Sunday, February 3, 2013
Blog Post #3
Peer editing is a task that very few people enjoy conducting. The first thing I have been guilty of in the past is being "Defensive Dave". Usually criticism of any kind is hard to swallow due to the fact that we have to admit that we are not always the best at everything. Many people are prideful and being criticized can cause them to easily shut down and take constructive criticism totally in a negative manner. The videos and slides, in this assignment, revealed that when introducing idea changes in a positive manner that the suggestions can be received with more ease. Being a 'Picky Patty' or a 'Mean Margaret' comes almost naturally to us and most of the time we do not realize the negative tone we have set in our conversations. Peer editing would be so much easier to perform and accept if it had been taught in elementary school.
I want to thank Paige Ellis for her blog post on peer editing. I too have decided to post by comment on a student's blog because I expect the same from someone else. As the Proverb states iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another, because as classmates we need to look to each other for help in growing and maturing as educators together. When we get into the professional setting at a school it will be very important to embrace the advice from tenured veterans of education. I can think of a several professors that I have had here at USA that I will look to for that constructive criticism.
The Mountbatten braille writer is an awesome tool that changes the student-teacher relationship and also allows the impaired students to participate in peer group activities and projects. For years separate classrooms or even separate schools kept visually impaired children away from other students and the daily classroom environment. Isolated learning probably proved positive as for as intelligence but as far as socially, the impaired children missed out on those opportunities. I have a cousin that is blind and he came through primary and secondary school in the 1980's. Technologies were innovative but nothing like current technology. He was one of those isolated children socially but is extremely intelligent. With equipment like the Mountbatten Braille Writer those children do not have to experience that isolation any longer. As a future educator this machine would also give my classroom the ability to serve all children equally. In the past, lack of knowledge on the teacher's part would prevent proper instruction to visually impaired students but this machine breaks down those barriers. All children deserve the best educational experience possible.
Classrooms can be very intimidating for all children but when learning is compromised by visual impairment, in the ordinary classroom, it can affect the educational experience in negative ways sometimes. I had the opportunity last semester to witness first hand the ipad being used by non-verbal exceptional children. For my EDU400 class I observed students at The Learning Tree, here in Mobile, use the ipad to communicate about classroom task, eating lunch and play activities. I also witnessed one of the instructors training a new student to use his ipad to tell them what he wanted for lunch. I was amazed at how this technology is totally revolutionizing education on all levels.
Math is one of those subjects that is challenging even without an impairment of any sorts. I can't imagine the patience on the students and instructors part to master even elementary level arithmetic. As Art Karshmer explained that a solid math foundation would allow blind students to enter into disciplines such as engineering or even science. The technology that he has help design will provide that opportunity for students interested in math fields. I am sure that ipads are or will be integrated into the math classrooms as well.
Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
This really puts what we are learning in EDM310 into perspective. One of the things that Vicki Davis said really stuck with me, that limited resources would allow only certain students to excel. Her innovative teaching style is the face of where current classrooms will be in the next few years. As I stated in a former blog post, that students need to be engaged by use of the technology that interest them. The ability to use digital questionnaires such as the one we filled out for EDM310, allow the instructor to gauged the strengths and weaknesses of the students. With this approach it cuts down on the amount of time it takes to produce results from the students.
Davis also said she didn't have to know everything to teach it. Allowing students to say "I don't know, let's find out" empowers them through their own learning experience and gives them to drive to learn more. Pushing the envelope for students maximizes the abilities that the students did not know that they had or could achieve. Davis made the remark about turning the classroom upside-down, and that really says it all. Breaking the binders loose and being innovative opens up another realm of education possibilities.