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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Discuss, Implications, New Tools And Methods for Work And Learning

You cannot talk about the impact of wikis, blogs, social bookmarking, tagging, even search unless you actually use them. That's precisely the problem staggering journalism right now, who is going to do the hard work of investigative journalism? How will internauts ensure that the information shared is credible? William Dutton popped similar questions in Journalism, the Internet, and Empirical Research. He says that many concerns exist not only in internet journalism but in the information consumption habits of people in any media. What about education? In education we are facing similar concerns!

We've missed the post of Harold Jarche in about his Web 2.0 for Learning Professionals. On September 23th he announced this online course which is in its second day because it started yesterday Monday 29th. "This is a six week (or is that six step?) program, covering the basics of Web 2.0 tools and methods, with room for the more experienced to join in and add their expertise to the mix."

Work Literacy is the place for this online event and over one hundred professionals are attending the course. You can still sign up and get the benefit of a FREE price tag.

Hope to see you at the Web 2.0 for Learning Professionals!

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Teachers Looking for Help in the Growing Diversity of Student Body

First-year educators feel themselves well prepared in aspects like direct instruction and classroom management, according to a survey report (pdf) from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and Public Agenda, but confirm they were ill-equipped to deal with the growing ethnic and racial diversity in the American schools, and special learning needs of children in their classrooms.

Most teachers say although, they were trained in teaching an ethnically diverse student body, fewer than 4 in 10 say that their training "helps them a lot in the classroom."

Rachel Gang has first reported about this findings at teachermagazine.org and she shows up charts from two particular questions:

*Was how to teach an ethnically diverse student body covered in your classroom?. 76 % answered YES.

*How much did this training help? 52% said "Just a little"

The report based on interviews of 641 first-year teachers, found that although 76 percent had received instruction in teaching ethnically diverse students, only 39 percent said that the training significantly helped them in the classroom. Findings were similar for teaching special-needs children. Nearly 82 percent of the new teachers were taught to work with children with special-needs, but only 47 percent said the training helped 'a lot.'


Respondents were given a list of proposals to improve teacher quality, they ranked two items significantly on top of the others: reducing class sizes and training in adapting instruction to meet the needs of a diverse classroom.

Second one can be easily solved. The first, it all depends of governments funds, hard to get it with the No Child Left Behind program.

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Education Today 09/28/2008

More 'Open Teaching' Courses, and What They Could Mean for Colleges

It will be interesting to see how traditional academic reacts to the idea of opening learning to, um, students. In the mean time, like Tony Karrer said, a growing movement.

Open Source Spanish Resource Using Curriki

This open source Spanish curriculum addresses the needs of a comparatively small group of children--those who began their study of Spanish in kindergarten or 1st grade and are now entering middle school.

Table of Contents for Opening Up Education -The MIT Press

These essays by leaders in open education describe successes, challenges, and opportunities they have found in a range of open education initiatives.

Teacher 2.0 : Is a Buzzword Only

Lauren O’Grady wrote a great post we want to comment on. Does this mean we now have a student 2.0? Is it the answer to Teacher 2.0? Well, think again, no so quickly. In the same way as other are talking about Connectivism, she says the point of education is not about upgrades it is about connections and learning. Since when we've updated from Teacher 1.0 to Teacher 2.0 or even yet to 2.1?

We've fell in the jargon of technology and we are thinking the process of education can be somewhat compared to their vocab. As Lauren thinks, we are coming to conclude that education is or will be better if we adopt the technological conception of Web 2.0, forgetting in the process, that education is not linear in any ways.

If your living in the US, your experiences are not quite close compared with those in other countries, specially poor countries where "good teachers have and always will use whatever tools are at their disposal and work with students to achieve amazing learning." This hasn’t changed with the advent of web 2.0 tools (which btw some inhabitants in poor countries don't use and don't even know b/c of the obstacles to a truly global conversation) and professing that we need to upgrade our teachers to 2.0 is making a mockery of why most of us became a teacher. I personally became a teacher, continues Lauren, to improve student lives and to work towards the collaboration and development of shared knowledge.

