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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Virtual Teaching Options

On virtually teaching, you do not need to have video. It can all be audio. On lessons where I am teaching the braille note or braille, it is all done through the phone. I am listening and giving directions and the people on the other side follow through. I have even done this with computer lessons because the bandwidth was not strong enough to take both video and audio. If you know your stuff, listening is all you need.

On braille instruction. If you are a totally blind teacher, even if you were sitting next to a child teaching them braille, or even touch typing, you need someone sighted to make sure they are using their fingers correctly (that is an in general comment--most blind instructors need the sighted to watch the child's hands unless you have been blessed with working with someone like Jerry Whittle from Louisania Tech, one of the most gifted blind braille instructors around). When present with a student, I start out positioned behind a blind child and I actually guide their hands in the correct way on the paper or the keyboard. It is just as easy to tell someone on the other end to do so also, so the child has an idea of what to do, but there has to be someone constantly making sure they are using their hands correctly. Even when you become a TVI and are not there at the school, someone has to follow through on your instruction. If you are virtual, or even part time virtual and part time direct contact, schools will actually have more contact and communication with you, thus you are able to give better service because you know virtual techniques.

I am looking at this as another way to teach. Not to take over for direct contact necessarily, though it can. I do both, but have more access to more people in the World virtually. If you are trying to do all teaching in person, you can only touch a few lives. If you teach virtually, you can touch and help the world.

The methods that are presently in place are not meeting all the needs of our children. We have over worked TVIs and paras that need a lot more direction and guidance. This is a supplemental way to teach or all inclusive...getting into areas where there are NO TVI's or not enough. Using the combination of virtual techniques and direct contact gives you the ability to do more with efficiency. However, total virtual instruction allows you to sit in one spot and teach hundreds and thousands of miles away in different corners of the world by the hour.

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