New Accessibility Features Coming to Apple Devices — from .lifewire.com by Cesar Cadenas; fact checked by Jerri Ledford
Helping people with disabilities navigate the world

Excerpt:

Door Detection is a new mode coming to Apple’s Magnifier app. As the name suggests, the feature helps people find the door and how far they are it, and describes various attributes of the door. These attributes include if the door is open or closed as well as how to open it.

 

Addendum on 5/19/22:

Addendums on 5/20/22:

 

From DSC:
For the last few years, I’ve been thinking that we need to make learning science-related information more accessible to students, teachers, professors, trainers, and employees — no matter what level they are at.

One idea on how to do this — besides putting posters up in the hallways, libraries, classrooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, etc. — is that we could put a How best to study/learn link in all of the global navigation bars and/or course navigation bars out there in organizations’ course management systems and learning management systems. Learners of all ages could have 24 x 7 x 365, easy, instant access as to how to be more productive as they study and learn about new things.

For example, they could select that link in their CMS/LMS to access information on:

  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving
  • Metacognition
  • Elaboration
  • The Growth Mindset
  • Accessibility-related tools / assistive technologies
  • Links to further resources re: learning science and learning theories

What do you think? If we started this in K12, kept it up in higher ed and vocational programs, and took the idea into the corporate world, valuable information could be relayed and absorbed. This is the kind of information that is highly beneficial these days — as all of us need to be lifelong learners now.

 

What Educators Need to Know About Assistive Tech Tools: Q&A with Texthelp CEO — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall and Texthelp CEO Martin McKay

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

THE Journal: What are some examples of the types of assistive technology tools now available for K–12 schools?
McKay: There are a broad range of disabilities, and accordingly, a broad range of learning and access difficulties that assistive technology can help with. Just considering students with dyslexia — since that is the largest group among students who can benefit from assistive tech tools — the main problems they have are around reading comprehension and writing. Assistive technology can provide text-to-speech, talking dictionaries, picture dictionaries, and text simplification tools to help with comprehension.

It’s important that these tools need to work everywhere — not just in their word processor. Assistive technology must work in their learning management systems, and must work in their online assessment environment, so that the student can use the assistive tech tools not only in class, but at home as they work on their homework, and perhaps most importantly on test day when they are using a secure assessment environment.

 

Instructure’s Acquisition of Concentric Sky Bringing Some Changes to Canvas LMS Users — from thejournal.com by Rhea Kelly
Badgr Digital Micro-Credentialing Platform to be Rebranded as Canvas Badges, Optional ‘Pro’ Upgrades Coming

Excerpts:

Instructure said today its acquisition of Concentric Sky, maker of the Badgr digital credentialing platform, is complete, and the basic Badgr functions will be integrated into Canvas and rebranded as Canvas Badges.

Canvas Credentials will enable institutions to “seamlessly award badges that verify and track academic achievements, including competency-based education,” the company explained in a news announcement. With the stackable, shareable credentials, students will be able to track their personalized learning journeys and carry proof of their competencies and skills development.

 

From DSC:
How can we better get the word out to our learners regarding how they can maximize their Return On Investment (ROI) from their studying time and efforts?

Two ideas come to mind here:

  1. Place learning-related tips directly into our banners within our CMS’s and LMS’s
    and/or
  2. Link our banners to some other web pages/resources that provide such best practices and tips for our learners 

Let's put best practices on studying directly within our LMSs banners!

Or we could link to resources regarding best practices in studying!

Along these lines, we should have 11″x17″ (or larger) posters like this plastered in every hallway of every learning space out there:

We should plaster these types of posters throughout our learning spaces!!!

 

Some would also add:

  • Active learning
  • Flipping the classroom
  • Providing individualized feedback
  • Metacognition (which was referenced in the first graphic above in regards to identifying gaps in one’s knowledge)
 

From DSC:
These ideas are specially meant for you entrepreneurs and vendors out there! Including such vendors and products such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect, and others!

This idea could also be profitable and fun for CMS/LMS vendors and products such as Instructure/Canvas, Blackboard Learn, D2L, Google Classroom and others!


How might we take engagement within an online-based learning environment to an entirely different level? Well, check out these ideas!

What if learning could feature more personality? Be more fun? Have shades of game shows even!? Yet at the same time, if you are a learner who ventures into the ideas that I’m about to suggest, you had better be ready to back up and explain your perspective/position!

Here’s what I’m getting at. You know when you are messaging you can insert some fun motion graphics into your message?

 

Well, what about if we could select from a bank of very short video clips during a live/synchronous discussion — or during an asynchronous-based discussion board posting — that contained a famous movie clip/message? Then, if you choose to do that, you are then required to explain your perspective/position.  

