University of Colorado Boulder: Anyone can look up school data with new online tool. “The database, first made available online in 2016 in a format designed mainly for researchers, is built from 350 million reading and math test scores from 3rd to 8th grade students during 2008-2016 in every public school in the nation. It also includes district-level measures of racial and socioeconomic composition, segregation patterns, and other educational conditions.”
CNET: Back-to-school malware is hiding in those digital textbooks. “Security experts are warning about back-to-school dangers for students who want to cut the cost of textbooks by accessing them online. Over the past academic year, cybercriminals targeting students attempted to attack Kaspersky users more than 356,000 times, Kaspersky Lab researchers said Monday. The majority of the malware was disguised as free essays, but textbooks accounted for roughly a third.” Oddly, the article talks about “students who want to cut the cost of textbooks by accessing them online” but refers to the textbook subjects most dangerous to K-12 students. Do K-12 students buy textbooks? I haven’t been in school for a very, very long time.
Newswise: Kids ‘test drive’ social media in new interactive simulations. “Educators across the country can now use interactive tutorials to teach elementary and middle schoolers how to participate positively in social media – while simultaneously learning to navigate some of its potential perils. The project’s goal is to prepare students to get the most out of social media in a controlled environment, before they inevitably end up there in real life.”
Chalkbeat: Over 900 NYC classrooms serving the city’s youngest children have deteriorating lead paint, new data show. “More than 900 New York City elementary school classrooms have tested positive for lead after inspections revealed the presence of peeling, chipped, or otherwise deteriorating lead paint, according to new data released Wednesday night by the education department.”
EdWeek: Schools Are Deploying Massive Digital Surveillance Systems. The Results Are Alarming. “Such is the new reality for America’s schools, which are hastily erecting a massive digital surveillance infrastructure, often with little regard for either its effectiveness or its impact on civil liberties.”
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia: Mayor Bowser Launches EdScape Beta, A New Planning Tool for Public Education. “Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn released EdScape Beta, a powerful new planning tool that provides information about the landscape of DC’s public schools and students. EdScape Beta will support policymakers, agencies, and schools in making data-driven decisions to inform and support programs and school planning.”
Phys .org: Student ‘geek squads’ maintain school devices, help teachers. “Buffalo kindergarten teacher Maria Spurlock was still struggling after trying for more than a week to get a reading app working on all of her classroom iPads. When she learned her building had a new team of technical experts, she put in a request for help. In walked 11-year-old Arefa Zaman, a sixth-grader with silver sneakers and a yellow ‘tech squad’ T-shirt, who quickly went to work.”