Using Web-based Tools in Online Learning – #A11y

Post #11 of 12 in the series of posts about improving the accessibility of online courses.

Let’s say that you’re doing everything right. You’ve improved the accessibility of your HTML course content pages, your Word docs, your PPT files. You’ve ensured that you’re using course videos with good captions and that all your images have useful and accurate alternative text. Everything in your online courses can pass a web accessibility test…right?

And then you decide to add a new assignment and have your students create a learning artifact using the hottest free web-based tool that’s all the rage in your social media. And boom, your fabulous accessibility goes down the tubes. Why? Because many (actually most) of these web-based tools have serious accessibility issues.

Mea Culpa

Let me start with an apology. For years I made conference presentations that basically encouraged the problems that I’m trying to address in this post. My most popular presentations from 2004 to 2012 were about using free tools in your online courses. I mostly ignored the many issues related to web accessibility with these tools. In my defense, most other people also ignored these issues. My motto was, have embed code, will travel. If I could build something (or have students do it) and if there was an easy embed code for me to post it into an online course – then I said “DO IT!”

That was wrong then, and it would be even more wrong (if that’s a thing) now. Longer version of my mea culpa.

What Are the Accessibility Issues?

Accessibility Issue #1

If you are using a web-based tool to:

  • create pieces of course content for student use
  • embed a web object into an online course for your student to use
  • communicate with students using an external tool

Then you must ensure that these items are accessible to students using Assistive Technologies (AT). Very many of them are not accessible. An example: you create an animated comic strip that is a clever representation of a particular learning outcome that your students need to master. Sadly, anyone using a screen reader cannot navigate through the animation to learn the relevant content. Doesn’t matter how clever it is if it’s inaccessible.

Accessibility Issue #2

If you are having students use web-based tools to create class-related work:

  • are the web-based creation tools accessible to them if they use AT?
  • if they are able to create an object, are they able to take it and communicate it to you in an accessible manner?
  • are you prepared to give alternate assignments that allows them to use AT, if needed?

To clarify, you decide to have students use a web-based tool to create an online presentation, or a video, or some other artifact that represents their learning on a topic. You decide that they should all use Prezi to create a presentation instead of writing a term paper. Writing a term paper is highly accessible, but creating a Prezi is not accessible at all. I wrote about the accessibility of Prezi in a previous post.

Accessibility Issue #3

This one is all about you. If you, as instructor or designer, rely on assistive technology (AT) to do your work, will these sites work with your needed AT? If you rely on a screen reader and keyboard-only controls, then you also won’t be able to create a Prezi for your students to learn from. There are many other free sites that you also won’t be able to use if you rely on AT to get your work done.

How to Deal with Inaccessible Web-based Tools

Should we put a moratorium on using any tools that don’t pass muster with #a11y? Is this an absolute Stop Sign saying that we should not use them at all?

All-way Stop Sign

While still keeping an eye on making accessible online courses, I’ll argue that a complete moratorium is not what is needed. So, instead, let me propose something more like the next sign…

Yield sign as seen on the street

Saying YES to accessibility does not always mean saying NO to inaccessible items in your course. There is power in alternative methods and alternative assignments.

Providing Flexibility Through Alternatives

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that you’ve fallen in love (not literally) with Padlet. You want to create an assignment for your students to each “add a pad” to a Padlet to share their thoughts, or website URLs, or photos, or videos, or whatever. Sounds great, right?

However, you have one or more students who need to use keyboard navigation as their only way to access a website. First, for the initiated, a little primer from WebAIM:

Keyboard accessibility is one of the most important aspects of web accessibility. Many users with motor disabilities rely on a keyboard. Some people have tremors which don’t allow for fine muscle control. Others have little or no use of their hands, or no hands at all. In addition to traditional keyboards, some users may use modified keyboards or other hardware that mimics the functionality of a keyboard. Blind users also typically use a keyboard for navigation. Users without disabilities may use a keyboard for navigation because of preference or efficiency.

