Worthy of Note: August 29, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Travelin EdMan
Blog: An Ed Tech Quickie: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Curt Bonk, Indiana University at Bloomington, August 18, 2011.
“I am happy to report that there are jobs these days for people in the field of educational technology. Trust me on that. Some of my master's and educational specialist (Ed.S.) students have so many job offers that they are having trouble picking the right one to take….”

Check out these portals or lists Bonk created for educational technology and instructional technology related to:
  1. Jobs
  2. Journals
  3. Academic programs

The Personalized Internet

A Whole New Game for internet Search
Dennis Pierce, Editor, eCampus News, August 10, 2011
New web-search formulas have huge implications for students and society. A quiet revolution has taken place in recent months, as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other Internet gatekeepers have revised their search algorithms in an attempt to bring users more personalized information. This subtle shift has enormous implications for students, researchers, and society at large, experts say.

Eli Pariser: Beware Online "Filter Bubbles"
Eli Pariser, TED, May 2011
Watch this TED speech by Eli Pariser of Move-On.org. He makes a good case for us to be informed about how the Internet is changing our search results with algorithmic filters. There are “no imbedded ethics” he says, and we need to not only be aware of the information we receive but the information we do not receive. Pariser noticed a pattern of differing responses to search engine queries based on a user's past Internet search history, such that people with a liberal orientation would get one set of responses while conservatives might get an entirely different set of responses, if a person used Google or Facebook or Yahoo to search for a specific phrase or term on the Internet. A short compelling speech….

Cloud Computing

Oregon, Kentucky Reflect on Cloud Email and Apps Experience
Tanya Roscoria, Converge, August 26, 2011
Last year, Oregon and Kentucky became the first states in the nation to give their school districts access to cloud-based email and collaboration applications.

Frank Wells from Kentucky suggested the article above, and it gave me a reminder and a good opportunity to send a link to a Webinar that he conducted earlier for the Cooperative on Cloud Computing in Kentucky.

Leaping Forward: The Kentucky Department of Education's Migration to Microsoft's Live@edu (playback link)
The Kentucky Department of Education ― in a partnership with Microsoft, migrated their entire on-premise email system serving 174 public school districts, 600,000 students, and 100,000 teachers and staff to Microsoft's cloud-based Live@edu collaborative service.

Various Apps

Kno's New IPad App Wants To Kill Textbooks
Jason Gilbert, Huffington Post August 10, 2011
The worst part about Kno is probably its name. Pronounced like "no" or "know," it is frustratingly hard to talk about with someone who is not familiar with it:
"Do you know what Kno is?"
"No: Kno, K-N-O."
"No, I mean I haven't tried Kno. I don't know what Kno is, no."
If you're a college student, and you don't yet know what Kno is, then maybe you should get to...maybe you should become acquainted with it. Kno is a free app for iPad that can be used for reading digital textbooks and taking notes in them.

10 Resources for the Best Apps in Education
OK Career Tech Testing Center, August 22, 2011

Mobile Devices

Generations Divide over Mobile Devices
eMarketer, August 10, 2011
Boomers, Gen X and millennials display differing mobile device preferences. eMarketer estimates that more than 91 million US consumers will use the internet through a mobile device at least monthly by the end of this year, up from 77.8 million in 2010. While US consumers as a whole may be increasing their mobile internet activities, the devices with which they prefer to do so tend to vary by generation. According to a study by Affinity Research, generations are dividing in terms of mobile device preferences, with older consumers favoring tablets and ereaders and younger users adopting smartphones at rapid rates.

Universities Refine Mobile Strategy
Tanya Roscorla, Converge, August 10, 2011
As students demand more mobile services, universities shape and align their mobile strategies. Along the way, they hurdle obstacles, consider mobile apps and websites, and provide students with personalized information. This is a look at those obstacles and some responses and features Madison-Wisconsin and Southeastern Louisiana University.

State Authorization Ruling

'State Authorization' Struck Down
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed,July 13, 2011
WASHINGTON -- Higher education hates the U.S. Education Department's recently enacted regulation requiring institutions to seek and gain approval from any state in which they operate, and has fought it on multiple fronts. Late Tuesday colleges and universities got at least a temporary reprieve from the part of the rule to which they most object -- its application to online programs in which even one student from a state enrolls. A federal judge voided that part of the regulation in a ruling that otherwise upheld rules the department crafted over the past 18 months to try to protect the integrity of federal financial aid programs.

