicate a Collectively Determined Set of Goals.
No goals = no go. There are hundreds of reasons to go Google and move everyone to a digital workflow. Long before devices arrive en masse, a community engagement process should be underway. Stop anyone in the hallway and they should be able to offer two or three reasons for making the move.
4. Research Models of Best Practice.
Why re-create the wheel? Get connected, if you are not already (Google Plus is a great place to start), and find a few schools or districts that share some of your demographics. Visit them or at least arrange some Google Hangouts to learn about their successes and challenges.

Read More at the Hapara Blog