Many educators are actively using or considering the use of free e-learning technologies in their classrooms. Most teachers report that blogs create communication opportunities and can be used for collaborative and social networking, as well as an instructional tool within their classrooms. The new 21st century learning environment will provide many benefits to those who have access. The internet offers opportunities for those with disabilities to interact with others in the world. However, the use of technologies raise concerns with accessibilities and possible exclusion of disabled individuals.
Mary Zajiceck of the Department of Computing at Oxford Brookes University, stated in her report, “Web 2.0: Hype or Happiness?”, using Web 2.0 sites rely on fast internet speeds or new communication technologies, which older people cannot afford. As a result, those who do not have Web access will become excluded. The same constraints definitely apply to many young people with disabilities or low-income families. As far as accessibilities, there are lots of discussions and suggestions about UDL; However, I would like to ask educators what kind of accommodations and considerations you provide for students with special needs when you are planning to implement web 2.0 tools in your classroom. I would like to hear about your experience about all areas of constraint, including the possible unavailability of equipment or internet access by children of impoverished parents or disabled individuals.
Web 2.0: Hype or Happiness?” by Mary Zajiceck