education & tech

mLearning, teacher, scholar, 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 + Scholar

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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How To Cheat Schools Under Internet Filters

Tips and workarounds are placed in two post and whether you are a teacher or student, you better pay attention to these unblocking hacks if you allow me:

Getting around shool site blocks - Scobleizer.


Access blocked websites at school or work
- Amit Agarwal.

Free Web Proxy Unblocker -SiteUnblocked.info

Social filtering : The new great challenge

A few days a ago I've seen a post from Library Clips where he tries to explain the importance and usability of the social filtering. "When I research a social web topic, I don’t surf the web I consult the blogs on my Reading List, I search these blogs, and I get lots of useful insight and pointers to other blog posts…I check out the blogs on the blogroll and search these blogs, etc…I save so much time searching my social filter and social graph (dare I say it), and I get fresh, quality content." Library clips even is tagging other bloggers to do it so.

It might help to take advantage of Yahoo! openness and start using for example a combined feed throughout Pipes. Once you've selected your prefered sources you can have them in one shot and it will save a lot of time browsing around or jumping from one page to another.

Rubel shows you how to data mine with Google reader but do not sell yourself out. If you downloaded Google Toolbar, enabled PageRank or have Web History on, then Google is spying on you! You know, nothing comes free!

Is then a good time to filter the Internet (not as Google is doing it, thought) but in a smart way that will work only for yourself. Million and millions of sources everyday show up, content is duplicated, garbage still is collected and you have to deal with it, is time to start off with the science of blog reading.

Why the so popular Scoble isn't getting comments on his blog as before

These statements were placed by Scoble himself and I would like to reproduce without his permission:
1. I seriously am not doing as good a quality of blogging. My best creativity is spent doing video nowadays.

2. Twitter. Twitter is where we comment now. Lots of my friends have noticed that we don’t comment on blogs anymore we just go to Twitter.

3. Commodification. I’m reading 903 feeds every night. In the past week that’s more than 15,000 items!!! There’s so much more great content out now than in the past that it’s spreading the audience out and people have less time to chat on a specific blog.

4. I’m posting less. If you don’t post a lot you don’t build a community and people get distracted.

Today he's being posting about a new video service and includes two videos where he explains the reverse engeering of TechMeme, which thanks to one of his commentors, Allen Stern these videos can be sum up in six points(TM = TechMeme):
1. Gabe puts a weight on every blog - this is why TC and ENG will always be in the top 2 slots, it’s designed this way.

2. Those with a higher weight can get on TM without links.

3. Stories outside the native area for a blog may not hit TM with as much force as within the native area.

4. More weight on a blog pushes out the other smaller blog by default.

5. Some of the large blogs rarely link out to other blogs discussing the story because doing so might move them to related instead of the lead - by leaving out the other blogger links, it allows the larger blog to push the smaller blog out, even if they are later to the story, and therefore get the “TM Credit” - you didn’t mention this but I believe this is a HUGE part of the gaming.

6. You also fail to mention network sites and how they can game TM easily as TM considers them separate sites.

I am not reading TechMeme with such a frecuency but it really deserves our atention since they present the most hotter topics in technology.

Natural selection is also posible in weblogs

This is a translation from Ojo al Texto [ES] where Mario Morales a Colombian journalist and Javeriana University's professor, as guest journalist and academic was interviewed by Avanza.org. He is a professional who is far from rejecting the contribution of blogs. Please, pay close attention to what he has to say:

What is your opinion about the concept that the publication of blogs, being easily accessible to the public, is displacing the role of a professional journalist?

"I don't think so. Blogs arrived at the right time, to empower audiences who had never had the opportunity to express themselves because of the verticality of the media. The blogs, discussion forums and other tools of the Internet have raised at the hearings and, increasingly, have to live up to the producers of news and mass media in themselves. From that perspective, it's happening the very same process that worked with traditional journalism, to become credible it needed to built on quality standards. What is being done today with blogs is a process of natural selection. While a Google blog is born every 5 seconds, one dies every 2 and it's because there is a job. A blog requires a journalistic work and therefore this implies intellectual training and routine. For a blog to stabilize in the network, it requires the same standards of quality journalism, namely that has a stamp of quality represented in credibility, confidence, precision and accuracy. What is published in the blog, every day, is subject to such a review of the audience. If you build trust and credibility you are saved, but there is not a displacement, what we have is another way to reach those journalistic niche."


Paidos and Ethics

I've came across to the great David Warlick and I would like to reproduce two very interesting thoughts he's being working on lately in his blog. The first, is the necessity of ethics that needs to be part of the basic information/literacy skills taught to our children.
- Respect for intellectual property (copyright, etc.)
- Respect for intellectual integrity (respect truth)
- Respect for each other (cause no harm)
- Respect for the information infrastructure


And the second one, where he tries to elaborate the answer for this question. “How do we train teachers to work with today’s information and communications technologies?”
We suffer from the myths of old world education, that you go to school so that you will be prepared for the next 30 or 35 years. But the teacher we are at graduation from college, is not necessarily the teacher we need to be five years later. Those days are long behind us — and I think that the job has become a whole lot more exciting as a result.

Is this a new concept of dynamic pedagogy or is it a change in the roots all educational system had been built up?

How to validate online information?

It comes as a subject in Wesley Fryer' page. And it has to be with the approach Mr Obama just had to the popular Flickr. How do we know whether Obama is really behind that account? Yes, we know he's many people to help him out but as Fryer says, we can go to his page and verify effectively there is a link to his Flick account. So, no spoof at this point. However, in school how these kids and students can learn to validate this kind of info?
If one or more of your current or past students created a “spoof page” purportedly made by you on any social networking website, how would others be able to verify whether or not it was truly yours? Do you have a personal website where you link to other websites you maintain and have actually made? I know most teachers don’t, but should they? It’s an interesting question to consider.

Until then follow Wesley suggestion: check back with The Quality Information Checklist.

Getting to know the number of subscribers in Google Reader

Evidently I still have a way to go in the number of my subscribers. After a respectable 7th position for education & tech (see screenshot) in case some changes are in its way. Surely will be discrepancies among the reports of Technorati and Techmeme but, Google Reader now can tell you how many subscribers you have. Great!

For a long time, I was using Bloglines as my feed reader but in like two months now, I am checking my subscription in . Many bloggers had found interesting since it's just in had and they don't have to switched pages just to check it in Feedburner or so.

Scoble, as always showed me how to look it up. I should confess that at the very beginning I was messed up! Why? Because it said go to "Add Subscription" and I was typing in the name of our blog but hit the "Add" button (What do you call that?). Obviously I was getting nuts. I should be typing in the name of our blog and hit 'enter' in the computer. Thanks God I've figure it out!

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at tonnet@educationandtech.com . You can share ideas for stories on the Education& Tech.

Milton Ramirez

Vox & Livejournal: Where are they going?




More in Scoble's blog.

Firefox goes mobile and how to date offline!

This is note today hit all sites and blogs I guess. And being an active user of Firefox I can be less than happy. Why? Because as they justify the mobile platform for Firefox, all people now a day use Internet in their mobile devices, so far FireFox is the most popular open-source browser; and, many companies already run Firefox in their phones such as NokiaN800, Ubuntu Mobile, and the Intel Internet Project.

Hector Russo during his daily searching had found a very useful tool in terms of online collaboration built by former students of Berkeley University. The project is called Vyew and as owners say: "Vyew is a FREE online meeting service that brings people and content together. Use Vyew to host LIVE conferences or collaborate over time, asynchronously(a fancy word for 'at your own convenience')."

Now, what this dating thing has to do with technology? Nothing. It's just a way to close this post with something very human and just in case some of our readers still need some guidance or advice in this field. Are you tired of online dating?. Check out the 25 ways to find a date offline, single oriented, though.

A secret corner: My desktop

This is a meme spread thanks to Techzilo and we were supposed to tag five people, but "seeing how most of my friends are already in, I am making this an open tag (buzz me your post through comments, and I’ll link your post here."

My Desktop Meme


Hope a ping back goes to your post Sumesh.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at tonnet@educationandtech.com . You can share ideas for stories on the Education& Tech.

Milton Ramirez

PageRank might be changed from yesterday now

We don't see so far any changes in our PR4 but blogs and media are saying theirs had changed today because an updated in the way Google is valuating PR now. All those sites promoting paid links are being punished. Fairly or not, SEOmoz has a great thread we all should be following.

Until now, afternoon, there is nothing to conform in Google's blog.

iPhone Updated: All hacks are down now!

This is the message transmitted to his sometimes enthusiastic Apple this weekend. The update of software iPhone software has made unusable those iPhone that their buyers have had to badly modify against the instructions of the manufacturer.

The modification consisted of releasing the telephone of the technological padlock that maintains it enslaved to an only wire net as AT&T: the proprietors came to burst that padlock to be able to use his iPhone in other networks. And for that reason properly they have been punished: now their telephones do not work, and it is not clear that they are going to return to do it. Apple, since it had warned (it is certain) ahead of time, has transformed these desirable iPhone into beautiful and useless “junk”.

Aside from the uselessness of the exercise it demonstrates an increasing reality in the world of the technology, that is the change of model: the companies no longer sell their products to us like long ago, when buying them we became genuine proprietors that we could alter or use to our own taste. Our acquisitions come with limits that we cannot cross; with windows that we cannot open because of chances to lose the economic guarantee, other advantages, or the same functionality (as right now). iPhone, in spite of its price, never is(was) ours: we are only renters, and very controlled.

The excuse is the one of always: it is by our good. But the true reason is economic, and not to please the users: not in vain Apple takes months negotiating with whom it presents/displays iPhone in each market, extracting of telephone the substantial financial treatments in exchange for the exclusive feature of use of the so sexy little machine. If Apple is a bit "catholic" with this last action it has become one of those monasteries of iron discipline where obedience and silence are the only virtues that count. And if we want to pay for being proprietors of our machines? In the convent of Apple there is at least option no to gain the freedom with money. But every time there is more people than prefers to be free, not matter if they get reimbursements of $100. Is Steve paying attention to this?

Is people turning back to the old media?

I've reading many blogs now and I've been there to see them grow or die but what I've also noticed is big conglomerates are shaded what we once called blogs. No idea exactly when we started blogging but since then our interest has being share knowledge, have some time to write and read and ultimately feed our ego.

Lately much people is talking about the TechMeme phenomenon and even when as said in other post the new ranking system of Technorati, what still makes very respectable is that this is a place where you'll find blogs to read and look out. What's going with TechMeme as Scoble pointed out, only twelve blogs showed up in their Leaderboard. "Not only does the list include many old media mainstays such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, along with top trade publications such as Computerworld, but it is also heavily tilted toward new media "brands" formerly known as blogs such as GigaOm, TechCrunch and Engadget."

So, it seems new Technorati CEO has a point when he says "...They don’t track 100 million blogs and they’re not nearly as embedded in blog community." Do personal blogs still count for streaming media? No, not anymore. You have to be in the blog circle or be a digital newspaper, did I say digital newspaper? Is this a mutation from blogs to digital newspapers?

Or as the person who ignited this conversation has noted: "That's far too many questions to lob at a reader, I know, but Techmeme's Leaderboard has, indeed, sparked a lot of doubt in my mind about whether blogging is dead or merely transformed. And the Huffington Post's acquisition of a major media company's top manager of online news publishing only further underscores that blogging is now a big business."

We still love and respect the opinion of plain citizens who has managed to create a blog and spend hours reading and lurking online in order to have a say and something to entertain with.

Turn me on in Technorati, right now.

Dealing with Content Filtering in American Schools

A lengthy post and enough time to see and read it is necessary. Content Filtering in Schools: Striving to CONTROL user behaviour by Wesley Fryer.

Imagine you need to perform something and that only thing you get is those annoying screens warning you about 'blockqued pages'!

Digital Equity 2.0

A commenter in a post related to the digital divide was mocking about the concept and application for this paradigm in the Latin American reality. And delivering the understanding you are pretty much familiar with the digital natives, we want to share with you a compelling article from Education Week and written by Andrew Trotter where among other things is pointing out:

Critics of the “digital divide” concept say the problem has largely disappeared as low-income and minority families have acquired computers in greater numbers, and as state and federal money, from such sources as the E-rate program, has been used to redress technology imbalances between rich and poor school districts.

Yes, that might be truth for developed countries but what about those poor ones where not even Internet connection is known or available. The digital divide exists not only in America but in third world countries.

A report that ISTE released at the summit declares:
an exact definition remains elusive, the term ‘digital divide’ generally refers to the disconnect that occurs between those with access to technology and those without, while recognizing the myriad factors that can have an impact on that inequity


We all love the game can be built from our language and then some of the participants in the K12OnlineO7 preferred to talk about digital equity to mention and explain the digital divide discussion. "When considering the role of technology in development of the 21st-century learner, digital equity is more than a comparable delivery of goods and services, but fair distribution based on students’ needs."

Why are the same children losing out, as we keep redefining the digital divide? has asked Sylvia Rousseau. And she added:
In today’s schools,low-income children of color too often are using educational software that has them engage in skill-and-fact drills rather than in creative, “constructivist” experiences more often available to white and middle-class children...

However, in the US. school districts are spending their educational technology budgets on "drill and kill" tools because of the overwhelming pressure to meet federal requirements for test performance under the No Child Left Behind law, another attendant has said.

So, while in the US we have minorities black, Hispanics, Asian, Hindi's, etc the digital equity will be a problem for year to work on, not only because the 100 or 170 dollars computer wasn't built for Americans. Here people (those who think the digital divide is death history) can buy Toshibas, Macs, Ipods, PSP's and still can live 'without' such a inequity!

Feeds showing up in the search results are a bug

haven't time to write much these days but while browsing my Google Reader Subscription I've came across something you all bloggers might be interested, the problem of duplicate content when in search the results come from your feeds. Joost de Valk has being following the trend in Europe and gives some recommendations of how to avoid this problem with your blog articles:
...In my opinion they do lead to duplicate content problems too, so there’s really only one thing you can do, and that’s block ‘em. But I’d like to block those feeds without loosing the nice side effect of their links going into my posts

Now, the duplicate content can be also caused by spam and specially if you're not paying hosting as is the case with Blog spot blogs. In order to understand better the situation I would like to suggest check out the PhD Thesis from Pram Kolari who has plenty of information about this matter.

This post stroked me hard. The problem is that everyone agrees Technorati is on the chopping block but people that were on Technorati’s Top list are not precisely on the Techmeme Leaderboard and now word of mouth is saying that Techmeme threatens Technorati. What do you think? My own experience, I don't like the positioning of my blog from Technorati!

Maybe you didn't come for this library stuff. However, being and educated person as I am thinking you are you cannot walk away without reading what's going on with this new tip, the wikipedia's growing pain.

Finally, this is out of context definitively. This is a blog anyway. Shame on AT&T, I am a subscriber but not for Internet service. What the hell is wrong with these guys. Do they forgot they're making businesses in America? Free speech, duh!

Alianza Pais Wins, Ecuador We Don't Know Yet

Fragment of the article published primarily in Global Voices Online:

The blogger Don Xavier [ES] writes about the different threats and warnings given to voters if Correa was given increased power in the country's affairs. He makes a reference to childhood saying about witches, old men in coats and a cuckoo that would take small children away if they did not do what they were supposed to.
Ahora ya no dicen CUCO, se refieren a el como CHAVEZ, no me amenazan con la BRUJA en vez de eso me dicen que van a derogar la dolarización y que el VIEJITO DEL SACO no es nada mas ni nada menos que el SOCIALISMO DEL SIGLO XXI.

Now they no longer say CUCKOO, talking about him like CHAVEZ, they do not threaten me with the WITCH, and instead, say to me that they are going to change the dollar currency and that the VIEJITO OF the COAT is nothing more than the SOCIALISM OF the 21st CENTURY.


Libertad Ecuador [ES] is worried about the results and what might happen to the country now that Correa has increased control:
Solo cuando pierdan su trabajo o una posibilidad de negocio y se les haga imposible enrumbarse nuevamente debido a la recesión económica ya iniciada gracias a las políticas populistas del Rafico se darán cuanta del error cometido.

Only when they lose their jobs or any business possibility and for them it becomes impossible to find a path due to the economic recession already initiated thanks to the Rafico's populist policies, will they realize of the mistake that they committed.


El Federalista [ES] sums it up bluntly:
The winer: Correa, the losers: everyone

El ganador: Correa, los perdedores: todos


Cronica Cero [ES], mocks of two of the most senior parties in Ecuador for not acknowledging their defeat:
En la hora de la derrota, ni Jaime Nebot, ni Nicolás Lapentti acudieron a dar la cara. La historia seguramente los marcará como cobardes, faltos de entereza para reconocer que se equivocaron.

...In the hour of the defeat, neither Jaime Nebot, nor Nicholas Lapentti appeared. History surely will mark them as cowards, without integrity for not admitting that they were mistaken.


El Manaba [ES] author of a very popular blog in Ecuador concludes:
Una leccion para los partidos politicos, o se renuevan o mueren

A lesson for the political parties, either they change or they condemned to die.


 
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