Useful links: Accessibility and SEO, creative writing/programming, Edge

Jared Smith wrote an excellent WebAIM article talking about how Accessiblity and SEO are moving closer and closer together in their goals and techniques. He talks about a variety of things, including HTML5 and SEO. Look at Jared’s list of similarities (links are to WebAIM articles):

The list of accessibility and SEO practices that are closely in alignment include:

Of course content is king, in both accessibility and SEO.

Teaching Creative Writing with Programming at ReadWriteWeb is one of the most creative teaching ideas I’ve seen in years.

Adobe Launches HTML5 Web Animations Tool is the announcement at Mashable. The tool is called Edge and is free right now because Adobe wants testers and feedback. The tool uses only HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. Stephanie Sullivan Rewis tweeted another article about Edge.


Adobe’s Edge summarized on MacWorld: #html5 #css3Wed Aug 03 01:41:56 via TweetDeck


Useful links: HTML5 forms, common HTML5 mistakes, Lion, Dropbox, and Bloom’s Taxonomy

The latest on browser support for HTML5 forms. From wufoo.

Avoiding Common HTML5 Mistakes from HTML5 Doctor.

Reading is Easier on Safari with Lion – Here’s Why from Mac Tips talks about several new features in Lion.

Use Dropbox to Test Your Website Locally from Digital Inspiration is sure a lot less expensive than Browser Cam.

Bet you never thought you’d see Bloom’s Taxonomy mentioned on A List Apart, but here it is. The UX of Learning.

Writing, Typing, Keyboarding, Texting

There was a lot of off-line conversation among BlogHer editors a while back about the fact that today’s kids cannot read or write in cursive. I have more decades of experience will all forms of writing than any of those relative youngsters at BlogHer. Here are some reflections about how technology has affected me as a producer of words.

Everyone learned cursive when I was a kid. You weren’t allowed to print. As a public school teacher for a gazillion years myself, I taught cursive to my students. I can tell you exactly how to perfectly form any cursive letter. I was always one of those people who had “good” handwriting. Yet, now, when I do something like attend a writing workshop with Natalie Goldberg, where she won’t allow computers, I find it really difficult to write by hand. My cursive quickly turns to unreadable scribbling. And if I do write something worth using later, I still have to input it into my computer!

When I was in high school, we took Typing – with real typewriters. I was terrible at it. I think I still hold the record for the most mistakes on a 10 minute timed writing test for my high school. And correcting mistakes was very difficult. Anybody remember Wite Out? I had inch deep globs of Wite Out scattered over everything I typed.

When I made it to college and took journalism classes, my instructor insisted we compose at the typewriter. Thinking at the keyboard turned out to be easy for me and I’ve been composing at the keyboard ever since, unless forced to do otherwise. I was still a terrible typist, but I could correct my mistakes.

Later in college, I attempted to help my husband type his doctoral dissertation. On a typewriter. And it had to be perfect. No corrections. I had nightmares about that particular stress. That was before the self-correcting typewriters came along with built in white correction stuff on the ribbon.

I was out of college and busy teaching kids to write in cursive when the Apple IIe came into the school. Remember that? 64K of memory? The Oregon Trail on a big floppy disk? Yeah, that. I was hooked immediately.

When you type on a computer keyboard it is so easy to correct your mistakes. So easy. And it is so easy to edit, move, rearrange, and manipulate the words to improve them. That was it for me. I was sold.

Now I’m troubled when someone, even someone so wonderful as Natalie Goldberg, asks me to write by hand. I want my keyboard.

Texting is another art completely. The skill you develop depends on the type of phone you have. If you change phones, you may have to relearn the keyboard all over again for the new phone. The problem isn’t so much bad typing as fat fingers. Then there are the self-correcting smart phones, which can be hilariously wrong about what you meant.

My daughter talks to her Android phone and it sends text messages for her. That’s probably coming soon for computers. I’m not sure I’d be good at that. I’m not a good speaker. I’m somewhat more accomplished as a writer. I don’t have much luck saying what I really mean when I have to say it out loud. I can say it better with my fingers.

