Sunday, June 26, 2011

Heading for ISTE2011

There's a train at the station waiting to take me to the 2011 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia.  This year's event will be different, mainly because I'll be presenting, but also because I've changed my game plan from a year ago.

If you haven't had the opportunity to attend one of these conventions, suffice to say it is the grand-daddy of ed tech events.  I believe they're expecting roughly 20,000 attendees and exhibitors this year.  The convention kicks off on Sunday and lasts until Wednesday afternoon.  There are over 700 sessions scheduled, ranging from formal lectures to roundtable discussions, and 500 companies will be showing off their products at the Exposition Hall.  Personally, I'm not going to try to make it to all of these this year.  Besides being impossible, you end up missing more than you see when you're rushing about.  I hope to take a more relaxed approach this year and focus on quality rather than quantity.  If you are unable to attend, fret not; many of the events are available online as streaming webcasts or in recorded form here

Real World Math has a Learning Station session on Wednesday, June 29, from 11-1pm.  You can find an overview here and participate in the session's discussion here.  If you are attending the conference, I hope you find the time to stop by and say hello.  I'll try not to disappoint.  I think I can promise you a unique giveaway to add to your pile of swag.  You'll have to come to find out what it is, but suffice to say that it is entirely appropriate.

I would like to thank all of those who helped me get to this point.  Thank you to the professors at the University of Guam who helped me get this website off the ground and online. With over 120,000 visits to the RWM site, I think they can consider that a successful Master's project.  Thank you Amanda for providing the silky-voiced narration to the RWM promotional movie (which will debut at the session).  Thank you Emily for the expert design work and advice you have given me.  She is responsible for the new look of Real World Math seen above.  You can find examples of her beautiful work at, including gift cards and calendars that are available for ordering online.  I hear she also does emergency calligraphy work if you're in a bind.  And finally, thank you to my wife for putting up with the time and expense of my efforts.  At times it can be hard to justify what RWM is worth, but she always seems to understand.

I'd like to think that Real World Math is at a turning point right now.  Which direction that takes, we'll have to see in the year to come.  I always have ideas for new things and I hope I provide lessons you find useful.  Thank you for your support of Real World Math.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 13, 2011

Accessibility to Technology

This is the internationally recognized symbol ...Image via Wikipedia

Now that you've finally made it to the summer, it's time to get to that list of things you want to do.   If you're like me, you have a number of ideas and projects for education that have been sitting on the back burner.  One topic I'll be pursuing is the accessibility of technology for people with disabilities.

I have to admit that this is an area I haven't considered in my fervor to integrate technology.  It is, however, an issue that I've noticed more and more in the material I come across.  Like this article in Campus Technology entitled "Department of Ed Expands on Accessibility Issue in Ed Tech",  most point out that education is meant to be provided to everyone no matter what form it takes.  Web content providers, such as myself, need to take this into account as we publish our material for use in the classroom.  W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium lists some areas to consider:
  • alternative text for images
  • keyboard input
  • transcripts for podcasts
I believe the first item is most relevant to what I provide with  I have embraced the visual content of Google Earth as a prime feature of my work, but I haven't considered how someone who is visually impaired would be able to complete the tasks.  I could be wrong.  There could be more issues that I need to address and so that is why I plan on learning more.  The W3C site seems to be a good place to start.

Please share your thoughts or send me resources to accomplish this.  If you like, I can post a follow up entry in the future.

On a different topic, I am gearing up for the ISTE 2011 convention in Philadelphia.  I have a poster session on Wednesday, June 29 from 11am-1pm.  If you're attending the convention I hope you take time to stop by and say hi.
Enhanced by Zemanta