Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: July 13, 2012

Prepared by June Weis
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SREB/CLRN/Evergreen Education Group Presentation, VSS, October 21-24, 2012

Districts Rule! Online Learning Blows Past the Tipping Point
This will be a presentation by Holly Lynde, SREB; Amy Murin, Evergreen Education Group; and Brian Bridges, Director of California Learning Resources Network (CLRN) at the VSS Conference. The Virtual School Symposium (VSS) will be held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, on October 21-24, 2012. Pre-conference workshop sessions will be held on Sunday, October 21 and all concurrent sessions will take place on Monday, October 22, Tuesday, October 23, and Wednesday, October 24.
SREB States Lead Nation in Several Education Gains, New Report Says
The 16 SREB states improved public education by several key measures in the last decade, according to a major new SREB report.
Across the region, SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading and math achievement and high school graduation rates. And they made this progress during the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population.
A Decade of Progressis a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s education achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Access the series of 16 by-state reports here or click press release for quick highlights of progress in each state.


Connections Learning
Topic: Common Core Standards: A 2012 Progress Report
Date: Wednesday, July 18th
Time: 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
Duration: 1 hour
Join host Mickey Revenaugh, Executive Vice President of Connections Learning, along with special guest speakerDoug Levin, Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), as they take an in-depth look into the role of technology in the ongoing implementation of the Common Core Standards.
SREB Ed Tech Cooperative
The next in our monthly webinar series for Online Learning Leaders is scheduled for Thursday, July 19 at 10 am EST
Topic: California Learning Resource Network Online Learning Survey (K-12 focus)
Presenters: Brian Bridges and Holly Lynde
We are pleased that Brian Bridges, Director of the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN), will discuss CLRN's recent census of online learning options in California school districts. To learn more about the census, visit CLRN provides educators with a "one-stop" resource for critical information needed for the selection of supplemental electronic learning resources aligned to the State Board of Education academic content standards. As always, there will be a Q&A session at the end of each presentation.
To join the webinar, click on this link:
Comments about the California survey:
First-time survey of online learning in CA produces startling early results
Tom Chorneau, SI&A’s Cabinet Report, March 21, 2012
In what researchers are calling a stunning surprise, traditional public schools appear to be offering online learning to their students at least as often as the state’s charter schools.
Forty-three percent of regular school districts offer online instruction, which is virtually the same percentage as charter schools, despite the vast difference in regulatory oversight and curriculum flexibility, according to preliminary analysis of a first-ever, detailed survey of e-learning courses in California.
More than 90 percent of online learning, for instance, is conducted in a brick-and-mortar classroom – with only a small fraction offered in the so-called virtual classroom that has attracted so much attention from mainstream media. Read more….
Brian Bridges, director of the California Learning Resource Network – a state-funded agency that evaluates online learning programs – said they are facilitating the survey in California as part of a national campaign to develop better data on who is using online systems and what models are being used. Evergreen Education Group will publish this report in October as part of Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning (See the Webinar on July 19, 2012 from SREB ETC described above)
In case you have forgotten or did not know about the Digital Textbook Initiative (CLRN). It is a California resource but has proven very useful elsewhere.

Converge Webinar
Converge Special Report Webinar Update: The Textbook Reformation & Digital Content
Are textbooks athing of the past? Tune in to this Webinar on August 29, 11 a.m., PST to hear from districts and colleges that are adopting digital content in their schools.  They will share their perspective on the ways in which this digital movement is changing education – both now and in the future. 

Charter Schools (Includes Virtual Charters)

