The Sixth Sense

Sixth_Sense2SixthSense is a gestural interface device comprising a neckworn pendant that contains both a data projector and camera. Headworn versions were also built at MIT Media Lab in 1997 that combined cameras and illumination systems for interactive photographic art, and also included gesture recognition (e.g. finger-tracking using colored tape on the fingers).
SixthSense is a name for extra information supplied by a wearable computer, such as the device called “WuW” (Wear yoUr World) by Pranav Mistry et al., building on the concept of the Telepointer, a neckworn projector and camera combination first proposed and reduced to practice by MIT Media Lab student Steve Mann.

The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user’s hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques. The software program processes the video stream data captured by the camera and tracks the locations of the colored markers (visual tracking fiducials) at the tip of the user’s fingers using simple computer-vision techniques. The movements and arrangements of these fiducials are interpreted into gestures that act as interaction instructions for the projected application interfaces. The maximum number of tracked fingers is only constrained by the number of unique fiducials, thus SixthSense also supports multi-touch and multi-user interaction.

The SixthSense prototype implements several applications that demonstrate the usefulness, viability and flexibility of the system. The map application lets the user navigate a map displayed on a nearby surface using hand gestures, similar to gestures supported by Multi-Touch based systems, letting the user zoom in, zoom out or pan using intuitive hand movements. The drawing application lets the user draw on any surface by tracking the fingertip movements of the user’s index finger. SixthSense also recognizes user’s freehand gestures (postures). For example, the SixthSense system implements a gestural camera that takes photos of the scene the user is looking at by detecting the ‘framing’ gesture. The user can stop by any surface or wall and flick through the photos he/she has taken. SixthSense also lets the user draw icons or symbols in the air using the movement of the index finger and recognizes those symbols as interaction instructions. For example, drawing a magnifying glass symbol takes the user to the map application or drawing an ‘@’ symbol lets the user check his mail. The SixthSense system also augments physical objects the user is interacting with by projecting more information about these objects projected on them. For example, a newspaper can show live video news or dynamic information can be provided on a regular piece of paper. The gesture of drawing a circle on the user’s wrist projects an analog watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrtANPtnhyg

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By teenstudents Posted in tech

3D cinemas

A 3D film or S3D (stereoscopic 3D) films are a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception. It’s derived from stereoscopic photography. A regular motion picture camera system is used to record the images as seen from two perspective (or computer-generated imagery generates the two perspective in post-production) , and special projection hardware and/or eyewear are used to provide the illusion of depth when viewing the film. 3Dfilms are not limited to feature film theatrical releases; television broadcasts and direct-to-video films have also incorporated similar methods, especially since 3D television and Blu-ray 3D.
3D films have existed in some form since 1915, but had been largely relegated to a niche in motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and process required to produce and display a 3D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3D films were prominently featured in 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in 1980s and 1990s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3D films became more and more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of 3D presentation of avatar in December 2009 and January 2010.

