Turn It On: Using Media for Social Learning

Presented by Anna Vagin, Ph.D. (3 or 6 hrs)

Current research findings suggest that children on the Autism Spectrum struggle to process social motion. This presentation will provide a conceptual framework for watching social movement as a way to build social knowledge. We will explore how to use full length movies as well as pre-selected YouTube videos in therapeutic and classroom settings. Multiple activities to guide structured viewing will be accompanied by video and art examples, demonstrating how to target (1) expansion of emotional vocabulary, (2) greater awareness of cognitive processes and (3) a more solid understanding of what does and does not contribute to successful social relationships. Lots of easily accessible media provides highly engaging and “relationship rich” material. We will discuss how to break down sample IEP social learning goals into underlying concepts and support our teaching with media selections for social learning of children ranging in age from preschool through middle school. We will look at video gaming and talk about Gamification and Flow theories as we explore why many students with social learning challenges are so into gaming. You will leave with a list of terrific media, as well as ideas that you can try immediately with your students. Therapeutic as well as YouTube videos will be incorporated throughout the day.