All posts by George Williams

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Learn About Digital Accessibility This Summer

Looking to add to your digital skill set this summer? Interested in digital accessibility? Via Anne Janhunen comes word that Microsoft is offering a "Web Accessibility Fundamentals" course on edX. The course is free to audit and $99 if you’d like a "Verified Certificate."

From the landing page for the course:

In this course, we will teach you the guidelines and best practices required to create a new web application from scratch. You’ll also learn how to repair inaccessible sites as they exi…

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Firefox Focus Now Available for Android

Back in February I wrote about the iOS browser called Firefox Focus, created by the Mozilla Foundation. If you’re concerned about privacy, this is “a dedicated privacy browser with tracking protection and content blocking.” As I wrote when the iOS version was released,

if you don’t want your Amazon shopping history (to cite one potential scenario) being communicated to the other websites you visit after you finish shopping, then this is the browser for you. Or if you don’t want to have the …

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Weekend Reading: Mid-May Edition

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

"Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria," by James Somers in The Atlantic.

On March 22 of 2011 the legal agreement that would have unlocked a century’s worth of books and peppered the country with access terminals to a universal library was rejected under Rule 23(e)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. When the library at Alexandria burned it was said to be an “international catastrophe.” When the most signifi…

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Weekend Reading: ‘Here’s to Your Health’ Edition

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As Friday winds down, here are 5 interesting and relevant reads to get you through your weekend:

"Tent Revival," by Amy Woolard in VQR Online:

"For the last seventeen years, during the same late-July weekend, an organization known as Remote Area Medical, or RAM, has offered a laundry list of free dental, vision, and medical services. Over the course of three days, at the Wise County Fairgrounds, an all-volunteer staff builds a pop-up clinic—the largest RAM health clinic in the US—from the …

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5 Posts Looking Ahead to Summer

As I write this I’m on the brink of clicking “submit” on submitting my grades for the semester and starting my summer activities. Like many faculty in higher ed, I’m thinking about how to make the best of the next 3 months. In doing so, I’ve gone into the ProfHacker archives to see what my fellow authors have written on the subject:

  1. "Five Things to Do With Evaluations Before the Summer Really Starts": Jason Jones argues that, before the semester drifts too far into the fog of memory, take a f…

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5 Tips for Designing Course Documents

Here towards the end of the semester, I’m thinking about all of the different kinds of documents I’ve seen left behind on or near the departmental photocopier over the past 15 weeks. And I’ve developed some … opinions about how such documents could be improved.

Here are 5 specific tips I’d like to share with you:

  1. Add the same visible metadata to every document: Remember that each of your documents will have a life independent of the other documents you’re creating for a course. When that docu…

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Weekend Reading: Late April Edition

It’s hard to believe that April is almost over. I know that some campuses still have weeks to go until the academic term is over, but on my campus we start final exams next week (!). Without further ado, here are 5 interesting reads to get you through your weekend:

  • "America’s Great Divergence," by Alana Semuels in The Atlantic: "Half a century ago, economic opportunity and upward mobility were available to many white Americans, regardless of where they lived and what kind of education they ha…

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DIAGRAM Center Provides Guidance on Accessible Images

Here at ProfHacker we’ve written several posts over the years about accessibility of digital resources for all people, including people with disabilities. Right now, my campus is engaged in a 3-year plan to get all of our digital pedagogical resources to adhere to federal regulations regarding accessibility. One issue that has been the subject of many conversations is the use of images and how best to make them accessible while still fulfilling their function in teaching.

I’m a big fan of WebAI…

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End of the Semester: Make a List

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Here on my campus, we have only 3 weeks of regular class meetings left. I don’t know about you, but the end seems to come more quickly every semester! The more experienced I get the less chaotic these few weeks feel to me, but I still have to work at it to stay organized and to look ahead to what lies beyond the semester’s end.

Back in December of 2009, Ethan wrote up some advice explaining his own end-of-semester checklist. Here’s the overview:

  • Backup my course websites

  • Update my CV

  • Writ…

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Strategies for Encouraging Effective Student Discussions

If you’re not already following Jennifer Gonzalez’ site, Cult of Pegadogy, I strongly recommend that you start doing so. Gonzalez regularly publishes useful posts that provide specific advice for the classroom, from K-16 and beyond.

A recent post that caught my eye — “5 Ways College Teachers Can Improve Their Instruction” — was no exception, featuring an interview with author and teacher Norman Eng. One of the recommendations is especially interesting to me: “Implement ‘Cold Calling’ and ‘No Op…