Latest News and Comment from Education

Monday, July 24, 2023




First of all, let's address the elephant in the room. Why are tech billionaires so eager to privatize public education? It's simple, my friends. They want to get their products into schools. But here's the catch - it's going to cost just as much to replace teachers with technology. So why go through all the trouble? The answer is simple: profit.

The strategy has been to bash teachers and their unions, claiming that public education is failing. They defund public schools slowly, causing their propaganda to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problem the tech billionaires had to overcome was that people love public schools and teachers. Hence the bashing. But the biggest obstacle was funding. As we all know, tech is damn expensive. We also know that almost 90% of the cost in schools is for people. So the billionaires started reducing funding to make the schools fulfill the prophecy. All the money that has been directed to voucher, charter schools, religious schools, and other private schools further drains more funds from the public system. This hasn't cost the billionaires much by their terms - they are investing in their future profits, only spending on propaganda and marketing. 

But where will the money come from to get rid of teachers? According to Adroit Market Research, the global market size of K-12 education technology was valued at $76.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $322.68 billion by 2029. This includes spending on hardware, software, infrastructure, professional development, and technical support. So it's obvious that the strategy has been to destroy public education and replace it with profitable software bots and equipment. The only choice is to allocate a hell of a lot more money or get rid of public education altogether and use the funds to pay for technology and profit.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Education, between 1995 and 2019, the federal government spent a total of $247 billion on K-12 education technology. This includes funding for hardware, software, and professional development.

Technology can be used to automate tasks that were previously done by humans. For example, robots can be used to assemble products, and software can be used to grade papers. This can free up human workers to focus on more complex tasks like looking for a new job.

Technology can also be used to create new products and services that require fewer workers to produce. For example, online retailers can sell products without the need for a physical store, and online learning platforms can deliver educational content without the need for a classroom teacher. This can lead to a reduction in the demand for labor in some sectors of the economy.

However, there are also some challenges associated with the use of technology in the classroom. For example, not all teachers are comfortable using technology, and not all students have access to the same level of technology at home.

Overall, the use of technology in K-12 education is still evolving. However, it is clear that technology has the potential to significantly improve the quality of education or just destroy it altogether.

But let's not forget about the cost. There are a number of factors that would affect the cost of providing a state-of-the-art technological education system for every child in the United States for one year. These factors include:

  • - The number of students: There are approximately 50 million students enrolled in K-12 schools in the United States.
  • - The cost of hardware: The cost of hardware would vary depending on the type of hardware that is purchased.
  • - The cost of software: The cost of software would also vary depending on the type of software that is purchased.
  • - The cost of professional development: The cost of professional development would be needed to train teachers on how to use the technology effectively.

Based on these factors, a conservative estimate of the cost of providing a state-of-the-art technological education system for every child in the United States for one year would be $100 billion. This estimate assumes that each student would be provided with a laptop computer, a tablet, and access to a comprehensive science curriculum. It also assumes that all teachers would be required to participate in professional development on how to use the technology effectively.

So there you have it folks - the truth about K12 technology education in public schools. It's expensive, it's evolving, and it's causing billionaires to salivate at the thought of profit. But let's not forget about our beloved teachers and public schools. They may not be perfect, but they're worth fighting for. And who knows? Maybe one day we'll find a way to integrate technology into our schools without sacrificing quality education or our hard-working teachers.

Until then, let's keep laughing and learning together.




Chromebooks' built-in 'death dates' render many older models useless 

Chromebooks' built-in 'death dates'

Chromebooks are inexpensive laptops that run on Google's Chrome OS, a web-based operating system that relies on cloud services and applications. They are popular among schools and students because of their affordability, portability and ease of use. However, they also have a major drawback: they have an expiration date on which Google stops supporting the device with software updates¹.

Why do Chromebooks have an expiration date?

Google says that the expiration date, also known as the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, is necessary because older devices often cannot support the latest software updates, which include security patches, bug fixes and new features¹. Google also says that the updates depend on many device-specific hardware and software providers that work with Google to provide the highest level of security and stability support³.

How to find the expiration date of a Chromebook?

To find a Chromebook's end of life date, you can follow these steps¹:

  • - At the bottom right of your screen, click on the time.
  • - Select Settings.
  • - On the left panel, at the bottom, select About Chrome OS.
  • - Select Additional details.

You can also check the expiration date of any Chromebook model on this website:

What happens when a Chromebook expires?

When a Chromebook reaches its expiration date, it will no longer receive software updates from Google. This means that the device may become less secure, less stable and less compatible with newer websites and applications. Some features and functions may stop working altogether. For example, some users have reported that they cannot access Google Drive or Gmail on their expired Chromebooks³.

Google says that expired Chromebooks can still be used, but they will not provide any technical support or assistance for them. They also recommend that users back up their data and consider upgrading to a newer device¹.

What are the impacts of Chromebooks' expiration dates?

Chromebooks' expiration dates have been criticized by some consumer advocates, environmentalists and educators for creating unnecessary waste, cost and inconvenience. According to a report by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), doubling the lifespan of older Chromebooks would save California’s schools $225 million and prevent 350,000 pounds of e-waste².

The report also argues that there are three main reasons why even the best Chromebooks are becoming unusable for schools⁵:

Some school districts have resorted to recycling or donating their expired Chromebooks, while others have tried to extend their usability by installing alternative operating systems or applications. However, these solutions are not always feasible, effective or legal³.

What are some possible solutions or alternatives?

Some possible solutions or alternatives to address the issue of Chromebooks' expiration dates are:

  • - Google could extend the software support for older devices or provide more flexibility and transparency for users to choose when and how to update their devices.
  • - Manufacturers could design more durable, repairable and upgradable devices and provide spare parts and repair services for them.
  • - Schools could adopt more sustainable procurement policies and practices, such as buying devices with longer lifespans, leasing instead of buying devices or using open source software and hardware.
  • - Users could demand more rights and options to repair and reuse their devices, such as through legislation or advocacy.

 Bing, 7/24/2023

(1) Chromebooks Have an Expiration Date: Here's How to Find Yours | Laptop Mag.

(2) Chromebooks' built-in 'death dates' render many older models useless.

(3) Built-in software ‘death dates’ are sending thousands of schools’ Chromebooks to the recycling bin.

(4) Google accused of sabotaging Chromebooks by cutting updates.

(5) Built-in software ‘death dates’ are sending thousands of schools ....