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Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: March 20, 2013

Prepared by June Weis
 

SREB News

2013 SREB/iNACOL National Online Teacher of the Year Announced!
This was the featured event at our recent K-20 Virtual Teaching and Learning Symposium. We send congratulations to Renee Citlau.
 
California’s Renee Citlau Named 2013 National Online Teacher of the Year
Renee Citlau of Anaheim, CA, an online teacher at Cypress High School and a lead online teacher for the Anaheim Union High School District, was named the 2013 National Online Teacher of the Year, an honor presented annually by SREB and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). The award recognizes an outstanding educator for exceptional contributions to online K-12 education and dedication to enhancing and sharing best practices across the field. Renee Citlau is a teacher in career and technical education (CTE) and her subject areas include, accounting, web page design, economics, and digital animation.
 
Citlau and two other finalists were recognized at an awards dinner on March 7 during the SREB Educational Technology Cooperative K-20 Virtual Teaching and Learning Symposium in Atlanta. The other finalists were Jennifer Currin, an online English teacher at North Carolina Virtual Public School, and Michelle Licata, a teacher and mentor for other online educators at Florida Virtual School. For details, see the press release >.
 
Online Teacher of the Year Finalists Share Passion for Technology-driven Instruction
LeeEllen Harmer, SAS Curriculum Pathways
SAS is a sponsor of the National Online Teacher of the Year award
Read LeeEllen’s blogs that feature interviews with the three NOTY finalists, Renee Citlau, Jennifer Currin and Michelle Licata.
 
K-12 Online Access Grows in SREB States
Access to online K-12 courses has increased significantly for public school students across the South, and four SREB states now make online learning a requirement for a high school diploma. Those are among the changes in online education in the region over the past three... read more.
 

Digital Learning Initiatives

Governor McCrory (NC) Signs Bills Promoting Technology in Public Schools
Waxhaw, N.C. - Acting on his commitment to transform North Carolina's education system, Governor Pat McCrory signed two bills today to help expand digital learning initiatives and promote technology in the classroom.
 
"This legislation will help fundamentally transform the way our children learn in our schools through technology," said Governor McCrory at Cuthbertson High School in Waxhaw. "I thank the bill sponsors as we continue to work together to empower our hardworking teachers and students by giving them the resources necessary to succeed in the classroom."
  • House Bill 23 (Horn, Johnson, Saine, Tolson) - a bill directing the State Board of Education to develop and implement digital teaching and learning standards for teachers and school administrators to ensure provision of high‑quality, integrated digital teaching and learning to all students.
  • House Bill 44 (Horn, Johnson, Saine, Tolson) - a bill signaling North Carolina's intent to transition from funding textbooks to digital learning materials in public schools by 2017.

Online Learning Institute

Online Learning Institute at ISTE, June 26th
The 9th Annual Online Learning Institute, jointly sponsored by EDC’s EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO), the International Association of K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) offers a unique day-long event for online professional development and virtual school practitioners. Be sure to check this out.

Future of Higher Education

Infographic: The Future of Higher Education
Carolina Vander Ark Davis, Getting Smart, March 15, 2013
This week, like so many lately, our team thought a lot about how to transform the higher ed learning experience. Like this infographic, we believe the landscape will change drastically in the next few years.
 
California Bill Seeks Campus Credit for Online Study
Tamar Lewin, NY Times, March 12, 2013
Legislation will be introduced in the California Senate on Wednesday that could reshape higher education by requiring the state’s public colleges and universities to give credit for faculty-approved online courses taken by students unable to register for oversubscribed classes on campus.
 
If it passes, as seems likely, it would be the first time that state legislators have instructed public universities to grant credit for courses that were not their own — including those taught by a private vendor, not by a college or university.
 
