Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: August 9, 2012

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


Read the last paragraph (quoted here).
In 22 States, GED Exam Now Computerized
Ian Quillen, Education Week, August 24, 2012
Of the 22 states so far offering the computerized test, nine come from member states of the 16-state Southern Regional Education Board. The SREB is thought to be the most progressive of such regional education agencies in terms of pushing online learning in its member states, and is the co-sponsor of the now three-year-old National Online Teacher of the Year award.
Nominations Open for SREB/iNACOL National Online Teacher of the Year
ATLANTA – August 16, 2012 – Nominations for the 2013SREB/iNACOL National Online Teacher of the Year Award are now open at Nominations close October 8 at midnight EST.
The national competition honors K-12 teachers who represent the best of the fast-growing world of online education. It showcases the teachers behind the screen and the many ways they use online education – to broaden student access to specialized content, for example, or to target their teaching to individual students’ learning needs and profiles.
SREB Legislative Report, August 2012
Final legislative and budget actions in Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas
Have you ever wondered about the SREB Doctoral Scholars Program?
The Doctoral Scholars Program video:
In their own words: Minority PhD graduates tell the story of their accomplishments and the role of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program in a new video.
[Links below and codes attached for the 5- and 9-minute versions, whichever works best for you.] or

Webinars and Such

SREB Educational Technology Cooperative

How Students Are Making It; Perspectives on Getting Through College from Recent Graduates of the Boston Public Schools
Date and Time: Thursday, September 20, 2012 — 10:00-11:00 AM EST
Audience: Teachers, Counselors, Administrators (secondary and postsecondary)
Ann Coles is Senior Fellow for College Access Programs at ACCESS, a nonprofit organization that provides free financial aid advice and advocacy to students and families, helping them find an affordable path to and through college. She also is a Senior Associate with the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC. Previously, Coles was Senior Vice President of The Education Resources Institute (TERI), where she provided leadership for the Pathways to College Network, GEAR UP and TRIO programs, and other college access and success initiatives.
Alice Anne Bailey will give an overview of SREB GO Alliance and introduce Ann Coles. In closing, Matlea Parker will provide the audience with a sneak peek of upcoming webinars, including Alice Anne’s webinar (info to be given).
Read the full report: How Students Are Making It
Sign on for the Webinar here.

Other Webinars

How The Growth of Online Learning Impacts the Future of Education
Date and Time: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 — 2:00 pm EST
Presenter: Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow; School and District Panelists

There has been significant growth in the interest levels in online learning and the numbers of students and educators who have now had online learning experiences. Join us for this webinar to hear Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow share the 2011 Speak Up Survey results based on the voices of thousands of students, teachers, and parents about the role of technology in our education system. During this panel-style webinar, we will be joined by district leaders to learn about the ways in which this growth has impacted new learning programs and policies, and has fueled plans for expanding online learning opportunities for students and teachers.
Lessons Learned As Students Drive Network Demands Webinar
Center for Digital Education/Converge
Date and Time: September 27, 2012 — 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific,
Are you on the front line of your school’s mobile revolution?  Are you looking for strategic support and tactical air and ground cover? The Center for Digital Education invites you to join us on September 27th at 11am PST to hear what works from your peers and education technology leaders.
The discussion will open with some statistics from recent research in how schools are adopting mobile technologies with a focus on trends and challenges. This will be the first of a two part webinar series on how mobile learning is transforming our campus infrastructures.
NYT Schools for Tomorrow Conference (Building a Better Teacher)
New York Times, September 02, 2012
To be held on September 13, 2012. Today’s NYT advises that you can sign on to live streams at this address; check later to see if that option has been made available.
Today, teachers are expected to be mentors and social workers as well as educators. Sometimes even substitute parents. How do we educate teachers differently to reflect this? Do they need to teach differently in light of these expectations? As teacher enrollment declines, how do we attract the best teachers from college (or earlier) through training and ongoing professional development? What are the best ways to evaluate and enhance teachers' skills?
These are among the urgent questions this conference will address –– in panel discussions, keynote addresses, head-to-head debates, case studies, brainstorming sessions and presentations by award-winning teachers.
Some 400 influential leaders in teaching, government, philanthropy and the investment community will come together for this one-day conference on strategies to maximize teachers' skills –– so their students can ultimately do better in college, career and the global economy.
Teachers are being asked to do more. This conference will address the best ways to help them meet their goals.
E-Learning in the Age of Choice (Archived)
Education Week, August 28, 2012
Now that many students have the opportunity to take online courses, schools and districts are starting to offer more choices when it comes to providers and accessing virtual education. Some districts are adapting online courses so they can be accessed by smartphones. States are also making sure students have choices in how they use virtual education. Several states—including Florida, New Mexico, and Utah—have passed recent legislation requiring that districts allow students to choose their own online learning providers, whether that means state-run online schools, virtual charters, or private providers. This webinar will provide useful tips for school administrators and K-12 policymakers on how to navigate this choice-filled world of virtual options.  (Presenters: Utah and Tennessee)

