Monday, March 14, 2011

How Technology Has Helped during Injuries and absences


Technology is a great resource for educators and students for a variety of reasons - differentiation, doing new things, exploring things that you wouldn't be able to otherwise, saving time and money, getting organized, and much more. However, technology has helped me in other ways due to some injuries I've had.

Since 1988, I've been involved in EMS and am a paramedic and EMS-Instructor. EMS work takes a toll on  your body and I've had a couple of injuries over the years that have affected me in school too.

A few years ago, I had to have knee surgery for cartilage and tendon damage. I scheduled the surgery for the Friday before Christmas break to limit my absences, but I was still on crutches and mobile challenged for a while afterward. Two years ago I hurt my back - two herniated discs - and have had flare ups and trouble since then. There are days were I can't stand or walk much at all.

Technology helped out - I can sit at my computer and control PowerPoint, websites, and more and mark them up as needed. I can monitor what my students were doing on the classroom computers, and I can work on lessons. I even have a remote control for my computer so I can sit in a different chair, or move to a different position and still control the remote. When I haven't been up to standing and writing on the board, I can put a piece of paper under the document camera and write on that, projecting it up to the board for all to see. When I've been out for these injuries, I've been able to communicate with my students through email and the class blogs and website. I can share resources with them through the blog and even share notes from Evernote, along with sharing my presentations and other materials. When absent, I can still assign work to them and even get their assignments from them for review, without coming into school. I can teach, even with injuries that prevent me from being mobile, or even in the classroom.

Technology also helps students who are absent or injured. Students can access assignments, resources, or me from home (or anywhere else). They can work on many assignments while at home, without needing anyone to come and pick up materials, because most assignments are on websites or downloadable from the class web site. If they are in school, but injured, like one of my football players was this year, they can sit in their chair and still do work and participate. I can lend them a laptop to use to take notes, access materials, and more, so they don't have to go over to the classroom computers, which are around the outside of the room. Class notes, handouts, assignments, and resources are all posted online for them, and I'm always available via email or the class blog.

Technology has made absences and injuries less of an issue in the classroom. It makes these things less disruptive to the whole process.

How has technology saved you?

Related Article:

Technology to the Rescue while out on Jury Duty


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