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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Seeking Applicants for Teacher Exchange to Bangladesh

Relief International (RI) is a humanitarian agency that one of its main functions is to communicate the pronounced needs of the vulnerable and affected populations to the international community.

Today we received an e-mail from Bagladesh Consultant at Relief International, Marie Acemah:

I am an International Educational Development Consultant at Relief International, and I’m seeking applicants for an all expenses paid teacher exchange to Bangladesh this February. This is an exciting opportunity to explore the culture, traditions and education system of Bangladesh.
Unfortunately, I do not have your email address and so cannot attach the application. Please email me so that I can send you additional details and the application.

Since Marie couldn't find our e-mail address, I encourage you to write to her at her e-mail, if you happen to be interested on this matters.

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Education & Tech News for Educators 01/07/2009

Copyright-friendly image source websites

Does anyone have any suggestions for websites to safely download pictures off the internet? Leave suggestion on comments section.

Web Tools for Teaching: Comparing Microblogging Tools

Each group of 3 students at the State University of New York at Buffalo, was assigned to compare Twitter, the best known site, with either Plurk, Pownce or Spoink

Clarifications on “Slow Blogging” and “Fast Reading”

It’s not the length of the post that measures the quality of the writing, but the length of each idea within that post.

Chalk Talk - Best of 2008

These are the tools and sites that got the most response and reaction and the ones that A. Meyers see being used in powerful and productive ways in schools.

Lies, Damned Lies and Pedagogy

The purpose of this hoax was to spend time thinking about how easily information takes on a life of its own online, ethics in the historical profession, and the role of digital media in popular culture.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

ISTE Board 2009 Elections Nominations Are Now Open

Today, through Monday, February 2, ISTE nominations are being accepted for the following open positions, each with a two-year term starting in June 2009:

  • Two At-Large Representatives: General members involved in any area of educational technology.
  • One Computer Science Representative: General member who is a PK–-12 or post-secondary education computer science instructor.
  • One International Representative: General member who is from a country other than the United States, involved in any area of educational technology.
  • One PK–12 Schools Representative: General member who is a PK–12, school-based educator, either classroom teacher or technology coordinator.
  • One State Technology Director Representative: General member who is a director of technology for a state education agency.

Consider nominating yourself or reach out to your colleagues and contacts throughout the world who are ISTE members and have the leadership skills to serve to encourage them to run for a seat on the Board. It is through you, our members who are committed to the goals of ISTE and advancing the field of educational technology, that we can build an exceptional Board.

Details about the nomination process, the three guiding questions, and Board member responsibilities are available at ISTE

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Employment: U.S. Has a Shortage of Math and Science Teachers

Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) hope financial and training incentives will help fill the need for 200,000 new teachers.

Stacy Teicher Khadaroo of The Christian Science Monitor, reports on experiences of two new science teachers, Jeremy Kennefick and Geoffrey Gailey and how the U.S. madly needs more math and science teachers:

It's no easy task to recruit people with proclivities for science into schools – and to keep them long enough to nurture a talent for teaching. But over the next decade, schools will need 200,000 or more new teachers in science and math, according to estimates by such groups as the Business-Higher Education Forum in Washington. Already, many districts face shortages: In at least 10 states, fewer than 6 out of 10 middle-school science teachers were certified when the Council of Chief School Officers compiled a report last year...

Most teachers who leave the profession do so not because of pay primarily, Ms. Collins says, but because they feel isolated, or the working conditions in their school are poor, or they start to see it as a professional dead end. In addition to tuition assistance and summer stipends, the KSTF fellowship tries to address those issues in its extra professional-development support for new teachers like Geoffrey Gailey.

Keep reading the original source.

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Global Voices Online Needs Your Support. Will You?

Thanks to Managing Director GAP.

Hit the link to give out some love.

DC Teachers Union Opposed to Rhee's Merit Pay Program

The U.S. spends more per pupil on elementary and high school education than most developed nations.

This is an statement Times recently published to back what Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is doing to behold the title of country's best-known urban school reformer.

By September 2008, the chancellor of one of the nation's lowest-performing school districts in the nation, closed 23 schools as the head of the District of Columbia's public schools, fired 36 principals and cut about 121 jobs from the central office staff. And she keeps on making changes.

She's been doing media headlines nationwide on the reforms she intents for DC schools. But with less visibility and a bit further East, Newark Superintendent Clifford Janey is also working to fulfil a better achievement in another of the worst performing districts school in America, Newark. He's instituted a mandatory uniform policy for students in grades K-8, revised the district's lunch policy and launched a also controversial initiative around teacher quality.

Speaking of controversial, this is how Rhee's proposal is perceived by DC teachers union. She plans to do away with teacher tenure and replace it with an ambitious merit pay program. NPR has an interview of Chancellor Rhee on how her proposal has divided the Chocolate city's teachers union.

Listen the interview made by Claudio Sanchez, here.

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Why Facebook Cannot Be Used by Teachers And Won't Ever Kill Twitter

Both services cater to two different groups of people. Twitter users might be using Facebook, but Facebook users can’t use Twitter without changing their habits. And that, is why Facebook cannot touch Twitter no matter what they try.

We are not sure whether colleges friend Facebook anymore, but we have to accept what people who really understands the inner of this once called by Mike Arrington, Non-Social Network, is writing about the stepping down of Twitter in favor of Facebook, as a social network. Aditya Mukherjee is a student and Facebook's developer who's totally against the beliefs that Facebook any time soon will kill Twitter

Aditya writes a long post explaining his reasons why Nick O’Neill of is all wrong when he asserts that Facebook could kill Twitter.

Head of Geekaholic says he's feeling just fine without following the "A-list-ers", Even when he disagree with O'Neil he still thinks, "Twitter wouldn’t receive as much buzz if it weren’t for the super users," which of course, doesn't happen with Facebook users. While Facebook users are interacting in real life, Twitter ones are not befriending but following what they consider of similar interest.

This discussion is important for educators because there is a great discussion of whether teachers should befriend students and viceversa. This analysis puts teachers at easy, it clearly shows that Facebook isn't a good tool to take it to school. Twitter is.

Finally, Aditya in the same cited post, writes: "Facebook’s crowd in itself will not understand the value of Twitter simply because they are the more of the usual people, who believe in social interactions based on real life events...Twitter on the other hand is all about communication of thoughts, or if you take their question seriously enough, what the person is doing. It’s much more spontaneous, and easy."

Do you still think Twitter will have to step down to allow Facebook's users take the lead?

Experimetal Uses of iPod, May Lift Attention in American K-12 Schools

There is an experimental program being proved at at Shepparton High School in central Victoria, the first in Australia and maybe among the first in the world to use iPod touches in classroom for a global mobile learning project.

Using an online program called Studywiz Mobile, students at Shepparton are able to use the hand-held media players to navigate the internet, download music, do quizzes, research and even submit assignments and collaborate with a school in Singapore, writes Miki Perkins at his DigitalLife column.

What uses of iPod Touch means for Schools in America?

Tim Holt tries to answer this question when annotating his view on this Australian program he says, "There is quite a call for students to be allowed to start using the technology that they are used to and this brings a series of challenges for IT departments. Netbooks, iPod Touches, and other web-enabled devices will begin to strain district IT resources, not to mention filters."

Ric Murry of Why Do You Ask? joins the conversation and stresses that "The beauty of the iPhone/iPod Touch is that one does not need to infrastructure of the school." And parents, as well as teachers are not only blocking uses of these gadgets but they are punishing sons/students for the sin of using mobile communications tools.

Schools, by offering 'appropriate' instruction and net 'citizenship,' could redirect the fear of seeing the bad things back to the rightful authority - the parent/family, finish Ric's comment, left at Intended Consequences, Tim Holt's Blog

LATER: I also found this case of neat use of the iPod Touch in education.

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IBBA Selects Top 10 Worst Education Blogs

A passive aggressive response to not getting an edublogger award this year. BTW, who that hell is that International Baccalaureate Blogging Association? We do know for sure who is IBBA, though.

Nobody new that was a entertaining and pursuing way of linkbait, until you go to the end of post written by The fine print reads, created with The Newspaper Clipping Generator.

For the list of edubloggers who bite the bait visit

Jonathan D. Becker, is explaining all edublog's readers why they should always pay attention to how they handle, Information literacy, Digital literacy and 21st century literacy, as he chooses to put it.

Mike post, teach us "an important lesson about reading the fine print. It also raises issues of authenticity in the digital age," writes PhD Becker. But he share with us another little trick he said learned through Twitter on how easy it is to “fake” or significantly alter images.

Did you show support for MGuhlin? Here we go Miguel.

Breaking Teachers Unions to Get Better Teachers in the U.S.

Education is not among the steps to get U.S. economy booming again -not among immediate steps. At last, these are the conclusions Rich Karlgaard of Forbes Magazine, arrived. Economical indicators tell us that the first half of the 2009 U.S. economy will have no meaningful recovery. These are not good news for education budget, since education is only seen to have an impact in the 'near future' in this economical crisis.

From 12 Steps to Economic Recovery published at Forbes and at the very end of the list:

"Pay teachers more, based on merit. The politically incorrect truth is that smart American women subsidized K--12 education from the 19th century through the 1960s. Since the 1970s smart women have had more and better-paying career choices than teaching the three Rs. The talent pool in American K--12 teaching is fished out. By SAT scores and grade-point averages, would-be teachers are asked to clear a far lower bar than are other professionals. If the U.S. wants better teachers, we'll have to pay them more. But it should be merit-based. To do that, we'll have to break the teachers unions."

Did he say break teachers unions? How come private industry and other government areas are working effectively with unions and teachers can't.

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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.
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