Writing, Typing, Keyboarding, Texting. Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. The technological progress of writing sounds like a Dr. Seuss book.

Useful Links: Google Fonts, Scientific wow, Teach with Twitter, Rap

Google Web Fonts, V2. Now out. I tried out one the of fantasy fonts called Swanky on

Scientific American has 60 new blogs under its umbrella.

28 Creative Ways Teachers are Using Twitter. Some of them are indeed creative.

Hat tip to Spydergrrl for finding this climate change rap.

Technology in Education at ISTE 2011

Education and Technology folks are gathered in Phildelphia this week for the 2011 conference of the ISTE. The conference is still in progress. Early blog posts about it have been very enthusiastic. ISTE is about advancing education through innovative use of technology.

speaker at ISTE
Image Credit: kjarrett.

Can you say “excited?” EduTechGeek is excited.

All I can say so far is – DANG! ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia is just packed with great energy, ideas and educators from all over the world. I’ve attended a couple of sessions on Project Based Learning and TPCK and it’s just 9AM on Monday.

Vicky Sedgewick at Teaching Technology was unable to attend, yet managed to keep an eye on the conference and put together a great summary of events based on Twitter, Plurk, the ISTE blog and live streamed video. She has some interesting video on her blog already and is a fountain of resources for keeping up from afar.

Lots of activity on the twitter stream today with the kickoff to ISTE 2011. I started my day by watching the ISTE Music Video below and checking out some of the resources posted on Live Binders by Nedra Isenberg and by Bonnie Feather.

Advocacy & Consulting for Education was excited about assistive technology.

It’s also exciting because so many schools are moving more toward figuring out how to incorporate technology into their classrooms every day, not to mention the use that technology has in terms of assistive devices. Many people may associate “assistive device” with a voice output device, but IDEA actually defines it much more broadly. The definitions section says that “the term ‘assistive technology device’ means any item, equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.”

Audrey Watters from ReadWriteWeb is there. She wrote How Consumer Technology & User-Generated Content are Changing Ed-Tech. She highlights some new apps and startups that are focused on technology for education.

The Kids and Technology blog provides a link to a beginning programming language app called Alice found at the conference.

More reports:

See also: Seeing Gaming in a New Light: Games for Change Festival 2011

Were you there? What was the most exciting education technology discovery you made? (Did you write about it? Leave a link, if you did.) If you have ideas about where education is heading in our technological world, please share them.

Cross-posted at BlogHer.

Useful Links: obsolete elements, iCloud, newspaper map, gaming, Open Study

About Obsolete Features in HTML5. Will they validate?

The Pros and Cons of Apple’s iCloud. Taking a closer look.

Access all the World Newspapers from a Single Page. Wow. That’s a good site to know about. Here’s the actual site.

New round of gaming statistics. These will surprise you.

Open Study Wants to Turn the World into One Big Study Group. Boy, things have come a long way from the days when I paid for my first online account at AOL by answering kids questions in a study group.

Why, Jane McGonigal, why?

I am just getting into Jane McGonigal’s book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How they Can Change the World.

Already after just a few pages I found the answer to this problem:

Why do I keep coming back?

I call it the “Why the hell do I keep playing with her?” problem. If I could scroll through my phone for you, you would see screen after screen that looks just like this. Ladybug nearly always beats me. But I keep playing with her.

In reading McGonigal’s book, I discovered a few things about games that explain my willingness to keep losing to Ladybug. She quotes Bernard Suits, who said,

Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.

In McGonigal’s list of how games are a fix for reality, fix #1 is,

Compared with games, reality is too easy. Games challenge us with voluntary obstacles and help us put our personal strengths to better use.

No surprise then that I’m drawn to word games, and that I’ll play even when I’m sure before I start that at least one opponent – my archenemy Ladybug – is going to beat me.

I’ve been interested in Jane McGonigal’s ideas about how games can improve the world since I heard her keynote at SXSW several years ago. I was similarly interested in Seth Priebatsch at this years SXSW.

Even though I’ve barely begun reading, I’m sure this is an important book. Check it out.