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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The Future and Reality of Web 2.0

We've been writing on education for more than eighteen months now and every once in a while had mentioned Stephen Downes posts. Since he has many posts and we aren't capable to read them all on a daily basis, we have to filter all that information on a weekly basis. Today, we just accomplished it that's how this post came up to be presented.

What's the Future of the Web?

Technology Review (need registration) asked technology innovators and luminaries, what the Web might be into next ten years. Thirteen visions were collected by Kristina Grifantini and they range from the pessimistic 'total end of privacy' to the optimistic 'developer empowerment'. The most common theme is the 'mobile web' and perhaps the most unlikely is 'we will all have chips in our brains', summarize Downes.

Who Are the New Philosophers of the Web 2.0.?

With so many people speaking and writing on education it's hard to follow the conversations when you have other activities more than be online checking feed subscriptions and getting the screen radiations from your computer. The Twain Blog writes on why not all teachers can catch up with all stuff the new philosophers of the Web 2.0. (Upper echelon of education technologists and bloggers ) are working on and are very much familiar.

The gap is evident and expanding, particularly between core teachers and these generation of online experts. This instructional technology educator, make a list of six wishes, in order to keep "connectivity with the teachers [he] work with."

After all, his wishes will stay on hold because, he can’t accomplish them. He has to work!

Misuse of Words in Learning

We need to simply stop defining learning as work, homework, lessons, classes, lectures and redefine these as aspirational activities; sessions, challenges, projects and clubs, writes Donald Clark. He says we have seven bad language habits we should avoid while learning(not teaching) and he suggests, in place of teaching we must promote a language of learning with words that instill positive values. These words include: trust, respect, quality, responsibility, unity, peace, thoughtfulness, happiness, patience, care, appreciation, honesty, understanding, love, friendship, humility, hope, simplicity, tolerance, courage, cooperation and freedom.

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Downes' Speech on 'The Internet in the Classroom'

Mike anticipated this document before I have. He not only cited to the Downes's Speech in Spain (Internet in the Classroom), but has also translated part of his speech. Job we were pending with However, to fill Fernando Santamaría's expectations, here we present our work based on Esperanza Román's blog [es], she writes:

I agree with all those who praise Downes' figure, because of his genuine and indisputable commitment to the education world (although some prefer to concentrate solely on the most folkloric of his so evocative edupunk speech, also too eduhippie atrezzo and his digital shop much edupop ). Also, like Diego [es] said, I don't think Downes simply took neither a good nor a bad impression of the audience by the questions that were done to him. Nor do I believe that Downes is aware of how strange some of his answers sounded, in interpreter's mouth (I haven't had time able to hear the original audio) or how difficult it can be for many teachers and professionals to follow his advice on how to steal time to the clock.

That is why I applaud from here that we talk and write about what it's been really thought of the affirmations, both, of Downes(certainly not to radical at this time) and any other person of the stature of this educator. As many have said, some of the ideas presented by Downes are anything but innovation (which does not mean that they are not valid). Others may be debatable and others, improved after some restatement. But the most important ideas, in my personal opinion, are:

- Think about all of them.
- Look for the applicability it has in our immediate surroundings.
- Try to answer all by ourselves, those questions that provoked certain strange in Downes, like the assuption that in the conference room where he pronounced his speech, there weren't more laptops among the audience.
- Recognize with no shame that our standard of "connectivity" is lower than the U.S. but even so, we have many ideas on how we work and collaborate in the web, even facing immense technological limitations from our countries in general and our work environments in particular.
- Follow up the conversations, so that all the voices are listened, not only those in agreement with the majority or with the state-of-the-art fashions.

These are the reasons why I've committed, voluntarily and in a altruistic way, to the Conectivistas [es] group (Connectivism). We sincerely believe that the most appropriate way of advancing knowledge in this field is collaboration and dialogue among people interested in improving education, maximize technology, analyse the influence it has on society and, commit to these benefits, so they can be enjoyed by all sectors of the population.

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The Power of Organizing to Change Schools in America

It's being a way long since I wasn't able to read a post like Chris Lehmann's wrote last week. He's been reading Clay Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody and looks at how some of those principles can be applied to facilitating change in schools; Lehmann is sure that some of the frustration about change shows up when you compare it to the blinding speed of change in so many other facets of our evolving society right now.

A continuation we reproduce a paragraph we think, calls everyone to take action, because as Lehmann says, 'hard' shouldn't be the reason we don't do it!

"We could use the tools we have to start a call for change. We could look to set up a core set of principles for school reform that harnesses the best pedagogies and the new tools. We could look to build a coalition of administrators, teachers, parents and students to take action in the upcoming campaign. What might it look like? Shirky points out that for collective action to work, the action must require enough effort on the part of those taking action that decision-makers take notice. We could all go to used bookstores and look for old, beat-up textbooks and send them to our Congressmen with a flyer saying, "Is this how students should learn in 2008?" and a list of our core principles and goals. We could coordinate it all with Web 2.0 tools. We could follow up with an online petition to the McCain and Obama campaigns asking for a presidental debate on educational issues."

