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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Virginity Pledges Are Not a Marker for Less Sexual Activity

This study compares the sexual activity of adolescent virginity pledgers with matched nonpledgers by using more robust methods than past research. Research was conducted by Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD., and published this month in Pediatrics.

What Ms. Rosenbaum made was to compare 289 teenagers who had taken virginity pledges with 645 teens who did not taken such pledges but were otherwise similar in religiosity, attitudes towards sex, marriage expectations, and other factors.

While ago we wrote a Spanish post where we confronted this issue from our particular and cultural angle. There we stated that, not matter what schools, churches or families do, they've already learned "sex is not only to procreate, is to try, learn and enjoy it."

According to the cited study, teenagers who took virginity pledges had sex at around the same age, and had the same number of sexual partners, as demographically similar teens who did not take such pledges.

However, those who pledged to remain sexually abstinent until marriage were less likely than their nonpledging counterparts to use birth control and condoms, points out the report's author, J. Rosenbaum, a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore.

Even when we try to hold our beliefs and make commitments, mother nature disrupts any of these human and cultural aspirations.

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Using Social Media Strategies in Education

We landed on a post at ReadWriteWeb and we particularly appreciate how social media gurus, take education as an example to built an easy way to sort blogs and sites of your topics of interest. Marshall Kirkpatrick titles his post How to: Build a Social Media Cheat Sheet for Any Topic

In his post Kirkpatrick writes, "We'll use the field of Education as our example, because there is a lot of activity there and we presume we've got more educators as readers here than butchers or candlestick makers"

I have to say that we handle enough skills as for how to filter the internet and find relevant information in it, but some things Marshall refers to, Education & Tech didn't even have information of it. So we think his recommendations should be given credit.

What we don't like is, he says(as everyone is now expecting) his Cheat Sheet works to find the "top bloggers in any field, view or subscribe to just their most popular posts, search against their archives and befriend them elsewhere around the web!" and as you know, this is a discussion we've having online on the Twitter authority. Which means, not only top bloggers have some important to say and in many cases small bloggers have relevant information that because of this methods of lurking information are relegated to the bottom, unfortunately

Still, we really like this two tips on how to find niche blogs on Education, using the popular delicious. Note that you can change the tag at the end of the hyperlink and accommodate your personal results. The other was a Custom Google Search Engine, where you can go over any time you need to look over at Top Blog we follow in Education & Tech

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With Inequities in Education, Crime and Violence Will Intensify

Inequity in education is the reflection of inequity in society.

I've listened on a popular radio a question to all listeners, asking what it'll be the suggestions for President-elect Barack Obama. Ohio's Laine Alison Zalac is a graduating senior at Columbus Alternative High School and she wrote a essay which resulted as the winner of The Nation's Third Annual Student Writing Contest. She has her suggestion for upcoming 44th President of the United States.

She was focused on an issue we all know, but particularly interesting now, because it comes from a bright student in HS. Basically, what Laine argues is that until inequities in education are eliminated, a permanent underclass will continue to exist and maybe grow, who knows.

From Addressing Inequity in Education:

"In my school, we have a large population of English as Second Language (ESL) students. They are evaluated on the same tests as the rest of the school population, even though they don't speak English and might have arrived in the United States three months ago. In the suburbs, most students come from families that don't struggle every day to pay rent or have enough food to eat. How is it fair that less than three miles from my school, there is a school where students eat at fast food restaurants for lunch and sit on benches in their school's courtyard talking about what they will wear to the school dance? Kids in my school are dashing off to work to support their family and to try to pay for basics. We know the differences exist and we wonder why we are treated differently."

Are your students being treated equally, or is it the same case, Laine Alison Zalac is trying to address.

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How Internet Resources Can Be Effectively And Efficiently Located And Organized

"Asking students to conduct internet searches is like opening the door to let the students out for recess. They go out, all excited and full of energy, but often needing guidance to find appropriate and effective ways to handle the situation. Students leave a structured environment, to one of choices and decisions, and they need coaching to make safe educational gains."

This is a comment left at Learning in Maine from a supposedly teacher, who recognizes we teachers have to 'train' our pupils to learn how to find and organize the internet resources. So we don't get answers when searching the internet like …

"Thinking about using Internet resources in the classroom is like …"
"Asking students to conduct Internet searches is like …"

In order to find relevant information in the internet students first need to learn how to read, and one of the reasons teachers succeed at their environment is that kids read at peace. Remember though, children are made readers on the laps of their parents. So, don't get frustrated whether yours, aren't reading at their level.

Process of learning is not unidirectional, teachers and students need to do their part. We agreed that schoolers need to be trained to grab the gold out of the garbage in the internet, but teachers too, have to give themselves permission to learn from their students.

In other words, we are in support of the idea of encouraging life-long learning in kids by modeling the behavior as faculty. That's the idea of being a Master Learner (listen audio post).

Waiting for further discussion.

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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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