Improving Charter School Accountability: The Challenge of Closing Failing Schools
David Osborne, Progressive Policy Institute Policy Report, June 26, 2012
Today some 5,600-charter schools are in operation, with more than two million students. Some critics persist in a fruitless argument that these schools have failed, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But regardless of your opinion about them, charter schools are here to stay. Those concerned about public education should quit debating whether we should have charter schools and instead focus on improving their quality. That will require us to do at least two big things. We must replicate the most successful charter models—the subject of a Progressive Policy Institute paper last year, Going Exponential: Growing the Charter School Sector’s Best — and we must close down the worst charter schools— the subject of this report.
Judge says online charter school cannot open in August
Anne Blythe, Raleigh News Observer, June 29, 2012
RALEIGH -- A Wake County judge ruled Friday that a controversial charter school that planned to offer only online classes cannot open in August. The decision could delay the launch of any similar programs for at least a couple of years.
Superior Court Judge Abe Jones’ rulingputs a major obstacle in the path of N.C. Learns, a nonprofit organization that had planned to enroll more than 1,700 students in the state’s first virtual charter in the coming school year.
At issue was whether the N.C. Virtual Academy, the school proposed by N.C. Learns, needed approval from the State Board of Education. N.C. Learns used an unusual process through which it won approval from the school board in Cabarrus County, near Charlotte, to set up an online charter school that would have drawn students from across the state.
Who Governs The Child?
Jeff Kwitowski, Getting Smart, June 28, 2012
North Carolina is host to the latest battle over expanding digital learning, charter schools, and parent choice.  It involves attempts by the State Board of Education (SBE) and the NC School Boards Association to block a proposed online public charter school, North Carolina Virtual Academy (NCVA) from serving students this fall. Yet, beyond the details of this one new charter school, this issue has sparked a renewed debate over governance, and whether the principal virtue of “local control” in education is district control or parent choice.  Read more….
Charter Schools in SREB States: Critical Questions and Next Steps for States
SREB Publication, May 2012
In less than 20 years, charter schools have grown from a novel educational experiment into a high-profile part of education reform. But research on charter schools is limited, so key policy questions remain about the effectiveness of charter schools, their impact on traditional public schools, appropriate funding policies, and performance accountability. This report looks at these policy questions and recommends actions for states to take to clarify the issues and maximize the opportunities that charter schools present. It also provides an update of charter school policies in SREB states relating to charter contracts and reviews, academic performance requirements, authorizers, and operating and facilities funding.

Data is the Hot Topic

How Will Student Data Be Used?
Frank Catalano, MindShift, July 3, 2012
A new initiative, supported by state education leaders and funded by prominent foundations, plans to provide a place in the cloud for each state to store all data for every student, using “free” open source software. And, in the process, student achievement information will be connected to instructional apps and web resources. That is, as long as the effort can address concerns about technology, privacy, and whether enough education companies will want to build products for a system that could undermine parts of their own businesses.
The Shared Learning Collaborative has had low visibility so far. Started in 2011, encouraged by the Council of Chief State School Officers (the state superintendents of public instruction group that was one of the driving forces behind the Common Core State Standards), and funded by the Carnegie Corporation and Gates Foundation, the SLC has signed on nine states with the promise of creating a less expensive, more connected way to store student data with the potential to make student learning more personal. Read more….

The growing industry of Higher Education Big Data
Charlie Osborne, iGeneration, ZDNet, June 4, 2012
Summary: Higher education isn't seen as data-driven -- but is it time that changed to try and combat dropout rates?

Future of the LMS?

Why Aren’t There Any Next Gen Learning Platforms?
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, July 7, 2012
The education sector is in the early stages of transitioning from learning management systems (LMS) to learning platform ecosystems. In fact, a lot of U.S. schools will skip the LMS phase and go straight from print to platform. As noted last month, learning platforms will include these six core elements and a constellation of four aligned services.

Khan Academy

Don't Use Khan Academy without Watching this First
Justin Reich, Education Week, Ed Tech Researcher, June 21, 2012
In previous posts, I have summed up my position on Khan Academy as follows: Khan Academy teaches only one part of mathematics—procedures—and that isn't the most important part. Writing about mathematics, developing a disposition for mathematical thinking, demonstrating a conceptual understanding of mathematical topics are all more important than procedures. That said, procedures are still important, and Khan Academy provides one venue where students can learn them. In the end, I think every young person should have an account there. Even if only one in a thousand or ten thousand benefit, that would be a terrific outcome.
I'm adding a new plank to my KA platform: no teacher or administrator should use or support the use of Khan Academy videos without watching the first episode of Mystery Teacher Theater 2000 or MTT2K. Read more….
Parody Critiques Popular Khan Academy Videos
Angela Chen, The Chronicle, Wired Campus, June 28, 2012
Khan Academy has 150 million YouTube views, 320,000 subscribers, and major support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—but that doesn’t mean the free online library of educational videos is perfect. It doesn’t even mean the site is especially effective, say two math professors at Grand Valley State University.


How a lone grad student scooped the government—and what it means for your online privacy
Staff, eClassroom News, July 6, 2012
Jonathan Mayer had a hunch. A gifted computer scientist, Mayer suspected that online advertisers might be getting around browser settings that are designed to block tracking devices known as cookies. If his instinct was right, advertisers were following people as they moved from one website to another even though their browsers were configured to prevent this sort of digital shadowing. Working long hours at his office, Mayer ran a series of clever tests in which he purchased ads that acted as sniffers for the sort of unauthorized cookies he was looking for. He hit the jackpot, unearthing one of the biggest privacy scandals of the past year: Google was secretly planting cookies on a vast number of iPhone browsers. Mayer thinks millions of iPhones were targeted by Google.

