After reading Paige Ellis's Blog Assignment #12, I really felt a connection with what Paige was saying. She was not sure what the best way to correct a fellow student's work was. I felt like this, too. When we were first assigned to comment on a classmate, I was not sure of the best method to comment. I did not want to sound mean, but I still wanted to be honest. What is Peer Editing? and Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial were both very helpful in describing the best methods to comment on a classmate. Basically, these two tutorials said to do three things when peer editing. First, compliment the student. Tell them what you liked about their writing. Next, make suggestions. If you think they could have explained something better, tell them. Finally, make corrections. If there are any spelling or grammatical errors, let then know in a nice way. Writing Peer Review Top Ten Mistakes helped to let you know what not to do when it comes to peer review. It said that you should not be too mean or too picky when you edit a classmate's paper. It does not help anyone when all you are is negative.
The student I was assigned to comment on this week was Ariel Robinson. I thought she did a really good job in her post. This was my comment to her:
This is Susie Salter. I was assigned to comment on your blog this week. I really think you did a good job summing up all of the videos. If I had not watched any of the videos, I would have been able to see what they were about just by reading your explanation. Your opinions were very short and concise. That is good, but if I were you, I might want to put a little bit more of my view into an analysis of the ideas in the videos. I liked what you said about feeling pressured as an educator because of all the technology. I feel pressured, too. Part of me wants to stick with tradition, and the other part of me says that teaching should advance along with everything else. Who knows what the 'correct' answer is. I really enjoyed your post.Sincerely,Susie Salter"
I chose to say everything I wanted to say to her publicly because I did not have any suggestions that might have been embarrassing to her. If I felt like I needed to tell her something she might not want the whole world to see, I would have e-mailed her. I am very happy I learned a little bit more about the correct ways to comment. It makes me feel more confident when I have to do commenting assignments.
Technology in Special Education
Technology in Special Education was a video in which a teacher showed the different ways technology helps students with special needs. She talked with several different special needs students, and they all agreed that the computers helped them do their work easier. I definitely agree that computers are useful to students with special needs. Some of these students are not capable of writing because they do not have full use of their motor skills. It is much easier just to press a key on a keyboard than write out a letter.
I did have some issues with the video as well. The teacher in the video did not seem excited at all. She was reading every word she said off of a sheet of paper on the desk in front of her. Also, she did not seem enthusiastic at all when she was talking to the students. I seemed like she was just some random person playing the part of a special education teacher. Also, even though these technologies dramatically help students with disabilities, where does the funding come from? I know for a fact that in Alabama funding for schools has been cut dramatically. In the school where my mom works, they do not even have money for supplies. Why spend all this money on special needs children when the other children and the teachers are not getting any funding?
While watching How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism, it was interesting to see how excited the child was to do academic related things on the iPad. He was learning to count, recognize words, and write words. It was as if these instructional activities were fun games. I think the child liked the sounds and colors the iPad made when he pressed a shape in the counting exercise. It also seemed that he was enjoying the attention he was getting from his father while doing the activities.
After going to Apple.EducationApps.com, I decided to look at the apps related to English/Language Arts. After going to this section in iTunes, I found a great app I think both special needs and regular students could find fun and useful. The app is called SpellBoard. You can basically take the spelling words the students are learning and put them into this program, and the program will turn the words into a word search puzzle.
The SpellBoard app would be great for all children because it turns learning into a game. It would probably be easier for students to spell words that they had seen numerous times in a "game" they were playing. As a teacher, this would be a great assignment for all children because it would be fun, easy, and educational.
Gary Hayes Social Media Count
After viewing Gary Hayes Social Media Count, it really hit me how much technology is progressing. His webpage is basically showing how many more technology users there are. These changes mean a lot for me, especially when I become a teacher. I will have to stay up to date with the latest technology so I can keep up an interaction with my students. Let's face it, by the time I start teaching, there will probably be TONS of new technology in use. It's kind of scary. I don't want to seem dumb to my students because I don't know about the latest craze in the technology world.
Even though all this new social media helps people stay in touch, it also hurts their real-world social skills. I was sitting in biology lecture last week, and one student in the row ahead of me was trying to talk to another student sitting beside him. Student 2 was too busy playing a game on his smart phone to even acknowledge student 1. It's sad to think that our face to face social skills are plummeting. We are so used to getting to read over and edit what we text or e-mail that it may be hard to have a real, in-person conversation. If it's getting bad now, I hate to see social skills in a few years.
Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
I really related to A Vision of Students Today. This video described how much time a student spends doing different things during the day. The bad part was that the amount of time an average student spends doing different assignments during the day is 26.5 hours. If anyone has forgotten, there are only 24 hours in a day. I think this is very true of my life this semester. I'm taking 19 credit hours. I work 20-30 hours a week. I also have to have time to do normal stuff like eating, showering, sleeping, etc. How do you get everything done? You multitask and learn to manage your time effectively.
Another thing that was true in the video was when a person held up a sign that said they spent over $100 on a textbook they never opened. This is very true here at South. I have, numerous times, purchased a textbook that was not helpful to me at all. I may never open this $200 textbook, but when I go to try and sell it back, they tell me there is a "new edition." I find that ridiculous. These are the issues teachers should be thinking about. We college students don't just take one class; we have tons of things to do. Teachers should take into consideration how much the textbook is. If they won't be using it, they should tell us that honestly. I think sometimes teachers forget that students are HUMANS! Sometimes they create all kinds of work that is doing nothing other than causing the student to resent them.