Worthy of Note: April 30, 2012

In this Worthy of Note ...

Digital Books
Mobile Learning
Cloud Computing
Flipped Classrooms
Social Media and Apps for Educators
Competency-Based Education
Career and Technical Education
Vendor Partnerships and Higher Education
iPads: The Future?
Smart Glasses: The Future?
Disruptive Innovation
Augmented Reality
Blackboard Shifts Strategy
Resources: Math
Resources: Language Arts
Resources: Technology
Resources: Videos
Resources: Sharing
Just Interesting Topics


The Art of a Flipped Classroom – Turning Learning on its Head
Cisco Webex, May 3, 2012
Jonathan Bergmann, Lead Technology Facilitator, Kenilworth School District 38, and Aaron Sams, Science Teacher, Woodland Park School District, Woodland Park, CO.

Digital School Districts Survey Webinar
Converge, May 10, 2012
2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific
Duration: 60 minutes
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 track district results.

This webinar will feature some of the ranked winners of the 2011-2012 Digital School Districts Survey. Each presenter will share how their district is utilizing technology to more effectively serve students, educators and the community.

Digital Books

1 in 4 College Textbooks Will Be Digital By 2015
Audrey Watters, Read Write Web, 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.

That figure is a revision from the company's report last year, which predicted that one in five college textbooks would be digital by the year 2014. Due to the rate at which colleges are embracing digital textbooks, Xplana now projects that sales will grow by 80 to 100% over the next four years.

Digital Textbooks May Save Schools $250 per Student per Year
Posted by Lee Crockett, 21st Century Fluency Project, April 21, 2012
Digital textbooks are sweeping the face of education with interactive interfaces and immersive learning experiences that help get students thinking, learning, and creating. But if you needed one more good reason why e-textbooks are a good idea, how about the money schools will save implementing them? This article from Electronista has more.

The Digital Classroom [Infographic]
This info graphic from OnlineUniversities.com illustrates many of the factors relevant to eBook integration in the classroom.

Mobile Learning

Mobile Perspectives: On teaching Mobile Literacy
David Parry, Educause, March/April 2012
The future our students will inherit is one that will be mediated and stitched together by the mobileweb, and I think that ethically, we are called on as teachers to teach them how to use these technologies effectively, to ensure that they end up on the right side of the digital divide: the side that knows how to use social media to band together. Teaching mobile web literacy seems to me as crucial as teaching basic literacy. The authors offer a few literacies that we ought to be striving to teach our students.

Reduce the Risk – and Cost – of Mobility (White Paper – Tech&Learning)
Download here
Sponsored by Absolute Software
The proper use of technology will allow you to save money, protect existing assets, and even discover additional sources of revenue. All over the country, school districts are trying to find ways to upgrade or improve their technology without spending money. One way they are doing this is by examining how they use technology. This includes:
  • Replacing Old Resources with New, Improved, and Free Options
  • Using Technology to Improve Business Practices
  • Using Technology to Save Money
  • Bring Your Own Device to School
  • and Theft Recovery vs. Theft Replacement

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Being Practical About Mobile Learning
Rob De Lorenzo, Blog, April 9, 2012
Where as the conversation was mainly dominated by costs, allowing students to bring their own devices will allow more financial flexibility to schools and school districts. This ultimately shifts the focus from purchasing equipment to teaching acceptable use and integration of technology into day-to-day instruction. We really are reaching that point of ubiquity in society where access to Internet-enabled devices is becoming less and less of an issue and acceptable use and leveraging them for learning has become more and more important.

The 2012 State of the Mobile Web in Higher Ed
Karine Joly, University Business Magazine Digest, March 28, 2012
According to a recent survey, 59 percent of institutions reported providing a mobile-friendly website or mobile app, compared with 37 percent a year earlier.

In the Digital Age, Welcoming Cell Phones in the Class
Mindshift, April 6, 2012
No longer afraid of giving kids access to the Internet, a growing number of school districts are developing digital media policies that emphasize responsibility over fear.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Resources
Information and security policy information on the topic from Indiana University.

