Worthy of Note: April 29, 2011


National Online Teacher of the Year – Kristin Kipp


2011 National Online K-12 Teacher of the Year Shadows Department's Director of the Office of Educational Technology
David Thomas, U.S. DOE, April 25, 2011
As part of her reward for being named the 2011 National Online K-12 Teacher of the Year, Kristin Kipp of Evergreen, Colo., visited the nation's capitol Monday, April 25 to "shadow" the U.S. Department of Education's Director of Educational Technology Karen Cator. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the International Association for K12 Online Learning iNACOL) founded the NOTY award for K-12 Online Learning.

Exclusive Q&A: E-Teacher of the Year
Ian Quillen, Education Week, April 25, 2011
Kristin Kipp, National Online Teacher of the Year, sat down with the Digital Education blog to reflect on her career, which includes seven years as a face-to-face instructor and three as an online teacher, the award, and the benefits and challenges of entering online education. Read her insights in this exclusive Q&A from Digital Education.

Digital Textbooks


1 in 4 College Textbooks Will Be Digital By 2015
Audrey Watters, ReadWriteWeb, March 16, 2011
Sales of digital textbooks still only account for a small fraction of the U.S. college market. But according to the latest report by the social learning platform Xplana, we have reached the tipping point for e-textbooks, and the company predicts that in the next five years digital textbook sales will surpass 25% of sales for the higher education and career education markets.

Mobile Perspectives: On e-Books; E-Reading: the Transition in Higher Education
David McCarthy, EDUCAUSE Review Magazine, March/April 2011
Higher education's interest in digital content, especially e-books, has gone off the charts. With the rapid acceptance of e-books for pleasure reading, attention has now shifted to e-textbooks and their promise of significant cost savings and cutting-edge features. But getting a good grasp on the fast-moving realm of digital content for higher education can be a Herculean feat.

Florida Looks at Taking School Textbooks Completely Digital by 2015
Marlene Sokol and Jeffrey Solochek, St. Petersburg Times Staff Writers, February 17, 2011
State education officials rolled out a five-year proposal this week that calls for all students in K-12 to use only "electronic materials" delivered by Kindles, iPads and other similar technology by 2015. However, Palm Beach County school district says it'll need more time, money to switch to digital textbooks (Jason Shultz, Palm Beach Post, April 18, 2011). Their response: "Palm Beach County is way ahead of most counties, and I don't even think Palm Beach County could be 50 percent digital in two years."

Blogs


Technorati Top 100 (1–25)
The top 100 blogs are updated once a day. They are also arranged topically.
Check out Info Tech Blogs.

Blogs: Cable Green, Director of eLearning & Open Education, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Olympia, WA.
Cable posted the OER notice cited below about the Open Source Library.

Social Media in Higher Education
Reynol Junco, a college professor and researcher, studies how social media use affects college students.

10 Ways to Find Blogs You’ll Love
Jolie O’Dell, Mashable, April 11, 2011
Here are ten tools that might help choosing blogs.

Rough Type
Remember, Is Google Making Us Stupid?, published in Atlantic in 2008? Nicholas G. Carr was the author. His latest book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, described as a thought provoking exploration of the Internet’s physical and cultural consequences, is his effort to prove that the critics were wrong in 2008. Following this publication, there are those who believe he proves that Marshall McLuhan is right: the medium is the message, and it’s hollowing out our brains.

You may be interested in Nicholas Carr’s blog, Rough Type. Read his observations about video games in Grand Theft Attention: Video Games and the Brain in his blog April 1.

Resources


30+ Creative Ways To Use Twitter In The Classroom
Edudemic and EDTE.CH
At the end of this school year, Tom Barrett will become a “former teacher.” He has been a primary school teacher in the UK but he is leaving to join NoTosh, a creative education consultancy. He has already created lots of resources for classroom teachers, especially creative ways to use Twitter in the classroom. His Interesting Ways series is a good example of crowdsourcing good quality classroom ideas.

