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By Morgan Smith
Summary by PEN Weekly NewsBlast
"In research that shakes the foundation of high-stakes test-based accountability, Walter Stroup of the University of Texas at Austin and two colleagues believe they've found a glitch in the DNA of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) that renders it "virtually useless" at measuring the effects of classroom instruction, The New York Times reports. The flaw stems from a statistical method used to assemble the tests. Pearson, which has a five-year, $468 million contract to create the state's tests through 2015, uses "item-response theory" to devise standardized exams, as other testing companies do. Using I.R.T., developers select questions based on a model that correlates students' ability with the probability they will get a question right. That produces a test Mr. Stroup said is more sensitive to how it ranks students than to measuring what they have learned. That design flaw also explains why students' scores on the previous year's TAKS test were a better predictor of performance on the next year's TAKS test than the benchmark exams were. Benchmark exams are developed by districts, the TAKS by the testing company. Gloria Zyskowski of the Texas Education Agency said Mr. Stroup's comments reflect "fundamental misunderstandings" about test development, and saw no evidence of a flaw in the test. "
By Scott McLoed
"Malcolm X said:
'If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.'
"What an apt quote for media coverage of today’s ‘educational reform’ movements."
2012 marked the 20th annual Model Schools Conference conducted by the International Ceneter for Leadership in Education. Willard R. Daggett and Raymond J. McNulty are the top leders of ICLE.
The 2012 conference, held over 5 days at the end of June in Kissimmee, FL, consisted of over 100 presentations by practitioners, consultants, teachers, and administrators. Nearly all of the handouts and powerpoints from these sessions are posted on this site (or will be shortly).
This page houses links to numerous case studies and front-line accounts of schools that are succeeding, many with detailed accounts of how they planned, implemented, and evaluated their work. More theoretical presentations were also made that provide useful frameworks for strategies and tactics.-JL
THIS ONLINE CONFERENCE IS FREE OF CHARGE
From the website
"The Learning 2.0 Conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet. Subject strands include changes in the classroom (social media, 1:1 computing, "flipped classrooms," digital literacy, maker spaces, gaming, open educational resources, digital textbooks), in student learning (individualized learning, student-directed learning, "hacking" education, personal success plans, ePortfolios, and building a digital presence), in teacher personal and professional growth (lead learning, personal learning networks, peer / open / self-directed PD), in schools (virtual and online schooling, mobile learning, blended learning, MOOCs, immersive environments, learning spaces, entrepreneurship, school leadership, big data, assessment models), and in pedagogy (from teaching to learning, social learning, social / educational networking, passion-based learning, learning how to learn, brain-based learning).
"Keynote Sessions: Julie Evans, Gina Bianchini, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Lee Rainie, Angela Meiers, Sugata Mitra, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Marc Prensky, Audrey Watters, Yong Zhao."
"Keynote Panel on Technology and Librarians: Gwyneth Jones, David Loertscher, Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller, and Joyce Valenza."
"Pre- and Post-Conference Special Interviews: David Deubelbeiss, Lee Rainie, Alfie Kohn, Gary Stager, Stephen Downes, Howard Gardner, Rudy Crew, Roger Schank, Paulo Blikstein, Rob Fried, Gordon Dryden, Tony Wagner, and Michael Strong."
Lead organizer of this conference is Steve Hargadon. -JL
From the website
"The following profiles provide brief case studies of organizations that are beginning to blend online learning with supervised brick-and-mortar settings. The profiles do not evaluate the programs, nor do they represent an endorsement. Instead, they are purely descriptive in an attempt to provide a clearer picture of the emerging field. All numbers reflect data from the 2010–11 school year unless otherwise indicated."
24 profiles developed by the Innosight Institute and 8 contributed by readers. All in all, the list of 32 provides a rich landscape of how slected institutions are approaching blending learning. -JL
From the website
"Year-long pilot study in Edison Township School District illustrates the benefits of HMH Fuse: Algebra I
"Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the results of a year-long pilot of HMH Fuse: Algebra I, the world’s first full-curriculum Algebra app for the Apple iPad, involving the Edison Township School District in Edison, NJ. Educators in the school district selected HMH Fuse in hopes that it would raise the overall math aptitude of its students. Once the pilot had finished, research showed that average test scores of HMH Fuse users rose nearly 10 percent over their textbook-using peers."
25 websites featuring awesome virtual learning experiences.
Just because you’re online doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the world first-hand — or as close to first-hand as possible. Here are websites that feature virtual learning experiences, exposing online visitors to everything from history to geography, astronomy to ana
Via Dennis T OConnor
CORE Education is an eduction think tank and consultancy located in New Zealand. Each year, CORE publishes a list of 10 significant educational trends, with a focus on technology. Individual scholars are invited to write about each of the trends on a monthly basis. As of today (8/8/12) the first 6 of the articles have been published. A very interesting interactive ISSUU media document, which briefly describes the 10 Trends, can be accessed from the landing page (just click on the image or title above).
The 10 Trends for 2012 are:
2. Ubiquitous Learning
3. Smart Web
4. Data Engagement
5. Virtual Learning
8. Thinking 3D
9. Social Learning
10. User + Control
From the website
"Following the model of development of the very successful Horizon Report, and in the vein of CORE's ten trends, the Open University have just released the first of a series of reports that explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. Innovating Pedagogy 2012 proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education."
By Mat Honan
"In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.
"In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter. Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc."
OMG, what a disaster! -JL
By Nathan Olivarez-Giles (dated August 7, 2012)
"Amazon changed its customer privacy policies on Monday, closing security gaps that were exploited in the identity hacking of Wired reporter Mat Honan on Friday.
"Previously, Amazon allowed people to call in and change the email address associated with an Amazon account or add a credit card number to an Amazon account as long as the caller could identify him or herself by name, email address and mailing address — three bits of personal information that are easily found online.
"On Tuesday, Amazon handed down to its customer service department a policy change that no longer allows people to call in and change account settings, such as credit cards or email addresses associated with its user accounts."
Via Steve Hargadon
Wednesday, August 8, 11 am PDT, 2 PM EDT
"Join me Wednesday, August 8th, at an early time, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com panel with Stephen Downes, Howard Gardner, Alfie Kohn, and Gary Stager to talk about the need to reform the education reform movement. With four thoughtful and articulate education thinkers, my job will be to help them describe their alternative views to the current narratives that drive much of the impassioned debate around teaching and learning worldwide. From a gender perspective, this event is male-heavy, for which I apologize but refer interested viewers to the recordings of the gender-diverse panels and keynote sessions from Connected Educator Month (with which this event is association), the upcoming keynotes and sessions for the Learning 2.0 free and virtual conference, and also last year's "Elevating the Education Reform Dialog" session. :)"
This is truly a stellar panel. If you can't listen live, be sure to catch it on Hargedon's archive in a few days at http://www.futureofeducation.com/notes/Past_Interviews ; -JL
By George Siemens
"For over a decade, we have watched the internet happen to many segments of society: newspapers/journalism, music, journals and academic publications, and content in general. We are not without examples of what happens. In each instance, the change has been stunning – old economic values have been rewritten. Newcomers have become kings and long-time leaders have been dethroned. In a few instances (Pearson), effective leadership and vision has resulted in success. In most instances, however, the old guard has been shaken to its core.
"Higher education leaders, globally, have few excuses to justify feeble responses. I’m concerned that the ossification of higher education institutions, and a complete failure to build capacity for adaptation, will produce a bonanza for educational technology startups at the expense of the university’s role in society. The current generation of leaders are overseeing the large-scale dismantling of the public university. Piecemeal outsourcing, growing prominence of adjuncts, and tendering key functions of the university (online course development), are creating a context where the university will no longer be able to direct its own fate.
"And it’s just starting.
"Add cloud computing, mobile devices, open educational resources, increased profile of universities in developing regions of the world, global competition for international students, edtech startups, greater VC interest in the education sector, reduced federal and provincial funding, changes in the federal research mandate toward commercialization, online learning, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) and we have a climate that is ripe for massive change."
Posted by Jeff Dunn
"Boundless just launched the public beta version of its brand new site. What is Boundless? It’s a way to easily turn all of the open source information that exists in the world into a simple easy-to-use digital textbook. And it’s free.
"This is one of the most exciting announcements that came across my inbox over the past few weeks. Boundless is shaping up to truly disrupt the digital textbook industry and the newly launched tools are robust enough to do just that. But enough hyperbole and hot air, here’s what you should know:"
By Mary Beth Hertz
"My colleagues Hadley Ferguson, Mike Ritzius and I presented the conversation “A New Species of Educator” at the #140edu conference in New York City. Over the course of 20 minutes, we talked about how being a connected educator can make us feel kind of like aliens. When we talk about our friends whom we’ve never met but have talked to for years online, and explain how much we learn from them, or when we talk about things like “flipping the classroom” or letting students lead their own learning, people sometimes look at us like we’re from another planet.
"It’s easy for those of us who are connected to feel different from our colleagues, like we have a leg up or an advantage or that we are in some way “better” than our peers because of the connections we make and the amount of information we have access to. This cannot be further from the truth, however. For those readers who may be familiar with Rogers’ Innovation Adoption Curve, it is fairly apparent that connected educators are at the beginning of that curve when it comes to using technology to further our learning and grow professionally. However, that does not make us aliens."
Description from Internet Scout Project
"Spotflux uses the power of the cloud "to conduct millions of real-time checks for invasive tracking, advertisements, malware, and other bugs that pose a threat to your identity or your data." The application helps scan and protect users' connections from malware and other viruses, along with concealing the identity and location of users' devices. This version is compatible with all operating systems."
After last week's epically disastrous hack of Mat Honan, a senior staffer at Wired (see about 7 panels below), I became a lot more security conscious. It seemed like a wise step to install Spotflux, and I consider the Internet Scout Project quite a reliable source, so I installed it today. -JL
By Torie Bosch
"It’s easy to think of educational technology as just another route to the status quo: drilling facts into kids. However, the experts at “Getting Schooled by a Third Grader” said that when it’s done right, educational technology is a different beast altogether. By the end of elementary school, according to Guernsey, many kids are “deadened” by education and have lost their intrinsic love of learning. Engaging technology may help inoculate kids against this troubling outcome. None of our speakers believe that computers alone can—let alone should—impart knowledge. Teachers must be there as guides. But they are all excited by its potential."
By Heather Staker and Michael B.Horn
Summary from the Innosight Institute website
"Innosight Institute’s report, “Classifying K-12 blended learning,” introduces a refined definition of blended learning and distinguishes blended learning from other education practices. It highlights four blended-learning models and sub-models that are appearing across the K-12 field and provides examples of schools and districts that have implemented them. As educators begin to converge on a shared language about the emerging phenomenon of blended learning, they will be better able to advance the pace and quality of the innovation."
Innosight Insitute is the homebase of a number of the floks behind 2009's very influential book, "Disrupting Class." This white paper is their latest publication. -JL
This afternoon, I received a message, via Linked In, from Deborah Quazzo, Founder and Managing Partner of GSV Advisors. GSV's website describes the company as follows:
"GSV Advisors is dedicated to helping education entrepreneurs and growth companies connect with value-added, strategic investors and partners to enable their ideas to become the next market-leading businesses.
A key part of our mission is to re-imagine what education is—with a bias toward innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and others who look at learning differently.
The concept of learning has been transformed. The traditional notion—classrooms and instructors, books and schedules, papers and tests, kids and grades—well, they've grown up."
I don't know about you, but when I read language like the above, it makes me nervous. I've been in education for a long, long time. Most of my colleagues view me, I think, as an advocate and activist for the transformation of traditional education. But, my B.A. is in Political Science, and I have difficulty associating the term "revolution" with "entrepreneurs" and "investors". When someone tries to make this association, it just makes me nervous.
Ms. Quazzo invited me to download the company's latest white paper - "American Revollution 2.0". So I registered on the website and downloaded the paper.
I was expecting the typical corporate white paper, which is usually about 15-30 pages long, with acres of white space on each page. This paper is 333 pages.
I haven't read the whole thing yet, in fact I've only scanned the table of contents and the first 10 pages or so. But I can tell these folks have done their homework and they are as serious as death and taxes. Just this much reading is a chastening experience.
If you want to know what the short-to-medium-range future of educational policy and practice is likely to look like, I suggest you consider accepting Ms. Quazzo's invitation too. This paper lays it out in pretty graphic detail.
By Richard Millington
"This is a collection of my favourite and most popular posts from the last five years. It should give you a great overview about both the strategy and the process of creating an online community from scratch."
A most impressive list of linked resources for those planning, operating, or seeking to improve an existing online community. -JL
The Project RED Roadmap for Transformation
Download the book for free.
Authors: Thomas W. Greaves, Jeanne Hayes, Leslie Wilson, Michael Gielniak, and Eric L. Peterson
"Effective technology implementation in schools leads to significantly higher student achievement and positive financial impact. That is a bold statement, but one with the backing of Project RED, as outlined in this new book, Revolutionizing Education through Technology.
"Project RED has concluded that properly implemented educational technology—especially one-to-one programs that make technology continuously accessible—substantially improves student achievement and can be revenue positive at the local, state, and federal levels. The key is successful integration that brings about transformational change. See how you can be a part of the education revolution!Publication of this book was made possible in part by the generous support of Intel."
Links to numerous valuable additinal resources are contained on this page of the ISTE website. -JL
By Roberto Baldwin (dated August 8, 2012)
"Apple has confirmed that it has temporarily suspended the practice of resetting AppleID passwords by customers over the phone.
“We’ve temporarily suspended the ability to reset Apple ID passwords over the phone,” Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris told Wired via email. “We’re asking customers who need to reset their password to continue to use our online iForgot system (iforgot.apple.com).
“This system can reset a password in one of two ways – either have a password reset sent to an alternate email address already on record or challenge the customer to answer security questions they had previously set up. When we resume over-the-phone password resets, customers will be required to provide even stronger identify verification to reset their password."