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Ira Socol
Works at Educology Partners
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Ira Socol

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I don't want to build "grit." Grit is not a school concern. Grit is what you do to survive in moments of scarcity. It is an amoral state, which is fine, but not what we need to be promoting.

I, like most kids you want to "give Git to," have all those gritty solutions, we could/can lie, cheat, steal, and get out of class and school.

What I think you want for your children is resilience, but resilience only comes from supplying conditions which create slack and abundance. Resilience only comes when we're sure someone is there to pick us back up. And that has nothing to do with "difficulty" or "challenge" - especially among children for whom simply getting to school in the morning is difficult and challenging.
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+Ira Socol I got a lot of pushback from people in the techie / maker community when I said, "This is mostly white and mostly male. I have a lot of kids who work on cars, but somehow they aren't makers?" 

It's true that many of my students are creative out of the necessity of survival and that it's not always the same thing as creativity skills. However, when the creative elements of these survival skills are not affirmed, it can reek of privilege. 

I have kids who have learned to program Linux out of the necessity of getting an old computer to work. I know it's not the same thing as a makey-makey banana-as-a-keyboard thing, but it's pretty damn impressive. 
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Ira Socol hung out with 4 people. #hangoutsonairMichael Thornton, Erica Thorsen Payne, Brian Kayser, and David Glover
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Ira Socol

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Just wanted to do a quick introduction. I'm not much of an ISTE person, huge conferences and formalized training have never been anything of interest, but I've worked deeply in educational technology/universal design since 1995 when I first built a fully networked high school with teacher laptops and hundreds of Macs and PCs for kids (with 11 images, ranging from science to publishing). Before that I did tech with the NYPD.

Later I developed accessible computing at Grand Valley State University, for homeless education in Grand Rapids, MI, with Voc Rehab agencies. Now I am Project Director for Design 2015 in the Albemarle (VA) County Public Schools, leading a transformational change project involving technology, space design, furniture, schedule changes, and of course pedagogical change across 26 schools. home | acpsdesign2015

I've found that integrating technology in ways which transform really requires IEPs for every teacher. There is no other way.
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Ira, I really agree with your "modeling in place" approach!  I have found that most teachers feel they get enough tech tool training, but it is the lesson planning (and implementation) using tech piece that is missing.  So many teachers appreciate it when I take the time to actually be in the room and either introduce, demonstrate or simply provide support when trying something new.  You are also right when you say teachers are afraid to empower kids, but that is exactly when the magic happens.  When teachers feel comfortable enough to let students see them as learners.  It's a big shift for some teachers.  Lyn, you are right...baby steps.
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Have him in circles
2,549 people
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Work
Occupation
Educational Researcher, Disability, Technology
Employment
  • Educology Partners
    Senior Provocateur, present
  • Michigan State University
    Educational Researcher, Disability, Technology, 2005 - 2012
  • Michigan's Integrated Technology Supports
    Assistive Technology - Accessibility Support, 2009 - 2012
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services
    Contract Assistive Technology Support, 2003 - 2012
  • Band of Educators
    Re-imagining Education and Leadership, 2011 - 2012
  • Heartside Ministry
    Supporting Grand Rapids Homeless
  • Grand Valley State University
    Academic and Assistive Technology
  • New York City Police Department
    Police Officer, Information Magician
Story
Tagline
Provocateur - defending kids and education from those who would harm them for fame or profit
Introduction
Educator, Writer, Researcher, focused on Re-imagining Education in real environments, Postcolonial Educational Practice, Universal Design for Learning Technology, Historical Frame for Disability and Education, Disability Theory, Disability Education, Special Education Technology. Other interests, Irish Literature, Microfiction. Author: "The Drool Room" and "A Certain Place of Dreams"
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Male