OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

Web Literacy Map

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 2 Aug 2014, 10:51

Fig. 1. Mozilla Webmaker Digital Literacy Map

Learning online for a degree means that over a number of modules, sooner rather than later, you are likely to master a number of these digital literacy skills; the more the better. 

Navigation, search and credibility and vital for any student. Can you find your way around the web and the OU library, the student forum and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Can you search elsewhere for credible results - remembering to tag and cite these. 

You may never need to code, but other 'building' skills are important; the basics of this blogging platform for a start, remixing and re-blogging and accessibility issues. 

Connecting might be the most important skill and habit to acquire: sharing, collaboration and community participation are what make the OU learning experience so special. 'Connectivity' is considered to be the learning theory of the 21st century; that by taking part, connecting and commenting you and others benefit from insights gained, mistakes corrected, problems solved, issues understood, theories tested ... 

While 'openness' is a state of mind that takes a bit of getting used to; some make feel it is 'exposure' or compromising their privacy. Others simply prefer to get on with a task alone, and therefore with less disturbance. You can see that I am an exponent of openness and connectivity. 

 

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

600 Nautical miles in four days (one stop-over)

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014, 10:25

Fig. 1. Many firsts

First time to log and chart any off-shore trip

First time to have the helm on a four hour night-time shift: just me, the full moon, the occasional visit by dolphins and 'ghost' ships that appeared, off radar, without any night-time navigation lights on.

First time to speak Spanish and be understood - even it was only asking for a one-way ticket at the bus station.

First time plotting a course and keeping the log.

First time sleeping overnight in an airport - the flight out went too early for the trains and taking a taxi negated getting a cheap flight.

First time to see the straights of Gibraltar - staggered by the narrow gap between Europe and Africa.

First time to be seasick: hideous, only lasted a few hours thankfully.

The list goes on of firsts.

Never more than four hours sleep in a row since last Friday.

I read a book cover to cover on the flight out (including departure lounge) 'Close to the Wind' by Jon Waters, someone else who did a university course in creative writing and is now being published. It's taken five years.

First time to use GPS system on a boat that not only plots your exact position, but identifies other boats in the same detail: size, speed across water, destination, bearing and so on. 

Shattered.

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H810 - Navigation Tips for students with visual impairments

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 4 Jan 2013, 16:50

Google%2520Docs%2520Navigation.JPG

Fig.1. Google Docs help center - navigation

I was looking for a way to an an Umlaut to the name 'Engestrom' in Google Docs help but instead stumble upon something far more valuable in relation to access to e-learning for students with disabilities - navigation short cuts. These apply to how a person with sight impairment might move through a text and so, like basic web usability, informs on best practice when it comes to writing, proof reading and lay-out, i.e. editing with a reader with a visual impairment in mind.

Somehow the clear way the guide is laid out caused the penny to drop in a way that hasn't occurred in the last three months however many times I have observed, listened to, read about or tried to step into the shows of a student with a visual impairment.

Web usability recommends a way of laying out text that is logical, clear and suited to the screens we use to access content from the web. This logic of headings and multiple sub-headings, let alone plain English in relation to short sentences as well as use of paragraphs makes reading not only easier for those with no disability, but assists those with varies degrees of visual impairment as content is then better able to respond to standard tools of text enlargement and enhancement, but also of screen readers that work best when reading through text.

What assistive technology does, a control that doesn't require a mouse and keeps a manageable set of keys under the fingers rather than needing to run back and forth across the keyboard, is to reduce the above commands to actions that a visually impaired or blind person can then use to control their web viewing experience.

Permalink
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 5340209