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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Evidences of the Never Ending Discussion of Digital Natives

We've been tracking the developments on something still isn't probed scientifically:The myth of the digital native. About a year now, we cited an article written by G. Siemens and his Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants. We are still in a level where there is not enough empirical evidence to support the notion of netgen, digital natives, or millennial learners.

A study conducted by Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn at Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde Universities in the UK concludes among other things " that students’ attitudes to learning appear to be influenced by the approaches adopted by their lecturers. Far from demanding lecturers change their practice, students appear to conform to fairly traditional pedagogies, albeit with minor uses of technology tools that deliver content." See PowerPoint presentation for more on The Myth of Digital Native: Students' Use of Technologies.

If this were educational research we should go a bit deeper and on more findings. However, it seems still things haven't changed in a way that we can conclude as many, included myself can say that net-gen is a group which is globally, connected, socially-networked and technologically-fluent.

That's why we have to go back to June, during the 2008. Was in this month that George wrote a post saying that he was in support of changing education for two different reasons (differing from the 'changing learners' of Mark Bullen):" 1) the changed ways in which we can access, interact with, and create information, and 2) the changed ways in which we can access, interact with, and connect to each other."

We haven't heard more discussion on this topic. Chris Lott was the only one who wrote a post on this Net-Gen Nonsense:

"The two points with which you [G.Siemens] conclude your post... are changes in learners, and they are changes that happen as a result of living in a very different and quickly changing technologically mediated environment than others. Fight it all you want, but those learners are different. It has nothing to do with age and the biological origins are at best unclear… but it is immaterial. Anyone who pays attention to their students can see this in the divide they face within their classes between the haves and knows and the have not/know nots. Whatever the label, a host of educators nod in recognition of the characteristics regardless of the question of the origins, which has always been my central point in this debate: I don’t care about the reasons as much as I care about the solutions, and I won’t discount what I see and experience because the research (which hasn’t been an enviable guide when it comes to education so far, but that’s a different discussion) isn’t there or isn’t unclear. A refutation would make a difference, but there’s an obvious reason why there isn’t one, and I don’t mean the philosophical bit about proving a negative."

Looking forward to hear or read what had been your empirical findings.

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Spime-Time as the New Technology Generation

No doubt there are many kinds of writing educational projects, and networks may provide an excellent means to distribute and publish any student production, but clearly some genres are meant for print rather than screen and length and style are alike, in terms of publishing.

There is a growing sense that higher education is struggling to meet the needs of students and one of them is writing online.Contemporary scholarly work cites a fewer range of sources than work in the past. We haven't read the original source neither, but we are falling behind on other issues too, for example, I have to confess that even when I spend considerable time online I wasn't familiar with these two terms: Chemtrails and Spimes.

I have to recognize that I am not a among those Americans who might find it alienating to "have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language." as Andy Borowitz stressed. Being said this, let me recommend the reading of Digital Digs where Alex Reid explains what we didn't know until a few moments, his explanation of the coined spime. Wikipedia cites Sterling's book and the same source is used by Raid to explain what it means to tech junkies, the spimes as a new technology:

"The spime composes its own topological, discursive text, marking its passage through space and time. As Sterling notes, objects become processes, trajectories of mutation (and ideally mutations that result in an unproblematic decay into non-toxic elements). Of course objects have always already been this (well, not the non-toxic part), but the spime allows the composition of information regarding this process. Here is this recursive process of ripping, mixing, and burning information. Each singular spime rips data from the world about itself, mixes it with previously analyzed data to produce a timeline, and burns that data into a recorded trajectory. Then "we" as composers rip data from a network of spimes, mix that data together (making connections, conducting analysis, developing interpretations and arguments, etc.), and burn the composition into a format that is once again accessible through the network. And its not really a matter of choosing to compose in this fashion, but the becoming self-evident that this is our process--much in the same way as the web 1.0 made self-evident so many of the once difficult theories of postmodernism."

The questions is how we are going to keep up with such a load of information when we are only monkey guys with handy keyboards?

