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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Technology Tools for the New School Year

Photo credit: 'zappowbang' on FlickrThere is nothing as important as technology today, and if you don't make use of it to complement your education, you are missing out big time. There is a plethora of options to choose from, so much so that you feel like buying every new gadget that is invented and downloading every new application that is written. However, technology is only as good as the way you use it, so invest in gizmos and applications that will come in handy for the new school year. I am sure you already have your own notebook computer (or netbook) and a smartphone, so I’m going to focus on a few applications that can be downloaded from the Internet and which you can use on a regular basis for free (within a certain storage limit. Here they are, a few tools that could come in handy as you go back to school this year:

  • Dropbox: If you keep toting around a pen drive or a portable hard disk wherever you go, or if you cannot leave town without your notebook because all your files are on it and you cannot get any work done without them, then this is the perfect application for you. It is an online file storage utility that you can download for free from the Internet and install on your system. All you need to do then is to store your files in folders inside the Dropbox folder, and every time you are connected to the Internet, your files are synchronized and stored online. If you are using a friend's computer or one at a public facility, just install Dropbox onto the system, log in with your username and password, and download all your files or just the ones you need to work on currently. Dropbox makes it easy for you to forget about your files, because you can access them no matter where you are.
  • It is the perfect tool for collaborating on word documents with your classmates and colleagues – they can watch changes being made in real time, they can make changes if they are allowed to by the owner of the document, and it is easy to make remarks or comments as the text is being modified. Use this to work on MS Word files, PDF documents, and even HTML pages.
  • Panda Cloud Antivirus: It is the first antivirus software available from the cloud, and if you are like me and have had horrible experiences with the much-touted antivirus packages from Norton and the other big guns, you are bound to make the switch in a trice. The problem with some security suites is that they literally take over your hard disk and permeate to almost every nook and corner of it; so even if you uninstall them, stray files remain and corrupt other antivirus installations and even your browser configurations at times. With your antivirus package on the cloud, your hard disk is left free of clutter; with Panda, you are protected even if you are offline.
So check out these great tools today, and enjoy the convenience they add to your academic efforts.

This guest post is contributed by Debbie Owen, she writes on the topic of online doctoral degree programs. She welcomes your comments at her email id:

Education & Tech News for Educators 09/06/2010

Does a text box limits your creativity? You can compose a long text with photos an videos you want to share and paste the URL of your post to the text box.

A new technological “culture of light” will transfer both visual perception and communication. - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Make your note, save it and share it with friends. The created pages contain only what you have typed. There are no irrelevant elements. Only text and media content. And this is just a small part of what you can do!

allows developers to embed videos, images and rich media from 111 services through one API. Visit the documentation to learn more.

Tripline is a way for you to tell a story by putting places on a map. It player gives you an animated line moving across the map with a soundtrack.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

A Modeling Method to Improve Behaviour in the Classroom

Management of classroom is by far the most intricate activity when you are a teacher in the lower levels. By experience I can say that the one thing you need is knowledge and patience. But what do you do when when you have a group of students that either disrupt your class or simply don't want to do their work?

Some colleagues will call for motivation. We call it an strategy. Michael Linsin comes with an interesting proposal we think is helpful and might solve a problem for many of us, k-12 teachers. This modeling method receives the name of Power of One

How the Power of One works.

After giving directions for whatever it is you want your students to do, follow these five steps, writes Linsin at Smart Classroom Management:

    1. Pause. A pause creates anticipation, drawing more attention to you and interest in whatever comes next.

    2. Choose one. Choose one student to do whatever it is you want your entire class to do. Who you choose only matters in that it must be someone you’re confident will perform the task correctly.

    3. Student performs. Don’t say a word while the chosen student is performing the task. When the student finishes, be sure to offer a small gesture of praise.

    4. Allow for questions. Allow questions if there is any. Then ask if there is anyone who, for any reason, will not be able to perform the task as modeled.

    5. The rest of the class performs. Ask for repetition. The rest of your students will then perform the task exactly how you want.

This strategy well may be called micromanaging for the time and space it takes, but definitely you will exercise control on a determined student and the task can be performed by any ordinary student, so the rest of the class would love to reflect on him.

What kind of resource of strategy are you going to use this new year with your disruptive students?

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10 Social Networks for People Involved in Education

Credit goes to Schröder+Schömbs PR on FlickrDavid Kapuler of Technology Tidbits came up with a list of the Top 10 Social Networks for Education. If you are an experienced person handling Internet tools you don't need to read this, but if you thinks you still can learn something new every time you visit this blog, then pay attention to it.

Of course you can read the description for each one at Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero:

1. Twitter -
2. Classroom 2.0 -
3. Facebook -
4. Plurk -
5. Educator's PLN -
6. Learn Central -
7. ISTE Community -
8. Edutopia -
9. Collaborative Translation -
10. IT4ALL -

Hope you enjoy them and we could add other sources, but I'll hold them for a new post. Stay tuned.

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Is the Value-Added Modeling a Solution to Education Reform?

The New York Times picked the issue on a national view of the standards to judge what teacher is better than another. As hard as this question seems to be answered, the value-added modeling calculates the value teachers add to their students’ achievement, based on changes in test scores from year to year and how the students perform compared with others in their grades.

But as the NYT points out, no every teacher agrees on this topic and most are opposed to take tests as a parameter to determine effectiveness. Teacher accountability continues to be iceberg point to Secretary Duncan and President Obama on education reform. While people outside the faculty groups claims for an evaluation of teachers, they do their homework and explain why setting up a method to measure teacher accountability is not something easy to be done.

Edward Haertel, a Stanford professor co-author of Problems With the Use of Students Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers says that in the value-added modeling, "People are going to treat these scores as if they were reflections on the effectiveness of the teachers without any appreciation of how unstable they are."

On the other hand William L. Sanders, a senior research manager for SAS, a company that does value-added estimates for districts in North Carolina, Tennessee and other states, added "if you use rigorous, robust methods and surround them with safeguards, you can reliably distinguish highly effective teachers from average teachers and from ineffective teachers."

Whatever the method is, one thing is for sure, America needs a better education and a new curricular design so community can catch up with speedy changes that are happening thanks to technology.

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