Meet Ira David Socol, Educational Researcher and Virtual Presenter
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How are you involved in education?
Teacher Educator, Educational Researcher currently at Michigan State University. Have worked in the field of Special Educational Needs and Technology for 15 years, with students at every grade level from K to adult education and universities on strategies and technologies which allow them to succeed independently. I’ve developed “Tool Belt Theory” to help educators help students build lifespan tool acquisition skills and achieve maximum levels of communication and information independence. I study the origins of our concepts of education, technology, and ability/disability, and write and present internationally.
What’s your ideal classroom or school like?
I believe in one-room schoolhouses, that is, multiage classrooms which are fully inclusive and contain multiple teachers in large non-rectangular rooms. I believe in information and communications technology at every hand, but in whatever forms meet the student’s need of the moment. I believe in universal design, in the elimination of grade levels and grade level expectations, in project-based cross-curricular learning, in classrooms linked globally. I don’t believe in tests, highly enforced schedules, print-centric curricula, assessments via multiple choice, labelling children, or ranking them numerically.
Have you ever attended an unconference before?
I think unconferences happen all the time. In person, on Twitter, etc. So sure. But when it is formalized is it really an “unconference” or a “semi-conference”?
If you were to lead a session at Edcamp, what would it be about?
I could converse about Tool Belt Theory or about why we need to challenge absolutely everything we “assume” about education or about lesson ideas in global democracy and cultural comprehension or even about maths and Special Needs whatever, the audience should decide
Do you have a website or a blog?
Are you on Twitter?