Worthy of Note: April 30, 2013






In this issue ...


SREB News
Policy Blog
Data: Learning Analytics
Competency Education
State Authorization
MOOCs
Higher Education Act
Federal Budget USDOE
End of the Credit Hour?
NGLC
SEDTA Private Sector Partnership Program
EdNet Insight
Mobile Devices
New Technology-based Models
Digital Learning
Digital Promise
Cloud Computing
Project 24
About Google
Just Interesting
Resources



SREB News


SREB Governors, Legislators Cited for Improving Education
A new national report cites the longtime collaboration of SREB and the member states as an important factor in improving public education. Building a Grad Nation is the fourth annual update from the Grad Nation campaign to end the high school dropout epidemic. The report is by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

“Results are in, and southern states have outpaced the nation in most aspects of graduation rate improvement,” the report notes. Here are other highlights:

“The Southern Regional Education Board, founded in 1948 by governors and legislators as a … compact for advancing education as the underpinning of economic advancement in an impoverished region, was also an important contributor.

“SREB’s work — policy, research, and practice addressing local and state needs — provides a backbone for sustained educational focus across leadership changes and a forum for states to share lessons. In addition, a bipartisan galaxy of southern education governors pushed reform agendas and garnered sustained funding for educational initiatives in partnership with legislatures. Accountability and assessment were prevalent well before No Child Left Behind, although NCLB clearly accelerated the focus on accountability for both achievement gaps and graduation rates.” Read more in "Case Study: The South," beginning on Page 40 of the report.

Policy Blog


State EdWatch
EdWeek
This EdWeek blog tracks policy and politics across the 50 states.

Data: Learning Analytics


Using Data to Drive Educational Change: The Bad, The Good, and The You-Decide
Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway, THE Journal, April 29, 2013
Read about learning analytics and decide for yourself what the analysis says. Interesting commentary.

Big Data Makes Its Mark on Schools — For Better or Worse
Corey Murray, EdTech, March 21, 2013
Nationwide student database provides new possibilities for learning providers, raises concern among parents. A new nonprofit organization with ties to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and News Corp.–backed education services provider Amplify says it has created a massive online database of student information that educational content developers can access when building new products for use in K–12 schools.Read about the controversy. Will students benefit from a database that allows educational service providers to access private student information to potentially develop more customized content for use in schools, or do the risks of sharing that information far outweigh the potential benefits?

Competency Education


College for America: A Milestone for Competency-Based Higher Ed
Sara Gast and Lauren Price, Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2013
Competency-Based Associates Degree From College for America Is the First Sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Education for Funding Eligibility.

MANCHESTER, NH-- (Marketwired - April 18, 2013) - In what is being recognized by many as a landmark in the evolution of higher education, College for America has obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to be eligible for Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) funding. College for America's competency-based model is the first in the nation to be approved by the DOE under direct assessment provisions that pay for actual learning versus seat time.

Competency-Based Learning: A Big Deal, But Not Because of the Feds
Jamie Merisotis, Huffington Post, April 2, 2013
The recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Education regarding Title IV financial aid and competency-based learning is the latest evidence that competency-based approaches to postsecondary degree or other credentialing are gaining in popularity. But let's be clear: the federal government is not the source of this type of innovation. Its primary job is not to stoke the fires of innovation through direct action. What this decision really does is take down a critical hurdle that has prevented more rapid development of these types of results-focused approaches to teaching and learning. Removing this regulatory barrier means we can, and must, challenge the outdated notion of the credit hour as the dominant measure of academic achievement.

Education Philosophy Becomes Practice
Gary Chapin, Competency Works, April 29, 2013
Constructivists are rising. The argument for a constructivist approach to education has become ubiquitous and compelling, and the ethical dudgeon has been raised high. Last month in San Diego, representatives of the Education Departments of eleven states gathered as members of the Innovation Lab Network in order to plan their state’s move toward constructivism in the form of competency-based/learner-centered education. This is a direct challenge to the national education regime and its No Child Left Behind tendencies.

The Three-Legged Stool of Competency Frameworks
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works, April 13, 2013
I don’t know how I missed it, but in February New Hampshire released College and Career Ready Competencies aligned with Common Core State Standards that will be used as the infrastructure upon which they will out their balanced assessment systems. Remember that, at first, New Hampshire left the decision about competency frameworks for districts to decide. But after a couple of years of local efforts it was clear that with the Common Core it made sense to have a set of default ELA and math competencies – there are 9 for English and 19 for math. These competencies are overarching across levels to help students and teachers to provide purpose and meaning as students build their skills on specific measurable learning targets such as the standards outlined in the Common Core. So this is a good opportunity to take a moment to think about what competencies are and why they are important.

