Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: February 14, 2013

Prepared by June Weis
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ShortTakes Lets Online Teachers Share Strategies on Digital Learning Day and Beyond
SREB ShortTakes is a new Web space where teachers share strategies for improving K-12 online teaching and learning. It brings together SREB's network of virtual teachers in online demonstration videos of specific tools.
“Online education is growing so fast that our best teachers are often leaders in strategies to personalize instruction for students and get them excited about learning,” says Matlea Parker, SREB program manager in K-12 online learning. “This is another tool to help share what works in digital learning more widely.” Full press release
Education Group Launches Video Tool for Teachers
Sean Cavanaugh and Victoria O’Dea, Ed Week, Digital Education, February 8, 2013 (blog)
The Southern Regional Education Board has launched a new online tool designed to help teachers share strategies for improving teaching and learning through instructional videos.
The project, dubbed SREB ShortTakes offers ten videos designed to show teachers the latest web 2.0 tools, and their application in the classroom. One video, for instance, offers a demonstration of teachers using Google+ Hangouts to try to increase student success.
Each SREB ShortTakes video is created by a teacher who is using technological tools in his or her classroom, and all of them are approximately five minutes long.
Matlea Parker, a spokesperson for the board, said that SREB ShortTakes was inspired by the idea that teachers are often pressed for time, and that online videos could give them easy access to helpful ideas. The videos are meant to provide concise information so that teachers will be able to determine within five minutes whether or not a particular web 2.0 tool will be effective in their classroom, said Parker. Web 2.0 tools refer to web sites, such as social networking sites, that use interactive technology.
Preparation for Tomorrow
SREB, High Schools That Work
"This is what modern career-tech education looks like."
Preparation for Tomorrow is the culmination of years of work in states around the country through the nation’s largest school improvement network here at SREB. The result is a turnkey pathway that includes everything a school needs to be sure it works, from curriculum to assessments to extensive training and support for teachers.
The goal: Students to master complex academic and technical concepts and graduate ready for as many options as possible in the workplace, technical colleges or universities.
“This is what modern career-tech education looks like,” says SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. “It flips the switch for those students who aren’t sparked by traditional teaching styles and gives them a new way to learn the higher-level Common Core academic skills. And it’s a path we must take to not only graduate more students, but to prepare them for what comes after high school.” Check out the Fact Sheet.
SREB Education Goals Will Lead States into 2020
SREB, January 14, 2013
The Southern Regional Education Board has released Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education to help member states lead the nation in progress in the coming years. The six goals are organized by student age, from pre-K into adulthood. They reflect current public education policy, standards and data; build on SREB goals the states have worked toward since 1988; and take into account the strong gains Southern states made over the past decade. SREB will track both student achievement data and state implementation of policies state leaders have endorsed as critical to reach them. Press release
SREB-State Data Exchange 2011-2012 Indicators Report
The SREB-State Data Exchange is a one-of-a-kind regional program with 23 statewide higher education governing and coordinating board partners. The Data Exchange annually collects, compiles and publishes the most current and detailed comparative statistics on public postsecondary education in the 16 SREB states.

H.R. 521: Transforming Education Through Technology Act (K-12)

K-12 Education Leaders Hail Introduction of the Transforming Education Through Technology Act
Washington, DC (February 5, 2013) – A coalition of national education leadership organizations today hailed the introduction of the Transforming Education Through Technology Act. U.S. Representative George Miller (CA), Ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee, introduced the legislation. Organizations representing K-12 educators in rural, suburban and urban settings, state and district administrators, and high-tech providers praised Congressman Miller for his continued leadership to ensure students and educators have access to the modern educational tools required to prepare them for success.
H.R. 521: Transforming Education Through Technology Act
The Transforming Education through Technology Act would help schools, districts, and states transform learning systems by utilizing innovative technology. Read the full text of the bill here.

