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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Illiterate Teachers: Is it Ok to Stay That Way?

In a commented post, Pat explains the results of a Survey of the American Teacher, conducted by MetLife. It is an important piece you should read especially that section where the survey (pdf doc) says "teachers just plain haven't embraced digital forums for personal growth."

Education and Tech supports the answer given by Succesful Teaching on this question: Is it alright to be a technologically illiterate teacher? (bold is ours):

Absolutely not. I think that teachers need to take the initiative in learning more about technology. I know teachers have heard about blogs and things like Twitter since it is all in the news. If they don’t know what these are, they need to find out about them and see how they can use them. I read blogs daily in order to stay current on education topics and learn about other tools that are out there for the classroom. By reading blogs, I get inspired and motivated to try new things. By joining Twitter, and Plurk, I have developed a Personal/Professional Learning Network (PLN) that offers support and encouragement when I need it. I have been able to bounce ideas off of others immediately and get feedback on these ideas. I have grown so much professionally by being around other educators and learning from them. As an educator, we need to constantly grow professionally so we don’t become stagnant. It is not acceptable to be technologically illiterate anymore. I feel it is also impossible to be this way and still be a successful teacher.

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Problogger: 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge

Darren Rowse is one of the most popular bloggers and whether you've heard or not about Problogger, it is still time you follow the advice he offers in his blog. Yesterday, Problogger started a series of posts called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, where all subscribed participants are to follow Rowse' advice and write in their respective blogs about the suggested topic.

This series are particularly important for those who are still performing their first experiences in the blogosphere. There are small but important things you have to keep an eye on, if you want your blog get noticed. Here is our five cents:

First Day. Write an elevator pitch for your blog. "Technology and Thinking on Education by Milton Ramirez."

Second Day. Write a list post. No very common here at Education & Tech but we do have some like 7 Educational Sites Your Kids Will Enjoy.

Third Day: Promote a Blog Post. Not all them but posts like Social Web in Education.

Day 4: Analyze a Top Blog in Your Niche. I've doing it quite a while. Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers and Bradblogging.

Day 5: Email a Blog Reader. If I ever done it before, I would do it and practice emailing some of our commenter.

Day 6: 27 Must Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers. Before I started to focus on education and tech I used to and still read successful bloggers to keep peace of what is happening at the blogosphere.

If you still struggle or do not like this kind of post, is better you check Ali Hale 10 Steps to Write a Perfect List Post.

Why we are into this, anyway? We are teachers and are trying to teach students how to blog. Writing for print media is one thing and write outstanding posts to online consumption, is another. Our students not only need to have a blog and know how to write, his work needs to be read and as Derek Markman puts it, "It's very similar to any other business, in that even if you have the greatest product ever, but nobody knows about it, you won't sell any."

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'Speegeeking' an Innovative Way to Do a Faculty Meeting on Technology Integration

"SpeedGeeking is just like Speed Dating - a way to quickly introduce people to a wide variety of new ideas in a short amount of time," defined this idea Kim Cofino.

This is the second time she and all members of the team at her place of work, organize successfully this kind of events. Teachers apparently were excited and energized by the discussion and it seems that "everyone found at least one thing that sparked their interest in the 30-minute session." Isn't tha great?

In along detailed post Cofino explains how to organize and develop a SpeefGeeking meet up and includes 5 reasons as for why she likes this short but effective reunions. Why not to emulate same process when you have a faculty at large and in need of speed up technology integration. Here Mrs. Cofino's reasoning:

  • Because we had so many groups, we were able to highlight so many teachers - we made sure to have some specialists present, as well as some teachers who had never worked with technology in their classroom before this year.
  • We enabled teachers to interact with others outside of their grade level. It’s amazing how rarely teachers get the opportunity to just talk with teachers outside of their team.
  • We focused on the positive, on the commonalities among our colleagues, on the successes that we all have in our classrooms every day. Sure, we can all be doing things better, but that doesn’t mean that amazing things aren’t happening already.
  • We empowered others who are not normally highlighted and we helped build networks and infrastructure for supporting teachers who may need assistance.
  • We laughed, a lot, together. How often can you say that about a faculty meeting?

That's more that enough to keep learning, writing and sharing the technolgy applied to education. Hat tip to Always Learning!

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Why Witing Your Own Dissertation Pays Down the Effort

No all of us want or like to write or use, in a good way, our skills learned either in school or in our daily activities. With enough instruments at hand, many if not most of our students today, are forgetting how handwriting is like. No more epistolary interchange, internet has come and the revolution is only comparable to the transition from the trivium to the quadrivium, to revolutionize that way we save and sustain knowledge and information in ths era.

To write or not to write? It is a general question for all students who are to make up their minds whether to choose or not to choose a writing dissertation. Everybody realizes the amount of difficulties that comes with writing a dissertation. What about the pros and cons of starting your dissertation work. Actually, the advantages of a dissertation writing work are obvious:

Writing a dissertation is a way to a scientific degree. If you think that science is your calling and your vision about the career of a professor in reputable University, then writing this dissertation is vital for you.