The post brought by All Teachers Are Learners deserves a re-reading and a good lecture. We really like these two parts with what we also agree:

I would like a teacher which is constantly improving and always working with and for students using whatever is the best tool for the situation. Buzzwords are allowing teachers to continue talk without taking action. Dean Groom tonight put it perfectly when he said he wants 'staff to actually SUPPORT kids and not talk about SUPPORTING kids'
[...]
It also doesn't matter which school you are at, whether they are rich or poor, private or state, if students are at the centre and are in positions where decision making occurs then things change.


Why is not acceptable to be using in education the concept of teacher-student 2.0?

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Education and Poverty: Blog Action Day 2008

Education and Poverty, Blog Action Day
Photo by spankmeeehard
Many days transcurred since I signed up for the plight of poverty. It's the annual Blog Action Day. They have two immediate goals: raise awareness and raise money. Why? Because poverty is faceless and It's so easy to overlook the misery of others when we are entwined with our own. It's as easy as telling a lie and apparently it seems nobody cares about those in needy situations.

This past week I just read for example that some kids in a country in Latinamerica(Ecuador) were receiving classes under a tree because their old building just fell down and government was incapable to rebuild it as for now. Some others, can go to school, in part because they weren't fed well or simply they can even afford to buy the school supplies. I personally remember, when I was attending High School that my parents couldn't afford to pay me the quotes in order for me to go in a field-trip. I had to to watch how my other classmates could go and bring back souvenirs and showed me pictures, while I was working to try to help my parents.

I was encouraged to write this post now, when I read Doug Cloud post. He quotes Proverbs 21:13 and writes "Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard." I don't know about you but I do believe in God ( my God) Doug shares a personal experience and he puts his talent to work in favor of poverty. "If you have a web site that is devoted to helping people in need and you would like a logo, redesign, or any graphical improvement he will lend his talent to the first three people to do so." Write to him here.

Being poor it's not a crime. It's a social level people has been suited to fight harder in order to live or survive. Money counts and is the value poor people cannot trade with, but their heart. Heart is the most valuable asset people in poverty can spare and youngster going to school should be taught of. If you cannot give out money until October 15th, then speak, write and use any channels to spread word of awareness of poverty.

The heading of this blog says that was created to build hope that education still can make you rich not only spiritually but economically. That's the hope of people living in the middle class or in poverty. Education is a social stair than can make you rich, rich in front of poverty, rich in front of emptiness. Study, go to school and do your best to be up in front and then return that richness to the poor.

There is another blog that really inspired me set aside our post on education and stop for a while and talk about the faceless poverty. Catherine of Pink Asparagus has created an article where each of your comments will earn a dollar (up to $100), which she will give to a local food bank. We stopped for a while and read her post that we enjoyed particularly this part, "When I was in elementary school my friends had free and reduced lunches. Their families looked like mine: single working parent; I was the only only-child I knew though. I asked my mom why I didn’t get my lunch for free like my friends. She put it simply, we were lucky. We were lucky that she had a good job. We were lucky that she could afford to pay for my lunch. Being a kid, I probably thought they were the lucky ones, they didn’t have to remember to bring three quarters to school every day."

Don't let those in poverty down. Make a legitimate plight of poverty.

Education Equality Project Vs. the Bolder, Broader Approach

As I write, I've learned that McCain suspended his campaign to fly Washington and contribute to the economical emergency, they battle on the bailout of the 700 billions. But Obama stays, he said from Florida he won't join McCain in his decision and next Friday debate continues on.

The power of organizing schools in America depends not only of teachers and official in charge of education. It's about politicians in Washington and how much attention the Education is given by the President itself. In this elections it's dramatically important you get to know what's Education Equality Project (EEP) and the Bolder, Broader Approach (BBA). The first one is backed up by republican party as its platform to pursue choice, accountability, and incentives. While the second, represents the interest of the Democratic party that pretends school improvement, plus more resources.

