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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Why PPT Seems to Be So Widely Used in #eLearning

Instructional design does not influence people's use of new technologies. Industrial designers, Software engineers, UX Designers, they are the ones that have the power to influence the use of a new technology. Our job, writes Brent Schlenker, as instructional designers, is to figure out what our learners are currently familiar with and deliver a learning experience they can consume in whatever medium they are comfortable with.

Now pretend you are not a instructional designer but an avid teacher in need to start using social media tools in your classrooms. The fact is that even at this point no so many colleagues are still familiar with Facebook, LinkedIn, My Space or Twitter. They think these tools don't allow a personal way of learning, and in most cases teachers don't want to let their time to be devoured by social media tools. Mark Berthelemy, a UK based IT expert, says Twitter is "not really a good environment for a conversation."

Now, if instructional designers are the only ones with the power to influence uses of new technologies and some of the so popular solutions we know such as Twitter, are not a good place to hold conversations, one comes to think, what are the solutions for our classrooms with higher acceptation? In other words, which tool is the king and works for conversations, presentations and may influence the auditorium.

The eLearning Brothers site believes PowerPoint -PPT is widely used and gives out some strong reasons. They say "with some good thought and instructional design you can use most any tool to a decent level of effectiveness."

Is PowerPoint the most widely used tool for eLearning development?



Brother Andrew, editor of the eLearningBrothers is also an "Expert Author” on EzineArticles.com. He suggests a few reasons why PPT seems to be so widely used in eLearning:

1. Classroom training is often converted to an online format. Every classroom course has a PPT and it’s usually the first thing that someone thinks about when they want to put the course online. Unfortunately too often the PPT is simply thrown online without having truly turned it into effective eLearning.

2. Everyone has PPT. It’s probably already on every training person’s computer.

3. Everyone knows how to use it (and if they don’t it’s pretty easy to learn.)

4. You can quickly create content and there are tons of layouts, backgrounds, and color themes.

5. And last but not least, Microsoft already owns the world so why not conform?

Do you believe PPTs can be retouched and give origin to a new eLearning tool? Or you think Twitter is a good alternative and can surpass the actual role of PPT, what it has been your personal experience?


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Firing All Educators Is Ineffective

At this point, you are familiar with what is happening in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where 74 teachers were set on fire after the school committee voted to fire 93 members of the Central Falls High School. They did this because about half of the school’s students graduate, and only 7 percent of 11th-graders were proficient in math in 2009, according to a note in the Washington Post.

While many are happy with this decision, there is another group who think that is a desperate measure. If we were in the production business, or in any of the marketing efficiency areas, the step is the correct. However, neither the teachers, nor the students are merchandises and were neither assigned a economic value. There has to be some mistakes but firing teachers it is the the most inefficient procedure to clear that mess.

Valerie Strauss from the washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet does a succinct analysis with facts and wider view of things in the education complex:

Now, all they have to do is find 93 excellent professionals to take their places. Recruiting the best educators should be easy, especially when you can offer them life in a very poor town and a job with no security.

And, of course, the powers that be will have to ignore all the other influences on high school students because their poor performance was all about the adults at the high school.

Their elementary and middle school education -- or lack thereof? Not a problem.

Their sometimes difficult home lives? Naw. That doesn’t affect how a kid does at school.

No Child Left Behind, a federal education law that has driven schools to drastically narrow curriculum and use rudimentary standardized tests to measure how well kids are doing? Nope. Not an issue, nor is the fact that Duncan is largely continuing the NCLB practices that have been shown to be a failure.

Firing all the educators may sound bold to some, but it sounds sad and desperate -- not to mention ineffective -- to me.

There is no evidence that wholesale changes at schools makes a difference at schools, though it has been tried repeatedly in districts around the country -- even in Duncan’s Chicago public schools, which he ran for years before becoming education secretary.

As my colleague Nick Anderson noted in a Post story Duncan tried a lot of things during his more than seven years as Chicago chief: shutting down schools, hiring experts in turning around schools, and firing a lot of people. There results? To put it nicely, there was no Chicago miracle. Some schools improved, others didn’t.

That’s because grand gestures don’t work in improving schools. It would be nice if they did, but time and time again, we’ve learned they don’t. Making schools work is a hard, hard job. There is no one thing that you can blame; there is no single remedy that works for every school and school district.

Instead of trying to figure out where real changes could be made at Central Falls High, the powers that be there went ahead and did the desperate thing.

Let Duncan call them courageous. It sounds foolish to me. And the people who will most suffer? As usual, the kids.


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Why Do Schools Need Instructional Technology Integrators

Edutwist

We’ve run out of room in our schools for the clunky technology of yesterday, both figuratively and literally. We need to get rid of the old equipment, along with the old mindsets, instructional methods, and philosophies that keep us pinned in the past. But change is exploding all around us at speeds and in directions that are impossible to keep up with.

We need tour guides.

For more, read the source of the article written by Sharon Elin

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