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Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: January 16, 2013

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

SREB News

2013 Educational Technology Symposium on Virtual Teaching and Learning
March 6-7, 2013: Cooperative Representatives Only
March 7-8, 2013: Public Welcome
**Thursday, March 7, 2013: Dinner and presentation of the 2013 SREB/iNACOL National Online Teacher of the Year Award**
Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel, Atlanta, GA.
 
Online Registration closes February 12, 2013
Information and Registration
Agenda
 
Many SREB States Lead Nation in Education Week Rankings
Atlanta — January 10, 2013 — Southern Regional Education Board states were named the majority of the nation’s top 10 leaders in education policy and performance in Education Week’s Quality Counts 2013 report released today. The report tracks key education indicators and grades all 50 states on their policy efforts and outcomes. SREB works with 16 member states across the South and Mid-Atlantic to improve public education.
 
Seven SREB states made the top 10. For the fifth year in a row, Maryland scored the nation's highest overall grade with a B-plus, and Virginia ranked third. For the first time, Kentucky (10th) placed in the top 10 states, while Florida jumped to sixth after falling to 11th place in 2012. Arkansas, Georgia and West Virginia also placed in the top 10, and Delaware, Louisiana and Texas were among the top 20. Read more….

Game-based Learning

What Teachers Really Think About Game-Based Learning
Edudemic, December 22, 2012
"We Are Teachers" conducted a survey of their fellow teachers and came up with some interesting results. They put together this handy visualization and came up with some key facts. For example, roughly 2 out of 3 teachers surveyed use traditional and digital games in their classroom. However, about 22% say they simply don’t have time to deploy game-based learning. About half (56%) say they simply don’t have access to the computers needed for digital games.
 
Is ‘Reality Broken’? How One Game Can Change Education for the Better
Online Learning Insights, December 19, 2012
A Blog About Open and Online Learning

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, what kind of gamer would he be? An author, inventor, scientist, civic activist, Franklin was also an avid player of chess and checkers as described in the Journal of Occurrences in my Voyage to Philadelphia (1726). Franklin believed that engaging in strategic games sharpened the mind, and provided insight into mans moral behavior. Fast-forward to the 21st century meet another avid lover of games, author, speaker and activist of sorts, who wants to change the world— Jane McGonigal author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Can games be used in higher education? Can they be part of a solution to fix what some consider ‘broken’? McGonigal’s answer is yes. Though the book is not specific to higher education, it speaks philosophically and practically about the role that games play, and the potential they have as a vehicle to improve real lives and solve real problems.

Motivation

We Need to Produce Learners, Not Just Students
Robert Talbert, The Chronicle, December 21, 2012
Paul Pintrich’s work on motivation gives some vocabulary to the goals of the flipped classroom and other pedagogies like it: By using these pedagogies, we are seeking to create self-regulating learners.

Teacher Prep

Panel: Teacher Preparation Needs Overhaul
Sarah Langmead, eCampus News, December 19, 2012
Today’s digital-age students are expected not only to communicate effectively, think critically, and collaborate with one another, but also to analyze information while meeting rigorous state and national benchmarks. To meet these challenges, teacher preparation programs must be reexamined and restructured in order to promote what digital learning consultant Mary Ann Wolf calls “learner-centered education.”

Online Learning

Proctored Examinations: The Key to Integrity for Online Learning
Margaret O’Hara, Evollution
Academic integrity is of major concern in online and blended learning environments, and a wide range of choices are available to an instructor who wants to ensure integrity. For writing assignments these could include using software to uncover plagiarism, asking students to expand on a difficult concept in a submitted paper, or having students reflect on an assignment in a discussion forum. For online exams and quizzes, strategies could include setting a strict and tight time limit for an exam to prevent looking up answers, setting a short window in which the exam can be taken to limit question sharing or randomizing questions, question order and answer choice order to limit sharing of information. While all of the above methods discourage academic integrity violation, proctored examinations still rank highest in ensuring it.
 
Online Education Proves Critical to University Strategy (Reference new survey)
Tanya Roscoria, Center for Digital Education, January 9, 2013
Chief academic officers count online learning as an important strategic tool in their arsenal more than they have in the last nine years.
 
