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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Latin America: Basic Education Options Are Being Developed

Colombian singer Shakira knows more than hip-shaking and she has refused to believe that isn’t possible to educate every child in developing countries. Children and education are among the many acts of Shakira's philanthropy.

Shakira Writes to The EconomistRecently she represented ALAS at a Non-Profit Portugal Ibero-American Summit. ALAS is known for its prominent affiliations with Latin American artists, business leaders and intellectuals. Their goal is to mobilize Latin-American society towards the implementation of integrated early childhood public policies, so that every child from zero to six years old has access to health plans, education and nutrition.

Education is the only way to break poverty

Difficulties to find decent jobs and making a decent life are among the reasons marginalized people in Latin America, have to end doing things they never imagined. There isn't a single child that dreams of becoming a militant or a drug trafficker. "But in developing countries sometimes life doesn’t give you any other option," Shakira writes on The Economist.

And she continues to explain what is she doing with a foundation she has created:

My foundation in Colombia, Pies Descalzos (“Barefoot”), has proved that the poorest children can be educated. For less than $2 a day per child, our schools provide food, education and counselling services to thousands of students. Our schools help underprivileged children grow in sustainable ways and provide them with the tools they need to break out of the cycle of poverty.


If our foundation can bring quality education to some of the poorest children in the world there is no reason why governments can’t do the same thing. Our schools in Colombia are proving each and every day that no matter where a child is from, no matter how poor children are, they can thrive if given the chance.

Photo credit: cpozo

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Higher Education and Collaboration Are Going Global

"We need to encourage teachers to collaborate between schools, states and the world. Teachers barely collaborate with those next door," was only one of the statements educators rose up last night, during the EdTechTalk where Kim Cofino was presenting Going Global: Culture Shock, Convergence, and the Future of Education, a pre-conference to be carried at K12Online 2009.

The discussion reflects on practices many times we educators ignore, specially in higher education. For example this past weekend, as part of the BarCamp's unconferences, the Technical University of Loja -UTPL by its initials in Spanish, held the last geek gathering to be celebrated in Ecuador and Latin America during this year. And the one thing we got impressed is how UTPL's President morfed into a barcamper. The dreams of having a Silicon Valley in Ecuador was publicly declared. Luis Miguel Romero PhD, wants to take his institution to the highest technological level, setting bases and developing what is known as Technology Valley in the Southern city of Loja.

Nelson Piedra uploaded the video on YouTube. Here, Luis Romero, also a former president of the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (OUI-IOHE of its initials in Spanish), makes a historical description of how the university evolved to become one of the most prestigious in the region. A continuation the UTPL's President, speaking at the barcamploxa09:

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Education Blogs: "I think these lists are a waste of time"

I pretty much reflect on what MGuhlin has brought yesterday. There are days when we feel like blogging is a waste of time and then, we recover and keep up to our readers and to ourselves.

There is more than one veteran blogger living up not to make the lists but to encourage and guide their visitors. Not that we didn't make the list now, but lists are made based on each personal experience. I could start drawing my list to the Edublog Awards 2009 and it will come up short because I know a whole lot of good bloggers and I could commit the mistake to leave out, at least one, which under another circumstances will be good for another edublogger.

Miguel MGuhlin thinks (as well as Downes, that I remember) lists are a waste of time but he recognizes work on building the Top 200 Education Blogs. However, he writes:"...Yet, placement on the list must mean something. At least, someone was kind enough to include the blog in what they perceive as the top 200. But what about the rich variety of new bloggers with less than 2000+ subscribers, whose voices are undiscovered? Or, who can keep up with the 10 blog posts per day by resource/tools enthusiasts that make one wonder, how the heck can anyone learn to use 100 tools they share in 10 days?"

I have the experience while writing to Global Voices that these unheard voices are as important as the 2k, A-list or high ranking blogs.

As opposed as it might look, we also have compiled our Education Blogs for Teachers. Have I changed my mind? No. Those lists had the purpose to collect previous posts related to education and topics related.

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About the Things a Teacher Will Not Tell You

Back in September The Reader's Digest magazine interviewed educators in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New York and Texas to get a first approach of what a teacher wouldn't tell you.

The article has generated almost 2 hundred comments and has been a good place to discuss matters. It also has opened a door that clearly shows the divorce among education participants: teachers, parents, students.

We expect readers not to get confused about our position in this post. One of our posts was found insulting to the teachers. We are parents but in this case we are wearing the teacher's suit.

My guess as to why teachers don't say these things out loud is because it really wouldn't change anything. First, we have administrators who will be so happy to apply legislation and then, we all are open to scrutiny by people not trained in our profession such as parents.

I should recognize that putting all kids in the same bucket is a mistake. But the same we can say of teachers. Observer will mention for example that if a teacher has kids running to "fix everything" that is a direct reflection of her inability to teach conflict resolution. Yes, many of us, teachers, deal with classrooms full of 20-25 students and teach more than one grade. Are we going to give personalized education?

Education is responsibility of all parties. It is false that problems at school should be dealt with at school and problems at home should be dealt with at home. I would not hesitate to contact a parent(I usually do) when I think problems at home are affecting school performance.

Remember this: Good students made it to college because of their own effort, some really great teachers, but also because parents gave out a bit time of day.

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