That's not a secret, the rapid pace of technological innovation has affected virtually every sector of the American marketplace – except education. Today’s schools look largely the same as they did a century ago. There may be more Internet access and more computers in classrooms, but the traditional public educational model – one teacher guiding a large group of students through a lesson – has not changed, at all.

What are you waiting for?

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The Internet Benefits Scientists and Journalists

Last week, you read a a post on Wired (Science) on "internet searching for scientific articles is bad for researchers" in reference to an article published in Science by University of Chicago sociologist James Evans ([not yet available online). What are the aspects touching educational researchers? What have you gained -or lost , from the internet's rise? asked Bradom Kein, the author of Wired's article.

Researchers and investigators are against Evan's conclusions and we've collected the most significant from the thread of comments in Is Internet Bad for Science?

"Science is self correcting when properly practiced. Plagiarized or improperly conducted research will lead to improperly formed and incorrect conclusions. The internet is no worse for science than the calculator is bad for math."

"There are some old articles which are referenced and cannot be found online and one must make the occasional trip to the musty section of the library - usually the dank basement - something to be done on those rainy Sunday afternoons when one can indulge in reading about the exploits of those who did the gritty pioneering work.. But it is not that much of an annoyance, as one can use the time to ponder in a different mental gear - a faculty often underused these days. Also, there's something to be said for the value of "classic" papers that aren't yet available online. My grad adviser could find insights that we would never have thought of in work published in the 1940's or earlier."

"The way that google structures its listing makes it difficult to find the more obscure texts. Couple that with the laziness of users who no longer wish to browse further than the top 10 in the listing, and it makes for very bland academic readings." In other words "Separate the wheat from the chaff."

And speaking of Educational Sciences: "The knowledge is general, but encourages people to pursue certain topics in depth."

Now, how will researchers will be affected with the outsourcing editing and translation of research database papers?. I was touched by a post written today by Roy Peter Clark, taking to copy editors: "I need copy editors to know that Eva Longoria is not the wife of Tampa Bay Rays baseball phenom Evan Longoria. I need them to know that a Florida cracker is not something you eat, and that it may or may not be offensive to some readers. I need a Rhode Island copy editor to know that you don't dig for clams; you dig for quahogs, a word of Indian origin -- American Indian. I need copy editors who know that Jim Morrison of The Doors went to St. Pete Junior College, that beat writer Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Fla., but is buried in Lowell, Mass. I want them to know that Lakewood High School is different from Lakewood Ranch High School. I want them to know that 54th Avenue North in St. Petersburg is 108 blocks north of 54th Avenue South."

Do we still have language barriers to talk about science? How research gets influenced with those resources re-elaborated by people, others than native speakers?

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Education & Tech News for Educators 07/21/2008

Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning so that students have multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. The model of differentiated instruction requires teachers to be flexible in their approach to teaching and adjusting the curriculum and presentation of information to learners rather than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum.

This conception oppose Clayton Christensen's vision of student-centric learning: "Software platforms will enable students to teach other students by developing tools and putting them into the user network. Isn’t it better to have the professionals teach, and the learners learn? No, not necessarily. We often learn better when we teach than when we listen to a teacher."

What do you think, is one better than the other?

Support Preparation of Teachers for Digital Learners

If you live in the U.S. I will appreciate deeply you respond to this call to action. Hilary Goldman (ISTE Director of Government Affairs) writes in an email dated 07/15/2008 and originally spread out by M. Guhlin. What is the Preparing Teachers for the Digital Age Program? This program would revamp the existing Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to use Technology. The updated program will provide consortia with two options to address the preparation of our nation’s teachers: a) Develop long-term partnerships focused on effective teaching with modern digital tools and content that substantially connect pre-service preparation of teacher candidates with high-needs schools; or, b) Transform the way schools of education teach classroom technology integration to teacher candidates.

Below is the text of Goldman's e-mail:

I just learned from Senate staff that no decision has been made yet about the Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners program inclusion in the final higher education reauthorization bill, and that the program is still in the mix of conversations. NOW is the time to voice your support for this program. You can send a letter of support through the URL below, or call your Senators offices directly, you can find the telephone number on and ask to speak to the legislative aide who handles education issues.

Action: Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative to request that the “Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners” program be included in the final Higher Education Act Reauthorization bill. Use this URL to send a letter to your two U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative:

This URL will bring you to a prepared letter that can be edited to personalize with your comments as well as an area to type your name and address. Make sure to authenticate and click send.

Background: Many of you may already be aware that the “Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners” program that the ISTE SIGTE developed for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act has been included in the House bill as Title II-B of H.R. 4137, The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007.” The program is not included in the Senate bill. House and Senate negotiators are meeting to work out the differences between the two chambers’ passed bills. Members of Congress must hear support for this program from their constituents if the program is to be included in the final bill.

For more information about the Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners program and a copy of the legislation please go to:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Hilary Goldmann at or 202 861-7777.

Hilary Goldmann
Director of Government Affairs
International Society for Technology in Education
1710 Rhode Island Avenue
Washington, DC 20036
202.861.7777 x-119 fax: 202.861.0888
Membership Services: 1.800.336.5191

Join in , support the education of your relatives, your friends and the next generation of american citizens!

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