Let’s note these two iNACOL publications on Competency Education again.

Re-Engineering Information Technology: Design Considerations for Competency Education
Liz Glowa, Susan Patrick, February 2013
Re-Engineering Information Technology: Design Considerations for Competency Education analyzes and examines components and elements of effective competency-based information systems. Based on interviews and research, the ideas in Re-Engineering Information Technology build upon the lessons learned in analyzing information systems developed by competency education innovators, best practices of systemic approaches to information management, and emerging opportunities. The paper is designed for readers to find those issues that are of most interest to them in their role and be used to catalyze strategies, support new competency-based instructional models, and inform decision making for continuous improvement. Download free.

Necessary for Success: A State Policymaker’s Guide to Competency Education
Susan Patrick, Chris Sturgis, February 2013
An opportunity for state leaders to reflect upon the efforts of contemporaries around the country, Necessary for Success shares insights into re-engineering the policy and practices of our K-12 systems; introduces the main concepts behind competency-based learning; studies important initial steps taken by states in introducing this emerging model; and considers creating a culture of competency within state agencies. Download free.

State Authorization


States Look to Share Online Courses for College Students
(Read about impact on K-12)
EdWeek, Digital Education, Matt Fleming, April 26, 2013
Representatives from 47 states met recently to discuss plans to establish an agreement that would streamline the process of universities offering distance learning across state lines, an idea that could have implications for K-12 virtual education.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement would be based on voluntary participation of states and higher education institutions. But it is expected to be widely adopted, given the broad participation in developing it, predicted the Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, which led the effort to establish the multi-state agreements.

It's likely some lessons from the multi-state reciprocity system will emerge for K-12 systems, particularly as states implement the Common Core State Standards and their related online assessments. For instance, K-12 virtual education advocates have said the widespread adoption of the common core could make it easier for more sharing of online courses among states.

But Russ Poulin, the deputy director of research and analysis for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Cooperative for Educational Technologies, says that implementing a reciprocity agreement in K-12 would require finding consensus among a diverse array of decision-makers and interest groups across states, which may have competing interests.

Higher education and K-12 education are fundamentally different in their operations and this would create many more hurdles for schools and districts sharing online resources across states, Poulin said. He cited a number of potential barriers to creating a similar system in K-12. Read more….

Former Education Secretary Seeks to Simplify States' Distance-Education Rules
Allie Bidwell, The Chronicle, April 11, 2013
Under a plan released on Thursday, an interstate reciprocity system would enable colleges to avoid the costly and cumbersome process of gaining state authorization. Richard W. Riley, who served as secretary of education under President Bill Clinton, said his commission's plan would significantly reduce the costs associated with applying for state authorization. Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education

Highlights from the National Meeting on State Authorization Reciprocity
Russell Poulin, WCET Frontiers, April 18, 2013
A national meeting on next steps in state reciprocity was held in Indianapolis on April 16 and 17. The purpose of the event was to serve as an initial introduction to representatives from each state about next steps in reciprocity.

The session focused on the report: Advancing Access through Regulatory Reform: Findings, Principles, and Recommendations for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) that was recently released by the Commission on the Regulation on Postsecondary Distance Education. The Commission, which is a committee formed by APLU (the land-grant universities) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers, built upon the work of previous efforts of the Presidents’ Forum/Council of State Governments and the regional higher education compacts. You can see a short history of state authorization and the reciprocity efforts on our web page.

Fed. Regs. on Student Identity Verification, State Authorization of Distance Ed. Back on the Radar
Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE, April 16, 2013
As reported in today's Inside Higher Ed, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced its intent to modify the rule-making effort it originally proposed last year to address federal student aid fraud concerns. In addition to reviving the dormant regulatory process on financial aid fraud, which puts back on the table EDUCAUSE's concerns about possible mandates regarding student identity verification, this morning's notice highlights ED's plan to expand the scope of the rule-making process to include the previously overturned regulation on distance education state authorization, among a range of other issues.

