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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"Online Relationships Give Us Easy Access to Vast Quantities of People"

Kevin Jarret wrote a thought provoking article in his blog. He questions: Hooked on technology? Or, on relationships (and learning?. He paraphrases Kimberly Young, a leading researcher at St. Bonaventure University, investigating the addictive nature of online technologies and the effects they can have on people’s regular lives.

Here are his questions:

  • Do you frequently form new online relationships with teachers outside your district?

  • Do colleagues in your district question the amount of time you spend using technology in your classroom?

  • Are you more likely to e-mail a distant colleague or use Twitter to seek an answer a question than ask someone in person?

  • Imagine you’re engaged in an online activity and a colleague stops by. Are you able to immediately break away and give them the attention they deserve?

  • How much more likely would you be to choose to spend time exploring ideas and issues online via your personal learning network rather than interact with your local colleagues?

"Online relationships provide like-minded educators with a free, 24/7, all-you-can-eat buffet of knowledge, but because WE define it, the selection often isn’t very well balanced. Most people tend to load up their PLNs like oversized plates at the local buffet, piled high with the stuff we enjoy the most – people who do the same kind of work, who work at the similar schools, who think the same way we do, or who like the same things. The result is a lack of variety in terms of intellectual perspective in our PLNs. It doesn’t mean the information is flawed, it just means it’s not as balanced as it could be. And it exacerbates the tendency to overconsume, and therefore, appear 'addicted,'" writes Kevin.

I have been always concerned about what many call echo chamber or closed circuit. Aren't we leaving precious information out when we decide to solely follow our own personal stream on Twitter? Depending on what your answer is, you'll have to confess how able you are to handle the constant flow of information as much as the quantity. Once you put your anwerr on perspective, then drop me a note here or Kevin's post.


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Internet is constantly changing, Why a 'living Internet'?

The Online Safety & Technology Working Group(OSTWG),released a report under Youth Safety on a Living Internet. Internet safety is not just about technology or even content, it’s about behavior, sociality, and every bit as much as content.

Anne Collier reported about the findings on NetFamilyNews. She served as co-chair of the OSTWG.

There are a great deal of findings, but we want to present two we consider of particular importance:

The Net’s everywhere. This is in terms of both location and devices. It may be filtered on computers at school, but much less on the cellphones a rapidly growing number of students take with them to school, where it’s tough to enforce policies concerning devices that fit in pockets.

Constantly changing. That goes for the Internet, its content, and its users. These dynamic conditions mean that 1) once-and-for-all, one-size-fits-all solutions don’t exist, 2) it’s tough to regulate or legislate behavior, and 3) we need a very large “toolbox” with a diverse array of “tools” for protecting kids at different developmental stages and in different situations (we have that, and their numbers and effectiveness are growing, but there’s always room for improvement). Those tools include education, law enforcement, many types of “parental control” technologies, content

A report every parent and educator should read. We agree with the closing of Mrs. Collier: "Safety on an increasingly lifelike Internet that’s embedded in kids’ lives needs to be kid-centric, not tech-centric."

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Does the Internet Make You Smarter? Yes!

I guess you still remember when the Internet was shaken by Nick Carr when she wrote: Google is making us stupid. It was a year ago. Now, pundit Clay Shirky has taken the question back, but he concludes that Internet, no only Google, is making us way smarter, or at least better equipped on writing and reading.

According to the NYU Professor, there are three reasons to think that the Internet will fuel the intellectual achievements of 21st-century society.

From the Wall Street Journal:

"First, the rosy past of the pessimists was not, on closer examination, so rosy. The decade the pessimists want to return us to is the 1980s, the last period before society had any significant digital freedoms. Despite frequent genuflection to European novels, we actually spent a lot more time watching "Diff'rent Strokes" than reading Proust, prior to the Internet's spread. The Net, in fact, restores reading and writing as central activities in our culture.

The present is, as noted, characterized by lots of throwaway cultural artifacts, but the nice thing about throwaway material is that it gets thrown away. This issue isn't whether there's lots of dumb stuff online—there is, just as there is lots of dumb stuff in bookstores. The issue is whether there are any ideas so good today that they will survive into the future. Several early uses of our cognitive surplus, like open source software, look like they will pass that test.

The past was not as golden, nor is the present as tawdry, as the pessimists suggest, but the only thing really worth arguing about is the future. It is our misfortune, as a historical generation, to live through the largest expansion in expressive capability in human history, a misfortune because abundance breaks more things than scarcity. We are now witnessing the rapid stress of older institutions accompanied by the slow and fitful development of cultural alternatives. Just as required education was a response to print, using the Internet well will require new cultural institutions as well, not just new technologies."

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