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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Che: The Fleetingness of his Dead

Over 40 years transcended since the assassination of El Che. I was born in the 60's and the first Milton grew up comparing capitalism and socialism in the same way many students were doing it back then. Today, the Soviet Union does not exist anymore beyond its old capital Russia. The United Sates is not the imperial power I was said so.

I know many will disagree with me but Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, is the only Latin American leader with global appeal. His legacy has ascended to the quality of martyrs through the ages: A charismatic figure in prophetic conflict with the norms of society who lived fast, stayed faithful to his principles, and died young.(1)

How Che influenced education? I will need for than one post to explain that. But certainly, there were a group of intellectuals, artists, journalist and writers who stood behind his practice and thousands of students wanted to emulate the complex and charismatic revolutionary. Two brilliant educators, I dare to say, were early influenced by immortal fighter: Paulo Freire and Domingo Sarmiento.

To Latin Americans, included poets like Ecuadorian Jorge Enrique Adoum (1997), believed that Che Guevara was betrayed by the Left and his own continent. In Che: The Fleetingness of his Dead, one of the 134 finest poems and song from 53 countries complied y translated by Gavin O'Toole and Georgina Jimenez in Che in Verse, says:

"thirty years already?
does this mean we continue to be useless after thirty years in a word without him?
does this mean there is a generation able to have been born grow and beget in a world for thirty years without him?
How does one conceive of the world without him for thirty years?
america without him?
...
he was doing for us what we should have been doing ourselves
he was doing what we knew had to be done but were not doing
what we wanted to do but we did not do
what inevitably we have to do but we are not doing
...
suddenly the bitch of history came
astonished we entered into something like an ideological vacation
and suddenly no one knew anything or believed in anything anymore
and instead of loathing and hating ourselves as if crying for our impotence
I went around asking what was done in which corner when in the entrails of america
...
when because they kill him they believed he had died and
announced the 'end of history'
as if we all now think the same with the disobedient exception of
chiapas and cuba..."
__________
(1) O'Toole, G. & Jimenez, G., Che in Verse (United Kigndom: Aflame Books, 2007), 60.

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miltonramirez.com says so long to its readers

Definitely, this month marks an important date in our online life. For years, we have been maintaining this blog under different names but the last two, we decided to move it to our own website.

I assume my responsibility but I also believe Google Apps has to assume theirs. For those who have purchased their own web address via Google, know their sites must be renewed each year automatically or manually. We chose to do it automatically and had it expired on Jan. 6, 2010.

During last December we did cancel that payment with a credit card, and then we forgot about it. I receive hundreds of e-mails. I had seen some of Google but got no attention. They e-mailed me four opportunities notifying me that the payment had been canceled due to the credit card was not honored.

Yesterday, when I attempted to look at the page, surprise..., no more miltonramirez.com. I followed the recommendations Google set on its help page and contact GoDaddy.com. They confirmed me that the site belongs now to a company in Illinois. How, I asked the representative? Was then that I hurried to review the payments and e-mails of Google Apps. It was too late, I've had lost my website.

As I do not make actually money, rather than economic impacts the damage was caused to the internet presence @tonnet has built. Back are left over one hundred entries and links pointing to my prior website. Thank you all for those links and please do not change links yet, I hope and expect to retrieve miltonramirez.com

Until then, please keep reading us in milt.blogspot.com. Bookmark the address so you can remember where to find us.

Apologies to you. My wish that this inconvenience does not happen or had ever happened to you.

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Milton Ramirez

Web 2.0 Enables Connections And Provides a Community of Learners

Brave New World:

At the end of last year our school committed to embracing Web 2.0 technologies, and some teachers have begun to explore the potential of blogs, wikis and other platforms for teaching and learning. Others are still either reluctant, don’t see the relevance for their teaching, or consider the challenges in supporting Web 2.0 technologies greater than the benefits.

More and more often I find myself wondering how it is that educators can have such a different view of what education is about, and which skills are more important to students for their future. And how can we talk about learning outcomes before we procure for ourselves a comprehensive and consistent picture of the kind of world in which our students will be working and living? If we don’t inform ourselves, aren’t we way off the mark and therefore failing our students

For a comprehensive understanding of the value of Web 2.0 read the original article written by Tania Sheko.

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If Google Can Answer Your Question.... Don't Ask Me!

