education & tech

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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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7 Educational Sites Your Kids Will Enjoy

Guest post written by Heather Jonhson(*)

Chances are, your children use the Internet to play online games and/or socialize with peers. While both of those activities have their time and place, you'd probably be relieved to find your child learning while they are having fun. There are many educational sites that are so entertaining they will almost trick your child into learning. Below are seven of the best:

1. Ask Dr. Universe – Does your child have a propensity for asking hard questions about the universe? Perhaps they should "Ask Dr. Universe," the world's most curious cat. This fun site allows children to write in with questions about anything and Dr. Universe answers with authority.
2. National Geographic Kids – All kids love to read about dinosaurs and the wild side of nature. This massive site is full of fun facts and educational games.
3. Discovery Kids – This is the children's online companion to the Discovery Channel. It is similar to National Geographic Kids in content, but is worth its own merit.
4. NASA Kids' Club – Space is the final frontier and is a topic that children find endlessly fascinating. From online flight simulators to amazing high-res pictures of space, this is a great place for your little science expert to visit.
5. How Stuff Works – While this site is targeted toward people of all ages, children should be interested in learning how everything we take for granted in this world really works.
6. Cool Science for Curious Kids – This site is produced by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Here, children will get up close and personal with nature under a microscope, not to mention other creepy crawly things.
7. The Atoms Family – Learn all about "mad" science with appearances by Universal Monsters. For example, "The Mummy's Tomb" covers topics about kinetic energy and energy conservation. This site was designed by the Miami Museum of Science.

Trust me when I say that your children are more interested in nature and science than their video game addiction might indicate. Once a child starts surfing around the above-mentioned sites, they won't look back. In fact, it may teach them a newfound respect for their daily school routine.

(*)Heather Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a monthly contributor for OEDb, a site to help students select among accredited online schools. Heather invites your comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address email address.

Owyang: Using Twitter as Social Computer

Jeremiah Owyang is a Web Strategist based in SF Bay Area and I've been subscribed to his feed a while now and of course reading everyday his updates. With today's posts he comes to conclude something everyone is doing but not in technical terms as he's put it, read and pay close attention:


Recently, I was at a swanky restaurant in SF, a CEO was picking up the tab so I could order whatever I wanted. I asked folks on Twitter “what should I order at Restaurant X” I received several responses, and immediately noticed a pattern and ordered the ribs with confidence, it was a success.

I frequently ask questions about what people think about in the news, I often receive popular opinion back from politics, tech issues, and other question. There’s a lot of gray answers here, but it’s a quick way to scan and obtain the variety of opinions about a particular topic. This method fuels the start of my initial research phase, I can get all the ideas on on a table, then hone in on the ideas that matter.

Lastly, referral content is shared, topics spread and people will offer up new suggestions, related content that isn’t necccearily going to be found in a web search.


Again, I have my account in Twitter but normally I am not using it and exploiting as many experienced ones are doing it. I guess, Jeremiah's post will oblige me to re-think my posture in about this so popular microblogging tool and now a 'social computer'


Ecuador Cartoons

Ecuadorn Cartoons

"We have to move because Colombians might get confused as we are terrorists"



Cartoon credit: La Hora [ES]

Trackbacks: Publico And Twingly Are Having Lots of Hits

Twingly.com automatically lets you view what blogs are talking about and every article that is published by them it's pinged back to newspapers; in this approach Publico (a Portuguese newspaper) compiles the trackbacks to all blogs linking to its website.

People in charge of edition of Publico are happy with the use of Twingly because they've seen their comments to come up. Portuguese and Spanish media are following the website in hope to get the reward. Check out for example what's going on with ciberjornalismo.com or ecuaderno.com

Buzz that Publico has generated it's because of the results. A quick and easy way to connect the blogosphere to traditional media and benefit mutually from traffic and the possibility of increasing interactivity and conversation to the traditional media on the Internet that give credit to weblogs.

Can be this implemented in globalvoices?

Homeschooling On Debate

Downes begins the thread quoting and getting his opinion on a post written by Joanne Jacobs and it has to be with a legal issue aroused in California, whether it is or enough to have a kid homeschooled. Downes has said it all depends on the parents' credentials to 'train' these kids in David Friedman's understanding but 'indoctrination' in the Jacobs conception. Many of his readers had get him in hot waters because it seems they misinterpret what he had said in this post and which is answered in the video we add at the bottom.

