There are very few words that I can add to this topic, because it's covered thoroughly on all fronts. If someone is doing poorly, I'm not going to pass by their errors waving a handkerchief as if I'd never see them again. That is a poor outlook when doing peer editing, in my opinion. It is especially important for teachers to stomp out their weaknesses while we are in a semi-enclosed environment with our blogs. We are responsible for raising the future engineers, doctors, lawyer, and other important professions to superior standards for years to come. In addition, the common man who has a thirst for knowledge should be able to confidently come to their professor or teacher to enhance their learning experience through questions and sharp examples. If we are responsible for all this and more, shouldn't we strive for perfection in our primary subjects? People become bashful when their faults are pointed out, but these moments should just celebrated as a learning point.
In many countries, I've found that the customs of politeness, social etiquette, and learning style vary greatly. While I was eating with a Canadian Chinese friend, he and I intensely discussed our cultural differences. Our Asian cashier, hostess, and waiters were short and quick with their response times to questions and statements, but also quick with service. Many Americans would perceive this a rudeness or a rushed sense to "get in, pay, get out". He explained that this is not the case in the reversed roles because Chinese culturally assume quality service is equivalent to efficient service; therefore, cutting out the luxuries of small talk is a way they become efficient. Just the same, these cultures cut the small talk in education to get to the point of the errors. In education, their students view the pointing out of errors as a chance to re-evaluate specific work and move on with future successes. In this sense, our education cultures are different.
My point, in case I wasn't clear, was that all peer edits are great if taken in the right context. You can either be defensive and inactive or positive and pro-active; it's all about perspective. This is something most math teachers preach, and I will be no different.
New Technology for Blind and Deaf
Many of the new technology is a lot of what I've never heard of before, though I'm not surprised they exist. For many generations, the low amount of technology available to special needs students was astonishing, but I can tell that though they might be behind still, they are not too far behind. I'm interested in what the mathematics technology will be like once I become a teacher, because the man who talked about his new math braille-reading device hit the nail on the head about the awkwardness math presents when trying to teach it to students. I understand this device will only reach up to high school algebra, so I wonder about trigonometry, geometry, and calculus's current technology (all major staples in high schools and getting math related degrees).
The Ipad, though thoughtful and inventive, seems like a hassle. I would rather a student retract to basics before being subjected to using that in my classroom. If I had to adapt to this, I would do my best to work around it by having the student use headphones, with one ear phone out to listen to my instructions or lessons. I'm trying to not put it down, because I recognize this is a doorway to greater things to come. Until then, I'll do my best with what I am as a teacher.
Vicki Davis: Edutopia
I'm glad that she's utilized technology as a self teaching experience for her students. It sounds like someone I know... She said that she was teaching self-learners and even letting her students teach portions of the course, but I somewhat troubled by this because she didn't cover but a few programs that she was teaching students. As far as we know, they blog, use twitter, and make and control an avatar. I understand that when a student learns to complete the learning process on their own, they remember the material much better than they would have if it was just told to them, but twittering with people? I see that they are getting involved with the world, which is a positive and interesting aspect to the course, but what do they learn from this interaction?
It seems that the video should have been longer to explain the process and specify better lessons. I would have liked to have seen an interview of one of the kids in her class to understand their perspective. I want to know what they've learned, how it has changed their relationship with learning on their own, and if they felt like they have seen an improvement in their other courses because of this course. It seems like a lot to ask from a kid, but if they are excited or interested about this learning style, at least one would be able adequately explain their feelings on this subject.