MOOCs


MOOCs and the Quality Question
Ronald Legon, Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2013
Thus far little attention has been paid to the quality of MOOCs. Quality in online learning can be defined in many ways: quality of content, quality of design, quality of instructional delivery, and, ultimately, quality of outcomes. On the face of it, the organizing principles of MOOCs are at odds with widely observed best practices in online education, including those advocated by my organization, the Quality Matters Program. Essay by Ron Legon, executive director of the Quality Matters Program

Overnight, MOOCs -- with free tuition for all, attracting unprecedented enrollments reaching into the hundreds of thousands, and the involvement of world-class faculty -- have captured the imagination of the press, public and even legislators looking for ways to expand the availability of higher education at minimal cost. But thus far little attention has been paid to the quality of MOOCs.

The World is Not Flat
Ri Rivard, Inside Higher Ed, April 25,2013
Does the utopian vision of democratizing education have a cultural ceiling? Online higher education is increasingly hailed as a chance for educators in the developed world to expand access and quality across the globe.

Yet it may not be quite so easy. Not only does much of the world not have broadband or speak English, but American-made educational material may be unfit for and unwanted in developing countries, according to academics who have worked for years on online distance education and with open educational resources, or OER.

MOOCs Are No Education Panacea, but Here's What Can Make Them Work
Wayne Smutz, Forbes, April 08, 2013
Everyone’s talking about massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The popular wisdom is that they will revolutionize higher education, and possibly even put traditional colleges and universities out of business. But MOOCs aren’t likely to solve the fundamental student learning challenges that colleges and universities face, and they certainly won’t take the place of a college education.

Higher Education Act


The Hard Truths of Reforming Federal Aid
David A. Longanecker and Diane Auer Jones, The Chronicle, April 15, 2013
Two worn but never weary travelers on the higher-education-reform road offer some perspective on policy and politics. Commentary is by David A. Longanecker, WICHE President and Diane Auer Jones, both formerly assistant secretaries for postsecondary education, under different presidents, from different parties.

Education Dept. Is Urged to Drop Efforts to Revive Controversial Rules
Andrew Mytelka, The Chronicle, April 18, 2013
A bipartisan group of members of Congress urged the U.S. Education Department on Thursday to abandon its efforts, announced this week, to revive two rules aimed at increasing oversight of colleges to ensure their quality.

Federal Budget: USDOE


CHEA Federal Update No 31 April 15, 2013
On April 10, 2013, President Barack Obama released his Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal. The proposal calls for $71 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), an increase of 4.5 percent over the FY 2013 pre-sequester level. The proposal includes funding for a First in the World initiative "to encourage institutions and other higher education stakeholders to come up with innovative solutions to address the completion challenge and improve higher education productivity" and to examine "new quality validation systems that can identify appropriate competencies, assessments, and curricula." See budget summary.

Obama Budget Would Invest in Pre-K, High School Overhaul
Alyson Klein, EdWeek, Politics K-12, April 10, 2013
President Barack Obama's budget unveiled today proposes new money for a big expansion of prekindergarten programs, a new competitive-grant program for high school improvement, a new Race to the Top competition focused on higher education—and level funding for the two formula grants school districts depend on most: Title I grants for disadvantaged students and special education. Overall, the U.S. Department of Education would see a significant funding boost to $71.2 billion for fiscal year 2014 that starts on Oct. 1 in a $3.8 trillion overall federal budget.

End of the Credit Hour?


Time’s Up: US Department of Education Approves First College to Ditch the Credit Hour
Amy Laitinen, Competency Works, April 22, 2013
Today, the U.S. Department of Education approved Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) College for America (CfA) to be the first program in the country to receive federal financial aid based on “direct assessment” of student learning, rather than the credit hour. This move from the federal government could signal a new era for higher education—one in which we value and pay for learning rather than time. Southern New Hampshire University, a small, private liberal arts institution, is familiar with pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Read more….

NGLC


Transforming Education Through Technology
Next Generation Learning Challenges
NGLC accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. An Executive Committee, comprised of EDUCAUSE, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, and the Council of Chief State School Officers guides the project’s overall efforts. EDUCAUSE has management and fiduciary responsibility for the program. A national Advisory Panel of technology visionaries, educators, and innovators provides guidance on strategic directions.

SEDTA Private Sector Partnership Program


SETDA Launches New Program for Startups: Enhances Public-Private Partnership Program as Part of NewStrategic Plan Implementation
April 23, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, announced today the launch of the Emerging Private Sector Partnership Program, a new public-private partnership program that will welcome a cohort of startups and emerging companies into the ecosystem of SETDA’s existing sponsorship programs.

