Worthy of Note: July 11, 2011

A few random thoughts and articles at the beginning

Guest Blog: A Glimpse of the Future
WCET Learn
Myk Garn, SREB, and Hae Okimoto, University of Hawaii, have been thinking up an exciting new addition to the WCET Annual Conference. WCET asked them to share their idea with you.
The future is relatively hard to predict. But, future possibilities are easy to imagine. Knowing what we should do (or not do) today to be successful tomorrow is hard…and high risk. If you predict (okay, guess) wrong…and commit too many resources you could lose. If you guess right, and commit too few resources…you may not be able to capitalize on your prescience. Getting the balance right makes all the difference. Read more to examine some heuristics that could help achieve this balance. Your thoughts?

In Lean Times, Schools Squeeze Out Librarians
Fernanda Santos, New York Times, June 24, 2011
This front-page NY Times article describes a pervasive practice in school districts across the county. Budget belt-tightening threatens to send school librarians the way of the card catalog.

The article has spawned lots of discussion responses about whether school librarians are expendable. Here are a couple of responses:

Teaching research and information literacy without a librarian is like teaching football by handing the kids a football and pointing out where the field is.

It will be a very sorry mistake to continue to view librarians as dispensable when they are so desperately needed to navigate the information explosion. As we have more and different types of tsunamis of information, we need more technologically advanced librarians to get us through it.

When I was a school librarian not so long ago, I was the come-to person by students and faculty in my school for answers on how-to questions about using and understanding information technology. As important as information literacy and critical thinking skills are and even touted as vital to students’ success in the work-world, the concepts are not fully understood. There is also a lack of understanding on how important the librarian is to help students and faculty wade through and evaluate the vast sea of information.

Of course, it goes without saying that it is incumbent on librarians to continue to be on the cutting-edge of information technology — quite a challenge, I’d say, and not one that can be taken lightly. Nor can the task be left to teachers to inform.

Project Information Literacy
Project Information Literacy is a national study about early adults and their information-seeking behaviors, competencies, and the challenges they face when conducting research in the digital age.

Based in University of Washington's iSchool, the large-scale research project investigates how early adults on different college campuses conduct research for course work and how they conduct "everyday research" for use in their daily lives...

Committee Approves Second Education Reform Bill
The Education and Workforce Committee
H.R. 2218 Will Expand Access to High-Quality Charter Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2011
The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce today approved the second in a series of education reform bills designed to overhaul current elementary and secondary education law. The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 2218), sponsored by Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 34 to 5.

PLAYBACK: Games Have Changed the World ... Can the World Change Games to Save Itself?
Christine C., Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, June 24, 2011
The 8th Annual Games for Change festival convened in mid-June in New York City and big names in politics, the gaming industry and academia discussed, played and celebrated games that have a social impact.

Why Schools Need Wi-Fi
Schools need wireless networks to make the most of today's learning opportunities. This Ebook provides insight on how to choose and use technology to create a better learning experience.

Social Media

Web 2.0 and Social Media in Education 2.0
99 Essential Twitter Tools And Applications #EDTECH20 #ISTE11 #SOCIALMEDIA #EDCHAT
#edtech20 project in Technology, June 23, 2011
This project was finalist in ELEARNING AWARDS 2010. Teachers worldwide can join free this #edtech20 #curation and #semantic project in XXI Century Education to discover together semantic web 3.0.

Interactive Learning in the Connected Classroom
The editors of eSchool News have assembled this collection of ten articles related to interactive learning. Examples are Ten Ideas for Interactive Teaching and Teaching in a Socially Networked Classroom.

When Social Networking Goes 'Live'
Bridget McCrea, THE Journal, June 22, 2011
An English teacher in Iowa talks about how she parlayed Twitter interactions into a class trip halfway around the world.

Big Think: If You Were on Twitter
Scott McLeod, June 2, 2011
Scott McLeod, an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University, posts these “what-ifs” for educators.

Social Networking
Social Networking Sites and Our Lives
Pew Internet and American Life Project
Keith Hampton, Lauren Sessions Goulet, Lee Rainie, Kristen Purcell, Jun 16, 2011
Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine social networking sites in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement.

This is report is part of a Pew series entitled The Social Impact of Technology.

Twitter Update 2011
Aaron Smith, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Jun 1, 2011
13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as Twitter users in November 2010. 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device.

The Best Social Media Tool for the Classroom
Richard Kassissieh, Social Media, April 04, 2011
What is the best social media tool for the classroom? Blog? Facebook? Wiki? Twitter? Chat? Surprise! It’s the discussion forum. Really? How can a discussion forum be best suited to the classroom, when newer social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter receive all of the hype? Read on….

When it’s Time to Use Twitter in the Classroom
William Stites, Social Media, June 14, 2011
“A survey of 1,920 U.S. teachers published in April found that 2% of them use the micro-blogging site in college lectures. About half those polled said the use of Twitter and Facebook in class is harmful to the learning experience, according to the study from consulting firm Pearson Learning Solutions.”

How do you find this balance between giving students a vehicle to find their voice and the perception that these tools are “harmful to the learning experience”? When is it time to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more.

Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today's Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media for Work and for Play
Pearson Learning Solutions, April 2011
For the past several years, Pearson has been researching faculty use of social media. Pearson's collaboration with other thought leaders, including Babson Survey Research Group and Converseon, is one of the ways we're gaining that understanding. As a reflection of our commitment to sharing our knowledge with the higher education community, the following pages contain the findings of our most recent social media survey.

Improving Web Searches for Students
Steve, Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, June 8, 2011
The problem with students using Google is not that the search giant is incapable of retrieving useful educational content. It’s that finding that content using simple search terms is a difficult art to master.

But a coalition of education-oriented companies and organizations aims to make it easier to find useful educational content amid the detritus of the Web. The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons, the leaders of the group, announced on Tuesday that they are forming a working group to come up with more detailed criteria that could eventually be incorporated into the search interfaces for Google, Bing, and Yahoo!

Future Trends: Are Browsers Becoming a Thing of the Past?
Tom Green, WebDesign Tuts+, June 8, 2011
Browsers just might be an endangered species. The author will take you on a fun ride to find out if it is true.

The Problem of 'Pedagogy' in a Web 2.0 Era
Trent Batson, Campus Technology, June 15, 2011
In a time of knowledge stability, teach; in a time of rapid change in knowledge, learn… There is no requirement that faculty in higher education understand learning theory. Even saying that, and knowing it is true, seems astonishing. How is it possible to make the turn from teaching to learning without knowing what that means? Read more.

How To Get Better Grades Using Social Media (Infographic)
It’s summertime and you know what that means…students are not paying attention to teachers. They’re likely dreaming about what they’re going to do this summer, texting friends every chance they get, or updating their social networks.

But is that such a terrible thing? According to a new infographic by Masters in Education, social media may actually help students get better grades. One of the most jaw-dropping figures featured in the image here is that ‘heavy’ social media users actually got better grades than ‘light’ social media users. While there is obviously more to this story than this boiled-down infographic, it is both entertaining and informative (just like all infogrpahics, no?)


The Google+ Project
This blog offers a good introduction to Google+. Take a tour.

Introducing the Google+ project: Real-life sharing, Rethought for the Web

Google+ and the LMS: Ads and Education
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, June 29, 2011
A critique of the ups and downs of Google+.

What You Need to Know About Google's New Social Network
Kristin Burnham, CIO, June 28, 2011
While the similarities between Facebook and Google+ are obvious, Google's new network may make it a contender in the social media arena. Here's a look at the features it unveiled today.

Google+: Huddle and Hangout Look Promising
Eric Stoller, Inside Higher Ed, July 4, 2011
Let's face it. Google and Facebook aren't creating social networks for altruistic reasons. While Google and Facebook compete in the multi-gazillion-dollar ad revenue space, we, as social media consumers/communicators, get to benefit from their innovations. Google+ has been getting a lot of "buzz" lately as it is Google's latest foray into creating a service that can compete with Facebook.

It may be hard to get a Google+ account.

Google For Educators
Here, you’ll find a teacher’s guide to Google Tools for Your Classroom. And to spark your imagination, you'll find examples of innovative ways that other educators are using these tools in the classroom.

While you’re here, you can sign up for the quarterly Google for Educators newsletter, as well as check out the latest from The Infinite Thinking Machine, a Google-sponsored, WestEd-produced blog for educators, by educators. + more.

On the Google for Educators site you will find a link to Google Web Search - Classroom Lessons and Resources, which was developed by Google Certified Teachers to help teach better search skills. The lessons are short, modular and not specific to any discipline so you can mix and match to what best fits the needs of your classroom. Additionally, all lessons come with a companion set of slides (and some with additional resources) to help you guide your in-class discussions.

Daniel Russell's Home Page
Dan works for Google and his specialty is research…. searching, that is. He tries to find out what makes Google searchers tick. You might check out some of the several links he has here about searching. I especially liked this one:
Google Search Education Evangelism web site. Lots of teaching resources there.

This Google site also has tips/directions for creating a Website.

Textbooks / iPads / eReaders

Is the iPad Ready To Replace the Printed Textbook?
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, June 15, 2011
After trying out the Apple iPad for a short period--about three weeks--three out of four college freshmen said they'd be willing to purchase an Apple iPad personally if at least half of the textbooks they used during their college career were available digitally, according to the results of a classroom poll.

A majority of students who had the chance to work on the devices within their classes reported that reading on the iPad was "more convenient" than reading from traditional paper textbooks. But they also rated paper texts as "easier" when asked to compare the two.

E-reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months
Kristen Purcell, Pew Internet and American Life, June 27, 2011
The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011. Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices. Read/download the full report.

Online Learning / Blended Learning

2010 Report on State Virtual Schools
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
All responses reflect the 2009-10 academic year, unless otherwise noted. For the purposes of this survey, the academic year is defined as summer 2009, fall 2009 and spring 2010. Included are the Executive Summary, Survey Responses from all states and Course Lists.

Other topics of interest may be found on the SREB Ed Tech Policy Wiki.

Knewton Debuts Blended Learning Infographic
Michael B. Horn, Innosight, Posted on June 28th, 2011
Blended Learning; A Disruptive Innovation — Blended learning is a disruptive innovation in education that can take many forms. Here is a look at what blended learning is, why it’s spreading, and how it works in real and virtual classrooms.

Horn: Blended learning is growing fast, and our friends at Knewton created this graphic to summarize our report, The rise of K-12 blended learning: Profiles of emerging models, with the Charter School Growth Fund.
Read about Knewton here.

Who the Students Are, Part 1
Dean Dad, Inside Higher Ed, June 14, 2011
Over 90 percent of our online students aren't online students. They're onsite students who also take online classes. They use online classes to round out their schedules and reduce conflicts with work. In most cases, the majority of their coursework is onsite. The pure “online student” is very much the exception.

Demand For Online Learning Increases
Staff, eSchool News, June 29, 2011
Number of high school students learning online triples in three years, survey shows—but there is still 'untapped potential' In just three years, the number of high school students who have access to online learning has tripled, while twice as many middle school students are now learning online, according to a new report.

These figures come from the nonprofit group Project Tomorrow and its most recent Speak Up survey on school technology use. Project Tomorrow first released data from its this survey earlier this spring, but the organization has teamed up with learning management system provider Blackboard Inc. to dig deeper into the results that pertain to online learning.

Project Tomorrow and Blackboard issued a report on these findings during the International Society for Technology (ISTE) in Education’s annual conference June 28.

Online Learning Portals: Customizing Colleges Right Out of Higher Education?
David Glenn, The Chronicle, May 29, 2011
Another look at ending-higher-education-as-we-know-it. An online infrastructure is emerging that could someday offer a different alternative. Depending on how it evolves, this infrastructure might profoundly change how Americans certify their skills and transform their relationship with colleges.

Education Week's 2011 Spotlight on E-Learning
brings together a FREE collection of articles hand-picked by our editors for their insights on several topics, such as How Elementary Schools Incorporate E-learning and Understanding Different Models of Online Learning.

10 Ways Wikipedia Has Changed Education
Online Courses, June 21, 2011
Just about as many ideas about Wikipedia’s influence exist as there are individuals to even hold them, but nobody can deny that the online encyclopedia, not to mention the other Wikimedia websites, certainly left a splash in the classroom and mainstream society alike. Here are several ideas.

How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education
Check out this Infographic from OnlineEducation.net about how the world of online learning has changed and grown over the years.

Then you may like to read comments about this by Jolie O’Dell at Mashable: How Online Education is Changing the Way We Learn (Infographic)

As Costs of New Rule Are Felt, Colleges Rethink Online Course Offerings in Other States
Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2011
Bismarck State College, a two-year institution located in the capital of North Dakota, offers something few colleges do: online degrees in power-plant technology. Utilities across the country send workers to the community college for specialized training in electric power, nuclear power, and other fields. This may change with the new federal rule. Read more.

There’s No Going Back on the rule (Libby A. Nelson, Inside Higher Ed, June 24, 2011).

Information Technology

New Initiatives To Drive IT Growth Through 2011
David Nagel, Campus Technology, June 30, 2011
Growth in IT spending is expected to outpace overall economic growth in the United States for the remainder of the year, though IT growth in education will lag behind most other sectors, according to a new report from market research firm International Data Corp.

Professional Development (ISTE Conference White Paper)

The white paper, Technology, Coaching, and Community: Power Partners for Improved Professional Development in Primary and Secondary Education, released in conjunction with a first look at ISTE’s new standards for coaching, NETS*C, focuses on the transformation of professional development for a new digital generation. ISTE recommends a three-pronged approach to better prepare teachers to help students learn and unlock their potential. The approach embraces
  • An effective coaching model
  • Online communities for greater collaborative
  • A fully embedded use of technology

Emerging Trends in Technology K-12 and Higher Education

CoSN Toolkit - NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition
New Media Consortium with eSchoolMedia Eduvision
Overview of the Report: Identification of key trends and critical challenges as well as six emerging technologies likely seen in mainstream use within five years; and CoSN Toolkit. There are many videos at this site that vividly describe the components of the NMC Horizon Report 2011 K-12 Edition.

Check out NMC WikiSpaces

And here is the 2011 Horizon Report: Emerging Trends in Higher Education Technology (April 21, 2011).


Educational Technology Cooperative (SREB)
You are invited to a series of webinars focusing on practitioners sharing how blended teaching and learning works and how it can be successfully incorporated into classroom instruction. Registration and instruction for the series of webinars can be found here.

Case Study of the Florida Virtual School Blended Learning Models
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM (ET)
Dianna Miller (Florida Virtual School)

Elementary Students: Back and Forth between Online and Face-to-Face Instruction
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM (ET)
Michelle Lee (Fayette County Public Schools)

Online Driver Case Study of Jeffco Virtual Academy Blended Learning Models
Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM (ET)
Kristin Kipp (Jeffco's 21st Century Virtual Academy)

Time Management, Lesson Planning and Instruction for Blended Learners)
Friday, August 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM (ET)
(SAS® Curriculum Pathways )
Katie Higgins (Mooresville Graded School District – North Carolina)

How to Avoid Blended Learning Obstacles and Roadblocks
Monday, August 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM (ET)
(CourseSites Platform)
Norka Ratnavale (Maryland Middle School ESL)

How to Communicate with Blended Learning Students and Parents
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM (ET)
Tracy Seiler and Trixi DeRosa-Davis (South Carolina Virtual School)

Overview of The Six Blended Learning Models: How each one works best, its strengths and shortcomings
Thursday 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM (ET)
Heather Staker (Innosight Institute)

Bring Your Own Device: More Tools, Less Money, Better Security
Tech & Learning
Thursday July 21, 2011, 1 pm PST / 4 pm EST
With increasing demands for greater access to technology and school budgets strained to the limit, many districts turn to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. Classroom technologies now include smartphones, tablets, handheld game machines and more. The biggest issue in using these outside devices is keeping students and data safe online.

This webinar will provide information on how districts are managing student and staff devices on their networks, how they are providing cost effective support, and how they make sure that all of their systems are secure both on and off site. You’ll hear from Kevin Hogan, editorial director of Tech & Learning magazine, who will discuss this trend and how it is working. And speakers from a public school district and a charter school system will explain how they are managing their BYOD strategy.

Webinar: Integrating the Arts Across the Curriculum (edweek.org)
Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time
Many arts advocates suggest integrating dance, music, theater, and visual arts across the curriculum holds great promise to enhance student learning—and revitalize the arts in public schools.

Online Assessment / Analytic Tools

Next Generation Assessments: A Roadmap to 2014
The Pearson Roadmap to 2014 outlines how the use of more innovative question types, online delivery, automated and artificial-intelligence powered scoring engines, and immediate web-based reporting of results can transform learning, and offers concrete resources to help states navigate and mitigate the challenges they will encounter as they transition to online assessments. Download the print version of the Roadmap to 2014. Includes benefits of online assessing, guidelines for making the transition, important considerations and case studies.

Pearson’s Roadmap for Online Assessments
Heather Clayton Staker, Innosight, July 6, 2011
Following a meeting in June with several states about The Roadmap, Heather Staker notes that she left the conference with two impressions. The first was that online assessments pose an enormous opportunity. In the short term, they eliminate the sizable hassle of shipping, storing, securing, and grading reams of pencil and paper assessments. They also allow states to report results much faster and iterate more quickly based on results. Read more…..

Schools Find Uses for Predictive Data Techniques
Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week, Education Week, June 30, 2011
The use of analytic tools to predict student performance is exploding in higher education, and experts say the tools show even more promise for K-12 schools, in everything from teacher placement to dropout prevention.

Blackboard / Providence

(Thanks to Russell Poulin, WCET, for these articles.)

The Future of Blackboard
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, July 01, 2011.
Gartner researcher Marti Harris provides her perspective on the Blackboard acquisition and what it means for the company and its customers.

Investment Bankers and Blackboard’s Future, Part One: If …
e-Literate, Michael Feldstein
Jim Farmer, July 2, 2011
This is a guest post by Jim Farmer, Chairman of Sigma Group Inc., who looks at the impact of the buyout on higher education.

Some Other Resources

TeacherWeb Tutorial Videos
TeacherWeb will be releasing short tutorial videos for teachers on the go. These videos will help you with creation, modification and customization of your site. You can currently view these videos here by clicking a topic on the left.

TeacherWeb provides numerous links to topics on 21st Century Learning here.

Wiki: K-12 Tech Tools
This website features a collection of free, kid-safe, online resources categorized by subject, grade level, and standard.

NOAA Education Resources
A wealth of resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.