Inspiration from the “Differently-Abled”

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Music video by X Ambassadors performing Renegades
Directed by: ENDS and Alex Da Kid
(C)2015 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records
http://www.vevo.com/watch/USUV71500809

Talking Ed.: Overcoming Challenges through Social Media

Talking Ed.: Social Media

Talking Ed. with Lisa Durff

Episode 003 (View entire series)

Earlier this week I had the opportunity spend time talking with Lisa Durff (@durff+Lisa Durff). She discussed her special needs and the importance of social media and her personal learning network (PLN). In particular, Lisa makes heavy use of Second Life and Twitter as they enable her to interact with others in meaningful ways.

You can visit Lisa’s blog to become acquainted her work, interests, and thinking. Especially note this post for a bit of background on her physical challenges and insight into ways that technology helps her overcome them.

I think that you’ll find that Lisa’s ideas and experiences will open your eyes to new possibilities about technology’s ability to empower us. I know her story inspires me.

An Especially Beautiful Version of Pharrell Williams’ Video, Happy

World Down Syndrome DayHere’s another remake of Pharrell William’s video, Happy. This one is especially beautiful as it’s a celebration of World Down Syndrome Day (March 21st). Lance Ulanoff, aptly describes the experience of watching this video.

“Watching people dance to almost any song is usually a happy experience. Watching those living with Down syndrome dance to the snappy beats of Pharrell’s soon-to-be-played-out “Happy” is something approaching joy” (Source).

Sounds Good to Me: Learning and Digital Audio #edtech #mlearning

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach a workshop as part of our IDT Program‘s Teachers and Technology Thursdays (T3) series. I’m sharing the workshop information and resources here in response to inquiries I received last night via Twitter and Facebook. I hope that you find this useful and invite you to share your ideas for integrating audio with teaching and learning.

Workshop Description

Enable students to make their thinking visible through the use of digital audio. Learn how recorded tutorials and messages, storycasts, book trailers, audio chatting and commenting, teacher recorded feedback, and more can enable students to engage with course content inside and outside the classroom and better equip parents to help with homework. Several freely available websites and apps will be demonstrated. Strategies for designing lessons and practical tips for implementation will be shared.

You can view the workshop slides – which include video tutorials, links to examples of student projects, and more – by clicking on the image below.

Learning with Digital Audio

Inspirational Video: Father and Son Boston Marathon Team

Hoyts Receive ESPYHere is another inspirational moment from the 2013 ESPYS. The Jimmy V. Perseverance Award was given to Bostonians Dick Hoyt and his disabled son Rick who compete in marathons and triathlons.

It’s also a must-see video. Trust me. You’ll be glad you watched it.

Student Film from Perkins School for the Blind

Through the Lens(See Part 1)

I recently blogged about one of the producers from the hit TV show, Friends, teaching filmmaking at Perkins School for the Blind. It’s a remarkable example of how technology continues to empower those that are “differently-abled.” The NBC news story that served as the primary source for my blog post included a reference to a student-film that resulted from this class. Enjoy this powerful message from three Perkins students.

Screenshot Source: PSB1829

“Friends” Producer Helps Blind Filmmakers Find Vision

(See Part 2)

Blind Filmmakers Have Vision

“If you think that the ability to see is the first requirement for being able to make a movie, then you haven’t been to Kevin Bright‘s film-making class at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston…Bright was the executive producer of the wildly successful show “Friends.” Now, he teaches students how to make films – even though many of them are completely blind. The videos they made show that while the students don’t have sight, they do have vision, and they provide a rare window into the world of the blind” (Source).

Technology continues to empower those that are “differently-abled.” While there are specially developed technologies that provide much needed assistance, beneficial uses of more commonly available tools continue to emerge. I frequently hear first and second-hand accounts about individuals’ lives being positively impacted by the opportunity to work, communicate, and move about in more efficient ways with the help of technology. The state of innovation marches forward and it is important that educators are aware of these kinds of technological contributions. They may lead to new opportunities for our students.

You can view one of the resulting student films, Seeing through the Lens, here.

Screenshot Source: NBC’s Rock Center

Bring on the Learning Revolution!

“In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.” (Source)

“Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.” — Sir Ken Robinson