Social Media

Power Searching with Google
Daniel Russell, Senior Research Scientist, Google, Inc.
Google offered Power Searching with Google, a free online course on advanced search skills earlier in the summer. There were six, 50-minute classes that blended the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with social and communication tools to create a community learning experience. Maybe they will offer it again. In the meantime, all the videos are archived here for your information to use at your convenience. (June; I participated in this MOOC in June 2012.)
Why You Should Be Playing with Google+ Now
Jeff Utecht, The Thinking Stick, August 24, 2012
Google+ is where Twitter was in 2007. We the users are trying to figure out its best use. We ended up using Twitter in a way that the founders never thought we would. It took people playing with the site, playing with the features, and in the end, we the users defined how it would be use and once that happened it went mainstream.
The more I use Google+ the more I like it...a lot. There's something there for sure. Exactly what it is I'm not sure yet but I am excited to help define what it is. I find the pages way better than Facebook Pages and of course hangouts.... nothing compares.
So…if you want to be ahead of the curve start playing with Google+. See where it fits; look at how others are using it. What are people sharing? What are the conversations that seem to be growing? Where is it going to fit? 
I have a feeling Google+ is the real deal and in 3 to 4 years time it will become mainstream like Twitter did. It will find its niche and thrive. We're just in the early stages and this is when things are exciting. (Quote, Jeff Utecht)
Check out these Google sites:
The Google+ Guide For Educators
12 Great Google Sites for Teachers 
A Quick Look at Google Products
A Google-a-Day Puzzle
Ken Denmead, Wired, Daily
Our good friends at Google run a daily puzzle challenge and asked us to help get them out to the geeky masses. Each day’s puzzle will task your Googling skills a little more, leading you to Google mastery. Each morning at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time you’ll see a new puzzle, and the previous day’s answer (in invisitext) posted here.
The Current State Of Social Networks (2012 Edition)
Jeff Dunn, edudemic, August 17, 2012
Are social networks going away? Is interest waning? Is Pinterest still a thing? The newest statistics are now available thanks to a terrific infographic from Ignite Social Media. They analyzed what’s working and what’s not in the entire world of social networks.

LinkedIn: The Beginner's Guide
Stephanie Buck, Mashable, May 23, 2012
LinkedIn is considered the non-sexy, sleeping giant of social networks. It keeps a low profile, perhaps due to the professional nature of its users. Nonetheless, LinkedIn continues to exert a powerful influence on connected job seekers, brands, recruiters and industries. We doubt you spend 20 minutes on LinkedIn per day, like Facebook’s power users do. So, if you need a crash course on what LinkedIn has to offer, browse the network’s most prominent features below. Or send this to your recent grad as he or she prepares to enter today’s daunting job market.

Educational Technology

Envisioning the Future of Educational Technology
Mindshift, August 3, 2012
65% of today’s grade school kids will end of working at jobs that haven’t been invented yet.
Survey: Ed-tech use falls short of desired goals
Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, August 23, 2012
This is a report on SIIA’s “2012 SIIA Vision K-20 Survey,” the fourth in an annual series of benchmarking studies that surveyed nearly 1,700 officials representing all levels of K-20 education. The self-assessment asks school and campus leaders to rate their progress toward SIIA’s vision for edtech use, represented in two ways: (1) Seven educational goals, which describe the key instructional and institutional outcomes enabled through technology…(2) Five technology measures that indicate progress in implementing technology to meet these goals…
EdTech Cheat Sheet
Boundless Blog
An Infographic that helps you understand the new trends in educational technology. Designed for students but worth a look.

3 Goals and 3 Challenges for our Educational Technology Leaders
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2012
If higher ed is to change then our educational technology leaders must play a central role. This call for change in higher ed begs the question - what sort of change? I'll suggest 3 dimensions that I view as imperative that we address in the next decade: Productivity, Relevance and Access.

