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Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: November 5, 2014
Prepared by June Weis

 

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SREB News

SREB Legislative Report; Final Legislative and Budget Action
SREB, October 22, 2014
Learn the details behind the final legislative and budget actions in each of the 16 states across the SREB region. A summary of actions based on the 2014 SREB Legislative Reports is provided.
 
State Authorization: SREB’s Electronic Campus Regional Reciprocity Agreement (SECRRA) and National State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)
Also: NC-SARA
Louisiana, Virginia and West Virginia have been approved by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), as the first states in the compact's region to become members of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Virginia has an effective operational date of October 17, 2014; Louisiana and West Virginia have an effective operational date of December 1, 2014.
 
News from SREB’s Learning-Centered Leadership Program
Florida Middle School Creates Success Academy
SREB blog September 9, 2014
Florida’s Pinellas Park Middle School, which serves a population of students with challenges ranging from discipline issues to a lack of social and personal coping skills, has found a way to create a more focused and supportive environment to help those students succeed. Pinellas Park’s Success Academy, a critical, strategic component of the school’s reform plan, was designed to meet the needs of all its students. The Success Academy has played a large role in turning the school around, due in part to attentive school leadership and a focus on strong teaching and specialized interventions. Read the entire blog.
 

Net Neutrality


Want an online degree? Net ruling threatens that 
Vincent del Casino, AZCentral, October 17, 2914
The push by the White House to increase access to a college degree must rely, in large part, on the growth of online opportunities. Yet the threat to net neutrality presents a serious hurdle.
 
As many traditional four-year campuses reimagine themselves for a more diverse student population, there is a lot of excitement around the idea that online learning can open the higher-education door for millions more Americans.
 
F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality
Edward Wyatt, New York Times, October 31, 2014
WASHINGTON — The chairman and staff of the Federal Communications Commission are moving toward a proposal that for the first time would give the agency regulatory authority over how Internet traffic flows between content providers and the companies that provide Internet service to consumers, according to people close to the discussions.
The proposal is part of a hybrid solution that has gained favor among the F.C.C. staff over the last two months. Like other possible solutions, it seeks to reestablish the F.C.C.’s authority to enforce net neutrality, the general concept that no Internet traffic should be discriminated against unfairly.
But unlike policies previously considered, which treated the entire Internet ecosystem as a single universe, the hybrid proposal would establish a divide between “wholesale” and “retail” transactions.


MOOCs' Future

Optimism About MOOCs Fades in Campus IT Offices 
Rebecca Koenig, Chronicle, October 1, 2014
MOOC fever is cooling, at least among campus information-technology administrators, according to the 2014 edition of the Campus Computing Survey, an annual report on technology in higher education.
While a little more than half of last year’s respondents thought MOOCs “offer a viable model for the effective delivery of online instruction,” just 38 percent of this year’s participants agreed with that statement. And only 19 percent of respondents in 2014 said MOOCs could generate new revenue for colleges, down from 29 percent last fall. Source: Education at a Glance 2014;OECD Indicators (This book provides annual data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in the OECD’s 34 member countries, as well as a number of partner countries.)
 

The American Dream

The American Dream Is Leaving America.
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, October 25, 2014
As recently as 2000, the United States still ranked second in the share of the population with a college degree. Now we have dropped to fifth. Among 25-to-34-year-olds — a glimpse of how we will rank in the future — we rank 12th, while once-impoverished South Korea tops the list.
 
A new Pew survey finds that Americans consider the greatest threat to our country to be the growing gap between the rich and poor. Yet we have constructed an education system, dependent on local property taxes, that provides great schools for the rich kids in the suburbs who need the least help, and broken, dangerous schools for inner-city children who desperately need a helping hand. Too often, America’s education system amplifies not opportunity but inequality.
 

Social Media

Connected Learning 
Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, October 20, 2014
The headlines are legion, the sentiment, widespread: “Why Social Media is Destroying Our Social Skills” (USA Today). “Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects” (MIT Technology Review).
 
The rise of social media, many fear, is ruining authentic interpersonal relationships. No amount of social media, we are repeatedly told, can ever equal face-to-face interaction.
 
Social networking has altered our very vocabulary.  And it’s not just a matter of “tweets.” Consider such words as “like” or “follower” or “network” or “hashtag” or “endorsements” or the verb “friend.”
 
What are the implications of social media for pedagogy? The author offers five answers.


