EDUKWEST Sunday Review

Sunday Review for the Week of April 28th 2014

In this week’s Sunday Review: US high schools reach 80% graduation rate, Microsoft donates $1 billion to school districts, Minerva announces its founding class, MIT becomes the first Bitcoin economy, Google stops scanning student and teacher emails, politics in China drive graduating students into the job market, lessons from inBloom’s rapid demise and more.

Must Reads

In this week’s news roundup: Louis CK tweets about the Common Core and standardized testing. Google says it’s going to stop scanning for advertising students’ emails in Google Apps for Education. The Obama Administration releases the names of 50+ schools it’s investigating for Title IX violations. ConnectEDU files for bankruptcy. Marc Andreessen invests in a brain wave company. And other fun stuff. [Hack Education]

An open letter to wannabe edtech entrepreneurs: Welcome to the crowd [GeekWire]

Didn’t Read Those Terms of Service? Here’s What You Agreed to Give Up [New York Times]

In Japanese classrooms, teachers consciously design tasks that are slightly beyond the capabilities of the students they teach, so the students can actually experience struggling with something just outside their reach. [Mindshift]

Bridge International Academies has built 300 schools serving 100,000 students. But that’s only the beginning of its mission to wipe out poverty and make money doing it. [Inc.]

GSV+ASU EdInnovations Conference: A proxy for ed tech’s big challenge [e-Literate]

With the rapid demise of the controversial data-management company inBloom, the daunting technical hurdles that have foiled efforts to bring streamlined, high-tech uses of student information to public school classrooms are once again front and center. [Education Week]


Scaling back on innovation in education will require ed-tech entrepreneurs to understand exactly which tools educators need. [eSchool News]

I visit Colombia at a time when education – Colombia’s future – has moved to the forefront of the political and public debate. [educationtoday]

The inclusion of tablets in educational contexts is a very delicate and daring initiative. Besides the enormous financial costs underlying this enterprise, there is also the daunting issue of the repercussions that will invariably echo into the future of our educational system, the children themselves and, therefore, the directions our economy will take. [Times of Malta]

Big question for edtech: But how do we know what’s working? [Hechinger Report]


Microsoft is donating $1 billion to help school districts buy Windows devices for under $300. Monday’s announcement is being made in tandem with President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to foster greater use of technology in schools. [CNet]

U.S. public high schools have reached a milestone, an 80 percent graduation rate. Yet that still means 1 of every 5 students walks away without a diploma. [AP]

Neeru Khosla and her husband, VC Vinod Khosla, are using their fortune to bring education into the 21st century through the CK-12 Foundation Neeru leads. [Upstart]

Mozilla announced grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 to eight educational pilot projects in Kansas City and Chattanooga, Tenn., that are taking advantage of the cities’ gigabit Internet speeds. [Silicon Prairie News]

Google said Wednesday that it stopped scanning student Gmail accounts for advertising purposes after the practice was scrutinized during a recent court case. [WSJ]

The problem for school districts across the country right now — What happens to the data after it’s collected? [CBN]

Higher Education

A growing share of students pay for college in what could be described as a “buy now, pay later” arrangement: they take out thousands of dollars of student loans that they’ll eventually have to make good on. [Vox]

Last week Minerva Schools at KGI in the USA announced that due to high admission acceptance it will welcome two sections of its founding class in San Francisco in September. [The Pie News]

At Stanford, faculty who want to create a MOOC have a choice of 3 platforms: Coursera, NovoEd, and OpenEdX. [Signal]

Should students be pursued beyond the grave for outstanding loans? The idea has already been floated unofficially in Australia, in a report for the Grattan Institute by Andrew Norton. Now Nick Hillman, director of Britain’s Higher Education Policy Institute, discusses its advantages for England in a new study of the UK and Australian loans systems. [University World News]

What would happen if every undergraduate student on a campus got $100 in Bitcoins? And what if that campus was the endlessly inventive MIT? [VentureBeat]

The Chinese government’s decision to scrap free tuition for postgraduate studies – including masters degrees and PhDs – is driving more graduating students to enter the job market instead of remaining in higher education. [University World News]

Online education criticism, administrator-faculty quarrels and quality concerns — the troubles that faced Semester Online and its partner institutions can be summed up in one word: skepticism. [Inside Higher Ed]

Study & Research

Students in massive open online courses are apt to take a passive approach to learning, avoiding collaboration with others, seeking only passing grades, and therefore not retaining new knowledge, a new study has found. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]


How Your Philosophy Degree Can Be Relevant To Tech Startup Success [Fast Company]

Kay Alexander is the co-founder and creative director of EDUKWEST. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+