EdTech Trends

Infographic: Major EdTech Trends for 2013
Getting Smart, January 31, 2013
In the last month, we’ve shared several trends for 2013: “How We’ll Learn in 2013” and “What You’ll See More of in 2013” to name a few. As we head into February, here’s another list of EdTech trends for the New Year.

Future of Higher Ed

University of the Future
Ernst & Young, Australia, 2012
Ernst & Young’s view is that the higher education sector is undergoing a fundamental transformation in terms of its role in society, mode of operation, and economic structure and value. To explore these themes and future directions, we have conducted an industry-wide study of the main forces impacting the higher education industry globally and locally, and the opportunities, challenges and implications for Australian universities. We conducted a mix of primary and secondary research, including interviews with more than 40 leaders from public universities, private universities, policy makers and sector representative groups. Our interviewees included representatives from more than 20 universities, including15 Vice-Chancellors. The topic attracted immense interest around Australia.
Our primary hypothesis is that the dominant university model in Australia — a broad-based teaching and research institution, supported by a large asset base and a large, predominantly in-house back office — will prove unviable in all but a few cases over the next 10-15 years. Read more…
Higher Ed Trends: MOOCs, Tablets, Gamification, and Wearable Tech
Katrina Schwartz, Mind/Shift, February 7, 2013 
As tech tools continue to proliferate with new launches and new products, it’s difficult to predict what will stick and what won’t. A recently released report by the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) tries to sift through the fads and find the few that will have a real impact on education in the next few years.
What’s worth noting? Sometimes what seemed impossible only a few years ago has already become a new trend. The 2013 NMC Horizon’s Report on Higher Education, which brings together international experts in education and technology, attempts to take the pulse of emerging technologies in higher education and predict where the field will move in the near, middle and far term.
The report points to MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, as the big change agent in the higher ed landscape, but it also reaches a little further, bringing 3D printing and wearable technology into the mix.
6 Emerging Technologies in Higher Ed
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, February 4, 2013
Over the next five years, six technologies will continue to gain traction in colleges and universities, according to the 2013 NMC Horizon Project released Monday, Feb. 4.
About 50 experts spent time narrowing down a list of 80 potential technologies to these six: In a year or less, massively open online courses and tablets could become mainstream. In two to three years, games and gamification, and learning analytics could follow suit. And four to five years down the line, 3D printing and wearable technology could see widespread use.
The most surprising technology on the list is 3D printing, which made an appearance in the first Horizon Report in 2004.
Top Higher-Ed Tech Trends for 2013
Laura Devaney, eCampus News, January 28, 2013
A survey of colleges and universities previews some of the top technology trends set to emerge in 2013. The survey comes from Edudemic, a site connecting educators and students with technology tools and resources.

More on MOOCs (K-20)

Virtual educators critique value of MOOCs for K-12
Mike Bock and Victoria O'Dea, Education Week; Reprinted in The Notebook, February 12, 2013
When 200 students sign up for a course, educators normally think of ways to split up the classroom into more manageable sizes. But for the University of Miami Global Academy, an online high school run by the University of Miami, building a class with hundreds of students was all part of the plan when it launched its first "massively open online course," or MOOC, in November. The six-week, noncredit course—a virtual seminar designed to help high school students prepare for the SAT II subject test in biology—used virtual-conferencing software to allow students to interact with the teacher in real time.
Students from as far away as China signed up for the biweekly sessions, and feedback about the course has been positive, said Craig Wilson, the head of school for the Miami Global Academy, a private, online-only middle and high school that serves 143 students from the United States and 20 other countries.
Not Rushing Into MOOCs
Alexandra Tilsley, Inside Higher Ed, January 29, 2013
Though many of its peers were among the first universities to create open courses, Yale is taking time to evaluate and strategize.
MOOCs: A College Education Online?
David Skorton and Glenn Altschuler, Forbes, January 28, 2013
What about the impact of MOOCs on traditional colleges and universities and their on-campus students? Although it’s early days for MOOCs, we believe they have the potential to enhance pedagogy on our campuses. Professors may well assign MOOCs as homework, for example, and then build on the information in them through more in-depth and interactive discussions in the classroom. This has been referred to as “flipping the paradigm,” so that the classroom is used for interaction, not passive absorption of the professor’s insights. We strongly believe, however, that MOOCs should not replace a residential undergraduate experience for young men and women able to afford it or who qualify for financial aid.
A New Business Model for MOOCs: Gateway to Degree Programs
Sarah Langmead, eCampus News, January 23, 2013
Nine universities will pilot a new game-changing business model that offers students free access to massive open online courses (MOOCs) for credit in hopes of increasing college enrollment and accessibility.
Students may soon get US college credits for free online courses
NDTV, Associated Press, February 7, 2013
The American Council on Education announced Thursday that it is recommending degree credit for five undergraduate courses offered by Coursera,
The American Council on Education, which represents U.S. degree-granting institutions, is recommending credit for five entry-level classes: Algebra and Pre-Calculus from the University of California, Irvine; Introduction to Genetics and Evolution from Duke University; Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach from Duke University; and Calculus: Single Variable from the University of Pennsylvania.
The courses themselves are free, but students seeking credit will need to pay between $100 and $190 to verify their identities and take exams monitored by webcam.
My Valuable, Cheap College Degree
Arthur C. Brooks, New York Times, January 31, 2013
The median inflation-adjusted household income fell by 7 percent between 2006 and 2011, while the average real tuition at public four-year colleges increased over that period by over 18 percent. Meanwhile, the average tuition for just one year at a four-year private university in 2011 was almost $33,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. College tuition has increased at twice the rate of health care costs over the past 25 years.
One idea gaining currency is the $10,000 college degree — the so-called 10K-B.A. — which apparently was inspired by a challenge to educators from Bill Gates, and has recently led to efforts to make it a reality by governors in Texas, Florida and Wisconsin, as well as by a state assemblyman in California.

Open Education Resources

Growing the Curriculum: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education
I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, Babson Survey Research Group, November 2012, Reported in The Scout Report.
Based at Babson College, the Babson Survey Research Group conducts regional, national and international research projects, including survey design, data integrity, and statistical analyses. One of their most recent papers deals with the realm of open education resources in U.S. higher education and was authored by I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, both of the Babson Survey Research Group. The 29-page report contains executive summary and short thematic sections that include "Awareness of Open Educational Resources" and "Saving Time and Money." As part of their work, the two surveyed chief academic officers to gauge their knowledge and understanding of these vast resources. Wisely, the report also looks at the respective "gatekeepers" at different educational institutions, along with casting a critical eye on potential barriers and the viewpoint of faculty members. Finally, the report also includes a survey methodology for those interested in how the paper was researched.

$10,000 Degree?

A Guide to Getting One of Texas' $10,000 Degrees
Reeve Hamilton and Rodney Gibbs, Texas Tribune, January 30, 2013
In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry touted the $10,000 bachelor's degrees Texas universities began offering in 2011, when he first challenged them to do it. But now that they exist, how can cash-strapped Texas students get them? The Texas Tribune has assembled a handy guide to help students find the new $10,000 degrees, which can be accessed by clicking on the picture below.
All 23 Florida Four-year Colleges OK $10K Degrees
AP, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, January 28, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott says all 23 state colleges offering four-year degrees in Florida have accepted his $10,000 tuition challenge. The Republican governor made the announcement at Miami-Dade College on Monday. Scott in November challenged the schools to hold tuition to $10,000 for selected four-year degrees. That’s more than $3,000 under the average for the state colleges. They already charge about half as much as Florida’s public universities.
Read further comments in $10K Degree Gains Traction in Florida
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, January 28, 2013

