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Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: May 1, 2014

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

 

SREB News

The Leader's Guide to Success in a More-With-Less and More-With-More World
Mike Abbiatti, (SREB Educational Technology Cooperative), Seen Magazine, April 11, 2014
America’s classrooms, both K-12 and college, have always held the promise of a better future for the nation. Today, that expectation is no less, — but times have changed. K-20 classrooms are expected to do more with less: help states produce more workers with greater technical skills — but with less funding. At the same time, our K-20 institutions are challenged to be more accountable, to raise achievement and to use more data to make better decisions – in other words, to do more with more.
 
Doing more with more data and greater accountability to raise achievement, but with less support? It won’t be easy. Technology is among the first solutions people name. But technology presents its own challenges: insufficient bandwidth, too few people trained to teach with digital devices, concerns about data security. And things change so fast: legions of people work every day to stay technology to help students.
 
Read what Mike Abbiatti says about the challenges we have and how we can address them.
 
Educator Effectiveness Legislation in SREB States
SREB, Tableau, April 21, 2014
SREB's educator effectiveness policy bill tracker is a new way to keep up with what's happening in this year's legislative sessions related to teacher and principal effectiveness. The interactive web tool allows you to see bills by state or by topic, find their status, and read legislation introduced in the SREB states during this legislative session. Topics include educator preparation, development, evaluation and compensation.
 
SREB and Member States
How states participate in SREB programs and services
SREB, April 19, 2014
SREB works closely alongside policy-makers in its 16 member states to help improve education at all levels. To do this, the organization provides a wide range of policy assistance and targeted services. Each state receives a number of general services, plus access to programs funded by grants, contracts and fees for specific services.
 
Appropriations from member states support SREB’s core operations and general services. SREB leverages the long-standing commitment of member states to attract external funding for an array of targeted projects for educational improvement efforts in member states.
 
These documents detail each member state's participation in SREB programs and services in 2012 and 2013.
 
Latest Updates: SREB Education Data 
SREB, Education Data
Helping states stay up to date on the latest interstate comparisons and trends in education is a core service of SREB. The Education Data program collects, analyzes and shares demographic, economic, pre-K-12 and higher education data among SREB states.
 
The program publishes the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, one of the nation's most comprehensive collections of comparative data, and updates it online continually.

Data

The Leader's Guide to Success in a More-With-Less and More-With-More World
Mike Abbiatti, (SREB Educational Technology Cooperative), Seen Magazine, April 11, 2014
Read about Mike’s article posted above under SREB News.
 
Powering Student Success with Systemwide Data
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, April 9, 2014
Now that most of the institutions in the University System of Georgia are tapped into a centralized LMS, the state system is ready to put that data to work with predictive analytics.
 
The Promise Of Learning Analytics: Using Data To Drive Student Outcomes
Techweb Digital Library
American schools are in crisis. Thirty years after the scathing education report A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, they continue to lag behind much of the developed world in reading, science and math. Only eight countries have lower high school graduation rates. Now, educators are looking to the business world for new methods to boost performance.
 
Download The Promise of Learning Analytics: Using Data To Drive Student outcomes, a special report from THE Journal, and learn how data mining and analytics have the potential to personalize learning, improve teaching and transform K-12 education for the 21st century.
 
5 Models for Data Stewardship
A SAS Best Practices white paper
As the phrase "managing data as a corporate asset" is increasingly repeated in executive board rooms, it's clear that data stewardship is more important than ever. However, is it really a critical success factor? This SAS Best Practices white paper examines how organizations can better manage and maintain their corporate information by making the best decisions about data quality tools, integration architectures and data standards.

 

Blended Learning

When does educational technology become disruptive in the classroom?
The stages educational organizations move through on the journey to blended learning, and their effect on teachers/instructors.
Peter West, eSchool News, April 11, 2014
As organizations move through various stages in preparation for blended learning, teachers can choose the degree to which they engage with change. However, once the final stage is reached, this decision is assumed, and visible changes in pedagogy occur; it becomes obvious whether a teacher is using a blended model.
 
It is at this point that real “disruption” occurs; it is at this point that teachers either become excited by the new possibilities or withdraw in an attempt to stay with the “tried and true” teaching methods of the past.

 

More About Literacy

Empowering Literacy Through Technology
eSchool News
The definition of “literacy” is evolving in the 21st century. Not only does it involve fluency in reading and writing, but it also implies an ability to think critically about a variety of texts and communicate increasingly complex ideas. These skills will be put to the test with the new Common Core State Standards being rolled out in more than 40 states.
 
While the challenges to fostering literacy among today’s students are growing, so is the power of the tools at educators’ disposal. With the generous support of myON, we’ve assembled this collection of stories and resources to help you use technology to empower literacy in your schools.

 

Net Neutrality

Schools Could Be on Internet 'Slow Track' Under Proposed FCC Rules
Michele Molnar, EdWeek Marketplace (blog), April 24, 2014
New proposed rules by Federal Communication Chairman Tom Wheeler could give some companies access to speedier Internet service, which might leave schools in a slower zone.
 
Feds May Be Looking To Bail On Net Neutrality: WSJ
Drew Guarini, The Huffington Post, April 23, 2014
Net neutrality is not dead. But it may be about to take a big blow to the head.
 
The Wall Street Journal has a foreboding scoop that provides details on an early draft of the Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules. And to put it mildly, Internet activists will not be thrilled. According to the WSJ's sources, the FCC's plan would restructure the rules that govern online traffic by granting Internet service providers the ability to give some websites "preferential treatment" — i.e. faster traffic — in exchange for money. If such rules were imposed, activists fear Internet service providers would make bandwidth-exhaustive websites — think Netflix and Skype — pay more for smoother delivery, which would theoretically mean higher prices for customers in turn.
 
Everything You Need To Know About The End Of Net Neutrality
Gerry Smith, Huffington Post, April 24, 2014
It may be the end of the Internet, as we know it.
 
That was the reaction from consumer advocates and some websites after the Federal Communications Commission announced new rules governing Internet service on Thursday. The rules effectively put an end to net neutrality, or the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally. "Definitely, consumers are the losers," said Todd O'Boyle, a program director at Common Cause, a left-leaning public interest lobbying group. "The sites they rely on a daily basis may not work in a way they've come to rely on."
 
The FCC insists, however, that the new rules would not harm Internet users. In a blog post Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said there had been “a great deal of misinformation” about the proposal, which he said would not permit “behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness of the Internet.”
 
Read some key points here to understand regarding the changes.
 
Lobbying Efforts Intensify After F.C.C. Tries 3rd Time on Net Neutrality
Edward Wyatt, New York Times, April 24, 2014
WASHINGTON — In the nine weeks since the Federal Communications Commission said it would try, for a third time, to write new rules to secure an open Internet, at least 69 companies, interest groups and trade associations — over one a day — have met with or otherwise lobbied commission officials on what the rules should specify. That effort does not count the more than 10,000 comments that individuals have submitted to the F.C.C.
 
Now the flood of lobbying efforts is likely to increase after the disclosure Wednesday evening that the F.C.C. would soon release preliminary rules allowing for the creation of special, faster lanes for online content to flow to consumers — for content providers willing to pay for it. This is a critique report of procedures of F.C.C.

 

Digital Learning

Americans' Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising
Valerie J. Calderon and Susan Sorenson, Gallup Poll, April 8, 2014
Traditional universities and community colleges have edge on quality.
 
Out in Front, and Optimistic, About Online Education
D. D. Guttenplan, New York Times, April 13, 2014
LONDON — Besides his name and email address Richard C. Levin’s new black-and-white business cards contain just two short lines of type: “Coursera” and “CEO.” Mr. Levin, the former president of Yale University, was named head of the online education company late last month.
 
CLRN eLearning Census: District Reflections on Digital Learning Implementations
John Watson, Keeping Pace, April 29, 2014
Among the most notable information within CLRN’s California 2014 eLearning Census, which we discussed late last week, is the section titled “What Districts & Charters Would Do Differently.” CLRN asked respondents what they would change in their program implementation given what they know now, without providing any multiple-choice options for responses. All answers were entirely respondent-generated. Seventy-one districts responded to this question. Read their analysis of the responses.

 

Lower Online Tuition?

Georgia officials hope lower online tuition will boost enrollment
Kathleen Foody, AP, Augusta Chronicle, April 20, 2014  
** Mike Rogers, George Board of Regents, quoted here.**
ATLANTA — Jenni Small has good reason for avoiding 8 a.m. world literature classes at Dalton State College in northern Georgia. The 23-year-old works night shifts as an operator for carpet manufacturer Shaw while finishing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
 
Instead of heading straight to class from work, she uses eCore – an online system that focuses on “core” classes that every Georgia state college or university student must take – for one or two courses each semester.
 
Cost was her only reason for not taking more classes, Small said. On-campus credit hour charges at Dalton State this year are $97.27, compared with $189 for eCore. This fall, the cost of eCore classes will drop $20 per credit hour.

