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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Aim for 30% Reduction on Your Training Courses

Donald Clark Plan B

Cognitive overload is the norm in education and training. New teachers present too much too soon, to bewildered learners. Lecturers hammer out dense, hour long lectures. Trainers construct overlong, padded-out courses. Whether it’s classroom, lecture, conference talk, workshop or e-learning, it’s usually too long. Don't take a scalpel to your courses, take an axe - aim for 30% reduction on first pass.

Read the 10 ways to keep courses short.

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10 Rules to Create Engaging Elearning

The Rapid eLearning Blog is always on check at my list of feeds. Tom Kuhlmann is his editor and he was attending the ASTD conference. There, he was asked about how to create engaging elearning, a topic not everyone working in the classroom understands. The following are Kuhlmann's ten fundamental ideas to building good elearning courses:

1. Don’t Create the Course - focus on "real performance improvements."

2. The Course Needs to be Relevant to the Learner - "how the learner will interact with the content."

3. Understand Your Objectives - follow "performance goals."

4. Free Up the Navigation - give learners "the freedom to move around."

5. Don’t Push, Let the Learner Pull - "create an environment where the learner has to pull information in."

6. Consider the Pacing & Flow - "learning is like eating." Takes time and process.

7. Look for Inspiration Outside of E-Learning - move out the echo chamber.

8. Create a Course That is Visually Appealing - "people are attracted to things that look interesting."

9. There’s a Place for Novelty - "what's novel at the beginning of a course can quickly become annoying."

10. Commit to Engaging E-Learning - designers need to show "real commitment to make it more engaging."

For a explanation of each one of these rules, head over Tom Kuhlmann's Blog.

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"Induction/Inferential Model of Learning"

When a picture is worth a thousand words.



Firstly posted at D-Ed Reckoning

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4 Tips Can Help You During First Days of Class

I agree with Professor Robert Talbert about the importance of the first day of class. He writes that students (in college) "form their conceptions of the class...in the first few moments of the course."

This is true for all other levels, as well. Since the very beginning, students need to know what to expect form the course or subject. They need to make a contract/compromise that workload needs to be taken seriously.

These are the recommendations Robert gives in his blog Casting Out Nines:

    1. I prefer a quick, energetic launch directly into the course material. I spend maybe the first 7-10 minutes on course structure. Then we start right into the course content through a lecture/activity combination.

    2. To help with the first point, I will often create screencasts for some of the course management stuff (like this screencast for how to navigate Moodle) and email students the links to these, often before the first class meets.

    3. I do not go in for icebreakers, get-to-know-you activities, exercises intended to discover students Myers-Briggs types or learning styles, or any of that. Not that I think such things are not useful. But I’d rather the students get to work and get to know themselves and each other in the context of working, rather than get to know each other instead of working.

    4. I give a full-bodied assignment on the first day of class to do for the second day of class — something that would really take about two hours outside of class to do, if the class meeting took one hour. Here’s the assignment list, for example, for my calculus class. That’s about 2 hours worth of work, although if you look closely, a lot of it is watching instructional screencasts and playing around with course software, so it’s less work than it looks like. But still, students have to do stuff.

Of course Professor Talbert is a math teacher and are to expect such discipline. In lower level though, we will have to adjust the system described in the prior list. However, these are suggestion all teachers should embrace.

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Top 20 Edublogs According to Intercepts

Intercepts is a blog about education business, and as far as I respect and appreciate their commitment to offer us great information, its list published yesterday, on Top Education Blogs is incomplete or leave out other blogs that rank equal or higher that those in the list.

There is not a methodology present, it is only stated that Technorati is the reference and that political blogs are on top of the educational ones.

For your convenience, you can access the full list in here. Remember that the ranking number along the name of each blogs change every time. As for today, those number do not match anyome.

I said the list didn't include, at least, three blogs with high ranking on Technorati:

Free Technology for Teachers - 606

Larry Ferlazzos' Blog - 563

Stephen's Web - 512

I haven't made an investigation. This is only my first attempt to probe the list over there needs to be reviewed it. For other lists of education blogs, just click on the link.

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What App: A Tool to Protect Your Privacy

Before downloading and installing a new application, whether on your computer, Facebook, iPhone or Android or other smartphone, you can now check reviews of web and mobile apps for their privacy, security and openness.

Reviews on the What App site, by a team of about 15 lawyers, computer scientists, and privacy and security experts from Stanford University and other institutions, were recently thrown open to all visitors (who can request as well as post reviews). "Think Consumer Reports blended with Wikipedia and Yelp, but focused on the narrow issue of Internet security and privacy."

