Thursday, February 07, 2008

Here's a post from the OLPC News forums. This supports my feeling that these little ruggedized, portable devices are a great fit for uses as assistive technology. My first thought, on reading about them, was to look into ways that deaf-blind users could benefit from them, but there are a lot of different types of special-needs users that could employ the XO to their benefit. The user described in this post is a special-ed student. "Frank" is the person who donated the XO laptop that the student will be using.

One Laptop for Joey

Check out a few picture of the OLPC at my school.
http://computerkiddoswiki.pbwiki.com/Read+More+About+It

I was surprised by how many kids came down and played with it. Now these are kids who have a 30 station brand new Dell Lab. I teach them CAD Programming with Logo, Squeak, Scratch, Alice... I figure the little ones would love it and the big kids dismiss it out of hand. Instead- they all loved it. And they all wanted one- They were sad when I explained you could not but any retail. I saw 7 classes today and had a packed lab before school, during lunch and after school-even though we had a blizzard.

Favorites from their limited play time?? Tam Tam, Paint the of course, and the Video camera. The 6th grade boys at lunch made a litlte video about teeth-I have no idea where the idea came from... Joey got to meet his laptop and is willing to share it and let the rest of the kids play with it this week. On Friday we write into his IEPC the ability to use it during classtime. When you see Joey's picture at the bottom of the screen it says it all. I told Joey because he showed a real talent for using computer he was going to be the one to use it. He just glowed! The other kids in his class really rallyed around him- Joey you are good with computer I bet you are smart using them, Now this is a child who really struggles-and today-he was the most popular boy in 5th grade.

Frank today you made a HUGE difference in the life of a child Joey. Today he goes home feeling smart! his teacher and I had to turn away because we had tears in our eyes.

I am thinking that the OLPC could make a huge different in special education.

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