education & tech

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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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4 Technological Tools Students Can Use to Stay Informed About the Election


By Aniya Wells *

There's never been an easier time for students of all ages to access information about politics. They can download an app that will give them real-time updates about what's going on with the presidential candidates. They can surf to a plethora of different news websites that provide political information. They can listen to podcasts, radio shows, and watch videos about politics. With so many ways to learn more about the election and so many opinions about the election, it can be difficult for students to figure out which technological tools will give them the best and most reliable information.

Photo by solarfeed.com


Here are four trustworthy technological tools/web resources that make learning about the 2012 presidential candidates easy and enjoyable:

1. The New York Times Election 2012 App

The New York Times is one of the most reputable sources of information on the web. Their election app for Android and Apple devices is also one of the most comprehensive when it comes to providing information about what's going on with the presidential campaigns. It provides the latest news, public opinions, videos, and poll results. It also provides users with detailed information about the presidential candidates' viewpoints on crucial issues. This app is perfect for older students who want to learn everything possible about the election and its participants.

2. Politico.com

This website is a one stop shop for all the political information you could possibly ever need. Like The New York Times election app, this website may be better for older students (high school and college-aged). However, teachers and parents can definitely sit down with younger students to discuss the concepts and news presented on Politico.

3. YouTube Politics

The official YouTube Politics page includes all the video highlights of the campaign trail, from both the web and major news networks. Many of the YouTube videos on this section of YouTube are both funny and informational, and almost all of them make learning about the election more accessible for younger students, who may have difficulty with some of the vocabulary used on sites like Politico. If you're the parent or teacher of young students, just make sure your children don't watch the videos unsupervised. Unfortunately, there are a couple of videos on this site that are intended for more mature audiences. However, these are the
exception, not the rule.

4. iCivics.org

This is a site founded by Sandra Day O'Connor in 2009 to help educate kids about the U.S. government and politics. In addition to boasting a wealth of information about the U.S. constitution, the federal branches, citizenship, and presidential campaigning, this site also offers free interactive activities and games for teachers to use in their classrooms to educate their students about the upcoming presidential election. iCivics.org is a great tool for both young students and teachers.

If you're a student looking to learn more about the presidential election this year or a teacher looking for some tools to use to educate your students about the election, check out the app and websites listed above. It's truly amazing how much more accessible complex information becomes when technology gets thrown into the mix.

(*) Aniya Wells is a guest blogger who primarily writes about education and technological advances in education. She also regularly contributes to numerous education blogs around the web. Please contact Aniya at aniyawells AT gmail DOT com if you'd like to share any comments or questions.

Twitter and the Classroom: How to Social Media Site Can Boost Career Development


By Nadia Jones*

Twitter may have not been originally designed to help teachers enhance their career development, but the micro-blogging social media site has really transformed the way some educators are connecting with students in the classroom today. Not only is it a more interactive approach when giving lessons for example, but it's also time-friendly—which is really important to teachers who spend most of their time preparing lesson plans and grading exams. That said, Twitter can be a really useful tool. To learn a few ways that you can utilize it, continue reading below.

Photo by Flickr user 'magerleagues'

Follow Industry Leaders. Teachers should always keep learning, and one of the easy ways to keep track of news and trends pertaining to your particular field or just education in general is "follow" other industry leaders. You can use the search tool bar and use hashtags (#) with keywords to help you locate desired niches such as #edchat. But to help you get started, here are a few "handles" we suggest you follow to keep you in the loop: Inside Higher Tech, eCampusNews, and Cooperative Catalyst.


Use as a Means for "Review." When outside of the classroom, Twitter can be used to remind students about upcoming exams and assignments. But it can also be a useful way to help students review the day's lesson and get a more thorough understanding of what was discussed. For example, you can tweet an in-depth question (which may or may not be on an upcoming exam) so that students can get a better idea of what important parts you wanted them to obtain from the lesson. You can also tweet links that direct them to sources that can help them answer the question. In turn, students can communicate with you or fellow students and propose their own questions or observations. So that you're not tweeting at 10 p.m. at night, make sure to give a time frame and say: "I will only answer tweets before 7 p.m." or something along those lines.

Incorporate Twitter into Lesson Plans.Last but not least, you can use Twitter directly in your lesson plans. A good friend of mine, who just happens to be a 9th grade English teacher, tries to use Twitter in order to help characters in various books come to life. Each student takes on a novel character and creates a handle, such as @Gatsby124. The student then "tweets" as if he or she is that character. They are required to use hashtags as well. Since students are limited to 140 characters, it also helps improve their writing because they're forced to write more concisely.

Of course these are only a few ways that teachers can use Twitter to their advantage. Does anyone else have some great tips?

(*) Nadia Jones is an education blogger for onlinecollege.org. She enjoys writing on topics of education reform, education news, and online learning platforms. Outside of the blogging world, Nadia volunteers her time at an after school program for a local middle school and plays pitcher for her adult softball team. She welcomes your comments and questions at nadia.jones5@gamail.com.
 
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