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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Digital Education - 8 Ways To Use Google Plus In Classroom

By Vanessa Collister*
Digital Education
Google Plus is the second largest social networking site in social media sector. Google Plus provides uncountable services to users that may include hangouts, conferencing, sharing, commenting, and, of course, social networking. Students can utilize this magnificent digital space in numerous ways and make their classroom a fun podium to flourish their skills. Not only does it assist students with their studies but it also helps teachers interact with their disciples at a more digital level thereby allowing both the parties an effective learning and teaching experience, respectively. Let’s have a look at how we can use the endless benefits of Google Plus in the classroom and make the most out of this digital experience.

1. Hangouts

As the name implies, the features allows a free audio/video conference with a maximum capacity of 10 users at a time. Students can utilize this service for group studies as well as for receiving online lectures from their teachers. With the help of a number of apps inside the hangout, you can share documents, pictures, videos, presentations and assignments with other students and teachers as well.

2. Collaborative Study Discussions

Now the old era has gone when students had to wait at the bus stops to commute to their friend’s house to collaborate on a homework or college project. With the advent of G+, it has become fairly easy for students to communicate with each other or collaborate in numerous ways through chat, comments, audio-video conferencing calls and group discussions. Now students can spend their time on online group studies right from the comfort of their home.

3. Guest Speakers

With the help of Google +, teachers can arrange a weekly or monthly guest speaking session where prominent and influential speakers can share their insights with students. At the end of the session, teachers may encourage learners to give their feedback on the topic or ask questions regarding the lecture given by the guest speaker. Moreover, if you want to invite any famous public speaker to deliver a lecture at your place, you may find him on Google Plus under the search option.

4. Taking Test

This social network is the easiest way for teachers to conduct tests online of students getting distant education. Students also find it easier to take their test at home using the many features of Gplus. The online learning or distant learning through Google Plus is best for those students who are either disabled or socially introvert.

5. Conducting Interviews

Extending the above idea, it gets really feasible to conduct interviews using ‘hangouts’. International schools, colleges or universities can take online interview of potential students who are planning to study abroad. Consequently, it will save a great deal of time for the admission committee to assess foreign students.

6. Online Competitions & Quizzes

The best way that can be used by a teacher to polish up their students’ skills in a collaborative manner is through online competition and quizzes. There is an option in ‘hangout’ through which you can add documents on Google Plus. This option can further be used to conduct writing competitions by a teacher. Similarly, art instructors can use this application for organizing online art competitions.

7. Remote Coaching

If any of the teachers is unable to attend class because of some problem, he can take benefit from Google Plus many features without postponing lecture.

8. Parents-Teacher Conference

Parents who have a hectic job routine find it hard to make it to the parent-teacher conference to discuss the performance and status of their children. However with Google Plus, attending parents-teacher conferences will no longer be a problem anymore because Google Plus strives to bridge the gap of distant communication thereby allowing people to meet and converse online whenever they want.

(*) Vanessa Collister a professional academic research writer at Assignmentkingdom.co.uk, and an aspiring writer with a love for reading and writing having a keen interest in tech and education blogs and she loves to aid students with their problems.

Education & Tech

Questions to Be Answered: Why the American Education Declines?

Kean University has a print edition of Kean Current. Looking through that edition I've found that two NJ teachers had been selected as Teacher of the Year in this state. Additionally, an important note from Kristi, one of Kean University's students.

After reading What Students Know and Can Do: Student Performance in Mathematics, Reading and Science a survey assessed by PISA, published in 2012, Kristi noted the United States is currently ranked 36th on a list that boasts the top 65 education systems worldwide. As a United States citizen with a bachelor’s degree, educated in the United States, she wrote, these statistics alarmed me, and impelled me to delve further into research on other United States rankings, primarily its economic ranking in relation to the 35 countries ahead of us in the education race.

Pay attention of what she found it about:

The United States, ranked 36th in terms of education, is also ranked 12th in the most recent Index of Economic Freedom. Why is this important? Well, economic freedom is a fundamental component of liberty. "It empowers people to work, produce, consume, own, trade, and invest according to their personal choices". I guess my next question is, why does a country, that is considered somewhat of a "super-power" in terms of economy, have such a low educational ranking in comparison? Korea, which is ranked 5th on the educational scale, although now divided into South and North, are ranked 31st and 178th (respectively) on the economic scale. Again, I will repeat, they are ranked 5th in world in terms of education.

