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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Why Do Bloggers Still Keep Writing And We Do Too

Why we are taking a post, this far? What happened is, a few days now, we received a comment from Uncoverguy where he posted, "You're writing from 2003 and you didn't become tired?" and we felt like compelled to answer and scratch some ideas evolving the answer. After all, a blog is not only Web 2.0 anchor text words, it's more than that.

Blogging for the heck of it is not a quick results endeavor and like you are possibly feeling from time to time currently, you question whether the work you put in will ever bring the desired outcomes.

We remember publishing content to my blog, first in Spanish then in English, content We thought was pretty good (even when some readers told me my English was bad!), but no one left a comment and our traffic wasn’t exactly skyrocketing. After posting our masterpiece We’d head out to other blogs and diligently make our presence felt by trying to leave quality comments.

We came across blog articles covering similar topics to our own that, in our opinion, were not as good as our articles, yet these bloggers had a following of hundreds of readers and lots of comments made to many of their posts. We wondered whether we were doing something wrong or was there something this other bloggers were doing right that we weren’t.

TonNet can’t equivocally answer that question, but he suspects, especially now in hindsight, it was simply a case of patience and dedication to the process he was executing. He needed time to get to where he wanted to go and he needed to believe that his actions day-in and day-out would take him there.

Yaro Starak in his post How to Remain Productive When You Feel like Giving Up and from where this post was edited, says you have to enjoy every small success and focus on the commitment towards a goal. Of course, this is not something every person can replicate. Regardless of life situation, access to free time, resources or any external variable, simply put - most people don’t have the willpower to finish the race!

And he sentences: "If you truly want to realize an outcome and taste success, then you must complete the necessary steps to get there. Not some of them and not just during your best days. This needs to be congruent and forceful effort regardless of external circumstances or internal turmoil."

College: Hybrid Classes Better Suited for Academic Performance

A group of aerospace engineering and computer science students gathers once a week in Atkinson Hall of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) to learn designing technology for the developing world. But their lecturer Derek Lomas never quite shows up in the classroom, at least not in person. He prefers to take classes of the popular ‘Design for Development’ course from his desktop in Mumbai — through videoconferencing that is.

They are using what sciencedaily.com calls  instructional technology.  "University of Houston Department of Health and Human Performance researcher finds that students in a "hybrid class" that incorporated instructional technology with in-class lectures scored a letter-grade higher on average than their counterparts who took the same class in a more traditional format"  they wrote in its Science News column, today.

Practice of hybrid classes are growing so quickly and practicality for students and professors, at UH  and on campuses across the U.S., because of the advantages for students , in presentation of material as accessibility and flexibility. Brian McFarlin, was the researcher at UH and he can testify for example that an upper-level business law and ethics class in the UH Bauer College of Business reaches more than 1,000 students each academic year because of its flexible, hybrid offerings.

But what is the linking between those students at California Institute and the University of Houston?  No secrets. It's technology applied to the education. Same as Mumbai or Australia, students and teacher are able to learn or re-learn at the same time, even being so far away. In this case the use of the videoconferencing is vital and the good handling of PowerPoint files helps these students to obtain grades, on average a letter grade higher than those in the traditional format

Houston students attend class in classrooms, but students as far away as Australia also take and participate in classes. To date, there has been limited literature addressing the effectiveness of such classes.  McFarlin has comments on the advantages in timing of hybrid class: "That means two courses could be taught in a classroom that would normally be dedicated to one traditional lecture course [and] The key to success with instructional technology is to keep the focus on student-related outcomes and learning. This was my objective."

Findings were published in the journal "Advances in Physiology Education."

Edublogs 3.0

James Farmer, head of edublogs.org, is happy to announce the relaunching of his website. The following is the e-mail we received just today:

"It's been a long weekend over at the Edublogs Ranch, but a throughly satisfying one, as Edublogs is now running on the very latest and greatest version of WordPress!

We've got a customizable dashboard, brand new avatar options and a brilliant new uploader (that automatically makes perfect galleries for you!)... not to mention now over 100 themes to choose from.

You can find out a whole heap more here.

And if you've lost your password or username, it's now even easier to get a new one here. (you just need to pop in the email address you're receiving this email at)

We hope you like the new features as much as we do :)"

Horizon Project 2008

A networking space for not only teacher but students, as well. [Link] Get around, visit them and make some comments.

Writing a Short Blog Entry

Writing corner by Kendra on Flickr

After you've set up your blog it's important to know what your niche is, what I am  sure everyone who stars a blog is familiar with, but as myself, you can find some days hard to publish something of your own interest, after all, you don't want to be repeating everything else other small and large blogs are already saying, you want to write original content, thinking on your particular audience. After reading these 10 Top Design Tips that will take your blog to the next level, we thought it was a good chance to complement it with this our post. We are going to talk about content, we respect the work of SEO and SERP people but as many other times has been said, if you don't have quality content, who's going to read it and most importantly (for a blogger) who's going to link to it?  Afterwards, let google do its job.

When writing a book for example, it would be easier if you start cranking  out one well-developed chapter than it would be to write an entire book. Same applies for bloggers, you want to write interesting, appealing and quality content but at the same time you don't want to be too short or get on the nerves of your readers and get them tired or bored of reading such a long post. Writing short stories gives you a sense of completion.

One of the benefits of writing a short story is the amount of time it takes to complete. You might sketch out a rough draft after three sessions at your computer. Then you set the story aside for a few days before revising and editing. Next, you present the story to a friend or critique group to get other opinions. You again revise and edit, add those finishing touches, and—Voila! You have a completed story. This process takes weeks instead of years.  - wow-womenonwriting.com

This is certainly true, because our posts now a days,  need to be long enough and engage our readers in a pleasant reading. One of the authors of widget slab.com, our dear friend Avatar, once told us: "people is getting lazy, they don't want to read large posts"  and  as the annual report into web habits by usability guru Jakob Nielsen shows,  people are becoming much less patient when they go online. "Instead of dawdling on websites many users want simply to reach a site quickly, complete a task and leave." says the BBC.

So, we have to write post for our 'selfish users'.  And that's where prime advice comes handy form people that really knows about this matter.  The authors of dailywritingtips.com are among them. Go and read  their daily topics.

Back to our matters. We write about education and in this field  Miguel Guhlin who describes himself as a learner and educator, has published a post on how to write a List Article,  that I suggest you read in its entirety:

  1. When writing an article for publication, I start out with an engaging question, quote, or scenario.
  2. A list of follow-up questions off the main topic (these are the ones that get answered)
  3. A short summary conclusion or make the conclusion the final question.

Hope this post complies with what I am saying and for those living in the U.S. I wish a nice Memorial Day!

 
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