Digital Learning

Paper #1: Funding the Shift to Digital Learning: Three Strategies for Funding Sustainable High-Access Environments
Digital Learning Now!
The Digital Learning Now! Smart Series is a collection of interactive papers that will provide specific guidance for policy makers and educational leaders regarding adoption of Common Core Standards and the shift to personal digital learning. Topics include: funding high-access learning environments, building comprehensive learner profiles, preparing for online assessments, moving to competency-based learning models, financing student achievement, building big data policies, improving the teaching profession with blended learning, and more.
Online education degrees skyrocket
Greg Toppo and Christopher Schnaars, USA TODAY, August 7, 2012
Schools offering all or partially online education degrees have become more popular. The numbers of bachelor's and post-bachelor's awards conferred in 2001 and 2011 are noted here.

Is the "e" in e-Learning, VANISHING?
Elliott Masie
One of my habits it to look for shifts in the language of learning. What terms are organizations using more, using differently or even dropping. Lately, The MASIE Center has noticed a marked DECREASE in the use of "e" in e-Learning. Here are some indicators that we are tracking:
Free Online Course Will Rely on Multiple Sites
Tamar Lewin, New York Times, August 21, 2012
A group of online-learning ventures is collaborating on a new kind of free class to be offered this fall, known as a mechanical MOOC (for “massive open online course”), that will teach a computer-programming language by patching together existing resources from open-learning sites. Unlike courses already available online, the new class will not require a traditional instructor, or a large start-up investment. 


5 Wireless Considerations When Introducing BYOD at Your School
Perry Correll, Getting Smart, August 22, 2012
In this blog we will cover the top five wireless considerations in introducing BYOD to your school and they are defining BYOD policies; growing client densities; managing the different devices; managing the classroom; and understanding the impact BYOD has on supporting classroom applications.

Flipped Classrooms

Flip Your Classroom, Blend Your School With Open & Innovative Tools
Tom VanderArk, Getting Smart, August 24, 2012
This really is Tom’s description of a conference he is hosting in September. I have included it for the links to an impressive list of resources at the conference. Rocketship Education, Carpe DiemAdvancePathSilicon Valley Flex, Edmodo and several more.
Flipped Classroom Model Does Not Replace Amazing Teachers
Why Science
The first observation is that an effective Flipped Classroom model is still heavily dependent on having access to great teachers. The video screen is not meant to replace the teacher and in no way does it. For those hoping that somehow a Flipped Classroom model will alleviate the need for great teachers we hate to shatter your hopes.
The second is that simply being a great teacher is not enough. The Flipped Classroom requires a broad level of initial training. Teaching in a Flipped Classroom is not the same as teaching in a traditional lecture structure. There is still a massive need for ongoing teacher training
The third observation we’d like to share is that the media you deploy in a flipped model matters.
And my opinion (June Weis, SREB)…the students need access to very good technology resources at home to participate in this flipped classroom.
The Role of Smartpens in the Flipped Classroom
Sue Glascoe, eCampus News, August 24, 2012
When I decided to flip my classroom last year, I was faced with the challenge of engaging both my already highly motivated students, and those who were slightly less motivated


Why Online Education Won't Replace College—Yet
David Youngberg, Chronicle of Higher Ed, August 13, 2012
When I decided to become a professor, I was comforted by its employment projections. Professors hired to teach the baby boomers are retiring: It'll be a seller's market. Now I'm told Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC's, threaten that rosy future. One person can teach the whole world with a cheap Webcam and an Internet connection. Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford University research professor and co-founder of the MOOC provider Udacity, told Wired that in 50 years there will be only 10 institutions in the whole world that deliver higher education. I was scared…. He points up five problems with MOOCs.

What You Need to Know About MOOC's
Chronicle of Higher Education (Chronicle will be updating this page regularly. Please check back for updates.)
Colleges and professors have rushed to try a new form of online teaching known as MOOC’s—short for "massive open online courses." The courses raise questions about the future of teaching, the value of a degree, and the effect technology will have on how colleges operate. Struggling to make sense of it all? On this page you’ll find highlights from The Chronicle's coverage of MOOC's.

