Category Archives: Creative Commons

Free Child & Family academic journals

The open-access movement is resulting in more academic journals being available to the public. These three titles illustrate the range that are published about children & families.

button_1_childadolescpsychiatrymenthealthChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health (CAMPH)
is the official journal of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP), publishers of the excellent IACAPAP Textbook of Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
CAMPH is an open access, online journal that provides an international platform for rapid and comprehensive scientific communication on child and adolescent mental health across different cultural backgrounds. About 40 papers are published each year on a continual rolling basis.
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Family Matters journal
Family Matters is the research journal of the Australian Institute of Family Studies. It contains the latest Institute research and contributions from Australia’s most respected social scientists, social policy analysts, service provider and research agencies. Two issues of Family Matters are published every year, each containing about eight papers.
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International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy (ICEP)
ICEP has been published by the Korea Institute of Child Care and Education (KICCE) since 2007. Two issues are published each year, each containing about five papers. The journal aims to disseminate research findings and major issues of child care and education policy to a broad, international readership, including policymakers, researchers and practitioners.

I shall shortly add these titles to the four existing academic journals on my static page Free e-journals

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Autistic Spectrum – three more free online courses

3492401705_0fe96f78c5_qUse your computer to study the Autism Spectrum from home, with these free high-quality courses.

1. Autism Internet Modules (AIM) by Ohio’s Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
The AIM project provides parents and professionals with the up-to-date information needed to help individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders achieve their highest potential. To this end, OCALI offer 43 comprehensive & sophisticated modules, alongside their free textbook the ‘Ohio’s Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders‘ which features in the training. There’s a one-off free enrolment required to access these excellent resources.

2. Autism Training Modules from The Thompson Center at Missouri University
The Thompson Center offers five free online training modules to individuals wanting to learn more about autism. The modules were developed by the Mid-Missouri Rapid Response Initiative, a project funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The five modules topics are:
* Autism in young children
* The screening and referral process
* Evidence-based practices and interventions
* Transitions to adulthood, and
* Building the family-professional partnership.
The five modules feature slides, videos and quizzes, and as with the OCALI modules above, there’s a one-off free enrolment required to access the modules.

3. Yale’s Autism and Related Disorders
This 2010 initiative by Frank Volkmar at Yale University’s Child Study Center offers free undergraduate course materials to anyone wishing to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is divided into eleven topics and comprises PowerPoints, videos, audios and some readings. No enrolment is required, and the project is released under a Creative Commons license. The resources offered by Yale are of very high quality, but unfortunately some of the recommended core readings are in expensive books or subscription journals, making them inaccessible to many ordinary people.

How do these compare?
Previously, in Autistic Spectrum: Free e-learning modules, I covered three courses by the Geneva Centre for Autism, The UK Open University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). These are all still available, so which should you choose? Here’s how I would position them:

My current overall favourite is the range from the Geneva Centre for Autism, for their attractive and engaging presentation, their bi-lingual versions and their release with a Creative Commons license.

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Open early childhood courses: How do they match up to MOOCs?

twitter_white_on_blue_logo_news_128pxThe University of Massachusetts, Boston, offers a suite of courses in early childhood as part of its free, online OpenCourseWare. These three 2011-dated courses each comprise a self study guide, audio PowerPoint presentations (with links to additional videos), online tests and a wide range of readings. They each take 15 hours to study, and the second and third courses are also offered in Spanish.

Infant and Toddler Guidelines
This course by Professor Mary Lu Love provides a comprehensive view of the development of infants and toddlers. It is arranged in six sessions:
1: Exploring the ELG for Infants and Toddlers
2: Social and Emotional Development
3: Cognitive Development
4: Language and Communication Development
5: Physical Health and Well-Being
6: Beyond the Basics: Best Practices and conclusion
The course is built upon the Massachusetts Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers (2010), an excellent 200-page free download.

EEC logoEEC – Core Competencies
The second course by Professor Mary Lu Love is designed to provide early childhood education professionals with the knowledge and skills to assess their own level in terms of the eight core competencies, across the infant-toddler, preschool and out-of-school age range.
Each module is based on one of the eight core competencies:
1) understanding growth and development of children and youth
2) guiding and interacting with children and youth
3) partnering with families and communities
4) health, safety and nutrition
5) learning environments and curriculum
6) observation, assessment and documentation
7) program planning and development
8) professionalism and leadership

EEC – Preschool Learning Standards and Guidelines
The third course, by Professor Angi Stone-MacDonald, is designed to equip early childhood education professionals with the knowledge and skills to teach each content area according to the preschool learning guidelines. It comprises 7 modules covering the guidelines for:
1) Learning in History and Social Science
2) Mathematics
3) Learning in English Language Arts
4) Arts
5) Learning in Science and Technology/Engineering
6) Health Education
7) Early Childhood Program Standards Module

So how do these free courses compare with the MOOCs I reviewed last month? The shared characteristics of the UMass Boston courses include their being totally free to study, with no register or login required. You can download and keep the content, which gives you the freedom to begin whenever you want and study at your own pace, in contrast to the MOOCs that I reviewed last month, which both ran over a fixed 4-week schedule and required registration and log-in. Another difference is that while the MOOCs offer the motivation of large student cohorts (750 at Open2Study, 20,000 at Coursera), you study OpenCourseWare on your own, without any ready-made social dimensions – although they do lend themselves to group study amongst friends or work groups. Finally, UMass Boston’s OpenCourseWare is Creative Commons licensed, which makes them particularly attractive to educators and trainers who may, for example, freely adapt them for particular settings or translate them into different languages. cc-by-nc-sa

So, are these courses better than MOOCs? I think a lot depends upon your own situation. If you need structure and group support to study, then look at MOOCs first. If, however, you prefer to study alone and have sufficient self-discipline, or need maximum flexibility, then UMass Boston’s OpenCourseWare is an excellent option.