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

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



Tennessee Hosts 5,500 Educators for SREB Conferences
Atlanta, July 14, 2014 — About 5,500 teachers, principals and other K-12 educators from states across the nation gathered in Nashville last week at conferences hosted by the Southern Regional Education Board to help students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. All meetings took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Melinda Gates was the keynote speaker. Events are described here.


Emerging Technologies

Gartner says Cognizant Computing is the next big app trend
David Needle, Tab Times, July 16, 2014
Can a new generation of apps and services be based on your personal information and interests? The short answer is yes, and it’s going to be a very big deal.
The trend has been identified by research firm Gartner as “cognizant computing”, a consumer experience, in which data associated with individuals, is used to develop services and activities according to simple rules.
Services would include such things as alarms, bill payments, managing and monitoring health and fitness, and context-specific ads. Gartner says cognizant computing will have an immense impact across a range of industries, including mobile devices, mobile apps, wearables, networking, services and cloud providers, causing major shifts in revenue and profit flows.
EdTech 10: “A” is for Access (K-12)
Getting Smart Staff, July 17, 2014
The letter of the week is “A” for Access, and this week we noticed meaningful movement in expanding it!  Check out this week’s top ten edtech news stories that reveal student access to high-quality learning opportunities is on the rise.
10 Emerging Educational Technologies and How They Are Being Used Across the Globe
Saga Briggs, InForm ed, July 16, 2013
For over a decade, the New Media Consortium (NMC) has been charting the landscape of emerging technologies in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry on a global scale. The NMC’s advisory board includes 750 technology experts and faculty members from colleges and universities in 40 countries, and is supported by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
These emerging technologies were charted in NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition and the NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition, released this spring, and together highlight ten emerging technologies that will impact education over the course of the next five years: cloud computing, mobile learning, learning analytics, open content, 3D printing, MOOCs, virtual and remote laboratories, games and gamification, tablet computing, and wearable technology.
30 Trends In Education Technology For 2015
Terry Heick, TeachThought, May 19, 2014
Below are 30 entirely subjective but hopefully somewhere close to reality takes on what’s trending up and what’s trending down in education and education technology for 2015 and beyond. A handful of these aren’t pure edtech items, but it’s all part of the same ecosystem yes?
Note that this list isn’t an endorsement – meaning this isn’t necessarily the way I think things should be, but rather what they seem to be – at least from my vantage point, right here, right now.

NMC’s 2014 K-12 Horizon Report Talks Emerging Technology in Education
Lucy Long, Thinkgate (blog), July 8, 2014
Within the next two years, expect these two trends:
  • Rethinking the roles of teachers
  • A shift to deeper learning approaches
Within three to five more years, we should see:
  • Increased focus on open educational resources (Good news, Thinkgate is already working closely with several groups to integrate these resources into our platform!)
  • Increased use of hybrid learner designs
And, if it’s really possible to look beyond five years out:
  • Rapid acceleration of intuitive technology
  • Rethinking how schools work
Emerging Technology in Higher Education
Smart Higher Ed, February 28, 2014
From the 2014 NMC Horizon Report on Higher Education
Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice.
Particularly interesting is the area regarding data-driven Learning and Assessment. The report shows that there is a growing interest in using new sources of data for personalizing the learning experience and for performance measurement.
Emerging technology in education
Mike, Marshall, University of North Georgia, February 20, 2014
As newer technology makes its way into classrooms, students are able to learn and research at increasingly faster rates. Dr. Bryson Payne, head of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, talks about how higher education is integrating technology into the classroom and how technology is changing higher education.


Online Learning

Arkansas Revamps K–12 Distance Education Program
Wylie Wong, EdTech, July 9, 2014
The retooled service offers an array of operational and instructional benefits. Arkansas is overhauling the way it delivers its K–12 distance learning courses, from live videoconferences to a fully web-based model.
For the past 10 years, students taking courses through Arkansas Distance Learning Services watched lectures and interacted with their teachers through a live, two-way feed using high-end video conferencing equipment.
The new delivery system — which includes web-based learning management systems and online video conferencing software tools — uses less bandwidth, is more cost-effective, and provides students a more interactive and personal distance learning experience, says Cathi Swan, state coordinator of K–12 digital learning services.
Six Elements of a Successful Online Graduate Degree Partnership 
Michael Eddy, Evolllution, July 22, 2014
When it comes to developing a new online graduate degree program, many institutions turn to vendors for support, but the schools themselves need to put in legwork to make sure the program is a success.


