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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Not a New Phenomenon: The History of Bullying and its Effect on the College Experience Today

By Katheryn Rivas*

Although the coverage of bullying in schools has been widespread as of late, bullying is not a new phenomenon in human history. Texts as far back as the Bible cite instances of bullying and violence. Those instances, however, were between adults. Why is it that today children and young adults seem to be so affected by the results of a social climate that tolerates this sort of behavior? Is bullying among young people, especially within an academic context, new?

According to recent articles, there are actually many cited instances within popular culture of bullying among young people. Many literary works, for example, portray instances of bullying to the extent that it seems to have been commonplace as far back as the 1800’s. Works like Oliver Twist (1838), Lord of the Flies (1954) and The Outsiders (1967) definitely ring true when it comes to the things we have been seeing in the news lately about bullying in school.

This is also not confined to students in grade school or junior high. There have been many deaths and violent occurrences linked to bullying in colleges. In fact, researchers are now starting to take a closer look at the issue. "We got into looking at college students because there are studies on elementary, junior high, high school and the workplace," said Christine MacDonald, professor of educational and school psychology at Indiana State University. "There's nothing on colleges. It doesn't just stop when they turn 18," she said.

MacDonald’s research found that, out of the college students surveyed in her study, 15 percent reported having been bullied. This is a significant amount, especially considering the fact that many college students may not accurately report such occurrences.

What makes matters worse for modern students, though, is the propensity to bully peers behind the thin veil of a cyber profile. 22 percent of the students MacDonald surveyed reported being cyberbullied. This is almost a fourth of the entire student population surveyed. In fact, 38 percent knew someone who had been cyberbullied. Most of the bullying took place via social networking sites or text messages, but email and instant message bullying also occurred.

42 percent of students surveyed by MacDonald’s team also reported seeing someone being bullied by another student, and a whopping 15 percent reported seeing a student bullied by a professor.

According to MacDonald, most of the students who reported bullying were somehow “different” than the student majority, but there was not enough data to single out specifics on ethnicity or sexual orientation.

(*) This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes for online universities blog. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87 AT gmail DOT com.

Education & Tech: News for Educators 05/19/2012

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Blue Ribbon Schools: What Are They and Do They Work?

By Lauren Bailey*

The Blue Ribbon Schools program was established in 1981 by the U.S. Department of Education to honor and distinguish schools throughout the country that have achieved high levels of academic performance. The program names the Blue Ribbon award winning schools each year, seeking to set a standard of excellence for all schools throughout the United States. The purpose of the award program as defined by the Department of Education is to publically honor high achieving schools, to set a comprehensive framework of criteria for school effectiveness, and to facilitate communication among schools throughout the country. While the goal of this program is noble and certainly worthwhile, many question if it is actually effective in promoting educational excellence among schools throughout the country. Before we can judge the program's effectiveness, we should take a look at the eligibility criteria the Blue Ribbon program distinguishes for schools.

The Blue Ribbon award program recognizes both public and private schools throughout the country for their academic excellence. These schools are nominated by each Chief State School Officer (the CSSO), the Department of Defense Education Activity (the DoDEA), and the Bureau of Indian Education (the BIE). It is delegates from these state parties that determine if the candidates for their states meet the minimum requirements that are established by the Department of Education. The nomination criteria for public schools rely heavily on state assessment testing. Nominating bodies look at the achievement of the school's students compared to all other schools in the state and results for student subgroups from disadvantaged populations. Because private schools are not required to complete statewide standardized testing, the nominating criteria for private schools differs some from public ones. Non-public schools are judged based on the achievement of the school's students on nationally recognized tests as opposed to state mandated ones as well as by how strongly the disadvantaged students within the school rank on these tests in comparison to their fellow classmates.

It is these criteria that have some people questioning the effectiveness and even accuracy of the Blue Ribbon award system. While awarding high achieving and improving schools is in no way frowned upon, many feel that using standardized test results to determine a school's eligibility is a mistake. While schools who's test scores distinguish them as "high achieving" may very well be exemplary schools, there are likely many schools with suffering test scores that also provide an exemplary education by a different set of standards. The argument boils down to the age old debate over the worth and effectiveness of standardized testing to educate and assess our young students.

While the criteria for the Blue Ribbon Award system may be challenged, the impact the awards have on schools and their student population is undeniable. Schools with Blue Ribbon achievement become selling points for local realtors, business partners are easier to come by for these schools, and financial assistance and volunteers are more abundant. The Blue Ribbon distinction becomes a selling point for schools in a way that can really stand to foster a school's educational abilities and effectiveness.

There are numerous testimonials of students who are inspired by their school's Blue Ribbon achievement and staff who are reignited by the distinction. These are absolutely all positive things. I doubt any of us will argue that these Blue Ribbon nominated schools don't deserve some recognition for their accomplishments. Positive academic achievement should be recognized and rewarded. However, I think many feel that the prestige that accompanies winning a Blue Ribbon award may detract from the more important picture. While we should reward and celebrate our educational successes, we should not detract from schools that are struggling. We need the volunteers, financial assistance, marketing ploys, and so much more to be brought to our lower ranking, challenged schools. The Blue Ribbon distinction is a wonderful testament to academic success, but attention needs also to be brought to our country's schools that are struggling, but still striving.

(*)This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 AT gmail DOT com.

Adobe and Its Education Applications

I have been invited on uncountable times to attend forums and presentation of its products. Reason why I believe is far to share at least what's going on with this company in the forthcoming days.

Allow me to share David Andrade's Education Technology Guy's post:

Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud - yesterday Adobe announced the immediate availability of theAdobe Creative Suite 6 Software and the Creative Cloud is expected to be available on Friday, May 11th. Students and Teachers can down the free, 30-day trial (or purchase) on, here:
Here is a link to the release regarding product availability.

Teacher Appreciation Week - Adobe is running a contest on Adobe Students Facebook page. For the chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card, followers must tag @AdobeStudents and write a wall post about their favorite teacher/mentor and why. Write a story, post a quote, share a video/picture/give a shout out. For the chance to win $50 gift card, they can create something with Photoshop or Illustrator. Enter here:


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