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A look at Miguel Cardona, Biden's education secretary pick

President-elect Joe Biden has announced his pick of Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona as his education secretary. And according to those who have worked with him, Cardona will be a strong advocate for educational technology and ensuring students have continued access to education during the pandemic and beyond. Cardona is committed to making education accessible to all students and arming them with the resources they need to succeed in school, Doug Casey, executive director of Connecticut's Commission for Education Technology, told EdScoop. Betsy Foresman has the interview.

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New York bans facial recognition in schools

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Tuesday making his state the first to ban the use of facial recognition technology and other biometric technology in both public and private K-12 schools. The new law places a moratorium on schools purchasing or using biometric technology until at least July 1, 2022 or until a study is conducted determining acceptable use of the technology, whichever comes later. “Facial recognition technology could provide a host of benefits to New Yorkers, but its use brings up serious and legitimate privacy concerns that we have to examine, especially in schools,” Cuomo said in a press release Tuesday. Colin Wood has the details.

Helping students get into a 'BattleFlow'

To help students in military classrooms understand the battlefields of the past, present and future, a team of researchers at Purdue University is developing a simulation tool that relies on virtual reality and ideas borrowed from fluid mechanics. The software, called BattleFlow, renders simulations of battlefields with user-defined conditions that can be viewed through virtual reality headsets or on desktop displays. Sorin Adam Matei, a Purdue communications professor who’s leading the project, said that although the software includes a VR frontend, it’s not intended to be a video game, nor to recreate battlefields in a visually realistic way. “It’s meant to be an educational tool,” Matei told EdScoop. “It’s [accurate] enough to help people judge their decisions and make better decisions, which is our ultimate goal, to help military officers and people in the know formulate decisions that take into account reality and facts, not just gut feelings.” Colin has the story.

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