Data Caps Could Dim Online Learning's Bright Future
Benjamin Lennett and Danielle Kehl, Chronicle of Higher Ed, March 4, 2013
Will the Internet remake education? Prestigious universities like Stanford and Georgetown now offer free classes to any student with an Internet connection and an attention span. Educators and policy makers believe these new online courses could make higher education more available and affordable for all.
 
The key word here: could. As people struggle to sort the good from the bad in the world of massive open online education, some are already asking, as The Chronicle did recently, "For Whom Is College Being Reinvented?"
 
But even that debate rests on a fundamental assumption that access to the courses themselves is not a barrier. Today, data caps—monthly limits that force Internet users to pay for a specific amount of data and bill them even more if they exceed the limit—are proliferating. They threaten to put the brakes on this potential online revolution.
 
Although much of the data-cap debate has focused on how these restrictions affect streaming-video services like Netflix, a recent study by the Open Technology Institute found that the caps also create barriers to using other data-intensive services, including online education.
 
'Bandwidth Divide' Could Bar Some People From Online Learning
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed, March 4, 2013
Think the digital divide is behind us now that personal computers are ubiquitous? Consider the recent failure of an e-textbook effort in a wealthy school district outside of Washington, D.C.
 
The e-textbooks used in the project, run by the Fairfax County Public Schools, worked only when students were online—and some features required fast connections. But it turns out that even in such a well-heeled region, many students did not have broadband access at home and were unable to do their homework, sparking complaints from parents that led the school system to approve the purchase of $2-million in printed textbooks for those who preferred a hard copy.
 
As more colleges rush to offer free online courses in the name of providing educational access to all, it's worth asking who might be left out for lack of high-speed Internet access to watch video lectures.

The Reason THIS EDUdotcom May Not Be As Different From Last Time As You Think
Ellen Wagner participated in the SXSW (South by Southwest) EDU event last week as a panelist and attendee. As someone who has experienced higher education as a faculty person, administrator, consultant, entrepreneur, corporate visionary, and (now) WCET director...she has a very insightful view on what it means when the investment community suddenly takes interest in our work. Is what we are seeing now very different from the craziness of the 90s? Read her blog posting in WCET Frontiers.(Russell Poulin)

Student-Centered Learning

Getting Down to Dollars and Cents
Larry Miller, Betheny Gross, Monica Quiidani, CRPE Reinventing Public Education (Nellie Mae Education Foundation), November 2012
This report provides a critical foundation for the delivery of student-centered learning by exploring three questions:
  1. How is student-centered learning delivered?
  2. What resources are needed to implement student-centered learning?
  3. How does district spending on student-centered learning compare with spending on traditional schools?
Findings show that the implementation of student-centered approaches can be tailored and affordable for districts, schools and taxpayers alike.
 
This past year, NMEF also funded groundbreaking new reports, which include: nine papers from Students at the Center, an ongoing initiative to build the field of student-centered learning through research and development, and an analysis of how much districts spend on student-centered schools compared to typical schools in Getting Down to Dollars and Cents: What Do Districts Spend on Student-Centered Learning?

New Education Activists

The Network for Public Education
The Network for Public Education is an advocacy group whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution in a democratic society. Our mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools and the education of current and future generations of students. We will accomplish this by networking groups and organizations focused on similar goals in states and districts throughout the nation, share information about what works and what doesn’t work in public education, and endorse and rate candidates for office based on our principles and goals. More specifically, we will support candidates who oppose high-stakes testing, mass school closures, the privatization of our public schools and the outsourcing of its core functions to for-profit corporations, and we will support candidates who work for evidence-based reforms that will improve our schools and the education of our nation’s children.

More about MOOCs

Dr. Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was a presenter at the recent SREB 2013 Symposium on Virtual Teaching and Learning. Among other things he says that MOOCs are here to stay and Scalability of MOOCs offers the potential to educate all students in the state of Georgia.
 
Provost Named to Coursera’s University Advisory Board
Dr. Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has been named to Coursera’s University Advisory Board. Bras is one of nine senior academic officials named to the panel, the company’s first advisory board. Each member represents a university partnered with Coursera to offer free massive open. He referenced Tom Friedman’s article below.
 
