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Friday, December 4, 2009

Module 4-Etiquette and Awareness

Looking at the wiki from CSLA there are lots of lessons students and others need to learn about the Cyberworld.  Just like in the "regular" world there are etiquette standards that need to be taught and learned. I think a lot of students don't see the harm in "having a little fun" with someone on the computer.  However, the results can be disastrous. Reputations can be damage, images and feelings hurt.  I think cyberspace is a place where people may feel a bit a anonymity and strike out more viciously than they might in person. There definitely needs to be repercussions for those who do not exercise proper digital citizenship. From Boy's Life magazine, here are two websites that give information about bullying. Stop Bullying Now! and CyberBullying Research Center give a lot of information and have a lot of appeal to younger and middle age students.  Its a good place to start teaching how to act online!
#1 All Students, with and without disabilities participated in an all school morning meeting.  It was wonderful to observe all of them participating, acknowledging, and enjoying being with each other.  Disabilities need not be an obstacle for friendship, learning, and working together.  Discovering Assistive Technology had us explore basic etiquette when meeting persons with disabilities.I know I tend to first think of disabilities as those I detect.  But, disabilities are not always apparent.
#2. I took the Disability Awareness quiz given on this weeks module.  I did pretty well but it's always good to have a refresher on etiquette.  It's also easy to become embarrassed or ill at ease when in a new situation.  This quiz showed me I know what to do; hopefully, I can apply it!  I do think the preferred language does change from time to time for persons with a disability, just as it does for racial groups, gender preferences and other "labels" that we give others.  Staying current on what manners, actions, and language is preferred is a common courtesy.
#3. I went to the Liberty Resources website as suggested by Discovering Assistive Technology. I was looking for information about the Philadelphia Center for Independent Living. The goal of the center is to allow persons with a disability to live as independently as possible.  They have four core services:  Advocacy, information and referral, peer support, and skills training. Their mission statement is:  "Liberty Resources, Philadelphia’s Center for Independent Living, advocates with disabled people, individually and collectively, to ensure our civil rights and equal access to all aspects of life in the community." I would like to do some exploring and check out the center!
#4. I explored websites that proved useful in learning about Assistive Technology.
Our textbook, Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom, by Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunter had a lot of suggestions in chapter 8 which we read for this week.  This chapter discussed security issues, ethics, and emerging technologies in education. One of the sites on Assistive Technology was a site to make web content more accessible. They had suggested WebXACT but it is no longer a viable website.  Instead, I found W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Webstyle Guide, 3rd edition is also a good website.  It has information for building websites and a goal of Universal Usability.  I enjoyed the section on Information Architecture which I'm interested in. Lighthouse International has a website that offers suggestions for making websites more viable for persons with partial site and color deficiencies. I know my brother does not see differences between red and green among other colors. I hadn't even thought about exaggerating light and dark contrast to help him discern things better.  So much to learn and be aware of!.WAVE from Web Accessibility Online has a website you can put your URL in and they will assess your website for accessibility.  The Americans with Disabilities Act homepage gives all sorts of information about legislation, links to useful agencies, design standards for accessibility,  business connections, and other FAQ's. This is a "jampacked" website! 

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