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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Teenagers: Inequality Being Reproduced by Social Media

Teens are using social network sites as a social hangout with their pre-existing network.

Researcher Danah Boyd over the weeken was participating at Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology. There she spoke about Living and Learning with Social Media, which gently she has made available here.

Abstract:
Many American youth are embracing a wide array of social media as part of their everyday lives. From social network sites and texting to blogs and wikis, many youth are leveraging the power of social media to create, communicate, share, and learn. In this talk, I will use social network sites as a case study to examine critical shifts that are underway as a result of social media. I look at how inequality is perpetuated through these systems and the challenges that educators face when trying to incorporate these systems into the classroom. Finally, I conclude by discussing implications for educators.

Danah begun to say that her talk was 'an implications talk, not a research talk' and then she keep explaining what are her concerns about uses of technology nowadays. She finds no change in the pattern of living of our young generation. She said, "Today's teens are still more interested in their friends than their lessons. They're still resistant to power and authority at variable levels. They still gossip, bully, flirt, joke around, and hang out. The underlying dynamics are fairly consistent. That said, technology is inflecting these practices in unique ways. And my goal here today is to talk about these inflection points."

We haven't thought of this one. Many hours are spent reading blogs, wikis, subscription an online newspapers, so you missed the point sometimes. I have reflected on these people who still are relying on print of radio waves and do not have internet connection but I never have reflected as what is happening with the utmost significant social networks, My Space and Facebook. When teens are segregating their peers moving from one another, this means they are reproducing the 'socio-economic status and class divisions in digital worlds' How? You have to read the article under section MySapce vs Facebook and you will learn how teens have established some kind of groups whom they decide to hang out.

A great presentation indeed and out of the echo chamber.

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Education Today 04/24/2009

Getting Serious About Improving Hispanic Children's Chances
They need urgent attention on: 1) dual-language programs, and 2) more pre-kindergarten.

Looking for Virtual School Board Members - Are You Interested?It would be great if you could sign up for an entire class period, but if you only have time for a partial period, we’ll try to work it out. Your help is needed between May 15th through May 24th.

Web2.0 - On sale now
Most teachers think they use it already or worry the Internet is source of plagiarism, half truths, complexity and perverts. Then, How do you get more people to use ‘web2.0’ tools in your school?

Interview with Chad Wick and Andrea Saveri
On 2020 Forecast: They spoke about creating the Future of Learning and the conversation focused on key forces of change that will shape the landscape of learning over the next decade, and how we are moving toward a culture of creation and innovation.

Most people believe manners are unimportant in 21st century In Britain, they say that good manners cost nothing. Apparently not. For researchers have found that fewer than a quarter of them think that common courtesy is important today. And U.S?

The rest of my favorite links are here.

World Book Day: The Translator -Daoud Hari

The Translator by Daoud HariWe had signed to participate in the GVO Book Challenge and today is the World Book & Copyright Day which is a yearly event on 23th of April, since 1995, organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

The challenge was to read a book from a country whose literature you have never read anything of before and tag it as #gvbook09. Many still criticize that print media is in debacle and so are books. However, this is a good opportunity to recall that science and all information we enjoy through the internet today, was only possible thanks to the books that jealously were saved in ancient libraries, monasteries, universities and lately the world wide web.

We have been reading The Translator: A Tribes Memoir of Dafur. written by Daoud Hari. While looking out for which book we should pick to read for this challenge, what caught our attention was the its title, The Translator. It called our attention because we too, translate for 'one of the largest volunteer-based online translation communities in the world.'

As Claudia Giampreti puts it, "The Translator is a suspenseful, harrowing, and deeply moving memoir of how one person has made a difference in the world - an on the ground account of one of the biggest stories of our time. Using his high school knowledge of languages as his weapon - while others around him were taking up arms - Daoud Hari has helped inform the world about Darfur."

And it really is. But to understand better the circumstances under which Sudan was living and was built, I will suggest you start reading its Appendix 1 (A Darfur Primer). In about 200 pages, once you start the book, you do not want to stop anymore. It is the vivid conversation two people can have while sharing the sadness of genocide of his people or even your own family. You learn about the Zaghawa tribe and terminology only spoken by these people. What Daoud had to endure while a refugee in the Chad and all his trips around Cairo and Israel.

There is a special paragraph that i really liked. It's a lesson of how saving money sometimes can save your life specially when you are in prison. Daoud and his co-writers wrote:

    ...When someone asks if you have any money, you will put hands in there again. This time, after so long in prison, after wearing these old jeans for many months in the vilest of prison cells with nothing to do but stand in the heat and put my hands in my pockets, I somehow let my thumb slip into the tiny watch pocket above the right pocket of my jeans -a forgotten pocket. I felt the edges of something. Folded into a small square was an Egyptian hundred pound note..."