WebAIM Keyboard Accessibility

Keyboard-Only Navigation Example: Padlet

Here’s what Padlet says about keyboard-only navigation: “Currently, you can navigate the login page and the dashboard using only your keyboard. Padlets can be viewed, but settings cannot be changed. We are working on keyboard compatibility for settings, post creation, post editing, and post expansion.”

So, you can “view” a Padlet (which means a screen reading platform can read the Padlet text out loud to you) but you cannot post a Padlet of your own using the keyboard (so, mouse required). That’s a problem for you assignment of having students post Pads to a Padlet.

As I said previously, I don’t think this means that YOU CANNOT use Padlet, and I suggest that you ponder the answer to these questions as you make this assignment:

  • Can you imagine another way that the keyboard-only student could arrange to have their thoughts posted to a pad? In other words, what’s the work-around?
  • Can you imagine an alternate assignment for the students unable to use Padlet?
  • Can you imagine a totally different assignment (for everyone) that will still meet your learning outcomes but without using inaccessible technology?
  • Can you keep the same assignment but find an accessible tool that you could use instead of Padlet?
  • There are definitely more questions to ponder here, feel free to add your own.

Before I leave Padlet in the dust (in this post anyway), let me share the following Padlet with you. Yes, I know it’s a bit ironic, but as Padlet says, readers using Assistive Technology can at least view a Padlet, so here goes.

A screenshot of a Padlet made specifically for this blog post with links to many resources about accessibility, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, WordPress, etc.
A Padlet about accessibility concerns of some popular web-based tools

The Padlet shown above is a collection of several links to resources detailing some of the accessibility concerns and/or features of commonly used web-based tools. By visiting this site you might find some links that are of interest to you, and you’ll also be able to experience a Padlet first-hand to consider any #a11y issues that might be apparent to you.

Some Other Web-based Tools Commonly Used in Education

Prezi – the PowerPoint Killer

I previously wrote about the accessibility abomination that is Prezi. Much of what I wrote is still true, but they are finally starting to make some improvements in their total lack of #a11y conformance (and I do mean …….at very long last). They recently published their first VPATs, one for their Video View page, one for their Design View page, and a third VPAT for Video Quick Record (these are all PDFs).

Although Prezi’s #a11y information page is better than nothing, it is still pretty close to nothing. For example, under the heading of “How to create accessible content with Prezi” they say the following: “Be more inclusive by planning for viewers with disabilities while creating your presentation, video, or design. These articles will help you in creating content that is easier to follow for audiences with permanent or temporary disabilities. Please note that this section is in progress, with more articles to come.” As of this writing on 9/8/22, there are ZERO articles in this section.

The heading for this section is intended as a joke. Many people were calling Prezi the PowerPoint killer when it was first introduced. People were fascinating by the non-linear possibilities of a Prezi presentation. Less fascinating is the almost complete lack of web accessibility features of the tool. Since PPT presentations can be made highly accessible, it’s a wonder to me that Prezi gets used at all.

Below you see a screenshot of an embedded Prezi in Brightspace. Think twice before using Prezi for your course content. Going back to the yield sign above, you could use Prezi if you feel that you must, but then you also MUST provide all the same learning content in an accessible format.

Embedded Prezi on the homepage of an online course using Brightspace.

VoiceThread for Threaded Audio Discussions

Not all web-based tools have a horrible track record for accessibility. But even those that are working to improve their web accessibility still usually have some issues that they haven’t conquered yet. VoiceThread is a good example.

Voicethread is increasingly being used in education at all levels. Some of their features (from  their website) include:

  • Creating: Upload, share and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos. Over 50 different types of media can be used in a VoiceThread.
  • Commenting: Comment on VoiceThread slides using one of five powerful commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload.
  • Sharing: Keep a VoiceThread private, share it with specific people, or open it up to the entire world.

Although better than many other free web-based tools, VoiceThread does still have a few accessibility issues to be aware of.

Voicethread provides for both audio and text comments. It is one of the most accessible Web 2.0 platforms that you will find. 

You can learn more about both the good and the not-so-good in theseresources:

SlideShare for Webifying your PowerPoint Slides

One tool that I frequently have recommended over the years and used myself is Slideshare, which is now part of LinkedIn.

