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

Talking Ed.: Overcoming Challenges through Social Media

Talking Ed.: Social Media

Talking Ed. with Lisa Durff

Episode 004 (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).

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

Mobile Technology Can Be Assistive Technology

iPad Education in Use

“Mobile learning is seen by many as a disruptive technology. This is because it has been identified as a technology which holds great potential to transform the learning and teaching within a classroom. What follows is a mash-up presented at the NSWDEC 5th Biennial Equity Conference in 2011 which explains some of the issues.” (Source)

The Left Thumb Blogger

Glenda Watson Hyatt shares her experiences living with cerebral palsy to motivate and inspire others to think about how they perceive their own situation and their own world around them. She does all this by typing with only her left thumb! (Source)

Writing Letters to Santa: A Lesson Plan

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...
Image via Wikipedia

Teachers can take advantage of the holiday season to help learners practice writing personal letters since many children are excitedly waiting on Santa’s arrival. Here are a few suggested resources to help you with this lesson.

It would also be a good idea to teach the students about writing thank you letters once school resumes after the holidays.

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