Are we doing something wrong as a society? Have Americans become too complacent? Too lazy? Too comfortable? Does it stand to reason that the more financially stable a society is, the less they worry about the future and, subsequently, the further they fall behind while other more oppressed countries fight for a global voice? I’m unsure of the answer, but our educational decline almost feels as if we are slowly giving our voices away. Who is responsible for assuring that we do not lose the voices our predecessors fought so hard to obtain? Where is our sense of pride? Our drive? Our motivation? Our curiosity? Our persistence? And how do we get it back?

Read: http://keanxchange.com/content/student-blog/educational-decline

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Milton Ramirez

Why Tablets Are Making Their Way Into the Classroom

By Jennifer Thayer *
p-aula by Raul A. on Flickr
Every day more and more common tasks become technology driven, and as such, it is becoming increasingly important for students to be tech savvy. While a decade ago students would have been reprimanded for using a smartphone, palm pilot or other electronic console, tablets are now replacing pens and notebooks in schools across the country, and quickly becoming a must-have in the classroom.

Though some have reservations about reliance on technology, and the long-term effects of increased technology use among young people, the truth is that there is also an upside to students having access to tablets in the classroom. Here are a few reasons why tablets are making their way into the classroom.

They’re Portable

Spend some time in any middle school hallway and you’re bound to see at least one student whose back looks like it might break under the weight of eight classes worth of textbooks, notebooks, calculators and other supplies. Tablets are actually portable, making them easy to trek in between classes and to and from school. The other added benefit is that tablets hold everything a student needs, in one location. This means no more excuses for leaving assignments at home.

They’re Not Just About Games

Tablets and other handheld electronics get a bit of a bad reputation from earlier generations, as teachers are concerned students are just using them to play games or chat on Facebook. However, the educational app world is booming and students and teachers are reaping the benefits.

Visual learners can now watch videos to better understand concepts, rather than stare at pages of a textbook. Programs like Google Apps for Education are changing the education system as we know it. The program is cloud-based so teachers can have students can access emails, documents and calendar events from anywhere, making study sessions that much more productive.

Other great education apps include Video Science, which offers more than 80 hands-on lessons in short video format, Oxford Dictionary Picture Edition, which helps put definitions into context, and See.Touch.Learn, which is a modern version of flash cards. These apps will help teachers deliver educational material to their students in a more engaging format. There are thousands of apps available, and the best part is that many are free. The possibilities for teaching and learning are endless.

They Can Help With Developing IT Skills

Technology stops for no one, so it is important for students and teachers to do everything they can to stay ahead of the game. Using tablets and other technology on a daily basis can help students develop core IT skills that are becoming increasingly valuable in today’s job market, and most certainly in the job market of the future.

They’re Affordable

While some might be skeptical that tablets are an affordable option for teachers and students, the truth is that they’re not out of reach, and overtime, they may actually help schools and families save money. Schools spend thousands of dollars on electronic equipment like computers and laptops. However, tablets can be purchased for a fraction of the price. Take the Google Nexus 7 from T-Mobile for example; this tablet can be purchased for less than $200.

Not only does buying a tablet help schools save money on teaching supplies, it also helps families. Each year, parents spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, textbooks, calculators and more. All of these materials can be replaced with a tablet.

Tablets have much to offer to schools and students. These are just a few of the many reasons why tablets are making their way into the classroom.

(*)Jennifer Thayer is a technology writer who loves sharing helpful ways people can utilize technology in their day-to-day lives. Follow her on Twitter to see what other tips she comes up with.

Education & Tech

Guide to Managing Post-Exam and in-Exam Stress

By Frank Wilson*

This seems to be apparent that the time of exams are indeed the most stressful moments of one's life. Even the most outstanding students feel it really tough to cope with the nervous environment of classroom, the murmuring of students revising their tasks, the tic-toc of clock, sounds of paper, and gate sounds of instructors. Above all, the fear of forgetting even a single word seems to be the dominating one of all.

The stress caused by exam can be divided into two phases: post-exams stress and during-exam stress. We will first discuss the former stress and then later connect it with the latter.

Post Exam Stress Management Tips

A student must quit all his social activities before 3 months of exams and start revising all the materials provided by the teacher. A student must know the use of Internet as well to find the past papers, and he should use online resources or tutorials to clarify concepts which he finds difficult to comprehend.

After, he must prepare his schedule for the entire month and must work accordingly to not only save his time but also to avoid any consequences.