Waves

The wave is a form of disturbance which transmits energy from one place to another without the actual flow of matter as a whole. Waves are of three types: Mechanical waves, Electro Magnetic waves, matter waves. Water waves or sound waves are called mechanical or elastic waves as they require a material medium for their propagation. A material possesses both elasticity as well as inertial. Light waves don’t require any material medium for their propagation. Light waves are electromagnetic or non-mechanical waves which can propagate through vacuum. Matter waves are associated with moving electrons, protons, neutrons and other fundamental particles and even atoms and molecules. The matter is constituted and other fundamental particles and even atoms and molecules. The matter is constituted by electrons, protons, and neutrons and other fundamental particles. The waves associated with matter particles are called matter waves. Matter waves arise in quantum mechanical description of nature. Wave motion in a form of disturbance which is due to the repeated periodic vibrations of the particles of the medium about their means positions. The motion is handed over form one medium particle to another without any net transport of the medium during wave motion. Mechanical waves are of two types i.e. transverse waves and longitudinal waves. A wave is said to be progressive or travelling waves if it travels from one point of the medium to another. The waves on the surface of water are of two types: capillary waves and gravity waves. The restoring force that produces gravity waves is the pull of gravity which tends to keep the water surface as its lowest level. The oscillation of the particles in gravity waves is not confined to the surface only, but extends with diminishing amplitude to the very bottom. The particle motion in water waves involves a complicated motion, they are not only moving up and down but also back and forth. The waves in an ocean are a combination of both longitudinal and transverse waves. Transverse and longitudinal waves travel with different speeds in the same medium. “k” is called the propagation constant or angular wave number. S.I unit of “k” is radian (rad) per meter.
Sound waves are mechanical waves which can’t propagate in vacuum. The speed of sound does not depend on the frequency or wave length. Sound waves can’t travel in saw dust or dry sand because the medium is not continuous. The damping of sound in wood is much larger as compared to that in metals. Higher the frequency of sound greater is the pitch of sound. The voice of ladies and children is of higher pitch than that of men. The sound is reflected and refracted according to the same laws as light does. The wave length for ultrasonic is very small, therefore they are not diffracted by ordinary objects or holes etc. The speed of mechanical waves is determined by the properties of the medium i.e. elasticity and inertia and not by the nature, intensity, amplitude or shape of the wave. Velocity of sound is largest in hydrogen among gasses. Monosyllabic sound is produced in about 0.2 s. The vibration of the prongs of a tuning fork is the transverse and that of the stem are longitudinal. The point where stem of a tuning fork is connected to the prongs is antinodes. The end of the prongs is also antinodes. There is node between them which is nearer to the stem than the ends of the prongs. The speed of sound in the air is not affected by the changes in pressure. For every 1⁰C rise in temperature, the speed of sound increases by 0.61 meter per sec. Due to change in temperature, the wavelength of sound waves is affected. Beats are not audible if beat frequency is more than 10Hz. If the prong of a tuning fork is loaded near the stem its frequency increases and when it is filled near the stem, the frequency decreases. The number of beats produced per second is equal to the difference in the frequencies of the superposing notes. In the progressive waves, the crest and troughs or compressions and rarefactions move with the speed of the wave. When there is no relative motion between the source and listener, the Doppler’s effects is not observed. When a source of sound moves, it cause change in wavelength of the sound received by the listener. If source and listener move in a mutually perpendicular direction no Doppler’s effect is observed.

By teenstudents Posted in Biology

The Pink City Jaipur

Jaipur, popularly known as the “Pink City”, and “Paris of India”, is the capital of Rajasthan state, India. Jaipur is worldwide famous for unique Architecture, Vastu, Astrology, Forts, Monuments, Palaces, Art and Craft, Culture and last but not least for unique Food. Heritage of year 1727 is still alive in Jaipur which is the main attraction of Jaipur tour. Jaipur is renowned on international tourism map as one vertex of Golden Triangle of India tourism. Many scripts and poems have been written on the beauty of Jaipur city by domestic tourists as well as foreign tourists. Countless documentary movies have been made on Jaipur in last 250 years.

Jaipur History


Jaipur was founded on 18th November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a Kachawaha Rajput, who ruled from 1699-1744. Initially his capital was Amber (now pronounced as Amer), lies at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II felt the need of shifting his capital city because of safety reasons as it was likely to be attacked by a Mughal King Bahadur Shah after the death of Aurangzeb, as well as ever-increasing population and growing scarcity of water also pushed him to set up a well planned city.

Being a great soldier, builder, mathematician, astronomer, and a poet, he had a vision to built-up a well-planned city with his royal taste that should be a good administrative unit, prime centre of business, prominent political unit, centre of spiritualism and a patron of various Indian culture and arts.

His ambitions and vision took shape in the form of Jaipur – the first planned city of northern India. At that time, Jaipur was also one of the best planned cities of the World.