Common Core

End High School Exit Exams in Light of Common Core, Researchers Argue
David Nagel, THE Journal, July 15, 2014
States will need to revisit or even abandon high school exit exams in the very near future or risk one of two potentially disastrous outcomes: either preventing a large percentage of students from receiving a high school diploma or undermining the rigor of college- and career-ready standards, according to a new report.
A potentially “catastrophic” collision, the report, released today by the New America Foundation, "The Case Against Exit Exams," argued that college- and career-ready standards are on a collision course with high school exit exams. There are essentially two options for states that are adopting the standards and choosing to use exit exams based on Common Core assessments.
The History of Common Core State Standards
Allie Bidwell, U. S. News, February 27, 2014
What some see as a surprise attack on states' rights, others know as a carefully thought out education reform. A little perspective is offered here.
Report: Higher education behind on Common Core
Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report, July 22, 2014
America’s primary and secondary schools may be busy preparing for the onset of the Common Core standards, meant to better prepare students for college, but one key partner isn’t even close to ready: colleges and universities themselves.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from the New America Foundation, which finds that “there is little evidence to suggest colleges are meaningfully aligning college instruction and teacher preparation programs with the Common Core standards.”



College Presidents: Hybrid Will Have Bigger Impact than MOOCs
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, July 17, 2014
While college presidents are skeptical about massive open online courses (MOOCs), they see plenty of potential "positive impact" with hybrid courses that blend face-to-face and online learning as well as adaptive learning that uses technology to modify lessons based on the progress shown by students.
These results come out of a January 2014 survey about innovations in higher education performed by The Chronicle of Higher Education and sponsored by Blackboard.
Reputations at risk as platforms fail to screen Moocs
Chris Parr, Times Higher Education, 10 July 2014
Poor-quality courses on platforms such as Coursera, edX and Udacity could cause reputational damage to universities, says Oxford expert.



How E-Reading Threatens Learning in the Humanities
Naomi S. Baron, Chronicle, July 14, 2014
But increasingly, e-books are causing a pedagogical reboot. Administrators and instructors, working with kindergartners through graduate programs, are progressively encouraging students to read on digital screens. Offering the promise of convenience and reduced cost, publishers are the main impetus behind the migration from print to e-books, although academics are buying into the transition with little thought for educational consequences.
What’s the problem? Not all reading works well on digital screens.
For the past five years, I’ve been examining the pros and cons of reading on-screen versus in print. The bottom line is that while digital devices may be fine for reading that we don’t intend to muse over or reread, text that requires what’s been called "deep reading" is nearly always better done in print.  Read more…



SETDA Comment on FCC Vote on E-Rate Modernization
Doug Levin, SETDA, July 11, 2014
Read Doug Levin’s comments about E-Rate. “With today’s vote, the FCC has taken a critical step to guaranteeing the 18 year-old E-rate program can continue to fulfill its critical role of ensuring equity of access to learning opportunities and supporting innovations in teaching and learning in a digital age…”  Read more….

E-Rate Modernization Proposal the Focus of Last-Minute Lobbying
Michele Molnar, Digital Education, Education Week, July 10, 2014.
Several associations are lining up staunchly behind the proposal as a critical first step to bringing America's schools closer to President Barack Obama's stated goal of providing at least 99 percent of America's students with access to high-speed broadband in their schools and libraries within the next five years.
Several organizations signed a July 7 letter endorsing a draft E-rate plan circulated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Those groups include National Association of State Boards of Education, the Consortium for School Networking, Education Superhighway, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, Digital Promise, the American Library Association, and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies. Another backer of the plan, the State Educational Technology Directors Association, highlighted those endorsements in a blog post published July 8.