The Professors’ Big Stage
Thomas Friedman, New York Times, March 5, 2013
Not every professor will develop a global following, but the MOOCs revolution, which will go through many growing pains, is here and is real. These were my key take-aways from the Harvard-MIT sponsored conference: “Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education”
 
Institutions of higher learning must move, as the historian Walter Russell Mead puts it, from a model of “time served” to a model of “stuff learned.”
 
Therefore, we have to get beyond the current system of information and delivery — the professorial “sage on the stage” and students taking notes, followed by a superficial assessment, to one in which students are asked and empowered to master more basic material online at their own pace, and the classroom becomes a place where the application of that knowledge can be honed through lab experiments and discussions with the professor.
 
We demand that plumbers and kindergarten teachers be certified to do what they do, but there is no requirement that college professors know how to teach. No more.
 
Bottom line: There is still huge value in the residential college experience and the teacher-student and student-student interactions it facilitates. But to thrive, universities will have to nurture even more of those unique experiences while blending in technology to improve education outcomes in measurable ways at lower costs. We still need more research on what works, but standing still is not an option.
 

Resources

Internet 2 K-20 Initiative
James Werle was a presenter at our recent SREB symposium. Here is a selection of the valuable resources he talked about.
 
The National Internet2 K20 Initiative brings together Internet2 member institutions and innovators from primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and museums to extend new technologies, applications, middleware, and content to all educational sectors, as quickly and connectedly as possible. Please contact James Werle, director of the Internet2 K20 Initiative, for more information. Learn more...
 
Teachers’ Domain
Library of Congress Digital Collections
I Witness iLabCentral (remote labs; listen to the teacher from Australia)
North Dakota State University Electron Microscopy Center
Interactive Oceans
  • The vision: Launching a new era of scientific discovery and understanding of the oceans.
  • The mission: To design and construct a U.S. regional cabled ocean observatory in the Northeast Pacific Ocean that will serve researchers, students, educators, policymakers, and the public.
  • Contact Allison Fundis, Ed and Public Engagement Liaison for more information.
Immersion Learning ISEE Promises to Revolutionize Video-conferencing
An affordable video-conferencing system offering real-time, high-quality streaming via a standard laptop is expected to begin commercialisation this year.
 
Connect and Collaborate With NASA
Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, March 4, 2013
This resource links to all of NASA's iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile apps. The page includes apps that I've previously tried Spacecraft 3D (my review) and Sector 33 (my review) as well as some new-to-me apps like Comet Quest (free iOS app) and Be A Martian (Android).
 
Google Hangouts
Video chats with up to nine people.
 

Career and Technical Education

The NET Project
The NET (Nontraditional Employment & Training) Project provides statewide technical assistance to Career and Technical Education institutions that sponsor Carl D. Perkins funded programs for nontraditional career options. The web site is designed to provide timely and useful resources to support the mission of building a nontraditional workforce through expanded educational and career opportunities for students.
 
Questionmark Getting Results Award
Questionmark Users Conference was a celebration of many things – Questionmark’s 25th anniversary, new and future tools for making tests and other assessments more powerful and meaningful, tremendous progress on many fronts.
 
This year, we had the pleasure of presenting a Questionmark Getting Results Award to the CareerTech Testing Center at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE). The award cited the Testing Center’s provision of tests that help institutions throughout the United States satisfy compliance criteria for state and national educational initiatives and meet certification requirements for more than 60 occupations. Read more about the services provided by the CareerTech Testing Center.
 

News from USDOE

Richard Culatta, Acting Director, Office of Educational Technology, U. S. Department of Education, was the keynote speaker at our recent SREB Symposium. Among other topics, he discussed the items below.

