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

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


SREB News

Abbiatti Joins SREB as Educational Technology Chief
Atlanta — July 1, 2013— Technology expert Michael Abbiatti joins the Southern Regional Education Board today as director of SREB’s Educational Technology Cooperative, a program recognized as a national leader in helping states raise student achievement through the use of technology in public education at every level, K-20.
 
ETC Note: Welcome to SREB, Mike. We look forward to your leadership. Your thoughts are stimulating, and we are eager to join you in implementing new ideas and renewing relationships. (The Educational Technology Cooperative staff).
 
And a good-bye to Matlea Parker:
 
And we must say good-bye to Matlea Parker who has provided skillful leadership for five years in her roles at the Educational Technology Cooperative, especially overseeing the NOTY program and acting as the primary liaison between ETC and online teachers in the region.  We wish you well, Matlea, as you pursue new dreams at Junior Achievement. We will miss you!


SREB Publications

SREB; Toward Better Teaching
SREB’s Educator Effectiveness Series
A view of evaluation policies, practices and lessons in SREB states.
 
SREB; Changing How Students Learn and Teachers Teach
This publication presents teachers’ reflections on their early experiences using Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative tools in their classrooms. In these vignettes they share doubts, challenges and revelations about their teaching styles — and amazement at how much their students learn when they are challenged with complex assignments to reach the depth of the Common Core State Standards.


Competency-Based/Personalized/Adaptive Learning (higher ed)

ETC Note: There are several interesting articles here that describe disruptive education in the eyes of the business world.
 
Has a truly disruptive technology come to American education?
The Scout Report, July 5, 2013
Throughout the ages, many have thought that new and emerging technologies would transform the world of education. Some thought CD-ROMs might do it, while others placed their abiding faith in online videos. This week, the Economist offered some thoughts on adaptive technology being used in classrooms around the United States that might prove to be game-changers. There are six links to supporting information. Here is one: Catching on at last describes new technology that is poised to disrupt America’s schools, and then the world’s schools.
 
E-ducation
The Economist (from the print edition), June 29, 2013
Now at last a revolution is under way (see print article). At its heart is the idea of moving from “one-size-fits-all” education to a more personalised approach, with technology allowing each child to be taught at a different speed, in some cases by adaptive computer programs, in others by “superstar” lecturers of one sort or another, while the job of classroom teachers moves from orator to coach: giving individual attention to children identified by the gizmos as needing targeted help.
 
School of Thought
Pearson Innovation and Research Network
From the Center for Online Learning, Drs. Jeff Borden and Rob Kadel have crafted a vision of the future that integrates technology, neuroscience, and educational psychology into everyday life to make anytime, anywhere learning possible. These videos demonstrate how innovative connections among technology, content, and life beyond formal schooling can change how we think of learning.
 
Big Picture: Student-Centered & Competency-Based Learning
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, July 6, 2013
Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor established Big Picture Learning in 1995. “After garnering considerable community support, the state legislature approved the concept for the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, informally referred to as ‘the Met’,” according to their site. The first of the six Providence area schools opened in 1996 with a freshman class of 50 students–mostly ‘at-risk’ students who ‘did not fit’ in conventional schools. As Littky describes in The Big Picture, a 2004 ASCD book, the innovative interest-based school model is focused on educating one student at a time. Read about the success.
 
Online Learning: Myths, Reality & Promise
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.
 
The paper’s sections on myths and realities confront misconceptions about what online learning means for students, teachers and the system as a whole. Key topics include:
  • The range of students served by online learning;
  • The power of personalized online learning;
  • The daily experiences of online learners and teachers;
  • The role of technology; and
  • Evidence in support of online learning.
The paper brings together regular Smart Series authors from DLN and Getting Smart with co-author Susan Patrick of iNACOL – the leading advocate for online, blended, and competency-based learning. Read comments at Getting Smart (Tom Vander Ark and Carri Schneider).
 
Wisconsin's Competency-Based Degrees Approved
Inside Higher Ed, July 12, 2013
The University of Wisconsin System has earned approval from its regional accreditor for several competency-based programs, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The low-cost, self-paced degrees, which will feature prior-learning assessment, include a handful of bachelor tracks, a certificate and a general education associate degree from the University of Wisconsin Colleges, a two-year system.
 
