pe January 2011

Education & Tech

mLearning, highered, research, academia

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 L. Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is an instructor with UoPeople, is a 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 blogging and I'd written articles about education and technology almost every day since 2003. In the gazillion of notes, Education & Tech provides you with education news, tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

Welcome you all! Why not like our site for more updates?

In Defense of the American Public Education

The American public education system must surely be the envy of the world for its outcomes.

The American education serves the interest of this country and the economic and social necessities of its people. This means that not all schools are failing. In other words, only "Some schools are failing as are the communities and governments that serve them." writes Sarah from California.

I don't think nobody would disagree on the fact that teachers are sharing far too many disconnected and rote skills which are aimed at memorization and singular algorithms for the most part. But good things are also on their way.

On this topic, I specially like this quote: "American schools could do math and science instruction so much better than they do now. We could decide on essential basic skills that need to be taught and then focus much more on skills and activities related to problem solving, inquiry, analysis, application, and real world contexts. We could make a strong and meaningful connection between math and games and we could empower the majority to be confident in their math abilities and their abilities to learn math."

Many of us point fingers at politicians but at the core of this problem is also the industry. All the machinery behind production of testing, the textbook printing, and don't forget about the educational consultants. They, as the economy rulers in Wall Street, want to keep the system as it is. The only thing they care about is profiting from education.

As far as the utilitarianism is present in our curriculum, we have to recognize that education goes beyond that. School is to form (rather than train) citizenship, aim at sensible care-takers not only to oneself but the family and the environment.

"There is less upward mobility now for Americans than there was thirty years ago and our schools are statistically doing better than thirty years ago as measured by standardized tests for reading and math." I really worry that the same President Obama focus only on vain comparisons with other countries on this matter, forgetting that American has been built on our education public system.

Still, despite of not following international standards, our education is the envy of most of the world. Why? Because it produces a "diversity of well-educated, creative, and energetic students who go on to further educate themselves later in life", and performs to the highest levels in colleges and universities under their own effort.

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SOTU and The State of the American Education

"We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair," said President Obama last night during his State of the Union address.

If you were paying attention, you will agree with me that the President offered plenty of encouraging rhetoric but nothing new of substance. He wanted to raise expectations among people and he did it, but even when a great deal of time was spent talking about education, there were no precise points.

Watch video here. For how debaters grade the SOTU click here and don't go without the fact checking posted by WaPo.

The education passages evidently didn't have a lot of substance but they did have some interesting signals. And that's a good beginning, though. Obama also had the courage to speak openly about the Dream Act and how this country will benefit of these students.

Personally, I am still reading about school Bruce Randolph, the one Obama singled out. And as I continue to read and grab the most interesting commentaries about last night Obama address, what follows is what I think deserves to be read:

- Translating the State of the Union Address - what really the President wanted to say about American education.

- Andrew Rotherham in Education - Smartest and so far the most straightforward analysis.

- Fire those lazy-ass teachers - The counter part Obama didn't mention about the other teachers.

- Become a teacher - The strongest two words used by President Obama in SOTU address.

I'll be grateful if you find some other information worth it to share on our comments section.

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Education & Tech: News for Educators 01/19/2011

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

We have been using the tag roundup to post some of the links we consider should be uploaded to Education and Tech (Se also our Delicious account for more links).

Beginning today we've decided to also add to that section of round ups, all tweets marked as favorites on our account on Twitter. Beyond posting it on Diigo, all our fav posts should appear in here from now on.

I hope you can benefit, as much as I am, after reading these posts:

The rest of my favorite links are here.

The One Single Thing You Should Know About Blogging

Back in the 2007 I wrote a post about the reason why nobody was reading our blog, and seems to me, according to statistics, this post has been among the top ever posted on Education & Tech.

Bloggers first were criticized because they didn't follow the rigor all journalist are familiar with. Then, it was called to Internet attention that bloggers shouldn't be considered as journalists at all. And lately, everyone claims that bloggers need to start publishing original content and be good communicators.

However, many had leap from blogging to live streaming, to content producers. But the idea and principles behind blogging remains, specially on these days where many are screaming for an Internet neutrality. Whoever has a blog, he or she has a responsibility: To contribute to their niche and make the Internet more savvier.

That is why I also want to point out to an interesting post regarding the things you should know about blogging. The single one thing you should know about publishing a blog:

    Building a blog audience takes time. During my Saturday morning appearance on Classroom 2.0 Live I mentioned that if you're serious about building a blog audience you have to keep on writing even if only your mother, father, wife, husband, or dog is reading your posts [...] If you're publishing on the web, someone will come across your writing. You want that first stranger who visits your blog to read your writing, so make sure they have plenty to read. If they like what they're read, they just might pass your blog along to one of their friends, and their friends pass it along to their friends, and.... before too long you'll have an audience to write for. That's when it gets really fun.

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Students Score High With EdTech Properly Implemented.

Project RED - Revolutionizing Education

Results reveal that one-to-one computing programs can have a big impact on achievement if properly implemented

Schools with one-to-one computing programs have fewer discipline problems, lower dropout rates, and higher rates of college attendance than schools with a higher ratio of students to computers, according to the results of a major new study. But for one-to-one programs to boost student achievement as well, they must be properly implemented, the study found.

Sixty-nine percent of the schools in the study reported that their students’ achievement scores on high-stakes tests were on the rise. Among schools with 1-to-1 computing programs, that figure was 70 percent. But it was 85 percent for schools with 1-to-1 computing programs that employed certain strategies for success, including electronic formative assessments on a regular basis and frequent collaboration of teachers in professional learning communities.

Read the analysis in this PDF document by Laura Devaney.

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Using the Phone as a Learning Device: Myth or Reality

Being this our inaugural post on the 2011, we had to select the cream of the best in order to have a head start this new year. We haven't found recent articles on any of her blogs, but she is an instructor at the University of Michigan, an adjunct Professor at Madonna University, and a former high school teacher and technology coordinator.

Elizabeth F Kolb has written an interesting article about uses of cellphone in the classroom. There are a list of suggestions about the procedure: Being a documentarian, a writer, an expert, a mobile journalist, an oral historian, a radio star, a musician and a a good communicator. Overall, be organized, something education professionals forget when having cellphones taken into classrooms.

Cellphones can be carried along during classes, we just need to get students accustomed to what is expected while in school grounds.

Parents can also get involved in good uses and practices with cellphones. Ms. Kolb suggestions:

    » First, make sure your child knows everything on a cell phone is public and permanent. "Kids need to understand that once they post on the Internet, it's there for eternity because everything on the Internet is archived. It needs to be something appropriate which represents them well," Kolb says.

    » If your teen wants to be a mobile reporter, he needs to make sure that he gets permission from everyone in his photo or video before he posts.

    » Parents should be the ones doing all the posting at first, so they're modeling the behavior for their kids. Kolb recommends that you explain your motives to your child, for example, "It's going to a private account because it's just for our family to see,” she says.

    » If your child wants unlimited text messaging or costly extra features, Kolb recommends setting up some kind of work plan to help pay for it, either through an outside job or chores around the house.

To turn from a doubtful teacher, into one with confidence, takes work and effort. But using cellphones in your class is definitely something you should pursue during the 2011.

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