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Woman of the Developing World favour learning by mobile phone

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 10:32
As a professional swimming coach when working with disabled swimmers I was taught to play to a person's strengths.
When AKH talks about the inequalities of access, on the one hand she mentions the affordances of such devices on the other ... we find a way to play to their strengths - is it not these developments that drive advances?
Woman needing and wanting to study favour learning via a mobile device (smart-phone or more likely a standard mobile) as it can just look as if they are on the phone. There are cultures where learning is liberation and where liberation is not something the men want 'their' women to have.
I wonder how many others can now take their mobile device into a 'space of their own' (to paraphrase Virginia Woolf), so that they can Rita-like (as in 'Educating Rita) 'improve' themselves.
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Picture of Susan Whelan

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Aw Jonathan

I just love 'Educating Rita'.  i have the play, the video and the DVD, but haven't seen it performed.  I find it such an inspiring work.  I heard it performed on Radio 4 a few years ago though.  Having a visual impairment I struggle with a lot of the state of the art technology, but this is probably also a reflection of my mindset.  I know a few people with visual impairments who use Ipads and find them accessible, but I haven't been tempted and prefer my desktop PC at the moment anyway.

I love reading your blog and marvel at the range of topics you write about.

Take care,

Sue

Design Museum

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Hi Susan Thanks for stopping to say hello. What an amazing run of courses you have studied. I have to recommend the Masters in Open and Distance Education of course as it explains how The OU does it. The greatest asset for the visually impaired is the touch screen in this and other devices, being able to greatly increase the font size opening it out and shifting the viewpoint from portrait to landscape. Also, with the Kindle having it read the text. Indeed there is a mobile APP that does this now, you photograph any text and it is read back to you. There's an entire module in accessibility which I will be doing in 2012. Best wishes, Jonathan
Picture of Susan Whelan

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Hi Jonathan

I have a touch screen mobile which I thought I'd never get used to but I have.  The only drawback is that I can't increase the font size for outgoing text messages, but can for incoming ones.  I would need to buy more software to enable me to do this.  I used to use a phone which worked totally on speech but it was quite unreliable.  I go to exhibitions where I find out about amazing products, but often the cost is so prohibitive, probably because of the restricted market.  So often accessibility is addressed as an add on and designers don't seem to think of builiding it in from the outset.  I think things are improving, but those with no useful vision are often the ones left struggling as they are unable to make use of touch screen technology.

It's great to hear you're interested in accessibility issues.  Good luck with the course.

Your course sounds fascinating too.

Sue

Design Museum

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I trust, of all organisations that The OU works harder than anyone to address issues of accessibility. By the way I was born in Newcastle, educated in Northumberland and Cumbria and spent my youth on the North East Coast. I hanker for the Cheviots and Beadnell Bay!