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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The State of the American Education 'Is on the Chopping Block'

I, as many, enjoyed the article appeared on the New York Times, authored by well known Paul Krugman. The conversation about the shortfall of American education is endless around the education community, but when it comes from the voice of an economist, we need to double our attention.

For who didn't have the opportunity to read The Uneducated American, let me save your time and address the main points we found in Krugman's discourse:

Education still does not touch soil. He writes: "Until now, the results of educational neglect have been gradual — a slow-motion erosion of America’s relative position. But things are about to get much worse, as the economic crisis — its effects exacerbated by the penny-wise, pound-foolish behavior that passes for fiscal responsibility in Washington — deals a severe blow to education across the board."

Very slightly, but in a convincing manner he says, government gave out tons of money thorough the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, yes, but it went to the millionaires in Walt Street, to save their investments under the promise of regulation, which until today is not clearly established. Education can wait and each state are to solve their own budget deficits.

What they forget is that, "In America, with its weak social safety net and limited student aid, students are far more likely than their counterparts in, say, France to hold part-time jobs while still attending classes. Not surprisingly, given the financial pressures, young Americans are also less likely to stay in school and more likely to become full-time workers instead," says the laureate with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics during 2008.

He is good on keeping with statistics and remind us all that education sector is also suffering from the high rate of American unemployment. His assertion that 143, 000 jobs were lost in this sector during the last five months, is something education officials and educators mus be vigilant. That is why, the economist suggests: "Congress needs to undo the sins of February," which lead education to lost a great deal of aid support, and approve another big round of aid to state governments in a denomination not even close to the stimulus bill.

Otherwise, more and more young Americans will miss the chance of a superior education and the education shortfall goes all the way down to the educational pyramid.

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The Challenge of Using 'Merit Pay' to Reward Teachers

I have been reading Barnett Berry latest article. He is the President and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality and his opinion about merit pay is worth sharing with you folks. Berry refers to Whitmire & Rotherham Teacher Unions commentary on The WSJ:

    ...The systems being proposed by such analysts as Whitmire and Rotherham are built on shaky technical ground: pay systems that do not reward the best teachers (e.g., see Houston’s ASPIRE program), or rely on unstable student test scores (e.g., see Tim Sass’ analysis of the instability of value-added measures in Florida), or favor teachers who teach in easy-to-teach in schools (see Stein’s review of the Hillsborough County, Florida program).

    Do not get me wrong: Unions need to do a lot more to promote performance pay systems that students deserve — and we (and our Teacher Leaders Network ) have been pushing them to do so. Too many union leaders have been recalcitrant or asleep at the wheel. They should be leading teacher pay reforms — and not just saying no to proposals for change. But I wonder why analysts, such as Whitmire and Rotherham, do not report on why unions often object to merit pay — as opposed to uniformly castigating them as purveyors of the status quo. Without even-handed reporting and discourse, it is difficult to advance the conversation and implement much-needed reforms in public education. Perhaps journalists and policy analysts might turn to teacher leaders themselves in advancing the dialogue on the future of the teaching profession.

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A Mandatory Course on the 'Internet for Dummies'

PC World:

Techie W. W. has a long wish list of "driving instructions" he wishes every user would master. Here's a partial list:

    How to get to the command line
    How to get to the command line and type ipconfig /all
    How to start Task Manager and what it can tell them
    How to browse a hard drive with Explorer and the command line
    How to compress a file without WinZip
    How to manually run Windows update from My Computer
    How to Add Remove programs
    The bandwidth ramifications of streaming videos/stock quotes/music/etc
    Why and when not to close the error message dialog before calling for assistance.

Continue reading Robert X. Cringely's post.

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How Teachers Are Isolated to Find Solutions to Adolescent Literacy Problems

Educators at any level are quite familiar with reading problems, corrective reading and educational research on this field. A few days now, we posted on Twitter a post asking why cursive writing is not taught in schools anymore. Responses were from, "probably because we don't read cursive books any more" to "I never have used it."

Now remember that these answers came from professionals. How hard it will be to deal with adolescents? We can create improvement programs, develop learning strategies, but as far as people don't see the benefits to learn cursive and excel on reading programs, teachers on lower level feel like left behind.

To support what we are saying, allow me to paraphrase what PhD Don Deshler knows about this matter so far. Dr. Deshler is a member of the National Institute for Literacy's Advisory Board (NIFL), and education professor at University of Kansas. He is also the co-author to Informed Choices for Struggling Adolescent Readers: A Research-Based Guide to Instructional Programs and Practices
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