Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: October 3, 2012

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

Notes about the Worthy of Note (WON)
Of course, there will continue to be regular updates of the WON to keep you informed about what is happening, but I would like to create two shorter versions each month, and focus on things that are happening in our states. I invite you to send me information that would be news worthy for your colleagues. Please share information to me at

EC/ETC Annual Meeting, Norfolk,VA
Last week we joined the Electronic Campus to share our Annual Meeting in Norfolk, VA. It was a good and productive meeting especially for engaging ETC attendees in ideas about the future of the Cooperative. We had a good idea-sharing session, and this week Mike Abbiatti will join us at SREB to pursue these ideas further.

SREB/Educational Technology News

National Online Teacher Nominations will close on October 8, 2012. Find nomination forms here.
SREB Go Alliance
Go Alliance is an interstate cooperative that works to increase college access, awareness, and attendance through the use of applied social marketing techniques. Go Alliance aims to send clear messages to students about the importance of graduating from high school as well as how to get ready for college and overcome common financial and personal barriers. Member states jointly develop and/or share college marketing materials (such as radio and television spots, research, posters, and brochures) as well as ideas about programs that reach students in direct ways.


SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
ALL students can go to college and be successful!
Register here
Thursday, October 11, 2012 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM (EDT)
Alice Anne Bailey, an applied social psychologist, currently serves as Director of the SREB Go Alliance, a program that helps states develop and apply the right policies, support programs, and communications techniques to increase the number of underserved students who prepare for and apply to college.

Ann Coles has played an instrumental role in improving college readiness and success for underserved populations for more than 40 years. Currently she is Senior Fellow for College Access Programs at ACCESS, a non-profit organization that helps students from low-income backgrounds in Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida, prepare for, afford, and succeed in college. She also is a Senior Associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC, and consults nationally on college access and success issues.

Turnitin 30-minute Webcast Series
The 30-Minute Webcast Series fin October and November rom Turnitin is for busy educators who want to stay current with the latest trends and technologies on preserving academic integrity, improving student writing across the curriculum, and promoting student success.
Find their other On Demand resources.

Information from SREB States

West Virginia
rethink: Reengineering Virginia’s Community Colleges
The Reengineering Taskforce is focused on implementation. While the panel will continue to seek new ideas, the focus turns to enacting the recommendations contained in the report received last fall by the State Board.
More than 25 workgroups in 10 goal areas are tackling the issues identified by the taskforce. You can find a status report and background information on each workgroup below. Each circle and workgroup title leads to additional information.

Your Cell Phone (Bet you didn’t know this!)

4 Things You Might Not Have Known About Your Cell Phone
Salisbury News, May 29. 2012
FIRST (Emergency)
SECOND (Hidden Battery Power)
THIRD (How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?)
FOURTH (Free Directory Service for Cells)

Can College Education Be Free?

Virtual Princeton: A guide to free online Ivy League classes
THE Week, August 31, 2012
Elite universities are throwing open their classrooms' doors to anyone with an internet connection — for free.
The company Coursera has teamed up with 16 universities (including Stanford, Duke, and Princeton) to offer more than 100 free online courses to anyone with Internet access.

Can Online College Education Ever Really Be Free?
Mariana Ashley, Getting Smart, September 12, 2012
In 2009 Reshef founded University of the People (UoPeople), a non-profit online school that offers a U.S.-style, four-year undergraduate education entirely for free. To date, UoPeople has enrolled more than 1,500 students from more than 130 different countries.
The institution, which is based in Pasadena, California, is affiliated with the United Nations GAID, the Clinton Global Initiative, and Yale Law School ISP.

MOOCing On Site
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, September 7, 2012
The massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX took a step toward boosting the credibility of its “graduates” announcing a partnership with Pearson’s testing centers that would allow students in edX’s free, online courses to take proctored exams.