Online Learning

SIIA Releases Preliminary Vision K-20 Survey Results
Rhea Kelly, THE Journal, June 27, 2012
K-12 institutions are maintaining current levels of technology growth despite difficult budget conditions, according to a Software & Information Industry Association report announced today at ISTE 2012 in San Diego. SIIA has released the preliminary results of the 2012 Vision K-20 Survey, its fifth annual national survey to measure US educational institutions’ self-reported progress toward building a framework that embraces technology and e-learning. The report surveyed more than 1,600 educators and education administrators, more than triple the number of respondents from last year.
This year, the report included new questions asking educators to assess their ideal level for each of the Vision K-20 benchmarks. Overall, respondents revealed that their ideals are much higher than their current implementations. Survey results also suggested that postsecondary institutions are further along in all technology goals and ratings than K-12 institutions.
Eighth-Graders and Algebra: Making the Case for Online Education
Peggy Clements and Jessica Heppen, THE Journal, July 02, 2012
A better question than "Does online learning work?" might be "Under what circumstances and conditions does it have a positive impact on educational outcomes?"
With our colleagues at the American Institutes for Research and Education Development Center, we recently published results of a study examining whether an online course is an effective way to expand eighth-graders' access to Algebra I. The study, Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students,focused on mostly rural middle schools that did not offer Algebra I, even though some of their eighth-graders were academically ready for the course.
Top 5 Reasons Digital Learning Could be the Key to Success for this Generation and the Next
Diana Moore, Getting Smart, July 09, 2012
Digital learning has the potential to reverse the backward trend of education. Read her five ideas how this can happen.
Filling the Skills Gap
Joe Nocera, New York Times, July 2, 2012
A man named Gerald Chertavian came by my office not long ago, and, by the time he left, I was filled with renewed appreciation for the potential of community colleges to help stem the decline of the middle class. There are few more urgent tasks.

Chertavian is not the president of a community college or even a teacher at one. Rather, he runs a program, Year Up, which he founded, that makes it possible for poor high school graduates to land good jobs. It does so, in part, by imparting important soft skills that the upper-middle-class take for granted, like how to interact with colleagues in an office setting.
Nocera says community colleges can be our salvation, if only we let them. Read about Year Up
Classroom Lectures Go Digital
Michael Fitzpatrick, New York Times, June 24
The virtual teacher has arrived — flickering away on a screen on a school bus, in a bunk bed or in the shade of a beach umbrella, and turning traditional education on its head.
According to a 2011 report by the Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA, 65 percent of U.S. teachers surveyed believed that students were more productive than they had been three years earlier because of increased reliance on technology in the classroom.
But before technology replaces real live teachers entirely, education experts urge caution in rolling out new resources.
“The discussion needs to focus on how people teach and learn, their needs and the choices they make,” said Alejandro Armellini, senior learning designer at the Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester. "If the technology becomes the driver, e.g. ‘let’s do X because this technology here is really cool’ — regardless of need or preference, we have problems.”
Public University Becomes First to Endorse Untraditional Online Model
Dennis Carter, eCampus News, June 19, 2012
Students at the University of Wisconsin (UW) can earn college degrees based on proven competency in a subject, making UW the first publicly funded school to launch a competency-based degree program.
Fixing College
Jeff Selingo, New York Times, June 25, 2012
University leaders desperately need to transform how colleges do business. Higher education must make up for the mistakes it made in what I call the industry’s “lost decade,” from 1999 to 2009. Those years saw a surge in students pursuing higher education, driven partly by the colleges, which advertised heavily and created enticing new academic programs, services and fancy facilities.
There was a heady period of growth that occurred precisely when colleges had the financial flexibility to prepare for what was to come: fewer government dollars, a wave of financially needy students, a drop-off in the number of well-prepared high-school graduates who could afford to pay, and, of course, technological advances in teaching and learning. Instead, colleges continued to focus on their unsustainable model, assuming little would change.
The author offers several options to move forward. One is that schools should also offer more online education.
Trustees Want Big Bucks, But We Deserve a Better Bargain from Higher Ed
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, June 26, 2012
Tom responds to an editorial about college costs and the article above in the NYTimes, Fixing College
Over the last two decades higher ed has become increasingly obsolete. Costs were spiraling up while anywhere anytime learning should have made them spiral down. A degree is still valuable for individuals but the return on investment for most degrees has dropped as costs have risen–particularly in comparison to good inexpensive alternatives. Read more…
8 Nations Leading the Way in Online Education
Staff, Online Universities, June 26, 2012
Here, we’ve highlighted some of the nations that are really stepping up the game when it comes to online education, though with the proliferation of high-speed internet connections and a growing need for highly educated candidates in technical positions around the world, other nations likely aren’t far behind.
Learning in the 21st Century: A 5-Year Retrospective on the Growth in Online Learning
Speak Up/Project Tomorrow
Learning in the 21st Century: A 5 Year Retrospective on the Growth in Online Learninghighlights the latest Speak Up data in addition to a special five year retrospective analysis of the Speak Up data to better understand the evolution of values and attitudes on online learning and to interpret the impact of that evolution on future programs, policies and plans.
Here are a couple of articles that feature the contents of this publication:
Middle School Girls Want Access to E-Learning
Ian Quillen, Education Week, Digital Education, June 26, 2012
School Administrators Seen to Embrace New Digital Devices
Ian Quillen, Education Week, June 5, 2012
Survey shows they are ahead of teachers and the general public