"It would be wonderful if our next president could figure out how to ensure that 'schools for the poor…look and feel like the schools the wealthiest send their kids to'? " writes Diane to Deborah Meier from Bridging Differences column at Education Week. Being the time to voice your educational concerns here is what Diane would like, the next president to do, first he would propose a school construction fund to modernize school facilities. Then he might propose class-size reduction to the level that is typical at schools like Phillips Andover or Exeter (12 students per class?). And then there is the list of social programs, like good health care and nutrition.

Both parties have different agendas on education and sexual education. The Democratic party this fall has made a slight change on its platform, they wil "stake out a few positions that unions have long opposed." (Greg Toppo, USA Today,2008-09-02) These issues include "paying teachers more if they raise test scores, teach in ‘underserved areas’ or take on new responsibilities such as mentoring new teachers." As a disclosure, we should say we're in support of unions, so we don’t think that unions oppose paying teachers for taking on new responsibilities, what we know is that they have usually fought the idea that teacher pay should rise or fall with student test scores.


We just approved a comment from someone who said he would replace 'a couple of teachers for machines or robots' To be fair with the visitor, we should agree with Diane. Politics are changing. But we would like to open the questions to a ulterior debate or comment:

"Is this the future? Is this the new face of the Democratic party? Will it be a future in which schools are run like businesses, in which unions are ousted from the workplace (as they have been in most of the private sector), and in which pay-for-performance is the rule for teachers, principals, and students?"

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Perspectives on Education: The 2050 Will Be Neural and Networked

This video last 35 minutes but it pays to watch it. Paul Nussbaum, Eric Grant, Marc Prensky and George Siemens met up to talk about the synapses, social networks and school: what developments in brain research and computer technology tell us about the classrooms of the future. They are hard on the language of learning.

Will this video answer all or in part, any of the questions, posted by Doug Belshaw.

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Education Today 09/23/2008

Educators Should Care About Open Source Software

Many people reading this post will be educators. Not only does ‘free’ usually sound good to schools, but the philosophy enshrined in OSS should appeal to. Students can contribute to these communities and projects, and real-world learning experiences can be had. Show them the alternative to capitalism.

eduweb

Roundup of the results of research to better understand learning theory, learner preferences and engagement, and educational outcomes.

Video: Learning Theory Lectures

Five of these video lectures have picture in picture and the other 3 rotate between me and the slides.

Cost of these educational videos = zero, nada, nothing.

Language of Learning: Is it Grown or Built?

First of all, let me start with a question. What kind of language should we use if central educational language is focused either, on "growing" learning or "building" it?

As you've already perceived, this discussion is about two currents: Connectivism vs. Constructivism. And I am bit off-base because that was an issue that psychologists fought about 20 years or so. You might also remember the Theory of the Gestalt that was that era when we, as educators were discussing all this stuff in how people(students in this case) are internalizing knowledge.

We are a week into the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Course. For those unfamiliar with what we've mentioned, this is a massively open online course led by Stephen Downes and George Siemens. No record disclosed but we also believe, around 1900 people have signed up for the course, so it really is huge and so hard to follow the conversations. I wonder how the organizers are doing to handle such a massive demand.

Stephen has stated that learning throughout Connectivism it's not other thing than "the process of making connections." But people who believe themselves working into the Constructivim, think "building implies structure and order"

We are not going to argue about any of these two conceptions about learning. Although, we've been working into both of them. How come? It all depends, of course, of the conceptions a teacher has on how the process of learning is happening. Let's assume the mapping on our brain still is incomplete, so I cannot conclude that learning is a connection of ideas or whatever for that matter, but at the same time it will be too early to say that internalization process of knowledge is built in a constructivist way as Christy Tucker implies.

Will Connectivism vs. Constructivism continue until we see the future of the Education in the 2050?