Arne Duncan kicks off Education Datapalooza
USDOE, Office of Educational Technology

Education Datapalooza: Unleashing the Power of Open Data to Help Students, Parents, and Teachers
Richard Culatta, USDOE, January 13, 2013
Imagine new tools to help students choose a college that is right for them and their family. Or imagine an easy-to-read virtual dashboard for parents to track the academic performance of their children. Or imagine a digital file that makes it easier for children of active military and for foster youth to make the transition to a new school.
 
These are the kinds of advances that were on display at the White House last fall, as more than 150 of America’s entrepreneurs, software developers, education experts, and policy makers come together for an Education Datapalooza.
 
One of the core projects talked about is the MyData Initiative—a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Education and software developers to help students securely export or download their own educational data in open, machine-readable, human-readable formats, on any system. A number of vendors that already provide schools with software systems have committed to offer this functionality.

My Data Initiative
USDOE, Office of Educational Technology
The MyData Initiative seeks for every student (or parent of an underage student) to have access to his or her own academic data in a machine-readable format. This is possible through the participation of schools and software developers who enable students to download their own data to create a personal learning profile that they can keep with them throughout their learning career. In addition, developers are encouraged to created customized services and tools for students based on the information available in their personal learning profile.

Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics: An Issue Brief
USDOE, Office of Educational Technology
In data mining and data analytics, tools and techniques once confined to research laboratories are being adopted by forward-looking industries to generate business intelligence for improving decision-making. Higher education institutions are beginning to use analytics for improving the services they provide and for increasing student grades and retention. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan, as one part of its model for 21st-century learning powered by technology, envisions ways of using data from online learning systems to improve instruction.
 
With analytics and data mining experiments in education starting to proliferate, sorting out fact from fiction and identifying research possibilities and practical applications are not easy. This issue brief is intended to help policymakers and administrators understand how analytics and data mining have been—and can be—applied for educational improvement.

Reimagining Learning: Richard Culatta at TEDxBeaconStreet
TEDxTalks January 10, 2013
Richard Culatta identifies 3 major challenges with our current approach to education and suggests how a shift to personalized learning is the key to the future of education in America. To make this shift, we must close the digital divide between those who can leverage technology to reimagine learning and those who simply use technology to digitize the status quo. A teacher by training and innovator by inclination, Richard Culatta works to leverage technology to reinvent learning. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience

Where and When People Learn
Archived, USDOE
Richard Culatta focused on the graph in the Draft National Education Technology Plan 2010 that features where and when we learn. 18.5% of learning occurs between Grades 1-12.

World Economic Forum
Jose Ferreira, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Knewton
Jose features several articles related to education, particularly technology and data.

Learning Registry
The Learning Registry is an open source technical system designed to facilitate the exchange of data behind the scenes, and an open community of resource creators, publishers, curators, and consumers who are collaborating to broadly share resources, as well as information about how those resources are used by educators in diverse learning environments across the Web.

Data Analytics

Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework
WCET (Beth Davis, Phil Ice and Call Morrison)
Beth Davis of Sage Road Solutions was a presenter at our recent SREB Symposium.
 
The Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework applies descriptive, inferential, and predictive analytical data mining techniques to a single, federated dataset to better gauge risks and implement interventions that remove barriers to student success.
 
It is a multi-institutional data-mining project that brings together 2 year, 4 year, public, proprietary, traditional, and progressive institutions to collaborate on identifying points of student loss and to find effective practices that improve student retention in U.S. higher education. Current efforts focus on removing barriers to student success in online and blended programs. With sixteen WCET member institutions, over 1,700,000 anonymized student records and 8,100,000 institutionally de-identified course level records, the PAR Framework offers educational stakeholders a unique multi-institutional lens for examining dimensions of student success from both unified and contextual perspectives. More benefits of PAR Framework participation.

World Economic Forum
Jose Ferreira, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Knewton
Jose features several articles related to education, particularly technology and data.