Games

From Gamification to Touch Interfaces: Designing for 21st Century Learners 
Jeff D. Borden, EDUCAUSE Review, October 13, 2014
The proven efficacy of games in helping students learn has yet to fully surmount skeptical attitudes among educators, but the motivational aspects of games are enticing, as are the futuristic apps and cross-cultural connections that new devices make possible.


Trends

Gartner Trends: Tech To Realign Human and Digital Life 
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, October 8, 2014
Gartner has looked at the digital future and found it in flux. During its annual symposium and ITxpo in Orlando, the IT consulting firm presented 10 technology trends expected to have "strategic impact" in most organizations, which may mean disruption to the business, users or IT; which may call for "major investment"; or which may pose unforeseen risks if ignored.
 
6 Hot Higher Education Technology Trends 
Bob Burwell, NETAPP, October 15, 2014
While higher education institutions are consolidating data centers, smart data storage and data management for created content and video is a top concern.
Based on our own first-hand conversations with education leaders and executives, and observations during the first half of the year, several top-of-mind themes and challenges consistently emerge. Read more.
 
Thoughts from higher education leaders: Challenges and emerging trends in online education
The University Professional and Continuing Education Association Center for Research and Consulting and The NASPA Research and Policy Institute in partnership with Inside Track
 
Thoughts from higher education leaders: Challenges and emerging trends in online education.
 
Will Education Ever Keep Up with Technology?
Mike Stucka, The Macon Telegraph (TNS), October 29, 2014
The pace of technological changes are undermining traditional schooling and are costing billions of dollars to deal with, say panelists at Tuesday’s day-long Middle Georgia Digital Economy Summit. People are both driving the changes and needing more help because of the changes, panelists at the summit told a crowd of about 230 people.
 
Mike Hall, director of information technology for the Bibb County school system, had an easy answer for how teachers can stay on top of technology. “They’ll never catch up,” he said, suggesting veteran teachers can become facilitators of knowledge to help students find the information they need. Read more for suggestions to the problem.
 

Google Glass

Google Glass Gives Learners a New Point of View 
John Pulley, Campus Technology, October 8, 2014
What if a paramedic student could view a delicate medical procedure directly through the eyes of his instructor, and then apply that experience to his own practice? A new pilot program at State University of New York Cobleskill will allow students to do just that, using Google Glass to provide first-person point-of-view video capture and replay in an academic laboratory
 

Student Privacy Pledge

What a Pledge Says About the State of Ed Tech Privacy
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, October 10, 2014
A student privacy pledge continues the national conversation about technology tools in schools.
 
Public concern has been rising over the last year as parents and privacy advocates learn more about how education technology vendors are using their students' data — and don't like what they find. Notably, Google admitted to scanning student emails for advertising purposes this year, though it later said it would no longer continue the practice. And a Politico inestigative piece in May highlighted the practices and policies of many other companies.
 
Major Ed Tech Companies Sign Student Data Privacy Pledge 
Christopher Piehler, THE Journal, October 7, 2014
The Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association today announced a K-12 school service providers' pledge designed to keep students' information private. Several companies including Microsoft, HMH and Amplify have already signed the Student Privacy Pledge.


Web Security

Updating Your Web Security 
Anastasia Salter, Chronicle, October 6, 2014
Web security isn’t something we tend to think of on a day-to-day basis. Usually, we only become aware of the security concerns of our accounts once something goes wrong. We know that we should have high-security passwords and not reuse them across networks, and yet most of us don’t follow those rules.
 
The author names a few places on the web that you might only be protecting with a password which are worth the 15 minutes to take to a next security level with two-factor authentication, which supplements your password with a code sent to your phone at the time of log-in on a new system: Google, Facebook, iCloud, Dropbox, and WordPress. Two Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA, two step verification or TFA, is an extra layer of security that is known as "multi factor authentication" that requires not only a password and username but also something that only, and only, that user has on them, i.e. a piece of information only they should know.


School Funding

Most States Still Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession
Michael Leachman and Chris Mai, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 16, 2014
States are providing less per pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did seven years ago —often far less. The reduced levels reflect primarily the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession. At a time when states and the nation need workers with the skills to master new technologies and adapt to the complexities of a global economy, this decline in state educational investment is cause for concern. Read the statistics by state and consider the serious consequences.
 

