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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Why Teach for America and The New Teacher Project Exist

The Quick and the ED

If you stop and think about it, Teach for America (TFA) and The New Teacher Project (TNTP) are well-functioning, non-profit, national human resource departments for schools. They recruit, screen, and hire candidates, all functions of a traditional HR department. TFA and TNTP do provide a lot more induction and support for their hires, but at the base level their purpose is to find and recommend potential teachers. Of course, school districts have their own human resource departments as well, so it's worth asking why these programs were needed in the first place.

If you look at the data on the teacher hiring process (some of the best of which has been put together by TNTP itself), what you see is that districts just aren't very good at it. They're slow, which causes them to lose out on better candidates. They don't recruit all that well, which means they have fewer candidates to choose from. And they tend to privilege more experienced teachers throughout the process, which, fair or not, limits their ability to attract young and motivated applicants.

Read whole article by Chad Aldeman

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Guidelines: How to Protect Your Children Online

Typically we keep reading online and offline on a daily basis. This week we started reading What Every 21st-Century Parent Needs to Know by Debra W. Haffner. While she isn't afraid to tackle the big questions, including drinking, drugs and teen sex, Debra also presents and backs all her statements on research and statistics.

We particularly like that way the author debunks the myths and validates the concerns many people, including parents and teachers, have about growing up children safe and healthy. We will continue to read this book and in a future post we will cover another topic of our interest. Today, we want to remind you of safety while navigating the electronic world. From chapter 9 in the referred book:

    - Do not forget that internet is a public place. Do not post any - thing you don't want the world to know.
    - Do not make it easy for a stranger to find you
    - People are not always who they say they are. Be careful about adding strangers to your 'friends' list.
    - Report harassment, hate speech, and inappropriate content.
    - Do not mislead people into thinking you are older or younger

These rules are posted on MySpace for its younger users. Other topics a parent should consider are (et. al.):

    - Be sure your children agree never to meet someone offline whom they have met online.
    - Be sure that no identifying details are included: no school names, sport teams' names, the town they live in, or where they hang out.
    - Look at the photos to see if they inadvertently give clues to personal information.
    - Talk to them about their screen names. They should not be too sexualized (nastygirl) or give away too much information (sweetonnet on 15).
    - Ask your tweens to think about the messages they are posting and what message they might be giving someone who isn't their friend. I am lonely, I hate life, and I love playing doctor are the types of messages that offenders are looking for in deciding whom to groom for a relationship

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Facebook Apps for Aministrators and Educators

Whatever social media gurus say, Facebook continues to be the king in the social networks, closely followed only by Twitter. Sadly, majority of teachers in our schools barely use email, and less use Smartboards, says @motherthinker. Cellphones seem far away and so is Facebook and other social networks. This post is among the countless other articles touting the benefits of Facebook, detailing the pros and cons of using Facebook in the classroom. However, as Ryann Ellis says, "concrete advice on how to use Facebook has proven difficult to find."

The following are the 9 applications the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) recommends for teachers and administrators:

    BookTag: This app offers a great way to share and loan books out to students, plus create helpful quizzes for studying.
    Webinaria Screencast Recorder: Record a video for students, and share it with this application.
    SlideShare: Create presentations to send to students with this slideshow application.
    Teach the People: Teach the People is an educational platform that uses Facebook.
    Dojo Learning: Dojo Learning offers a great way to learn and create resources for learning on Facebook.
    Learn: In this community app, you’ll find Addictive Learning.
    KnowledgeBook: KnowledgeBook allows you to find and share skills and knowledge on Facebook.
    Podclass: Podclass offers a course management system from within Facebook.
    Teach and Learn: Teach and Learn offers a 3D learning space on Facebook.

ASTD also mentions some useful apps for learners and for everyone else. Are you using any of them at your school?

Professionals looking into the online education are doing a great job trying to incorporate new tech tools in schools and in the classroom. But we still are to respond to this question: Can Facebook really be used in education?

We believe so.

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Progressive Pedagogy and 21st Century Tools

edtech VISION

SLA [Science Leadership Academy, Pa.] is kid focused and community based. They want their kids to be passionate about the work they are doing. I love his quote, "School is real life – not preparation for real life." Technology is ubiquitous and invisible in their schools. Lehmann suggests that we should stop describing our schools as "Schools WITH computers" — of course we have technology – it needs to be part of everything. SLA is deliberately meta-cognitive – they want to help their students grow to be better thinkers. Assessment is authentic and transparent.

Read whole post by Colette Cassinelli.

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