 

Project-Based Learning

No Courses, No Classrooms, No Grades — Just Learning
KQED.org/mindshift/, (blog), April 24, 2014
Read comments about this article in eSchool News, April 25, 2014
 
It took just a few weeks for a group of Boston-based teenagers to develop an affordable prosthetic hand for children, Mind/Shift reports. These teens took a brief hiatus from school to enroll in NuVu Studio, a project-based learning program in Cambridge, Mass. that pairs students with real-world projects. On their first day at NuVu, students were split into groups of 10, assigned a mentor (typically a doctoral student) and a theme, like “the future of global warming” or “balloon mapping.” In the most recent health-themed studio, one of these teams mocked up the prosthetic hand, after conducting interviews with patients, the families of amputees, physicians, and engineers in the Boston area. The students ultimately hacked MakerBot’s original files to make their design on a 3D printer…
 

Competency-Based Education

Is Competency Based Education the Next Game Changer on the Horizon? Can it Succeed?
Kelly Walsh, Emerging EdTech, March 16, 2014
This innovate model has exciting potential and is gaining momentum, but it requires embracing change in order to succeed. The idea of providing a more flexible approach to learning and degree attainment, when carefully implemented, is probably the most promising and fundamental potential change to the way that education is delivered and consumed that has come along since distance learning.
 

Google Fiber

Will your city get super-fast Internet from Google? 
Matt Kemper, Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 24, 2014
The prospect of landing Google’s ultra-fast Internet and TV connections for homes has government staffers in Atlanta and eight nearby cities jumping to satisfy the technology giant.
 
Google gave the local cities (Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Smyrna, Avondale Estates, College Park, East Point, Brookhaven, Hapeville) and 25 others around the nation a deadline of midnight (Pacific Time) May 1 to send it massive amounts of information that will help it decide whether to install Google Fiber locally. City staffers are sending everything from information pinpointing every city-owned pole and manhole to whether there’s city land available to host some of Google’s equipment.
 

Common Core

States' Rollout of Common Core Goes Under the Microscope
Andres Ulifusa, Ed Week, April 15, 2014
Organizations tracking implementation of the Common Core State Standards praise state education agencies for collaborating well with local officials and across state borders, and for developing a strong base of materials to help with the transition to the standards.
 
But states still face hurdles, analysts find, including finding adequate funding to make the common core a reality at the classroom level and assuring that the rollout goes smoothly amid other significant policy shifts.

 

Heartbleed

Public Wi-Fi is mostly safe from Heartbleed
Jose Pagilery, CNN Money, April 30, 2014
The Heartbleed Internet bug is still haunting websites worldwide, but it looks like public Wi-Fi is pretty safe.
 
That doesn't mean you should start banking on an open network -- that's still dangerous. However, you can connect your laptop or smartphone at most coffee shops, hotels and airports without worrying about hackers exploiting the Heartbleed bug on a Wi-Fi router to spy on you.
 
The Heartbleed Bug
Megan O’Neill, The Chronicle, April 11, 2014
In an email interview with The Chronicle, Steven Lovaas, information-technology-security manager at Colorado State University, laid out the basics and described what Internet users can do to protect themselves.
 
The heartache of Heartbleed
Tobin Low and Ben Johnson, Marketplace, April 9, 2014
There is plenty of panic to go around surrounding the announcement of a major security flaw in OpenSSL, the open-sourced version of the security connection used by most web servers to encrypt information between users, sites, and companies. Here's some basic info on "Heartbleed," and what you need to know:
 

The Cloud

Overcoming the Security Challenges of the Cloud
Campus Technology White Paper
The cloud promises impressive gains in infrastructure agility, efficiency, and cost reduction, but the greatest barrier to cloud adoption on campus continues to be security.
 
Download this whitepaper to learn more about the best practices for keeping your data and institution safe in the cloud. The paper includes a 5 Step Plan for Building a Secure Cloud.

 

Going Mobile

Going Mobile Across an Entire Community College System
Toni Furhman, Campus Technology, April 17, 2014
Community colleges are leveraging systemwide resources to better serve their students with mobile apps.
 

Libraries

Libraries Seek High-Speed Broadband
Jada F. Smith, New York Times, April 17, 2014
WASHINGTON — The federal E-Rate program has been a boon for schools and public libraries across the country, helping them acquire Internet access and telecommunications products at affordable or vastly discounted rates. But the sleek new computers, laptops and tablets do not mean much without high-quality broadband service to match.
 
At a public hearing on Thursday held by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the group said there was an urgent need to equip libraries with high-speed access to information. Without it, they say, the nation’s “opportunity gap” is growing.
 
“When people can’t apply for jobs or access government services because they don’t have access from home, public libraries must be there for them,” said Linda Lord, a librarian in Maine. “Where else are they going to go? Police station? Town hall? I don’t think so.”
 
Digital Public Library of America Celebrates Its Birthday 
Jennifer Howard, Chronicle (blog), April 18, 2014
Like most youngsters, the Digital Public Library of America has been growing fast. Officially a year old, it now encompasses more than seven million items, three times what it started with 12 months ago.
 
Designed to be a gateway to information rather than a final destination, the DPLA doesn’t actually ingest digitized books, manuscripts, photos, moving pictures, recordings, or other materials. Instead, it works with a nationwide network of institutions to aggregate the metadata that describes their digitized holdings.Bringing such information together makes it easier for users to find those collections.
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