National School Speed Test Initiative

New National School Speed Test hopes to help all K-12 students get effective digital learning
Education’s Digital Future, Stanford University, September 13, 2012
With 99 percent of the nation's K-12 schools hooked-up to the Internet, you'd think online learning was an educational staple. Sadly, it's also estimated that some 80 percent of those connections can't provide the 100Mbps per 1,000 students bandwidth the State Education Technology Directors Association recommends. That's why NPO Education Super Highway has announced the National School Speed Test initiative, with the goal to take actual stock of the state of Internet connections in our schools. The NSST hopes to measure the Internet capabilities of every K-12 school, and identify those that are lagging behind.

Netcraft Analysis: Online Speed Testing Tools
SEDTA
February 25, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – Today the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released an independent analysis commissioned from Netcraft, a highly-regarded Internet services company, that compares and contrasts popular broadband speed test tools in use by U.S. K-12 schools to support technology-enhanced school reform and improvement efforts, including for the implementation of the Common Core.
 
The 2012 SETDA report, The Broadband Imperative, recommends that all schools will need external Internet connections to their Internet service provider of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students and staff by 2014?15 and of 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and staff by 2017?18. SETDA commissioned the first-of-its-kind analysis of school speed test tools to highlight technical differences in the way various school speed test tools report progress in meeting these recommendations. School leaders rely on these tools to inform their long-range technology and budget planning.
 
The Netcraft analysis of online speed testing tools includes detailed information on tools provided by SpeedTest.net, Education SuperHighway’s School Speed Test, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia’s bandwidth check diagnostic tools.
 
To access a copy of the Netcraft analysis and for more information about the SETDA report, The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Educational Infrastructure Needs, please visit: http://www.setda.org/web/guest/schoolspeedtests.
 
The Real Scoop: What the Speak Up data tells us about the state of Ed tech today
Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow
This is a very interesting and informative slideshare about school speed test tools.

Analysis of Popular School Speed Test Tools Released to Inform Education Leaders, Policymakers
 
Reading, Writing and Video Games
Pamela Paul, NYTimes, March 15, 2013
Today, educational technology boosters believe computer games (the classroom euphemism for video games) should be part of classroom lessons at increasingly early ages. The optimistic theory is that students wearied by the old pencil-and-paper routine will become newly enchanted with phonemic awareness when letters dressed as farm animals dance on a screen….
 
In a 2012 survey of elementary and middle school teachers by Common Sense Media, 71 percent of teachers say entertainment media use has hurt students’ attention spans “a lot” or “somewhat.” The findings have had no apparent effect on palpable enthusiasm for interactive teaching. When experienced teachers express skepticism about the value of computer games in school, they’re often viewed as foot-draggers or change-resistant Luddites. A 2012 Project Tomorrow report (paid for in part by the technology industry), found that only 17 percent of current teachers believe technology helps students deeply explore their own ideas. Read more…
 
K-12 schools need learning-ready Internet. Our students are being left behind.
Education Super Highway
We work to ensure that every K-12 public school in America has the 100 Mbps of Internet infrastructure that students and teachers need for digital learning and teaching. Read about our plan. Over 50 non-profits, foundations, associations, companies, districts, State Departments of Education and education networks are supporting the School Speed Test. See who they are.

All of our students should have access to fast, reliable Internet at their school. Internet that allows students to learn from compelling online curricula that is personalized to fit their learning needs – without getting bogged down by slow connection speeds. The problem is that 80% of public schools in America lack fast enough Internet speeds to prepare our students for increasingly digital education.

Education Super Highway is a non-profit removing the roadblocks to high-speed Internet for students and teachers by finishing America's assignment of bringing learning-ready Internet infrastructure to every school in America.

Badges

Mozilla Releases Long-Discussed Software to Offer ‘Badges’ for Learning
Jake New, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2013
After two years of development, Mozilla has released Open Badges 1.0, free software that allows for a new way to recognize learning: digital badges.

