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Special ICT reminders

Posted on: March 31, 2017

When I facilitate ICT classes for educators of children with special needs, I try to create a shared context while they pursue their own focus areas.

One way to create a shared cognitive context is to use videos. The video I embed below provides some important reminders about leveraging on ICT whether we are “normal” or “special”.


Video source

The videos feature Carly Fleischmann who has severe autism and cannot speak due to an oral motor condition.
 

Video source

Carly was largely silent for the first decade of her life. Then she reached for a laptop which literally gave her a voice. ICTs have allowed her to pursue her dream of interviewing celebrities.

I use these videos to illustrate that technology should:

  • Enable, not just enhance.
  • Be in the hands of the learner, not just the teacher.
  • Focus on ability, not disability.
  • Be used to create, not just consume.

Carly has a YouTube channel and book to her name. She might seem to be the exception instead of the rule.

I say we break that stupid rule by empowering all children and learners — special and ordinary — with ICT. I say we stop making excuses and find ways to enable instead. I say we stop old and outdated behaviours that are teacher-focused instead of being learner-centred first.

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