Open Online Learning

The Degree: A Standard or an Asset?
Burck Smith, CEO, StraighterLine, June 21, 2012
With the rise of free and low-cost non-accredited online course providers, college and university officials will be tempted to favor their own online courses over less costly ones offered by others…. Colleges and universities have a private-sector business model combined with a public-sector mandate. As competition from low-cost and even free online courses proliferates, the tension between many schools’ private interests and their public mandate will become more and more pronounced. This may be tricky to explain, but let’s start by thinking about graduation ceremonies. The long robes, silly hats, multi-colored sashes, and the solemnity of the occasion create a sense of continuity, extending all the way back to the Middle Ages.
Top US Universities Put Their Reputations Online
Sean Coughlan, BBC News, June 20, 2012
Some of the biggest powerhouses in US higher education are offering online courses - testing how their expertise and scholarship can be brought to a global audience. Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have formed a $60m (£38m) alliance to launch edX, a platform to deliver courses online - with the modest ambition of "revolutionizing education around the world.
Open Online Learning – One of Five Top Tech Trends among Venture Capitalists
Robert Hof, Forbes, May 22, 2012
Everyone in Silicon Valley wants to know what’s coming next, and every year for the past 13 years, a panel of the most forward-thinking minds in technology and tech finance convenes here to provide a look at what innovations are likely to emerge in the next few years…. 2) Zero Marginal Cost Education: Public education faces massive disruption. Gordon (not Thiel, who has been flogging the excessive cost of college) says public schools are not very productive. Moore’s Law improves better than we’re growing great teachers. Anytime you see an industry propped up by monopolist unions and deferred investment, you know it’s tired. At Stanford University, great professors can get 150,000 students, not 150. We just can’t do it in ballrooms. People who grew up digital don’t like sitting around and listening to experts talk. “Technology can enable better education” seems to be Gordon’s message.
Can Free Online Courses Transform the Higher Education Industry?
Knowledge@Wharton Digest: Online Learning Update, June 20,2012
Why might Coursera or another of the new enterprises succeed where others have failed? For one, the technology has evolved. Video and audio are crisper. Desktop sharing tools and discussion boards are easier to navigate. There is greater access to Internet libraries. Course developers also have a more nuanced understanding of how people learn online and the best ways to present information in that format. Second, the barriers to entry for students are lower. Taking an online class today doesn’t require much technological know-how. Even if it did, the population of potential online learners has a greater comfort level with technology even compared to five years ago. A third driving factor is the economy.
Become a Power Searcher: Join Google MOOC
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, June 30, 2012
Last week Google opened registration for Power Searching with Google, a free online course on advanced search skills. The six, 50-minute classes will blend the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) learning format pioneered by Stanford and MIT with social and communication tools to create a community learning experience.
As I told Anya Kamenetz, I think Google Is The Most Important Learning Tool Ever Invented. Search is at the heart of anywhere, anytime learning–a bigger deal with more rapid impact than the printing press five hundred years ago.
Power Searchlessons will be released daily starting on July 10, 2012 and will be available during a two-week window.
Open Education for a Global Economy
David Bornstein, New York Times, July 11, 2012
A company based in Ireland called ALISON— Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online — provides free online interactive education to help people acquire basic workplace skills. It’s not a megasite. It has a million registered learners, the bulk of whom live in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Nigeria and the Middle East, where ALISON has 200,000 students. It is adding 50,000 learners each month, but the kinds of services it offers are likely to proliferate in the coming years.
Free and open online education could help close this gap, but only if it’s intentionally directed to the people around the world who most need it. Right now, a lot of free education is thrown online without a clear sense of how it will help people prepare themselves for employment. In May, Unesco, the branch of the United Nations that focuses on education, held an international gathering in China, where representatives concluded that the development of technical and vocational education and training — what one official called the “poor cousin of mainstream education” — should be deemed a “top priority” to tackle global unemployment. ALISON addresses this need. It offers some 400 vocational courses at “certificate level” (1 to 2 hours of study) or “diploma level” (about 9 to 11 hours of study) and plans to add 600 more in the coming year.
The skills of many workers are increasingly out of sync with the demands of the job market, and the gap is likely to grow, particularly given that only a minority of companies provide formal training to employees. This isn’t just an American problem, however. There are 200 million unemployed people around the world, 75 million of whom are youths, and many lack rudimentary workplace skills — the ability to use a computer, make a budget, communicate in an office environment. According to a study published last month by the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2020, the world will have a surplus of up to 95 million low-skill workers and a shortage of up to 40 million college graduates.
Free and open online education could help close this gap, but only if it’s intentionally directed to the people around the world who most need it.

