Steps to a Good Peer Review
Peer reviews are a wonderful way to practice giving constructive criticism to others. As teachers we will be required to do this on a daily basis, so it is important that we learn the correct procedure. In the video "What is Peer Editing" (3:11), and the slideshow "Peer Edit with Perfection Tutorial", three main steps are discussed. These three steps are the foundation to proper teaching and should be utilized.
The first step is "compliment". Start the review with the good aspects of the paper. Tell him/her about specific things that you liked. Was the paper easy to read? Was it interesting?
Next is "suggestions". Give them specific ideas that will enhance the quality of their work. Was a word used multiple times? Could an idea have expressed more clearly?
Last is "corrections". Show them any spelling or grammar errors that were made. Was everything spelled correctly? Was punctuation used correctly?
The most important point to all three steps is to stay positive. Don't point out flaws that don't exist. Show interest in helping each other. Don't force ideas on each. For more helpful tips see the video "Writing Peer Reviews Top 10 Mistakes". (4:01)
Using Technology with Special Needs Students
"Technology in Special Education" (6:40) shows several examples of this technology in a classroom full of students. These children have some type of learning disability or psychical disability that hinder there ability to participate in a normal classroom setting. Technology allows these students to become part of the class, to no longer be an outsider. Computers with text to voice software can enable those with speech impediments to speak. The same type of software can read text to the blind. The video also shows iPods assisting students who's reading level is a little low. An audio book paired with a psychical copy of the book can keep the student engaged. They still read silently to themselves while the audio book confirms the words.
How would I use this technology? I believe most learning occurs when the students is engaged with the subject material. How then do make them engaged? The answer is making the lesson interactive. I think a class chat room would be interesting way ask questions. This would support reading, writing, and the subject you are covering at the same time. A class blog or website with interactive features would also accomplish the same goal at home. Students with speech and writing impediments would be able to join the rest of the class allowing them to have a sense of community.
After watching the video"How the iPad Works for Academics for Autism (5:22) I noticed some things that influence how a child with autism learns. It is important to keep their attention on the subject. The applications on the video show two key things. First was the counting program, the child touched an object on the screen and the iPad counted with him. The child was involved, he wanted to learn. The other was the handwriting application. The father wrote a word on the screen and the child copied it underneath. This has another important part, the father. When parents are able to teach their children it emphases the importance of the material.
I found an application that I believe would be effected for special needs students. The iResponse pro classroom responder system can overcome the speech barriers often found in special needs classrooms. The way it works is the students all have an apple device, and the teacher inputs questions that are transmitted to each student. The students answers the questions, and the results are sent back to the teacher's device, which then shows an overall class score. The teacher will get individual results as well. This program will allow everyone to be able to participate,and let the teacher see who needs extra help.
Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Harness Your Students’ Digital Smarts (4:49), Vicki Davis discusses the importance of using every form of technology to teach students how to learn. She has her students writing blogs and wikis, teleconferencing in India, and using opensim to teach where anything is possible. Ms. Davis goes on to say that she enjoys teaching new technology to students, it helps them with what is trending. This will allow students to be more adaptable to new technology later.
I agree with Ms. Davis. The more ways we can teach our students the more they will learn. The idea of using opensim is genius, with it teacher and students can travel together to anywhere in the world. The true power though is using a blank world and creating the specific aspects of it to suit your needs. In the video they turned a blank world into a livable world using terraforming. Is terraforming technology? No, terraforming is making a habit more like Earth. Can we terraform in a normal classroom? No, the best we can do is talk about it and maybe draw a picture. I look forward to the future, however we must prepare for it.