A survey report released on Tuesday, Jan. 8 showed that nearly 70 percent of 2,820 chief academic officers agreed that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy. That's a nearly 4 percent increase from fall 2011 and a 20 percent increase since 2002, according to the survey, Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education, conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board.
 
Open online classes transform Georgia colleges
Laura Diamond, Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 27, 2012
Online courses are revolutionizing higher education as they give students free access worldwide to content and faculty offered by elite colleges. About 2 million students have signed up for the classes this year, and two Georgia colleges — Emory and Georgia Tech — are among those participating. Georgia Tech started this fall, and Emory begins in January.

OER vs. College Textbooks

The College Textbook Bubble and How the “Open Educational Resources” Movement is Going Up Against the Textbook Cartel
Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas, December 24, 2012
Just like the ongoing home price increases and housing bubble of the last decade were unsustainable, there is now growing evidence that rising college textbook prices and the “college textbook bubble” are also unsustainable, especially because of the growing number of low-priced and even free alternatives to over-priced $200-300 college textbooks. The textbook alternatives are part of the growing “open educational resources” movement, which is “terrifying” the college textbook cartel, according to a recent Slate article titled “Never Pay Sticker Price for a Textbook Again.”

Intellectual Property

Reuse is Key to Positive MOOC and OER Impact
Timothy Vollmer, Classroom Aid, December 22, 2012
MOOCs should address copyright and licensing early on so they are clear to users how they can utilize and reuse educational materials offered on the site. MOOCs should choose to adopt an open license that meets their goals, but at minimum it is recommended that they choose a public, standardized license that grants to its users the “4Rs” of open content: the ability to Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute the resources. The more permissions MOOCs can offer on their content, the better.

MOOCs

Reuse is Key to Positive MOOC and OER Impact
Timothy Vollmer, Classroom Aid, December 22, 2012
MOOCs should address copyright and licensing early on so they are clear to users how they can utilize and reuse educational materials offered on the site. MOOCs should choose to adopt an open license that meets their goals, but at minimum it is recommended that they choose a public, standardized license that grants to its users the “4Rs” of open content: the ability to Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute the resources. The more permissions MOOCs can offer on their content, the better.
 
MOOCS, Online Learning, and the Wrong Conversation
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, January 2, 2012
The fact that MOOCS and online courses have sparked new conversations on your campus about teaching and learning is a terrific development. We should be grateful whenever attention is paid to teaching. The problem is that neither MOOCS or online courses are, in themselves, a strategy to meet the challenges we all face in higher ed. MOOCS and online courses are a means, not an ends, and should be understood as such.
 
Online Learning, en Masse
Samantha Stark and Tamar Lewin, New York Times, Video, January 6, 2013
More top colleges are offering free massive open online courses, but companies and universities still need to figure out a way to monetize them.
 
This is a good explanatory video about MOOCs that features professors and information on providers, especially Cousera.
 
Check out this article, Students Rush to Web Classes, but Profits May Be Much Later (Tamar Lewin, New York Times, January 6, 2013) that features Cousera and more. The co-founders, computer science professors at Stanford University, watched with amazement as enrollment passed two million last month, with 70,000 new students a week signing up for over 200 courses, including Human-Computer Interaction, Songwriting and Gamification, taught by faculty members at the company’s partners, 33 elite universities.
 
In less than a year, Coursera has attracted $22 million in venture capital and has created so much buzz that some universities sound a bit defensive about not leaping onto the bandwagon.
 
The MOOCs Are Here: Are You Excited, or Scared? [#Infographic]
Jimmy Daly, EdTech Magazine, January 2, 2013
For better or for worse, massive online open courses are set to disrupt the tradition of higher education.

Travelin EdMan
Dr. Curt Bonk, Indiana University
Follow Curt Bonk latest blog about his R685 Emerging Learning Technologies and MOOCs. 

Online Courses Look for a Business Model
Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz, Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2013
Topics: Free Classes, Open to the Masses, Seek to Generate Revenue From Content Licensing, Exams or Job-Referral Services.

