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Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: July 2, 2014

Prepared by June Weis
 
Find archives of Worthy of Note here. Sign up for our e-mailing lists there, too.

 

SREB News

Governor Beshear Elected to Second Term as Chair of the Southern Regional Education Board
Louisville, June 23, 2014 — Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky was elected to a second term as chair of the Southern Regional Education Board at its annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
 
As chair of SREB’s 80-member Board, Governor Beshear will work with other governors, legislators and state education leaders to pursue goals for improving public education and student achievement across the SREB region at every level, from pre-K through Ph.D. Board chairs are elected to one-year terms.
 
Read about other officers elected at SREB’s meetings in Louisville.

 

Google Tools

The Beginner’s Guide To Google In The Classroom
Katie Lepi, Edudemic, June 23, 2014
Google offers a ton of solutions for students, teachers, and classrooms. Some products are intentionally designed for classrooms, others just happen to work well for that setting as well as many others. The Google Apps For Education and Google Play for Education are two tools built for teachers and students that encompass a ton of different solutions for different types of work. The handy infographic below takes a look at some usage statistics on Google tools in the classroom along with a few tidbits about Apps for Education if you’re not familiar with them. Keep reading to learn more.
 
Do you use any of Google’s tools in your classroom (whether they’re specifically geared towards teachers, students and classrooms or not)? What are your favorites? If you could add a new Google tool to the mix, what would it be? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.
 
Larry Page on Google’s Many Arms
Farhad.Manjoo, New York Times, June 25, 2014
If what Google showed off at an event for developers on Wednesday is a true vision of our future, Google’s software will soon reach ever further into our lives, sitting on just about every other device you encounter. The software will be available to help you look up any bit of idle curiosity or accomplish any task, anytime you desire.

 

Best Websites

Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2014
American Association of School Librarians
The 2014 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. 
 
Look at these topics:

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Next Big Thing for Tech: The Internet of Everything 
Tim Barjarin, Time, January 13, 2014
The Internet of Everything has become a catch-all phrase to describe adding connectivity andintelligence to just about every device in order to give them special functions. At the Consumers Electronics Show there CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, outlined Cisco’s thinking on IOE. The financial numbers he predicts for the impact of IOE in the public sector alone: $4.6 trillion. He believes it will have a dramatic impact on everything from city planning, first responders, military, health and dozens of other environments. Read more…it is interesting.
 
The Internet of Things: Monopoly Capitalism vs. Collaborative Commons
Jeremy Rifkin, Huffington Post, June 7, 2014
This post is excerpted from Jeremy Rifkin's new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, published today by Palgrave Macmillan.
 
If I had told you 25 years ago that, in a quarter century's time, one-third of the human race would be communicating with one another in huge global networks of hundreds of millions of people -- exchanging audio, video, and text -- and that the combined knowledge of the world would be accessible from a cellphone, that any single individual could post a new idea, introduce a product, or pass a thought to a billion people simultaneously, and that the cost of doing so would be nearly free, you would have shaken your head in disbelief. All are now reality.
 
Google S.E.C. Filing Says It Wants Ads In Your Thermostat and Car
Nick Bilton, NY Times, May 21, 2014
Science fiction got a few things right. Our home appliances are becoming intelligent, drones are flying through the skies and cars are starting to drive themselves. But they can’t fly — yet. But it seems science fiction thinkers may have missed one big and possibly frightening (or annoying) prediction: that these devices would be another place for advertising.
 
According to a December letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which became public on Tuesday, Google hopes to put ads “on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”
 
Cisco Live: Internet of Things vs. Internet of Everything
Noelle Knell, Future Structure, May 19, 2013
In a public-sector address at the company's annual conference, Cisco execs explain the difference between the terms, which are often used interchangeably.
 
Accelerating the Internet of Everything
Jason Shueh, Future Structure, May 5, 2014
The movement to allow everyday items to connect to the Internet has gained momentum, as toothbrushes, bathroom scales and trash cans (to name a few) are available with sensors and online access. And now, this dominantly consumer-based field may see a new line up of enterprise-focused — and potentially government-focused — startups through a new program by the Alchemist Accelerator.
 
