The Markup July 27, 2023
Four critical questions parents and educators should be asking
The ed tech industry’s pandemic-era boom has meant K-12 schools and universities are receiving sales pitches for an abundance of new products—from generative AI writing tools and math tutors to robot security guards and lightboards. But with those choices, and billions of dollars being spent annually on ed tech, educators and school administrators say they also have a problem: There is no mandatory licensing process that certifies that ed tech products work as advertised or that they can be trusted with sensitive student information.
Experts have called for countries to establish licensing bodies for educational technology, but for the time being, ed tech companies have largely been left to regulate themselves through voluntary, industry-funded certification programs. The result is that schools are using many products that may harm children. This week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a report on global use of educational technology that warned, “Children’s privacy, safety and well-being are at risk due to lack of oversight of the education technology industry.” …