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Most Ed Tech Fails at Data and Privacy Policy Practices

A three-year assessment of the most-used applications and services for education found a "widespread lack of transparency" and inconsistency among their privacy and security practices.

Another Year of Grad Growth but States Need to Stay Focused

While the high school graduation rate continues to increase, the rate of gain is too slow to meet the 90 percent national diploma-completion goal by 2020, according to a group of organizations promoting the effort.

LA Unified Promotes CS Education; Conflicted on 1-to-1 Devices

At the same time that Los Angeles Unified School District voted to promote computer science education and reduce the "digital divide," the country's largest school system also is trying to bring back 1-to-1 computing devices in a big way almost four years after it canceled its last major attempt. However, the latest effort has hit a funding obstacle.

Florida Virtual School Trims Out-of-State People

In spite of the fact that Florida Virtual School offers "global" options to students around the world who want to take digital courses, the school earlier this year informed its out-of-state educators that they'd have to move to Florida to keep their jobs.

Research: People Remember Information Better Through VR

A new study from the University of Maryland found that people recall information better when it is presented to them in a virtual environment, as opposed to a desktop computer.

As Demand for Online Schools Grows, So Does Need for Accurate Evaluation

In light of the scathing NEPC report on virtual schools, Kevin P. Chavous of K12 Inc. — whose partner schools account for more than a third of all online schools in the United States — argues for the need for meaningful measures of effectiveness ... and sets the record straight on student diversity.

Study: It's Time to Regulate Brokers of Student Data

Information about students has become fair game for data brokers, which don't adhere to any protective measures currently in place, according to a new study by Fordham University's Center on Law and Information Policy. As "Transparency and the Marketplace for Student Data" reported, lists of student information are widely available for purchase "on the basis of ethnicity, affluence, religion, lifestyle, awkwardness and even a perceived or predicted need for family planning services." Those who trade in student information are governed under no federal privacy law.

People with More Education Have a More Positive View of the Internet

Among those who view the internet as a "bad" thing for society, the most common issue that stood out (cited by 25 percent) was how it isolates people or pushes them to spend too much time on devices. Sixteen percent talked about the spread of fake news; 14 percent were concerned about its impact on children; and 13 percent suggested that it "encourages illegal activity."

STEM: At the Crossroads of Traditional and Online Learning

In this guest viewpoint, FIRST President Donald E. Bossi argues that online and blended learning offer tremendous potential for enhancing STEM education and hands-on learning opportunities for all students.

4 Models for Competency-Based Education

The challenge for CBE proponents, according to a new report, is that districts and schools are making the transition to this model of instruction and learning "through different entry points and roll-out strategies," resulting in "significant variation" in the education itself. "To a degree, these differences can be traced to regional priorities and needs," the report noted. Others, however, are a result of how well or poorly people understand what they're doing.

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