iPad & Android apps for Autisitc Children

I came across this from watching 60 minutes last night and there may well be others intersted in it.  The full story can be found here.

Imagine not being able to communicate with your own child, never knowing what they're thinking or how they feel.

That's what life's like every day for the parents of severely autistic children. And it's just as distressing for the kids who have no way of expressing themselves and often lash out in frustration.

But finally, there's a way. Just as computer apps have revolutionised our lives, they're also changing how autistic children interact with their world.

Now they're truly connecting with their mums and dads for the first time.

And if you think that's remarkable, consider this: world first technology has made it possible for doctors to see how autism affects the brain, providing hope that we'll one day find a cure to this most mysterious of conditions.

STORY CONTACTS:

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Apps:

iPad/iPhone

Spectronics

Proloquo2Go

Android

Speak for Yourself

Tobii Sono Flex

AAC apps to start on

Gabby Tabs

Simplified Touch

Educational Apps:

The iMums

Smart App for Kids

Apps for Home Schooling

Appy Store

Is homework a waste of time?

President Hollande of France raised eyebrows around the world as he outlined his thoughts on banning homework from French schools.

Francois Hollande doesn’t think it is fair that some kids get homework help from their parents while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t.

Before we label Mr. Hollande as a crazy nut bag, Australia has also queried the relevance of homework in primary schools and has evidence to support their findings that  primary school homework offers no real benefit - and only limited results in junior high school.

There was genuine purpose seen in years 11 and 12 but not much else.


Whilst I am not collecting children's pocket money to raise this topic.  I do at times see it as menial work, and have found homework tasks such as a Passion Project to be far more beneficial to younger and middle years students as it allows them to drive their learning intentions outside the classroom.

In saying that i have also seen it used to great effect.

So...  I would like to pose the question

Is homework a waste of time?  And at what point does it become effective?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Australian Govt. makes teachers accountable by launching website which ranks & compares schools performance

With all Australian school children returning to school tomorrow teachers and principals may have more on their plate on the first day than simply setting up their rooms and getting to know students and parents.

The Federal governments new myschool.edu.au website has caused quite a commotion following it's launch last week as outraging many educators for publicly publishing and ranking all of the NAPLAN ( National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy ) testing data against all schools both private and public across the nation.

Parents have always had the opportunity to view how their child compares to national averages in literacy and numeracy but this is the first time that schools have actually come under scrutiny by the public eye.

Teachers believe the one off testing does not give an accurate account of a students ability and they now feel burdened to better prepare students for a test that may or may not be a part of their curriculum when it is delivered.  They would prefer to see a more accountable testing schedule put into place and do not feel as though they should be pressured into teaching to a single test to make their school appear better to the public eye.

Even more frightening to teachers is the increasing discussion from federal and state politicians regarding paying teachers on student performance results.  This could only be detrimental and lead teachers down the path of teaching to tests instead of helping students achieve their individual academic needs.  It also would greatly disadvantage teachers working in lower socio-economic areas.

The Federal Minister of Education Julia Gillard has repeatedly reassured teachers that myschool.edu.au is not the beginning of a Big Brother approach to education but simply an attempt to make education more transparent to parents and to help identify areas of need in national education.