Online Conferencing Tools
We used Elluminate Live! a lot during H800 and I hated it! There was far too much multitasking for my slow-moving cognitive skills to keep up with!! It is also very difficult for deaf people and screen readers do not manage it too well either as there are too many windows used (despite the company's assurances that it is fine!). However, I have really missed it on H810, not only because of the contact with the tutor and other members of the course but because it is so much easier to discuss group activities. I get some contact with other course members on Twitter which has really helped me and it is even better when the tutors join in discussions. I miss the contact with my tutor to ask pre-TMA questions that seem too trivial to email about or post on the forum. I feel that the group activities via the Wiki have not really worked for our group. People post things and may visit once to check what else is there but it is not interactive.
I feel that the lack Elluminate on this course has been a loss for me. Accessibility is an issue in many ways: time zones; family/work clashes; technology issues; being unable to multitask (me!); unable to access audio; unable to access video. If it is handled correctly with an accurate reporting of the session on the forum then everyone can gain from the session whether they can attend or not. Our tutor on H800 modelled good practice by posting reports of our initial sessions on the forum and we followed this model when we held our own independent sessions. Comments on these reports, from people who could not attend for various reasons, were very positive. I believe that the group discussion that occurred actually helped the whole of the tutor group whether or not they attended the session as the immediacy of the contact allowed us to discuss, clarify and resolve problems we were all experiencing and the report back on the forum made it accessible for all. Not an ideal solution for those that could not access the session but better than not holding a session at all.
I posted a blog link on Twitter a couple of days ago on 'More Notes to Web Developers: How NOT to do RSS' http://disabledfeminists.com/2010/12/10/more-notes-to-web-developers-how-not-to-do-rss/
I had no idea at the time that this exercise was here!
I love Google Reader, I have it embedded on my iGoogle home page and scan it every day. I had not considered it from the view of accessibility and this was quite an eye opener for me.
I was interested in the fact that truncation of feeds was a problem - I hate this too because I prefer to read straight from iGoogle but I had not realised how annoying it would be for screen reader users.