“This component of our refreshed Private Sector Partner program is designed to ensure that school reform and improvement policies and programs being launched by state leaders are informed by insights into the latest digital learning innovations,” announced Douglas Levin, SETDA Executive Director. “SETDA is committed to helping build the capacity of state leaders to not only navigate educational technology trends, but also to help shape them to meet the needs of all students. This program goes a long way toward accomplishing that goal.”

EdNet Insight


EdNet Insight
EdNET Insight is the K-12 education industry's new information and consulting service, combining the proven power of research and analysis with recognized industry experts to deliver an insightful, comprehensive view of the trends and influences that are shaping the education market today-and tomorrow.

Consider this featured article:
New Report Examines Future of Public Education
American Association of School Administrators — Saturday, April 20, 2013
PHILADELPHIA and ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 19, 2013/via PRNewswire/ -- The American Association of School Administrators (AASA), in partnership with ARAMARK, a global leader delivering food, facilities and uniform services, has released The Shifting Education Landscape: Advocating for Student Success, an in-depth white paper which examines the changing role of educational leaders in preparing students for higher education and career development. The report focuses on the opportunities and challenges posed by the Common Core State Standards, a universal curriculum adopted by 46 states to ensure consistency among student achievement; improving teacher and principal evaluations; and engaging the community to serve as academic advocates.

Mobile Devices


Education’s Guide to Mobile Learning Devices
In this latest STAR(School Technology Action Report), “Education’s Guide to Mobile Devices: Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Tech and Your Schools,” the editors of eSchool Media Inc.with support from Kaseya highlight what every school needs to know about the benefits of mobile devices, why they’ve become a game-changer in education, and best practices for implementing and managing mobile devices in classrooms. In this collection of industry reports and in-depth case studies, you’ll find teacher-vetted apps and mobile technologies to help you and your schools understand what it takes to leverage mobile technology effectively. Finally, you’ll be able to tell students that it’s time to “power up!”

Bringing Experts Around the World to Your Class: One Interview, Two Videos, and Five+ Lessons Learned
Curt Bonk, TravelinEdMan, March 29, 2013
Back in mid February, some folks at our Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CILT) here at Indiana University (IU) asked me if they could interview me about how I bring in experts into my classes via videoconferencing, Skype, Web conferencing, chat, and so on. I have been doing such activities for nearly two decades now and so they were interested in capturing some ideas from me. The video interview is now posted as a Spotlight report for faculty development purposes here at IU (Bringing Experts Around the World to Your Class). There are two short videos along with a few paragraphs of text from that interview. Here I explain more about my rationale for engaging in such instructional activities.

New Technology-based Models


NEW NSF REPORT: New Technology-based Models for Postsecondary Learning
Ellen Wagner, eLearning RoadTrip, Sage Road Solutions
In January 2013 I participated in a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation to help establish a 10-year vision to reconceptualize postsecondary learning. This past week our co-convenors, Chris Dede, Harvard University and Eric Grimson, MIT, released the 47-page report that captured the results of that meeting. Entitled “New Technology-based Models for Postsecondary Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research Agendas, this is a comprehensive overview of promises, opportunities and challenges that will keep all of we post-secondary learning stakeholders on our toes for the next decade. You can download the working draft of this paper here.

Digital Learning


From Chalkboards to Tablets; the Digital Conversion of the K-12 Classroom
Speak Up 2012 National Findings Educators and Parents
Project Tomorrow, April 2013
On April 19th, 2013 Project Tomorrow released the report “From Chalkboards to Tablets: The Digital Conversion of the K-12 Classroom” at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC. Julie Evans, Project Tomorrow CEO, discussed selected Educator and Parent national findings from the Speak Up 2012 report and moderated a panel discussion with educators and parents who shared their insights and experiences. Key findings here.

Choosing Between Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Community College Student Voices
Shanna Smith Jaggars, Community College Research Center, April 2013
This research paper states that: "e-learning proponents have increasingly asserted that online learning now provides equivalent of superior learning experience to the face-to-face setting. The results of this paper suggest that such assertions are too broadly stated, at least for some postsecondary settings." A pretty bold claim for research based upon interviews with 46 students at 2 colleges in an unidentified location and with unknown experience in offering online courses.

