Auckland, October, Ulearn12
It is almost the end of the school holidays and the forecast for the last weekend of the school holidays is not good. Let’s hope they get it wrong. I have spent the last three days of glorious weather in Auckland cloistered indoors at Ulearn12 learning. It has been two and a half days of inspiring speakers, and interesting workshops but my head is now spinning and I am suffering a little from information overload! I have so many ideas spinning round my head and feel that I need to organise them before they sink to the depths only to re-surface as frustrating fragments at some time in the future!
I am currently in a blogging session which is great, the morning after the night before and the last morning of the conference and a hands on session to explore and play is just the ticket. The main thrust of the session is looking at accessibility; how accessible are our websites? who do we write for? what are we writing? I started writing to tell our friends and family back home in the UK and elsewhere what we were doing. I guess it was also a time saving thing on my part, too; I wanted to write to all our friends and family but found myself writing more or less the same thing so hit on writing a blog to access everyone and then sending them a short personal email with a link to the blogpost.
I then started writing a blog to reflect on my own learning; it was for me, I didn’t really intend anyone else to read it, why would anyone else want to read it? Then I started learn more about the whole sharing thing and got involved with Twitter, went to conferences, realised that I could widen my whole thinking by reading and commenting on other blogs and started to believe that maybe what I was saying may also have some interest for others. So, I took the plunge and made my blog public. Not many people read it but it is listed in my LinkedIn profile and my Twitter profile and other PLN and I get the odd comment.
So, now…. how accessible is my blog? Is it “readable” for the sight impaired? Is it easy on the eye for those without visual impairment? Is the layout clear and uncluttered. Today I learned about “Wave“, installed the toolbar – it works best in Firefox, I tried it with Chrome and it didn’t work, and assessed my blog for accessibility.
The results weren’t too bad; the main errors were around not having alt-txt for photos. My blogs tend to be quite visual so that was an issue. I am also not always good at having pictures that truly have anything to do with the content of the blog, although they are often personal photos that are seasonal, just because I like pictures.
I also don’t often break my blog up into sections; I tend to start writing and just blurt it all out as a unconscious stream of consciousness (to quote our family blog – named by my husband!). That makes it difficult for people to navigate, especially those who are sight impaired.
My blogs also tend to be rather long – I need to start to blog more often but shorter, rather than saving up a couple of months worth of stuff and then writing it all in one huge, long blog.
On that note, I will close…