The problem is the conception we are having for education, instruction and maybe training. Are our kids getting trained or instructed, not matter what the law says. it all depends what we as educators understand as our main goal when we have kids in the classroom trying to pay attention to all what we have to say or in this particular case their parents. If what we conceive is training then parents can do that job, let them to the professionals but if it's instruction, parents are qualified to do that but of course, this is where we agree with Downes position, if those same kids are going to get involved in the 'official' system, then their parents will need to be credited to do that job. Period.





Twitter Morphology

I don't quite use Twitter for my daily activities but I can surely have my own opinion on this filed because everyday read and try to catch up with something new in the blogosphere, visiting precisely this microblogging tool. I might be into what Read/Write Web calls a 'listener'. Thanks to M. Weller I've landed to an interesting post about the different manners a person can be using Twitter (many I know, still think Pownce is better, though) and for your benefit and myself as well, I want to recommend the reading of his posts.

He's talking beyond the listener, talker and hub that Alex Iskold is talking about,this is just a way of thinking about how we use Twitter, not implying that people must conform to one of these types, Weller says.

The author of the original post finish his document saying that "perhaps this is really a classification of Twitter uses, rather than users." Check out for yourself:

- Twitter as an added bonus.
- Selective interaction with users.
- Small scale interaction.
- Wide peer network.
- Large scale users.

Want to add up some more? Let us know What it is missing in here.


Barack's Commitment: Gain the Pennsylvania Votes

Set aside 6"32' to watch the video. Maybe Governor Bill Richardson wasn't wrong at all endorsing Obama.




Bloggers Are Journalists!

No matter how important articles are written by all bloggers worldwide, A-list bloggers who read each other and rarely will land on this blog, still argue on this affairs even when a judge back in the 2006 in Canada [es], determined for the very first time, bloggers are journalists.

Today, jkOnTheRun points out three reasons why the author doesn't care being identified or not as a journalism and we abide by those three points that we add as an excerpt:

1. Always tell the truth. It doesn't matter how trivial the topic or how serious. The truth will set you free and keep you that way.
2. Opinions matter but only if they are clearly identified as such. Don't pass opinions off as fact and your readers will keep trusting what you say.
3. Never quote a statistic without revealing the source. Bloggers are starting to fall into the same pit that MSM journalists often fall into by quoting some arcane statistic that is meaningless. Let the reader decide if the source means it's a reliable statistic or not.


Are you dear fellow blogger concerned about what the media or the A-list bloggers have to say on this business?

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Science so poorly covered by cable television

Once in a while mass media echoes science, applications and derived tools from its core knowledge. Wired, brought in its attention to this topic and Brandom Kein asks, why science is so poorly covered by cable television and would say all mass media?

The extract he mentions cane from The State of the News Media 2008 and a sythesis is quoted from Wired:

The Project for Excellence in Journalism just released The State of the News Media 2008, its annual analysis of cable television news. The mediascape proved barren: On average, five hours of viewing would yield 71 minutes of politics, 26 minutes of crime, 12 minutes of disasters and 10 minutes of celebrities. Science, technology, health and the environment received just six minutes of coverage (with health and health care accounting for half of that.)

Are we educators taking science to level it should be? Or are we forgetting to favor technology?


After 'Kristen', What Americans Are Doing?

JulyNo more taboos in the web 2.0 era even when consequences could make fall down people that in other times where example for Americans but no more here in New York. Wired brigs a interesting report about Brian Alexander's book America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction .

Alexander observed and interviewed people countrywide and he holds skeptical about critics who suggest personal experience may be necessary to present a really balanced chronicle of contemporary sexuality, and he backs up his skepticism: "If I'm going to cover a war, I have to kill people? " The author creates a powerful and entertaining look at what is really going on in the American bedroom, sex club and adult store and even church, and demands we should think about how to move ahead to create a sexually healthier society. Hope you read in the net an article it said teens in a very high percentage were infected by chlamydia, herpes and other related stuff.

Internet had changed not only that way we perceive life and human activities but it also had an impact in our dorms, not matter your young, adult or not living in a social recognized group. As Regina Lynn writes, "Over and over again, Alexander's subjects told him that the internet had opened their eyes, dispelled their fears, given them new avenues for pleasure, and provided support as they figured out what they really wanted from sex."

How we as parents or teachers are supposed to teach this intricated pathways to our kids or students? If they're learn not from us anymore, not even from their friends, they just have to sing in to a forum or type in the question in Google and they have they very own way! Can we still control what they are to learn in about sexual education and sex?

I will gladly read your answers.





