Paige Ellis brings a very important subject to our attention in her assignment 12. She expresses a concern because she was assigned to a classmate that had multiple errors in their blog posts. Out of concern for her classmate, Paige wanted to help them; however, she did not want to over step her boundaries or offend her classmate. It is easy to relate to her concern. We should definitely want to help the other students in our class. We are educators in training so hopefully it is natural for us to want to help; however, we do not want to hurt their feelings either. The presentation and videos review some important information that will help us when critiquing our fellow classmates.
First of all, it is important for us to know what peer editing is. Both "What is Peer Editing" and "Peer Editing with Perfection" define it as working with someone your own age to help, improve, revise, and edit his or her writing. Also, they both give three key steps to peer editing. These important steps are compliment, suggestion, and correction. The main element we need to focus on when peer editing is staying positive. I was taught in a coaching training once to use "hamburger criticism." This is to sandwich your correction between two positives. We must be encouraging with our critiques so that they won't simply give up. Our goal for our classmates, and future students as well, should be to build their confidence, not to rip them to pieces. With a positive perspective we can encourage our classmates while helping them improve.
Technology Meeting the Needs of Special Education
Lacey Cook's video "Technology in Special Education" is inspiring. It is quite amazing to see the opportunities that technology is offering these students. The technology that is being offered to them makes the students more dependent. Instead of sitting around waiting for a teacher to come and help them or read to them, they each have their own computer that works with their need to assist them with their assignments. It allows them to work at their own pace while building their confidence by letting them be able to do it without the teacher every step of the way. The technology offered to the special education students makes their class much more enjoyable to them.
I feel like this goes back to a comment I made in an earlier post. "Technology is the future, and if we cannot teach it, we are doing our students a huge injustice." This could not be more true for this special education class. Technology offers them so many more opportunities that they have never had. The different computers offer specific options to meet each student's specific needs. This is huge for these kids! Who are we to deprive them of that? If we are not willing to teach using technology, it simply would not be fair to these students. They deserve the opportunity to learn and communicate, and we should be willing to do anything in our power to allow them that opportunity.
I really enjoyed the Autism Epicenter's video "How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism." The video follows an autistic nine year old by the name of Braden as he studies with his father and an iPad. It goes through a few different apps that assist him. One helps him as he counts while another lets him practice writing. The apps are wonderful tools for any student, but are crucial for autistic children.
An app that I would like to use for teaching autistic children is called Word SlapPs. It would actually be a great application for any child to use. Word SlapPs is a great tool for teaching and testing vocabulary. It uses pictures to teach nouns, verbs, sight words, who's who, opposites, and even identifying differences in items. You can set different levels, add your own pictures, and even record your own voice. The control is yours. I believe it would be a great teaching and studying tool for children.
"Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts" is a video about an innovative teacher from Georgia that uses technology in her class in a great way. Vicki Davis believes in using technology to customize the curriculum for each class. Sure she may teach the same general objectives from year to year, but she allows the process to change with each class. Her goal is to empower her students and to teach them to be thinkers.
Every group of children is different, so why would you attempt to teach them all exactly the same way? I really enjoyed Vicki's statement that if we use "only paper and only pen, then only some students will succeed." We must adapt to the different students in our classroom each year. Sometimes you have very different students in the classroom. Technology offers different ways to appeal to the varying learning styles. Also, through the internet students can work with kids on the other side of the world that may have the same ideas and learning styles as they do. The opportunities are endless.