Welcome to EdTech with Adam, and here’s your EdTech News this week:
According to CNN some teachers will be teaching behind plexiglass walls as they return to their face-to-face teaching environments this fall.
While this new form of teaching will be wonderful is protecting students from the ever-present dangers of coffee breath and flying spittle from their teachers, this highlights the fact that despite all that modern research on educational best-practices tells us, that the disconnect between teachers and students and low levels of student autonomy resulting from teacher-centered classrooms is still a looming problem in education.
This week Donald Trump made headlines threatening to take action against social media after Twitter started to tag his posts with its new fact-checking system. He said that social media giants like Twitter are “stifling free speech” and that he “will not allow it to happen.”
As digital technology and personal electronic devices become more commonplace, it is more important than ever for teachers to not only be facilitators of knowledge transmission, but teach students to be critical and resourceful learners. We have already seen the damage disinformation can do with the current COVID-19 pandemic, so introducing tools to help empower people with the ability to be critical about the information they come across is a big step forward not only for education in general, but for the global community. Good on you, Twitter!
Let’s talk about MasterClass, a relatively new video-based learning platform that allows its users to take lectures from famous celebrities, scholars, and CEOs, and one that has been bombarding us with a million ads on YouTube for the past 6 months. MasterClass is currently looking for another 100 million dollars in investment which will put its valuation at around 800 million dollars. So what does this mean for EdTech?
Let’s start with the positive. MasterClass is a great concept that leverages star power to get people who either aren’t keen on or have given up on learning altogether to rekindle their love of learning and get into some good regular learning habits.
The negative side of this is, with its $240/year price tag, it puts up yet another paywall that bars a segment of the population access to this knowledge. This means that a vast majority of potential learners, made even worse by the financial hardships caused by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, will be at a disadvantage to learners in better financial situations.
If you haven’t come across the term paywall before, I highly encourage you to learn more about it. Paywalls have been, and continue to be a huge issue in education, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend that you check out the paywall documentary which you can view for free in YouTube. I will put the link in the comment section below.
Finally, around the world teachers and students are returning to their classrooms, but many are concerned about the lack of considerations made for both teachers and students who have health concerns because of their pre-existing conditions like immunodeficiency disorders. Some teachers are considering retiring earlier which will hit some areas hard because of teacher shortages. In these two images, we can see the precautions being taken in Canada and China. I don’t know about you all, but I’m pretty sure I would want to be in the Canadian classroom if I had no other choice!
That’s it for this week, Please don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment. Once again I’m Adam, your personal EdTech specialist, and stay healthy!