We have recently published a worldwide guide which provides information about accessibility and accessible technology resources, to help teachers ensure that all students have equal access to learning with technology.
For teachers new to accessibility and working with students with disabilities, accessibility can seem overwhelming. To help teach students with all types of abilities, this guide includes information about accessibility and how to successfully and more simply bring it into the classroom.
Download the guide directly
For more resources, take a look at the accessibility tutorials on our main web site.
Word has reached me of a series of "Communication on Demand" executive briefing events hosted by Eurodata, a Microsoft partner in London. The idea is that with unified communications, you can reduce telecommunications costs and increase productivity - and take away some of the frustrations of trying to successfully connect to other people. Although it used to be something that was for "big" establishments only, it's now the kind of thing that's within the reach of everybody, and there are a number of colleges taking steps in this direction. If you're considering bringing your telecomms and IT infrastructure together, then this event could help you to define your strategy.
The half-day agenda includes sessions with titles like "Confusion or Convergence?", "Bridging the gap between telephony and computing" and "Seeing is Believing". The aim is to help you understand some of the options for unified communications, and how the Microsoft software solutions fit into an overall telecomms picture.
You can find more details, and register for the events here, being held in London on 27th March and 24th April.
A short snippet - the Windows XP version of the RM Asus minibook (also known as the Asus eeePC) was announced at BETT 2008, with availability scheduled for April.
Well the RM website is now accepting orders for them. It comes with a decent specification - 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM - meaning that there'll be enough space for students work. People considering the original version (4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM) see that as a "browser only" device for students, whereas with Windows etc, it becomes a full-blown (albeit mini-size) student laptop.
More details and specifications on the RM website.
Imagine. You're designing a laptop specifically for use in education. How robust do you have to make it?
Is this robust enough? The engineers at RM took theirs into the car park, and then drove cars over one, to see how much abuse it could survive. Three cars later (and car number 2 definitely looks like the one that should inflict most damage) it is still up and running. And just to prove it isn't a trick, they take it back into the office and plug it into a monitor too, to show it's still alive and well.
Pretty impressive. Might also match up to some of the abuse a student might cause a laptop.
Perhaps their "laptop drop" game isn't just for fun!
I know this isn't just an overnight wonder either. In 2003, I took a career break and went around the world with my family (4 people, 3 backpacks, 2 grown ups, 1 year - and a Tablet PC). For a year I had a Tablet PC in my backpack, and it took some pretty bad treatment - I even dropped it on the street one day, when I was carrying it in my hands, without a case. Somehow it made it through all of that, allowing me to write a website about our trip for our relatives and friends, and (more importantly) for my children to use it to keep up to date with their school work.
The Tablet managed to make it round a dozen countries, travelled at least 1,000 miles strapped to the tops of buses in my rucksack, on some very bumpy and dusty Asian roads, and was hauled through inhospitable conditions. That Tablet was made by RM, so I know that they've been making pretty robust mobile PCs for quite a while now!