I started this week’s reading with “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Slides Are Not All Evil” by Jean-Luc Doumont. He brings up a good point that can generally be applied to teaching as well as Universal Design: there is no one right way, and there is no one way that will produce a good lesson if you don’t have a good teacher. As he argued against the booklet produced by Edward Tufte, Doumont emphasized that all powerpoint presentations can’t be judged off of just one set of slides (as he described Tufte had done with the Boeing slide). In addition, he discussed that judging slides as the presentation itself is unfair as much of the presentation comes from the presenter themselves. This relates to the idea in CAST’s UDL model about providing information in multiple ways. If someone judged Wendy’s class based off of the powerpoint that she prepares for class and hands out, I think they would certainly obtain information, but they likely wouldn’t get the same messages that we are able to take home from class. Some of this is based off of class discussion, some because of how she “re-describes” the content included in her powerpoint, and other parts because of the activities included within the class. With this in mind, and thinking towards my own presentation (first, I will be taking a lot of this article into consideration, since I am planning on using a powerpoint), I am going to attempt to video-tape my presentation to put on youtube later. I am a little nervous about this since it will be the first professional presentation I have done, and only the second one concerning UD. However, I think it is important that if attendees of my session want to return to this information later, it will be important for them not to just have the slides to relate back to.

 

The second reading, “Enacting Literacy: Local Understanding, Significant Disability, and a New Frame for Educational Opportunity,” by Christopher Kliewer and Douglas Biklen, I found to be  more difficult for me to follow. One part that I found to be a little troubling was that they kept talking about the “disability profession” and I wondered what that was. They seemed to be describing people who functioned within the medical model and I found the use of this term (which I can’t remember having heard in this way prior) to be reinforcing a negative connotation to the term “disability.” For instance, the doctor who so directly told Nicholas’s mother that he was going to be “severely retarded” was someone from the disability profession. In my opinion, it is better to discuss members of the medical community as that and not necessarily disability professionals just because he diagnoses children with disabilities. He seemed to me to know nothing regarding disability in a positive sense, and therefore I would not regard him a disability professional. That was something I was thinking about and am interested if anyone else picked up on it.

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