tablet computer

The Value of Using Photos with Children who have Autism

Hi Everyone,
Students on the Autism Spectrum often have short attention spans, have difficulty adapting to change and may find difficulty in expressing themselves appropriately. Using pictures, pictographs or photographs can improve their ability to communicate by providing a visual image for their feelings, thoughts, wants or needs. Viewing pictures of routines/schedules can make transitions easier since the children can visually see what is expected of them and what comes next.


Benefits of using photos on the ipad for children who have autism



This blog covers how you can use the iPad and photos to assist your child or student who has autism, including:
  • How photos are beneficial
  • How you can use photos in the classroom
  • Apps that can use photos
  • My favorite apps that incorporate photos
  • A few examples of how your students can use them in lessons/projects

To read the rest of this blog follow the link below, and sign up to the Child Development Club website to receive regular updates.

The Benefits of Using Photos on the iPad for Children Who Have Autism

– Karina
tablet computer

Using The iPad to Create Social Stories

Hi Everyone, 
We hear a lot about the term ‘Social Stories’ in the field of autism and there is a lot of discussion about how to use them for children on the Spectrum. I personally believe that social stories can be a really powerful tool that can be used for children who need visual cues and demonstrations to assist with concept development, behavior modification, and transitions and change management. As we use iPads and tablets more and more, it makes sense to also use the technology to create our social stories.

Social Stories can be used to:

  •  Change an unwanted behavior
  •  Encourage positive behavior or actions
  •  Alleviate stress and anxiety
  •  Visually explain a concept or idea that might be challenging or difficult to understand
  •  Create consistency and routine
  •  Transition between one event to another; or from one developmental stage to another i.e. toileting

Social Stories using the iPad

This blog with Child Development Club covers the basics of creating a social story using the iPad, including:

  • What social stories can do for your student with autism
  • What social stories can be used for
  • What to consider when creating a social story
  • Using technology to create social stories
  • What apps you can use to create social stories
  • Links to apps you can use to create social stories
  • Examples of social stories


Please follow the link to read the full blog:

Using the iPad to Create Social Stories
tablet computer

Visual Schedules (VS) Using The iPad

Hi Everyone, 

There are numerous benefits to using Visual Schedules (VS) with individuals with Autism and there is also significant research supporting their use for individuals on the Autism Spectrum (AS). A Visual Schedule can be the key to increasing independence and managing anxiety for students with Autism. This can make a huge difference to the child and in turn diminish meltdowns, anxious behavior and foster positive growth. 

This blog goes through the advantages of visual schedules, how to create visual schedules, and what apps you can use to create visual schedules. 

Visual Schedules using the iPad

I recommend Keynote and Pages to create visual schedules, but there are many other options available. 
If you follow the links below you will be taken to the Apple App Store to download. 

                                       

   Keynote App                        Pages App

                                  

Popplet App                            Grafio App


To read the full blog follow the link, and sign up to receive regular updates.

Visual Schedules (VS) Using The iPad

– Karina 

tablet computer

iPads and Autism – Setting Up The Parameters

Setting up the parameters for using technology is something every parent should do, but it is especially important when you are using an iPad for autism education. 
This blog gives you a brief introduction to how that is done, including:
  • How will you use the iPad?
  • Security issues
  • Selecting apps
  • Make sure you know how the apps work
  • Allocate the iPad for educational use only
  • The device cannot do the work for you, or replace you as a teacher
  • Implementing guidelines


Setting up the parameters blog

To read the whole blog, please visit iPads and Autism. Setting Up Parameters 

– Karina

tablet computer

Karina’s Child Development Club Blog – Using iPads With Children Who Have Autism

Hi Everyone, 
I have been writing a blog for the Child Development Club’s website for a few months now. I have been sharing my insights on using iPads with children who have autism, not just in the classroom but for use at home as well. 

This is the first blog in the series, and I talk about iPads and why they work for children on the Autism Spectrum. 

ipads CDC Blog intro

If you follow the link to the Child Development Club website, you can read this full blog and sign up for their newsletter to get updates on my blog, as well as blogs from my fellow contributors. 

iPads and Autism. Why they work.

You can read the series of Child Development Club blogs on iPads for autism, and learn the many benefits of using the iPad with children with special needs:


– Karina 

Autism Concept

Rational for using iPads in Education


Imagine a school, just for one moment… Where you walked into the door of the school… And the very first questionnaire would contain the questions: “What do you love to do?” What is your favorite thing in life? What are you good at? What would make you smile? How would life/school be if you could do the things that you love to do?


Imagine a school whose curriculum catered for those kinds of questions… And designed a pedagogical program that is individual to your child, based on the answers to those questions?

Teaching to Children’s Strengths
It is then that we could abandon English, Math, Science, etc. in the way that it is taught now, where we just deliver buckets of information that has no relevance to kids. Alternatively, let’s say a child’s interest is cooking; what if we were to inspire them to want to learn for example they will want to learn to read because by reading they can gain more information from recipe books. They will want to learn about measurement because this knowledge will help them to become a better chef. They will want to learn about money because they will want to go shopping to purchase their ingredients. They will want to learn about science in the context of how cooking and science interrelate. They will want to learn to write, because they will want to write their own recipes. Just recently, there’s a program called Master Junior Chef and everyone is amazed at how incredible the children are.  
The comments I hear are “can you believe those kids?” “Those kids are just brilliant”.  “I can’t believe they can cook like that.”  The recipe (pardon the pun) really isn’t that difficult to understand and while I don’t want to take away from those amazing kids (because they really are amazing), but these kids are shining because they LOVE to cook; they LOVE to do what they are doing; and when children LOVE doing something, they WILL learn!!!  You don’t have to ask them, or cajole them into it, they can’t wait to get into the kitchen to cook; and to be a better cook, they will learn to read a recipe, learn the math required to get their recipes right; understand the science behind what makes recipes work, flavors taste better etc; and develop creativity in the way they present their food.  As I said above, it really is NOT difficult to comprehend and in my mind, this gives me a “recipe”, a foundation, a platform from which educating children should stem from.  If we start with what they LOVE to do; the rest comes naturally. 

I personally believe that using technology can bridge the gaps for those children who are struggling, but also make learning easier for any child. These kids come to school ‘tech’ ready and digitally aware so it makes sense that we give 21st century children the tools to learn using 21st Century technology. 

iPads, Tablets, and Mobile Learning for Professional Development

After talking with our best teachers and executive team we have decided to continue to serve the hundreds of teachers who have signed up for classes and our learning platform by asking every educator to create a sharable lesson or learning module.

We have the unique opportunity as a company to ask our fellow educators to use our platform to collaborate and help one another.

Look for many courses that you will be able to learn from for free.  For professional development, whether it is learning how to use media effectively in the classroom or famously known as flip teaching (our teachers is nationally known as the best coach and presenter on edweb.net made up of over 80,000 leaders).  Another popular course that has gotten international recognition is our ipad for teachers course.  Karina Barley as been equipping teachers using ipads and tablets in the classroom for over 5 years.  She has fine-tuned her graduate level course and is getting perfect reviews 100% of the time which is incredible.  Karina also has a passion for Autism solutions using ipads, sensory-based curriculum.

We have many more recruited teachers who are building courses in gamification or as Randall Fujimoto says, game-based learning.  He is in the process of developing a complete curriculum to modernize the learning experience needed for today’s educator and student.  Gamification or gamifying the classroom and online hybrid learning experience takes a lot of intentional planning as well as well-thought out pedagogy.  Stay tuned for many many helpful solutions.

Shifting gears for Digital Learning Tree

After talking with our best teachers and executive team we have decided to continue to serve the hundreds of teachers who have signed up for classes and our learning platform by asking every educator to create a sharable lesson or learning module. We have the unique opportunity as a company to ask our fellow educators to use our platform to collaborate and help one another. Look for many courses that you will be able to learn from for free. For professional development, whether it is learning how to use media effectively in the classroom or famously known as flip teaching (our teachers is nationally known as the best coach and presenter on edweb.net made up of over 80,000 leaders). Another popular course that has gotten international recognition is our ipad for teachers course. Karina Barley as been equipping teachers using ipads and tablets in the classroom for over 5 years. She has fine-tuned her graduate level course and is getting perfect reviews 100% of the time which is incredible. We have many more recruited teachers who are building courses in gamification or as Randall Fujimoto says, game-based learning. He is in the process of developing a complete curriculum to modernize the learning experience needed for today’s educator and student. Gamification or gamifying the classroom and online hybrid learning experience takes a lot of intentional planning as well as well-thought out pedagogy. Stay tuned for many many helpful solutions.

Effective Teacher Professional Development

Digital Learning Tree Professional Development

Digital Learning Tree Professional DevelopmentProfessional development needs to be ongoing and carried out over time, rather than presented in one-day workshops.

 
  1. That is exactly what Digital Learning Tree has done offering “Cutting Edge” 21st Century relevant Professional Development on-line.
  2. Professional development should be delivered “in the context of the teacher’s subject area”.
  3. Digital Learning Tree’s iPad and Android eCourses are designed to cover all subject areas showing teachers how to develop New Common Core Lessons and Content using the best Apps in each subject area.
  4. Peer coaches and mentors “are found to be highly effective in helping teachers implement a new skill” and so should be employed when possible.
  5. Digital Learning Tree’s eCourses are all developed by some of the very best teachers and administrators in the United States.
  In California the state has recently set aside (1.3) billion dollars to help school pay for “Professional Development having to do with the “New Common Core”.  Many of the eCourses that Digital Learning Tree is offering fall into this category for funding because they are helping teachers develop content and lessons to the New Common Core Standards.    

Why Do We Have To Explain “Why” To Students?

Why do teachers have to explain why each rule exists? Everyone remembers their time in school. For most, it was a time of innocence, learning, and fun. Some remember it as a painful time…filled with bullies, mean teachers, and not being part of the “cool” group. People’s attitudes towards school remain unchanged with the passage of time, and their painful memories cloud their perception of what goes on in schools today. This has led to the erosion of power wielded by educators, as parents have increasingly resisted the school’s attempts to make their student “conform” to the standards of behavior considered acceptable by our society in previous years. In this post, I list the reasons why we now have to explain to students why they have to follow specific rules.

* “Top-Down” Leadership Is A Thing Of The Past – In the “Good Ol’ Days” of business, employees complied with the rules of the office or factory, no questions asked. If a worker had the audacity to ask why a certain rule had to be followed, the boss would reply “Because I said so!” As time passed, workers formed unions, studies were done that showed workers were happier and more productive if they were allowed to provide input to their bosses as to how the company should be run. Pretty soon, “collaboration” became the order of the day. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a company that uses a top-down leadership style.

* “Because I Said So” Isn’t Good Enough Anymore – The paradigm shift in the workplace trickled its way down into the educational sector. Remember the “Good Ol’ Days” of education? Students complied with the rules with no questions asked. If a student had the audacity to ask why a certain rule had to be followed, the teacher would reply “Because I said so!” Students had no backing from their parents in this situation, the parents had the attitude that the school was always right. One day, a movement was born that encouraged students to “Question Authority”, and fight for their rights. The originators of the movement were convinced that many in positions of authority are corrupt. Students were encouraged to not blindly follow their leaders…they were encouraged to question why decisions were being made a certain way. Parents (many of whom felt that they were treated unfairly during their school career) didn’t automatically support the school when the school tried to discipline their children. As a result, students became more and more emboldened to question why their school operated in a certain fashion….and they gradually demanded more and more of a say in their own education and disciplinary consequences.

*The default setting on kids’ “respect” meter is “no” – In the past, students automatically respected their teachers (and other adults in their lives). It would take a traumatic event for a student to ever lose respect for their teacher. The default setting for student respect was in the “on” position. In recent years, many students and their parents have come to the conclusion that students are not required to respect adults just because they are adults. Many students believe that an adult has to “earn” their respect before they give it. Not only do students not automatically respect the position of teacher, they do not respect police officers or other authority figures. The reasons for this troubling development are a mystery to me, but could have something to do with TV shows and movies that belittle people in authority. When have you seen a TV show or movie where the policeman, teacher, or principal is seen as the hero? Most shows portray these authority figures as evil, “uncool”, dishonest, or stupid. Another reason why adults are not respected could be because of the high divorce rate in this country. Kids see their parents fighting, splitting up, having a new “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, or using childish tactics to hurt the other parent. Kids’ lives are littered with adults that make empty promises or empty threats, which makes it hard for students to view their parents as a positive role model, worthy of respect. This lack of respect for parents has led students to disrespect their teachers as well.

*There’s a Higher Percentage Of Compliance When You Explain “Why” – For some reason, explaining why the rule exists (and why it needs to be followed) has a magical effect on students. Maybe it is because the student has an “A-Ha!” moment when he sees the school’s point of view…maybe it is because the student respects the person enforcing the rule because the person has taken the time to explain why the rule exists. In any event, explaining rules to students results in a higher percentage of student compliance. Not only are more students compliant, they seem happier while complying because they know why the rule exists.

**Do you want to reduce bullying behaviors at your school?  Check out my online anti-bullying course called “Bully Neutralizer” at this link:

http://bit.ly/BullyLesson1

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Reading and Comprehension of Digital Content

Reading a recent article from EdTech Web made me think about how digital learning is a normal cultural immersion for anyone growing up in the K-12 school environment of today.  Educators are challenged by keeping the attention of students who are bombarded with dynamic living content.  The issue seems to be assessing the effectiveness of any content and having intentional checkpoints put in place, whether they are embedded into the actual digital content or having a supplemental resource that would check for comprehension. Digital Learning Tree has a very wide range of tools and many flexible options for not only presenting digital content but also building customized assessment modules.