NYC Startup Quirky Launches Platform for Internet of Things
Gabrielle Karoi, Fox Business, June 24, 2014
GE and The Home Depot are turning to New York City startup Quirky for its new connected-home platform. Quirky, which turns crowdsourced ideas into products, is spinning off a standalone business, Wink, for its Internet-of-Things software platform.  Wink will sync connected-home devices available from companies such as GE and The Home Depot with a mobile app to allow homeowners to manage smart products from their phone.
 
4 Universities Receive Electric Vehicles for Internet of Things Research
Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, June 23, 2014
This summer, Colorado State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will each receive four electric vehicles for a variety of sustainable research projects, including reducing the campus's carbon footprint; using vehicle sensor data; and broadening the understanding of the Internet of Things.

 

Common Core

Education Futures: Emerging Trends and Technologies in K-12
Education Week, July 1, 2014
This is the title of the entire series. Check out such topics as The Ultimate Demise of Common Core - Part III The Logistics (July 1, 2014); The Ultimate Demise of Common Core - Part II: The Parents (June 24, 2014); The Ultimate Demise of Common Core, Part I: The Politics (June 22, 2014) ; and more articles. See what this has to do with emerging trends in K-12.

 

E-Rate

Chmn. Wheeler Proposes Updating E-rate for Wi-Fi in Schools, Libraries 
FCC
Modernizing E-Rate to deliver digital learning to more kids faster. Chairman Wheeler’s proposed Order is the next major step in a comprehensive modernization of E-Rate, the first such effort since the program’s creation 18 years ago. The draft Order is focused on the largest and most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap—while ensuring E-Rate money is spent smartly and improving program administration. It is the next step in what will be an ongoing process to modernize the E-rate program. Read the draft proposal.

 

Data Privacy

Congress Urged to Update Student Data Privacy Law
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, June 27, 2014
Experts shared conflicting advice at a congressional hearing this week on how to ensure student data privacy in the cloud, with much of the conflict revolving around whether federal legislation does enough to protect students.
 
Here's the main challenge with student data: School districts are contracting with third-party cloud service providers that store student data, use it to personalize learning for each student and provide detailed assessments of students' progress. Although these practices improve learning, they can cause problems when the systems that store the data aren't secure, when the school districts no longer control the data and when these vendors use the data for non-educational purposes. 

 

NMC Horizon Report 2014 K-12

NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition
The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlooks are part of the NMC Horizon Project, a comprehensive research venture established in 2002 that identifies and describes key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. This volume, the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition will examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within the environment of pre-college education. The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition is the sixth in the K-12 series of reports and is produced by the NMC in collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and made possible via the support of HP. View the work that produced the report at k12.wiki.nmc.org.
 
New Horizon Report Insists Teachers Use Tech
Dave Guymon, Getting Smart, blog, June 23, 2014
In partnership with the New Media Consortium (NMC) and with the support of HP, CoSN produces the annual Horizon Report, which examines emerging technologies for their potential impacts on and uses in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within K-12 education. The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition analyzes trends both personal (teachers' roles) and universal (school organization) for their potential impacts on education within a five-year timeframe. The report also predicts the six emerging technologies which will have the greatest impact on education: BYOD and cloud computing on the one-year horizon; games and learning analytics on the three-year horizon; and the internet of things and wearable technology on the five-year horizon. Download the free Horizon Report for a full analysis.

 

MOOCs

5 Things Researchers Have Discovered About MOOCs
Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed, June 27, 2014
In December 2013 a group of academics gathered during a Texas snowstorm and began the second phase of a discussion about massive open online courses. They were not terribly impressed by the hype the courses had received in the popular media, and they had set out to create a better body of literature about MOOCs—albeit a less sensational one.
 
The MOOC Research Initiative, backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had given many of those academics research grants to study what was going on in the online courses. Now the organization has posted preliminary findings from some of those research projects.
 
The findings have not yet been peer-reviewed and should not be generalized, but they do represent some of the most rigorous analysis to date on MOOCs. Following is a synopsis of the more interesting findings. For wonkier interpretations of the data, you can find the researchers’ own summaries here.
 