With Open Badges 1.0 software, developed through a partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla hopes to offer an open standard for using those kinds of badges to verify and recognize skills students can learn that may not always be obvious with a degree.
 
Such badges could come in handy with massive open online courses or other forms of open education in which providing evidence of what students learn remains difficult without class credit, as well as for skills learned on a job after graduation.
 
What are Open Badges?
Mozilla Open Badges
Learning today happens everywhere but it's often difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements gained outside of school. Mozilla's Open Badges project is working to solve that problem, making it easy for any organization or learning community to issue, earn and display badges across the web. The result: recognizing 21st century skills, unlocking career and educational opportunities, and helping learners everywhere level up in their life and work.
 

A Blog to Pay Attention To

Of That
Brandt Reed, Blog on Education, Technology, Energy and Trust, March 6, 2013
Brandt Reed explores the theories of education reform that drove the deployment of these exams. There are three prominent theories of reform with a few variations. Most contemporary efforts to improve education are based on at least one of these theories:
  • Theory: Standards and School Accountability
  • Theory: Highly Qualified Teacher
  • Theory: Personalized Learning
  • Variation: School Choice
  • Variation: Small Classes
  • Variation: No Excuses
As with the variations listed here, most reform projects mix two or more of these theories. Even NCLB includes a mandate for Highly Qualified Teachers. Personalized Learning efforts are more common at charter schools than conventional public schools.

Literacy and Common Core

Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)
Nearly all middle and high school students in the United States need substantially stronger reading and writing skills to be ready for adult success. The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) offers a fresh approach to incorporating literacy into middle and high school content areas.
 
Partners use the LDC framework as a common chassis to create LDC tasks, modules, and courses designed to teach students to meet the new Common Core Literacy Standards (CCSS) while also learning to meet content demands at high levels of performance.
 
The 1.0 Guidebook to LDC is the main document we use to explain LDC. Download it here. The Literacy Design Collaborative is a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Technology Integration Matrix (TIM)
Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2011-2013
The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e. reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells.

Digital Literacy (+ Information Literacy)

See items on National School Speed Test Initiative above.

What is digital literacy?
Digital literacy is the topic that made the ETMOOC learning space so irresistible to me… I think as educators we spout off about wanting our students to be digitally literate, but not many of us (myself included) have a firm grasp about what that actually means, and quite a number of us are still attempting to become digitally literate ourselves. Whatever that means.
 
It turns out, defining digital literacy isn’t such an easy task. The etmooc community was fortunate enough to hear Doug Belshaw speak on this topic in a recent webinar. I’ve followed Doug on Twitter for quite some time, and it turns out his dissertation investigates just what is digital literacy… and his TED talk can be viewed here.
 
Doug explained that digital literacy is quite ambiguous, and he doesn’t have all of the answers when it comes to defining these terms. He made a point to ask, How can we define digital literacy when we don’t know what literacy is? There are over 30 definitions of digital literacy represented in one of the first texts about the topic (from Gilster, published in 1998!!), so it’s no wonder that as educators we have a difficult time trying to figure out what it is and how we can ensure our students are “digitally literate.” (Doug also pointed out that often we like to attach literate to a term in order to make it sound more important).
 
Only about 66 percent of American adults have broadband access at home, according to a survey last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. And only one-fifth of elementary- and secondary-school teachers in the United States said that all or most of their students have access to the digital tools they need at home, according to survey results released by the group last week
 
Texas GOP rejects ‘critical thinking’ skills. Really.
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, July 9, 2012
In the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff department, here’s what the Republican Party of Texas wrote into its 2012 platform as part of the section on education:
 
Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing in Kentucky K-12 Education
Frank Wells, Kentucky Department of Education, was a presenter on this topic at our recent SREB Symposium. He will gladly provide a link to his PowerPoint presentation that explains the success of cloud computing in Kentucky. Please contact him at frank.wells@education.ky.gov.


