Worthy of Note: April 16, 2013






In this issue ...


SREB News
Other Webinars
Broadband Access for Students: An Appeal
Evidence of Data Collection
Technology Trends
Online and Blended Learning
State Authorization
Ponder Future of Google and Internet
Security Issues
Grading Software
MOOCs
Education Standards
Waiver in Liberal Arts
Resources



SREB News


Join the 2013 National Online Teacher of the Year and finalists as they present webinars highlighting how Building Relationships + Creating Connections + Making College and Career Readiness = STUDENT SUCCESS!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Follow Your Compass: Strategies for Creating Meaningful Connections with your Students
Michelle Licata
National Online Teacher of the Year Finalist
Florida Virtual School
Click here for the recording.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM (EDT)
Creating a Culture of Success: Building Relationships and Community in the Online Classroom
Jen Currin
National Online Teacher of the Year Finalist
North Carolina Virtual Public School
Registration Link: http://notyjc041713.eventbrite.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM (EDT)
College and Career Readiness: Making It Happen Online
Renee Citlau
National Online Teacher of the Year
Anaheim Union High School District
Registration Link: http://notyrc041813.eventbrite.com

Southern States See Changes in Virtual Education (highlights SREB publication)
Victoria O'Dea, Education Week, Digital Education, March 28, 2013
Online learning has undergone a series of significant changes in recent years as it has entered the mainstream of K-12 education, concludes a new report.

The Southern Regional Education Board's latest report about online learning examines the evolution of the region's state-run virtual schools over the past seven years as well as examining how e-learning has grown at the district level.

Other Webinars


Meet the New Digital Parents
SchoolWires, Webinar,Parental Involvement Series
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 11:00 am EDT

A new group of digitally proactive parents is emerging within the K-12 school community. Meet the new digital parents! Join us for 30 minutes and find out how they’re driving change in the classroom and in school-to-home communications.

This is part of a series of online events brought to you by SchoolWires and Project Tomorrow. Three additional events will follow.

Julie Evans, a speaker at this event, has been CEO of Project Tomorrow, one of the nation’s leading education nonprofit organizations, since 1999. She developed the Speak Up National Research Project in 2003 and has served as the chief researcher on this project. See the article posted under Technology Trends below: Parental Communication in the Digital Age.

Digital School Districts Survey Overview Webinar 4/24/2013
Each year, the Center for Digital Education, in partnership with the National School Boards Association, invites all U.S. public school districts to participate in its annual Digital School Districts Survey.

This survey recognizes districts and school boards that are making exemplary use of technology to provide better communication, to support student learning and to utilize effective technologies.

Register for the Webinar here.

Broadband Access for Students: An Appeal


Invest in classroom broadband connectivity
ISTE, Petitions at WhiteHouse.gov, April 1, 2013
During the first week of April, ISTE submitted a petition to the White House regarding broadband access for students. We were able to get the 150 signatures needed for the petition to go up on the White House website, but there is still a long way to go to reach the 100,000 signatures needed by the end of April so that it goes in front of committees. It's an audacious goal, but one we're eyeing. Please share the link with your SIG listserves, professional networks, friends, families and colleagues and invite them to sign. Together, our voices will carry.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to support this critical advocacy initiative. April is Advocacy Month, and we're determined to make the most of it!

Here's the link: http://wh.gov/LVL7. For more information, contact:

Lauren Suveges
Volunteer Leadership Manager
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Direct: 541-434-8906 ext 257
www.iste.org

Evidence of Data Collection


The Heart of the Digital University
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, April 4, 2013
In a Q&A, authors Frank McCluskey and Melanie Winter discuss how the forces that have brought about the current crop of challenges in higher education are the same ones that can help solve them.

Recently, the authors spoke with CampusTechnology.com about what changes in an environment where continual data collection is possible, how one university was able to keep its tuition the same for more than a decade, and why institutions need to become learning-centered (rather than teacher-centered or bureaucracy-centered) organizations.

Technology Trends


5 Emerging Technology Categories that Exist Across Horizon Reports
Tanya Roscoria, Center for Digital Education, March 27, 2013
Five key categories describe a decade of emerging technologies that the annual NMC Horizon Reports outline.

An analysis conducted by Ruben Puentedura — founder and president of the ed tech consulting firm Hippasus — revealed that social, mobility, visualization, storytelling and gaming categories all appear in these reports, which identify emerging technology that could become mainstream in K-12 and higher education.

Parental Communication in the Digital Age
Julie Evans, Education Channel Partner, April 10, 2013
Bridging the gap between home and school has long been a top priority of school leaders. According to new data from Project Tomorrow, one-third of administrators now believe that involving parents as "co-teachers" in their child’s education is essential to improving their college matriculation and career readiness, and educators increasingly see digital tools as key to this effort. As parents step up the challenge of co-teaching, they want their child’s school to take advantage of digital tools to streamline their interaction with teachers and administrators.

