Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Students With Learning Disabilities

Last night was my first night teaching a course for students with learning disabilities of different descriptions, and their parents. The students paid for the course, but the parents attend for free. My reasoning was that parents have always been the strongest advocates for their children, their best teachers, and their greatest source of support. I was overwhelmed by the response to the course, and pleased to see that every child had a parent in attendance.

Our learning intention was to establish what the course objectives were, and then to begin talking in the language of computers and the Internet.

Our course objectives are to find common factors between programs so that we can learn them more quickly, to learn some basic file management ideas, and to get comfortable navigating the computer folder system for future assignments.

Our next assignment will involve graphics and art. I took all the kids pictures with a webcam, and they moved them into folders. Now we will learn some basic graphic skills, and make "disguises" with those pictures. Then they will use their pictures to plan a story, using an online story planning tool which creates "bubble diagrams." These bubble diagrams are better done on a computer than with pencil and paper becuase you can change their organization, cut and paste parts of your plan, share your plan with other students, and then save it in different places (a document, or a blog) so that you will not lose it. And its free. I will write more on this series after Wednesday. And if any of my students from the course are reading this - how smart of you....now go do your typing homework!

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