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Literacy: How to Teach Parts of Speech

I've been trying to read much as I can about how to teach elementary students to grab the fundamentals on writing. During this past week, I've attended also the first PTA meeting and the visitations to the classroom where my kid will be learning this year, but at the same time we (my wife and I) went to the meeting organised by the Board of Education to recognise perfect achievement of students in the last year State evaluation test (NJ ASK). Our son was one of the achievers with a perfect score in math and there were about 60 students who received the Exceptional Academic Achievement Certificate from Superintendent of Schools. However, what surprised me was that only on single female student gain the perfect score in language!

So, it shows to me that something is going throughout the State. I do recognize the spelling[es] is an issue in most of kids, but I am no so sure if the kids are the ones failing. I think either methods are not reliable or teachers are confronting the process in a way that it's not practically interesting for very young students.

There is where Apple Distinguished Educator's post came just in hand. Mathew Needleman from Creating Lifelong Learners share with us "an engaging activity for teaching parts of speech through song." He says this method is credited to projectglad.com but also recalls to have seen it anywhere else. The system consists of ask students to complete a chart of all parts of speech. Example as follows:

"The green, hairy, monsters, the green, hairy monsters, the green, hairy, funny monsters stomp through the forest.

This works well as a sponge activity before or after recess/lunch. I leave the chart up and refer back to it. When we need a verb, for example, I might say, “Remember, action words…the green ones on our chart?”

You can repeat this activity when starting a new unit as a way of getting student familiar with the new vocabulary for each theme. I don’t require that they use fossil vocabulary, for example, when on the fossil unit but some of it naturally creeps in and makes its way to the chart."

Even when I've checked some literacy links I still will purse for more information on how to help students as the one I have, to achieve easier and better on the problems of writing (with or without) purpose.

Do you have any tips on your head or have you found any interesting link about this theme? Glad to hear from you.

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Australian Police Thinks Blog Posts Are Evil!

Are Blog Posts evil? That's what some people think still think. In Australia, a man named Al Upton was teaching his students how to blog and all the stuff involved, when the Australian police came in and told them they had to destroy all of their blog posts. Mr Al Upton's students literally cried because they had to destroy their blog posts that they had worked so hard on. Can you imagine why they would have to do this? Blog posts are not evil and they should be allowed all over the world because it's one of the best ways for kids to express themselves.

I wonder what Australian police will say about this mockery.

[link] Digiteen.

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Amplifying Possibilities: k12 Online Conference '08

This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is Amplifying Possibilities. This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008. The following two weeks, October 20-24 and October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog for participants to download and view.

k12 Online Conference

Writing With a Purpose: Four Ways to Let your Kids Learning it!

This is one of the reason why the internet is fantastic, you can get in touch with unimaginable sources that teach you and inspire you. Today, while reading our subscriptions I came across to this post written by the editor of Higher Up and Further In. Lindafay was asked a question by one of her readers and she elaborates her answer recurring to personal experiences that we think can benefit more that her reader alone.

The question was: "I was wondering what your advice would be to get a 12 yr old going in writing. I have neglected this a bit (Ok maybe a lot) and now heading into 7th grade I really need to get him going :) I've been looking over all your narration/composition posts trying to come up with a plan for my 8 yo so we don't end up in the same situation. Thanks for all the great info on your blog!"

I also have a sixth grader with some problems on spelling and if you happen to read this post, I will be glad if you can suggest anything to improve my son's inconveniences.

The inspired by Charlotte Mason Education, writes about the success of her children in the process of writing. She recommends the following activities (We've added only one more):

1. Daily oral and written narrations - In order to become a good writer, everyone must put in their time. Have your son begin writing on a daily basis. Start slow, maybe beginning with just a paragraph a day, but keep raising the bar.

2. I let my children write about their interests as much as possible - No one wants to write about something that bores them...so, even if you are using a writing program, don't be afraid to change the topics to suit your son's interests.

3. Children need an audience - Knowing that they have an audience it makes them keenly aware of their spelling and grammar errors. Everyone loves some show off. Let them do it.

4. Go beyond homework
- Teachers have assignments and they need to be completed but the daily narrations are based on your son's personal interests.

