This news item comes because recently there have been three articles about the JISC TechDis toolbar – It all started with Lifehacker on 24th June, 2010, followed by The H-online blog during the TransferSummit Conference on 25th June, 2010 and today we had the makeuseof.com blog under the title of “Bring Accessibility Features To All Websites With TechDis Toolbar” that has some really good screen grabs. The server survived some incredible peaks and there have been over 25,000 uses of the toolbar in the last six days.
“I use lots of different technologies and Web 2.0 software that might be considered an assistive technology, but a lot of mainstream education is using them – things like Google docs, Skype and things like that. ” Teresa introducing the mind map she made showing how the changes in the types of technologies available have affected her learning environment.
These changes in the use of technologies have been mentioned by other students, who have also said that they make decisions on the type of technologies they will use based on time constraints, the tasks they need to do and ease of use. There is much learning about different technologies and strategies from peers and some academics. Many students admit they do not take up specialist training but tend to learn how to use these technologies by trial and error or through friends.
The mind map covers topics such as different types of hardware that is becoming more protable, prolific and cheaper, software options that include virtual learning environments, study skills applications and personalisation. Then there is the way Teresa works with technologies and the use of social networks. Over the last year we have also tried to evaluate the ease of use and accessibility of Web 2.0 services on the Web2Access site.