[ På svenska ] I did it!

Idea and Script: Bodil Jönsson, CERTEC
Producer: Per Zilo, Studio III, Ronneby

"I did it!"

is a series of 6 TV programs aimed at disabled students, their parents and friends, as well as teachers and care services professionals. In the programs you will meet many students and teachers, and very functional combinations of special educational methodology and special technology for students with visual impairments or physical or cognitive disabilities.

- I did it!... said the 7-year old girl proudly after having written and felt her name Marie underneath her finger. She is blind and has never seen her own name, but now she can feel it.


Teacher's Guide

Teacher's Guide by Bodil Jönsson

Preface
Background
Target Groups
Introduction to the six programs and some suggestions for what you, the teacher, can make of them:

  1. Technology as a Friend
  2. Pictures for Understanding
  3. The Entire World at your Fingertip
  4. A University Success Story
  5. Understanding Time
  6. Empowerment

Preface

This TV series is about what has suddenly become possible. About things which can be done today but were impossible yesterday. About how a disabled student can learn more, gain a new self-image and greater power over his everyday life. What is making this possible? Technology, technology, technology!

This does not mean that technology is good or evil. Technology is not human. Neither is it inhuman. People are the ones who are human or inhuman. Technology is technical. And very often technology is also “inter-human"; what is the point of having a phone if there is nobody to phone to, why print books if nobody reads them, what is the point of the railway if there is nobody to go and visit, etc.?

The same thing applies to the technological advances which form the background to this series. In themselves they are rather uninteresting, but what if they make it possible for you to learn more, enrich your self-image, become somebody who obviously has power over her daily life and as a result is able to achieve richer interaction with the world around her? Perhaps the time has come for a marriage between special education and special technology.

The programs include examples relating to physical disabilities, blindness and various cognitive disabilities. The programs are aimed directly at disabled students and at teachers, other care services professionals, parents, friends and others with an interest in this field. The idea for the series was provided by Bodil Jönsson of CERTEC. It was produced by Per Zilo of Studio III, Ronneby.

I really don't think this series needs a Teacher's Guide. The programs speak very well for themselves, and I do have 90 minutes in the programs themselves to show examples, examples, examples, examples. In doing so we have actually passed the baton already. Please view this Teacher's Guide more as a covering letter and know that I fully respect your ability as a teacher to know best how to use this series in your teaching.


Background

Developments in information technology are providing people (with and without disabilities) with entirely new learning opportunities. So many things are happening simultaneously that one could say that “time thinks". Time thinks, but it does not act. People are the ones who have to act. This is why the objective of

“I did it!" is not just to provide information but also, and more importantly, to inspire. To inspire students to a greater belief in their abilities and a growing desire to begin to try things for themselves, to begin to wish, maybe even to start making demands. To inspire teachers to closely examine their basic views on educational methodology in the light of these new opportunities: Now you can do all these things, if you dare to take the risk!

The basic theme of the series is the “DARE TO KNOW" of the Age of Enlightenment. I believe it would make a tremendous difference, perhaps create a revolution in learning, if more people were able to find out more about all the opportunities open to them and would dare to take in the information and transform it into knowledge and action.


Target Groups

The six 15-minute programs have been designed for different age groups from the early teens and up. The most important target group are disabled students, their families, friends and teachers. No special adaptation of the programs is needed for people with physical disabilities: in their case, it is mainly about an opportunity to recognize their own situation, to receive support for their dreams and hints about how things can be done. The programs for students with cognitive disabilities are more strictly focused on the group in question. This does not mean that there is a need for teachers to guide the students from above; it would be impossible to find a language which would suit everybody, for example. Explanations, discussions, the exchange of ideas play an important role in this context because I believe that the programs will appeal to the students and that the students will feel that the programs are addressed to them in particular.


Introduction to the six programs and some suggestions about what you, the teacher, can make of them.

First of all: let the students watch the programs. Preferably without being influenced by any information given to them ahead of time. In all the programs, we first meet Viveka the Clown who implies that there may be something or someone to find in the unknown world around us. Then come the programs themselves, which are based entirely on various examples. The programs are hosted by Bodil Jönsson from CERTEC.

"I did it! Is not just a series for disabled students, it may also become a source of inspiration to professionals working in this field. We encourage you to view the series with your colleagues. Please write to us at certec@certec.lth.se or to Bodil Jönsson, CERTEC, LTH, Box 118, 221 00 Lund and tell us about any ideas these programs have inspired in you. We promise to make good use of them. The world of technology will benefit greatly if teaching professionals actively contribute their skills and knowledge.


1. Technology as a Friend

Target Group: Students with cognitive disabilities and people close to them.

The program begins with Gustav and his service dog Passo. Gustav does not have a cognitive disability but has rather severe physical disabilities, and we get to see a few of the things Passo can do to help Gustav. It is an eye -opener: we realize how nice it is for Gustav not to have to ask for help all the time, how nice it is to be relatively independent some of the time thanks to the presence of Passo.

Next, the film shows us what various users of the personal digital assistant Isaac are able to do when using this device. It is about independence and about acquiring a language that you are able to master. About not having always to ask for assistance. About sometimes being able to do some things those around you cannot do.

Each student and each group of students will of course be able to ask questions, but I suggest that you as the teacher be prepared for, or try to initiate discussions about (“I" stands for a student):

“What might it be that made the clown happy?"
“What can you use a dog like Passo for?"
“What can you use Isaac for?"
“Would I be able to take pictures like that?"
“In that case, I would show my pictures to…"
“In that case, I would send the pictures to…"
“Is it possible to read pictures instead of letters?"
“I can find my way on my own/ I would like to have something like Isaac to avoid getting lost"

Watch the TV program “Technology as a Friend": [ Dedicated Internet connection ] [ 28.8 k bps modem ]


2. Pictures for Understanding

Target Group: Students with cognitive disabilities and those close to them.

