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Archive for the ‘Employability’ Category

We have been busy working with the Regional Support Centre in the South East to get the launch event organised for the 8 November.  We will be there in force from the TechDis team along with our ambassador team who will be doing the bulk of the work with staff and students in the region.

Firstly we have to thank Guildford College for kindly providing us with a venue – a good start to what we hope will be an exciting project.

The Ambassadors team will include Sally Betts,  project manager, faciltators Lilian Soonand David Sugden and me, Lisa Featherstone.   The TechDis team will be Alistair McNaught who will be doing some technology demonstrations as well as offering advice and guidance and Simon Ball who will also be working with a Higher Education colleague to observe and evaluate the programme.  Our colleagues from RSC South Eastwill also be there to lend a hand and provide the all important local and personal input.

The most important people there however will be the delegates.  We have staff coming from a wide range of providers including local authority ACL centres, work based learning providers, Specialist Colleges and Uk Online Centres as well as mainstream FE colleges. There will be plenty of opportunity for networking and sharing of practice.  The main focus of the day will be an introduction and then action planning with each provider.

We’re finalising the details now and all really looking forward to the day.

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The TechDis voices are young English voices which are free to use for all post 16 students and staff. You can find more information on how to register here.

Once you have registered there are some things you need to be aware of so you can either install the voices yourself or ask your IT department. All the information is in this short video.

Installing The Voice – What You Need to Know from JISC TechDis on Vimeo.

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One of the sections of toolbox is focussed on planning. However, like all the resource son toolbox they can also be found via the ‘Different Needs’ section.  For example under the Memory and Concentration section you will find lots of ideas to help to keep you on track of your work or to jog your memory when you need to remember to do a certain task.    Using sticky notes which are part of the Windows 7 operating system is a good way to keep  a reminder on your screen – until you’ve got the chance to actually do your task.

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The TechDis Toolbox has information on plug ins for the most popular types of browser.  Mozilla Firefox has a number of accessibility extensions that you can download to make browsing easier.  These include Reader for Firefox, which removed all the clutter from the page which could cause distractions.

Text to Voice is another plug in which does exactly that – turns text on the screen into audio that you can listen to. It also has a video download plug in which means you can download content you have found and view it again on a mobile device or offline.

Examples of these can be seen in the video below.

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The TechDis Toolbox includes resources highlighting things that may make it easier to access information on the internet.  Chrome is a browser which has been developed by Google and it has a number of options or extensions which enables a user to convert the information on a web page into a different format.

These include –

  • ChromeVox is a screen reader which can use any installed voices – such as TechDis Jess or Jack
  • Chrome Speak which reads out loud any selected text – text to speech
  • Readability – reduces the clutter on a web page and enables the user to change the font size etc
  • Flash Video Downloader – enables you to download video so that you can view it later on a PC or hand held device such as a phone or tablet.

 

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The TechDis Toolbox has a full section on web browsers.  There is information on Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome.  There is a great general video on web browsers from Commoncraft and than a further one on  accessibility within web browsers – take a look at the basics!

The individual videos on different plug-ins for each browser will be on here in the next few posts.

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One of the main sections in the TechDis Toolbox is on organisation and planning.  This deals with managing your messages, information and time.  There are some real gems in here but one of the finest is a short video on ‘getting things done’ – simple tips to help you make a start on those difficult jobs you’re reluctant to even look at!

For those who haven’t realised ‘A Round Tuit’ is something that you need before to start to do a job as in – I’ll begin that report when I get ‘around to it’.

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