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An Ed-Tech Guide

A Hack Education Project

What Should Educators Know About Technology?

What should educators know about technology? For decades now, education technology – both hardware and software – has been appeared in schools without much input from teachers or students. But with the rise of consumer Web technologies and the ubiquity of personal computing devices (particularly mobile devices), that’s changing.

Below is a collection of resources to help educators learn more about (education) technology – the industry, its culture, its investors, its politics, and the code that runs all our shiny gadgets and applications.


Why is this important? Startups are the new cool, and they purport to offer education newer, shinier, sleeker technologies than do staid education corporations. But startups, let’s remember, are often high risk and high growth companies, and venture capitalists invest in them hoping to find “the next Google” – that is, a big IPO or acquisition. It’s important, as such, to keep an eye on the investment and, to invoke a tired but true cliche, “follow the money.”


GSV Advisors, Fall of the Wall: Capital Flows to Education Innovation

Philip Kovacs, The Gates Foundation and the Future of US “Public” Schools

Who’s Investing in Ed-Tech? Tech Investors and Their Education Portfolios

New Schools Venture Fund, Ed-Tech Map

New Schools Venture Fund, A Closer Look at K–12 Ed-Tech Venture Funding

Audrey Watters, (How) Should Startups Compensate Schools and Teachers for Their Feedback?

Ed-Tech Funding

Popular Silicon Valley Startup Principles:

Why is this important? Silicon Valley’s tech industry has a (fairly) unique business culture, one that is very different from not only education but from many of the “traditional” education businesses that schools have long dealt with.

10 Key Principles of Agile Software Development

The Lean Startup

The Politics of (Ed-)Tech:

Why is this important? Just as ed-tech involves “big money,” it also involves huge political stakes as well. (Of course, the money and the politics are connected.) Although many educators are familiar with laws like COPPA and FERPA, there are also other ways in which the politics of education play out – in laws and policies at federal, state, and local level.

ALEC, Ed-Tech, and the Privatization of Education

How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools

The Profit Motive Behind Virtual Schools in Maine

Terms of Service and Data Ownership:

Why is this important? When you click on the little button that says you’ve read the Terms of Service, you’re probably lying. Yet, you’ve just entered into a legal agreement with a company. It’s important to pay attention to these terms: what happens to the ownership and licensing of your content? What happens to your data? What happens to your students’ data?

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

Reading the Terms of Service for Education Sites (Or Not)

Who Owns Your Education Data?

A Basic Understand of the Tech:

Why is this important? I realize that Arthur C. Clarke said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” but damn, that’s really not a good excuse for an educator to not understand some of the basics about computers and the Internet.

Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

Why Every Education Company Needs an API (and Why Educators Should Care When One Doesn’t)

Tracking Startups:


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