It's Okay to be Different

Breaking the Stereotype

It's Okay to be DifferentWhen one thinks of autism, Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Rain Man probably comes to mind. While it was a brilliant performance and he did portray many characteristics of autism, he only presented one small part of the full spectrum.  Similarly, Leonardo DiCapro’s performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape gives us another glimpse into the life of an individual living a life on the spectrum.

Too many people think that being autistic means that there’s something wrong with your brain, but what it really means is your brain works differently and you don’t process data the same way. There are so many levels on the spectrum that it can be difficult to determine who is autistic and who is not.

My son is autistic. He struggles with reading, math, and has no concept of time, but he can tell you what movie a specific song comes from when it comes on the radio.  He can also hear a voice or see a face in a movie and tell you what other movies they are in. Just make sure the movie doesn’t have subtitles, or he will lose interest quickly.

Being autistic doesn’t mean you stand out like a sore thumb.  Some folks can go their entire lives without knowing they are even on the spectrum. Autism manifests itself differently for different people, so there is no way to boil it down to a stereotype.  If you know someone on the spectrum, how do they present and what makes them special?

SDA – Advancing Equity through Courageous Conversations

Bridging into Action – April 13th & 14th

SDA’s spring training topic Advancing Equity through Courageous Conversations: Bridging into Action will be led by Shirley Vargas and Lane Carr from NDE  on April 13th and 14th via Zoom.

The ESU affiliate will collaboratively develop the language, stamina, and courage necessary to lead courageous conversations about race and equity in our schools.  

Please register at the ESUPDO registration site: Link to Register 

Immersive Learning Using AR/VR Technology

This week, The Good Life EDU hosts author, speaker, and ed-tech consultant Jaime Donally for a conversation about immersive learning through augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. Jaime is an educator who never puts the tech before the standards and the learning goals, and she advocates for that approach to tech integration while also sharing her insights on how AR and VR can enrich the learning experience for all students.

In addition to this pod, you can learn from Jaime at the NETA conference where she will be a featured speaker later this month. Also be sure to check out Jaime’s blog/social media campaign for March, #31DaysofARVRinEDU.


For those in our network, check out Jaime’s latest book from the ESUCC PD Library: Quick link for The Immersive Classroom

Or purchase her book, The Immersive Classroom, on Amazon.

Insights on Educator Effectiveness and Development from the NDE SEED Team

In this episode of The Good Life EDU podcast, the NDE SEED Team is back to share an update on their work with revising the teacher and principal effectiveness standards for Nebraska. This pod delves into personal insights and stories from each of the SEED Team members that helps communicate the thinking behind their efforts and the heart these leaders have for the admin, teachers, and learners across the state.