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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2010 Top Most Fascinating List of Education Blogs.

Despite many are doing round ups to feature the most relevant news or post of the 2010, we think for educators and for many edublogs a good way to close this year productively, is to endorse en recommend the people who had contributed to education, the editors and bloggers who without being paid have known to share the best info and knowledge at their discretion.

For brevity we only mentioned the Eddies2010 once the announcement was made, but Around the Corner and Doug - Off the Record went a step ahead and published the complete list of education blogs patronized and selected after the edublogawards.com

As Miguel writes, "If your blog isn't on the list, I hope you'll add it in the comments, then copy the list and share it with others.



» Individual blogs



» Group blogs



» New blogs



» Class blogs



» Student blogs



» Resource sharing blogs



» Influential blog posts



» Teacher blogs



» Best librarian / library blog



» Best school administrator blog



» Best educational tech support blog



» Best elearning / corporate education blog



» Best educational use of audio



» Best educational use of video / visual



» Best educational wiki



» Best educational podcast



» Best educational webinar series



» Best educational use of a social network



» Best educational use of a virtual world



» Best use of a PLN



» Lifetime achievement



I wish you have plenty of information during the forthcoming 2011. Happy New Year to all our Education & Tech readers!

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A Dozen of the Most Blogged News About Education | Education & Tech

Finally we are only one day away until we receive a new year. Be optimistic and let’s celebrate the end of this decade with optimism. A quick review of what has been published in this blog deserves your time in the first place:


I think we've had a big year in the Education, this segment of the community has embraced social media more than ever before, so all participants had been able to engage students and colleagues. I'm not listing the events in any particular order, because many of these issues will continue to make headlines in the months ahead.

Read on to reminisce about the most blogged education news in 2010:


In case I've missed some other compilation, I'd ask you to let us know in the comments section. And don't leave without commenting on what you'd think will be your education-related predictions for 2011?

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12 Ethical Principles to Ensure Students' Safety Online

I've been reading Doug Johnson's blog from a while. This particular post struck me and had me reading it some more time. Nor I was slow to read, neither the post wasn't clear enough, it was the interesting information contained in there.

First, Johnson’s 3 P’s of Technology Ethics: 1) Privacy - I will protect my privacy and respect the privacy of others; 2) Property - I will protect my property and respect the property of others; and, 3) a(P)propriate Use - I will use technology in constructive ways and in ways which do not break the rules of my family, church, school, or government. This a textual transcription, but I'll ask you to discuss with your students specially No. 3.

Secondly, the way he argues the school should not only install Internet filters but 'show due diligence' to ensure that once the students are at their own outside school, they can safely navigate de WWW. However, he says teachers are to proactively work with students to show them the path:

    1. Articulate personal values when using technology.
    2. Stress the consideration and application of principles rather than relying on a detailed set of rules.
    3. Model ethical behaviors.
    4. Build student trust.
    5. Encourage discussion of ethical issues.
    6. Accept the fact students will make mistakes.
    7. Allow students personal use of the Internet.
    8. Reinforce ethical behaviors and react to the misuse of technology.
    9. Create environments that help students avoid temptations.
    10. Assess children’s understanding of ethical concepts.
    11. Educate our students and ourselves.
    12. Educate your parents about ethical technology use.

For every single detail of these dozen of principles please read The Blue Skunk Blog

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Education & Tech: 12 of the Best Posts during 2010. [PostRank]

We have come to the time of the year when everyone begins plans to the New Near, some others enjoy a snowing fall as the one we just had, and there are the editors and publishers who are doing the lists to showcase the best and most commented information on their websites.

Here in Education & Tech and after 6 months since we changed our primary web address, things had go as expected, not to say better.

The hits this education blog is receiving had increased and more educators and regular Internet users are getting the benefit of the information without having to subscribe or pay any single penny.

The following are the most recommended and cited articles we have written from July through December of the 2010:


Happy New Year and many thanks for keep visiting Education & Tech!

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Merry Christmas Eve to all our readers out there.

