As the world of online learning grows, we must make sure today’s students can participate in future learning.
Why Accessibility Matters In Online Learning
In a nutshell, a “safe,” “accessible” Internet is considered to be a speedy, fast-paced, and capable digital learning environment that is attuned to the needs of people with limited mobility. Just like any other activity, accessibility is an essential key to success in all endeavors.
Seeking the Greatness of a Self-Driving Car
Let’s see now how easily and easily we can drive to success by utilizing a safe, accessible Web experience? For digital learners to truly feel like they are “like” themselves on the Web — and not just like them — platforms and products need to be designed to take into account the specific needs of users with a particular disability. And while the complete replacement of physical bookstores and libraries by digital content hubs might seem far-fetched at first glance, the sky isn’t the limit.
What if content from the State Library in my state had been optimized for my ability to read, and then accessible the very same day it went live? Where’s the demand for that?
The State Library worked with the Language Learners Consortium in collaboration with the Big Book Store Coalition and the Library Technologies Association to ensure that the State Library’s content was integrated with Della Services’ adaptive eContent and Aplifusion video-streaming system. It could have been quite pricey to implement the necessary engineering, software development, tech, and technology support, as well as the technical infrastructure necessary to optimize content for accessibility. But the end result in its current form is nothing short of incredible.
Now, let’s look at the cognitive and physical impacts of dyslexia. Well, many of our future robotic-arm creations are likely to have enough current software and hardware to address specific dyslexia characteristics.
Clearing Information Out of Clothing
For anyone who has more than a cursory understanding of the organization of textiles and clothing, how often do you think about how the Web and global interconnectedness play a role in fashion and design?
While a traditional 3D printing process could seemingly eliminate issues with manufacturing costs and lack of excess physical materials, manufacturing items from start to finish is not an affordable and foolproof process. Is customization the answer to eliminating industry-specific bottlenecks? The fact is, this integrated process, combining data and design, is likely the future of the field. While I am not a big fan of form and functionality over function, isn’t the Internet used for the very purpose of customization?
We are truly looking to create technologies and resource-heavy environments that allow people with a specific intellectual disability or learning issue to take full advantage of those online resources.
The Cyborg University
Watching RoboGeek at work with his neural simulation software and developing designs using an age-defying interactive 3D-printed skin on himself takes the veil off those who rely on alternative means to keep themselves together and ready to go out into the world. Those of us who may not develop the same special skills as him may find the path to success can be a bit more linear (and maybe even harder), and that’s fine. Why? Because over time, as technology inevitably improves, it often doesn’t catch up to our needs.
For disability and accessibility in online learning, the work is no less vital, and the benefits a virtual classroom with many working in sync are numerous.
The final outcome of all of this is perhaps the most important and compelling message: accessibility and mobility are not merely luxuries or small inconveniences in the eyes of those who use them, but a fundamental necessity and key ingredient to success — whether you are a non-stereotypical nerd working in VR or you are a policy-makers or financial decision-makers working to define a future world that works for everyone.