The site also reviews web browsers like Firefox and Safari, social networks including Twitter and Facebook and mobile platforms like Apple's iPhone, Windows Mobile and Google's Android.

Read more at A Consumer Experience Blog.

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Chrome displaying Error 102. What can I do?

I am not a heavy user of Google Chrome. Despite that, I still use it specially when I need to manage the same account at the same time. Everything was working perfectly until yesterday that I noticed I couldn't load any web page on Chrome.

I checked this thread on Google but this far, I still cannot see any web page on Chrome. I am under Spybot residence and have Microsoft Security Essentials running. I double checked to see if everything is working properly and it seems so.

I still work with Win XP on a Toshiba Tecra. The message that I had, looks the same as many are having it:

Error 102 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED): Unknown error.

I have to say that I can work normally with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Please, is there anything else that worked for you beyond the process to disable proxy settings on your computer?


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Technology Proves to Be Distracting for Some

While technology enhances the learning experience and broadens the horizons of students, it could also prove to be distracting for some.

I know the title of this post may seem inappropriate considering the times we live in. Our world would come to a standstill without technology, so why are we even asking the question if it would be more of hindrance than help in a classroom? The fact is that technology is good when used in the right way, but when you don’t know how to use it or if you use it for the wrong purposes, then it is more a destructive weapon than a constructive tool.

Editor's note: This article was first published at e-Learning Acupunture

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Inspirational Videos Enhance Creativity in the Learning Environment

If I had the time, I could end up doing my own list of the best educational videos. The people over the site about online education worked towards their goal and had prepared a useful collection of 100 videos to enhance creativity and learning.

Here is the list of the first 1O Informative & Inspiring YouTube Videos for Educators:


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A 'Core Team' Is What it Takes to the Edchat to Be Heard in Washington

Every government, due to political convenience or good intentions focus its attention mainly on two things to the people: Health and education.

Since health is not a matter of this blog, I am going to try to open up some questions that I have in mind and that very few times I feel like a good outspoken person to present. Last night, as almost every Tuesday, I joined the edchat discussion over Twitter. As much as I enjoy reading lots of tweets, I am bit disappointed for the large number of ideas flowing on the online meeting. Every person says something of interest, others comment and a few others retweet it.

This Tuesday, May 4th, we were speaking about education reform. It wasn't the first time. And that's precisely the point. How come 400 participants can't make their voices heard over there in Washington? Now that pay cuts, closing schools and terminating teachers is only justified by the mishandling of the very few in Wall Street. Teachers can gather, they can think, create and use social media but nobody cares about what they say.



My concern was timely brought by @doctorjeff who also posted his concerns, to which I asked to be him the one to lead the core team as a colonel, paraphrasing his tweet. We agree with him, it is time to stop talking and start 'doing things' to make our thoughts to be considered by the Secretary of Education and President Obama himself.

Politicians decided what education needs to be in the past years, teachers are to follow their guidelines. Doesn't look awkward that the people who really spend time practicing education, cannot decide about what they think is the right path to a good education in America? Who says a lawyer or economist (career does no count for this matter) is better prepared than a teacher to plan, design and run a whole educational reform? Don't they, the teachers, were asked to go to the university in order to get their credentials?

Too many questions, I know. But I think we need a core team to begin working on the plans to address a fair educational reform. If you are interested in conforming the the team shot a DM to Dr. Jeff Goldstein or leave a comment here.

Update:
Steven Anderson(@web20classroom) has a follow up of the edchat in reference.

We Are a Society of Multitaskers

We? I cannot handle at once: cellphone, computer, TV, iPad and any other gadget you might want to bring into discussion. However, that's an apple pie for this generation and for most of our students. That's the reason why we teachers need to be prepared to deal with cellphones in the classroom.

Colleen Ruggieri has the background and the experience to pay attention to. She wrote a guest post about cellphones, telling us that they are impossible to monitor. Wait. Do not walk away just yet. She's not against its use. Ruggieri invites colleagues to allow and use cellphones in classroom, either to complete surveys or for the joy of learning.

This is only one example of how she is using the so prohibited cellphones in her English class at at Canfield High School:

    This year, while my students were studying The Scarlet Letter, the media coverage of Tiger Woods’ infidelity hit the world by storm. My students made real world connections with their phones and Ipods as they read online news sources about the scandal. Learners analyzed articles for sensationalism and bias and then went on to make text-based connections with the novel. And guess what? They actually had fun doing it.

And you? Allowing its use in yours?


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