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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How To Write Google Kick -Ass Headlines For Your Blog

A while now, a friend of us asked how come one of our posts about a particular theme was listed in Google but his. I explained to him that many variables he needed to consider when looking for his headlines to appear in Google. Thing is, our friend just launched a weblog and all of a sudden, he wanted to see those posts ranked on top of search engines. I suppose, now he can feel a better rewarded, since this story occurred more than two years now.

Google keep revising frequently the system how they rank websites, the last one just occured on New Year' Eve. None of the other well know search engines are being able to hit algorithm and business Google is doing. Such is the importance of searching with Google that some people recognize in this search engine, a Doctor Google in terms of dystonia medicine.

Two bloggers we follow are Franklin Bishop and Dave Lucas. Bishop has shown two posts on how-to blog headlines (titles) that kick ass. Models and words like "Discover". "Guaranteed", "Everybody Is", "Get Rid of", "Best Way to", "The Secret of", "Do You Need" are some of the most effective blog headlines, writes

Guess where do we get from our post title this time.

On the other hand is Dave Lucas. He writes a 6 point list of how to write blog entries Google-Search-Friendly. The purpose should always be, "build a solid, bulletproof reputation" so people who find things through Google can rely on you as an authority. Remember a blogger is a single one company media outlet, you don't have edition crew. Before you decide on what it be the headline of your post ask yourself, "if you were Googling for the article you just wrote, what would you type in the Google searchbox?"

Decision: That is the most ultimate headline!

Should edublogs and edubloggers change that way we are presenting educative contents?

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Are We Approaching to Meta-Schools in the Same Way We've Got Charter Ones?

The teacher who thinks that a website address and Google are enough to navigate media and networks of information is gradually becoming media-illiterate.

I came across a blog which we've quoted at the beginning. The topic is how can an increasing numbers of meta-teachers will allow the school of the future, what Macquarie University's professor calls, the ‘meta-schools’. The author of this still non-commented article asks: "Is that how we’ll reform pedagogy and curriculum?"

It all depends how today’s teens keep feeding the daily diet of instant, franchised information – short messages that have specific intentions – few of which worry too much about being un-biased, impartial, ethical, moral or accurate. If we are able to revert the idea "meta-teachers are a problem," then we can override the results on a generation, who now only skim content, but not critically analyse it.

How ICT will perform a meta data and meta language to tie information, people, ideas, resources and communities together, when new generation are learning that, in 140 characters you can make a point, shout or push a link. Teachers, of course have a "power-influence" so students and the rest of us, don't think that blogs are dead, that extended writing is not relevant or worse, as long as you can short message and skim, you’ll succeed. This is the generation we have also to get inmersed in the meta discussion.

The meta-teacher Teaching and Learning Design dreams of is: "A teacher who understands that as information spews out of our desktops, laptops and phones – it sticks to the internet and potentially has to be navigated. These teachers are different. They have skills and understanding that makes them critical in the classroom, and the global edu community. They lead, mediate, inspire and collaborate. More importantly, they understand how to read, use, integrate, technology, and ‘meta-language’. They understand how ‘things’ get connected to other things. They are aware that ‘tagging’ is significant."

Head of Educational Development Design at the Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University, in Sydney says he doesn't consider himself an advocate of technology but how much and why technology changes learning.

Will meta-schools appear in the same way charter schools appeared?

Who knows, it’s not so crazy the author confirms, and an idea that sooner or later someone with money will pay for it. Perhaps the role of meta-teachers is not to change their schools. Maybe they represent an opportunity to create better schools – or at least offer an alternative to what we have, ends this magnificent post.

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It takes ten years or 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field

It’s unclear how well research on expertise is transferable to other, potentially less complex, fields but Quest for Expertise by Alexandre Enkerli is provocative and as, Alejna said it in one of the Disparate's comment, is a first 'sleuthing' work.

As for the actual sleuthing… answers Alexandre, "I didn’t spend that much time, yet. Most of what I’ve done is just 'quick checks' and I hesitate to call it 'research.'"

If this is not research, then we prefer to stay quite and keep working to, some day become experts on, let's say, Education!

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Neoliberalism: Responsibility for Education Is an Euphemism

There is a correlation between social state and education. The extract we are about to post, belongs to Henry and Susan Giroux, both analyse the impact of how old conservative campaign claiming that education, health and general welfare of its citizens had to be measured by the government, now is discredited and has failed. That's just as important, because is the big challenge Obama and his Secretary of Education have to start dealing with, in just a few more days.

