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Comment Gopher, Archie and Veronica... what a WAIS-land! (Score 2) 225

I remember designing Gopher sites in grad school... and during the course I asked my prof if he'd mind if I did some WWW sites. That was 94 and we'd had Gopher, Archies and Veronica servers around, oh, and wais. Everyone should check out ED Krol's the Whole internet, if you can get the 1992 edition. It is a beautiful description of everything that was out there.

Comment Re:Recommended supplementary curriculum for HFA? (Score 1) 131

Congratulations. Seriously. That's major work. Most of the adult autistics I know had to figure it out for themselves. There was no support or therapy when I was a kid. We don't get over autism. It is who we are. What we do learn are techniques and skills to deal with the difference between how we see the world and how more neurotypicals see the world; how to advocate for our own needs; and how to ensure that we have the conditions in place that will allow us to reduce stress and over stimulation. Those needs are the for an autistic child like yours and an autistic adult like me with 50+ years of experience. I would recommend the book "The Spark" by Kristine Barnett. What is amazing is her understanding of herself as a parent and educator. I'm a professor of early childhood studies and I'm presently building a multisensory research lab. I'm no expert in child development or autism, per se, though. But what I saw in Kristine's story was that she had the great ability of observation and listening to the needs of her child. She realized that without allowing her child to pursue intrinsic interests and motivations, he would never grow in a social space. I've observed this with autistic children and adults. I think that everyone should focus most on their intrinsic interests and motivations in life. Even John Locke goes on about that in his own ways. But for an autistic it is a matter between being able to function and a life of anger, boredom and frustration. Find out how to stimulate him in ways he wants to be stimulated, and then use that to improve his typical education. He will want to learn to read, write, socialize IF it is tied to things that interest and engage him. Barnett talks about that in her book too, so it is a great start and story of how to look to your child for answers to how to help him. Best of luck!

Comment Re:Recommended supplementary curriculum for HFA? (Score 1) 131

My question to you is why would you ask an autistic person to be qualified to speak on curriculum and pedagogy. :) I have a PhD in Education, and I'm autistic, and I'm still not sure what I could recommend to a parent. Beyond, of course, the admonition that anything you can do to reduce stress and encourage intrinsic interest and motivations are a good thing. But I'm only speaking from the perspective of an autistic educator, not as an expert on autism and learning.

Comment from one autistic prof to another (Score 1) 131

What do you think of the problem/phenomenon of the 'shiny autistic' ( trope, and the impact public that these people have on public perceptions of autism. As someone who is perceived by many as a 'shiny autistic' I'm curious to know why you think it is ok for 'shiny autistics' to speak on behalf of autistics.

Comment Don't teach kids programming. (Score 1) 215

Don't ask computer geeks how to teach children. That's moronic. Anyone who CAN program has already internalized all the bullshit of bad pedagogy. They have a predisposition to existing styles and modes of learning and coding that are barriers to others. AND, as some boffins pontificated, they're malignant enough to just want to foster the same abuse on kids that they put up with. As someone who has worked with programmers for 25+ years, trained educators, and worked with children, you should not waste your time trying to TEACH children anything. Develop tools to help them LEARN, and if the kids don't learn it, then blame yourself for your lack of creativity and imagination for not coming up with a sufficiently flexible model that addresses the variety of interest, goals, needs, skills of the children. We don't need another lame attempt to reproduce the errors of programming culture, and inflict them on another generation. Just a thought.

Comment tired (Score 1) 99

bartel's not what made MUDs and MOOs important or useful... and only hipster without any sense of historical context waste time bothering with him as anything of anything. MUDs and MOOs are important tools... not the joker who coded them.

Comment bloody boring (Score 1) 576

The topic, the directors, the producers and the country are bloody boring. The unions make it more so. Unions are boring. Though not nearly as boring as idiots who are anti-union. Unions are created by people who screw workers. That's a given. Makes unions boring, but necessary. Support boring unions.

Comment Not to Toronto? (Score 1) 1385

If they can't be bothered to include the 5th largest city in North America, they obviously aren't serious. :) Add Toronto to the list, and we can talk. Hooking the Northern New England corridor to the Empire corridor, as Canada builds the Quebec-Montreal-Toronto-Windsor line, then link the Windsor line with the Chicago hub network via Detroit, and you got a major network. Fun? WoW

Comment Stop Blaming the Victim! Failure is Required. (Score 4, Insightful) 1316

I've taught for over 20 year, and have watched the rise of entitlement and expectation on the part of children and parents. And the inability of educators to disabuse students of this. And the media's willingness to capitalize on this. Children have been taught that this is what to expect, praised for expecting it, denied exposure to the mundane realities to follow, and inculcated into the cult of 'TV reality' that SL so rightly describes. I can tell you... my best interns are mothers in their late 30s-40s who are looking to improve opportunities for themselves, and thereby their children. That said, the solution is easy. And it is not merely turning post graduation employment opportunities into a nightmare of failure. We can manage expectations. We can raise the bar. We can expect more from students in high schools than standardized scores, and continue that level of expectation into college. Rule one for anyone that I know to be a self-motivated successful individual is that failure is a requirement. They don't put it that way. If you've never failed, you have never tested yourself or pushed yourself to the extreme of your abilities. You've never tried something radically new, if you've never failed. You expect success and you anticipate the attainment of your expectations if you've never pushed yourself. Children learn to push themselves from the models that they observe in their parents, teachers and social contacts... so if grads aren't what we expect, then we, collectively, have not been setting a good example. Blaming the victims of our collective failure is easier than our solving the problem from the ground up... and if we don't, then we're actually the same as those we're deriding. IMHO of course.

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