The Scoop

Haven’t been keeping up with your edtech news lately? Fear not! Technapex presents “The Scoop,” our roundup of interesting #edtech articles that look good enough to Tweet.

Not All Students Are Treated Equally in Today’s Digital Era: A Call for Accessible Technology in Higher Education
At a time when a large number of institutions are implementing technological changes on their campuses, many students with disabilities are being left behind. CourseSmart CEO Sean Devine writes: “It is the responsibility of every player in the higher education landscape—from technology providers to administrators to faculty—to ensure that all students, including those with visual impairments, can reap the benefits of today’s technology and receive the best education available.”

MOOCs: a massive opportunity for higher education, or digital hype?
As top-ranked universities backed by big-name investors join the Massively Online Open Course revolution, author Mike Boxall asks what we can learn from history and who the eventual winners will be.

Private Firms Eyeing Profits from U.S. Public Schools
The United States spends more than $500 billion a year to educate kids from ages five through 18. It’s a somewhat challenging market for private firms and startups to break into, but a conference last week in Manhattan revealed plenty of optimism for many companies and venture capitalists.

Amid Lawsuits from Publishers, Boundless Pushes Forward with a Free, Open Alternative to Textbooks
More hope for digital textbooks today, except this time, it’s free. The Boston-based educational startup Boundless is focused on providing college students with free alternatives to over-priced physical textbooks. After raising $8 million since last April, the company officially moved past private beta and launched to the world … amid some controversy.

CNN Examines Gaming Inside One New York Classroom
In this high-gloss, multi-part video series, John D. Sutter reports on the usage of game mechanics and game theory in a school called Quest to Learn. Are parents and educators on board with the gamification of this classroom?

Responding to the Gates Foundation: How Do We Consider Evidence of Learning in Teacher Evaluations?
While the Gates Foundation has certainly been one of the most visible supporters of education in the last decade, not all educators consider its views and actions beneficial. In this post, teaching veteran Anthony Cody criticizes the Gates Foundation’s support of groups which he believes “undermine due process for teachers, and actively lobby for coercive legislation that forces public schools to use faulty test scores for the purposes of teacher evaluation, against the best judgment of administrators and academic experts.”