Jaipur Architecture


Jaipur Architecture is worldwide famous because of its technical details and beauty. Jaipur Architecture is based on Indian Vastu concepts. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II – the founder of Jaipur was a great architect and astronomer. He also had a good knowledge of Indian Vastu. This is the reason that the architecture of Jaipur is a wonderful case study for the modern architects of all over the world.There are many brilliant diwan e aambuildings in the Jaipur:

city palace

Hawa Mahal

Mubarak Mahal

 

Chandra Mahal

Jal Mahal

Birla temple

Amber

           

diwan e aam

Ganesh Pole

Gaitor

Jantar Mantar

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A Big Solution To The Entire World

 If we burn the plastic, we generate toxins and a large amount of CO2. If we convert it into oil, we save CO2 and at the same time increase people’s awareness about the value of plastic garbage.—Akinori Ito, CEO of Blest.

for more details click here to visit our world 2.0

Android

Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google.

Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., on August 17, 2005. The unveiling of the Android distribution on November 5, 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 84 hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache License, a free software license.The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.

Android consists of a kernel based on the Linux kernel, with middleware, libraries and APIs written in C and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony. Android uses the Dalvik virtual machine with just-in-time compilation to run Dalvik dex-code (Dalvik Executable), which is usually translated from Java bytecode.

Android has a large community of developers writing applications (“apps”) that extend the functionality of the devices. Developers write primarily in a customized version of Java. As of October 2011 there were more than 300,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from the Android Market as of December 2011 exceeded 10 billion.Apps can be downloaded from third-party sites or through online stores such as Android Market, the app store run by Google.

Android was listed as the best-selling smartphone platform worldwide in Q4 2010 by Canalys with over 200 million Android devices in use by November 2011,across the several versions of the operating system. As of December 2011 there are over 700,000 Android devices activated every day.

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is the latest version of the 2011 Android platform for  phones, tablets, and more. It builds on the things people love most about Android — easy   multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, and deep   interactivity — and adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing.

The God Particle

Higgs-event

The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive elementary particle that is predicted to exist by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. The Higgs boson is an integral part of the theoretical Higgs mechanism. If shown to exist, it would help explain why other elementary particles have mass. It is the only elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model that has not yet been observed in particle physics experiments. Theories that do not need the Higgs boson also exist and would be considered if the existence of the Higgs boson were ruled out. They are described as Higgsless models.

If shown to exist, the Higgs mechanism would explain why the W and Z bosons, which mediate weak interactions, are massive whereas the related photon, which mediates electromagnetism, is massless. The Higgs boson is expected to be in a class of particles known as scalar bosons. (Bosons are particles with integer spin, and scalar bosons have spin 0.)

Experiments attempting to find the particle are currently being performed using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and were performed at Fermilab’s Tevatron until its closure in late 2011. Some theories suggest that any mechanism capable of generating the masses of elementary particles must become visible at energies above 1.4 TeV; therefore, the LHC (colliding two 3.5 TeV beams) is expected to be able to provide experimental evidence of the existence or non-existence of the Higgs boson.

On 12 December 2011, the ATLAS collaboration at the LHC found that a Higgs mass in the range from 145 to 206 GeV/c2 was excluded at the 95% confidence level. On 13 December 2011, experimental results were announced from the ATLAS and CMS experiments, indicating that if the Higgs boson exists, its mass is limited to the range 116–130 GeV (ATLAS) or 115–127 GeV (CMS), with other masses excluded at 95% confidence level. Observed excesses of events at around 124 GeV (CMS) and 125-6 GeV (ATLAS) are consistent with the presence of a Higgs boson signal, but also consistent with fluctuations in the background. The global statistical significances of the excesses are 1.9 sigma (CMS) and 2.6 sigma (ATLAS) after correction for the look elsewhere effect. As of 13 December 2011, a combined result is not available.