National Center for Academic Transformation

National Center for Academic Transformation
The National Center for Academic Transformationis an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the effective use of information technology to improve student-learning outcomes and reduce the cost of higher education. NCAT provides expertise and support to institutions and organizations seeking proven methods for providing more students with the education they need to prosper in today’s economy. Learn more...The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) works through a four-stage iterative process to advance the use of information technology in improving student learning and reducing instructional costs.

What are the implications?

Still a Viable Exit
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, July 10, 2012
Western Association of Schools and Colleges announced on Monday to let a company called UniversityNow take over the struggling nonprofit Patten University. This has significant implications for for-profit and nonprofit higher education alike. UniversityNow claims theyare creating a network of the world's most accessible and affordable private universities.

Digital Badges

'Digital Badges' Would Represent Students' Skill Acquisition
Katie Ash, Education Week, June 13, 2012
In this vision of badges, electronic images could be earned for a wide variety of reasons in multiple learning spaces, including after-school programs, summer workshops, K-12 classrooms, and universities. And once earned, the badges could follow students throughout their lifetimes, being displayed on websites or blogs and included in college applications and résumés.
7 Things You Should Know About Badges
Carla Casilli and Erin Knight, EDUCAUSE, June 11, 2012
Badges are digital tokens that appear as icons or logos on a web page or other online venue.Awarded by institutions, organizations, groups, or individuals, badges signify accomplishments such as completion of a project, mastery of a skill, or marks of experience. Learners fulfill the issuer-specific criteria to earn the badge by attending classes, passing an exam or review, or completing other activities, and a grantor verifies that the specifications have been met and awards the badge. Numerous groups, organizations, community projects, and web entities currently issue badges, and they are gaining currency in higher education as well. Although many details remain for badges to be broadly accepted, they represent adifferent approach to credentials, one that places the focus on individual students and their learning accomplishments. Download the report.

Teaching Models

Technology Driving Widespread Shift in Teaching Models
David Nagel, THE Journal, July 03, 2012
The report, "Learn Now, Lecture Later," declared an increase in the adoption of classroom-based technology use resulting in a variety of changes to teaching and learning. The vast majority of faculty and students, for example, now use notebooks and netbooks as classroom learning tools (75 percent of students and 72 percent of faculty overall), as well as digital content (69 percent of students and 73 percent of faculty). Learning management systems were in use by a smaller majority, with 56 percent of students and 58 percent of faculty members reporting they use an LMS in the classroom.
…. But overall, according to the report, there's something of a disconnect between the way instruction is delivered and how students want it to be delivered. Thirty-eight percent of student respondents indicated they wanted instruction delivered via traditional lectures, but 53 percent reported that the traditional lecture model is how they are taught during classroom time.
Innovations High School – The School of the Future
Justin Marquis, Online Universities, June 21, 2012
The clearest evidence that education is in a time of transition is the fact that there is a new model or fad popularized in the media every week or two. This week’s entry into the fray is Innovations High School in Salt Lake City Utah. Touted by reporter Robyn Bagley as "the first of its kind in the nation," is Innovations High really that innovative? And if it is, could it hold the key to unlocking the future of education?
Innovations High is, on paper at least, a perfect match for the information age. In a fast-paced world characterized by knowledge creation and management as the primary vehicles for economic progress, education needs to be both flexible and to present students with structured opportunities to build their media and technological literacy. At the same time, students need to gain practical experiences that will prepare them for higher education or the working world.
Read the long list of goals and objectives for Innovations High School.

