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 L. Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is an instructor with UoPeople, is a 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 blogging and I'd written articles about education and technology almost every day since 2003. In the gazillion of notes, Education & Tech provides you with education news, tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

Welcome you all! Why not like our site for more updates?

Blogger in Draft: New Features Explained

Internet has changed and keep things changing every day. Five years now, I had the opportunity to meet young interesting people worldwide, thanks to the hacks it was possible to introduce to the old Blogspot platform.

All of these talented guys had stop working on the new Blogger platform, although they still keep blogging on particular issues developed by Google people and its Blogger in draft fancy project.

Some remain giving out advice on how to teak Blogspot templates. We used to collect all templates we thought deserved special attention. Lately, however we've also give it a stop. The reason, there are lots of templates out there where you can pick and start running your own blog almost immediately. Great bloggers provide this missed assistance nowadays: BlogU , Beautiful Beta and Bloggerbuster.

It's hard to explain in a single post, all three new features offered since last week in Blogger in Draft, at least we can begin with the explanations from Flisha Fernandez, who's currently finishing her last year of Masters in Computer Science at the Ateneo de Manila University. Random Detoxification is her blog and she's worked out one of the features we've talking about here. How to embed a Comment Box in Blogger.

Head over her blog to learn how to deal with it. Be aware, though, this how-to works only with Blogger in Draft enabled, " If, however, you downloaded a customized Blogger template from another site or made your own changes to the template, doing this won't work", she explains.

What are the blogs you've found useful in order to built your blog on Blogger?

If you want to receive our future posts regularly for FREE, please subscribe in a reader or by e-mail. If you have concerns, please Contact Me at anytime.

Resources for Teaching Without Textbooks

It was seen at but since they just moved the post I have to link to the orirginal source which is teachingtips blog and written by Laura Miilligan.

'Before you can toss out the textbook and replace it with technology tools, you’ll need to understand how your students — whatever their age — respond to and work with technology', Milligan points out.

And she list 100 assessments you should watch for, of which we've included only the very first ones.

1. Assessing What Students Learn in Technology-Based Learning Environments: Read this report to understand what students gain from technology tools in the classroom.
2. GT Prof: Students Learn Better Via iPod Versus Lecture: This article from Campus Technology cites a Georgia Tech professor who believes that iPods are more effective teaching tools for some students.
3. Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement: Chapters in this report include "Technology and Youth: Wired Schools and Wired Lives," and "Inclusion: Reaching All Students."
4. Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students: From change in student and teacher roles to more collaboration with peers, this report argues for using technology in the classroom.
5. Students’ Evolving Use of Technology: This article considers a study of how college students use and benefit from information technology systems.
6. Kids Outsmart Web Filters: Sometimes, teachers are faced with students who know way more about technology than they do. Learn how to prepare yourself by reading this article.
7. In Class, I Have to Power Down: This article questions "why are schools lagging so far behind" their students when it comes to using and understanding technology.
8. Better Students Through Technology!: This guide helps teachers in their plan to implement technology-rich lesson plans and environments.
9. College Students Score Higher in Classes That Incorporate Instructional Technology Than in Traditional Classes: ScienceDaily reports that technology in higher education classes is very beneficial to older students.
10. Regular Computer Use for Work, But Not Play, Aids Student Test Performance: Find out how computer practice helps students perform on standardized tests.

Rebecca MacKinnon: Presenting the GV Summit 08

Global Voices is working hard in Budapest and if you are not being able to assist, please follow the the reunion on all channels available, here.

Second Life offers more than Second Language Skills

Guest post written by Sarah Scrafford*

The human brain is arguably God’s greatest creation – it has the ability to continue growing in intelligence and sponging up knowledge for as long as you live. All you need are the catalysts called enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Though we are inundated with phrases, nuances, pronunciations and words from one or more languages from the time we’re born, there’s no doubt that if we up and moved to a different country where a totally new tongue is spoken, we’d learn the local lingo in just a couple of months.

Being a linguist offers various advantages – at work, you can interact with people from other cultures more freely, on vacation you can fit right in if you speak the language of the locals, and of course, generally speaking, you can show off your multiple tongues in the presence of the opposite sex.

The best way to pick up a new language is to be surrounded by people who speak only in that tongue at all times – desperation and a sense of survival force you to learn the lingo or be left out. But there’s no need to move to Rome in order to be able to speak fluent Italian, not with Second Life around. The virtual world has made headlines for various things, one of them being the ease with which foreign languages are taught and picked up by interested students.

The advantages to learning a new tongue on Second Life are many:

- The courses are more cost-effective than those offered in the real world. Some of them are even free of cost.
- There are instructional videos which teach you the right pronunciation and diction, things you would find hard to pick up from a book of phrases.
- Voice chat options allow you to correct your pronunciation.
- You can interact with other students and probably set up a study group so you can practice what you’ve learned using other members.
- And best of all, there are virtual cities that communicate entirely in foreign languages. So if you’re learning French, hang around a French community and practice what you’ve learned. It’s the next best thing to (and much more economical than) moving to France!

That Second Life has 5,000 language students and 1,000 instructors, numbers which are growing by the day, is itself a testimonial to how this application which began life as a virtual game, morphed into one of the best online, interactive educational tools of our time.

(*)Sarah Scrafford is an industry critic, as well as a regular contributor on the subject of Capella University review. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address:

Global Voices: Citizen Media & Citizenhood

Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2008 in Budapest

The 'most influential citizen media projects in the world' is presenting its 2008 Summit to be celebrated in Budapest(Hungary) during this weekend June 27th and 28th. 'Global Voices has been an experiment in new media. A meeting in late 2004 at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, held at a time when blogging was just taking off in many regions of the world, was the starting point for the project, which has since grown steadily in size and scope.'

This 'experiment' has a wide range of projects. Among them are Rising Voices, Global Voices Advocacy, Voices Without Votes and Lingua. About this last one, one of the participants in the Summit Program has written and interesting report published in the Vol.12 No 3 of He is Chris Salzberg a Japanese-English translator, writer, and graduate student at the University of Tokyo and place where we've extracted this post quotations.

You are still on time to register. This 'event will bring together the members of the Global Voices citizen media project and its wider community with a diverse group of bloggers, activists, technologists, journalists and others persons from around the world, for two days of public discussions and workshops around the theme Citizen Media & Citizenhood' says the main page of the GlobalVoices Summit 08.

Is in this conclave that will be discussed in deep the lingustic impact of internal project Lingua. Into this Lingua are 14 different languages that GVO covers: German, Spanish, French, Malagasy, Portuguese, Albanian, Macedonian, Arabic, Farsi, Bangla, Hindi, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Japanese, and Italian. To understand better where we are going, let's bring Clay Shirky (quoted by C. Salzberg) to explain it a bit and which conjecture was brought in back in the 1999 "the definition of proximity [will change] from geographic to linguistic: two countries [will] border one another if and only if they have a language they can use in common"

Here we go. You all are very welcome.

Arnold Wasserman: Keynote at Microsoft Innovative Teachers Conference

A Difference is a blog written by Mr. Kuropatwa and he uses a template we used to have for Education & Tech (B.P.L.E., before) which is nice and really, really bring us back when we started to blog and we're building our first steps into blogging life.

Mr. Kuropatwa reports on the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Conference that sadly we missed and offers a podcast of what Arnold Wasserman had said about his conceptions on Education Innovative. The enclosure of podcast belongs to his author and we reproduced it here under Creative Commons deed.

(Download File 14.8Mb, 61 min. 30 sec.)

Integrating Technology into the Classroom

Guest post written by Heather Jonhson(*)

As a teacher you have the responsibility of making learning fun and interactive for your students. These days that means you have to take advantage of the technological advancements available to you. If you’re unsure of how to integrate computers or other technology into your classroom you’re not alone. The challenge is to make it a seamless addition to your lesson plan. This can be a daunting task, so here are a few tips to help you along the way:

