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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Teaching Students How to Handle Failure

During this weekend I was reading the print edition of ReaderDigest, May edition, and I found an interesting article about how parents are growing kids "defenseless against failure."

The article supports the investigation realized by Carol Dweck a PhD psychologist from Stanford University. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This book is the result of a research that found two kinds of mind sets, the 'fixed mind-set' and the 'growth mind-set'. We all are born withe second one, otherwise we weren't able to survive this world.

Unfortunately, parents, coaches, as well as teachers, often push us into fixed mind-sets by rewarding certain behaviors and misdirecting praise. Following are Deweck's recommendations for parents and teachers dealing with failing children:

School -Never compliment a child by saying 'You're so smart' or 'You picked that up so quickly.' Instead, praise effort or strategy by saying That was clever of you to take that approach or I'm proud of your persistence. Please, listen for similar remarks from teachers and correct them.

Sports -Instead of 'You're a natural,' say Practice is really making you better. Instead of inquiring 'Did you win?' ask Did you give your best effort? Dweck, explains: 'Talent isn't passed down in the genes; it's passed down in the mind-set.'

Dinner table -Instead of the standard 'How was your day?,' ask What did you learn today? or What mistakes did you make that taught you something? Describe with zeal something you're struggling with. 'Instill a passion for learning, stresses Dweck.

Planning the future -Don't just ask about goals; ask about the plan for reaching those goals.

Frustration -Don't permit children to refer to themselves as losers, failures, stupid, or clumsy. 'Never let failure progress from an action to an identity,' recommends Dweck. Likewise, don't label your kids. Don't say this one is the artist, and this one is the computer geek. Anyone can be anything.

In doubt -If you encounter skepticism, ask the child to think of areas in which he once had low ability and now excels, or to recall a time when he saw someone learn something or improve in ways not thought possible.

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2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning

After reading that Stephen Downes is likely the most prominent voice in evaluating both the nature of learning changes and the future impact of ed tech, we have to adhere to G. Siemens appreciations.

Downes has unintentionally collaborated to the future of education and each of the six change drivers (Knowledge, economy, society, systems, organizations, self) the KnowlegeWorks Foundation is working on, the 2020 Forecast. There is also a drill down of information and ideas, including a summary of 6 ways to take action.

The Map of Future Forces affecting the Future of Education provides a great tactical to take action. Did it caught your attention on its opening page? "This world calls not for better schools, but for entirely new kinds of learning environments. To be successful in it, tomorrow’s learners will not just need better teachers; they will need guides who take on fundamentally different roles."

I know not all us are researchers but what are we doing to foresee education on 2020? Are we still thinking white papers are specific enough and that we want relevancy and making sure that it is current? Or is it that we are happy with Autism in Academia?

Just asking...

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Identity Management And Open Educational Resources

JISC Access Management Team

On the way to work this morning, whilst I was supposed to be writing a paper for JISC SMT (oops), I instead found myself thinking about a question that I posed to David Kernohan on Twitter a while ago – how does the Open Education Resources initiative impact on identity management? This in itself was not an unusual question – I tend to ask it about all of the initiatives in JISC as access and identity management are only important in the way that we embed them in to the practises put in place by other activities. At the time, I didn’t have much of an answer. Having attended UKSG, I think some thoughts on that area have started to infiltrate my brain!

I started by asking myself what is different about Open Educational Resources to the Open Access agenda. There are of course lots of answers to this question – but I focused on the medium. OER is very much a part of the social software / social networking / web 2.0 world that encourages people to make their stuff as widely available as possible, and encourages others to comment, annotate, reuse and repurpose that stuff. It is about changing the nature of the way we perceive content. The Open Access agenda does not as a whole look to change the concept of the published article; instead it wishes to change the business model by which the article is made available to its target audience.

See also comparation OER to scholarly publishing, here.

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Passage Middle School Challenges Others On Using Cellphones in Class

Principal Kipp Rogers is the man behind the move. Passage Middle School is in Newport, WA and contrary to what other principals and faculty members nationwide are doing, here at Passage students not only can they carry their cellphones but they are able to integrate it into classroom activities.

Cell phones, considered a nuisance or worse in many schools, are welcome at Passage. At least eight teachers are using them for a range of lessons, from reports to quizzes in English, social studies, science and math classes.

Tony Neeley's science classroom, is just one example. A question popped onto the screen in front of class. Neeley gave the students a six-digit number and said, "Go." Instantly thumbs began dancing over cell phone keypads. Within seconds, phones trilled the signal that a text message had been sent. At the same time, answers began dropping into view on the screen, one answer for each group of students, identified by a student's cell phone screen name.

How cell phones get top marks in this classrooms?

Kipp D. Rogers, his faculty and the students have developed an acceptable use policy. They are not to send text messages to anyone outside the building during class hours. They are not to take photos. They are not allowed to upload anything to YouTube or other Internet sites not approved by the school. Principal asserts that for the most part students respect the rules.

But students do not abide by the rules per se. The first round of exercises students learn is how to use Google to find information with their phones. Using key words, students can look up definitions, download weather, get directions, search for information about a location or object, translate a word or phrase into Spanish or French or receive the latest sports scores for their favorite teams.

How many public schools or even those so differenciated Blue Ribbon Schools will follow suit? Do not wait for Duncan's reforms, just do it by yourselves in each Board of Education.

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Learning to Use 21st Century Literacies at School

Yes. Not list will be find in this post as how step-by-step become a 21st century literate. What you will read is a disclosure of how media and education is performing their role in regards of educating young generation about all means of Web 2.0

I came across an article by Howard Rheingold where he asks, how many of us have learned to use digital media and networks effectively, reasonably, credibly, collaboratively, civilly, humanely? Question is full adjectives and inspires to any responsible adult to make, at least, a pronouncement. How schools are contributing to these 21st century literacies? In our conception they are not occurring in schools on any significant scale, until we as educators, step out of our teaching role and immerse ourselves in the 21st world as learners. The future of our young family as much as age school children, is digital, global and networked.

We have to stop seeing students online activity as ‘a dangerous neighborhood where their identities can be stolen, a morass of spam and porn, misinformation and disinformation, urban legends, hoaxes, and scams?’ This is part of the reason for inaccessibility and filtering; for the rules prohibiting the use of online games and mobile phones at school. We talk about integrating technologies into the curriculum, but we still view these technologies as the enemy , writes accordingly Brave New World blog.

Let's have a discussion on this essential questions for the future of education presented by Howard Rheingold in his opening paragraph:

    Will our grandchildren grow up knowing how to pluck the answer to any question out of the air, summon their social networks to assist them personally or professionally, organize political movements and markets online? Will they collaborate to solve problems, participate in online discussions as a form of civic engagement, share and teach and learn to their benefit and that of everyone else? Or will they grow up knowing that the online world is a bewildering puzzle to which they have few clues, a dangerous neighborhood where their identities can be stolen, a morass of spam and porn, misinformation and disinformation, urban legends, hoaxes, and scams?

Difference can be made with literacy. A good understanding of this paradigm includes norms of behavior(ciberbullying is central here), the skills of encoding and decoding blogs, wikis, forums, vlogs, microblogs, search engines, text messages, and whatever a smart young person brings up tomorrow when he (or she) wakes up, after being late at his basement or stayed over sharing some tricks with his hacker camaraderie!

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Education Today 04/15/2009

Education - Free Speech? Not in Schools
Thomas Jefferson Center has announced the winners of the 2009 Muzzle Awards. The awards "honor" the most egregious First Amendment infractions across the country. This year's recipients range from the corralling of protesters at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions to three high school-related incidents.

Educators using technology to improve writing
"Writing Between the Lines -- and Everywhere Else," -Students are to spend more time writing outside class on computers and cellphones and that teachers should tap that interest and find ways to merge the two rather than focusing on research papers, essays, journal or letter writing.

Professor Encourages Students to Pass Notes During Class -- via Twitter
He prefers to teach in classrooms with two screens — one to project his slides, and another to project a Twitter stream of notes from students. He knows he is inviting distraction — after all, he’s essentially asking students to pass notes during class. But he argues that the additional layer of communication will make for richer class discussions

The rest of my favorite links are here.

How to Use Blogging in Learning

Stephen Downes does not need presentation. He has posted his Handbook Sumission for a forthcoming STRIDE handbook for The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

The submission is a great summary of the uses of blogs. As for our interests, there is the last section written under 'How to Use Blogging in Learning' that all educators should read and among other topics Mr. Downes describes, the addressing bullying as quick as possible plus how teachers must start leading by example:

    Before requiring students to blog, instructors should lead by example, creating their own blogs and adding links to interesting resources and commentary on class topics. This not only produces a useful source of supplemental information for students, it creates a pattern and sets expectations for when students begin their own blogging.

Read more at the 'half an hour' place for writing of Stephen Downes.

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'Tweeting' Between Students, Faculty Gains Popularity at Princeton

Twitter is an interesting and deeply human phenomenon. -David Robinson

You all know what it means to be enrolled in one the Ivy Leagues. Fox News ran a story last week where clearly students and faculty from well respected Princeton University, showed probe as how important it is to keep educational environment connected through social networks:

    The microblogging format of Twitter—which has become increasingly popular on campus—may bring administrators and faculty members like Harris-Lacewell closer to students, as they divulge personal details of their lives in an informal setting.

    With an estimated 5 million users, Twitter is the third largest online social network, after and On the website, founded in 2006, users can post messages of up to 140 characters that are listed on the site’s public timeline. Users can also choose to “follow” the posts, or “tweets” of other Twitterers.

Continue reading...

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In Times of Crisis Find a Career That Generates Respect and Self-esteem

With thousands of layoffs on a daily basis, American are obliged to rebuild their careers goals. Not profession can walk away from recession. Finances used to be king, are not employing with big pay checks anymore. High School students and colleges interns have to prepare for the future. Same as people dealt with Depression era or times when Sputnik approach was the solution.

The New Yor Times brings out today an analysis as for what should it be the careers of the near future and asking: What will the new map of talent flow look like? States:

    It’s early, but based on graduate school applications this spring, enrollment in undergraduate courses, preliminary job-placement results at schools, and the anecdotal accounts of students and professors, a new pattern of occupational choice seems to be emerging. Public service, government, the sciences and even teaching look to be winners, while fewer shiny, young minds are embarking on careers in finance and business consulting.

Teaching still is in the top careers of choice for many nowadays. What other teachers are thinking of this shift? Well, let's see what comes next and wait for the best resources to stay.

Photo Credit: The Marmot

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