Knowinly that your kid loves to play electronics (Gameboy, Playstation, PSP, etc, it's better that you take some of that time and put him to work on his own benefit. Reading and writing time is about you. They (kids) cannot stop playing those games until you made them stop. Do it so, and distribute his/ her time.

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Education Today 09/16/2008

Top 10 Tools lists

A daily item of e-learning interest selected by Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies.

1. http://snipurl.com/3qm5c
2. http://snipurl.com/3qm5v
3. http://snipurl.com/3qm5y
4. http://snipurl.com/3qm61

Open Source; a better model for all of us

There is a major difference between open source and a free Web service...The beauty of the open source model, of which there are several variants, is that it is more difficult for a project to be controlled by special interests. This is definitely something to consider as we use more and more web applications for education.

What if learning technologists ruled the world?

How decentralised and uncoordinated activity appeared to be for educational technologists working in the educational sector.

Web 2.0 is about giving up some control

Teachers need to say less of: 'let's open up a book.' and more of: 'let's open up a conversation.

Shanghai Learning 2.008 Conference

Learning 2.008 - Shanghai,China
As last year from Learning 2.0 Beta 2007, during this weekend will take place the Learning 2.008 in Shanghai (SCIS - Hongqiao 1161 Hongqiao Road Shanghai, China 200051 Telf: 86-21-6261-4338 Fax: 86-21-6261-4639).

"Discussions, workshops and main speakers will focus on topics such as film making (documentaries), project-based learning, alternative assessments, how to use new technologies effectively to increase student learning, the effects of social media, media literacy and exploring further the concept of personal learning networks."

Among international presenters are: David Jakes, Clarence Fisher, Ewan McIntosh, Jeff Utecht and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach.

The Ning created for The Learning 2.008 Conference says registrations are closed, but if you still want to get information, please head over here.

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American Schools To Advance In Diversity Issues

Loudoun(VA) had the highest median income last year among counties with 250,000 residents or more, with the average Loudoun household making about $107,000 a year, according to US Census Bureau. Loudoun is still among richest U.S. Counties.

This county first earned that distinction in 2005 and was overtaken by Fairfax County in 2006. In 2007, Loudoun was about on a par with Fairfax, where the median income was about $105,000.

However, forty years later(1968), even after the Brown v. Board of Education, more than 30 percent of the 54,047 students in Loudoun schools are minorities, according to 2007-08 figures. But,like most school systems, this county continues to struggle with achievement disparities between racial groups and problem is complicated by language barriers and socioeconomic issues. That's why officials are paying attention to 'access' and 'opportunity.'

School officials had came under fire from minority activists for not renewing the contract of Beverly Bennett-Roberts, the district's outreach supervisor and this is seem as a violation of the rights of the single advocate for those who felt they had no voice.

The Washington Post this ending week brought in an article where writer Kameel Stanley, exemplifies that differences of population services and the Loudoun NAACP:

"White students made up 67 percent of the student population in the 2007-08 school year, the most recent data available. Black students accounted for about 8 percent, Hispanics 12 percent and Asians 11 percent; fewer than 1 percent were Native American.

About 92 percent of the school system's licensed employees are white. Blacks make up about 4 percent and Hispanics and Asians 2 percent each."

The article speaks of frustrations black people had to confront back in the 60's but they forgot what Hispanics struggles to get the counterparts even.

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Education Today 09/12/2008

Being Specific About Education Plans

Education always ranks among the issues voters most care about. But this election season, it has been overshadowed by the economy and the war. Both candidates favor charter schools for example. However, voters still don’t know what either really would try to accomplish when it comes to schools, because neither has been specific.

Teaching 'Evolution' to Hostile Students

I had a Michigan-based science teacher who personally did not believe in evolution [ Where faith and science clash] tell me the best he could do was teach it half-heartedly. Which had me wondering how many other classrooms faced that challenge?

Blogs Can't Deliver Education Deep Coverage

This is a statement hard to explain, considering there are a great number of educators who can go deeply about education issues. It's true that bloggers (talking about education in general) by themselves can't go a long way without relying on traditional media, but saying 'education coverage needs traditional media sources because free-standing education blogs could not provide the depth of coverage necessary for quality commentary on the issues without relying on traditional journalism.' It's hard to believe.

Can journalists answer the following questions? Should educators/trainers become technologists? Or should the tools of design become so easy to use that technical skills are minimal? Or do we move the technology to specialized design teams and educators remain the subject matter experts? These questions were brought by George Siemens trying to let us know what's happening at the University of Manitoba in about designing learning. I pretty much sure bloggers talking about education will be quick to answer them all.

They (journalists) can do research, but teachers can do too. Of course, in this open source movement I am not closing doors to journalists, what I am saying is that is too quick to say bloggers all by themselves can have an opinionated criteria about what they know the most, integrating social media and technology in the classroom.

So, while Scott Elliott is certainly right about his topics about education, when he says bloggers can’t really go it alone without traditional media, this may not remain so much true going forward!

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Taking Advantage of Lulu Book Self -publishing

Bloggers in some way are all publishers, but when we talk about books it's better if we find the professionals and places where it's no so hard to publish your contents, as well as your creations as for example a book. Lulu.com offers the possibility to not only self-publish your very own book, but it's a good place to find advise in how to be an author.

Aida Guhlin is a teen and his proud father is helping her to spread word about her work, Alone in the Middle.This book is a fiction novel and its price is very affordable.

Alone In the Middle is a truly engaging book about the ups and downs of being a teenager. The main character, Lisa Jenkins is a teen who has to deal with two perfect older sisters, and annoying younger brothers. Laugh out loud when Lisa and her two best friends scheme their ways into the inner circle, let your heart pound when Lisa meets the right guy, and exclaim to your friends over one of the most interesting books you will ever read.

Support youth writing by buying this book, because at least one of these reasons: 1) read because you can; b) read to keep in touch; c)read to exercise your mind; d)read to have fun; e) read to make a good decision; f) read to create great things; g) read to visit new places; h) read to plan for your future; i) read to explore your world; or; j) read to understand the past!

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Symbolic Math Found Linked to the 'Sense' of Numerosity


Photo by jbgeekdad
One of the thinks I've doing for many years is to be teaching instrumental matematics and it's quite hard to work around concepts when learners lack of some 'number sense'. Major complains are always received from students struggling in math and teachers sometimes have to curb in order to justify credit and grades. Justin Halberda, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University brings good news to us, he was leading a research, which asked 64 14-year-old boys and girls to look at videos on a computer screen and estimate whether there were more flashing yellow dots or blue dots.

Results showed that teenagers who did well on a test that measured their number sense were much more likely to have gotten good grades in math classes. This is the first time scientists have established a link between a primitive, intuitive sense (concept) of numbers and performance in math classes.

We are talking about here, is what you and I use when we're getting on a bus and trying to figure out which door to go through, we quickly scan the bus to see if there are more people on the front of the bus or the back of the bus. "We've discovered that a child's ability to quickly estimate how many things are in a group significantly predicts their performance in school mathematics all the way back to kindergarten," quotes to Halberda, the author of the original post in the New York Times.

French neuroscientist, Stanislas Dehaene, who has pioneered research in the filed has praised the new work saying, it's a "Beautiful demonstration...we long suspected that symbolic mathematics was linked to the sense of numerosity or 'numerousness' of sets of concrete objects."

Why this is important for education? Because, the results of this work could lead to ways to identify students lacking the 'number sense' and who may have trouble with math in their scholar future, which is very disturbing both for students and teachers.

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Education Today 09/09/2008

California Educators Sue Over Algebra Rule

The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, says the action by the state board was taken in violation of the state’s open-meeting laws. It says the public was not given adequate time to comment on the policy.

Engaging Reflective Writers

How to use 'reflective writing' to encourage your students to write beyond classwork activities.

Tech in the Classroom Is More Than a Tool….It’s a Connector!

Don't be surprised when you trying to find information on education and technology, you are directed to multiple web sites or blogs, speaking, reproducing or creating on technology. All people is talking about technology as it is the most modern and sophisticated term nowadays.

Whether you have a site about integrating technology in the classroom or new applications recommended to smart use in your class, the only sites or blogs for that matter, listed on the top three google positions are those about technology but not referred precisely to education.

The thing is, even when you've mastered in the process of using the RSS feeds in the classroom, you still keep using the concept of technology per se and not connected to the learning process of your students. Jeff Utech from The Thinking Stick has arose the topic and wrote an excellent reflexion saying "that teachers’ use of technology is not the same as supporting teachers teaching with technology."

Teacher communications goes beyond what we understand as teacher's use of technology. This process implies a deep comprehension that technology for learning in the school room is about connecting students to disperse information and using applications that allow students to collect and manipulate data, ask questions and interact with this information.

"Let’s focus on learning, let’s focus on creating an atmosphere in which technology is more than a tool, but is an embedded part of our classrooms, our own thinking as we plan lessons, and a gateway to inventive teaching." continues Utech.

Teachers must be aware thought, technology knowledge is more than publishing a weblog or using copy/paste from Microsoft Office, thinking beyond replacement into a world where you can create, invent, and think about information and learning in new ways does not come natural to many educators. We need training and see things differently that everyone else is seeing or following throughout search machines or social networks.

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A 'Cartoon' Is Worth a Thousand Words

A Cartoon Is Worth a Thousand Words

Doodle by Lee and thanks to B@b@.



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Sex Education and How to Deal With Abortion Under Republican Runners

It's a fact, sex education varies widely across the United States' school districts but what can be variable is the agenda of presidential candidates.

Both McCain and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease(we don't agree but that's their position). However, Palin's position is less clear nowadays. In a widely quoted 2006 survey she answered during her gubernatorial campaign, Palin said she supported abstinence-until-marriage programs. But weeks later, she proclaimed herself pro-contraception and said condoms ought to be discussed in schools alongside abstinence.

Now, remember that Republican vice presidential candidate statements date back to her 2006 gubernatorial run. In July of that year, she completed a candidate questionnaire that asked, would she support funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs instead of "explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?"

Palin response was, "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."

What we should expect on this topic if they gain entrace to the White House?

[Via The Angeles Times]

Update:

Learn what a community organizer really does.

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Curriculum: Writing Subject as a 'Learning Tool'

At a time when the demands of high-stakes testing have led to a curriculum dominated by reading and mathematics instruction, discussion in the seminars these days is more likely to turn to the practical challenges of fitting writing into the school day, and how to show that it makes a difference in student achievement, writes Kathleen Kennedy in Education Week

It can't be more certainly truth. Home experience tells me that youngsters spend time doing school work and they are been graded on Language but, once they arrive to higher grades, writing suffers a decreased level in front of reading. On the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing, only a third of 8th graders and one-fourth of 12th graders in nationally representative samples were deemed proficient, declares Kennedy.

We have to move beyond the notion of writing as an art form to promote writing as a learning tool. So, it's important parents, teachers and students support and enroll the National Writing Project. We all should emulate what former executive director of the program Richard Sterling, has said, the nwp.org "is the single largest national undertaking to tackle the problem."

A cornerstone of the curriculum for generations, writing has been dubbed the “neglected ‘R’ ” in recent years because of all the attention to reading and math. Yet it is gaining increasing recognition as an essential skill for developing the kinds of thinking and analytical abilities students need to master complex content, tackle college-level work, and succeed in a global and information-driven marketplace.

American education will never realize its potential as an engine of opportunity and economic growth until a writing revolution puts language and communication in their proper place in the classroom, it's noted in the report, 'Neglected ‘R’: The Need for a Writing Revolution.'(pdf)

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Education Today 09/03/2008

Screencast: How to Make Wiki References

Wikispaces has released the ref tag, so now wikis, in addition to hyperlinking, may include references.

Measuring Learning

Much of test taking is about the skill of making sure your knowledge and skills translate well on the test...It's important to tell us that the tests tell us something, but they don't come close to telling us everything.

Google Quickly Becoming the New Microsoft.

Google’s days of unchecked growth may soon come to an end. They are quickly becoming the new Microsoft. Yes, you might say, but why? Chrome, the Webkit-based Google browser that launches tomorrow at google.com/chrome, will give them a real foothold on the desktop and way more control over how web applications perform. While it seems that Chrome is aimed at IE and Firefox, the target is really Windows.

Expect to see millions of web devices, even desktop web devices, in the coming years that completely strip out the Windows layer and use the browser as the only operating system the user needs. That was going to happen anyway, but Chrome + Gears just made the decision a whole lot easier for hardware manufacturers to make.

Google Chrome will be free, open source and, at least for the time being, limited to Windows users. They've said it's been worked on Mac and Linux but no deadlines had been offered.

One of the biggest complaints about web apps is the stability of the browser. When you’re doing mission-critical work in a web app and the browser crashes, it isn’t an annoyance, it’s a deal breaker — e-mails are lost, documents have to be rewritten, web forms need to be filled out again. Chrome’s ability to sidestep a full crash could prove a huge boon to Google’s bid to replace desktop apps with its own web-based alternatives.

On the other hand, Microsoft, which crushed Netscape Communications to win the last major browser war in the 1990s, played down the threat posed by Chrome. Microsoft predicted that most people will embrace its latest version, Internet Explorer 8, which it released in test status last week.

The inquisitr.com makes a review and Raphael says, "as for overall success [of Google Chrome], it’s hard to imagine Chrome being able to dethrone IE. For better or for worse, Microsoft’s browser accounts for the overwhelming majority of the market — around 70 to 75 percent, depending on whom you ask. Being that many of those users are on it simply because it’s the Windows default and they don’t know or care to change it explains a lot."

Let's see what happens with prognosis that Gmail and Google Docs will roar and if really people wants to covert.

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Doing your Own Research to Get Noticed in the Internet

Today is Labor Day in the United States and we've had a few more time to read our subscriptions and haven't waste time watching the early suspended Republican National Convention, in place, we been quite busy trying to catch up with all recommendations on the BlogDay 2008.

Two topics nowadays are typed in the search engines known so far. Tools for conducting our personal and professional research and looking for a moment of our very own celebrity, how to get noticed while in the internet.

We've been blogging since the 2003 and by far, we already were talking about forty-one years of the internet age. Predecessors of the internet were J.C.R. Licklider of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) in August 1962. The ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) and ARPA of the United States Department of Defense. Doriano Carta from Mashable writes about Notebook 2.0 and claims:

Fast forward several decades and we arrive to this list of the best tools for researchers today. In addition to being able to saves text, audio, video and links during your research online you’ll also be able to share these collections of notes with colleagues, students or anyone else. You can also keep things private for your own research projects.

Now, imagine doing some research to brand your education in education blog or may be your own personal name. You would need to make a deposit before you can make a withdrawal. Kellier Parker in a comment left at Jeremiah Owyang's blog suggest to actively seek ways to be helpful within the network you create. Don’t hesitate to jump in and answer questions, give advice, lend a supporting hand.

When you are in need of assistance,Parker continues, people will jump in to help you a lot more readily than if you were a stranger making a request. Kellier has found this to be true thus far in her job search. Over the past few years, she’s built a network of community managers and social media strategists, and have never turned down an opportunity to talk to someone, listen to someone, to give her point of view on a topic or issue, or just generally to assist someone with something. When you are the one in need, this is being paid back to me tenfold. To receive much, you must give much.

With proliferation of educational blogs, it becomes so much more difficult for brand to stand out from the millions of others blogs and bloggers. Yeah, you’re thinking the long tail will solve this, and well yes, in a way. But in reality there are leaders and followers being created in each sub-educative and sub-technological niche, so the Jeremiah's rules of getting noticed still apply. They are: Create a goal, built a unique educational blog, get more personal, attend and lead local events (know why?) do your best to be interesting and show your achievements!

What are your takes on this matter?

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