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Research explores technology to support speech among children with autism

As a former special education teacher, Ciara Ousley has worked with young students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

She often used technology to assist students who struggled to communicate in her classroom. Speech-generating devices — one form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) — showed promise to support more inclusive learning and development. Full Article

Video available for MAP Academy presentation featuring Scott Frohn

Scott Frohn, senior manager of assessment and psychometrics at, led the first presentation of the Fall 2023 Methodology Applications Series Sept. 22.

Video is now available of Frohn’s presentation, “Putting ChatGPT to the Test: Practical Applications of Large Language Models for Assessment Development.” Full Article

NAECR selects 2023-24 Policy Fellows

The Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research has selected three faculty members to serve as Policy Fellows for the 2023-24 academic year.

The NAECR Policy Fellows Program is designed to educate early childhood researchers on policy processes, impacts and relationships to research; to provide policymakers with insight into the latest early childhood research at the University of Nebraska; and to generate collaboration among researchers and policymakers to develop effective research agendas that enrich early childhood experiences. Full Article

Research, best practices highlighted at Helen Kelley Symposium on Early Childhood

Visiting early childhood researchers outlined some of their work and discussed best practices for educators at the Helen Kelley Symposium on Early Childhood Sept. 28 at Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall.

Hope Gerde, director of the Institute for Early Childhood at Texas A&M University, and Linda Reddy, professor and associate dean of research at Rutgers University, shared research on professional learning supports for early childhood educators, including the birth to pre-K and early elementary settings. Full Article

Project explores strengthening connections among religious leaders, nonbinary people

Research suggests nonbinary individuals — those who do not identify exclusively as men or women — experience bias and discrimination more frequently than cisgender and binary transgender people, contributing to negative mental health outcomes.

One study revealed that 71% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported having experienced discrimination, and 46% of transgender and nonbinary adults reported being verbally harassed because of their gender identity. Full Article

Nebraska researchers extend TAPP intervention to rural Appalachia

Students who struggle with social and behavior issues are at high risk of developing long-term problems, both at school and in life.

When those students live in rural parts of the country, with limited access to behavioral health services, those challenges can significantly increase. Full Article

Bringing American history to life, from paper to pixels

A team of Nebraska researchers is working with teachers to share stories from the past and connect them to the larger historical narrative of America through animation and film.

The project, “Animating History,” takes an interdisciplinary approach to advance knowledge in areas no single discipline can achieve on its own. This project aligns with the UNL Grand Challenge of anti-racism and racial equity. Full Article

Art TEAMS promotes teaching innovation through arts, emerging media

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, a group of Nebraska researchers is collaborating with the state’s K-12 educators, artists and administrators to imagine the future of education.

The Teaching with Arts and Emerging Media (Art TEAMS) project is underway in classrooms throughout Nebraska. The five-year pilot project is designed to promote teaching innovation through arts and emerging media in Nebraska public schools. Full Article