Education: Move Over Mundane Note Taking

Marisa Hammond Olivares

A Brief Commentary and Article Share
Education: The purpose and outcomes of note taking

Ever stop to wonder what the purpose of note taking is? I tend to teach my students to quickly focus on valid keywords and context clues. This world is not slowing down and technology is buzzin' quicker than they can jot a note, or form a thought. 'Be quick and receptive'  has been the latest tagline on my whiteboard. Know what? They like it. And I am seeing a conscientious improvement in speed, analysis and retention of information. Did I mention I teach remedial readers in middle school?

Inspired by: Why We Need a Moratorium on Meaningless Note-Taking By, Susan Lucille Davis

Educators, be sure to visit and follow You won't regret it.

Autism: Sharing Today's Affirmation and Why You Should Never Give Up (Inspiration)

I had an extraordinary experience and a moment of long awaited confirmation with my 14 year old son today. He grabbed my face, looked me in the eye and said, "Look at me".  He said it with the same drawn out playful tone I used to use when he was a nonverbal, tantrum throwing, head banging toddler. A toddler that refused to look at me. He then says, "remember you used to tell me that?" ... "Yes", I said.  He then took it one step further and surprised me even more. He playfully said, "you thought I wasn't looking at you but I could still see you, do you remember?".  I gave him a huge smile and said, "yes". And that was it, he let go of my face and walked away smiling. My heart is full and oh so warm.
So please, do not ever underestimate the mind of a child with autism and how far they can progress with age, wisdom, therapy and determination.  I personally do not believe in a cure, but I do believe in growth, awareness and development. With that said, fellow autie mom's, dad's, teachers, caregivers and therapists ...never, ever give up. They ARE listening and seeing all that you do.

Peace and Strength, Marisa <3

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Social Media: #hashtag, What is a Hashtag? And How do I Use It?

By, Marisa Hammond Olivares

Topic: #Hashtags

Whether you call it a hash-tag, or hashtag, it is HOW you use it that will make a world of difference in who sees what you are sharing. Hashtags are found on Twitter, Google+ and are now visible in other social venues; so what is the purpose of this # sign in front of words? Some call it a keyword for searching topics, but the benefits of searching these topics can be extraordinary, especially if you are trying to get the word out.

Let me explain, you have your followers on Twitter and Google+ right? They can see whatever you post, but if you add a #hashtag it opens up your post to the social media world. In other words, the hashtag allows others who are NOT following you to see your post and content links. 

Try it, go to and search #education, #autism or another topic of your choice. You will now find posts related to your searched #hashtag. Informative (and sometimes not so informative, but usually entertaining) posts you might have otherwise not seen due to not following the original poster now appear for you to surf. Pretty cool eh?

First, a hash-tag is not a #hashtag unless it has a pound sign in front of it. 

  • #             <--- pound sign
  • hashtag   <--- wrong
  • #hashtag <--- right

Second, you do not want any spaces within your hash-tagged word, or words.

  • #social media  <---wrong
  • #socialmedia   <---right

Third, use words that will focus and direct traffic toward your topic, or main idea. Here are a few examples: 

Example of #autism tweets
  • #news
  • #education
  • #music
  • #nyc
  • #art
  • #museums
  • #travel
  • #photography
Tip: Have a local business? Include your city's name in a hashtag when tweeting or posting on Google+; your local social media gurus will likely follow and gift you with a valuable re-tweet, or share. The same goes for national or international agendas. 

Example of twitter trends
Feeling trendy and want to stay up on current social events? The left hand sidebar on usually features trending #hashtags. These might inspire you to jump in on the daily action with a response or a crafty blog post; this a great way to venture into the virtual social world far beyond your current followers. 

A word about spam, integrity and credibility. Don't compromise your intentions and hard work! Try to limit your hashtags to a max of 3 per post. Use relevant topics for your hashtags; cheating the system can cheat you out of your valuable twitter account...not good.

Happy tagging! MO