In fall 2012, more than 38,000 parents and 6,000 administrators responded to Speak Up survey questions about the use of digital tools and social media for school-to-home communications.

Strategic Mobilization: A Model for the Future: A Q&A with Robbie K. Melton
Mary Grush, Campus Technology, April 3, 2013
As Associate Vice Chancellor for Mobilization and Emerging Technology for the Tennessee Board of Regents, Robbie Melton oversees mobilization strategies and initiatives for the sixth largest statewide system of public higher education in the country: TBR serves more than two hundred thousand students enrolled in 46 institutions throughout the state--six state universities, 27 technology centers for technical/vocational education, and every one of the state's 13 community colleges.

A key part of Melton's role is keeping an eye on the future of mobile and organizing cross-disciplinary teams to study the technology and its education applications. TBR has included mobilization as an important part of its strategic plan, recognizing the technology's ubiquity and reach into students' lives, its rapid technical evolution, and its unique transformative potential for education. Here, Melton shares how she works to build and extend TBR's model for strategic mobilization.

2013 Q1 Special Report: Smart Infrastructure
Alternative link
Center for Digital Education, White Paper, March 6, 2013
The technological changes occurring on K-20 campuses can move alarmingly fast for education leaders who are trying to keep their heads above water. But the simple truth is that these demands are only going to become more complex as mobile adoption continues to increase; learning environments evolve to include blended, online and hybrid models; online assessments, backed by Common Core State Standards requirements, become standard operating procedure; and data storage capacity needs to scale to petabyte levels. As education institutions try to keep up with these truths, one common obstacle stands in their way: outdated IT infrastructures. This Center for Digital Education Special Report looks at some of the key trends that are impacting IT infrastructures and gives specific guidance on what smart strategies, decisions and solutions K-20 institutions can implement to ensure that they are well prepared to take advantage of the inevitable technological changes coming their way.

Mobile Devices in Education
Center for Digital Education, White Paper, Sponsored by Dell, March 25, 2013
Many K-12 school districts and institutions of higher learning are embracing the reality of increased mobile device usage and bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives on their campuses, and the impact this will have on IT. Those pressed with supporting this change are wrestling with how to manage a broad assortment of end-user devices now connecting to their IT environments. These devices include consumer-oriented smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as products designed for use within a managed environment. This paper outlines an approach that Dell has developed and tested to meet the unique needs of education. Conceived as an easy-to-use solution for education institutions, it is designed to be simple to implement and manage, and to address a variety of mobile devices.

Simplifying Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in Education
Center for Digital Education, White Paper, Sponsored by HP, March 27, 2013
Due to the rapid proliferation of mobile technology among school-aged populations, BYOD programs are an intriguing way for educational institutions to leverage the power of emerging digital learning tools without busting their budgets on fleets of school-owned mobile devices. When students and staff provide their own devices, schools can save money while still embracing the digital revolution. At the same time, however, BYOD poses many security and device management issues — and these concerns are heightened when minors are involved. This brief from HP focuses on best practices in BYOD security and management in education, highlighting an innovative unified solution from HP.

Online and Blended Learning


Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States
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 here. Read the press release.

Teacher Knows if You’ve Done the E-Reading
David Streitfeld, New York Times, April 8, 2013
Several Texas A&M professors know something that generations of teachers could only hope to guess: whether students are reading their textbooks. They, along with colleagues at eight other colleges, are testing technology from a Silicon Valley start-up, CourseSmart that allows them to track their students’ progress with digital textbooks.

Hybrid Models of Instruction: Not Just for College Students?

An alert reader sent me this article, about the efficacy of "hybrid" educational models--specifically, a blend of computerized course-work and in-person education with a teacher. In a study involving students at six public universities, findings indicated that students who utilized the hybrid model (working on the computers and meeting with instructors one hour a week) performed the same as students who received only face-to-face instruction.

I wondered if these findings would have applications at the high school level. I admit I have some innate resistance to the hybrid model, in that--at the end of the day--it definitely makes my job less necessary. Fewer hours of in-person instruction requires fewer teachers. Read more…

First Blended Charter School Set to Open in Rhode Island
Keeping Pace Staff, April 12, 2013
The Village Green Virtual Public Charter High School is promoting a blended learning model for 9th and 10th graders, with the intention of expanding to include grades 11 and 12 over a three-year period. One of the missions of Village Green is to use the students’ time as productively and creatively as possible. The goal is to give students a more realistic idea of managing time in a career-based setting. For instance, if it takes 1.5 hours for a student to get through an English lesson and 30 minutes for science, then that time will be used as needed instead of splitting it evenly. This allows each student to take the time he or she needs to truly understand each lesson, instead of being controlled by the clock or the pace of a full class. Village Green estimates that most students will use 40% of their time working with the teachers, and the other 60% will be online or in small groups.

