Worthy of Note: August 9, 2012





Webcasts
Blended Learning
Social Media
For-Profit Colleges: U.S. Senate Report
MOOCs and Free Courses
Just Interesting Articles and Information
Common Core
Khan Academy Critiques
Digital Learning Policy
Full-time K-12 Virtual Schools
State Authorization: Update
Universities: Online Degrees
Congress and E-Learning
Free Apps and Other Resources
New Book



Webcasts


Announcing Upcoming WCET Webcasts
Join WCET for THREE free exciting webcasts!

Kick off your fall by joining WCET for a Behind-the-Scenes look at the Game+Badge Program “Who’s Got Class?” on August 28.

The September 12, Noon MT webcast features Inside Higher Education blogger Joshua Kim who will talk with WCET's Ellen Wagner about what is impacting technology enhanced learning and higher education.

On October 17, Noon MT, educational technology innovator Richard Culatta will talk with WCET's Ellen Wagner about the Office of Educational Technology’s various projects and initiatives that leverage technology to improve teaching and learning and create opportunities for innovation. Learn more about initiatives such as The Learning Registry and Open Badges.

Blended Learning


The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Blended Learning Policies
Michael Horn, Heather Staker, THE Journal, August 02, 2012
In the fifth installment of their monthly column, blended learning experts Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker discuss the policies prohibiting and fostering the growth of blended learning.

The Global Search for Education: More Technology Please!
C. M. Rubin, Education Views, July 16, 2012
This is an interview with Michael Horn and Heather Staker of Innosight Institute about blended learning. “When students own their learning, they feel responsible for it and motivated to do it.” — Michael Horn

Social Media


How Twitter can be used as a powerful educational tool
Alan November and Brian Mull, eSchool News, July 13, 2012
Think Twitter is just a waste of time? Think again. Its organizational structure makes it an effective tool for connecting with students and others online

5 Important New Web Tools for Educators
Mohamed Kharbach, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2012
Short descriptions included for:
1- Vizify, 2- Stipple, 3-Storywheel, 4- Wikibrain, 5- Websites Like

What Will Higher Education Look Like in 2020?
Tanya Roscoria, Policy & Technology, Converge, July 27, 2012
In 12 years, higher education could look totally different. Or it could be almost the same. It just depends on whom you talk to.

A survey of 1,021 technology stakeholders and critics by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Elon University School of Communications showed both of these responses.

For-Profit Colleges: U.S. Senate Report


Results Are In
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, July 30, 2012
A U.S. Senate committee released an unflattering report on the for-profit college sector on Sunday, concluding a two-year investigation led by Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat. While the report is ambitious in scope, and scathingly critical on many points, it appears unlikely to lead to a substantial legislative crackdown on the industry -- at least not during this election year.

For Profit Higher Education: The Failure to Safeguard the Federal Investment and Ensure Student Success

Read more:
Senate Committee Report on For-Profit Colleges Condemns Costs and Practices
Tamar Lewin, New York Times, July 29, 2012

Senate Report Paints A Damning Portrait of For-Profit Higher Education
Michael Stratford, The Chronicle, July 30, 2012
The colleges were described as aggressive recruiting machines focused on generating shareholder profits at the expense of a quality education for their students. Source: Chronicle

What Might the For-Profit Sector’s Problems Mean for All of Higher Ed?
Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE, August 3, 2012
Earlier this week, the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Tom Harkin, held a press conference to announce the release of the committee’s report on the for-profit higher education industry. (The video archive of the press conference is currently viewable from Sen. Harkin’s homepage; in the future, it will most likely find its way to his “Videos” page or his YouTube site.) As the culmination of a two-year investigation, the four-volume report highlights a number of concerns about the sector’s recruiting and spending practices, student outcomes, and heavy reliance on federal sources of student financial aid for revenue. The report’s executive summary effectively covers the range of issues involved, so I won’t try to recreate it here, but a few points from it illustrate why the problems of the for-profit sector are increasingly important.

MOOC's and Free Courses


Inside the Coursera Contract: How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2012
Coursera has been operating for only a few months, but the company has already persuaded some of the world's best-known universities to offer free courses through its online platform. Colleges that usually move at a glacial pace are rushing into deals with the upstart company. But what exactly have they signed up for? And if the courses are free, how will the company—and the universities involved—make money to sustain them? Some clues can be found in the contract the institutions signed.

