Online learning best practices

While surfing around looking for itec bolgs I found Partick Keough’s bolg.  He has got quite a few good links on best practices for online learning and distance learning.  Most ideas are common sense and follow good design principles.  The links are mostly to other colleges.

I know this blog is going south of my topic about making podcasting accessible.  After hearing Brian Lamb from UBC speak to our class I thought I might make time to read some other people and see what they have to say.  So I have been trolling along the web looking for things that interest me.
Back to pod casting for a moment.

I am thinking people are not motivated to make their pod casts accessible to people who can not hear them.  Well, in good faith I believe they would like to make them accessible but it is their initial intention in making them.  Podcasts are made for people to listen.  As a consumer of pod casts I listen and sometimes fall asleep.  The presentations that have a screen of visual information are less drowsy.  If you are on the train or walking with your ipod listening, I imagine it is more difficult to fall asleep.  A Deaf person would have to read the transcript.  There is a drowsy thought.  Or they would watch captions which might keep you awake but don’t blink or you miss something.  Of course you can always rewind.

There is a great deal of energy centered around web 2.0.   If teachers are trying to keep up are they just keeping up?   Further, it is exciting to make some thing, publish it and get feedback.  The feeling of pod casting is spontaneous.  You record and post.  Search,  find, download and you are on your way with your ipod.

Compliance, if it were mandatory how would it change people in their work flow?  Maybe things would be less drowsy.  Along with captions people might add some graphics.    If you had a Deaf student in your class room how would you accommodate them?  Interpreters are great but you can not rewind them at home late at night, drowsy as can be  in research mode.

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March 26, 2007 at 8:04 am 1 comment

Educational Podcasting Network

 Amazing how many podcasts there are to choose from it is like a candy store for educational programs on the web.  It was difficult for me to find out if any of these podcast would be accessible if you were not able to hear them.  Information on making podcasts accessible seems limited.  Maybe I need some better search terms.  Basically people would provide a transcript or captioning box along with their podcast if they were to make it accessible.

The most salient point in all of this is that podcasts will need to be made accessible if they are to be used in higher education.  I am not sure if colleges and universities are going to make blanket guidelines for making all digital media used accessible to students.   People responsible for providing accommodations to students are stuck.  There is so much great audio information out there but most of it is not accessible.  Administrations require that media be accessible but there is not the funding or the understanding of how to do it.  The idea is that everything  produced  has to be captioned or attached with a transcript.

Could podcasts be made so you could call into them?  If so then people who use sign language could call video relay and have the podcast interpreted for them for free thanks to the FCC.  Of course this would not solve accessibility issues for people who are hard of hearing and do not use sign language.  They would still want a written document.

March 19, 2007 at 9:18 am 3 comments

More than Just An Internet Connection: A podcast

Making podcasting accessible is a concern of  colleges.  There is concern for understanding the end users experience as much as there is a need to understand actual technical guidelines.  I agree with the comments delivered in the podcast by educause called, “More Than Just An Internet Connection: What You Need To Know About Making Websites Accessible.  The speaker Gregory Fiero from Manate College in Florida describes the need for understaning the end user charastics, their limitations, how they interact and what assistive technology they use.  I liked how he broke down users into general disability catagories and talked about the assistive devices they use, the barriers they face and ways to solve them.

Secondly he spoke about the postive effect universal design can have for all users as well as business.  Multi-modality solutions for mobile devices and PDA’s which do not support graphics need to be accessible for all people.  Adding to this are the percentages of disabled people which vary drastically as people get older  Younger users being 12% ranging up to older adults at age 60 amounting to 40%.  I had not thought of how age impacts not only college service needs but marketing for business products.

What I heard reinforced the idea that in order to make a campus wide effort of accessibility work people need to understand the end user experience.  I believe the webmasters know how to  code and use web authoring software.  I assume compliance is not a difficult task in terms of code.  Verification can spot most of it but other portions need to be recognized manually with an perspective of the user.

March 13, 2007 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Educational Blogging: response to Stephen Downs

Educational blogging sounds great.  Opinions applaud the ability for blogging to reach kids and connect them to a community, link them to the world and information awaiting them in links provided by teachers.   Educationally the motive would be to do the work, get good grades, see what teachers feedback is and interact with peers.  I see the benefit of developing a writing practice and it does shed light on teaching web research methods that are well guided by teachers and helpful to students in the future. The  article by Stephen Downs says blogging promotes reflective analysis, helps kids share strengths and weaknesses and share point of view in a non threatening forum.  As a portion of an educational experience  this sounds promising.

I wonder if children are motivated to sit at the computer and read the screen in a comprehensive manner? Statistics often state that kids don’t go outside or exercise that much anymore maybe they are blogging probably they are playing video games, texting and watching tv.  I expect that they are blogging to fulfill an assignment.  I spent time as a kid sitting around reading books and writing in journals for my own enjoyment, no one corrected them.  The purpose was to express myself.  I think a journal for school being read by a teacher is a different kind of journal with a different purpose than free writing.  It is more about form, responding to a questions and doing your homework.  It is a formal exercise in writing.

March 13, 2007 at 8:51 am Leave a comment

Tracking Back to accessibility and podcasting

I was able to take a look at Wesley Fryers blog.  His blog came up with a google search for podcasting and accessibility.  His blog encompasses much more than accessibility.  He branches into instructional theory, conferences on technology and more.

March 1, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

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February 6, 2007 at 2:38 am 1 comment


accessibility for podcasting

this special topic will look at how podcasting is made accessible for people who can not hear them. Primarily the way podcasts are being made accessible are through providing scripts to people. Secondly captions are being added. Captions can be created on full screen or in a caption box. It was mentions to me by an accessibility specialist that users prefer to have a choice. Having a choice people tend to choose captions that are created in a caption box rather than floating in a full screen

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