Nearly 200 colleges face federal civil rights investigations opened in 2019 about whether they are accessible and communicate effectively to people with disabilities.
As a result, colleges are rolling out social media accessibility standards and training communications staff members to take advantage of built-in accessibility tools in platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
For example, last fall, a blind man filed 50 lawsuits against colleges whose websites he said didn’t work with his screen reader. And on August 21, in Payan v. Los Angeles Community College District, the Federal District Court for the Central District of California ruled that Los Angeles Community College failed to provide a blind student with “meaningful access to his course materials” via MyMathLab, software developed by Pearson, in a timely manner.
YouTube and Facebook have options to automatically generate captions on videos posted there, while Twitter users with access to its still-developing Media Studio can upload videos with captions. Users can provide alt-text, or descriptive language describing images, through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Hootsuite.
California State University at Long Beach, for instance, advises posting main information first and hashtags last to make messages clear for people using screen readers. The University of Minnesota calls for indicating whether hyperlinks point to [AUDIO], [PIC], or [VIDEO]. This summer, leaders at the College of William & Mary held a training workshopfor the institution’s communications staff in response to an Office for Civil Rights investigation.
an online website accessibility center.
more on SM in education
Mueller and Oppenheimer’s (2014) “The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard” as well as Carter, Greenberg and Walker’s (2016) “Effect of Computer Usage on Academic Performance.” claim that students in lecture-style courses perform worse on assessments when allowed to use devices for note taking.
However, none of these studies question the teaching methods used in the classes themselves or whether teachers are recognizing the power of digital devices for students to create, share, connect and discover information.
Digital Organization and Content Curation
Much like students understand the concept of binders, notebooks and notes in the physical world, they need a similar system in the digital one. Whether working with dividers and subjects in a tool like Notability or sections and pages in OneNote, students need to build vocabulary to support how they house their learning.
Tagging this way not only helps students stay organized, but it could also help them to examine trends across courses or even semesters.
As a doctoral student, I use OneNote. First, I create a new digital notebook each year. Inside that, I add sections for each term as well as my different courses. Finally, my notes get organized into individual pages within the sections. When I can recall the precise location where I put a particular set of notes, I navigate directly to that page. However, on the numerous occasions when an author, vocabulary term or concept seems familiar but I cannot recall the precise moment when I took notes, then the search function becomes critical.
With most tools (Notability, OneNote, Evernote, etc.), students can not only capture typed and handwritten notes but also incorporate photos, audio and even video. These versatile capabilities allow students to customize their note taking process to meet their learning needs. Consider these possibilities:
- Students may take notes on paper, add photos of those papers into a digital notebook, synthesize their thinking with audio or written notes, and then tag their digital notes for later retrieval.
- Students might use audio syncing — a feature that records audio and then digitally syncs it with whatever the student writes or types — to capture the context of the class discussion or lecture. When reviewing their notes, students could click or tap on their notes and then jump directly to that point in the audio recording.
- Teachers might provide students with their presentation slides or other note taking guides as PDF files. Now, students can focus on taking notes — using any modality — for synthesis, elaboration, reflection or analysis rather than in an attempt to capture content verbatim.
In 1949, neuropsychologist Donald Hebb famously wrote, “Neurons that fire together wire together.”
One of the powerful components of digital note taking is that the pages never end, and a full page isn’t an artificial barrier to limit thinking. Students can work on an infinitely expanding canvas to include as much information as they need. For example, concept mapping tools such as Coggle or Padlet allow students to create networks of ideas using text, links, images and even video without ever running out of room. (my note to John Eller – can we renew our 201-2013 discussion about pen vs computer concept mapping?)
Visible Thinking Routines
Visible Thinking routines, sets of questions designed by researchers at Harvard’s Project Zero, encourage thinking and support student inquiry.
more on note taking in this IMS blog
With Bug-in-Ear Coaching, Teachers Get Feedback on the Fly
The practice is called bug-in-ear coaching, and it has been around for decades in different sectors in some capacity. But in recent years, more and more educators are beginning to try it out.
And a growing body of research shows it works. When educators are coached with this technology, they use evidence-based practices in their instruction more frequently. Research also shows that most teachers tend to keep up the improvements in their teaching behavior after the bug-in-ear coaching sessions have ended.
Yet experts say there’s skepticism from some in the education community, who worry that real-time feedback while teachers are delivering instruction will be overwhelming.
Virtual teacher-coaching services have become more popular in recent years—teachers record their lessons, and remote coaches review the videos and offer feedback. This approach has been especially popular in rural schools, or in districts that can’t afford to staff their own coaches.
As educators see the benefits of the coaching method, experts predict that it will continue to spread. That has been the case at the University of Washington’s college of education, where researchers have done a series of studies with bug-in-ear coaching.
Six Ways to Protect Student Data and Prevent Cyberattacks
School administrators and IT staff can be super-vigilant, but the hackers are getting better and better at sneaking through security.
the most common cybersecurity threats, and how can school staff avoid them?
Eavesdropping / Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) Attacks
What they are: It’s likely that you sometimes use a school laptop or mobile device to gain internet access via Wi-Fi networks in public places like coffee shops or airports. If so, be aware that there may be hackers eavesdropping to try and gain entry to any two-party exchange you make so they can filter and steal data.
How to avoid them: Always use a school-verified SIM card, dongle or VPN(virtual private network) to access the internet in public places.
Social Engineering Attacks
According to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations report, 92 percent of malware is delivered via email, often referred to as social engineering attacks. The aim is to interact with the user and influence and manipulate their actions to gain access to systems and install harmful software. Malware uses various guises. Here are some of the most common:
1. Phishing emails
2. Baiting attacks
3. Quid pro quo requests
4. Pretexting attacks
5. Contact with a ‘compromised’ website
CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS
Proposal Submission Deadline: February 12, 2019
Leveraging Technology for the Improvement of School Safety and Student Wellbeing
A book edited by Dr. Stephanie Huffman, Dr. Stacey Loyless, Dr. Shelly Allbritton, and Dr. Charlotte Green (University of Central Arkansas)
Technology permeates all aspects of today’s school systems. An Internet search on technology in schools can generate millions of website results. The vast majority of these websites (well over 8,000,000 results for one simple search) focuses on advice, activities, and uses of technology in the classroom. Clearly teaching and learning with technology dominates the literature and conversations on how technology should or could be used in classroom settings. A search on school safety and technology can produce more than 3,000,000 results with many addressing technological tools such as video cameras, entry control devices, weapon detectors, and other such hardware. However, in recent times, cyberbullying appears to dominate the Internet conversations in references to school safety. With an increase in school violence in the past two decades, school safety is a fundamental concern in our nation’s schools. Policy makers, educators, parents, and students are seeking answers in how best to protect the physical, emotional, and social well-being of all children.
Objective of the Book
The proposed edited book covers the primary topic of P-12 school safety and the use of technology and technology used for fostering an environment in which all students can be academically successful and thrive as global citizens. School safety is defined as the physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. The book will comprise empirical, conceptual and case based (practical application) research that craft an overall understanding of the issues in creating a “safe” learning environment and the role technology can and should play; where a student’s well-being is valued and protected from external and internal entities, equitable access is treasured as a means for facilitating the growth of the whole student, and policy, practices, and procedures are implemented to build a foundation to transform the culture and climate of the school into an inclusive nurturing environment.
The target audience is leadership and education scholars, leadership practitioners, and technology coordinators. This book will be used as a collective body of work for the improvement of K-12 schools and as a tool for improving leadership and teacher preparation programs. School safety is a major concern for educators. Technology has played a role in creating unsafe environments for children; however it also is an avenue for addressing the challenges of school safety
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Section I – Digital Leadership
- Technology as a Climate and Cultural Transformation Tool
- School Leadership in the Digital Age: Building a Shared Vision for all Aspects of Learning and Teaching
- Ensuring Equity within a “One to One” Technology Framework
- Infrastructure within Communities
- Accessible WiFi for Low SES Students
- Developing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
- Professional Development for School Leaders
Section II – Well Being
- Social Media and School Safety: Inputs and Outputs
- Tip lines: Crime, Bullying, Threats
- Communication and Transparency
- Platform for Social Justice
- Teaching Strategies to Promote Healthy Student Interactions in Cyberspace (Digital Citizenship?)