Ecuador Crisis After Santo Domingo Summit

On March 1st, Colombia invaded Ecuador, killed a guerrilla chief in the jungle, opened his laptop – and what did the Colombians find? A message to Hugo Chavez that he sent the FARC guerrillas $300 million – which they’re using to obtain uranium to make a dirty bomb!

That’s what G.B. tells us. And he got that from his buddy, the strange right-wing President of Colombia, Mr. Uribe.

After the fact, Colombia justified its attempt to provoke a border war as a to stop the threat of WMDs! Uh, where have we heard that before?

The US media snorted up this line about Chavez’ $300 million to 'terrorists' quicker than the young Bush inhaling Colombia’s powdered export. What the US media did not do is look at the evidence, the email in the magic laptop. (Presumably, the FARC leader’s last words were, 'Listen, my password is ….') Does anyone knows computers around here?

G. Palast read them. While you can read it all in Spanish, here is, in translation, the one and only mention of the alleged $300 million from Chavez is this:

… With relation to the 300, which from now on we will call “dossier,” efforts are now going forward at the instructions of the boss to the cojo [slang term for ‘cripple’], which I will explain in a separate note. Let’s call the boss Ángel, and the cripple Ernesto.


Got that? Where is Hugo? Where’s 300 million? And 300 what? Indeed, in context, the note is all about the hostage exchange with the FARC that Chavez was working on at the time (December 23, 2007) at the request of the Colombian government.

So, the entire remainder of the email is all about the mechanism of the hostage exchange. Here’s the next line: “To receive the three freed ones, Chavez proposes three options: Plan A. Do it to via of a ‘humanitarian caravan’; one that will involve Venezuela, France, the Vatican[?], Switzerland, European Union, democrats [civil society], Argentina, Red Cross, etc.”

As to the 300, you must note that the FARC’s previous prisoner exchange involved 300 prisoners. Is that what the 300 refers to? ¿Who knows? Unlike Uribe, Bush and the US media, you won’t guess or make up a phantasmagorical story about Chavez mailing checks to the jungle.

To bolster their case, the Colombians claimed, with no evidence whatsoever, that the mysterious 'Angel' is the code name for Chavez. But in the memo, Chavez goes by the code name … Chavez.

Well, so what? We don't have to argue to what happened in Dominican Republic or wait until March 14th when the OAS hand out its report. This is what.

Colombia’s invasion into Ecuador is a rank violation of international law, condemned by every single Latin member of the Organization of American States. And Mr. President just loved it. He called Uribe to back Colombia, against, “the continuing assault by narco-terrorists as well as the provocative maneuvers by the regime in Venezuela.”

Well, our President may have gotten the facts ass-backward, but W. knows what he’s doing: shoring up his last, faltering ally in South America, Uribe, a desperate man in deep political trouble.

Uribe claims he is going to bring charges against Chavez before the International Criminal Court. If Uribe goes there in person, I suggest he take a toothbrush: it was just discovered that right-wing death squads held murder-planning sessions at Uribe’s ranch. Uribe’s associates have been called before the nation’s Supreme Court and may face prison.

In other words, it’s a good time for a desperate Uribe to use that old politico’s wheeze, the threat of war, to drown out accusations of his own criminality.
Furthermore, Uribe’s attack literally killed negotiations with FARC by killing FARC’s negotiator, Raul Reyes. Reyes was in talks with both Ecuador and Chavez about another prisoner exchange. Uribe authorized the negotiations, however, he knew, should those talks have succeeded in obtaining the release of those kidnapped by the FARC, credit would have been heaped on Ecuador and Chavez, and discredit heaped on Uribe. Do you like that?

Luckily for a hemisphere on the verge of flames, the President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa, is one of the most level-headed, thoughtful men I’ve ever encountered.

Correa has flown from Quito to Brazilia to Caracas to keep the region from blowing sky high. While moving troops to his border – no chief of state can permit foreign tanks on their sovereign soil – Correa also refuses sanctuary to the FARC . Indeed, Ecuador has routed out 47 FARC bases, a better track record than Colombia’s own, corrupt military.

For his cool, peaceable handling of the crisis, Ecuadorians will forgive Correa for apologizing for his calling Bush, “a dimwitted President who has done great damage to his country and the world.” (Watch an excerpt of Palast's interview with Correa here.)

Front Runners Speak About Border Crisis



We can trust Correa to keep the peace South of the Border. But can we trust our Presidents-to-be?

The current man in the Oval Office, George Bush, simply can’t help himself: an outlaw invasion by a right-wing death-squad promoter is just fine with him.

