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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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7 Fastest Ways to Get a Low Essay Grade

Editor's note: This story is a response to the article written by Andrew Alpert and recently published here: Top 7 Blunders That Essay Writers Usually Make. Learn more about the mechanics of writing an essay.
Writing corner by Kendra on Flickr
By Linda Aragoni*

I've seen students make each of those blunders, and I've even penalized students for making them. Alpert's blunders by themselves, however, may not result in failing grade.

Here are seven steps students can take to really make a mess of their essays.

1. Don't read the directions.

Instructors usually specify in the assignment's directions what they expect students to accomplish in the essay. In addition, they often have instructions in a syllabus that explain requirements that apply to all the written work in the course. Not bothering to read the directions for an assignment can mean failure on the assignment.

2. Procrastinate.

Putting off starting an assignment until the last minute leaves students with no time to change course if they discover something isn't working. By figuring out a tentative schedule for the essay as soon as the assignment is given, students give themselves freedom to do a good job with a minimum of hassle. Students who have problems with spelling, grammar, and punctuation need to plan to finish writing especially early to give time for several edits.

3. Don't write a working thesis statement.

A working thesis puts in a one-sentence nutshell the opinion or point the writer intends to prove in the whole paper. Writing a working thesis almost immediately after getting an assignment guides a writer's research. Key words in the working thesis become key search terms that speed up the research process. Writers need only record information pertinent to their working thesis rather than taking notes on everything related to their general topic. If research doesn't support the working thesis, the writer can change easily rework it so it fits the evidence.

4. Don't have a plan.

Few students do an adequate job of planning their writing. Writers need a plan that includes at least the working thesis sentence and at least three sentences stating a reason for believing the thesis is true. Anything less than a four-sentence plan puts the writer at risk of not having enough to say. Novice essayists almost always end up with two points that overlap, which causes their paper to contain repetition. If they cut out the repetition, they may end up with underdeveloped papers.

5. Skimp on evidence.

For each reason for believing the thesis is true, writers should have for three to five pieces of supporting evidence so they can select what works best in the essay. If writers indicate as they gather evidence which point in their plan it supports, they can avoid not gathering enough and having either to do more research or take a lower grade for having underdeveloped ideas.

6. Don't edit for your habitual errors.

By the time they are teenagers, most students know what errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage they make regularly. Students whose grades suffer because of those errors should edit their work for the serious errors they make nearly every time they write. Such editing is essential for errors that spelling and grammar checkers don't spot: barley for barely, for example, or it's instead of its.

7. Submit your work late.

Instructors don't like late work. Writing turned in after deadline almost always gets a grade penalty from the instructor. Some institutions go so far as to prohibit instructors from accepting late work at the end of a term.

(*) Linda Aragoni is a nonfiction writing advocate with experience in traditional and online education and communications.

Education & Tech

9 Blogging Perks for Only Committed Teachers!

By Frank Wilson*

In the modern era of technology, teachers have multiple roles to fulfill. Apart from teaching and managing the classroom, they have to get up-to-date with latest information about the teaching and learning methods. At the same time, they have to interact with their students outside the classroom to help them out on any issues related to their assignments.
Math Teacher Writing on Chalk Board by cybrarian77 on Flickr

Fortunately, today’s teacher has the blogging platforms to communicate with their students and voice their opinions on any matter. This helps them stay in touch with their students and provides them with feedback on any aspect of their studies. To know other reasons that make blogging a savior for teachers, you need to read on the article:

1. Expose Them To the World of Academia and Intellectuals

Blogging provides a platform to teachers where they can speak about issues related to their profession. Similarly, they can invite opinions of others who have a huge influence on education sector like social commentators. This helps teachers broaden their intellect and grow as a professional. At the same, they are able to accumulate knowledge from intellectuals and opinion makers from diverse fields.

2. Freedom for Teachers

Blogging makes teachers no longer dependant on time and space to educate their students. Blogging dramatically alleviates the burden of teachers and give them a sense of freedom. So, if a student bunked a class or if your demonstration class is cancelled, there is no need to arrange extra classes as you can share video link of the materials on your blog and make it available to your students. In this way, teachers have more control over their class and they are able to enjoy more freedom.

3. Engagement For Students

When students interact with teachers on a blog, they feel more motivated to know about a subject. Teachers use videos, images, slides, articles and references to other learning materials which activate their interest and thus increase their knowledge vault.

4. Give Voice To A Teacher

Blogging gives teachers an opportunity to communicate with their students and share insights across the faculty. It provides a podium for teachers to exchange ideas to their network of educators and students. This gives them a more powerful way to voice their opinions and bring out any significant change regarding education sector.

5. Teachers Can Efficiently Manage Their Life

Gone are the days when teachers have to go through entire lengthy sessions of lectures to impart knowledge to students. Now, busy teachers have more efficient methods in the form of web blogging which significantly contribute to their profession. Blogging serves as a personal assistant that helps busy teachers manage their resources and teach students in a time-paced manner. With professional blogging, teachers can manage their lesson plans, organize classes and share any learning materials on the fly.

6. Teachers Can Host A Classroom Community

Blogging can serve as a tool for classroom community. With blogging, teachers can set up a web portal where they can add educational materials, news, reports or discussion-forums for students. In this way, teachers can communicate critical information with student and inform them about any upcoming event.

7. Learn Advancements in Technology

With blogging, teachers can benefit from the modern advents of technology and invite the students in the process. Students would feel more than happy to accompany them in this journey. In this way, both teachers and students can avail the benefits that technology has to offer to them.

8. Ensures Healthy Relationship With Parents

Teachers often have issues tackling with parents of students. However, blogging gives them an effective way to report progress of their kids and pinpoint areas that require improvement. Similarly, parents can make comments, share feedback and respond to queries of teachers. Blogging helps teachers establish a strong understanding with parents.

9. Teachers Can Educate Wider Aspects of a Subject

Being a teacher, there is always a race against time. No matter how prepared you are for your next class, there is always something that you miss during the lecture. This is why teachers can use blogging to share additional knowledge about a subject. Teachers can also use blogs to inform students about different aspects of a subject and answer their questions. In this way, they are able to facilitate learning process and help students who cannot solve problems on their own.

(*) Frank Wilson is an experienced and keen blogger. He loves to write for travel, career, technology and education topics. In his spare time, he prefers to read fiction books and watching action movies. He is currently a regular blogger at Coursework Experts.

Education & Tech

3 Things That Make Big Differences in the Classroom

Maths in classroom by Charles Pieters on Flickr
Teachers have a daily workload that begins before school and it only ends at the time they hit their beds. That's a good reason to remember that classroom activity doesn't have to be so stressful if we give something from ourselves, rather than teachers but humans. Below you'll find little things that make a big difference in your classroom brought to you by Enroll - Collaborative Blogging:

Keep smiling: It gets students so motivated to learn because they have the impression and even the belief that their teacher is friendly and tolerant with the many problems they have to face in their learning process. They’re at ease to ask questions when unable to understand, ready to take risks while giving answers and actively connecting to what the teacher is doing.

Never frown in the face of students.

Give a positive feedback: When a student does something, he believes that he’s done it well; otherwise he might not have done it in the first place. Instead of saying for instance "that’s bad" or "that’s a shame", it would be positive to say "good job" or "you can do better". It could be so motivating for students, especially low-achieving ones to progress.

Celebrate success: By stopping to highlight their achievements, it boosts their egos and increases their self-confidence that nothing is impossible to happen. Rewarding them with little gifts such as chocolate, sweets, postcards, short stories or books in general can be practical to remind them of what they were able to do with the skills and competencies they have acquired in the classroom.

Little thing can make a big difference. Isn't it?

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Milton Ramirez

Top 7 Blunders That Essay Writers Usually Make

Writers blunders
By Andrew Alpert*

Good writing skills aren’t something that one can develop easily since it takes years of practice as well as a knack for learning. Students in the US and UK are often asked by their teachers to compose an impressive essay. It’s not like their teachers won’t want them to be a great essay writer, but this assignment is given to them to help them unleash their potential and creativity.

However, there are a lot of blunders that students often end up making while writing a complex piece such as:

1. No thesis statement
They often forget to write thesis statement on which the entire essay is based. It is recommended to write statement at the end of introductory paragraph. Thesis statement is very important because it summarizes in the mind of reader what the whole essay is about and what kind of ideas will be discussed in the entire essay.

2. Tense mistake
The first thing that writers should do before starting to write an essay is to decide which tense to use. Let me explain this mistake with an example about what writers usually do especially when they are in a hurry.

Incorrect: Mike wants to go to park, but then he got so busy and could not join his friends for fun.
Correct: Mike wanted to go to park, but then he got so busy and could not join his friends for fun.

3. Avoid using ‘You’
In essay writing it is preferred to use ‘one’ instead of ‘you’, so avoid using it.

Incorrect: If you don’t understand the situation, you should not speak in the middle.
Correct: If one does not understand the situation, one should not speak in the middle.

4. Repetition
When writer discusses the same idea in essay again and again, readers get bored and frustrated. This happens when writer has too little to say. Expand boundaries and find more ideas to avoid repetition. Also, make sure that each paragraph elaborates only a single idea.

5. Spelling and punctuation mistakes
Writers must inexcusably use auto spell and grammar check option while writing essays on word processor. Just a second to turn it on will save your thirty minutes for correcting it. However, spell checker will not point every mistake that you make, so you should be careful yourself as well.

6. Contractions
While writing essays, writers use isn’t, instead of ‘is not’; don’t, instead of ‘do not’; can’t, instead of ‘cannot’; and won’t, instead of ‘will not’. This kind of writing style is not appropriate for essays.

7. Breakage of flow
Writers usually forget about the consistency in flow when they have a lot to write. Flow in essay compels the readers to read essay till the end, so one must ensure it carefully.

(*) Andrew Alpert is a professional blogger at Coursework Labs. He has wrote these tips to guide students by help of Coursework Experts.

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