Archive for the ‘computer’ Category

Google SketchUp for Down Syndrome

March 23, 2008

Inspired by Project Spectrum which aims at “[helping] people with autism take advantage of their visual and spatial gifts” I selected SketchUp as the program to teach to a 17-year-old girl at Resala who has down syndrome.

Today it was my second session with her. Last session was exactly one week a go. I was astonished with how much and how clearly she remembered the steps for doing almost everything I had taught her during our last session. I have been delivering SketchUp training sessions to regular people with normal mental abilities and none of them ever remembered what I had given him/her in a past session in such detail.

Not only was it that one complete week had passed since the last session, but also this girl did not have SketchUp installed yet on her computer at home, which means she did not practice at all between the two sessions! That was an amazing thing for me to see and I have learnt a lot from it. It seems that such kids have special mental abilities and hidden talents that only need to be tapped into in order to reveal themselves.

During today’s session, I invited her father to stay with us during the training telling him that perhaps he can learn the program too himself. I thought of it as some sort of family learning which is one method of promoting better learning. He was totally surprised by what his daughter was able to do with SketchUp. As the session progressed, he told me that I had a lot of patience in teaching. To me, I do not see it as patience but I see it more of an appreciation of the varied skills and potential of others whom might lack some aspects of your mental abilities yet exceed you in others.

Free Programming Course at Resala

December 13, 2007

A short while ago I started delivering an Introduction to Programming course at the Nasr City branch of Resala. Computer courses at Resala are for free and are delivered by volunteers.

Hello World

I really enjoyed delivering that course a lot. Attendees of the course were mostly students of the Faculty of Engineering, Al Azhar University which happens to be in Nasr City. Many of the volunteers at the Nasr City branch of Resala are from Al Azhar University, perhaps this is one good benefit of having the 32ed branch of Resala open in Nasr City in particular.

In the introduction to computer programming course, I focused on the fundamental concepts of programming using the C language as the vehicle upon which students would learn the basic concepts of programming. The course covered programming building blocks such as variables, loops, conditional statements, functions as we?l as mathematical, conditional and logical operators among other fundamental programming concepts.

I have also made some of the source code used during the labs available online at my Born Trainer website.

Fun with SketchUp

September 16, 2007

After having played around with Google SketchUp for quite a while, today I delved deeper into it by reading a lot about it online, viewing videos about it and experimenting myself. I feel much more confidence in using it now.

I really would love to do cool things with SketchUp in the days to come. I believe I will God willing.