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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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

Much has been written about headlines and how that way we present it has a deep impact on the attention visitors and readers pay to such an article. And this is one of those cases, deliberately I chose the headline, paraphrasing the popular The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, a business self-help book.

But what makes teachers highly effective?



We should start with two basic premises: Teachers are facilitators and not entertainers even though occasionally have to play that role. The second point to have in mind is that learners are not anymore the passive subject who only listens, new technologies put students in charge of the information they access, they are able to save, reformat and share it.

TESConnect has a list of 7 Secrets Behind Great Teaching. They explain how along Crelos, a business psychologists, they went to analyse the "personalities, motivations and behaviour of 15 award-winning teachers to uncover the seven habits that make them successful in the classroom."

Secrets effective teachers put into practice:

    1. They build confidence

    Many students suffer from low self-esteem, basing their aspirations on celebrities (Michael Jackson just to mention one)and feeling disappointed when their lives don’t match up, so teachers have to build confidence in abundance.

    2. They’re not afraid to make difficult decisions

    Although this is something required of senior management, it is a personality trait rather than a behaviour that can be learnt. It seems natural that 57 per cent of participants have a strong or extremely strong preference for authority, meaning that they are comfortable making difficult or unpopular decisions.

    3. They develop others

    In school, this behavior may be displayed when teachers give up their time to help other colleagues acquire new skills or oversee training days. It is one of the involving behaviors and as well as developing your kids, it’s about developing your own and others’ capabilities by providing opportunities for career development, giving coaching and constructive feedback or setting aside a specific budget for training.

    4. They’re good communicators


    Many of the teachers gave examples of using school displays, songs or analogies to communicate their message. One head that scored well had used the song Proud by Heather Small to convey a message of confidence through the school. Being able to communicate well is fundamental to teaching and all teachers provided evidence of this.

    5. They’re non-conformists

    While teachers may not always admit to it, Kirsten Darling agrees that teachers tend to get bored easily. 'Teachers generally don’t like doing the same thing day in, day out. And the pupils find that more interesting too,' she says. 'There are a lot of structures put in place for teachers that can be quite limiting, but if you have people in management who allow you to pursue your own creativity and be dynamic, that’s ideal.'

    6. They thrive in the company of others

    While a vast proportion of the population spend their working life in front of a screen, teachers spend most of their professional life in front of children. So it’s good to know that teachers enjoy the company of other people and there is a strong leaning towards fellowship among this group.

    7. They see the bigger picture

    'The teachers are all quite good at looking at what other schools are doing, looking outside of their immediate surroundings and even outside of education,” says Ms Henshilwood. 'These are all award-winning teachers, and as you are seen to be better at your job and become more senior, you are given bigger management responsibilities. If you’re a head of year or department you start having to take on the bigger picture,' concludes.

For those of you already in the classroom, or those thinking of entering the field of teaching and education, this is a reminder of what it takes to be a success. Not only for your personal benefit but our students, for the benefit of our country.

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Teacher’s Total Years of Experience vs. How Much Time He Has Taught a Particular Grade

There are two paragraphs that really grabbed our attention on this post. As Barnett Berry puts it, lets get real about teacher experience and its effects on student achievement:

For your delight, this the most significant defense of experienced teachers I ever read (stressed section is ours):

    Policy pundits and journalists have few qualms about calling for any seasoned teaching veteran to be put out to pasture. They aren't really interested in whether the teacher is effective, ineffective or "we don't know." These pontificators, single-minded as donkeys, tend to rely on research showing that teacher experience beyond three years does not matter much for standardized test scores. However, their interpretation of the teacher-experience data sets is rather limited, perhaps reflecting more about their ideology than any substantive understanding about teaching and learning in complex school environments.

We should pay attention to 'separated' experience. It's also important we consider the "teacher gropus:"

    As we consider and design research, we need to pay attention not only to an individual teacher’s aggregate years of experience but how groups of teachers have used their combined knowledge over time to change the working culture of their team (or department or grade level), share teaching expertise among themselves and with others, and connect more closely with their students and their families.

I've learned that in America, experience is one of the most valuable assets a person can own, but it seems that when we talk about teaching that same over valued experience does not weight in!

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NECC09: How Are You Going to Participate?

Tania Sheko brought up this question on Twitter. What's the best way to follow NECC online? (@taniasheko) and we want to go over it. Not all of us can afford to go, but would still like to participate.

So without further introduction let me tell you that Jennifer Ragan-Fore has created http://www.neccning.org/ where participants are gathering to get info about the coming conference.