But guess who couldn’t wait to parrot the Bush line? Hillary Clinton, still explaining that her vote to invade Iraq was not a vote to invade Iraq, issued a statement nearly identical to Bush’s, blessing the invasion of Ecuador as Colombia’s “right to defend itself.” And she added, “Hugo Chávez must stop these provoking actions.” Huh?

I assumed that Obama wouldn’t jump on this landmine – especially after he was blasted as a foreign policy amateur for suggesting he would invade across Pakistan’s border to hunt terrorists. Now comes a person who's doing well in the campaign, but as for me, it’s embarrassing that Barack repeated Hillary’s line nearly verbatim, announcing, “the Colombian government has every right to defend itself.” Didn't he attended Law School?

(G. Palast is sure Hillary’s position wasn’t influenced by the loan of a campaign jet to her by Frank Giustra. Giustra has given over a hundred million dollars to Bill Clinton projects. Last year, Bill introduced Giustra to Colombia’s Uribe. On the spot, Giustra cut a lucrative deal with Uribe for Colombian oil.)

Then, McCain weighed in with his own idiocies, announcing that, “Hugo Chavez is establish[ing] a dictatorship,” presumably because, Chavez counts all the votes in Venezuelan elections.

But now our story gets tricky and icky.

The wise media critic Jeff Cohen told Greg to watch for the media naming McCain as a foreign policy expert and labeling the Democrats as amateurs. Sure enough, the NYT, on the news pages Wednesday, called McCain, “a national security pro.”

McCain is the “pro” who said the war in Iraq would cost nearly nothing in lives or treasury dollars.

But, on the Colombian invasion of Ecuador, McCain said, “I hope that tensions will be relaxed, President Chavez will remove those troops from the borders - as well as the Ecuadorians - and relations continue to improve between the two.”

It’s not quite English, but it’s definitely not Bush. And weirdly, it’s definitely not Obama and Clinton cheerleading Colombia’s war on Ecuador.

Democrats, are you listening? The only thing worse than the media attacking Obama and Clinton as amateurs is the Democratic candidates’ frightening desire to prove them right. Nothing to be with the 3 a.m. Hillary is calling to.

Disclaimer: Newsletter received in my e-mail by Greg Palast and edited for publishing in this page.

USA: Supporting Ed Tech Funding and Other Public Educational Affairs

ETAN Pic by D. WarlickNow the politics are in its most hot waters we should pay attention to what McCain, Clinton and Obama are talking about Education. None. However, we shouldn't forget our compromise as citizen and educators. Please allow us to requote what D. Warlick quoted from ETAN's page, about his support on Ed Tech Funding:

Did you know that the Bush Administration is intent on eliminating education technology funding? I find it so surprising that elected officials would want to do such a thing when we’re at a critical place as a Nation in terms of how we match up with others in a global economy. I personally don’t want to see our country fall behind when it comes to technology and innovation in the classroom – America needs to stay competitive! That’s why I went to www.EdTechActionNetwork.org to send a letter to my Members of Congress. It was really easy – just one click and I made my voice heard! I encourage you to do the same and join me to spread the word!


The Washington Post selected some opinions from experts about what courses should be required for every U.S. college student. Everyone has a different idea of what students need to know to be competitive in the 21st century. But let's hear Jack D. Dale, public's school chief of Fairfax County:

I majored in math and minored in physics, but it was an astronomy course I took that has stayed with me. In that course, the theory of math and physics came together in an applied science where I learned about black holes, event horizons, expanding vs. contracting universes and parallel universes, to name a few. In short, I learned about the creative side of science and still today enjoy the creative side of my career. As many current futurists will tell us our future is in creativity, whether that be in business, science, education or the arts.


The Web 2.0 is os differenciated that educators see it from another point of view that techies but at the end we all expect the Web 2.0 to impact the future of education and want to be appreciative of Steve Hargadon for writing a lenghty post on this new concept.(Note: Internal link quoted is ours):

You may think that you don't have anything to teach the generation of students who seem so tech-savvy, but they really, really need you. For centuries we have had to teach students how to seek out information – now we have to teach them how to sort from an overabundance of information. We've spent the last ten years teaching students how to protect themselves from inappropriate content – now we have to teach them to create appropriate content. They may be "digital natives," but their knowledge is surface level, and they desperately need training in real thinking skills. More than any other generation, they live lives that are largely separated from the adults around them, talking and texting on cell phones, and connecting online. We may be afraid to enter that world, but enter it we must, for they often swim in uncharted waters without the benefit of adult guidance. To do so we may need to change our conceptions of teaching, and better now than later


In other aspect of the so diverse field, the Education. Can you please try to answer this question? Is it pedagogically legit to separate schools for boys and girls? Scott Elliot elucubrates his answer around this gender differences who quotes Leonard Sax an advocate for single sex education:

...There is a biological reason for the similarities of those drawings within gender and the differences across it. It’s all about the way they process information in their brains. Boys and girls, Sax argues, develop at different paces when they are very young. By the time they are teenagers, those difference virtually disappear. But in elementary school, he says, they are pronounced enough that educators should be accounting for them.


