dyslexia · learning disabilities · technology · Uncategorized

LD Teacher as Tech Teacher?

When I began blogging, it was as I built my role as a technology resource in my building.  My teaching career is as a teacher of those with learning disabilities, focusing on those with language based reading disabilities.  Working with students in this role has been a focus of mine since high school.  I have a B.A. in Child Development and M.Ed. in Special Education, no tech degree.

I have always loved technology, which I credit to my father’s genetics following Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.  I have always been intrigued by and loved to use technology, looking back to the excitement I felt when my father brought home the PC Jr. and when I bought a Think Pad in grad school when I couldn’t really afford it, but tech was always calling.

Fast forward to today:  I see how tech engages students when videos are shown, I see how tech engages students when I let them do tasks on computers over paper pencil, I see a path….

My admins saw my love for this and open the door for me to go further.  I love teaching and I love working with my students on a daily basis, but this tech road is exciting… I get to combine my love of working with my students with learning challenges with my love of technology.

I couldn’t do technology in another school, as my passion comes from finding how technology can benefit students with reading disabilities.  I don’t integrate technology for the technology, but for how I see it benefiting the learning and development of skills for the students at Eagle Hill-Southport.

A recent lecture by @BenFoss at our school reiterated for me that technology is a strong tool for these learners.  It is a tool that can equalize, that can foster learning, that can help students achieve what is truly already innately in them.  Ben is a entrepeneur and dyslexic, who has used his love of learning and his disability to invent the Intel Reader.  What a fabulous tech tool to benefit those who struggle to learn from print.  What was poignant to me was that despite his invention, he demonstrated how just even his iPhone supports him in his daily tasks through the accessibility features. Additionally highlighting sites like LearningAlly.org and Bookshare.org, that provide audiobook resources to those with print challenges.  Ben Foss invented and supports how technology can support learning….that is my passion as well. He clearly expressed that it is just a tool that makes the same tasks, the same learning, the same challenges accessible to him, just as prosthetics would be to someone born without legs.  Who can argue with a severe dyslexic that holds an MBA from Stanford?

I see my role as Director of Technology as not to what tech tools need to come in, but what tech tools can benefit my students to accomplish, to gain, to demonstrate, to learn….to be who they truly are and show that to the world. Technology today is becoming common place in the education setting.  I love this for my students, because the shift will be from bringing in these tech tools to support them, but make them stand out…to supporting them and making see how they are just as capable as everyone else.

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