Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Frustration.... Confusion.... Annoyance...

I'm sitting right now, on lunch break from training. It's an odd time for me to write a post, but seemed appropriate some how. The training is for a reading program, and I'll probably be using it with a student or two in my classroom.

This reason for the post is just like the title - frustration, confusion, & annoyance. As I do at pretty much every training, workshop, etc... I've been to for about 3 years first thing I did was pull out my computer (before we started), check email, Twitter and get ready for the training. Then the trainer said this, go ahead and turn off you computer, we won't need it until later. At this point I'm at a loss for words. I would not think it to strange to say that I think of my computer as an Assistive Technology device, and integral to my learning. Now I'm not saying I couldn't absorb the information without it, but it does aide in my learning. I have horrible handwriting, hate paper (it's always getting lost!), and keep all my notes electronically. I politely informed her of these things, she stammered and gave in. At this point I'd like to mention that I was not the only teacher who felt this way, and several others had been annoyed at this comment too.

I guess where I'm coming from is the AT angle. We would never expect a student with physical disabilities to not use a wheelchair if that's what they needed. I guess in the long run I don't "need" my computer to learn, but shouldn't that be my choice? Shouldn't I have the option of using whatever I need to learn, just like we give our students all different ways to access curriculum (BTW-we were talking about ways to differentiate instruction for this program all morning). Just my feelings, feel free to share your own in the comments.

- Patrick

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: 1Happysnapper(is waiting its killing me )'s

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