I am a Catholic by tradition and by family. And I also know there are other cultures where Xmas do not exist or simply the meaning is different than the one I was educated in, after all that, please allow me to share with you my dear readers a video which wraps up how I get introduced to Christmas when I was a kid and how this has changed to a Santa tradition nowadays.

We had share almost year by year these greetings and as I said before, for some this means Merry Christmas for some others is Christmas Eve and of course for my family and the people whose roots are Latin means Feliz Navidad!



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Teachers Know How Common is Plagiarism

NYC Educator:

    I once had a young student from Russia, very bright, but not such a great writer. Being resourceful, she compensated for her lack of skill by simply copying things off the internet. Once, she brought me several extra credit papers, one about the joys of Shakespeare. No, no, I told her, people often think I'm an idiot by virtue of being an English teacher, but I'm not as dumb as I look. Also, I've seen your writing before and this isn't it.

    One day, I was in the office and a bunch of kids, for some reason, had a paper she'd gotten an A on. I read it and noted that it was an AP who'd given her the A. I looked up her class, knocked on the door, and pulled her out. I told her I knew she hadn't written this paper, if I could figure it out others could too, and that she could get in deep trouble for pulling such nonsense. That didn't phase her at all. She had but one thing to say:

    "You aren't going to tell Ms. Clueless, are you?"

I encourage you to read the original post at one of the Best NYC Edublogs, particularly the comments section.

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Why Too Many Laptops Are Getting Stolen in k-12 Schools

A study by Absolute Software Corp., a company that offers a way to secure your computers, has found that schools rank as the No. 1 place for laptops to get stolen. The second hot spot for stolen machines is your home.

You were right, cars are the third most popular place for your laptop to banish, and follow in descending order other places like businesses and offices, colleges and universities, hotels and motels, restaurants, stores and shopping malls, taxis, buses, trains, and airports.

I cannot explain how is this happening. We have to consider no too many students carry on laptops to high schools, how come they are able to take a laptop then?

On 2009, a study performed by the Ponemon Institute in the name of Intel Corp. established that costs of a lost laptop reached a value of $49,246. Costs include these seven variables: replacement cost, detection, forensics, data breach, lost intellectual property costs, lost productivity, and legal, consulting and regulatory expenses.

As we are on the proximity of Holidays, it is important you consider John Egan's recommendations to keep your laptop safe and at sight:

10 Ways to Protect Your Laptop From Being Stolen



1. Don't leave your laptop in an unlocked vehicle.

2.Carry your laptop in a nondescript carrying case, briefcase or bag.

3. Don't leave a meeting or conference room without your laptop if you are going to lunch or taking a break.

4. Lock your laptop in your office during off-hours. Specially if you are a teacher.

5. Consider engraving or marking your laptop with identifying information. White correction fluid is a good substance to use. Something that last three years, the life period of a laptop.

6. Back up your data offline or online.

7. At airports, don't send your laptop through the X-ray machine until you are ready to walk through the metal detector, and don't go through the metal detector until your laptop is well inside the machine. Pick up your laptop as soon as it comes out of the X-ray machine.

8. Don’t leave your laptop unattended ---in a conference room, a classroom, a coffee shop, an airport, a hotel room.

9. Use the Universal Security Slot (USS) on the side of your laptop to attach a security cable or alarm when leaving the computer at your desk or in your office.

10. Look into software that can track your computer. When a stolen or lost machine is turned on and connected to the Internet, your laptop will record and send information to a special server or via email.

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2010 Edublog Winners Is Announced!

I haven't neither been nominated nor I am a winner, but for those following Education & Tech here is the list of the winners. Our congratulations to all them, specially to Larry Ferlazzo and Richard Byrne.

All Edublog Winners listed here

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Is the Information Overload a New Concept?

Ann Blair, a professor of history at Harvard University and the author of Too Much To Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age, doesn't think the information overload, as a concept, it is a novelty.

From her post at Boston Globe (We have stressed the ideas important to us):

    In the academic world, critics have begun to argue that universities are producing and distributing more knowledge than we can actually use. In the recent best-selling book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr worries that the flood of digital information is changing not only our habits, but even our mental capacities: Forced to scan and skim to keep up, we are losing our abilities to pay sustained attention, reflect deeply, or remember what we’ve learned.

