I was at school yesterday viewing and uploading Marvin files to Moodle.
I went through them and picked the best. I skipped around, and was it a bit of a hurry so I missed a few kids that had saved to the wrong place.
The student is autistic. He struggles to connect with people and conform to social norms. He communicates, but in a very simple, concrete way.
During pieces of Everybody’s Gotta Story he worked with a teaching assistant, and I helped where I could, but he can often get off task quickly, especially on the computer.
I watched his Marvin this morning. In his own way he shared his values, his beliefs, and the things that were important to him. He had a better grasp on the Marvin program than most kids in my class. The lines of code or “instructions” as he called them completely made sense to him. He told me he wanted to alternate talking and an animation.
He used animals as his avatars because “the people didn’t make sense to him” – his words.
I cried when I watched his movie, as I am now. I realized that all of the planning, hard work, troubleshooting problems were all worth it. I was able to see this student in a way I had never seen him before, what drives him. He talked about his Dad, who isn’t in his life, he talked about how he believes in Santa Claus. His motivations are so pure and uncomplicated, but his story is heartbreaking. Everybody’s Gotta Story that would break your heart…
Thank-you Darlene for putting the project together. Brazil was fantastic, but this is better. Thank-you to Todd, Rocky, Gord, and the rest of the tech department for supporting us through all of the growing pains of the project. It was really all worth it.