Lastly, always arrive at the examination venue before time to avoid any eleventh-hour hassles. Research suggests that 99% of students who fail to reach exam room on time take almost 15-20 minutes to relax themselves and clear the air of stress. It is rightly said that: "Punctuality always pays off". Therefore, it is recommended that you should always show yourself on time, whether it is for the exam or interview.

In Exam Stress Handling Tips

Now, the second phase comes which is no doubt the most stressful one. In the following lines, we will discuss tips to avoid stress during the exam day and to focus effectively on our paper.

What is the best way to overcome the stress on exam day? What one should do so that his hard work, which he did over the entire year, does not go wasted just because of the fear of exam day? Several psychologists have discussed this issue over various forums and have provided a list of therapies which a student must do in order to feel relaxed and comfortable.

The best way to cope with such situation is undoubtedly to "relax your breath". The zero bum of your breath can do magic in such situation. Whether it is the fear of exams or the tension of results, the deep breath can not only make you relax but it also reduces the anxiety and the pressure.

Secondly, check the list before entering into the exam room. In most cases, you are not allowed to sit according to your own desire, but rather as per the instructions of an instructor or teacher.

Thirdly, listen to the instructions of invigilator given before and during the exams to avoid any miss-haps. Sometimes it happens that when you indulge in the exam stress so much that you forget to listen to the instructions and at the end of the day you end up doing something that is prohibited or not instructed. So, be on your guard.

Fourthly, read the entire question paper, both sides two or three times. It happens with most of the students that they fail to check the paper thoroughly due to the endless exam pressure and end up getting poor grades, even though they worked really hard.

Finally, do read your answer scripts thoroughly and counter check all spelling and grammar mistakes efficiently. These tips will create a significant difference in your grades. So, do consider these minor things as they can bring major change in your own personality as well and will make you efficient, resourceful and organized!

(*) Frank Wilson is an experienced and keen blogger. He loves to write for travel, career, technology and education topics. In his spare time, he prefers to read fiction books and watching action movies. He is currently a regular blogger at Coursework Writing Service

Education & Tech

The Tech-Friendly Guide to Shielding Your Web Site

By Camille McClane*

The need for cyber security is an unfortunate reality in today’s world, where hackers and other malicious folk can readily hijack unprotected websites and wreak havoc with the owner’s reputation and personal data. You know you need security, but you’re not exactly an expert and might be feeling a little overwhelmed about where to even begin. Here are some useful yet simple tips for ensuring your own web security is as tight as it needs to be:

Update Your Script

You’ll want to protect and update the script your site is built on up-to-date to ensure your site is protected from any old exploits or backdoors. If you hired a developer you’ll want to have them teach you to do this on your own for your particular site so that you don’t have to pay them every time to you need an update.

Create Strong Passwords

Passwords are unavoidable, but you’ll want to understand how to create a strong one to keep yours safe. The first thing you think of is probably similar to the first thing most people think of. Your initials, birthday, spouse, etc. are all far too easy to guess for a hacker and considering the amount of personal info you may have on social media, a lot of your personal data is easy to figure out. Keep your passwords around 12 digits long, full of numbers, letters (lower upper case) and symbols that are hard to guess but easy for you to remember.

If you have a bad memory, try making a story out of it in your head to help with a more challenging password. If your password is JQ6LS8*T9! then you’re story could be "Johnny Quest had a crew of only 6 so he got Lost in Space and ate (8) stars (*) Til 9pm!"  It doesn’t have to make sense, just keep it something simple that you can picture in your mind all at once. Odds are you’ve already nearly memorized the example password above. Change your password every few months and write them down.

Better Security Questions

Similar to the password issue, your security questions ought to be things that you know that aren’t easily accessible via the Internet. Avoid things like “Mother’s maiden name.” Instead choose the city where you met your spouse, or the model of your first car. If you can create your own questions, be creative but not so creative that you outsmart your future self if you happen to need the answer. Write them down, secure them nearby and change them every few months, just like your password.

Secure Networks Only

An unsecured WiFi network, meaning an open network without a password, is vulnerable to more than just unsupervised use of your Internet connection. It can allow them access to any vulnerable device on the network, including your computer, phone, TV or any other smart device. All these devices likely contain some amount of personal info that could compromise your site. You’ll want to understand how to approach your network security and how to create a WPA key of your choosing, using the above rules to keep it private and hard to guess.

Avoid Unfamiliar Links

The perpetrators of phishing scams (a method of tricking someone into revealing usernames and passwords) have gotten very skilled at impersonating seemingly trustworthy websites. If your financial institution is contacting you out of the blue, or a website you haven’t visited in ages suddenly needs you to amend your account info, be wary. Scammers often use authentic logos, message templates and alter their name to fool people.