Funding Ed Tech

Funds For Learning Debuts New E-rate Manager Packages
Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal, June 27, 2012
Funds For Learning, a company that helps school districts and libraries go after E-rate funds from the federal government, has developed a new set of offerings for a tool its clients use to track and manage their E-rate work. E-rate is a program funded by the Federal Communications Commission to assist schools in funding implementation of telecommunications and data services and products.
E-rate Manager for Applicants now comes in three versions: standard, premium, and professional. The standard edition includes E-rate funding reports sortable by year, funding status, service provider, and category, as well as form statuses. In fall 2012 mobile-friendly access will be available for funding request information.
How Can Federal Education Policy Promote Ed Tech? Or Should It?
Jason Tomassini, Education Week, Education Marketplace K-12, June 25, 2012
A lively discussion featuring a Republican congressman from California and policy wonks from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) centered on how federal dollars should flow to schools to improve their educational technology programs, which triggered some consternation among the school and district administrators in the audience.

Capital Flowing to Education

Investing in Innovation: Capital Flows to Education
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, July 4, 2012
The drought is over and capital is flowing to innovators in K-12, postsecondary, and consumer learning. That’s the conclusion of a report from GSV Advisors including industry veterans Deborah Quazzo and Michael Moe. They examine the “near spontaneous explosion of entrepreneurial activity in education.”
The report, Fall of the Wall: Capital Flows to Education Innovation, also concludes that capital is not a key impediment to innovation. GSV notes, “Instead, it is the absence of a clear path to scale caused by continued market impediments that still constrains investment capital on a relative basis. If some of the market impediments were lifted, we estimate that additional capital would be attracted to enter the sector.”

State Authorization

State Authorization in a Post-Appeals Court World
Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE Blogger, July 2, 2012
Since a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling vacating the U.S. Department of Education’s regulation on state authorization in relation to distance learning, views on what that means and what comes next have varied widely. Today’s Campus conducted a video interview on these issues with David LeFevre, “an expert in regulatory compliance and risk management for postsecondary institutions” with the law firm of Dunn and Davison. After first providing an overview of the case, LeFevre argues that the loss of the regulation most likely will not have much impact on the Department’s enforcement efforts because of other changes in the section of the regulations that included the distance education provision.
Plan Seeks to Streamline Transfer of Online Courses across State Lines
Ben Pokross, Wired Campus, The Chronicle, June 20, 2012
Leaders in online education are nearing completion of a plan to streamline the procedures required to offer classes in multiple states, saving colleges time and money.

Accreditation in Higher Ed

ACE Report Recommends Tweaks to Higher Education Accreditation
American Council on Education
In the report from ACE's National Task Force on Institutional Accreditation, academic leaders urge the higher education community to strengthen and improve the quality and public accountability of the institutional accreditation process.
The report, Assuring Academic Quality in the 21st Century: Self-Regulation in a New Era, considers the central characteristics of accreditation and outlines common criticisms of the process. It then offers six major recommendations for steps colleges; universities and regional accreditors can and should take to ensure accreditation meets its public accountability responsibilities given the enormous diversity of American higher education.
Follow the links and up-to-date information about accountability on the WCET Website.

What About Blogging?

Blogging is the New Persuasive Essay
Shelley Wright, MindShift, July 5, 2012
As an English teacher, I’ve had numerous conversations with college professors who lament the writing skills of their first year students. But not all writing. Most students are capable of solid expository writing. It’s their skill with persuasive writing that’s the problem. Specifically, they’re weak at writing a thesis statement that can be argued.
I spent three years teaching my high school students how to write a persuasive essay. For many students, it takes that long. (And I’m lucky to have them that long in my school.)
Part of the problem is that our current school systems — and not just in Canada — aren’t great at producing independent thinkers. Without this ability, it’s hard to create a great thesis statement, anticipate the arguments against it, and then compose your own argument in light of what you understand about the pros and cons of an issue.


