education & tech

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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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Sexual Education Begins at Home , But it Fails

On July we started reading a very interesting book by Debra W. Haffner. There is a post about How to Protect Your Children Online and this is the continuation of what we offered back then. In this opportunity, we will refer to Chapter 6, Raising Sexually Healthy Children.

Why Raising Sexually Healthy Children Is So Important?

First of all, let me tell you that I am a parent of a 12 years boy. He conceded that at age of 6 his father tried to get him into the delicate information but his parent has failed, he says. It was on Health, at school, that he learned a bit more but in a "wrong way" because he found out that the puberty video wasn't for him, it looked nasty, he recounts. Right now, I am in the responsibility to show him what was that nasty part that he didn't like or understand. And unfortunately I, like many parents/educators are in the same situation. Many times we have read and have been told, start sexual awareness at home before it is too late. We need to be 'affirming parents' as the author likes to refer to parents who are having some kind of success communicating with their sons about what most of us do not feel so comfortable about.

In her What Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know, Haffner recommends 7 steps affirming parents should follow to raise sexually healthy kids:

1. Start educating about sexuality early - Do not repeat the frustration of our 12 yrs boy. It is hard to imagine that parents, 8 in 10 do not believe their child is sexually involved. Talk to them about contraception and the use of condoms before is too late.

2. Communicate your values - Send out clear messages. Let your child know what are the values at home and what you, as parent expect as valuable sexual behavior. If you speak openly on what it means the intercourse, child is likely not only to postpone his first encounter but have fewer partners and they will use more consistently the birth pill of the condom.

3. Set Limits for daring - The author writes that teens should be "dating no more than two grades apart." They are to pick age-appropriate partners. Adolescents coming from both Permissive and Authoritarian families are more likely to have intercourse earlier than those of Affirming families.

4. Supervise and monitor - Do not go "teen are teens" or teens go bananas. They are in an age where sexual arousal and curiosity just take them to the sexual place at any time. Avoid bedrooms with doors closed, watch the sleepovers and don't erroneously think that because they are the same sex there in anything to worry about.

5. Keep talking and then talk some more - "There is not a single research study that has found that adult-child communication about sexuality, whether it is from parents or teachers, caused teens to have sexual intercourse at early ages."

6. Guide your decision making about sex - Talking about oral sex and masturbation it is almost impossible without managing sexual pleasure and sexual response. As hard as it may seem (and it is for me) parents, and I mean both, the couple need to set common ground on not so easy questions like: When they should have sexual intercourse? Do you want them to graduate high school as a virgin? When they have to abstain from orgasm, genital caressing, oral sex? Etc.

7. Discuss the characteristics of a moral, ethical sexual relationship - It does not no matter what your spiritual or moral convictions are, it makes a difference to set and maintain sexual limits. Debra Haffner suggests 5 criteria for a moral sexual relationship: Consensual, Nonexploitative, Honest, Mutually pleasurable, and Protected against pregnacy and disease if any type of intercourse occurs.

I do understand that sexuality is a complicated topic, but we endorse what the author of this book has written, and whenever you feel like any of these points do not apply to your beliefs, rest assured that if your sons chose to have intercourse, they must be protected.

Teens do not even comprehend when they will be 'ready' both emotionally and neurologically for their first sexual experience. Parents and teachers are to guide them all that way down.

For more 21st-Century Parent advice and information, visit

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Digital Characteristics of the New Literacy and Curriculum

Education Innovation

“…in the digital world everything is only a few clicks away.”

Or as Tom Peters would say, “Distance is dead.” Students can use the web to instantly reach out to any part of the planet to talk with people, or find information on anything that interests them, or collaborate on projects. They can work with the person at the desk next to them or a student on the other side of the globe. Information, once warehoused in libraries, is now a few clicks away. Student collaboration is a digital world is very scalable. Student groups can grow from the classroom room to the globe.

“Instead of being the same way for all people, it can instantly rearrange itself for each person and each person’s current task.”

It is not possible to differentiate instruction and learning to the level that is possible when a student does it for their particular individualized needs. The web makes it possible to match a student with his or her interest and ability far easier than one teacher alone could. Each click brings the student just what they need in the way they need it. Learning that is truly customized and differentiated on demand. The digital world will bend to your needs when you want it, where you want it, and how you want it. That is the future of learning.

Please, read the original article by Rob Jacobs

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Mobile Devices Are Machines for Learning ( Not Distractors)

"I want my children to be taught how to use their mobile devices to create and publish and connect, but I also want that done by adults who know how to do that for themselves." A Will Richardson comment featured in this post, thanks to the terrific work developed by Lisa Nielsen on The Innovative Educator.

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"Students Who Took All or Part of Their Class Online Performed Better," Says a Study

It's Sunday and Education & Tech usually gets updated on weekdays. But what we have to say today is something we had to postpone for two or three days, given that our schedule was tight, so barely we were able to read feeds and update Twitter.

Someone asked me by e-mail about uses of Twitter and Facebook by gender: Is there any specific gender preference by chance? I do not know, I've noticed for example that many of my friends prefer FB ... Men love Twitter .... I'm not generalizing, but noticing it on friends' circle.

I don't have the answer. I couldn't see the same tendency as my female friend sees it. How I am going to see it if "teachers do not know technology", sentenced another female journalist. Well, it seems Twitter and Miguel Guhlin will help us to solve these questions.

Following Mike's advice, beginning today we will start publishing relevant Twitter posts. Even when this post do not really respond to first question, it does to the second one. "Effective teachers need to incorporate digital content into everyday classes and consider open-source learning management systems." That's what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said on purpose of a study released by the Center for Technology and Learning, SRI International(pdf doc here):

    ◘ Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. Learning outcomes for students who engaged in online learning exceeded those of students receiving face-to-face instruction, with an average effect size of +0.24 favoring online conditions. The mean difference between online and face-to-face conditions across the 51 contrasts is statistically significant at the p < .01 level.

    ◘ Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction. The mean effect size in studies comparing blended with face-to-face instruction was +0.35, p < .001. This effect size is larger than that for studies comparing purely online and purely face-to-face conditions, which had an average effect size of +0.14, p < .05.

    ◘ Few rigorous research studies of the effectiveness of online learning for K–12 students have been published. The systematic search of the research literature found just five experimental or controlled quasi-experimental studies comparing the learning effects of online versus face-to-face instruction for K-12 students. As such, caution is required in generalizing to the K-12 population because the results are for the most part based on studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).
Social Media works but notice that regular people outside the echo chamber are quite sure teachers do not know about technology. It's a generalization of which educators need to be careful. Not all teachers are at that level but certainly a high percentage need to get better on these skills.

We are in need not only of technologists of Education but professionals to whom, the work of "connectors" is very much understood. As an example only, there is PhD Roxana Marachi, she is being so active about what teachers are supposed to introduce in their classroom during this period just about to start, look out to one of her post about Lecture Tools.

Question about uses of Facebook/Twitter by gender remains open. Do you have the sources to respond this empirical statement?

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