Google Takes Over Classroom, Raises Questions About Who Really Benefits

May 15, 2017

GOOGLIFICATION OF THE CLASSROOM: Nearly 30 million children—more than half of the nation’s primary- and secondary-school students—regularly use Google education apps. The tech giant has become as ubiquitous to the American classroom as the 20th century blackboard, steamrolling competitors like Microsoft and Apple.

But it’s all free and in service of learning...right?

The New York Times isn’t so sure. A recent article highlights the biggest winners when it comes to the “Googlification of the classroom,” covering everything from how much Google makes per Chromebook sale to the subtle ways the company has secured a generation of future customers.

For some schools—and the families they serve—the prevalence of Google is becoming increasingly problematic. “My concern,” father David Barsotti tells the Times, “is that [Google is] working on developing a profile of this child that, when they hit maturity, they are able to create a better profile. That is a problem, in my opinion.”

The lack of transparency also concerns children advocacy groups like Common Sense Media. “Unless we know what is collected, why it is collected, how it is used and a review of it is possible, we can never understand with certainty how this information could be used to help or hurt a kid,” Bill Fitzgerald of Common Sense tells the Times. 

Google Takes Over Classroom, Raises Questions About Who Really Benefits

May 15, 2017

GOOGLIFICATION OF THE CLASSROOM: Nearly 30 million children—more than half of the nation’s primary- and secondary-school students—regularly use Google education apps. The tech giant has become as ubiquitous to the American classroom as the 20th century blackboard, steamrolling competitors like Microsoft and Apple.

But it’s all free and in service of learning...right?

The New York Times isn’t so sure. A recent article highlights the biggest winners when it comes to the “Googlification of the classroom,” covering everything from how much Google makes per Chromebook sale to the subtle ways the company has secured a generation of future customers.

For some schools—and the families they serve—the prevalence of Google is becoming increasingly problematic. “My concern,” father David Barsotti tells the Times, “is that [Google is] working on developing a profile of this child that, when they hit maturity, they are able to create a better profile. That is a problem, in my opinion.”

The lack of transparency also concerns children advocacy groups like Common Sense Media. “Unless we know what is collected, why it is collected, how it is used and a review of it is possible, we can never understand with certainty how this information could be used to help or hurt a kid,” Bill Fitzgerald of Common Sense tells the Times. 

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