Twitter Chat with Inside Online Learning
We meet weekly to discuss current issues in online learning. These chats are an opportunity for you to share your experiences and learn from others as well. The chat topics range from trends in online education to new digital tools. Melissa Venable, our Inside Online Learning blogger, hosts each chat and posts questions here in advance of the upcoming session, along with related information to help you get ready.

Without Infrastructure, the Digital Classroom Is Just a Dream [#Infographic]
Jimmy Daly, EdTech, April 4, 2013
To say that technology is an important topic in higher education is an understatement. Technology is a broad subject, with different implications for students, professors, administrators and IT teams. Educators like to discuss the bells and whistles of classroom technology — tablets, digital textbooks, gamification and student response systems. But without the vital infrastructure, such as servers, access points and bandwidth, classroom technology would lack the components necessary for successful implementation.

And don’t forget about policy. As everyone in education knows, the devil is in the details. A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, for example, requires an understanding of the rules and relies on communication between faculty, students and the IT staff.

Technology is complicated, so educators need to be flexible as they tackle new initiatives and draft new policies. But staying on the cutting edge while investing in an infrastructure that must last for many years can be difficult. Jason Vaden addresses that challenge and highlights the importance of technology in his research paper A Model Assessment Tool for Classroom Technology Infrastructure in Higher Education.

Blended Learning & The Teaching Profession
Getting Smart, Infographic
Just in time to bust a myth that reared its ugly head in the closing keynote at the ASU/GSV Summit, Digital Learning Now! today released the “Blended Learning & The Teaching Profession.” The infographic shows how blended learning is not about replacing teachers with technology, but rather empowering them with new opportunities. The infographic previews the next DLN Smart Series paper Improving Conditions & Careers: How Blended Learning Will Improve the Teaching Profession that will be released later this month.

Florida To Open First Online-Only Public University In U.S.
Bill Cotterell, Reuters, April 22, 2013
Public university students in Florida next year will be able to start working toward college degrees without actually going to college, under a law Governor Rick Scott signed on Monday in front of educators and business lobbyists, the Huffington Post reports. The state-run University of Florida plans to start a series of online bachelor’s degree programs next year, with $15 million start-up funds for 2014. Until now full-time online education has just been available to elementary and high schools in the state…

Florida Bill Could Require Public Colleges and Universities to Grant Credit for Online Courses Approved by Florida
CHEA, Federal Update, April 15, 2013
A bill is moving forward in the Florida State Senate that could require public colleges and universities to grant credit for online courses not affiliated with their school and, in some cases, not accredited by recognized accrediting organizations. Senate Bill No. 904 was introduced by State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-District 22).

The bill's language states that "any individual, institution, entity or organization" could seek "Florida-accredited" status for courses offered online. The Florida Commissioner of Education and the Chancellor of the State University System would approve each Florida-accredited course and its assessment.

Fla. online school target of cuts from legislators
Gary Fineout, Miami Herald, April 24, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's highly successful online school is battling proposed cutbacks at a time when state legislators are bragging about boosting money for schools by more than $1 billion. Supporters of the Florida Virtual School, including U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, warn the cuts could affect the quality of operations at the school, which offers courses to nearly 150,000. By one estimate the legislative changes could result in a 14 percent funding reduction.

Florida Investigation Criticizes K12 Inc. on Teacher Issues
Ed Week, Digital Education, April 25, 2013
A preliminary report issued by the Florida Department of Education's inspector general has found that the for-profit online provider K12 Inc. assigned teachers working with one district to classes outside their certified fields, and provided records of educators teaching students with whom they had no interaction. The report, which was recently made public, is not final.

Digital Promise


Broadband Petition, E-Rate, Digital Promise
Anne Wujcik, EdNet Insight, April 19, 2013
Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to spur innovation in education for all levels of learners. Digital Promise was signed into law by former President George W. Bush and launched by President Obama. Through its work with educators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and leading thinkers, Digital Promise supports comprehensive research and development to improve all levels of education and provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.

Karen Cator, former Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the Department of Education, has signed on as the new President and CEO at Digital Promise. Digital Promise was set up by Congress as an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to spur innovation in education for all levels of learners.
Digital Promise's flagship initiative is the League of Innovative Schools.

Cloud Computing


The Statistics of cloud computing
Terry Friedman, ICT in Education, April 22, 2013
Here’s an interesting infographic on the extent to which cloud computing is used.

