Can someone please hike over to Redmond and provide a concise but blunt lesson on WEB ACCESSIBILITY to the computer industry gurus of yesteryear who still live and work there?!
I am mildly glad to see Microsoft sponsoring an educational summit this month on the issue of school reform and designing “schools of the future.” I am pretty disgusted that their web link to a summative digital story (“Click HERE to see the new School of the Future Video!”) apparently isn’t posted in a web format that plays well on non-Windows IE browsers. I may be overreacting here, but I don’t think so– the movie isn’t playing in either FireFox or Safari for me– or the defunct and now irrelevant IE 5.2 for Mac.
Here’s a news flash for conference attendees: Guess what guys? In the school of the future, most of the computer desktops won’t be running MS Windows! Doubt this is true? Then you obviously haven’t ever or lately downloaded and installed an updated distribution of Linux, like Ubuntu or Open SUSE. It’s time to wake up, folks. We live in a diverse world that is both multi-lingual and multi-platform. Hallelujah for that! If people like me have anything to say about that technology trend (and we do), it is going to stay that way! The momentum behind projects like the MIT $100 laptop initiative is just going to grow larger in the months and years to come. Open source is the future.
If you want to be a relevant communicator in the 21st century, you need your content to be freely accessible in digital forms. People as smart as Redmond corporate types should know what computer accessibility means. Sadly, some apparently don’t, at least the ones posting video links on the “School of the Future Summits Virtual Community Portal.”
So here is a direct message to those folks:
I would like to view your video guys and gals, I really would– I’d love to give it a blog posted evaluation. Problem is, you aren’t speaking my language on the digital trail you’ve posted a sign to on your website. This language is called web standards. It’s not very complicated, but it is very important. Please check it out. Otherwise, I and many others like me won’t be checking YOU out, or your content.
And isn’t that a sad day, when the choices you have made make you an ignored voice regarded as inaccessible and irrelevant in a global conversation about things that matter: like teaching and learning in the 21st Century?
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