education & tech

Teacher, Blogger, eLearning, Social Media

Education + Tech

Education & Tech, was created to build hope that education based on social technologies, can transform the new century, and enable abundance not only spiritually but economically. Milton Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is a teacher, tech blogger, writes on education, and hails this blog from Union, NJ. For further questions, tips or concerns please e-mail him to:miltonramirez [at] educationandtech [dot] com

Teacher + Blogger

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am a blogger and I'd written a post about education almost everyday since 2003. Education & Tech provides you with education news, expert tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

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Tips to Protecting Your Student’s Online Activities

By Jennifer Thayer*
Hectors World Launch - Australian Communications & Media
More and more school districts across the country are starting to provide students with tablets for use in the classroom and for homework assignments. Millions more kids use their own mobile devices to stay in touch with friends via social media. This should come as little surprise, as this new technology offers innumerable benefits over traditional text books and can be a tremendous tool for learning.

Of course, online time can also pose a potential risk if not properly monitored. It's important to note that the Internet, for all its advantages, makes it easier than ever for students and children to access adult material. What can be done to prevent this from occurring while also enabling children to reap the benefits that being online provides?

No single online security solution will solve all of your problems. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or grandparent looking to safeguard children, taking a multi-tiered approach to online security can go a long way towards ensuring that your student, son, or daughter isn't accessing materials that are inappropriate.

Here are some safety measures you may want to consider.

The Technological Solution

One of the easiest and most effective ways to restrict a student's access to inappropriate material is through the device's built-in parental control settings. Most mobile devices include some type of restriction access within the settings. By activating these settings, you can limit access to Web content, applications, camera usage, texting, online app stores and more. You can also deactivate the phone's GPS should you have concerns about other parties tracking the location of your student's device.

The best thing about a phone or tablet's built-in parental control settings is that they're fairly bulletproof. Once activated, they can only be deactivated with the passcode you create. Keep this passcode to yourself, and you alone will have control over the content that is accessed on the device. Though third-party anti-virus and security applications are available, they won't be as effective as the device's internal controls.

Monitoring the Old-fashioned Way

A number of applications are available (such as My Mobile Watchdog) that will allow you to monitor someone else's device from your own. Should you decide to go this route, we encourage you to share this information with your student, son, or daughter. If your student knows that the phone activity is being monitored, he or she is less likely to partake in inappropriate behavior. After all, what would be the upside? Perhaps more importantly, this conversation will enable you to maintain a clear and open relationship. Though no student wants to be spied on, either by a teacher or parent, it is only made worse if it's without their knowledge.

You don't have to resort to such tactics, however. If you're in the classroom, you can simply be active and engaged with the students' mobile device usage. Monitor which websites they're visiting, which applications they're using, and whether or not they're attempting to access things that they shouldn't be. Simply walking around the room may be enough to discourage such behavior. As a parent, it's no less important to monitor your son or daughter's mobile device usage. If you have concerns about what he or she is doing, lay down ground rules.

Making Expectations Clear

Children are curious (and sometimes a bit mischievous). You likely won't be able to completely control what they access using mobile technology on their tablet or smartphone. However, they can also listen. It never hurts to have a conversation with your student about what you expect of him or her in terms of online behavior.

(*)Jennifer Thayer is a long time contributor for Education & Tech.

Education & Tech

Tech Tools That Have Caught Our Attention in 2015

Today's teachers grew up in a world that was still primarily analog. We hand wrote our class notes and assignments, typing them up only when our teachers demanded it (or we wanted to show off). It's understandable then that even the tech savviest and most affectionate among us would still gravitate toward analog tools by default.

Today's kids, however, are not analog kids. Today's students have never lived in a world without email or laptops. Heck, today's K-6 students have never lived in a world without YouTube.

It makes sense, then, that it would be the teachers who need to adapt their styles and tools to the needs and norms of their students. This isn't always easy. We get that. That's why we've put together a list of some awesome tech tools for teachers that have caught our eyes and we think will help you more effectively teach and interact with your students.

Digital Planners

Remember that notebook your school would hand out every fall, with the calendar and the room for class schedules and the pages of blank boxes in which you were supposed to write your homework assignments? Those are still around, but now many of them have digital counterparts. For example, Meridian is launching a new digital version of its planner called Meridian PRIME, which allows students to personalize their schedules while simultaneously making classroom management (like grading, giving/receiving homework assignments, etc) easier for you.

Curation Tools

In your day, you had to make giant collages and tactile representations of content you'd curated around a single theme. That's harder to do in a world that increasingly values being as paperless as possible. Even so, a simple curation tool like Paper.li can be used to create the same digitally-based effect as those collages and boards you used to have to make as a kid. With online curation tools, your kids can create their own newspapers (like what Paper.li offers), etc. Pinterest is another useful tool here, but privacy issues will likely come into play.

Online Collaboration Tools

The group project is a tried and true tradition in the classroom. In the digital age, however, you don't want your students to have to waste time sending files back and forth while they are working together. Google has a suite of tools that are helpful with this like Docs and Hangouts. If you're looking for something more structured (and that will allow you to peek in on and help guide your students' progress), tools like ProofHub and MindMeister are great.

Presentation Tools

Power Point is dead! Long live Power Point! Yes, the widespread use of Power Point has made tools like overhead projectors almost obsolete. Even so, Power Point can only do so much. It's kind of boring. To make your classroom presentations more dynamic, use tools like Emaze or Prezi. These tools help you create presentations that grab attention. Prezi even allows you to move around, zoom, etc., within your presentation which is helpful when you're trying to keep your students' eyes from glazing over.

Social Media

Setting up a classroom-specific social media platform is a godsend for teachers. Students can communicate with each other, ask questions, get help, etc. You can monitor these conversations and participate as needed -answering those questions, adjusting lesson plans when you see that everybody is stuck on something. Edmodo is a great tool for this. It sets up a simple, Facebook-like environment for your classroom, allowing students and you to connect with each other easily and quickly. Schoolology is another great tool, and has the added benefit of giving you a safe space in which to connect with other teachers.

Games

There is still a debate over whether educational games are truly educational or if they are just a market for money grabbers. Like with most other genres w've talked about here, there are going to be games that help your students and games that are little more than distraction. Still, having access to games that help encourage and enhance learning is a great way to connect with your students. FunBrain, MangaHigh, Socrative are all great tools for helping your students learn and allowing you to assess their progress in certain subjects.

More and more the classroom is going digital. Students can even go to school entirely online now, via virtual K-12 schools. Instead of fighting against it, why not embrace all of the digital tools that will help you do your job and make the learning experience richer for your students? And don’t forget, there are also plenty of tools out there that are just for teachers to use as well! Don’t forget about the benefits you'll get from having better connections with your colleagues.

This is a featured post by site supporter Katherine

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

Here some of the most useful and relevant tweets produced during the ISTE 2015.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Avoid Scam While Studying Online

By Jessica Barden*

In today's tech driven world, students are consuming online resources to enhance their knowledge and academic performance. A new study showed that more than 80% students engage over the World Wide Web to accomplish their academic activities on time. But there are some scammers active over the internet that tries their best to steal the information of other users through powerful hacking devices and techniques. Therefore in this article we would discuss some effective steps that we could take to conquer online hackers and scammers.

Continual Education by Samuel Yu on Flickr
Here are five sure fire ways to avoid online scam while utilizing online resources for studies.

Protect Your Online Accounts. The very first thing that you will need to make sure to avoid online scam is to create a unique password to secure your credentials. Ensure to create a powerful password with a mixture of capital and small alphabet along with numerical values to confuse the hacker. Keep in mind to create a complex password that can provide a tough time to any hacker who is trying to steal your account. In addition try your best to change your email, social media, as well as bank accounts password regularly to protect yourself from hackers.