The God particle

The Higgs boson is often referred to as “the God particle” by the media, after the title of Leon Lederman’s book, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? Lederman initially wanted to call Higgs boson “the goddamn particle” because “nobody could find the thing.But his editor would not let him. While use of this term may have contributed to increased media interest in particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider, many scientists dislike it, since it overstates the particle’s importance, not least since its discovery would still leave unanswered questions about the unification of QCD, the electroweak interaction and gravity, and the ultimate origin of the universe. A renaming competition conducted by the science correspondent for the British Guardian newspaper chose the name “the champagne bottle boson” as the best from among their submissions: “The bottom of a champagne bottle is in the shape of the Higgs potential and is often used as an illustration in physics lectures. So it’s not an embarrassingly grandiose name, it is memorable, and it has some physics connection too.

boson and india-Higgs boson have an Indian relation.It got the name “boson” because of the great Indian scientist Mr.Sathyendranath boss.

Psychology of the students in the present scenario


The world of students is always fascinating. Just have a glance in the campus of a school or a college; you can see the cheerful faces of young generations, getting groomed to be the future of the nation. The wonderful thing about them is, those young faces refuse to show pain and stress, although they live every minute in them. There is dream in those eyes and a perpetual urge to achieve despite all the odds in life. Despite miseries and stress they are preparing hard to be soldiers, technologists, scientists, bureaucrats and even dream of achieving the impossible. The flame of courage and determination once ignited in such blooming of youth even does not get doused throughout life. All the living legends and of the past, who are famous for their discoveries, inventions and achievements only reincarnated what they had dreamt in their days as students. It is an axiomatic truth that seeking a right destination in life only begins from your student days.

As you see the world changing at a fast pace, with more shifts in our attitudes towards privileged living in money and luxuries, students appear to have become more vulnerable. There are endless exploitations in the names of employment, career and perspectives in education. There is excruciating stress in all fields of learning. A student has to toil most of the time in a day to fit into any career. There is increasing pressure in academics and at home to excel in life.

In the over-competitive world today, let’s take a glimpse inside the psychology of the students.

Students want to be achievers from a very early age Young children and teenaged boys and girls want to be achievers from very tender age. But their intention to achieve is not in the areas of their studies and extra-curricular activities. The innumerable television contests have caught their fancies and their aim is to be idols of the shows. You can find the long queue of aspirants before the entrance of the five-star hotels, who have come to appear at the preliminary screenings for a reality show. Earlier the contests were held once in a year to select one “Miss India” at the national level. But now the competition has spread to all areas of creativity. Song, dance and comedy are a few examples. Television channels host multiple shows in every category. These shows bring to the fore rags-to-riches stories of individuals. The extraordinary prize money, declared for the winner, is the trump-card for drawing large crowd of participants. It serves as a magnetic stunt of publicity drawing the interest of public. It keeps eyes feasted on the participants as well as the prize money. As the show moves, sponsors use compelling techniques of termination to reduce the number of participants to minimum. There are tears and hugs from fellow aspirants when the time for departure of one comes. Finally, in the breath-taking epilogue, the winner is crowned with the prize money. The sponsors mint cash while the advertisers stand in rows for displaying their ads. Such trend in the society has created a mind-set among youngsters to be champions at very early age. But sadly only hard work and ambition do not make a champion out of every aspirant.

Students aim for high salaried jobs once they finish their education– One very interesting trend emerging now-a-days, hankering for money by pursuing technological and professional jobs is more noticed in the students. It is happening because the so-called institutes offering technical and professional courses make wide publicity of their successful candidates in the campus selection. Even the newspapers quote the highest salaries offered in the campus selection of the prestigious institutes. Such things act as money-spinners for the owners of private institutions while drawing interest of students to study in those institutions by agreeing to pay very high course fees. Over all, the students do not want to rise by climbing on every rung of the ladder for success by dint of perseverance. Their aim is to set their feet on the pinnacle of success just by making one effort.

Students have great fancy towards luxury products- Be it motor bike or trendy mobile phones; it catches the imagination of young minds at a faster speed. Indirectly they are guinea pigs for every other adventure and misadventure by the private manufactures in the market. Private companies design specific products for youngsters, knowing that students will buy once they see one catchy technological feature in a product. They would not compare the value, less even the utility in the new product vis-à-vis their need, rather go for a buy once they see new technical innovation.

