More than 40,000 students statewide were homeless during the 2017-18 school year, according to Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. That population is growing across the country. This week, Ed Lab is reading more about student homelessness as well as teaching new tech and ancient languages. Want these stories in your inbox first? Subscribe to our newsletter.

More and more students are homeless.

The number of students without stable housing has hit an all-time high. This Education Week article delves into the reasons — which vary from location to location — and the ways different districts are responding to the problem. One thing is clear: being homeless makes it much harder to succeed in school. 

And today’s guest teacher is Alexa.

Interactions with voice technology, like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, are increasingly commonplace. But what role does voice tech have in the classroom? Is teaching students how to effectively interact with and develop voice tech necessary for career readiness? Some have concerns about data privacy if you bring voice tech into the classroom. Education Week explores the debate here.

Indigenous language revitalization

More than 150 years ago, the U.S. government started punishing people for using their native languages. Now tribal elders and leaders are trying to teach them to youth. In this Crosscut story, language teachers explain that the words of many indigenous languages in Washington mean more than just their literal English translations. They offer explanations for how their elders interacted with and understood the world. Tribes have control over the teacher certification and the curriculum. 

TikTok student stardom

There’s a new type of stardom on the rise in King County schools but it only lasts 60 seconds. The Eagle News Network from Cleveland High School brings us a look at TikTok and what it means to students.