Howdy, folks! Welcome to another in a series of biweekly ed tech news roundups. We hope you enjoy this one, and if you have a story you’d like to see included, let us know.
Esports for All?
The 2019–2020 school year has been packed with discussion, activity, and growth around esports. Not just a major trend in education, competitive video gaming is a nationwide trend, and the fast pace of change can make it challenging to keep up. Here are some of the latest esports items to cross our desk.
- In a detailed opinion piece, Silicon Valley tech analyst Carolina Milanesi lays out a case for esports, looking beyond the headline-grabbing payouts and toward potential educational benefits. [Tech.pinions]
- A new report notes that, while almost half of all women 18 to 29 years old say they play video games, the diversity of gamers isn’t always reflected in burgeoning esports programs. [THE Journal]
Making LEGOs Work
Many educators know the power of LEGO in the classroom. It’s a great tool for robotics, but that’s not the only trick these toys can perform.
- Teaming up with Amazon, LEGO is challenging teachers and students to use the toy-maker’s MINDSTORMS kits and the tech giant’s Alexa Gadgets tools to program voice-controlled LEGO robots. [STEAM Universe]
- American Public Media’s popular radio show Marketplace interviewed middle school robotics teacher Ian Chow-Miller about the benefits of LEGOs in education, from STEAM to SPED. [Marketplace]
Casting a Wide Internet
As educational resources are increasingly digital, access to high-speed internet is vital for education and everyday life. In Texas, efforts are emerging to ensure all residents of the state have access.
- In San Antonio, a new initiative called Wash and Learn has set up WiFi connections at local laundromats. The idea is meant to help the 25% of area families without high-speed internet access at home. [KSAT]
- According to the state comptroller’s office, only 70% of Texans even have access to broadband internet. Now, state and local agencies are looking to change that. [KFDA]
It seems like every year or so, a new social media app rises to become the dominant vector for memes, fashions, songs, trends, and other aspects of young people’s worlds. The app of this moment just might be TikTok. Now the video-sharing app is launching a first-of-its-kind education initiative in the massive market of India.