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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Dealing with Cellphones in our Classrooms

This is an issue all teachers and administrative have to deal with these days. By one side is the students that argue they really need to be in touch with the outside world while they're in class and by the other, the teachers that think they are being violated in their privacy. Nobody is unaware of the bullying among students and of course the mocked teachers what what we have here is a new generation of grow ups and teen who had been born in techie environment. Most of schools are banning the use of cell phone while in its grounds, some other have strict rules for such devices.

The problem is some of our students are tapping teachers activities for very short period of time which creates a (distortioned) image of the classroom teacher. Let's look at the experiment conducted by Kevin Metcalf who happens to be teaching at North Rockland High School in Thiells, N.Y. He tries an experiment with his students. He asks them to whip out their cellphones —whose use is otherwise forbidden in the classroom under school rules— while he puts his head down on his desk for a second and acts as though he’s doing nothing. He then asks them that if they were to take a picture and put it on YouTube, what would people think of his teaching?

He'd got answers like ‘lazy,’ and ‘doesn’t care.’ He tries to explain his students he would be judged by their peers on one second of a 45-minute class. The experiment, he says, brings home to the students how such an action could misrepresent the truth and have serious consequences for someone. And this is not a threatening situation. Imagine how distorted might become an issue inside the classroom if an student just tapes seconds of a disruptive class?

Now, I am not against use of technology because we already are way ahead of the counterculture of the 6O's where the youngsters were thinking the computers were about to replace men. I am part and I am living the cyberculture generation (G-gen) and of course we have to learn and teach how to use technology in classrooms, we've moved beyond projectors and VHS. Now we have very small and reliable devices to register any kind of information. We do have to allow our kids to use their cell phones but we have to teach them no how to operate them because they might the teachers in that particular situation but, show them the consequences of not using it properly. How their very own safety is involved, their families, their loved ones and even their friends.

Once they learn the consequences it will be up to them. We all know (they too) the consequences of violating safety regulation, the secrecy of our personal acts and the power involved in having a device emitting short waves to highest frequencies. Unfortunately, according to Vaishali Honawar and his post Cellphones in Classrooms Land Teachers on Online Video Sites points to two cases in Court: Evens v. L.A. Unified School District; and, Roberts v. Houston Independent School District.

From those two cases we can conclude that only whether students refer to threatening comments, a Judge will pay attention to a teacher's complain. Legislation vary according to each state but the variety of issues with cellphones in schools, the United States, legal experts say, school districts tend to ignore videos that are simply embarrassing to a teacher, but do act when they find that the taping is a threat to the school or teacher or is disruptive to learning. The court holds that a teacher must always expect public dissemination of his or her classroom
communications and activities.

A have a kid in 5th grade and he's not using a cellphone yet but I am about to give him one for Christmas and he knows how to use the lap top and links perfectly with YouTube. My question is: Will a fellow teacher feel ashamed if my kid shoots a photo and posts it on YouTube, modified or unmodified? It will be hard for the school to show disruption just because of it. We are talking about First Amendment speech here.

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LATER: How digital kids test teachers and why they have got to find a way to incorporate the cell phones into the educational system.

When Talking About Google, Size Really Matters

I am a old subscriber of this blog in Spanish and today the author came whith a interesting idea about Google. He's Jaime Roca and I had to translate his original post titled: Google. El El tamaño sí importa.

Reading Eduardo Collado, crossed my eyes his post in which he explains his decision to switch to Windows Live, when times come to "search". The truth is that Google is accumulating power at very high speed.

This growth and accumulation of power does not conform to the typical pattern of growth in a conventional market economy . To begin with, we are talking about an economy based on the attention, who gives the revenue to Google is not the one who uses the service. In a conventional market economy, there are some conventional natural limits to the accumulation of power, that comes from the market capture. The natural but well-known limit is the geographic distance. Another important natural limit is the relation price - spending power of that one who acquires the service. But ... as well as we cannot use the best restaurant if it is more than a reasonable distance, we can use the best finder, wherever it is, so the first limit is neutralized. Secondly, who uses the service, he does not need spending power, he acquires it because of its attention, that is becoming a change currency. When these limits do not exist, the rules that govern economic [un]balance, have changed. And in the new scenario, other risks, other fears fit and demands another criterion of regulation (or contemplation).

I think that in the short term, all this begins to be debate subject, but in the medium and long run, it's a very serious problerm, as the economy is getting divided. Alvin Toffler already warned in its Power Shift, that the new Capitalism, which is based more on knowledge possession than money possession, it was going to be (or could get to be) much more wild that the previous one.

But in the attention's economy, based on digital goods and services, occurs another characteristic: the capital possession, the intellectual capital - knowledge- by an economic agent, does not imply necessarily the dispossession by another agent. This, and the lessons that are come off the evolution of the models based on, for example, Microsoft on the one hand and in the Open Source on the other, I believe that they will light some clues on acting in the generation, management, possession and property of those huge repositorios of knowledge that are the search engines.

It is also possible that there is another problem - I guess - and is that all this requires an implemented legal frame from politics and, we already know that the politics are incapable to take the pulse (rationally speaking) in real time.

Glad you've reached this point.
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