Flipped Classrooms

Five Best Practices for the Flipped Classroom
Andrew Miller, Edutopia, February 24, 2012
I get very nervous when I hear education reformists and politicians tout how "incredible" the flipped classroom model, or how it will "solve" many of the problems of education. It doesn't solve anything. It is a great first step in reframing the role of the teacher in the classroom. It fosters the "guide on the side" mentality and role, rather than that of the "sage of the stage." It helps move a classroom culture towards student construction of knowledge rather than the teacher having to tell the knowledge to students. Even Salman Khan says that the teacher is now "liberated to communicate with [their students]."

It also creates the opportunity for differentiated roles to meet the needs of students through a variety of instructional activities. But again, just because I "free" someone, doesn't mean that he/she will know what to do next, nor how to do it effectively. This is where the work must occur as the conversation of the flipped classroom moves forward and becomes more mainstream in public and private education. Read more….

Check out this blog produced by Daniel Edwards. Among lots of other topics, it contains current information about flipped classrooms and iPads,

Social Media and Apps for Educators

Why Teachers Should Try Out Tumblr
Edudemic, April 17, 2012
So what is it about Tumblr that makes it so popular? Quite simply, it’s Tumblr’s simplicity. Like Twitter, it’s beyond easy to slap up a picture, quote, video, and other content that interests you. But it doesn’t stop there. Tumblr is essentially a social network where users can easily like (a la Facebook) but quickly ‘reblog’ your posts. This then puts your article into their blog that may or may not have a wider audience. Either way, it gets your content quickly shared across a plethora of locations. And all you did was click like, what, 3 times? Ridiculously easy. That’s where teachers come in.

PLN’s on Twitter
Blog: Through the Eyes of an Educator
Earlier this school year my principal @rondmac and I (@jamburgy) shared a few tech sessions with our staff about the uses of Twitter in education. Quickly, several teachers saw the benefits as well, and we have been sharing ideas in our building that we learn from others literally from all over the world.

In the last 24 hours I have connected with teacher leaders all over the world through “shout-outs” using the #FF hashtag where you mention others who are worth following. Having others share my username with their followers opens up even more opportunities for me to connect to others that I would never have the chance to meet otherwise. I would highly recommend participating in the #FF mentions on Fridays.

Using Pinterest in the Classroom
Educational Technology Guy, March 28, 2012
Pinterest is the newest member to arrive on to the social media scene, and it has taken social media users by storm – quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms today. However, this site is not solely to be seen by educators as yet another classroom distraction. Pinterest can actually be highly beneficial for a number of reasons.

Must See: A New Web 2.0 App Store Just For Educators
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, April 19, 2012
Edshelf and is an easy-to-use directory all the great web 2.0 tools out there just waiting for educators to try them out. You can share your experience with the tools, add your own, store a ‘shelf’ of your favorite tools, and more. All in all, it’s a useful site that you should probably bookmark right now. And it’s free!

New: 10 shiny Apple apps for education
eClassroom News, April 22,2012
Last year we presented “10 of the best apps for education,” which highlighted some of the best apps for iPhones and iPods. However, with new upgrades in touch technology, HD and 3D features, and the debut of the iPad, we’ve come up with a new list of the best Apple-based education apps for 2012.

This year’s list includes some of the most highly rated apps, both by teachers and by Apple, and features a range that spans from simple math games to a revolutionary special-education app, and from 3D imaging of the elements included in the periodic table to secure file sharing for students and teachers.

Competency-Based Education

2 blogs below from Innosight
Heather Clayton Staker, Innosight, April 2-3, 2012
Yesterday in this blog (part 1, below) I said that there’s an organization that is already using a sophisticated data system to deliver a fully competency-based education model and producing remarkable results. That organization is Western Governors University (WGU), and its success offers a compelling template for K-12.

6 dreams for state education systems
Imagine if each state provided its K-12 students a simple, navigable portal that linked them to the best learning resources in the world and they could choose their favorite path from a menu of possibilities. Imagine if K-12 students, with protections in place, could connect to learning teams, mentors, and experts worldwide in convenient, accessible…Read more and follow with Part II below.