Never Enroll In Baseless Online Institution. Due to the rapid advancement in technology especially in the last decade it's become easy for students to enroll in their favorite course via online institution. But the bad news is that many fraudulent providers over the internet are cheating student with fake degrees and diplomas. Therefore, if you’re also planning to enroll in an online institution then you must visit their office before registering in any program. Otherwise you will not only waste ample amount of your money but also negatively impact your career with unrecognized qualification.

Ignore Unknown Emails. A lot of scammers are cheating teenagers by sending them emails that contains mind-blowing deals and prices. Don't open or reply to any email that is sent from any unknown source as it will automatically forward your account details to the scammer that is operating from backhand. Scam emails contain links that redirect user to other websites to steal their valuable information such as your id and password to commit crimes on your personal identification.

Don't Share Your Personal Information. The growing popularity of social media is enabling hackers to steal information of any user. You will be surprised to know that more than 50% accounts are hacked through social media platforms. The main reason why hackers are active over social media is the information users share publically on their profiles. Thus use strict privacy policy setting to secure your precious information from fraudulent peoples.

Speak Up. If you find any scam or in case you had become a victim of any of these, make sure to report it. This is because when people ignore fraudulent activities and don’t report it, they strengthen the scammers and hackers. So, ensure to stand up against fraudulent people and report scam to concerned authorities to make internet a safe place for learning.

(*) Jessica Barden is a lead content creator who is working with a team of in-house writer to facilitate students with essay help. Nowadays, she is writing academic advice blogs to help out students who need academic guidance.

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Testing as an Enemy of Learning

Kaitlin Shiner, Port Orchard's Star Student
Classes are about to begin for freshman and I want to share some thoughts, as always arbitrary, on topics that I have observed in my experience in education, which could be useful for those who have kids going to college.

Before delving into this matter, I want you to understand my perception about learning. I don't see learning as going about satisfying curiosity or memorizing names, dates and formulas, but as the ability to do something that previously could not be done. That is, knowledge is know-how.

In this context, learning is the capability to incorporate a chance. When I can perform something new, it opens a series of alternatives that I did not have before, for example, if a kid learns how to swim, now he can go to the beach, party in houses with a pool, go swimming, and so on. Learning is about change; and if one changes, the world and its possibilities also change.

From this perspective, I think there are barriers to learning, and the most important is the test. Although its function is to show evidence of an educational progress, the test by itself has gained significance, powerful, and disturbing social relevance.

For example, when a kid comes back home from school after taking a test, parents ask: what grade did you get?, if he says "100" it's all happiness and reward. The message we send is that his acceptance, in this context, is determined by the grade obtained. But tests are designed to measure learning out of the context for which that learning needs to be used.

What happens if we change the question? Instead of asking, what grade did you get? We ask, what did you learn today? Then we enjoy a moment of happiness from what was learned that day, then the kid will understand that his acceptance comes through what he learned rather than the grade marked on his paper.

As teacher Michael Soskil states, "people always say, 'We need tests because life is full of tests.' That's nonsense. Life isn't full of tests. It's full of assessments."

That small change in our perception of learning modifies the position from where the student is looking up at learning. If recognition comes a grade, he will do everything necessary to obtain it, but grades as an end goal are short-term, fragmented, and subject to comparison and competitiveness; on the contrary, if the focus is on knowledge, this leads to value learning as a continuous and long-term process.

A grade may be valid as long as priority is given to the student's image of himself as an outcome generator and not the grade by itself. The individual's results are achieved based on his potential, and not in comparison with the rest of his classmates.

Education demands urgent reflections, we must educate for a society of uncertainty where production and knowledge management begins to be out of formal logic, we must educate to face the complexity of a democratic society and its diversity, educating for innovation in contexts of high social complexity.

So I think we need to change the discussion of learning from the quantitative to the qualitative scenario.

As teachers we have a challenge and a big responsibility, today more than ever we must be teaching to think, to ask new questions and mainly to teach our kids that they are not simply a grade on a paper.

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Milton Ramirez
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