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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Research: Meta-analysis of Early Literacy by the National Early Literacy Panel

Photo by amy.k.
This week was the Arne Duncan's confirmation hearing in the Senate and none of the 20 questions prepared to this event were brought in. In place, Duncan faced some "not-so-tough grilling" from senators, according to Christina Satkowski of The Early Ed Watch Blog.

Since Mr. Duncan highlighted early education, the round of Q&A come precisely on early education. Senators Tom Harkin(D-IOWA) and Bernard Sanders(I-VT) were quick to pitch in with questions about Head Start programs and Childcare. Answers can be read here.

Christina Satkowski again writes, "Last week, the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) released the results of its six-year effort to review and synthesize all available research about what works in preparing young children, from birth to age 5, to read. The fact that the report was released on the seventh anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act is no accident - the report serves as a reminder that early literacy programs work, and they are crucial if we are to achieve the law's goals of improving student achievement and narrowing achievement gaps."

And a continuation she stresses, "This is strictly a research report, one that does not come with specific policy recommendations." And she moves on the direction of literacy to say that the report lacks of important data disaggregated by socio-economic status which is naturally important considering the different social strata early education serves in the US.

Literacy, she says, is only one piece of the larger early learning puzzle. Efforts to improve children's early literacy skills must be integrated with broader goals for children's development, such a their social and emotional growth and their exposure to new ideas and content. Strong early literacy programs should be coupled with strategies that emphasize the whole child. Is there any Phychologist around?

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Milton Ramirez

PBS: Free Media and Technology Webinars

We received an e-mail from PBS Teachers we want to share with you. PBS is brand that helps community not only teachers and students. The network composed of 356 member stations, include television and online content. "Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life." says in its Welcome page, PBS.

The only requirement to gain access to the free membership in PBS Teachers, is get registered. So you can access to all its services, including PBS Teachers Connect.

Test of e-mail says:"PBS Teachers is introducing a series of free monthly webinars that provide information about integrating online instructional resources in the classroom to engage students in curriculum lessons. The PBS Teachers Live! webinar series features presentations by leading education experts, authors, or producers of PBS programs who will share their knowledge and ideas on using digital media to create rich learning experiences for students. Classroom 2.0, the online social network founded by Steve Hargadon for teachers interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies, is partnering with PBS Teachers to host the webinars."

If you are a teacher, PBS offers great deal of resources that can be used in the classroom. As for the webinars, please mark your calendars for the next free webinar for members of PBS Teachers:

What: Changing Views of History, Changing Views of Race
Who: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
When: Jan. 28, 2009 at 8 p.m. EST
Where: Online. Login information will be emailed to all members of PBS Teachers prior to the webinar.
How: FREE! Sign up to become a PBS Teacher and enjoy access to PBS Teachers Live! webinars and more.

In what ways you've used PBS material to improve curriculum in your class. If none, what have been your reasons.

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Mr. Duncan: Please, Take Teachers' Word!

While adults agree with educators that schools are not making 21st-century skills a priority, the American Society for Quality conducted a five-minute, three-question survey asking educators to rank education issues in order of their highest priority for the next president of the United States.

Result: 21st-century skills should be the top priority for Obama's education reform plan.

While education might not be front and center [owing] to the immediate economic crisis, educators want to remind President-elect Obama that K-12 students need to be a top priority so that our nation can produce a globally competitive workforce for the future

Educators tune in.

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Education & Tech News for Educators 01/15/2009

Just one more report - online safety
Read this report, but also read Anne Collier's NetFamilyNews post "Key crossroads for Net safety: ISTTF report released." She writes about how this report might change the too common, fear-based approach to Internet safety to one that is "fact-base." Yeah!

Gawk vs geek
Holograph Instructors - that answer questions on any topic (similar to the android 'Data' of Star Trek fame). Of course this would be a computer-operated 'person' that students can contact through their course management platform. It's not that I mind having a human instructor. But an online environment does create a sense of being in a time warp - learning skills that are not yet applicable to present day reality.

Top Teaching-With-Technology Challenges for 2009
#3. Reaching and engaging today’s learners.

We Don’t Need Education Reform
We need a whole new way of looking at the concept of teaching and learning.

Dismissing Critical Pedagogy: Denis Rancourt Vs. University of Ottawa
Critical Pedagogy = Criminal Pedagogy = Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Top 50 PostRank Education Blogs

We just reported on Marshall Kirkpatrick's Social Media strategies and today, again another PR specialist, takes on edublogs. Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer compiles the Top 50 Education Blogs

He explains how he got the 50 ones out of 150 blogs selected. An he goes over the numeric value in the chart, this "value is determined by analyzing comments, trackbacks, Diggs, bookmarks and so on. The different metrics are weighed more or less depending upon how much engagement each demonstrates."

Chart is reproduced under Creative Commons license and belongs in its enterity to Social Media Explorer:

Click here.

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Latino Education Is Sobering And Has to Navigate Its Way Up

Latino Education CrisisThe Latino education crisis is not simply a result of immigration.

The US population is more familiar with the term Latino and many still use the Hispanic. But what this word mean for people who themselves are grouped in? Americans see this gender as Latino/Hispanic, but those Hispanic American and even recent arrived from Spanish speaking world, don't see themselves as such. Hispanics belong to other smaller groups, mostly classified by country. They -the people under the umbrella of Latino, don't call themselves Latino, they are Colombians, Peruvians, Mexicans, Spaniards, etc. And that is a problem for the Hispanic community. They haven't been able to work as a great mass, rather they are divided in small groups of different interests.

Among those problems is education. At the end of November 2008, a new book from The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP/PDC) at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, tries to lurk into educational landscape for Hispanics.

The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies is the book authored by CRP Co-Director, Professor Patricia Gándara and Frances Contreras, professor at University of Washington. The book documents where we are now, and where we might go, in our education, and care of, the Latino population.

Fast-growing and largely neglected, this population's characteristics are documented in this article as much as the book itself, with statements like "the overwhelming majority of Latino students are native-born, and, in spite of the recent large increase in Latino immigration, the native-born population is still growing at a faster rate than is immigration." So, forget about those uneducated parents who happen to arrive to the promised land, these kids are Americans and we all should be concerned about.

"Almost one in five students across the country is Latino; by 2050 one in three will be", continues the cited article. Definitely, Gándara and Contreras' book is a call to action and will be essential reading for everyone involved in planning the future of American schools.

Weblog Award Finalist, Education Policy Blog, states having finished reading the book and lists the policy agenda to address the needs in Latino Education.

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Expert Predictions for the e-Learning Community

Lisa Neal Gualtieri eLearn Magazine's editor summarized what lies ahead for the e-learning community, provided by experts in this field like Stephen Downes, Jane Hart, Jay Cross, Harold Jarche and many others

From Education and Technology in Perspective:

I can do many things easier, faster, and more seamlessly than ever before—a trend that will undoubtedly continue, with significant implications for formal and especially for informal learning. But the current economic crisis and its impact on e-learning is clearly the more pervasive issue for many of my esteemed colleagues and rightly so since it affects every aspect of our lives. One change already evident is the further growth of e-learning programs in the corporate and academic sectors due to lowered costs, more convenient access, and increased demand. Enhancing one's skills is always beneficial, especially in times when opportunities abound. The limiting factor is less often technology and bandwidth and more often time.

Every year at this time we turn to the experts in our field to share their predictions on what lies ahead for the e-learning community. While our colleagues here unanimously agree the global economic downturn is the overwhelming factor coloring their forecasts, they do see a great array of opportunities and challenges in the coming 12 months. Their insights never fail to inspire further discussion and hope.

Is there any other expert left out? Please let us know

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Edna's Blogging Corner Is Hosting Its First 2009 Blogging Carnival

Australia's free online network for educators, Edna, is a network of the education and training community. You have to be a registered user to see its work on topics as "government and non-government schooling systems, early childhood, vocational and technical education, adult and community education and higher education."

They've set up the Blogging Corner group, which "is a place for bloggers, would-be bloggers, and blogging mentors. Whether you are just starting out on your blogging journey, are some distance along the track, or have loads of experience, we hope there will be something here for you." reads the main page of Blogging Corner.

Since "almost no information leaks" from Edna groups, it's interesting to follow its Blogging Corner Carnival that will run on February 2.

Alison Hall and Kerrie Smith are the managers of Blogging Corner. They will be using an edublogs space at "At the beginning of each month there will be a post with contributions from educators and we really hope that many educational bloggers will participate."

Whether you are interested on participation or want to spread word of this Carnival, head over to the submission page here. Looking forward to February 2!

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Provinding the Right Tools to Leverage the Power of Technology And Invest in Education

Obama Can't Ignore Education Tech
Image courtesy: nilexuk
President-elect Barack Obama is only eight days away of becoming the new President of the United States and it's interesting to see how everyone wants to be in Washington, ones for need of going with the flow, some others lobbying and those who want to break the unions to target education.

While news are pending of what it'll be the first decrees by appointed President, administrators as much as educators should also begin to push hard for education an education agenda, one that includes a significant key as internet is.

Let's re-read the article published at BusinessWeek. The authors of the Why Obama Can't Ignore Education Tech are plain clear of why even with the downturn of our economy, education plays a key role for our economic recovery.

"School technology investments enable 21st-century learning and provide our current and future workforce with the tools they need to compete and succeed in our globally integrated world. To accomplish this goal, Obama's reported $850 billion Economic Recovery Plan should include two critical components:

1. Investments in school technology and broadband; and

2. Investments in home-to-school technology targeted at low-income families.

Specifically, the federal stimulus package should cover expenses for schools to install or upgrade Internet connections to broadband; hire technical and instructional technology support; and purchase or upgrade hardware, software, and services. And, the home-school investment should enable low-income families with one or more students to purchase eligible learning technology devices (computers, laptops, and other new devices) and educational software, as well as broadband Internet connections.

Short-term economic benefits of this strategy include:

1. Creation of jobs in the technology and telecommunications sectors;

2. School districts hiring technical and technology curricular staff (a vastly understaffed function today); and

3. Upgrading and retooling of school facilities and equipment (which is impossible in the current fiscal environment).

This strategy's greatest impact is that our children would receive an education that reflects the wider world, and would emerge from schooling "future ready" for higher education and our global economy."

What are you doing to make of education a generator of economic benefits?

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