For a long time there were inherent problems with using PowerPoint slide decks on the web. Sure there were various ways to do it, but none of them were great. That’s not quite true, because there were some great tools, but they weren’t free; which was another aspect of the tools that I shared in my presentations. They needed to be free, and easy to use. Web accessibility was not one of my criteria, but it is now.

When Slideshare came on the scene, I became an early user and started including it in my presentations about using Web-based tools inside the LMS. Here, for example, is an embed of one of my old slide decks (use your imagination and envision this embedded into an online course, instead of this blog)

You can view the Slideshare transcript (opens in new window) at their site, but these slides were not constructed to be accessible. Thus, the transcript is not very useful to the unsighted user. There is a great deal of information in the slides that they would not have access to.

The easy to find, easy to use embed code was one of the reasons why I liked Slideshare. Webbifying the otherwise bulky, clumsy PPT slides was so much better than trying to get native slides to play nicely in the browser. But what about accessibility, you ask?

You can make PPT slides that conform to most of the a11y standards (or good practices, if you prefer). Wouldn’t it be great if your accessible PPT slides could be uploaded into Slideshare and still be accessible? Sure, that would be great. Sadly, that’s not how it works. At least, it won’t work that way without you planning ahead to make it so and then jumping through a couple of extra hoops.

There are quite a few a11y issues with using Slideshare. You can read much more about using SlideShare inside the LMS in one of my earlier blog posts.

I’m going to stop here, but there are hundreds (thousands?) of web-based tools out there that you might be tempted to use. I encourage you to do a fair amount of research on these tools regarding their accessibility features. You’ll likely find that most of them have very serious issues and present high hurdles for you and your students to overcome.

Directory to posts in this series:

  1. Improving Accessibility of Online Courses – the why
  2. What do Educators Need to Know about VPATs?
  3. Alt Text for Simple Images in Online Courses
  4. Complex Images – Going Beyond Simple Alt Text
  5. Finding Videos with Good Captions
  6. Captioning Videos for Your Online Courses
  7. Improving the Accessibility of your HTML Content Pages – Part 1
  8. Improving the #A11y of Your HTML Content Pages – Part 2
  9. Making Word Documents Accessible for Online Learning
  10. Making PowerPoint Files Accessible for Online Learning
  11. Using Web-based Tools in Online Learning – #A11y
  12. Six More Tips for Making Online Courses Accessible

QR Code with Logo

I played around with adding a semi-transparent layer to the QR code for my business, Excellence in e-Education. It works for me, but I’m curious whether it the logo messes up the ability of some scanners to read the code. I use both the Barcode Scanner and QuickMark apps on the Droid to scan QR codes. Works with both of them. If you make the logo too dark, it won’t work. If you make the logo too light, you won’t see it. Sort of trial-and-error to get it just right.


Faster Adoption? Yes. Better? Not Yet.

Here’s a chart that compares the speed of adoption of the new big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus (G+).

There are things to like about G+, but it’s way too early to predict is will be a Twitter-killer, or a Facebook-killer. For me, it’s currently getting populated by the same people who are in my Twitter and Facebook networks, with a few new additions in the mix. The last thing I need is for a third network to splinter the professional conversations that are already splintered between Twitter and Facebook. I might have a different opinion a month or two from now if it truly does become easier to filter messages to and from different groups of people (via G+ Circles), and still communicate with all the right people. Right now it feels like there are 9.9 million experimenters with G+, and .1 million true adopters. (Chart from Gadgetsteria)

Zoho Apps Interface in Zoho Mail

While preparing for an upcoming presentation, I stumbled onto something in Zoho that I didn’t know existed. I’ve been a Zoho fanboy for several years, but never really felt the need to use their mail program – mainly because I already have 4 or 5 different email accounts for different purposes. Not using the mail program means that I missed this feature when they rolled it out in the business version of their Mail client.

I find this to be incredibly convenient. Zoho continues to beat Google Apps (by a long shot) when it comes to innovation, performance, and functionality.

