I’ve recently been involved in a committee interacting with a website developer regarding the creation of a new college website in which I specifically asked about catering for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. Some of the developer’s principles on universal design are relevant to Edmodo including:
• The website maintains a consistent design and page layout throughout i.e. logos and links appear in the same place which is relevant to students who have difficulty with poor navigation features.
• Background colour and contrast are simple, obviously tested and available at different resolutions to aid students with poor vision or those who suffer from colour-blindness in deciphering text.
• Standard HTML is used that can be used across multiple browsers.
• Videos have audio or text to aid students with hearing difficulties or those who have older technology.
• Links avoid using the term ‘click here’, but rather contain text relevant to the link or pictures such as a book for library or house for home. This is also particularly relevant in searches by search engines or software assisting those who are visually impaired.
Social networking can often be used as an escape from reality and people will portray an ideal rather than real image of themselves. For example in Edmodo it’s interesting to see the variety of profile pictures students choose and ask them for their rationale in doing so. Students with learning difficulties/disabilities often feel they have a label attached to them and social networking can help them remain anonymous allowing them to promote other aspects of their identity. These topics are particularly relevant in my colleagues’ discussion in the second life virtual classroom. ...
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...978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wadman, B. (2013). Future of E-learning in Thailand: Edmodo VS Moodle. The 33rd Annual Thailand TESOL International Conference, January 25-26, 2013, Khoen Kaen, Thailand.
Accessed online 21/05/2014.
WCER (2011). Wisconsin Centre for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits and Drawbacks of Social Media in Education Summer 2011 Vol. 22, No. 4
Accessed online 26/05/2014
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