6 dreams for state education systems, part II

Career and Technical Education

Feds release blueprint to spur career, technical education
eClassroom News, April 20, 2012
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released a blueprint to transform career and technical education (CTE) in order to provide high-quality job-training opportunities for students. These efforts aim to reduce skill shortages, promote business growth, encourage new investments and hires, and prompt innovation and economic growth.

The FY 2013 budget proposes an additional $1 billion to help 500,000 (a 50 percent increase) high school students participate in Career Academies, programs offered in high school that combine college curricula with a career emphasis, such as healthcare or engineering.

Vendor Partnerships and Higher Education

Funding Campus IT: The Partnership Strategy
Bridget McCrae, Campus Technology, April 19, 2012
The Vendor Solution Series
Traditional vendor-higher education relationships were built on the premise of giving out money in exchange for goods. Today's competitive funding environment requires a more creative approach and finds more colleges turning to IT manufacturers for funding, support, and resources. In this series we'll look at how three different schools have successfully funded IT infrastructure changes with the help of their vendors, tell how the processes worked, and the benefits they've reaped as a result.

This article is the second in a three-part monthly series, "The Vendor Solution." Read part 1 here. Part 3 will be published in May.

3 Start-Up Announcements From the Education Innovation Summit
Nick DeSantis, Wired Campus, Chronicle of Higher Ed, April 18, 2012
The theme of disrupting higher education was buzzing among hundreds of conference attendees this week at the Education Innovation Summit at Arizona State University. The event offered start-up companies a captive audience for pitching their products. Here’s a small sample of announcements they made.

iPads: The Future?

How the iPad Is Changing Education
John Paul Titlow, ReadWriteWeb, April 23, 2012
There's also some early evidence that an iPad could provide a more engaging learning experience and might even improve student performance. It's purely anecdotal, but students at Riverside Unified School District have said that using an iPad makes learning and doing homework more enjoyable. Their teachers confirmed that students seem more eager to participate thanks to the iPad. Anybody who's ever spent a long stretch of uninterrupted time reading or watching video on their iPad can see why this might be the case.

One small-scale study conducted at Riverside indicated that Algebra students using iPads tested at 90% proficiency, compared to 60% among their traditional textbook-toting counterparts. Read more….

25 Ways To Use iPads In The Classroom by Degree of Difficulty
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, April 18, 2012
This is worth checking out.
The Teacher’s Ipad Spectrum
Consume, Collaborate, Produce
So you’ve got one or a few iPads that you want to use in the classroom. You could visit the Apple App Store’s education section and peruse the many offerings… do some Google searches to figure out what’s good… or just use this print-friendly image below to get started!

Five Websites that present useful tips on lots of topics, especially using the new iPAD in instruction:
14 Must-Know iPad Tips & Tricks A few of these are intended for using on the new iPad, but most of them will be relevant to all iPad models of all ages.

Mentormob allows you to organize any video, article, or website into a Playlist. It features lots of ideas for using the new iPAD with students. Check out the blog.

The 6Techs Daily Created by Cathy Moak and updated daily with tips, news and education features.

Scoop It! iPad in Education! Created by Daniel Edwards and updated almost daily.

Syded Check out this blog:. Also produced by Daniel Edwards. Among lots of other topics, it contains current information especially about flipped classrooms and iPads,

Google's Chromebook Challenges iPad in the Classroom
Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TwinCities.com, March 18, 2012
Like many K-12 school administrators pondering how to modernize their classroom technology, Peter Iles considered iPads as way to outfit his students and replenish an aging PC lab. "We considered the iPad," said Iles, the principal and technology coordinator at Grace Lutheran School in Oshkosh, Wis. "But we did not consider it for long." Instead, Iles went with the Google Chromebook, a Web-focused new kind of computer that, like the iPad, is being touted as a revolutionary educational device.

Smart Glasses: The Future?

Google Creates a Spectacle with 'Smart Glasses' Project
eCampus News, April 8, 2012
If you think it’s hard to keep students’ attention in class now, just wait until everyone starts wearing Google’s futuristic, internet-connected glasses. While wearing a pair, you can see directions to your destination appear literally before your eyes. You can talk to friends over video chat, take a photo, or even buy a few things online as you walk around. These glasses can do anything you now need a smart phone or tablet computer to do—and then some.

Google: Here's What Our Sci-Fi Glasses Look Like
Chris Taylor, Mashable, April 4, 2012
We’re more than a quarter of the way through 2012, and as you may have noticed, we have failed to acquire silver jumpsuits or jetpacks. In fact, aside from that headset in your ear, smartphone in your pocket and tablet in your purse, everything is looking quite boringly un-futuristic. But if Google has its way, we will start wearing some very science fiction-like glasses by year’s end.

4 Problems Google Glasses Have To Solve Before Becoming a Hit
Co Design
Yesterday, Google officially revealed a project that will push them to their creative limits. It’s called Project Glass, and it’s a pair of glasses that layers digital information over the real world. It’s your smartphone, right in your eyes. You can read text messages. You can take photos. You can listen to music (thanks to some built-in earbuds). You can even be told that the subway is closed as you walk up to it, and be redirected to your destination by foot.

Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation — in education
Lynn Hardesty, MIT News, April 20, 2012
For Anant Agarwal, MITx, the Institute’s new online-learning initiative, isn’t just a means of democratizing education. It’s a way to reinvent it. This is an inspirational description of MITX, a portfolio of MIT courses through an online interactive learning platform, and his thoughtful leadership.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality: Coming Soon to a School Near You?
Mindshift, April 20, 2012
As schools’ acceptance of mobile tools such as smartphones and tablets becomes more widespread, educators are struggling with how to incorporate them into current teaching models. Experts say schools need to get beyond the technology cart—treating these tools as accessories that get wheeled in and wheeled out an hour later—and educators need guidance on how to change their teaching practices to take advantage of what mobile learning has to offer. Yet examples of what these new pedagogical models might look like are hard to come by.

Gagnon and his team may be able to help. As the minds behind Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling (ARIS), they’ve developed an open-source mobile learning platform educators can download onto an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to create place-based and narrative gaming activities that can be incorporated into classroom curriculum.

Education with Augmented Reality: AR textbooks released in Japan (video)
Hana Stewart-Smith, ZDNet, April 4, 2012
A Tokyo publishing company has released textbooks that support Augmented Reality on smartphones. With apps downloadable for free, this textbook displays how AR might be a more practical choice than an iPad for classroom tech.

Blackboard Shifts Strategy

Blackboard Makes Unlikely Move Into Open-Source World
Jason Tomassini, Ed Week, April 3, 2012
Signaling a dramatic shift in strategy and product offerings, Blackboard Inc. last week purchased two companies built on the Moodle platform, the free learning-management system popular mostly because it is an alternative to Blackboard.

For an undisclosed amount, Blackboard bought Moodlerooms and NetSpot, two companies that help users manage and customize the Moodle learning-management-system, or LMS, software.

Many in the education technology community dismissed the move as Blackboard's attempt to join a community with values starkly different from its own.

"Their behavior in the past … is about as diametrically opposed to open-source behavior as you could imagine," said David Wiley, an instructional technology professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Blackboard’s Identity Crisis, Desire2Learn’s Optimism, and Instructure’s Coolness
George Siemens, eLearnSpace, April 6, 2012
A common response to the longterm impact of these acquisitions has been to link Blackboard’s manoeuvre with the IBM’s transformation into a services company. This comparison is particularly silly because IBM was heavily invested in a hardware field that was being commoditized, whereas Blackboard is a software company (i.e. Microsoft). And the LMS is not being commoditized – it’s being integrated with new value adds including curriculum, eportfolios, analytics, learner relationship management, advising, mobile, etc. Blackboard has a history of not knowing what it is. Or the type of market in which it operates.

Summary of Statements by Key Players in Blackboard Announcement, Including Competitors
Phil Hill, e-Literate, April 4, 2012
Given all the news and discussion surrounding Blackboard’s strategy change last week, I thought that it would be useful to collect the public statements from Blackboard and their competitors in one place. No analysis, no interviews, just statements. I have a feeling that this might provide a rich source of analysis 6 – 12 months from now.

Resources: Math

Math Quack
Dropdot Inc.
In the Alpha stage, MathQuack is a practical web software alternative to home tutoring for today’s web-savvy generation, presenting the advantages of privacy, endless patience, instant help without scheduling hassle, and the convenience of working from anywhere. MathQuack will also cost you a whole lot less than a human tutor. It will be fee-based apparently, but Psst! Sign up now as part of our pilot program, and you’ll keep your all access account for free once we roll out the complete product.

Our lessons will hold your hand through each concept, providing instruction and requiring your input at every step, keeping you engaged. We’ve also got lots of exercises so you can refine your skills while our system closely monitors your work to identify precise knowledge gaps and tailor recommendations for revision. Once you’ve done some work, you’ll have a personal progress report to boast your achievements.

We’re planned to cover the entire secondary school math curriculum, starting at the beginning and moving on up.

Great Math Teaching Ideas
Check this one out. The source has gathered math-teaching ideas from lots of places with links here. Great Maths Teaching Ideas is the blog of William Emeny, a secondary school math teacher working at Wyvern College in Hampshire, England. He teaches Key Stage 3, GCSE and pre A-level (FSMQ) maths.

Resources: Language Arts

ICT Magic, April 21, 2012
A great site for building vocabulary and looking up words with the simple dictionary and remember them with virtual flashcards. ICT Magic was winner of the best educational Wiki in 2011 by Edublog.

Resources: Technology

Education Technology Guy
Free resources for teachers, educational ideas and tips, educational topics, personal learning networks, project based learning, Google, Evernote, Discovery Education and more. David Andrade is a physics teacher and education technology specialist in Connecticut.

Plagiarism detection tools for educators
ISSUU, April 9, 2012
You can use these tools to deter students from cheating on assignments, which raises the quality of work for your course. Instructors can see at a glance assignments that are original and ones that contain content copied from the Internet

Google+ Hangouts SlideShare App
Ross, SlideShare, March 28, 2012
Google+ Hangouts are an ideal place for people to share experiences online just like they do in real life. Now, sharing slides live is even better with the Google+ Hangouts SlideShare App.

Evernote For The Classroom
Steven Anderson, Digital Learning Environment Blogs
These are sites, lists and ideas all for using Evernote for your personal use or in the classroom.

Resources: Videos

Got video? Great video resources for your class!
Jim Forde, Digital Learning Environment Blogs
One of the greatest things that the web offers is the myriad of video resources that can potentially enhance your lessons. Here is a short list of ones that blow me away and a few tips for video utilization. The list: NBC Learn - http://www.nbclearn.com,
Science 360 - http://www.science360.gov, TED - http://www.ted.com, You Tube Edu - http://www.youtube.com/education, PBS - http://video.pbs.org/, and Neo K12 - http://www.neok12.com/

How 12 Schools Are Using Khan Academy Right Now
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, April 23, 2012
Whether you want to use it as a study tool for your own education or bring it in as an alternative way for students in your classes to learn a subject, it’s simple and free to get started with Khan Academy. This is perhaps a large part of the reason why it’s proving so popular nationwide. Here, we’ve highlighted twelve of the many schools that are using Salman Khan’s instructional videos to teach, learn, share, and grow from elementary school to high school. You may just find inspiration to start using Khan Academy on your own!

Resources: Sharing

Google+ Hangouts SlideShare App
Ross, SlideShare, March 28, 2012
Google+ Hangouts are an ideal place for people to share experiences online just like they do in real life. Now, sharing slides live is even better with the Google+ Hangouts SlideShare App.

Just Interesting Topics

The History of Learning Tools (Infographic)
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic April 17, 2012
You’re going to want to print out this infographic and, at the very least, share it with your fellow teachers and even students. It’s all about the history of education technology and could be used to educate just about anyone on how far we’ve come in a short period of time. We did a more in-depth look at the history of education technology about a year ago but this infographic is a lot more… fun.

IT Spending To Reach $3.7 Trillion in 2012
David Nagel, THE Journal, April 10, 2012
Spending on IT software, equipment, and services is projected to reach $3.75 trillion worldwide this year, driven by solid growth in computer hardware and enterprise software. While that represents roughly 2.5 percent growth over 2011's spending figures, according to market research firm Gartner, the forecast is a bit lower than previously predicted--owing mainly to currency fluctuation.

Cui Bono? The Question Rarely Asked, Let Alone Investigated
Anthony Cody, Education Week Teacher, April 17, 2012
As our public schools are systematically re-engineered for dubious reasons, with questionable results, by people of uncertain motives, there is a disturbing lack of skepticism on the part of our watchdogs for the public good, journalists. One of the basic principles of reporting is to ask "cui bono" - who benefits? In the Watergate scandal, the key informant whispered to reporters Woodward and Bernstein, "Follow the money." But very few reporters today seem to be "following the money" in the field of education.

Veteran education reporter John Merrow recently delved into cheating scandals on his blog, Taking Note: In other words, we're cheating kids on their tests and stealing essential courses like art and music from them! Add to that, we are lying -- because when kids get phony scores telling them they are proficient when they need help, that's an out-and-out lie.

At what point does this trifecta -- lying, cheating and stealing -- become a felony? Seriously! Read more….

Digital Scholarship Publications Overview
Open Access Publishing Since 1989
Digital Scholarship provides information and commentary about digital copyright, digital curation, digital repository, open access, scholarly communication, and other digital information issues.

Remaking education in the image of our desires
George Siemens, eLearnSpace, April 19, 2012
This is a stimulating article with equally stimulating/agreeable/disagreeable responses.

The current generation of students will witness the remaking of our education system. Change is happening on many fronts: economic, technological, paradigmatic, social, and the natural cycles of change that occur in complex social/technical systems.

People have attempted to define change principles: Christensen’s disruptive innovation, Schumpeter’s creative destruction, Kuhn’s revolution structures, Paul A. David’s model of long systemic change, and (my personal favorite) Carlota Perez’ techno-economic revolutions. Each of these is a different lens for viewing big, dramatic, change.

This isn’t small micro-change. It’s not about adding a new technology into a classroom. It’s much, much bigger. It is part of the big shift: new rules, global market, capital shifts, emerging markets, new economies, and dying economies.

In education, there are many points of innovation in response to global trends: open education resources, internationalization, joint partnerships with universities in developing economies, adoption of new technology, and new pedagogical models.

One of the most significant points of innovation in education is in the increase in startups, venture capital, and general corporate interest in filling gaps or correcting inefficiencies.

Jeb Bush on the Right to Rise and The Future of Learning
Getting Smart Staff, April 18, 2012
This article speaks to George’s presentation above.

A Florida Killing, Virtual Charter Schools: ALEC at Its Worst
Independent Source Pac, March 26, 2012
Today in The New York Times Nobel-prize-winning economist Paul Krugman spoke about the dangers of corporatizing politics and the real reason a man in Florida could get away with killing an unarmed teenager in the street. He noted the law is "virtually identical" to a template given lawmakers nation-wide by the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC, as it's known. Read more about how these two topics relates to each other.

Other articles related to ALEC and virtual learning: Controversial Policy Group Casts Long K-12 Shadow (Andrew Ujifusa, Ed Week, April 20, 2012); ALEC and corporate fingerprints are all over national push for online learning (Beth Hawkins, MINNPOST, March 26,2012); How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools (Lee Fang, The Nation, November 16, 2011); Fight the #1 Enemy of Education with Online Learning, (ALEC, January, 2012).

Duncan Outlines Four Rural Education Priority Areas
Diette Courrege, Ed Week, April 18, 2012
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on Tuesday his rural education agenda centers on four priorities: teachers, capacity, technology and college access.