 

Video What the video could mean
“Beam me up Scotty! There’s no intelligent life down here.” This is ridiculous. No one’s making any sense here. 
“You meddling kids.”
 From various bad guys on Scooby-Doo.
 You’re messing with me. I don’t agree with your perspective, and here’s why.
“That does not compute.”
Spock from Star Trek. 
I don’t agree with your answer. That doesn’t make any sense and here’s why.
“You can’t handle the truth.”
Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.”
Are you sure you want to know the truth about this topic? Can you handle such a truth? This is about to get real in here.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda. Star Wars
 Take action on something; do something.
“I’ll be back.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger in various films.
I’m stepping away from my desk…but I’ll be back soon.
or
You may have one this round, but I’ll be back for another round.

Learners within a learning community could use entertainment and have some fun while also having to backup their position/perspective! Talk about engagement! Shooooot.

And/or…learners could be like DJ’s at radio stations — and, on the fly, select from a bank of songs, audio-based noises and sounds!

The danger here is that humor can sometimes backfire and/or offend someone. So we would need to watch the content that’s available to choose from within the repositories of media. We would want to do some serious beta testing here to make sure things stay on the fun, entertaining, and educational sides of things.

Such an approach could introduce opportunities for creativity and for honing one’s ability to think on one’s feet. Also, learners could work on their communication skills as well as their ability to debate or persuade, or to practice some critical thinking.

While more gameshow-like on the surface, if you use such media, you have to explain why you used that media.

 

The State of Student Success & Engagement in Higher Education -- from Instructure

The State of Student Success & Engagement in Higher Education — from instructure.com (authors of the Canvas LMS)
Our 2021 Global Student engagement and success study uncovers vital stats and key trends to help education institutions thrive through today’s education challenges.

Excerpt:

  • Connect students with alumni and potential employers through virtual networking, internships/externships, mentorship programs, and strategic partnerships.
  • Align curriculum with workforce outcomes and offer opportunities for students to showcase skill sets.
  • Close the perceived awareness gap of work/career readiness programs on campus with alumni programming highlighting the success of campus career resources.
  • Embed career exploration throughout the higher education experience and provide actionable insights into employment trends.

 

 
 

From DSC:
I was reading about a Ph.D. who was currently doing some research into the science of learning. This person had been teaching in a School of Education for years, but just (relatively) recently embarked on a Ph.D. During this person’s research, they came across a lot more information regarding the science of learning.

If this was true with someone who had been in education for years (and I can relate to that as well), it made me wonder:

  • How can we better get the word out to our learners re: how they can maximize their Return On Investment (ROI) from their studying time and efforts…?

Then I thought, why couldn’t we put these tips directly into our banners on our CMS’s and LMS’s and/or link our banners to some other web pages/resources that provide such best practices and tips for our learners!?!  This could occur within the corporate training world as well.

Examples:

Let's put best practices on studying directly within our LMSs banners!

Or we could link to resources regarding best practices in studying!

Along these lines, we should have 11×17 (or larger) posters like this plastered in every hallway of every learning space out there:

 

We should plaster these types of posters throughout our learning spaces!!!

 
 

Here’s an example of what an engaging and exciting online course might [look like]. 

You start with a short video that introduces the subject. It focuses on the course’s main ideas, and how they relate to one another, getting your learners interested in the topic and making them eager to learn more.

 
 

For recalculating those due dates out there: timeanddate.com — with thanks to Lisa Smith at the WMU-Cooley Law School for this resource; Lisa showed how this was used with Cidi Labs Multi-Tool to batch change dates and times within Canvas

Days Calculator -- calculating days between two dates

From DSC:
Along the lines of time and tools for the classroom…I also find classroomscreen.com helpful in providing some solid timers.

classroomscreen.com

 

Recording of “The Future of Education Collaborative for Higher Education” on 8/12/21 — this event was sponsored by Instructure and AWS

From DSC:
One of the most interesting items for me in this was to hear how one university is allowing students to drive the Request For Proposal (RFP) process – giving students much more VOICE. Staff and faculty are consultants but students have the final say! Wow! 

Also, I agree with the idea that the market will drive changes within higher education. But for that to occur more significantly:

  • Employers need to hire more people from a variety of backgrounds and that come into their interviews with a greater variety of credentials.
  • The accrediting agencies involved with higher ed are going to need to become more innovative and flexible.
  • And the elephant in the room for me is that faculty members are going to have to come to the realization that those organizations/courses of the future that will thrive and have the most impact will be much more team-based and will be based upon what the market needs (i.e., better alignment is needed between the corporate/business world and the world of higher education). For far too long, the faculty member has been the sole person at the table….the person holding the steering wheel…the person in control of everything that gets presented and how it gets presented….the person who decides what they want to teach (vs. what the market actually needs) and how they want to teach it.

Finally, I bet AWS and Zoom could have said a LOT more than they actually said.

#learningfromthelivingclassroom

 
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian