January 14, 2014
When Eyeglasses Aren’t Enough
Jonathan Nadeau is blind. He is a computer user in spite of that. Many blind people around the world are unable to benefit from computers. Jonathan wants to do something about it.
I’ll just quote the email I got
Providing free access to the vision impaired people of the world, Accessible Computing foundations is raising funds to improve the Orca software; the worlds first free screen reader and operating system for the vision impaired. Through Accessible Computing Foundation’s Indiegogo campaign, you will provide computer access once and for all to the vision impaired citizens of the world.
The accessible Computing Foundation is a non profit developing Free assistive technology for people with all types of disabilities. there
are companies that develop assistive technology but the software is priced extremely high so only a small percentage of people that need this software to access a computer can have access to this software. This means that the rest of the people can’t have access to a computer
just because they can’t afford the software. The ACF wants to put an end to this and feels that everyone should be able to access a computer no matter what the physical hurddle might be to use a computer. This indiegogo campaign is the start of bringing access to all people with
types of disabilities. Lets bridge the gap between accessibility and technology!
http://accessiblecomputingfoundation.org/ (link updated)
December 9, 2013
“H” is for happiness!
The “Hour of Code” is an initiative to get all sorts of kids and adults to devote an hour during the 2013 Computer Science Education Week (CSEd), promoted by the Computer Science Teachers’ Association (CSTA), especially to draw attention to getting the activity to happen in the daily routine of school work. Lots of different groups have signed up to participate. There are hundreds of challenge activities which have been designed for every age group and for all sorts of contexts, in school and outside of the school setting.
This example is based on the Khan Academy activity at https://www.khanacademy.org/hour-of-code/hour-of-code-tutorial/p/challenge-h-for-hopper.
This was my first use of the Kahn Academy site. The Kahn Academy activity was well done, with lots of popup support from an animated character named Hopper which is similar to the infamous “Clipper” help system of Windows. Hopper worked, especially in this context. The site does NOT require login or an account to use the coding tool. There is nothing to download. You are free to play.
Are you planning to participate?
Screencapture of my Kahn challenge. Yes, I know that the expected result is just the basic large “H” outlines, but what’s the point of stopping when the urge to extend washes over? If you choose to complete the activity for the badge, you will want to set up an account and go through the steps without doing extensions. You are not limited to the planned activity, but the system is set up to get a particular result in order for you to earn official recognition.
November 5, 2013
Is the shift from textbooks to Open Educational Resources anything more than a shift from one publisher to another?
Are schools simply shifting students from one resource to another?
I read articles like this one at Edutopia about how schools are substituting OER for textbooks. Great, but really?
Are educators and their students really shifting the perspective from consuming information created by others?
Where are the schools which are asking students and their teachers to actually produce OER components, building upon and expanding and personalizing the knowledge?
Is yours such a school?
Are you such a teacher?
Let us know about it.
October 22, 2013
The MassCUE conference is tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. You do not have to be a fan of the Patriots to get in, but it doesn’t hurt, of course.
I will be working the MassCUE information desk during the event. Drop by to say hello.
October 22, 2013
Promoting easy entry into open source (FOSS) software has been a hallmark of VALO-CD, a product of a Finish company. The CD focuses on providing “best in class” software for Windows users. The goal was to make it easy to select a program and install applications like LibreOffice and Firefox.
Times are changing. Version 9 is expected to be the last with the CD format. The plan for version 10 is a USB which may be called “LibreKey.”
You can read more at: