Ms. Howard's second-graders at Booth Elementary School were engaged and intrigued as "Mr. Ricky" explained how he became blind in two separate accidents, demonstrated how he paints with textured "puffy paint" and his fingers, and shared some of the strategies and "tools" he uses to accommodate for not being able to see.
With the "tool" of a finger to feel texture and finger-paint (creating beautiful images without the sense of sight), and a high-tech gadget which identifies colors, Ricky Trione demonstrated that with desire, perseverance, and support systems we can often find ways to achieve goals which may initially seem unachievable. (This is a message I never grow tired of hearing and was again reminded by example that outcomes are also dependent upon my own actions, decisions and attitude.)
As I listened today (as I have so many times before) to the information shared, I really focused for the first time on how Ricky authentically utilizes tools and technology to achieve his goals through art. I was struck by the diversity of these "tools" from the most primitive (a finger) to sophisticated (talking watch, talking computer, and color-identifier).
So I thought about how the latest and greatest technologies are very cool and can certainly serve a purpose, but no matter how sophisticated the technology, it may not always be the most useful; the process may just require paint on a paper plate and a pointer finger!