Students have good interest in popular sports In India the craze for cricket is noticed more in the students. They play the games which have many winners in their folds, forgetting those sports which do not have promising aspects of money and career. Although Hockey is the national game of India, you would not find interest to play it among the students?

A sizeable percentage of students want to take up the traditional careers and professions You would hardly find an unusual interest in the students to take up a new career or hobby. Those careers which do not promise money can not beget the attention of students. Money and life –style only create desire for a career.

Students want to work in foreign land There is increasing desire among students to work in the advanced nations of the world. The reason is more money and affluent life-style. The prevailing notion is that there are more opportunities in those far-off advanced nations. India has witnessed highest brain-drain over the past decades.

Students are more rational in their ideas and thinkingThe ideas and thoughts of the students are logical. They question the fundamentals of the accepted ideas which do not go by the principles of rationality. Over the decades, such noble endeavors by students have removed superstitions and myths from our society.

Students have more radical ideas towards religion, gender equality and prejudices The thoughts of students towards gender, religion and prejudices are always redeeming by nature and path-breaking. Students always volunteer any movement coming from such three fields.

What thoughts teachers nurture about students?

  • Teachers think students do not work hard- There is a growing resentment among the teachers that students avoid to work hard. They are always in search of short-cut methods to make money. Students lack patience while learning about new subjects.
  • They blame the extravagant nature in the students- Teachers disapprove the spendthrift ness in the students. Average opinion of the teachers’ community is students do not exercise their discretion while spending money.
  • Minimum number of students want to take teaching as a profession- There is growing concern among teachers that teaching as a profession is liked by less number of students. Students always go after jobs which are very demanding and have promising aspects like money and luxuries.
  • Teachers extend love and support for sincere students- This is an age old practice in our nation. Teachers continue to love and support the sincere and good students. Behind every achiever in every field, there lies the love and unconditional support of a teacher.
  • The generation gap between teachers, parents and students is growing- This is a common thought in all teachers that with more materialism in our society, the generation gap among teachers, parents and students is growing. Students have become more materialistic because of their immaturity of tender age. This tendency in them is unacceptable to teachers and parents.

Written by Srikant Mohanty on October 18, 2010

 

Efficient Ways to Improve Student Writing

Strategies, Ideas, and Recommendations from the faculty Development Literature

General Strategies

  • View the improvement of students’ writing as your responsibility.
    Teaching writing is not only the job of the English department alone.  Writing is an essential tool for learning a discipline and helping students improve their writing skills is a responsibility for all faculty.
  • Let students know that you value good writing.
    Stress the importance of clear, thoughtful writing. Faculty who tell students that good writing will be rewarded and poor writing will be penalized receive better essays than instructors who don’t make such demands. In the syllabus, on the first day, and throughout the term, remind students that they must make their best effort in expressing themselves on paper. Back up your statements with comments on early assignments that show you really mean it, and your students will respond.
  • Regularly assign brief writing exercises in your classes.
    To vary the pace of a lecture course, ask students to write a few minutes during class. Some mixture of in-class writing, outside writing assignments, and exams with open-ended questions will give students the practice they need to improve their skills.
  • Provide guidance throughout the writing process.
    After you have made the assignment, discuss the value of outlines and notes, explain how to select and narrow a topic, and critique the first draft, define plagiarism as well.
  • Don’t feel as though you have to read and grade every piece of your students’ writing.
    Ask students to analyze each other’s work during class, or ask them to critique their work in small groups. Students will learn that they are writing in order to think more clearly, not obtain a grade. Keep in mind, you can collect students’ papers and skim their work.
  • Find other faculty members who are trying to use writing more effectively in their courses.
    Pool ideas about ways in which writing can help students learn more about the subject matter. See if there is sufficient interest in your discipline to warrant drawing up guidelines. Students welcome handouts that give them specific instructions on how to write papers for a particular course or in a particular subject area.


