North Central College - Naperville, IL

Education class uses Skype to connect with noted speaker

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Some 24 students enrolled in North Central College’s EDN 330 course Teaching Children with Special Needs in the General Education Classroom, taught by Adjunct Instructor of Education Julie Carballo, heard from and exchanged questions with guest lecturer Brian King via the Internet using Skype on May 20.

Carballo says she met King in March when he gave a presentation on sensory processing disorders and was eager to have him speak to her students. King discussed “Five Things Every Teacher Should Know About Effectively Supporting Children on the Spectrum.”  

“I was so impressed with his credentials,” says Carballo. “A licensed clinical social worker in private practice, he works with teachers and parents dealing with disabilities in the classroom and counsels children and teens with Asperger’s in building relationship and communication skills. And he personally lives with the same challenges. He has Asperger’s syndrome, his wife is on the spectrum and his three children are on the autism spectrum so he knows what he’s talking about.”

The EDN 330 class is a required course for all teachers by the state of Illinois and is an overview of all the disorders teachers may encounter in their classroom—ones covered by the federal special education legislation Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Carballo focuses one week on each special education need or disorder and invited King during the week devoted to the autism spectrum. King’s talk, she says, was very practical for teachers who often don’t understand the frustration they create with some learners in their classrooms because they’re not informed. Teachers need to own part of that frustration and look at things they can change like levels of work, ways they communicate and climate settings, says King.

Using Skype to connect her students with a guest speaker was new to Carballo and the education faculty. King, whose professional office is in Naperville, was unable to visit her classroom in person. Because Skype was an effective use of time and resources, the faculty is looking into ways they can utilize it more to hear from alumni, student teachers in the field and other speakers. The only additional equipment Carballo needed was a camera, which she borrowed from Information Technology Services.

To learn more about King, his private practice and resources visit his website.