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.

Nintendo Reveals Toy-Con Garage Invention System for Labo

Nintendo plans to release the highly anticipated Labo for Switch gaming systems April 20. Today at an event in San Francisco, the company revealed a unique component that adds a new dimension of invention and node-based coding to the mixed-reality system — Toy-Con Garage.

Discovery Selling Majority Stake in Discovery Education

Discovery Communications announced that it's letting go of a majority ownership stake in its K–12 education subsidiary, Discovery Education, whose ed tech portfolio ranges from textbooks to educational multimedia to a major educator network. A private equity firm is picking up a controlling interest in Discovery Education for $120 million.

Amazon Updates Guidance on AWS and FERPA

More than two years after issuing guidance on FERPA compliance and Amazon Web Services, Amazon has updated the whitepaper to lay out the company's "shared responsibility model" and give specific guidance on 24 different AWS services.

Non-Profit to Crowdsource On-the-Ground Ed Tech Effectiveness

When Consumer Reports wants to know how well a new car is holding up, it heads into the crowds to ask drivers' opinions about their vehicles. That form of crowdsourcing is now infiltrating education with the launch of a new non-profit organization that will call on teachers and school leaders to document how well their education technology works for them in their schools and classrooms. In exchange, the contributors will receive money and tech support.

New Jersey REN Adds Amazon Web Services

A research and education network in New Jersey has signed a deal with Amazon to offer that company's web services to its members at reduced prices. Institutions, schools and districts that are members of N.J. Edge will be able to connect directly through the state's fiber connections run by N.J. Edge or create new ones through AWS Direct Connect, putting them, "one hop away" from Amazon's web services, according to N.J. Edge C.E.O. and President Samuel Conn.

Online Challenge Seeks Digital Citizen Teaching Ideas

The Teachers Guild is using a 14-week online challenge to generate new ideas on how to "empower students to be better digital students." The top three entrants will receive a year of International Society for Technology in Education membership and the opportunity to present their ideas at ISTE's annual conference in June.

Wearable Tech Helps Early Learners Improve Language Contact

Whether they're filling in the "30-million-word gap" or increasing the number of "conversational turns" they have with adults, a group of kids at a Virginia childcare center were exposed to an average of 1,100 more words and 59 conversational turns by the time they'd participated in a four-month pilot study. The pilot used a "talking pedometer" that records the conversation a child has.

Conversation — Not Word Dump — Boosts Children's Brains

A joint Harvard-MIT study has discovered that it's more important to engage young children in back-and-forth conversation for developing their language skills than it is to expose them to as many words as possible.

Common Sense Introduces Simpler Privacy Ratings

Currently, Curriki is "not recommended," while Edmodo gets a "use with caution," and EduTone receives a "use responsibly." These are the simpler privacy ratings that Common Sense Media has begun using for the education technology apps it covers on its education websites.

Volunteers Step in to Launch NMC Horizon Report Alternative

In the wake of the New Media Consortium's bankruptcy and an uncertain future for the organization's "Horizon" reports, a new initiative undertaken by a group of volunteers aims to provide an alternative forum for forecasting the future of technology in education. The "Future of Education & Everything Community" (FOECast) is kicking off this week with a set of activities intended to capture ideas from people worldwide.

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