Robots help students with autism in S.C. districts | Students receive immersive lessons about disabilities | Strategies to help support students who are dyslexic
March 15, 2019
SmartBrief on Special Education
News for special education professionals
Curriculum & Instruction
Robots help students with autism in S.C. districts
Robots help students with autism in S.C. districts
(Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)
Sixteen school districts across South Carolina are trying out RoboKind's interactive robot Milo to teach communication, social, emotional and behavioral skills to students with autism. Some research shows that technology such as robots may better engage students with the neurological disorder.
Edutopia online (3/14) 
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Students receive immersive lessons about disabilities
Students at an Indiana middle school learned about the challenges of having special needs in a weeklong Ability Awareness event. Students went through immersive exercises, such as walking with a blindfold, and they listened to guest speakers as well as learned about adaptive techniques, such as Braille writing and sign language.
Greenfield Daily Reporter (Ind.) (3/13) 
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Educational Leadership
Iowa teachers' PD includes receiving feedback from students
Teachers and students at an Iowa high school recently participated in a professional-development session in which educators listened to students share feedback about various topics. Spanish-language teacher Kalifornia Sotelo received feedback about the pacing of the class -- one was that it was too fast -- and heard about the need for "brain breaks."
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (3/13) 
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Technology Trends
Opinion: Digital tool improves student feedback
Teachers at a school in Washington state have created a digital platform called Floop to improve feedback for students and help them take control over their own learning and growth. In this commentary, Christine Witcher, a technology and innovation specialist, describes how the tool works and how students can use the data it delivers to improve.
EdSurge (3/13) 
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Other News
Policy News
Admissions scandal may affect students with disabilities
Some advocates for students with special needs are concerned that the recent federal indictments over alleged college entrance bribes will harm students who need testing accommodations. Part of the scheme allegedly involved having students falsely claim disabilities to get accommodations that made cheating on standardized tests easier.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (3/13),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Study: More US teens have mental health disorders
The prevalence of major depression symptoms among adolescents ages 12 to 17 during the previous year rose by 52% between 2005 and 2017, according to a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Lead author Jean Twenge said that greater social media use and reduced sleep may account for the increase in mental health issues.
NBC News (3/14),  HealthDay News (3/14) 
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We speak of educating our children. Do we know that our children also educate us?
Lydia Sigourney,

March is Women's History Month

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