K-12 Technology News

Here you'll find the latest news from the education technology world, from the newest hardware and software releases to policy and funding updates to research reports to school and district tech initiatives. Looking for more in-depth coverage of important topics? Be sure to visit our Features page.


Brief: It's Time for States to Protect School Directory Information

FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, grants schools a "directory information exception," allowing them to share students' personal information with third parties when it wouldn't "generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed." This ability comes with no limits. In fact, the third party can then "redisclose" that information to anybody.

Amazon Expands Future Engineer Program to Younger Grades

Amazon has expanded its "Future Engineer" initiative into K-8. The program has begun offering free online lessons and funding summer camps to help students discover the fun of computer science.

Advising Program Helps Steer Underprivileged Students to the Right College Fit

A recent project found that low-cost advising techniques can help disadvantaged students increase the number and selectivity of colleges they apply to. "Find the Fit," as the initiative is called, is intended to address the continuing problem of "undermatch," in which students don't go to college at all or choose a college that's less selective than their academic credits warrant.

Van Hollen Introduces Bill to Fund Title I, Special Education

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduces the Keep Our Promise to America's Children and Teachers Act to fund schools serving low income students and special education.

AVID-Wonder Workshop Partnership Brings Coding and Robotics to Classrooms

Nonprofit AVID is working to provide educators with the training, knowledge and skills to teach Wonder Workshop's coding and robotics activities in the classroom.

Department of Ed Joins Top-10 Rank of FOIA Lawsuits

A Freedom of Information Act project to measure the number of FOIA lawsuits filed against federal agencies has added the Department of Education to the top-10 list for the first time.

PARCC Agent Rolling Out Pool of Items for Custom State Assessments

A Texas-based nonprofit is on the cusp of rolling out its new service to make a pool or catalog of test items available to states for their high-stakes assessment efforts. Last year, New Meridian was chosen by PARCC to manage its testing business.

$25 Million in Grants to Gage Usefulness of School Safety Efforts

A new grant program is seeking U.S. schools to receive access to programs to address school safety. The "Safer Schools in America Impact Grant" will make a total of $25 million worth of in-kind safety solutions from 16 companies available to recipients over three years. Those systems will be deployed no cost to the schools, and, in return, the schools will need to make data available for the purposes of research.

'All-hands-On' STEM Approach May be Overkill

It was bound to happen. A paper published by the conservative American Enterprise Institute suggested that the country may be putting too much emphasis on STEM and obscuring the "noncognitive skills" that are really needed, such as persistence and "character."

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