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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In Ed. Reform, Many Teachers Are Not to the Task

The Journal

A report released in December by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (CFTL) indicated that in California, where schools are pursuing ambitious education reform, while many teachers are well qualified to take on the demands of such an effort, many more simply are not up to the task.

"The Status of the Teaching Profession" offers current data on the supply, qualifications, and distribution of California's educators. The 2009 report includes the results of a survey of high school principals throughout the state regarding their views of their respective faculties' preparedness for the growing demands of 21st-century education.

Read in its entirety the complete article written by Scott Aronowitz

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#Edchat: Do Interactive Whiteboards really promote Interactivity in the classroom?

This is the answer hundreds of teachers wanted to respond in the regular #edchat held all Tuesdays on Twitter. It is true that teachers sometimes are reluctant to change and as Devia Stefaan puts it in this comment, the change needs to come from the inside of teachers and institutions.

Mary Ann Bell agrees the Whiteboard is interactive. (IWB) Users can be contributing directly by input both at the computer and at the board, she writes, to refer just one of her dozen reasons she thinks IWBs are a success. "The interaction that transpires between the person at the computer, the users at the board, and the computer itself is a unique and very adaptable arrangement," Bell concludes.

For people who may still be unfamiliar with the term, an IWB is a large display that connects to a computer and a projector.

Robert J. Marzano is an authority in IWBs. In his Final report on the evaluation of the Promethean technology, he (along to Haystead, M.) found that even when these tools have become popular over the last few years, "in 23 percent of the cases, teachers had better results without the interactive whiteboards."

Some of the most interesting tweets we grabbed out of the #edchat, were:

1. I prefer to use the term "Interactive" as exchange between persons OR mutual manipulation. IWB tends to be one way - @mattguthrie
2. With all technology a lot of hands-on PD is necessary. Teachers need training to learn how to foster interactivity. @cybraryman1
3. The "interactive" part of the IWB is between content and user. Student interaction depends on good design -like all other instr @geraldaungst
4. Without teacher training and support Interactive White Boards will be more of a white Elephant. @tomwhitby
5. The term 'interactive' in IWB refers to intellectual interactivity rather than physical interactivity... yes?? @Mrs_Dem

Conclusion: IWBs will promote interactivity in the classroom but it is limited to availability of equipment, the presence of a well trained faculty and the wish of all school involucrates to move out of the comfort zone.

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Why Teachers are Reluctant to Use Technology

There’s no doubt that education without technology is unthinkable in today’s world, so when we come across teachers who are still reluctant to use technology in the classroom to augment and add to their teaching experience, we wonder why. But if you think a little harder and try to understand why their reluctance comes to the fore, you’ll know that it is because:

  • They are scared of their ignorance: Most teachers, especially the ones who have been in this field for a good number of years, don’t know how to work technology and because of their fear of anything that’s labeled hi-tech, they don’t even try to learn. They prefer to do things the old way because it is familiar and they’re used to it. For them, making a change to something that is totally new is frightening. They fear to even attempt to learn it because they think they will not understand it and that this will cause them to lose face amongst the students and their peers.

  • Kids understand technology better: Children pick up anything easily if they put their minds to it, and so it is with technology. Kids these days have a radar that is intensely tuned into technology and they learn how to do things faster and more efficiently than adults. So when teachers think that the kids are going to know more about technology than them, they feel inadequate and are nervous about looking like fools in front of the children they teach. They fail to have confidence in themselves and let their inadequacies overtake them.

  • Not enough effort goes into training: Most schools impose the technology on teachers without adequately training them to use it. It’s like being thrown into a swimming pool before you’ve learned to swim – you panic and flail and want to rush out before you drown. You fear going near the pool again because you don’t want your mouth and ears full of water before you make it to the edge. But if you learn swimming the proper way, your fear disappears and you get the hang of it. You learn how to breathe underwater and how to float using your limbs, and as time goes by, this becomes routine and something you don’t have to try hard at. Technology is similar – the more training given initially, the more likely it is to be understood and mastered.

  • They don’t realize its advantages: Teachers don’t understand that technology, when used in the right way, can help their work and aid their teaching efforts. It makes their job easier and quicker. But because they don’t realize the advantages that it holds, they turn against it.
If teachers are prepared for technology in the classrooms and given adequate training in using the equipment and various applications, there’s no reason why they should exhibit reluctance to use it to the advantage of the students and themselves.

This guest post is contributed by Shannon Wills, she writes on the topic of Online Engineering Degree. She welcomes your comments at her email id: shannonwills23@gmail.com

Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Paulo Freire's Legacy

We have been too inconsiderate to not even mention in this blog to one of the of the most prominent figures in education, to those names that I can recite from memory and that we learned in our Philosophy of Education classes.

And who better than Henry Giroux to write about the Brazilian. A decade has passed since the death of Paulo Freire (May 2, 1997) and yet his ideology and principles are still alive. You just need to re-read his Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Giroux is right when he writes: "Since the 1980s, there has been no intellectual on the North American educational scene who has matched either his theoretical rigor or his moral courage. Most schools and colleges of education are now dominated by conservative ideologies, hooked on methods, slavishly wedded to instrumentalized accountability measures and run by administrators who lack either a broader vision or critical understanding of education as a force for strengthening the imagination and expanding democratic public life."

The legacy of Paulo Freire's work and the Promise of a Critical Pedagogy is very well summarized in this paragraph as to why H. Giroux thinks Freire's ideology caught fire worldwide in education:

Unlike so many intellectuals I have met in academia, Paulo was always so generous, eager to publish the work of younger intellectuals, write letters of support and give as much as possible of himself in the service of others. The early eighties were exciting years in education in the US and Paulo was at the center of it. Together, we started a critical education and culture series at Bergin and Garvey and published over a hundred young authors, many of whom went on to have a significant influence in the university. Jim Bergin became Paulo's patron as his American publisher, Donaldo [Macedo] became his translator and a co-author and we all took our best shots in translating, publishing and distributing Paulo's work, always with the hope of inviting him back to the US so we could meet, talk, drink good wine and recharge the struggles that all marked us in different ways. Of course, it is difficult to write simply about Paulo as a person because who he was and how he entered one's space and the world could never be separated from his politics. Hence, I want to try to provide a broader context for my own understanding of him as well as those ideas that consistently shaped our relationship and his relationship with others.
Education is not neutral.

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Streams to Become the Trend on 2010?

Internet Time Blog:

Blogging has been an important part of my life for ten years but now I’m wondering if the party isn’t moving on.

Like classrooms in training, blogs will always be around. But also like classrooms, blogs are ceasing to be the primary source of value.
[...]
Blogs are author-centric in a world that’s increasingly about relationships. Blogs are slanted toward me, me, me, me, me; the net is inexorably moving to us, us, us, us, us. Dialog trumps monolog.

Certainly one of the 2009 favorite posts written by Jay Cross.

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