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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Top Sites for Renting Textbooks Online


By  Amanda Watson*
 
Ask any student about one of the most ridiculous education costs they face, and textbooks will surely be high on the list. Your first experience buying books as a college freshman can be a bit shocking as you end up walking out the door of the bookstore with a $500 receipt in hand. And the worst part? Don’t expect to get more than half of what you spent back when you return the book used three months later. When there are so many other costs that college students need to attend to, these prices seem more than steep and are definitely verging on downright wrong. Luckily, there are now ways to bypass these high prices altogether by utilizing offers from some of the newest technology and web companies. Book rental companies have sprung up like wildfire in the past few years and have become efficient and cost-saving ways to get the books you need for college. If you have yet to try an online book rental, check out some of the most reputable:

1. Chegg.com

Chegg is one of the more popular book rental sites out there. Students can rent or buy textbooks in a variety of different states, from used and torn to perfectly new. The site also buys unwanted textbooks from students and claims to pay some of the best prices out there for used titles. Chegg has also expanded to offer course reviews, grade distributions and homework help to all students.

2. BookRenter.com

BookRenter was founded by college student, Colin Barceloux, who was disturbed by the high cost of textbooks and the fact that they would so quickly lose their value after the initial purchase. While working as a mailman on campus to earn extra money, he noticed huge amounts of books left behind by students or marked as without value by the school library. He began to collect and sell them online. Realizing that buying and selling books online, term by term, was equivalent to renting books, he soon came up with the idea to start a book rental company.

3. Ecampus.com

Ecampus is a very well-streamlined site for book rental. Students can rent books, get them directly delivered, and then return or sell them once their rental period ends. Students can also sell their own textbooks to Ecampus and get paid instantly via direct deposit.

4. CollegeBookRenter.com

All you need to do is choose an item, input how long you will need it, and then check out. The site provides different rental periods that coincide with most school schedules. To return a book, you simply log into your account, print out the shipping labels provided by the site and drop off the books at a UPS location. Users can choose between used and new textbooks. They can also sell the book after they use it, if they decide not to do an exchange and pocket the cash.


(*) Amanda Watson is a blogger who loves to share her passion for online higher education with her many readers. She gladly dispenses online mba advice and shares her wisdom for all things related to getting a degree online. Send her an email at watsonamanda.48@gmail.com.

Stumbling Blocks For Teachers Not Getting On The Edtech Bus

It's not difficult to find leaders who possess many stumbling blocks in their repertoire of excuses to not get on the eLearning-digital-tech bus. But the biggest one always seems to be fear -- fear of the unknown, fear that they will be accountable for everything that happens, and fear most of all that they will lose control because the students know more than them. I think, writes Kimberley Rivett on a post first appeared on Education Rethink blog.

And Rivett continues: There is a real need to demystify this for teachers and school leaders so that there is a real shift in thinking to 'we are all teachers and we are all learners' in every classroom and school. Once this occurs, we have less resistance and fear. Teachers and leaders need to exit their own schools and visit schools who have managed this paradigm shift in practice, not just in theory. And I don't mean the best schools or the model schools, I mean the ones that are on a journey and are making mistakes but are running with the excitement of change.

There are many reasons teachers are hesitant no to use technology in their classroom. Tech allows teachers to break free and connect with students in new and exciting ways. But the problem is not coming only from teachers. The concept teacher-student makes me think of the learners, and when such learners come from traditional learning backgrounds, a teacher also needs the right attributes and skills to help them overcome their prejudices. "Engaging" I think is more sophisticated word for this matter.

Photo by Judy Baxter on Flickr


Some  tech tools are labeled as 'fun.'  And while this might be true, when confronted with resistance to change, technology is going to be useless, at least your passion for education is present and you are able to find a balance between technology and traditional methods, but too many people argue 'balance' by mentioning 'paper pencil.' Also the word fun have many interpretations and in  this case could be understood as entertainment. In such case  we (I am also a teacher) aren't teachers, we're entertainers, which devalues the profession to a degree and could explain some hesitation on implementing tech.

In this internet era almost nobody will be asked to create a project without technology. However, a person needs to see how teaching and learning with tech can transform a classroom. A person needs to have time and connections to get the support and updates required when talking about the ever changing technology. Unfortunately,  most PD is being done by telling without coaching, modeling and mentoring. Then, don't blame teachers if they decide to abandon such interest for technology and return to traditional education.

Still and being super positive about the impact of technology in the process of learning, we need to deal with   the variations of fear. The fear of students not actually 'learning', or fear of my class was a 'wasted time.' Not to mention a symphony from the 'stuck keys' noise on the computer, students drawing penises in MS Paint, and KKK images as iPad wallpapers. Not wanting to deal with this hassle is enough for a teacher to head to the photocopier for grammar worksheets, writes on the same topic Tom Panarese.

You can head overJohn T. Spencer's article to check his 11 reasons why teachers aren't using technology. But I also would like to transcribe three more objections Michael Doyle has found on this topic:

    1) Infrastructure (and the software available) often sucks. Big time. Until the folks in charge learn enough not to get suckered by every shiny colored folder promising great things, or until administrators learn to trust open source, this will remain a problem, BUT....
    2) If teachers acted as professionals, and took the time to learn how to use the tools (and no amount of PD can replace simply screwing around with a program), the admins will be forced to suckle from the big vendors who promise (*cough*) support.
    3) Criminy, these are tools, but too many of us can't even use a pencil effectively in a classroom, and the e-tech stuff just amplifies our incompetencies. (Is that a word?)

All this topic hasn't been comprehensibly researched, it's open for discussion and you can keep up with the conversation and even suggest some other reasons why you as an educator feel demotivated to use technology in your school.

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