For the last eight years, I’ve spent all of November and December writing my infamous “Year in Reviews,” analyzing all the dominant narratives that have been floated about the future of education and ed-tech. I’m working on Teaching Machines this year, I’m rather loathe to interrupt that project for the two whole months of agony that it takes to go through all the news and analysis from the past 12 or so months.

So this year, I’ll be writing a much less sweeping set of year-end articles – probably only a couple of them. My apologies in advance.

But in some ways, I’d argue, there’s a lesson here – because I’m not sure I need to write ten in-depth essays again. Not much has changed: privatization continues apace, sure. Industry pundits and evangelists keep making elaborate promises about the transformative potential for ed-tech. Surveillance is getting creepier. Data breaches are growing more frequent. But all in all, there really isn’t much more for me to say that I haven’t said in some way, shape, or form in one of the 75 or so articles in this series. I keep pointing out the bad actors and the bullshit; and the education sector keeps headed down the same dangerous path.

I know people find this series valuable. But I just can’t justify the time and energy it takes to work on it. Not this year. And maybe not many more years in the future, either.

Audrey Watters


The Stories We Were Told about Education Technology (2018)

A Hack Education Project

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