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Google News’ Technology. It’s Awful

Google Break News, Really?
Education Breaking News -Photo by Yodel Anecdotal.
MG Siegler & Eric Eldon are tech news junkies. In order to be any good at what they do (tech blogging), they kind of have to be. A tech news junky’s best friend is an RSS reader - We (as much as they) troll hundreds of sources and thousands of stories on a daily basis looking for that one piece of news worth covering. But sometimes, that simply isn’t feasible all the time, you need an aggregator.

Many of us in the tech community know and love Techmeme -We do prefer Twitlinks, though- a tech news aggregation site. For finding the newest tech stories that people are writing about, there’s simply nothing better. Of course, there are sites that are bigger, like Google News. But have you ever tried to use Google News’ technology section (technically called Sci/Tech) to find timely items? It’s awful

Find out about this broken new at VentureBeat

'Generación Y' Wins the Jury Prize for Best Blog

Results for the Deutsche Welle's BoBs Awards was announced today. Among the winners in all 16 of the competition's categories is a Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez, who finished as top winner. She has received many awards now and Sanchez is thankful of all the support she received. In a translated Spanish post, she posted a video, writing: What else can we ask?

Generación Y managed by Yoani Sánchez, gives voice to a new entire generation of Cubans and most importantly, provides the world with a window into Cuba through her clear and poetic writing. She is a Hispanic Philology professional graduated in The Habana.

The BOBs Team stressed, "In addition to a slew of other obstacles in her way, Sanchez can't even post her own entries to the blog. Instead she is forced to e-mail them to friends outside of Cuba in order for her words to go online. Despite the challenges she has to overcome, she's managed to keep in contact with her readers and create a huge international community around her work."

We want to congratulate Yoani and if you are interested on contributing to this her moment, write to her an e-mail at: yoani.sanchez dot gmail dot com

In the mean time, head over to see the winners in all other categories. Education & Tech cheers them all up!

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Edublogs Is Embedding Hyperlinks Intentionally

Students using Edublogs report feeling violated and that their content is being mis-represented by edublogs.com. We don't sell advertisement in this page but we are clearly okay with advertiser-supported services around the corner. What educationandtech doesn't like is users of free-hosting services having words or brands put in mouth that they have not chosen to support.

Christopher D. Sessums, accepts that he "clearly is late to this discussion" and points out:

While Mr. Farmer offers a cogent explanation for the need for revenue to support free, online hosting of Edublogs, he never says anything about embedding advertisements in user created content. I am not opposed to advertisements on free online applications. However, there is a big difference between placing an advertisement on a free site and placing an advertisement in the user's content. Huge difference. Major fucking difference. By doing such, Edublogs has crossed a line that is highly unethical in terms of having user's unknowingly endorse corporations or advertising content within content they have generated. Again, having a widget or a sidebar filled with advertising content is one thing; embedding advertisements in user generated content is another. The differences are not in the same ball park, not in the same area code, not in the same hemisphere.

What makes matters a tad worse is the defensive posture assumed by Edublogs and "drmike -- Volunteer Support Guru." They seem to be missing the point. Very few users are complaining about adverts. What users are concerned about is the way in which this situation is being managed. Since "drmike" is an anonymous unpaid professional, I suppose... you get what you pay for. You might think with the new advertising revenue being generated by Edublogs, they could afford to hire a less cynical customer relations person.

What do you think, is this a violation of our freedom and privacies?

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5 Ways to use Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Web 2.0 is the name for the new internet. It includes social media, interaction and crowd based tools. Without knowing it, we've all probably used web 2.0 tools and sites. Here are 5 ways you can use Web 2.0 in your classroom.

1. Create a Flickr pool for your classroom. Flickr is a great website devoted to storing and sharing photos. You can use it so students can upload photos of things they find in the field (interesting bugs in a biology class, for example) and share it with everyone else in the class.

2. Use a classroom Wiki. While Wiki is most often associated with Wikipedia, you can setup your own classroom wiki. All you need is some webspace and the latest copy of Wikimedia. This is a great way to foster discussion, share notes, and post assignments for later on.

3. Enrich the class with YouTube videos.
Have students create videos as a project. You can also record your lectures and upload them, so students can have access to them for review and enrichment later on.