How Competency-Based Learning Actually Works
Katie Lepi, edudemic, June 24, 2013
A report from The National Center for Education Statistics found that 38% of those enrolled in higher education are over the age of 25 and one-fourth are over the age of 30. The share of all students who are over age 25 is projected to increase another twenty-three percent by 20191. These findings demonstrate a significant shift in the traditional higher education student. While many developments, such as MOOCs, Open Educational Resources, flipped classroom models and accelerated three-year degree programs have entered the landscape, another great option for variety in learning is Competency-Based Learning (CBL).
 
As defined by the U.S. Department Of Education, CBL transitions students away from “seat time” in favor of a structure that creates flexibility, allowing students to progress through a course as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of the amount of time they put in.2 Competency-based learning strategies provide flexibility in the way that credit can be earned or awarded, provides students with a personalized learning opportunity and gives students an option to reduce costs by speeding through courses, once they demonstrate competency.
 
Learning, Reimagined: Inside the New Classrooms Model of Personalized Instruction
Joel Rose, EDTech Focus on K-12, July 1, 2013
A former fifth-grade teacher and co-founder of the Teach to One instructional model explains how it enhances the teaching and learning experience.
 
The Next Generation of (Personalized) Learning
Blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Huff Post Education
Did you know that less than half of the 2012 graduating class that took the ACT college entrance exam scored at the level that predicts earning a "C" or better in math as freshman in college? Only 24 percent scored at this level on all four sections of the ACT. And though results have improved slightly over the last few years, at the current rate of improvement, it will take 60 years for 80 percent of U.S. students to reach levels that indicate a readiness to succeed in college. So, the question is: how do we provide instruction to our children that meet all students' needs?
 
2013: The Year of Adaptive Learning
Adam Newman, Impatient Optimists, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, April 10, 2013
Adaptive learning offers an opportunity to enhance the instructional effectiveness of colleges and universities and to deliver more personalized pathways to students. This space remains nascent, often pinned between hyperbolic promises of technology-facilitated learning models and the challenge of understanding what exactly is an adaptive learning solution. Education Growth Advisors (EGA), a strategic advisory and consulting firm and investment bank, recently published Learning to Adapt: Understanding the Adaptive Learning Supplier Landscape, a report commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to serve as a guide for higher education decision-makers considering adaptive learning initiatives. The Impatient Optimists spoke with Adam Newman, founding and managing partner at EGA, about the current landscape of adaptive learning and where it’s headed.


Blended Learning

Carving a Place for Blended Learning in the Era of Teacher Evaluation
Paul Roen, blog, July 11, 2013
Earlier this year, the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project released its final report. It was the culmination of a three-year investigation designed to synthesize practical understandings and best practices from the fragmented world of teacher evaluation. The project represents just one part of the larger effort to strengthen and standardize the measures that are used to judge teacher effectiveness. - See more here.
 
What Blended Learning Looks Like in Kindergarten
Alison Anderson, Getting Smart, July 12, 2013
The Lawrence School District of Kansas, sitting right in the University of Kansas’ backyard, has embraced blended learning, but not just for “college and career readiness” Last year Barbie Gossett volunteered to turn her Kindergarten classroom into a blended learning environment. Along with 7 other teachers from elementary to high school, these pioneers introduced blended learning to their students as well as to the entire district. In a district that serves about 11,000 K-12 students, 8 teachers is just a tiny sampling. But the results of these field tests have had a powerful impact on the direction and the decision the district as a whole is making for the future of their schools.
 

MOOCs

Blackboard Co-Founders Says Online Education Set to Put Price Pressure On Traditional Schools
Darrell Etherington, Tech Crunch, July 11, 2013
Massively open online courses (MOOCs) represent the biggest disruption in the education space since colleges and universities started getting online, he said, and that’s going to mean a lot of upheaval to come. Chasen said that the changes he’s seeing now in the industry remind him of those that were going on at the time that he started Blackboard, when colleges were realizing for the first time that putting course materials and course management tools online made a lot of sense. Change was happening fast and haphazardly, and the results weren’t necessarily clear at the time. With MOOCs provided by startups like Udemy, Coursera and more, there’s a chance to flip everything on its head again.
 
