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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Manual Arts High School, A Teacher's Schedule Day

The Angeles Times has a column, for those who are not familiar with it, called The Homeroom. In this section, bloggers interested in the education matters write and publish their ideas. Last week, Rebecca Trounson wrote a history from one The Homeroom bloggers, Antero GarcĂ­a.

Antero Garcia teaches English at Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles. Garcia has a master’s degree in education from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences. And we think his tale is seen on more than one of the crowded schools in the States (Elizabeth Board Education handles over five thousand students only in its Secondary level!)

Its very sad what these poor colleagues go through. Teachers are dragged through hell because of No Child Left Behind and are constantly mistreated. No one wants to see that. Every minute is accounted for. Every second. They should at least have their own room. Only lip service is really paid to education.

This is what Antero wrote -related by Rebecca Trounson, "The only slight snag in the entire scenario is that there isn’t enough room for every teacher to have his or her own classroom. I’ll be one of several teachers who will be 'roving' or traveling from one classroom to another throughout the school day."

Imagine if this is happening in America, what might be exposed to, schools overseas. Garcia continues: "Although traveling from classroom to classroom isn’t necessarily the ideal teaching situation, I’ll admit that I don’t mind it that much. Sure, I don’t have my own desk, my own bookshelf, or even a lot of board or wall space for student work. However, I can often use these drawbacks as excuses to pillage and plunder the resources of my oh-too-kind hosts... I’m also privy to the innovative and exciting lessons taking place in other teachers’ classrooms. Sure, I may need to hustle a bit faster to get to my classroom on time (just like the students), but at least I can see something interesting when I get there."

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Education & Tech News for Educators 07/07/2008

Three Obstacles to a Truly Global Conversation

Outreach head of GVO has written a summary of what it means to reach 'blogging community' in a social extent. He challenges you to answer questions like: What does it look like? Where do they live? What languages do they speak? What are their ethnicities, interests, political leanings, sexual orientations? What religions do they practice, or for that matter, not practice?

He says three are the obstacles, not exclusives: censorship, lack of digital inclusion and ....guess what, language!

Nobody Wants to Hear About Science Now

Technology has changed the way we used to perceive the notion of science. Before, everyone was reverent to this concept and mathematicians invented ideas, notions and axioms to explain their science, thus it became the scientific method and asked to demonstrate what mathematicians can hardly show.

It's been a long way until everyone accepted what should be called science. In this century although, kids and youngsters don't want to read (a premise to comprehend science), they are more interested in the solutions more than in the problems. In other words they bypass something that is a requirement to build science, the object.

Humble postdoc, Duncan Rilley has brouht up a very trivial question, Who owns the science? If nobody wants to hear about science now, except those who started their research before 80's or went to college as babyboomers, then we are not developing science. Funds to scientifical research are not being poured and the government is the only one to fund national security researching. Is it estrange we cannot solve yet the highest cause of mortality, a cure for cancer?

Is there anyone reading this post who thinks, science still is ahead of technology as it used to be or is it that we are making research only to serve technology and in its only direction. As for me, it's necessary to reinvent the concept of science, first of all, and secondly, put investigation up front as top priority. Science was made to solve the object of a problem, not just to built the most infinitesimal silicon's chip or alter the DNA, which by the way has been the most revolutionary finding of the last century.

I will close calling Riley again, he closed his post diligently, "If you would like to join the debate, and you are anywhere near Manchester, UK, you might be interested in Who Owns Science?, a public lecture and debate. Join Anna Ford chair a discussion lead by Nobel laureates John Sulston and Joseph Stiglitz on just who the hell is it who owns this crazy little thing called Science?"

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EdTech Weekly Round Up Meetings, Invitation

Doug Belshaw, EdTechroundupDoug Belshaw has envisioned a unique project which has been aired only once but, as he put it, 'few problems which delayed getting the the first EdTechRoundup Weekly show out until today.'

You read it. They’ve decided as a group that their weekly Sunday meetings contain enough ideas and useful discussion to start getting it out there as podcasts.

Conversations about using tecnology in education are being presented this Sunday at 8pm BST (July 6th, your local time) and the invitations are for everyone in the blogosphere.. Belshaw has promised the rounding up will be about what they’ve found useful in the world of educational technology now, but they also have a special guest, Mike Jones!

If you are able to attend please do it so, If not, at least hear the podcasts.

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Celebrating Independence Day!

Education & Tech: News for Educators

Some Not So-Good News About U.S. Education - Survey shows tendency from fair to poor

I am pretty sure this is not science and shows only an statistical inference but, obviously, something is happening,( no just now) with the U.S. Education. How come half of Americans may think, educational system is doing only a fair to poor job of preparing students for college and the workplace, even though education ranks behind only the economy and gas prices as a top issue for Americans.

The other half? They think education system is falling behind that of other countries, and six in 10 said the quality of American schools has declined in the past 20 years.

Science or Technology...?.

It seems extrange we still have to discuss these things today. At the same time, it's impossible to just skip it and just...move on.

Help David to complete his post and help educational community to clarify such a philosophical dilema: "I am not certain that Computing can ever be a science in that it does not have a body of fundamental knowledge independent of other sciences. It is a very important technology, perhaps the most important at the present time and thus deserves academic study."

Michael Wesch, his Conceptions on the Future of Education

This video is about Wesch's Web 2.0 wisdom presented at the University of Manitoba on June 17th. 'It is all about media literacy and how he engages his students at Kansas State University. This 66 minute video is well worth the time in order to get a glimpse of how he tries to make students knowledge-able' says Stephen Downes

During his presentation, Michael Wesch, an cultural anthropologist, explains his attempts to integrate Facebook, Netvibes, Diigo, Google Apps, Jott, Twitter, and other emerging technologies to create an education portal of the future.

'It’s basically an ongoing experiment to create a portal for me and my students to work online,' he's explained. “We tried every social media application you can think of. Some worked, some didn’t.”

If you are not yet familiar with professor Wesch work, consider subscribing to his YouTube channel.


Jack Chorowski also says, 'Web 2.0 shows that everyone is better than anyone; a large group working together can create information rivaling the content of experts.'

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Social Networks Are Good/Bad for Friendship and Cyberbullying

Now that all students and most teachers are on Summer break, it's a good time to make some reflexions on what's going on with the so mentioned social networks, particularly Facebook and MySpace. Forget about photo or music networks.

Society cannot stand and watch what's happening in their neighborhoods when students are being assaulted or bullied because of what they wrote in any of those online boards pertaining to either Facebook or MySpace. Officials are taking steps, but it's necessary the family intervention, which by the way it's difficult, now that the average family income is too low and parents have to spent more hours working to take food home.

I've heard some are commanding: "Shut down the computer!". But that is not a practical solution. I've also witnessed the prohibition of be involved in social networks while at home. Wrong step. Why all these practices are wrongly addressed?
Michelle Davis has the answer: Students are using social-networking sites more and more Despite the fact that most schools and families block access to such sites, 9- to 17-year-old spend about nine hours a week in the Internet, according to a 2007 study by the NSBA -Alexandria (National School Boards Association). The study found that 96 percent of those with online access had used social-networking technology—including text messaging—and 81 percent said they had visited a social-networking Web site at least once within the three months before the study of among 1200 students, was conducted. See pdf study report here.

With such high percentage, it shows clearly that neither officials, nor parents, can just block by verbal decisions the access to these social sites. We cannot afford a new incident like Megan Meier case, but at the same time we all have to be prepared to not to get way off as the incident at Canadian Ryerson University.

"To recap what happened: 16-year-old Megan Meier of suburban St. Louis thought she was befriending a local boy over MySpace. They formed an online friendship and corresponded frequently. As it turned out, the boy was actually a fake MySpace account created by a local woman named Lori Drew and a friend of hers, to see what they could learn about Meier’s friendship with her daughter. Eventually, they used the account to break up the online relationship, dismissing Meier in an extremely cruel way. Soon afterwards, Meier hanged herself." -Source: Andy Carvin

In the other case, "study groups may be a virtual trademark of the Ivory Tower – but a virtual study group has been slammed as cheating by Ryerson University. First-year student Chris Avenir is fighting charges of academic misconduct for helping run an online chemistry study group via Facebook last term, where 146 classmates swapped tips on homework questions that counted for 10 per cent of their mark." -Quoted by MGuhlin.

Students, teachers and parents have to make clear decisions and guidelines as how the behaviour of the younsgter will be carried out at school, at home and publicly at sites like the popular Facebook and MySpace. Keep educating students about online-safety matters and how to use sites such as those mentioned, responsibly. If you fellow teachers are using social-networking sites for such educational purposes, you should establish clear guidelines for how you intend to communicate with students via those sites. A good example for teachers, as MGuhlin likes to call it, is this Twitter post, 'encouraging more respectful and productive interaction between students by turning the class into a community.'

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