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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HS Reform: Myths that Need to Be Debunked.

I read with interest the intervention Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had at the College Board AP Conference. He does a great lay out of what is happening, what is expected to be done and his perception of the three myths affecting a national high school reform.

Secretary Duncan refers to a model of education high school is giving to its students, which is based on the 40's industrial model. He speaks about changes and gains in the major cities like New York, Nashville, Indianapolis, Newark, and Philadelphia. There is, however something it is not new to us, the fact the intentions of the government is to prepare students to college as the last and definitive goal.

Why is it taking so long to move some of these students into the 21st century?

Duncan believes the reason for this, is based on this three myths:

» The belief that setting higher standards and expectations for students will only lead more students to fail, driving up the already high, dropout rate.

» Accept that poverty is destiny. And that in the face of poverty, a school or a teacher cannot just make that much difference.

» The false idea that high school educators and counselors cannot really prepare students for careers or college because the concept of college and career-readiness is itself too elusive to evaluate meaningfully with assessments or to track with longitudinal data systems.

The current school structure still allows to reproduce information without the critical thinking, many still claim to. And as in the discourse Duncan put it, there is a top 20% that are expected to go to college, and there is another 20% that makes statistics for drop out. What remains is a 60 % of high school population that we don't know what they are going to do with their lives.

Obama's government wants to work with these students and get them to College, fighting the three myth referred. The fact is that 40% of those students do not make that 20 & 20% between colleges entries and drop outs, still need remedial classes in community colleges.

This tells us something of interest. Per years we wanted to blame one another about failings in the education structure. We forget that each level has a particular work to do and society expects each institution performs as its best. Obviously, this is not happening and we need urgently an education reform.

But Mr. Secretary, whatever the government does, there will be a percentage of high school graduates that do not know want to do with their lives. And there is also a group which decides to no to go into college because, they became parents --nothing about this have been mentioned, or simply because Wall Street has left them in extreme poverty that they can even qualify to apply for a credit, if they are really serious about college education.

The school has never been and will never be the motor over which a society is developed. Is the family. And until we have families living on poverty, the expectancy for the young people is nothing foreseeable. And that is not a myth, is reality!

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Education & Tech Now in Facebook, Too.

I have been a bit slow to build a page on Facebook. I was hesitant of the benefits a fan page could have for a blog like Education & Tech.

Same as Cool Cat Teacher, I recently have my second thoughts about a fan page. If you go online frequently you have come to realize that most pages have already included the fan widgets on their pages. It must be a reason.

So, reading the announcement Cool Cat Teacher is on Facebook, I decided to give a try. Let me tell you that I have my personal page but I couldn't even manage how to get an advertisement like those presented on the linked post.

Why this is good for teachers?

Vicky Davis quote:

    Finding how to make a page was a BEAR. I had to go to the help at the bottom right of facebook and click on "Make a page for a business or organization." I do plan to make a "Teacher page" for my students to follow. It will have a different purpose.

    Fundamentally, teachers should keep their Friends and students separate for many reasons, most importantly in the US, if you want to keep your job. (As if we become a distraction, we can be fired!)

I don't pretend to use Facebook to promote new ideas. I just want to benefit of the social network being the first in the world delivering traffic online. That's enough for us.

As you can see on the left side we are doing our first steps. Please, do us the favor and follow Education & Tech on Facebook.

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Teachers: There Is No Need to Keep Your Heads Down

This is an interesting post by Damien Riley on teaching without recognition. How many times a teacher has felt like nobody cares about what he/she is doing and the only reward for him is a test score.

Think hard and comment. From Dynamite Lesson Plan:

    Teaching has a lot of small "instant gratification" moments where you can assess kids right there in the lesson and see if they "get it." I have kids write on white boards and hold them up for me. At that point I can see the percentage of mastery. There is no better feeling in those moments than telling the class they have "100% mastery." They clap and say "yesssss." It’s really a great part of the job. Harder moments are after your kids score low and you don’t have a chance to assess again. In the past I have made the error of reviewing quickly and reassessing hoping for high results. The hard truth is that in those times, you must spend a length of time keeping your head down teaching without recognition. All the while you should hold on to the hope that your quiet labors will pay off in your students’ public scores.

Ahem...did we mention tests or assessments? Open to discussion.

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7 Days to a Better EduBlog – Day 1

We are so delighted Change Agency released its mini-course under Creative Commons license. If you still don't know what CC means, let me tell you quickly, it is an authorization to reproduce contents given you cite the source.

During the next six days you'll be learning among other thing this:

    » How to “design for learning” when it comes to your blog theme, layout, and addition of widgets, plugins, etc.
    » How to create a variety of posts that increase engagement, encourage reflective dialogue, and provide opportunities for your readers/learners to explore topics more in depth.
    » How to establish a blogging schedule that gives your readers/learners support in their learning and a clear expectation of your blog’s focus.

I strongly recommend you enroll in this mini-course or bookmark and save the link so you can come back later. If you really are serious about blogging --in the future you'll be full of excuses, then follow the instructions, go and watch the suggested examples and most important of all, do the tasks.

Day 1: Blog Layout & Design for Readability & Usability

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When Education Turns to Be a Battle on the Sex Differences

It has been a productive morning for us and we really had a head start. While tweeting our stuff, it came into our time line a suggestion to read @MCiscart's article. Interesting since Mathew is a new teacher and what I love from a new entry educator is that any one of them fight commodity and establishment.

After reading the article, which I greatly recommend, I've spotted these two questions:

    Do you think there’s something wrong with a guy changing a diaper at home and or in a classroom environment? If so, why?

    Would you be okay if your wonderful daughter walked around for an hour before someone changed her potty soiled diaper, all because the male teacher was the only one around and waited for a female, for fear of being seen as some sort of deviant?

I am going to talk as a parent in the first place and as an educator after. I have a daughter, 22 years now, and when she was little, I was the one who loved to change diapers ( not only those Huggies you know, but the cotton hand made by my wife, too). I even wash them up.

Now, I am not working with toddlers and I have never done that. But I guess I would feel a bit hesitant to let my daughter to be changed her diapers by an unknown, to the family. However, as we are used to in this country, kids are under care of baby sitters most of time so, having my daughter taken care by a professional would be ok.

I have to accept that most of our teachers are female, but I don't think it is only a sex motive, there is money. We are still under the disbelief that education is a career poorly paid and there are other places where men can do better. If it was sexist, then why a parent or even a female teacher has not concerns when a male son is being raised or educated by a woman?

I would not tolerate my little one walks dirty around the corridors just because a well trained male professional can't attend her. Certainly that we heard the news of some teachers involved in sexual incidents, but that's an insignificant percentage. We need to trust our educators, as we trust our babysitter, or a neighbor or any relative looking after our kids.

As for Matthew Ciscart, don't give up. You are just in the beginning of this beautiful but so full of disappointments career, called education.

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