Assistive Technology

Do you know?

 Inspiration mind mapping and Read & Write Gold assistive technology is networked to support assignment writing

Pick up an instruction leaflet from the ASK desk

(1st floor of the library)

Inspiration

This is a visual tool for planning and developing ideas through the creation of concept maps. The map is easy to construct; information can be added by clicking on relevant branches and use of colour makes a distinction between different areas/topics.  In addition: notes, pictures, diagrams and links to internet resources can be built-in.  Once the map is complete it can be put into linear form in preparation for structuring the assignment.

It can be accessed by clicking on the start button and typing the word ‘Inspiration’ into the search box.

Mindmap

 

 

 

 

 

Read & Write

This is software that reads text and assists when constructing or proof reading written work.  It can read from most documents (Word, PDF, web pages), alternatively resources can be scanned in.  There are features that help with spelling, grammar and study skills; also, predictive text or voice activation can be used.  There are instruction video clips for each feature.

It can be accessed by clicking on the start button and typing the word ‘Read & Write’ into the search box.

RWG

#EHUGetConnected Taking Your Devices to the Next Level!

The new smartphones to buy in 2013

After the success of all the previous #EHUGetConnected events held in 2013, we are happy to announce more upcoming dates across different venues and locations for the coming weeks ahead:

  • 11am – 2pm Friday, 31st January 2014 (HUB, Ormskirk Campus)
  • 9am – 1pm Tuesday, 4th February 2014 (FOHSC Foyer, Ormskirk Campus)
  • 9am – 1pm Wednesday, 5th February 2014 (FOHSC CPD, Aintree Campus)

If you’ve never come along to one previously then you are in for treat! #EHUGetConnected gives you the chance to speak to our team of knowledgeable staff to help get the best out of your technology and the learning resources at your disposal.  Every year there are new and exciting upgrades to our systems, pushing the boundaries of online learning and communication.  In 2014 we will again be promoting and showcasing our favorite selection of mobile apps, campus WiFi connectivity and our learning resource ‘hall of fame’. This time we will be featuring the new Community Engagement upgrade within Learning Edge and show you how it can enhance your online learning practice.

Here are just a few examples of questions we can help you with:

General ‘How can I…?’

  • connect to WiFi on campus?
  • find a PC to use?
  • book a study room?
  • forward my Edge Hill emails to a personal account?

On my mobile (eReader/laptop/phone/tablet) ‘how can I…?’

  • sync my emails?
  • easily log into Learning Edge?
  • get the course notifications I want?
  • access my lecture notes?
  • search the library catalogue?
  • download journal articles and eBooks?
  • annotate journal articles or lecture notes?
  • save shortcuts to the library and my subject pages?
  • watch videos or listen to podcasts?
  • find useful apps?

In the library ‘how can I…?’

  • search for resources?
  • find online journals and articles?
  • access my reading list?
  • reserve a book?
  • build a reference using the Discover More ‘cite’ tool?
  • save a link to an eResource so I can go straight back to it later?
  • work out which databases are right for my subject?

In Learning Edge ‘how can I…?’

  • change the way my course list is displayed?
  • subscribe to discussion forums/threads so I know when a post has been made?
  • set up my own online blogs/discussion forums/podcasts/social or study groups?
  • find my grades and feedback?

AskUsPic

Events taking place in the Faculty of Health and Social Care are tied in with the Faculty enrollment and induction day for the newest cohorts, but all current students and staff are welcome to come and ask any burning questions you may have about your devices, gadgets or gizmos.  If you’re not at any of the campus locations on the day to speak to us in person, we have got that covered too!  You can contact us during the event (and beyond) via our social media channels using the #EHUGetConnected hash-tag:

FB  https://www.facebook.com/EHULearnService

twitter  https://twitter.com/EHULearnService or https://twitter.com/LTDatEHU

We would be delighted to talk to you about technology; let us demystify some of the things you’ve heard about but don’t know how to use, and let us help you get started using technologies maybe you haven’t even heard of yet!

See you there!

wordpresspenpicMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

Highlights of the Technology Road Show & Mobile Clinic

Last month Learning Services and IT Services combined forces to bring the first ever Technology Road Show & Mobile Clinic to the University.  The event was hosted in the Hub, to which students and staff took the opportunity to see demonstrations of Edge Hill mobile applications, and to speak to us and obtain technical support for mobile devices (phones, tablets and laptops).

Road Show 2013

Application wise, we showcased all of the institutions’ mobile apps and online resources, and when we demonstrated our very own Edge Hill Central we found that many students didn’t know this was available, or what it could do.  The combination of having Blackboard Mobile Learn, Email and library access all in one place was quite a surprise to users – prompting them to download the app on the spot!

image

In terms of the hardware issues we encountered, practically all the concerns were focussed on Wi-Fi connectivity.  Of course, with digital natives becoming the majority on campus and in the classroom, it’s vital we ensure your internet enabled devices are connected.  So to clarify and resolve this issue, please ensure you connect to eduroam.  Like the users we encountered, you’ll find that if you use EdgeNet it will repeatedly ask you to authenticate on a daily basis and even building to building. The new, and much easier way for continuous access is eduroam.

