Monday, August 30, 2010

Secondary Ed Sections

I found this reading to be interesting and very useful. There were tools I had never even heard of mentioned in the reading, such as the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Scale, which is a really helpful tool to develop writing skills. I also had no idea that grading software exists; with this software, there is no need for a teacher or TA to do any grading whatsoever. The teacher can focus on lesson plans more than would be possible if he was trying to grade 100 papers as well as get the plans completed.

The reading also increased my knowledge in the areas of classroom response systems and Wikis. I have seen these before, but only because the Office of Residential Life uses a classroom response system during spring training and as RAs, we use Wikis to make any reports to ORL.

There was also valuable information on note-taking and writing tools for students mentioned in the reading. I never would have thought about using the Track Changes tool in Microsoft Word to help students learn to ignore unnecessary information by simply striking it out with this tool. Using PowerPoint, a student can make his own combination notes, which can help a visual learner to connect photos to the information he needs to learn. The AutoSummarize tool is also beneficial when a student is writing a paper because he can use the tool to ensure that he is, in fact, making his point as he believes he is.

I had no idea about most of the technology the reading discussed, and had it not been for IWU, I would have known even less. It is really important for more shools to start using technology in different ways. It is not fair that certain students have access to more technology, while other school districts are still simply writing on white boards and chalkboards.

E-Books make readers more social

This article attempts to make the point that by reading an e-book (such as the Amazon Kindle or the iPad), people who are reading in public are now more approachable. The author states that people reading in public often seem unapproachable or "too busy to talk." He makes the point that when people are reading e-books rather than paper books, one might be more apt to approach them and engage them in conversation.

I do not however, necesssarily agree with this statement. Whether someone is reading a paper book or has an e-book in front of them, the majority of people are not going to interrupt that person. In our society, interrupting someone is considered very rude -- no matter what he happens to be holding.

The author also attempts to prove that e-books are removing the stigma of reading in public and seeming to be a "loner." I do not see a difference in reading a book or an e-book; either way, one is reading. I did not even realize there was a stigma of reading in public, but a dermatologist the author interviewed stated that "there may have once been a slight stigma about people reading alone, but I think that it no longer exists because of the advancement of our current technology." I do not understand how technology could simply remove a stigma of reading alone in public; even with a Kindle or the iPad, one is still reading in public.