Performance Based Funding for Higher Ed

Performance-Based Funding of Higher Education
Kysie Miao, Center for American Progress, August 7, 2012
A Detailed Look at Best Practices in 6 States
Performance-based funding is a system based on allocating a portion of a state’s higher education budget according to specific performance measures such as course completion, credit attainment, and degree completion, instead of allocating funding based entirely on enrollment. It is a model that provides a fuller picture of how successfully institutions have used their state appropriations to support students throughout their college careers and to promote course and degree completion. Furthermore, this funding structure incorporates both enrollment and performance metrics as incentives for colleges to continue to make progress on these important objectives.

What Ed Tech Research Tells Us…Or Not

Column Pushes Admins Not to Trust Ed-Tech Research
Ian Quillen, Education Week, Digital Education, September 13, 2012
In a column in this month's issue of School Administrator, Richard Rose encourages readers to trust their own experiences with educational technology rather than be swayed by research that, he says, is very likely biased toward the technology it is studying. 

Virtual High Schools

A Snapshot of Effective Practices at Virtual High Schools
Liz Pape by Blackboard
Gain insight from Liz Pape, CEO of Virtual High School Consortium, on effective practices in fully online K-12 programs to improve student progression in your district.

Speak Up 2012 Survey

SPEAK UP 2012 opens on October 3rd!
Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues. Each year, findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers. Participating schools and districts can access their data online, free-of-charge.
To participate in the survey and obtain free, online access to your school, district or organization’s aggregated results click on “Register for Speak Up” to sign-up.

Out of Print — New SEDTA Report

Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age
Out of Print, a new SEDTA report, highlights the sea change underway in the multi-billion dollar U.S. K-12 instructional materials market enabled by recent technology and intellectual property rights innovations. With a focus on the ultimate impact on student learning, the report provides examples of lessons learned from recent digital and open (OER) content initiatives by leading states and school districts and offers comprehensive recommendations for government, industry, and educators to ensure that the inevitable shift to digital instructional materials improves student achievement and engagement and efficiently uses scarce resources.
Read comments about the report in THE Journal.

Open Access Textbooks
The Open Access Textbooks Project is a two-year initiative to create a sustainable model for the discovery, production, and dissemination of open textbooks. Funded by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), this project builds on lessons learned in open textbook efforts across the United States and seeks to create a collaborative community to further sustainable implementation of open textbooks.
Open Access Textbooks and The Orange Grove are among the Top 50 Open Access Educational Projects!
Meredith Babb, Director of The University Press of Florida, which manages the Orange Grove was a presenter at our meeting last month.
Converge Special Report: The Textbook Reformation & Digital Content
Center for Digital Education and Converge, June 1, 2012
This Converge Special Report on the Textbook Reformation and Digital Content examines this educational transformation in all its facets: from curriculum acquisition to best practices for a successful transition to key governmental policy measures. We’ll tell you about technology concerns, professional development tips, managing plagiarism and copyright, and much more. Download the report here.

Privatization Issues

Five Looming Curses of Privatization
Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams, September 17, 2012
The futility of diverting public funds into the hands of profit seekers has been well-documented. The author provides five of the gathering curses of privatization. As for education: 4. Our children put at risk with unproven educational methods and 5. Colleges gradually being replaced with prisons.
Leaders pay little heed to the body of research confirming charter schools’ relative ineffectiveness from Stanford University, the Department of Education, Johns Hopkins University, and the RAND Corporation.

The Impact of Charter Schools on Public and Private School Enrollments
Richard Buddin, Cato Institute, August 28, 2012
Charter schools are changing public and private school enrollment patterns across the United States. This study analyzes district-level enrollment patterns for all states with charter schools, isolating how charter schools affect traditional public and private school enrollments after controlling for changes for the socioeconomic, demographic, and economic conditions in each district. Read more… 

Big Data and Learning Analytics

Big Data for Higher Ed – Leveraging Education Data [Infographic]
Big Data is affecting all industries; including Higher Ed. Created by @tessedel this infographic explains the uses and benefits of Learning Analytics. (Learning Analytics 101)

Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework
The Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework is a collaborative multi-institutional data-mining project, managed by WCET and supported by sixteen WCET member institutions. PAR utilizes "Big Data" exploratory techniques to look for patterns that identify causes of student loss and momentum in online learning.
In this project, public, proprietary and private 2-year, 4-year institutions are voluntarily pooling their anonymized student and course level data into an institutionally de-identified database that will be used to create models predicting student success and momentum while in pursuit of a higher education credential. With 16 institutions, over 1,000,000 student and 6,000,000 course level records, PAR has the unique opportunity to benchmark risk across institutions and to work across institutions to help establish and facilitate effective practices that take action to reduce student risk factors.
The PAR Framework was featured in the recent "Learning Analytics" issue of EDUCAUSE Review. View the full article at EDUCAUSE Review.