Online classes likely to become more common
Lisa Singleton-Rickman – TNValleyNow.com – Decatur Daily.com, April 8, 2013
Alabama educators have long known that online classes provide experience and preparation students need for life after high school, either for college or the workforce.

But the state has never done much more than suggest schools implement them in the curriculum, until now. Under the state’s new diploma requirements, which go into effect this fall and begin with incoming ninth-graders, there’s a required college and career preparedness course that incorporates computer applications.

Though Alabama schools have discretion as to how to implement that part of the career preparedness course, online classes will likely become more commonplace, according to Alabama Department of Education officials.

What College Students Really Think About Online Courses
Tanya Roscoria, Center for Digital Education, April 3, 2013
A group of student leaders has tried online classes, talked with other college students about their experience and traded their insight with educators. And as more colleges expand their online offerings, education administrators and policy-makers could learn something from these students.

Thirty-two percent of higher education students took at least one course online in fall 2011, according to the Sloan Consortium report “Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States”,released in January. At NorthWest Arkansas Community College, 42 percent of its 8,069 students enrolled in at least one online class, an increase of 17 percent since last spring.

State Authorization


Navigating the Current State Authorization Kerfuffle for On-Campus Instruction
Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers, April 6, 2013
Russ has been following this confusing information. He says: from your emails to me, these stories have been a bit confusing and confounding to many of you. Some people are worried about losing their federal financial aid for students. I have been following this issue and thought it would be helpful to give my interpretations and results of my conversations with Dr. McArdle of the US Department of Education in today's blog WCET Frontiers posting.

Most of the state authorization discussions that we've had thus far have been about distance education. This current issue is about authorization and federal financial aid for students in your local face-to-face classroom.

State Lines May Ease for Classes Held Online
Tamar Lewin, New York Times, April 11, 2013
Higher education leaders have proposed a way to make it easier for universities to offer online courses across state lines.

The proposal would replace a cumbersome patchwork of rules and fees that make it costly for universities to offer online courses to students in different states. With some seven million students enrolled in online college courses for credit — a number that is growing rapidly — higher education officials say it is crucial to simplify the system.

A commission on online learning led by former Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley outlined a proposal on Thursday under which any institution that had received state authorization for its online programs, based on certain quality and consumer protection standards, would be allowed to enroll students from other states that met the same basic standards and agreed to reciprocity.

Ponder Future of Google and the Internet


Could Google Someday Answer All Your Questions?
Clair Cain Miller, New York Times Bits, April 4, 2013
Google wants to be the place people go to satisfy all their information needs.

Google asked 150 volunteers to download a mobile app that pinged their phones at various times during the day to ask about their information needs at that moment, where they looked for the answer and whether they found it.

Their answers broke down into four categories. The first two Google already does well — answering simple questions (“when is Columbus Day?”) and more exploratory ones (“biography of Yves St. Laurent.”) The other two are more challenging — tasks to complete (“does my local library have this book available for checkout?”) and complex issues that often do not have a single answer or an answer findable on the Web (“best path to deal with borderline personality disorder” or “is my wife picking the kids up from school?”) Read more….

Digital Grab: Corporate Power Has Seized the Internet
Norman Soloman, Common Dreams, March 28, 2013
“Most assessments of the Internet fail to ground it in political economy; they fail to understand the importance of capitalism in shaping and, for lack of a better term, domesticating the Internet,” says Robert W. McChesney in his illuminating new book, “Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy”.

Huge corporations are now running roughshod over the Internet. At the illusion-shattering core of Digital Disconnect are a pair of chapters on what corporate power has already done to the Internet -- the relentless commercialism that stalks every human online, gathering massive amounts of information to target people with ads; the decimation of privacy; the data mining and surveillance; the direct cooperation of Internet service providers, search engine companies, telecomm firms and other money-driven behemoths with the U.S. military and “national security” state; the ruthless insatiable drive, led by Apple, Google, Microsoft and other digital giants, to maximize profits. In his new book, McChesney cogently lays out grim Internet realities.

Security Issues


Gartner: Long hard climb to high level of cloud computing security
Ellen Messmer, Network World, April 10, 2013
It's still a long, hard climb to get to a high level of security in cloud computing, according to Gartner research vice president Jay Heiser, who said business and government organizations with sensitive data appear likely to hold back from cloud-based services until things improve.

Top IT Security Worries
Michelle Fredette, Campus Technology, March 4, 2013
It's a dangerous world out there, with IT shops hard pressed to protect their institutions and users. CT looks at the 4 biggest security worries--and how IT can fight back. In 2012, 61 educational institutions reported data breaches, involving more than 2 million records, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. This story appeared in the March 2013 digital edition of Campus Technology.