Four Barriers That MOOCs Must Overcome To Build a Sustainable Model
Phil Hill, e-Literate, July 24, 2012
Given the hype of national media coverage of massive open online courses (MOOCs), it is refreshing to see more recent analysis looking at important attributes such as revenue models, dropout rates, and instructional design. Steve Kolowich at Inside Higher Ed wrote a revealing and important article looking at early demographic data. Jeff Young at the Chronicle wrote an excellent article about Coursera’s contract with the University of Michigan, along with key insights into Coursera’s and the university’s motivations. Audrey Watters, in response to an article in the Atlantic, asks the tough question of whether we should care about the high dropout rates of current courses offered in this new model.

A Sign of How MOOCs Will Impact Colleges
Jim Shimabukuro, ETC, August 11, 2012
In the wake of the recent onslaught of MOOCs in higher ed, the word “tsunami”* is often used to describe their potential impact. It evokes images of the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Tohoku disasters, and fear and panic are widespread among faculty and administrators who cannot begin to fathom the threat to their ivory towers.
As far as tsunamis go, the MOOCs that are lapping at our campus borders today are minuscule, perhaps a few inches high at most. But many are taking the threat seriously and believe the worst is yet to come. Is it? To answer this question, we need to look for signs. Not surprisingly, we turn to the most visible figures on our college campuses — administrators. As leaders, they should know. Right?
Riding the MOOC Wave
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, August 17, 2012
World Education University, a new company that says it “will forever alter the landscape of post-secondary education” by offering free courses online, Scott Hines (CEO) is now in charge of the personal information of about 50,000 prospective students and more than $1 million in seed funding.
Just in case:
7 Things You Should Know about MOOCs
EDUCAUSE, November 9, 2011
What is a MOOC?
Written and Narrated by Dave Cormier, YouTube, December 8, 2010


7 Things You Should Know About the Evolution of the Textbook
EDUCAUSE, April 3, 2012
Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features
Angela Chen, Wired Campus, Chronicle of Higher Ed, August 22, 2012
A recent report on some pilot project shows that many students find the e-textbooks “clumsy” and prefer print. The report is based on a survey conducted this spring of students and faculty at five universities where Internet2, the high-speed networking group, coordinated e-textbook projects. Students praised the e-books for helping them save money but didn’t like reading on electronic devices. Many of them complained that the e-book platform was hard to navigate. In addition, most professors who responded said that they didn’t use the e-books’ collaborative features, which include the ability to share notes or create links within the text.
A contrast to the above article:
College Freshmen Prefer E-Books, 'Electronic Narcotics'
Mike Bock, Digital Education, Education Week, August 21, 2012
Mike is really talking about this site. Beloit College, The Mindset List 2016.  Check it out. It is fun to read.
This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future, and are entering college bombarded by questions about jobs and the value of a college degree. They have never needed an actual airline “ticket,” a set of bound encyclopedias, or Romper Room. Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1994, are probably the most tribal generation in history and they despise being separated from contact with friends. They prefer to watch television everywhere except on a television, have seen a woman lead the U.S. State Department for most of their lives, and can carry school books--those that are not on their e-Readers--in backpacks that roll. 
Gamification (Is this a new term? Not really; See EdTech Cheat Sheet below)
The Gamified Classroom; Part I: The Unique Obstacles Teachers Face
Andrew Proto, The Gamified Classroom, September 28, 2011
Today’s 21st century students are not like their parents’ generation. Never before have we, as a civilization, experienced such a large generation gap — and the reason behind it is video games.
Today, students are expected to pay attention and learn in an environment that is completely foreign to them. In their personal time they are active participants with the information they consume; whether it be video games or working on their Facebook profile, students spend their free time contributing to, and feeling engaged by, a larger system. Yet in the classroom setting, the majority of teachers will still expect students to sit there and listen attentively, occasionally answering a question after quietly raising their hand. Is it any wonder that students don’t feel engaged by their classwork?
You may want to check out their latest article: How Gamification Will Rule the Business World (August 29, 2012) See the next reference.
For more understanding of Gamification, check this site: Gamification Wiki.
According to a 2011 Gartner Research Report it is estimated that by 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes.
Games Addiction
Terry Freedman, ICT Educational Consultant, August 22, 2012
Are boys addicted to games, and does it matter if they are? (And what is addiction anyway?) Online Graduates has sent me an infographic on the subject. Have a look at it, and maybe discuss it with your students. I’ve decided to be a bit of a devil’s advocate in my response to it!
The statistics cited are very interesting, and each section could be used as the basis for a rich debate on the subject. Even if you teach primary (elementary) pupils, you can still have a discussion with them because some of the figures relate to that age group.
40 Sites for Educational Games
David Kapuler, Tech&Learning
This updated list, presented in alphabetical order, has a nice mix of subjects and grade levels that teachers can use with their students.