- Building Capacity and Efficacy, Platform to lower incidence of Cyber-Bullying, Boosting Instructional Engagement
- Literacy and Preparedness for the Influence and Consequence of Digital Media Marketing Campaigns directed toward Children, Adolescents, and Teens.
- Pioneering Innovative Technology Program in Curriculum: Fostering “Belonging” beyond Athletics & Arts.
Section III- Infrastructure Safety
- Campus/Facility Safety and Security
- Rural Schools vs. Urban Schools
- Digital A/V Systems
- Background Check – Visitor Registration (i.e. Raptor)
- Network Security Systems and Protocols
- User Filtering and Monitoring
- Appropriate use policies
- Digital Citizenship
- Web development policy
- Intellectual Property & Copyright
Section IV – Academic Success
- Professional Development for Classroom Teachers
- Pedagogical Integration of Technology
- Instructional Coaching for Student Engagement
- Increase Rigor with Technology
- Competence in the Blended/Hybrid/Flipped Classroom
- Technology to enhance learning for all
- Assistive Technology
- Accessibility issues
- Internet access for Low SES Students in the Blended/Hybrid/Flipped Classroom
- Personal Learning Design
- Differentiation for Student Efficacy
- Strategies for Increasing Depth of Knowledge
- Design Qualities for Enhanced Engagement
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 12, 2019, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the purpose, methodology, and a brief summary findings of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by March 12, 2019 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by June 12, 2019, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write/ prior to submission. See Edited Chapter Template. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Leveraging Technology for the Improvement of School Safety and Student Wellbeing. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery®TM online submission manager. USE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL. https://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/3709
This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit http://www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2020.
February 12, 2019: Proposal Submission Deadline
March 12, 2019: Notification of Acceptance
June 12, 2019: Full Chapter Submission
August 10, 2019: Review Results Returned
August 10, 2019: Final Acceptance Notification
September 7, 2019: Final Chapter Submission
Inquiries can be forwarded to
Dr. Stephanie Huffman
University of Central Arkansas
firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-450-5430
Selecting the Right Tech Solutions for Your Classroom
Integrating technology into your teaching practice can be intimidating. Where do you start? What tools do you choose? What are the questions you need to ask?
In Selecting the Right Tech Solutions for Your Classroom, you’ll get the guidance you need to thrive with edtech, whether you’re just dipping your toe in or rethinking a districtwide approach. Throughout the course, you’ll engage in online content, develop materials specific to your context and receive feedback from experts. The course culminates with a capstone project that can be used to communicate with stakeholders about your selected technology, your rationale for choosing it and how you’ll implement it.
This is a 15-hour, instructor-led course.
Winter session: February 5 – March 29, 2019
Storytelling with Data: An Introduction to Data Visualization
Mar 04 – Mar 31, 2019
Data visualization is about presenting data visually so we can explore and identify patterns in the data, analyze and make sense of those patterns, and communicate our findings. In this course, you will explore those key aspects of data visualization, and then focus on the theories, concepts, and skills related to communicating data in effective, engaging, and accessible ways.
This will be a hands-on, project-based course in which you will apply key data visualization strategies to various data sets to tell specific data stories using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Practice data sets will be provided, or you can utilize your own data sets.
Week 1: Introduction and Tool Setup
Week 2: Cognitive Load and Pre-Attentive Attributes
Week 3: Selecting the Appropriate Visualization Type
Week 4: Data Stories and Context
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to create basic data visualizations that are effective, accessible, and engaging. In support of that primary objective, you will:
- Describe the benefits of data visualization for your professional situation
- Identify opportunities for using data visualization
- Apply visual cues (pre-attentive attributes) appropriately
- Select correct charts/graphs for your data story
- Use appropriate accessibility strategies for data tables
Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is required to successfully complete this course. Resources will be included to help you with the basics should you need them, but time spent learning the tools is not included in the estimated time for completing this course.
What are the key takeaways from this course?
- The ability to explain how data visualization is connected to data analytics
- The ability to identify key data visualization theories
- Creating effective and engaging data visualizations
- Applying appropriate accessibility strategies to data visualizations
Who should take this course?
- Instructional designers, faculty, and higher education administrators who need to present data in effective, engaging, and accessible ways will benefit from taking this course
more on digital storytelling in this IMS blog
more on data visualization in this IMS blog