Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: November 12, 2013

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


Confessions of the NOTYs: How Technology Helps Teachers Succeed
SREB/iNACOL National Online Teachers of the Year talk about teaching and technology
While many tools are invaluable in effective teaching, today’s evolving technology can give the nation’s teachers a real advantage in reaching every student in class. The experiences of the NOTYs in this report offer teachers important examples of the benefits of building personal, online relationships with students. The NOTYs know how to use these relationships to tailor an academic program to each student’s individual abilities and skills. And the NOTYs draw on an abundance of resources to engage and excite the student about learning. Leaving course mechanics as much as possible to the technology, they focus their skills as educators where it counts — helping students work to capacity, overcome learning hurdles and redirect their efforts with constant feedback.

Virtual Schools

Group Urges Overhaul on Funding of Full-Time Virtual Schools
Benjamin Herold, Education Week, Digital Learning, November 8, 2013
Full-time virtual schools shouldn't receive more than traditional schools for providing comparable services and results, argues the National Education Policy Center. 

Common Core

Common Core Meets Aging Education Technology 
Debra Donston-Miller, Information Week, July 22,2013
Many K-12 schools struggle to implement new educational standards with old technology, outdated skills. Unfortunately, what many schools are finding is that they don't have the technology they need, don't know what technology they need, or have the technology but not the knowledge and training to use it effectively. Learning Forward offers many resources for training teachers in Common Core.
3 Ways to Empower Common Core Writing
Susan Oxnevad, Getting Smart, November 1, 2013
The Common Core writing standards were designed to provide teachers with a framework and adequate time to help students achieve mastery of skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond. While the standards identify what students should be able to do, the accompanying instructional shifts present a big picture view of changes in traditional teaching methods that are necessary to effectively implement those standards.
Technology can be a powerful tool to facilitate changes in writing and research that can transform traditional assignments into engaging, deep learning experiences if used effectively, but real learning gains can only be achieved if the technology is used in a way that requires students to make decisions, process information and formulate ideas based on research. Here are some tools and strategies that use technology to transform traditional writing tasks and take advantage of technology as an efficient tool for the type of deep learning experiences suggested by the Common Core.

Obstacles to Disrupting School

Disrupting Pedagogy – Part 1
Marie Bjerede, Getting Smart, November 1, 2013
With personalized learning a passionate goal of parents, students, educators, and policy makers, why are online resources for learning still so uninspired? Technology and education science are sufficiently advanced today to create authentically transformative digital learning tools and experiences, and yet the market offers us little but apps and services with the same old limitations that evolved from cohort-based lock-step classroom instruction. The answers may lie in the uniquely challenging market conditions of our education system. The solutions to those challenges may comprise largely untapped opportunities for innovators of all kinds.
Most edtech innovators are forced to look and behave like incumbents in order to get a foot in the door of institutional purchasing. Fortunately, the theory of hybrid innovation not only explains the obstacles to disrupting school, it also predicts ways in which innovative products can reach students. Marie Bjerede will describe these in more detail in her next post.


Is Massive Open Online Research the Next Frontier for Education?
UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering, September 30, 3013
San Diego, Calif., Sept. 30, 2013 -- A team from UC San Diego is launching a new course on the Coursera online learning network that breaks ground on several fronts. In “Bioinformatics Algorithms – Part 1,” UC San Diego computer science and engineering professor Pavel Pevzner and his graduate students are offering a course that incorporates a substantial research component for the first time. “To our knowledge, this is the first major online course that prominently features massive open online research, or MOOR, rather than just regular coursework” said Pevzner. “All students who sign up for the course will be given an opportunity to work on specific research projects under the leadership of prominent bioinformatics scientists from different countries, who have agreed to interact and mentor their respective teams.”
A new and valuable report on MOOCs in K-12 education
John Watson, Keeping Pace, October 21, 2013
A new MOOC report from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is an excellent review of MOOCs and how they apply—and may apply in the future—to K-12 education. From the report’s press release: “The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has released What Massive Open Online Courses Have to Offer K-12 Teachers and Students.” Written by Dr. Rick Ferdig of Kent State University, the report examines the relatively new education delivery model of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and begins the conversation about the potential impacts of this model on K-12 education.