Competency-based Education

Experts offer new resources for competency-based education
Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, October 7, 2014
Competency-based education (CBE) is making the rounds in higher education as colleges and universities eager to explore alternative pathways discuss the model’s potential. According to Michael Offerman of Offerman Consulting, during an EDUCAUSE 2014 panel, a number of national initiatives dedicated specifically to CBE have partnered together to provide as many diverse resources as possible for institutions ranging from the simply curious to those in final implementation stages.
 
A Competency-Based Educational Shift Is Underway in Higher Ed
D. Frank Smith, EDUCAUSE, October 7, 2014
College students are being given a growing list of options for college accreditation. The Higher Education Act of 1965 is due for reauthorization this year, and direct assessment programs could be in the spotlight.
The law, which governs how federal student aid functions, could see some major changes later this year. As part of ongoing discussions for revisiting the act, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation in July that would aid colleges employing competency-based education programs, according to Inside Higher Ed. The educational approach allows students to pursue a degree based on their demonstration of skill mastery instead of their letter grades. The intent is to provide more concrete skills that translate directly to a work environment rather than a theoretical educational approach.
 

Distance Ed Policy

The must-know changes in distance education policy
Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, October 10, 2014
A lot has changed in online learning practices in just a few short years—and accreditation policy is no exception. These are just a glimpse of some of the most recent (within the last two years) updates to distance education policy standards set forth by regional and national accrediting organizations in the U.S.
 

Teacher Apprentices

As Apprentices in Classroom, Teachers Learn What Works
Motoko Rich, New York Times, October 10, 2014
Monica DeSantiago wondered how in the world she would get the students to respect her. It was the beginning of her yearlong apprenticeship as a math teacher at Berkley Maynard Academy, a charter school in this diverse city east of San Francisco.
 
The idea is that teachers, like doctors in medical residencies, need to practice repeatedly with experienced supervisors before they can be responsible for classes on their own. At Aspire, mentors believe that the most important thing that novice teachers need to master is the seemingly unexciting — but actually quite complex — task of managing a classroom full of children. Once internalized, the thinking goes, such skills make all the difference between calm and bedlam, and can free teachers to focus on student learning.
 

Higher Ed Challenges

The Top 10 IT Issues in Higher Ed for 2015
Tanya Roscorla. Center for Digital Education, October 2, 2014
This annual list comes out of an EDUCAUSE IT panel made up of higher education leaders who identify the top strategic priorities for their institutions. Once they come up with their initial list, the community gets to vote, and then it's published in the January/February issue of the EDUCAUSE Review. Here is the sneak peek.
 
Admin give 7 scalable tips for common challenges in online learning
Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, September 22, 2014
Report outline challenges, tips from college and university officials implementing online learning programs 
 

Internet of Things IoT

IBM Cloud Services focus more on Internet of Things
David Mayor, Internet, News, Smart Gadgets, October 18, 2014
IBM has made its intentions of marketing Bluemix cloud services for the Internet of Things (IoT) clear to the world. It will be made possible through IBM Internet of Things Foundation service. The service is a part of the Smarter Planet Initiative.


Just Interesting

Study: Middle School Teachers as Savvy as Students with Tech
D. Frank Smith, Ed Tech Focus on K-12, October 29, 2014
Teachers need not be afraid of technology endeavors with students: experience is on their side, according to a new report. Researchers found that science teachers inside and outside the classroom aren't lagging behind the "digital natives" they teach when it comes to using technology. The study comes from the work of five researchers, hailing from the New York Institute of Technology, University of Connecticut and Utah State University.


Resources

Fall Apps - 2014
WCET Learn
Good Monday, WCET’ers.
Today we have released the Fall 2014 Mobile App Series produced by our apologist (a person who studies and researches mobile apps for the purposes of education and workforce training), Robbie Melton, associate vice chancellor of e-Learning mobilization for the Tennessee Board of Regents.  In this installation, Robbie looks at the best-updated apps for iOS 8 – which runs the newest products, including iPhone 6s. Happy App’ing!
 
BTW, Robbie has been named as one of the top 30 Technologists Transformers and Trailblazers 2014 by the Center for Digital Education.
 
Common Sense Media
Common Sense is dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology.  We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.
 
Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.  Our Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.
 
7 STEM apps designed by students 
Michael Sharnoff, eCampus News, October 15, 2014
Students from across the U.S. met with congressional leaders and the Obama administration to showcase their STEM apps. There were 20 students ages 15-25 selected for their video game and app prototypes that address social issues in their community. The author includes seven apps in this article.
 
 
 
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