MISSING THE REVOLUTION? Education entrepreneurs are often “stymied by predictable sclerotic bureaucracies and overcautious government agencies,” writes Jason Tanz in Wired. Now, the next obstacle may be coddling parents who are super-sensitive to the ability of tech tools to collect and share data.
Then again, who can fault them when some edtech companies don't follow simple web security protocols? In his exploration of Pencil’s pivot away from the education market and inBloom's implosion, Tanz's provocatively-titled article describes a Catch-22 for the industry: We accept technology can be beneficial but hold dystopian fears about its unforeseen potential. This often puts decision-makers in schools at a standstill, unable or unwilling to act on issues around data that both extremely sensitive and mysterious.
It appears that we have to assume risks, sometimes unknowingly, to enjoy the fruits of technology. “Let’s be honest," Tanz writes. “If we were always this cautious about data, the Internet economy as we know it would never exist.” The lesson boils down to this: it’s OK if you don't read the terms of service before checking the box, it’s a whole different story when you're doing it on behalf of children and thousands of parents.