When The Teachers Are Avatars And The Students Are Data: Wrench In The Gears Visits Kent, Washington, 11/2/19

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to return to the Seattle area, visit with fellow education activists, and present at the Kent Regional Library. I was last in Seattle in the spring of 2017 when I gave a talk on Future-Ready Schools at the Lake City Library. If you missed that one, you can watch it on KODX’s youtube channel here.

The video below is a voice recording of the talk I gave on November 2, 2019 along with the slides I presented that day. Be forewarned, it’s a long talk, two solid hours and over 120 slides. I apologize for the delay in getting it put together, but better late than never. You can access the slides directly via my google drive here or PDF here.  Those images are clearer, so if you want to zoom in and read the text use the links.

This talk builds on the ed-tech research I presented two and a half years ago with much more information on pay for success finance and the ways in which ed-tech and predictive profiling are laying the groundwork for speculative global markets in human capital data. There are a lot of really good infographics, so spend some time with those.

The Kent School District, a member of the League of Innovative Schools affiliated with Digital Promise, has seen widespread adoption of technology in classrooms and a shift towards work-based career pathways. There is a growing sense of unease about these changes, which is why I was invited.

Many corporations advancing ed-tech (Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google) have a significant presence in the greater Seattle area. This talk gave me the opportunity to examine some of the key players working to align public education to the precarious, “just-in-time” labor demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution being promoted by Governor Jay Inslee. It also touches on Inslee’s push for maternal home visits I’ve written about here, and adoption of the Swiss apprenticeship model I’ve written about here.

I’m grateful to have had this invitation extended and for the connections made. I hope it helps those who came to the talk as well as those who watch it online to make sense of the policies that are rolling out and better understand what is motivating these changes. We have to understand the landscape in which we are operating in order to effectively resist. I welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments.


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