Dear Teachers: it’s not about making it easy for YOU

Dear Teachers

GWhiz Mobile Learning Assessment, Wesley Fryer, CC (by) (nc)

When you are putting together an online course, and you sayW3C accessibility guidelines are too hard to follow, what you’re really saying is it isn’t about your students, it’s about YOU.

W3C accessibility guidelines are not just about making the web accessible for people with screen readers: they are also about ensuring the web will be available on as many different devices as possible:

  • You cannot justify using fixed width tables for layout at a time where it is becoming evident learners are more likely to be accessing the web via a device other than a desktop.
  • You cannot justify using one huge image because it looks cool on a page even though it might be impossible to see the detail in it on small devices.
  • You cannot justify using flash with no alternatives for devices that cannot render it.

When you as a tech innovator say you are after what is easiest for teachers, you are taking students out of the spotlight.

  • It’s a mindset that results in online courses that consist of PDFs and quizzes – cuz THAT is EASY for teachers.
  • It’s a mindset that results in images being pirated and used incorrectly without proper attributions or permissions.
  • It’s a mindset that results in educators publicly asking for software to rip YouTube videos and getting help from others to do so.

Being an effective e-learning designer isn’t easy. But it can be streamlined. Your first course could be one that teaches how to create interoperable, cross-platform, mobile, accessible courses that could be easily shared. Now THAT would be empowering for your colleagues AND your students.



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