UPCEA and WCET Survey on State Authorization Issue
In July 2011, UPCEA and WCET partnered to survey institutions about how they were addressing the state authorization issue. Even though the federal requirement was vacated by court order in July, state regulations were in place prior to the issuance of the federal regulations and are still in effect.

“What are Institutions Doing (or NOT Doing) about State Authorization?” Our intent was to learn what progress institutions had made in meeting state regulations for serving students in other states.

There was good press coverage on August 18 in Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges are Slow to Seek Authorization in Other States, Survey Shows”

Inside Higher Ed: “Cutting their Losses”

Schools Scramble to Comply with New Rules for Online Classes
Tim Barker, StlToday.com, July 10, 2011
Experts say it's forcing some 3,000 colleges and universities to work through a regulatory nightmare that could force some schools to cut back on their online offerings.

Putting a Student Face on the State Authorization Regulation
Russell Poulin and Jim Fong, Campus Technology, August 24, 2011
An increasing number of institutions will soon make the tough decision to no longer serve students residing in some states. Many have already done so. They take this action because of state regulations that place restrictions over which institutions can serve students taking courses via distance and correspondence education. While these rules seek to protect consumers, a recent survey by WCET and the University Professional & Continuing Education Association suggests that many thousands of students will be “protected” out of taking courses.

Open Education Resources

How Open Educational Resources are Changing Higher Education
Shai Reshef, Huffington Post, August 14, 2011
With all the talk about the cost of higher education, there is an underlying current bringing about a radical change in education. This quiet, yet revolutionary force, is both directly and indirectly changing the bottom line in the price of attaining education. Behind the curtains in higher education are Open Educational Resources. Recently, well-known author Anya Kamenetz covered Open Educational Resources and various pioneer learning start-ups in her free book The Edupunks Guide to a DIY Education. It is over 100 pages long full of online free or highly affordable knowledge resources. The OER movement is not only growing: it is exploding.

Guidelines for OER in Higher Education
Request for comments: OER Guidelines for Higher Education Stakeholders (Download the file here; response deadline September 21)

The term ‘Open Education Resources’ (OER) was first adopted at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries funded by the Hewlett Foundation.

As a continuation of the COL-UNESCO initiative: Taking OER Beyond the OER Community: Policy and Capacity, we developed draft Guidelines for OER in Higher Education.These guidelines are a follow-up to a recommendation made at the Policy Forum on OER held at UNESCO, Paris on 1 December 2010.

Like the 2005, UNESCO-OECD Guidelines on Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education, on which they are loosely modeled, these draft guidelines are intended to help key stakeholder groups (governments, higher education institutions, teaching staff, student bodies, quality assurance/accreditation bodies and academic recognition bodies) as they assess the implications of OER for their future policies and actions.

Social Media

3 Tips for Teachers Using Social Media in the Classroom
Dan Klamm, Mashable, Aug 18, 2011
  1. Survey Your Students About Social Media
  2. Utilize Groups and Communities
  3. Establish Clearly Communicated Boundaries

Google+ May Open Social Networking for Some K-12 Schools
John K. Waters, eSchool News, August 24, 2011
Thanks to granular privacy controls and a unique interface for controlled sharing, schools that have previously banned social networks are looking at Google+ as a viable alternative.

Digital Learning

Ensuring Online Course Quality Requires Constant Vigilance
Jennifer Garrett, Faculty Focus, August 17, 2011
Online programs are under a microscope. Some school faculty and administrators are concerned with maintaining academic quality, while others have already identified problems with quality and integrity. Negative media exposure has caused accreditors and other stakeholders to scrutinize online learning, and college and university administrators know that they need to respond.

The eQuality program, used at the Open Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville, provides a method for ensuring and demonstrating quality across online courses and degrees. It provides both an overall plan and a framework, and it also allows colleges and universities to address concerns or issues as they arise.

Hybrid Online Classes: What We’ve Learned
Len Lubinsky and David Greenberg, eSchool News, August 15, 2011
Three years ago, in an attempt to reach our students throughout the state more effectively, we tried a hybrid online model blending face-to-face instruction with an online component developed using the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS). Gradually, over the course of the last few years, we “translated” all our courses from a typical classroom format to a hybrid online format so that we were able to offer each class in both formats. Read more…..

Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning
A Working Paper Series from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Frederick M. Hess, July 27, 2011
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, with the support of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, has commissioned six deep-thought papers that, together, address the thorniest policy issues surrounding digital learning. The goal is to raise the likelihood that online learning will succeed (both substantively and politically) over the long run. This first paper in the series is “Quality Control in K-12 Digital Learning: Three (Imperfect) Approaches,” by Frederick M. Hess of the American Enterprise Institute.

Michael Horn (August 17, 2011) of Innosight Institute calls this a “stimulating, quality read.” Read his comments here.

Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course
John Markoff, New York Times, August 15, 2011
How would you like to have this many online students?

PALO ALTO, Calif. — A free online course at Stanford University on artificial intelligence, to be taught this fall by two leading experts from Silicon Valley, has attracted more than 58,000 students around the globe — a class nearly four times the size of Stanford’s entire student body.

Survey Suggests Americans Support Teachers, but not Online Education
Jenna Zwang, Assistant Editor, eSchool News, August 18, 2011
New poll results (pdf) from Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup reveal that the American public has an overall positive outlook on its children’s schools, although poll respondents seem to oppose online learning.

While those surveyed overwhelmingly support access to the internet and technology in schools (61 percent said it is “very important” for public school students to have access at schools), 59 percent oppose having high school students attend school for fewer hours each week if they are using computer technology to learn at home.

Results also show strong but divided opinions regarding teachers' unions.

Why Digital Learning Will Liberate Teachers
Michael B. Horn, Innosight, August 9, 2011
Michael makes several points. In one example, as software increasingly handles direct instruction, this will create big opportunities for teachers to facilitate rich and rewarding project-based learning experiences for their students to apply their learning into different contexts and gain meaningful work in the so-called 21st-century skills. And as software increasingly simplifies administrative tasks and eliminates a significant need for lesson planning and delivering one-size-fits-none lessons, there will be significantly more time for teachers to work in the ways that motivated many of them to enter teaching originally—to work one-on-one and in small groups with students on the problems where they are in fact struggling.

Get Educated.com; the Consumer’s Guide to Online Colleges
Top Ranked Online Degrees – Most Affordable
A distance degree can cost as little as $5,000 or more than $100,000. The truth: paying more for your online education won't guarantee you a better education. Many factors other than quality affect the cost of an online degree. At Get Educated, we've surveyed more than 3,000 accredited online degree programs. Our exclusive cost rankings reveal which online colleges offer the most affordable online degrees—"Best Buys"—and which universities rate as among the most expensive options.

Note about GetEducated:
Founded in 1989, GetEducated.com is a consumer group that publishes objective rankings and reviews of the best online colleges and top online universities along the dimensions of affordability, cost, reputation, and employer acceptance.Today, GetEducated remains the only consumer group in the United States. Our mission: Help consumers make informed choices about the second most expensive purchase most will make in their lifetime -- a college degree.

Read outside comments about GetEducated here:

Course Sites by Blackboard
BB launches free course platform for individual instructors.

Alternatives to a Four-Year Degree

Diplomas Count 2011
Beyond High School; Beyond Baccalaureate
Meaningful Alternatives to a Four-Year Degree
Education Week, June 9, 2011
WASHINGTON—June 7, 2011—A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that the nation’s graduation rate has increased significantly, following two consecutive years of declines and stagnation. With this dramatic turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate stands at 72 percent, the highest level of high school completion in more than two decades. The report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate about 145,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. These new findings offer reason to believe that the past decade’s unprecedented efforts to combat the nation’s dropout crisis are starting to produce results.

The report investigates options between diploma and four-year degree; explores multiple pathways to college and career; and provides individualized graduation reports Issued for all 50 states and D.C. Read the Executive Summary here.

QR Codes

Design QR Codes and Higher Education: Andrew Gossen
This article is written by Andrew Gossen (@agossen), Senior Director for Social Media Strategy in the Division of Alumni Affairs & Development at Cornell University, and informal advisor to Alumni Futures.

QR ("quick response") codes are finally entering the North American mainstream. Just a year ago, most advancement professionals had never heard of them. Now all you need to do is read a magazine or check out the Twitter activity around #qrcode to discover how much interest there is in the codes' unique ability to connect physical objects to the mobile web. QR codes add additional dimensions to the static print pieces.

Not sure what a QR Code is…. this site may help.

How QR Codes Can Be Used in Education?
Veselin Nedeff, YouScan.me blog, June 30, 2011
Using QR Codes in classroom or general in education becomes common these days. Teachers are starting to implement them in many ways, because they saw amazing learning opportunity in them. Some of them understood that adding QR codes to items students use every day can be essential for faster learning and accessing online stuff like videos, stats, graphs, etc. with ease. QR codes can lead to book trailers to the backs of library books, to math worksheets with video tutorials of how to solve the problems or to the school literary magazine, a gallery of all the artwork that was submitted but couldn’t fit in the print version and many more. Watch two short videos…..

Quick Response Codes Catching on in Higher Education
Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor, eCampus News, July 27, 2011
Widely considered an emerging technology in the US, a few colleges have used QR codes with well-documented success.

Copyright and Fair-Use Doctrine

The Common Sense of the Fair-Use Doctrine
Patricia Aufderheide, The Chronicle, August 21, 2011
The right of scholars to use unlicensed material for research and publication purposes is clear under the U.S. doctrine of fair use. Fair use—a broad, flexible part of copyright policy determined on a case-by-case basis—permits users to repurpose, or transform, an appropriate amount of original material. If it's so easy, why are so many smart people so scared of fair use? In the work that the legal scholar Peter Jaszi and I have done since 2004, and have synthesized in our new book, Reclaiming Fair Use, we have seen members of many professional and creative communities express that same anxiety. And we believe we understand why: They lack a common-sense understanding of their rights.

§ 107. Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use
Copyright Law of the United States of America
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Common Core

In Common Core, Little to Cheer About
Commentary: Andres C. Porter, Education Week, August 9, 2011
In short, I hoped that new national curriculum standards would be better than the state standards they replaced, and that new student assessments would be better, too.

I wish I could say that our progress toward common core standards has fulfilled my hopes. Instead, it seems to me that the common-core movement is turning into a lost opportunity.

VSS in November

Virtual School Symposium 2011
November 9-11, Indianapolis, Indiana
In November 2011, the VSS will bring together over 2,000 representatives from national, state, district, private and other virtual school programs to attend the industry's leading event in K-12 online and blended learning. Experts in K-12 virtual education will have robust networking opportunities; learn about the latest trends, challenges and opportunities in e-learning; interact in session presentations; and gain access to the latest research and best practices reports. Registration is now open.

Assistive Technology

E-Learning for Special Populations
Education Week, August 22, 2011
This special report, another installment in Education Week's series on virtual education, examines the growing e-learning opportunities for students with disabilities, English-language learners, gifted and talented students, and those at risk of failing in school. It shows the barriers that exist for greater participation among special populations, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of this approach. It also looks at the funding tactics schools are using to build virtual education programs for special populations and the evolving professional-development needs for these efforts.


What Is Academic Integrity?
You Tube
Northern Arizona University students describe what academic integrity means,

The Learning Network; Teaching and Learning from the New York Times
The award-winning Learning Network was created in the fall of 1998. In October 2009, we re-launched it as a Times blog.
  • Lesson Plans — Daily lesson plans based on New York Times content.
  • Student Opinion — News-related questions that invite response from students age 13 and older.
  • Word of the Day — Vocabulary words in the context of recent Times articles.
  • Test Yourself — Questions based on Times content that aim to strengthen literacy and numeracy skills.
  • 6 Q’s About the News — An activity in which students answer basic questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) about an article.
  • News Quiz — Interactive daily news quizzes on current top stories.
  • On This Day in History — Listings of historical events and more for each day of the year.
  • Student Crossword — Topical puzzles geared toward teens.
  • Fill-Ins — Times articles from which word and phrases have been dropped. Fill in the blanks with your own words, or choose from a scrambled list of the words that were removed.
  • Poetry Pairings — A weekly collaboration with the Poetry Foundation in which we feature a work from its American Life in Poetry project alongside content from The Times that somehow echoes, extends or challenges the poem’s themes.

