Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: October 15, 2012

Prepared by June Weis
Find archives of Worthy of Note here. Sign up for our e-mailing lists there, too.
Ed Tech Cooperative News
Progress continues to be made on identifying the 10 Educational Technology Goals for the Cooperative. The first webinar following our initial discussions at the Annual Meeting was held last week. There will be one more webinar before the final report is created. The participation has been very good and we appreciate everyone’s willingness to share his/her thoughts. We also have had responses from our Online Teachers. Mike Abbiatti has provided very able leadership in guiding our discussions.


SREB States Lead Nation on NAEP
States in the Southern Regional Education Board led the nation in progress over the past decade in the percentage of students who met key benchmarks on  the National Assessment of Educational Progress.  Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland and Texas each made the greatest gain in the nation in at least one of eight key categories, and all 16 SREB states made progress in the percentages of students who met key NAEP benchmarks from 2003 to 2011. Read the press release
Two-Year Colleges Close Enrollment Gap With Four-Year Institutions
Public two-year colleges in Southern Regional Education Board states enrolled almost as many students in 2010 as did public four-year institutions in the region. The trend is detailed in an SREB analysis of data from the National Center for Educational Statistics.
State Progress Reports
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 amidst the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population. A Decade of Progress is a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Press releases with highlights from each state
Be sure and check the Calendar of SREB events.

National e-Learning Alliance

Online Learning Organizations Create National e-Learning Alliance
University Professional & Continuing Education Association, UPCEA, October 3, 2012
Funded on a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), a task force comprised of representatives of leading national organizations in online and e-learning in higher education, has issued a report on the future of online learning in higher education. The Task Force includes representatives from the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), the Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE), EDUCAUSE, the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), UPCEA and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). The Summit on the Future of Online Learning held in Chicago in September 2011 addressed many of the issues facing online learning in higher education today. An outcome of the Summit was a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to convene an Inter-Organizational Task Force on Online Learning.

State Authorization and State Regulations

As online course agreement forms, some worry about state regulation
Dennis Carter, eCampus News, October 4, 2012
Colleges that offer online courses across state lines, after fighting a federal rule they call unnecessary and outdated, now are concerned about states’ regulatory power in deciding how schools should comply with existing regulations

Online Learning in Texas

Future of Texas Online Schools Mapped Out at Senate Hearing
Julia Lawrence, Education News, October 10, 2012
An upcoming hearing hosted by the Texas Senate Education Committee will focus on the growth of virtual education in the state. Specifically, senators will be looking for ideas on improving the quality of online classes offered in Texas schools and on how to improve academic outcomes for students in underperforming programs.
Raise Your Hand Texas’s own study of virtual schools was released earlier this month.


Accessibility on the Move: Optimizing Your Websites for Mobile Accessibility and Usability
Denis Boudreau (WebAIM), Duque, September 6, 2012
Anyone who’s been advocating inclusion on the Web for more than 5 minutes understands how closely related Web accessibility and mobile Web best practices really are. Anyone who’s witnessed a blind user efficiently handle a mobile device thanks to a screen reader knows just how much these technologies can change lives. So having had the chance to do plenty of both in the past few years, I was thrilled to be invited to co-host the latest #a11ychat on Twitter, which took place on August 20th. The topic, as you might have guessed already, was mobile accessibility, something that’s been on my radar for quite some time. Mobile Web and Web accessibility, coming together under a single, online social event – really, what more could we ask for? Source: WebAIM

Challenges of Free Courses

UC Online Faces Challenges in Era of Free Courses
Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle, October 1, 2012
Designed to revolutionize the University of California system, the venture now struggles to compete with the likes of Coursera and Udacity.
Online Education Grows Up, and For Now, It's Free
NPR Staff, October 11, 2012
Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing. In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon. Those universities now offer classes through consortiums like Coursera, a tech company that's partnered with more than 30 of the top universities in the world to offer online classes from its course catalogue — for free. Other companies offering online courses include Udacity and edX.

University-Corporate Partnerships

The Six Elements of a Successful University-Corporate Partnership
Frank McCluskey, Evolllution
Universities have been intertwined with corporations since medieval universities had charters from either a King or Pope and had to be conscious of that relationship. In our modern universities the department most dependent on an outside entity is the school of education. Their function is to harmonize their curriculum with the requirements of the state boards that certify educational professionals. That is why the education curriculum in New York in no way resembles that of Texas. These are not philosophical differences. They reflect teaching students to prepare for two different systems of education. Departments of education are built around state requirements. A successful university-corporate program must do something similar. To build a successful university-corporate partnership there are six elements.

