The TESOL International Convention is happening in my own backyard, and I can’t participate as I am working in Qatar. I hope that my fellow TESL Ontario professionals have the ability to attend and participate in the massive spectacle that is the annual TESOL Convention.
I have had the good fortune to attend three conferences in person and a few more online. My favourite part of the conference, after the professional and personal networking, is the Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) TESOL Electronic Village. It is a place where one can Continue reading →
Images can be a great visual tool especially in ESL, but the process in making them technologically effective can be overwhelming. Images with Impact will be a 3-part series of posts by John Allan in order to give you researched information and the opportunity to reflect at each step.
Instructors and Images
Many instructors are expected to create their own presentations, worksheets, or online learning materials called learning objects (LOs) to enhance their classroom offerings. This situation is tricky since most LOs in the modern classroom include multimedia objects. For now, let’s focus on images. Image handling is a very common problem for instructors. This problem is especially onerous for instructors who may not have access to image editors, image repositories, or media design support. Continue reading →
Have you heard the phrase AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)? The accessibility movement is a global phenomenon that has implications for all stakeholders in education. In Ontario, colleges and boards expect (I hope this is not too much of a generalization) that materials produced for instructional purposes comply with accessibility standards based on the media being employed. Media includes printed documents, electronic documents, web based offerings, and interactive and passive multimedia presentations. The United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States have also passed accessibility legislation.
I have found that following good practices to create accessible digital documents results in an improved experience for all. Some general guidelines to improve document readability are
easier to understand tables ,and
colour contrast considerations.
Last year, I attended accessibility certification workshops. Four days of training involved document accessibility design, mobile App design, video captioning, and web accessibility design and Continue reading →
My multiple initiatives to kick-start an extensive reading program using the MReader resource at 4 different institutions flopped for a variety of reasons. My disbelief in these failed attempts led to another kick at the can.
Dozens of outreach attempts through email, voice messages, coffee break chats, and scheduled meetings resulted in the opportunity to run a formal presentation to appropriate stakeholders. At last, the concept of using MReader as a motivational measuring stick while promoting an extensive reading culture was accepted.
At the college where I teach, the extensive reading program, monitored by the MReader, has now completed its first pilot and will encompass additional students and instructors in the fall. Why was I so persistent in promoting this package? Continue reading →