Media Use

Where in the World are Young People Using the Internet?
Georgia Tech, Atlanta, October 7, 2013
According to a common myth, today’s young people are all glued to the Internet. But in fact, only 30 percent of the world’s youth population between the ages of 15 and 24 years old has been active online for at least five years. In South Korea, 99.6 percent of young people are active, the highest percentage in the world. Those are among the many findings in a study from the Georgia Institute of Technology and International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Nearly 96 percent of American millennials are digital natives. That figure is behind Japan (99.5 percent) and several European countries, including Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Screens, Screens, Screens: The Worrying Childhood Impact of the Digital Revolution 
Jon Queally, Common Dreams, October 28, 2013
That children in the U.S., from newborns to 8-year-olds, are spending less time in front of traditional television and computer screens than they were two years ago is the good news found in a new report released Monday.
The bad news? Most of those children are now spending increasingly more time in front of newer—and more mobile—digital screens that a growing number of people carry with them nearly everywhere they go. And worse still, according to new guidelines from the pediatric medical community, both the short-term and long-term impact on these children could be devastating. Click to expand. (Infographic: Common Sense Media) See the following report presented by Common Sense Media, Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013 (pdf).
According to the first new report, presented by Common Sense Media, one of the most striking developments is the rapidly increased access to and use of portable devices by kids in the younger ages.
Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013 (pdf)
Common Sense Media, 2013
Even a casual observer of children and families today knows big changes are afoot when it comes to children and new media technologies.
This report, based on the results of a large-scale, nationally representative survey, documents for the first time exactly how big those changes are. The survey is the second in a series of national surveys of children’s media use; the first was conducted in 2011 (Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, Common Sense Media, 2011). By replicating the methods used two years ago, we are able to document how children’s media environments and behaviors have changed.
This report provides comprehensive information on:  Overall Media Use, Television Use, Mobile Media and Apps, Children Under 2, Educational Media Use, Media and Family Time, Video (Game Use), Reading (Electronic and Print), and The Digital Divide and the App Gap.

iNACOL Notes

Online & Blended Learning Resources
Carl Schneider, Getting Smart, November 11, 2013
iNACOL is producing a wealth of valuable resources to help aid in the implementation of high-quality online and blended learning in schools and districts across the globe.  These new papers add to an impressive list of existing resources, including some of our favorite places to point people like the K-12 Online and Blended Learning Database, National Quality Standards, Competency Works and How to Start an Online Learning Program website. There also are seven new sources from iNACOL offered here.
Maximize Potential by Scott Benson 
Scott Benson, Program Officer, Next Generation Learning Models, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (blog)
Scott Benson was awarded the Outstanding Individual Contribution to K-12 Blended and Online Learning at the 2013 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium. Read his comments on Promoting Civil Debate in Education.
EdTech 10: Awards, Blends, & Connections at #iNACOL13
Getting Smart, November 2, 2013
The Getting Smart team enjoyed every minute of the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, the biggest and best blended learning conference on the calendar. Check out both #iNACOL13 Day 1: Get Blended and #iNACOL13: The Happiest Place on Earth to get a good feel for what this conference really has to offer. This year’s attendance grew by more than 500 participants to be the biggest iNACOL event yet. We are already looking forward to the 2014 Symposium November 4-7 in Palm Springs, CA.

Net Neutrality

We’re About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet, as We Know It
Marvin Ammori. Wired, November 4, 2013
Once upon a time, companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others declared a war on the internet’s foundational principle: that its networks should be “neutral” and users don’t need anyone’s permission to invent, create, communicate, broadcast, or share online. The neutral and level playing field provided by permissionless innovation has empowered all of us with the freedom to express ourselves and innovate online without having to seek the permission of a remote telecom executive.
But today, that freedom won’t survive much longer if a federal court — the second most powerful court in the nation behind the Supreme Court, the DC Circuit — is set to strike down the nation’s net neutrality law, a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010.

