Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Post #3

Paige Ellis's Blog (+!)

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.

Washington State School for the blind

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.


  1. "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." Why? Because you think your way is better? or you know your way is better? or you do not want to change? or you don't know enough to use it yourself? or you have decided before you have tried it (like I did with Twitter)?

    "It sounds like someone I know... " shall I guess?

    "...getting involved with the world,..." Is this not learning? How does it differ from your discussion of Chinese culture and restaurants? Same result I would argue. Or at least the potential is there if the individual thinks about it as you have done. Some people walk. Others ride a bike. Others drive a car. Some take a boat, a train, a bus. Some may fly. There are many differences that result from their choice of their means of travel. If, however, they arrive where they are going the end result is the same.

    Vicki Davis has a world famous blog. She writes extensively. See what you can find out about her and how you can learn more about what she does.

    Thoughtful. Interesting.

  2. You're making it sound like I was completely closed off to the idea of the IPad, when I clearly said that "I recognize[d] this is a doorway to greater things to come". Obviously, I don't have a solution to this Goliath of a problem, but I think that there might be more inventive ways to helping the blind. It took the guy several minutes to get to the page he wanted, by the way. Apply that to the classroom. Also, Twitter is what you originally thought. Twitter was based off of people wanting instant access to share their thoughts [statuses] and pictures. Facebook does this and more. You can create a page just for your students to post ideas, pictures, and videos. Smartphones can access Facebook and Twitter to post instantly, and in my opinion, Twitter is just a knock off and lacks what Facebook has already brought to the table, and yes, I've had a Twitter account before your class.

  3. First, I will say that I can tell that you are very passionate in your feelings and opinions. I find it is good to be passionate about what’s important to you, because if you aren't passionate about it who is going to be?

    I will say that I do find myself to disagree with you on some level though. I agree that as we are becoming the future of education, we should be open to advice and critiques from other people so we can work on our weaknesses. I think there is a right and wrong way to go about it. I understand you are a cut and dry kind of person in that you want someone to show you the error so you can fix it and move on. Not everyone looks at it that way. Since we all have different personalities it takes different approaches for different people, I think that is something you might keep in mind especially dealing with students in the future. Some people need you to encourage them on what they did correctly first and then point out what they didn't do so great at. Also, I do not believe that you can just “stomp” out your weakness while you’re in school and that will be the last of it. We all have weaknesses for one reason or another and I think that it is something we should be aware of and constantly trying to better ourselves. I think it is a constant life hurdle that you have to work on.

    I have to totally disagree with you about the iPad. The iPad in particular has opened so many doors in learning in general. Although all the steps one has to take seem like a hassle to us people who do have sight, imagine if you were blind. This gives you the opportunity to do so many things that you’ve never been able to do by yourself before. That’s what makes it such a big deal, it has given blind or vision impaired people some new found independence.

    Lastly personally I think it wasn’t so much what she was teaching, but how she engaged her students in the process of learning. She seemed to make her students very eager in learning new things and becoming involved in more than just the world directly around them.