For-profit Colleges

The Rise of Phoenix (and Other For-profit Colleges)
Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks, 2013
For-profit colleges have deep roots in American history, but until recently they were a tiny part of the higher education landscape. Now they are big players. More than one in 10 college students attends a for-profit. The rapid rise of these career-oriented schools has provoked heated debate, opening up new conversations about the costs, quality and purpose of higher education. In this documentary, correspondent Emily Hanford examines the history and influence of the University of Phoenix, one of the nation's largest colleges, and explores how Phoenix and other for-profits are shaping the future of higher education.
(from Scout Report)The debate about for-profit universities continues to gain steam in the United States and around the world. The folks at American RadioWorks have crafted this intriguing portrait of one of the most well-known for-profit universities, the University of Phoenix. Correspondent Emily Hanford looks at the history of this and other institutions as she profiles its founder, John Sperling, and also interviews critics of such institutions. Visitors can listen to the complete podcast of the program here as well as look over thematic essays culled from the program such as "Who Goes to the University of Phoenix" and "The Story of the University of Phoenix."

State Authorization Update

The E-Learning Policy Environment
Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE, February 12, 2013
I presented a session entitled "The E-Learning Policy Environment" this January at the EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference (MARC) and just last week at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) 2013 Annual Meeting. In the presentation, I review the factors I see as major drivers of the increased policy and regulatory focus on e-learning over the last few years, the key impacts and community responses to that increase in policy and regulatory activity, and some of the issues likely to rise in importance in this policy space in the near term. Links to slides included here.

Blended Learning

Which Way for K12 Blended Learning? (Part 1: Boarding the Mayflower)
Alex Hernandez, Innosight Institute, February 12, 2013
“Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.” Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes
Hard to believe it has been two years since we published The rise of K12 blended learning. Since then, roughly a gazillion people have made pilgrimages to Rocketship and Carpe Diem, the feds plunked down $400 million for personalized learning in districts and charter networks, and 99.999% of America’s schools are still waiting for the revolution.
I often get annoyed looks when I say educators are still figuring out what personalization looks like. I think it is a decade long play, maybe two. Farb Nivi at Grockit puts the over-under at fifty years before traditional education institutions transform themselves. Either way, the education sector has started marching towards the unknown and there is no turning back. Unfortunately, the journey looks less like the Star Trek Enterprise flying across galaxies at warp speed, and more like the Pilgrims battling their way across the Atlantic Ocean in a leaky Mayflower.
At this stage, most blended learning schools seem to be testing one of three hypotheses. Read on…
The Blended Learning Implementation Guide
Educause, February 5, 2013
Digital Learning Now! (DLN) released "The Blended Learning Implementation Guide," the fifth DLN Smart Series paper, for leaders who are ready seize the opportunity and shift to blended learning.
The guide walks school and district leaders through a series of implementation issues around strategy, models, platforms, devices, and more. The authors all agree that the shift to blended learning should be driven by the desire to personalize and extend learning opportunities, rather than "tech for tech's sake" or potential cost savings. If blended learning implementation is seen as "just another district initiative," it's destined for failure.
Read comments in eSchool News, February 6, 2013.

Online Assessments

New online assessments to include accommodations for students with disabilities
eSchool News Staff, February 13, 2013
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a 22-state effort to develop new online assessments in English and math, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, seeks public comments on a new plan to use technology aids for students who have trouble expressing themselves in writing 

The Useful Cloud

Small Colleges Take Giant Steps into the Cloud
Alicia Brazington, Campus Technology, February 6, 2013
Small schools with limited IT resources are discovering that cloud-based services can give them a competitive edge.

