Archive for September, 2008

What type of learner are you?

I have always considered myself a visual learner. I still think I do have a need for the visual, but after reading the article “The Art of Learning Better: 101 Tips to Find and Fit Your Learning Style” by Heather Johnson, I found myself falling even more so in the area of the kinesthetic learner. This type of learner learns best when they have the opportunity to get involved with the material, do hands-on work and develop a process for learning new information or a skill. I still need the visual, especially in classes where I don’t have the option to have a hands-on experience. I do learn much better if I can see a visual representation of what I need to learn. Videos and diagrams are my best friend.

I do try to practice becoming better at the other type of learning styles because after all we don’t always get to choose the way information is conveyed to us. The above article gives you some tips on how to do this.

So, what type of learner are you?  Or, more importantly, in teaching do you try to accommodate the different types of learning styles of your students?

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Web site accessibility lawsuit against Target

I recently read about the outcome of the Web site accessibility lawsuit from the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) against TargetTarget settled with the NFB to pay a settlement fee to the complainants that the NFB sued on behalf of and to pay for NFB accessibility certification costs for their Web site.  Cases like these are usually taken to court on a case-by-case basis due to the fact that there are no hard-written laws about Web site accessibility of commercial organizations.  There are a lot of gray areas.  Most corporations end up settling anyway because they figure it will cost them less than going to court due to the bad publicity it will get them.  What I don’t understand is, why don’t these corporations invest the time and money to make sure their Web sites are accessible to begin with?  We live in a technological world.  The same way that you have handicap parking spaces and wheel-chair accessible entrances, you should be making accommodations to your online users as well.  For one thing it is the right thing to do regardless of what the law says, but for the ones that are only looking at the bottom line, it makes good business sense  as well.

Details about the lawsuit are available at http://www.nfbtargetlawsuit.com/ and http://www.dralegal.org/cases/private_business/nfb_v_target.php

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RSS Overload

I have been using RSS feeds for a while now so that information comes to me and I don’t have to always go out looking for it.  I have found that it is a great way to fulfill my quest for learning without having to go out and search all the time.  I subscribe to blogs, news feeds, and podcasts.  When I happen upon a new RSS feed that looks interesting I will add it to my growing list of feeds.  My problem, now, is trying to keep up with all of these sources of information.  I try to read at least a lit bit everday as well as listen to a podcast or two, but my feeds bring in more information daily than I can get to.  I would love to be able to read, listen, and watch everything that comes into my inbox, but I can’t seem to find the time.  I am struggling with where to draw the line because there is so much good information out there I want to learn from.

On the other hand, how amazing it is that we live in a time where there is such a wealth of information available on any subject available right at our fingertips 24/7.

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Social Networking in Higher Education

We are struggling with how to create policy for using social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Ning, etc.) at our institution.  We are concerned about security, that students’ private data will be misused and how our university could be held liable.  Right now, the unofficial policy is to NOT recommend any of these tools to our faculty.  It seems to me that there should be a middle ground, a way to develop reasonable policy to protect the institution, students, and faculty and use these tools to enhance our educational institution.

I would love to hear recommendations from anyone who has addressed this issue or who might be going through the same issues and how they are approaching it.

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