Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: October 7, 2013

Prepared by June Weis
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Bruce Chaloux
It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Bruce Chaloux. We have lost a good friend, colleague and visionary. He was one of our best friends, mentors, and a true leader in all technology-related areas on a national scale. Bruce’s vision and tireless love for students led all of us to higher ground from the creation of the Electronic Campus, development of our SREB and nationwide reciprocity agreements, as well as providing the Sloan Consortium with dynamic leadership. The list of Bruce’s personal and professional accomplishments is endless; the impact his work will have on generations to come is timeless. (Mike Abbiatti)

More information can be found here:

What’s Happening in Alabama?

SREB Note: we would like for this to be a regular feature of the Worthy of Note. So, please provide me with some interesting — perhaps new — technology happenings, policies of interest, or whatever you may choose to share. We want to recognize you and your state and share your helpful information with others. Please send your thoughts to me at:
Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative
The Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) is the Alabama Department of Education’s initiative to improve math and science teaching statewide.  Its mission is to provide all students in Grades K-12 with the knowledge and skills needed for success in the workforce and/or postsecondary studies.

Big Data/Analytics Presentation from States

Wanda Barker and Neill Kimrey
Wanda Barker, Director of Distance Learning, North Carolina Community College System and Neill Kimrey, Section Chief, Instructional Technology, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction were presenters at our annual meeting last week.

These presentations described what is happening in North Carolina at the K-12 and Community College levels. If you would like to contact them: Wanda Barker, and Neill Kimrey,

K-20 Education Partnerships

Kemi Jona
Kemi Jona, a presenter at our annual meeting last week, is a Research Professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science at Northwestern University and Director of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships where he leads research and development projects in STEM curriculum design, cyber learning, online and blended learning models, and web-based patient education and outreach.
Read more about Office of Stem Educational Partnership (OSEP) between Northwestern University and K-12 schools on the Internet 20 Initiative.

Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps and Robbie Melton
Robbie Melton, Tennessee Board of Regents
Robbie Melton, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), offered a dynamic presentation on mobile apps at our annual meeting last week in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was fun and informative. Check the TBR Website, Emerging Technologies and Mobilization. Read about Robbie in this Campus Technology article, Curating the World of Educational Apps

Future of American Education

Sener Knowledge
John Sener, Founder/CKO
John Sener was the featured dinner speaker at our annual meeting last week. You can read all about his book here: The Seven Futures of American Education. There are many interesting links on these two websites. Read about his thoughts on MOOCs.

Blended Learning

Keeping Pace 2013 preview: Blended schools part 1
John Watson, October 1, 2013
Full-time blended schools are an increasingly important category of online learning activity and one that Keeping Pace tracks in more detail in 2013 than we have in past years. Keeping Pace identifies fully blended schools as schools that:

  • Are a stand-alone school with a school code.
  • Deliver much of the school’s curriculum online.
  • Require attendance at a physical site during the school year for more than just state assessments.
Consistent with the blended learning definition that Keeping Pace uses, these schools have an element of student control over time/pace/path/place that, in one or more ways, changes the instructional model away from one-to-many (teacher-to-students) instruction and toward a personalized, data-driven approach. Some of these schools have eliminated traditional bell schedules and allow students to attend the physical school for fewer hours or at non-conventional times. Other schools follow a fairly customary schedule. Read more….
Keeping Pace 2013 preview: Blended schools part 2
John Watson, October 2, 2013
In a post earlier this week we discussed our definition of blended schools, and why we believe they are an important category and therefore were among our areas of focus in 2013.
Data for the blended schools category as a whole are not readily available, because such schools are typically not recognized as a group in state reporting. However, Keeping Pace found an estimated 75 fully blended schools in 24 states and Washington DC in SY 2013-14. As this is a first effort to count these schools as a category, we believe it is likely an underestimate.


