Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes
I needed this video about three years ago, well maybe longer than that. For the past 16 years, I wrote for an international trade publication located right here in Mobile. Peer editing was an important part of the job. I have met Picky Patty, Jean the Generalizer, Off-Task Oliver, pretty much everyone mentioned in this video. As colleagues, we often skipped the compliment stage and dived right into the critique. Big mistake. Too often we became Defensive Daves and little got accomplished after that. My boss often had to play referee, a very thankless job, as I learned later when I took over that position.
Perhaps because of the nature of our business, private critiquing was rare and used only for the more serious mistakes, like putting Luxembourg, Germany on an award plaque. Yes, that really happened. And, no, that person (not me) did not lose their job. However, years later, everyone still remembered the mistake, especially the award winner who thought it hysterical that Americans thought Luxembourg was in Germany.
Bottom line: I would use public critiquing, because trust me in the real world, they will, and they will be brutal. However, I would definitely add the positive aspect first. I doubt there would have been as much Defensive Dave moments if we only had.
Technology in Special Education
As a special educator in a vocational environment, Lace Cook illustrates well how technology assists her and her students. Who knows how many brilliant artists, chemists or researchers we lost through the years because we could not communicate with them. For Corbin, it opened up the world reading, maybe he will write a bestselling novel one day; for Kris, it opened up the world of communication, maybe he will be an educator one day; and for Sharea, assignments were "kinda" easier, maybe she will figure out a way to make the technology even more task friendly.
Cook takes the available technology further by emailing assignments and creating a website for her students. Perhaps best of all, these students have a way to function in the post-academic world. And who knows what they may achieve.
How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism
After watching Braden, I hunted around at Apple Special Education Apps and found several apps that will assist special education students and teachers in the classroom. One in particular caught my eye called slow keys, creating a time delay between the pressing of a key and the result on the screen. For students with fine motor disability, this app would help them avoid multiple keystrokes, reducing their frustration level in the classroom which often leads to behavioral problems. I mean who has not been tempted to toss the computer out the window at times.
Gary's Social Media Count
While I find statistical information like Gary P. Hayes' page fascinating, I wonder if educators really understand the impact technology has on the students they teach. I suspect that educators fail to keep up with technology. That can be counteracted by creating an atmosphere where upstaging the teacher is acceptable. Nothing pleases a student more or encourages them more than when they outsmart the teacher. It removes the teacher/authority student/burb-back theory of education into a we-are-a-team environment.
However, I do have a concern about putting students out there on the web at certain maturity levels. We have to be realistic about evil lurkers who will take advantage of social networking. It happened to me, but I was old enough not to be taken in at what sounded all so innocent. There is a dark side to everything.
A Vision of Students Today
The first thing that caught my eye was the sidebar video The Visions of Students Today 2011 Remix One, which I watched as well. Both videos promoted me to ask myself a question. Are we trying too hard as educators to supply our students with too much technology. It my personal philosophy that my "job" as a teacher is simply to teach someone how to learn, then get out of their way and let them decide how to use that knowledge. How is Facebook, Twitter, Google and Youtube going to help my students apply what they have learned to real life situations like worldwide poverty. Does technology enthusiasm have a practical side?