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Georgia's 'constituent-first' focus

Georgia CIO Shawnzia Thomas reflected on her first year in the role yesterday, saying that while she’s not a technologist by training, she’s made her leadership of the Georgia Technology Authority about satisfying the needs of the state’s residents and working with other agencies to deliver on that mission. “We have a constituent-first focus,” Thomas said at the Amazon Web Services Summit in Washington. Thomas also said the state is in the middle of a sprint to migrate “as many applications as we can” from an on-premise data center to a cloud platform. Benjamin Freed reports.

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New York transit picks 10 firms to test new tech ideas

New York City-area transit agencies on Tuesday named 10 companies that will design experimental technology that can aid the region in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and boost environmental sustainability. The Transit Tech Lab, a startup accelerator led by the MTA and the nonprofit Partnership for New York City eight weeks to run pilot projects that either help the region’s transit systems — including the subway, Metro North Railroad and New Jersey Transit — recover from additional stresses of the health crisis or improve the environment, such as by reducing emissions. Colin Wood has details.

A push to shake up E-Rate

A leading education technology expert told the U.S. Senate last week that E-Rate, the FCC program that gives schools and libraries discounts on network devices, needs to be updated to cover cybersecurity products. “It’s like funding a racecar without seatbelts and airbags,” Amy McLaughlin, who runs the cybersecurity program at the Consortium for School Networking, told StateScoop. Ben had the story.

Remote learning tools shared lots of kids' info

The remote-learning technologies that flourished during the pandemic gobbled up mountains of information on students and shared it with advertisers and data brokers, according to new research revealed today by a global consortium of newsrooms. The Washington Post reports that the research showed that nearly 90% of edtech tools used "were designed to send the information they collected to ad-technology companies, which could use it to estimate students’ interests and predict what they might want to buy." The FTC last week warned the edtech sector that it plans to pursue enforcement against companies that misuse kids' data. Read more.

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