FERPA and Social Media in Education

Was really wishing that I could have been in attendance at this session at #ELI2011 in Washington D .C. today. Titled: “Bag It and Tag It”: Implementing a Course-Level Learning Portfolio Using CMS-Based Tools to Document Student Learning When Teaching in Wild, Open Spaces with Cloud-Based Tools,” by Kelvin Thompson of UCF.

A couple of tweets drew my attention to the session:

bwatwoodFERPA = dark cloud over using blogs w students #eli2011

tedcurran: why NOT teach in the free cloud? 1) can’t preserve the work! 2) FERPA3) Socialmediaphobia #cmsfolio #eli2011

Based on the session description, it appears that Thompson was providing ways of using Web 2.0 and social media tools in a “FERPA-friendly” way. Hallelujah for that. There’s been way too much FUD surrounding how these things impact upon FERPA.

The single best piece of writing that I’ve seen on this topic comes from John Orlando in a Faculty Focus article titled: “FERPA and Social Media.” I highly recommend that you check it out. Here’s an excerpt.

“FERPA is one of the most misunderstood regulations in education. It is commonly assumed that FERPA requires all student coursework to be kept private at all times, and thus prevents the use of social media in the classroom, but this is wrong. FERPA does not prevent instructors from assigning students to create public content as part of their course requirements.”

My Top 10 Tools for 2010

I have contributed to Jane Hart’s Lists of Top Tools for Learning for several years now. Her 2010 list was finalizedJane Hart on October 17 with contributions from me and 544 other people.  Listed below is my newest Top 10 list of tools, with short descriptions of why they made the list.

  1. Twitter. Simply the most valuable online tool I’ve ever used. But it’s not about the tool, it’s about the network of educators that I was able to build with the tool. Connect that same network into a different tool, then that tool will be #1 on my list.
  2. Flickr. I get so much value out of storing and sharing my photos here. 4,131, items as of Oct. 2010. This is one of the few tools that I pay for the pro version ($25 a year) because it is so valuable to me.
  3. WordPress. I use for my main blog at and we also run the open source WPMU at my campus for all students and employees to use.
  4. YouTube. Not only do I post more and more of my own videos here, but I continue to find an amazingly rich resource for all kinds of content, including educational videos.  I also use a few other video tools, but YouTube stays on the list.
  5. Zoho Notebook. There still is no rival for this tool when it comes to easily mashing together all kinds of multimedia content into a website of pages, all custom designed by you.
  6. DimDim. After using the free version for a couple of years, we licensed the Enterprise version for use at the college. It works very well and allows for starting webcasts on the fly without downloads or installs.
  7. Toondoo. I make comic strips fairly often and encourage educators to include more of them in their teaching and learning. Jaws usually drop when people see the creation interface for the first time, and Toonbooks are very cool.
  8. Facebook. My main value here is reconnecting with old friends and college buddies. Find the events tools and similar apps to be very useful. Right now it’s less of a tool for learning than the others, but it still has potential to become more of a learning tool if I was to decide to use it in that manner.
  9. Picnik. I keep coming back to this super easy-to-use photo editor that integrates so nicely with my Flickr account. Another one of the few tools that I pay to get the premium service.
  10. Android OS & Apps. This could have been higher on my list. I love my Droid, but mainly for all the things that Android and the plethora of useful (& mostly free) apps can do for me. First time I’ve felt like I have a computer in my pocket.

    Without giving the descriptions, here’s the rest of the top 25:
  11. TweetDeck
  12. SlideShare
  13. Mindomo
  14. Delicious
  15. Google Reader
  16. Zoho Creator
  17. Skype
  18. Poll Everywhere
  19. Meebo instant messenger
  20. Google Voice
  21. Zoho Writer
  22. Netvibes
  23. PBworks
  24. Prezi
  25. Livestream

Check out my PLE page for more of the tools that I have used often enough to at least have formed an opinion about them. To finish this off for another year, below is Jane’s SlideShare embed of the Top 100 tools.

In analyzing how the Top 100 has changed over the past four years, Jane came up with this summary of four key trends:

  1. The increasing consumerization of IT
  2. Learning, working and personal tools are merging
  3. Social tools predominate
  4. Personal (informal) learning is under the control of the learner

She describes these trends in a recent post. Read that post here.

Who the hell is Brian Lamb?

This video helps answer two burning questions:

  1. Who the hell is Brian Lamb?
  2. Why is he saying all these terrible things about Learning Objects?

Brian is one of my favorite EdTech speakers and thought leaders. He was the closing keynote speaker at the recently concluded WCET conference in Denver. My flight was scheduled to leave at about the same time that Brian’s address was scheduled to begin. I even tried to pay extra to get a seat on a later flight, but alas, none were available so I was destined to miss this event.

As luck (and good planning) would have it, Brian agreed to spend an hour with the Catalyst CAMP attendees on the day prior to his keynote. I was one of the CAMP Rangers (my cabin group was known as the Tweetarondaks) and so was able to be part of the group that spent an hour with Brian in a more informal session. He agreed to let me shoot some video during the chat and this is the first one that I’d like to share.

In this 10 minute video you’ll learn about how Brian got started working in education, and how his first job at UBC was essentially to help them build a closed-system Learning Object Repository with all the SCORM and IMS guidelines and requirements, and all that jazz. Not surprisingly, Brian tells the tale of how open-ness and simple technologies can be used much more effectively for those who truly want to share.

BTW, Brian started this session by asking the question in the title of this post, and wondered why we should care what he had to say. We cared.

(Post edited 3/20/13)

Happy Holidays from all the Dahls

Here’s a quick little Animoto slideshow to wish you a Merry Christmas, or any other happy holiday that you choose to celebrate.

Click image and video will play in new window.

Twitter instead of Blogging?

One reason that I haven’t been posting much to my blog lately is that I spend most of my time on Twitter. Microblogging really does take the place of “real blogging,” at least most of the time. So, I’ve posted my last 80 tweets below just so you can get a sense about what I’m tweeting about. Clearly, most of these things would never make it into a regular blog post, but taken as a whole, they probably equal the content of a normal blog post.

