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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There Is Not Research on the Impact of Twitter on Education

If we still want to submit the social sciences to be probed by scientific science, then we will never accept Twitter as a good tool in the classroom. @kmanzo of Education Week posts an interesting article about Twitter in the classroom.

Kathleen Kennedy Manzo (@kmanzo) quotes Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. He is charged to be said: Twitter "It’s not a research-based tool,... The most important thing to remember is that we have no idea what impact these tools have on learning, and it will take a decade to answer that question."

We do agree with that. Maybe not a decade, but if we are to expect scientific confirmation, there is nothing in technology than can be successful, not to mention the so called innovation in the modern economy.

It is true that Twitter did not catch fire as much as Facebook and MySpace for social networking but as Kathleen declares, "young adults are the fastest-growing group of users." In other words, we the teachers have the immense responsibility to prepare these young adults how to skim information efficiently and quickly.

Pamela B. Rutledge, the director of the Media Psychology Research Center at Fielding Graduate University, an online degree program is another of the invitees to the discussion. Students "Are going to need to have highly developed critical-thinking skills, be able to digest large amounts of information, and determine what’s important and what’s not." These among other things people using Twitter needs to master.

The article recommended to be read in its entirety closes quoting again Mr. Willingham when he questions the real use and power of tools like Twitter: "We can’t all just be contributing to wikis and tweeting each other. Somebody’s got to create something worth tweeting."

There is not research but as more and more teachers start using Twitter in a variety of classroom projects, it seems the practice will be the only empirical foundation to let children get away with their multitasking and huge capacity to use social media tools like Twitter.

Should research kill Twitter in our school rooms? I don't think so.

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Learning From Participation at #lrnchat And #edchat Sessions

Somewhere in the internet I was reading how comments on blogs dropped considerably. The reason, microblogging and social tools like Twitter are up front, contributing to make people to share their thoughts, links and comments there, rather than on blogs.

Weekly, there are two online events grouping educators (or tweeteducators) on Twitter. It is the #edchat and #lrnchat sessions. If you still don't know what is all about, just type in those words on the Twitter search box and the results will pop up to give a widely idea of the topic.

We are taking this opportunity to publicly thank Paula White. She posted a wonderful post about how we contribute to the edu-community on Twitter. The point is to find the balance between posting about what matters to educators and diggers community, and to share personal experiences, which for many, are not so valuable and at best should be avoided.

On the other hand, Mike Petersell who is blogging for about two months by now, recounts how people gathering on Twitter can learn from each other socially in different ways when participating on #lrnchat sessions. But, he concludes: "So I think I'm beginning to get the idea of social learning. I'm not ready to include it in my instructional strategies at work yet, but I'm hopeful that I will be able to at some point." Go Mike.

Are you forgetting about comments on blogs and in place, are you heading to social networks?

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Will Kindle Solve All Our Reading Problems?

As days pass by, more and more people is getting used to small appliances and the same sort of technological devices. We are hunting for the right cell phone, the tiniest digital camera, the faster netbook and of course, the device that solve all our academic problems, a ereader.

The iPhone/iPod has made its way into families and school, but do the ereaders can compare to the Apple devices? That is a big question that still Amazon has to answer. They claim to have the best ereader and to be working to get it running on wifi. However, Kindle seems to lack three things so valuable in education:
adaptability, portability and connectivity.

Even though Amazon’s efforts are focused on college students, for schools we need a thin light device that could handle annotations, web links, carry unlimited internet access, or as Tim Stahmer puts it: "Devices that make it seamless to work with more than text – audio, video, interactive graphics, access to learning communities – anything that can be used to understand, clarify, revise and build on the knowledge available."
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