Member Bulletin - February 6, 2008
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Register Now for the CoSN Conference

Register Online today to join us for CoSN's 13th Annual K-12 School Networking Conference, "Visionary Leadership: Scaffolding 21st Century Learning with Technology." 
Check out the closing plenary: “New Skills for the Whole New Mind,” with best-selling author of A Whole New Mind and expert on innovation and competitiveness Daniel Pink. He'll share his thoughts on the future of education and the workforce, and will share how his vision for 21st century learning parallels or differs from the Framework for 21st Century Skills developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
CoSN has a great schedule of pre-conference wokshops planned for Sunday, March 9 that you won't want to miss!
Sunday, March 9
Measuring the Value of Investment in Technology
Planning for the Inevitable: IT Disaster Preparedness
Boot Camp for School District Technology Leader/CTOs
1:00 PM-4:00 PM  
Technology Leadership, Planning and Implementation: Specific Strategies for Small School Districts

Each of these requires a separate registration fee. Here is link to program schedule with more details and info on speakers.

Does Gaming Have a Role in Education?

The role of gaming in education will explore the intersection of digital media and learning from the visionaries, educators, and thought leaders chosen from across the globe. Digital media have advanced significantly in recent years, enabling new forms of knowledge production, social networking, communication, and play. Through the use of such media, young people are engaged in an unprecedented exploration of language, games, social interaction, and self-directed education that can be used to support learning.
This webcast will explore the consequences of this exposure to -- and use of -- digital media for their sense of self, how they express their independence and creativity, apply scientific inquiry skills, and their ability to learn, exercise judgment, and think systematically.
Register now and also register for access to recent Webcasts via archives.

Ultraportables - CoSN's Latest EdTechNext Report Now Available

CoSN has released the latest edition of EdTechNext:

Ultraportables: Evolutionary Devices or a Revolutionary New Breed?Now on myCosn.

To access EdTechNext log on  to myCoSN. Default user name is your e-mail and password is last name. 

This is part of CoSN's new series of reports for educators on emerging technology trends in K-12. Previous EdTechNext reports include: Instant Messaging: Conversation, Collaboration and Education? and Internet2: Dedicated to Education. Both of these are also available on myCoSN. Thanks to those members of the CoSN Emerging Technologies Committee for their work on these valuable resources.

Chat: School Leaders Technological Knowledge Gap

Check out Education Week Digital Direction’s archived chat with CoSN CEO Keith Krueger and Dr. Scott McLeod on the technology knowledge gap among school leaders and what needs to be done to help them boost their knowledge and skills.
In the recently released Winter 2008 issue of Education Week's Digital Directions, Scott McLeod, founding director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education, says that "The people who are in charge of facilitating the schools' transition to the digital global economy-- superintendents and principals -- are typically the least knowledgeable about the digital global economy."
  • Why does this knowledge gap exist?
  • What impact do you think it has had on the use of technology in schools?
  • And what is the best way for superintendents, principals, and other school leaders to learn how technology can be used to improve schools?
About the Guest(s)

Social Networking Site in Violation of COPPA

The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement against the operators of, a social networking website aimed at kids and "tweens." The FTC's complaint alleged that the site's operators, Industrious Kid, Inc. and Jeanette Symons, collected and maintained personal information from children under the age of 13 without first notifying parents and obtaining their consent, in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Commission's COPPA Rule.

2008 Horizon Report Released

The Horizon Report helps higher education CIO’s put emerging technologies in perspective—what might be useful, what might be further in the future—and links it to learning. The report also raises important issues about the implications of technology—and perhaps some of our assumptions about learning.
In defining the six selected areas for 2008—grassroots video, collaboration webs, mobile broadband, data mashups, collective intelligence, and social operating systems—the project draws on a discussion among knowledgeable individuals in business, industry, and education, as well as published resources, current research and practice, and the expertise of the NMC and ELI communities. The Horizon Project’s Advisory Board probes current trends and challenges in higher education, explores possible topics for the report, and ultimately selects the technologies to be profiled.
To create the 2008 Horizon Report, the 36 members of the 2008 Advisory Board engaged in a comprehensive review and analysis of research, articles, papers, and interviews; discussed existing applications and brainstormed new ones; and ultimately ranked the items on the list of more than 80 technologies that emerged for their potential relevance to teaching, learning, and creative expression. The 2008 Advisory Board included representatives from seven countries—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Japan, and China. Most of their work took place online over the fall of 2007. The board used a variety of collaboration tools, including a special wiki site dedicated to the project.
The 32-page 2008 Horizon Report is free and has been released with a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.

