I've published the third article in my "Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015" series. You can find it here.

I also wanted to make note some of the news items that didn't make the story. So I've decided to include those below. has new curriculum partners, including Code Studio, ScratchEd, Codeacademy, Amplify Education, Beauty and Joy of Computing, Bootstrap, CodeHS, Globaloria, National Math and Science Initiative, Project Lead the Way, Technology Education And Literacy in Schools, and Tynker.

LinkedIn is buying for $1.5 billion. Wired’s #hottake: “LinkedIn’s CEO Thinks His $1.5B Buy Will Make You Smarter.” Re/Code’s #hottake: “Three Reasons LinkedIn Broke the Bank for”

Via Campus Technology: “The MIT Media Lab, Tufts University and PBS Kids have partnered to release a free app based on the ScratchJr coding language and designed to help kids aged five to eight learn coding concepts.”

Private equity investor Stephen Schwarzmann thinks that public schools should not get more money but can instead be “fixed” with unpaid labor:

I’ve always wondered, what you do in a society with people who just retire,” he told conference attendees. “If you could get those people, like a board, [to be an] unpaid workforce, pay them next to nothing or nothing, and have them go into the school system to be mentors to kids, and be an example of a certain type of success that you would get dramatically different outcomes. If you can get unemployed people that cost nothing, that can have this dramatic difference, that costs nothing. I love things that cost nothing that have great results. Imagine if you laid on technology and other types of things, you could really set the world on fire with this type of stuff.

“Codecademy CEO Zach Sims Wants To Fix The Broken Education System,” according to an interview in Benzinga. Apparently the startup is still not looking to make money. (The learn-to-code company last raised funding in 2013, so yeah. I don’t buy it that money isn’t an issue.)

Community colleges offer welding classes, and The New York Times is on it.

According to the press release, “UMass Amherst Opens First Large-Scale MakerBot Innovation Center at a University Library.”

Hacker School has changed its name to the Recurse Center.

The CHIP is a $9 computer. Or at least, it’s a Kickstarter campaign for a $9 computer.

Buzzfeed reports that the 3D printer company MakerBot has closed its stores and laid off about a fifth of its staff after failing to meet its financial targets.

“’s Code Studio will be training teachers in 60 different school districts in the U.S., including the 7 largest school districts with the highest diversity in the country,” Techcrunch reported in January.

“Startup Aims to Make Silicon Valley an Actual Meritocracy,” says Wired which is always the publication I turn to for insights on “actual meritocracy.” (The startup in question is Gradberry, a Y Combinator-backed artificial intelligence recruitment tool.)

Excelencia in Education has released a report on Latino STEM graduates, listing which schools graduate the most Latino students in STEM fields.

LinkedIn Offers Users Free Courses for the First Time.”

“‘Code Can Save Lives:’ Inside One Techie’s Mission to Bring Programming Skills to Kids in Watts.”

How an oversupply of PhDs could threaten American science

LEGO Adds More Women in Science to Its Lineup

Drop in Black Share of Physical Science, Engineering Degrees

Working Learners

Ada Developers Academy, a programming school for women, is spinning out of the Seattle-based Technology Alliance in order to form its own non-profit organization.

Meanwhile, the Ada Initiative, a non-profit aimed at improving diversity in tech, is shutting down.

Gallup has released the results of a poll about the availability of computer science in schools. Among the findings, “just 7% of principals and 6% of superintendents surveyed report that demand for it is high among parents in their school or district.”

“Introduction to Computing and Programming" is now the most popular course in Yale College. The materials and lectures mostly come from Harvard’s class of the same name, just with a Yale TA.

Via Boing Boing: “‘The only 3D printing company anyone’s heard of,’ MakerBot, is laying off 20 percent of its staff for the second time in the last six months.” (Just last week, Edsurge reported the company was shifting its focus to schools. Ominous.)

“Education Secretary Arne Duncan is preparing to unveil a package of proposals aimed at forcing colleges that receive federal money to improve graduation rates and to provide students with job skills,” says The Wall Street Journal. More via Inside Higher Ed.

SXSW cancelled two panels this week for its big “Interactive” event. One panel dealt with design decisions to address harassment in gaming. (Another was ostensibly going to address “ethics in games journalism,” which is a dog-whistle for harassing women in gaming.) Caroline Sinders writing for Slate: “I Was on One of Those Canceled SXSW Panels. Here is what went down.” Facing several news organizations threatening to back out of the event, SXSW has now agreed to run a day-long event addressing online harassment.

Via Education Week: “Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving teenager who made national news after he was suspended for bringing a clock to school, is seeking $15 million in damages from the city of Irving and the Irving school district.”

Pi Zero: A full Raspberry Pi for just $5.”

According to a study by the American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center, “in a recent 10-year period while there has been an increase in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the physical sciences and engineering, the share of such degrees awarded to black students has fallen, as other groups are seeing larger increases.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “New research has found that women tend to be underrepresented in disciplines whose practitioners think innate talent or ”brilliance“ is required to succeed. According to the findings, that’s true across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM fields; humanities; and the social sciences.”

Audrey Watters


Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015

A Hack Education Project

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