education & tech

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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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A Student's Goals Many Teachers Should Read

Every often we teachers are dedicated to read, investigate and plan ahead our class management and the substance of our subjects, but the contact with our students is reduced to greet them at the beginning of the school period, randomly check their homework and there we go.

Teachers can (and should) always learn from students. There is nothing wrong with accepting that and adult is able to learn from kids, either in the relationship teacher-student. Below is the transcription of a student's goal of a very respectable school in the U.S. I should give proper credit to the student but I don't have permission to do so. What we teachers can learn from letters like this one?

    My goals for this school year are getting A's, talk less, listen more and learn more grammer. I want to get Superintendent's and make my parents proud. They will be like "Yup, that's my son always getting A's." I want to talk less because I am extremely talkative. I have the nag to not listen to some of my teachers, this is because they sound so boring. Also I wanna learn more grammer because I can't write that great.

    Another reason is I have to write poems and I need to know a lot of grammer.


The student has also a plan to get into his goals during 2009:


    1. I will e-mail my teachers when I need help.
    2. If I get carried away I would want the teacher to call my name and say, "David pay attention"
    3. I will obey every rule I am given and to very single thing no matter how simple or hard.
    4. Asking a responsible adult to keep an eye on me so I can stay focused.

There are many clues, that being a teacher, will allow me to redirect and enforce the learning to students like the one being quoted. What will now be your steps to gain confidence in this type of circumstances?

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The Need for a Moratorium on High-stakes Testing

There is a growing movement in the U.S. to abandon high-stakes tests because they don’t work as anticipated and are costly. I agree, but hope that we don’t throw out the need for accountability along with the high-stakes bathwater.

Before No Child Left Behind (NCLB) became law, Audrey Amrein and I discussed the dangers of high-stakes testing. We found that high-stakes high school exit exams did not improve scores on other tests such as the SAT or NAEP tests, and contributed to higher drop out rates. We also described the corruption that invariably occurs when an indicator of any kind takes on too much value. Both the indicator (test scores, stock prices, return on investment) and those who work with it are frequently corrupted. The 1200+ years of the Chinese civil service exams, and final exams at all three US Military academies are high-stakes examinations. Yet cheating by candidates was common despite the penalties of death and dishonor associated with such cheating. When indictors take on undue value people too often engage in morally questionable or reprehensible activities. States, schools, and teachers act similarly when faced with high-stakes exit exams.

Then came NCLB with mandatory high-stakes tests for all states and schools. With my colleagues Sharon Nichols and Gene Glass we showed that even though scores on state high-stakes tests were going up, scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were not rising as expected. We also found that the pressure within each state for achievement was correlated zero with gains in NAEP reading and mathematics test scores. Thus we negated a basic premise of NCLB, namely, that if pressure were exerted so that teachers and students would work harder, achievement would rise.

Then Sharon Nichols and I, in the book Collateral Damage, showed why NCLB is not working and why it cannot work. We documented how schools, under pressure to achieve, dump low performing children from the schools; or arrange for absences and suspensions on test days; or move children around from school to school so their scores will not count; or they drill, and drill yet again, on items suspiciously like those that are on the tests; and so forth. We found it hard to blame educators for a little loose record keeping, a little fudging of the data, a little more practice on items close to those that are on the tests, and for designing tests with easier items when their professionalism is undermined, their jobs are at stake, and they are forced to engage in a fruitless attempt to meet unreasonable expectations about student improvement. The Bush administration designed an accountability system perfectly suitable for corrupting the educators of our nation.

We said in our book that NCLB would not work as planned and that one of its terrible side effects would be to narrow the curriculum. We were right. Now, in fall 2009, school accountability systems based on high-stakes have proven to have no or negative effects on the achievement and the attitudes of children, and they have proven costly. Thus there is every reason to call for a moratorium on high-stakes testing in America. That’s what we asked for at the conclusion of our book and the case for a moratorium is even stronger now.

I hope that the Obama administration learns that there are alternative accountability systems that could work and are cheaper to administer. It is time to admit our nation got it wrong and must start over.

The Author of this post is David C. Berliner (First appeared on The Frustrated Teacher.) David is the Regents' Professor of Education at Arizona State University in Tempe. He is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education. He is the author, with Sharon L. Nichols, of Collateral Damage: How High-Stakes Testing Corrupts America’s Schools.

Lessons Through Holograms of Your Teacher

nzherald:

Teachers could soon be conducting lessons in holograms around a family's dinner table if mobile technology continues to evolve, an award-winning Auckland teacher says.

Nathan Kerr from Howick College recently represented New Zealand at one of the world's largest teaching conferences, in Washington DC, and has come home with some exciting prospects for incorporating m-learning, or learning through mobile devices, into the curriculum.

As soon as next year, mobile phones will have in-built projectors, and Mr Kerr forecasts this will let students do things such as use their phone to create a film about a subject they are studying, then project it on to a wall in the classroom.

Read the original article written by Jacqueline Smith

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Using 'Screenr' for Free to Make Interesting Math Presentations

Last week, while I was checking the streamline of our Twitter account, fellow Steven Diaz, who is a experienced math instructor and in pursue of his Ed.D. degree, gave to Screenr a try, uploading his very first work to show how to find the equation of the line between two points.

For all math teachers, the good approach showed by Steven, opens the door for improvement of the always criticized methods of teaching the abstract science. According to the author, the process of engaging students with this kind of new system, not only makes it interesting but it also allows students to download the archive into an iPod, which of course, adds more value to Screenr in the study of mathematics.

More than one teacher was excited about the slide. To hear more comments about what can be improved or how are you using Web 2.0 tools in math teaching, please spare 4 minutes to watch this beautiful Analytic Geometry class:



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