Talk: Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning and Research

In some realms of the academy and administration, we are having more and more discussions about technology/content accessibility and universal design. We are seeing tremendous growth in the use of instructional technology, but little to no consideration for giving access to everyone. For instance, we upload videos all the time with no captions, which automatically makes the content inaccessible for a growing number of users. Even complicated language use (Yeah, I’m guilty of it.) makes our work less available to the world. Many of us are advocating inclusive, universal design for learning and research. I would like for us to talk about what this means, what is practical, and how to move forward to help more tools and content be accessible from the outset through universal design.

One of my UDL/A11y idols: Howard Kramer – UDL/A11y from 2013 AHEAD Conference

UPDATE: Here’s a link to our conversation about accessibility

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Talk Session: A Discussion on Tools to Help Flip a Class

I have been playing around with incremental changes to my courses to move toward a flipped design. It is a process I plan to continue. I would like to propose a session that encourages discussion on activities, assignments, etc. that may prove useful in a flipped course environment and how specific technologies may enhance the process.

A discussion should consider both the practical and aesthetic challenges to flipping courses. My experiences thus far are limited to working within a Blackboard platform, but the session should consider more options.

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Fight Club

pair of red, Everlast boxing gloves

“Boxing Gloves,” flickr/KWDesigns

“We tend to use technology to support, rather than transform, traditional modes of teaching and learning.”

“Publication in open access, electronic-only journals and publication in traditional print journals should not be valued equally for tenure and promotion.”

“Digital media are integral to scholarly work.”

“It is immoral to subvert the Digital Rights Management technologies companies use to protect their media from illegal use.”

“Digital humanities is a field that’s difficult to enter without significant support and collaboration.”

Wanna fight about it?

In this session, we’ll debate developments in humanities, technology, education, and digital culture. We’ll examine where we stand on a given issue or statement, vocalize our opinions and listen to others speak about theirs, and challenge ourselves to argue for positions or perspectives we do not necessarily agree with.

Is there a hot topic you’d like to debate or discuss with your fellow THATCampers? Please comment below.

Categories: Session Proposals, Session: Talk | Tags: | 3 Comments

Creating an Omeka site with Amazon Web Services

Update: To make the session run smoother, some lines of code we’ll need are in this Google document so people can just cut and paste

Perhaps in conjunction with the Omeka workshop or as a session for those who want to go further with Omeka, I can teach a small group how to create your own instance of Omeka running on Amazon Web Services. The same basic principles apply to starting a WordPress site. AWS provides the first year of web hosting free, making it an ideal environment for those who want to experiment with creating their own site free of charge. This will allow you to take full advantage of all the available plugins for Omeka, such as Neatline.

Anyone who wishes to participate should have their personal laptop. If you have a Mac, you won’t need to install any additional software. A windows machine requires installing Git so that you can access the server via bash (I can explain what this means later).

I have previously written a blog post about the process, so you can see what it would entail. If you’d like to learn, it may be best to do the basic sign-up process with AWS before coming, which requires providing a credit card number and going through a phone number verification process. I’m also working on putting together some screencast videos of the process, and I’ll provide those for anyone who can’t participate.

Categories: Session Proposals | 4 Comments

Workshop: Digital Project Management

Project management is one of the most central skills to have on any digital project team  yet the role of project manager is one for which many of us receive little or no training. Many projects get derailed because they lack a team member whose job it is to take charge of planning, scheduling, and tracking the work required for a project to be successful (as well as getting his/her hands dirty when things fall apart). In this workshop, I will present some important areas of project management to consider and share some of my own success and failures:

  • project goals and contribution
  • environmental scans
  • building a team
  • project planning
  • roles and responsibilities
  • workflow and communication
  • gathering institutional support
  • funding
  • credit and attribution
  • outreach
  • sustainability

I’ll also share some resources from other experienced digital project managers for further reading. Come join me if you are working on a digital project or thinking about starting one in the future!

UPDATE: Here are my slides and a list of resources for further reading.

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Workshop: Digital Collections and Exhibits with Omeka is a web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions (“About,”

In this workshop for THATCampers with no previous experience with Omeka, we will:

  • talk about use cases for Omeka
  • look at some Omeka projects
  • describe the difference between site and running your own instance of Omeka
  • talk about plug-ins
  • add items to an archive
  • assign metadata

If there is interest, following this workshop will be a session dedicated to running your own instance of Omeka through Amazon Web Services (which is free for a year). If you are interested in this, please see my session proposal which has information about what you will need to participate.

If you are interested in creating an site, please sign up for and activate a Basic (free) account before you arrive. You might also bring a laptop with some practice files to upload to your new site!

Categories: Archives, Libraries, Museums, Workshops | Leave a comment

TEACH: Tips and Tricks for Using the Cloud to Make Your Classroom More Interactive

As an instruction librarian, I have been doing a lot of experiments to try to make my classroom more interactive. Clickers and Poll Everywhere haven’t worked for me. My classes are usually very discussion-based, but in the discussion I felt my students were THINKING but not DOING, and I needed a solution!

Recently, I’ve been using a combination of google drive and to facilitate workshop-style in-class interactivity. It has worked great, and I would love to show you how I do it!

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Workshop: Issues in Intellectual Property

This workshop examines the basic contours of copyright law as it applies in scholarly communication. What is intellectual property, what is the public domain, and how does fair use apply? What should be in a request when permission is needed, and what is worth negotiating for? Finally, what rights do scholars have as creators of intellectual property and how can those rights be exercised?

Categories: Copyright, General, Open Access, Workshops | Leave a comment