MOOCs: Born of Technology, a Perfect Fit for IT Learning
Dean Tsouvalas, ComputerWorld, July 9, 2013
Massive open online courses, the result of advances in information-sharing technology, are also ideally suited to the teaching of IT skills.
 
The MOOC Moment
Inside Higher Ed
This 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 here.
 
This is the first in a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed will be releasing in the months ahead, on a range of topics.


Big Data

Big Data Helps Underperforming Students Succeed
Bridget McCrae, Campus Technology, July 3, 2013
Big data -- and the analytical systems used to dissect it -- are also changing college campuses, where underperforming students who once went semesters or even years unnoticed are now finding themselves subject to quicker identification and intervention. Generated by the myriad information systems used on campus, big data can be collected, analyzed, and compared to data across the entire student population. Administrators and professors can detect important trends and make quick decisions around specific students.

Hopeful Change: Technology and Higher Ed

How Technology Will Change Entry-Level Higher Education
Ariel Diaz, Wired, June 26, 2013
As technology continues to filter into higher ed and address some of the challenges at play, I believe that more students will have access to the amazing research and brilliant minds that higher ed has to offer.  I’m hopeful that the technology community will step up and continue to deliver tools and platforms that help students, professors and institutions gain more choice in the cost and accessibility of educational content. Just as college students have to start from the beginning, the technology community should start with the 101 to catalyze further change in higher ed.


Pearson Debut

Education Giant Pearson Debuts the First Class of Its Virtual Ed Tech Startup Accelerator
Ki Mae Heussner, Gigaom, June 26, 2013
Pearson Catalyst, the new ed tech startup program launched by publishing company Pearson, has announced the companies in its inaugural class. From a pool of more than 200, the company selected six for its first class. Take a quick look at the first startups in Pearson Catalyst’s class.
 
In the past few months, plenty of other ed tech-only accelerators have opened their doors to startups, including Kaplan’s TechStars-powered program and Socratic Labs in New York. But Pearson’s program differs in a few key ways. For starters, it’s virtual, meaning that startups meet with mentors and receive training via videoconference, telephone and email (its demo day is in-person). And, Pearson doesn’t take an equity stake in companies. Accepted startups get $10,000, support from Pearson executives in relevant areas and the opportunity to launch a pilot program with the publishing giant.


Security

10 Steps for BYOD Security
LeadInsight, ForeScout Technologies, 2013
This directive focuses on business but much is applicable to education.
 
The best practices guide 10 Steps for BYOD Security outlines the important steps that an organization should undertake when implementing a successful BYOD program — one that contains the appropriate policies, procedures and security measures to protect your data and your network. Market research identifies the top three BYOD concerns of IT management today as network security, data security and device security.


Resources

Teacher Technology Bucket List: Hurry You Have Until September to Complete It
Brian Byrne, Digital Learning Environments
With less than two months to go in the school year I figure now is the perfect time to begin experimenting with technology so that it can be utilized from the beginning next year.  Therefore, below I’ve created a Teacher Technology Bucket List.  This is what I consider should be the bare minimum a 21st Century Teacher should be knowledgeable about and utilize during instruction time with students.
 
50 Educators Worth Following in Twitter
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
The chart noted here created by Onalytica 2013 features some interesting people to follow. These are basically educators and teachers who have been actively tweeting in ISTE13.
 
Help Fix Someone’s Computer Using Google Hangouts’ Remote Desktop
Brian Croxall, Chronicle of Higher Ed, June 25, 2013
Google’s Hangouts, which they introduced two years ago with Google+, has recently added remote desktop capabilities.
 

Good Read: Technology Is a Tool, Not a Learning Outcome
Tina Barseghian, Mind/Shift, July 12, 2013
Short but to the point. Something about this very simple list struck a chord with many educators. Author Bill Ferriter explains: “Kids AREN’T motivated by technology. Instead, they’re motivated by opportunities to make a difference in the world; they are motivated by opportunities to ask and answer their own questions; and they are motivated by opportunities to learn together with like-minded peers.”


