Listen to a web page in audio

September 25th, 2008

Due: 30 September before class.

Next class our guest speaker is going to be a Carolina student who is visually impaired. She will talk to us about the technology she uses to do her work. In preparation for her visit I want you to listen to two audio clips that illustrate how web pages sound to blind people.

As you listen to these clips, try to answer the question: What chemical components of chocolate affect the way we feel? Listen all the way through both. It will hurt, but imagine this is the only way you can use the web.

This first clip is of a typical, poorly designed web page: Inaccessible web page (3 minutes)

This second clip is of a page with much more accessible design: Accessible web page (4 minutes)

Post comments here about your experience.

Form Teams

September 24th, 2008

I posted this so you all can have a place to communicate about forming teams. I probably shouldn’t give out your email addresses. Privacy and all that. So, comment on this post to express interest in forming teams and setting up various ways to communicate.

Writing books

September 16th, 2008

Using the guidelines Karen gave us today, I want you each to write a minimum of 3 books on different topics. I encourage you to think creatively and expand the range of books beyond most of what is on the site now. Please no fish, puppies, kittens, and such. Instead think about sports, music, games, and the stuff an old guy like me can’t imagine. For extra credit you can write more books though high quality is more important that quantity.

How about “Hot and Not” for a title? I took the 26 letter challenge and did Science A-Z, I bet you could do better.

I will email the invitation code for signing up at Tar Heel Reader.

The minimum 3 books are due by Tuesday 30 September, additional books can be turned in throughout the semester.

Story Assignment

September 8th, 2008

Due: Tuesday 16 September

Here are your story assignments. Try to get through 5 of these for class tomorrow.

Search down through the list for your name. You click on the story name to read the story. Then click on the Edit link to revise the story, set the categories, etc. Finally, click on the Report link to bring up the report page.

I would hold the Control key down while you click on the link so they will show up in a new tab in your browser.

You’ll need to login to Tar Heel Reader for any of this to work. I’ll send your login to you via email.
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Book Review Form

September 8th, 2008

I can’t get the automated version of this to work. For the moment, copy the text below and paste it into email message to me with 2 blank lines between entries for successive books.

       Book Title:
Book Author:
Is it complete?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Does it have an ending?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Did you check the spelling?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Did you check the grammar and punctuation?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Did you check all categories that applied?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Did you check/add tags?
Did you check the audience rating?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Did you check the book type?
  Rate your confidence (1-5):
Other comments:

Try writing with switches

August 28th, 2008

For this assignment I’d like you to experience writing with 2 switches. Go to the Tar Heel Typer page and you should see something like this:

Now you can use the “z” key to move between letters (and words) and the “x” key to choose. Type a short paragraph of about 50 words this way. It will be incredibly frustrating but stick with it. I suggest you imagine pressing the keys is really hard work. Notice also how hard it is to hold in your mind what you want to say with such a cumbersome input method.
When you’re done, you can copy and paste what you typed using your mouse. Paste it into a comment on this post. Finally, add your comments about the experience after the text you typed with the switches.

Due: 4 September before class.

Read about the Beginning Literacy Framework

August 28th, 2008

In preparation for Karen’s visit on Tuesday read about her Beginning Literacy Framework .

Karen Erickson

August 21st, 2008

Dr. Karen Erickson is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies here at UNC. She will be talking to us next Tuesday. In preparation for that, check out her web site . The info and videos about Jake and Matthew are particularly relevant.

Discuss POV: Freedom Machines

August 21st, 2008

Comment on this post to discuss the video we watched today. What interested, impressed, or depressed you about the video. With which characters did you identify?

Person First Language

August 19th, 2008

Read about “Person First Language” and begin to use it in your posts and in our discussions. I don’t want to go overboard insisting on PC language but it is important to remember these are people we’re discussing.

Read: People First Language a commentary by Kathie Snow and The Language Used to Describe Individuals with Disabilities by John Folkins.