Viewpoints on EdTech Ambassadorships

As many of us have witnessed, discussion about edtech companies and their relationships with teachers has heated up across the country.  Although this issue has been around for a while now, it has recently come to the forefront in many school communities following a New York Times article published a few weeks ago that took a particular stance on the issue. 

Over the past few weeks, I have spent some time researching the issue from multiple angles.  I quickly discovered how nuanced of an issue this is and how these discussions go well beyond the scope of any one particular "ambassador" program.  

As someone who is a stakeholder in these conversations on multiple fronts (including parent of a first grader), I will need some more time to wrap my head around the issue and have further discussion with various members of my PLN.  A post including where I stand on this is in the works, just not quite ready to put out there until I hear more perspectives on the issue first hand.

If interested in looking into this issue further, below is a curation of articles and blog posts that I believe represent a range of views on the topic from some of the key voices in the educational technology space.

Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues [New York Times, 2 Sept 2017]

- This is the article that kicked off the most recent debate on the issue.

Responding to Ethics Concerns About EdTech [Sean Arnold, 2 Sept 2017]

- This is essentially an educator's rebuttal of the NYT article.

The Dilemma of Entrepreneurial Teachers with Brand Names [Larry Cuban, 5 Sept 2017]

- Larry Cuban of Stanford has been an influential writer / researcher in the educational technology space for decades.

Other thoughtful responses and viewpoints on the issue:

Edtech Influencers and the Exploitation of Teacher Voice [Rafranz Davis, 4 Sept 2017]

My Response to Natasha Singer’s New York Times Article [John Bimmerle, 2 Sept 2017]

Inequality, 'Brand Ambassadors,' and the Business of Selling (to) Classrooms [Audrey Watters, 6 Sept 2017]

Some Thoughts on the “Edupreuner” #EdChat [Nicholas Provenzano, 2 Sept 2017]

Open Letter to Ambassadors  [Book Creator Blog, 11 Sept 2017]