So, before you go dear reader please stop for a while and keep America competitive, write your congressmen and support ed tech funding now!

Latin America Crisis: Special Report

The North American politics are an issue most media are concentrated in, but Latin America right now has special interest because after the OAS intervention and waiting for full disclosure after March 14th, the governments of the region's countries still are a great deal to say and to solve.

This is the reason why one of our trusted portals just launched a special edition por coverage af all these matters: Border Crisis in South America 2008 by globalvoicesonline.org.

Follow up!


Educators: Speed Up Those Changes For A Open Curriculum

After a long period of not being reading important info and motivated by 7 Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers I've moved back to read the more than one thousand education posts I have to read in Education from our subscriptions. One of those highly qualified educators is George Siemens, who just had to give a speech at the iTForum and he even let his pdf document used for such presentation, free for us to read it online.

This paper explores the shifting role of educators in networked learning environments, with particular emphasis on "curatorial, atelier, concierge, and networked roles" of educators, to offer learners in forming wide personal learning networks for complete understanding of these fields.

In his document called, Learning and Knowing in Networks: Changing roles for Educators and Designers he explains what are those challenges educators confront today:

Social software (blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, instant messaging, Skype, Ning) provide opportunities for learners to create, dialogue about, and disseminate information. But what becomes of the teacher? How do the practices of the educator change in networked environments, where information is readily accessible? How do we design learning when learners may adopt multiple paths and approaches to content and curriculum? How can we achieve centralized learning aims in decentralized environments?

In other of his posts George Siemens concede the advantages of work in an Open Source environment and congratulates his page it's been translated into another languages such as the Chinese. How great is it to present your work under Creative Commons that under different circumstances will be a copycat. Edu2do.com is the portal translating the contents of Elearnspace and other well recognized advocators of a change in Education. They are, OLDaily, Infinite Thinking Machine and Weblogg-ed, of course.

American Students Seen By An European

The following is a translation from a blog post of Borja Ventura and we've decided to include it in our blog because this is a evaluation of the students time not elaborated by an insider but an Spaniard

Aside from the erroneous perception of Europe on the American policy, there are other major differences between this portion of the pond and the other (no, I won't speak about the use of weapons, or of patriotism or other things known). One is certainly education, so battered and discussed in our country. And to sample this button.

This is the time's distribution of the time American students:

They sleep 7 hours per day
Watch television an hour and a half a day.
They are on the Internet three and a half hours a day.
Listen to music two and a half hours a day.
They talk for two hours a day through cellphones.
Three hours a day in class.
Three other dedicated to the study.
Use two hours to eat.
They work on average two hours per day.

Altogether, 26 and a half hours because there are things they do at the same time other stuff. They are part of the findings of this video, created by Michael Wesch in cooperation with 200 students from Kansas State University. In principle it does not seem so different customs huh? Now, look what's happening in their classes and how they run.




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True or False: Now An Activist But He Couldn't Read

I want to resist to believing this story run in first place by 10news.com and then replied at a good place I've found today. Kool design and a very different way of presenting news and interacting with netizens. The story I am about to comment was written by Gimundo.

He's been appointed to the National Institute for Literacy by President George Bush, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and subsequently served on the Board of the Institute under President Bush and President Clinton. He's John Corcoran, creator of a Foundation under his own name, Jonh Corcoran Foundation.

What id can be explained by me, at least, is how such a prominent person can't read while in school and how he found his way around such as the history says. Put it in this way, we'll love to have students like Mr. Corcoran. The original post deserves to be quoted:

When I was a child I was just sort of just moved along. When I got to high school I wanted to participate in athletics. At that time in high school I went underground. I decided to behave myself and do what it took. I started cheating by turning in other peoples' paper, dated the valedictorian and ran around with college prep kids


He learned to read anyway when he was 48. And after his long run of cheating he's an education advocate and has two books written, "The Teacher Who Couldn't Read" and "Bridge to Literacy."

Is this story embarrassing in any way or is it a motivator for the 'M' generation?



 
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