Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

Posts tagged ‘dysgraphia’

I would rather lose my glasses

Southwestern University is home to the Pirates.

Image via Wikipedia

Why are you so into tech? What is wrong with pencil and paper? I get those questions occasionally.  The answer is because “tech” helps me get around the glitch in my brain.

I’m dysgraphic. In addition to that I have a skin condition that means my skin can fissure making it impossible to hold a pencil without bleeding on the paper. I struggled from  k – 12. I would work so hard to write something , only to be told I was being lazy and not living up to my potential. I remember one teacher telling me I couldn’t use “big” words when speaking if I couldn’t spell them correctly. It wasn’t until I turned in a essay test at Southwestern University that was in complete mirror image that I was tested and diagnosed.

That was freeing. There was a reason for everything. I started using word processors and learned to spell words. No I don’t mean I let spell check correct the words. I would let it mark words that were incorrect. Then  I would try different spellings. When I figured out the correct spelling. I would type it 10 times, instead of writing it 10 times. I would actually learn to spell the word. My professors were great and worked with me as I learned to manage the dysgraphia.

My first laptop – that was a huge step forward. Now I didn’t have to tape lectures, go home and transcribe notes. Instead I could take notes in class. It is rare to see me without my laptop. Now I see coworkers taking notes on their Ipads. I’ve tried it. It is ok, especially with evernote. I still prefer my laptop for a few reasons

  • Tactile I can find the J and F keys by touch. When typing on the ipad I have to look down. I can look at the speaker  with my laptop.
  • Screen settings. I have more control over screen settings on my laptop. I find the ipad screen stresses my eyes and aggravates my dyslexia.
  • Multitaking – If the workshop is a really good workshop – I usually have a lesson plan open and am making notes on how to integrate the information from the workshop into the lesson.
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Workshop Scammers

I as reading Dr. Z Reflects post Professor Destroys Laptop as a Warning for Students, my thoughts went on a slightly different track from Dr. Z’s topic about teachers fearing technology. I started with how do people who need adaptive tech survive in this person’s classes? I was thinking about the times I had to threaten to call HR, because an inservice presenter told me couldn’t use my laptop during their presentations. Each time they backed down because of me bringing up ADA. I’m very dysgraphic and somewhat dyslexic.

Then I went off track. Each of the presenters that objected, were bad presenters. Not bad at presenting – they were good snake oil salesmen. What they were presenting was a rip off. Most of the time I could find/do the same things online for free or near enough to free. I would show this to my friends at lunch – which has resulted in uncomfortable questions for the presenter.

In one case – it went further. I showed some friends how the techniques the presenter was using on us and wanting us to use with kids lined up with warning signs of a cult. The 2nd day (it was a 5 day presentation) my friends and others joined me in the hall on restroom breaks during parts of the demonstration that were basically self help/group therapy techniques. The 3rd day, I asked about the great leader founder’s qualifications because I couldn’t find evidence of him being a licensed psychiatrist in the state of Texas. My sister, who works in a hospital, couldn’t find him on any lists of licensed psychiatrists. When I refused to tell the group the worst experience of my life – I was threatened with losing the DMA hours. I told the presenter I wanted to see his qualifications as a licensed mental health official. I got my hours.

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