Often there are grammatical errors or other signs of an unprofessional message, but the smoking gun is always the email address itself. As scammers cannot actually send email via the institution itself, they will change the display name while the actual reply address will be a mixture of numbers and letters. If the domain name doesn’t match the financial institution itself, it’s probably bogus.

The safest way is to navigate to the authentic page yourself and login there, never using the links provided in the email.

Separate Recovery Email

For most of your logins and passwords associated with your site, you’ll need to provide a recovery email. Rather than use your normal address that you use for everything else, create one specifically for recovery. Make it easy to remember but hard to guess (avoid your name or personal info) and never list it anywhere online, especially not on your page itself. It should be an island unto itself and serve only as a backup in case you forget your login info.

(*) Camille McClane is a writer, researcher and marketer who enjoys creating content involving tech, business, social media, web security and psychographics. She hopes you enjoy this article, and that it will help you keep your site safe!


Education & Tech

President Rafael Correa Second Day of Visit to the U.S, He Will Speak at Harvard and Yale

President Correa chats with David Rockefeller Institute's students in Boston - Photo by Miguel Angel Romero
President Correa chats with David Rockefeller Institute's students in Boston - Photo by Miguel Angel Romero
President Rafael Correa of Ecuador will address students, faculty members and special guests at Harvard and Yale universities this Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and meet with university officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

President Correa's visit to the Unites States this week also includes a two-day trip to New York City where he will talk to Spanish-language media reporters, and will offer individual interviews to various English-language media outlets like the Boston Globe.  Mr. Correa will also have TV appearances at PBS with Charlie Rose and MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes.

The President will also meet with members of the Ecuadorian community living in the New York area at a cultural show to be held at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. On Saturday, Mr. Correa will broadcast live the weekly public address, "Enlace Ciudadano", at the New York Hall of Science in Queens.

President  Correa's  visit  to  the  U.S.  is  in  response to invitations by Harvard and Yale universities. Mr. Correa will speak at the John F. Kennedy Center at Harvard University ("Development as Political Process: the Ecuadorian Dream"), and in the Luce Hall at Yale University.

According to the university's press secretary the event is being held "with the intention of strengthening opportunities for bilateral cooperation between academic institutions in U.S. and flagship initiatives in Ecuador".

President Correa will also meet with the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rafael Reif and other university officials.

This is President Correa's first public visit to the United States since September of 2011, where he also broadcasted his weekly public address from Queens College.

The tense relationship between Correa and the Ecuadorian press, as well as Ecuador's relationship with Belarus, are among the reasons why Barack Obama's administration have distanced themselves from the Latin American country.

President Correa is currently one of the most popular leaders of the Americas, with over 75% approval rating according to recent international polls.

In Ecuador's 2013 presidential elections, Rafael Correa's ticket won overwhelmingly within Ecuadorian immigrants around the globe, including the United States and Canada with a 63% of the vote. Ecuadorian registered voters living overseas can vote in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Read: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11747963.htm

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at miltonramirez@educationandtech.com . You can share ideas for stories on the Education & Tech.

Milton Ramirez

Travel Abroad and Gain the Best Education You Can Get

By Deborah Jones*

Let's Go! - Passport by user Lucas on Flickr
Getting an education by traveling is a concept that has been around for ages. It's long been known that travel is one of the best ways to find out about history and geography and a wealth of other subjects. Traveling gives you a hands-on and real-life experience that will be ingrained in your memory forever. Unlike sitting in a classroom, you'll always retain the knowledge you've learned and will never forget your experiences.

Learning a new language

When you venture outside your door into unknown lands you'll get a brand-new language education. Even if you are visiting a place where the residents speak the same language as you do, you'll learn a new variance of the spoken word. A person from the United States that is visiting Australia, for example, will hear a completely different type of English being spoken. In fact, even after a short vacation, the person will arrive home in the U.S. and speak a few different words as part of his speech.

When you journey into a place where a completely different language is spoken and stay there long enough, you'll automatically pick up a new language. The more languages you have under your belt the better off you'll be career wise for the rest of your life.

See and feel history

There is nothing like taking historical tours and visiting older sites to see for yourself what type of history scenes are waiting in far-off countries. Not only will you be able to visit but you can take pictures of the sites you see that will act as a constant reminder of your education. There are many places in the world that date back to B.C. that will leave you absolutely speechless.

