education & tech

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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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Are Video Games Creating Violent Students? A Gamer's Take

Guest post written by Bradley Ramirez, an eighth grader at William F. Halloran School.

Do violent video games affect the mind of a child, yes or no? This question has been given a lot to think about with two sides. Some believe that that these games affect the mind of children in immense ways, others believe it’s just in their heads. The Anti-gamers have studied the effects of these games for thirty years or so now with some evidence. The Pro-gamers have also made some very good argument themselves. With both sides going at each other it has become somewhat confusing to pick a side for children and parents alike.

The Anti-gamers have dug up some good evidence over the past couple of years making everyone think, Wow, could this possibly come to an end, violent games are actually bad? However that just wasn’t enough. Their research showed that, “Repeated exposure to violent video games causes desensitization which then leads to increased aggressive behavior.” Also as the TechAddiction site mentioned and I quote, “Boys who are naturally aggressive are attracted to violent video games. Lower educated boys play more violent video games than higher educated boys. The question of whether violent video games lead to violence in children was left open due to the correlation nature of the studies.” Also, some of the more understandable reasons are that games in general affect the mind of a child. Not to mention that there is a chance of addiction which would most likely cause a problem with violent game and of course addiction.

“I think that if someone plays a video game, and then goes out and harms another human being, or themselves because of what they just saw in the video game, they were screwed up in the head long before they got their hands on a controller,” said Tim Buckley in a interview to GameCore. This would probably be some most Pro-gamers, like I would agree on. Since I’m a gamer at the age of thirteen (playing since I was around three or four years old.) I would believe I have some experience in the field of gaming and how it affects my mind.

A doctor might be able to tell what is going on inside, but what I can tell you is about the outside. As a younger child I would imitate almost anything, including my video game of Spider Man. Now, this game had some violence with hitting and punching, but was I going to be an aggressive person because of it? I have come to the conclusion that no, it wouldn’t make me violent. But because I was at such a young age I imitated everything not knowing the difference. Now that I am older I can tell the difference between right and wrong. The label on the game isn’t just there for decoration but to prevent such things like violent activity. If a parent believes that a child is not suitable for a game don’t get it! Then some parents will go off in a tangent blaming video games, when in reality, who bought that game for the child? The easiest targets would be the children of a younger age who can’t tell the real difference between right and wrong, reality or gaming world. The cited research that has been done also states that, "Boys aged 12-14 did not believe that they experienced any negative effects of violent video games, but believed that younger children might imitate violent games. They did not believe that video games cause violence.” Although I will not deny, or any Pro-gamer for that matter, that violent video games can affect everyone not just children.

In conclusion I hope that you may be able to pick a side with valid reasoning. Whether it’s the Pro-gamer side or the Anti-gamer side. This article was not created to influence any or either side but to inform and show everyone just what each side is talking about. Although I might be thirteen I do know quite a bit on this subject and believe that one day someone will come up with the evidence that shows which side is correct.

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Officials: Please, Cross the Teachers Off Your Lists!

Last night, before I went to sleep, I was listening to Larry Mendt. His comments made me feel like writing about the budget cuts states are required to undertake to consolidate their budgets.

But just as the PIX 11's journalist said, the list for budget cuts is wide and according to his believe, he put the teachers at the end of the list. To immediately remove them from that list.

A survey from the NYT/CBS said that Americans do not support a cut in benefits for workers such as is planned in Wisconsin. That is the measure of what people most need in the U.S. Not the rich ones.

Teachers defend themselves. And the issue of budget setting is not new, and should have been solved a long time ago. The problem got complex when Wall Street plunged and the government instead of increasing teacher pay, had to "spend money" to help a very few irresponsible CEOs.

The average salary of a teacher is only 55K and it is not a burden when you consider that each teacher serves at least a hundred students (customers to speak their language) every day. Does not take much math to understand ratios.

Unfortunately, as some say, on the skinny dog fleas will stick. And that just happens to workers in general, and the police and teachers in particular. Why not cut the number of hours for all state representatives at national level?

And more than that, I doubt lawmakers work best when they are 500, than when they are only 60 to 100 to discuss law. Does anyone of you have ever heard of job cuts in the Senate or House? Never. They are indispensable.

Well, let me tell you that teachers are an indispensable asset, too. And if they do not stop cutting positions in the Boards nationwide, the persons who will pay the price are not us, but our growing families and of course the next generation.

Educators earn little and the outcome are so much(not to say that they work hard, because some might feel the inconvenience).

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How Is Google Algorithmically Combating Farm Content.

If you have a site, then you might be still anxious to know how the new algorithm Google deployed last weeks --- in order to clean the web, is really working. Well, think no more, Google search engineers, Amit Singhal, search-quality guru and Matt Cutts, Google’s top search-spam fighter give insights as to what the algorithm is meant to:

    Cutts: I think you look for signals that recreate that same intuition, that same experience that you have as an engineer and that users have. Whenever we look at the most blocked sites, it did match our intuition and experience, but the key is, you also have your experience of the sorts of sites that are going to be adding value for users versus not adding value for users. And we actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. And you can really see mathematical reasons …

    Singhal: You can imagine in a hyperspace a bunch of points, some points are red, some points are green, and in others there’s some mixture. Your job is to find a plane which says that most things on this side of the place are red, and most of the things on that side of the plane are the opposite of red.

What has been your experiences? Is your page being effected in any way by Google's algorithm update?

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Education & Tech: News for Educators 03/03/2011

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