Elections for 2016 Just Changed and You Probably Missed It

Last week, perennial rivals Facebook and Twitter announced huge changes that are going to make elected officials and candidates much more accessible. Elections for 2016 may have just changed and here’s what you need to know. Twitter’s Periscope App First: the micro-blogging service Twitter finally showed the world what they were planning to do with their Periscope acquisition from earlier this year. Now anyone can be a broadcaster, with live and breaking news, all in glorious HD. It is a free download, and within 30 seconds you can be up and running.…

If you like your health information privacy… LOL, JK!

Healthcare.gov has flaws, but revealing private information to web advertisers should not be one of them. Unfortunately, apparently it is.    We can be honest, the Healthcare.gov website has had its series of flaws. But today’s revelation from the Electronic Freedom Foundation just might be the worst of all. After all, we are entrusting several overarching federal agencies to ensure our healthcare needs. These include HHS, Homeland Security, and not the least of which the IRS. It is apparently Affordable Care Act enrollment time. How do I know? Because healthcare.gov keeps…

It’s all about the ROI

Return on Investment

I feel a little bad for Becky Lockhart. Her ambitious goal to bring a bunch of technology into classrooms has hit a major stumbling block as the Senate countered her $200M proposal with an offer of just $26M. Obviously, the  problem is going to be money. We only have so much of it to spend, and raiding the transportation budget seems to have ended up as a non-starter. I think this provides a very important lesson for legislators who want to get an ambitious spending plan approved: focus on the…

How to Ultimately Fix the Air Quality in Utah

Air Quality Better Anyone who has to deal with asthma or any of the multitudes of other respiratory illnesses can tell you that the air quality here in Utah is an issue.  Even those individuals who don’t have any health issues can just look outside on an inverted afternoon and practically taste the poor air quality.  However, when we look out at the valley on those dreaded “red” days, we all make the inevitable assumption that the air quality is much worse today than it was when we were growing…

Audit: Utah’s “Ghost Student” problem.

Editor’s note: This article is specifically written to highlight serious allegations and problems noted within the State Board’s audit. This is in no way written, or meant to infer that home schooling and charter schools are bad. It highlights specific issues, and specific actors. Who have committed acts that must be addressed and fixed if school choice, and educational freedom are to be able to function without scrutiny. Recently, the State of Utah requested a performance audit of distance and online educational programs from the Utah State Board of Education. The results, released on…

Digital Natives, Devices and Education Funding [Holly on the Hill]

We have been hearing a lot lately about education funding, WPUs, and one-to-one but we haven’t spent as much time talking about those who really matter: the kids. Those kids who are already in the school system and those who will be entering it in the next few years have a distinct advantage over those of us who are their parents and grandparents. They are digital natives. Unlike those of us who are digital immigrants (born before the mid-90’s), digital natives live in a world where they are fluent in…

A Tablet on Every Desk: What you need to know about technology in the classroom

House Speaker Becky Lockhart recently proposed to spend up to $300M on technology for Utah students including issuing devices directly to students. One of the more immediate reactions was predictable: how do we pay for it? As a life-long technologist, it looks like some of the technical issues are being glossed over. Here’s some of the things to consider once details of Rep. Lockhart’s plan become available next week. The obvious question is what problems technology can solve that other methods cannot. I think one of the biggest promises is…