Here’s a sample lesson plan:
How Do You Teach About 9/11?
July 19, 2011

And the Daily Lesson Plan Archive

Student Crossword | American Literature
Frank Longo, July 26, 2011

Ten skills Every Student Should Learn
Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchool News, August 11, 2011
See if you agree. Resourcefulness, accountability, critical thinking, and communicating effectively—and with respect—were among the key skills cited by readers as most important

Why Educators Should Start a Blog and Join Twitter
John Bernia, The Principal’s Principles, August 21, 2011
Comments from a Middle School principal

High-Tech Teaching in a Low-Tech Classroom
Jennifer L. Barnett, Education Week Teacher, August 17, 2011
As 21st-century teachers, we are expected to help students master the technological tools they will use in college and the workplace. But in many districts, the one-computer classroom is not extinct. So how can we do a lot with a little? How can we best use limited resources to support learning and familiarize students with technology? Jennifer Barnett offers some general and specific methods for organizing the use of limited tech resources to support student learning.

Shmoop Mythology
Shmoop announces the launch of Shmoop Mythology. This is the eleventh subject area on Shmoop, which now offers more than 750 free online Learning Guides for educators and students. Shmoop Learning Guides are written by educators and experts, and contain analysis, questions, quotes, and multimedia for each topic. Shmoop's team of private investigators infiltrated some seriously personal files, such as Facebook profiles, email inboxes and photo albums of the gods, to help students learn about Greek, Roman and Norse mythology.

Upcoming Webinar

Converge Special Report Webinar: The Education Dashboard
September 20, 20112:00 pm EST / 11:00 am PST
Duration: 60 minutes
Center for Digital Education’s Converge Special Report Update

A new tool is emerging – the education dashboard – that eliminates bureaucratic data burden and helps gain critical business intelligence. This no-cost webinar will examine the emergence of education dashboards and best practices for leveraging data to support decision-making. We will also provide tips for developing a dashboard that will meet your institution’s unique needs.

Just Interesting

The Most Anticipated Tech Tools of Back-to-School 2011
Audrey Watters, Mind/Shift, August 15, 2001
A totally unscientific study, but the most anticipated tech tools for the 2011 school year:
  • Google Plus
  • Edmodo
  • iPad


Search and Email Still Top the List of Most Popular Online Activities
Kristen Purcell, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Aug 9, 2011
Search and email remain the two online activities that are nearly universal among adult internet users, as 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and a similar number (92%) use email.

Perhaps the most significant change over that time is that both activities have become more habitual. Today, roughly six in ten online adults engage in each of these activities on a typical day; in 2002, 49% of online adults used email each day, while just 29% used a search engine daily.

How Students Use Technology (INFOGRAPHIC)
Sarah Kessler, Mashable, August 10, 2011
It’s clear that today’s students rely heavily on electronic devices even when they’re not incorporated in the classroom. In one survey of college students, 38% said they couldn’t even go 10 minutes without switching on some sort of electronic device.

But how students are using their devices, how technology is affecting their educational experience, and what effect it has on their well-being are questions that are harder to answer. In the infographic below, online higher education database Onlineeducation.net has summed up some of the existing research on these points.

Don’t Kill America’s Databook
Robert Samuelson, Washington Post Opinions, August 21, 2011
If you want to know something about America, there are few better places to start than the “Statistical Abstract of the United States.” Published annually by the Census Bureau, the Stat Abstract assembles about 1,400 tables describing our national condition. With some interruptions, the government has published it since 1878. The Stat Abstract is headed for the chopping block. The 2012 edition, scheduled for publication later this year, will be the last, unless someone saves it.

Pope Condemns 'Utilitarian' Approach to Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI used a speech to university professors in Madrid on Friday to denounce the pressures on higher education to focus on job skills as opposed to a broader education. "At times one has the idea that the mission of a university professor nowadays is exclusively that of forming competent and efficient professionals capable of satisfying the demand for labor at any given time. One also hears it said that the only thing that matters at the present moment is pure technical ability," he said. "This sort of utilitarian approach to education is in fact becoming more widespread, even at the university level, promoted especially by sectors outside the university. All the same, you who, like myself, have had an experience of the university, and now are members of the teaching staff, surely are looking for something more lofty and capable of embracing the full measure of what it is to be human. We know that when mere utility and pure pragmatism become the principal criteria, much is lost and the results can be tragic: from the abuses associated with a science which acknowledges no limits beyond itself, to the political totalitarianism which easily arises when one eliminates any higher reference than the mere calculus of power. The authentic idea of the university, on the other hand, is precisely what saves us from this reductionist and curtailed vision of humanity." The full text of the address is available from Vatican Radio.