Net Neutrality

11 University and Library Groups Release Net-Neutrality Principles
Avi Wolfman-Arent, The Chronicle, Wired Campus, July 10, 2014
The nation’s colleges and libraries have a message for the Federal Communications Commission: Don’t mess with net neutrality.
Echoing almost a decade of pro-neutrality sentiment in academe, 11 higher-education and library groups released a set of 11 principles on Thursday that promote the notion that all Internet content, regardless of origin, should be treated equally.
The 11 principles — meant to guide the FCC as it considers new open-Internet rules — include recommendations to prohibit the blocking of legal websites, ensure neutrality on public networks, forbid paid prioritization in the transmission of some content over others, and adopt enforceable policies.


The Cloud

How Districts Divvy Up Cloud Services
Melissa Delaney, EdTech K-12 July 9, 2014
Convenience and cost often dictate what IT leaders manage in-house and what they keep in the cloud.


Social Media

Summer Cleanup: A Plan to Help Centralize University Social Media Communication
Tony Dobies, Case, July 17, 2014
This blog post offers a 10-step plan for focusing your social media efforts and sets a path that will allow all your social media stewards to work towards a common goal.
Skewered by Social Media
Lee Burdette Williams, Inside Higher Ed, June 20, 2014
Campus officials have always faced criticism of their decisions and policies. But this era of digital speed and anonymity threatens the tradition of civil (but difficult) discourse between administrators and students, Lee Burdette Williams writes.


State Authorization

State Authorization: Education Pauses, Defense Follows, and We Webcast It All
Russ Poulin, WCET, July 17, 2014
In today's blog post from Russ Poulin updates you on what is known about the recent announcement by the Department of Education in "pausing" on state authorization regulations and the impact that had on the Department of Defense's Memorandum of Understanding for colleges participating in Tuition Assistance programs.  There is also an announcement for the two state authorization webcasts that we are hosting in partnership with OLC, UPCEA, and M-SARA.
SHEEO State Authorization Surveys
State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO)
You may now create a PDF of an entire report for any state agency with the click of a button.
SREB and the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
SREB’s Electronic Campus, a regional system for sharing online college courses, has helped lay the groundwork for a national agreement to address new regulatory requirements.
WCET, UPCEA & Sloan-C call on DOE to change State Authorization proposal
Phil Hill, e-Literate, June 16, 2014
What does it take to get all of the higher education institutions and associations to agree? Apparently the answer is for the Department of Education to propose its new State Authorization regulations.
Expand availability of online learning by adopting the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
Upcoming Webinars:
State Authorization for Distance Education: The Future for REGULATIONS Thursday, August 14: 2:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Central / Noon Mountain / 11:00 AM Pacific
Even with the federal regulations being placed on “pause,” states still expect colleges to obtain authorization. We will update you on existing and changing state regulations, what is next for the federal regulations, the impact on those offering Tuition Assistance to active military students, and advice on what colleges should be doing next.
Register for this webcast at
State Authorization for Distance Education: The Future for RECIPROCITY Tuesday, August 19: 2:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Central / Noon Mountain / 11:00 AM Pacific
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) allows institutions to seek special authorization within their own state that will be recognized in all participating states. We will update you on the status of reciprocity across the country, what activities reciprocity will allow in other states, and specific insights on how SARA treats practical (in-person) experiences, non-credit programs, and other details.
Register for this webcast here.
The webcasts will be 90 minutes in length with at least 30 minutes available for responding to questions. They are free and will be archived for later viewing.
Please note you must register individually for each webcast.
Other helpful sites: NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements) and Getting to Know SARA
SREB SARA Related information:
If you have not yet held your statewide meeting and would like to have Marshall Hill and/or Alan Contreras and Mary Larson meet with you or present at your meeting they are available to do so. However, now is the time to look at calendars for the remainder of this calendar year. As you know, the four regionals are working closely together with NC-SARA. The current forms for SARA related activities can be found both on NC-SARA website at and on the SREB websites at or


Professional Development

New Study Reveals Trends in Professional Learning
Jason Lange, Getting Smart, July 11, 2014
A 2013 Australian study conducted by the government-funded Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and the nonprofit Innovation Unit examined 50 high-performing corporations, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations from around the globe to identify common features of professional learning experiences. The study identified five global trends in professional learning.
These commonalities include collaboration between participants, blended (remote and face-to-face) learning, as well as an emphasis on personalization and informality.
The study found few examples of compulsory classroom-style training. Instead, professional learning “is incentivized through recognition and sometimes tangible rewards, usually within a culture of high expectations.”


