Hi Valerie and friends on the sw-list, 


The Symposium 2015 is over and from my point of view  You Valerie and your
team did an excellent job. 








I bet that all presenters agree that thanks to your way to support us in
before and during our presentations it has been a very exciting, valuable
and enriching experience without too much pressure. Your ability to set up
the websites to allow anybody to find his way in order to find the
materials, presentations, presenters, contact information deserves special


THANKS  for that. 


Well so good to know that since all presentations are saved at some place on
the WEB it is so easy to have a second look at a presentation if you want


I do that. And I started with presentation 



 <> “The
Javascript-based SignWriting
<> Keyboard for
Use on Wikimedia

 <> and throughout
the Web <> ” by
Yair Rand, CANADA




hm ... 



Five minutes later ...




Regarding this presentation about how to use this new technic ... oh – I am
so sorry ..I feel completely overwhelmed from the very first beginning.
Reason for that is perhaps that I myself have no confidence in my resources
to learn anything about computersoftware, installing new programms, .... 


On the other hand ...there are other experiences as well ... I
became one of the most experienced scribes with the good old SWDOS programm
..and I even travelled around and taught in workshops and at Universities
about that so I had to learn and to understand that. And I did this 15 years



I understand that your perfectly documented tutorial “SignWriter ...the
world`s first sign Language processor...  ISBN: 0-914336-63-0    which I
bought at that time has been the key to understand how to work with
that...and the many wonderful graphics and screenshots allowed a quick



But now ... the imagination I should write / type  a single sentence with
this new developed “Rand-Keyboard” ... no way...!  It is toooooooo
complicated. I will never ever understand that!






But then I thought a second time ... Maybe teachers who are in contact with
SignWriting the first time may feel almost the same. So I understand that
there should be the chance to go a different path!


One of my students in my class reacts in a way that makes me nervous and
impatient all the time. Just in the beginning of  new theme/subject/task
...he signs ..”Oh my God, this is much too difficult for me. I will never
get that..” 

Wow and I get furious, because I have an exact plan and step by step
strategy to explain to the class what they are expected to learn within the
next lessons. 


Well I try to motivate him to keep his spirits high. I encourage him not to
feel weak or foolish but that it of course will afford him to pay close
attention to what is going on. ..And I promise that once all the other
students already start to do their jobs I will take my time to support him
in a very special one to one contact...


This way I learn a lot myself ... for sure. One of the things people always
forget ( and me too) is the fact that I understand new information because I
can use what I already know. (See:  Ausubel whom I mentioned in my


 But what if the student has no idea about this or that while me as the
teacher took that for granted? ....  kind of basic knowledge... This very
moment he gets lost. And in case I give the impression that I really would
be very disappointed and I really would jugde him as a fool if he admits
that he hasn´t got any clue what I am talking about ... well of course he
tries to hide this, he tries to keep this secret ..and me as the teacher
have no chance to reach out to him. 


So I am obliged to allow him to lead me in my step by step tutorial. I need
his questions in order to follow his way to be able to understand what he
wants to learn. Well and if the student indicates that he is motivated to
undrestand but somehow overwhelmed und and unable to overcome a given
difficulty because there is nothing to connect to ... Well I feel so happy
to try anything to find out together what might help. 



What about this new “Rand-Keyboard” ???? 





. Does it make sense to learn to write with that. (I hesitate to write the
word “write”... seems too difficult ..seems to last soooo long to just
create one single sign. Cannot believe to type a sentence like “HELLO, MY



I understand that I need to switch in my head. I have to develop a positve
attitude about this new development. I do not understand but can imagine
that it would be of advantage if I would be able to type with that
keyboard..just as I did with the SW-DOS keyboard in 1998.




There is a wonderful slide in the presentation 



 <> “Teacher's
Attitudes About SignWriting”
by Mohamed AbuShaira & Abd elraroof Mahfooz, SAUDIA ARABIA



Go to slide number 9 ...   A positive (attitude) helps in ... 


So yes I want to develop a positive attitude towards the “Rand-Keyboard” ...





So I want to understand more about the background and how to get started.


I wrote an  email to Yair Rand. I explained my ideas and asked for special



“Do you see a chance to offer some of your precious time for an online 1:1
tutorial? You can guide me ..while I demonstrate to you what a newcomer does


I felt so happy when I got the answer that he can offer this lesson and that
he would set up a Google – Hangout   to meet. It has been a tremendous



Will report about that later ..;-)) 


Have a beautiful day


All best 













Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
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