The Rise of the Student Cheater
Mohamed Kharbach, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2012
This is a great infographic from Online Colleges entitled " The Rise of The Cheater.” This infographic takes an in-depth look at the behavior of cheating and the statistics behind the prevalence of dishonesty among young adults today. The stats are really astonishing and they show exactly the new cheating culture kids have developed in this digital age.
Online Classes See Cheating Go High-Tech
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2012
Easy A's may be even easier to score these days, with the growing popularity of online courses. Tech-savvy students are finding ways to cheat that let them ace online courses with minimal effort, in ways that are difficult to detect.

Could a “document fingerprint” be the answer? Read more.

Dozens of Plagiarism Incidents Are Reported in Coursera's Free Online Courses
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 16, 2012
Students taking free online courses offered by the startup company Coursera have reported dozens of incidents of plagiarism, even though the courses bear no academic credit. This week a professor leading one of the so-called Massive Open Online Courses posted a plea to his 39,000 students to stop plagiarizing, and Coursera's leaders say they will review the issue and consider adding plagiarism-detection software in the future. 

The Potential of Plagiarism Detection Software
Mike Palmquist, The Institute of Learning and Teaching
A review of what plagiarism is and some of the leading software used for detection.

Also search the TILT site.

Charter Schools

Charter-school issue a drain on public education
Jay Bookman, AJC, August 19, 2012
“The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or post-secondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation.”
— Article VIII, Section I of the Georgia Constitution
As the Georgia Constitution makes clear, public education is supposed to be a primary obligation of state government. Yet in the 2009-1010 school year, legislators financed just 37.8 percent of the cost of educating Georgia students, leaving local government to cover most of the remainder.
As state leaders shirk the primary obligation assigned them under the constitution, they continue to take an ever-more-intrusive approach on non-financial aspects of education. The most obvious current example is the constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot. If approved by voters, the amendment will give state officials full legal authority to create local charter schools even over the protest of locally elected school officials, and to finance those schools with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state money.
Interesting observation here
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.
Where do public charter schools get their students, from traditional public schools or private schools? Despite their intention to target poor and under-served students, charters schools draw nearly a third of their elementary school enrollments from students who would have attended private, not public schools. This exodus from private schools to public charter schools costs taxpayers $1.8 billion a year, according to the study. Read these and other comments about the study in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Maureen Downey) today.

Mobile Learning: iPads, Smartphones and Tablets

How the iPad is Transforming The Classroom [Back To School
Ryan Faas, Cult of MAC, August 16, 2012
The single most important way that the iPad is impacting education is in engaging students. Technology has always been good that and that’s one reason schools began investing in computers in the 70s and 80s. The iPad brings that engagement to a very personal level. It offers students different ways to learn that meet their unique learning needs and the chance to explore concepts that interest or challenge them in far more depth than the best textbook could.
The iPad engages students in ways that no piece of school or classroom technology has ever done before.
Best Practices for Deploying iPads in Schools
Mindshift, August 28, 2012
Without professional development and a set plan in place, educators in individual classes might be stumped by how to set up iPads for different uses. But once a system is in place, educators will intuitively be able to move on with the business of guiding student learning.
To that end, here are some ideas about how to put a system in place for iPad use in classrooms:
The 60-Second Guide To Smartphones In Education
Jeff Dunn, edudemic, August 9, 2012
A new infographic from Online Colleges spells out exactly what schools are using smartphones for, which apps are most popular, and overall statistics you may not (yet) know about.
Mobile Devices and the Common Core
Center for Digital Education, August 14, 2012
The promise and rewards of adopting mobile devices in the classroom to improve learning can be substantial, but aligning this technology to meet educational goals can be challenging. Education leaders must consider learning objectives, establish a digital curriculum strategy, choose their management style, be aware of available funding, choose the most appropriate learning devices and features, ensure the adopted devices match school needs, and provide teachers with professional development. Read more….
Mobile Learning Series
Mindshift (KQED)
This four-part series co-produced by MindShift and Spotlight on Digital Media & Learning examines in-depth the evolution of using mobile devices for learning, from practical teaching tactics to shifting school policies and cultural changes. Are Traditional Laptops or Tablet Computers Best for Learning?
Eric Wearne, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, August 22, 2012
Last fall, then-new Coahulla Creek High School in Whitfield County (GA) made a bold move and issued all of its students tablets rather than textbooks. Now a new report by Learning Untethered titled “Learning is Personal,” noted by Getting Smart, takes a closer look at how tablets are actually used in some 5th grade classrooms over the course of a school year. This is a “project,” rather than a full research paper, but it is a project schools might want to take note of.
The questions the authors asked were “whether handheld and tablet form factors are adequate for student production of content, or just consumption, and whether Android or iOS devices are more appropriate for school implementation:  Students were issued 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tabs, and were allowed to take the devices home and to choose install apps themselves. Read some of the findings.
The Mobile Native
Scott Newcomb, August 17, 2012
This is a blog produced by Scott Newcomb who has taught for 10 years and works with 4th graders at St. Marys Intermediate School, Ohio, USA. This is a public school in its 4th year using mobile learning devices with their students. Scott helped organize and participated in the first Mobile Learning Technology Conference in Ohio in May of 2009. Scott has helped with professional development training for staff members using smartphone computers. 
Mobile learning is essentially anytime, anywhere learning. This type of learning could be with a netbook, iPad, iPod touch or even a smartphone. My friend Elliot Soloway, a professor at the University of Michigan has said, “Within five years, every K-12 student in America will be using a mobile handheld device as a part of learning.”

