Regional Support Centre Summer Fair 2012 TechDis services old and new, just what can we do for you?
An introduction to our services, old and new Staff development opportunities TechDis Tuesdays Xerte Friday Accessible IT Practice Support Programme TechDis Toolbox Aimed at learners Working smarter with technology TechDis Voices Jack & Jess Text-to-speech SBRI MyDocStore Navitext uKinect PSLT
TechDis Tuesdays Fortnightly updates on Tuesdays, 13.00 Intro dialogue (~10 minutes) Detailed discussion with delegates (~20-30 mins) Show notes to highlight further reading Podcast, transcript, discussion summary and show notes all posted online www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/tdtuesdays
TechDis Tuesdays – varied topics Mobile learning for inclusion Free VI tools – are they worth it? Accessible docs – why and how?
Xerte Fridays Last Friday of most months at 13.00 hrs (Not Jul, Aug and Dec) 45-60 minutes Demo of techniques and discussion of their value www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/xertefriday
Xerte Fridays You follow simultaneously on ‘live’ Xerte object Use session recording to practice techniques in your own time Aimed at both beginners and those familiar but wanting to update
The accessible IT practice support programme was put together as a result recognizing that traditional IT courses were failing to equipped staff in learning providers to teach any more effectively. Most traditional ITQ losses failed to cover even the most basic accessibility practices. Teachers who Lacked technical confidence were unlikely to engage in using technology to meet learner needs but even teachers who had plenty of technological confidence were not always using their skills and enthusiasm appropriately. These are the issues that we were finding: Technophobes Worry about using IT with learners. Annoyed by traditional IT courses with their focus on secretarial skills. Lack the confidence to be creative with technology. Technophiles Like playing around with kit and software. Use tools that are personally interesting to them. Prefers new and shiny (even if old and dull is effective!).
The accessible IT practice support programme is different from all other courses because of its unique blend of tools and support. This includes: Teaching and learning focused. Explicit accessibility/inclusion. Practical with sample resources. 90 mins online support. Built in Moodle access for customisation. Built in Xerte access for building skills Draws together a wide range of other resources. Can be used for pick and mix just in time training but is also mapped to ITQ standards with advice for internal assessors.
12 training modules focussing on effective and inclusive use of IT Mapped to the ITQ framework with City & Guilds, so participants can gain a qualification if they so desire but for organisations who just want to use bits of modules here and there it is very easy to pick and mix accordingly
Topics include: User Fundamentals, Text-to-Speech software, Improving Productivity using IT, Using the Internet, Word processing Software, Using Audio Software, Spreadsheet Software, Presentation Software, Website Software, Xerte Software, Ebooks, Web tools Find out more at www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/itq
Partnership with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Three projects for the benefit of disabled and disadvantaged learners. TechDis Voices TechDis Toolbox Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)
Text-to-speech allows text in digital format to be transformed into synthetic speech. This allows user to listen to word documents, web pages, PDF files etc instead of reading them. They can be listened to at a computer workstation or – depending on the software used – can be saved as an MP3 file and transferred onto a mobile phone or MP3 player.
Text-to-speech is built into some software have (for example Adobe reader or Xerte) and text to speech functionality can easily be added to other software (for example Word or some Web browsers). There are also a free text-to-speech tools like Balabolka and DSpeech but all of these depend on the voice you use. As you might expect, you get what you pay for and although free text-to-speech tools work very well, the free voices they work with are poor quality. So we worked with BIS to create a high quality voice so that people could try free text to speech tools with good quality voices. What we want is for text-to-speech to become a mainstream tool that everybody uses rather than a specialist disability tool that – for some people – might feel like it has a stigma attached.
BIS commissioned JISC TechDis to create 2 new, young, voices representative of the range of accents in England. Cereproc won the tendering process and over 300 people helped us select Jess and Jack from 12 voice artists. Over 90 organisations downloaded the voices in Beta testing phase and around 45 gave detailed feedback to us.
Very few people will not benefit from text to speech at some point in their work or leisure. Obvious beneficiaries include: People who prefer to listen. People who prefer to multitask. People with better oral skills than literacy skills. People who like making use of dead-time eg travelling, queuing etc. People who don’t carry around files but do carry around phones. People with print impairments. Tutors who want to give more options to learners.
Getting started: Make sure you are eligible (post 16 learning provider in England delivering publicly funded courses). Go to www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/voices Follow the instructions and links.
Toolbox contains explanations and examples of current web technologies. It provides an overview of accessibility features in commonplace applications such as Microsoft Office and Google. It also suggests different tools for different needs, for instance, those with a visual impairment may find screen magnifiers or text-to-speech tools useful. Individuals with dyslexia or memory problems are advised to use task lists, calendars and reminders. The toolbox has a set of drawers to help users find the tool they need. There are five drawers in total and the first four correspond to skills that are valued by employers. The drawers are: · Technology · Planning and organisation · Communication · Teamworking · Different needs
JISC TechDis has a history of providing simple easy to use resources for tutors and lecturers. Here we have shifted our focus and Toolbox is aimed directly at the end users - learners. While written primarily for those with disabilities or difficulties, it is useful for just about anyone who wants to gain or improve on the skills most valued by employers. It explores many common workplace technologies and explains how to get the most out of them
The contents of the Toolbox were determined via feedback from groups of former students who were asked “what should your tutor have told you but never did?”. The development of the final resource has been shaped by our learner ambassadors. That’s why it contains bite-size videos, short guides, animations and brief audio files. These small bits of just-in-time information can be easily understood and absorbed allowing users to learn something new and put it into practice straight away. Most people use technology everyday. Using it smarter can help people be more productive, organised and creative.
Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) – text projects MyDocStore – iansyst quick and easy transfer of files between devices whilst converting them into the user’s preferred format. Navitext - System Associates improved navigation and accessibility to books and documents for people who are visually impaired, identifies key navigation points in a text and provides easy ways of moving through it and finding what is needed. Due for completion in January 2013
SBRI - Gesture recognition projects uKinect - GameLabUK Using Microsoft Kinect technology, to help users learn and improve their Makaton sign language skills in a fun and engaging way. Portable Sign Language Translator (PSLT) - Technabling The PSLT translates a range of sign languages into text. It is portable, flexible and works with a wide variety of handheld camera-enabled devices such as smartphones. Due for completion in June 2013
This has been just a small sample of what JISC TechDis has to offer. Visit our main website for more advice on technologies for inclusion. www.jisctechdis.ac.uk
The home page of the JISC TechDis website
TechDis transformers - tools for changing lives
Regional Support CentreSummer Fair 2012 TechDis services old and new, just what can we do for you?
An introduction to ourservices, old and newo Staff development o TechDis Voices o TechDis Tuesdays o Jack & Jess o Xerte Friday o Text-to-speech o Accessible IT Practice o SBRI Support Programme o MyDocStoreo TechDis Toolbox o Navitext o Aimed at learners o uKinect o Working smarter with o PSLT technology
TechDis Tuesdayso Fortnightly updates on Tuesdays, 13.00 o Intro dialogue (~10 minutes) o Detailed discussion with delegates (~20-30 mins) o Show notes to highlight further reading o Podcast, transcript, discussion summary and show notes all posted onlineo www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/tdtuesdays
TechDis Tuesdays –varied topicso Mobile learning for inclusiono Free VI tools – are they worth it?o Accessible docs – why and how?
Xerte Fridayso Last Friday of most months at 13.00 hrs o (Not Jul, Aug and Dec) o 45-60 minutes o Demo of techniques and discussion of their value www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/xertefriday
Xerte FridaysYou follow simultaneously on ‘live’ Xerte objectUse session recording to practice techniques in your own timeAimed at both beginners and those familiar but wanting to update
Accessible IT PracticeSupport programme – why it mattersTechnophobes Technophileso Worry about using IT with o Like playing around with learners. kit and software.o Annoyed by traditional IT o Use tools that are courses with their focus personally interesting to on secretarial skills. them.o Lack the confidence to be o Prefers new and shiny creative with technology. (even if old and dull is effective!)
Accessible IT PracticeSupport – What makes it different?o Teaching and learning focused.o Explicit accessibility/inclusion.o Practical with sample resources.o 90 mins online support.o Built in Moodle access for adding custom links / info.o Built in Xerte access for building skills.o Draws together a wide range of other resources.o Can be used for pick and mix “just in time training” but is also mapped to ITQ standards with advice for internal assessors.
Accessible IT PracticeSupport Programme & ITQo 12 modules focus on effective and inclusive use of IT.o Mapped to the ITQ framework with City & Guilds, so participants can gain qualification.
Accessible IT PracticeSupport Programme - topicso User Fundamentals, o Spreadsheet Software,o Text-to-Speech software, o Presentation Software,o Improving Productivity o Website Software, using IT, o Xerte Software,o Using the Internet, o Ebooks,o Word processing o Web tools. Software,o Using Audio Software, Find out more at www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/itq
BIS Partnershipo Three projects for the benefit of disabled and disadvantaged learners. o TechDis Voices o TechDis Toolbox o Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)
TechDis VoicesWhat happened? Open, Voice Jess / competitive artists Jack tender. x12 User feedback
TechDis VoicesWho will benefit?o People who prefer to listen.o People who prefer to multitask.o People with better oral than literacy skills.o People who like making use of dead-time eg travelling, queuing etc.o People who don’t carry around files but do carry around phones. Listen to them.o People with print impairments.o Tutors who want to give more options to learners.
TechDis VoicesHow do I get started?• Make sure you are eligible (post 16 learning provider in England delivering publicly funded courses).• Go to www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/voices• Follow the instructions and links.
TechDis Toolboxo Aimed directly at end users – learners.o a collection of resources which give useful hints and tips on technologies that can help individuals work quicker, slicker and smarter.o.o
TechDis Toolboxo Developed by learners for learnerso Bite-sized videos, short guides, and animationso small bits of just-in- time information that can be easily absorbed
Small Business ResearchInitiative – text projectsMyDocStore – Navitext - System Associates iansyst improved navigation and quick and easy accessibility to books and transfer of files documents for people who are between devices visually impaired, identifies key whilst converting navigation points in a text and them into the user’s provides easy ways of moving preferred format. through it and finding what is needed. Due for completion in January 2013
SBRI - Gesturerecognition projectso uKinect - o Portable Sign Language GameLabUK Translator (PSLT) - Using Microsoft Technabling Kinect technology, The PSLT translates a range of to help users learn sign languages into text. It is and improve their portable, flexible and works with Makaton sign a wide variety of handheld language skills in a camera-enabled devices such fun and engaging as smartphones. way. Due for completion in June 2013
This has been just a small sample of what JISC TechDis has to offer.Visit our main website for more advice on technologies for inclusion. www.jisctechdis.ac.uk