Learning a new culture

When you jump into a brand-new culture you automatically learn how to accept and understand other people's ways. This is a deeper form of learning that you can't experience any other way than through travel. By getting immersed completely in another type of culture, you will learn more about people and what makes them tick. When returning to your country, you'll also have a better understanding of your fellow countrymen.

Travel and studies

If there's any way that you can incorporate the two together, you'll end up with the deepest form of education possible. By traveling to another country to do your studies you'll have the best of both worlds. Not only will you open yourself up intellectually but you will also reap all of the awards listed above. International study gives you a solid base upon which the rest of your education throughout your life will flourish.

There's a lot of information available on the Internet about traveling abroad to do your studies and if you have an opportunity to travel for your postgraduate studies you should definitely take a closer look into it. It's the one decision you'll never regret for the rest of your life.

(*) Deborah Jones is a freelance blogger and author. She writes about travel, education trends and reviews international student websites.

Education & Tech

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How To Handle Every Online Education Challenge With Ease Using 6 Steps

By Katherine Brunt*

Can you imagine a class without students? Obviously not but online educational system makes this possible by replacing the students from college chairs to the computer chairs. Recent surveys have shown that a vast majority of students are now choosing online education courses over the conventional style of classroom education, so that they do not have to compromise their jobs and other commitments. It has also been observed that many students regard online education more beneficial than the traditional full time campus education, as the campus education is time bound and requires them to be in the campus at the given time.

Regardless of the fact that today there are numerous universities that provide online education, procedure of online registration and examination is still a hard row to hoe for the students. It is very essential for students planning to join an online degree program to consider this step-by-step guideline for accomplishing their online degree program effectively.

Let's have a look on the steps that will lead you to achieve a professional degree successfully.

1. Selecting Your Desired Course

The initial task that you have to accomplish in order to succeed in your online education is to choose your desired program of study from a reputable online education institute. Undoubtedly, online education system enables you a wide variety of topics, it is important that you chose one with your own interest and domestic and international scope. While choosing an online degree program ensure to secure yourself from fake colleges that aims to generate money through selling their degrees online without offering quality educational services to students. Hence, these degrees became worthless because your employer is not going to accept it. Thus, it's better to check the authenticity of online educational services provider than to ruin your hard earned money and future.

2. Check Worth Of Your Degree

It's an undeniable fact that your employer will only offer you a handsome amount of salary package if you have got a professional qualification degree from a recognised online college or university. Therefore, if your degree does not stand out among the rest, it would not be valued more than just a piece of paper. So make sure to enrol in an online educational organisation that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation - CHEA and the US Department of Education, in order to successfully achieve a dream job.

3. Use Available Pen-Source Mediums

Online studies exploring a world of information and educational resources that will not only assist you to acquire your desired degree, but also enhances your knowledge by opening doors of educational world and connecting you with a number of top ranked universities of the world. Many universities are now using the open-source platforms of Moodle, Atutor, and other similar platforms to enhance the communication level between the teachers and the students. Students should make their account to the online platform, which is being used by their professor, and then try to link with their social media accounts, so that they can get updates of all important events, like group discussion, exam schedule, etc.

4. Follow Assigned Rules

Normally, when students start their online education program, their level of concentration and focus is not 100%. As there is time flexibility, students are often not vigilant about their semester weekly exams and group discussion forums. Many times, the professor includes the topic that was raised in the discussion, in the weekly or monthly questionnaire. Thus, this can be a drawback for students who have been away from these distant classes, until the time of test. It is important then for students to be engaged with their distance classrooms, and try to communicate with professors, other than the time of exams.

5. Course Transfer Option

Students obtaining an online education degree regularly have a few credits from courses taken at different educational organizations of higher studies. Usually, online institutions will acknowledge some or the greater part of the past credits, so the courses don't need to be re-studied. Accordingly, it is occupant on the person to acquire official transcripts, to accept credit exchanges from their prospective authorize online school.

6. Complete Your Class Work Regularly

Simply it is the most powerful part of online education system that facilitate students through its database system which allows students to take, complete and submit their assignments from any place throughout the world. Thus, students find itself as the best convenient opportunity of the technology. Moreover, students can easily log in their portals, collect notes, talk with their lecturer and easily accessible online digital library without paying any further cost as all the cost is included in your tuition fee.

(*) Katherine Brunt is a famous academic writer for Assignmentbox.co.uk, she writes especially on educational topics to serve students to overcome issues which they face in their studies. You can also follow her on Google Plus.

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