Student Data

Roadmap to Safeguarding Student Data
Data Quality Campaign, July 2014
Safeguarding data is a critical component of effective education data use, and it is central to building the trust of everyone with a stake in education in the power of education data to improve student achievement.
For a state education agency to use data successfully it must both create the policies and procedures to safeguard data and create the transparency and communication practices to establish a data culture grounded in trust.
The Roadmap to Safeguarding Student Data highlights the three focus areas—transparency, governance, and data protection procedures — that will allow states to reach these goals and provides a robust list of other resources from DQC and other organizations related to safeguarding data.
The Roadmap to Safeguarding Student Data is part of DQC's roadmap series.  Find out more about all the roadmaps here.


Google Docs

10 Things Every Teacher Should Know How To Do With Google Docs
Jennifer Carey, Edudemic, July 18, 2014
Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool that many schools have adopted. Here are ten tricks that can make your life easier with Google Docs.



Desire2Learn Rebrands and Adds Partners
Lawrence Biemiller, Chronicle, Wired Campus, July 14, 2014
Besides a name change for its learning-management platform, the company announced partnerships with IBM and Microsoft.



16 OER Sites Every Educator Should Know
Dian Schaffhauser, July 2, 2014, Campus Technology
Open educational resources not only save students from triple-digit (or more!) textbook costs, but they also allow instructors to mix-and-match content for a more personalized, engaging learning experience. Here are 16 resources that offer a wide range of content and tools to help implement OER in just about any course.
12 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom: Creating a Global Classroom
Anthony Jackson, Global Learning, Education Week, July 11, 2014
Using technology to communicate and connect is one of the keys to global competence. Today, Homa Sabet Tavangar shares ways to effectively use Twitter in the classroom.
Best Apps for Teaching & Learning 2014 
American Association of School Libraries
The apps recognized as Best Apps for Teaching & Learning are of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL's Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The apps foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration and are user friendly to encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

Google Glass

How Google Glass Might be used in Education (K-12)
Monica Wells, Getting Smart, July 19, 2014
Before discussing the use of Google Glass in the classroom, we’ll need a firm grasp on its technical functions and their coordination with our body – we suggest checking out this insightful infographic prepared by Edudemic.
Google Glass offers many possible uses in the classroom. In the following we concentrate on five areas that can be radically changed with the use of this cutting-edge device, helping both students and teachers to render the learning process smoother and engaging.


Just Interesting

Trust Challenge
Digital Media + Learning Competition 5
Applications for the Trust Challenge will open September 3, 2014.
Awards up to $150,000
Join the Trust Challenge and solve some of the thorniest issues facing connected learning today.
Trust, privacy, and safety are critical to learning in an open online world. How can learners exercise control over who sees and uses their data? What tools do they need to navigate, collaborate, and learn online with confidence? What solutions will foster greater civility and respect in online learning environments? How can open technical standards create more opportunities to share and collaborate online in a spirit of trust?
The Trust Challenge will award $1.2 million to institutions and organizations that tackle these questions in real-life learning contexts. Read on to learn more.
Affordable Housing Leads to Smarter Kids
Jonathan Walters, Governing, July 15, 2014
A new study finds a link between how much families spend on housing and children's intellectual ability.
Mobile devices distract students in lectures
The Sacramento Bee, July 11, 2014
Frankfurt -- A recent German university study proves what you've always suspected: Technology provides more of a distraction than a boon for students in lecture halls. Instead of using their gadgets to take lecture notes, many end up surfing the Internet, according to the study put out by Saarland University in western Germany. Not an easy thing to change…. what are the options?
Tech Report: Students Gear Up for fall
David Nagel, June 30, 2014, Campus Technology
Students arriving on campus this fall will carry with them an average of seven devices.
Copyright © 2014 Southern Regional Education Board, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp