News Feature | November 6, 2013

Education IT News For VARs — November 6, 2013

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Publishers Pressured To Adopt Interoperability Standards For Digital Educational Content

In this week’s news, The Department of State holds an education technology conference, Clemson unveils “the classroom of the future,” and the University of Pennsylvania opens an education technology incubator.

U.S. Department Of State Hosts EdTech Conference

The U.S. Department of State hosted Tech@State:EdTech on November 1, 2013. The event explored how new education technologies including massive open online courses, mobile education, and games for learning and how they can aid in diplomacy and development. Video excerpts from the conference are available at

Clemson Opens Classroom Of The Future

Clemson University has unveiled the “classroom of the future.”  An article in The State reports the classroom features a 40 gigabyte-per-second connection to the Palmetto Cluster supercomputer network and a bank of synchronized HD video screens.  The classroom gives professors, students, and researchers a place to meet and host as many as four remote connections via videoconferencing.

U Penn Launches Ed Tech Incubator

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education has opened an education technology incubator. Five start-ups will receive capital for their first year at the incubator.

  • Apidapter is developing a Web-based integration service.
  • ApprenNet is an online instruction and feedback service.
  • Autism Expressed is an interactive curriculum for students with autism.
  • Raise Labs is a forum to help students achieve education goals and better position themselves for college acceptance.
  • scrible is a research tool for Internet research.

Technology Okayed During Georgia HS Football Games

The article “Technology pushes its way into high school football” in The Gwinnett Daily Post titled tells how North Gwinnett, GA’s football team is using iPads. The Georgia High School Association passed a rule this summer allowing the use of communication devices during games.  Smartphones, tablets, televisions, and printers are now available to help players and coaches make adjustments during the game.

Education IT Talking Points

Critics see some risk in using long-term bonds to fund technology projects, according to an Education Week article. Although bond issues are a standard practice for funding capital projects such as those for buildings and infrastructure, computers have a much shorter lifespan, and taxpayers could be paying off the debt long after the hardware is no longer in use.

In a blog article for Huffington Post, Marcus T. Wright, researcher of the Learning & New Technologies, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, says we have SMART boards, iPads, laptops, cell phones, learning management systems, cloud storage systems, and note-taking apps — but the next step is to prove the technology is beneficial.