A Better Way to Teach Math
David Bornstein, Opinionator, NYTimes, April 18, 2011
Fixes (the blog) explores solutions to major social problems. Each week, it examines creative initiatives that can tell us about the difference between success and failure. It is written by David Bornstein, author of “How to Change the World,” and Tina Rosenberg, contributing writer for The New York Times magazine and author of the forthcoming “Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World.”
And here is Part 2 ― When Math Makes Sense (To Everyone)

StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles. (Wikipedia)

Sophia
Some people describe Minneapolis-based Sophia as a mash up of Wikipedia, YouTube, and Facebook — focused solely on teaching and learning. It’s where you can teach what you know and learn what you don’t. Whether you’re a high school student, college student, teacher, professor, tutor or parent, Sophia makes knowledge easier to share, easier to find, and easier to organize. And it’s free. Students often go to websites such as Wikipedia for information that may or may not be accurate. Sophia hopes to stream educational information into one website that will allow educators and other members of the community to upload information and have users rank its helpfulness. Check out A New Model for Online Learning (Wendy Lee, Star Tribune, April 9, 2011) and What Social Teachers are Saying about Sophia (Sophia, April 7, 2011)

Open Education Resources (OER)


GA Virtual Learning Resources
These math, language arts and biology resources are linked to the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and are free for teachers, and students. Resources will continue to be added to this site.

The Orange Grove
The Orange Grove is an online library of openly available instructional resources for Florida's educators. We support faculty in meeting a core value of education: to openly share one's knowledge with others. Many of the resources, such as our Open Textbookcollection, are openly available to the public. The repository can also be integratedwith a Florida Higher Education Institution's learning management system such as Blackboard.

Open Course Library
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
The Open Course Library is about building and sharing quality, educational materials so more people can access and succeed in higher education. The “OER Matrix,” is a collection of college-level OER links, organized by course and by repository. The OER Matrix Google spreadsheet is available for viewing and editing here.

Dramatic Improvements After VSU Business School Adopts Open Source Textbooks
Featured in the current newsletter from SCHEV (Virginia). See page four.
“Before the pilot program, our research indicated that close to 53% of students did not purchase textbooks,” said Dr. Mirta Martin, Dean and Professor of Management at the School of Business, Virginia State University. “After the introduction of open source textbooks, more than 95% of students in those nine courses have actively registered their seat licenses.”

Cloud Computing


What We Can Learn From Amazon’s Cloud Collapse
Ben Parr, Mashable, April 23, 2011
Cloud computing is still in its infancy, and today’s events make it clear that we still have a lot of work to do. It could be a whole lot worse next time if we aren’t prepared.

While these standards were planned and discussed before the Amazon cloud collapse, they are even more applicable:

Open Cloud Standards Council Draws Higher Ed
Dian Schaffhause, Campus Technology, April 11, 2011
Four education institutions ¾ North Carolina State University is one of the four institutions ¾ are showing up on the roster of participants in a new council to promote open cloud standards. The Cloud Standards Customer Council will work under the aegis of the Object Management Group (OMG) to advance cloud interoperability in areas such as security, data and application interoperability and portability, governance and management, and metering and monitoring.

Repositories, Copyright, etc.


Digital Scholarship Publications Overview
Established in 2005 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Digital Scholarship provides information and commentary about digital copyright, digital curation, digital repositories, open access, scholarly communication, and other digital information issues. Digital Scholarship's digital publications are open access. Both print and digital publications are under versions of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.

Computer Tutors


Computer Tutors Prod Students to Ask for Help
Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week, April 20, 2011
In a series of studies presented at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, researchers from the University of British Columbia and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that students typically will go to extreme lengths to avoid asking for help when working on computer-based tutoring programs. Yet if they learn to think about when and how to ask for help, they are more likely to avoid simply cheating to get answers.

“Across hundreds of thousands of actions in multiple studies, we never get more than 30 percent of students who ask for help; they always try to do it again themselves,” he said. “When we asked students [why they didn’t ask for help], they said their parents told them [essentially] ‘real men don’t ask for help.’”

By the time students finally did ask for help, the data showed they had given up trying to solve the problem and were aiming to cheat; Mr. Roll said 82 percent of students who used the hint tool did not stop to read it, but instead clicked through multiple hints to get to the answer. Read more about their findings.

Tablets and Such


Google Tablets Expected to Challenge iPad
Dennis Carter, eCampus News, April 13, 2011
Apple’s iPad will maintain tablet supremacy for the next four years, but higher education soon could see an influx of tablets that operate with Google’s operating system (OS) during the same period, according to an April 11 report from IT research company Gartner.