Students Are 'Hacking' Their School-Issued iPads: Good for Them
Audrey Watters Atlantic, October 2, 2013
The limitations imposed on these devices inhibit students' natural curiosity. Almost immediately after receiving their new school-issued iPads this fall, students in Indiana and in California (and probably elsewhere) managed to bypass the security on the devices, “hacking” them for “non-schoolwork” purposes: listening to music, checking Facebook, surfing the web.
The news made headlines last week, no surprise, considering the hundreds of millions of dollars that schools all over the country are spending on tablets — with the promise that ed-tech has made for decades now of better student achievement with more modern, more mobile teaching and learning opportunities.
With concern about cybercrime running high — especially after a summer of stories about Edward Snowden and the NSA — the news about the students and their iPads probably also made headlines because their actions were described as “hacking.” But is this a fair term for what the students did? 
Note-Taking with iPads
Beth Holland, Edutopia, October 2, 2013
I vividly remember how I first learned to take notes. My sixth grade geography teacher lectured in outline style: "Roman Numeral one - China. A - Qin Dynasty. 1 - Rulers . . . " We wrote down precisely what he said, and to this day, I still take notes in outline form. However, consider Sunni Brown's TED Talk, "Doodlers Unite." She argues that engaging in sketching while listening to complex ideas further supports learning.
When students learn to hand-write their notes, they focus on content and organization within a single medium -- paper. They can write in outline form, create concept maps, or use their own personalized system to support their acquisition of knowledge. But what about the students who struggle to write or prefer to type? For them, paper becomes an inhibitor. With iPads, the potential exists to leverage these same visual, auditory and kinesthetic processes with multiple media in order to help students make even deeper connections.


How MOOCs Can Bridge the STEM Gap
Wendy Drexler, Director of Online Development at Brown University, Huffington Post, March 21, 2013
Wendy Drexler was a presenter at our SREB/ETC annual meeting last week. She focused on MOOCs at the K-12 level.
According to a recent report, as many as 60 percent of students who are interested in pursuing STEM degrees as high school students change their minds at some point and graduate from college in something else.
This is a complex quandary, but one reason for high attrition is we need to do a better job of exposing students to the possibilities of STEM careers -- and what it takes to get there -- much earlier. At Brown University, we have attempted to address this problem through pre-college courses in STEM taught online and on campus as part of the Summer@Brown program. This year, we have taken things a step further by piloting a massive open online course (MOOC) on Canvas Network that focuses on the introductory curriculum from the university's "Exploring Engineering" course.
Whiteman to Teach MOOCs
Wayne Whiteman, Georgia Tech, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Wayne Whiteman was a presenter at our SREB/ETC annual meeting last week. He focused on using MOOCs in instruction and his “Introduction to Engineering Mechanics” course that is offered this fall at Georgia Tech.
A Surge in Growth for a New Kind of Online Course
Alan Finder, New York Times, September 25, 2013
An interesting take on the New York Times view of MOOCs.
The Audacity of MOOCS
Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers, September 30, 2013
This is a discussion via email between Russ and Richard Katz (former WCET Executive Council member). Richard served 14 years as vice president of EDUCAUSE and was the founding director of the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR).
It’s Time to Redirect the Conversation about MOOCs
Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers, September 26, 2013
Let’s look past the hype — and the hyperbole — and focus on the central question we should ask about any educational innovation: Are MOOCs about a better educational experience for students?  Or are they about efficiency and cost savings? Taken independently either is good and achieving both is better. But if the former is sacrificed for the latter, then I see long-term systemic problems for higher education. Read more….
The MOOC Moment
Inside Higher Ed
"The MOOC Moment" is a collection of articles -- in print-on-demand format -- about massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The articles aren't today's breaking news, but reflect long-term trends and some of the forward-looking thinking of experts on how MOOCs may change higher education. The goal is to provide these materials (both news articles and opinion essays) in one easy-to-read place. Download the booklet.

Competency-Based Education

Competency-Based Education Goes Mainstream in Wisconsin
Scott Carlson, The Chronicle, September 30, 2013
Private institutions like Southern New Hampshire University and Western Governors University already famously use competency-based learning, but Wisconsin will be one of the first major public universities to take on this new, controversial form of granting degrees.

State Authorization

What You Need to Know About Reauthorization
The Chronicle, September 30, 2013
Congress is gearing up to “reauthorize,” or renew, the Higher Education Act, the major law that governs federal student aid. The following is a guide to reauthorization, with information about what's at stake for colleges and resources to help make sense of the process.

