EDUKWEST Sunday Review

Sunday Review for the Week of May 5th 2014

In this week’s Sunday Review we learn that less than 1 in 5 public school teachers in the US are non-white. Also, walking boosts creativity. Why Chile’s education system gets overhauled. MOOC’s disruption is just beginning. Overconfident men win against competent women. Google’s LMS and more.

Must Reads

Chile’s education system is the best in Latin America – so why is it being overhauled? [Latinvex]

Leading academics from 12 countries including UK call for next round of OECD Pisa tests on 15-year-olds to be scrapped. [The Guardian]

Professional education can now be left to the private sector to provide education to those who can pay for it. Else, government scholarships can be provided. [The Hindu]

Digital education may be an innovative path forward for the American public schools system, but many of the existing virtual teaching programs have serious flaws, according to a new book by USC Rossier School of Education Professor Patricia Burch. [USC]

Ezra Klein talks with Claire Shipman – reporter for ABC’s Good Morning America and co-author of The Confidence Code – about how the current workplace culture prefers overconfidence, the gap in confidence between men and women, and how both are changing as the world struggles to grow more equitable. [Vox]

Income inequality is high and rising in a number of developed and developing countries. There are many potential economic, social and political consequences of this. But perhaps none are more worrisome than the possibility that rising income inequality will limit educational and economic opportunity in the next generation. [OECD]

A brief history of education’s big data debate [Education Dive]

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding [New York Times]


In the past decade, video has transformed the way college students learn new material, interact with faculty, and demonstrate proficiency. Now, as these graduates enter the workforce, they expect video to be an essential part of corporate learning and communication. [VentureBeat]

Those “5 Things You Need to Know About EdTech” posts seem to crop up on Twitter every couple weeks — Tech isn’t the Point of EdTech, EdTech is about Learning, EdTech is Exciting. But for those who’ve heard and read it all before, here’s a completely different take on that headline. [KQED]

For any organization who doesn’t take privacy seriously, the demise of inBoom should be a loud wake up call. [LinkedIn]

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but in the case of Dan Yang, it took becoming a mother herself to pioneer a new path to children’s education in technology with her startup VINCI. [Fast Company]

Is Common Core Creating the Code for a Computerized Education System? [Education Week]

Journalists, as 2013 ended, were busy declaring the death of MOOCs, more formally known as massive open online courses. Silicon Valley startup Udacity, one of the first to offer the free Web-based college classes, had just announced its pivot to vocational training — a sure sign to some that this much-hyped revolution in higher education had failed. The collective sigh of relief from more traditional colleges and universities was audible. [Boston Globe]


Google hopes to become an even bigger presence in schools with the pre-release announcement of Classroom, a free tool built on Google Apps for Education designed to help teachers organize, assign, and collect work done across Google Docs (which also includes Sheets and Slides) and Google Drive. [EdSurge]

High-profile technology executives and investors are asking for a meeting with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss augmenting computer science education in the state’s public schools. [re/code]

It’s not easy being the big kid at the popular children’s pool. Yet that’s exactly where Microsoft finds itself with today’s launch of Office Mix into the now-hot education technology market. [GeekWire]

Higher Education

The disruption of higher ed will take another step with the announcement of the first nationally available $10,000 bachelor’s degree. That’s $10,000 for the whole degree, not per year. [Bloomberg]

China downloads the Coursera Android app more than any other country, and it’s the number two country in terms of iOS download apps. China is Coursera’s fastest growing market after the United States, according to founder Andrew Ng. [Tech in Asia]

The cost of borrowing money from the federal government to pay for college will increase in the coming academic year. [Inside Higher Ed]

Responding to a campaign by law professors, a leading legal publisher said on Thursday that its new casebook-publishing program would not threaten students’ ability to buy and sell used textbooks. [Chronicle]

Study & Research

While the population of minority students in public schools has risen steadily over the past few decades, new research finds that just 18% of teachers in those schools are nonwhite, raising concerns about lack of diverse role models for kids. [Time]

Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking. [Stanford]

A new study has revealed that oldest children are the most ambitious, especially girls, and a wider gap between siblings increases the chances of children achieving higher levels of qualifications. [Science Daily]

A growing achievement gap between Asian American students and their white classmates is due largely to greater work effort and cultural attitudes, not innate cognitive ability, researchers say. [LA Times]

Playing games on iPads and other touch screen computers linked to poor speech development. [Telegraph]

To find out more how Khan Academy’s videos are being used, the Gates Foundation, one of Khan’s biggest funders, commissioned an SRI International study on what works and what barriers exist to effective implementation. [KQED]

A new report by two sleep experts urges policymakers to start the school day later, saying it’s a move that’s backed by a review of the latest research on school start times and adolescent health. [Education Week]

As America searches for the root cause of technology’s disturbing gender gap, a new report shows that it can eliminate one possible culprit: high school math. [VentureBeat]

A new challenge is emerging from the cracks of the digital divide: digital readiness — helping those who have Internet access, but lack the skills to use it effectively. And librarians could play a huge role in turning the tide, some experts say. [EdTech K-12]

Other Education (Technology) News

How technology is set to transform India’s fragmented education system [The Guardian]

In Singapore, Technology Aims at Collaborative, Not Separate Learning [Games+Learning]

PBS Kids has applied a contemporary solution to this familiar parenting challenge: An app that allows parents to monitor which videos their children watch on, what games they’re playing on the site and what they’ve learned along the way. [re/code]

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