I’ve got 6 people ready to eat this tonight. Corn dog w/fries. 
 Two hours to kill in Seoul before going to the Fulbright office for overview of Korean Ed System and Korean Agents for recruitment. 
Bought unique eel skin wallets in Itaewon shopping district of Seoul. Now off 2 bed. Visiting US Embassy, then Fulbright office on Monday. 
The little 250ML can of Dew is about 8.5 ounces. Hell, I usually buy the 1 liter bottle back home. Of course that one is diet, this one isnt 
Finally a Dew in Asia. Vietnam has none, but Seoul does. No need to update my avatar pic from last year – me and Korean Dew still works 
Frustrating. None of the TinyURLs that I click on will open, but regular links in Twitter do open. What’s up with that? 
Allergic to something here in Korea. Major sneeze fest since getting off the plane. Did I bring drugs? 
Just checked into hotel in Seoul. Heading to to check out college football and MLB scores, then need a power nap. Itaewon l8r 
Wish I was going home instead of Seoul. I’m tired and want to sleep in my own bed. Did buy some funky shoes today tho, they’re cool. 
Waiting at airport for flight from Hanoi to Seoul. How much did I save with this overnight flight? Will it be worth all the bother? 
Taxi drivers in Hanoi try to rip you off for 4-5 times more than taxis in Saigon. We took 4 rides today, and was taken for a ride each time. 
Will spend Saturday touring around Hanoi. Then fly 2 Seoul, but not until late night. Hanoi Horison Hotel is sort of nice, but service sucks 
Just finished the first ever AACC fair in Hanoi. Only about 200 students today, but that was HCMC two years ago. This year HCMC had over 700 
@john_st_clair I compare hybrid to F2F, not to online, since hybrid is an alternative to F2F but it is NOT an alternative to online for most 
@ajwms Only 5% use proctored exams. Seems to be a stable number, or slightly decreasing. 
I must be following like-minded people. Tweets from twits I follow were running about 5 to 1 against Palin. Yea. Do I need more diversity? 
Missed the last half of the debate to attend a scheduled visit to a high school in Hanoi. Four pages of Tweets helped me catch up. Thanks. 
This isn’t a debate! This is where she takes her time to talk about what she wants to – regardless of the question being asked. 
We have John McCain to thank. Usually when you say “thanks for the warning,” it is said in jest. So thanks John. Thanks for the warning. 
JF. Won’t the hair spray going into her left eye cause her to go blind? 
Wow, millions of small business make over $250,000? Really Sarah? Do you know the difference between revenues and profits? 
soccer game reference by Palin in first two sentences of debate 
@cburell Clay, do you still want to get together when I’m in Seoul? I arrive this Sunday. Sun&Mon nights open, booked Tue PM. Leave Wed morn 
Has anyone read the book titled Now is Gone? I was expecting great things, but not so much so far. Primer on New Media for Execs & Entrepren 
Seems to be a fair amount of buzz about the VP debate here in Vietnam. I find that odd, but U.S. news gets a great deal of attention here. 
Finally a blog post. What I was reading today. 
@BryanAlexander For presentation content – Michael Wesch. For presentation style – tough call, most of them need more panache (
Let me clarify. If you were facilitating the meeting that you were calling, wouldn’t you be able to attend on ALL of your proposed dates? 
I like MeetingWizard, but if you were calling a meeting, wouldn’t you be able to attend more than 3 out of the 7 dates you proposed? WTF? 
Still get a bit disturbed when my food is looking at me. That’s why I didn’t order this at a Saigon restaurant. 
Visited the US Embassy in Hanoi this afternoon for the first time. Not nearly as locked down as the one in Beijing. That surprised me 
While flying from Saigon to Hanoi I finished reading Presentation Zen. Finally the motivation to push me over to a new presentation approach 
Baseball playoffs!! Finally something other than soccer on ESPN here in Vietnam. Not even one rugby game this year, which I love to watch. 
@doolittlen Hi Nancy. Are you jumping back in the Twitterverse? 
Can’t find my entry/exit card for Vietnam. That could make leaving the country a huge problem. Today I’m off to Hanoi,so I don’t need it yet 
Community College recruitment fair concluded in Saigon. Acceptance (awareness) of online learning is better this time. Enrollments?We’ll see 
65-yr-old Chinese lady sentenced to death in Vietnam court for a counterfeit banknote scam she ran in several southern provinces. Severe. 
@javabeanboy Kids definitely aren’t coddled over here as in the U.S. But still, a little bit of safety precaution can go a long way. 
New helmet law in Saigon. Only applies to adults on scooters or motorbikes. Kids can ride w/out helmet (an do). Does that seem backwards? 
1/2 page ad in Saigon Times Daily. Fly to Manila for $19 US. Subtract $5 if traveling w/out check-in baggage. Dinner in Manila sounds good. 
Wondering why the staff at the Majestic Hotel think that my Do Not Disturb sign does not apply to them. Who else could I be talking to? 
Should have used UStream for my session with 5th graders today. Skype is too flaky. Everything worked well when tested 10 min ago on UStream 
@wcgaskins click PBwiki settings, users: then you’ll see “If your students don’t have email addresses, create accounts for your students.” 
WebCamMax and Skype kept crashing my computer – blue screen of death while trying to have conversation with my son’s classroom from Saigon. 