  • Remind students that writing is a process that helps us clarify ideas.
    Tell students that writing is a way of learning, not an end in itself. Also let them know that writing is a complicated, messy, nonlinear process filled with false starts. Help them to identify the writer’s key activities:
  • Developing ideas
  • Finding a focus and a thesis
  • Composing a draft
  • Getting feedback and comments from others
  • Revising the draft by expanding ideas, clarifying meaning, reorganizing
  • Editing
  • Presenting the finished work to readers
  • Explain that writing is hard work.
    Share with your class your own struggles in grappling with difficult topics. If they know that writing takes effort, they won’t be discouraged by their own pace or progress. One faculty member shared with students their notebook that contained the chronology of one of his published articles: first ideas, successive drafts, submitted manuscript, reviewers’ suggested changes, revised version, galley proofs, and published article.
  • Give students opportunities to talk about their writing.
    Students need to talk about papers in progress so that they can formulate their thoughts, generate ideas, and focus their topics. Take five or ten minutes of class time for students to read their writing to each other in small groups or pairs. It’s important for students to hear what their peers have written.
  • Encourage students to revise their work.
    Provide formal steps for revision by asking students to submit first drafts of papers for your review or for peer critique. You can also give your students the option of revising and rewriting one assignment during the semester for a higher grade. Faculty report that 10 to 40 percent of the students take advantage of this option.
  • Explain thesis statements.
    A thesis statement makes an assertion about some issue. A common student problem is to write papers that present overviews of facts with no thesis statement or that have a diffuse thesis statement.
  • Stress clarity and specificity.
    The more the abstract and difficult the topic, the more concrete the student’s language should be. Inflated language and academic jargon camouflage rather than clarify their point.
  • Explain the importance of grammar and sentence structure, as well as content.
    Students shouldn’t think that English teachers are the only judges of grammar and style. Tell your students that you will be looking at both quality of their writing and the content.
  • Distribute bibliographies and tip sheets on good writing practices.
    Check with your English department or writing center to identify materials that can be easily distributed to students. Consider giving your students a bibliography of writing guides, for example:

Ask a composition instructor to give a presentation to your students.

  • Invite a guest speaker from the composition department or student learning center to talk to your students about effective writing and common writing problems. Faculty who have invited these experts report that such presentations reinforce the values of the importance of writing.
  • Let students know about available tutoring services.
    Individual or group tutoring in writing is available on most campuses. Ask someone from the tutoring center to give a demonstration in your class.
  • Use computers to help students write better.
    Locally developed and commercially available software are now being used by faculty to help students plan, write, and revise their written work. Some software available allows instructors to monitor students’ work in progress and lets students collaborate with their classmates.