4. Use delicious. Delicious is a bookmarking tool that allows you to share sites with other users. Tell students to share things that are of interest to each other and with the greater class. That way when
one student finds a resource, it can be shared with all the other students in the class easily and effectively.

5. Keep all your presentations online and in one easy place with sites like Scribd or Slideshare.
There's a double benefit - your students get easy access to review material, and you get an easy backup of all
your data.

This article was written by Maya Richard, who can be reached via mayarichard at gmail.com. She currently blogs on the subject of cell phones.

Teaching Students How to Begin an Academic Research

To teach children how to become competent researchers requires several stages. I like to use Inspiration (or Kidspiration) Graphic Organisers to guide them in this task. Once they have some knowledge of the topic at hand teachers generally set them an activity where they have to come up with a question to research about. Most children find this difficult.

That is why I use this Graphic Organiser What do we know about? Students fill in what they know about the topic. I then ask them to choose one of the ideas that they would like to know more about. They then choose one of the ideas and turn that into a question.

Continue to read the whole article.

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Web Sites and Profiles Promote Social Skills in Youngsters

Still some argue that social skills are developed from the three dimensional dynamics of interaction with other persons. That it requires face to face contact. Skeptics of how social networks really work out accept that, the Internet can be used like speaking on the phone - however there are a lot of things done on the Internet and by phone - that are a waste of time. Having a phone and the Internet can help you day by day - but aren't life essential items to have. Or as my son said, after watching last night YouTube Live, those guys "don't have a life!"

In September we reported on a survey conducted by Alexandria, Va.-based National School Boards Association and they agree with findings of the Digital Youth Project from the MacArthur Foundation. This study suggests that "hanging out" on Facebook, MySpace, Friendfeed and other social networks isn't a waste for teens, after all.

Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher and the report’s lead author has said: "We found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.

...Kids denied access to new media, because their family can’t afford it or because their parents, school or library restrict their access or time on social networking sites, are likely to be short on skills that members of their generation are expected to possess", the researchers concluded.

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Teaching Teachers Technology

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of distance degree students. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com

Being a teacher is difficult on its best days. In some states, teacher salaries barely exceed minimum wage once you consider the amount of time put in throughout the school year.

In the face of low pay, standardized tests, and increasing demand for better technology education for students, teachers are at a crossroads between what they can realistically achieve and what needs to be done to ensure the success of students. This includes how to learn all the new technologies being lobbed at them by well-intentioned corporate sponsors and school boards.

Some considerations for improving technology training for teachers:


Provide adequate training for teachers for new technologies. As teachers are not always the most tech-savvy group, they sometimes need extra guidance and training; school districts must provide the infrastructure for this. This means increasing tech support and IT personnel to facilitate the process.

Educators are overburdened with so much responsibility that it can be difficult for them to see technology education as anything other than another responsibility. A paradigm shift will need to occur before the idea is fully embraced. This will take more than an edict from school administrators, but real dialogue and data to support how technology changes the classroom for the better. Improved technology planning and solidified curricula will also help.

Parents can be enlisted to lend a hand to help with training and support. Many parents are in technology-related fields and can offer guidance, reassurance and even services.

Teachers willing to improve their technology education skills should be compensated. It's that simple. More money can be a great catalyst and technology education is important enough to the future of this country's students, that there should be more incentive to embrace it.

Learning new technologies can be difficult and time consuming. While it's great that schools are seeing more computers come into their classrooms, if no one knows how best to leverage them for educational purposes, they may quickly become large, dusty paperweights.

It really does take a village and whether we're talking about parental involvement, increased support from the district and school board, or better compensation for highly-committed teachers, the argument should focus on the best ways to improve technologies in the classroom. And, right now, we're just not quite there.

Reference: The Condition of Education 2000 –2008

It's great when you find statistics about education and to say the truth, we didn't have notice of this place. The Condition of Education is an integrated collection of the indicators and analyses published in the annual Condition of Education reports from 2000-2008. The reports come from the US National Center for Education Statistics.

Each year has a theme such as mobility in the teacher workforce, home schooling, reading and non-traditional undergraduates. Key indicators include participation in education, learner outcomes, educational progress and educational contexts - primary, secondary, etc. Online versions present the headline findings and graphical information. Detailed breakdowns of individual indicators are available as PDF files.

