Newspaper: Autism education

http://tweetedtimes.com/#!/search/autism%20education/en

After I finish this CTER program in March, I want to follow with a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience.  Electroportation, children with early strokes, Autism and Williams Syndrome have been a big research interests for some time, as I have worked with several children who’ve been diagnosed with them.  Understanding the extent of the diagnosis and what is needed to help them attain a similar skill set and find success with peers or in school is about identifying parallel needs and bridging from them. (This is where a background in educational psych and digital media will be helpful, I hope).

The people and organizations I’m following on Twitter include Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete), Autism Speaks (@autismspeaks), HollyRod4Kids (@hollyrod4kids)  and AutismClassroom.com (@autismclassroom) – all of whom are strong advocates for inclusion and awareness.   Lumosity (@lumosity) is specifically oriented towards neuroscience. Holly Robinson Peete was unknown to me before I watched her place second on The Celebrity Apprentice, but she became one to watch with her empowering work to further understanding and acceptance of children with autism.  Her own Twitter feed provides lots of great resources, so check it out.

As not all of these resources are directly aimed at classroom education,  I found it best to create a tool just from a Boolean search, “autism AND education” rather than having every person  I follow pop up on my paper.

Tweeted Times worked better for me than Paper.li.  It is updated more often and is more customizable; Paper.li is harder to adjust and is updated only once every 24 hrs.   As far as set-up goes, Tweeted times is also a lot more straightforward for a Twitter newbie like myself.  It is a better tool for classroom use, I think, because there are better filters and it has rapid updates.  You can easily weed out posts.

I could definitely see myself creating a Tweeted Times with articles on early childhood education or do-at-home projects, as a way to help bridge the communication gap between my students and their parents.  It could also give them some curriculum-like resources or seasonal projects to work through together during long breaks from school, like our winter and spring holidays.

Curation strengths:

  • Easy access to your own page that synthesizes the “RSS”-type feeds of multiple sources, for fast reading and cross-comparison
  • Free and quick to set up
  • Creates a useful resource with more constant updating that takes place on its own than a personal website where you would constantly have to input your own code

Curation weakness or areas to fix:

  • Rate of updates can be slow
  • Lack of personal control over what the people you follow are posting. Not everything may be about education, or suited for all audiences.  Thus, a keyword-based feed is better than simply flashing the tweets of everyone you follow.
  • Technology and social media are sometimes difficult to get administrative approval for, so not all classrooms could have students create their own papers.  It would have to be a teacher’s resource designed for them, rather than a research engine they could build as a PLE on school time.
  • If they cannot use social media and access Twitter in school, then they could not create their own Twitter-based feed! Such a shame.
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