Predictive Analytics and Data (K-20)

Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework
The PAR Framework is a multi-institutional data-mining project comprised of two-year, four-year, public, proprietary, traditional and progressive institutions contributing their anonymized student data and expertise to identify common factors contributing to student loss and find effective practices that measurably improve student momentum and progression in U.S. higher education. PAR offers educational stakeholders a unique multi-institutional lens for examining dimensions of student success from both unified and contextual perspectives. Sixteen member institutions have submitted, over 1,700,000 anonymized and institutionally de-identified student records and 8,100,000 course level records already to the PAR Framework data set.
The Rosetta Stone of Student Success Data
Mary Grush, Campus Technology, February 6, 2013
This week, WCET announced that the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework project data definitions are now to be offered under Creative Commons licensing. This move makes, for the first time, the data fields and definitions used by the WCET-managed PAR project public and openly available. CT asked Russ Little, who serves as project director for the student success plan at Sinclair Community College what this means not only for PAR member institutions like his, but for other community colleges and the higher education community in general.
inBloom launches with Gates/Carnegie funds to unify e-learning services
Christopher Dawson, ZDNet, February 7, 2013
Despite the recent explosion in ed tech applications and services, adoption and use of data remains a significant challenge. inBloom's new platform just may change that.
The inBloom data integration and content search services enrich learning applications by connecting them to systems and information that currently live in a variety of different places and formats, while helping to reduce costs for states and districts. This comprehensive view into each student’s history can help those involved in education...act quickly to help each student succeed. It also helps educators locate standards-aligned instructional resources from multiple providers and match them with their students’ needs...
Additionally, the inBloom framework enables technology providers to develop and deploy products without having to build custom connections to each state and district data source. This means more developers will have the opportunity to create new and powerful applications to benefit students, with lower implementation costs and faster time-to-market.

Social Media

Being Social: How Social Media Can Transform Your School Classrooms
Cathy Swan, Tech & Learning, February 5, 2013
Most T&L readers know the value of social media learning in schools, yet many remain bound by restrictive policies and reluctance from their school communities to embrace these tools. A 2012 EdWeb survey on Web 2.0 tools by MMS Education and MCH Strategic Data revealed that just 7% of educators say they use social networks in the classroom.
How can we change the minds of more educators? Demonstrating best practices can often be the best publicity tool for social media. We can effectively use best practices to show how these tools can be transformative and foster creative student collaboration on a global scale. Here are 12 ideas you can share with your educators, administrators, and parents to show just how students can benefit from social networking.

New NMC Horizon Report

NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition
The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program.
The tenth edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.
About the NMC Horizon Report > 2013 K-12 Edition
Coming in June, 2013
In 2009, the NMC launched an annual series of NMC Horizon Reports, known as the NMC Horizon Report > K-12 Edition, specifically focused on exploring pre-college education around the globe. This project continues for the fifth year in 2013, again with support from Hewlett Packard's Office of Global Social Innovation, and focuses on pre-college education through examining the emerging technologies, key trends, and critical challenges that are impacting it.
Share your educational technology projects with the NMC, so they might potentially be featured in an upcoming NMC Horizon Report,

Innovative Learning

7 Essential Principles of Innovative Learning
Katrina Schwartz, Mind/Shift, February 3, 2013
Researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched the Innovative Learning Environments project to turn an academic lens on the project of identifying concrete traits that mark innovative learning environments. They sifted through and categorized the research on learning science, documented case studies, and compiled policy recommendations they hope will transform the current system.
Their book, The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice and the accompanying practitioner’s guide, lay out the key principles for designing learning environments that will help students build skills useful in a world where jobs are increasingly information and knowledge-based. The principles are not job-specific – no one knows what the future economy will demand. Instead, the main goal is to develop self-directed learners, students with “adaptive expertise.”

