A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Insanity

I thought I'd take a break from my Web Surfing for ED503 to announce my new Wiki tool and catch my readers up on my journey in education.

http://mrkurland.wikispaces.com/

The concept of making collaborative tools more available in the classroom is in total alignment with Universal Design for Learning Principles, which is a wondeful philosophy that is emerging in the field of education. Just as curb cuts, which were intended to make buildings more accessible for people with disabilities, also make buildings more accessible for typical people, the same principle applies to education. If education is made more accessible to people with learning disabilities, it becomes more accessible for all. Adaptive technology is a driving force behind UDL. Today, when I zoomed through a book on adaptive technology, I felt better about life, because technology is an area where I am comfortable.

Here's what I love about wikispaces. A teacher can set up a free Wiki at www.wikispaces.com, which allows a teacher to set up a safe and private site for collaborative group projects -- the teacher can set up permissions for 100 users, (I think that's right), even in a free site! The sample project, which remains under construction, is being assembled for a class in Collaboration and Adaptive Technology. Let me know if you want to "join" the class and do something creative and post to a project. Also, feel free to take the poll.

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While my paperwork for my Field Work has been somewhat of a disaster -- I neglected to have any of paperwork signed for any of my Field Work -- the curriculum based assessment project that I worked on with a 7th grade student with autism was amazing! While I didn't get the paperwork signed for my field observation of a brilliant Speech Pathologist, I got to see how her targeted hand-over-hand interventions have led to a non-verbal child with autism experiencing a "language explosion;" plus I heard and saw some horror stories of children who lack sufficient experience expectant stimulation to develop speech normally ... I wanted to cry. On the flip side, I did a Child Language Observation with my cousin's brilliant 6 year old daughter ... a 6 year old's Mean Language Unit (words per sentence) should be 6, but her verbal skills are well above what is normal). The opportunity to develop language normally is far from equal, because some families share rich language experiences in the kitchen while others sleep on language development. Poverty sucks! Another cool thing that I've done recently was to administer a practice KBEA-II standardized Achievement Test with a 4th grade student who has been home schooled -- my young friend has far better listening / short-term memory skills than me -- he was testing consistently above an 8th grade level in all areas.

My presentation on ADHD was well received by my Foundations of Special Education Teacher, despite the fact that embedded videos and sound are not portable in PowerPoint. Guess what, based on what I learned about the diagnostic criteria, I might be ADD! Shocker! The paperwork may be my downfall. If I crash and burn, at least it's been fun,