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Graham
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« on: April 17, 2007, 11:07:49 AM »

Nice article on the BBC web site today about how staff at Glasgow Caledonian University predict that lectures will be revolutionised using text messaging and podcasting:

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University lectures could be revolutionised by podcasts, text messaging and MySpace, staff at Glasgow Caledonian University have suggested.

Researchers said they believed wider use of new technology could vastly improve teaching methods.

Some students have already been given handheld devices to help them access course material and seminars.

Others have been given equipment in class so that they can answer questions by pushing buttons.

The study was carried out by staff at the Caledonian Academy, which was recently created by the university to develop new teaching methods.

Professor Allison Littlejohn, director of the academy, said the university had already used podcasts to complement, but not replace, lectures by providing background information intended to put the lectures in context.

More...
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Stuart Smith, University of Manchester

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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 12:02:42 PM »

Perhaps (and I am definately NOT against Podcasts) but any insitution needs to balance the use of multimedia against the needs of students who may not be able to access this information because they use assitive technologies.

Also, MySpace whilst having lots of potential has lots of problems and again this can put an insitution into a difficult area when it comes to accessibility and their legal obligations.

If an institution was using podcasting to supplement a lecture and deaf student could not access it and the podcast was the only means available then the instituion would proably be disadvantaging that student as descrbed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA).

A similar situation would be the same with storing a lot of multimedia files on a MySpace (or similar site).

I definately do not want to hold back progress because multimedia offers some clear accessibility advantages e.g. for students with learning difficulties. However it worries me that in the so-called Web 2.0 we are going to make the same selfish mistakes of Web 1.0 and leave behind those who need a bit more consideration.

Stu
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James Clay
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2007, 05:25:47 PM »

If an institution was using podcasting to supplement a lecture and deaf student could not access it and the podcast was the only means available then the instituion would proably be disadvantaging that student as descrbed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA).


So the actual spoken lecture wouldn't be a problem then for the deaf student?

 Wink

This is not how SENDA works.

No resource is accessible to all learners. think of books which are accessible by deaf learners and inaccessible by visually impaired learners.

An institution does not have to ensure that all resources are accessible, they need to make reasonable adjustments to enable them to meet learners' needs as identified and agreed with the learner.

Most institutions would provider the deaf student with a signer for their lectures, there is no reason why such a signer could not also sign a podcast as well.

http://www.techdis.ac.uk/index.php?p=3_20050112091241_20050112101218

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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 10:40:22 PM »

Not putting your sarcasim aside for one moment ifelix. I know very well how SENDA works, understanding it has been one of my key roles for long enough now - which includes being published by TechDis on the subject. Hey, but thanks for the patronisation. Wink

On the subject of 'reasonable adjustments' as you probably know there is no case law to define this in the UK but since the law itself now exists it would quite likely considered to be unreasonable of any institution NOT to consider the needs of disabled students in resource development and deployment.

I know fully that nothing can meet the needs of everyone all the time.

You entirely miss my point,so let me make it more bluntly, which is not that these novel things should not be done but how we approach them.  The opportunity for inclusion needs to be part of our approach from the start not tacked on at the end.

Insitutions need to appreciate that a technology may be widely available but certain students maybe excluded from its use for example some forms of motor difficulty may prevent mobile access. So for an insitution to develop and embed an approach that is not felxible and adapatable puts them at risk of being outside the legislation and there is sadly very much in small devices that prevent them from being adatable and felxible.

The gung-ho attitude of the mobile commercial world seems to be affecting the elearning world and that puts the good creative work in this realm at risk. It took a long time before accessibility was taken seriously on the Web and even now many instutions fall short and fail their students and staff. The last thing I want to see is a repeat of the last five years where so much creativity in learning has been ditched on the mainstream web because institutions were terrified of "not being legally accessible" rather than because they wanted to be inclusive. (NB Creativity never has to be ditched for accessibility, accessibility thrives on it).

No one has to get left behind unless we choose to leave them behind.


« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 10:54:23 PM by stu_mob » Logged

KathyT
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2007, 04:56:13 PM »

Hi,

I can appreciate your warning Stu, but we very much *will* be balancing the needs of students against the use of technologies...whoever those students are and whatever their abilities.

We're still in the process of data collection for part of what is being discussed by this article, but one of the things we are investigating are barriers and enablers to using technologies for supporting learning (both formal and informal), and ability to use it or not, for whatever reason, is part of this. It's interesting to note that during the data collection I've done so far (I haven't yet seen the rest of the data collected by my colleagues), none of the participants have yet mentioned the problems of access from a disability point of view (apologies if that word is not the correct one these days!). Perhaps We're talking to the wrong people. I will certainly bear this in mind and maybe add in a question to this effect, but we ARE very much aware of SENDA.

We do not use a technology just because it's the newest, coolest, gadget. This is not what we are about, and I think most of the learn tech community has moved beyond that these days. If we did we'd not still be researching into its affordances for effective education! :-) We also do not have the mindset of 'one technology fits all'  - again if so we'd only use the VLE we've been given and not waste our time investigating other possibilites. :-) :-)

On saying that, yes, these technologies are being used at the Caley, and to great effect (as elsewhere), and the same consideration is given to students requiring extra help as is always given, as ifelix suggests. Our lecturers DO care about their students.

Personally I have to say I wasn't too impressed by the write up of the beeb article, and I don't believe Allison was either. I'm sure the journalist gave it their best effort, but a lot of (correct) information has got lost in the translation (There are many other institutions using podcasts, web 2.0 etc -  this embarrasingly seems to make out that we are the first! :-) oops.). It was interesting to watch this article spread and then appear a couple of days later in a newspaper that got it all wrong and suggested that we were going to replace lecturers entirely by using class voting systems... Don't believe everything you read, kids :-)

Best wishes, Kathy
« Last Edit: April 22, 2007, 05:29:34 PM by KathyT » Logged

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Kathryn R. Trinder
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KathyT
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2007, 05:30:48 PM »

Nice article on the BBC web site today about how staff at Glasgow Caledonian University predict that lectures will be revolutionised using text messaging and podcasting:


Cheers Graham!  Smiley
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Kathryn R. Trinder
Research Fellow (e-Learning), Emerging Technologies & Second Life Projects,
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KathyT
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 02:19:45 PM »

Hi,

It's interesting to note that during the data collection I've done so far (I haven't yet seen the rest of the data collected by my colleagues), none of the participants have yet mentioned the problems of access from a disability point of view (apologies if that word is not the correct one these days!). Perhaps We're talking to the wrong people. I will certainly bear this in mind and maybe add in a question to this effect,

Hi Stu, strangely enough, the next person I interviewd brought up this very subject. Smiley I persued it a little more than I perhaps would have doen, I now have some interesting data on assisstive technologies. Cheers!

Kathy
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Kathryn R. Trinder
Research Fellow (e-Learning), Emerging Technologies & Second Life Projects,
Caledonian Academy,
Glasgow Caledonian University

E: k.trinder@gcal.ac.uk
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stu_mob
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2007, 02:52:57 PM »

Hi Kathy

Very glad that it has stiumlated some further considerations. As I said before I am very pro the whole idea of using different technologies in different ways. I am also a firm believer that mobile devices can offer some distinct advantages to some disabled users. For example many users with learning dificulties find multimedia a great way to learn and I would love to have a bit more time to research the impacts mobile devices have on this group, as I suspect freeing those with learning difficulties from the classroom or lecture theatre would be very benifical.

You may have spotted that I have a call for examples of mobile device learning on the forum for a paper I am presenting the Institute of Web Management. Would you and your colleagues be OK if I included yours in my list? I am looking at the different types of devices and their advantages and limitations.

Cheers

Stu  Cheesy
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KathyT
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2007, 10:17:31 AM »

Hi Stu
Very glad that it has stiumlated some further considerations. ...I am also a firm believer that mobile devices can offer some distinct advantages to some disabled users.

Apologies, I'd mis-interpretted your posting that you thought mobile devices were disadvantagous for disabled users. Sorry!  Embarrassed  Embarrassed
But, yes, thanks for your thoughts. It made me think further, which is always good.Smiley

I hadn't spotted your call, sorry(I'll go and look!), but please feel free to quote us if useful! Let me know if there's anything in particular. Here's a link to the Learning from Digi Natives project website, though things are progressing and we haven't had time to update it recently (you know how it is...Smiley ). http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/ldn/.

Cheers, Kathy Smiley
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Kathryn R. Trinder
Research Fellow (e-Learning), Emerging Technologies & Second Life Projects,
Caledonian Academy,
Glasgow Caledonian University

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stu_mob
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Stuart Smith, University of Manchester

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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2007, 10:57:01 AM »

Hi Kathy

Glad we are now on the same wavelength Smiley and thank you for agreeing to let me point to your and your collegues work. I am going to be working on the presentation over the next few weeks, so may well be getting back to you with questions.

Cheers

Stu

Hi Stu
Very glad that it has stiumlated some further considerations. ...I am also a firm believer that mobile devices can offer some distinct advantages to some disabled users.

Apologies, I'd mis-interpretted your posting that you thought mobile devices were disadvantagous for disabled users. Sorry!  Embarrassed  Embarrassed
But, yes, thanks for your thoughts. It made me think further, which is always good.Smiley

I hadn't spotted your call, sorry(I'll go and look!), but please feel free to quote us if useful! Let me know if there's anything in particular. Here's a link to the Learning from Digi Natives project website, though things are progressing and we haven't had time to update it recently (you know how it is...Smiley ). http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/ldn/.

Cheers, Kathy Smiley

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