1. Use technology to your advantage. Use an electronic grade book or a word processor to write your tests and handouts. You can use these programs to save time and that’s always the one thing teachers never have enough of.
2. Design your classroom into different stations. Position your classroom computers in an area away from the desks so that your students aren’t distracted when they’re not using them. Students will feel like it’s more special to use the computer if it’s in a section of the classroom that isn’t used that often. It will be more of a treat for them to use the computer if it’s something that isn’t in full view all the time.
3. Sign up for a course. If you’re not adept with computers then take a course so you can be on a par with your students. It seems that even the younger kids are pros with computers that you need to be able to be on their level. If you can’t find a course then talk to a colleague that you feel comfortable approaching and see if they can help you get up to speed.
4. Stay organized. If you have a computer in your classroom that the students use then be sure to keep the computer up to date. Erase files that aren’t necessary to avoid slowing down your system. Avoid letting your students clutter up the desktop. It can be detrimental to your lesson plan if you’re trying to use the computer to teach a lesson and it’s going slowly. You will lose your students’ attention and your message will be lost.
5. Experiment. On your own time explore the Internet for sites that you think will be useful in your lessons. Get to know them thoroughly before introducing them to your students so you can be prepared for any questions they may have for you. Be confident about the web site so that you don’t get rattled when you’re actually utilizing the site.

(*)This article was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is a regular writer on the subject of nursing college grants. She welcomes your questions, comments and writing job opportunities at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Q&A: How to Use Blogs with Students

Sue Walters, The Edublogger, wants ho hear from you about all your experiences on how to use blogs with your students, and how to bring into a meaningful conversation all topics discussed in your classroom.

Here the topics you might want to comment on or post about:

"Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?
How you use blogging with your students and how it has helped them (if applicable)
Examples of class and/or student blogs for them to check out
What are your 3 most important tips for educators, new to blogging, who would like to blog with their students?"

Contribute and help her/us to carry out a great conversation on these topics.

The Content Pyramid and Why Corporate People Shouldn't Worry About High End

Clive on Learning: Three tiers in the content pyramid

Tiers on the Content Pyramid"High end, rapid and user-generated content are not in competition with each other, any more than Hollywood movies are competing with corporate videos or with YouTube movies shot with a camera phone or webcam. They all serve different purposes and, as a result, adopt different production values. Professional designers should not feel threatened by this proliferation of content created by enthusiastic amateurs - the more experience people have with creating content for themselves, the more they will appreciate the skills the professionals bring to bear."

Konrad Glogowski: On Conversational Assesment

Today while reading reading our subscription I've found a quote from John Dewey on Pedagogical Theory, written precisely by the author of Blog of Proximal Development. After my attention was caught, I kept reading the post and enjoyed reading the experiences around Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl.

It's quite interesting how Glokowski describes his initiatives and experiences in the classroom and how he works to engage himself as a participant in such conversations. Students and teacher at the end, feel comfortable and happy working together and not concentrated in a lesson plan only. "..Their work emerged from meaningful conversations with each other and the teacher." concludes in its part I this post.

I am sad all schools belonging to my son's Board of Education are asking to read the same books on summer vacations, while in the Library we've discovered all 6th graders are supposed to read the very same books: Number of the Stars by Louis Lowry, The Islander by Cynthia Rylant, The Skirt by Gary Soto, Bigger by Patricia Calvert, Las aventuras de Sherlok Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (yes, in Spanish) and so on. Is it against what Glokowski says? "I wanted to create an avenue for a personal connection - not an easy task in a classroom setting where every text we study is likely to be perceived as a literary text first and a personal experience second."

Not easy to find educational blogs where teachers describe their experiences (and challenges) in the classroom. That's why we should pay close attention to this paragraph we selected to quote in its entirety:

"Of course, it is not easy to have meaningful and authentic conversations with students about a literary text that they’re reading. First of all, they know very well that I’m an expert - even if I don’t see myself as one. Therefore, they are absolutely convinced that they cannot contribute anything to the discussion that I don’t already know. No matter how much I try to show them that there are still many aspects of a given topic that I am not very familiar with, students persist in their belief that teachers are experts."

Anybody else writing on classroom laboratory? Please, we will appreciate you let us know in comments.

Help Firefox Get Its Mark

Firefox3 Screencast at Education & Tech WeblogToday is the beginning day of the Firefox 3 download record! Whether you are still using IE or Flock, why not give it a try, you lose nothing. Downloading it here (Don't do it from the mirrors because those, don't count as downloads to the 24 hours mark and before their servers melt down again.) you're helping yourself to browse the Internet in smart and very fast way.

