This week we had an ALT session on Digital Inclusion and how this is an important consideration when designing learning material. Discussions developed around the themes of financial and cultural restrictions of students as well as disabilities which restrict access to learning material. This got me thinking about how the introduction of a webcam image to my short key concept movies could actually enhance the experience for deaf students using lip reading, is this possible or is it a naive thought. Seeing a talking head of me on the session may prove off putting to the task for good of hearing students but this does offer a choice. I would though need to be more static in my presentation and clear in my speech. We also looked at some national figures to do with internet access for the UK population and there were some surprising results, 70% of people in social housing do not have access online. This therefore has to be considered when expecting students to access learning remotely. This has got me thinking a the proliferation of smartphone ownership within the population, a quick internet search suggest that within 18 months 90% of all mobile users will have no choice but to own smartphones (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jun/27/smartphones-iphone-mobile-market) another search suggests that in May 2012, 50% of 16-24 year olds own a smart phone (http://www.byoideas.com/2012/05/25/how-many-people-have-smartphones-uk/). I hope these figures would suggest that the students I teach at the University of Salford either have home internet access or mobile access, but that is not known for sure. This web link will help me do this but it does not seem to work as I wish (http://www.mobilephoneemulator.com/). So below I have captured a video clip of a smartphone.
In my Friday session this week I asked the students who had smartphones. Six students out of thirty did not own a smartphone and relied on older phones. That represents about 20% non ownership for my class of 18-22 year olds.
This weeks session re-enforces the importance of educators considering there users financial and cultural restrictions and this is something I hope I pride myself in doing.