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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Education Today 08/22/2008

Free Websites for Teachers

Interactive Science Sites -Contribute to expand the list.

Stop “I Cant-ing” and start trying.

When we fall into “I Can’ts” we lock ourselves into filling that as truth. I tried to call Jen on that in her comments[]. If she says, “I can’t cook” then that’s cuts off effort to counter the assertion. She responds:

Alan, I mention that I “can’t,” only to emphasize that it’s because I’ve not gathered the information and abilities I need. If I take the time to do that, I’m sure I’ll be able to make you the saltiest squirrel pie you’ve ever tasted!

A Must-Read Science Teacher

Doyle is a science teacher whose writings about that subject are addictive. Half Steinbeck, half uncle you’d always wished for, the voice and perspective just do me right. He makes his back yard, his New Jersey coast, the trees outside his classroom window come alive like only a good science-storyteller can. Do yourself a favor and check him out.[]

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Freedom: The Prize of Going to China to the Olympic Games

We thought Olympics will allow some liberties in China ( yes, I know different countries have different laws). One of the values we teach our kids in school here or there, is the value of their own culture and of course the immense value of freedom. When Ingrid Betancourt was set free by Colombian government, one of our friends told us, you cannot value freedom until you've lost it. And certainly is it.

While mayor blogs discuss who's leading the coverage of Olympics in the US, there are people who is being left behind as The Pirate Bay, a website who allows users to download torrents on the Beijing Olympics. They were asked by IOC to take down all videos being broadcasted by this very popular website.

Recently, David Sasaki, outreach director of GVO wrote a article that appeared in PBS-IdeaLab where he said there were three obstacles to a truly global conversation: censorship, lack of digital inclusion and language. In this post we refer to the first one, censorship.

What are you doing today to save those five US bloggers who were detained in China because of their sympaty for Tibetan causes? In America we support freedom of speech and even if they are critics of the American system, they deserve the right of free thinking. We join to condemn such actions taken against fellow journalist/bloggers:

- James Powderly
- Brian Conley
- Jeffrey Rae
- Jeff Goldin
- Michael Liss
- Tom Grant

A commenter in ReadWriteWeb put it straight and simple: "The harder China tries to make Tibet go away, the more foolish they look. That is not to say that the US doesn't look foolish over Iraq, but two wrongs don't make a right. The consistent targeting of Buddhist monks and the cultural genocide that is going on in Tibet is a travesty. I don't think the world at large really appreciates what will be lost if China's plan for Tibet succeeds."

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Curriculum: Design and Phylosophy Underlying Are Not For Wikis

It's been a long time since I don't read or write about curriculum (Curriculum was the topic I've worked on back when I had to present my doctoral thesis). Stephen Downes found the root of this theme and directed me to Generation YES a multi-authored blog which goals are to "facilitate change in schools that are interested in transformation, growth, and fulfilling their potential as inclusive learning communities."

Silvia Martinez is one of the contributors for Generation YES and she wrote an outstanding post on her reasons of why she thinks curriculum shouldn't be built taking wikis as a tool. We find her contribution interesting, because since Hilda Taba and Ralph Tyler, it's not so easy to find theoricists of the American curriculum and she just got it right. At the end of her post she clarifies though, she's not against breaking down the monopoly that textbook world. "I’m completely in favor of people using the collaborative power of wikis to build reference and teaching materials that reflect their views about learning and teaching."

There is something we have to agree with Silvia is that curriculum is build up on a whole set of ideas and philosophical and even political conceptions. Curriculum isn't a collection of content per se. It reflects the wiki author’s beliefs about the nature of teaching and learning. How many people can edit a wiki? So, what is going to be the set of believes used and established to design, build, apply and evaluate a determined curricula?

"Curriculum is an statement of opinion [...] It reflects a person’s or group’s belief about what order to approach topics and what kinds of activities work best for most students. The pacing, depth, and order are all based on these beliefs, which can differ widely between authors. Curriculum authors have to think long and hard about their philosophy regarding the subject area and presentation of the material."

If you go and visit the thread of comments on Silvia Martinez's post you will see interesting contributions.

Being agreed on the conception of curriculum, let us say that the best of them, won't fit all school necessities and that's something people that work as designers need to consider at all times. If curriculum is flexible, then it won't work as a wiki in large, but could it be used into particular boards or schools? If you are a teacher, you know plans need to be adjusted every time and almost for every class.

