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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Digital Education - 8 Ways To Use Google Plus In Classroom

By Vanessa Collister*
Digital Education
Google Plus is the second largest social networking site in social media sector. Google Plus provides uncountable services to users that may include hangouts, conferencing, sharing, commenting, and, of course, social networking. Students can utilize this magnificent digital space in numerous ways and make their classroom a fun podium to flourish their skills. Not only does it assist students with their studies but it also helps teachers interact with their disciples at a more digital level thereby allowing both the parties an effective learning and teaching experience, respectively. Let’s have a look at how we can use the endless benefits of Google Plus in the classroom and make the most out of this digital experience.

1. Hangouts

As the name implies, the features allows a free audio/video conference with a maximum capacity of 10 users at a time. Students can utilize this service for group studies as well as for receiving online lectures from their teachers. With the help of a number of apps inside the hangout, you can share documents, pictures, videos, presentations and assignments with other students and teachers as well.

2. Collaborative Study Discussions

Now the old era has gone when students had to wait at the bus stops to commute to their friend’s house to collaborate on a homework or college project. With the advent of G+, it has become fairly easy for students to communicate with each other or collaborate in numerous ways through chat, comments, audio-video conferencing calls and group discussions. Now students can spend their time on online group studies right from the comfort of their home.

3. Guest Speakers

With the help of Google +, teachers can arrange a weekly or monthly guest speaking session where prominent and influential speakers can share their insights with students. At the end of the session, teachers may encourage learners to give their feedback on the topic or ask questions regarding the lecture given by the guest speaker. Moreover, if you want to invite any famous public speaker to deliver a lecture at your place, you may find him on Google Plus under the search option.

4. Taking Test

This social network is the easiest way for teachers to conduct tests online of students getting distant education. Students also find it easier to take their test at home using the many features of Gplus. The online learning or distant learning through Google Plus is best for those students who are either disabled or socially introvert.

5. Conducting Interviews

Extending the above idea, it gets really feasible to conduct interviews using ‘hangouts’. International schools, colleges or universities can take online interview of potential students who are planning to study abroad. Consequently, it will save a great deal of time for the admission committee to assess foreign students.

6. Online Competitions & Quizzes

The best way that can be used by a teacher to polish up their students’ skills in a collaborative manner is through online competition and quizzes. There is an option in ‘hangout’ through which you can add documents on Google Plus. This option can further be used to conduct writing competitions by a teacher. Similarly, art instructors can use this application for organizing online art competitions.

7. Remote Coaching

If any of the teachers is unable to attend class because of some problem, he can take benefit from Google Plus many features without postponing lecture.

8. Parents-Teacher Conference

Parents who have a hectic job routine find it hard to make it to the parent-teacher conference to discuss the performance and status of their children. However with Google Plus, attending parents-teacher conferences will no longer be a problem anymore because Google Plus strives to bridge the gap of distant communication thereby allowing people to meet and converse online whenever they want.

(*) Vanessa Collister a professional academic research writer at, and an aspiring writer with a love for reading and writing having a keen interest in tech and education blogs and she loves to aid students with their problems.

Education & Tech

Questions to Be Answered: Why the American Education Declines?

Kean University has a print edition of Kean Current. Looking through that edition I've found that two NJ teachers had been selected as Teacher of the Year in this state. Additionally, an important note from Kristi, one of Kean University's students.

After reading What Students Know and Can Do: Student Performance in Mathematics, Reading and Science a survey assessed by PISA, published in 2012, Kristi noted the United States is currently ranked 36th on a list that boasts the top 65 education systems worldwide. As a United States citizen with a bachelor’s degree, educated in the United States, she wrote, these statistics alarmed me, and impelled me to delve further into research on other United States rankings, primarily its economic ranking in relation to the 35 countries ahead of us in the education race.