In 30 min. Skype call from Saigon into my son’s fifth grade classroom in Superior, WI. I’m ready with photos, video, and Vietnam fun facts. 
About 70% of Vietnamese student visas to study in the U.S. were for students headed for community colleges in the states. Big change from B4 
28% current inflation rate – yet my beer, dinner, hotel room and knock-off watches (same-same) cost the same as they did two years ago. 
Other Vietnam data. Only 10-15% of the population who are college eligible can attend in country. Not enough supply (seats) for the demand. 
Fun Facts from Education USA meeting in Saigon today. 70% of population is under 35. Per capita income = $835 US, but many are nouveau rich 
Off to Education USA and IIE office in Saigon for morning meeting with the higher education ground forces here in the country. 
Just finished welcome dinner for the American Assoc of Community Colleges hosted by the Vietnamese Assoc of CC. Good people, good fun & food 
A few hours left before we meet up with AACC group for the rest of the Asia tour for recruiting int’l students. Dinner tonight with VACC. 
Left comment on Tim Stahmer’s post about teaching keyboarding in grade school. Feel blog post comin on.… 
Wow -live game updates on only available in North America. Oh well.all my teams lost today. 
Beautiful Monday morning here in Saigon. Looks like a nice day after a major 3-hour deluge yesterday afternoon. Rainy season is no joke. 
My hotel in Saigon must have fast connection. No time lag on Skype calls home. Audio sucks, but that is coming from USA. Fine here to there. 
Having much better luck with Google Chrome these days. Much more quick now and hasn’t crashed in days. This is what others were talkin ’bout 
Guessing that all my friends in Tennessee are pretty happy about the big 4-0 start by the Titans. Surprisingly impressive w/K.Collins at QB? 
Up in the middle of the night in Saigon to follow the NFL. My two teams (Broncs and Vikes, in that order) are losing. Second half comebacks? 
Sunday is not nearly as busy here in Saigon. Hustle and bustle is only 75% of a normal day. Off to the market. 
@jth and Puck’s girlfriend(s) 
Have verbal agreement with three agents in Vietnam to send students our way for e-learning. Now the hard part – contract approval by legal. 
Checking American college football scores online – nothing on tube here in Vietnam. All you can eat of other football (soccer). No thanks. 
Another big rainstorm 2nite in Saigon. Will be even more humid tomorrow, if that’s possible. Very hot-it will suck when I wear a suit Monday 
@austindeb2003 Hi Deb, and welcome to Twitter. Did you go to Gruene Hall for a singer? JJW is my all-time fav, although REK is now my #1. 🙂 
Today in Saigon I can get to all the sites that wouldn’t load yesterday. Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, and Ning, for example. Very odd. 
Twins are losing their mojo. Glad that Sox are also losing. Since my Padres stunk this year, I gotta pull for my #2 team – GO TWINS!! 
Just finished breakfast on the roof of the Saigon Majestic Hotel. Return to room to see McCain-Obama on CNN. Did I miss McCain’s war story? 
Will McCain continue to bitch about Obama not joining him for town hall meetings? Did anybody really think that was an issue? 
Uninstalled TOR after last China trip. Looks like I might need to get it back. If they block websites here, wouldn’t they block TOR, too? 
Wow, can’t get to Flickr, Facebook, Ning, or YouTube here in Vietnam. Never happened to me previously. Great Firewall of Vietnam? Huh? What? 
Watched Iron Man on the long flight to Asia. Enjoyed it much more than I expected (yes, low expectations) and now want to own it. Thumbs up 
I haven’t seen blocked sites before in Vietnam, but I can’t get to YouTube even though other sites are working fine. Are they blocking? 
Meeting with an agent (study abroad headhunter) in a couple of hours to see if we can do business together. First of several such meetings 
31 hours in travel status. Now checked in and unpacked at Hotel Majestic Saigon. This was my least fun travel day to Asia. LAX really sucked 
@Goamick That STARlink wireless network is available now, they just won’t any of us access it yet. They keep saying … soon, soon! Sure. 
Last day in the states for a while. Crazy busy tying up loose ends. I need to get to the bank. They won’t accept tattered bills in Asia. 
@bwatwood PPT slides (using clicker q’s again) will be up sometime soon, but the wiki link is already here:… 
@maryn OMG! That eSchoolNews article is crap. Here is the real story: Their lack of research is appalling. 

Web 2.0 Inside D2L – Videos Page Added

At the top of the blog page you’ll see a new tab with a link to some of my Web 2.0 materials where I will be adding my content (from old blog) about my Web 2.0 Hall of Fame and other things about the web-based tools that I use every day both professionally and personally. On that page is also a link to another page that contains embedded screencast videos that illustrate some of the things I demonstrate in workshops about using Web 2.0 tools within Desire2Learn. This is mainly an effort to make my stuff more find-able.

Point #1: all of the things illustrated in those videos can also be done outside of Desire2Learn. They are shown inside D2L as way of directing the students to the tools in an easy manner.

Point #2: all of the things that are shown inside D2L should also work in other VLEs if you so desire. I have personanly tested most of these items in both Angel and Moodle without any problems. The same should hold true for other platforms.