Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Globalization and Technology

I thought this video, Globalization & The Information Age, created by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman for a Sony BMG conference was a good way to kick off this blog.

Not only is it a thought provoking video, but it demonstrates the need to expand education, not only technologically, but culturally as well. Teachers have an advantage in that we are capable of creating microcosms in our classrooms; in which we are the supreme power and authority. Is not the classroom the ideal place to prepare our students for the 'outside' world by teaching tolerance and embracing each other's unique skills and differences?

I especially see this need in my students, who fall into a wide range of individuals with disabilities; sometimes cognitive, sometimes physical, and sometimes both. What amazes me the most perhaps is how quickly my students can overcome these differences and focus on the material in class, rather than each other. Why? Because every single one of them enters knowing that this is a training facility for individuals with disabilities and embrace that knowledge immediately. Perhaps this needs to be directly taught in your more traditional setting. Location breeds culture, and students need to be taught from a young age that things can be different from what is familiar.

The technological feature of this video also struck me as poignant. Not only should technology be taught to general education students, but think of the potential adaptive technology and transition opportunities available to students with disabilities! I think specifically of my students who are in the Autistic Spectrum. I had one student who a veritable human calculator. Time and time again they proved that they were not lacking in any 'intelligence' other than the 'social.' Though I often decry the lost of human interaction in social networking, and dare I say it, blogging, there is real opportunity for individuals in the spectrum to flourish with technological careers.

That forces me to beg the question: why aren't there more technology transition opportunities available to high school students?

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