This is a look at the providers of MOOCs and how they are trying to create an effective business model. 

e-Readers

Kindle e-readers have had big impact at Clearwater High
Danielle Paquette, Tampa Bay Times, January 6, 2013
Since Clearwater High largely swapped textbooks for Kindle e-readers three years ago, becoming the first school in Pinellas County to do so, teachers in Florida, Minnesota, Kentucky — the list is long and growing — have called for advice. Now, after six digital semesters, feedback is overwhelmingly positive, Mastorides said. The gradual shift from paper went smoothly.

Technology and PBL

Integrating Technology with PBL: Keep the End in Mind
Susie Boss, Partnership for 21st Century Skills
How does technology change the game in project-based learning?

BYOT

Why BYOT?
Shift to the Future, January 13, 2013
Digital devices have become smaller, cheaper, wireless, and very powerful. The age at which kids are getting their own smart phone keeps dropping. Even kids that live in poorer neighborhoods seem to have a cell or smart phone. More kids are also getting a tablet or laptop for their own use. Way back in 2004 I started saying publicly “within 5 years all students will bring their own digital learning device to school”. I’ve been wrong for the past 9 years but am getting closer to being right. I believe there are three roadblocks to the scenario where every student comes to school with their own powerful digital learning device: cost, District/school policy, and teacher readiness.

Charter Schools

PBS Features Rocketship Education Charter Expansion, Continuing Innovation
John Merrow, PBS, January 3, 2013
“Nobody has figured out how to mass produce high-quality, cost-effective schools,” PBS correspondent John Merrow explained on a televised feature last week about the successful Rocketship Education public charter school network.
 
Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education has pioneered the transformative Rocketship Model, which combines teacher development, parent empowerment and individualized learning to improve student achievement. It is billed as the leading public school system for low-income elementary students — eliminating the achievement gap.
 
Edutopia offered their research on Rocketship Education and claimed it boosted test scores.
 
Get Smart Schools
Get Smart Schools is the leading nonprofit organization in Colorado dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of new, public, high-quality, autonomous schools serving low-income students. Working with schools, school leaders and potential schools leaders, GSS addresses and provides solutions to the growing local and national crisis of low-performing public schools.
 
Charter School Moguls Scam Oregon Out of Millions
Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, January 7, 2013
'Lack of oversight' in charter schools encouraging education fraud. In the latest incident of charter school fraud, the state of Oregon is going after a pair of charter school con men who reportedly scammed the state out of $17 million.

Teachers and Technology

Taking a Closer Look at Teachers' Technology Shortcomings
Sean Cavanagh, Education Week, Digital Education, January 2, 2013
One of the biggest concerns about how technology is being used in the classroom today focuses on what some see as a fundamental breakdown in the system: many teachers aren't comfortable with technology, and are unsure how to weave it into their instruction.

The National Association of State Boards of Education probed this issue in a recent report, as part of a larger examination of how schools can keep up with students' tech knowledge and expectations.
 
I (Cavanagh) wrote about the release of that report, "Born in Another Time: Ensuring Educational Technology Meets the Needs of Students Today—and Tomorrow," but I'm turning back to it because it offers some revealing details on what state board officials, as well as faculty at teacher colleges and educators themselves, see as shortcomings in preparing teachers to use technology. The authors argue that many teacher-preparation programs fail to give teachers the tech skills they need, partly because they instead choose to focus heavily on things like pedagogical theory—in general, different philosophies about how teachers convey knowledge to students. Read more….
 
Panel: Teacher Preparation Needs Overhaul
Sarah Langmead, eCampus News, December 19, 2012
Today’s digital-age students are expected not only to communicate effectively, think critically, and collaborate with one another, but also to analyze information while meeting rigorous state and national benchmarks. To meet these challenges, teacher preparation programs must be reexamined and restructured in order to promote what digital learning consultant Mary Ann Wolf calls “learner-centered education.”
 