'Embodied Learning'

Technology brings content to life
Mike Bock, Ed Week, October 9, 2012
The basic idea behind embodied learning is that students who fully use their bodies to learn are more engaged in the lesson than they would be simply sitting at a desk or computer. The SMALLab, or Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab, was developed by Arizona State University professors and aims to incorporate blended learning into traditional classroom lessons with the help of educational technology.

Tech-Powered Teachers

The Rise of the Tech-Powered Teacher
Salman Khan. Ed Week, October 1, 2012
Technology can enable teachers to lead differentiated and interactive classrooms, says Salman Khan. And read what he says on the TED blog about his new book, The One World Schoolhouse; Education Reimagined.

It’s All About the Plan

Stop Buying iPads, Please
Therese Mageau, THE Journal, October 1, 2012
Well-worth reading. It’s about the plan not about more technology.
The Flip: End of a Love Affair
Shelley Wright, PLP Network, October 8, 2012
A once avid flip classroom advocate tells why she is not so any longer. Find out what she means when she says, “For me, the question really is: who owns the learning in your classroom?”

What About Data? (Digital Learning Now Second Report)

More Student Data Would Inform Teaching, Report Says
Katie Ash, Ed Week, Digital Education, October 9, 2012
Digital Learning Now! has released its second report Data Backpacks: Portable Records and Learner Profiles, in a series that aims to provide guidance for states on implementing common-core standards as well as transitioning to a digital learning environment. This report focuses on the sharing of student information and data, something the report contends is not being done well in today's education system.

ECAR (EDUCAUSE) Study of Undergrads and Info Technology, 2012

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012
EDUCAUSE, September 2012
ECAR has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2012, ECAR collaborated with 195 institutions to collect responses from more than 100,000 students about their technology experiences. The findings are distilled into the broad thematic message for institutions and educators to balance strategic innovation with solid delivery of basic institutional services and pedagogical practices and to know students well enough to understand which innovations they value the most.
Key Findings
See the 2012 report for a full list key messages, findings, and supporting data.
  • Blended-learning environments are the norm; students say that these environments best support how they learn.
  • Students want to access academic progress information and course material via their mobile devices, and institutions deliver.
  • Technology training and skill development for students is more important than new, more, or "better" technology.
  • Students use social networks for interacting with friends more than for academic communication.

Digital Textbooks

Long Live Paper
Justin B. Hollander, New York Times, October 9, 2012
An opinion on so much touting of digital learning. He quotes a renowned expert on reading, Maryanne Wolf, who has recently begun studying the effects of digital reading on learning, and so far the results are mixed.
Open Textbook Cost Infographic
Open Content, September 21, 2012
20 Million Minds today released an infographic summarizing costs of textbooks and cost savings associated with open textbooks.

Intellectual Property: Useful News

Video Clip Use “Decision Tree”
Penn State, UW Bothell Learning Technologies Blog
Here’s a well-designed infographic published by Penn State aimed to help people avoid copyright infringement when using video clips in their work. Follow the tree and answer yes or no questions about your content. If you run into the “stop” signs, you shouldn’t use the clip in your work, as it’s likely violation of copyright law.
It’s important to note, however, that even “educational use” will not completely protect a video from being pulled from public video sharing sites, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
Try it out for yourself!: Penn State Video Clip Decision Tree
Let's Spread the Word About Fair Use
Zick Ruben, Chronicle of Higher Ed, September 23, 2012
Last month, as college students across the country prepared to head back to campuses, my fax machine coughed out my annual "Request for Permission" from the Copyright Clearance Center, the corporation that is one of the world's largest brokers of licenses to copy other people's work.
If this issue was fuzzy before, it's clearer now, from the careful opinion issued in May by the federal judge Orinda Evans in the test case brought by publishers—and paid for in part by the Copyright Clearance Center itself—against Georgia State University. After a two-week trial in Atlanta, Judge Evans ruled that Georgia State had the right to make available to enrolled students up to one chapter of a 10-chapter book without permission or payment, as a matter of fair use. That's because the constitutionally prescribed purpose of copyright is not to enrich authors or publishers but rather to encourage the progress of knowledge.


How Do I Know Students Aren’t Cheating?
Anna Luce, Instructional Design and Development Blog, September 17, 2012
It’s a question that comes up frequently when working with faculty to design and build their online courses. And it’s a valid one. Academic dishonesty is a longstanding issue in higher education, one colleges and universities take seriously with zero-tolerance policies and severe consequences for offenders. As more courses are offered online or in hybrid formats, instructors’ typical methods of deterring and detecting cheating might seem ineffective. As information has become more easily available, and more quickly copied (and edited so as to appear original), it’s easy to see how an over-stressed college student may be tempted to cheat in any course.
Paying for an A
Alexandra Tisley, Inside Higher Ed, September 21, 2012
A handful of services are offering to take a student's online course from start to finish for a hefty fee, raising concerns among online education providers.

