History of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) –from boia.org

Excerpt:

What is WCAG?
WCAG is a set of specific standards designed to make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. It is on its third version, updated over the years to account for changes in web-based digital technology, assistive technology, design and development trends, and the growth of the mobile web. It is published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) in collaboration with individuals and organizations within the global accessibility community according to the W3C Process.

Also see:

‘My Experience Was Compliant’ Said No One Ever. Accessibility increases the joy of a web experience.

 

Utah Supreme Court to extend regulatory sandbox to seven years  — from utahinnovationoffice.org

U.S. Supreme Court Wary About Extending School Authority Over Student Internet Speech— from edweek.org

Excerpt:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday spent nearly two hours wrestling with its first case about schools’ regulation of student speech in the Internet era. The justices seemed to be searching for a way to rule as narrowly as possible while protecting young people’s right of self-expression, yet giving schools leeway to respond to threats and bullying that originate off campus.

“That sharp line … between on campus and off campus, how does that fit with modern technology?” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked during arguments in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. (Case No. 20-255).

Also see:

“The legal industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and legal teams are starting to recognize the robust potential that cloud-based technology has for collaborative litigation to discover the needle-in-a-haystack pieces of information needed to argue and win cases,” said Everlaw CEO AJ Shankar.

 

 

2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report® | Teaching and Learning Edition

2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report® | Teaching and Learning Edition

 
This report profiles key trends and emerging technologies and practices shaping the future of teaching and learning and envisions a number of scenarios and implications for that future. It is based on the perspectives and expertise of a global panel of leaders from across the higher education landscape.

 

A reasonable robot in the eyes of the law — from innovationaus.com by Stuart Corner

Excerpts:

“But what happens when an autonomous vehicle kills someone? A robot is not subject to the law. So is the car manufacturer liable, or the developer of the software? And how do you pinpoint the cause of such an accident?”

You can’t tax a robot worker
“If my employer, the University of Surrey could get a robot to automate my job, which they will someday, they would save money doing that, even if we were both equally good, because they have to make National Insurance contributions [a UK earnings tax that funds state pensions and other benefits] for my work and a host of other reasons, but the machine is taxed more favourably.

 

Penn students use digital platform Gather to imitate in-person office hours — from by Isaac Lee; with thanks to Professor Sue Ellen Christian for this resource

Excerpt:

As students yearn for in-person interaction and the familiarity of their school buildings, platforms like Gather are filling the void — virtually.

Gather, also known as Gather.town, simulates buildings and classrooms on campus where students, professors, and teaching assistants can interact with one another through personal avatars during office hours. Its main feature, “Interaction Distance,” launches a video call between users whose avatars are within five steps from each other in the virtual space. As the users’ avatars walk away from each other, their video and audio quality decrease, simulating an in-person interaction.

Also see:

Image shows how people can gather around at the office, in a conference room, at a university, other -- https://gather.town/

From DSC:
Now picture this in VR.

 

 

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and the future of…everything — from fierceelectronics.com by Matt Hamblen

Excerpt:

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang confirmed his reputation as a futurist, predicting every single car, truck, cell tower—indeed every single edge device—will in effect be a data center in a decade.

 He also said in a call with reporters on Tuesday that the chip shortage hurting automakers will sort itself out in a couple of years.

The concept of edge devices acting with the capabilities of a data center might not be completely new, but Huang cemented it.

“Every single data center will have its infrastructure computing platform isolated from the application platform in five or 10 years,” he told reporters as part of the company’s GTC21 event.  “It’s going to be complete. Every single edge device will be a data center…Every single cell tower will be a data center, every base station…Every single car… truck, shuttle will be a data center.”

 

DC: Yet another reason for Universal Design for Learning’s multiple means of presentation/media:

Encourage faculty to presume students are under-connected. Asynchronous, low-bandwidth approaches help give students more flexibility in accessing course content in the face of connectivity challenges.

— as excerpted from campustechnology.com’s article entitled, “4 Ways Institutions Can Meet Students’ Connectivity and Technology Needs

 

 

Chrome now instantly captions audio and video on the web — from theverge.com by Ian Carlos Campbell
The accessibility feature was previously exclusive to some Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones

Excerpt:

Google is expanding its real-time caption feature, Live Captions, from Pixel phones to anyone using a Chrome browser, as first spotted by XDA Developers. Live Captions uses machine learning to spontaneously create captions for videos or audio where none existed before, and making the web that much more accessible for anyone who’s deaf or hard of hearing.

Chrome’s Live Captions worked on YouTube videos, Twitch streams, podcast players, and even music streaming services like SoundCloud in early tests run by a few of us here at The Verge. Google also says Live Captions will work with audio and video files stored on your hard drive if they’re opened in Chrome. However, Live Captions in Chrome only work in English, which is also the case on mobile.