An essay The 'Wave' of Poverty Flows Through Schools
George Stranahan, Education Week, July 9, 2012
John Goodlad wisely said: “Healthy nations have healthy schools, it’s not the other way around.”
Giving Teachers the Respect They Deserve
Justin Marquis, Online Universities, June 26, 2012
A January 12, 2012 Education Week chat hosted by reporter Sean Cavanagh including Andreas Schleicher, Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Alan Ginsburg, former director of policy and program studies at the U.S. Department of Education, examined What U.S. Schools Can Learn from High-Performing Countries. One of the most interesting sections of this chat was the discussion of the societal status of teachers in these high-performing countries and the support that they receive in providing excellence in education to their students.
Many of the same symptoms of other countries plague U.S. educators who also do not get the respect or compensation that they deserve. Here is a look at the rigors of teaching and why teachers don’t get the credit due for providing a vital social service.
Snapshot of a modern learner
Mike Fisher, Smart Blog on Education, June 29, 2012
Read about Santos. Santos is not an enigma, but he is misunderstood.
Santos sends approximately 125 texts per day. He sneaks his phone into classes in his book bag or jacket and is online just about all day. He posts messages to Facebook during class. He looks up answers to definitions of words online. He checks sports scores, plays games, posts his location so his friends can find him easily and streams music through an application on his phone. Read more….
10 Good Things About Public Education
For years, disparaging cries from pundits and the news media have painted public education as a failing system that gets it all wrong. CPE's Patte Barth has penned an article for the American School Board Journal that shows, contrary to popular belief, we're actually getting a lot right. Read "10 Good Things About Public Education" now to find out what they are.
Why Johnny Can’t Add Without a Calculator (Do I have to give up my blackboard?)
Konstantin Kakaes, Slate, June 25, 2012
Technology is doing to math education what industrial agriculture did to food: making it efficient, monotonous, and low-quality. When Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, Va., recently renovated its classrooms, Vern Williams, who might be the best math teacher in the country, had to fight to keep his blackboard. 


Justin Marquis, Online Universities, July 6, 2012
Bring Your Own Device or BYOD is quickly becoming one of the big topics of discussion in public education (Livingston, 12 June, 2012). In an era of drastic budget cuts and rapid technological change, this is an extremely appealing policy in some regards because it frees schools of the primary obstacle to offering technology access to students – providing the actual technology. The reason that this is such a hotly debated topic is because there are many valid reasons on both sides of the issue. A closer look at the concept and the arguments on both sides reveals that it is a policy that holds some merit but also that there may be real insurmountable issues with having students provide their own devices. Other possibilities for enabling all students to have high quality access both inside and outside of schools should also be considered.

Common Core

States Raise the Bar With Standards Implementation
Gene Wilhoit, Education Week, June 22, 2012
From the outset, the common core has been guided by the goals that all states have in common—teaching students to think critically, giving them the skills they will need in college and careers, and preparing them to succeed in a global economy. The states have succeeded in developing the highest-quality academic standards our country has seen. More good minds and resources were put into these standards than any before, and it shows in the results. A wide range of organizations representing parents, teachers, business leaders, and higher education institutions have all voiced support for the common core and are now playing an active role in putting the standards into practice. Sharing valuable resources also is what this is all about. At the Council of Chief State School Officers, we are convening states to pool their collective knowledge and share these valuable resources.


Teachers Guide on The Use of iPad in education
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning by Mohamed Kharbach, 2012
iPad is a cool versatile tool that has a huge potential in education. It is widely believed that iPad has started transforming the face of education and revolutionizing modes of learning. Results coming out of pilot studies on the integration of iPads in the classroom seem to be promising. Reed College, for instance, took the Apple iPad for a spin in 2010 and was pleased with the tablets performance as an educational tool. As part of a pilot program, Roslyn High School on Long Island handed out 47 iPads on Dec and the school district hopes to provide iPads eventually to all 1.100 of its students. Another report shows that hundreds of middle school students in the central San Joaquin Valley, California, are using curriculum apps for their classwork and homework.
One iPad in the Classroom? – Top 10 Apps
Daniel Edwards, blog, Syded
Follow this blog about The Day in the Life of an iPad Teacher.
48 iPad Apps That Teachers Love
Staff, Online Colleges, June 26, 2012
For the connected classroom, the following stand out as either great supplements to various lessons or essential, time-saving streamlining strategies.

NMC Horizon Reports 2012

It's Here! The NMC Releases the Horizon Report > 2012 K-12 Edition
The New Media Consortium, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and the International Society for Technology in Education are releasing the NMC Horizon Report > 2012 K-12 Edition in a special session at the 2012 NMC Summer Conference, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. This fourth edition in the annual K-12 series of the NMC Horizon Project examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative expression within the environment of pre-college education.
NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Ed Edition
The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program.
The 2012 Horizon Project Higher Education Advisory Board initially voted on the top 12 emerging technologies — the result of which is documented in the NMC Horizon Project Short List > 2012 Higher Education Edition. This Short List helped the advisory board narrow down the 12 technologies to six for the full publication.


3 Signs of Quality You Should Look For In Instructional Content
Andrew Coulson, Getting Smart, June 27, 2012
The future will bring amazingly better instructional content for teacher and student use. If the market notices key signs of this, then more effective, comprehensive content will be broadly and rapidly adopted, to the benefit of teaching and learning. I believe there are three signs the market should be looking for. Read more….
Bloom’s Taxonomy: The 21st Century Version
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning by Mohamed Kharbach, 2012
The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy places emphasis upon its use as a “more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery and assessment.” This new taxonomy reflects a more active form of thinking and is perhaps more accurate.
The following article is a summary and a fruit of my long painstaking research in the field of Bloom’s taxonomy. The purpose is to help teachers grow professionally and provide them with a solid informational background on how to better understand and apply Bloom’s taxonomy in classrooms in the light of the new technological advances and innovations.
100 Time-Saving Search Engines for Serious Scholars (Revised)
Staff, Online Universities, July 2, 2012
Back in 2010, we shared with you 100 awesome search engines and research resources in our post: 100 Time-Saving Search Engines for Serious Scholars. It’s been an incredible resource, but now, it’s time for an update. Some services have moved on, others have been created, and we’ve found some new discoveries, too. Many of our original 100 are still going strong, but we’ve updated where necessary and added some of our new favorites, too. Check out our new, up-to-date collection to discover the very best search engine for finding the academic results you’re looking for.
Office 365 for education now available at no cost!
Sig Behrens, Microsoft in Education Blog,June 27, 2012
Quote: Today, I’m excited to announce the launch Office 356 for education. It’s here, it’s powerful, and it’s free for schools! Prestigious universities like Cornell University, Dartmouth College and Gonzaga University, and top K-12 school districts in Fresno, San Diego, and Nashville are moving to Office 365 for education. Tennessee’s Department of Education is even setting up the service for all 137 districts and 1,677 schools across the state to opt-in to. Office 365 is now available for schools via our EES program. Check out the trial.
The Top 20 Popular Articles in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning for Last Month
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning by Mohamed Kharbach, 2012
Here’s a good one: Free Research Tools Every Educator Needs to Know about

Online Games Tapped by West Virginia to Improve Education
AP, Education Week, Digital Directions, June 13, 2012
Students love to play computer games, and the West Virginia Department of Education is tapping into that love through a website called Learn21.
The site offers all kinds of games that help students in every grade level brush up on their studies. The state education department started Learn21 two years ago. The website offers online games that go along with the curriculum. Teachers can use the games in class, and students can access the website from home if they want to practice some more.
Cory Booker, Internet’s Favorite Mayor, Creates Media Site for Teens
Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable, July 1, 2012
Cory Booker, the socially savvy mayor of Newark, N.J., who has used Twitter to help residents burrow out of foot-deep snow and whose other heroics have spawned the “Super Mayor” meme, is co-founding a media startup aimed at the millennial generation called #waywire.
The centerpiece of #waywire will be video content created by youth to highlight the issues most important to them and their local communities. #waywire will also include professional-quality original content as well as links to news reports from traditional media outlets for users to share and discuss. Users’ videos as well as discussions sparked by those videos will carry over to other social platforms to further drive conversation.
OverDrive to Provide Streaming Audiobooks to Libraries and Schools
Overdrive, June 13, 2012
Scheduled for launch later this year, streaming audiobooks will be available on a wide range of Internet-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets and computers. This instant-access technology will eliminate long downloads before listening to popular audiobooks from libraries and schools throughout the OverDrive network. The "Listen Now" option will complement the download options already in use with the millions of installed OverDrive Media Console apps on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
The Ultimate Simplified Guide to The Use of Evernote in Education
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning by Mohamed Kharbach, 2012
This is a collation of lots of articles and worthwhile information on topics about Evernote related to education. It is worth a look.
Stop Cyberbullying
Do you know what Twitter Trolls are? There are lots of good resources here for dealing with a real problem.  Wired Kids, Inc., a U.S. group dedicated to protecting all Internet users, especially children, from cybercrime and abuse, sponsors this Website. It operates several programs and Web sites designed to help everyone learn how to protect their privacy and security online and to teach responsible Internet use.
White Paper Library
eSchool News
This exclusive White Paper Library brings you the latest white papers in education technology, covering topics like Student Performance, Classroom strategies, NCLB scores, Data Analytics for decision-making, and so much more. New white papers are added to the library often so check back for the most recent white papers available.
Digital Stress and Your Brain
Take a look at this Infographic and see if it fits.
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