The Profit Motive: Does that Affect Education?

What Might the For-Profit Sector's Problems Mean for All of Higher Ed?
EDUCAUSE, Jared Cummings, August 3, 2012
A response to the Harkin report.
Having just received relief from federal regulation on distance education state authorization, public and private, not-for-profit institutions may now rightly wonder how long that relief might last and what else they might face in the near future. During the press conference, Harkin stated that the committee explicitly developed this report under his leadership to set the stage for next year’s reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA)
Media Companies, Seeing Profit Slip, Push Into Education
Brooks Barnes and Amy Chozick, New York Times, August 19, 2012
— Interesting development…
LOS ANGELES — As another academic year starts, about 500,000 children across the country will find themselves learning subjects like middle school history or high school biology from a new line of digital textbooks. These manuals, branded Techbooks, come with all the Internet frills: video, virtual labs, downloadable content.
But the Techbook may be most notable for what it does not have — backing from a traditional educational publisher. Instead it has the support of Discovery, the cable TV company. Discovery, which also sells an educational video service to school districts, is entering the digital textbook market largely because it sees a growth opportunity too good to pass up.
Pearson to Launch a College
Lilly Vitorovich, Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2012
Pearson PLC, which has extensive educational publishing operations, said Tuesday that it will launch a for-profit college that will directly deliver degrees in the U.K.
Pearson College will offer a business and enterprise degree course, which will be validated by existing universities in the U.K. The degree includes a guaranteed internship program and a company-based mentor for every student. It will be run from Pearson's offices in London and Manchester.

Read Diane Ravitch’s comments about this new phenomenon. Check it out on YouTube

Privatization in Education

NCPSE National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
Teachers’ College, Columbia University
The Center provides independent, non-partisan information on and analysis of privatization in education. The Center's program includes research, evaluation, conferences, publications, and dissemination on a full range of issues regarding privatization of education from pre-school to higher education, both national and international.
Five Ways Privatization Degrades America
Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams, August 13, 2012
Numerous examples of failed or ineffective privatization schemes show us that hasty, unregulated initiatives simply don't work.
A Stanford University study "reveals in unmistakable terms that, in the aggregate, charter students are not faring as well as their traditional public school counterparts." A Department of Education study found that "On average, charter middle schools that hold lotteries are neither more nor less successful than traditional public schools in improving student achievement, behavior, and school progress."

Professional Development and Evaluation

Colorado Department of Education Model Evaluation System
In this section you will find tools and instruments being developed for the State Model Evaluation System to evaluate teachers and principals.  The Rules and Regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education allow districts to either choose to use the State Model System or create their own system (as long as the system created adheres to Senate Bill 10-191 and the Rules and Regulations).  The tools below are currently still in development as we pilot them in various districts around the state.  If you have questions about how to use these resources, please contact us.
The CDE Model Evaluation System is to be piloted and tested during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.  Statewide rollout of the evaluation system is scheduled for the 2013-14 school year.

Copyright Law Winner

'The Prevailing Party'
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, August 13, 2012
A U.S. District Court judge on Friday slapped down three scholarly publishers as they tried to salvage spoils from the wreckage of a four-year copyright lawsuit against Georgia State University.
Judge Orinda Evans, who in May ruled for the university in all but 5 of 99 alleged violations resulting from its library e-reserve policies, rejected a proposed injunction that would have imposed exacting guidelines on professors who wish to make portions of certain copyrighted course readings for free.
The court also ordered the plaintiffs, who were backed by the Association for American Publishers and the Copyright Clearance Center, to pay Georgia State’s attorneys’ fees. Friday’s order did not cite a specific dollar amount, but it will likely prove expensive for publishers given the duration of the case.

Education Spending

10 Things We Now Know About Education Spending
Online Colleges, August 12, 2012
Here, we cover some points about education spending that have been illuminated by research and raw data, showcasing where education spending should go to create the biggest benefit to students, who’s getting the biggest benefit, and the impact solid spending can have.
The Budget Sequestration: What Will It Mean to Education?
NSTA Legislative Update, August 13, 2012
Many federal education programs will face severe reductions next year if the proposed across-the-board cuts in federal programs, known as sequestration, take effect in January 2013. Quite a concern for NSTA.

Assessment K-12

Measuring What Really Matters: Implementing a Balanced Assessment System in K-12 Education
Center for Digital Education/Converge
Find out why balanced assessment programs can be a game changer for K-12 education at a time when resources are scarce.

Learning Analytics and Student Data

Understanding Learning Analytics and Student Data
Tina Barseghian, Mindshift, August 30, 2012
There’s a lot to unpack about learning analytics — everything from how student data is captured to how it will be used. For all of its promises — and there are many, as evidenced below — the two biggest areas of concern regarding using student data are around issues of privacy, as in who has access to student information and what are the possible negative ways that information could be used, and how student data might be used against educators. Privacy is addressed in this otherwise mostly positive infographic, created by Australia’s informED, which takes a crack at explaining all the different aspects. What else would you add to it?

Resources Worthy of Note

50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About
edudemic, August 21, 2012
Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the tech tools, including some that are becoming increasingly popular and widely used, that should be part of any teacher’s tech tool arsenal this year, whether for their own personal use or as educational aids in the classroom.
In February 1997, Susan Brooks and Bill Byles began a collaborative effort to extend assistance to fellow teachers. In November of 2000 that project expanded to a web presence known as Internet 4 Classrooms ("i4c"), a free web portal designed to assist anyone who wants to find high-quality, free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing project ideas, reinforcing specific subject matter areas both in the class and at home and even for online technology tutorials. The portal is used by teachers, parents and students of all ages on six of the seven continents (there are not many classrooms in Antarctica) and is available to anyone with an Internet connection. There is no subscription fee.
Over 40 Lesson Ideas Based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Levin Cummins, Blog at
Billed as Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
"Charlie" offers a multitude of teaching and learning opportunities based around the themes of bad parenting, mischievous children, greed, gluttony and much more.  Roald Dahl uses little Charlie Bucket as a role model to oppose all of the horrible aspects of the other children selected to enter Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
This Grid I have constructed uses Bloom’s Taxonomy as a framework to study the book and films and has 42 excellent teaching and learning ideas.
Atlas; Instructional Coaching Resources
Billed as Masterful Teaching for Student Achievement
Watch these Elluminate videos on Atlas in the Virtual Classroom
Read about the two designers, Weston Kieschnick and Kathryn Knox.
Video-Content Startup Aims to Compete with Khan Academy
Mike Bock, Digital Education, Education Week, August 14, 2012
Fans of Khan Academy take notice. Ariel Braunstein, co-creator of the Flip Video camcorders, announced the launch of Knowmia, an online tutoring service for K-12 students. Knowmia is a digital repository with more than 7,000 videos culled from the Internet by the site's moderators in subjects from microbiology to Mandarin Chinese.
The new site automatically searches through thousands of tutoring videos and recommends lessons based on the user's personal preferences, sort of like the music website Pandora. Braunstein told reporters he hopes the site will help parents cut down on the high cost of individual tutoring, but Knowmia will also provide resources for teachers
The 5 Most Popular Khan Academy Video Lessons Of All Time
Katie Lepi, edudemic, August 9, 2012
Whatever your stance on Khan Academy, there’s no denying that it’s had quite an impact on the world of education and technology. I was perusing some of their newest videos this afternoon and it dawned on me that it might be helpful to share some of the most popular videos in terms of views. There’s a discussion of SOPA and PIPA, basic mathematics, and more.
Help Us Educate
In the beginning this was associated with US DOE but I don’t see that connection now. Nevertheless, I recommend it. Often times I choose articles from this Website for Worthy of Note, but there are many items here I cannot include. I invite you to look at the resources and subscribe to Help Us Educate to be delivered to your email. You won’t be disappointed. Look at technology resources.
3 Free Cool Tools to Curate Content
Susan Oxnevad, Getting Smart, August 16, 2012
Why Curate? Content curation is a great way to find, organize and share useful knowledge efficiently. There are many free digital tools available to help manage web content in flexible ways allowing us to quickly share resources that are accessible online. Use of curation tools is social and will connect us to the ideas of others and help build our professional learning networks. Here are three efficient and effective contentcuration tools that can help educators manage web content and embrace technology. Check these out: eduClipper, Scoop.It, Mentor Mob
Why are APIs Important for the Education Industry?
API’s are incredibly valuable for education. Being able to share data about student progress levels, education resources, and classroom ideas allows everyone to learn more — whether it’s a teacher sharing instructional videos with her classroom or a branch of government trying to allocate funds for its education budget.
API stands for Application Program Interface. It’s a tool that allows web applications (websites and apps to the layperson) to communicate with each other and share information stored in their databases. This information can then be incorporated into new and different projects.
We've put together the beginnings of an API directory to help others in the education industry
LearnZillion Announces 2,000 Free Common Core Lessons From Top Teachers
Getting Smart Staff, August 28, 2012
LearnZillion, a social enterprise, announced today the launch of its first of 2,000 online lessons going live this fall to help teachers, schools, and districts adopt the Common Core State Standards – all of which are free for students and teachers.

