I'm so glad Professor Brown agreed to be interviewed for this article, because he gave me one of the most convincing stories about how technology can really benefit students in the classroom; the following is an excerpt from my paper, relating the story he shared:
John Gregory Brown, professor of creative writing at Sweet Briar, has also witnessed first-hand technology’s ability to personalize and simplify learning for students with different needs.
“Our first experience with technology in the classroom was the result of our disabled daughter, whose fine motor skills are poor, needing a device to make writing easier for her,” recalled Brown.
At the time, which was more than ten years ago, the standard equipment given to students struggling with writing was an Alpha Smart, a lightweight keyboard-like device. However, Brown insisted that his daughter be allowed to use a computer, which was easier for her to operate.
“It took a while,” continued Brown, “but the school finally understood that it didn’t make sense to prohibit a student from using a device that makes learning easier and leads to the student being more confident and accomplished. I think about that experience all the time when I’m confronted with trying to figure out how to make learning easier and more engaging for students.”