A user guide gives detailed information on the background to the studies including a technical guide to the research methods used. The site also includes a glossary of terms defining how they are interpreted in the reports and a bibliography of related publications.

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Thanksgiving Is Plenty of Family Fun Activities

Next weekend, all American families will have family gatherings and they are likely to have a houseful of guests. The problem is, the family is always made out of different generations, olders have a good time talking and eating turkey but youngster don't even eat roasted turkey but they lack of the social skills and feel like the only pleasure lays on browse the internet or kill time messaging.

There are good resources out there for those still looking for the holiday greeting cards. The Official Google Docs blog, for example, reminded readers of the many templates available for Google Docs users. Teachers can use the Google Docs holiday themed templates to have students create holiday greeting cards and newsletters through which they can develop letter writing skills.

Also, the Google Docs templates for students and teachers contains good templates for creating quizzes, attendance rosters, grade books, research reports, bibliographies, and many other useful templates.

Now, at the beginning we said that these family gatherings are full of different generations. Kris Bordesa author of Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself recommends the following activities that can bridge the generational gap with the vantage of saving great memories this year on Thanksgiving Day.

- Gratitude guesbook, so all your guest can leave a picture and a note for you.
- People Poll, Make kids tio find someone who fits a certain bill.
- Getting to know you, trade candies in exchange of things most of guests don't really know about this person.
- Photo op, picture-telling about the olden days!
- Guess who? A variant of hide and seek to warm up the long-distance relatives.

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Semantic Web: Web 3.0 in Education

EQ -Educause Quarterly is an online education quarterly journal for those involved in information and technology services in university and college settings. The journal can be received by members in print or online, until 2009, when it will only be available online.

EDUCAUSE Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 4 (October–December 2008) has been released and one of the authors is Jason Ohler who is President’s Professor of Educational Technology and Distance Learning at the University of Alaska. He's published The Semantic Web in Education and we want you to read the whole article going over Educause. However, using his Creative Commons license, we will reproduce a extract of what his conceptions are, respect of the forthcoming Web 3.0 in Education:

Currently, Googling the term global warming returns a gazillion hits, many of which link to complex data resources that link to other resources and so on. Unless the topic is supremely important to you, you won’t explore much beyond the first 10 to 20 hits returned in a Google search. The presumption of knowledge in this approach to information gathering and evaluation is faulty, if not potentially dangerous in its limitations.

One vision of a well-developed semantic web includes a search feature that would return a multimedia report rather than a list of hits. The report would draw from many sources, including websites, articles from scientific repositories, chapters in textbooks, blog dialogue, speeches posted on YouTube, information stored on cell phones, gaming scenarios played out in virtual realities—anything appropriate that is accessible by the rules of Web 3.0. The report would consist of short sections that coalesce around knowledge areas that emerged naturally from your research, with keywords identified and listed conveniently off to one side as links.

The information in the report would be compared, contrasted, and collated in a basic way, presenting points of agreement and disagreement, and perhaps associating these with political positions or contrasting research. Because the web knows something about you, it also alerts you to local lectures on related topics, books you might want to read, TV programs available through your cable service, blog discussions you might find relevant, and even local groups you can contact that are also focused on this issue. Unlike a standard report, what you receive changes as the available information changes, and you might have wiki-like access to add to or edit it. And because you told your agent that this topic is a high priority, your cell phone will beep when a significant development occurs. After all, the semantic web will be highly inclusive, providing a common language for many kinds of media and technologies, including cell phones. The net result, ideally, is that you spend less time searching and sifting and more time absorbing, thinking, and participating.

Readers and visitors shouldn't miss reading the current issue of EDUCAUSE, which is available for free on their homepage.

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Ninth Grade Determines a Student’s Success in High School

Seema Mehta writes an article in Los Angeles Times about taking sink or swim out of 9th grade. The article states that ninth grade determines a student’s success in high school. If a student does poorly in the first year of school they are likely to drop out of high school for the 10th grade.

"A study released last week found that if students don’t start taking college-prep requirements in freshman year, they are less likely to meet the requirements for admission to California’s public universities", writes Mehta.

