Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Assignment #3

Peer Editing

In the video, "What is Peer Editing?", and the slideshow, "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial", I learned many ways to do effective peer editing and what peer editing really means. Peer editing is when you make suggestions, compliments, revision and improvements on a peer's writing or work. A peer is usually someone your own age. From the video and slideshow, I learned about the three important steps to peer editing.

In step one, you have to compliment and be positive. Being positive can influence the mood of the individual and not make it seem like editing is a bad thing. Like in the video, think about how you want to be peer edited. Do you want your peer editor to provide you mean comments or positive compliments along with what you need to edit? Along with compliments, you should provide what you think they did well in. I think this is a good thing because it gives the writer the feeling that their work is not entirely bad. In step two, you make suggestions. When making suggestions, you have to be specific. This also includes telling them how to improve their writing, see if they stayed on the main topic, see if they chose the correct vocabulary, if they are organized so there is a flow in the writing, and etc. The third and last step is making corrections. Corrections include checking for correct punctuation, grammar, sentence structure and spelling.

These are all important things to consider when peer editing or when writing your own paper! I usually have a lot of grammatical errors. I have trouble writing my papers but I am constantly trying and get reviewed. My husband and my mother-in-law are my peer editors. They both excel in English. Without thinking or even watching the video and slideshow, they do all of the steps! I would appreciate it if all my future peer editors follow these steps. It is important to always help and let your peer know what their mistakes are and how to fix it. Using a positive manner makes them feel better and not like they are being berated. Treat them how you would want to be treated. When you correct someone or make a suggestion, it is not always an easy thing to do. Some people may get offensive, defensive, not understanding or inconsiderate. As a peer editor and a writer, you have to be open minded and willing to accept other people's opinions.

Speaking about the different editors you might get, this leads to the other video, Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. It's a funny video featuring a student of the 4th or 5th grade showing us the kind of peer reviews we shouldn't be conducting. You have situations where one peer may not be paying attention, being too picky, defensive, offensive, rude and insulting, pushy, easily distracted and/or provides little to no adequate suggestions. These are not the kind of qualities a peer should have when conducting a quality peer review! I enjoyed the video and the fact that they used young students to participate. Even though the video features young students, it doesn't mean it's only for young students. It's for us, adults, as well. We do the same thing and make the same mistakes. We need to understand what it takes to provide a quality peer review in order to help others and ourselves.

Technology in Special Education

Technology in Special Education is a video by Lacey Cook. She demonstrates how effective technology can be in a Special Education setting.
Technology in Special Education by Lace Cook is an excellent video that shows us how effective technology can be in Special Education! It is amazing how technology can help students in Special Education learn, communicate and participate more than usual. The students don't feel limited and are eager to learn. In Lace Cook's classroom, students use technology to interact with each other, work on assignments quicker and make their life easier! For example, a student named Corbin was doing silent reading via an iPod audio book. Before he used this technology, he needed an assistant to read to him out in the hallway. This required him to be out of the classroom. By using the iPod audio book, he can stay in the classroom with his classmates and can be independent reading by himself! Technology helps students in special education communicate better too! Another student, Christopher Newman, benefited from this. Instead of having to point his finger at the alphabet sheet to spell a word to construct his sentence, which he had trouble with, he would use the laptop and click the letters as they appear. There is a visual and an audio that goes with each letter too. That is a major plus! This is a lot quicker in terms of communication.

By providing technology which can improve their life can also improve their future. Their life won't be as limited. This gives them a new kind of hope and goals. It doesn't only benefit them but also the teachers. Because more students are able to independently work, teachers can tend to more students than before. I would definitely use technology in a Special Education classroom. It's a way of helping them and changing lives.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism

Ipads can help improve learning for special education students by simply using applications that they provide!
"How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism" is a video of Braden, an 8-year-old boy with autism, who uses an iPad to do his homework with the help of his dad. On the iPad, there are several applications that can help Braden with his reading, writing and counting. In some ways, this works better than doing it on paper because the iPad interacts with you. There is an instant feedback. When Braden was asked by the iPad to count the numbers, he responded by pressing each shape that responds with a number for him to repeat. Because he is constantly being engaged, he is more interested and motivated to learn! A piece of paper won't do any of that. Besides the counting applications, there are writing applications that can enhance fine motor skills. It works the same way with paper and pencil but this is a way of going "green". Even though it works the same, the light and the way the pad looks gives a different feel than a piece of paper. Ipads or any other tablets with applications are excellent for children with special needs. Even though iPads are expensive, I think they are an investment in the long run. An investment not in terms of money but in terms of how many lives you will change.

An iPad application I came across that I will use in a Special Education classroom would be "Elmo Loves ABCs for Ipad". It is an interactive application that allows you to practice your ABCs. It teaches you how to identify the letters, sound it out, and write it. There is a tracing activity to help the student practice. There is music and art activities that go with it. All of these can enhance a students' motor skills, creativity, alphabets and communication. Especially with students in Special Education classrooms, this application promotes a fun-filled environment. There are visuals that come with each alphabet too. Rather than learning each alphabet on paper, they can learn it through the iPad and have fun while doing it by playing the little games and art activities it provides. I feel that it is important to enhance the ABCs because that is what people need to learn before they can read and write. Before an autistic student can construct a word or sentence, they need to understand the alphabets. Like in the previous video, Technology in Special Education by Lace Cook, some of her students needed to point out each letter to construct a word. If they did not know what each letter is, they wouldn't know how to construct the word they want to. it is truly amazing what applications can do for a person!

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis, an innovative educator, teaches her students how to use vast amounts of technology and harness their abilities to connect to the world!
After watching the video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, it is great that people like students and educators are promoting worldwide interaction to create something that benefits everyone. No one is excluded, not even students who live in rural places in Georgia. In the video, educator and innovative teacher Vicki Davis explains to us what she tries to teach her students and what the students create with the power of technology. She doesn't throw definitions at her students but push them to be thinkers for themselves. She tries to get her students to be thinkers, do their own searches and teaches the students to use every kind of technology to connect them to the world! She tries to harness their abilities. She does not leave anyone out. She understands that everyone have their strength and weaknesses and different interests. She uses those to customize her classroom, that way everyone is included. Because of that, it promotes collaborations and teamwork.

It is like our class, EDM310. Instead of paper and pencils, we are going "green". Not all of us know or understand certain technology but this class will harness our digital smarts. We are constantly learning new things about technology, new ways to interact with the world, learning how to use new applications such as Blogger and Twitter, how to become thinkers, effective writers, learn how to apply technology in future classrooms and etc. I believe it is important that every student should know how to use technology effectively. Our world is getting more and more advanced. We should take advantage of it. We should all harness our digital smarts in a way that can benefit yourself and others! By doing that, we can connect ourselves to the world. No matter where you are, where you are from, urban or rural, you are always included and not limited just your environment. I am from New York City, moved to Mobile a year ago. I went from a big city to a small one but that doesn't limit me. I use all sorts of social technology to interact worldwide. I also learn a lot from it. I am constantly interacting with people throughout the nation, throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and etc through blogs, forums, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. I am also constantly connected through games just like the students in Vicki David's classroom! When you interact with people such as educators from around the world, you learn a lot more and can help more people.