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H810 – Positive aspects of Web 2.0 (A31.2)

December 31, 2010

Like mentioned in previous post, new technology can be both a blessing or a curse separating students in ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ (Seale, 2006)

We were asked to identify three examples of positive aspects of Web 2.0 tools or developments.

During my search I came around not only Web 2.0, but also Education 2.0 as well Access 2.0. We know or learned what Web 2.0 is about. It is dynamic, it is about collaboration, communication, user-centred, creation and sharing from content, remix or reuse of material. And great emphasis is on the collaboration.

Leadbeater (2008) coined the term ‘We-Think’ that captures the changes how we access and organize information. Collaboration, social networking and community building are important objectives which should enrich student’s personal and professional development and help developing their social and cognitive skills. Education 2.0 is a new approach that appropriates the affordances of Web 2.0.

During my search I ended up with a blog from Paul Crichton with the name Access 2.0 – Accessible digital life and found it pretty interesting.

I also wondered how accessible a blog would be, and since we had to create and evaluate our e-learning resource I figured out that my WordPress blog has not only positive aspects regarding accessibility. Searching around I found a blog post about WordPress and Accessibility which kind of confirmed my evaluation that WordPress needs some improvements regarding accessibility, however they also comment that’ using a perfected theme and add-ons, one can get extremely close to a AAA accessibility rating under the guidance of the WCAG 2.0′.

However, they also criticise some features and talk about e.g. empty search errors or Entry pagination problem. I am not really so tech-savvy, so you might want to read it yourself, they explain it and give solutions as well.

H810 also suggested a couple of examples from which I found this one the most interesting as YouTube is pretty poplar, but might be not accessible to all. Here is the link to the resource from Heilmann (2008). It is about providing a more accessible interface to videos, but they also state that the interface does not offer the interactive features of the original.

Though there are attempts to make Web 2.0 more accessible for disabled user, does it seems it is a no-win situation. Developments in Web 2.0 are a lot faster than developments of accessibility tools and those who design Web 2.0 technology are still not aware or not willing enough to design in view of greater accessibility, as they might fear they have to cut back on other exciting features.

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