E-Rate and Bandwidth

E-Rate Funding Needs Speedy Recovery to Get Schools Up to Par
Jim Goodnight (SAS) and Keith Krueger, COSN, September 11, 2013
E-Rate has delivered discounted telecommunication, Internet access and internal connections to our nation’s schools and libraries. The launch of the E-Rate inaugurated America’s sprint to wire classrooms and, ultimately, provided mobile wireless access. Today, virtually all classrooms have at least a basic connection to the Internet, and the vast majority support wireless access for tablets and handheld devices. However, investment in the E-Rate has slowed at a time when innovation in teaching, educational technology and curriculum has accelerated. The use of multimedia is improving interactivity and engaging young learners like never before. Virtual learning is skyrocketing. However, live streaming, video content and webcasts require fast Internet connections. See more at:
CoSN Survey Reveals Widespread Need for Increased Bandwidth
Sarah Landers, COSN, September 19, 2013
CoSN released our key preliminary findings from a nationwide survey about broadband and the E-Rate. Nearly 450 K-12 ed-tech leaders representing 44 states participated in the survey and overwhelmingly agreed that the E-Rate is in dire need of reform.
99% of districts will need greater Internet bandwidth and connectivity within the next 3 years, and more than 90% think the current E-rate program is inadequate for their districts' needs. Read other key findings.

Emerging Technologies

6 Emerging Technologies in Education
These six technologies are described in The NMC Horizon Report — 2013 Higher Education Edition.
10 Emerging Education Technologies You Should Know About
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, September 29, 2013
The emerging products, companies and high-tech tools on our list are all designed to make life easier for online teachers, students and researchers.


Verizon and the Internet

Verizon's Plan to Break the Internet
Timothy Karr, Common Dreams, September 18, 2013
Verizon is trying to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Order, which prevents Internet service providers from blocking, throttling or otherwise discriminating against online content.
And in court last Monday, Verizon lawyer Helgi Walker made the company's intentions all too clear, saying the company wants to prioritize those websites and services that are willing to shell out for better access. In other words, Verizon wants to control your online experience and make the Internet more like cable TV, where your remote offers only the illusion of choice.

IT Revamp?

Need an IT Revamp? Here's How to Start
David Raths, Campus Technology, October 3, 2013
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's chief information officer shares seven ways to get your IT organization moving in the right direction.

Campus Technology Magazine

Campus Technology Magazine
Campus Technology magazine is published monthly in an interactive digital/PDF format, as well as via an app for interactive reading on iPad. CT is the most trusted publication covering education-technology on higher-education campuses and universities. Try it out right here.


20 Pros to Follow
Eric Stoller, Inside Higher Ed, October 3, 2013
There are so many amazing higher education professionals on Twitter these days. In the spirit of the "follow Friday," here are 20 individuals who you should follow. They represent a wide variety of functional areas within higher education and they are great at engaging, connecting, leading, and teaching.

Effective Educational Websites

3 Keys to Effective Educational Websites
Tanya Roscoria, Center for Digital Education, September 10, 20113
The Center for Digital Education recognized four school districts and universities for their websites in its annual awards program on Tuesday, Sept. 13.The awards highlight K-12 and higher education websites that enrich both student and teacher education. Three of the four recognitions were from Virginia and Florida.

Delivering Digital Technology

A Roadmap to Digitally Delivered Education
Center for Digital Education, September 12, 2013
This Center for Digital Education handbook, sponsored by Samsung, will take a realistic look at what an ideal school should look like today and how it can operate to achieve the best results. Integrating ideas about technology, policy and process, the handbook will include examples across the country of schools who are moving the needle by coming to the table with a plan for introducing new technology to teachers and students, and ensuring that technology works together to achieve results that are bigger than the sum of their parts.

Just for Fun

The News IQ Quiz
Pew Research
Do you know more about the news than the average American? Test your knowledge of prominent people and major events in the news by taking our short 13-question quiz. Then see how you did in comparison with 1,052 randomly sampled adults asked the same questions in a national survey conducted online August 7-14 by the Pew Research Center. The new survey includes a mixture of multiple-choice questions using photographs, maps, charts, and text.

When you finish, you will be able to compare your News IQ with the average American, as well as with the scores of college graduates and those who didn’t attend college; with men and women; and with people your age as well as other ages.

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