Recent reports from Center for Digital Education

The Blended and Virtual Learning Frontier
Posted on September 12, 2012
Explore the new blended and virtual learning frontier sweeping the nation in this Special Report.
Funding and Professional Development - Special Report Supplement
Posted on September 11, 2012
Discover how to overcome the two key challenges that surface when transitioning curriculum content to digital environments: funding and professional development.
Several other reports can be found on the Center for Digital Education Website. It is easier to post the list here. You will need to register but you can download all of these articles for free.
Expanding Wireless in Education
  • Cloud + Security = Win for Education
  • Real Learning, Virtual Desktops
  • Measuring What Really Matters
Switch to Digital Resources Within 5 Years, Report Tells States
News Staff, Center for Digital Education, September 24, 2012
States should get with the times and switch to digital resources within five years. That’s the first of three recommendations the State Educational Technology Directors Association published in its report [PDF] on Monday, Sept. 24. The report shows examples of what states and school districts are doing now, and provides recommendations for government, industry and education.


Don't Miss These Awesome Note Taking Apps for iPad
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2012
The list here has been carefully assembled and we did not include those popular apps such as Evernote and Dropbox because they are taken for granted and also because we have reviewed them several times here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.
New iPad App May Be The Future Of Collaborative Online Learning
Katie Lepi, edudemic, October 2, 2012
A San Francisco-based startup called Net Power & Light Inc. is working with one of the most popular (in terms of YouTube views at least) Harvard professors to show off what they can do. Net and Professor Michael Sandel have partnered to offer a more interactive way to learn using the Apple iPad.
Net’s software is called ‘Spin‘ which essentially turns passive video watching into interactive group learning. It’s like project-based learning but with the entire planet instead of just your classroom.
Right now, Spin lets you remix and interact with content from Harvard, Stanford, TED, and the National Geographic Channel.
5 Places to Find Web 2.0 Resources
Jim Forde, Digital Learning Environments
The real reason I know I am a web geek is because I LOVE discovering cool web 2.0 tools that can enhance my classroom!  I am about to share with you my not so secret sources for teacher Web 2.0 excitement! ...And that's not all!  Actually, it is, but I think you will enjoy discovering all of the new tools that these web sources present.  I guarantee that you will find something new that will amaze you as you explore.  So get ready to dive into these web 2.0 treasure troves!
NASA Space Life Science Website
The agency’s new Space Life Sciences education website went live on Sept. 28, Development of the website was a collaborative effort between NASA’s Teaching From Space project and Educational Technology Services.
Features focus on the human body in space, plants in space, space food and nutrition, space habitats and the potential for life beyond Earth. The website will serve as a single location for education content, resources, opportunities and updates on space life sciences.
Educators will find classroom materials, links to other NASA websites, announcements about life science research conducted in space, and information on opportunities for educators and students.
NASA’s Teaching From Space Project
NASA’s Teaching From Space project is devoted to helping educators make STEM come alive for learners. A team of former classroom teachers offers experiences and resources intended to be unique and accessible and to provide real-life connections to the world of STEM. Students can get involved in real NASA missions and research, gain access to NASA experts, and use NASA equipment to take learning to a new level. Visit for more information and a schedule of activities.
National Science Resources Center
(Internet Scout Report — Last reviewed in the NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, & Technology on June 18, 2004)
The Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies formed the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) in 1985. The NSRC's mission is "to improve the learning and teaching of science in school districts in the United States and throughout the world." On this website, visitors can learn about the Center's outreach efforts, instructional materials, international programs, and student & parent resources. Along the top of the homepage, visitors can look through sections that include Professional Development, Partnerships & Networks, and Curriculum Resources. Educators shouldn't miss this last section, as it includes a wide range of materials, including lesson plans, pedagogical suggestions, and so on. School leaders will want to look over the Building Awareness area as it features quality research reports on improving science education from kindergarten through college. [KMG]

Interesting News from France

France Looks To Upend School Year Traditions
NPR AP, October 5, 2012
PARIS (AP) — French children go to school four days a week. They have about two hours each day for lunch. And they have more vacation than their counterparts almost anywhere in the West. Leaders are afraid of burnout, and things are about to change.
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