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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An End to Education Reform? by Michael S. Greve

Conservatives were reluctant to trigger a public spat over education with a new administration, but their failure to offer criticism and insist on choice was a mistake.

    The education "reform" about to emerge from Congress is a perfect disaster. Conservatives such as William Bennett and Chester E. Finn Jr., who initially supported and in many ways shaped the administration’s position on education, now argue that the proposals have been so badly distorted and diluted by Congress that the administration should insist on improvement.

    That sensible advice, alas, comes too late, since the administration signaled weeks ago that it would sign absolutely any education bill. While a handful of Republican legislators continue to argue for an education tax credit that would redeem an otherwise abominable bill, the White House has shown no interest in that proposal. The chance for meaningful federal education reform has come and gone, not to return for another decade or so. All that can be done now is to learn how to prevent similar policy wrecks in the future.

    The original Bush agenda for education reform rested on school choice, in the form of a $1,500 voucher for parents of children trapped in failing schools; increased flexibility for states and local school districts, through the consolidation of a panoply of highly specific federal programs into a few block grants; and "accountability," through national and state tests. From these building blocks, one can fashion a sensible reform strategy. The key is allowing federal dollars, whether through vouchers or tax credits, to bypass what Bennett as secretary of education famously termed the "blob" —the cartel of education bureaucrats and officials (at all levels of government) that impedes any serious reform effort. Give the blob sufficient flexibility to demonstrate its incompetence; administer tests to prove the point; and, at the end of the day, let parents remove their children from failed school systems.

Click away for the complete article on The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, writen by the John G. Searle Scholar, Michael S. Greve.

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Popular Language Arts Literacy Message

We attended our first PT conference last night. We really enjoyed the enthusiasm from many of our Jr's teachers, especially the Science teacher and Language one. For our son, the Science teacher is 'cheesy' but for us, she was a very well motivated professional of the education.

Not much technology was in display, the typical retro-projectors and master conferences explaining to parents what was the assessments and what was expected from students in terms of discipline. We were surprised that being on a 4 floor building the poor kids had to 'come prepared' for their gym class in about only 7 minutes (Gym is located in the 1st floor). Mr. Pulsford told us, they need to act quickly and added, there are considerations as to what they were seeing as 'unprepared' and "late for class."

Mrs. Lanza handed out a Welcome Booklet and a small bag of cookies. What we found inside, was a cute poem comparing the sugar and flour in cookies to teacher and parents who work together. I think it really creates the rapport between teacher and parents (beyond the cookie plastic bag). We think it was a cute idea for Meet the Teacher Night. I hope someone can help me find who the author is.

The poem in reference can be found at Ms. Woodman's 3rd Grade Class Blog. For your convenience, it is reproduced here>

A Message for You

As sugar and flour come together to make
A wonderful cookie creation that you bake,
Parents and Teachers join as one
To create an educated daughter or son.

It takes lots of love, caring and understanding
But an individual will emerge who is special notwithstanding.
We will work together to help each child bloom
So they can grow and prosper as they learn in this room.

So I share this little confection with you as I say...
I am committed to helping your child grow each and every day.
Yes, the road is long, but the journey's begun
As we strive together to educate your daughter or your son.

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What Role Does/Should Social Media Play in Education?

That was the topic of tonight's fantastic conversation (#edchat) about one of the multiple parameters the education encloses.

The consensus was that social media should be modeled and utilized properly in the classroom. But to overcome success, teachers and administrators have to find a way around to work with the so spread filtering in schools

@tonnet tries to participate every Tuesday and he did so tonight. Here are some of the posts that he found interesting:

    In the classroom, Social Media can be used to bring experts, peers, etc into the classroom from anywhere in the world. @Digin4ed

    I agree with this completely - @tomwhitby: The perception mst people have of Twitter is that its a joke. @LeesaWatego

    A good number of colleagues see Twitter for chat only. They often are surprised by a good idea... Which I get from Twitter. @CotterHUE

    Social Media allows students to move away from only searching Google for answers/info and moving toward searching others for answers/info. @eduinnovation

And there were pretty thoughtful questions like this one:

    If a librarian in 1970 had ripped "objectionable" pages out of the New York Times would that have been "filtering"? @irasocol

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Digital Literacy Programs Needed to Embrace Digital Tools

Marisa Connolly, from Common Sense Media submitted a press release about what education experts consider, based on the available digital media, it is a new approach to learn:

    Digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life, and these changes have important policy implications, according to a panel of experts participating in a Capitol Hill briefing today. The event, hosted by the Consortium for School Networking and featuring speakers from Common Sense Media and the National Writing Project, was held with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of its digital media and learning initiative.

    “Learning is increasingly participatory,” said Julia Stasch, MacArthur’s Vice President for U.S. programs. “Digital media are not only changing how young people are accessing and sharing new knowledge —they are extending the classroom to more informal and unconventional spaces, such as libraries, museums and even online communities. Our support for the field of digital media and learning is designed to help these institutions take advantage of the learning opportunities presented by digital media and to help build an infrastructure for successful teaching and learning in the 21st century.”

    Despite the potential benefits of new media, many schools are banning or severely restricting its use, reported Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), who presented findings from a recent survey his organization conducted about the learning potential of Web 2.0 software in schools. ”While school district administrators see the learning potential of these new media, few understand how best to incorporate it into schooling,” said Krueger. “School leaders need help in formulating policies and implementing leadership practices that enable the effective use of digital media.”

    Teachers are also critical to the successful integration of new media into schooling, said Sharon J. Washington, Executive Director of the National Writing Project, a professional development network for teachers of writing. “The notion of what it means to write is changing,” said Washington. “Teachers must not only redefine writing, but also increasingly adapt teaching practices so that they are web delivered, user-managed and customized to individual learning goals.”

    “There’s plenty of good news about what kids are doing with digital media, from volunteering with charities and posting their own creative work to joining online study groups and supporting causes,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, an independent, nonprofit organization that provides ratings and reviews of media, entertainment, and technology. “But our surveys and focus groups this year revealed that parents don’t have a clear idea of what their kids are doing with digital media. We need digital literacy programs to teach the rules of the road, and to empower parents and teachers to embrace digital tools, as well as address the potential negatives.”

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