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Room 435: Using Multimedia to Develop Digital Age Literacy Skills for Students with Autism

When/Where: Sunday, 3:00-4:00pm in Reynolds.

Presenters: Michele McKeone, M. Ed. Presider: Kelly Mendoza.

Objectives: This workshop focuses on the best practices of integrating digital media literacy in the Autistic Support Classroom setting.



Integrating technology & digital medial literacy in my Autistic Support Classroom has helped circumvent my students’ learning variations so they achieve beyond high expectations. This approach not only naturally increases critical & convergent thinking skills, but also develops a deep sense of empowerment & autonomy. Students learn advanced technological & communication skills while creating original music, comic strips, web sites, wikis, videos and much more. With these developing skills, they are able to assess & convey what they have learned as well as what they personally think, feel and believe about being a person with Autism. These modes of self-advocacy have already been recognized locally at Philadelphia’s 2010 Regional Computer Fair Competition. Students, look forward to continuing utilizing their production skills to advocate for themselves and others who have Autism.

Utilizing the digital media product created by students with Autism, I have been conducting workshops for the School District of Philadelphia, demonstrating to others the best practices to using multimedia to incite, empower and engage our students. While the programs I develop are designed specifically for adolescents with Autism, the reach is expansive. Students who are classified with learning variations as well as those who are not can use digital media creation to feel empowered and to acquire skills relative to today’s industries of innovation. In fact, the truth is that Digital Age Literacy is an imperative life skill we all need to develop.

Participant Involvement

Participants will be engaged in whole group learning to create a collective digital media product (digital comic) that incorporates the group’s diversity to design and present a common ideology established through the discourse/activities of the workshop. Direct instruction will utilize task analysis to identify the procedure. Through modeling, practice and collaborative learning, the facilitator (me) will use an understanding of individual and group motivation to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation. Though collaborative learning in smaller groups, participants will design and present activities that demonstrate understanding of principals and techniques presented in workshop. These engaging and interactive projects will be collected and assessed and later emailed to all participants as a future resource.


  • Michele McKeone, Room 435 & The School District of Philadelphia: As an interventionist for Students with Autism, Michele McKeone implements her unique background in both Autism Education and Digital Media Literacy to circumvent cognitive/behavioral variations. Her intervention techniques earned her the nomination of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindbach Foundation for Distinguished Teaching Award. The success of her approach was publicly recognized during The School District of Philadelphia’s 2010 Autism Awareness Expo, where her students presented their award-winning multimedia project to researchers, parents, community organizations, legislators and school district personnel. As a consultant, Michele McKeone presents and facilitates training on her innovative approach throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region. She continues to collaborate with organizations to design and implement inclusive, project-based programs where students can develop their personal autonomy and understanding of what it means to be a person with Autism.
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