Each year that I write this review, someone inevitably complains that I’ve focused too exclusively on what’s happening in the US. After writing some 75,000 words over the course of six or so weeks, I’m usually on my last nerve and want to reply “You are welcome to write about what happened in your country, and I will gladly link to it.” My emphasis on the politics and business of ed-tech in the US is not meant to imply that what happens here necessarily echoes elsewhere. It’s worth thinking about how policies and technologies do spread from the US to other countries and how and when they do not.

There’s a strong imperialist bent to US technology firms. And that dovetails so neatly with the long history of imperialism and education. It’s something to watch for. It’s something I didn’t really explore this year in depth in this series, but observed when it comes to private school startups (Bridge International Academies and the like) as well as coding bootcamps (Andela, for example.)

Here are some other stories about education technology (and academic freedom) that I noted this year, but couldn’t squeeze into my year-in-review:

Ed-Tech and China

The Asian Money Fueling US Edtech Investments

China’s 8m graduates: Inside the world’s largest higher education boom

To Inspire Young Communists, China Turns to ‘Red Army’ Schools

LexisNexis withdrew two products from Chinese market

Cambridge Press Changes Course on Chinese Censorship Request

An op-ed in Bloomberg says that “China’s Top Economic Risk? Education.”

Academic Freedom in Canada

“A recording of the way professors at Wilfrid Laurier University questioned a teaching assistant about her use of a debate video in class has set off a major dispute about academic freedom in Canada,” says Inside Higher Ed.

Education in Turkey:

In Turkey, Schools Will Stop Teaching Evolution This Fall

Academic Freedom and Brexit

Universities deplore ‘McCarthyism’ as MP demands list of tutors lecturing on Brexit

EU and Student Data

Exam scripts and examiner’s corrections are personal data of the exam candidate

E.U. Data-Protection Law Looms

Facebook and “Free Basics”

‘It’s digital colonialism’: how Facebook’s free internet service has failed its users

Canadian Politics and Ed-Tech

The real (and shocking) story of Kevin O’Leary’s business career

Digital Textbooks in Egypt

5 Reasons Why e-textbooks in Egypt Would Be Inequitable

Africa and Ed-Tech Markets

No education crisis wasted: On Bridge’s “business model” in Africa

Why the World’s Youngest Continent Got an Edtech Accelerator

African Ed-Tech Incubator Aims to Set Companies, and Students, on Winning Path – it’s run by a former assistant to Michael Gove

Replacing Teachers with Technology in Tanzania

Could XPrize tablets replace teachers in Tanzania?

Uruguay and the Privatization of Education

Uruguay: the latent privatisation and commercialisation of education is setting off alarm bells

India and the Business of English Language Learning

The Market in India: Surging Demand for English-Language Schools

Audrey Watters


The Stories We Were Told about Education Technology (2017)

A Hack Education Project

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