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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/24/17

Children, Schools, Tech and Regulation

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Children and Schools

Read Lee Fang's piece in the Nation, "How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Public Schools."

For an overview about privatization of schools, read Dr. Roxana Marachi's blogpost.

Chicago school administrators asked Google to comply with the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, which permits federally funded educational institutions to share students' personal information with vendors who use the information only for school purposes. Instead, Google wanted the Chicago Schools to use an app called Classroom before determining whether it complied with the district's student-protection policies.

A confidential lease between Milestone Communications and Prince George County (Maryland) Public Schools would allow cell tower development at 73 of the county's 208 schools. Theodora Scarato uncovered the controversial lease through Freedom of Information Act requests; now, the telecom corporation may back down.

Toy-maker Mattel's Aristotle, a "digital nanny" designed to "soothe" a crying baby, help toddlers learn to speak and provide constant companionship during the growing years, also collects and stores data about the child's interests and sleep patterns. The data can be shared with partner corporations for marketing. How does replacing a human caregiver with a robot affect a child? How do this digital nanny's EMR emissions impact developing children?

An 11-year-old Texan showed security experts how he could hack into their Bluetooth devices and "weaponized" a "smart" toy.

The World Health Organization reported on 11 April 2017 that the latest data show a global increase of 13% in childhood cancer incidence over two decades.

My paper, "Inviting Discussion About Safer Tech Use in Schools," can also apply to safer tech use in homes and businesses. "Shifts" in awareness often happen in one-to-one conversation. Could this piece serve as a focal point for discussion?

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Katie Singer writes about nature and technology in Letters to Greta. She spoke about the Internet's footprint in 2018, at the United Nations' Forum on Science, Technology & Innovation, and, in 2019, on a panel with the climatologist Dr. (more...)

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