And as always, when people talks about philosophy it's so hard to arrive to conclusions, so is the curriculum discussion. What are your thoughts?

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Worlcamp SF 2008: Takes on Education and Multiuser Experiences

Photo by marilu79
This past weekend all people who love Worldpress among bloggers, thinkers, journalists, developers, and inventors were reunited in the University of California, San Francisco.

The main page says the goal of Worldcamp 08 was "figure out the future of publishing on the web."

Reading Andrew Mager's page where he made a great presentation of events (still missing some video or audio from this event) we've found a particular topic presented by Allen Levine from New Media Consortium. He just put it plain and simple: "The powerful thing about blogging is that it’s personal. It’s the most important subject: me." And after he brings up examples of great work on multiuser installations such as the familiar edublogs, chickspeak, al upton and scholarpress.

We would love to hear what Blogger is doing to favor education or use of blogs in the classroom.

In the lengthy post written about the Worldcamp, there is also a section where Matt Mullenweg interviewed Om Malik (from The question about any tips for bloggers was answered, pointing out a mistake many still are doing it (myself included: "Listen to your head. You talk from your head. Using blockquote is an excuse. I use it and that’s when I know I’m being lazy."

Malik's answer says all.

See also, Worldcamp SF 2008 Follow Up.

Cogdogblog posted audio and a PicLens slide show, plus the Worldcamp takeaways.

Update 2:
The Blog Herald is talking about The Changing Social of Conferences.

Top 5 Career In Demand According to NACE

Bachelor's Degree In-DemandThe NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) during the Spring 2008 Salary Survey, found which are the Top 5 Bachelor's Degree in demand. We should all remember that "at the time of graduation, nearly three out of five Class of 2006 two-year college graduates (59.2 percent), on average, had a job; at the time of the follow-up survey, nearly three-quarters (74.4 percent) had secured employment." applied to the two-years college graduated.

Imagine what it will be the difference if you've got to the level of a bachelor even when some still think education matters but not much as you thought:

1. Mechanical Engineering, with a start salary of $ 57,821. As more engineers retire, and other professionals transfer to managerial positions, job opportunities in this field are good.

What do they will do? These professionals research, design, develop, and test tools, machines, and mechanical devices. Along with a knack for science and math,for engineers strong oral and written communication skills are a must.

2. Accounting, with a start salary of $47,429. Retirees and a faster than average job growth due to new business and changing financial laws and regulations, accountants can have favorable job opportunities.

What they will do? Accountants ensure that a firm is run efficiently and records are kept accurately, so this career is for people who delight in number crunching.

3. Finance, with a salary start of $48,616. Competition is still keen for finance positions and financial advisors are projected to be among the 10 fastest-growing occupations.

What the will do? Almost a third of finance professionals opt to open their own business but they gather and analyze financials and provide investment guidance to businesses and individuals. You must feel comfortable with money markets, tax laws, and the workings of the economy, and a good communication skills to explain complex strategies and concepts is also a key.

4. Business Administration/Management, with a start salary of $44,195. Competition for top-level business administration management jobs will be high while more opportunities will exist for lower-level management jobs and facility managers. Projected to grow so quickly among other occupations.

What they will do? Leadership and communication skills are as valuable as flexibility, being detail-oriented, and decisive. They keep offices running efficiently, conducting records management.

5. Civil Engineering, with a start salary of $50,940. Employment growth for civil engineers is expected to move faster than the average for all career.

What they will do? Whether you are attracted by nature for details and analytics or you are inquisitive, detail-oriented, and interested in the big picture. This career is for you. Civil engineers must consider potential environmental hazards, construction costs, and government regulations that can affect their creations.

Job descriptions are based on details provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and salaries correspond to entry-level. Post written in base of the already article published by Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick.

Photo credit: Hiram College.

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Education Today 08/17/2008

Higher Education - Dangerously Close to Becoming Irrelevant!

"The Internet and wealth of developing technology provide young people outside of education with a sense of “openness, connectedness, personalization, and participation” that is simply not found at the university level today.

The idea that America’s colleges and universities are effectively educating the next generation has become suspect."

Darren Draper: First Impressions

"What happens on the first days of school can be an indicator of future success, He thought it would be interesting to see how many of your teachers - educators whose blogs have helped you to learn - chose to begin their classes, at a time when they weren't yet my teachers and at a time that they most likely were not even aware that their blogs would eventually become a classroom for many."
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