Another dot in the blogosphere?

Inspired by SPED

Posted on: February 3, 2021

I could not agree more with the tweet and the article above. While the article focused on individualisation, I zoom in on something more basic — technical affordances that lead to pedagogical and social affordances.

For example, consider how video subtitles meant to help the hearing-impaired also help those who are learning a new language or who simply cannot play audio out loud in a train, library, or a noisy home.

Video conferencing tools now allow session leaders to lock and expand certain users in view [example]. This might help lip readers and those who need special attention. But this also provides teachers with the flexibility of changing the social dynamic of an online class. Instead of treating everyone the same, she can focus on those who need more help.

The technical affordances of edtech can also help teachers. Consider this tweet thread by an educator who has ADHD and reduced short term memory.

She was not allowed to use a teleprompter — something she relies on regularly for her own instructional videos — when she was asked to be a guest on another show. If she had, she would not have been so upset.

If the other show’s handlers claim that they had no teleprompter software, they need only refer to the next tweet.

Apparently you can simulate a teleprompter with Pages, the latter of which is a free application on Macs and iOS devices. By leveraging on this technical affordance, the show’s handlers could have given that teacher the confidence to speak more naturally and effectively. The same might be said of kids who might share the same condition.

We can and should draw inspiration and ideas from SPED in order to inform mainstream schooling and education. To do that, we need to keep our radars up on new technological affordances and then create social and pedagogical opportunities.

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