While watching the peer editing videos (which if you are interested can be seen here and here), I learned a couple of great pieces of advice! My favorite thing that was reiterated many times was don't forget to compliment! I think that we get caught up in trying to find small mistakes throughout a blog or a paper, that we forget to tell our peer what they did good! Peer editing is not always about finding mistakes. We need to encourage our peers to write and let them know when they have done a good job! Positive reinforcement is a great tool that we, as future educators, must learn to use, so why not begin using it now?
Another thing I loved about this assignment was that we were given the option of writing about someone's mistakes in a blog or just emailing them privately. Personally, I am hard on grammar. It is just a pet peeve of mine! I feel that nitpicking in a blog post is a little much, so if I find grammatical errors, I like to tell the person that if they would like I can email them and let them know what I found. I feel that this lets the person know that you want to help them privately so that they can fix the issues on their own. Making these kind of decisions (private/public) is something that I will have to do daily as a teacher so getting a jump start on it is always great!
Technology in Special Education
I watched the video of the Special Education class using technology, and I found it amazing! The video can be seen here, and I strongly recommend seeing this! When I was in high school and even middle school, I loved volunteering in the Special Education program. So of course, I would see firsthand the issues that these students have communicating. Some of them, like those in the video, have speech problems and cannot get their point across. This tends to lead to frustration, and the problem snowballs until someone understands them.
I love that this teacher is showing how much computers, Ipods, and other types of technology helped her class. It is evident that it is working well for her and her students. Some things we take for granted, like being able to hold a conversation easily, is now easy for these students. I feel like this lessens the stress in a Special Education classroom. Technology helps the teacher better help her students! Also, I feel that introducing the students to technology will help them outside of school. If they can use this technology at home, it could better those relationships; it becomes a great skill to use in the outside world as well. We should always work to better our students and prepare them for the real world! There isn't a better way to do so than by using what is popular: new technology!
Apple Apps in the Classroom
I chose an app called "Sushi Monster." In this app, you can learn basic arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The app itself is VERY colorful, and I am sure that will get a child's attention and keep it. The "monsters" that are used throughout the app are also colorful and funny shaped. You have to "feed" the monsters sushi by correctly completing a simple math problem. What I like most about this app is that whenever you have finished a round, you receive instant gratification. You get a trophy and stars for your great performance. By teaching children about math in a fun, exciting way, I think they will learn to love it!
I strongly recommend the digital smarts video if you are interested in getting your STUDENTS interested in computers! It can be seen by clicking here. In this video, Vicki Davis, a teacher in Georgia, is teaching her students how to use new technology and connect with the world. They blog and use virtual games to teach each other new things. They were even able to take a trip to the Middle East to meet students there and talk about what they were learning!
It is amazing to me that technology can bring such a diverse group of people together. My favorite word Ms. Davis used was "empowering." She is empowering her students every day by teaching them and even learning with them. Technology in this day and age is such a powerful tool and is becoming more so as we speak. It is SO important that we keep children informed and teach them how to use technology and how it can make such an impact on our lives!