Reading, Writing and Research

Reading, writing, and research in the digital age
Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet and American Life Project, November 4, 2013
Kathryn Zickuhr discusses reading, writing, and research in the digital age at the edUi 2013 Conference in Richmond, VA on November 4-6. Presented on Slideshare.
How Teens Do Research in the Digital World
Kristen Purcell, et al, Pew Internet and American Life Project, November 1, 2012
The teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students’ research habits and the impact of technology on their studies.
Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.”
According to this survey of teachers, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the College Board and the National Writing Project, the internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, yet students’ digital literacy skills have yet to catch up


Transparent Student Data Can Transform Education 
Alison Anderson, Getting Smart, October 18, 2013
“Next generation textbooks will collect student data and will find the perfect strategy for every concept that a student will ever learn,” said Knewton’s Jose Ferreira (@Knewton_Jose). Speaking at the 2013 National Summit for Education Reform, Ferreira predicted that students would soon be producing millions of data points every day. “The time has come to get serious about the data and how it can be used to completely optimize every student’s school experience.” Read more comments from several notable persons.

$10,000 Degrees

Low-Cost B.A. Starting Slowly in Two States
Tamar Lewin, New York Times, October 18, 2013
Now the $10,000 degrees are available in Florida and Texas — but not for many students, not for many majors and not on the flagship campuses.

Project Tomorrow — Speak Up

Speak Up
Speak Up 2013 will be open for input October 2nd through December 20th, 2013! All districts and schools, in the current NCES database, are automatically registered to participate in Speak Up. To learn more on how to sign up as the primary contact for your school or district to manage your information and gain access to your local reports in Feb. 2014 please, click here.

A Dilemma for School Districts

Many Districts Go Without a Chief Tech Officer
Sean Cavanagh, Education Week, November 11, 2013
For subscribers only, this article addresses technology leadership in many districts that is provided not by one person, but through whatever arrangements the school systems can muster.
Even as schools juggle a daunting array of evolving technological demands, federal data show that roughly half of districts do not have a full-time chief technology officer or technology manager whose sole job is to oversee all digital needs. Those needs include ensuring that technology contributes to improved classroom instruction, as well as making sure it works properly.

Higher Ed IT

The Future Model of Higher Education IT
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, October 23, 2013
University IT will no longer be in the “build” business, but in the “integrate” business. “Higher education as an industry is in a time of change, and we see this as a good thing,” Laura Patterson said. “As challenging as it is, it is an opportunity. And it is an opportunity that is IT enabled…” NextGen Michigan (Laura Patterson, CIO) is a strategy for changing the university’s IT service approach and investing in the Next Generation of technology.

Web Design

User-Friendly Advice for Accessible Web Design
George Williams, The Chronicle, November 5, 2013
WebAIM, a nonprofit organization based at the Center for Persons With Disabilities at Utah State University, provides helpful guidelines on making digital resources usable by the most people possible.

Mobile Interactive Video

Interactive Video: The Next Big Thing in Mobile
Paul Clothier, Learning Solutions Magazine, October 28, 2013
Studies have shown that interactive video increases attention, engagement, recall, satisfaction, and time spent watching a video. Most interactive video has a marketing aim, but some pioneers are beginning to use it for learning. This article explains the concepts, gives an overview of the techniques, and provides some ideas for getting started.

Learning Analytics

5 Questions about Adaptive Learning Platforms
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, October 30, 2013
The author believes the next few years in edtech will be dominated by two inter-related trends:
  • The growing efficacy and penetration of adaptive learning platforms.
  • The move to data driven teaching decision making, underpinned by the growing reach and power of learning analytics.
And that adaptive learning and learning analytics companies will challenge the role of learning management system (LMS) providers as the central hub in which we revolve our digital learning strategies. 

Google Glass

Libraries and GLASS: 7 Things to Think About as Wearable Computing Emerges
Brian Matthews, The Chronicle, October 10, 2013
Brian Mathews offers a few observations after using Google Glass.
Google Glass: release date, news and features
Stuart Houghton, Tech Radar, November 7, 2013
Essentially, Google Glass is a wearable Android-powered computer built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision, film, take pictures, search and translate on the go as well as run specially-designed apps.