The next two paragraphs were taken from, On the Politics of Education After Neoliberalism and first published at

"Does it not seem odd, for example, that we bemoan the lack of a culture of service among young college graduates and at the same time seek to improve an educational system by implementing school policy that financially rewards students for scholastic achievement? Is it not a bit naive to assume that such policy can end in any other way than a "pay to play" mentality? We must surely reform our financial institutions and our economic philosophies more generally, but so too must we reform those institutions, professional competencies, and social identities altered by decades of neoliberal rule. And that will prove a most challenging endeavor. It will require that universities, news media, hospitals and clinics, schools and other institutions return critical and reflexive decision-making capacities to professors, journalists, doctors, nurses, teachers and others and away from accountants and middle managers. It means that the bottom line will not determine curricula or shape research agendas; it will not drive the news media, determine a course of medical treatment or fix the outcome of clinical trials. Once-trusted relations between doctors and patients, teachers and students, parents and children will no longer suffer the flatting out of their respective rolls to that of buyer and seller.

In spite of the crucial connection between various modes of domination and pedagogy, there is little input from progressive social theorists of what it might mean to theorize how education as a form of cultural politics actually constructs particular modes of address, identification, affective investments and social relations that produce consent and complicity with the ethos and practice of neoliberalism. Hence, while the current economic crisis has called into question the economic viability of neoliberal values and policies, it often does so by implying that neoliberal rationality can be explained through an economic optic alone, and consequently gives the relationship of politics, culture and inequality scant analysis. Neoliberal rationality is lived and legitimated in relation to the intertwining of culture, politics and meaning. Any viable challenge to the culture of neoliberalism as well as the current economic crisis it has generated must address not merely the diffuse operations of power throughout civil society and the globe, but also what it means to engage those diverse educational sites producing and legitimating neoliberal common sense, whether they be newspapers, advertising, the Internet, television or more recent spheres developed as part of the new information revolution. In addition, it is crucial to examine what role public intellectuals, think tanks, the media and universities actually play pedagogically in constructing and legitimating neoliberal world views, and how the latter works pedagogically in producing neoliberal subjects and securing consent."

Where? What? When? Applications for Education

Free Technology for Teachers is a great blog you should be reading during this 2009 and same as our 2008 Year in Review, they've made their Ten Most Popular Blogs Entries of 2008.

When looking for images, especially if you are a blogger and want to present an eye candy for your readers, then you may be familiar with services like Compfight and Flickr Related Browser. Both work for searching Flickr images either Creative Commons distributed or the copywrighted ones.

Thanks to our fellow at Free Technology for Teachers, we've come to learn about a new tool that incorporates searching of imaginery by tag and locality.

We are talking about Where?What?When? and Mr. Byrne recommends: This small web application that uses new Flickr API methods, "could be a good tool for students to find images for slide shows or Animoto videos" and he adds, it "could also be an interesting way to look at what types of activities are frequently photographed in different parts of the world."

Education & Tech News for Educators 01/01/2009

Free or Open Source Synchronous Learning
Yugma's free version allows you to share your desktop with up to 10 others while using the built-in instant message features

The top 10 ed-tech stories of 2008
These are among the many noteworthy developments affecting educational technology in the past year.

Is it appropriate to expect a social return on investment when considering education?
Most people would agree that society should expect a return from its investment in education.

When that tacit agreement is translated into an explicit attempt to measure that return it seems to cross the threshold of acceptability.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

2009: Year of Education & Tech

Click to play Education & Tech
Make a Smilebox greeting you too.

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Nominations for the Twitter Shorty Awards

Honor the world's top Twitterers in 140 characters or less until midnight December 31st. Hurry up!

Go forth and tweet your nominations!

  • To nominate someone for a Shorty Award, use the form on their site, or send a tweet similar to this: @shortyawards I nominate @someone in category #news because… (but write something of your own).
  • The text of the tweet is completely up to you. As long as it contains @shortyawards @someone #category you can be as creative with the rest as you like.
  • You actually have to write something. Just submitting the default tweet doesn’t count.
  • If you later decide you want to change what you wrote, retweet with the same @someone and #category and it’ll replace your old tweet with the new one.

Follow the nominations @shortyawards. Use the webform on the Shorty Awards site, so you don't get the nomination syntax incorrect.

Of course, you can always check what are the Education nominees here. And if you are interested, you might want to add us too @tonnet.

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The Web's Future is Multilingual

Certainly that many languages will be extinct by next century as Ethnolinguist K. David Harrison predicts but when we talk about world wide web things are a bit different.

Gone are the days in which you can launch a Web site in English and assume that readers from around the globe are going to look to you simply because of the content you're providing, is credited to be said by Zia Daniell Wigder, a senior analyst at JupiterResearch.

And that's precisely the predictions about what Daniel Sorid of The Herald Tribune just wrote today:

The next chapter of the World Wide Web will not be written in English alone. Asia already has twice as many Internet users as North America, and by 2012 it will have three times as many. Already, more than half of the search queries on Google come from outside the United States.

The globalization of the Web has inspired entrepreneurs like Ram Prakash Hanumanthappa, an engineer from outside Bangalore, India. Ram Prakash learned English as a teenager, but he still prefers to express himself to friends and family members in his native Kannada. But using Kannada on the Web involves computer keyboard maps that even Ram Prakash finds challenging to learn.

Want to know more about Quillpad Ram's Project? Keep reading...

LATER: NYT picks the story and feature it like, Writing the Web's Future in Numerous Languages.

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All I Know Is That I Know Nothing

On purpouse of New Year and the settling of goals in our daily life. You can't sit back and be happy with where you’ve come in a few short have to totally understand the benefits of continuing to grow - you raise your vibrations, you attract higher quality people, you can serve more people, and more.

Here the post we've selected to recommend as inspirational this new year and written by Rachel Rofé, The More I Learn, the More I Realize How Little I Know which to us, is an equivalent to the Socrates' Paradox [see also Spanish answers]:

My father used to have a bumper sticker in the garage that said, 'The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.'

This seems to be my life story - especially as of late. The more I grow, the more I realize I have so much more to learn.

It’s really hard for me to come to terms with this! I’ve always had the attitude that I’d like to work super-hard at first, get to desired solution, and then sit back. With growth though, it just doesn’t happen that way. It’s never-ending.

I met a guy I really, really respect back in June. He’s super-successful and full of amazing advice. I thought he was absolutely brilliant, wise, enlightened… and then I talked to his wife.

Continue to read the whole history.

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How to Add Pictures to Friend Connect Community

From Google Friend Connect Tactics:

This is real easy, add Picassa from Google to your profile. Then allow your Google Social Friends from Friend Connect to add pictures to a album you set up just for this. Then use the embed option and add the Picassa widget to the blog on a page designated just for this.

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Education, Tech, And the 2008 Year in Review

Traditional media is doing the Year in Review and we thought that is a good opportunity,to show our best work during 2008. In fact, we're probably worse than most when it comes to liking to sort, use Google Analytics's statistics, find trends and display highlights. TonNet thought it'd be fun to do a quick run through the year very soon to be completed, looking at the good things, bad, interesting, and not so much.

Below is a quick summary, including the top stories and people who were nice enough to link to us, like Stephen Downes, to whom we extend our deeply and grateful respects.

In the middle of the 2008, we posted which were at that time, our Top 20 Posts of All Time and it was Mr. Downes who linked to Education & Tech more than once.

Many other people showed some love linking to Education and Tech, but again, it was Stephen's Web who did it the most. Some other edubloggers (or edblogs) worked on the Top 25 blogs for the 2008, the Top 50 P-12Edublogs? -Technorati shake up! the Education & Tech blogroll, Best of the 2008 @ Weblogawards, and Innocents in Blogland by the Whashington Post.

We have in the right side, the Popular Posts and some of them are included in what Google Analytics tracks as the Top Content for this blog:

Edublog Awards: The Best 16 Eddies, is a recent post but as all topics in the internet, new content ranks higher.

Why developers hate the Facebook wall-to-wall, it's a popular landing for our social media avid readers.

The iPhone brings traffic, see this post about hooking one of this gadgets to the T-Mobile networks.

10 questions to ask at a Parent Teacher Conference. It seems visitors of Education & Teach are not only educators but parents, as well.

Social Networks are a great concern among cybernauts. Social Networking condemned to die was large hit.

Some have complained we don't keep focus on the thematic we cover. They may have their own reasons, yet 7 educational sites your kids will love was a success.

At the bottom we are including an slide to share with you, what it looked like Education & Tech (Blog para lectores de español -Blog for Spanish Readers).Three are the posts in Spanish, which still continue to be of the preference of our visitors:

Aspectos positivos y negativos de la globalización.
Templates for Blogger, formerly known as Blogger Beta; and,
The musical history of a Ecuadorian legend, Don Lucho Bowen.

BubbleShare: Share photos

For great posts at the end of the 2008 and greatly promoted by users in the internet. Click the links:

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at . You can share ideas for stories on the Education & Tech.

Teachers Becoming Virtual Friends With Their Students. Not a Good Step.

With Facebook truly going mainstream next year, teachers more than ever are in the disyuntiva of allowing their students to add them as friends or not, in Facebook.

Studies have shown that Facebook over passed MySpace worldwide in traffic and they will have a hard battle this year to maintain their identities. No matter what developers hate about Facebook, it's set to eclipse MySpace in the US early next year.

So, Facebook will be so popular in the U.S. but the question for educators remains, Should teachers become virtual friends with their students?

We think teachers may become virtual friends with their students, as far as both keep the relationship teacher/student at the same level. There are situations when either a student or a teacher doesn't get acquainted with one another, and then this kind of connection might disrupt into conflict. However, I still think teachers should see in Facebook a place to interact and relax. That's what the young community thinks of this social network, "You can communicate when it's not something very, very serious", to quote a student at the University of Texas in Austin and cited in Teachers face dilemma with Facebook.

There is not consensus about making students virtual friends in Facebook, yet. "Opponents fear innocent educators will be branded sexual predators for chatting with students online, while proponents caution against overreacting to a powerful communication tool.", writes Erica Mellon in the cited article.

Teachers face dilemma with Facebook stressed what Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, suggests to their members. He asked them to avoid connecting with students on social-networking sites. Most of times it would be Ok, he says, but "What do you do with that one whose parent goes nuts: What do you mean you're my kid's friend?" It all falls into what we all know as professionalism.

It's pretty easy to make a group in Facebook and start calling for adhesion. Teachers and administrators are concerned of groups like Teachers Need to Get the Hell Off Facebook. Perception is, students think that they are the bridge through what schools patrol for cyber-bullying. Adults in Facebook simply are considered creepy for some students.

Administrators think of Facebook to be like a giant family reunion or class reunion. Would you invite your students to your family reunion or class reunion? Many would expect not. Case in point, there is much you can share about family on these social networks but it's up to you, how much you share it online. You can always select which of your students are allowed to see and read what you've posted.

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Forget About Google Docs and Scribd. wePapers Is Here and Rocks!

wePapers is a new free online service, still in Beta, created by two Israeli students, launched on December, after 18 months in development. wePapers helps students, teachers and anyone seeking academic knowledge, come together to share and upload academic material, discuss what they study and mainly – find tons of quality lecturenotes and peer-reviewed articles.

This web application differs from Scribd, in a sense, beacause they claim to be "The YouTube of Educational Papers". we Papers, lets its users read documents and presentation right within their browsers. These materials can be shared with others and downloaded as you wish.

Teachers can take advantaje of this free open startup, because students studying a regular course or interested in the same topic can get together and form online study groups. Of course, if you prefer to have your documents private, you just have to protect them with a password.

Ehud and Hanan, the founders of wePapers, realized through their studies for their B.A. degrees that acing school doesn't have to involve agony. "We think everyone has something to teach, and anyone can become a teacher, a guru or a mentor. More important, we believe everybody deserves the right to learn for free and they are madly waiting for your thoughts.

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If You Aren't Into Business, Who Cares About the Twitter Search Meme

Twitter Search Meme, Who Cares?Nobody doubts that If we want schools to stay relevant in a digital age they need to keep pace with the changes in society. It just needs to be a priority, wrote Jeff Utecht last week.

Those changes are intimately linked to connections. In this field, tools as Twitter have become a priority for teachers. Diligent ones, even struggled to narrow it to a list of ten Twitter teachers you should be following.

We don't normally write about Twitter. There is a wide range of interested ones who can do it better than us, but today, we want to participate of the thread started by social media figures: Le Meur, Arrington and Scoble. They are discussing about whether Twitter should track the authority of a user, based primarily on the number of followers.

Here are the takes on his hot arena, where we are sure, only Twitter CEO Evan Williams will decide ultimately:

Sarah Lacy is grateful Loic doesn't run Twitter, and calls attention to the Silicon Valley Hoi Polloi, "Not everyone in the world who is searching something on Twitter cares what we think or knows who we are. Yes, as someone with nearly 7,000 followers, I include myself in that. If someone wants to know what only the most followed people think, he or she can just follow those people. That's how the service works."

We already stated our nonconformity with Loic Meur, If this means to let out small contributors, then I am against it.(27 DEC 08). No matter what the predictions across de web are for the 2009, Twitter will remain growing and we are not afraid, new and small participants are set aside because they don't have enough followers.

Louis Gray moves on and says that everyone is right about authority. Scoble, Arrington, and Lemeur are all right (only the three of them?) "It's important to follow smart people, yet at the same time your followers are just as important. I don't think either one is any more valuable than the other on a general level - it varies on a person-to-person experience, and that is why you see them arguing over it. That's the amazing thing behind Social Networking - there is no right or wrong answer because each individual can define their own!"

Still, the idea that Twitter should have authority search based on the number of followers a user has, is patently idiotic. Duncan Riley jumps in and says, hey who gives a shit? "After all, Twitter couldn’t even get search right in the first place, so they had to acquire a company that was offering Twitter search. Unless there’s a 3rd party Twitter tool provider by the name of “elitist people search for Twitter” I’m not aware of they can buy to do it, I’m ranking this dead in the water…or should that be Loic’s Perrier."

So, we stop here. Better to ask you add @tonnet to your list and find out who was the very first person you've started following in Twitter. Do you still love Twitter?

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