Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Post 3

Paige Ellis' Blog Assignment #12

Paige EllisI really enjoyed reviewing and watching the videos and slideshow on Paige Ellis's Blog Post Assignment 12. The first thing I really noticed was the first two assignments were almost identical. However, the second assignment, Peer Edit with Perfection! Tutorial , was more thorough. It really outlined the best ways to correctly and effectively edit a peer's blog. I believe staying positive is the most important advice. You do not want to come off as offensive or as the students in Top 10 Peer Review Mistakes would say a mean Margaret. Coming off like that could push the peer away. Remember you are not trying to push them away you are trying to help them.

When editing I sometimes forget to be specific. But, after watching the videos I realized I had better start remembering. If a peer has already posted then chances are they didn’t see any mistakes. By being specific you can help them understand and bring to light the mistakes and corrections that were made.

As a peer I feel that it is appropriate to leave a positive comment directly to the blog. In the comment I would offer help via email or Google docs. I would be sure to keep it simple in the comment and if the peer takes me up on my offer to help go more in depth through the email or doc. As a teacher I feel that it would be best to send a private email directly to the student. I think this way students would not be embarrassed and would be more likely to open up and not just correct the mistake but to look further into why they made the mistake. 

child holding iPadTechnology in Special Education
By: Lace Cook 

I realized that technology can be used for so many different purposes after watching Technology in Special Education. To see the students’ abilities with and without their computers was amazing. Watching Kris put in words through a special mouse was very inspirational. Technology has given him a voice. Technology has given all the students of Mrs. Cook’s class and special education classes around the world the ability to function as a regular class. It keeps them intrigued and excited about learning and coming to school.
As explained through the video there are new tools and technology developed for using in the classroom. The ability of iPods, word processors, zooming text programs and more can improve the abilities of students and the time it takes for the student to perform the task at hand. To be completely honest I am not a hundred percent sure at all the tools and technology that is out there for use in the special education classroom. So I did some research.

I found out that just using audio recorders, pictures, webcams, audio books and blogs students could practice their literacy, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.  These are all tools that the classroom should already have or that the teacher should own.  All the above are inexpensive tools and technology that can be used throughout the classroom making many subjects and standards easier to do. Some more tools and technology that I found that could enhance the classroom are iPods, iPads, laptops, and desktops. I also learned a cd burner and podcasts could be helpful by recording assignments, tests, or daily readings. With this students could access the recordings at any time anywhere.

I think it is wonderful that all these technologies and tools are out there. However, I believe that there is more research needed on my part in order for me to fully have a understanding of the capabilities through technology and tools for the special education classroom. 

An App for All 

Teach Me: Kindergarten App imageAfter taking awhile to decide which app I would like to use for a special needs class I decided on Teach Me: Kindergarten. I chose this app because it is capable of counting with the student using subtraction and addition. With the subtraction it has the total amount of stickers and you are able to drag the stickers to a waste basket. At the bottom of the screen it has an option of four numbers the student may choose from. The student can then touch the stickers and count out the amount left. In addition it is the same concept as addition you just add stickers to one side.

It also helps the student with spelling and Dolch sight words. I downloaded the app on my iPad and allowed my friends daughter to play with it. She is in kindergarten and loved the app and after every correct question set (4 questions) she received one coin. With that coin she was able to go to the store and purchase stickers to place on the background of her choice. This helped with the value concept and counting how many coins she would have to collect in order to get the sticker she loved. 

I think that this app would be wonderful for the classroom. It has a little mouse that calls out the words and counts with the child. The app also has a progress tracker that the teacher/parent can keep track of what the student is mastering and having difficulty in. It allows multiple students to use and access the fun. Not only all of the above are wonderful things about this app but it is only 99 cents!

gary hayes social media count

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

After watching the Social Media Count climb, or should I say shoot up, within a few seconds to thousands and then building rapidly it is almost too much to take in at once. At first glance I just sort of gazed at my computer. Then I read what the exact count of each item was. What does this mean for my professional career? 

Well, I think it means that technology is now paper was yesterday. Emails, SMS, Facebook, blogs, and Twitter are all ways that the world is communicating. I believe this means that being technologically literate is a must in my future. By the time I finish school and get my degree to teach everything in EDM310 that I learned will be outdated. The tools will still be an effective way to teach but, students will have new interesting tools to use. I believe that if I know what my students like to use as tools I can turn those things into effect tools for the classroom.

A Vision of Students Today
By:Michael Wesch

I spend 3 and a half hours a day online
A Vision of Students Today  was a short film made by students, inspired by students. It was a glimpse in today’s world as a student. At the beginning of the video there was a quote by Marshall McLuhan that really caught my attention. It stated “Today’s child is bewildered when he enters the 19th century environment that still characterizes the educational establishment where information is scarce but ordered and structured by fragmented, classified patterns subjects, and schedules.” .

What has changed since this quote was made? The century may have been changed to 20th. We now have computer labs. They are only accessible when the teacher schedules a time to visit. Also, the teacher must schedule close to the beginning of the year in order to be sure that his or her class is able to get in. Oh, but wait just a moment! There are one or two computers sitting in the back of the classroom. Half the school year they are broke and just collect dust but, one is plenty for a class of 25 plus, right? Wrong. Please realize we are in the 21st century.

Mr. McLuhan made this statement in 1967 (the 20th century) that was 45 years ago. So, needless to say not much has changed with the educational system within those 45 years. Some may argue that my statement is wrong. I mean after all we do have a SmartBoard in most classrooms. Ha! Take me to a school that all the teachers use their SmartBoards for something rather than a chalkboard without the chalk.

Students have an educational system that is a century behind while they, the students that are the reason for the educational system, are a century ahead. How are we comfortable with knowing that a student today will most likely spend over 3 hours a day listening to music, sending SMS, emails, and social networking? Every career I can think of uses a computer or some sort of technology. So why are we allowing our children to have this handicap of not being able to use a computer daily?


  1. Hello Heather,
    Have you ever heard the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" I feel like this statement can come in handy when it comes to peer editing. I think it's important to always keep a balance of both positivity and constructive criticism. I agree with you about the fact that it's probably best to offer one on one help or advice through something more personal like an e-mail because you never want to come off as offensive or make someone afraid to ask you for help a second time. With that said, I really enjoyed your blogpost. It was well-written, and I was impressed that you actually took the time to do some research about different types of technology that are currently being used in special education classrooms. I was able to learn a few things myself! It's about time that computers stop collecting dust in the back of classrooms, and actually become incorporated into students' educations.
    - Savannah

  2. Heather,
    My favorite part of your post was the segment on "A Vision of Students Today" by Michael Wesch. You were doing great in the segments before, but in this particular one, I could sense your excitement and eagerness to ensure that students receive the kind of education they deserve, that suits them best- one with the use of technology. You thought critically about the facts and what needs to be done to bring education into not neccessarily the future, but the present, because we are so far behind other institutions or workplaces.
    As far as editing is concerned, I have a few minor suggestions. Be sure to watch for word choice, like in this instance: "In addition it is the same concept as addition you just add stickers to one side." Did you mean to say subtraction? Make sure your wording is clear and free of confusion.
    Also, look out for places that a comma can alter the meaning of your sentence, such as: " I believe that if I know what my students like to use as tools I can turn those things into effect tools for the classroom." You need a comma after the first "tools".
    Other than a few small errors, your post was wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Heather!

  3. Carly,
    Thanks so very much for the feedback. I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope that you can continue to do so with my following posts! Thanks for the editing suggestions. As far as the "In addition" part I did mean to say subtraction! I guess I got so excited about the addition I wanted to repeat myself! Thanks again!