Eduroam will ensure you won’t have to enter your account details on a daily basis, your connection will roam around campus with you and will be active until you change/reset your network login password.  Make sure you connect your device to eduroam today. 

Mobile Flyer

For more information please take a look at the IT Services Wi-Fi pages.

Overall the Technology Road Show was a success and we’re pretty sure everyone we spoke to took something out of the event. If you missed out on the Road Show and have a question for us, please do get in touch on the following address: ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

 

 

Mark Wilcock

Learning Technology Development Officer 

Discover Free to Use Software

In today’s climate when the cost of things seem to be on the increase, it can be a relief to hear about something with the potential of making your studies more affordable.

We all know how software can help us with our studies.  Occasionally we need to purchase specific software to do a particular task, such as word-processing to write an essay or editing software to develop a project…

…but do you know about Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) that you can download and use?  Software that may do exactly what you want and more to help with your studies.

We’ve taken a look at some software and believe it can benefit most people in a number of situations, software that is affordable, accessible, assistive and flexible.

Programmes assembled in to portable collections so that you can use them with almost any computer anywhere.

In certain cases you can handpick from several items tailoring the software bundles to your individual needs.

All this including technical support, guidance and regular updates from reputable software developers and providers within the freeware and open source communities.

Discover more about free software by visiting us here: ehu.ac.uk/freesoftware

Martin Baxter - LTD Officer

Martin Baxter

(Learning Technology Development)

Personalising Your Web Browsing Experience Accessibility Adjustments.

As you will no doubt be aware a web browser is a program that allows us to view web content on the internet, covered recently by John Langford in his blog ‘Demystifying Web Browsers’.

However, more often students want to do more than just view online content, they want to view it in a way that suites them.

So, and as you would expect, technologists have come-up with ways to help you, by finding solutions that have a positive impact on your browsing experience.

With the recent improvements to Edge Hill University’s website and the availability of ICT across campus, Learning Services recognise that our students may want to personalise the way they see, hear and interact with the information provided and to improve access to it.

Firefox and Internet Explorer LogosThrough a series of guides, Learning Services is pleased to assist students as they study and so they can begin to customising their browser settings in such a way that makes viewing web pages easier.

Other guides are being produced and will be made available so that all students can start to discover for themselves other ways to interact with websites and web content.

The first of these quick guides are now available on eShare click on the links below to learn more.

http://www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/1327/1/LTD5009.pdf
http://www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/1327/

http://www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/1329/1/LTD5010.pdf
http://www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/1329/

Leave a comment let us know your thoughts on these and similar resources you would like to see.

Martin Baxter
Learning Technology Development

Did you know…about the essential tools and good practice guidelines for computer users?

Whether you are developing teaching and learning content or professional documentation for your department or service, there is good practice guidance and software available which all users may add to their resource toolkit.

Inspiration® mind-mapping software creates visual representations of plans / ideas or concepts in the form of a diagram or mind map. Inspiration can transform your visual map into a linear format at the touch of a button to suit all preferred learning styles. You can create your own map or use one of the many templates on offer.

Inspiration is an excellent tool for any form of planning such as modules, presentations, lectures or seminars. Inspiration is used for scoping research activities and analysing key findings from both quantitative and qualitative data. The colour-coding, visual and diagrammatical aspects are helpful in linking key themes and formulating research analysis.

TextHelp Read and Write® allows you to access text in an auditory format and text is read aloud directly from your PC. TextHelp can assist when reading assignments for marking, proofreading and highlighting errors within written work. TextHelp highlights the text when reading and identifies grammatical, spelling and homophone errors with its advanced functions and has an in-built dictionary where definitions are read aloud.

Inspiration® and TextHelp® incorporate their own training videos and mini training guides are available from the Learning Services Wiki via Locate a User Guide and Using ICT.

To access Inspiration or TextHelp on the network: select Start →Network Programs → Accessibility → Inspiration or TextHelp.

Good Practice

Accessibility Essentials Series by JISC Techdis. This series provides guidance on creating accessible documents using a range of everyday applications that we access on the Edge Hill University network, such as Word, PowerPoint or via PDF files. JISC Techdis guidelines are available via the Staff Development wiki.

Guide to Accessible Documents for the VLE . This guide is available from the Learning Services wiki via Locate a User Guide and Using ICT.

For further advice or guidance please contact Julie Keen extension 4372 or via email to keenj@edgehill.ac.uk.