Pay attention of what she found it about:

The United States, ranked 36th in terms of education, is also ranked 12th in the most recent Index of Economic Freedom. Why is this important? Well, economic freedom is a fundamental component of liberty. "It empowers people to work, produce, consume, own, trade, and invest according to their personal choices". I guess my next question is, why does a country, that is considered somewhat of a "super-power" in terms of economy, have such a low educational ranking in comparison? Korea, which is ranked 5th on the educational scale, although now divided into South and North, are ranked 31st and 178th (respectively) on the economic scale. Again, I will repeat, they are ranked 5th in world in terms of education.

Are we doing something wrong as a society? Have Americans become too complacent? Too lazy? Too comfortable? Does it stand to reason that the more financially stable a society is, the less they worry about the future and, subsequently, the further they fall behind while other more oppressed countries fight for a global voice? I’m unsure of the answer, but our educational decline almost feels as if we are slowly giving our voices away. Who is responsible for assuring that we do not lose the voices our predecessors fought so hard to obtain? Where is our sense of pride? Our drive? Our motivation? Our curiosity? Our persistence? And how do we get it back?


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Milton Ramirez

Why Tablets Are Making Their Way Into the Classroom

By Jennifer Thayer *
p-aula by Raul A. on Flickr
Every day more and more common tasks become technology driven, and as such, it is becoming increasingly important for students to be tech savvy. While a decade ago students would have been reprimanded for using a smartphone, palm pilot or other electronic console, tablets are now replacing pens and notebooks in schools across the country, and quickly becoming a must-have in the classroom.

Though some have reservations about reliance on technology, and the long-term effects of increased technology use among young people, the truth is that there is also an upside to students having access to tablets in the classroom. Here are a few reasons why tablets are making their way into the classroom.

They’re Portable

Spend some time in any middle school hallway and you’re bound to see at least one student whose back looks like it might break under the weight of eight classes worth of textbooks, notebooks, calculators and other supplies. Tablets are actually portable, making them easy to trek in between classes and to and from school. The other added benefit is that tablets hold everything a student needs, in one location. This means no more excuses for leaving assignments at home.

They’re Not Just About Games

Tablets and other handheld electronics get a bit of a bad reputation from earlier generations, as teachers are concerned students are just using them to play games or chat on Facebook. However, the educational app world is booming and students and teachers are reaping the benefits.

Visual learners can now watch videos to better understand concepts, rather than stare at pages of a textbook. Programs like Google Apps for Education are changing the education system as we know it. The program is cloud-based so teachers can have students can access emails, documents and calendar events from anywhere, making study sessions that much more productive.

Other great education apps include Video Science, which offers more than 80 hands-on lessons in short video format, Oxford Dictionary Picture Edition, which helps put definitions into context, and See.Touch.Learn, which is a modern version of flash cards. These apps will help teachers deliver educational material to their students in a more engaging format. There are thousands of apps available, and the best part is that many are free. The possibilities for teaching and learning are endless.

They Can Help With Developing IT Skills

Technology stops for no one, so it is important for students and teachers to do everything they can to stay ahead of the game. Using tablets and other technology on a daily basis can help students develop core IT skills that are becoming increasingly valuable in today’s job market, and most certainly in the job market of the future.

They’re Affordable

While some might be skeptical that tablets are an affordable option for teachers and students, the truth is that they’re not out of reach, and overtime, they may actually help schools and families save money. Schools spend thousands of dollars on electronic equipment like computers and laptops. However, tablets can be purchased for a fraction of the price. Take the Google Nexus 7 from T-Mobile for example; this tablet can be purchased for less than $200.

Not only does buying a tablet help schools save money on teaching supplies, it also helps families. Each year, parents spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, textbooks, calculators and more. All of these materials can be replaced with a tablet.

Tablets have much to offer to schools and students. These are just a few of the many reasons why tablets are making their way into the classroom.

(*)Jennifer Thayer is a technology writer who loves sharing helpful ways people can utilize technology in their day-to-day lives. Follow her on Twitter to see what other tips she comes up with.

Education & Tech
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