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T(oday) I L(earned)

Found quite an interesting article on the benefits of Personalised Review for students. Would need to investigate further to find out exactly how they used an algorithm to ascertain what material would be best for students to coverbut this should be a good read for anyone looking at study skills or assessment.

This was posted on AAATE’s LinkedIn. This is the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe and provides some useful information and links for anyone whose research might cross over into this area.

However please feel free to say TL:DR. 🙂

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I’ve started so I’ll….

Came across this article on MOOCs from September.

Quite interesting in relation to what we were talking about on Friday. It definitely seems that the idea of real-world universities being ousted by MOOCs is still in the realm of the hoverboard: that is – it’s never going to happen.

I know a big part of this lies in the issue of accreditation but I think, even more so, it’s the fact that the majority of people benefit more from working with others than alone with a computer, which is refreshing to hear at a time when it often seems like things are going in the opposite direction.


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Protected: iPad: Apps and Accessibility – The Model and The Meaning

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Protected: Apps & Accessibility: The who, why and what of our Learning Guide series

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iPad: Apps and Accessibility

iPad: Apps and Accessibility

Picture of an animated lady against iPad background.

Welcome to Week One of iPad: Apps and Accessibility

Welcome to Week One of our series of Learning Guides on all things accessible and mobile. Well, perhaps not all things but certainly all those iPad related.

Why iPad?

We have decided to focus on this because for now, Apple are still quite unrivalled in terms of the accessibility features they offer to their users. Also, iPads are currently still the most popular tablets  and the majority of the 100+  Irish secondary schools that are assigning tablets are opting for the iPad option.

Apple are forward thinking and innovative in their accessibility feature design  but don’t seem to be quite as thorough when it comes to supporting documentation and tutorialsand that’s where we come in.

What’s the course about?

Every week, this blog post will bring you a step-by-step guide to a different accessibility feature. We will also deliver a Learning Guide to an app that relates to that feature. This means that it may be accessible through the feature, accessible to users who would use that particular feature or simply a fun way to put the feature to use.

Who’s it for?

These learning guides are designed for family members, care assistants and OTs, as well as AT users themselves. The rapid growth in technology over the last couple of decades has offered many new accessibility options to people with disabilities but the never-ending stream of new versions and updates can seem impossible to keep up with.                                              

                         Enter → The iPad: Apps and Accessibility Learning Guide.

What does the course cover?

This week’s installment will include…

  • Introduction
  • Learning Outcomes
  • The Assistive Touch Feature Video Demo
  • Dot-to-Dot Num Let Lite Video Demo
  • Dot-to-Dot Num Let Lite Simulation

What do I need to know?

You need very little experience with the iPad to work your way through this guide as our video demonstrations provide a step-by-step process. Each week we will also provide a software simulation on either the accessibility feature or the app, giving you the chance to try it out for yourself. This will give you insight into whether it’s for you before accessing or downloading it on your own device. When you’ve completed the Guide, why not upload your own  self-created Assistive Touch gestures to our Facebook page, along with any other accessibility tips or any feedback you may have. Don’t worry, the guide will give you some ideas on how to get started.

   Simply click on this image to begin. 

iPad: Apps and Accessibility Start Image

Click on this image to start your learning guide.


And there’s more…

When you’ve completed the Guide, why not upload your own  self-created Assistive Touch gestures to our Facebook Group page, along with any other accessibility tips you may have. Don’t worry, the guide will give you some ideas on how to get started.

Further Information and Downloadable Resources

For further information on the thoughts behind the series, check out this post.

For more information on Apple’s IOS accessibility, visit this link. 

For a downloadable PDF text guide to Assistive Touch, click the following link:Assistive Touch on iPad IOS 7

For a downloadable PDF text guide to the Dot-to-Dot Num Let Lite app, click the following link: Dot to Dot Num Let Lite Guide

iPad image sourced from WikiMedia Commons. All other images and text copyright of creator. 

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The times they have a-changed..

One of the first assignments we were set on my BA course, was to create a photo storyboard for a film. It was strange to use these same techniques again in a very different context so much later. I guess what’s stranger still…and a bit frightening because it reminds me how long it was since I was last a student…is that when set that task first time round, we took the shots with a film camera, had it developed and rather than scanning them into laptops, we stuck them on big A3 boards. It was only possible to have fancy titles if you were naturally artistic. In fairness, it wasn’t the actual dark ages. We could have taken stills with our video cameras and uploaded them to Premiere in the college editing rooms…but it was so early in the year that we were not yet familiar with the software. 

There was such a marked difference in our experience last week, with everyone having access to a camera and laptop not to mention software, music, graphics etc. And if you aren’t already familiar with any of these…just Google it. I used to think that techie friends were just being unhelpful when this was the answer they gave to my questions but then I realised that knowing the best How to sites and the quickest way to trawl through forums means that you can fix not just your present problem but any other problem you might encounter along the way. 

Having said all that, last week was a reminder to me that if you don’t stay familiar with the applications you have used, the knowledge you have gained may go as quickly as it came. I have a tendency to always want to turn to something new. I am fairly familiar with Final Cut Pro and used to teach iMovie and Movie Maker to younger age groups in workshops. I haven’t used these in a while and have been focusing on learning some authoring tools. When it came to using iMovie last week, I seemed to have forgotten most of what I knew. 

I also noticed that, because I’m self taught, I have probably developed some long work arounds that aren’t the most efficient way of doing things. This can go unnoticed when working alone but really becomes highlighted as a cumbersome habit when you’re working in a group. 

Having said that I really enjoyed the task, particularly getting back to working with a group to come up with a story. And, although it’s been quite some time since I was first at college, maybe the differences were more to do with the accelerated rate at which technology has changed within that time. Perhaps this also accounts for forgetting some of what I’ve learned. The focus now is on the fluidity of information and there is always so much more to learn. However, this was a good reminder that sometimes it might be worth revisiting and cementing prior knowledge because you never know when it might come in useful. 

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