After comparing the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, she concludes:

    Some of our methods are similar, and others are completely new. Search engines like Google harness technology to do something that wasn’t possible earlier: using algorithms and data structures to respond to search queries that have never been posed before. Many of our tools will no doubt rapidly become obsolete, but a few of those may spawn useful offshoots, just as the note closet enabled the growth of sophisticated catalog systems.


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With Self-Harm, Students Can't Success Academically

How many of you have worked with teens? I don't expect to have answers as for now, but I pretend to call attention to a topic which is happening among young people this age. By now you may be familiar with formspring.me, a social chat network where people can ask as many question as they like and there is not limitation at all.

What Danah Boyd has discovered is that many teens are harassing themselves in order to gain attention. Teens who are the victims of bullying – whether by a stranger, a peer, or themselves – are often in need of support, love, validation, and, most of all, healthy attention, writes Boyd in her blog Apophenia.

As teachers we need to be especially careful when dealing with teens. Most of times they can't sleep well and wake up in a very bad mood. In these conditions they march to school where the first clash is with the homeroom teacher. And that behavior can last until the last period at school.

If you notice a misbehaved student try to confront him with another person being present and if needed find the counselor for help. Can be very risky to control a teen who is suffering of attention deficit or is being bullied. Particularly when they are the ones causing damage themselves asking the most though questions.

Danah thinks there are three reasons teens might be doing harm to themselves asking rude and sometimes bully question on formspring.me:

    1. It’s a cry for help. Teens want their parents (and perhaps others in their lives) to notice them and pay attention to them, support them and validate them. They want these people to work diligently to stop the unstoppable but, more importantly, to spend time focused on helping them.

    2. They want to look cool. In some schools, getting criticized is a sign of popularity. Simply put, you have to be cool to garner hate/jealousy/etc. By posting and responding to negative anonymous questions, it’s possible to look important by appearing to be cool enough to be attacked.

    3. They’re trying to trigger compliments. When teens are anonymously attacked, their friends often jump in to say nice things in response to the negative commentary. Thus, a desirable side effect of attacks is a stream of positive support, compliments, and other loving messages.

Where no parents can deal with this, teachers are on call.

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Computers Might Take You Out to Frustration

Bettys's Blog

Computers have minds of their own. Some people are in sync with that, but I’m not one of them. I envy those people who just seem to know what to do.

Yesterday I taught two parent classes at the hospital. Someone had disconnected the computer and the projector. I’m not sure why they did it, but I’m sure there was a purpose. Of course, it didn’t occur to them to reconnect all of the plugs before leaving. Anyway, I didn’t have a clue how to put Humpty Computer back together. It was a Saturday, so all of the tech gurus were off for the day. I ran around like a goose looking for help. Luckily, I did find someone who was able to reconnect everything for me. He was one of those in sync people. Color me green.

Read original post written by the Timely Teacher Talk.

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Gates concerned about video assessment but favors scripted instruction only.

Under classroom observational protocols non-profit but powerful organization like the Melinda Gates Foundation intents a new approach to the evaluation of teachers in situ.

The information about the first steps on that direction and presented by The New York Times, has brought a lot of national attention among American educators.

Rachael Maher, a seventh-grade math teacher at Alexander Graham Middle School in Charlotte, was among the 3,000 teachers researchers funded by the Melinda Gates had recruited in seven school systems: Dallas; Denver; Charlotte, N.C.; Hillsborough County, Fla.; Memphis; New York; and Pittsburgh.

Out the analysis of the 'experts,' Maher is said to be failed at least one of the protocols, called Framework for Teaching, which has a category called Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport. The teacher didn't pay attention to a kid who had his hand up.

Videos like the one volunteered by Rachel Maher will be up by next June. Researchers among them Catherine A. McClellan and Tomas J. Kane, will have about 24,000 videotaped lessons, but the research will eventually involve reviewing some 64,000 hours of classroom video. Dr. McClellan expects to recruit hundreds of educators and train them to score lessons by early next year.