Firefox 3.0 loads webpages three to four times faster than Firefox 2.0 and more than seven times faster than Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) - BBC

How Firefox 3 Works?

See it live in this screencast. Thanks to Mike Beltzner.

Aren't you happy with this presentation?

Follow the Full Coverage (Power Guide) prepared by Lifehacker.

*Picture taken from Nelson Piedra's Blog

There Are Teachers.... Then Educators

The author of the post we are going to quote, ask us for a link. We went to his blog and checked out his contents and what we've found was the chronicle of a certain private school in Sydney (and anywhere else where we've got teens or schoolers):

Difference between Teacher and Educator

"A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom.

After they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done .

She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man.

She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night - ( you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses).

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.

Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror ..."

Happy Father's Day!

I am writing this short post to honor my father. VR is in Ecuador and barely can hear him by phone today, when what I'd love is see him, hug him and tell him how his punishments, his remarks and all that experiences he shared with me had make the man I am right now.

I am father too, my son still sleeping but hope he can still learn something from myself and can practice all the values, generation behind generation, has been accumulated in our family!

Wish you all blessed, a very Happy Father's Day!

Inter-American Universities Looking for a Better Quality Researchers in their Doctoral Candidates

During this weekend where they also congregated for the II CREAD Andes Congress and Virtual EDUCA Summit, the Loja Technical University (UTPL - Ecuador), dozens of doctors and candidates to PhD attended the First Summit on Collaboartive Doctorate Programs and Research Incubators and the event was patronized by the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (OUI)

Claude Olivier, ETS PhD attending the meeting. Watch the proposals I, II & III [es]

Does Education Really Matters in this Global Economy?

I won't answer this question but I want to hear your comments on this one. Why I don't have an answer? To give an answer of this character you have to have the knowledge and the experience and I don't. It's a complicated issue that many of you will jump in and start talking whether this were a colloquial conversation, but it isn't.

How come that big positions in the labor market are being occupied by people with a different degree for which they are serving? This is the point, and for discussion I would like to bring a Forrester specialist, Jeremiah Owyang.

In a very interesting post about his Six Carrer Tips this gentleman has written, Education matters, but not as much as you thought:

"..More and more executives I meet have degrees in something they didn’t study in school for. For most jobs, they hire you because of what you can do for them, not what school you went to. There’s a reason why education falls to the bottom of the resume, and the ‘value statement’ is at the top, quickly followed by real world experience. Don’t get me wrong, education is very important, a bachelor degree is really expected in today’s workplace, but I often lean on the broad, theoretical knowledge I gained as a primer (or glossary) for me to dive in deeper in the business world."

How many of us, teachers were prepared to work in a different environment and still we do a great job but shouldn't we making more money on that original career? Yes, I know, many will be saying that it's a matter of time and adult decision, even though you are a sacrificed labor intellectual and your bank account is almost empty and your family struggling to get in the big leagues or finish paying your mortgage.

Is Rubel being paid to promote Friendfeed?

Steve Rubel is PR guy well respected by us and we trust him when he says, "despite what some think, I am not being paid by Friendfeed to endorse their service."

While some people are flocking to Plurk (rival of Twitter) some others are holding to However, Friendfeed is also useful if you want to work around social networks. Bloggers are being signaled as journalist by some and as pastimers by others, but at the end, bloggers have voice and are being listened. Let's take Steve word: "People are increasingly turning to their peers for news, information and recommendations. And Friendfeed is more than an aggregation site or a community that's layered on top of others. It's a recommendation engine that surfaces content (both pro and amateur) via your peers - and that's huge. Sure there are things wrong with it, but I believe Friendfeed is incredibly disruptive. It's the next big thing online for consumers. It may even become the next Google."

Well, I am not so sure about his last assertion but Friendfeed has a long way and if you still don't have an account , just try it and feel free to add or subscribe to ours!