Resources and Tools

Download over 40,000 free eBook's direct to your Dropbox, February 13, 2013
The Project Gutenberg website has recently added support for Dropbox meaning you can download ebooks directly to your Dropbox account in the cloud. Once you authorize access, it will create a new “gutenberg” folder in your Dropbox and the ebooks will get saved directly in that folder.
This is quite a handy feature, especially for iOS users, as they create a download request in the mobile browser while the full ebook magically appears inside the Dropbox app.
Also, if you are on the Kindle Reader, you can either email these MOBI ebooks to your personal Kindle email address or connect the device over USB and put the files in the Documents folder of Kindle. They do not require conversion.
20 Google Tools for Today’s Classrooms
Laura Turner, Digital Learning Environments
All of these tools, as well as additional tools can be found at Google Options.
7 Tips From Effective Teachers Who Use Technology
Latie Lepi, edudemic, February 9, 2013
This great infographic from Always Prepped outlines 7 lessons from teachers who use technology that we can all learn from, regardless of how much or little technology usage is happening in your classroom or school.
Web 2.0 Tools for Math Educators
Laura Turner, Digital Learning Environments
Math educators will find a large number of useable interactive companion web sites for the teaching of math concepts and skills.
Check out  5 Places to Find Web 2.0 Resources
Jim Forde, Digital Learning Environments
20 Apps (Games) for Play-based Learning
Julie DeNeen, Getting Smart, February 4, 2013
Even though older adults might still carry a negative association with video game consoles and devices, today’s technology is vastly different than it was 20 years ago.
Apps have exploded on the scene, and while there are plenty of time wasting games available on the market, today’s offerings also include a wide range of affordable apps that enrich learning and allow for quick on-the-go play. Whether your child is waiting for the doctor or relaxing on a long car ride, the following apps are some of the best games that pack an educational punch.
EdGamer Edvisor: Top 5 Social Studies Games
Zach Gilbert, EdReach, February 12, 2013
EdGamer Edvisor is a compacted but highly focused version of EdGamer that gives the listener a quick list of tools or reviews to aid learning in the classroom. This episode highlights our top 5 Social Studies games for the classroom.
Grade Level Digital Skills Continuum
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Download content area standards for each grade level adapted from ISTE Standards.

Free WiFi?

FCC Proposes Public WiFi Network
NPR, Morning Edition, February 5, 2013
The federal government has proposed an ambitious plan to build public WiFi networks across the country. The idea is to boost innovation, and make the Internet cheaper and more accessible. Renee Montagne talks to Cecilia Kang, a reporter for The Washington Post about who likes the idea and who doesn't.

Stats: Technology and Online Learning

How Many Teachers Use Technology in the Classroom?
Eric Larson, Mashable, February 5, 2013
PBS Learning Media, in preparation for Digital Learning Day on Wednesday, Feb. 6, conducted a national survey of pre-K to 12th grade teachers to find out how many incorporate technology into their day-to-day classroom activities.
According to a press release, close to 74% of all teachers surveyed said they use digital resources — tablets, computers — to expand and reinforce on content in their classrooms.
Among the other highlights: 69% of those surveyed said educational technology helps them “do much more than ever before” for their students, with the most commonly used resources being online lesson plans, interactive web games and online articles.  More than one-third said they use a tablet or e-reader in their classrooms — up from 20% last year.
Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States
The Sloan Consortium
The tenth annual survey, a collaborative effort between the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States.  Based on responses from over 2,800 academic leaders, the complete survey report, "Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States" can be downloaded hereRead the press release.

Charter Schools

More Lessons About Charter Schools
Editorial, New York Times, February 1, 2013
The charter school movement gained a foothold in American education two decades ago partly by asserting that independently run, publicly financed schools would outperform traditional public schools if they were exempted from onerous regulations. The charter advocates also promised that unlike traditional schools, which were allowed to fail without consequence, charter schools would be rigorously reviewed and shut down when they failed to perform.
If the movement is to maintain its credibility, the charter authorizers must shut down failed schools quickly and limit new charters to the most credible applicants, including operators who have a demonstrated record of success.
That is the clear message of continuing analysis from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, which tracks student performance in 25 states. In 2009, its large-scale study showed that only 17 percent of charter schools provided a better education than traditional schools, and 37 percent actually offered children a worse education.
A study released this week by the center suggests that the standards used by the charter authorizers to judge school performance are terribly weak.
Copyright © 2013 Southern Regional Education Board, All rights reserved.
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