Assigning In-Class Writing Activities

  • Ask students to write what they know about a topic before you discuss it.
    Ask your students to write a brief summary of what they already know or what opinions they hold regarding the subject you are about to discuss. The purpose of this is to focus the students’ attention, there is no need to collect the summaries.
  • Ask students to respond in writing to questions you pose during class.
    Prior to class starting, list two or three short-answer questions on the board and ask your students to write down their responses. Your questions might call for a review of material you have already discussed or recalling information from assigned readings.
  • Ask students to write from a pro or con position.
    When presenting an argument, stop and ask your students to write down all the reasons and evidence they can think of that supports one side or the other. These statements can be used as the basis for discussion.
  • During class, pause for a three-minute write.
    Periodically ask students to write freely for three minutes on a specific question or topic. They should write whatever pops into their mind without worrying about grammar, spelling, phrasing, or organization. This kind of free writing, according to writing experts, helps students synthesize diverse ideas and identify points they may not understand. There is no need to collect these exercises.
  • Have students write a brief summary at the end of class.
    At the end of the class period, give your students index cards to jot down the key themes, major points, or general principles of the day’s discussion. You can easily collect the index cards and review them to see whether the class understood the discussion.
  • Have one student keep minutes to be read at the next class meeting.
    By taking minutes, students get a chance to develop their listening, synthesizing, and writing skills. Boris (1983) suggests the following:
  • Prepare your students by having everyone take careful notes for the class period, go home and rework them into minutes, and hand them in for comments. It can be the students’ discretion whether the minutes are in outline or narrative form.
  • Decide on one to two good models to read or distribute to the class.
  • At the beginning of each of the following classes, assign one student to take minutes for the period.
  • Give a piece of carbon paper to the student who is taking minutes so that you can have a rough copy. The student then takes the original home and revises it in time to read it aloud at the next class meeting.
  • After the student has read their minutes, ask other students to comment on their accuracy and quality. If necessary, the student will revise the minutes and turn in two copies, one for grading and one for your files.
  • Structure small group discussion around a writing task.
    For example, have your students pick three words that are of major importance to the day’s session. Ask your class to write freely for two to three minutes on just one of the words. Next, give the students five to ten minutes to meet in groups to share what they have written and generate questions to ask in class.
  • Use peer response groups.
    Divide your class into groups of three or four, no larger. Ask your students to bring to class enough copies of a rough draft of a paper for each person in their group. Give your students guidelines for critiquing the drafts. In any response task, the most important step is for the reader to note the part of the paper that is the strongest and describe to the writer why it worked so well. The following instructions can also be given to the reader:
  • State the main point of the paper in a single sentence
  • List the major subtopics
  • Identify confusing sections of the paper
  • Decide whether each section of the paper has enough detail, evidence, and information
  • Indicate whether the paper’s points follow one another in sequence
  • Judge the appropriateness of the opening and concluding paragraphs
  • Identify the strengths of the paper

Written critiques done as homework are likely to be more thoughtful, but critiques may also be done during the class period.

  • Use read-around groups.
    Read-around groups are a technique used with short assignments (two to four pages) which allows everyone to read everyone else’s paper. Divide the class into groups no larger than four students and divide the papers (coded for anonymity) into as many sets as there are groups. Give each group a set and ask the students to read each paper silently and decide on the best paper in the set. Each group should discuss their choices and come to a consensus on the best paper. The paper’s code number is recorded by the group, and the same process is repeated with a new set of papers. After all the groups have read all the sets of papers, someone from each group writes on the board the code number from the best paper in each set. The recurring numbers are circled. Generally, one to three papers stand out.
  • Ask students to identify the characteristics of effective writing.
    After completing the read-around activity, ask your students to reconsider those papers which were voted as excellent by the entire class and to write down features that made each paper outstanding. Write their comments on the board, asking for elaboration and probing vague generalities. In pairs, the students discuss the comments on the board and try to put them into categories such as organization, awareness of audience, thoroughness of detail, etc. You might need to help your students arrange the characteristics into meaningful categories.

Sources

The Strategies, Ideas and Recommendations Here Come Primarily From:

Gross Davis, B. Tools for Teaching. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1993.

And These Additional Sources…

Boris, E. Z. “Classroom Minutes: A Valuable Teaching Device.” Improving College and

UniversityTeaching, 1983,31(2), 70-73.

Elbow, P. “Using Writing to Teach Something Else.” Unpublished paper, 1987.

Hawisher, G. E., and Selfe, C. L. (eds.).Critical Perspectives on Computers and

Composition Instruction.  New York:  Teachers College Press, 1989.

Holdstein, D. H., and Selfe, C. L. (eds.). Computers and Writing: Theory, Research,

Practice. New York: Modern Language Association, 1990.

Lowman, J. Mastering the Techniques of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1984.

Petersen, B. T. “Additional Resources in the Practice of Writing Across the Disciplines.”

In C. W. Griffin (ed.), Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, no. 12. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1982.

Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.

Bright Idea Network, 1989. (For information contact David Graf, Iowa State University, Ames.)

Pytlik, B. P. “Teaching Teachers of Writing: Workshops on Writing as a Collaborative

Process.” College Teaching, 1989, 37(1), 12-14.

Tollefson, S. K. Encouraging Student Writing. Berkeley: Office of Educational

Development, University of California, 1988.

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