Teachers Challenge: Be In or Be Out

I've delighted to read her letter-post and this is the very first time we quote Sheryl from 21st Century Learning, but today's post is a Open Letter and we want to share it with you, particularly some paragraphs we were really impressed about our takes on technology in the classroom:

...If you can be replaced by a computer then you probably should be! The truth is that technology will never replace teachers, however teachers who know how to use technology effectively to help their students connect and collaborate together online will replace those who do not.
Sylvia Martinez says we are trying to solve this 21st C PD issue in schools with 6% of the population (teachers) when 94% of the population (kids) are better positioned to help us learn what we need to know to be successful. Turn your classrooms into learning ecologies- learn with and from your students. Get rid of top down, expert driven instruction methods and nurture self-directed discovery- both your own and theirs. Turn your passions into classroom curriculum. Get excited and mentor your kids integrating your passions with core content and foundational knowledge. Help them develop a love and understanding for culture and our rich heritage. Advocate hard to get the metrics we are using to measure classroom effectiveness changed- for we teach what we measure. Leverage NCLB to push for personalization of curriculum in an effort to meet AYP and all the various needs of your subgroup populations.

Teachers wouldn't be replaced by computers(robots), rest assured that even when that's entirely possible, no machine can make intellectual work as teachers have to do it on a daily basis. We do agree, we teachers, have to learn a lot from students on technology knowledge and skills. The challenge is yours(ours), we can still keep peace with those eight years Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach talks about, educators can and they have to re-learn and act under a redefined concept of professional development!

Why these Schools Consider They Are the Best!

These series of videos as has promised to publish, are part of their America's Best High Schools and of this list had sent them in, to probe them wrong!.

Watch the video and tell us what you think by dropping your comments.

Gold Medal & Blue Ribbon Schools.

Congrats Jenny D. She's now a PhD!

Jenny D. DefenseI've missed her post lately for some reason but today I went to check my feed reader and what I've found is Jenny D. ( that's all I know) already made her Thesis's defense and she's being kind to share some of the pictures of this event. We've following her experiences while she wrote the thesis and want to congratulate for the hard work involved in her career as a researcher now.

It pays the effort and sharing experiences online using blogs. Congratulations again and good luck on your career. Read her latets post on Robert F. Kennedy about the hearings during 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Public High School Graduation Rates

Beginning today, June 4th through Tuesday, June 10th is hosting an Open House for an entire week so you can check out its new issue for free. The press release promotes this Report, The Diplomas Count 2008: School to College. This is the third annual report published by edweek. org, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"The report explores the rapid growth of state-level P-16 councils and how they seek to create a more seamless schooling continuum that prepares students from preschool through college and beyond for life, work, and further education."

Results for the class of 2005, the most recent year available according to the Report, show a national graduation rate of 70.6 percent, an increase of about half a percentage point over the prior year. The EPE Research Center that made this study, estimates that 1.23 million high school students will fail to graduate in the class of 2008.

We should ask, why too many students drop out earlier than expected. Is it happening a the same peace among racial groups?

Education Leaders Disconnected from Cyber Society

The advent of Web 2.0 has brought hundreds of tools available. But you only need one to get started sharing resources you find on the Web. Gathering web-based resources is part of our hunting and gathering stage of development as educators.

Microblogging (wikis also, are well disseminated now) is a great way to share not only information but knowledge and in this field Plurk has came to steal light from Twitter. While many educators, technologists or both are way familiar with these tools, the great challenge is getting involved our administrators and leaders. Miguel MGuhlin, has been tough writing on this matter:

I'm tired of reading about how leaders need to be mollycoddled, babied, nursed, trained, led by the nose, inspired, etc. Aren't you? Come on! If they are really leaders why aren't they the heck out here in the edublogosphere? Why aren't they reading the latest research and embracing the latest technologies to transform teaching, learning and leadership?
If you're waiting for comments from school administrators, we may be here a while. Those leaders not only don't write blogs, they don't read them either...

Should we abide by the legal empowerment each school district to persuade or mandate our leaders and administrators to learn how to use technology? At this point, schools districts don't legally require teachers and administrators to know the proper use of technology, in order to maintain employment with the District. "The problem is that professional development isn't equated with's tied to "schoolin'" concludes again MGuhlin.
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