Reading the books A Whole New Mind and Drive! by Daniel Pink (www.danpink.com) inspired me to start this blog. In A Whole New Mind, Pink argues that we are exiting the Information Age and entering the Conceptual Age. Masters Degrees are still useful but people in other countries can also learn the same information and are willing to apply it for much less. Therefore having knowledge is a great base but not enough to be successful in the Conceptual Age. To be successful in the Conceptual Age you have to be able to bring disparate ideas to create solutions to current problems or unknown problems. But how can I find the time to search for all the information needed to make combinations to form solutions? Post a blog in which other people concerned with the education of students with special needs can comment on topics. The opportunity to converse with other professionals in the area of special education has always been my favorite aspect of continuing education. My hope is that this blog will replicate the discussions and sharing of information created when people with shared challenges and passion are able to collaborate.
In his book, Drive!, Pink presents research over the last thirty years that severely contradicts the theory that behavior is primarily based on external awards. Pink does an excellent job discussing research that shows that often the motivation to perform a task can be found in the task itself. In my occupation I often feel overcome by the mundane tasks and the feeling that financial and time constraints are preventing students from getting the services they need. My hope is that the purpose of this site, finding technology to serve students with special needs, will motivate me.
This will most likely be my longest blog. My plan is to find technology ( mostly free), try it out and share it with everyone. Using Google Docs, I created a Behavior Point sheet which I email as a form to the student’s teachers. The form is easy to complete and the results are recorded in the spreadsheet. The data can be shared with parents, administrators and others in real time. If you edit the form the changes appear in the spreadsheet. Send the form by following the dropdown menu under Forms. You will need to have a Google Account to use the Behavior Point sheet. Here is the link:
If you would like to see the document in which the data is recorded, click here.