This story dovetails nicely with this week’s story on how we’re about to see the end of teaching as we know it.
Thanks to the Google Blog for shining a light on the story of Morgan, a 16-year-old student in Wells, Maine. Morgan has a learning disability but has been able to overcome much of the issues using technology such as Google Voice Search. While this is obviously an ad for Google’s products, it is an important look at the larger picture: technology enables learning like never before. Simple as that.
Here’s the key parts of the story from the Official Google Blog:
We all have memories of the great teachers who shaped our childhood. They found ways to make the lightbulb go off in our heads, instilled in us a passion for learning and helped us realize our potential. The very best teachers were creative with the tools at their disposal, whether it was teaching the fundamentals of addition with Cheerios or the properties of carbon dioxide with baking soda and vinegar. As the Internet has developed, so too have the resources available for teachers to educate their students.
One teacher who has taken advantage of the web as an educational tool is Cheryl Oakes, a resource room teacher in Wells, Maine. She’s also been able to tailor the vast resources available on the web to each student’s ability. This approach has proven invaluable for Cheryl’s students, in particular 16-year-old Morgan, whose learning disability makes it daunting to sort through search results to find those webpages that she can comfortably read. Cheryl taught Morgan how to use the Search by Reading Level feature on Google Search, which enables Morgan to focus only on those results that are most understandable to her. To address the difficulty Morgan faces with typing, Cheryl introduced her to Voice Search, so Morgan can speak her queries into the computer. Morgan is succeeding in high school, and just registered to take her first college course this summer.