"So-and-so" just got an iPad at school to help "so-and-so" learn and I don't think that "so-and-so" should even get that thing because "so-and-so" never does his work. Like, ever Mom! He never does his work, and now he gets this? What a joke!"
Can I ask you what your reaction is?
Parents, what do you say to your son, or your daughter when this conversation comes up? Or maybe is already has. Or, if you're in my world (my kiddies are young), it hasn't yet... but it will happen.
In one way or another, over the course of your son or daughters educational history a conversation that is somewhat similar to the one above will take place. I bet you money on it. Pretty cocky of me to assume? Well, maybe, but not really. You know how I know? Because I'm there. I'm in those classes. I'm in the hall. I'm on the school yard and I hear kids talk. And talk, and talk, and talk.
And, I get it.
You see, as a kid, it's hard to see that the 'special tool of technology' allowances that "so-and-so" gets actually lets them start to demonstrate their thinking, understanding, and allows the rest of us to see inside them. I am blessed to actually witness these miracles. I'll tell you a tiny bit about one of those miracles:
This student of 'mine' (because he's in my school, and he's one I could take home with me and call my own on any given day ~ but I won't because that's wrong...!) you see is doing these great 'things' with the gift (SEA claim) of his iPad. Now, many of the same students in "so-and-so's" class may see that iPad, with all it's bells, whistles, and shiniest apps as the coolest thing since sliced bread. And it is.
But for "so-and-so" that tool, that piece of assistive technology allows him/her to shine. To read. Independently. To create. Independently. To rewind. Independently. To search. Independently. To calculate. Independently. And to do so many more educational tasks that this list could go on and on. Now independent.
And that's awesome.
The really cool thing about that piece of assistive technology is that now "so-and-so" has a way to rock out his learning. Now he can read the same level of texts as his classmates. Now he can write through the use of his voice... just as I'm doing here! (And you thought I was typing this didn't you?)
"Necessary for some, good for all" is just that. If we lived in a world were money was no object than yes, iPads all around. But, to be honest, I don't think that's actually what we need.
We need instead to stop looking at 'those' kids as getting the bells and whistles in learning. Instead, we need to look and see where we can provide supports and structures that allow all our kids to have that step up. To even the playing field, if you will.
We need to do good for all, regardless of what it is that that student needs. That's the system I want to be apart of... And you know what?
Thanks for reading.
I hope through my words you have got to see a glimmer of what I see. And, if you could, the next time your son or daughter comes home and talks about "so-and-so," listen. Listen to what your son or daughter is saying. But also listen to the right in the world. For it's those supports that is allowing for success to start. "Necessary for some, good for all."