There is also a Virtual NECCers group created by Scott Merrick where he updates you that "Joe Corbett of the ISTE Connects team has just posted a call for ideas about what that team should share during NECC09 via streaming video! This seems the perfect group to respond. Get on over to his post and add to the discussion there!"

Although there are over a hundred of conference bloggers registered, with the use streaming video (up to the discretion of the session leaders) those who can make it still can participate. We hope in next years the organizer consider this situation.

On Wednesday we posted a Tweet over the 5 Tips to a successful NECC and it seemed to me that many liked. On this article the author suggest two terms we should use as #hashtags on Twitter: NECC and NECC09 and even explains how we should refine our search to be in the right place at the right time.

Elaine Roberts (@elainej) of Freestyle Pen is eager to be on board and also has promised to share some events using coveritlive

Do you know of other people who may be streaming the event during these days. Please help others interested in following virtually the conference

*Update*

Thanks to http://www.necc2008.org and we've find other way around to follow NECC09:

- The NECC 'UNPLUGGED' will stream all its sessions (on-site and virtual) live through Elluminate.

- Use serach option at the main site and look for sessions that are web cast.

- Apple too, will be posting podcasts of the keynotes.

- Fond of Second Life? Here are some rooms.

- ITSE Vision rocks!

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NECC09: Conference Bloggers

2¢ Worth

A common feature of some of the most successful Web 2.0 applications is their simplicity, and nothing has demonstrated this more than blogging. Blogger.com, a free blogging platform from Pyra Labs, was launched on August 23, 1999.1 Suddenly, anyone with access to a computer and the Internet, and the slightest typing skills, could publish to the world — for free. Type the title of your article into a textbox, type your article, click [Publish], and your words are available to a global readership. The simplicity is its power and its impact has been profound.

Many people at NECC will be blogging. 129 people have already registered with the NECC web site as conference bloggers. Many more will be blogging more casually, simply as a way of recording their experience and notes about what they are learning, for their own record or to share with colleagues at home.

Read complete article at David Warlick's Blog and do not forget to check out the 5 Tips to a successful NECC.

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Blogs Have 'Minimal Impact on Student Learning'

You might notice that lately I am not writing much on Education & Tech. For those concerned allow me to tell you that our time is quite short by now, this is one of the reason you are to read only quotes or reproduction of good content. Hopefully, I will be back with original content once I sort it out all personal stuff I am into.

I barely have time to read our subscriptions. However, following Google reader suggestions I've landed on Adventures in Educational Blogging . Susan Sedro, a tech coordinator for an international school in Singapore points out something we think educators should give it a second thought:

Currently, in the primary and intermediate schools, teachers were required to have a web page. In years gone by, this took a ridiculous amount of their time considering its minimal impact on student learning. A few teachers really excelled and it because a hub for the classroom. For most, it was a true burden; something that weighed them down.

Sedro says it's just about time to go from web pages to web 2.0! It surely is when still some professionals struggle to learn how to design a web page using Microsoft Front Page. No that the application i bad but we do have other platforms to set up a blog quickly. It may be a reason why some teachers still think weblogs are used by people who has no other thing to do. Wrong. Blogs are web sites that have a great impact on student learning. Of course, they need to learn first how to use it productively and how to create and share knowledge.

Wisely, my principal is not mandating that teachers have any web presence. Teachers are very busy and for some, none of those tools fit their teaching style and needs. I suspect others will end up using many different web tools with a blog for communication, a wiki for student projects, and other tools, such as Voicethreads pulled in where appropriate.

This conclusion, is in the best interest for teachers. Abandon old tools and get prepared to the jump onto the web 2.0. No matter if you use a blog or a wiki or any other social tool for this matter, what it counts is that you know the nuts and bolts of these tools and are not afraid to use it either at school or in your professional or personal life

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The iPod Octopus in the Classroom

EdTechBytes:

This post comes handy now that we all are using the new iPhone and updated the current version of our iPod Touch.

Implementing the iPod Touch in a PC Only environment without an Apple iPod Touch cart using only free apps requires us to problem solve some challenges.

The teacher synchs all iPods through a single iTunes Account.

A good teacher provisions for everything that happens in the classroom, so determining, modeling, and coordinating a synching procedure for 29 students is very important. For example, how often will the teacher synch the iPods? When will this occur? Which students go first? How will the students get their iPods back? What will the students be doing when the teacher is entangled in those wires trying to synch?

For the other possible challenges a classroom teacher is confronted with the iPod Touch in a classroom visit Patrick Ledesma's original article.

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