TWIEtR: EdNET, SETDA, Pew

This Week in Edtech Reports (yes, that’s where “TWIEtR” comes from), some hardware info, an online evaluation guide, and an all-encompassing report on algorithms that goes way beyond education technology.

For those new to this exercise, including me, TWIEtR is where I coalesce my recent tweets about edtech analysis and reports so they don’t scroll away. You can also automatically get these posts by email by filling out the brief ‘Subscribe’ form on the left.

Every year this decade, MDR has issued an EdNET Insight “State of the K-12 Market” report — for a subscription fee. The 2016-17 report is a bit different. This year, it’s a series of individual reports, but each still requires payment to view: the new, 124-page K-12 Market: Educational Technology Trends is roughly $1,500.

However, it does have a wealth of useful information based on detailed surveys of school district technology and curriculum leaders. (Personal disclaimer: I helped analyze the data and write those reports for several years, so can attest to their depth.)

You can get an interesting view, though, by simply checking out the announcements about the content, including a news release and earlier article.  Most telling is the fact that school districts don’t seem to be relying on one kind of computing device for students, splitting purchases between laptops, Chromebooks (arguably a kind of laptop without local storage), and tablets. Plus, budgets for hardware and software seem to be recovering.

Still, the most widely used edtech in districts? Regular projectors (73%) and the oft-maligned interactive whiteboards (64%).

Not strictly a report, but SETDA’s new From Print to Digital: Guide to Quality Instructional Materials is a useful resource. The State Educational Technology Directors Association has come up with this online toolkit to help districts and states with a process to review and choose digital (and analog) curriculum materials.

Pew Research Center takes a very broad view of our tech-centric lives with its new report, Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age.  While this fascinating report isn’t strictly about education technology (and only mentions “education” in passing, though it does quote edtech luminary Justin Reich of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab), it’s directly applicable because one of the darlings of edtech is computer- and algorithm-based “personalized learning.”

Pew has developed a thought-provoking report that’s worth a scan, or careful read, depending on your interest.

And one more thing:

I love art, both fine and pop. When I used to commute to Manhattan from Seattle for work, I’d take time at least once a month to wander the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art to see new exhibitions or just visit old art friends.

Now the Met has released 375,000 artwork images with an open license for use and re-use, a boon for educators and art lovers everywhere. It’s done so in partnership with Creative Commons for the open licensing, and is encouraging easier distribution through Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, Pinterest, and more.

Art is good for the soul, and the Met’s move is good for art.