For people who have difficulty using spoken or written language, digital pictures open up a whole new world. You will get to see more of this in the form of various concepts such as Isaac, Mymories, Experience it!, and The Picture Bank. I will not write any more about it here: it has to be seen in pictures, not words.

Examples of questions:

“Is it really possible just to point at something and then the pictures go into the computer?""
“Can you get the pictures to appear again, and again, and again?"
“My best loved pictures would be of …"
“If I were to take pictures of what it was like when I was little, I would show you …"
“If I were to show you what I am dreaming of, I would show pictures of …"

Watch the TV program “Pictures for Understanding": [ Dedicated Internet connection ] [ 28.8 k bps modem ]


3. The Entire World at Your Fingertip

Target Group: People with visual or physical impairments and those close to them.

Even if you cannot see or if you cannot move very well, you can still feel objects with your finger. But, usually, not that many objects are in our immediate surroundings, and if you cannot see or have difficulty getting close to objects which are far away, you will not be able to touch them. With The Phantasticon you can continually be provided with objects (virtually). You can examine them. You can work with them. You can modify them. You can learn mathematics with them. You can play computer games. This program ends with Marie, aged 7, saying: “I did it!" We thought that would be an excellent title for this series!

Sighted people's perception of the world is based on inner pictures which to a large extent are defined by visual impressions. Blind people's perception of the world is based on inner pictures which to a large extent are defined be tactile impressions. From the very outset, this probably makes blind people better equipped to use The Phantasticon than others. There are undreamed-of educational possibilities. And everyday uses. It took some time before we were able to take photos of the world around us and before the box camera made photography every man's technology. In the not to distant future, perhaps all of us will have Phantasticons which we can use to feel distant objects and which we can use for sensography?

In Sweden there are only four Phantasticons so far (3 at CERTEC, 1 at HADAR in Malmö). If you would like to feel what it is like to use a Phantasticon, please come to our “CERTEC Information Day". For more information, write to CERTEC, LTH, Box 118, 221 00 Lund or send us an e-mail at certec@certec.lth.se.

Examples of questions:

“What do you think it feels like?! Is it weird to feel something which isn't really there?"
“What did Marie say she was able to do?"
“Does it feel the same with your left hand as with your right hand?"
“Can I get to try one of those?"
“Can you use it to feel clay with?"
“If I had one of them I would use it to feel…"

Watch the TV program “The Entire World at Your Fingertip": [ Dedicated Internet connection ] [ 28.8 k bps modem ]


4. A University Success Story

Target Group: Students with physical disabilities and those around them.

To be able to take the step from high school to university you have dare to do it. Here, the example of Peter Anderberg and his studies at the Lund Institute of Technology and in the United States serves as an illustration.

Earlier (ten years ago) Peter was unsuccessful in his university studies. He failed as a student. Broke off his studies, moved back home and was in a certain sense forgotten for ten years. Peter's rekindled interest in university studies came at about the same time as information technology made it possible for him to study in his own way. Now, he is doing well in his studies, he is leading a richer life, he has got a girlfriend, and he will go directly into a research career.

Examples of questions:

“Would I be able to …?"
“Do you have to be really good at computers ..?"
“Why has Peter made so many friends through IT, directly and indirectly? Why hasn't it made him more isolated instead?""
“Would I like to study abroad?"
“If I were to go to university, what subjects would I choose?"

Watch the TV program “A University Success Story": [ Dedicated Internet connection ] [ 28.8 k bps modem ]


5.Understanding Time

Target Group: Students with cognitive disabilities and those close to them.

Learning how to tell time is difficult for all children. When both hands are pointing at 7, it is not 7 o'clock, but 25 minutes to 8, that is, you cannot hear a 7 at all when you are telling somebody what it means when both hands are pointing at 7.

Some children are never able to learn to tell time. But clocks run our lives and interfere in our lives even if we find it difficult to master them. CERTEC has created “Clock o'clock" to provide an easier way for a lot more people to gain access to the world of clock time. This program features “Clock o'clock" and its additional components the diary, the time bar and the minute glass (which are intended to help in developing a feeling for how long an hour and a minute are).

Examples of questions:

“Can I learn how long an hour is?"
“Can I see that minute glass again?"
“Can I have a clock like that in my computer?"
“Does each day have a color on the computer screen?"
“Can you make a drawing on the board to show what the time is now with a clock like that so that I can see if I can do it?"
“Can we play 'telling how long a while is'? First, you have to show us: this is how long a while is!"

Watch the TV program “Understanding Time": [ Dedicated Internet connection ] [ 28.8 k bps modem ]


6. Empowerment

Target Group: Anybody who is interested in this series

All the programs in this series are about empowerment. This is illustrated by examples about what has happened to the personality of a number of people who have suddenly grown through their use of technology. Who have become Somebody. Who have acquired Personal integrity with the emphasis on Personal. You will meet not only the people who appeared in the other programs, you will also meet Bengt Lindqvist, a strong and well known personality in Sweden and abroad, and a former cabinet minister. There is a lot to tell about his way of not only managing but managing well despite the fact that he is blind: a sense of humor, tranquillity, playing the drums, work, aids adapted to his needs, etc. Listen to what he has got to tell us.

This program is a summing-up of the series and a spring-board for future work. We cannot say for certain what will happen, we can only pass on the signals we are receiving. I am not providing any guiding examples of questions for this program; I am convinced that they will come naturally. But I do say:

Watch the TV program “Empowerment":  [ Dedicated Internet connection ] [ 28.8 k bps modem ]


Welcome to an extraordinary series about wonders that have occurred and wonders which might occur when more people take advantage of all these new possibilities!