The 33 Digital Skills Every 21st Century Teacher Should Have
Med Kharbach, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2012
Every single teacher is concerned about his/ her teaching practices and the skills involved in this process. How many times have you wondered about a better way to teach the same lesson you have delivered to an earlier class? How often have you used technology to engage your students and improve their learning? These are some recurring questions we keep regurgitating each time our teaching skills are put to the test. There are links to accompany each digital skill describe to assist in improving that skills.
 
This article has been prepared to accompany The 21st Century Skills Teachers Should Have.
 
Technology without Supports: Like Cotton Candy for Breakfast
Monica Beglau, Ed.D., Executive Director, and Lorie Kaplan, Ph.D., eMINTS Program Director for the eMINTS National Center at the University of Missouri, Education Week, January 3, 2013
Does this sound familiar? "Our school just purchased the latest mobile technology tablets for all of the students in our elementary school. Does anyone know where we could get some training about how to use them and what apps we should buy?" We've heard variations on this theme across our state and nationally for several years. Too often, as others have noted, the allure of the device outweighs practical planning for the implementation.

There is help here; eMINTS says when we help schools and districts successfully implement technology initiatives, we turn to the evidence that has guided our work since 1999. Check these out… 

Federal Effort Aims to Transform Learning Technologies
Sean Cavanagh, Education Week, January 3, 2013
NSF funds research to identify what works.
 
Can online graphic novels help teenagers cope with difficult social situations? Are 3-D technologies a tool for helping English-learners acquire language skills outside traditional educational settings? And what about the potential for mobile apps that let students manipulate on-screen images with their fingers to help them learn fractions?
 
A federal program, still in its infancy, is supporting research that seeks to answer those and other questions by wedding partners that often operate in isolation—educational technology and scientific research on learning—with the goal of transforming teaching and learning in schools.
 
Speak Up Report
Project Tomorrow
Here are the latest stats on responders to the Speak Up Survey. The Report will be available in early February.
Speak Up 2012 Final Counts:
  • Students: 364,240
  • Teachers & Librarians: 56,346
  • Parents: 39,713
  • Administrators: 6,011

Future Predictions

The Third Revolution
David Thornburg, THE Journal, December 2012 issue
Futurist David Thornburg argues that “disruptive technology” is reshaping how students learn. But how can schools prepare for what they cannot predict? (If this link does not work, you may have to subscribe to THE Journal (free).
 
Research: IT Predictions for 2013
Joshua Bolkin, THE Journal, December 19, 2012
The IT industry's transition to mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data technologies--collectively referred to as the third platform--will accelerate in 2013, according to IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC).
 
"The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the third platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, in a prepared statement.
 
Gartner Predicts Cloud, Social, Mobile, and Information Forces Will Shape 2013
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, January 10, 2013
Succeeding as an education IT leader in the new year will call for becoming comfortable with the undercurrents of several converging forces--cloud, social, mobile, and information--that are shaping the look of IT. That's the analysis of Gartner, which recently released its predictions for 2013 in a public webinar now available as a recording. Although the presentation addressed all organizational segments and both buyers and vendors of IT products and services, several of the company's predictions are especially relevant to the education sector; those are the ones we focus on here.

Some Random Articles

25 Leading Thoughts from Tom Vander Ark in 2012
Staff, Getting Smart, January 6, 2013
Follow these topics: Trends, Issues, Ideas, Lessons and Promise.

CNET/Consumer Electronics Show
Here are a few takers from the show. Read about others. Also check out a few trends posted by CNN
  • Lenovo's Table PC is pretty cool...think about the computer in the air in the film "Minority Report," only on a table.
  • McGraw Hill has SmartBooks that change the path of reading based upon the student's comprehension of the material.
  • Intel is pushing gesture-based computing.
  • Samsung has a TV that allows two people to view two programs on one screen.

Why schools used to be better
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, January 3, 2013
This is mostly a review of a book, “What’s Worth Learning” by Marion Brady, a classroom teacher. It asks and answers this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called Connections: Investigating Reality, is free for downloading here. There are some interesting thoughts here, but read carefully; it has a political agenda. It is from the WSP.

Just Fun

Quotes Daddy
This is a fun site that provides quotes by author, words or tags. Try this one by Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne): “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"”
or
“I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit. "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way.”
That happens to me a lot. :-)
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