Howdy, folks! Welcome to another in a series of periodic 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.
The coming fall semester is raising a number of questions for governments, communities, and schools in the U.S. and abroad, including questions about safety — both online and in person.
- Former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem writes that much of the struggle around re-opening schools comes from a lack of value placed on education, and that a major social investment is needed. “Even in states where case counts have plunged,” she writes, “doing what’s right for children will require a massive civic mobilization.” [The Atlantic]
- Higher education offers a microcosm of concerns, as faculty and students are pushing back against some plans to renew in-person instruction this fall. [NPR]
- According to some experts, the move to remote learning has complicated issues of digital safety in schools that “already had significant cybersecurity shortcomings.” [Wired]
Meanwhile, businesses are working to respond to the crisis and the changes accompanying it, as responses to remote learning begin to be voiced.
- COVID-19 presents the “the world’s largest-ever remote learning experiment,” and several new, multi-million dollar ed tech startups are growing to fuel the experiment. [CNBC]
- As the ed tech industry grows, and remote learning options are developed and tried, parents are offering some feedback, as are experts ($). [TechCrunch]
As remote learning continues to affect teaching and learning worldwide, private and public entities are focusing on issues of educational access and inclusion.
- Chinese tech giant Huawei has launched an initiative in support of the UN’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) aimed at addressing “the global challenges impacting education due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Manila Standard]
- A new report from UNESCO, the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report, outlines how remote learning is exacerbating inequities around the world, highlighting “deep disparities in access, with poverty identified as the main barrier, ahead of other factors including background, identity and ability.” [World Economic Forum]
- In Austin, AISD’s chief equity officer discusses the district’s push for inclusion and equity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing movement for racial justice. [KVUE Austin]
In Indiana, an elementary teacher made sure students at her school were safe with a campaign that gave out hundreds of face masks to students as they headed into summer. [RTV6 Indianapolis]