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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The Belief That School Choice Disproportionately Benefit Catholics Is Only a Myth

Parents and community altogether are working to keep their Catholic schools from closing. Archdioceses are finding their way out and in the process, are merging schools with less enrollment. These schools have experienced a 30% to 50% decline drop in enrollment and they struggle to survive. But, is such a decline a consequence of how parents chose their son's schools? Crux of the Matter, help us understand better, what's happening with the right of choice that parents have not only in the U.S. but Canada, as well:

Allowing parents to send their children to a school of their choice does NOT destroy a publicly funded school system. That is a myth put forward by all those in the public system who fear change and the possible reduction in power and influence.

In fact, all parent choice does is recognize the obvious -that a one size fits all approach to meeting the needs of individual students simply doesn’t work very well. Yet, isn’t that what education is supposed to be about- the students as opposed to the educators and policy makers?

As former Florida governor Jeb Bush writes -and he has the know-how and experience to talk about it -what the government of Florida found when it implemented a voucher system was that competition actually forced educators in the public system to improve.

Are you interested in the discussion? Do not miss the comments at the original article.

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Education Today 03/06/2009

  • Are American students learning? -The Brown Center Report
  • Too many students already are “misplaced” in math courses they can’t handle, the report concludes: Until they’ve learned to deal with fractions, decimals or percentages, they can’t do algebra.

  • A Learning Reformation
  • Let’s face it, especially in light of how our institutions have screwed up the world, we all have to be learning together.

  • The Stimulus and After School Programs: What's Ahead?
  • After school programs are known to provide academic, emotional and social support for at-risk students [and not so risky ones], and provide a lifeline for working parents.

  • How to friend your students in Facebook . Step-by-step
  • Create a friend list containing all your students and give them access to only those parts of your profile that you want them to see.

  • Book: Wikified Schools
  • Wikified Schools answers the “what,” “so what,” and “now what” of implementing wiki use throughout all levels of a school or a district.

    The rest of my favorite links are here.

    How the iPhone Makes Students a Unique Breed of Perpetual State of Mobility

    We've discovered this blog called Gearfire, that is a student productivity and organization blog, dedicated to bringing you tips for academic success. Today's post is really impressive:

    As I’ve always said, says David Pierce, one of the things that makes students a unique breed is the perpetual state of mobility we’re in. Whether we’re going to class, parties or the library, our time spent in one place is often limited.

    That’s why the mobility of our productivity is so important- we have to be able to bring our lives with us as much as possible. For many people, that used to mean owning and carrying a laptop.

    Now, it increasingly means owning an iPhone. With the wonder that is the Application Store, you can now do more than ever on the go, right from your iPhone or iPod Touch. As students, we need the added flexibility and anywhere-productivity that the iPhone allows (that’s the line to sell to your parents…)

    Read more about the seven applications for every student’s iPhone or iPod Touch.

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    Great Quoting of the 2009 NAIS Annual Conference

    We haven't had that opportunity yet but thanks to attendants like Liz Davis, we are able to enjoy the gems and Gr8T Quotes from #NAIS09

    BTW, are you participating into the #gr8t hashtag? If you don't know what is this about, read Davis Truss invitation or check the wiki created to this effect.

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    Herdict Is Documenting Internet Filtering And Censorship

    The idea behind Herdict (still in Beta) is to document internet filtering and censorship in different countries by letting people report when a URL is inaccessible in their country.

    The Verdict of the Herd is so important to the implementation of all web technologies in schools. Using Herdict behind school firewalls we will explore and consistently report what sites are blocked. The project of the Berkman Center, is focused on worldwide censorship but we also can use it here in the States. Nobody knows what sites are being blocked across the country, how much political speech is being blocked, and how national security is working.

    The team behind Herdict is meant to collect reports of URLs that are blocked and investigate to confirm. The hope is to provide a much more accurate and up-to-date picture of internet censorship than the current efforts, which involve testing websites once a year.

    Tom Hoffman from Tuttle SVC has been testing Herdict and this is what he found, so far: "It looks like some legitimate 404-File Not Found's, that is, where the site is not blocked but someone is looking for a file that isn't there, are being counted as blocked sites. Also, since getting on their list of sites to check will make a lot of people see your url, try it, etc., there is an incentive to spam your site onto the check list."

    Shep the Sheep also introduces Herdict at dot SUB in different languages. Please spread word about the cute white sheep!

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    Write or Not to Write. It's Better to Read

    It is weekend and we fairly catch up with our subscriptions. I had the opportunity to read Miranda Marquit interviewed and I really like this excerpt, I think all bloggers should be paying attention: "I find that more people want to visit my blog if I visit theirs, and contribute in some meaningful way" she says. I am not sure Mr. Byrne is doing it but he has a successful blog and according to his post, today he posted that his blog receive almost 2000 views per day and that Free Technology for Teachers hits 3000 subscribers!

    A good example to follow and share. Feel welcomed to read Mr. Byrne seven most popular blog items of every week, usually featured on Saturdays.

    Philissa Cramer and Elizabeth Green are behind GothamSchools and Elizabeth was busy on last Friday, looking for helpful information about how fair student funding mastermind will work for Obama

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    Barack Obama's on Education. nSOTU Feb. 24, 2009

    In case you missed the intervention of President Obama and how his stimulus plan will affect Education, what follows is the excerpt from his address about the third topic he will push to get American economy going:

      ....The third challenge we must address is the urgent need to expand the promise of education in America.

      In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a pre-requisite.

      Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish.

      This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education – from the day they are born to the day they begin a career.

      Already, we have made an historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan. We have dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We have made college affordable for nearly seven million more students. And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children’s progress.

      But we know that our schools don’t just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We’ll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.

      It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

      I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations, I ask this Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country – Senator Edward Kennedy.

      These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, and read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father when I say that responsibility for our children's education must begin at home.

    For full text of the address visit Politico.

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