I believe in using technology to engage all learners. After spending 15 years as an elementary teacher and now as a college professor, I see the same learning needs and teaching frustrations. This column is based on the premise that everyone can learn and often technology can provide just the right learning support.
While teaching in an inner-city school, I had a student named Eddie, who was bright, funny, and an amazing artist. According to our testing, he was a pretty good reader too, though he absolutely refused to read. He was impatient and distracted and couldn’t or wouldn’t read in class. I read about digital books engaging reluctant readers and a light bulb went off. I wrote a grant, got some iPads, and began a class read along where students alternated between traditional books and digital books on the iPads. Eddie read—and he enjoyed it. It was a new and exciting experience. A game changer for Eddie and others like him.
Flash forward a couple of years. My daughter, who has a learning disability, was a college freshman in an intro to human behavior class and struggling with her big, traditional textbook. She spoke with her professor and discovered that there was a website for the text with videos that supported the concepts. She called me and said, “Mum, the reading was so much easier when I read, then watched the video—it made sense!” As an educator and parent, I could see the technology opening a door for my child.…Read More