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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Help: Having Your Students to Blog Isn't so Easy

There is a great campaign there at Global Voices, Teach Someone You Love to Blog or Miro-blog and a elementary teacher is in need of help as how to start blogging with her 5th graders, thing is she doesn't know how to jump start. Her colleague at Ed Tech Trek is trying to help her out and has some questions that need to be addressed:

    1) For elementary students, what is a good "permission" form to send home? Does anyone have a sample?

    2) How should she begin? Should she start with one blog where her students can be "authors" or should she set up a blog for each student?

    3) If she sets up a blog for each student, does she have moderation control over approving new posts first?

Some of the recommendations are here. We think as far as this project is so ambitious, starting to work with 5th graders will be a hard road to walk. Kids are familiar with computers but they wouldn't want to have the same template to begin, and contents are to be authorized by an adult first. They don't know what to hang in the internet and the very first thing they might want to do is post pictures, games or videos. So, be careful. If you are willing to spend time. Go for it!

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Learning From Atlanta Experiences About Inflating Grades

I want to tell you about a personal story I've lived while working in the classroom. Once, I was handing over the reviewed tests about a subject I was teaching back in the 2003. It happened that most grades were below the 70%. Before I started talking to students about the possible consequences and how to amend them, a young girl raised her hand and asked me: "Mr. are you going to curb? Think, what could it be my answer.

This week I read about a study conducted in Atlanta. What the study says is basically that student can't pass any tests, but they all have awesome grades on their report cards. Yes, schools are inflating grades (curbing grades). That way they can increase their graduation rates, and not been seen as one of the worst school districts to attend. Mostly, schools avoid the flocking of parents trying to find out why their sons are failing. Having grades over the 60% many parents stay calm and think there is nothing to worry about.

Coincidentally, these are also the same students that will be dropping out of their first semester at college. No matter what we do to integrate our schools by socioeconomic status, they are condemned to fail afterwards.

There are always chances to improve, but working for State testing is not good enough, and preparing student for life is the hardest teachers' task. Remember, there are no miracle cures in education.

My hope is no teacher has ever to curb or inflate grades to enjoy vacations, to look well in front of colleagues or because they have exhausted all possibilities.

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Some Jewels I've Got it From Twitter Tonight

@GRlong --It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. Einstein.

@topsalesmaker --Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. Jim Rohn

@onlineschool --10 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your American Education.

@Maxine_Clarke --Interview: Graham Richards | Education | The Guardian

@markomni --Some of us learn a little faster than others, but it is key to learn this before you graduate, or your education's 4 nought.

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Penmanship is at trouble because of technology

I have a 6th grader that at first, he was trying to learn cursive all by himself but then everything stopped and no teacher at his current school has been able to teach him how to do the handwriting. He struggles a lot to keep up with his daily classwork and the loads of homework he has to do as a regular basis. By the contrary he feels pretty much comfortable writing through the computer or messaging in his cell phone. Does that mean schools should still focus on handwriting? Double answer, right!

Think about the careers that students in the sixth grade are most likely to have as adults, I am not sure that I can picture picture anywhere handwriting plays a vital role. Why? Because technology will most-likely be an integral part of most jobs, if not when they graduate, surely throughout their lifetime.

There is a problem with the penmanship though, as Valentine comes, I can't imagine the pleasure of curling up with a diary where girls register what was like his first kiss. Love letters will never stop being written, by hand, on paper, and sealed with a kiss. On the other hand, and as long as students are in school, they will need to write legibly transcripts. Tests and journals will be written for grades. If teachers cannot read the writing, or have to struggle to understand it, students' grades will suffer. Even though handwriting is not graded, it could affect many scores.

If you feel conflicted on the double answer, read what the author of Script and Scribble says, "Penmanship isn’t dead. It’s not feeling great, it’s struggling to breathe, it’s limping along. But we can keep it alive. And we should."

So, as Mr. McGuire puts it, one must consider if handwriting is just a distraction. Although this is a skill taught in school, one could question if keyboarding is a more relevant skill. What do you have to say?

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Brits Spell Better Than Americans, Says a Survey

If you don't learn to spell correctly at early ages, then you are way, way behind. Time to re-learn and recapitulate, thinking you know all and everything about your language.

    Are you embarrassed by your spelling? If so, you're not alone. More than half of us cannot spell 'embarrassed' — 54 per cent have trouble with it, according to a poll of 1,000 adults. Even more troublesome is 'millennium', which 60 per cent get wrong.

    The poll, commissioned by the Spelling Society, compared abilities in Britain with those in the US.

    Adults in the US performed less well. The only word that the Americans definitely spelt better than the Brits was . . . 'definitely'. In both countries men performed less well than women, except on one word — “liaison”.

Read the whole history on The Times.

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Hot...For Education 2009

This week in Education is calling for nominations of its annual feature: Hot...For Education.

Alexander Russo writes:

    I need your ideas. Alas, Jon Hamm and Angelina aren't educators, policy wonks, reporters, or staffers.

    But maybe there's someone you work with who reminds you of them?

    If you want some more inspiration, here are links to the previous three versions:2008, 2007, 2005. There was no 2006 -- momentary shyness on my part, I think.

Send your suggestions at thisweekineducation at or drop Alexander a line here. He adds that "Pics are helpful, too...but remember to keep it clean."

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Education & Tech News for Educators 02/09/2009

Bigger than pedagogy
"Pedagogy": What Ben Wilkoff would like is a word that describes an understanding of connected learning, a word that explains the use of a tool for all stakeholder’s learning, not just the student’s. I want a word that keeps a network in focus at all times to show that learning is not an isolated act.

What posthumanism offers
Posthumanism gives us a way of thinking about this that leads us out of the binaries of either/or agency.

Ning vs. Learning Management Systems (LMS)
V Yonkers finds that the format allows for more interaction and exchange of information in the Ning than the LMS.

Research Shows Multi-tasking Does Not Work
Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Casting for "The Teacher Salary Project"

The Director and Co-producers of Teacher Salary Project is so excited to invite first-hand stories/ footage filmed by students about their public school teachers and the struggles of being a teacher. They are looking for three magnificent teachers to become the main “characters” in this documentary film. They need public school teachers to help get their students involved. Is important these teachers have already done some work with film or digital storytelling in the classroom. For more details email them to: Casting(at)

The Teacher Salary Project will be the "only digital archive of the stories of teachers' lives." An the film is based on a book co-authored by Nínive Calegari, Daniel Moulthrop and Dave Eggers under the name of Teachers Have it Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers.

Learn who's behind the project and the three ways that you can contribute and support them.

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