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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Web 2.0: ‘Unlocking’ Participation Is the Key

Derek Wenmoth paraphrases a post of Jane Knight on The 6 ways to make Web 2.0 work. A while now we presented a article about the Reality and Future of the Web 2.0. There is also another post where we've said that Social Networking is condemned to die.

We think it's worth to read Knight's advice mostly directed towards those in the business world, but succintly addressed to Education by D. Wenmoth:
  • The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top.

  • The best uses come from users - but they require help to scale.

  • What’s in the workflow is what gets used.

  • Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs - not just their wallets.

  • The right solution comes from the right participants.

  • Balance the top-down and self-management of risk.

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    Schools Boards Should Open the Net

    "How to convince the powers that be, that they are violating the rights of their students?"

    How persuasive you have to be if you really want the school boards to open the net at your community schools? Sounds like a question behind another isn't the answer, but Ric Murry took his changes and moves forward writing a also persuasive post where he sets the scenario for what's happening in most public schools in the U.S., the filtering of non-educational resources.

    We certainly agree with Mr. Murry, "If I cannot use Skype, because it is blocked by the techocracy, then I am unable to have a true expert from India speak to my class. If my students cannot have access to blogging tools, Twitter, wikis, cell phones, and other tools of the 21st century, I am teaching in a "self-contained" highly restrictive environment, and my students are being denied their rights to a quality education that will prepare them with tools they need to be contributing members of society."

    What are the advantages to have a technologist hired in a public school if he can't put in practice what he knows, or even worse, teach what the students are supposed to know. Ultimately, schools are the institutions created to train students to relate socially better with their nearer environment. We have to deconstruct our school districts, so that uses of web-based technology such as gradebooks, student databases, lessons plans, are better used and become open to the good use of savvy students.

    In words of C.M. Christensen, we need to disrupt our school system.

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    Making Uses of Technology in the Classroom a Reality

    Where is the best place to begin convincing teachers who don't use technology about the power of these tools?

    Jim Multon at Edutopia, says that veteran teachers have great assets they can bring to the effective use of technology in the classroom, his suggestion is that they never simply toss away those years of experience and start fresh. And that's precisely the problem. Veteran teachers are not interested --most of them, on the changes of their status quo. They will prefer to stay with the overhead rather than go to training and learn how to really make technology into reality.

    Anyway, Multon is emphatic declaring that the best place to begin convincing teachers to use technology in their classrooms is:

      At home -- that's my answer. You see, I think many educators are more apt to carry technology use over from their personal lives into their professional ones than to take it on as a new part of their job. A teacher who uses a digital camera to share images of a home remodel as email attachments with her grown children has begun to understand the power of digital communication in a personal way. A teacher who uses online resources to plan a trip has begun to understand the power of the Web in answering any question one is curious enough about to ask. Once they experience the power and ease of current digital photography or Web-based research in their personal lives, the stage is set for helping them bring technology into their classroom teaching.

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    Education & Tech News for Educators 02/17/2009

    The rest of my favorite links are here.

    Using Twitter to Communicate With Students' Parents

    The following is the continuation of Twitter is just like high school and we took one out of the four recommendations, Ron Bronson posted in his Reading, Writing & Big Ideas:

      1. For teachers to share general classroom information about parents: When I first thought this, I thought what about those parents who want to know when Jonny had a bad day in class? Wouldn’t this be a great thing if they could simply follow the protected Twitter feed of his class and find out when the teacher posts that he’s been sent to detention? Probably not, because of all of the privacy issues involved I’m sure.

      But…as far as disseminating information that they want to get to a wide swath of parents without emailing, sending a note home that gets lost or talking to each individual one on the phone…(not that you wouldn’t have to do that for parents without web access) it’d be a great way to bring the information to them more quickly and efficiently.

    Way to go, teachers!

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    It’s illegal to use “dangerous” books, published before 1985

    "People who deal in children’s books for a livelihood now face unpleasant choices."

    Children’s books published before 1985 are dangerous, unless cleared by expensive tests, say federal consumer product regulators. Many used-book sellers and secondhand store owners are refusing pre-1985 books and clearing them off the shelves, writes Walter Olson of Overlawyered in City Journal. There are reports of older books being thrown away. It’s illegal to give “dangerous” books, not just to sell them.

    The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 limits lead in products intended for use by children aged 12 or under; the limits are retroactive. The law went into effect on Feb. 10.

    Read whole post at Joanne Jacobs Blog.

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    Educators Write Collaborative Blog. Its Name Is: Confident Teacher

    From some unknown reason I've missing the updates of this magnificent blog written by Kelly Tenkely. Under the name of iLearn Technology she is "giving teachers practical tips for integrating technology into the classroom."

    In one of her posts Kelly presents a her new project and writes:"I have embarked on a new adventure with two other educators and bloggers in the form of a collaborative blog. The blog is called the Confident Teacher and will be updated and maintained by myself, Mr. Bibo (Cal Teacher Blog), and Mr. Harmless (Harmless Thoughts). This blog will be more of a discussion of education, teaching, learning, and life."

    We as much as herself encourage you to join them on this new adventure. iLearn Technology is a great blog to follow and I hope the collaborative one will be of great rejoice to read. Subscribed!

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    Edutopia’s Digital Youth Project: Answers to Sara Bernard

    Sara Bernard is looking for student input in terms of advising teachers on how they might use technology in the classroom. Will Richardson and Kevin Garret had posted about Sara's request. We have seen some comments left at their blogs and we want to share them here at Education & Tech:

    Gary Stager:
      Why is Edutopia seeking pedagogical advice from children?

      This is by no means a question of student potential, talent, creativity or intellect. However, they are not experts in learning theory or curriculum design. Kids can certainly be natural teachers of what they know. Is their preparation equivalent or better than yours as a professional educator?

      Why does Edutopia think that lessons prepared by students will be just the ticket to motivate teachers to use computers effectively after 25-30 years of inaction?

      I was on a panel with Dr. Mitra back in 2004. He’s the real deal and his work should be taken very seriously.

      I wrote about him here.

    And then it follows a thread you all will be delighted to read:

      You’ve probably seen this TED video, but I love it and felt it was appropriate to share here.

      It absolutely amazes and inspires me. It is well worth the 20 minutes of sitting and viewing.

    Ann S. Michaelsen:
      I did a similar activity in my class. (Seniors at high school in Norway.) I had them listen to Michael Wesch "from knowledgeable to knowledge able" and then write about it on their blog. You can see their responses in their blogs here.

      We were also so fortunate to have Professor Wesch write comments on several of the students’ blogs. My experience is that students tend to be old fashioned when it comes to learning and that this is a process we have to work on both with the teachers and the students. Just as teachers differ in their approach to the new technologies so do the students.

    Milton Ramirez thinks the curriculum is built not only on a paper or in a computer, it has to consider all components of education process: students, teachers, parents, administrators and society. So, what students have to say is as important as what a teacher or curriculum designer has to propose, and ultimately, we are encouraging all students who want to participate and let their teachers hear their opinions, writing to Sara Bernard's e-mail.

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    Facebook: Students Are Going From Sexting...Sextortion?

    On December we wrote about the good reasons of not becoming friends with your student in Facebook. Before, we've also asked how social networks such as Facebook can be used in Education?

    We've also referred to the dual chances that social networks could be either, good or bad to making friends but also cyberbullying. What's wrong with fearless students and clueless parents?. Well, the answer is here:

    For years, educators and parents focused on the perceived threat of Internet predators, coming into children's live via technology. After reading this two stories, its clear that the dangers are closer by.

    New Berlin teen accused of using Facebook for sexual blackmail. Anthony R. Stancl, 18, posing as a female on Facebook, persuaded at least 31 boys to send him naked pictures of themselves and then blackmailed some of the boys into performing sex acts under the threat that the pictures would be released to the rest of the high school, according a criminal complaint.

    Student Fights Record of ‘Cyberbullying’. A student who was suspended from high school for ranting against a teacher on Facebook is suing to have the blemish removed from her record.

    But, who's keeping students safe online? Fewer than 25 percent of educators feel comfortable teaching students how to protect themselves from online predators, cyberbullies and identity thieves, says a new study from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Educational Technology, Policy Research and Outreach (ET PRO).

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