 

Chrome now instantly captions audio and video on the web -- this is a screen capture showing the words being said in a digital audio-based file

 

Effective and Accessible Alternatives to Website Carousels — from boia.org on February 11, 2021

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Real estate on a web page is precious. Every web designer or marketer at some point has felt that there simply isn’t enough space to show all the content they want to show. The carousel offered an apparent solution to that problem by cramming several content pieces into the same space, rotating to be individually visible either automatically or by the user’s control. The ability to show more content in less space in a way that looked cool made carousels attractive and they can now be seen all over the web. They’d be a great idea if it weren’t for two big problems: they don’t work and they aren’t accessible.

About 1% of people click on carousels.

Carousels are now associated with ads or junk content.

 

The Top 5 Technologies for Innovation Leaders in Electronics and IT
Digital biomarkers, edge computing, and AI-enabled sensors are among the top technologies transforming the electronics landscape, according to Lux Research

BOSTON, MA, MARCH 4, 2021?– Digital transformation is one of the hottest topics in every industry, and as consumers are eagerly adopting increasing amounts of digital tech, electronics, and IT players have a unique opportunity to impact more industries than ever before. To help guide innovation in this booming space, Lux Research released its annual report, “Foresight 2021: Top Emerging Technologies to Watch.”

Lux’s annual report analyzes the digital transformation space, reviewing what topics emerged and which technologies gained traction during 2020. Its expert analysis of the hottest innovation topics and best tech startups found that the top five technologies electronics and IT innovation leaders should look to in the next decade are:

  1. AI-Enabled Sensors – Merging hardware and software to collect and validate critical data will be a major part of use cases from consumer wearables to medical devices to industrial IoT.
  2. Digital Biomarkers – Using data analytics to detect disease through changes in streams of data analytics is a potent path for electronics companies to grab a piece of the healthcare pie.
  3. Natural Language Processing – Natural language processing (NLP) allows electronics and IT players to extend into new services and industry segments, either by using it to leverage their own data or by providing it as a service.
  4. Edge Computing – Limitations in bandwidth and latency are pushing critical computation away from the cloud and out to the edge, with rapidly improving hardware and software enablers.
  5. Synthetic Data – AI needs vast amounts of training data, and when real data is scarce, synthetic data can be a solution. It also boosts data diversity and privacy.

From DSC:
Some things to keep on your radar…

 

More states require telehealth coverage going into 2021 — from by
Several states passed recent laws that would require commercial insurance plans to cover more telehealth services on a permanent basis. More states now require health plans to pay the same amount for telehealth as in-person visits.

From DSC:
Telelegal on deck…? What about in your area of work…what’s coming down the pike in this regard?

 

 

MI Governor Gretchen Whitmer's email from

This programming is being broadcast on special on-air channels established by each of the participating public television stations in Michigan. It is also available as a livestream and stored for on-demand viewing on a variety of digital platforms, ensuring accessibility to all students, teachers and families in the state.

Michigan Learning Channel -- which stations carry it

An example schedule from About MLC:

Michigan Learning Channel Program Schedule for January 2021

 


From DSC:
It’s great to see this inclusive, FREE, convenient piece of the K-12 learning ecosystem! I’m all about this. Perhaps such a developing platform could integrate further interactivity and social/network-based learning into it:

Let's use television -- and later on smart TVs -- to provide a free medium to all K-12 students -- and build on top of that platform as time goes by.


Also see:

The MIchigan Learning Channel on Twitter

 

How to become a livestreaming teacher — from innovatemyschool.com by Bobbie Grennier

Excerpts:

What is an encoder?
The format that a video camera records content in has to be transcoded so that it can be livestreamed to a destination like Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch and Periscope. This is accomplished using an encoder software. An encoder optimizes the video feed for the streaming platform. The key to using an encoder is to learn to set-up scenes.

From DSC:
It will be interesting to see how learning-related platforms develop in the future. I’m continually on the lookout for innovative ideas across the learning landscapes, especially due to the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision that I’ve been tracking this last decade. The pieces continue to come together. This might be another piece to that puzzle.

An online-based teaching and learning marketplace — backed up by AI, cloud-based learning profiles, voice-driven interfaces, learning agents, and more. Feeds/streams of content into how to learn about any topic…supporting communities of practice as well as individuals. And people will be key in this platform — technology will serve the people, not the other way around.

Daniel Christian -- A technology is meant to be a tool, it is not meant to rule.

 

Innovating Remote Connectivity — from luxresearchinc.com

Innovating Remote Connectivity [Lux]

 

U.S. Businesses Potentially Spent Billions on Legal Fees for Inaccessible Websites in 2020 — from boia.org

Excerpt:

In a bombshell report published by Accessibility.com, the organization estimated that 265,000 website accessibility demand letters were sent to businesses last year. Astounding on its own, if the figure is correct or close to correct, U.S. companies could have spent billions of dollars in legal costs as a direct result of inaccessible websites in 2020 alone. Businesses looking for a wake-up call to make website accessibility a priority in 2021 and beyond might have just found it.

The above article linked to:

2020 Website Accessibility Lawsuit Recap -- from Accessibility.com

Also see:

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian