TweetDeck. What Betsy DeVos means for edtech. Betsy DeVos was barely confirmed last week as the new Secretary of Education –- or should I say bearly.
In her welcome address to the Department of Education on Wednesday, Secretary DeVos made light of her remark about schools needing guns to protect children from grizzly bears: “For me, personally, this confirmation process and the drama it engendered has been a … bit of a bear.” She was laughing along with the entire internet. Memes of grizzly bears flooded social media for weeks. Following his confirmation hearing in 1991, Justice Clarence Thomas complained of a “high-tech lynching.” Secretary DeVos has been subject to a “high-tech mocking.” To paraphrase Dan Ariely, founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight, “Education technology is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it…” But there are two reasons to believe Secretary DeVos will change this dynamic.
Can Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos Fix Failing Schools? President Barack Obama didn’t fix failing schools even with billions of dollars, can President Donald Trump?
Like many of his predecessors, former President Barack Obama campaigned in part on turning around the country’s chronically failing schools. The majority of those schools were concentrated in racially and economically segregated neighborhoods of cities like his hometown of Chicago, where communities face a host of compounding problems, including high rates of unemployment, incarceration, homicide, drug use and gang violence. Once elected, Obama wasted no time: He tapped fellow Chicagoan Arne Duncan as education secretary. Duncan, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago and whose mother ran an after-school tutoring program for disadvantaged students there, was then head of the city’s school system.
“We could really move the needle, lift the bottom and change the lives of tens of millions of underserved children,” said Duncan at the time. Full: Betsy DeVos Speech to Department of Education Staff. Forecasting the Future of ED’s Office of Educational Technology Under DeVos. DeVos could be an ed tech champion as education secretary. Dive Brief: President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has a history of investment in technology, and ed tech advocates hope she will turn that support toward education.According to eSchool News, DeVos has advocated for the use of technology in education and digital learning, specifically as a way to create more freedom in the system that can benefit kids, and the charter school she and her husband founded uses personalized learning and computer-aided drafting tech.One concern among ed tech advocates is that DeVos’ support for school choice will mean public schools see less investment in educational technology and students in these schools don’t see the same benefits.
Dive Insight: The Senate confirmation hearing for DeVos is scheduled for today, Jan. 17. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said a vote on her nomination is planned for Jan. 24. Untitled. In what became a viral sensation during a tense confirmation process, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave rural schools fifteen minutes of fame when she explained that guns could be useful “to protect [students] from potential grizzlies.”
Her comment garnered attention on Twitter, on Saturday Night Live, and in the mainstream media. But as the bear jokes die down, it’s not likely rural education will see much of the federal spotlight going forward. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)’s comments in DeVos’s confirmation hearing explain why: “Maine has a unique situation with students attending school on islands and in rural areas. … the right answer for Maine is not the right answer for Indiana or any [other] state.” In states that have larger rural populations, the “right answer” in education is much more likely to include focusing on the challenges facing rural schools. REUTERS/Mike Blake. Virginia’s Terry McAuliffe highlighted his state’s approach to doing just that. Forecasting the Future of ED’s Office of Educational Technology Under DeVos. What Will Betsy DeVos Do with Ed Tech? U.S.
Department of Education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos appears most prominently in the public record as a proponent of giving parents a variety of educational options to choose for their children. When it comes to the Michigan native's views on education technology, however, little information has surfaced publicly. In a 2013 interview with Philanthropy Roundtable, DeVos said when it comes to education reform strategies, she is most focused on educational choice. "But, thinking more broadly, what we are trying to do is tear down the mindset that assigns students to a school based solely on the zip code of their family’s home. We advocate instead for as much freedom as possible," she said. What's best for kids seems to be at the center of DeVos'' philanthropic, public speaking and political efforts, both in Michigan and in other states.
John Bailey worked with DeVos as the vice president of policy at the nonprofit ExcelinEd until he left that job in May. Is Betsy DeVos good or bad for edtech?