Writing is a big advantage for every career and for teacher is not less important. If you do not want to be a teacher, but want to follow a perfect career in any other field, writing a dissertation work will still be valuable for you. Every employer will understand that you are a knowledgeable and consequently valuable worker. If you have special interests in some fields, you will make huge research and you can regard yourself as a real expert of this field.

However, there are some drawbacks of a dissertation work that you need to consider too:

If you are a busy person who has a job, a wife, two kids and who knows a dog, then it is more probable that writing a dissertation is not for you. You simply will not have enough time and strength to do this work properly.

If you are a kind of person who cannot sit at one place and do the same work day by day for a long time, and belong to the Gen-X generation, then writing a dissertation can turn into an eternal punishment for you. That's what my son call it when I ask him to show me his drafts.

If you think that your education and the degree you have is enough for that particular career you would like to do, then it is not necessary to spend time on this kind of writing.

All and all, learning and practice of writing are not an obstacle for a really concerned person.

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Education on Being Tamed, Domesticated And Subdued

Ed Tech Journeys

At birth we are blessed with a natural curiosity. There is a great wildness in it. A shaft of sunlight illuminates a world of dust and delicate objects floating in air, as if by magic. A child who catches a glimpse of this will stop whatever it’s doing and begin to explore what it sees. We are called to learn.

Our natural curiosity is like a wild animal; it hunts where it needs to in order to satisfy its deep hunger. As children, we awaken each day with an insatiable appetite to learn. It is in our early years that we are “wolves of learning”. There is a deep, DNA-based, natural connection between learning and survival; call it the burning relevance of the empty stomach.

Over the centuries, as we have institutionalized learning, we have taken something precious from our children, our young “wolves of learning”; and from ourselves. The wildness of our natural curiosity has been tamed, domesticated, and subdued.

Read the whole story by Pete Reilly
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You Are a "Social Media Snob" if You Do Not Follow Many People on Twitter

I've discovered (and subscribed) to a blog about Educational Technology, written by Mike Arsenault in Maine. Today, he brings up an interesting discussion about twitters in the educational field. He builds a chart where you can easily spot great figures in Education than I will not mention here in its enterity.

The central point is: Are you a social media snob if you do not follow equivalent number of people who is following you?

Twitter needs interaction and lately, there is a bunch o posts trying to impress you how to become a microcelebrity. Think before you tweet. Ask, will this add value? Will this help someone? wrote Tim Bursch, on what I consider an interesting post.

Many people nowaday are concerned about numbers and they might also be worried about the ratio of Followers to Following. But the real thing is interaction, as I said before, I usually unsubscribe from people who almost ever appear on my streamline. Why? They are not contributing neither to me nor to the social network. They, as well respected David Warlick and Will Richarson may be busy doing other stuff. They contribution is different from that one we expect in Twitter.

We tend to keep a balance between these two groups of Followers/Following and we clean up our list every now and then. Last, we do have to agree to Mike, " I would mostly attribute that to still being somewhat of a snob and still figuring out how to best filter the information that comes from so many different sources as I try to balance doing my job, reading RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, and having a personal life."

To check out our ratio and updates please see @tonnet.

Update: Kevin Jarret respond to Mike and corrects him: Whether they follow me on Twitter is irrelevant. It’s just how they choose to use the service. Period.

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Call for Papers on Applied Research in Workplace E-Learning

The new Journal of Applied Research in Workplace E-Learning is based in Australia, reports Will Thalheimer, the online journal will publish both refereed and non-refereed articles "from both researchers and practitioners relating to the design, implementation, evaluation and management of workplace e-learning across a range of sectors and industries."

Editorial Policies are at Impact, which contains general information on the journal's focus and scope, including topics of interest and types of articles accepted. Key dates include:

Manuscript submission deadline: 1 June 2009
Notification of acceptance: 1 July 2009
Submission of final articles for publication: 1 August 2009
Publication of inaugural issue (online): 1 September 2009

The theme of the first issue is: Current issues and future directions in workplace e-learning: Mapping the research landscape(pdf doc)

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Warlick at the 2009 Educational Technology Conference in Palm Beach

Featured Speakers:Steve Dembo, Kate Kenker, David Warlick, Karl Fisch, Mark Benno, Dean Shareski. -Photo by David Warlick and used under CC License

For those who wasn't able to attend the 2009 Educational Technology Conference, keynote speaker was David Warlick. Video of his presentation is here and some of his remarks were published in his blog, as well:

He starts by saying that this conference was "one of the best organized and idea-rich conferences that I have been a part of - better than any I can remember." And speaking about the participation of students, Warlick stresses, "it is another demonstration of how we need to come to respect the learner - not just demand respect as the teacher, but pay back with respect for the learner and the places they’ll take what we teach."

Interested in education and wishing to follow more about Warlick's activities? No desperation here is another CoLearners wiki from him.

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