Best Tablet 2011 – Listings Updated April 15, 2011
News, reviews, deals and comparisons

Literacy Topics

We almost missed this one. April was Financial Literacy Month, and since I don’t miss many opportunities to promote various literacy skills ¾ and there are more than we can quickly name ¾ I shall include these resources simply because the state and federal budgets are hot topics these days.

Chairman Bernanke On The Importance Of Financial Literacy Month
Provided for the record of a hearing held on April 12, 2011 conducted by the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate

Federal Reserve Education and Monetary Policy Resources
Search for resources by grade, topic and type.
Additional resources can be found by doing a Google search for Federal Reserve Resources for Teachers. This will provide links to resources in almost all of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

Here are a couple more literacies: Mobile Literacy and Information Literacy

Mobile Perspectives: On Teaching Mobile Literacy
David Parry, EDUCAUSE Review Magazine, March/April 2011
The ability to use social media, and particularly social media as amplified through the power of the mobile web, has become a key literacy. The author "believes teaching mobile web literacy is as crucial as teaching basic literacy.”

This is just a good description of information literacy from the University of Idaho.

Budget (Congressional)


FY 2011 CONTINUING RESOLUTION REDUCTIONS (in millions of dollars) (Updated 04.13.11)

Summary – Final Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution

IT Sustainability


Lean Green Machines: 7 Sustainability Stars in Higher Ed
Matt Villano, Campus Technology, April 1, 2011
Across the world of higher education, IT departments are embracing sustainability to save money — and the planet. Seven institutions that have shifted their efforts into high gear are profiled here.

5 Essentials to Greening the Data Center
Dan Gordon, THE Journal, April 4, 2011
A growing number of districts are overhauling their data centers to conserve energy and cash. Here's a primer on the most important elements of any sustainability effort.

Addendum (A few interesting articles)


The Evolution of Classroom Technology
We’ve certainly come a long way but some things seem hauntingly similar to many years ago. For example, Thomas Edison said in 1925 “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what people are saying these days about the iPad. From the HornBook to the iPad, here’s a brief look at the evolution of classroom technology.

The Netflix Effect: When Software Suggests Students' Courses
Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle, April 10, 2011
When Netflix suggests movies based on how much previous renters liked them, all that's at stake is a night's entertainment. Now a handful of colleges have begun using similar recommendation systems to help students pick their courses—a step that could change GPA's and career paths.

The Winners & Losers of Social Networking [INFOGRAPHIC]
Jolie O’Dell, Mashable
The course of social media never did run smooth — not for long, anyhow. And for some Web 2.0 companies, it’s running less smoothly than ever.

5 Myths About the 'Information Age'
Robert Darnton, The Chronicle, April 17, 2011
Confusion about the nature of the so-called information age has led to a state of collective false consciousness. Here are five.

How Many Hours do Students Spend Texting Every Day? (Higher ed)
Dennis Carter, eCampus News, April 14, 2011
Research shows how prevalent texting has become on campus, along with instant messaging and social media use. Text messaging trumps online chatting and Facebook, eMail, and search engine usage, according to the survey conducted by Reynol Junco, an associate professor at Lock Haven University and a social media researcher.

IT Innovation and Adoption in Higher Education
Mary Grush, Campus Technology, April 13, 2011
This is a Q&A with WCET Executive Director Ellen D. Wagner prior to her keynote address at Campus Technology 2011.

To Profs, YouTube Tops Twitter
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2011
College faculty are twice as likely as other workers to be using social media as part of their job, and more than 80 percent of faculty are using some form of social media in their teaching, according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson. But according to this study by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson, an overwhelming number of professors are not very enamored with Twitter.

Desire2Learn Announces Release of Latest Mobile Platform - Desire2Learn Campus Life
Desire2Learn® Campus Life solution connects learners with their academic community by extending the campus presence into their everyday lives. Through any iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or BlackBerry® device, Desire2Learn Campus Life connects students and faculty to campus videos and media, news, events, campus directories, services, and their learning management systems (LMSs).

One more…and this is for real…. not too far in the future…. just for you


Worried About Brand Damage From Social Media? Get Tweet Insurance
Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, April 26, 2011
According to the report, Stupid Tweet insurance for individuals is probably five years away.