Trends

New White Paper Outlines What’s Now and Next with School Software 
Dave Guymeon, Getting Smart, June 27, 2014
As educational technology implementation continues to spread across classrooms, use has become increasingly diverse and sophisticated. From blending learning to supporting data-driven practices, digital tools and software are changing the ways that teachers and students both operate. In light of this, most of what is seen in the market reflects the needs of the largest urban districts with the largest technology budgets and the greatest potential for impacting edtech’s bottom line. But where does that leave the needs of small- to medium-sized school systems, which happen to account for half of the nation’s 48 million public schools?
 
A recent white paper by the Clayton Christensen Institute addresses just that. 30 small- to medium-sized public school systems (serving 2,500 to 25,000 students) with proven track records of successful blended learning programs were surveyed to determine what they perceive to be developing trends in technology usage and demand among small- to medium-sized school systems for the paper Schools and software: What’s now and what’s next. Among the major requests mentioned, four stood out as worthy of mainstream attention.
 
Four key AV trends from InfoComm 2014
Dennis Pierce, eSchool News, June 26, 2014
Collaboration was a key theme at this year’s InfoComm, North America’s largest audio-visual trade show, as many companies showed new products designed to make it easier for users to collaborate on presentations and other information. Look at the trends that were presented last week in Las Vegas.

 

IT Infrastructures

Say Yes to Innovation: Next Generation IT Infrastructures
Webcast, Campus Technology
Mobility. Big Data. BYOD. Cloud. You need an infrastructure that's agile, efficient, and cost-effective. Please view this on-demand webcast that introduces ways to modernize and standardize your IT infrastructure to stretch budgets and gain more flexibility. View this webcast to learn how you can realize the benefits of a modern and standard IT foundation such as:
  • Increased performance and support on-premise, hybrid, cloud, and mobile deployments
  • Improved development, deployment, and administration with scalable, open systems
  • Measurable cost savings while improving performance, reliability, scalability, and security

One-to-one Strategies

Strategies for one-to-one computing success
eSchool News
This is a collection of articles on the subject. A growing number of school leaders have recognized the benefits of making sure every student has access to a digital learning device, both in the classroom and at home—but there are a number of barriers to making this happen.

 

State Authorization

US Department of Education pausing on federal state authorization
Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers
In an address to the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) yesterday, Ted Mitchell (Under Secretary for Postsecondary) Education announced a ‘pause’ on state authorization. This announcement was reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed today. Russ Poulin shares what he knows about this.
 
SREB information related to State Authorization:
As you may know, there have been many questions related to the recent statement from the US Department of Education on state authorization. You can view the statement at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-14721.pdf. As usual, Russ Poulin, from WCET provides clarification below and reminds us the “statement does not concern SARA, or even distance education. The regulation this is referencing is the one that requires STATES to have an acceptable authorization process for authorizing IN-STATE (e.g., institutions with physical presence) institutions to operate within state borders. The statement from the Department simply indicates that the Department of Education is pushing out the deadline for their enforcement of state agency compliance with in-state state authorization requirements for one year -- from the original deadline of July 1, 2014, to the new deadline of July 1, 2015.”
 
Several new items have been added to the NC SARA site:

Sloan-C, UPCEA, and WCET Partner on State Authorization Policy Recommendations 
Russ Poulin, WCET
For the first time, WCET partnered with UPCEA and Sloan-C in providing recommendations on distance education policy. We stated our positions in a letter delivered on Friday to Secretary Arne Duncan of the U.S. Department of Education.  In the letter we addressed the upcoming state authorization regulations that the Department is expected to release for public comment this summer.

 

Online Teaching and Learning

Barriers to online teaching across state lines
John Watson, Keeping Pace, June 25, 2014
The Keeping Pace research team is developing the first of a new set of policy briefs that we will be releasing in the coming months. These will represent the first Keeping Pace research that is released as a document separate from the annual report or the website. The first of these briefs examines issues related to 21stcentury teachers who wish to reach students in multiple states. This and two subsequent blog posts (post 2 here) are based on the draft report.
 
Barriers to online teaching across state lines: part 2—a possible solution
John Watson, Keeping Pace, June 27, 2014
An earlier post discussed the policy brief we are creating that explores the challenges faced by online teachers who are reaching students who reside in multiple states. A potential solution exists that would allow licensed teachers to more easily teach in multiple states, while not just preserving teaching quality but in fact augmenting online teacher skills. States that take this approach would create an online teacher specialization, which would allow online teachers to work in the state’s online schools and courses, if they meet either of two licensing paths. The first path is the current option used by online teachers in most states.
 
