Taught by a Terrible DiseaseBy Young, Jeffrey R.; Chronicle of Higher Education,
Publication Date: January 3, 2010
Article features a college professor with amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who uses assistive technology to teach her classes. As her disability has rendered her unable to speak and limited her mobility, the professor's English literature lectures are transmitted via a videoconferencing system to the classroom, where she appears on a large monitor that transmits an image from a Webcam in her home. She communicates with students through computer-generated text or a speech synthesizer. Students take turns leading discussions of the literature being covered, while being monitored by their teacher who interacts via text as necessary to stay on topic or to emphasize a point. The literature classes, which used to meet twice weekly, now meet once; in place of the missing class session, students read a lecture written by their professor and participate in an online forum about the readings. The professor states that her condition has made her a better teacher, as her role has shifted from prime mover to more of a guiding observer. The article includes a short video segment which shows the professor videoconferencing with her class and includes comments by one of the students.
Published by: Chronicle of Higher Education (Website:http://chronicle.com)
Link to text: http://chronicle.com/article/Taught-by-a-Terrible-Disease/63347/
Link to video: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid18950891001?bctid=60298428001