Funders: Zuckerberg Wants To Educate Kids - On Facebook
Seemingly little noted by most of the reformy types attendance at the NSVF summit last week, Mark Zuckerberg revealed some startling thinking behind his interest in school reform and a controversial plan for Facebook going forward. Outside of education, the remarks caught folks' attention and -- in combination with hearings back in Washington -- generated a flurry of coverage and concern (PCMag, Fortune Tech, International Business Times, Atlantic Wire, Huffington Post). What's it all about? Asked what got him interested enough to give $100M to Newark, Zuckerberg noted that part of his interest stemmed from frustrations with the federal law called COPPA that makes it difficult for users younger than 14 to sign up for Facebook and other social sites without a parent sign-off. Learning is social, to Zuckerberg, and early learning is key. But the educational benefits of commercial social media are unclear. Recent reports suggest that 7.5 million children under the age of 13 have already snuck onto Facebook. Zuckerburg seemed to be admitting that his motivation behind investing in Newark was at least partly fueled by the desire to push Facebook down into the tween and elementary school set, and the admission seemed especially ill-timed, considering that cyberbulling is a national concern and there's growing concern about privacy and monopoly. Image via.