One Down, Many to Go (in Georgia Tech's Online Degree Program)
Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, June 6, 2014
Administrators at the Georgia Institute of Technology are optimistic but “not declaring victory” after one semester of its affordable online master’s degree program in computer science. While the program has been well received by students, administrators are still striving to solve an equation that balances cost, academic quality and support services.
 
The Five Faces of Online Education
Allison Bailey, et al, The Boston Consulting Group, June 18, 2014
A new report about online learning by high school and college students says that online learning can be better understood by dividing online learners into five types.

 

Net Neutrality

Coming to a City Hall Near You: Net Neutrality
Timothy Karr, Free Press, June 24, 2014
The fight for Net Neutrality has found a champion in a city hall near you. On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for real Net Neutrality. The resolution asserts the importance of including “comprehensive nondiscrimination as a key principle for any FCC rulemaking.”
 
The resolution, led by mayors from Los Angeles, Madison, Wis., Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco and Tucson, gives the agency a strong local mandate of support to take the necessary steps to prevent an online pay-for-prioritization scheme on the Internet.
 
Net Neutrality's Impact on Free Speech
Lauren Wilson, Common Dreams, June 24, 2014
This is an adaptation from a speech given at the National Press Club: "It’s not the big guys we should be afraid for. We should be afraid for independent journalists, rising stars and diverse voices who have grown up with and thrived on the open Web. And we should be afraid for the people who listen to and depend on those voices.”

 

Digital Games

Survey on Digital Games Use in the Classroom
Anastasia Salter, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2014
A survey of grade school educators on using games in the classroom was recently released by the Games and Learning Publishing Council (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). While this survey isn’t directly applicable to those of us working in higher education, the adoption and success of games methods in K-12 will impact responses to those approaches when we try them in our classes with those students years later.
 
Hurdles to the Improvement of Online Courses and Programs
Di Xu, The Evolllution
The most significant hurdle to implementing strategies critical to delivering strong online programming is the significant cost involved.

 

More on Banning Laptops

Three Issues with the Case for Banning Laptops
Robert Talbert, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2014
The author pushes back on the New Yorker article, “The Case for Banning Laptops in the Classroom” which was featured in the June 23 WON.

 

Copyright Law

Copyright in Online Education
Interview, Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2014
This month's edition of The Pulse podcast features an interview with Dina Leytes, who chairs the intellectual property and new media practice at Philadelphia's Griesing Law firm. In the interview, she discusses some of the copyright and ownership issues related to online higher education.
 
3 Must-Knows About Teachers and Copyright
Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, May 28, 2014
Schools and districts are increasingly urging teachers to use digital content for instruction, with many teachers taking innovative steps by creating their own digital content. But when it comes to copyright, ownership, and sharing, that’s where it gets tricky.

 

Just Interesting

Check it out: Florida university library to lend drones to students
Jareen Imam, CNN, June 23, 2014
As paper books are marginalized, the future of libraries may lie with technology lending. CNN quotes South Florida’s dean of libraries as saying that students working on multi-media projects, mapping the campus, and other research projects, could use the drones. Students have to enroll in a training course before taking the drones out, and they have to be supervised while flying them.
 
Twitter: Best Practices For Educators
Vicki Davis, Edudemic, June 11, 2014
Twitter is an incredible tool for any classroom, if you know how to use it.
 
You will soon be able to borrow Wi-Fi hot spots from the public library
Sarah Gray, Salon, June 26 2014
Public libraries will soon be lending out more than just reading material. Along with troves of books, movies and periodicals, access to computers — and the occasional 3-D printer — the New York Public Library and Chicago Public library will soon be renting out Wi-Fi hot spots.
 
The programs were made possible by grants from the Knight Foundation. The goal is to bridge the digital divide and provide Internet to households that don’t have access to broadband; in New York City, 27 percent of households don’t have Internet capabilities. And according to Staten Island Live: “a survey conducted by the NYPL found that 55 percent of patrons who use Internet services and programs in NYPL branches do not have broadband access at home.”
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