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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Undertsanding a PLN to Build a Strong Learning Community

Almost never we talk about what Twitter means in our daily life. This is due to the short periods of time we have to spend online and where we have the great opportunity to talk and share about common interests with other professionals in education.

PLN DefinitionThe first thing we need to understand is what a Personal Learning Network(PLN) means? I think the concept not only applies to professionals but it can be used among students in a personal level, too. But this is not the topic. Tom Whitby has been doing a great job helping educators to create and develop their own PLN. His definition is quite clear as what it is to be understood by PLN.

Dr. Alec Couros already made a first approach trying to laid a definition of Personal Learning Networks, also known as PLE. He found difficult to establish a "solid reference or definition for the concept of PLN". An he is not alone. Scott S. Floyd, has set his own definition, as well, but he thinks that "If you only plan to follow along and not participate, you will never expand your own learning." A community does not grow if the answer we receive is always passive: Yes man, no 'mam!

The concept based on the "set of practices and techniques aimed at attracting and organizing of relevant content sources" as David Warlick says, can be only accomplished following the advice Scott gave us in his post Passive Learning Stinks:

    1. Have the right idea about friendship. Know that true friends are honest regardless of whether they agree or disagree.
    2. Be sure you see the reality of the process of a community. Get the true value out of it... You can learn and grow during both.
    3. You have to move beyond the superficial. In other words, who cares who your friend is or what his/her title/ranking/popularity/Tweet ranking/etc really is... Moving deeper into the relationship is what helps build trust. It puts the conversation and expectation of input at a level that you both can grow from.
I want to be part of your network an I promise I wouldn't be the passive man we talk before. Add me to your PLN, I go by @tonnet, and let's have a deep conversation on the matter most interest you.

Also recommended:

- Origins of the Personal Learning Network
- My Personal Learning in Action.
- The Power of the Personal Learning Network
- 5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network

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Are Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ Requirements Fair?

National Journal is an online magazine which runs its own Education Blog funded --in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the purpose of creating an educational forum for sharing research, ideas and opinions regarding issues related to college readiness and college completion.

This week, Eliza Krigman wrote a post titled, Are The 'Race To The Top ' Requirements Fair? Krigman takes on the "draft guidelines for the Race to the Top fund [and] the $4.35 billion in grants to improve America's schools." The problem is laid out because according to the guidelines, states that prohibit linking student achievement data to teacher and principal evaluation will not be eligible to apply. Is this fair? Why or why not?, Eliza asks.

At the moment there are 27 responses to her question. All of them worth reading. What is your opinion on this matter? Are you an administrator with plenty of experience, wanting to weight in?

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Boudreaux: "Merit Pay for Teachers Will Not Result in Better Teaching"

The prospect of higher pay will not prompt teachers to perform better in the classroom, was part of what Economics Prof. Donald J. Boudreaux, wrote to Kathy L. Smith, Chairman of Fairfax County Public Schools, in response to a an article in The Washington Post from Rick Nelson, former Fairfax County Federation of Teachers president.

Joanne Jacobs weighted in and her blog's readers have different opinions about what really motivate teachers to do their best at school. Roger Sweeny, says:

Here’s an interesting thought experiment. Most school systems have different “tracks” for teacher pay. Those with just a Bachelors are on the poorest paid track. Higher pay goes to teachers with a Masters. Then there may be additional tracks: Masters with 15 more graduate credits, Masters plus 30, and so on.

What would happen to enrollment in graduate education courses if there were just one track, if everyone were paid the same as someone who had never taken a graduate course? Since my experience is that most teachers don’t think much of the usefulness of ed courses, my hypothesis is that enrollment would go to just about zero.

Geckonomist voices his concerns about frustration merit pay carries on most employees, teachers included:

Are teachers in private schools all get merit based pay? I would be surprised.

And what is merit in education? Even the link to the later pay of the students is laughable, or the same “access” to so called top universities (who discriminate openly in favour of the rich, famous & offspring of alumni).

Of all people i studied with, the ones with by far the highest income are those whose daddies owned big companies and were made director upon graduating.

They would even be extremely wealthy when illiterate.

To base any “merit” ranking on later salaries, is proving one doesn't understand the fractal nature of wealth distribution. But it is difficult to explain to people who strive to get their kids into Yale, …

I have in the business environment for quite a while, and what I know is that employees do not work better because they have a salary increase, they may change their dedication eventually, but the results are not reliable in the long run. So, teachers will may increase their dedication to teaching but it won't even last an academic year, being extremely positive!

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Education & Tech 08/03/2009

Why I Support The Cellphone Ban At Our School

School’s banning the use of cellphones during school hours (not banning bringing them to school, though), I believe, has contributed positively to improving our school climate says Larry Ferlazzo

10 Tips To Setting Expectations On The First Day Of Class

How you conduct the first day sets the tone for the rest of the semester. Our job as faculty is to establish our expectations as well as “sell our class” to the students in order to create a learning community.

Lessons Learned: Tips for New Technology Facilitators

It doesn’t matter how much (or how little) technology a teacher might be using in their classroom, what does matter is that they see you as approachable, dependable, collaborative, friendly, and above all, willing and able to support their needs. It those personal relationship that you form early on that end up leading to positive and successful collaboration later on. After all, it doesn’t matter how good you are at your job if no one is interested in working with you!

The rest of my favorite links are here.
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