Disruptive Trends

25 Trends Disrupting Education Right Now
Terry Heick, Getting Smart, September 16, 2012
Disruption doesn’t sound like a pretty word, but in the long run, it can be a beautiful thing. Disruption is about shifting power. Eroding patterns. Breaking the system.
In education, this can come from the most unlikely of sources. While brilliant folks struggle to their marrow every day to conjure ideas that will transform education, in other cases, it just seems to happen out of nowhere.
It isn’t always from the most powerful technology, the noblest intents, or even the best ideas that disrupt. In fact, it is impossible to predict what will allow something to “catch”–there are simply so many moving parts.
So we’ve created a scale. This scale visually demonstrates the inherent disruptive potential of recent and current education initiatives or technological advancements.

What Your Mobile Device Says About You

Got a Mobile Device? You May be Working an Extra Day a Week
Eric Schnell, The Medium is the Message, August 28, 2012
Having a mobile device has changed the way that I work. Being always connected allows me to see emails and status updates from anywhere and at any time. I can't help but see email, Twitter messages, and other alerts when using my iPad at home at night, or on vacation, with the audible notifications or new email messages popping up on the screen as I watch LOL cats.
A recent survey by mobile management provider Good Technology, as reported in InfoWorld, indicates that my reliance on my mobile devices means I may be working on average seven more hours per week as a result. InfoWorld published some of the survey's key findings. Read more….

Research: Math Education Through Visual Instruction

MIND Research Institute
A neuroscience and education research based non-profit organizationOur instructional programs and education initiatives are revolutionizing math education in America. We offer a research-proven tool for teaching and learning mathematics through non-language based, visual instructional software. Learn More.

Optimistic? Tom Vander Ark is

Why the Next Four Years Will Be Better
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, September 9, 2012
Roger Altman, a former deputy Treasury secretary and a co-founder of Evercore partners, thinks the U.S. economy could be on the verge of an unexpected boom. Here’s why. He offers five thoughts and Tom added four more.
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL, where I’m a director) released a Statement of Principles for Model Legislation in States, which is fully aligned with Digital Learning Now! (where I’m an advisor), a framework for state policy released in 2010.
The shift to digital learning is a bigger deal than the printing press and it will happen in a decade rather than a century. It’s the best shot we have at boosting achievement and access to quality.  And, behind the scenes, it’s rapid and efficient learning that is driving a new wave of corporate competitiveness that make the economy of the next four years better than most people think.

Education Reform

Column: Until we get rid of funding inequities, true education reform can’t happen
Daniel A. Domenech, eSchool News, September 7, 2012
Daniel Domenech offers comments on Phi Delta Kappa/ Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

BYOD - ebook

Wi-Fi Planning for BYOD and 1:1 Learning Initiatives (ebook)
To provide students with the digital resources they need, districts are embracing 1:1 initiatives, BYOD, and combinations of the two. This eBook talks about the need for new network architecture and how to create an infrastructure that's scalable, affordable, and secure.

How Technology is Powering Academic Success

How Technology Is Powering Academic Success [Infographic]
Jimmy Daly, EdTech, Focus on Higher Education, October 1, 2012
Device ownership continues to grow, but how are college students using that technology? The use of devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones is pervasive. According to the 2012 ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, a full 86 percent of college students own a laptop, with smartphone ownership topping 60 percent. Clearly, there is need for these devices, and colleges increasingly are providing the infrastructure to make them as useful as possible.
This study also lays out the tasks that college students are completing on their devices, which include checking grades, using course-management software and purchasing textbooks. Another primary function is communication: Phones, tablets and computers offer multiple modalities, making it much easier for students to communicate not only with each other but also with professors.

