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.


Ed Tech Competition to Identify Effective Technology Use in Schools

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab North America has launched the Education, Technology and Opportunity Innovation Competition in an effort to identify effective technology use and provide examples of how learning can be improved through innovation. The competition asks school networks, education agencies, nonprofits and post-secondary institutions to evaluate their education programs based on technology, especially those focused on disadvantaged students.

'Inventathon' Promotes STEM and Business to Students

In a recent "inventathon" that took place at the Houston Community College Advanced Manufacturing Center, hundreds of students competed to design and create health-related products. After 20 hours of effort, a team of four middle and high schoolers swept the competition (and won $500) with their invention: the AquaWheel, a 3D-printed device that uses the rolling motion of a wheel to power an internal UV light to purify water. The idea was to help people in developing countries who have to walk many miles to get water for drinking and cooking.

1 in 10 Phishing E-mails Fool Users in Education

In a recent study, 10 percent of simulated phishing e-mails sent to users in education institutions were successful, triggering the recipient to click on a fraudulent link. That's according to the 2018 State of the Phish report from Wombat Security Technologies, in which researchers measured the average click rates on phishing tests across various industries. Education had an average click rate of 10 percent; the industries that performed worst in the tests were telecommunications and retail, with 15 percent and 14 percent average click rates, respectively. 

Grants & Upcoming Events (Week of Jan. 29, 2018)

New grant listings include up to $4 million from the Gates Foundation and special grants for STEM education for rural schools. Deadlines for T.A.F. and N.E.A. teacher grants are coming up soon. Upcoming events include the T.C.E.A. Convention in Austin and the CUE 2018 National Conference in Palm Springs, California.

Report: Digital Literacy Is 'Hot' but Not Important

In education there's hot, and then there's important. In the category of K-12 reading and writing, digital literacy may be hot, but it's hardly important. That's just one of the many conclusions shared in this year's "What's Hot in Literacy Report" from the International Literacy Association, which surveyed 2,097 education professionals in 91 countries and territories. The report defined hot topics as "those trending and receiving the most attention among educators, policymakers and the media, whereas important topics are those that are most critical to advancing literacy for all learners."

Global Ed Tech Investment Soars to Record $9.5 Billion

There's never been a better time to seek funding for education technology. According to Metaari, 2017 turned out to generate the most investment dollars ever in the learning technology industry. It topped $9.5 billion globally, up from $7.3 billion in 2016, which was itself 46 percent higher than the $6.5 billion in investments made in 2015. The latest year's funding went to 813 ed tech companies, the highest ever recorded, according to the learning market research company.

Report: Rural Districts Deserve More Policy and Research Focus

Nearly 20 percent of the nation's students attend rural schools, but those students are largely ignored by policy makers and researchers, according to a new report from the National School Boards Association's (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE), leaving unaddressed issues stemming from poverty, isolation and other inequities.

Video Showcase Highlights STEM Research Projects

The Stem for All Video Showcase is inviting those engaged in federally funded projects that are focused on improving science, technology, engineering, math and computer science to submit short videos profiling their projects and then hang out online, discussing their projects with others, including teachers and the general public.

PC Market Sees First Holiday Quarter Growth in 6 Years

Global shipments of PCs showed a slight year-on-year improvement in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 0.7 percent to 70.6 million sales, according to a new report.

Knewton Unveils $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks

Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own "all aspects of the user experience" and "make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability." Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access.

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