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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School Conversations, "What Does That Culture Look Like?

Although I don't always see the conversations David Warlick talks about in this post, I think it's a good start. It'll be quite possible that you see conversations in most schools or educational environments, but you might have to agree with me that it happens but in not all schools.

During this week, I read an note where the results of a study showed poor performance of students attending 'poor schools'(read neighborhood schools). The article was referring to the American schools, not to even mention the same structures overseas.

Is it true that many of us are heavily using Twitter, Facebook and Google, confused by many as hubs or gatekeepers in the media, when they merely represent tools to communicate ideas online. Such tools are not always in reach to everyone. Costs of internet connection are still high and even when American schools all have access, it's the distribution of the access which concern me more.

D. Warlick sketches 10 suggestions for administrators for promoting these kind of conversations in the 'building and beyond.' All of them valuable but in the assumption we've got rid of the neighborhood schools. What I do appreciate is Warlick's vision to encourage what I'd prefer to call the Theory of Learners, learn anything new daily and make it a way of living.

Struck me the suggestion No. 3: "Make frequent mention of your Twitter stream, RSS reader, specific bloggers you read. Again, this should not be limited to job specific topics." Yes, some mega media moguls are already jealous of social networks as Twitter. They are scared to hell to think people is paying more attention to a Twitter stream than a professional view in the so authorized media.

Let's keep it simple, build conversations whenever you are but do not forget the gifted and talented but graciously poor people.

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Recommendations for Uses of Video in e-Learning

I suppose you are already familiar with VuRoom, a plugin to be used with Skype. You might need it in the future, if you you pay attention to Jennifer Wrigley's recommendation for using video effectively in e-learning.

In a detailed post, the editor of The Spicy Learning Blog, writes that videos are effective if "used in the right way."

There are thousands of videos available but we need to manage time and effort to benefit not only ourselves but students. Here's, without further interruption,

10 Tips for Using Video Effectively in e-Learning.

1. Keep videos short and to the point.
2. Use videos for emphasis.
3. Make videos interactive.
4. Follow up with questions or a summary.
5. Use videos to demonstrate how to, or how not to, do something.
6. Use actors not real employees.
7. Be creative.
8. Include a transcript.
9. Be technically clever.
10. Make videos downloadable elsewhere.

For a complete list of our recommended education videos click here.

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Destroying Traditional Teacher Figure to Raise Passionate Students

Tonight, I've missed the regular session for edchat. Hundreds of educators, administrators and community interested in education, meet up on Twitter to discuss about the student ownership of learning. A good example can be mirrored from @lanwitches' article.

There, we show probe that learning can happens in an interconnected environment. Skype is only one example. Silvia Tolisano, the article's author, wraps up perfectly: "Technology is not about replacing learning nor teaching. Technology is a tool to make learning and teaching possible in ways that it never was before nor that we had ever imagined."

We believe ownership in students can be gained when they feel part of the process. Such participation needs to go beyond hands-on experiences but solutions to real life small problems. We have to identify the objects of attention and interest of our students, re-design the curriculum and have always in mind that teaching and learning is a 2-way street.

When teachers were never shown how to use new technologies for education, they tend to be reluctant to use the technology available. Teachers, as much as students have to work their way out to own the whole process of learning, using all tools at their disposal. If training is needed, we have to take and enforce it.

Kristen Swanson thinks that success of #edchat is due to "we own it" and "If it were directed from "above" we would not be as passionate."

Same can be true for our students, they need to observe a facilitator, a leader, rather than a plain teacher, as we were accustomed to.

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What Do You Do About Students Who Talk During Your Lectures?

A reader writes in to ask what I do about students who talk during my lectures. It’s a good question, as the problem seems to be getting worse the longer I teach. Whether I’m getting more boring (likely), my students are getting more unruly (perhaps), or the classroom culture is becoming more and more like the comments section of Matthew Yglesias’s blog (I doubt it, but maybe), I don’t really know.

As for the question, at the beginning of every quarter I talk to my students about my expectations of them, including my desire that they not talk during lecture. Honestly, I no longer care if they sleep, read, or surf the web. So long as they don’t keep other people in the class from listening to me and maybe learning (I can dream, right?), and so long as they’re somewhat respectful of me, we’re cool. Which is to say, I prefer that they not snore loudly while sleeping or make a big show of reading their friends’ facebook pages. Other than that, though, whatevs.

But a few years back, I singled out some backward-ball-cap-wearing kewl kidz for repeatedly talking and laughing during classes in the latter part of the term. They were recidivists, in other words, and should have known better. They had initially ignored my subtle looks and later my not-so-subtle glares. And they were clearly going to keep up their shenanigans until I smacked them down. So I did. I didn’t say anything too terribly harsh, something along the lines of, “Please stop talking during class. It’s incredibly hard for me to concentrate when you guys behave in this way.” And they stopped. For the rest of the term. Mission accomplished, right?

Well, I later wished that I had talked to them individually*, as the punishment - public humiliation - seemed to outstrip the crime. So since then, I’ve either tried to pull people aside after class or make an announcement, to the whole room, without looking at the offending parties, during my lecture: “You’ll recall that on the first day I said that I really can’t stand it when people talk during class. Please try to keep that in mind, okay.” And that seems to do the trick. But I’m open to new ideas, as the older I get, the more crowded my lawn seems to become.

* Of course I felt guilty. Because I always feel guilty. (Seriously, always. It never stops.) Put another way, one’s approach to classroom management is almost certainly going to vary depending on one’s personality. Not to mention one’s gender, which obviously has a huge impact on how one approaches these issues. So while I’m a guilt-ridden Jew, I’m also a relatively big** guy, which means that I probably have to deal with less of this crap than many other people out there do.

** Fine, fat. You’re so mean. This is supposed to be a safe space, you know.

Syndicated from Discipline and punish.
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