We think the idea of building ninth grade schools or have programs to help ninth graders adjust is great. Helping incoming ninth grader adjust to high school will definitely curve the dropout rate among ninth graders. At the age of these ninth graders so much is going on with them physically and mentally because of the effects puberty that extra guidance and attention would help the transition. As educators, we do think this could be costly and maybe hard to implement in all school districts nationwide but this could work, definitely. You as a parent, would think that in this effort student, teachers and administrators will work together more closely to assure that student achieve and adjust so they will continue through school.

All these efforts are great and should be tested and possibly adopted, but it need work on how to make sure that students are not only getting the attention they need but also the things they need for academic success. Will next Secretary of Education, be able to cope with this matter?

There are some questions that flow in my mind, though, what happens when they enter the tenth grade? How are they introduce to the tenth grade without the support of the teacher and administration they previously had? Would that be the same as entering the ninth grade but in the tenth grade? How would that transition work?

Can you make up to any of these questions? Glad to hear it and read them all.

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10 Questions to Ask at the Parent Teacher Conference

What questions you should ask at the parent-teacher-conference
Photo by Frazzled Jen
I was invited to attend the first parent-teacher-conference this year and I though it 'll be useful if we can jot down some advise for parents who have to be confronted to the brevity of such conferences.

Imagine, the letter I received says that I have been scheduled for a parent-teacher-conference on Nov. 2Oth from 1:15 -1:20. And it's due to "an overwhelming positive response" from parents. With such a short time, neither the teacher can present a complete review of your child's academic progress, nor a parent can ask some concerns beyond reviewing his child's schoolwork and textbooks.

Considering all these aspects, we want to suggest some of the ten questions we think are the most interesting we you met your child's homeroom/lead teacher to exchange information and so develop a good working relationship. Remember thought, parent-teacher-conference is a two-way exchange of information. Cross off what questions you'll pick for your next meeting at school:

1. Do you give test or benchmarks on a regular basis? - It's important to learn about the frequency so you can help at home. Is he doing accordingly?

2. What is your homework routine? - Ask about what it'll be the time students should spend on homework each evening and what is expected from parents in helping your son in this kind of activities.

3. What are the topics students are learning in science and social studies? Our school this year started mixing Language and Social Studies in the same class, but science is part of the core of curriculum same as math.

4. Does my son appear anxious about any aspect of school? - Be sure not always they walk out home happy to go to school, so might be something they don't like at this place. Be careful with bullying inside the school bus.

5. What are his academic strengths and weakness - We adults find some things easy to learn and some others more difficult, like us, kids have their own strengths but of course the parts where you should offer support.

6. What about his academic skills, how does he compare with his classmates academically? - Don't accept the typical "he's doing good". Ask the teacher how he compares with other students not only in the classroom but other classroom where other students interact. Is he above, at, or below grade level?

7. Is he having any behavioral or social difficulties? - This is a elementary school scenario but remember some kids get to puberty a bit early. Ask the teacher whether he/she considers unusual this difficulties for this age. Has the teacher noticed any sudden changes in his behaviour or mood?

8. What are the school programs your son can benefit? - My son takes Sport Clinics and enjoys to be enrolled on swimming clinics. It might happen that your school also offers academic programs like gifted and talented, after school tutoring, instrumental music or help with homework hotline.

9. How you as parent can help at home? - We all are busy persons but when we talk about your son's education, you have to make some room for it. If he needs reinforcement of any skills, ask for a tutor suggestion or what would it be the materials, activities and strategies the teacher suggests.

10 Best time to contact teacher during school schedule - Should I set an appointment? What is the procedure to be followed in case I have to pick early my kid. Can I reach you by phone and at what time. Most teacher find impersonal communications as the e-mail works better.

Article written taking the advise from a psychologist in Mercer School, NJ., Dr. Kennet Shore.

Ecology of the Indegenous Education Community

I've found the paper written by Mark Fettes,enlightening, because it gave us a clearer picture of how Indigenous communities might approach education. Not much has been written about this 'community education' explained on the basis of the model of cultural negotiation (by Arlen Stairs) Being an educator myself, I have never set foot in an Indigenous classroom, not even in my home country where we have many Indigenous communities, but now I may be able to start compiling information just in case I do visit one in the future here in the States or back in Ecuador.

The 22-page paper consists of information that helps in defining how Indigenous education has been influenced by four fundamentally different concepts of community. The author's paper cites David Corson to say that 'although the point of community education is sometimes to question taken-for-granted structures that oppress people, it usually leaves these structures in place'. We think Indigenous Education and the Ecology of Community is well suited to work towards a redefinition of Indian education.

It is interesting to note that the author of this paper has no background in any Aboriginal culture, neither a practising educator, nor tied closely to a community in the traditional sense of the word, which under our understanding, makes his reflections more objective.

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The Art of Listening: Teaching Our Children How to Be Students

I’m biased but I see the Obama Education Policy as one of the best proposals I’ve heard. The reason, I suspect, is the President Elect’s ability to listen. Listen to kids, and they will teach you how to teach them.

A challenging student came to class tardy, annoyed, and using a disciplinary referral as a pass. Because of his exceptional E.Q. I deferred as the student took over my role. Remember middle school? he challenged a class of sophomores.

"Yeah! It was wild ... A fight every day! Yeah, middle school was great.

Continue to read the whole post here.

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Education Today 11/12/2008

We're all in the Connected Generation

Almost every economically active individual today is “connected”, so the fact that it is only youth that are connected, is a myth.

Is the paperless school in sight?

Direct your students either towards using Photoshop Elements, which has most of the features they use in school or to an open-source alternative called The Gimp. For free software, Artrage is one of our favourites, along with Blender for 3D enthusiasts, Open Office and Audacity for audio.

New Classroom 2.0

Do the new classroom technologies represent an educational breakthrough, a threat to teaching itself, or something in between?

Learning About Wikis and History of Education

Wikispaces is inviting you to its Education Webinar on November 13th at 5pm PDT. You'll be learning about the basics of setting Wikispaces up in your classroom and hear from Jeanne Simpson, an educator who has used wikis to create and organize math resources for the classroom. Sarah Cove of the Wikispaces Blog has written, "Steve Hargadon has offered his Classroom 2.0 Elluminate room for the event. To join the meeting, simply click this link. We hope you are able to attend.

On the other hand, we've found a recently created blog under the name Libertatis Æquilibritas and the editor has started writing a serie, called 'Educating the Children'. It's precious piece of History of the Education and the author explains how through the process of the history, the responsibility of who is in charge of educating kids, has changed.

We will cite the last paragraphs, so you can contribute with the conversation and give you too, the opportunity to answer some of the questions brought up. Here's the excerpt:

"I offer you this brief history of education so that you can see that it has not traditionally been the state which educated children. Traditionally it has been provided, either for profit or charity, by communities, religious institutions, families, and employers. It is only in the last few hundred years that it has even been mandated by the state, and only for slightly more than a hundred that it has been provided by the state, and even then only in the first world.

But what was the quality of schooling before compulsory education? What opportunities were available to parents who wished to educate their children? What was the literacy rate and education level of the population at large? What did society look like before the state took over the education of the youth?

And what has society looked like since?" [http://ownyourfreedom.blogspot.com/]

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'No Child Left Behind' Has Blocked Educational Progress

We have medium and small town papers around the U.S. with some first-class reporters who still believe in collecting, writing, and reporting the news without the filters of editorial boards paid for by the education-industrial complex. Below is what Jim Horn has called, The Best Education Report 2008:

The next Congress has the task of renewing and likely revising the federal No Child Left Behind Act, a law that is applauded in theory and mostly despised in practice.

Passed in 2001, the law embodied the notion of school accountability, then proceeded to set standards that will ultimately categorize nearly every school in the country as a failure.

“Accountability is a good thing, but what the law really is is a recipe for failure,” said Jack Sturgis, a veteran teacher and president of the Missoula Education Association. “The bill is designed to fail public education.” Said Alex Apostle, superintendent of Missoula County Public Schools: “No Child Left Behind is punitive. It actually makes what we do - and what we do is student achievement - more difficult.”

Read the whole article written by Michael Moore at The Missoulian.

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DevLearn08 : Learning in Web 2.0 World

If you live nearby San Jose, tomorrow is a good chance to learn about web 2.0, learning 2.0, and everything else 2.0. Beginning Nov 11th until Friday, Nov 14th the DevLearn 2008 Conference & Expo will take place in California, where "the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the e-Learning industry convene each year to explore, discuss, and learn about the best ideas and technologies for e-Learning."


Whether you are in the business or wish to see someone in person and shake a hand or give a hug, bring yourself great spirit and a good bunch of business cards. Yes, these are some of the recommendations have had, the readers of Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development

Last Friday, Brent Schlenker, Elerandev's Editor, made a list of what is expected you take, if you happen to attend the conference. He writes, "Check out everything and familiarize yourself with the program. DevLearnLIVE is a great place to find social networking for the event."

To Do: a) Subscribe to the event in Twitter; b)Enable your cell phone to decode QR codes; c)Please, bring your laptop; and, d) Get your cellphone with you.

Hope you enjoy and post about the event!

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Can Facebook Be Used in Education?

More than a year now we've hung a post about how to use Facebook Professionally. Things have shifted and now Facebook has over passed the number of MySpace's users worldwide. It might be the reason why so many bloggers abandon his practice to just jump wagon and integrate what Nicholas Carr foresees, either to Facebook or Twitter.

I am not so sure whether Sibertiger is a professional in education but I am sure he picked the right theme to publish it at his Saudixpat Blog. He says he has "found no empirical evidence validating the use of Facebook in secondary or elementary education. He did find evidence for using it in post-secondary education."

I will steal two paragraphs from his blog, knowingly that he won't take us further for such a crime. He writes:

"After some searching, I came across some blogs that advocated using Facebook in education. One blog had examples, including using the Files and Questions modules. The blogger states that, “All assignments and other items get posted to the “Files” module and you can use the “Questions” module to send out questions to your students.”. I didn’t even know that Facebook had Files OR Questions modules you could install on your facebook page (along with the Coffee Module, Gangster Wars module, Are You Canadian module, Cities I Have Been module, and so forth)."

And he continues writing, "At the famous (or infamous) Horace Mann School in New York City -the use of Facebook by students, was very negative. However, this was balanced as I stumbled across a CNN story from Missouri which highlighted a teacher’s viewpoint about using MySpace and Facebook to reach reluctant students at the high school level. I also came across a YouTube video about college admissions being affected by student’s Facebook or MySpace postings."

If you're active and in practice of teaching, would you mind to share your experiences using Facebook at your school?

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Joan Hughes: On Ecology of Learning & Technology Leadership

All this wonderful experiences originated at the TechForum SW8 and Miguel Guhlin was ready to record an interesting conversation had with Dr. Joan Hughes, participant from the University of Texas at Austin.

Listen her remarks and if you have any more concerns about what she's spoken contact her at her e-mail address: joanh@mail.utexas.eduor use the snail mail:

The University of Texas at Austin
Curriculum & Instruction
1 University Station
Austin, TX 78712-0379
UTMailCode: D5700

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Does Reading Makes You a Better Teacher?

Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify,to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life feel free, significant and interesting"  -Aldous Huxley

Think about this at your next teacher in-service as the latest and most innovative ways to teach literacy are revealed. Please do not forget the source of our most powerful teaching comes from mining our own literacy lives. When we read and write for ourselves, collaborate and create with others around those experiences we can understand the learning process from the inside out-the best way.

Challenge yourself to grow as a reader in one of the following ways. Read the whole post here.

Who Will Be the Next Obama's Secretary of Education?

There are a number of names being discussed for the Secretary of Education cabinet position. Caroline Kennedy is mentioned, and a number of other names including Linda Darling-Hammond, James Hunt and Janet Napolitano are part of a list compiled by Paul Basken for The Chronicle of Education.

Like President Obama, the next US Education Secretary is inheriting a mountain of problems. The long embattled No Child Left Behind Act, the Bush administration’s signature education agenda, is slated for serious revisions or a shallow grave. The country’s economic crisis has seen massive layoffs in large urban districts and state education agencies borrowing from savings to make payroll. In such dire economic times, Obama’s proposed additional $18 million per year for education may be a tough promise to keep.

Education, an issue that received little media attention during the campaign season, is nonetheless an important priority for the new Obama administration (discarted we first solve our economic battle).

Here’s the list of top contenders for the next Secretary of Education according to Ms. Leigh Hopkins.

Click away to see the complete list.

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Internet Safety: Kids Are Fearless and Parents Are Clueless

Internet use at ages 7 to 9 is mostly for fun, use peaking happens between the ages of 12 and 16 when it is mostly for online socialising and research for schoolwork. By age 17 most use the internet for research and some online gaming (Don't count the 10% of teenagers believed to be gaming addicts) says, Robyn Treyvaud.

Seems to me the author of the cited Treyvaud, is urging parents not to panic if they find themselves in the dark about what’s going on. That if they want to have some conversation about setting boundaries .. they’ll need to know more about what goes on in the worlds of social networking.

There is nothing to fear from sites like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, hi5, Bebo, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, Habbo, Second Life, World of Warcraft and iTunes - yes, I know, many parents are bewildered by such terminology and have only a dim understanding of what they are or how they work, but if we teach Digital Ethics and set strict rules at home, of what is meant by cyberbullying, no concerns need to arose.

Parents need to be encouraged to view the online world as a navigable terrain, and to converse openly with their children about their online time. As a parent-educator myself, I am mindful to encourage partnerships with parents and children to best form an understanding of appropriate online behaviours, just as we encourage appropriate classroom and schoolyard behaviours.

Remember the idealism of your youth? We need to stop ‘spying’ on our children just to become conversant in a‘digital native’ language. Please, stop viewing the Internet as a problem and start finding the opportunities for dialogue – who knows, we may even find that the kids have something to say that deserves more than ever our acute attention.

Technology Helps Students and Researchers Share Resources

Lectures are increasingly being captured, either so that students can use them as reviews, or so that students can miss the live lecture. Institutions are increasingly creating collaborative assignments, completing the assignment in a group. This increases the engagement of the students, and also gives them an additional life skill, that of working as part of a group. Solutions that capture lectures, increase engagement, and help collaboration are in demand.

For recording lectures, the trend is for the software to integrate with the LMS (Blackboard, Sakai, Angel, etc.), and for it to be tagged and searchable. Thus, if the instructor’s computer has notes about a particular point, students should be able to query that point and go directly to the section of the lecture-capture that addresses it without having to listen to the entire lecture.

Read whole article here.

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How to Track the U.S. Elecction Online

It's election time. Finally, and I am excited! Tomorrow evening either Barack Obama or John McCain will become the next President of the United States. But like most of you guys, I’ll be watching the results very closely. Four months ago Obama accepted the nomination for president of the United States, and he became the first African-American to head the ticket of a major political party. It's my hope that tomorrow is the day his campaign comes to a victorious end.

This are some of the places where you can keep up with the election results on Nov 4th. (But make sure you already know how to read the numbers):



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Washington Teachers On the Dropout Rate

It's good to see major media reporting on the dropout rate, and why it, not standardized testing, is the central educational problem of our time. But what are the contentions?

1. Parents are key to high school success.
2. Kids are less likely to graduate than their parents.

Conclusion: Parents are secretly undermining their kids' chances.(Satirical!)

Via/ Educators in the Evergreen State

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The Value of Education: Conservative vs. Liberal

Education was under scrutiny yesterday at the Mary Ward center. The debate, introduced and chaired by Anja Steinbauer from pfa London, was indeed fundamental. What is the value of education, is it formative in the sense that it changes your nature, does it make you a better person or citizen? And how to judge if an education is successful?

Early in the debate, the distinction was made between what one could call conservative education and liberal education. The goal of conservative education being to transfer values, traditions from a generation to another. In simplistic terms, so that children learn to act like their parents. On the other side, the goal of liberal education is to enable critical thinking. It is thus more related to Socratic education, based on the idea that the teacher’s responsibility is not to give answers but to lead his pupils to their own discoveries

Read the whole history at Christophe Bruchansky Blog.

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