Welkowitz Brings Students into the Global Conversation
Among the psychology classes that Dr. Larry Welkowitz teaches are Personality, Abnormal Psychology, and several hands-on instructional practicums. He has also become something of an expert in the areas of autism and Asperger's Syndrome and educates others on what he's learned, not only through traditional teaching, but also through utilizing technology. He is an ardent supporter of technology as a valuable tool for both teachers and students.
One favored technology is podcasting, a word that has become almost synonymous with Welkowitz around campus. One of his podcast demonstrates the difference in speech pattern between a person with Asperger's Syndrome and a person with "average" speech; often his own students are the ones who end up being podcast. Welkowitz says that listening to himself in podcasts has made him more aware of how he sounds, which allows him to speak better.
Welkowitz is also a blogger (welkowitz.typepad.com). He sees keeping a weblog as an important way of sharing information between students and colleagues and also as a practical replacement for papers. He says that he used to keep his students' papers for years, but after sitting in a pile, they'd end up in the recycling bin, which he always felt bad about. Now his students keep their own blogs and record their research and findings there; by doing this, their writing is always accessible to whoever looks for it. "It's a way of keeping their writing alive, of really making their contributions to the field."
In addition to teaching, podcasting, and blogging, Welkowitz is also the advisor to WKNH, Keene State's student-operated radio station. He started at the suggestion of its former advisor, Tony Stavely, when he stepped down. Stavely and Welkowitz had their own eclectic radio show for a while, playing classical music, jazz, pop, and anything else they felt like playing. They discussed their selections on the air and had a lot of fun doing the show. As advisor, he encourages the DJs to use the Internet's vast resources to affect their shows in a positive way, but he says that many DJs still insist on carrying out stacks of CDs instead of plugging in their laptops.
Welkowitz is currently delving into the YouTube frontier and incorporating that into the ongoing discussion of illness and culture.