I cannot believe that we are already halfway through this internship. Everyone has been so great and welcoming, in fact I felt settled within the first week. This job has been the ride of a lifetime and we’re not even over yet!
As well as focusing on accessibility this week I will also complete a mid-way evaluation report, which is where Andrew (my colleague) and I wrote about how the internship is going in a mid-way evaluation report. This was an exciting start to the week, and I cannot wait to get started!
I always think it’s useful to have a morning routine to help start the day. Mine is a cup of coffee with whatever I fancy for breakfast. I usually have peanut butter on toast – they always make me feel energised. After I finished my toast, I logged onto my loan laptop to get started with the day.
The Learning Technology Development (LTD) Team provided every Student Intern with a timetable to help us all keep track of what sessions, training sessions and UniSkills webinars. The first session for today is “Whoa, we’re halfway there!” – Week 6 Catch Up Session”. This was an exciting opportunity as I got to catch up with everyone else on the internship and see how they are doing – everyone is doing fantastic and really enjoying the internship. By far my favourite part of it is interacting with the rest of the Student Interns and learning more technology skills along the way, especially with making Portable Document Format (PDFs) accessible.
One thing I love about this internship is that supervisors aren’t the only ones that organise the sessions. 3 other Student Interns hosted a wellbeing session. Keeping your well-being in tip-top shape is mega important, if you don’t then you have the chance of feeling sad and no one wants that! We need to happy to be able to do our best, have confidence in ourselves and most important of all being happy.
I learnt a lot of useful strategies to keep my mental health and wellbeing healthy, such has having hobbies. It’s important to find a hobby to help give yourself a break because then you have found something that makes you happy. One of mine is playing Mario Kart 8 deluxe on Nintendo Switch, I’m good at that game! In fact, it’s what I usually do in my spare time it always cheers me up!
At the end of the day I logged off my PC and went straight on Mario Kart. I’m excited to what the rest of the week will bring.
After a great night sleep, I woke up and performed the usual morning routine, then I turned on my laptop and got to work on today’s tasks. Soon after Phase 2 began on the 14th of June 2021 I received templates for Microsoft PowerPoint, making our lives a lot easier when it comes to making the lectures and seminars accessible. Accessibility is important because it has become an extension to the equality act 2010. Therefore, any documents published after September 23rd of 2019 must be accessible.
Today I came across a bit of a challenge: Ally was not agreeing with a PowerPoint title. The title on the slide was in black text, however, Ally showed it as white text, to fix this error I had to perform research. Researching and problem solving is one of the best elements of this internship because I can learn new skills without the need of a training session. As a result, the research helped me fix this error, it turned out that Ally was using what the colour settings were set as in PowerPoint, not the font colour. After I fixed the colour contrast error it was resolved.
At the end of the day my technical skills have increased, and I feel good about that! You really do learn a lot in this internship and I’m loving it!
Every day working on this internship I learn a new skill and today was no different. There is one module that has a lot of PDFs in it to make accessible. The process of making PDFs accessible works a bit differently than making Microsoft documents accessible, every object like text and an image needs a tag, which is how PDFs identify the types of object in the document. This will take a lot of time to do manually, which is executed by using the reading order tool available in Adobe Acrobat Pro. However, Adobe Acrobat has an auto tag tool available which automatically tags the objects in the document, this will make my life a lot easier when making the PDFs accessible.
Overall, I have been extremely happy with today as I was able to make 10 PDFs accessible and learnt a new skill. I logged off and relaxed with a cup of tea ready for the rest of the day.
This day was a fun day of the internship! 3 Student Interns created a Student Intern Quiz, which was in a pub quiz style. The quiz had 8 themes: General, Superhero, Film, Edge Hill history, Accessibility, Celebrities, and guess the music.
I thoroughly enjoyed the quiz; it was a nice break from improving the module areas. The very fact that other Student Interns made this quiz is astonishing, it makes it even more fun! My favourite theme was guess the music, I am a huge fan of music, it is my tool I use to improve my well-being. One of the songs in this theme is the most streamed song on the popular music platform Spotify, it is Shape of You by Ed Sheeran! I’m so happy that song came up because Ed Sheeran is one of my favourite singers. Overall, I placed 25th in the quiz which I am proud of, but I was there for the fun not to be competitive.
I spent the rest of the day working on the mid-way point evaluation with Andrew, which is currently going well.
Friday, the final day of the week has arrived. I am a bit sad that the week has nearly come to an end, everyone on this internship is so great and working on the mid-way evaluation form is also fun to work on too.
Speaking of which the mid-way evaluation form, it is an individual project evaluation for each small project within the large project and our professional development. My favourite part of the report is the individual project evaluation because we need to provide some data to show how hard we have worked. For the first project (accessibility) all but 1 module have been made 90% or more accessible, the other is 85% accessible. Andrew and I are both tremendously pleased with ourselves we have made such an impact on accessibility.
You might remember from my last blog I completed a LinkedIn Learning course called Communicating with confidence. I did that course because I wanted to improve my confidence with communicating to others. However, I still wanted to expand my communication skills, so I completed another one on communication called Interpersonal Communication. This course increased my skills of how to communicate with my colleagues and supervisors, as well as communicating in tricky situations. I can already tell this LinkedIn Learning course will help me a lot as I continue throughout through the final 6 weeks of the internship.
After I handed in my mid-way evaluation form and completed the LinkedIn Learning course, I logged off my laptop with a smile on my face, looking forward to next week’s work.
Please keep an eye out for Rachel’s blog coming out very soon, you won’t want to miss it!
By Simon Hackett-Evans (Student Intern)