Just Other Interesting Articles and Resources

Are Librarians Still Important?
Kate Rix, Scholastic
In a word, yes. In fact, they may be an administrator's most underutilized resource. Learn how schools are freeing them up to help students, faculty, and principals find the information they need.

But a funny thing seems to be happening to librarians on the way to extinction. The savviest districts and librarians are remaking the position, breaking media specialists out of the library and bringing them into the classroom to help with projects and research-basically, the same skills that used to be cultivated in the quiet of the library.
100 Ways To Use Facebook In Your Classroom
edudemic, Jeff Dunn, September 4, 2012
Facebook is so much more than vapid status updates. You can find resources for research, connect with local (and international) public figures, and find out what’s new and interesting in museums.

20 Education Technology Books You Should Be Reading
edudemic, Jeff Dunn, September 5, 2012
We’ve put together a list of some of the best edtech reads out there, from essential texts on the subject to cutting-edge research, that will help you learn about and implement educational technologies and curricula that can truly benefit both you and your students.

Introducing the Latest Version of Edmodo
September 4, 2012
Take a peek at what is new. If you are not a member, this is what you would see in the Start Guide after you join.
Notes from Edmodo: Today, we’re excited to introduce the latest version of Edmodo. We listened to your feedback and added new features that will make it simpler to connect with resources, and get insight into how students feel about assignments, classroom discussions and shared content. We also made the features you love even more powerful. We will be rolling out the latest version to all of our users over the next few weeks.
Read a description of the new Edmodo tools in The Journal.
A Free Complete Guide to Evernote
How To Use Evernote, The Missing Manual is a free 34-page guide to using Evernote. The guide will help you use Evernote in your web browser, on your iPad, on your Android tablet, on your phone, and on your desktop. The guide is available to download as a PDF or EPub.

Economists Propose 'Consumer Reports' for Ed. Tech
Jason Tomassini, Education Week, K-12 Marketplace, September 28, 2012
In a new paper from the Washington-based Hamilton Project, two economists have proposed what could be the most ambitious effort yet to independently evaluate whether ed-tech products work for students, a project that would serve as a "Consumer Reports" for education technology and "the connective tissue between innovators and entrepreneurs" and "school systems."

Blended Learning: We Are All New Teachers
Lisa Michelle Dabbs, blog, Edutopia, October 1, 2012
The need for a new teacher to be able to learn the fine art of incorporating Web 2.0 tools to support instruction with students is critical if we are to stay the course of 21st Century instructional reforms. Not only that, the research is clear that strategies that combine the use of traditional face-to-face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities are here to stay. Enter the blended learning model.

Pew study: News consumption up via mobile, social media
Dan Farber, CNET, September 27, 2012
Social-networking sites grew from 9 percent to 19 percent as a source for news in the last two years, but only 3 percent of respondents say they regularly get news from Twitter. The Internet is continuing to erode TV, radio, and newspapers as the source of news for Americans. According to the latest Pew Research Center survey covering the changing news landscape, the proliferation of mobile devices and social networks is accelerating the shift to online news consumption. In the survey, 39 percent said that they got their news online, up from 33 percent two years ago.

Why You Should Start Using QR Codes In Your Classroom
Tracie Weisz, edudemic, September 28, 2012
You don’t need an app or a mobile device to generate codes – you can make them for free online at many sites. I made a code for my class blog page, which is my central site for all of my courses.  I printed it out on a big page and hung it on my classroom door. Then I decided that since those apps were free (and easy), I’d put them on my middle school students’ iPads – also easy. Read how this teacher incorporated the QR codes into instruction projects with great success.
Report: Florida Investigating K12 Inc. for Using Noncertified Teachers
Jason Tomassini, Education Week, K-12 Marketplace, September 11, 2012
The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and StateImpact Florida reported today that Florida's Department of Education is investigating whether online education company K12 Inc. used noncertified teachers in violation of state law, and covered it up by asking teachers to sign class rosters of students they didn't teach.
The investigation revolves around Seminole County, Florida, and its Seminole Virtual Instruction program, provided by K12 Inc., a for-profit company that is the nation's largest virtual school provider.
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