Teaching with Social Media

Wired for Teaching
Megan Rogers, Inside Higher Ed, October 21, 2013
About 40 percent of faculty members used social media as a teaching tool in 2013, an increase from 33.8 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson Learning Solutions. Likewise, more faculty members used social media for professional communications and work in 2013 (55 percent) than in 2012 (44.7 percent). In both years, faculty members most often used social media for personal purposes.

2013 Reports

2013 Learning Impact Report
IMS Global Learning Consortium, October 16, 2013
The IMS Global Learning Consortium recently released the 2013 Learning Impact Report to help educational authorities identify impactful projects and potentially repeatable implementations of educational technology to achieve institutional goals, such as increasing access, creating personalized learning environments, improving student engagement, or improving student success.
2013 Yearbook: Technology Innovation in Education
Center for Digital Education
The Yearbook is a unique publication produced annually by the Center for Digital Education (CDE) that highlights some of the outstanding trends, people and events over the past year in education technology. The first part of the Yearbook gives readers market awareness by outlining how much money schools spent on education technology, where the funding came from and what technologies have been garnering the most attention.
The second part features 40 education innovators, who are using technology to inspire their students, improve learning and better the K-20 education system.

Campus Computing Survey

Helping Professors Use Technology Is Top Concern in Computing Survey
Hannah Winston, The Chronicle, October 17, 2013
New data from fall 2013 Campus Computing Survey reveal that CIOs and senior campus IT officers view instructional support and IT service issues as their top technology priorities over the next two-three years.

BYOD Policy

9 Steps For Schools To Create Their Own BYOD Policy
Teach Thought, October 29, 2013
A Bring Your Own Device strategy for increasing the amount of technology used in schools will be unique to your school community, therefore schools will need to have their own BYOD policy and supporting documentation, after all you'll need to have everyone one the same page!
A graphic from offers a plan to begin guiding your school towards a BYOD policy or plan that works for you. In that way, it is better than copy/pasting another school or district’s policy, making sure whatever you come up with is, at worst, personalized for your application.

EdTech 2.0+

The First Crack of EdTech 2.0: The EdTech Hype Bubble of 2011-2013
Christopher Nyren, EdReach, November 11, 2013
Mark November 2013 as the first crack of the current 2011-2013 EdTech Hype Bubble. The same 30 day span that saw Chegg file its amended S-1 for its much awaited IPO, Chegg’s co-founder Osman Rashid was dismissed from his follow-up act Kno as it was turned over to its strategic investor Intel. This now brings to three the number of casualties amongst the current, over-hyped Silicon Valley EdTech Darlings. There’s more…. read on….


Great guide to iOS 7 for busy teachers and students
Kev at, October 6, 2013
So, you have just downloaded iOS 7 to your school iPad’s and feeling pretty good about the fact you can see all those new icons. Now you can get back using them just as you always did. If that is the case you might be surprised to know that iOS 7 has had over 300 alterations and additions to its predecessor, and has a number of obscure new features that are tailor made for education.
Steve Luliano from Mac1 has put together an excellent resource for teachers and students aimed covering seventeen areas to make you an iOS 7 wizard in no time. Download the guide.
Awesome Poster Featuring 11 Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
A really great graphic created by Really Good Stuff.
Insanely Engaging Games for the Classroom
Thirteen games. Cut fruit into pieces to learn about fractions. Manipulate pictures to balance equations. Picture your students losing themselves in gameplay for hours with these games and apps that are hard to put down. Some of these have been around for a long time.
Tons of Free Resources for Your Classroom
Edutopia News, November 6, 2013
Links feature OER resources and Copyright and Fair Use videos.
Sweet Search: A Search Engine for Students
Dulcinea Media
Sweet Search searches only 35,000 Web sites that have been approved by their staff. Sweet Search allows students to choose the most relevant result from a list of credible results, without the distraction of unreliable sites. Dulcinea Media is the Curator of the Internet. Its mission is to help educators teach students how to use the Internet effectively, safely, and responsibly. Check out this description of the products they have developed.

Copyright © 2013 Southern Regional Education Board, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp