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 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.

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Education & Tech: News for Educators 01/29/2012

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Education: Taking a Final Look Back at 2011

Guest post written by Jesse Langley. He specializes in writing about education, professional and personal development, and career building. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.

Although we may be eager to discard 2011, we should take a few moments to reflect on the technology breakthroughs that enabled us to begin 2012 in such a favorable position. Compared with previous decades, the advancements in the field of education technology last year alone are astronomical. These advancements can be attributed to the revolutionary people, ideas and corporations that have helped make this world a better place by daring to dream and constantly push limits. To recognize and honor the achievements we've made thus far, let's celebrate 2011 with a full review of the most notable milestones.

The legacy of Steve Jobs

If there is just one thing that Steve Jobs accomplished in his lifetime, it was reinforcing our belief in the idea that one man truly can change the world. His untimely passing in October reminded us that although man is mortal, innovation is not. The innovation and creativity Jobs brought to technology and, specifically to education, will create a foundation for the future of technological advancement as we know it. Jobs primarily was responsible for the integration of technology into schools by encouraging the use of computers, iPads and other devices to improve teacher-student communication and student engagement in the classroom. The influence of Apple products is still evident in multiple educational settings across the country.

The iPad's ever-growing influence

From its introduction in January of 2010 to September of the same year, iPad sales reached a total of 7.2 billion --a figure that exceeded the popular Mac laptop computers in the same fiscal quarter. Although these sales can be attributed to consumers of all types, a significant portion was derived from the growing use of the devices for educational purposes. According to NPR, more than 600 schools in the United States currently have at least one full classroom of students using iPads as part of the classroom curriculum.

Skype in the Classroom

Designed to introduce students to other parts of the world while improving communication at home, Skype in the Classroom gives both students and teachers the opportunity to expand their outreach and take advantage of hands-on resources to explore different cultures. The program is accessible to anyone with a web cam and a computer with an Internet connection. Teachers all over the world are now able to collaborate with other educators and introduce students to the languages and cultures of areas from San Francisco to Singapore.

Introducing Google+

Google+ came onto the scene with the promise of greater exclusivity than its competitors offer, but its value for education came as a secondary perk. The exclusivity factor of Google+ is what bridged the gap between appropriate and inappropriate student-teacher interaction online and after-hours. With the "Groups" feature of the website, teachers can categorize classes and designate announcements toward certain classes only. The helpful "Hangouts" feature also makes it easier for students to contact teachers with questions and concerns about homework assignments after school hours.

Challenging the SAT

Once unanimously regarded as an absolute measure of a student's academic capabilities, the SAT was held under particularly harsh scrutiny in 2011 with the growing trend of test-optional admissions among the nation's top colleges and the emergence of books like SAT Wars by Joseph Soares. In the book, Soares convincingly makes the case that socio-economic class has a much greater influence on SAT scores than a student's academic capabilities. Complete with multiple, extensive studies and commentary, the book is just the beginning of a revolution in thought on what truly measures student aptitude.

New studies crediting the efficacy of online education

Online education gives students the opportunity to further their education despite career obligations, family commitments and other schedule conflicts. Because these alternatives could lead to a better educated population, it's fortunate that new studies have emerged that lend credibility to the efficacy of these programs. An extensive study conducted by the Department of Education concluded that students in online conditions actually performed better, on average, when compared with students learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction. This newly released study indicates a positive outlook for online education in the coming year 2012, and hopefully a greater dissolution of prejudice against online degree programs.


U.S. Department of Education. (2010, September). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from

(2011, January 26). iPad Sales Data by US States: Statistics and Trends. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from

Matthews, J. (2009, July 31). Class Struggle: What the SAT-Optional Colleges Don't Tell You. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from

Surpassing Shanghai: New Standards in A New World

The past November 15, 2011, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) hosted an event with Marc S. Tucker on the need to redesign the U.S. education system to meet the demands of today's workforce and global economy.

Tucker is President and CEO of NCEE and editor of Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems. This month, Harvard University Press is releasing a volume of policy recommendations based on the research commended by the secretary of education, Arne Duncan.

The research answers a simple question: How would one redesign the American education system if the aim was to take advantage of everything that has been learned by countries with the world’s best education systems?

Jay Mathews, an education columnist and blogger for the Washington Post, says Americans are running out of excuses and writes about several false assumptions that made U.S. look worse than the country really is.

Mathews is not alone. Educators at all levels are worried about the future of the American education. Many criticize the way tests are being elaborate or taken, but what nobody disagrees is the performance of our students when compared with that of students in other countries, particularly those in Japan, Korea, Finland, Shanghai, Singapore and Canada.

American students tend to come out somewhere between the middle and the bottom distribution.

Researcher Marc Tucker campaigned for creating more thorough standards in U.S. education, but he also has been demonized for a set of policy suggestions sent to Hillary Clinton in 1992. Talking to Bruce Walsh of Metro, he explains: "What I was doing in that letter was simply saying that we don’t have the kind of system that most top-performing countries have, in which the pieces fit together in a way that serves kids."

In the research complied by Tucker, he probes that "... by implementing any of the major agenda items that dominate the education reform agenda in the United States" the other leading countries had gotten on top of the tables, with the only exception of the Common Core State Standards. Different approaches, such as charter schools, vouchers, computer-oriented entrepreneurs and rating teachers by the test scores of their students, are almost absent in the overseas systems. Take note American educators.

The Washington Post presented a list of the 5 solutions Tucker and his team propose:

1. Make admission to teacher training more competitive.
2. Raise teacher compensation significantly.
3. Allow larger class sizes.
4. End annual standardized testing.
5. Spend more money on students who need more help getting to high standards.

When reform address education, everyone has voice, only a few the votes. We are anxious to see how changes can be implemented in a culture where there is a stronger local control of schools and the teachers' salaries, as well as their self esteem are less respected.

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Education & Tech: Top 12 Posts 2011

As customary, most blogs make their own top lists at the end of a year. In Education & Tech we were celebrating and didn't plan on time this round up. We now have the pleasure to present the 12 Best Posts About Education & Technology during the 2011.

We also want to celebrate your visit and reading of this blog by wishing a joyful and prosperous new year 2012.

Share and bookmark it:

1. Report: Students in Interactive Class Are Nearly Twice as Engaged as Counterparts in Traditional Class.

2. How to Interest Youth Hispanic Community In the Study of Science And Math.

3. Could Chewing Gum Really Boost Students Grades?

4. School Structure: Don't Blame the Others, Blame Yourself.

5. Technology is wonderful...but it is leaving our families isolated.

6. Parents: How You Can Help If Your Child Is Lagging in Math.

7. In Defense of the American Public Education.

8. Why Do We Need More Face to Face Communication.

9. Jobs Was a Leader In Revolutionizing Education And Tech.

10. "Real education is [not] looking up factoids about the world."

11. If Students Don't Learn, That's Because They Fall Short On Sleep

12. Social Media Is Changing the Way We Communicate. [Infographic]

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