I'm not sure whether it was the exact sentence we saw on Twitter on one of the past edchat sessions. For many, perhaps, it looked elegant and creative, since we noticed the expression was retweeted widely.

While Google indexes over a trillion of pages, search engines are limited in a number of ways. Due to websites are constantly changing with information being added and deleted, it is impossible for the spider to keep up with all the changes.

You should remember, too, that there are information they do not read: Search engines can't read .pdf or Flash files, they can't index ALL the data on sites with dynamic, real-time information, and they are unable to get to many databases accessible via the Internet.

According to the OCLC Online Computer Library Center's Office of Research, only 35% of the internet is publicly available and searchable via search engines; the other 65% consists of private or provisional sites, or sites that are not accessible by search engines.

Search is simple, says the Google support page, just type whatever comes to mind in the search box, hit Enter or click on the Google Search button, and voilá.

That's what most people do everyday, but students are doing it in the very same way when they are to know how to use search engines, not only Google by the way. What teachers are doing to help these non-professionals of the investigation?

First of all, we need to understand what is a query. According to a good reference, Googleguide: "It’s a request for information from a search engine. A query consists of one or more words, numbers, or phrases that you hope you will find in the search results listings."

I have the experience with two of my family members, one is in 7th grade and the other is a HS Senior, both of them don't know how to get their responses from Google and continuously come to me asking: How can I look for this...or that.

Being understood what a query is, student has to enter a query, type descriptive words into Google’s search box and start from there. For example: How to solve quadratic equations. First search gives me 2,550,000 possible aswers. Results are ranked using proprietary PageRank technology and the tendency is to click on the first link the results page shows. You need to be careful because Google indents pages that are on the same website as the first result.

Of course, you might be thinking, hey, I can get entirely different search results by using quotation marks around a group of words that form a phrase than if you do not use them. Yes. But inexperienced students don't. Notice that I am saying 'inexperienced' because there are the savvy ones, as well

If you just want any results, use the I’m Feeling Lucky button and this will send you to what Google considers the most relevant result that is not a paid advertisement. We take Google as example because this is the search engine mostly used. But you can also try bing.com and yahoo.com, both are absolutely reliable.

The search we've initiated on quadratic equations is unsearchable, we need to narrow our search by adding search words: quadratic equations Results: 2,180,000.

Since Google automatically searches for variations, we can narrow it down putting quotes:"quadratic equations." And now we've got a bit of success,572,000 results! If we want to exclude some results, you could use a minus sign: "quadratic equations" -graphs. Make sure you put a space before the minus sign and no space between the minus sign and the word or phrase you wish to exclude. Results: 443,000 with "solving quadratic equations" and the "Quadratic Formula" on top of the search page, that might be what your math student was trying to find.

Even when you are not familiar with Boolean Algebra, it's not quite difficult to remember two words. The default operator search engines use,is AND, which searches all words:solve+quadratic+equation (Try with plural equations and see the change in number of results). Either of those terms could be used with uppercase "OR"

Your student can use the stemming which is the term used when you search similar search terms or synonyms. Useful when your student can't even think of a word. When you put a tilde ~ in front of your search term, Google will look for both your chosen search term and synonyms. Do not put a space between the tilde and your search term. Ex. ~homework

There are other tips as the one over at The Cool Cat Teacher. Practical when you want your students search for educational videos other than those in YouTube only.

A specific piece of information, sometimes can get buried in a long web page and wouldn't be easy to spot the results, under these circumstances the best advice is to click on the Cached link and check the complete snapshot of the original page.

We don't even go over the misspelling issues. Sometimes the robot itself catches the problem and in bold letters from different color asks you: Did you mean... It does not occur all the times. Stress that your young researchers work carefully when doing their projects.

So, I will send my students to look deep the internet but I will tell them is wrong to think of the over heard expression: You can find everything on the internet. And at least, I will give them these tips and ask them to come to me for any other questions, anytime they need help. As Vicki A. Davis puts it once in answer to one of our posts, the internet is a tool, not the panacea.

Other quick tips. To nest searches, use parentheses () ex. math homework (help|resources). To search for statistics: scientific research ~statistics|~data|~table. Looking for glossary definitions gathered from various online sources? Try: define: potachovizar.

Also read:

- Google's lesser-known options.
- Google: How it Works
- Search Effectively Online.[video]

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