Otherwise, he will never contact his cousins in Great Britain and would ever return home. A small lesson our kids and we teachers should encourage in school.

The author now lives in Baltimore. He was involved with the savedafur.org and starting whith his high school English language knowledge, he helped major news organizations including The New York Times, NBC, BBC, UN and some other aid organizations.

You can buy his book here and a review is up at A Little Bit of Change.

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Angela Maiers on "Doing School" in the 21st Century

How many times you have felt compelled to make your students become quiet, and no wonder the number of times you felt like suspending them. As a teacher you have to find the balance among teaching, educate and discipline.

However, Maiers in a beautiful slide asks her readers: Have we succeeded as educators:


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Why Should Teachers Have Tenure?

I won't comment on this article, read it and have your own thoughts. An additional link has been added for better reference and the stressed part is also ours.

From If Obama were an Untenured Teacher...

    ...If the president of the United States catches hell for being civil and speaking common sense, imagine how dangerous such behavior as a teacher can be. That's one reason tenure is important. It allows teachers to approach politically unpopular ideas without jeopardizing their jobs, instead of being classroom propagandists and mythologists.
    Time Magazine managing editor Richard Stengel doesn't seem to get this unique justification for tenure in the teaching profession. In his sloppy fluff piece on Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Stengel goes from interviewer to anti-labor tool with this comment:

    I think parents look at tenured teachers and say, I don't have tenure in my job — why should teachers have tenure?

    Sheesh, Dick, most parents don't face unemployment for exercising academic freedom and intellectual integrity. You don't get fired on Wall Street or Main Street for pointing out that America is not perfect or Genesis is not a science textbook. You do in schools.


For more on this matter see also Three Bullets for EduWonk

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Three Games Your Kids Can Play With iPodTouch/ iPhone

This post was meant to six and under children and was originally uploaded at Learning Visions of Cammy Bean. Using her Creative Commons license we reproduce Bean's work. All these three games can be get it through iTunes at only $ 0.99:

iWriteWords This is a fun little spelling game. You trace out letters to spell words. When you finish the word, a cute drawing appears and then you shake the letters into a little hole to move on.

Sort of a Montessori style approach, like the sandpaper letters that my daughter does at school. When she's trying to write a letter she doesn't know, I have to 'dot it out' on paper for her so she can trace it herself. This game matches that experience really well.

AniMatch A classic memory game with fun animal cards and sounds. I played it a few times myself before going to bed last night.

Pacifier1 Marketed for the 1-3 set, although my older kids are mesmerized by it. Little dots and shapes float around on the screen. As you touch them, a number is spoken out loud from 1-10. When you get to 10 it starts all over again. Soothing background music, smooth movement and lots of colors to pacify and interest your young child. And get her hooked to electronic games early.

Can you recommend other games that your kids enjoy while playing with either your iPhone or the iPod Touch?


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The Curriculum Universities Should Have Today

It's very difficult to please everyone not only in the educational institutions but in our normal daily life. Authorities are supposed to understand the necessities of new students and if they are not, then research should be lay down and built a curriculum that adjust not only for the students vision but conceptualization parents, educator and ultimately society demands.

Connecting 2 the World a interesting blog by V. Yonkers discusses a movie he watched during Spring Break with his children. 'Accepted' is the movie and he goes on explaining why Colleges and Universities should pay attention as to what their new students are in need of. The following questions are demanded to be answered, in order to understand what is the role and what is meant by the concept University: "What makes something a "university"? What curriculum should today's university have? What is the role of the faculty, student and administration in today's university? What should it be?"

We have been involved in the process of curriculum design and we also know how difficult is to set objectives, goals and parameters to evaluate the outcomes. Until society does not demand a particular professional, a technician or any political storm that translates into a deeply educational reform (Depression, Sputnik, then curriculum will be re-designed but no mayor changes will be implemented. Surely, students might want to:

    ...Skate boarding (in which students learned the laws of physics and engineering), stress reduction (based on the principles of religion, philosophy, and psychology), and understanding women (using concepts from sociology, women's studies, and biology)."


Designers should listen what the students want and need, although they won't weight more than the 50% of decisions. Students are able to teach themselves without any help from faculty in this era but still as many times have said, they still need an institution to certify that knowledge and such institution must follow state recommendations , since education most of the times is a government responsibility.

So, what is the curriculum universities should have today? It all depends on the state or county necessities. We don't want keep graduating engineers or finance people but we are not to force into the curriculum the skills on Twitter and other social networks. That's something students already know. We have to look up what the goals are in the Obama administration, in this case, work towards those goals: environment, social security, health, and economic crisis, as well.

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