Kentucky Schools Launch Statewide Cloud Based ERP System from Tyler Technologies
Tyler Technologies
173 Kentucky school districts move to Tyler's cloud-based solution for its reliability, long-term cost savings and statewide disaster-recovery capabilities.

Tyler Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: TYL) has successfully moved 173 Kentucky school districts from traditional on-premise deployments of its Munis® enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to a hosted Munis solution. The process took less than two years and makes Kentucky the largest school system in the U.S. on a cloud-based financial management system.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has been a Munis client for 18 years. KDE recommended its school districts migrate to a hosted Munis solution for numerous benefits. Read more…

Grading Software


Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break
John Markoff, New York Times Science, April 4, 2013
Imagine taking a college exam, and, instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the “send” button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program. And then, instead of being done with that exam, imagine that the system would immediately let you rewrite the test to try to improve your grade.

EdX, the nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer courses on the Internet, has just introduced such a system and will make its automated software available free on the Web to any institution that wants to use it. The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks.

but may hamper educational experience says John M. Crisp who teaches in the English Department at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. ABC Action News, April 12, 2013

MOOCs


North Carolina State U To Offer MOOC for School District Leaders
Leila Meyer, Campus Technology, March 19, 2013
The Alliance for Excellent Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University have launched a massive open online course for educators (MOOC-Ed) called Digital Learning Transition, which is designed to help school district leaders develop a set of digital learning goals and strategies to meet the needs of their students.

The free course is part of the Alliance's "Project 24" initiative and is the first in a series of MOOC-Eds planned by the Friday Institute. The course is "designed for school and district leaders, including superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, technology directors, financial officers, instructional coaches, lead teachers, and others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives," according to a news release from the Alliance.

Online Learning, En Masse
Video, New York Times, January 6, 2013
This video offers a good brief description of MOOCs from professors involved.

Sweating the Details of a MOOC in Progress
Karen Head, The Chronicle, Wired Campus, April 3, 2013
Karen Head, a guest blogger for Wired Campus, is an assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and director of the institute’s Communication Center. She reports periodically on her group’s efforts to develop and offer a massive open online course in freshman composition.

Education Standards


A Taxonomy of Education Standards
Brandt Reed, Of That (blog), March 29, 2013
I've previously posted and updated A Four-Layer Framework for Data Standards. When working with education standards I've also used the following taxonomy that categorizes standards according to their purpose. For convenience, this taxonomy is also available in PDF form under a CC0 dedication.

Types of Standards
There are three types of standards that are involved educational efforts: Academic Standards, Data Standards and Technology Standards.

New Guidelines Call for Broad Changes in Science Education
Justin Gillis, New York Times, April 9, 2013
Educators unveiled new guidelines on Tuesday that call for sweeping changes in the way science is taught in the United States — including, for the first time, a recommendation that climate change be taught as early as middle school.

The guidelines also take a firm stand that children must learn about evolution, the central organizing idea in the biological sciences for more than a century, but one that still provokes a backlash among some religious conservatives.

The guidelines, known as the Next Generation Science Standards, are the first broad national recommendations for science instruction since 1996. A consortium of 26 state governments and several groups representing scientists and teachers developed them.

Waiver in Liberal Arts


Technically Liberal Arts
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, April 2, 2013
A group of 19 private colleges in Georgia have struck a deep transfer agreement with the state’s technical college system, guaranteeing admission to any student with a grade-point average of at least 2.5 and an associate of science or applied science from one of the state’s 25 technical colleges.

Four of the private institutions went a step farther with the agreement, which was announced in February. Those colleges -- Brenau University, LaGrange College, Paine College and Reinhardt University -- agreed to waive their general education requirements for students who transfer in from the technical college system with an associate degree in science or, in two cases, in applied science.

Resources


How to Write a Term Paper
Gale Cengage Learning
This guide is designed to support you as you use electronic and print resources to:

All steps of the research process will be illustrated by examples that follow the creation of a research paper exploring Toni Morrison's novel Beloved. You will be able to track the development of a thesis from initial questions asked during the reading of Beloved to the documentation of material researched to develop that thesis. Project Tomorrow has followed research on students using Gale Cengage.

Teacher to Teacher; Critical Thinking in the College Classroom
What is Critical Thinking?
This web site provides personal, practical, and published materials collected to help you cultivate critical thinking skills in your students, especially first-year students.

These materials are contained in 14 modules--ten focused on specific critical thinking skills, and four on specific teaching methods. These modules are then categorized using Halpern's (2003) framework for teaching critical thinking skills across disciplines. According to this framework, well-rounded critical thinking instruction helps students acquire ...

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (book)
Paul Tough, Houghton Mifflin, 2012
The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control.

This publication has served to provide discussion among SREB constituents.

Read commentary in New York Times: School of Hard Knocks,Annie Murphy Paul, August 23, 2012