In Rhode Island, students and parents must let schools spy on them day and night through their laptops

A majority of the Rhode Island school districts with "1-1" programs where each student is issued a laptop have a blanket policy of spying on the students and everything they do on their laptops, during, before and after school hours, on or off school premises, without any evidence (or even suspicion ) of wrongdoing. Read the rest

Circuit Playground: explaining LEDs with cool puppets

Nick from Adafruit writes, "The latest installment of Circuit Playground is here: the letter L. Learn about how an LED works with Adabot and the Circuit Playground components." Read the rest

Invent privacy & security adventures with Cryptomancer & Mozilla

Brett Gaylor writes, "As part of the Mozilla Privacy Arcade project in this year’s Global Sprint, Mozilla is inviting activists, artists, designers, educators, gamers, storytellers, and technologists of all backgrounds to invent new privacy-themed adventures for the role playing game Cryptomancer." Read the rest

Ethiopia shuts down national internet "to prevent exam cheating"

The entire nation of Ethiopia -- a corrupt, oligarchic state with the distinction of being "the world's first turnkey surveillance state" where spy technology from the "free world" is used to spy on the whole country -- just dropped off the internet. Read the rest

Kickstarting a CC-licensed picture book that teaches mathematical functions to small kids

Maria writes, "Funville Adventures is a creative, joyful, and gentle new project that introduces young children to advanced math. Children as young as 5 will enjoy the story and math-rich play; older children and adults can also investigate the deeper mathematical concepts such as inverse function, composition, and functional." Read the rest

The best way to learn HTML is by watching this death metal video

Here's how to make web page with cute dog photos, taught by Satan! Read the rest

Soupy Leaves Home: a masterpiece of YA graphic storytelling, about hobos on the open road

In Soupy Leaves Home, writer Cecil Castellucci and artist Jose Pimienta expand the borders of young adult graphic novels, telling a moving, inspiring tale of Depression-era hobos, identity, gender, suspicion, solidarity, and the complicated business of being true to yourself while living up to your obligations to others.

Michigan students stage sit-in in solidarity with laid-off teachers

Students of Avondale High School in the Detroit neighborhood of Auburn, MI are currently sitting in in the hallways of their school to protest the announcement that 6 of their teachers were to be laid off. Read the rest

Teacher: Jostens Yearbook is a giant scam that stole from our school for years

Jeromie Whalen is a technology teacher at Northampton High School who recently took over as the school yearbook advisor (one of the many cool projects he's done at his school); when he stepped into the role, he discovered with mounting horror that the school's yearbook contractor, the field-dominating Jostens Yearbook, was "literally a scam." Read the rest

The Marketing Seminar: an online masterclass in marketing from Seth Godin

From the wonderful, refreshingly bullshit-free marketing guy Seth Godin (Seth Godin, a new online course on marketing, called (simply enough), "The Marketing Seminar." Read the rest

Oakland elementary school students resist Caltrans' insistence on taking copyright to their mural

Rogue archivist Rick Prelinger writes, "Oakland students planned to paint a mural on a dark freeway underpass in their city. The project is stalled because Caltrans asserts copyright to murals on its property. The details are a bit sketchy, but there's a petition here. Read the rest

EFF study: ed-tech is spying on America's kids and not telling them about it

The Electronic Frontier Foundation surveyed hundreds of American kids, teachers and parents about privacy and the "ed-tech" sector, which is filling America's classrooms with Chromebooks and cloud services and mobile devices that ingest kids' data wholesale without any meaningful privacy or data retention policies. Read the rest

Europeans: tell the EU Parliament to make a modern copyright, fit for the internet age

Timothy from Creative Commons writes, "The purpose of copyright is to empower -- not frustrate! -- creativity and knowledge production. Nowhere is a balanced copyright more important than in education. But 15-year-old EU copyright laws don't take into account modern digital and online teaching methods, tools, and resources." Read the rest

California's charter schools: hundreds of millions of tax dollars for wasteful, redundant, low-quality education

In Spending Blind: The Failure of Policy Planning in California Charter School Funding, Gordon Lafer -- a University of Oregon prof who also works for Oakland's The Public Interest -- finds "hundreds of millions of dollars ... spent each year without any meaningful strategy... on schools built in neighborhoods that have no need for additional classroom space, and which offer no improvement over the quality of education already available in nearby public schools. In the worst cases, public facilities funding has gone to schools that were found to have discriminatory enrollment policies and others that have engaged in unethical or corrupt practices." Read the rest

Possible reprieve for Hungary's Central European University

After 70,000 people marched in Budapest against a new Hungarian law that targeted the liberal Central European University, the Hungarian government has dangled a possible escape rope: Education Secretary Laszlo Palkovics said that "CEU could issue diplomas if it extended a license agreement with its Hungarian sister school to teach its courses." Read the rest

Betsy DeVos ends ban on crooked loan-collectors in the student debt biz

Education secretary (and Ponzi-scheme billionaire heiress, anti-public-education crusader, and sister of notorious war criminal Eric Prince) Betsy DeVos just killed the recent Department of Education/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines that banned dirty bill-collectors from going after people with delinquent student bans.

Read the rest

70,000 march in Budapest to protest legislative attack on Central European University

Joe writes, "Hungarians rose up in one of the largest protests against the seven-year rule of right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Sunday, protesting against new legislation that could force out of the country one of its top international universities." Read the rest

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