Here is a short article, Kentucky Department of Education saving $6.3m in costs with Live@edu that describes their stunning success. It happened in 2010: Kentucky Shifts Public Education System to Live@edu

Cloud Computing To Make Up 35% of K-12 IT Budgets in 4 Years
David Nagel, THE Journal, February 19, 2013
Within one year, cloud computing in K-12 schools is expected to consume a quarter of the entire IT budget; four years from now, that figure will grow to 35 percent. What's driving that growth?
 
2013 State of the Cloud Report
CDW’s 2013 State of the Cloud Report surveyed IT professionals to explore what factors drive the shift to the cloud, what types of applications organizations are taking to the cloud and what benefits (beyond cost savings) they are achieving. Cloud computing is on the rise within organizations, as 39 percent of organizations report that they are implementing or maintaining cloud solutions – up from 28 percent in 2011.
 
According to the study storage is the top application in K-12 education, with 40 percent of schools turning to the cloud to house their data. But storage is far from the only reason schools are migrating. Conferencing and collaboration came in as the second-most-used application, at 36 percent. Office and productivity tools came in third at 33 percent. Read more…
 
TED Prize Winner for 2013 — Sugata Mitra
A School in the Cloud?
“My wish is to help design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their innate sense of wonder and work together. Help me build the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online. I also invite you, wherever you are, to create your own miniature child-driven learning environments and share your discoveries.”
 
The plan is to recruit technology, architecture, creative, and educational partners to help design and build the School in the Cloud, a physical building in India, designed to try out a range of cloud-based, scalable approaches to self-directed learning. Read more concepts about the plan here and here

Wearable Technology

Can you see how Google Glass will disrupt education?
Jimmy Daly, EdTech, February 13, 2013
Wearable technology will be challenging to manage if schools aren’t prepared, EdTech Magazine reports.
 
What impact will wearable technology like Google Glass have on students? While we’re still a few years away from needing to deal with this issue, educators and IT departments should begin planning a strategy now. Smart phones were a disruption, but wearable technology is likely to be even more of a challenge to manage…

Competency Education

CompetencyWorks; Briefing Papers (iNACOL)
Check out the two new papers published by iNACOL.

Personalities

The Scientific American Incubator (blog)
Introducing Lacey Avery
This is a series of Q&As with new, young and up-and-coming science, health and environmental writers and reporters. They – at least some of them – have recently hatched in the Incubators (science writing programs at schools of journalism), have even more recently fledged (graduated), and are now making their mark as wonderful new voices explaining science to the public.
 
Lacey’s initial goal for attending graduate school was to become a better writer, someone who could tell stories and convey facts more like a journalist and less like a scientist. She also wanted to learn more about multimedia production and the media industry and knew I needed a mentor. The University of Georgia’s (UGA) Health and Medical Journalism (HMJ) graduate program has taught me far more than I could have taught myself. She also has studied in Santiago and Valdivia, Chile. (P. S. Lacey’s mother, Tricia Avery, is Director, Human Resources at SREB.)
 
Teacher of Thousands, Piyush Patel at TEDxOStateU
Piyush Patel (’98 elementary education) founded and runs a company that generates virtual training programs for creative professionals who produce films, video games, commercials and other projects. Located in Oklahoma City, PL Studios Inc., along with the Digital-Tutors division, works with clients including Nike, Dreamworks, Pixar, EA Sports and Mercedes-Benz.
 
In 2010, the company was recognized as an official honoree of the broadband category at the 14th annual Webby Awards and was listed as one of the 50 Most Usable Rich Internet Applications of the year by the 2009 O’Reilly’s Inside RIA.
 
Patel is an advisory board member for the Oklahoma Technology Council, a member of the AIGA Oklahoma board of directors, a member of the Oklahoma State Chamber board of directors and the former president for the Oklahoma Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization. He was a tenured professor at Northern Oklahoma College before founding PL Studios, Inc.
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