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Another interesting article, DOJ vs. UC Berkeley: Forcing Online Content to Be Accessible,  about accessibility, lawsuits, and more.

UC Berkeley is figuring out what to do next as the U.S. Department of Justice tells it to make its online audio and video content accessible.

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It seems that every day at least one new post on Open Educational Resources comes across my desk.

This one about Great Minds vs. FedEx is an interesting take on OER.

Great Minds creates and makes curricula available for free under a Creative Commons license. Some schools are paying FedEx to make copies of the free material.

Great Minds claims that  FedEx is profiting through a “commercial use” of the open resources without proper permission. The nonprofit is demanding that FedEx stop doing that copying work — or pay a royalty.

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Free Tools Article by Emily Griffin at 3 Play Media

You don’t have to be an expert web designer to make your site accessible to users with disabilities. There are plenty of tools and resources to guide you through an inclusive web design process.

Accessibility tools included in the article are:

  1. CynthiaSays from HiSoftware
  2. WorldSpace Single Page Analysis from Deque
  3. Tenon Tester
  4. WAVE Toolbar
  5. Karl Groves’ Diagnostic.css
  6. AChecker
  7. HTML_Codesniffer
  8. Total Validator Pro
  9. WCAG Color Contrast Analyzer
  10. WCAG Contrast Checker
  11. PEAT
  12. NVDA
  13. Window-Eyes
  14. Fangs

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New Online Openness Lets Museums Share Works With the World by Michael Cannell (NYT OCT. 27, 2015) tells that many museums are giving open access to the holdings they have put online. This is a nice thing to see in our age of openness. And, it’s nice to see the use of the Creative Commons license too.

One institution that is leading the way is the Getty Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Getty Blog is Now CC-By

More will be listed later.

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Open Content from the Getty

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Source: Abruzzo–Alanno–Madonna delle Grazie, Image 13

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Color blindness (color vision deficiency, or CVD) affects approximately 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women in the world. This is about 4.5% of the entire population, most of whom are male. (from http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/ )

ProfHacker included an article on Creating Color-Blind Accessible Figures recently.

There is tremendous variation in how individuals perceive and distinguish colors. These differences can be due to color vision deficiency or color blindness, as well as other medical conditions affecting the eyes or brain. Other factors such as device display settings, corrective lenses, and environmental lighting conditions can also affect the perception of color differences.

 

This article includes an interesting color-blind barrier-free pallette, which is worth taking a look at.

color-blind-palletefrom http://jfly.iam.u-tokyo.ac.jp/color/#cudo

 

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I attended the Tools for the Digital Age seminar on September 23, 2014 at UNH Manchester, presented by the World Affairs Council of NH.

Ben Blink, a public policy analyst for Google, introduced and demonstrated new educational tools and resources that teachers can use to enhance their teaching and engage learners. He discussed five major free tools for educators.

  1. Google Maps for Education – mapping tools
  2. Constitute – digital collections of constitutions from across the globe
  3. Connected Classrooms – virtual field trips
  4. Google Cultural Institute – exhibits and collections from museums around the world
  5. YouTube for education

Google Maps and Google Earth

Google Maps and Google Earth are now closely tied together. When you are looking at a Google map, note the Google Earth icon on the bottom left.

Especially check out Maps Gallery. There are thousands of maps available and users can even upload their own maps to the site. An interesting map that Mr. Blink pointed out was Earth at Night 2012 Just think of all the interesting discussions that could occur based on this one map!

 

Constitute

The Constitute Project provides the world’s constitutions – to read, search, and compare.

See https://www.constituteproject.org/ to see 192 different constitutions. They can be searched and excerpted by such things as amendments, executive, international law and more.

Connected Classrooms

This allows for virtual field trips using Google Hangouts. The Connected Classrooms site lists upcoming events and past events which have been recorded. A How to Use Hangouts in the Classroom is included.

Google Cultural Institute

At the Google Cultural Institute you can discover exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world; you can explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail, from hidden gems to masterpieces. You can do virtual walking tours of many areas too.

And, you can create your own galleries and share favorite finds with friends.

YouTube for Education

Tired of cat videos? Worried about inappropriate videos? Check out https://www.youtube.com/education. Below is one teacher’s take on why videos are needed in education.

 

Using Different Google Domains

When a search is done using google.com, the user is getting the US based information, generally. Try using another domain to see what a user in a different country might see. To get a find Google domains in different countries, see List of Google Domains.

In Conclusion…

If you decide to use any of these Google tools, be sure to check with your IT department regarding your school’s policies with respect to these features, privacy, and more. If you want to get more information and training about these tools see How to use Google Tools for education.

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