Common Core State Standards


The Common Core State Standards - For My Concerned Friends
Brandt Redd, Of That (blog), April 23, 2013
Even before their adoption in the summer of 2010, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) had their advocates and their critics. Recently, however, that criticism has made its way into the popular press. Knowing that I've worked on related projects at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, friends and family have asked my opinion.

Several of the pundits have conflated five different projects as if they were all the Common Core. These are to some degree related but each has its own sponsors and they are being managed and adopted separately. They are:
In this post I'll address the Common Core and what distinguishes it from a curriculum. In a future post I'll write about inBloom and other data systems. And one more post will cover the assessment consortia.

Project 24: West Virginia


West Virginia Becomes First State to Implement “Project 24” as Part of a State-Wide Education Initiative
Alliance for Excellent Education
On April 17, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin joined with Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, to announce that West Virginia would be the first state to implement “Project 24” as part of a statewide education initiative.

Led by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Project 24 is a groundbreaking new initiative to help school districts plan for and effectively use technology and digital learning to ensure that students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. Read comments posted by Southern Governors Association.

About Google


Google Accessibility Improvement
Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE, April 22, 2013
Google started informing its applications user groups today about the accessibility improvements it has made to a range of its applications and software platforms.

Like a Dagger to Bloggers' Hearts, Google Just Killed Google Reader
Adam Clark Estes, Atlantic Wire, March 14, 2013
Journalists and geeks united in exasperation on Wednesday evening when Google made a very sad announcement: The company is shuttering Google Reader. We should've seen this coming. And those that didn't see the inevitable death of Google's RSS feed organizer and reader might've easily missed the news, since Google buried it halfway down an official blog post about a bunch of other stuff. But it is true. The search giant will pronounce Reader dead on July 1, 2013. Based on the somewhat storied history of Google killing Reader features, though, we're pretty sure someone will start working on an alternative within the next few hours.

The Best RSS Readers To Use Now That Google Reader Is Dead
Dan Nosowitz, Popsci, March 14, 2013
Google just announced that it's killing Google Reader, the company's popular RSS-reading web application, despite the fact that it's far more popular than the still-extant Google Plus. Here are a few substitutes.

A note from June Weis
iGoogle Question Personally for You
Are you an iGoogle user? It happens to be my home page where I receive lots of RSS feeds related to creating the Worthy of Note. Together with iGoogle and Delicious and several other resources, I build the Worthy of Note over the 15-day time span. If you are a user of iGoogle, you know that it will “expire” in November 2013. I have looked for options to replace iGoogle; if you have good ideas, please share with me at june.weis55@gmail.com
Thanks, June Weis

Just Interesting


The Current State of Education in the U.S. (According To the Census)
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, April 8, 2013
Key questions are answered in this handy infographic courtesy of Census.gov. It’s a pretty lengthy look at the current state of education in the United States. I’d love to see a more comprehensive infographic that does a relative measurement with other countries. Until then, this infographic is probably the simplest way to digest the massive census data available.

Resources


Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. Read more about the library at Center for Digital Education.

5 Reasons Teachers Should Own a Domain Name
Kevin Brookhouser, EdReach, April 26, 2013
The world of domain name ownership has changed, so step up your teaching game and buy your own domain name.

Money Smarts: How to Promote Financial Literacy With Students
Ian Quillen, Mind/Shift, April 16, 2013
Those of us who just filed our taxes, or paid our bills, or calculated our monthly expenditures know the importance of having a solid base of financial literacy. For students, it’s just as important to have this base knowledge to prepare them for the real world, so in observation of Financial Literacy Month, here are a few resources to get those fiscal gears turning.

Tech Matrix
Assistive and educational technology tools and resources to support learning for students with disabilities and their classmates.

51 award-winning apps, games, and websites for learning
eSchool News, April 10, 2013
Common Sense Media’s ON for Learning Award is given to the very best in kids’ digital media, as rated by the nonprofit organization. This year, Common Sense Media has recognized 51 children’s apps, games, and websites with its highest (five-star) rating for learning potential. These digital resources are “really engaging” and take an “excellent approach” to learning, according to the ratings system.

8 Things Every Teacher should be Able to do with Google Docs
Med Karbach, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2012
Today I am sharing with you a little guide I have created specifically for readers of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. Each time I write about Google Docs I get several emails from people asking about how to apply a certain tip. I know Google Docs keeps improving and adding more features to it but the basic features it started with are still the same. Just give it some time and play around its features and you will learn a great deal of new things from. Use the guide to help you better master Google Docs.