Equity Toolboxes for learners with specific needs

Flexible Learning Toolboxes website

Did you know that it was Global Accessibility Awareness Day on Thursday 9 May? Are you aware that Toolboxes have been built to an international accessibility standard? Addressing these standards means a better experience for all users, with particular attention paid to users with a disability.

Equity Toolboxes

Truvision was one of the first Toolboxes built specifically for vision impaired users.¬†Others, such as Where’s the Party At? and English at Work, have been developed to meet the specific needs of youths and those wishing to develop their literacy skills.

Visit the Flexible Learning Toolboxes website to find the complete list of the Equity Toolboxes.

Toolbox Rebuilds

Web standards are constantly evolving. As a result, Toolboxes built few years ago do not always meet today’s standards. Recently, eight Toolboxes have been rebuilt to meet the current technical standards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

  1. Food Safety Toolbox 703
  2. Grange Care Services Toolbox 602
  3. On Your Guard Toolbox 501
  4. Workplace Trainer (Literacy and Numeracy) Toolbox 425
  5. Basic Skills in the Cybercentre Toolbox 424
  6. Kitchen Operations Toolbox 409
  7. The Virtual Warehouse Toolbox 213
  8. Chemical and Oil Refining Toolbox 204

Have you ever used an Equity Toolbox? Share your experience with us on Twitter. We’d also love to hear what you think of the newly rebuilt Toolboxes.

Updated Teacher E-learning Toolkit

Three compartments of a toolbox labeled Brakes, Headset and Wheels

Trainers wanting to use new and innovative online delivery methods are frequently confronted with issues of access to appropriate functionality to facilitate e-learning. (Commonly a teacher wants to innovate online only to find options blocked by the organisational firewall.)

Since 2008 the Teacher E-learning Toolkit has provided guidance for the type of functionality required by teachers as well as technical specifications for informing training organisations and their IT departments. An updated version of the VET toolkit, together with its companion document ‘Commonly-used E-learning Applications and Tools in VET‘, is now available on the New Generation Technologies for Learning website.

The toolkit specifies the minimum web and desktop-based functionality requirements needed to support e-learning in the national training system. The companion document contains a list of software tools that are commonly used by teachers and trainers in VET.

The document updates, funded by the National VET E-learning Strategy, have been informed by a comprehensive research and consultation process with teachers and technical personnel, including an online survey and in-depth interviews.

The current review interviewed a more diverse range of respondents, including those from non-metropolitan institutions as well as community training providers, covering a broader spectrum of activity. 74% of respondents said they had previously used the toolkit.

A common concern of respondents was how to deal with the complexity caused by the emergence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios. The updated toolkit has therefore endorsed the need for functionality facilitating cloud and social applications to help augment activity on a wide range of mobile devices.

Updates to the documents include:

  • cloud-based storage and sharing
  • using and delivering learning and assessment on mobile devices
  • e-portfolio approaches
  • new case studies (added to the ‘Commonly-used Applications’ document)

Also, a designated forum is now available on the New Generation Technologies for Learning website for practitioners to help keep the information up to date.

The toolkit “is a useful summary of the range of functionality required by VET practitioners and as such has been a reference to developing an eTools kit for all staff across the institute”, said one survey participant.

“The summary of technologies that these documents provide is a good overview and guides me as to where to start looking for other e-learning tools”, said another.

Photo: Bike tools, by rubberdreamfeet on flickr