Teaching students with Asperger’s Syndrome

have-fun-teachingBy Paul Silli

According to OAR (Organization for Autism Research), there are many strategies a teacher can use to be successful when working with students who have asperger’s.

First, allow “extra-time” for your kids to complete assignments. Don’t rush your class and establish an easy-going pace. Try to minimize class changes because students who have asperger’s favor set routines within their academic and social engagements.

It also is essential to know that students who have asperger’s are prone to be “visual learners.” Offer many “hands-on” activities with pictures/graphics and show them what they need to learn. Kinesthetic learning is vital for understanding.

You should keep your language simple… Avoid complex dialog – unless learning a new term is the objective. To introduce new words use visual aids and examples.

If there is a need to change your class — tell your kids why things are changing. Take the time to explain why you are going in a different direction and review any new goals. This will ease tension.

With any successful teaching approach — be sure to offer a lot of positive feedback and reassurance to your students. All kids need consistent monitoring to stay focused and on track.

Actively keep your students parents informed about their child’s progress. If you have parental support your students will do great. To create a comfortable class environment you could have items placed around your room that represent a topic or display characteristics that are interesting to you. Kids love getting to know their teacher — so share things about yourself that make you approachable and friendly.

Additionally, collaborate with your peers. You will learn a lot by asking what your fellow teachers are doing in their classrooms.

Finally, try to prevent behavior outbursts or “meltdowns” by creating a stress-free class. Prevention through the use of appropriate academic, environmental, social and sensory support systems are effective. Be aware that you will have behavior issues; but if you are calm and fair your problems will be minimal. 🙂


Creating a Good Website Layout

Layout Website DesignHere are a few suggestions you can use to create a well balanced, legible, user friendly website layout design. You should ask yourself or a client some key questions such as:

  • Is the product design theme: (light, friendly & fun), (sleek & professional), (innovative & techie), or (scientific & savvy)? Please describe the “feel” you want from the design. The feel of a site is essential!
  • What colors do you want in the product? (Primary, pastel, or mixed-fresh). Visit this site for some great info and HTML Colors: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_colors.asp
  • What graphics, logos, images might help deliver the product message? Do you have any on-file images you want in the design?
  • What kind of layout do you prefer? For example, do you want a lot of white space and text block design, white-text on dark backgrounds (text blocks), three columns or two column designs, or maybe a simple one textbox content area?
  • Do you want a custom Header /Banner with your institution name and/or logo? What colors do you prefer?
  • Is there any text content messages you want highlighted in the layout (maybe important titles or communication tools emphasized – near top of site or center zone)?
  • Is there anything important you want to see in the site or product? (You could have them draw a sketch or explain)
  • Is there something I did not ask that you want included within the design or content of the site? (Please be specific)

Three Fundamental Layout Designs (Without getting too busy)

  1. Text block with center navigation bar (Basic)
  2. Two Column with side bar navigation left or right (Traditional)
  3. Three Column with side bar navigations (This site uses three column design)

The more your know about what you or your client wants the better the output. Please let me know your thoughts about layout design.

Educating Students using Twitter

twitter11By Paul Silli

Your students have already gone home for the day, and you forgot to remind them that homework is due tomorrow. A state of frustration runs through your mind knowing this assignment is key for them to turn in because it’s a major component of their final project. What can you do? Twitter them! Twitter has become one of the most popular micro-blogging applications. It is a free Web 2.0 service with near one million users called “twitterers” who can send and receive text messages via the web, short message service (SMS), and by instant messaging through cell phone communications.


For example, if you did forget to inform your students about an assignment, all you would have to do is login to your twitter account, type the message in the text box (you are allowed 140 characters per message), and then send the message directly to your students via cell phone text messaging. As you may know cell phones are a great educational tool – and just about every student has one. Using them as activity reminders is a wonderful, innovative method.


For students to get your messages they would need to subscribe to your twitter “feedwhich is a free application where students are only charged by their text messaging service which in most cases, they already have… I’m sure you’ve seen them texting messages to their friends all over campus. 🙂 


What exactly is Twitter?

According to Wikipedia online, twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets while on the internet or by use of a mobile phone service. Tweets are text-based posts which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.


For the past year many educators as well as popular newspapers, and TV shows have been using Twitter to connect with one another to share ideas and resources.


How to Sign Up for Twitter?

To get an account simply create an ID, password, and have a valid email address. Once logged in you can add pictures to your profile, and customize your color background. Then you can get online to find friends within the twitter network. To broaden your network tell your friends, co-workers and students to create a twitter account, and then they can subscribe to your feed so you can communicate with each other.


→ How else can Twitter be used in Education? Please add your comments.


Technology In Education Conference 2009

event_logo1By Paul Silli

Hello to all you fellow teachers and techies out there. It’s that time of year again to “plan ahead” for the premier technology conference in the state of Colorado.  Please mark these important dates: June 23-26, 2009 – at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

What is the TIE Conference?

Technology in Education (TIE), is a Colorado-based organization founded in 1986 by a group of teachers with a vision to host a conference focusing primarily on the role technology plays in education (TIE, Online). It is a fun, four-day conference where attendees learn many new,  innovative methods using  technology in the classroom or corporate training setting.

The cost is $315 which includes: Exhibit Hall admission, Keynote & Featured speakers, 200+ interactive sessions, Conference orientation,
Free onsite wireless network for attendees, use in convention center meeting rooms, Complimentary Internet/e-mail stations in the CyberCafe,
TIE Conference t-shirt, Lunch every day of the conference (except Friday) and breakfast on Thursday, and a formal TIE dinner party on Thursday night.
Today, TIE has become the leading statewide conference helping teachers integrate technology tools, technology competencies, and information literacy skills into a standards-based curriculum. TIE is organized and managed by a governing board of nine volunteers. Its major objective is to host the four-day, hands-on technology conference in a beautiful mountain community during early summer that models the use of technology integration in the classroom…  For more info about TIE or to register visit:
http://www.tiecolorado.org/Welcome_312.htm. I hope to see you there!