Friday, January 7, 2011

AP COURSE: FACE-TO-FACE OR ONLINE? An article in Education Week examines when it's appropriate for high-ability students to take advanced placement courses online instead of in person. On the one hand, being able to take a course online makes it accessible to anyone in the country. But are there courses for which the online format is not appropriate? Read the article.
ILLITERACY TO SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERSHIP. The Los Angeles Times tells the story of a man who was functionally illiterate until 35 because of dyslexia and AD/HD. He couldn't understand his 7-year-old son's homework assignments. Six months after he began an adult literacy course, he was reading novels. Now, at 52, he serves on a district's board of education. Read more.
UNSTRUCTURED PLAY. There is evidently "a growing movement to restore the sometimes untidy business of play in the lives of children," according to The New York Times. This in reaction to fears that the culture of play is vanishing, partly because of media. If you share that concern, check out the article.
VACCINES AND AUTISM. A new report that got a lot of media play this week describes how researchers "doctored" information on children to suggest the link between the MMR vaccine and the development of autism. Among other problems, five of the 12 children described as "normal" before the getting the vaccine were found to have previously documented developmental problems. Read more.
EDUCATIONAL EQUITY. Does giving gifted students a separate classroom and teacher create a "two-tiered" educational system? What if a school that does that also has LD students whose parents don't feel their children are receiving the proper support? Should the school stick with an integrated model? How do you provide educational equity? An article in the Toronto Star raises all of those questions -- and readers chime in with dozens of their own opinions and answers. (And at least one responder brought up twice-exceptionalities.) We don't have answers to those questions -- and we suspect that educational budget stress in the US will prevent implementing any kind of equitable solution soon. (But that doesn't mean you should keep your opinions about educational equity to yourself.)

AD/HD RESOURCE. Author/speaker/consultant Chris Dendy says that the completion of her new DVD, Real Life ADHD!, is very near. The video features 30 teens from across the US who have AD/HD. Billed as a "survival guide" for children and teens with AD/HD, the DVD is intended to educate its audience about AD/HD challenges, meds, and resources. If you have an interest, notify Chris by email. The video will be shipped on a first come first serve basis. The cost of the DVD is $34.95 plus $3 shipping.

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