ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL...
My motivation for doing the Digital Badge in Universal Design in Teaching & Learning (UDL) was to learn how to use the principles and practices of UDL to try and get students to actively engage in using library resources, by embracing and formally embedding UDL into library instruction, both online and face-face. The digital badge was developed by AHEAD and UCD Access & Lifelong Learning and brought to you by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.. Applying UDL to library instruction means designing instruction that is accessible to all students accounting for everyone’s abilities and differences.
The UDL Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of Universal Design for Learning design by CAST, the 3 principles are:
Source: CAST (2020). The UDL guidelines. Available from: http://udlguidelines.cast.org/?utm_source=castsite&lutm_medium=web&utm_campaign=none&utm_content=aboutudl
Welcoming flexibility in delivering library training and instructional materials along with offering multiple ways for students to express themselves and demonstrate their knowledge can only make for a better more engaging learning environment.
SensusAccess is a self-service tool that enables users to upload and convert digital documents into a range of alternative formats such as mp3, Word and ePub to promote inclusion. Originally designed for use by educational institutions to allow students and staff with disabilities, or disability support staff, to convert inaccessible or problematic digital documents to alternative formats. This means that digital documents can be made available to a larger number of people on a variety of platforms, devices and software. This service is provided for personal, non-commercial instructional and educational use only and any other use is prohibited. The quality of a conversion is reliant on the quality of the original document. SensusAccess is simple to use and can be accessed freely from their website using the covert a file option.
WAVE is an accessibility evaluation tool to help make your web content more accessible.
WAVE cannot tell you if the web content is fully accessible, but it can help you evaluate the accessibility. The tool is provided by WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), checkout https://wave.webaim.org/ to start using this free tool, simply put in your webpage address and view the report to see what errors or issues you might have to fix on your webpage. Keep updating the page until all the errors and alerts are fixed. Please note that the absence of errors does not necessarily mean that your page is accessible; more checking may be required.
The main aim of this tool is to have no red errors on the page, followed by no yellow alerts. So start checking your images, heading, contrast, links and more!
The way we do our work and communicate with our colleagues since the arrival of Covid-19 has changed. Gone are the office chat, the coffee break chat, the staff meeting, the 'boss wants to talk' request, instead we have Teams for a flexible conversation experience. Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that provides remote workers with the ability to work together and share information via a shared space. You can utilize features like document collaboration, private chat, team chat, meetings and more. Learning how to use the basics of Microsoft Teams isn’t too hard, however you will need tutorials for some of the offerings!
All our day to day work is now done via Teams, using the Channels, chat, calls and files; Teams helps us stay connected and ensures that we can continue working collaboratively and effectively anywhere, even when Covid-19 is history!
An e-portfolio captures what activities you have done and when you did them. It also show what you learnt by doing them and such learning has affected your work. If you want to stand out from the crowd be your own professional advocate. It is everyone's responsibility to advocate for the value and impact of our libraries and our profession.
Poster presentation ready to go from postponed Conference covering all the essential components of an e-Portfolio.
Weebly is a great online platform that lets you build an e-portfolio that is unique to you.
Be Selective - Be Reflective - Be Motivated - Be Proactive - Be You!
What would often have been face-face communication is now all online, from meetings and training to presentations. Webinars have become the standard method of presentation for seminars, conferences, and as a general learning tool throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. They provide a rich means of demonstrating, but they can also take up valuable time and you can often come away thinking ‘What did I actually learn or get out of that?’. Its time to take charge, there is no point in signing up for a webinar just because you were sent an invitation to do so. If you haven’t got the time, or you are not in the zone, as you have a hundred and one other things to do, or you have no interest in the topic what are you actually going to gain from attending a webinar just to say to your colleagues/boss that you have attended? Nothing, zilch, zero….
So before signing up for every webinar you see, or get an invitation to, make sure you have the time, motivation, interest and head space to attend! If you do… go on sign-up as there are many positives. With the avalanche of webinars most are now more about teaching than performance bringing new opportunities and new connections.
With the country in Lockdown, GMIT choir members were missing their weekly practice, with staff working online and students studying online it was suggested that the choir try singing online and it was a success!
The GMIT Virtual Choir during Covid-19 brought around 80 staff and students with a love of music and singing from all GMIT campuses together. Being part of this experience of singing online was great fun and a great energizer for coping with our daily stresses, and research has shown that singing in a virtual choir can have a positive impact on your mental health. Singers recorded their renditions of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and upload their videos from locations all across Ireland and further afield. Each one of the videos was then synchronised and united into one performance by choir director, Sean Rowland, to create the GMIT Virtual Choir.
I think I am actually more productive! Once I learnt (early on) that the key was to get dressed as soon as I got up in the morning, staying in pyjamas implies a ‘lazy day. I have kept a similar schedule to my normal office hours, taking my usual elevenses. Thankfully I am yet to feel isolated or lonely, but I do miss all the in-person office interactions…. And coffee breaks!
The good weather has definitely helped as I have been able to separate myself from the kids screaming and shouting. Also, having a routine for their schoolwork means that they want peace and quiet when they are working too so it benefits everyone. We try to get outside every day; staying in the 2km radius for exercise is easy for me and the family as we have a secluded beach at the end of our boreen (road) so we happily walk, cycle, or jog alone or as a family… we haven’t braved the water yet though!
Communication is key; I am easy to reach via Teams, phone, WhatApp and my social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). Collaboration is mainly done through Teams, largely via Chat but we also have calls and meetings. Teams is great as a collective knowledge base with chat history and sharing of files; off course email also plays a huge part in communication and collaboration.
Although working from home is not the norm for the organisation I work in, nor is it that common nationally, hopefully the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak will change this as now that I have tried it I would be happily continue, even if it was just for one day a week when we come out the right side of this pandemic... Let’s see what the future holds...
The focus of this event was remote working, wellness and opportunity, hosted by GMIT Mayo. With speakers from an array of industries,from aviation to health. The event was extremely interesting and informative.
Remote working is a topical phrase at the moment, with 61% of global companies offering some sort of remote working policy. With remote working comes wellness which is positive!
Donal Healy from Ireland West Airport, Knock spoke about social media engagement.
I recently noticed that the images for my digital badges from Open Badge Passport were no longer displaying in my portfolio. Instead what was displaying was an error message saying that the the owner had set them to private; which I had not. Anyhow if it happens all you have to do is update the code in your badge by simply adding /pic
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