Unionized teachers - and independent ones, are not welcoming the new approach. They think that if we teach to accommodate the conditions for the video or the observer, then it is not a true assessment. Gates favors scripted instruction. So his evaluation method tests script performance and no more than that, tweets Ira Socol.

We don't want to demonize the new project. What concerns me is who are the experts behind the project. How and by whom they were select. Once we know that we will unload our worries as to why, again experienced teachers are on call.

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Top 10 U.S. School Districts in Digital Technology 2010

The seventh annual Digital School Districts Survey by the Center for Digital Education of erepublic.com and the National School Boards Association (NSBA)is out since last October.

The Top Ten-Ranking Winners of the 2010 Digital School Districts Survey were:

Large Student Population Category - More than 15,000 students:
1st Clark County School District, Nev.
2nd Prince William County Public Schools, Va.
3rd Frederick County Public Schools, Md.
4th Cherokee County School District, Ga.
5th Cleveland County Schools, N.C.
5th Colorado Springs School District 11, Colo.
6th Gwinnett County Public Schools, Ga.
7th Fayette County Schools, Ga.
8th Las Cruces Public Schools, N.M.
9th Denton Independent School District, Texas
9th Loudoun County Public Schools, Va.
10th Blue Valley School District, Kan.
10th Richmond County School System, Ga.

Mid-sized Student Population Category - 2,500 up to 15,000 students:
1st Howell Township Public Schools, N.J.
2nd Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, N.C.
2nd Oconomowoc Area School District, Wis.
3rd Geneseo Community Unit School District 228, Ill.
4th Fayetteville Public Schools, Ark.
4th Township High School District 214, Ill.
5th Lowndes County Schools, Ga.
6th Andover Unified School District 385, Kan.
6th Barrow County Schools, Ga.
7th Jones County Schools, Ga.
8th Vineland School District, N.J.
9th Marietta City Schools, Ga.
9th Roanoke County Public Schools, Va.
10th Jefferson City Schools, Ga.
10th Madison County School District, Ky.

Small Student Population Category - Less than 2,500 students:
1st Springfield Public Schools, N.J.
2nd Springville-Griffith Institute CSD, N.Y.
3rd Hanson School District, S.D.
4th Maine Regional School Unit 21
5th Gooding Joint School District #231, Idaho
6th Tornillo Independent School District, Texas
7th North Mason School District, Wash.
8th Chickamauga City School System, Ga.
9th Orange City Schools, Ohio
10th Fremont County School District 24, Wyo.

Hats off to covergemag.com

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The Internet: American Faith in Science And Scientific Institutions

One of our followers on Twitter sent me an e-mail with this question:

I'm a freshman in college, and I'm writing a term paper that is going to argue whether or not the Internet is assisting in and accelerating the erosion of American faith in science and scientific institutions.

Is very deterministic to think my response will be address only to what happens in the U.S.

The word science is a term belonging not only to the academy. Unfortunately, that same word is used in other circles to legitimize knowledge that otherwise is only empirical.

That necessity to legitimize vulgar science in the name of the science, it is not a reason to point to the Internet as the sole cause. On the contrary, I think the web has contributed not to the erosion of science but to the foundation of it.

It is thanks to the Internet that people themselves and without having to go to a lab or attend an academia, they can verify information, and to contrast analysis previously only possible in a library or a laboratory.

The interest in positive science, subject to experimental verification then has nothing to do with the sources of information. The one who talks of science must adhere to the principles that determine it. That is why there are not too many scientists and so may appear that centers where science develops may be in crisis.

Nothing could be farther from reality.

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'What’s the connection between Murdoch’s search for profits in the education market and...'

assortedstuff:

Lots of education reform types seem to think schools can learn a lot from emulating business practices.

Like New York Mayor Bloomberg who likes hiring people with absolutely no experience to run the city school system. Or those who fall at the feet of Bill Gates to hear his pronouncements (and pick up some of his cash).