50 Essential EdTech Tools by Category
Getting Smart, August 21, 2012
Technology and education are pretty intertwined these days and nearly every teacher has a few favorite tech tools that make doing his or her job and connecting with students a little bit easier and more fun for all involved. Yet as with anything related to technology, new tools are hitting the market constantly and older ones rising to prominence, broadening their scope, or just adding new features that make them better matches for education, which can make it hard to keep up with the newest and most useful tools even for the most tech-savvy teachers.

Just FYI

Kiss Your Keyboard and Mouse Goodbye With The Leap
Lauren Hockenson, Mashable, August 21, 2012
Since Steven Spielberg expertly crafted it a decade ago, the world has been clamoring for a user interface similar to what was found in sci-fi thriller Minority Report. Even the inkling of flipping through applications and swiping screens in mid-air made geeks tingle all over, but aside from expertly developed hacks on the Xbox Kinect, nothing definitive seemed to break through and truly give the public that enticing functionality of the future. That is, until now. After more than five years of development, a proprietary technology has emerged that synthesizes the shape and movement of the human hand to produce movement onto a computer. It’s called The Leap — and for an astonishingly low price of $70, you can begin to control a computer with nothing more than your hands, as early as next February.
Is there anything new here?
It's Time to Re-Think the U.S. Education System
Tammy Erickson, Harvard Business Review, August 27, 2012
She makes a few points: there is A disconnect between the way school works and how they function outside school. There is Boredom with the teacher-centered learning process; Shifting sources of authority; Growing interest in pragmatic, job-oriented skills; Unease regarding global standing;
The author talks about an education system that was created for a different era; this is a critique of the system that worked for a hundred years; recommends things like the flipped classroom.
Converge Magazine changes its image and location
On Friday, August 31, will change to The Center for Digital Education covers the convergence of education and technology in the U.S. Visit us often for original stories, analysis and perspective based on current research in education technology for K-12 and higher education.
Are kids all that techno-smart? Maybe not
eSchool News, August 13, 2012
The Millennial Generation was born and raised in the digital world. Whether they are checking their Facebook status or running a business on the go, this constantly connected generation has earned the reputation of being the most tech savvy ever. But are they really?
Ryan's Higher Ed Record
Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed, August 13, 2012
A comprehensive list of his recommendations is described here.
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