NEA Policy on Digital Learning

Union's Digital-Learning Statement Critiques Online-Only Instruction
Stephen Sawchuk, Ed Week, Digital Education, July 6, 2013
Delegates to the National Education Association's convention have approved a new policy statement on digital learning that addresses some of the hot topics in the field, including new tools, online learning, and the qualifications and roles of educators.
 
It is the union's first attempt to update its policies in this area in 11 years. And in a sense, it outlines the NEA's best hopes and worst fears about the exploding digital-learning movement and all it encompasses.
 

Common Core/Infrastructure

A key priority for ed-tech leaders: Meeting Common Core needs
eSchool News staff, July 2, 2013
School superintendents and curriculum directors aren’t the only K-12 administrators worried about the changes being ushered in with the Common Core standards: In a recent survey, 83 percent of ed-tech leaders said preparing for Common Core assessments is among their top three priorities—and 62 percent fear they won’t have enough IT infrastructure to support online testing.


H.R. 2637 Higher Ed Regulations

House Members Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate Burdensome Higher Education Regulations
Education and the Workforce Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 10, 2013 - Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN), and Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) today introduced the Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2637).
 
Building on bipartisan legislation that passed the House last year, H.R. 2637 will repeal three unnecessary federal regulations that restrict choice and opportunity in higher education: the gainful employment regulation, the state authorization regulation, and the federal credit hour regulation.
 

Policies/Lack Thereof

How to Manage Mobile Device Mayhem
David Raths, Campus Technology, July 8, 2013
When it comes to mobile, can campus users be left to their own devices? Universities are increasingly turning to mobile device management solutions to create some order--and security--whether the devices are BYO or institutionally owned.
 
Study: Campuses lack mobile and BYOD policies, despite concerns
Jake New, eCampus News, July 1, 2013
Three quarters of university chief information officers (71%) say that the importance of mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) has increased in the last year, but just as many say their institutions have no BYOD policies in place, according to a report by Education Dive.
 
The report, which was underwritten by Sprint Higher Education Solutions, was based on a survey of 50 CIOs from around the United States and examined the policies, obstacles and successes of universities adopting mobile devices on their campuses.


Career and Technical Education

Report Sees Strengths and Failings in America's Career and Tech Education
Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Ed, July 11, 2013
Career- and technical-education programs offered by employers and colleges in the United States are diverse and decentralized, and those traits, according to a report (A Skills Beyond School Review of the United States) released on Wednesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, are both their strength and their failing.
 
The diversity of institutions, programs, credentials, and oversight policies carries a downside, Mr. Field said, speaking at a presentation about the report at the New America Foundation's headquarters here. "There is a risk that diversity can cause confusion in the minds of students and employers" about which programs are of high quality and worth the money.
 
Another concern, said the report's other co-author, Małgorzata Kuczera, is that accountability in the programs is "relatively weak and fragmented," especially given the amount of public and personal spending on such training. In 2008 that spending totaled about $68-billion, the report estimates. Read more….
 

Unique Broadband Access 

West Virginia U. Provides ‘Super Wi-Fi’ Through Unused TV Channels
Sara Grossman, Chronicle of Higher Ed, July 12, 2013
West Virginia University has announced that it is now providing broadband Internet access to its campus and the surrounding area via unlicensed and unused television channels. This move away from traditional wi-fi hotspots makes the university the first in the nation to use television channels to provide Internet connectivity, said Michael Calabrese, director of the New America Foundation’s Wireless Future Project, which assisted in the transition.
 

Blackboard Changes

Blackboard May Double or Triple Spending on Software Development
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed, July 11, 2013
Las Vegas — Blackboard Inc. is changing, with plans to focus more on innovation than on simply fighting for market share, says the company’s new president and chief executive, Jay Bhatt, who took office just seven and a half months ago.
 
Blackboard Announces New MOOC Platform
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Ed, July 10, 2013
Las Vegas — Blackboard announced at its annual conference here that it would create a new MOOC platform that colleges could use free if they were existing Blackboard customers. The company has already hosted a couple of dozen MOOCs on a service called CourseSites, but the new platform will be enhanced with features to help colleges run courses for large numbers of students—and it will let colleges make some connections between their on-campus courses and their free open courses, if they choose to.

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