Tag Archives: youtube

Fosters: Australian for Attacking Autistics

3 Sep

It’s amazing how this web 2.0 stuff brings people from all over the world together. It seems as though I have gravitated toward Australian Youtube video bloggers as of late. One of them is AustDingo, who often posts things about autism. He has two kids on the spectrum plus he has his own diagnosis. But I ended up subscribing because of his off-the-wall humor and characters. Even from half a world away I identify with a lot of what he goes through as a father and just getting on with his life.

Recently, he got into hot water with his employer for making videos on YouTube as well as him talking about his own Autism. For some odd reason, this company seemed to think that they owned him AND his autism or something. He tried to comply with their wishes by removing any offending videos but they still sacked him. You can get the story in the links below. Also, these are nsfs (not safe for school). Apparently Australians have a great love for certain descriptive four-lettered invectives:

The Fat Australian: gives a good (but very salty) overview of the situation

Austdingo 1: In his own words

Austdingo 2: where he talks about how the company claims to sort of “own” his autism
This wrong on so many levels. First, there’s the whole sacking of someone for their own exercising of free speech. I have no idea what sort of “Bill of Rights” australians have, but always figured they had s love of liberty at least as much as Americans. They certainly seem to like to express themselves in colorful ways. And then, there’s the claim that they were offended because he wore shirts with the company logo. I never noticed at all. Beer does feature in his videos but he’s rarely made that big of a deal about it aside from drinking it, which is another hallmark of many Aussie videos. It’s singularly odd that they would go off for these infractions that seem fairly minor.

Whatever their publicity problems caused by Austdingo’s videos, they now have a much bigger disaster in the making if this thing goes viral. And it does have some elements going for it:

– It’s a beer company that is well-known

– The autism angle is very popular nowadays

– It’s a direct assault on free speech and disabilities at the same time.

Austdingo is not a big player in the Youtube world (a fact he pokes fun at all the time) but that makes the “little guy vs big callous corporate entity” all the more appealing. This is the first time I’ve heard of someone getting “dooced” for Youtube videos although I’m sure it must have happened many times before. Still, I think getting fired for posting Youtube videos should be called “getting dingo’d.” It just has a nice ring to it.

One confusing and vexing aspect was when dfer (D fer Dingo) explained how one of the reasons they gave was his use of a letter he had from a psychiatrist describing his diagnosis of autism.  Apparently they went after him because they claimed some sort of rights to that letter, thus sort of trademarking his autism!  That is just crazy.

My heart and support goes out to Dfer, Tfer, Mfer and Trav who have had their fair share of struggles even without this. They are a lovely family and you can go by and give Austdingo your support by just leaving a nice comment on one of his videos.

And shame on Fosters.  What they did is neither Australian or American.

D.

Welcome Advanced Elearn: I’m Finished For Summer!

30 Jun

I just finished my Advanced Moodle Course (which my county calls Elearn) and did manage to get a decent course laid out that might be useful for the teachers in our county.  You can see most of the content on my TeacherTube or YouTube sites.  If and when I add more content, that will appear on one of those sights. 

I learned a lot by taking this course, since my course is also about teaching adult teachers.  One of the problems with this course about interactive learning is that it is still taught in the traditional 20th century way.  That means you have one teacher in front of 20-30 other people and that one person disseminates the content out to the students.  However, there was a group of teachers that did get together and collaborated on their online course.  However it was tough going for them as they hadn’t actually taken a Moodle course before.  Many Moodle courses still look like they could have been produced years ago, as they involve a ton of reading and then an occasional quiz to measure understanding.  what these courses really and truly need is to incorporate the production of actual content.

This course is being or has been taught by 3 different instructors, and I’m wondering why they didn’t pool their time and resources in developing content for this course.  Each instructor could take a topic or a day (it’s a three day course) and really and truly demonstrate the power of this technology.  For instance, this class had a few other nerds like me, but also had some people who have difficulty managing basic computer functions.  By having recorded content online, it would allow those people who needed to see something multiple times to actually see those instructions multiple times while the faster people could keep progressing or enhancing our own courses/sites.

You can get the gist of what I’m saying by looking at this video.

 

So I’ll be off and traveling for the next 3 weeks, and we’ll be driving about 3,000 miles!  Fortunately, both of my kids travel really well.  Having an extra mp3 player and laptop/DVD player will make things a little easier.  Stay Cool!

D.

 

Using Video: Information is Power

9 Jun

Since school is out, I’ve been having the time of my life, exploring new mediums and modes of expression and teaching. I took over an hour of footage before school let out and am taking some time to edit and post them to TeacherTube. But I’m also connecting within the YouTube community. I’m planning on doing more creative things on YouTube, which means not everything will be as “professional.”

The great thing is watching what other people are doing and how they are doing it. I was talking to an assistant principal awhile back and letting her know some of the things I was doing. “You mean they have educational videos on YouTube?”

Yes, yea they do. In fact, YouTube is a treasure trove of knowledge and information. Yeah, I subscribe to an X-men cartoon channel and Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” video is among my favorites along with the Guacamole Ukulele song. Kind of a theme going on there.

But there is a world of knowledge out there waiting to be discovered. My one subscriber, so far, is Dr. Melvin Koplow aka drmdk. His YouTube channel is here. There’s some good information there, as he got the idea to videotape short interviews with doctors and experts from a variety of fields and disciplines, making medical information available to anyone. The information is fascinating and cutting edge and he is truly on to something. I will warn you that it helps to have a keen interest in the content, as the interviews and videos are a bit on the dry side, but they are also less than 10 minutes long each. And in these videos, especially in the autism section, you can see what the doctors and experts say.

While information and knowledge is power, it’s up to individuals to decide whether or not they want to be ignorant. Hat tip to Liz who found a good article about the costs of unproven and sometimes dangerous treatments for autism. Dr. MDK does cut through much of this with a number of his videos on the subject. In fact, one of the the reasons Dr. MDK started making these videos is linked to Liz’s latest blog entry here. You can see Dr. MDK talking about why he’s making these videos here. He talks about how there are ghostwriters done by people who didn’t even do the work or research. There is something about having a face and a voice attached to the information instead of just a written page.

And that’s part of what I’m doing. I’m putting myself out there, where you can see what I’m doing and who I am with real, actual students. You see who I am. This isn’t just some anonymous blogger anymore. It’s someone more real. Back when I posted my Fleecing article, I initially got a lot of comments from people who agreed with it, but as time wore on, more and more parents started commenting and many of them stated how these controversial therapies had helped or cured their kids.

Where’s the before and after YouTube videos?

I have some that I’m working on, and you can judge for yourself. Before and after videos are one reasonable measure of validity, according to Kazdin’s authoritative work on single-case research designs. But I haven’t seen any. Why isn’t this very simple method used to lend at least a minimum of validity to any of these treatments? Because there is none? That’s not to say that method alone would be sufficient to prove anything as much as support some of the ideas. Yes, YouTube could be a vehicle for helping promote legitimate treatments for autism. You can look and see several videos of kids getting behavioral therapy and track the progress yourself of some of the kids.

There’s good information out there, it’s just a matter of finding it. Or better still, creating it.

D.