Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.
Currently, we are using distance education in several fashions. First, we can provide trainings to professionals across the state in multiple locations during a session. Second, we can observe students from distance locations in order to provide classroom and/or behavioral suggestions with fast response times. We can also provide rapid follow-up services for individuals who have previously received our services. We can assist schools by developing IEP Goals, curriculum development, and consultative services via distance education. Lastly, by using distance education, we can also assist with the collaboration of various agencies in order to provide greater supports to individuals with ASD.
According to Michael Jeffries‘The history of distance education could be tracked back to the early 1700s in the form of correspondence education,” but since its origin it has remained in a constant state of evolution. Distance Education is full of new ideas and ever changing technology but it is often met with great resistance from educational systems. Glenwood Inc., is supported by the Alabama State Department of Education and Alabama Department of Mental Health is striving to meet this resistance with an educational program that is based on the Best Practices of Distance Education
Perhaps the most important political document describing the state of distance education has been the report done for Congress by the In 1989, the Office of Technology Assessment submitted a report to Congress called Linking for Learning. The following is an excerpt from that report:
New curriculum requirements, shortages of qualified teachers in some subjects, sparse student enrollment in some regions, and rising costs for educational services contribute to tan increasing need for effective methods for providing instructions/ At the same time, advances in telecommunications and computer technology are making it possible to combine and transit video images, sound, and data, enabling teachers and students to overcome physical and geographic limitations. These systems can broaden the variety and range of instructional programs available to students in remote locations, distribute education resources more evenly among all students, and provide improved teacher development opportunities. Although telecommunications technologies are already being used extensively for education and training in higher education and business, distance learning projects at the K-12 level currently reach only a small proportion of students and cover limited curricula/ Learning opportunities could be expanded to include remote learners of all types, both in the K-12 classroom and in the home.
With the growing need for distance education and Alabama’s poor economic state, Glenwood created a distance education program in order to meet the need. In the process of developing the program, Glenwood Inc., incorporated the Best Practices in the field of Distance Education. The following are the best practices and how we have incorporated each:
Organization and Planning—Assess educational/ training needs and create a training that is specific to those needs.
Teaching/ Learning–By creating a training specific to a school system’s needs, teachers will be more effective in the classroom.
Delivery Methods—We can provide Distance Education in a variety of ways to fit your individual needs (e.g. live trainings and pre-recorded material).
Educational Support—Provide supplementary materials and resources to enhance trainings.
Support Services—Assist with setting up and planning your training needs (e.g. assisting IT personnel) to ensure that the nature of the training and the delivery style are efficient.
Evaluation and Assessment—Ensure that the training meets the needs of the participants and provides information for potential future trainings and/or follow-up trainings.
Currently the majority of our services are based on request from school systems. However we are beginning to focus on school systems that have poor scores on state assessments and state-wide indicators. The school systems that tend to have the lower scores are typically the more rural school systems. By using distance education, we can serve these systems at lower costs and with faster response times while meeting their unique and individual needs.
Content Area: Technology
Felicia Houston, Ph.D
Director of School Based Services for Glenwood Inc.
Glenwood Inc., The Autism and Behavioral Health Center
Jennifer Sellers-Foster, Ph.D.
Consultation and Training Specialist in Transition and Distance Learning Coordinator
Glenwood, Inc., The Autism and Behavioral Health Center