Broadband Visions

Several new proposals, visions and reports are available on broadband in the U.S. Read views from the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDUCAUSE, and Center for American Progress.
U.S. Department of Commerce –The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within the Commerce Department that acts as the president's principal adviser on telecommunications and information policy issues, has released a report, Networked Nation: Broadband in America (summary here). The report offers an upbeat assessment of the Administration's efforts to spur growth and competition in the high-speed Internet market. The report concludes that "a reasonable assessment of the available data indicates" that the objective of affordable access to broadband for all by 2007 has been realized "to a very great degree." The report relies on data from the Federal Communications Commission and other sources. The FCC reported that at least one person in more than 99 percent of all U.S. ZIP codes received broadband service from at least one provider by the end of 2006. The report paints a picture of a broadband environment that is becoming increasingly competitive, for which it credits the president's policies. President Bush has promoted polices that created "an environment in which broadband innovation and competition can flourish," the report states. Among them: a freeze on state and local taxes on Internet access; a policy of clearing airwaves for use by commercial providers of wireless broadband service; and continuing efforts to "clear away regulatory obstacles" that might thwart investment in new technologies. (Summary from Benton Foundation)
However, critics say that the report's conclusion is too rosy.
Press coverage here.
U.S. Commerce press release here.
EDUCAUSE, the association of higher education CIOS, has called for the creation of a brand new federal Universal Broadband Fund of $8 billion for 4 years along with a matching amount from each state and the public/private sector to build big broadband (>100 Mbps) to the home by 2012. Net neutrality and municipal networks are also part of the plan.
Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank, released a report critical of Bush Administration’s failure to have policies that support broadband.

Software & Information Key Driver of Ec Growth

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the trade association for the software and digital information industry, has released a report that measures the substantial economic impact of the software and information (S&I) industries on the U.S. and global economies.
The report, entitled "Software & Information: Driving the Global Knowledge Economy," finds that these industries are among the fastest growing and most important. The Report’s key findings reveal that software and information industries:
  • Experience Faster Growth than Overall U.S. Economy. Recent growth of 10.8 percent compared to 3.2 percent GDP growth helps to sustain the expansion of the overall American economy.
  • Generate Millions of Jobs for Americans. The U.S. software and information (S & I ) industries employ more than 2.7 million Americans, with 17 percent net employment growth between 1997 and 2006.
  • Create High-Wage Jobs. Employees working in the nation’s S&I industries are well-compensated, earning among the highest wages in the country. The annual average wage paid in the S&I industries was $75,400 in 2006, 78 percent higher than the average $42,400 for all private-sector workers.
  • Compete Successfully Around the World. American S & I firms are global leaders, selling products and services in markets around the world with strong sales and revenue growth. S&I direct sales through U.S. affiliates are over $60.4 billion, 13 percent of the total $483 billion for all U.S. companies. Additionally, the S&I contributed another $19 billion in cross-border exports.Propel Global ICT spending. Global ICT spending, a broad basket that includes a measurement of expenditures for software and computer services is greater than $3 trillion and is projected to grow to approximately $4 trillion in 2008.
The report also makes the link to importance of technology in education/training sector.

Gov’t CIO’s Urges Action on IT Security

According to the video, technology supports virtually all government functions today. It allows states to serve their citizens in their daily lives as well as in times of crisis. However, government networks, systems and data are under constant attack from sophisticated and ever-evolving threats. This video presents a compelling story about the magnitude of the threats that all states face everyday. It is intended to help state CIOs raise awareness of the need for continuous and sufficient levels of resources dedicated to IT security in order to combat the current and emerging threats.
To view the video in streaming format or to request your free DVD copy of At Risk! Securing Government in a Digital World, click here.

Web 2.0 Threats Loom Large For IT

Just this week, security firm Websense released a report that showed for the first time in history that Web sites compromised by "attackers" (phishers, etc.) now exceed those created specifically by attackers. In other words, more previously legitimate sites have been turned to malicious purposes than sites created for malicious purposes in the first place.
And the tool of choice in this new development? The Web 2.0 technologies used on those legitimate sites, which offer vulnerabilities attackers can take advantage of.
According to the Websense Security Labs report, which looked at security trends in the latter half of 2007, Web 2.0- and event-based attacks are on the rise, including spoofing search engine results to "drive traffic to infected sites."

Open Source Gaining Traction

Interested in open technologies in K-12? Be sure to check out CoSN’s K-12 Open Technologies refreshed website. The redesigned Web site features tools to help school technology officers stay informed and collaborate on the significant trends in Open Source Software, Open Standards, and Open Content arenas. 
CoSN recently released a new Open Technologies Implementation report, Moodle: An Open Learning Content Management System for Schools.

Tests of Tech Literacy Not Widespread

The Education Week story documents the limited number of assessments available and the lack of momentum in creating additional ones. When the NCLB law was enacted, "we were hoping that we’d see a wave of high-quality, 21st-century assessment tools," said Donald G. Knezek, the chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education, a Washington-based professional organization that advocates greater use of technology in schools.
Instead, he said—in part because the U.S. Department of Education didn’t collect information about states’ assessment of technological literacy, and because states were too busy testing reading and math proficiency for accountability purposes—"there wasn’t enough momentum to guarantee a market to invest in those quality products." 

Vision of John Seeley Brown

In a digitally connected, rapidly evolving world, we must transcend the traditional Cartesian models of learning that prescribe "pouring knowledge into somebody’s head," says John Seely Brown in a new online lecture from MIT. We learn through our interactions with others and the world, he says, and there’s no more perfect medium for enabling this than an increasingly open and organized World Wide Web. 

Superintendents & Technology

When Chip Kimball took over as the chief technology officer in Washington State's Lake Washington school district more than a decade ago, he quickly realized that his boss, the superintendent, knew little about technology. Now that Kimball himself is the superintendent of the 23,500-student Lake Washington School District No. 414, in Redmond, Wash., the home of the Microsoft Corp., he sees firsthand how important it is for district leaders to understand technology. Article appeared in Education Week's Digital Directions.
(Editors Note: At the CoSN annual conference you can see a sneak preview of a new CoSN leadership initiative that is being developed around Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent.)

Getting Started with Data Warehousing

These days, "data-driven decision making" is on every school district's buzzword bingo game board. Accountability pressures and lean budgets make translating data into information is a major focus of school systems trying to improve district outcomes in all areas. As such, data warehousing has become an essential district tool. Historically available only to large corporations due to price and complexity, data warehousing is now an affordable and manageable option for gathering, manipulating and incorporating district data. While the inclusion of a data warehouse can be a boon for districts, the process of its development and support needs careful planning and management.
Part I Covers:
  • Data Warehousing Defined
  • How to Start

New CEO for Project Inkwell

Mark Anderson has been named as CEO of SNS Project Inkwell. Project Inkwell is consortium of vendors whose goal is to accelerate the worldwide deployment of student-appropriate technologies and teacher training for K-12 in a one-to-one computing and learning environment. Anderson has served as Chair since founding Project Inkwell in 2004.
The Project Inkwell consortium includes IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, IDEO, Gateway, Clearwire, Promethean, QED, Steljes, Inspiration Software, and others. Inkwell was organized to (re)design appropriate K12 technology.

As an initiative designed to encourage "super learners" and less-advantaged students alike, Project Inkwell’s mission is to provide students and teachers with access to the world’s digitized knowledge, and to take the risk out of implementing this change as states and countries move forward along this inevitable path. This includes raising test scores, but also improving important but less tangible metrics: keeping kids in school, reducing absenteeism, reducing teacher churn, removing inequities in education, and promoting more active engagement among students and teachers.

Computer Literacy NOT Information Literacy

A new report from the Joint Information Systems Committee, a British higher-education research institute, says the "Google Generation" (those born after 1993, who can't remember a time when the Internet wasn't widely available) may be computer literate. But that doesn't make them information literate. Some of the key problems the study found include:
  • Young people don't develop good search strategies to find quality information.
  • They might find information on the Internet quickly, but they don't know how to evaluate the quality of what they find.
  • They don't understand what the Internet really is: a vast network with many different content providers.
The report details the implications of these problems for library professionals. It says library resources should be more unified with Internet tools like Google, and adapt to the changing ways younger generations gather information. In the context of a recent report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that says more 18- to 30-year-olds use libraries than other age groups (mostly to use computer resources), it seems there will be an even greater need in the future for librarians to teach information-gathering skills.

Tech & Sci Ignorance Keeps Teens From Changing World

This year's Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, a survey that indicates Americans' attitudes toward invention and innovation, shows most high-school students (64 percent) believe they are capable of inventing scientific and technological solutions to global issues. At the same time, 59 percent of the teenage respondents (13 to 18 years old) don't think they are being adequately prepared in high school for science and technology careers.

Recut, Reframe, Recycle…and It’s All Legal?

The study, Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, shows that many uses of copyrighted material in today’s online videos are eligible for fair use consideration. The study points to a wide variety of practices — satire, parody, negative and positive commentary, discussion-triggers, illustration, diaries, archiving and of course, pastiche or collage (remixes and mashups)—all of which could be legal in some circumstances.

Congrats to Speak Up 2007

They collected authentic feedback this year from over 367,000 K-12 students, teachers, parents and school leaders representing all 50 states and DC – a growth in participation of 37% over 2006!
Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow will be presenting the 2007 results at the CoSN annual conference in March. Register now.

Apply Now for Intel Schools of Distinction Awards

Does your school demonstrate excellence in math and science?  The yearly Intel Schools of Distinction Awards recognize U.S. schools that implement innovative, replicable programs that inspire their students and lead to positive educational outcomes in the areas of math and science.

Winners receive $10,000 each from the Intel Foundation and more than $100,000 in products and services from the program award sponsors.

The Star Innovator for 2008 receives an additional $15,000 cash grant from the Intel Foundation as well as additional services and products from the award sponsors.