And many companies have interests beyond getting kids ready to work for them as evidenced this week when News Corp. bought an education technology company called Wireless Generation.

Please do not go away without checking out the original by Tim Stahmer

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U.S.: National Blogging for Real Education Reform

I haven't had the time to read all posts being written by call of Cooperative Catalyst. But thanks to an invitation sent via Twitter message by @pammoran, I want to quickly elaborate two points for this matter.

One is the respect we as teachers need to regain. Recently, if you were following news about education reform, a powerful voice said teachers don't need experience and that basically anyone can be a teacher. You know who was that. When someone who is being listened says this, and no one with the equivalent power can answer back, I feel exacerbated.

Jose Vilson in a powerful piece writes: "In other cultures, teachers are respected and in some cases, are the cultural equivalent of royalty and government officials. Here, teachers can only voice their opinion if they’ve a) left the profession b) became a PhD or c) did something absurdly outrageous/courageous."

Every single teacher in this country needs to voice and stand up to defend not only education but they career. No one of the people in Washington would be there, if it is not for a teacher who was the guidance at early ages. If professionals of education do not stand up, other will misrepresent them. And that's what is going on, unfortunately.

Secondly, I think unions are not playing the role many educators expect. I am not against unions but how quickly they react to everyone who had a counter interest to teachers.

Those groups, we teachers have to deal with, are highly organized and they can successfully influence policymakers. We need to build a national coalition funded on membership so we can have the ability to carry on an agenda and go to the Capitol with our own representatives.

Until we the teachers are not respected as professionals and have not a coalition that gathers all groups of organized teachers, get our adrenaline high, and fund ourselves such an organization, it will be difficult to gain government attention to our own issues about education.

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The social cost of poorly educated minorities in the U. S.

There is not doubt I am an Hispanic rooted person and everything related to the minorities in this country really engages me. I still have trouble understanding how state and federal governments spend a good portion of their budgetary dollars in education, yet even the efficacy of the Department of Education is now seen as a heresy.

Many voices are to be listened on education reform and any politician, no matter whether this is Duncan or any Democrat or Republican who merely pretends to curb those dollars, is entitled of not wanting to invest in education. But we need results throughout the country, and quickly.

Joseph Phillips of The Daily Caller has a point about the education of Black and Hispanic population (emphases is ours):

    These are not students failing because they do not have access to the internet or don’t have Olympic-sized swimming pools. The sad fact is that the report demonstrates that middle-class black boys are scoring about as well as poor white boys. These are students who are not proficient in the basics of math and English.

    The social cost of this failure is not to be underestimated.

    Half of these students will drop out of high school; lacking a high school diploma and being functionally illiterate will qualify them for manual labor, which is steadily in the decline. They will join the ranks of the chronically unemployed; many of these men will make a life hustling on the streets and eventually become involved in the criminal justice system. Criminal records will make these men more unemployable, which will make it even more unlikely that they will have the financial means to support the children they father. It is a hellish cycle that will repeat generation after generation.

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"Be a teacher. Tutor a student. Volunteer at a school. Transform the life chances of children."

U.S. Department of Education

...We live in a time when so many Americans are hurting, when competition for jobs and economic security is increasing, and when the pressure simply to survive is growing. There's a tangible sense of fear and anxiety among—not just the poor—but among working Americans and the middle class. People are asking whether the American dream is still within reach. I believe that it is—but we are going to have to work a lot harder to achieve it—and that work begins in the home and the classroom and it continues every day in our communities. And that's why service is so important. Because society—whether it is government or business or the family—cannot meet every need today.

Despite the myriad of challenges we face, I am also deeply optimistic. In the past two years, I've travelled throughout the country and been inspired by what I've seen. I've been to more than 40 states—four this week alone—and I've seen first-hand that America is dedicated to service. From the Peace Corps to Americorps to countless wonderful student-led projects here at the Phillips Brooks House Association and hundreds of other campus-based service organizations across America, literally millions of young men and women are working in communities—giving their time, energy, expertise and love—to help others.

Read "Call to Service", a Lecture by Secretary of Education at Harvard University.

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