An Upstart Free Course Provider Holds a Cookout to Meet Its Students
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29, 2012
A real cookout! The company is meant to be a form of "social entrepreneurship," and Ms. Koller describes the company's goal as a kind of social movement.

"High-quality education will move from being something that is a privilege of the few to being a basic human right," she argued.

Read coverage on this topic in The New York Times: Universities Reshaping Education on the Web, Tamar Lewin, July 17, 2012

PLAYBACK: Universities Move Quickly to Embrace MOOCs, Course Credit is More Complicated
Christine Cupaiuolo, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, July 13, 2012
The online higher education world underwent a massive shift last week with the announcement that a dozen major research universities have teamed up with Coursera, a new company that partners with universities to provide free massive open online courses (MOOCs) to an unlimited number of students.

What remains to be seen is the effect this high-level participation will have on higher education itself—including whether students enrolled in online courses will eventually receive accreditation that satisfies the needs of employers and their own educational needs without driving up the costs of MOOCs to the point where they, too, become financially out of reach.

Good MOOC’s, Bad MOOC’s
Marc Bousquet, The Chronicle, July 25, 2012
So I just finished a brief radio appearance (CBC) on the subject of Massive Open, Online Courses (MOOCs). The main guest was George Siemens who, with Stephen Downes, helped pioneer these courses in Canada. Even though all of the press coverage has gone to the competing Stanford edu-preneurs behind Coursera and Udacity, Siemens and Downes have done much of the most important work, theoretical and practical, distinguishing between good and bad MOOC’s.

MOOC's Aren't a Panacea, but That Doesn't Blunt Their Promise
Jeff Selingo, The Chronicle, July 11, 2012
The online courses have clearly captivated a group of learners. There must be something of value we can take from that in navigating the future of higher ed. Contrast this with the blog post, What’s the Matter with MOOCs on Innovations last week by Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia.

Open Education for a Global Economy
David Bornstein, Opinionator, New York Times, July 11, 2012
If you or your kids have taken an online lesson at the Khan Academy (3,200 video lessons, 168 million views), been enlightened by a TED Talk (1,300 talks, 800 million views), watched a videotaped academic lecture (Academic Earth, Open Courseware Consortium, Open Culture), enrolled in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course, now being offered by companies like Udacity and a growing list of universities, including M.I.T., Harvard and Stanford), or simply learned to play guitar, paint a landscape or make a soufflé via YouTube — then you know that the distribution channels of education have changed — and that the future of learning is free and open.

Going Public the UVa Way
Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18, 2012
The author features a professor at UVA and his course that will be among the four pilot, noncredit courses soon to be offered by UVa through Coursera, the consortium of research universities hosting various massive open online courses (MOOC’s)

Conventional' Online Universities Consider Strategic Response to MOOCs
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, August 2, 2012
How will MOOCs change the financial models of universities that have built revenue streams with credit courses online? Source: Inside Higher Ed

Just Interesting Articles and Information


Is Algebra Necessary?
Andrew Hacker, New York Times (Opinion), July 28, 2012
A typical American school day finds some six million high school students and two million college freshmen struggling with algebra. In both high school and college, all too many students are expected to fail. Why do we subject American students to this ordeal? I’ve found myself moving toward the strong view that we shouldn’t.

Should Pearson, a giant multinational, be influencing our education policy?
Warwick Mansell, The Guardian, UK, July 16, 2012
How great an influence over education policymaking can and should a private organisation have? That is the question being asked by some, as a debate growing increasingly acrimonious in the US seems poised to cross the Atlantic.

The Must-Have EdTech Cheat Sheet
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, July 26, 2012
There’s a whole galaxy of terminology that you should know about when it comes to education technology. From PLNs to Blended Learning to Synchronous Online Learning… it can get overwhelming.

Lucky for all of us, the co-founder of Boundless clued me into a fabulous new infographic they just launched. Dubbed the EdTech Cheat Sheet, I think it’s one of the most useful infographics out there today.

Online learning, teaching, and misleading opinions
Michael B. Horn, Innosight Institute, July 26, 2012
Read what Michael Horn says about both of the articles below: He wrote letters to the editors at the Post and the NYTimes. Given that the editors chose not to publish them, he has chosen to publish them on the Innosight Institute site (above link).

Nothing can replace a good teacher
Jay Matthews, Washington Post, July 15, 2012
Those who hope 21st-century technological wonders will save our schools should read a recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. It tells the story of Melvin Marshall, a seventh-grader at Barber Focus School in Highland Park. This is not a good promotion for virtual learning.

The Trouble With Online Education
Mark Edmundson, New York Times, July 19, 2012
The author is a professor at UVA. Here is a sample of his comments: Online education is a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It tends to be a monologue and not a real dialogue. The Internet teacher, even one who responds to students via e-mail, can never have the immediacy of contact that the teacher on the scene can, with his sensitivity to unspoken moods and enthusiasms.

Blind Houston Students Use iPads to Learn
Associated Press, Education Week, Digital Directions, July 23, 2012
The roll call of apps, familiar to anyone with an iPad or an iPhone, delighted the students assembled on the second floor of the Lighthouse of Houston. All blind or visually impaired, they were getting a lesson in how to make the ubiquitous devices work for them.

With the use of a VoiceOver feature, a mere touch of the finger elicited the name of the app. A three-finger swipe moved the screen to the next page. A tap-tap opened the program. And if the students got lost, the helpful robotic voice offered up friendly instructions.

Survey Shows Growing Strength of E-Books
Julie Bosman, New York Times, Media Decoder, July 18, 2012
Not yet for E-textbooks, but E-books continued their surge in popularity last year, surpassing hardcover books and paperbacks to become the dominant format for adult fiction in 2011, according to a survey of publishers released Wednesday.

For several years, consumers have been rapidly switching from print to digital for reading novels, a sign of the growing strength of the e-book for narrative, straightforward storytelling.

Common Core: Two Contrasting Opinions


Common Core Standards Can Save Us
J. M. Anderson, Minding the Campus, July 20, 2012
The CCSSI is designed to close the knowledge gap by encouraging students to develop "mutually reinforcing skills and exhibit mastery of standards for reading and writing across a range of texts and classrooms."

For example, while editing papers, students address both Writing and Language standards; when analyzing and drawing evidence from texts, they address Writing and Reading standards; when discussing something they have read or written, they demonstrate speaking and listening skills.

Some critics, such as Sandra Stotsky, (See article below.) find this approach flawed. She argues that it fails to take into account the current structure of schools, and that it is too restrictive because it relies on 2009 NAEP Reading Framework for Assessment of Educational Progress--which suggests that in grade 4, 50% of student readings must be literary and 50% informational; in grade 8, 45% must be literary and 55% information; and in grade 12, 30% is literary and 70 % information.

Don’t Buy the Snake Oil of Common Core
Sandra Stotsky, Education News, July 24, 2012

Khan Academy: Critiques


Is Khan Academy a real ‘education solution’?
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, July 12, 2012
Last month, two associate professors from Grand Valley State University in Michigan critiqued one of the Khan videos — on negative and positive integers — in a satirical video that pointed out problems in the specific lesson and, more broadly, made fun of the entire Khan enterprise, Education Week reported. The academy pulled the suspect video and replaced it.

And now, educator Dan Meyer and Ed Week opinion blogger Justin Reich, noting that there are errors in some of the Khan Academy videos, have started a contest inviting readers to critique the academy lessons. You can see how to participate here.

This is the background for the post enclosed in this article on the kind of teaching that the Khan Academy offers. Marion Brady, veteran teacher, administrator, curriculum designer and author, writes the post. Read comments by Katie Ashe in Education Week about this topic: Critique of Khan Academy Goes Viral

Khan Academy: The hype and the reality
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, July 23, 2012
Karim Kai Ani, a former middle school teacher and math coach, wrote this. She is the founder of Mathalicious, which is rewriting the middle school math curriculum around real-world topics.

You can find a response to this post from Sal Khanhere.

Digital Learning Policy


iNACOL’s Principles for Model Legislation in States
Susan Patrick, iNACOL, July 2012
This document offers guidance for lawmakers as they craft policies around online and blended learning. This effort, created in collaboration with many within our membership, will be a valuable tool as we communicate with state and local leaders. It has received tremendous feedback.

Digital Learning Meets Digital Democracy: Alliance Accepting Public Comment on New Digital Learning Draft Legislation
Alliance for Excellent Education, August 2012
On August 1, the Alliance for Excellent Education released a draft of suggested legislation designed to help states think strategically about how to incorporate technology into their classrooms to boost student learning and increase professional learning opportunities for teachers.

Between August 1 and November 1, 2012, the Alliance will be accepting public input on the legislation at legislation@all4ed.org with the goal of making it a more valuable tool for policymakers and education professionals.

The legislation, titled the Each Child Learns Act, outlines a student-centered education approach that focuses on personalized student paths and digital learning. It provides comprehensive planning, language, guidance, and timelines for states to use as they make the transition to this more forward thinking and modern public education system.

Converge Special Report The Textbook Reformation & Digital Content
Converge (Download the report)
If the Encyclopedia Britannica can go digital, anything can. Right? This sure seems to be the case in education; the headlines are hard to miss: “The end of textbooks?” Or, “In some classrooms, books are a things of the past.” But is it really that easy? As the textbook reformation sweeps the nation, K-20 education needs to brace itself for a big change. It’s not as simple as just replacing traditional textbooks with online versions. Several hurdles from outdated legislation and procurement policies to technology concerns and professional development stand in the way. And students’ success hinges on campuses getting it right. This Converge Special Report on the Textbook Reformation and Digital Content examines this educational transformation in all its facets: from curriculum acquisition to best practices for a successful transition to key governmental policy measures.

Beyond the Connected Classroom: Planning the right infrastructure to deliver 21st-century education
The Center for Digital Education, May 10, 2012
This CDW•G thought leadership paper, with research provided by the Center for Digital Education, helps education decision-makers carefully evaluate the options for both network technologies and solution providers so they can make the right investments to fit their educational needs and budget.

Infographic: Are You Going BYOD?
Carolina Vander Ark-Davis, Getting Smart, August 6, 2012
As another school year begins, many leaders will again question whether or not to implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Technology (BYOT) policy in classrooms. This infographic highlights many of the pros and cons to letting students use personal devices in the classrooms. Stay tuned for a Digital Learning Now! (DLN) SMART Series paper to be released this month covering access topics such as BYOD.

The Digital Campus 2012
Purchase this publication from The Chronicle.Online and on campus, everybody seems to be plugging in. But are we leveraging all that technology in ways that make a difference? Could cloud technologies used by consumer-oriented businesses be the answer for colleges? Find out, and discover new ways we're teaching with technology in The Chronicle's 2012 Digital Campus Report.

Full-time K-12 Virtual Schools


Study Renews Call to Slow Growth of K12 Inc. Virtual Schools
Ian Quillen, Education Week, Digital Education, July 18, 2012
The National Education Policy Center has renewed its call for states to curb the growth of full-time virtual schools until they can demonstrate dramatically improved academic results.

"Understanding and Improving Virtual Schools," released Wednesday, stems from an analysis of federal and state data sets for revenue, expenditures, and student performance across the 59 full-time virtual schools run by Herndon, Va.-based K12 Inc., the nation's largest for-profit online learning provider, according to a press release from NEPC, a nonprofit research organization based in Boulder, Colo.

Comments from NEPC: While the authors share the excitement of new technologies and the potential these have to improve communication, teacher effectiveness, and learning, they recommend that policymakers move forward cautiously and only after piloting and thoroughly vetting new ideas. The authors express hope that their findings will help inform policymakers and motivate researchers to carefully study various aspects of full-time virtual schools. They conclude that a better understanding of virtual schools can serve to improve this new model and help ensure that full-time virtual schools can better serve students and the public as a whole.

State Authorization: Update


Education Department Won't Enforce State Authorization for Distance Education Programs
Education Department will not enforce rule requiring distance education programs to get permission to operate from every state in which they enroll students.

Read WCET’s Russ Poulin’s comments about this: It’s not over! He also cites Jarret Cummings from EDUCAUSE who writes about this and says it's worth noting that the executive summary of the Senate report (Harkin Report) released this week on the for-profit higher education industry identifies a lack of state authorization enforcement as a key factor leading to the federal student aid abuses cited in the report; a later point on proposals to curb those abuses appears to identify state authorization as a necessary but not sufficient condition for adequately addressing them:

Russ Poulin and Megan Raymond: In our blog posting earlier this week, we said that the U.S. Department says that it will not enforce its distance education state authorization regulations, but that many questions remain. I’ve had several conversations over the last few days as we try to figure out exactly what the wording in the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter of July 27 actually means.

Jarret Cummings of EDUCAUSE posted his views on the USDOE’s letter. He adds unique analysis by tying in observations from the Senate report on for-profit regulations that was recently released. That report chides states for not doing enough in authorization reviews of institutions offering distance education and implies that a greater federal influence on state authorization requirements may be needed in the future.

With another take on it, below is an opinion piece from Michael Goldstein and Greg Ferenbach of Dow Lohnes, the Washington DC law firm with extensive higher education expertise. They also call into question the meaning of the wording in the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.

Yes, it’s confusing, but when hasn’t it been? I’ll echo Mike and Greg’s concluding sentiment…”stay tuned.” Meanwhile, we’re still gathering questions to ask the Department.

Universities: Online Degrees


University of Wisconsin Online Degree Program is a Winner
Tom Still, Postcrescent, July 10, 2012
The UW System is moving toward a “flexible degree” program built on flat-fee, at-your-own-pace online education, news that should be applauded by prospective students, business owners and state legislators. That’s true even if some elements of the education community itself remain suspicious of how well it will work. While the UW is a relative latecomer to granting flexible online degrees, it already offers 4,600 online courses. It also has a huge advantage not possessed by most of its competitors — a quality brand that can be marketed well beyond the state’s borders. Gov. Scott Walker joined UW System President Kevin Reilly and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross last month in announcing the “flexible degree” program, which will be rolled out over the next year or so.

Texas State University System Has $10,000 Degree Plan
Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune, July 12, 2012
The Texas State University System is the state's third major university system to announce the creation of an undergraduate degree that cost just $10,000 -- a response to Governor Rick Perry's 2011 call for more affordable PSE offerings. In the Texas State model, the opportunity is available to secondary school students who graduate with at least a 2.5 GPA and at least 30 hours of college credit completed. The total cost would be capped at $10,000 though deferred scholarships that students earn provided they maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and take 15 hours of classes per term, allowing them to graduate in 3 years.

Unintended Consequences?
Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed, July 13, 2012
WASHINGTON -- A proposed change that would lead to smaller Pell Grants for some students enrolled in online classes was intended to prevent financial aid fraud. But advocates for distance education fear it’s the first in a possible series of unintended consequences, as the Education Department prepares to take steps to crack down on fraud in negotiated rule-making hearings later this year.

Deep in the Senate appropriations bill for the Education Department for the 2013 fiscal year was a provision that would change how Pell Grants are allocated to students in online programs. For those students, Pell Grants would cover only tuition, fees, books and supplies -- not room and board, as they currently do

Congress and e-Learning


First Congressional E-Learning Caucus Briefing
Jarret Cummings, EDUCAUSE, July 12, 2012
On July 11th, the Congressional E-Learning Caucus, chaired by Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Jared Polis (D-CO), held its first briefing for U.S. House of Representatives members and staff. Rep. Polis opened the meeting by reviewing the Caucus’s two primary goals—raising awareness in Congress about the nature and value of e-learning across the educational spectrum, and encouraging public policy that supports the development of e-learning to provide increased access to high-quality learning opportunities. He then introduced the panel convened to illustrate the range of e-learning across educational and economic sectors.

Charter Schools

(see note about Online Charter Schools)

The 'Separate-but-Equal' Charter School Scam
Sarah Knopp and Jeff Bale, Other Words, August 6, 2012
In July, Muskegon Heights, Michigan became the first American city to hand its entire school district over to a charter-school operator.

More than 1.6 million American kids attend charter schools, which emerged in the early 1990s. Whatever their original intent, charters are fundamentally restructuring the school system by placing it in private — often for-profit — hands. They're making teachers and staff work harder and longer for less pay, usually without union benefits or protection.

Consider Muskegon Heights. The city hired charter operator Mosaica Education, a for-profit company premised on earning more from contracts to run schools than it pays out in expenses. In fact, Mosaica expects to earn as much as $11 million in its Muskegon Heights deal. That's roughly the same amount as the current budget deficit that officials gave as the reason to hire this outfit in the first place. Apparently, officials weren't troubled by Mosaica's record elsewhere in Michigan — its six other charter schools performed on average at the 13th percentile, according to the state's annual ranking in 2011. Read more….

Charter Schools in SREB States: Critical Questions and Next Steps for States
SREB Publication, May 2012
In less than 20 years, charter schools have grown from a novel educational experiment into a high profile part of the movement to reform education policy. But the disappointing fact is that in locations where charter schools are prominent, education policy-makers still do not have answers to important questions about whether and how statewide policies help or hinder charter school success. These questions recently have taken on greater urgency because most SREB states permit charter schools, the number of schools in the region is growing and now tops 1,500, and the number of students enrolled is quite substantial in some cases. (See the table on Page 2.) This report recounts some of the general issues surrounding charter schools, presents the latest available data in the SREB region, and then zeroes in on key policy questions and steps state leaders can take to clarify the issues and maximize the opportunities that charter schools present.

After 20 Years, Charter Schools Stray From Their Original Mission
David Morris, On the Commons, August 7, 2012
Instead of laboratories to improve all schools, many are now for-profit enterprises with poor report cards. This article offers a good historical overview and is worth reading.

Today 2 million students attend some 5,600-charter schools in 41 states, with a waiting list of more than 600,000. In the last 18 months, 23 states have approved new laws aimed at promoting their growth. Meanwhile, cities last year announced the closing of about 2000 public schools. And this cycle feeds on itself. More charters mean less money for public schools; the more public education deteriorates, the greater the popularity and number of charter schools.

What we know after 20 years is that overall charter schools are no better than public schools. A great deal of evidence exists that, on average, they are worse.

The latest evolution of the charter school is the on-line, for-profit virtual charter whose number has soared from 13 eight years ago to 79 today.

Full-time Middle School Online Charter School Opens in Gwinnett County (GA)
Our middle school faculty will provide engaging, individualized instruction utilizing innovative technology. While the majority of schoolwork will be completed off campus, students will also have face-to-face interaction with their teachers on a regular basis, promoting social interaction and reinforcing the skills learned in their virtual classrooms.

Free Apps and Other Resources


10 Free Windows Programs Every PC Owner Should Install Immediately
Jason Gilbert, Huffington Post, July 11, 2012

11 Free Mac Apps That Every Apple Computer Owner Should Download
Jason Gilbert, Huffington Post, July 19, 2012

Videos
35 Sources for Curated Educational Videos
Carri Schneider, Getting Smart, July 3, 2012
Fortunately, there are some great websites and services that take the guesswork out of finding and sorting educational video content. Here is a list of some of the curated video sites we’ve come across in our work.

iPads
14 Smart Tips for Using iPads in Class
Matt Levinson, Mindshift, July 2, 2012
For schools that are about to deploy the iPad as their main mobile learning device, there’s wisdom to be learned from others who’ve gone down that road. At Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera, Calif., the first year of a pilot iPad program for sixth-graders has just ended, and some clear lessons have emerged. Here are some tips to help smooth the transition.

Apple Will Now Let Any Teacher Publish Content to iTunes U
Liz Gannes, All Things D, July 25, 2012
The new features, aimed at K-12 teachers who use iPads in the classroom, allow teachers to create up to 12 private courses. Within each course, teachers can point students to curriculum across lots of different (mostly Apple-powered) media such as iBooks, textbooks, apps, videos and Pages and Keynote documents.

The new iTunes U also includes a tool for students to take time-stamped notes inside a video.

Google Chrome
CNET
Have you checked out Google Chrome lately? It gets great review from CNET. Competitiveness, thy name is Chrome. Google's browser is one of the fastest and most standards-compliant browsers available. It lacks some of the fine-tuning you'll find in Firefox, but from the minimalist interface to support for future-Web tech like Native Client and HTML5, the browser is a must.

Read more…

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
Teaching and learning resources from Federal agencies. (Just a reminder.)

Six Tips for Teachers: How to Maximize Shared Resources
Mary Beth Hertz, Edutopia, August 2, 2012
Despite the fact that more and more schools are investing in mobile devices and 1:1 programs, many schools are limited by cash-strapped districts and cannot afford such luxuries. As a result, many teachers are forced to share a computer lab or a laptop cart with the whole school. This can create scheduling fiascos, and it limits teachers' ability to truly integrate technology into their classrooms. For those who have access to a classroom computer or a few student desktops, I wrote a post a while back on how teachers can maximize the computer(s) in their classrooms. This time, however, I'll describe ways that teachers can get the most out of shared resources at their school.

5 ways to develop a connected student
Lisa Nielsen, Smart Blogs, August 3, 2012
It is incumbent upon educators to support students in doing this effectively in order to empower them to do work that will not only lead them to personal success… Here are five ways to help your students get connected.

Grants Calendar and Directory, 2012-2013
Tech&Learning, June 7, 2012

New Book


Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning
Jose Antonio Bowen, Jossey-Bass, August, 2012
José Bowen recognizes that technology is profoundly changing education and that if students are going to continue to pay enormous sums for campus classes, colleges will need to provide more than what can be found online and maximize “naked” face-to-face contact with faculty. Here, he illustrates how technology is most powerfully used outside the classroom, and, when used effectively, how it can ensure that students arrive to class more prepared for meaningful interaction with faculty. Bowen offers practical advice for faculty and administrators on how to engage students with new technology while restructuring classes into more active learning environments.