Lesson Plan: viewing>writing>listening Pedagogical Versions of Access

Sierra Mendez

Accessibility, Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans

Existentially, this lesson plan is about challenging student conceptions of information dissemination and questioning notions of universality embedded in web narratives of access. We like to think of the internet as a democratic space of unlimited maneuverability. But for many users, it is not. Here, we want students to consider the overwhelming prominence of visual, picture-based knowledge and ask who is excluded? Who cannot move freely in this space? Who is not granted access? Effectively, this assignment asks students to

Tinkering With Pedagogy: Experimenting With Technology at the DWRL

andrewheermans

Accessibility, Devices, Games

At the start of last academic year, the Digital Writing and Research Lab assigned two research imperatives: data visualization and wearable technology. While data visualization is ubiquitous in most forms of media, and serves an already established and crucial role in empirical research and its dissemination, the affective affordances of wearable technology are emergent, and the cultural narratives that surround this category of technology is contingent upon the continuous emergence and advancement of new devices. Recently, the DWRL has obtained

Accessibility Project Update: Mapping Narratives of Access

Sierra Mendez

Accessibility, Locative Media, News

In the DWRL’s ongoing Accessibility project, we’ve kicked off the semester by asking: What makes a story visible or invisible? How does visibility affect accessibility? We considered whether or not popularity, or “trending,” obfuscate access to less normative narrative, and if “fake news” and “alternative facts” operate to distract from, obscure, and ultimately hide “true stories” and “real information.” This led to a broad discussion of search engines and search terms through Google Analytics to gather insight into about things

Ethical Design and Time Well Spent

Matt Breece

Accessibility, Devices

Diagonal matrix with rows and columns of mobile phones with different social media icons like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The amount of time we spend engaged with our digital devices, especially our smart phones, doesn’t necessarily make us feel more empowered. The organization Time Well Spent argues that the reason for this isn’t some moral failing on the part of users but rather a question of intentional design: “Many people think our devices are neutral and it’s up to us to choose how to use them. But that’s not all true. Attention companies (like Snapchat, Facebook or Netflix) spend

Invisible Knowledge

Amy Tuttle

Accessibility, Data, Devices, Digital Archiving, Locative Media, News, Pedagogy, Social Media

Screenshot shows that "trump meme" is the top result.

Since you’re reading this online publication, I imagine that you, like me, leave hundreds of digital traces every day. A lot of these traces are things we can see–things like emails, texts, blog posts, twitter posts, photographs, Youtube comments, or Facebook likes. But today I’m particularly interested in the invisible, unintentional digital traces we leave–things like records of our internet searches and website visits, or the location data that logs our movements and phone calls. There’s knowledge in the invisible

Universal Design for Learning: What is it and why should you care?

Beck Wise

Accessibility, Pedagogy

Clip art showing people with different access needs in sillhouette. Left to right: a person on crutches, a person in a wheelchair, a person with a cane, a person pushing a pram

At the end of this past summer, I was invited to address instructors in the University of Texas‘ Department of Rhetoric & Writing (DRW) on the theme of ‘Accessibility’. The invitation arose from some work I’d done for the DRW to make their syllabus boilerplate more accessible — reformatting the existing Word doc with styles to increase navigability, and providing descriptive hyperlinks to web-based references — and reflected a need to better acquaint new instructors with accessibility resources on campus,

Visualizing Data with Google Maps

DWRL Staff

Accessibility, Data, Data Visualisation Week, Digital Archiving, Locative Media

A picture of a map of an unidentified space with a large red pin marker stuck in the center of the map's area.

Visualization: Sierra Mendez. Text: Amy Tuttle. It’s hard to believe that at one time, map ownership was a privilege reserved for the wealthiest members of a society. But thanks to modern surveying techniques and satellite systems, highly precise maps are widely available on the internet. As a result of this ubiquity, maps have become absolutely critical in many fields of human endeavor. With a few clicks of a mouse, Google Maps will allow you to explore the earth, the moon,

Questing for Choice(s)

Lily Zhu

Accessibility, Games, Multimodal Writing

aisle intro screen

There is a fundamental issue with how we (as academics, players, and creators) view game narratives. This particular art form leaves room for player intervention, for changes and transformations, however, such interactivity has done little to push the boundaries of storytelling beyond alternate endings and perpetual quests. Is this as far as stories can go? Linear progressions momentarily disrupted by the novelty of easter eggs and yet-to-be unlocked zones? Mark Danielewski’s The Familiar book series – delivered through a traditional

To Catch ’em All, Campus Needs to be Accessible

Jake Cowan

Accessibility

One afternoon sometime in the middle of our summer, in need of a little sun—the glow of a monitor only goes so far—I picked up my laptop and headed out to the UT turtle pond to work underneath one of the shadier trees. While this spot is usually among the less crowded on our 50,000+ person campus, on that day it was bustling with more bodies than just those with shells. “Catch anything good out here?” a youngish voice asked