Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The King's Speech

Special Education and Technology seem to go pretty much hand in hand nowadays. Typically when people think of medicine, some sort of science and technology connection is made. But what if you were to ask to someone from the 20th century? What about the 19th century? They probably would not see the connection. Personally, I never really thought about the technology available then (even though the foundations of our technology today came from then).

This weekend I was watching The King's Speech. For those that have not seen the movie, it explores the journey King George VI goes through having a severe "stammer" (also known as stutter). The movie shows the emotional battle he has as he rises to the throne and the self confidence issues that arise by having a disability and a job that requires public speaking. Excellent movie - I would definitely recommend everyone to watch it!

King George VI embarks on his battle with the help of doctor Lionel. I was amazed to see the use of technology to aid in the King's speech. With the help of music and a recording device the King was able to hear himself read. This was the first time in his life he heard himself speak without a stammer. The look on his face was a mixture of disbelief, amazement and hope. The technology played such an important role in helping the King gain his confidence.

Compared to today, this technology is minimal, but it was available and worked for the betterment of someone, all because another was willing to help and knew how to use the technology.

I consider myself rather competent with technology, but watching this movie, I was given a new appreciation for technology and for my technology class. Having the opportunity to explore a fraction of what is out there and learning how to use it inspires me to do what the doctor did.

Technology is a part of a 21st century learning journey. As 21st educators I believe we owe it to our learners to know the technology, present other opportunities and allow all possibilities. Who knows how it may help our students - but lets try give them that same feeling of amazement and hope King George VI had.

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